Friday, May 27, 2011


By Andreia Chaves

Much anticipated and finally made commercially available, the Brazillian designer's Invisible Shoe explores the concept of invisibility through camouflage by reflection. With the help of expert Dutch 3-D printing company Freedom of Creation the shoe comes alive in a few different versions. Only being sold at I.T Hong Kong (as far as the internet can tell me!) I would do terrible things for these. Her conflation of new technology in production and inventive use of materials points to an artist in touch with the transformative relationship between material application and conceptual methodology. Her other shoe designs are just as amazing and worthy of aching covetousness.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The story of Olivetti and the Typewriter

Olivetti Showroom, Switzerland, 1957

Olivetti began as a small Italian company founded in 1908 by Camillo Olivetti and was made a staple in design history by his son, Adriano Olivetti. A manufacturer of manual typewriters, as well as Italy's first computer, the Elea 9003, Adriano Olivetti employed designers who dreamt of the same collusion of experience, technology and product. Industrialization was at its height at the turn of the century and both father and son sought to produce a product that reflected the changes to the modern workplace and apply design that was sensitive the the social aspects of labour. They integrated technology and innovation with an attention to detail and a fervor for aesthetic that is so quintessentially Italian in its quest for perfection. Their products and even their advertisements are testimony to their progressive approach to design; they belie an inherent understanding that the objects that surround you affect you in subtle and profound ways.

M1 standard typewriter, designed by Camillo Olivetti is the first model (hence the name "M1") of Italian typewriter, made by Olivetti. It was presented at the Universal Exhibition in Turin in 1911.

Monday, May 23, 2011



The Slimane way.

The pale and enigmatic virtuoso of, well, everything, has taken on the task of documenting Los Angeles for the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Man About Town. At first thought, LA seems like such an unlikely home for the Parisienne visionaire, but then again, there's so much more to that sprawling metropolis than the limelight of Hollywood. LA is the home of some of the most renown American savoirs, musicians and artists but it is also home to some of America's most notorious tales of violence, neglect and urban desolation. The stage of Noir, LA's underbelly is as dirty and dark as pulp made it out to be, and there's something about it that parallels the myth making of New York City in the 70s and the 80s. The gritty, grimy prebiotic soup of culture that exploded in both cities is due in large part to the combination of violence and decay, economic stagnation and generations of disaffected youth. These are the unlikely ingredients that come together to provide the foreground for the best artistic expression - expression that captures the anxieties and the absurdities of a society in transition. 
True to his famed reticence, Slimane's portraiture of California remains dark - wondrously unaffected by its perpetual sunshine. In an interview with The New Yorker he claimed to believe in the morphology of decades, which is such a beautiful and insightful framework for which to view Slimane's body of work. Morphology is the study of form and structure, and in language, for example, morphology concerns itself with how individual components come together to make words, and inevitably meaning. It draws conclusions about the evolution of meaning by analyzing the composition of its structure. Slimane offers us one of the most original visual compositions of LA and its varied cultural landscape. He captures LA in a quiet that is deafening. Is this an LA that defines or defies the American Dream? This is LA through the lens of Hedi Slimane.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



Wai Lin Tse's Sundtorp for Apartmento


from Beefcake Beachwear: A Short History

1880-1890, The Union Suit
According to Lencek and Basker in Making Waves, the first Jentzen men's wet wool suit could weigh as much as 9 pounds and had a tendency to fall down. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Born in Portugual in 1984, living in Berlin, with a masters in Public Art and Communication, Luis Dourado is a visual artist whose digital collages stand as a visual definition of pop culture phantasmagoria. I am incensed!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


There's been a faint hum about the world of couturiers and fashionphiles all around the world, generated by Savage Beauty, the much anticipated retrospective of the late and great Alexander Mcqueen. Exhibited at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art in New York, the show is sure to capture the emotion and the wonderment that surround Mcqueen's legacy. I could go on and on in obituary style, about his immeasurable contribution to fashion, his nuanced conflation of Saville Row, costume, couture and a very atypical femininity- but so many others have done so more eloquently already.

Mcqueen had a Shakespearian quote tattooed on his arm that read, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind."
and fittingly, his collections evinced their true hold over us by the histories they conjured. When Andrew Bolton, Costume Institute Curator at the MET, was interviewed by Hint Magazine he said of Mcqueen, 
"When he was asked once in an interview what his Scottish roots meant to him, he responded, 'Everything.'"
The violent British colonization of Scotland is an obvious historical reference for the Highland Rape show that launched his career in the early 90's (referencing in particular, the Battle of Culloden). But with this small insight into the mind of Mcqueen, one recognizes then, the roots of the suggestive violence that he coupled with his grandiose and delicate manifestations of beauty. It has been the target of much criticism and the face of his controversial showmanship but any body of work as powerful as his must reference the contradictions and the pains of civilization, as well as the joys.

To sum it up, The Guardian featured the best quote about the exhibit from Andrew Bolton:

"The concept of the Sublime... underlies the premise of the exhibition that is an exploration of McQueen's profound engagement with romanticism. With this in mind, it is divided into categories: The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism and so forth. That McQueen was romantic – with a small "r" – there is no question. His work is testimony to that and indeed he described himself thus on many separate occasions over the years."

Below is a preview of the Savage Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, running from May 4, 2011–July 31, 2011