Inside ‘Rick Owens: Furniture’ at MOCA Pacific Design Center

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You know him as the overlord of modern gothic fashion. But the much anticipated exhibition Rick Owens: Furniture at West Hollywood’s MOCA Pacific Design Center looks at his creations not meant for the body. The work presented include recent furniture, a new group of large scale sculptures, video and installations – alongside a selection of works by the late artist and musician Steven Parrino, whom the Paris-based American designer admired.

Owens launched his eponymous clothing label in Los Angeles in 1994, and has consistently drawn influence for both his fashion collections and his sculptural furniture from a vast array of art historical sources, which span modernist design, brutalist architecture, monochrome painting, minimal art, and avant-garde dance. His radical and spectacular runway shows function as a form of performance art, and often call into question preconceived and culturally constructed notions of beauty promoted by the very fashion industry in which he works.

But since 2007 Owens has applied a punk and anarchist sensibility to furniture design as well, creating stark and elegant forms out of marble, alabaster, bronze, ox bone, leather and plywood. And in addition to displaying works in Owens’ signature materials, the exhibition showcases the artist’s first foray into foam, rock crystal and concrete.

The show is produced by Michèle Lamy, Owens’ wife, muse “fairy witch” inspiration.

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Visual Artist Stef Halmos’ Insider Guide To NYC’s Chinatown

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Stef Halmos is on the rise in New York’s visual art scene. Her signature plaster series “The Squishes” have been posting up like wild fire across social media and are being heavily collected by fashion darlings like Lisa Mayock of Monogram and Mckenzie Raley of Land of Women.

After attending art school in San Francisco, Halmos set up her studio in New York City where she continued her studies and since explored the process of molding winterstone with fibrous materials. With her newest show now up at Canal Street Market, Stef shares her insider tips on Chinatown’s classic gems.

T&T Plasticland is among my favorite stores in all of New York. Everything they sell is made of plastic, from gorgeous 6″ thick sheets to strange little bits and pieces. They also do fabrication work, and some of their sample projects are strewn about with no particular order. It’s oddly simple and comforting.
The fruit market at the corner of Mulberry & Canal is a magical, psychotic little place comprised of about 12 vendors…all with multicolor beach umbrella stands. Here you can be sure to find an assortment of magnificent fruit, all year round. The vendors and signs are all in Chinese. Sometimes I go and just take a wild stab at trying something strange I’ve never seen before.
Nam Wah Tea Parlor is the classic Chinatown spot for dim sum and overall wonderful food. It feels like an antique Chinese diner inside and the service is so fast it’ll make your head spin.
Mmuseumm is a tiny little hole in the wall museum that exhibits the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored”. I think it is inside an old elevator shaft or something thereof. It only fits three people at a time and keeps strange hours. If you can catch it when it’s open, it is well worth a visit.
Canal Lighting & Parts has every kind of light bulb you can ever imagine. They’re all blended alongside kooky fixtures and bright neon tubes. It’s the filament equivalent of T&T Plasticland! I’m desperate to buy a ton of giant bulbs (some are up to 3 feet long) and create new work with them.
Stef Halmos displays her newest work beginning this Thursday, December 1st, through December 10th at The Canal Street Market, located at 265 Canal Street between Broadway and Lafayette, Open 11AM-8PM, 7 Days a week.

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London Design Festival: 10 Top Moments

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Every September 375,000 fashion forwarded design lovers from all over the world pour into London to experience The London Design Festival. The festival is timed nicely to collide with London Fashion Week and is set up to reach every corner of the city.

The hipster east end neighborhood of Shoreditch offered up a fair of homewares from Norway to China, Central London’s vast Somerset House hosted the London Design Biennale (which represented commission works from six continents), the iconic Victoria and Albert Museum hosted the most Instagram worthy moments with works by Mathieu Lehanneur and in the SoHo District, Burberry set up shop with their Maker House . This exhibition paired their AW ’17 collection atop live installations with the collection The New Craftsmen. LDF does a tremendous job of celebrating London’s creativity and offering up an international platform that attracts artists, designers and fashion set attendees from over 75 countries. With over 400 events, installations, workshops, exhibitions and parties it can be a challenge to hit up everything but we managed to do it.

Here are the top ten moments.

Liquid Marble by Mathieu Lehanneur at the V&A.

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Photo courtesy of London Design Festival
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur presents his ‘Liquid Marble’ Installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The black surface appears both liquid and solid, evoking the rippling waves of an ocean as Norfolk House Music promotes a meditative state for visitors.

Maker’s House by Burberry 

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In partnership with The New Craftsmen, Burberry presents an exhibition and open series of activities to celebrate the craft and inspiration behind their AW ’17 collection. The New Craftsmen have curated some of the most talented artists, designers and creators who are dedicated to producing the best of British culture, artifacts and craft methods.

Light Pollination presented by Iguzzini

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Photo courtesy of London Design Festival
Commissioned by iGuzzini, Light Pollination consists of 20,000 LED lights embedded on the ends of fibre-optic cables. Visitors wave phones over the cables which influence the behavior of the LED lights, mimicing the phenomenon of bioluminescence in nature. The public art installation open up a conversation about how digital media is influencing how we can use lighting in cities.

Studio Martyn Thompson Rock Pool Installation 

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Photography by Martyn Thompson 
Fashion Photographer turned designer, Martyn Thompson premiered Rock Pool Installation, a collection of textiles celebrating the unknowable sea and the unending shift of ideas. Abstract shapes and shadows form to reflect the motion, rocks and waves of the ocean. These patterns are created from Martyn’s photographs and celebrate his love of the “accidental.”

Somerset House (Austria) LeveL by mischer’traxler

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Photography by Ed Reeve
Austrian design representative mischer’traxler’s kinetic light sculpture deftly balances when visitors are completely still in its vicinity. With perfect stillness, the lights are brightest, illuminating the room fully. Any disturbance made the rods tilt and LEDs dim.

Glithero presents Green Room at the V&A

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Photo courtesy of London Design Festival
Green Room is a dramatic installation at the V&A, conceived by London design studio Glithero in partnership with luxury watch maker Panerai. The “room” is a kinetic piece comprised of 160 multicolored silicone cords that wrap around a six story stairwell on the west side of the museum.

Porta Romana‘s Cosmos presented at Focus at Design Chelsea Harbour

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Photo courtesy of Porta Romana
The celebrated UK design studio’s post future, space punk lighting install inspired by outer space, moons and planets. The pieces were created by rolling blown glass into crushed glass for a crystalized outer shell.

Somerset House (India) Chakraview curated by Rajshree Pathy and Sumant Jayakrishnan

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Photography by Ed Reeve
Ancient myth and modern design intersect in curator Rajshree Pathy and scenographer Sumant Jayakrishnan’s stage-like spectacle, Chakraview. Visitors are immersed in circular forms, traditional textiles and ancient mythology that weave together a sense of modern India to explore the continuities between India’s past and future – myth and reality.

Voutsa Pop Up by Voutsa at Clerkenwell.

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Photo courtesy of Voutsa
Known for his vibrant patterns with wall coverings, clothing and homewares, New York City’s Voutsa brought his traveling pop up to Clerkenwell. This front room installation included his fashion collaboration with Paul Marlow Studio, a made-to-measure atelier which includes a repertoire of silk robes and kimonos, caftans and tunics, scarves, bandannas, and swimwear. Also on included were home accessories created from select Voutsa hand painted patterns in the form of pillows, tote bags, lampshades trays and throws.

 

The Smile by Alison Brooks

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Photography by Ed Reeve
Architect Alison Brooks’ Landmark Project for the London Design Festival could be described as an unidentified flying object. The upside down arc made entirely of tulipwood takes the shape of a smile in this grand urban pavilion. The four sided curved tube that curves upward to its two open ends, allows light to wash across its curved floor like water across a spillway. This achievement creates an immersive environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light.

 

 

A Calvin Klein Ceramicist Hosts a One Day Pop Up Exhibition

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Photography by Shanita Sims
Text by Sophia Haney Montanez + Elizabeth  Baudouin

 

In the age of digital media and short attention spans, Salon No. Living with Design is set up to view as quickly as your last Snapchat story. On Tuesday, September 13th, artist Romy Northover will host a one-day event to bring a new kind of presentation to fashion week. Here she will integrate a lifestyle and design element to the perpetual runway showings.  Happening just down the street from Spring Studios, Salon No. showcases Northover’s new collection in NES Creative‘s downtown loft to reimagine the space through her signature Ancient Future aesthetic.

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The inspiration for Romy’s new collection is gathered from a large catalogue of references including nature, literature, ancient cultures, and fashion. The influence of layered textiles, subtle textures and muted color palettes in fashion are revealed in the rustic yet refined designs.

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Prior to launching her New York based line No. in 2012, Romy lived and worked in London, graduating with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths. She then lived in Hong Kong, Venice, and Berlin, creating video art, freelancing as a stylist and working for several fashion designers including fashion house PPQ.

Today, she is a regular collaborator with Calvin Klein’s team, where her ceramic vessels enhances the environment of the iconic brand’s retail stores. Romy has also designed collections for Kinfolk, Cereal Magazine, Alex Eagle, Soho House, and The Apartment by The Line.

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Northover’s point of view is immediately delicate and minimalist creating an intimacy with each piece. This thought is cast throughout her entire exhibition. “I want to create a stillness and allow for an openness for receiving,” says Romy. “A relaxed space where the work can be functional and be touched.”  Romy’s aesthetic reveals a new lifestyle, one that blends traditions of the past harmoniously with ideals for the future. And one that transcends the ephemeral trends that have become so common in the age of fast-fashion.

For more information on Salon No. please visit Romy’s Instagram Feed.

Meet the Artist Behind the Color Matching Collages on Miu Miu’s Instagram

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If you’ve been following NYFW, chances are you’ve been refreshing your feed every two minutes. There’s one brand that offers more than runway shows and prep shots and that’s Miu Miu. Here you’ll find the fantastical color matching collages created by mixed media artist Beth Hoeckel. Produced exclusively for Miu Miu’s Instagram feed, Beth assembled an assortment of treasures to best suit pieces from their accessory collection in a reimagined way.

For example, seashells, pink frosted birthday cake, toast with jam and a strawberry daiquiri surround a new eco-shearling bag in coral. Additionally, cherries, a floppy disk, a fire extinguisher, and lifesavers come together to float around Miu Miu’s new Automne ’16 backpack for a most playful digital display.

Beth’s work extends passed fashion and moves across many editorial platforms including stories from publishing heavy weights like Conde Nast and Penguin Random House. With a new book in the works and an exhibition this fall, I was curious to learn more about her inspiration and background.

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How did you become interested in mixed media?

I started experimenting with mixed media techniques quite a bit in high school. I went to an arts magnet high school and mainly focused on painting and photography, and wanted to try combining the two. It also partly came from not being able to afford expensive art materials, and subsequently using whatever was around. I was very drawn to collage and mixed media artists like Robert Rauchenberg and Joseph Cornell. In addition to all that I’ve collected old books and photographs since back then and loved using those elements.

Where do you like to pull images from?

It all comes from vintage books and magazines, or any old printed material. My favorite era of National Geographics are from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, I love old cook books with color photographs and random sewing and craft catalogs.

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What do you love about communicating with collage?

I love the familiarity of the found images in contrast with the surreal nature of the context I place them in. In that way it can be very relatable. In some ways I think it more readily allows viewers to draw from their own memories and experiences to construct a narrative than some other art forms.

Is there a particular thought you are projecting with your work?

There are several themes. Memory, nostalgia, being lost, getting lost, loss in general, bygone eras and their ideals, hope, longing, and daydreams.

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How did living in New York shape your work?

I moved there in 2001 right after graduating from SAIC (Chicago), I was only 21 and it was right after Sept 11 so it was a strange time. It was a struggle to say the least, I had to work a lot of jobs to pay the bills so I barely had time and definitely didn’t have space to make art. I tried to find ways to make money off of my work so I made cards and t-shirts and sold them to shops on Bedford and even sold them by myself on the streets on occasion.

Where do you find your inspiration?

In music from PJ Harvey, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Rimbaud, Paul Bowles- to be honest the book The Sheltering Sky has influenced many of my works over the years.

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Discover more work from Beth Hoeckel here.

Fashion Designer KXG Creates Wearable Art in Tropical Bali

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Photography by Krishna Godhead
Text by Katherine Aplin

Tucked away in the dense jungle of southern Bali, KXG Artisanal flourishes into being. Heavy air pulses, warm and humid, pushing forward the creative process of partners in life and work, Katharine Grace and Krishna Godhead. Both of them Australian transplants, they met serendipitously in the mountains of Indonesia. Their instantaneous connection shifted their solo lives towards the manifestation of a shared vision and KXG was born.

KXG marries the harsh and the delicate, creating a relationship of symbiosis, each one feeding off the needs of the other. The expert draping of fine chiffons and silks is blended with the use of structured skins, always revered. An air of heightened craftsmanship flows through the garments, every piece becoming an utterly unique work of wearable art. What results is a collection that is supple yet severe and hauntingly beautiful. Emotion-evoking imagery then propels their creations even further as each photograph of Katharine, shot by Krishna, is not only visually stunning but capable of telling story after story.

The mention of Bali elicits thoughts of lush foliage and sun-drenched skies, but KXG oftentimes puts forth a grave aesthetic, using neutrals and B&W photographs. Can you speak to the contrast at play?

The savage nature of a jungle is a constant play of juxtapositions. Ancient, stoic remnants of temples stand silently in the thick and brutish jungle. The heavy heat of a constant summer maintains itself in the dark shadows created by dense vegetation. Throughout this harsh environment arises hand died raw silks, paper-thin exotic skins, and delicate artisanal hand embroidery. The environment is beautiful and barbaric, creating a dialogue that furthers our creations.

How does your creative process unfold?

After dialog reveals our direction of design, the dress form and experimentation is our next step, along with fabrication. Ultimately, the choice of material and method defines all. Whether we are sculpting a whole crocodile skin around a torso or draping, pleating, and pinning sheets of hand-painted organza, we find the process and evolution of the garment of the greatest importance.

Why is the act of ritual important to the ethos of KXG? 

Part of our structure and DNA is to deeply understand that within this world, there is already so much and of such high turnover, with built-in obsolescence. We make a limited number of unique and one off garments as our collections are small and specific.

We try to produce as little as possible in the way of excessive waste and to understand the toil that is imbued in each raw material, whether it be the loss of life in the skins of an animal, the excesses in the process and production of a simple cotton, or the staggering enormity in the yards of woven worm silk. Our ultimate desire is to produce limited pieces that are intensely personal and precious.

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?

Many women from varied disciplines inspire KXG: women who create, fight and inspire. Women of intelligence, desire and individuality and if to be more specific, fellow Australian Cate Blanchett epitomizes the essence of KXG.

Describe KXG in less than 10 words. 

Honor of sacrifice; create through humility

See James Turrell’s Earliest Work Now On View

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Photography:Florian Holzherr

The Godfather of light and space, James Turrell began his journey in exploring the relationship between form and color back in 1966 after moving into a vacated hotel in Santa Monica, CA.  It was in these abandoned rooms that Turrell began experimenting with high-intensity projectors, using them as a tool to bend the eye’s perception and manipulate a space.  From this trial came Turrell’s first significant installation work of corner projections, using projected light as a medium to create the illusion of free-floating, three dimensional shapes suspended in the corners of a room.  Now on view through PACE Gallery’s 67, 68, 69 exhibition, this first body of work proves that even in his earliest stagesTurrell had the ability to create a transformative phenomenon with his artistic expression.

67, 68, 69 is on view at PACE Gallery on 57th St. through July 29th and simultaneously at PACE Gallery Palo Alto through August 28th.

The Tom of Finland House is Now a (NSFW) Coffee Table Book

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Photography: Martyn Thompson

Up in the hills of Los Angeles’ Echo Park stands a shrine to one of the most iconic homoerotic illustrators, Touko Laaksonen, AKA Tom of Finland. Tom House, as it’s known officially, is where Laaksonen lived and worked during the last decade of his life. The Craftsman home is now a multipurpose venue serving as the headquarters of the Tom of Finland Foundation, a shelter for runaway LGBTQ youth, a gallery for outsider art, and a shrine space immortalizing Laaksonen’s legacy and his authentic vision of cult homoerotic sexuality.

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Michael Reynolds, a popular New York based Creative Director discovered Tom House in the late ’90s and was instantly captivated. Most recently, he’s partnered with acclaimed writer/editor, Mayer Rus, and celebrated photographer, Martyn Thompson, to collectively capture Tom House into a new Rizzoli-published coffee table art book.  Their idea was to give readers an immersive eye into the private interior world of all the dreams and desires that were—and still are—Tom of Finland.

“Tom House is like a living breathing commune and at the same time it’s this incredible repository of erotic art and gay culture,” Reynolds said. “It’s a gathering place, a safe place, a spiritual experience, an idea. It’s visually breathtaking. I had always thought it would make an amazing book.”

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TOM HOUSE: Tom of Finland in Los Angeles (Rizzoli New York) is available now.