Contemporary design from Korea has come to have a significant presence in the territory of collectible design in recent years. Jaehyo Lee is one of the more prominent figures in new wave of design, gained an international acclaim, for his crafted poetic furniture and objects created of wood, steel, and other materials. The power of local craft combines with poetic expression and new forms, is what brings Lee's name to the forefront of contemporary design.
The Japanese milliner Akio Hirata, who studied in the 60s in Paris with Jean Barthet, one of France’s most important milliners, and established his famed Haute Mode Hirata, designing hats for such Japanese powerhouses as Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons, and Yohji Yamamoto was at a center of a spectacular show in Tokyo. Taking place at the Fumihiko Maki’s Spiral Building in Tokyo, and created by Oki Sato of Nendo, the installation included of thousands of hats, suspended like a vortex at different height levels.
Conversation over dinner party at one of our more stylish friends last evening, turned to the question who was the most stylish woman of the 20th century. My answer was and is clear. Here she is, and above in what came to be the most controversial wedding of modern times. As a bride, Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Baltimore-born socialite who married King Edward VIII was wearing a silk crepe wedding dress in blue, designed by the American couturier Mainbocher.
The British-born, American taste-maker Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings was a thinker whose innovative ideas on interior décor and furniture design had a formative impact on American domestic culture during the postwar years. His face was known to millions living in those years as he turned his portrait into a trademark logo, featured in promotions, advertisements, interviews, and magazine articles. For decades, the stylish "Gibby," as he was called, stood at the forefront of American design, yet his legacy has only recently been rediscovered.
One of the more magical commissions of 20th century design, the Olivetti Showroom by Carlo Scarpa, constructed in the late 1950s in Venice. While this space had been used for decades by Olivetti before changing owners, in 2011, it re-emerged once again as the display space for Olivetti products. Olivetti, a typewriter manufacturer, which through commissions and a strong reputation for its attention to design, it enabled the birth of Italian modern design .
Roberto Sebastian Matta, one of Chille's best known artists also designed surreal furniture in the 1970s. His "Margarita" Armchair, commissioned by Gavina in 1970, and made in cast bronze, was a homage to Rene Magritte. Similarly, his "Sacco Alato" of 1971 was produced as a part of Gavina's Ultramobile Collection, which included also "Malitte" sofa." I particularly love his "MAgriTTA," another homage to Magritte in the form of an apple set in a hat.
Architecture made of fiber in the most advanced technology. A pavilion constructed of roboticaly woven carbon fiber which is based on the shell encasing the wings and abdomen of a beetle was created by a team of architects and engineers at the University of Stuttgart. This projects was developed by academics and is similar to a previous project based on the lobster's exoskeleton.
London's Serpentine Gallery announced its annual pavilion, opened in Hyde Park every summer. This time, it was created by the Chilean architect Smiljan Radic and made of fiberglass in the form of a giant doughnut. I will be visiting this pavilion next month.
Had a great evening at a pivate tour of the Guggenheim's show Italian Futurism 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe, led by Silvia Barisione, curator at the Wolfsonian. The exhibit highlights the concept of total work of art, which stood at the core of the Movement. I particularly found the design objects surprising and fresh. While they are presented as a form expression of Art Deco, I found them more in the spirit of German Expressionism which was contemporary to Italian Futurism. This spectacular dining room set was designed by Futurist artist Geraldo Dottori in the 30s and was brought to the show from a private collection.