Lucienne Day 1917-2010

British modern textile designer Lucienne Day has died; she was 93.

Calyx, 1951

Born Désirée Lucienne Conradi, she was brought up in the comfortable south London suburbs. Her mother was English and her father Belgian. She went to a convent school and always kept a distinctly continental reticence and chic. From a very early age she was focused on designing, and studied at Croydon School of Art and then, from 1937 to 1940, at the Royal College of Art. It was there, in her final year, that she first met the furniture designer Robin Day.

Decades later they were still, very touchingly, describing that meeting as the start of a true romance. Perhaps the secret lay in Lucienne's professional autonomy. Their partnership was often, wrongly, compared to that of their contemporary American designers Charles and Ray Eames. Ray Eames's professional work was merged with, and in some degree subsidiary to, her husband's, whereas Lucienne's career was always distinct.