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

Share Button

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.

mc-20161217-0918

 

London Design Festival: 10 Top Moments

Share Button

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.

ldf16_liquidmarble_mathieulehanneur-05_1

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 

burberry_makers_house_006-large_transnvswvfuadslp0ovbzvmcyhfd5oas9inqdmdyzcqsw18

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

lightpollination_mg_2358

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 

mts_rockpool-install_ldf_2016-09-15_r

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

ldb-austria-2

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

ldf16_greenroom_glithero_panerai-02

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

porta-romana-cosmos-house-1sep16-pr_b_426x639

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

ldb-india-2

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.

voutsa-x-clerkenwell-london-pop-up-installation-1

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

american_hardwood_smile_1002_2

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.

 

 

6 Ways Tetra is the Future of the Smoking Experience

Share Button
Photography by:  Charlie Shuck

Tetra is a new online retail project and lifestyle brand dedicated to elevating the aesthetics of the smoking experience. Founded by three prestigious design journalists and curators (Monica Khemsurov, Su Wu, and Eviana Hartman) Tetra sets out to offer a collection of commissioned smoking accessories created by some of the design and fashion world’s most influential artists. This includes a brand new collaboration with Opening Ceremony, a fashion set favorite Bellocq, Miwak Junior, Otaat, Leah Ball and Brooklyn darling Helen Levi.

The concept of Tetra was born from the desire to tap into the ritual of pause that smoking provides from our constantly connected lives and look at this moment as an opportunity to infuse great design. According to Tetra’s founders, in the mid-century period, before smoking was considered taboo, design luminaries of the era like Dieter Rams, Marianne Brandt, and Enzo Mari, created iconic home accessories for smokers to enjoy while engaging in company and conversation. Tetra brings this thought to the present day with their curated collection of contemporary pipes, ashtrays, snuff boxes, lighters, storage pouches, and hand selected vintage accouterments.

Here are six pieces from Tetra’s shop that will elevate both your ritual and home aesthetics.

 

1.) Marbled Pipe Pink by Leah Ball. $90.

tetra_leahball_pipepink

2.) The Balance Pipe designed for Tetra by Jamie Wolfond in collaboration with Opening Ceremony. $65.

tetra_balancepipeblue

 

3.) Copper Rolling Tray by Matthias Kaiser. $330.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4.) Andu Box Moss Agate by Anna NY. $310.

©2012 John Muggenborg / muggphoto

5.) Octahedron Table Lighter and Ashtray Set by Andrew O. Hughes. $1,250.

 

tetra_andrewhughes_octahedronnew8_1024x1024

 

6.) Voltaire Pipe by The Pursuits of Happiness. $75.00

tetra_pursuitsofhappiness_new

Fashion Designer KXG Creates Wearable Art in Tropical Bali

Share Button
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