His voice, charisma and courage are recognised worldwide. Andrea Bocelli’s tenor renditions in opera and on records have charmed and captivated millions. Bocelli, (above image) completely blind since he was twelve years old, launched the Andrea Bocelli foundation that he created so people “can find energy and real opportunities to give the best of themselves expressing their potential.” The concept of the Foundation is to support and help give the most vulnerable members of society a “voice” of their own, and new opportunities.
Blackfin, the fine quality creator of beautiful eyewear designed and produced in Italy, continues the company’s philanthropic work with their support of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. Blackfin has been active with the Foundation since 2015, and has also been a long-time supporter of Voices of Haiti, an impressive and accomplished choir of sixty talented children aged between nine and fifteen, who come from some of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince. Thanks to music, the members of the choir have found a musical way of escaping violence and poverty, working hard to develop their talent. The young music enthusiasts follow a structured course of study with tenacity and discipline, and they achieved a successful objective – together. Voices of Haiti are featured on the Maestro’s latest musical project – his album “Si” – a musical celebration of family, love, faith and hope.
Blackfin commented: “It is a great honour for us to support the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, and we are particularly excited to see – and hear – the magic of these youngsters who, under the guidance of Andrea Bocelli, have been given the chance of a new life. It is a message of hope and values.” Discover more about the Foundation and Blackfin at: www.andreabocellifoundation.org www.blackfin.eu JG
Eyewear material inspires limited edition furnishings for the home
A new exhibition by Italian designer Giovanni Botticelli explores a classic Italian eyewear material by the well-known company Mazzucchelli in the design of objects for the home.
By revisiting a material he knows well, cellulose acetate, the designer combines concepts, design, and formal purity with focus on welding and bending techniques. He mixes two or more colours by joining acetate slabs through compressed acetone. Thermal bending is the technique commonly used for curved-front eyewear. The colour palette also draws on independent eyewear design, with chic clean contrasts between tan, transparent monochromes, and opaline hues.
The installation resulting from this in-depth investigation is presented as a scaled transposition of architecture’s typical expressions and forms, suggesting correspondences between essential style codes and pure geometric shapes. Displayed in the gallery are wall bookcases, tables, and boxes — furnishings conceived as places where memories dwell, places meant to safeguard the precious memory of our things.
In Botticelli’s collection, the absolute precision of design meets experimentation to raise the material’s creative potential. The HABITAT collection was designed exclusively for SWING Design Gallery and produced in a limited and numbered edition.
The design project is supported by Mazzucchelli 1849 (www.mazzucchelli1849.it), the historic company in Castiglione Olona founded in 1849 as a small factory for the production of horn and bone combs and buttons. It went on to become a world leader in the production and distribution of cellulose acetate.
About Giovanni Botticelli
Giovanni Botticelli was born in Rome in 1987. He studied Product Design at IED Rome (European Design Institute) from 2006 to 2009, focusing on eyewear design and the craft and industrial processing of ceramics, glass and sheet metal. He expanded his technical expertise through training at ENSA Limoges and Abate Zanetti Murano. Since 2009, he has worked with companies throughout Italy, designing and overseeing the production of eyewear and sunglasses for Mondelliani and other brands exhibiting at international fairs. In 2010, his design for the Oled lighting systems for PPML was chosen for the ADI Codex Lazio publication and won the competition put on by Alstom in collaboration with IED. After his thesis project, he developed products for DMG Spa’s collaborations with Schindler Group and Otis Elevator Company. In 2016, he took part in the Salone Satellite in Milan and started to work at IED as an assistant and teacher. For further details: www.swingdesigngallery.it / www.giovannibotticelli.eu CN
The exhibition is open until 31 July 2019 in Benevento, Italy. Photography by Danilo Donzelli – www.danilodonzelli.com.
Glamorous girls and glasses by Anna-Karin Karlsson sparkled at The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, celebrated in California. Rock, hiphop, indie, pop, electronic dance, continuous live music, sculptures and art – Coachella has it all. The showcase for musical artists is also a style show with photo-op outfits that often launch new trends. Fun, fashion and frolic highlighted the festival visit for Marie Rosell from the AKK Team and her friend Sofia Sandelius. “It was so much fun,” said Marie, and the girls looked ravishing in their luxurious sun specs by Anna-Karin Karlsson. Marie wears Half Moon (top image) in Japanese titanium plated with Rose Gold, and adorned with hand set crystals.
Anna-Karin’s elegant, sleek adaptation of the aviator shape is worn by Sonia (left above image) enhanced with a graceful butterfly at the nose bridge, and a linear brow bar, all crafted in Japanese titanium, with Carl Zeiss sun lenses. Visit www.annakarinkarlsson.com to see more captivating designs for cruising or city life, beaches or boulevards, and fun festivals! JG
The Barbados brand by Alicia Hartman, Peoples from Barbados joined sustainably sourced leather accessories label Far From Lost this weekend for a London Fashion Week event at the prestigious Sanderson hotel. The evening was co-hosted by Geoff K. Cooper and Chimere Cisse. Above: dinner guests / London Fashion Week Men’s (#LFWM).
Peoples from Barbados, created and designed by optical entrepreneur Alicia Hartman, was launched in 2018. The brand is committed to producing high-quality designs (made in Japan) with unique patterns and colorations and exceptional technical details that ensure a longer lifetime. The sunglasses are available in leading fashion and optical stores in New York, London, Barbados and Jamaica.
Far from Lost sources the world’s finest remnant leather – before it is discarded – to create limited edition wallets by hand. Set up by Michael Menninger, the label’s luxurious, sustainable designs are made by Mark Hanks using traditional artisan leatherwork techniques. Far From Lost has its headquarters in San Francisco. For more information about both collections and to purchase directly from them online, visit www.peoplesfrombarbados.com / www.wearefarfromlost.com CN
Solo Show by Athena Anastasiou, London
At the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery in London this week, a new exhibition by Athena Anastasiou offers personal insights into the true face of South America, exploring how indigenous culture and global diversity has influenced the people of today. Through interviews and portraits of many nationalities along the journey, she culminates her own visual interpretation, uniting contemporary people with their native indigenous history.
Above: The artist pictured with ‘Bringing the Past to New Horizons – Oil Wool and Acrylic Yarn on Linen’
In a journey of discovery, she found vibrant people and societies far richer, more diverse, energetic and eclectic spectrum of influence than she ever imagined.
The portraits in this series offer a vibrant expression of colour, pattern, form and texture with bold use of interwoven fabric and multicolored yarns, referencing the artisan crafts and traditions of the Latin American cultures which live on today. www.roa-galleria.com / www.athenaanastasiou.com
The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, 1-2 Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London (until 18th May 2019).
An exhibition of char-coaled wood pieces by leading contemporary artists and designers, London
As part of the acclaimed London Craft Week, a festival of design, artisan craft, arts and fashion, Scorched is a new exhibition showing at the beautiful Fitzrovia Chapel in London. “My ambition is to create a densely forested installation that will silhouette against the highly figured marble and gold mosaic of the Fitzrovia Chapel”, explains gallery owner Sarah Myerscough. The display shows a collection of hand-crafted scorched objects and unique furniture pieces using traditional wood working processes, celebrating the wood material and its significance in the world of craft, art and design.
“My aim is for the intrinsic and modest beauty of wood to truly shine when juxtaposed with this decadent chapel interior. The organic and imperfect against the refined and geometric, the prosaic as opposed to the rarified and the matt black against the gold, one absorbing light and the other reflecting it.”
The Sarah Myerscough Gallery has long been aesthetically connected to the traditional Japanese charred wood process of Shou-Sugi-Ban. The exhibition offers an inspiring opportunity to investigate this process from a western perspective, with artists featuring who have already considered the process of scorching in practice.
The 17 featured makers are: Max Bainbridge, Eleanor Lakelin, Sebastian Cox, Alison Crowther, David Gates and Helen Carnac, Christophe Kurtz, John Makepeace, Malcolm Martin and Gaynor Dowling, Gareth Neal, Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley, Benjamin Planitzer, Wycliffe Stutchbury, Julian WAtts and Nic Webb. Prices range from £1,800 to £22,400. Fitzrovia Chapel, 2 Pearson Square, W1T 3BF
Photography above by Dan Weill London – www.danweillphotography.co.uk. For more details about London Craft Week which continues through to 12th May 2019 across London, visit www.londoncraftweek.com CN
Milan Design Week 2019: Palermouno renewed – concept studio focuses on chromatic research and international design
PalermoUno, the studio of Sophie Wannenes inaugaurated last November, has been filled with shapes and new artworks for Milan Design Week 2019. The exhibition – which includes limited editions and unique products have one common thread – colour that redefines spaces, choreographies, which completely change the look of the environment – give a new image to all eight rooms in the studio. The exhibition will continue through until July.
The space located in Brera confirms an original concept: each room keeps its functional connotation, revealing the desire to create a place that is in constant evolution. The product is part of the space, as well as an invitation to “please touch and bring me with you”. Attention is paid to the selection of furnishings made for PalermoUno in the customization of the shapes and in the colours and their gradients.
From 9 April the new exhibition, which will remain on display until 15 July 2019, will be accompanied by the launch of the ecommerce site Palermouno.it where it is possible to buy the objects and furnishing accessories present in the different spaces. For further details visit: www.palermouno.it – Images: Andrea Pedretti CN
Literature is embedded in the history of France, while French art and decorative objects are coveted worldwide. This weekend in Paris – 12th to 14th April – provides the ideal opportunity to view over a three-day period, a selection of rare books and unique drawings; portrait miniatures; furniture and porcelain; among other items, at the historical Grand Palais. Construction of the Beaux-Arts building began in 1897, and in 2000 the Grand Palais was decreed an historical monument. (Above image: Photo of Le Grand Palais by François Benedetti)
A structure of light steel and iron framing with reinforced concrete was amazingly innovative for the late 19th century. In these majestic surroundings, the written word becomes a work of art, and precious art objects with authentic provenance, can be viewed and admired.
The salon – now in its twelfth year – is among the cultural highlights of the French spring season. One hundred sixty exhibitors from fourteen different countries are participating in the event.
This weekend – April 12th to 14th – is a splendid and opportune occasion to partake in the French appreciation of significant books and exclusive objects d’art at the sublime Grand Palais.
Further details and information at www.salondulivrerare.paris JG
Marco Grassi creates figurative portraits that combine realistic and abstract elements. Since the start of his career, the Italian artist has developed a personal style which praises the identity of the female subject in the specific moment in which they are painted. Through intense female portraits, Grassi is focused on captivating the viewer, and creating a silent dialogue between the subject and audience. Above: Marco Grassi – Gold Experience 2018 – Oil on aluminium with resin
- 31th March to 6th April at HOFA Gallery, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London, SW1Y 4UY
- 6th April to 17th April at HOFA Gallery, 58 Maddox Street (corner with New Bond Street), WIS 1AY
Dreams do come true. Always keeping an “eye” open for opportunities, Richard Nahem, New York City former chef; caterer; events planner; producer and actor; realised a lifelong dream when he moved to Paris, where he proceeded to fulfil his inherent passion to be a photographer.
Roaming Parisian “rues” armed with enthusiasm and cameras, Nahem seeks and searches for the unexpected and unpredictable – whether landmark monuments; elegant Parisian doorways; the beauty of parks; and the marvellous play of light in Paris. “I strive to capture places and objects in a unique way that hasn’t been seen before,” says the Parisian aficionado. Nahem’s latest photos reveal the many sudden and remarkable moods of the city.
Nahem has established not only a stunning photography portfolio, but also a site – www.eyepreferparis.com – to ensure that Parisian visitors, residents and those who appreciate and celebrate Nahem’s dream, are able to keep abreast of current and culturally exciting events taking place in the City of Light.
For a new, fresh perspective on Paris, enjoy Richard Nahem photos currently on display at the chic Hôtel Pont Royal until 31st March www.hotel-pont-royal.com JG
From the 16th Century through to the mid-19th Century, portrait miniatures were symbols of love and devotion. People eagerly wore them as pendants around their necks, or imbedded in bracelets – and even worn as ornamental brooches. Napoleon never left home without his portrait miniature of Josephine; Marie-Antoinette’s first glimpse of the future Louis XVI was a portrait miniature of the Dauphin – a flattering portrayal as a svelte young man, and not the stout boy he really was; and in Verdi’s La Traviata, as Violetta dies of tuberculosis, she gives Alfredo her young lover, a miniature with her image to remember their doomed affair. Nowadays discerning collectors seek these diminutive pedigree keepsakes. Connoisseur Thierry Jaegy – Jaegy-Theoleyre Gallery – shares his expertise, love and enthusiasm for Portrait Miniatures.(Above image: Portrait of a Lady by François Dumont which is in the Tansey Foundation Collection in Celle, Germany. Photo courtesy of Thierry Jaegy with kind permission of the Tansey Foundation)
How did you become inspired and excited about Portrait Miniatures? TJ: I discovered portrait miniatures when I was twenty years old in a “brocante” (antique show) in the small village of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It was a miniature signed by Carteaux P.D.R (peintre du Roi – painter to the king), lost and forgotten on a dusty shelf. I was fascinated by the life in this very small portrait. The sitter seems to be waiting for me for many centuries, protected under this small fragile glass, ignored by everyone. How did this piece of art come from Versailles to be here, in the countryside, abandoned? In fact, the art of portrait miniatures is totally forgotten by French people; it’s different in England. I have great pleasure to participate with this art: to discover, reveal them, and share them. Laurent and I became passionate collectors during the past twenty years, and we made this passion our life ten years ago by starting the very first web gallery dedicated exclusively to this Art: The Gallery jaegy-theoleyre.fr
What Portrait Miniaturists do you believe are the most significant from the 18th and 19th Centuries? It is very difficult to choose when there were so many great artists everywhere in Europe. Difficult but not too much…as one of them touches my heart above all: this artist is Francois Dumont (Top image). Even if he is not regular in the quality of portraits, he made (but he painted so many that I pardon him), he created real masterpieces with an inimitable look that Dumont gives to his sitters eyes. A seduction, a dialogue between the portraiture and the portraitist, with a particular charm that touches me so much. In French, we have an expression about this way to look with seduction in the eyes: to have a “oeil de velours” (velvet eyes). Dumont was the only one to give his models this “oeil de velours” – an additional feeling of happiness.
Twenty-five years ago, there were International sales of Portrait Miniatures. Now there are virtually none. What has happened to the market? The age of collectors has changed: their buying habits changed too. The sales you talk about were only two times per year. Nowadays, nobody wants to wait so long for pleasure. With the Internet, collectors how have the possibility to access what they like immediately, when they want, night and day. This is the role of web galleries like e-commerce in general.
Are SnapChat and Instagram the 21st Century version of Portrait Miniatures? I don’t think so. Instagram, Snapchat…this is instantaneously forgotten as soon as it is published…it’s so far from the art of Portrait Miniatures. In our modern life, what has replaced Portrait Miniatures – for me – is our smartphones! We keep our pictures inside it, the small portraits of the ones we love, keep them in our pockets, to see them as soon as we need to – and this is exactly the role that Portrait Miniatures had.
Could you please give a brief profile of the Portrait Miniature collector? In my opinion, the time when collecting portrait miniatures was reserved for a small select group of millionaires is finished. Now it appears that collectors are younger, curious and connected…Most often rich, but not exclusively. If the last generation bought star artists like Hall, Sicardy, Smart and Isabey…the new generation discovered that we can find true little masterpieces in unsigned portrait miniatures, or in pieces signed by less famous artists. But there are also investors who discovered this precious art; easy to preserve and to travel with, whose rating grows. www.jaegy-theoleyre.fr JG
On the streets of Manhattan, he was a familiar sight, his slim, lithe figure gliding skilfully amidst the raucous city traffic on his battered bike; trusty Nikon camera dangling from his neck. Bill Cunningham was an amazingly influential style authority and trend-spotter in the late 20th century. He was a beloved figure on the city’s streets, and in 2009, Cunningham was designated a New York living landmark. He captured the fashion icons of the day; attended museum openings and benefit dinners, in order to document the latest craze. When Bill Cunningham noted an item of fashion interest, headlines followed. (Photo above: Bill Cunningham on his bike – photographing Tziporah Salamon, 2011 Photo courtesy Antonio Alvarez)
Celebrating Bill Cunningham at the New York Historical Society is a wonderful tribute to his eclectic creativity, with a selection of objects, personal correspondence, photographs and ephemera that reflect his life and work. His career began as a milliner with stylish “Willian J” hats, as he described his label. On display at the museum is a beach hat – which even Cunningham described as “a bit outrageous.” His photography stint started in the 1960’s and for fifty years, he photographed and catalogued what New Yorkers wore on the streets. His favourite vantage point was 57th Street and Fifth Avenue – where gilded fashion emporiums Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany and Bonwit Teller (until the latter was demolished) were certain to attract the “fashionistas” of the era, and Bill could capture the moment with his Nikon.
The New York Historical Society has acquired his iconic Nikon camera; the French workers jacket that Cunningham adored for its numerous pockets; and one of his many bicycles. It is estimated that he owned at least thirty bikes over the years; frequently the bikes were stolen.
A transplanted Bostonian, Cunningham evolved into the quintessential New Yorker, who was passionate about the city, art and politics. This touching tribute to Cunningham is a reminder of what a revolutionary he was at the time…and how much he is missed. Celebrating Bill Cunningham New York Historical Society Museum & Library through 9th September. www.nyhistory.org JG
France flourishes with summer concerts – classical, jazz, dance, chamber music, and electronic performances. In August, a new event joins the prestigious roster – Musique et Esprit (Music and Spirit), founded by the renowned flutist Gabriel Fumet, (top image) which takes place at the Abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille, a late Roman monastic structure. Fumet is from a musical family dynasty. His grandfather – Dynam Victor Fumet – was a prolific, accomplished composer; organist; and pianist. And…he had a passion for singing. Gabriel’s father – Raphaël – was also a composer and played several different musical instruments. Gabriel inherited this musicality, and at a young age, started to play the flute. HIs father would compose short pieces for Gabriel to play, and later he entered the elite Paris Conservatory.
Fumet’s career has seen him perform from Salzburg to Saint Petersburg. In Marseille, where his performance is 7th August, his oeuvre will include music from Bach to Rachmaninov, in conjunction with organist Jean Galard, from Beauvais Cathedral. Other concerts will feature the Saint Petersburg Choir, Renaissance music by the Energeia Ensemble, and the Sartène Men’s choir from Corsica. The port city of Marseille is a lovely Mediterranean destination. This summer presents a wonderful opportunity to blend relaxation with exceptional concerts by renowned performers. Let your heart soar! Concert dates and additional information – Musique et Esprit et La Toison d’Art www.latoisondart.com JG
The golden age of ocean travel is joyously celebrated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London with Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. The exhibition is also in collaboration with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and is the first time that an exploration of design and cultural impact of the ocean liner has been presented. The exhibition investigates the many aspects of liners from the architecture, engineering, and interiors to the chic lifestyle and fashion that was – in the early days of cruising – so much a part of life onboard.
Included in the presentation is a poster of the Empress of Britain – a colour lithograph of the wondrous ship constructed at John Brown & Co. on Clydebank and launched in 1930. The Empress of Britain was the fastest and most luxurious ship of her time operating between Britain and Canada. This poster advertising Canadian Pacific Railways liner demonstrates how companies diversified transport networks and developed the seamless experience of modern travel. The imposing view of a looming hull in movement with its trailing smoke dramatises the sense of scale and speed, with the extreme stylisation typical of Art Deco.
The German born actress, Marlene Dietrich, was one of the famous stars of the age and frequently crossed the Atlantic on liners. She was see wearing Dior’s “New Look” suit arriving in New York on the Queen Elizabeth. Liner companies were quick to publicise stars travelling on board, and Dietrich was often photographed wearing the very latest fashions.
With the many travel restrictions that exist today – whether by air, land or sea – the emphasis of a different era is highlighted by the luggage that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor used to take on their travels. The elegant couple frequently travelled on liners between their adoptive homes in France and the United States, and travelled with astonishing quantities of luggage. They once boarded the SS United States with 100 pieces. The Duke’s bags were personalised with his title and yellow and red stripes.
The exclusive – and historic opportunity to see the latest fashions – formed an important part of celebrations during the maiden voyage. Leading French couture houses sent representatives for an on-board show, including Lelong, Callot Soeurs, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet and Charles Frederick Worth. Each showed a garden party dress, a tailored ensemble and three evening gowns. The faultlessly draped red dress above was worn by Bernadette Arnal, the wife of a partner in the shipping company, Worms & Cie, on the maiden voyage of The Normandie. She was a regular client of Lelong and ordered dresses for the crossing in red, white and blue.
Dining and dancing in the fabulous restaurants onboard was an elegant and nightly pleasure, and women dressed in resplendent couture fashion. The exquisitely beaded flapper dress above belonged to Miss Emilie Grigsby, a Kentucky-born beauty. She became a wealthy New York socialite, and regularly travelled between Europe and New York on the Olympic, Aquitania and Lusitania. An adventurous and fashionable dresser, she patronised the greatest French couturiers and was a regular client of both Paul Poiret and Jeanne Lanvin. Named ‘Salambo’, this dress evokes the exoticism of Gustave Flaubert’s 1862 novel, Salambô, and reflects the wider trend for exotic themes in the 1920’s.
Ocean Liners: Speed and Style sponsored by Viking Cruises, is a remarkable journey of a truly amazing age of travel. At the V&A through 17th June, and then the exhibition continues at V&A Dundee from 15th September to 24th February 2019. www.vam.ac.uk/oceanliners JG
Haute couture on an international scale was flourishing long before the era of globalisation. A fascinating exhibition Well-dressed in Victorian Albany: 19th Century Fashion from the Albany Institute Collection, illustrates how fashion design and changes in style evolved during the reign of the British monarch, Queen Victoria (1837-1901). (Top image:men, women and children’s fashions in a Victorian setting)
Creatively curated by Diana Shewchuk at the Institute, the galleries showcase an extraordinary selection of dresses and accessories of the era, that were purchased in Paris, and also made by skilled home seamstresses in the Upper Hudson Valley. Albany is the capital city of New York State, and Ms Shzwchuk explained: “Many of Albany’s well-to-do families went abroad either for a grand tour experience, or to have daughters presented to Queen Victoria. I think these dresses survive because they were considered masterpieces. The Institute has examples by Charles Frederick Worth; Emile Pingat; Callot Soeurs; Mme Amédée François; and others. The costumes on view tell stories of notable New Yorkers and illuminate their world of fashionable affluence.”
The presentations are displayed on custom carved mannequins. “Everything is surrounded by objects from the Institute”s rich collection of paintings, furniture, and decorative arts which create scenes of nineteenth century domestic life,” noted Shewchuk, “and the addition of art and objects that were made during the Victorian era creates an atmospheric context to the exhibition.”
From wedding gowns (it was Queen Victoria who popularised the idea of white as the colour choice for a wedding gown – women used to wear claret or green dresses) to walking suits, ball gowns and tea dresses, the exhibition presents a selection of extraordinary designs. Garments for both daily life and special occasions reflect the amazing, sumptuous fabrics utilised and include taffetas, shimmering silk satins, plush velvets, lace and luxurious trimmings.
“Garments like the ones in this exhibition survived because of their sentimental associations, their aesthetic beauty, and sometimes by chance, because they were put away and forgotten,” said Shewchuk. For those who appreciate and love fahsion and social history, these elegant dresses reflect the wide-ranging impact of the Industrial Revolution on the principles, technology, and social history of the time. Continues through 20 May 2018. www.albanyinstitute.org JG
WooClass – the small design focused eyewear label from near Florence was one of the highlights at Lovely Waste, Milan Design Week 2018 – a pilot project from Source, the Italian Design and Networking Agency. The project is the first in a series of events focusing on circular economy strategy, sustainability (product development and production) and technology. The exhibition focuses on the development of design concepts using production waste, by three product designers: Alberto Ghirarello, Filippo Protasoni and Sebastian Tonelli. Above: Sebastiano Tonelli’s NOVO.
“We put the scraps of our production on the table…to stimulate the designers into working on a different type of process or product…” WooClass
The three designers interpreted, according to their own way of designing, in accordance with the production processes of WooClass, the re-use of the waste materials, suggesting different ways to optimize the production process and / or to make use of the material intended for waste.
What emerged is a twofold development: the creation of new accessory products and new ways to experiment with the re-use of waste in the production cycle using it as a new material from which the frames could be cut. For further information, visit WooClass: www.wooclass.com CN
As rugs see a revival as true works of art fit for display on the wall, a new exhibition in Milan, timed for Milan Design Week, presents the Boucherouite collection of stunning Berber “Afolki” carpets.
The carpets come from different parts of the Middle Atlas in Morocco. Those created in Azilal are particularly creative, woven by hand by Berber women who expertly select the mix of recycled cotton, wool and synthetic materials. Above: Forbidden Dance – made with Boucherouite recycled yarn
The new Boucherouite collection for 2018 is the result of a careful selection of designs from different localities in the region and lengthy discussion with the female creators themselves.
“The Boucherouite is a universal women’s code. It comes from the heart and develops through the women’s hands with extraordinary creativity,” says Mohamed El Alami, the founder of Afolki. “When I describe the carpets it is as if I am talking about Maliparmi, every creation is like a small and unique story. From this affinity is born the idea of a partnership with the Salone, and it represents a perfect occasion to present our new collection.”
In March, 130 Milliners from around the world will showcase their 200 beautiful creations inspired by a piece of history or culture, crafted with unique technique and creative expertise. The exhibition takes place at The Living Centre, near King’s Cross during London Hat Week (www.londonhatweek.com), a celebration of the art of hats and a showcase of talented designers from around the world. The name of the 2018 London Hat Week exhibition originates from the historical Great Exhibition that took place in London in 1851.
The exhibition is managed and curated by Monique Lee, Founder of X Terrace, a fashion platform tailored to connect creatives in Europe with fast growing fashion companies worldwide. Monique’s designs have been featured on more than 200 covers of the most prestigious fashion and design magazines in the world including Vogue, Vanity Fair and L’Officiel. She has recently become one of the official milliners for Royal Ascot 2018.
In anticipation of the exhibition, a press preview at PINKO flagship store highlighted 32 of the hats in a live presentation with four models. Designers participating included Wendy Scully Millinery, Dorothy Morant Millinery, Monique Lee, and Ana bella.
The Great Hat exhibition takes place from 22nd to 28th March 2018 at The Living Centre, 2 Ossulston Street, London NW1 1DF. For more details and tickets visit www.xterrace.com/hat18 CN
A unique exhibition is currently on display at the elegant Philip Mould Gallery on Pall Mall in London, celebrating the collaboration of hat designer Victoria Grant and portrait artist Lorna May Wadsworth. The two artists are inspired by each other: Wadsworth unveils a large-scale portrait of Grant; and Victoria has created a selection of imaginative headwear influenced by Lorna, history and historical costume. An extra special touch are the charming portrait miniatures in the Philip Mould & Co. collection that accent the beret and top hat designs by Victoria. (Top image: Lorna May Wadsworth and Victoria Grant, with the Wadsworth portrait of Victoria. Photo:Barney Cokeliss)
Long before photography existed, portrait miniatures were love tokens – a very personal item – painted by celebrated artists of the era. The miniatures were often worn on the body by both men and women, and used as accessories on coats, dresses and hats. The exhibition seeks to remind viewers that these highly personal and intimate objects, now generally displayed in cabinets or on walls, were often originally intended to be proudly worn. Philip Mould portrait miniature consultant Emma Rutherford, will also be examining the history of the hat jewel, and its portrayal in various historical pictures.
With a royal wedding in the offing for Prince Harry and Megan Markle in May, the great interest after what dress the bride will wear is about hats. Royal etiquette dictates that all women attending an official royal occasion must wear a head covering. Victoria Grant was one of the top milliners for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Among Grant’s many clients are models, fashion luminaries, and superstars. Her hat designs range from luxurious chic to radical avant-garde for couture houses.
The Philip Mould Gallery represents Lorna May Wadsworth, and the award-winning portrait painter’s work runs the spectrum from politicians to priests. She painted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in five private sittings at her home in 2007, plus David Blunkett during his tenure as Home Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This unique event celebrates the enduring cross-pollination between portraiture and fashion in anticipation of London Fashion Week. The Milliner at Philip Mould Gallery continues through 18th February. www.philipmould.com JG
Four hundred years of operatic passion and European history highlight the spectacular exhibition currently on view at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition – in collaboration with the Royal Opera House – is a splendid, intriguing journey that explores opera on a grand scale. This is the first exhibition staged in the new spacious, subterranean Sainsbury Gallery at the V&A. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is a musical journey to seven cities, and focuses on seven operatic premiers. It explores how the social, political, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in opera history, to reveal a story of Europe over hundreds of years.
Never a fan of headphones, this exhibition totally changed my perspective. The sound experience is exquisite – with world-leading performances dynamically changing as the visitor explores cities and objects. The result is an evocative and fully immersive sound performance. The seven cities and premieres in the exhibit include: Venice with Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione de Poppea in 1642, which made its initial appearance during the Carnival season in Venice, and transitioned opera from private court entertainment to the public realm. The opera tour then continues to London and Handel’s Rinaldo in 1771, one of the first Italian language operas performed in London, as the city emerged as a global trade centre.
Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro premiered in Vienna in 1786, an opera that is much loved to this day. A piano on which Mozart played when visiting Prague is also on display, the first time the instrument has left Prague since the 18th century, to be shown for this exhibition. Verdi and Milan are synonymous, and the composer’s superb Nabucco premiered at La Scala in 1842. Verdi was a master of the chorus; and Va pensierfo (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco) became Italy’s unofficial nathional anthem.
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon 111, opera in Paris had immense status, and in 1861 Wagner’s Tannhâuser premiered and polarised audiences…as only Wagner can. However, Wagner’s vision for the art form proved inspirational for future writers and artists. The beautiful city of Dresden, with its history of artistic expressionism, was the setting for Richard Strauss’s premiere Salome in 1905. The opera was based on the play Salome, written in French by Oscar Wilde. The final opera explored is Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, that opened in St. Petersburg in 1934. It was banned under political censorship in 1936, and Shostakovich never wrote another opera.
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics introduces more than three hundred amazing objects from the V&A collection, along with creative stage sets; manuscripts; costumes; paintings; important international loans; and compelling not-to-be-missed footage of seminal opera performances. The exhibition is marvellous and mesmerising, for opera fans and the non-opera going public alike. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, and sponsored by Sociétié Génerale continues until 25th February 2018. vam.ac.uk/Opera JG
Top image: Eva Gonzalés (1849-83) oil on canvas, c. 1874 Paris Musée d’Orsay, gift of Jean Guérard, 1927 Musée d’Orsay, Paris France/Bridgeman Images
Since the renowned Spanish couturier created his first fashion collection, it was Balenciaga’s time-honoured tradition to create fine quality designs that inspired, endured and were relished by his customers. This year, two museums have hosted exhibitions celebrating the designer – Musee Bourdelle in Paris, www.eyestylist.com/balenciaga – and currently at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. Top image: The Balloon hem silk taffeta evening dress Cristobal Balenciaga Paris 1954 Victoria and Albert Museum London
Diana Vreeland, the iconic editor of American Vogue in the 1960’s and early 70’s proclaimed: “For twenty years, Balenciaga was the prophet of nearly every major change in silhouette.” Christian Dior pronounced: “Haute couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga.”
The designs are characterised by their sculptural quality, deft manipulation of textiles, and dynamic use of colours and textures. Inspiration derived from many sources: his own Spanish heritage; influences from 19th century dress; and the Japanese kimono.
The V&A exhibition showcases over one hundred garments and hats by Balenciaga, his pupils, and contemporary designers inspired by his innovation. Jacqueline Kennedy; Pauline de Rothschild; Gloria Guinness; Greta Garbo; and Mona von Bismarck; were among his notable clients in the 1950’s and 60’s. To view his beautifully tailored suits and exquisite evening dresses is to witness a master class in couture art. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is sponsored by American Express at the V&A, and continues until 18th February 2018. www.vam.ac.uk JG
October 16th to 28th, 2017 – London
Assouline Publishing will celebrate its collaboration with legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin and the launch of their new book, with an exclusive CARDIN pop-up shop from 16th to 28th October at the publishing houses’ flagship store, Maison Assouline (196A Piccadilly in St James’s, London).
A global figure, Cardin remains a vital personality today, with an essential brand established in 110 countries around the world. His unique and futuristic creations, from the Bubble dress to the Cosmocorps line, testify to his fierce appetite for experimentation and avant-garde style. Above: from the archives of Pierre Cardin.
During the pop-up, a selection of the icon’s most recognisable fashion pieces including, one-off items and limited-edition dresses, hats, jewellery, handbags and sunglasses will be available for purchase at Maison Assouline for a limited time period.
Pierre Cardin’s self-titled new book, created in collaboration with Assouline Publishing, celebrates 70 years of creation. Filled with images from the 1950s to today, the book represents the first showcase of the complete vision of Pierre Cardin from fashion to interior design, at a time when his creations are experiencing a resurgence. For more information visit www.pierrecardin.com CN
Luxurious simplicity united with artisan tailoring launched Cristobel Balenciaga into the rarefied world of global haute couture. The Palais Galliera pays homage to the couturiers’ couturier with the Spanish designer being celebrated at the elegant Musée Bourdelle in Paris, a superb museum that is home to extraordinary sculptures, photos and drawings.
The retrospective traces Balenciaga’s Spanish childhood that was the inspiration for many of his designs – particularly those in Black – that reflected the folklore and traditions of his upbringing. Balenciaga’s tailoring skills are legendary: he launched the balloon dress (1950), the tunic dress (1955), and the sack dress (1957).
The exhibition includes stunning examples of his suits, jackets, capes, and quiet understatement in evening outfits and cocktail dresses. Balenciaga’s designs were austere – almost monastic – yet were so powerful because of the construction in silk velvet, lace, silk taffeta and fine wools. Over one hundred pieces from The Galliera Collections and Maison Balenciaga archives are included in the exhibition. Both Balenciaga L’Oeuvre au Noir and Musée Bourdelle are a must see! Through 16 July 2017. www.bourdelle.paris.fr JG
Top image: Balenciaga Veste et robe 1965-1966 Collection Palais Galliera – Julien Vidal/Galliera/Roger-Viollet
London’s optical fair 100% has announced the shortlisted designs in its annual design competition in collaboration with the RCA. The finalists are: Tabitha Ringwood (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear); Annie Foo (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear); Hazel Stark (2nd Year Textiles – Print); Louis Alderson-Bythell (2nd Year Womenswear – Footwear); Alice Potts (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear) and Becky Hong (1st Year Millinery).
Visionary 2017 is an eyewear design project directed by Accessories, Footwear & Millinery tutor Flora McLean in collaboration with 100% Optical, to highlight new talent and creativity in the field of eyewear design. This year, the competition asked students to consider the wearer and their activities and lifestyle, by designing one piece for a specific person and specific usage.
Above: Project name: My Tribe – by Becky Hong
In its fourth year, the competition is judged by a panel of eyewear experts from the British eyewear industry including Jason Kirk (of Kirk & Kirk), Tom Broughton (Cubitts) and Lawrence Jenkins (eyewear designer). The RCA finalists’ prototypes will be on display at 100% Optical in February when the winner will also be announced. For more information visit www.100percentoptical.com CN
Art frequently influences eyewear, and frames can be an inspiration for art. Belgian artist Luc Tuymans paints a range of subject matter from major historical events to the everyday. His latest work is the phenomenon of spectacles as his muse. As he says:”I have always enjoyed painting glasses. glasses bring a kind of distortion to the face…it is a strange instrument and practically a universal theme. The banality of glasses receives a different meaning when you paint them. When at a certain point I was looking through all the portraits I’ve painted up to now, I was amazed to discover that there were glasses in three quarters of them. This is certainly not a conscious choice…glasses radically change the physiognomy of a face, but are not perceived as a radical change.” Top image: Portrait by Luc Tuymans, 2000; Private Collection; Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London
A larger exhibition of Tuymans work is concurrently on view at the Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp. The artist is widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential contemporary painters working today. His work deals with how history and memory is translated into paint, and how we perceive people and things. The exhibition continues through 2 April 2017. www.npg.org.uk JG
A chance visit to the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts – The MAK – produced an unexpected and delightful surprise – a retrospective on Austrian eyewear designer Robert La Roche. From the early 1970’s to the turn of the century, the Vienna-born designer captivated the international fashion, film and eyewear world with his pioneering designs. Robert La Roche: Personal View effectively displays the ingenuity, craftsmanship, and creativity of his eyewear, with the unique colourations, shapes and textures that heralded a new direction in frame design.
In addition to hundreds of La Roche frames on display, design drawings, advertisements, magazine editorials and photographs are also included in the exhibit. Marketing was a forte of Robert La Roche, and some of his campaigns are now as legendary as the glasses themselves.
Another highlight was a series of talks and forums open to the public at the MAK. Participants in one event included Christian Wolf from ROLF Spectacles in The Tyrol. Christian and Christoph Egger from Gloryfy spoke on a panel with La Roche, and gave Austrian insight into creating eyewear in today’s marketplace. Christian commented: “It was an honour to be invited to have a discussion with Robert himself, an icon regarding eyewear design and distribution – not only in Austria. The discussion was very interesting as we sell different markets, the marketing is different, and we had a lot to share. There was also an eyewear show with designers from a Vienna school. For me, as marketing manager of ROLF, the exhibition is great because of his advertising campaigns; the collaborations with his work are inspiring. It was a great chance to get tips and tricks from Robert! For all eyewear addicts, I highly recommend this exhibition.”
On the occasion of the exhibition, La Roche commented: “I’d say I’ve had the pleasure of making four million customers not only see better, but also look better…it’s how I sum up my life’s work. Everyone of those frames bears my name, as well as the word ‘Vienne’ – a little reference to the city of their origin, a metropolis of creativity, culture and design.” Robert La Roche: Personal View continues at the MAK through 24th September. If readers are fortunate to visit Vienna and the MAK, you can also enjoy the enchanting Fashion Utopias: Haute Couture in the Graphic Arts. This is a charming collection of graphic artworks from the late 15th Century to the 1930’s. Haute Couture existed long before the 20th Century! More details on both exhibitions at www.MAK.at www.rolf-spectacles.com JG
Photo: top image Robert La Roche sunglasses model S-49 Photo Gerhard Heller, ca. 1976
What goes on beneath beautiful designer fashion creations is sometimes even a more sensual, fascinating harmony of sumptuous materials and colours. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London explores the personal, fashionable journey of underwear’s roles in Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear.
More than two hundred examples of underwear for men and women are featured – from the homemade to the fabulously luxurious. On display are corsets (top image), hosiery, lingerie and nightwear, plus contextual fashion plates, photographs, advertisements and packaging.
Rare 18th Century hooped petticoats are also featured alongside crinolines and bustles. Long cotton drawers worn by Queen Victoria’s mother; floral embroidered stockings worn by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII; and Schiaparelli nylon stockings from 1953 emphasise the practical, as well as the alluring. Designer pieces by Rigby and Peller, La Perla, Stella McCartney and Paul Smith are also highlighted. The exhibition also demonstrates how underclothes and nightclothes morphed into loungewear, with the continuing desire for comfort at home, and a blurring of the line between underwear and outerwear, public and private.
Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A curated Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. The intriguing presentation reveals how underwear can be created to transform or provoke, and it is impressive. The exhibition, sponsored by Agent Provocateur and Revlon, continues through 12 March 2017. www.vam.ac.uk/undressed JG
Photos: All images courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum