Retro design comes back, appropriately, in the historic section of Philadelphia this Sunday at Old City Fest. Interior design firm Marguerite Rodgers is transforming the Center for Art in Wood (141 N. Third St.) into mock living spaces — think a really cool Ikea — using art, furniture and accessories from the neighborhood’s many boutiques.
“We want to tell a story,” says Marco Angelucci, design director for Marguerite Rodgers. “We decided to make up a client: We envisioned two artists who live together and work together, in the same space. We’re going back to that idea of things that were crafted and made by hand.”
Angelucci and his team went shopping for those handmade goods in Old City’s galleries and shops, including Mode Moderne. Owner Michael Glatfelter says the designers picked up several pieces from his vintage furniture store. “There’s a pair of really hi-tech 1950s operating room lamps,” he describes. “There’s a Vargas pinup girl lamp and clock combination — that’s fun. Six Vargas girl decals, a pair of spoked wooden magazine racks by Arthur Umanoff and a large ceramic Italian lamp.”
But like the rest of us, Glatfelter is waiting to see what it will all look like in the design showcase, which will stay open after the fest through Oct. 16. “Until I see it, I have no idea,” he says. “It’s a mystery — a welcome one — to see how they’ll put this all together.”
Old City Fest takes over the neighborhood Sunday, Oct. 11, from noon to 6 p.m., with food and drink, shopping, demonstrations, street performances, live music, a fashion show and a family fun zone. Booths and performers will concentrate along Third Street between Market and Race, and Arch Street between Second and Fourth. Get all the details at Oldcitydistrict.org.