Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiring Design Legend/ Eva Zeisel







I had just been collecting images on Eva’s work to write a post about her inspiring design and influence on American ceramics when I heard the news that last week we lost Eva at the truly amazing age of 105. The Design world has certainly lost a legend, Born In Budapest in 1906, She studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts there. She lived in Germany and Russia where she was actually jailed due to a Stalin purge where she experienced horrific conditions, her reason for imprisonment never really known even to her, it seems narrowly escaping execution she went to England in 1938 and married before moving finally to NYC in 1939 where she created the department of Ceramic Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she taught until 1952.

She has been credited for merging the worlds of the fine arts with mass merchandise and industrial design and introducing modernism into middleclass American homes, Her designs look like sensual modern sculptures but have a warmth and everyday quality that makes you just want to reach out and use them, She said herself: "We feel differently, more intimately, about dishes than we do about shoes or chairs or forks. If we unexpectedly come upon a chair like we used when we were children we say, 'We had a chair like that at home.' But if we come upon dishes like we used on the dinner table with our parents, we will surely exclaim: 'Look! Our dishes!” Her work is so instantly recognizable with their rounded curves, arches, teardrops and wave motifs.

Over the years she designed for well known ceramic and glass companies Hall China, Red Wing Pottery, Castleton China, Norleans Meito (Japan), Rosenthal, Royal Stafford, Noritake and Western Stoneware and more recent collaborations with Klein Reid, Chantal, Design Within Reach and The Rug Company.

Here are a smattering of her huge library of design, I cannot even touch the surface of her massive contribution to modern design, I am so sorry I never got to meet her, RIP Eva.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dutch Eigen Huis & Interieur Belgium Deco Idee's Magazines

Cover

Article Photography: Jonny Valiant

Article Photography: Jonny Valiant

Article Photography: Jonny Valiant
Cover
Article Photography: Jonny Valiant


While we are on the bandwagon, I received in the mail from Ian at Tripod Agency my issues of 
Eigen Huis & Interieur and Deco Idee's Magazine Both European magazines have featured in their latest issue their own interpretations of my shoot for my last apartment. I have to say I am overwhelmed by the support and interest in this shoot, It's amazing where it ends up, I hope you are not getting tired of me sharing it with you, I have included just a snippet of each one here so you get a flavor as I know many have seen this shoot many times.


I am very excited to be part of these magazines! I love seeing how each title approaches the story differently. 


Again thanks to Ian Philips at Tripod Agency who distributed this cover and wrote the great accompanying story also and Jonny Valiant who photographed the space and made it look amazing! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elle Decoration, UK Feature/ Jan 2012

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant
So here it is, My first Elle Decoration U.K cover, Such a honor to be on the front of my favorite magazine. This cover appears on the Jan issue and has just hit the newsstands. See also the story inside also that has been beautifully layed out. Many of you would have seen this story before as it has appeared in quite a few European publications and covers. This is the first time however that have used the blue office on a cover. I remember painting that color blue and as assembling the arrangement on the wall, thinking this would make a striking shot and low and behold it did! The room on the cover is actually tiny, 7x7 feet, hard to believe. 


Again thanks to Ian Philips at Tripod Agency who distributed this cover and wrote the great accompanying story also and Jonny Valiant who photographed the space and made it look amazing! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Italian's do it Better/ Ettore Sottsass

Ettore Sosstass in 2006, photographed by J.Emilio Flores, His famous Memphis piece

Vases for Bisotti designed by Ettore Sottsass


Totem series designed by Ettore Sottsass

Totem series designed by Ettore Sottsass

Memphis piece and Enorme Telephone designed by Ettore Sottsass

Memphis piece, Vase and Olivetti typewriter by Ettore Sottsass

Vases and Vessels by Ettore Sottsass

Memphis pieces by Ettore Sottsass

Memphis pieces by Ettore Sottsass

Vases by Ettore Sottsass

Enamel plates by Ettore Sottsass

Sketches/ Designs by Ettore Sottsass

Sketches/ Designs by Ettore Sottsass
It was in the 1990’s a part of my Design Degree that I first studied quite intensively the Post Modern Movement, In the 90’s we were actually still really going through it and some would argue we still are, Post Modernism refers to a point of departure for works of literature, drama, architecture, cinema, journalism, and design. The movement of Postmodernism really began with architecture, as a response to the perceived blandness, hostility, and Utopianism of the Modern movement. Modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is associated with the phrase "less is more"; in contrast Post Modernists say, "Less is a bore."

The 1980’s was such a powerful decade in the way when we look back but in the minimalist 1990’s we almost looked at this work in shock and horror, It was too close to appreciate. The 1980’s had been so radical, in the 1990’s we came out of the 80’s a bit shell shocked and dazed by it’s boldness and tenacity. At school I remember studying the work in particular of Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) who was the famous Italian architect, designer and leader of the Post Modernism movement. In the height of it in 1981, Sottsass and an international group of young architects and designers had come together to form the Memphis Group. Memphis was launched with a collection of 40 pieces of furniture, ceramics, lighting, glass and textiles, which featured fluorescent colors, slick surfaces, intentionally lop-sided shapes and squiggly laminate patterns. It hit the marketplace with such force that it influenced the design of that decade on so many levels.

The interesting thing with Sottsass’s work is that although his work hit the mainstream in the 1980’s and is remembered so vividly with being connected with Memphis and seems so iconic with that era, his work right back to the 1950’s still holds the same vision, playfulness and life. I have recently been re connecting with that work, Here on this post I am sharing his range of totems, vases and enamel plates that he developed much earlier than the1980’s I think they are pure genius in their use of colors compositions and form.  

Sottsass was truly a giant of Design, as said by Paola Antonelli, the senior curator in the Museum of Modern Art’s department of architecture and design. “He had a capacity to really feel the times that he was living in and to change with them.”

Friday, December 16, 2011

News Flash! /Elle Decoration UK

Photography: Jonny Valiant
Photography: Jonny Valiant

Such exciting news for me! I have not had a chance to get to a shop to see in person (Very busy on shoots right now during this crazy time of the year) but apparently my last apartment has made it on the actual cover of one of my favorite magazines in the world, Elle Decoration UK The top image shows the actual cover, The other when I did a search came up, Perhaps they are using as promotion or as an alternative cover but it shows another view in my last very blue office. 


Again thanks to the wonderful Ian Philips at Tripod Agency in Paris who distributed this cover and story also and Jonny Valiant who always photographs my places so majestically! 


I can't wait to pick up a copy!, Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Lady at Barney's New York

Graphics courtesy of Barney's New York, As used in tore and for promotional purposes
Outside the Store, Image courtesy of Barney's New York
Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay
Some of the merchandise being sold, images courtesy of Barney's New York


Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay
Every now again an Artist comes along in history that pushes boundaries and makes us gasp, sometimes in shock, sometimes in delight. Whether you are a fan or not, you can’t deny the world had become quite a boring place before Lady Gaga. You can’t deny her force; highly charged, motivated beyond belief she seems to be taking over the world. Living in New York I can’t deny her presence even more, for this is her town, the city in which the Lady was born. 

This week I made the trip to the flagship store on Madison Ave, Barney’s New York where it seems Lady Gaga has her stamp all over the building, On street level you are greeted by some amazing window displays inspired by guess what Lady Gaga! One window is entirely made of hairpieces; a black-clawed Lady Gaga figure sits in amongst her boudoir, the other window a serene Lady Gaga mermaid swims amongst sparkly icicles in a sea of blue. 

Gaga apparently teamed with her style guru Nicola Forichetti from Thierry Mugler and Barney’s Creative Director Dennis Freedman, Also with Christophe Hamaide Pierson, Eli Sudbrack and their art collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus (check out their amazing website) to help out with creating the windows, imagery and an entire floor of Barney’s to create a Gaga wonderland that houses crafted accessories and cosmetics and other gift ideas. 

On that floor are giant sculpture installations including a giant 8 foot Lady Gaga spider, The floor feels quite Surrealist meets Pop Art with an 1980’s edge. Campaign visuals include a cartoon rendering of Gaga with long blue hair and a sparkly red jumpsuit is being used to decorate Barney’s shopping bags and other packaging.

As a Stylist and Creative Director, I can’t help but marvel at the way a whole persona like Gaga can be packaged so well, to me this is quite inspirational. It reminds me of other icons we can’t forget, the unforgettable stamp recording artists like Elton John and David Bowie made on the 1970’s, Of course Madonna in the 1980’s (and beyond). It is without doubt pure fantasy, it could also be seen as self indulgent, but as people that work in a creative field would recognize, to have this freedom to create such an explosion of imagery is to be celebrated, at least I think so!     

It’s open till Jan 2nd, so make sure if you are In NYC, go and take a look!