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Designer fillip

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Philip Johnson may be 93, but his design skills are being put to new uses - namely a nine-piece place setting of china, currently available at Bloomingdale's. The white plates feature nineteenth-century engravings of urban scenes, but have found little favour with diners at Four Seasons, the swanky restaurant which has been Johnson's favourite for decades. Alas, though the general manager commissioned the plates, they were rejected because of consumer reaction, annoying our Phil considerably. 'Modernity - which says that a plate is something utilitarian - has this terrible hold on people,' he tells the New Yorker. He has developed this view by declining to add espresso cups to his range, on the grounds that they really would be utilitarian.

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