October 2009 Archives
Shelf systems have always fascinated me.......there are so many design choices and a multitude of ways to accessorize them!!!! The Melted Collection by Dutch designers, Pieke Bergmans & Peter Van der Jagt, presented at Experimentadesign in Lisbon, includes one of the most modern, unique and interesting shelf concepts I have seen. Formed from polystyrene foam that has been baked, the structures, also including chairs, stools, and cabinets, are permanent, strong, secure, and durable. In addition to setting the form of the system, the heating process melts the edges into natural seams and creates a slight gradation of color. These designers are very comfortable with the concept of altering traditional expectation of materials and surface. The result of their "surface play" is most often "playful" in form!!!!
Isaac Mizrahi is a divine designer, extraordinary entertainer, celebrated chef (he makes the best, best, best mint chocolate chip ice cream in the world!!!), and brilliant bridge player!!!! And, he is now revitalizing retail in New York City!!! Last month Isaac opened his first "shop", a 1500-square-foot- space at 23 East 67th Street, and as usual Isaac knew exactly what he wanted!!!! He made a decision "to keep it really simple....all things that are functional and neutral and lend a sense of ease and even a bit of luxury." His distinctive style drew him to an eclectic array of furniture, in a variety of textures and surfaces. There is a mix of vintage & modern, soft & hard, mirror & matte.....but he says that everything is background for the clothes, which always "shine"!!!! In addition to the furniture, the design elements in the store continue the same theme that Isaac uses everywhere.....in his studio, his apartment, and his house in Bridgehampton. These elements include plywood shelves between layers of lucite, wallpaper tables for display, skinny aluminum handrails. and lots of white "lacquer." The final compliment to the simple, yet luxurious design of the store is a charming collection of Isaac's sketches that cover one wall.
"The whole thing is meant as a place to house the collection so that it look it's best and so it shows the creative hand at work. It's not just merchandise, it's my babies."
Young product designer Kai-Lai Chan created this "selfportrait"chair " as a piece of furniture that reflected her personality and emotional composition. The inner structure of the chair is a metal frame, that is then covered in stretch PU leather. There are several holes in the faux leather, and white lycra has been inserted into them. Polyester foam is the filling of the chair.....the result is the lycra patches being pushed to the surface through the holes. Achieving her goal, these emerging surfaces reflect Kai's inner "self," stretching to show her hidden emotions and personality to the outside world.
''In the past I have always found myself to be a quiet and introvert person. I suppressed my own emotions and didn't dare show my feelings to other people. I was afraid that people would find me weird for being who I am. It felt like there was something growing on me which gets bigger and bigger like a tumor. I always tend yo hide away my personality, but on the other hand I wanted nothing more but to open up and just be myself." Kai-Lai Chan
I am fascinated by the thought of reflecting our "self-images" through the creation of a piece of furniture......whatever would I be?????
I love notebooks..... do I have a hidden desire to write down my deepest thoughts or do I just love to doodle????? Doodling wins!!! In my travels, I found this Artroomnotebook project from the fantastical studio of Italian designer Sergio Calatroni!!! They are part of a project of 100 unique, handmade notebooks that were created between 2005 and 2009 for promotional use. The covers are unique inkjet prints, on high quality paper. They were then covered with mat PVC for protection and tied with various multicolor wool string or elastic cords.
After looking at a number of projects from Sergio Calatroni's Artroom......I realized there is a great deal of work with pattern and color that I find highly seductive and off beat...starting with the website!!!!! A MUST SEE!!!
Saturday I had lunch with with my friend the EIC (remember..... Editor In Chief!!!). Afterwards, we went to an antique store we both love..... because there was something "wonderful" I had to shoot. He took this picture of me, taking a picture of "it"........see, there is nothing I wouldn't do to get a picture of a great "accessoration"!!!!!!!~ Thanks....EIC!!!!!
NEWS FLASH.........direct from London!!!! Take a look at the divine plaid manicure (top left)....these hands belong to my friend & House Beautiful Senior Editor on-the-move, Orli Ben-Dor!!!! Orli is in London to scout the Decorex Textile Show and along the way, she managed a well deserved manicure!!!! Leave it to this "style maven" to find the newest, trend in London....."finger bling"!!!!! WAH Nails, located at 420 Kingsland Road in trendy Shoreditch, is the brainchild of another "hip chick", Sharmadean Reid. Employing "nail artists," who create a wide selection of designs, from leopard prints & neon 80's graphics to Mondrian patterns....the more unique the better.....Reid is " big mama" to the best "fashion accessory" I have seen in a very long time!!!!
Thanks Orli, you really are the coolest chick!!!!!
Pepe Heykoop, a young Dutch designer who graduated the Design Academy Einhoven in 2008, constructed this unique chair, Brickchair, from a variety of children's wooden toy building blocks. The inspiration was an illustration by LA artist James Gulliver Hancock, a line drawing of a variety of different chairs called All the Chairs I Sat On. According to Pepe...."I fell in love with the image immediately. The chair up left in the corner caught my eye....so the Brickchair is the interpretation of a drawing, which was already an interpretation of an old existing chair. It transformed twice and ended up in bricks."
I have an incurable obsession with chairs.....and a warehouse of them to prove it!!! I found this chair at an auction in Brussels. Karen Ryan, an English designer whose work I collect, had a chair in the auction, and as I was browsing the catalogue I found Pepe's incredible piece.....I only wish I had found it earlier.......it would have been a wonderful addition to my collection!!!!! But, I know there will always be another chair in my future .............