Designer deckchairs ranging from models with a hand-painted lady by the cartoonist Quentin Blake, to a recipe scrawled on its back by the chef Fergus Henderson, to Paul Smith's hallmark stripesfeatured among a batch of 700 exclusively commissioned sun-loungers in four London parks yesterday.
The prints, which range from the dainty to the eccentric - including the dancer Michael Clark's chair with a hole in its seat - can be rented by the public or bought either in chair or canvas form, and will replace the more conventional blue-and-white striped seats for hire in London parks.
The deckchair launch could not have come at a more timely moment, according to weather experts, who predict "perfect" conditions for the next two days, with less humidity than the Mediterranean. Temperatures are set to rise to 26C with clear skies throughout the weekend.
The brightly coloured designs, launched at Hyde Park, Green Park, St James's and Regent's Park, were created as part of an initiative to raise money for the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity that supports the Royal Parks and oversees their upkeep. More than 20 luminaries from the worlds of food, fashion, music, architecture and art designed a unique range of 25 deckchairs which were auctioned last month to raise £30,000. But prints of these original designs are now available for the public to rent at £1.50 for two hours or to buy at £80 each.
Designers include Mario Testino; agnès b; Alexander McQueen; Celia Birtwell; Eley Kishimoto; Fergus Henderson; Gary Hume; Heston Blumenthal; Julie Verhoeven; Ken Russell; Michael Nyman; Michael Clark; Paul Smith; Peter Ackroyd; Peter Saville; Quentin Blake; Richard Rogers; Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers; William Alsop; Wolfgang Tillmans; Yoko Ono and Giancarlo Neri.
Zac Goldsmith, a trustee of the Royal Parks, said it was an "imaginative and colourful" way to raise money. "Deckchairs are a British icon.We hope that people will enjoy relaxing on the new designs and find them thought-provoking," he said.Reuse content