Posts tagged ‘Design Focus’

Extras, Extras From IMM Cologne

The show team at IMM Cologne just announced a great tour that will introduce English-speaking visitors to some of the off-site “mini design centers” that have sprung up around the city in recent years. The tour is arranged so that in a half-day, you’ll get to see three of the locations, multiple showrooms at each, have lunch and still end up across the street from the main show by mid-afternoon, leaving you plenty of time to explore the vast halls of IMM Cologne for even more design goodies!

The stops on the tour include: RheinauhafenSpicherhoefe and ending up at Design Post which is a year-round showroom destination right next to IMM. Some of the many showrooms you’ll be able to visit on this tour include: Boffi, B&B Italia, Moroso, Kvadrat, Nya Nordiska and many others.

For more information on the tour, contact the U.S. office of IMM Cologne.

Hope to see you there!

7 November 2009 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

What Makes “Couture” Couture?

The Paris couture shows for Winter 2010 are taking place right now, inspiring oooohs and aaahs of envy and inspiration for both Deb and myself. But as Deb often mentions, the descriptive phrase “couture” is too often tossed off to describe something without have a true understanding of what separates couture from something well-built, well-made, well-crafted.

Take a look at this video, where a Karl Lagerfeld sketch is transformed into a finished Chanel dress and jacket. Each pattern is made and cut by hand, each sequin hand-sewn, each seam hand-pinned…

Lagerfeld is known for his dedication to the petites mains, the specialty seamstresses, milliners, button-makers and other decorative artisans whose elaborate handiwork transforms a design into a showpiece, this video is a clear example of why they deserve his high praise.

10 July 2009 at 7:25 am Leave a comment

Design Focus: Caroline Musgrove

One of the new talents that Susan and I met at imm Cologne d3 Talents was Caroline Musgrove a successful British Knitwear Designer who is expanding into bespoke knitted and embroidered textiles for the home.

        Musgrove's Knitted Plexiglass screen

Her work is inspired by traditional designs and techniques which she teams with contemporary materials. She softens the hard edges of Perspex( Plexiglass) with delicate hand surface decoration.  Each hand knitted and embroidered piece is individual and unique from screens, panels, lights to curtains, cushions and scarves.

Knitted curtain inspired by damask patterns

Knitted curtain inspired by damask patterns

 We had a chance to chat with Caroline about her introductions, inspirations and what’s she’s working on next at her stand in Design Talents.

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12 March 2009 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Favorite Fabrics From IMM Cologne

IMM Cologne is not much of fabric show, but what I did find there was absolutely stunning. Création Baumann, the highly regarded Swiss textile company, introduced several amazing new products, utilizing innovative print techniques and the latest in fiber and fabric technology. Here are just a few of my favorites.

SuperHero Fabrics  Silver and Steel are two collections developed primarily for the contract sector, but I would love to use them in my own enormous windows. Silver features a thin aluminum backing in fabrics that range from opaque to sheer. Steel uses vacuum cathodic evaporation to adhere micro particles of steel to fabrics. The advantage of these new technologies is that the fabrics are washable and that the coating can be applied to a much larger range of fabrics and is less subject to the creasing of the metallic film.

Creation Baumann Silver & Steel fabrics

Creation Baumann Silver & Steel fabrics

Print Masters Providing an almost trompe l’oeil effect, Eplis features narrow ribbons of color transfer printed on a pleated fabric. It’s a fascinating combination of techniques that draws you in to explore it better. Another collection that merited a second look was a small group of digital prints on sheers that could be either cheesily retro or amazingly au courant depending on what section you looked at, as each of prints had detailed photorealistic sections intermixed with areas of blurring, overlay or other distortions.

Creation Baumann: Eplis & Garden

Creation Baumann: Eplis & Garden

 

Seductive Layers  Incredibly adaptable, the sophisticated Coco would look stunning in a loft environment or a traditional setting. The open star motif applies antique lace-making techniques in a thoroughly modern manner; a tulle flourish at the bottom is just another reason to love this fabric. Indiva is a two-layered sheer that shifts slightly during the printing process, resulting in a unique, slightly blurred effect that gives the look of fabric swaying in the breeze, even when it’s still.

Creation Baumann: Coco & Indiva

Creation Baumann: Coco & Indiva

 

Shrunken [Trail] Blazers  Using a special paint that affects the shrink rate of the fabric and produces a crisp, dry hand,  Création Baumann experimented with a tremendous range of looks. Violetta features layered blooms for a technical/traditional mix, a similar motif to that used on Coco; while Filippa also applies a burnout for additional dimensional and light layering effects.

Creation Baumann: Violetta & Filippa

Creation Baumann: Violetta & Filippa

 

Crushed  Fashion inspired and truly stunning in person, Saphir Crash is a sheer crush pleated offering while Yves is the opaque version, a blend of silk and metal.

Creation Baumann: Saphir Crash & Yves

Creation Baumann: Saphir Crash & Yves

3 March 2009 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

David Rockwell’s Oscar Set

18oscarset1

Several months ago when I interviewed David Rockwell he had just found out he had been chosen by producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon to design the sets for this year’s Oscar telecast.  He couldn’t reveal any details; so I had to tune in last night to see what he had done. I was not disappointed.  Rockwell is no novice to set design, the acclaimed designer has done sets for Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Rocky Horror Picture Show. The first architect to design the sets, he took his inspiration from Busby Berkeley movies and Berkeley’s legendary kaleidoscopic patterns as well as the Piazza del Campidoglio (The curved floral pattern on the stage was a direct reference. ) Thanks to Linda from Surroundings for the correction!

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                        262px-footlight_parade_waterfall1

Wanting the event to be more party than formal gathering, Rockwell used state of the art technology to create tensions and energy between the audience and the performers. “We created a spatial and architectural solution for the 2009 Oscars that is based on storytelling, spectacle, and community,” explained David Rockwell.  “We wanted to use a surprising and dramatic integration of technology and movement to celebrate the awards ceremony, which has become one of the greatest shared rituals of our time.” There were five LED screens that transformed and reconfigured, as well as 20 other still LED screens. An elaborate bandstand was placed onstage with a full orchestra that had the capability to move up and down the stage, and then break apart and disappear throughout the night.

The piece de resistance was the new proscenium curtain Rockwell created  of approximately 100,000 Swarovski crystals in a variety of shapes and sizes, The crystal curtain stands  an awe inspiring 60 feet tall and 100 feet wide and weighing in at three tons and being comprised of over 6,000 one-meter hand crafted strands. swarovski-and-rockwell-take-center-stage-large

23 February 2009 at 11:35 pm 3 comments

IMM Cologne Design Talents

There may have been a slightly tentative mood to IMM Cologne during the first day, with exhibitors and attendees both testing each other’s commitment, but soon enough everyone settled into their roles and while it wasn’t quite business as usual, it was close. At the show’s end, most expressed the type of surprised satisfaction that things hadn’t been as bad as they’d expected.

That isn’t meant to be flip, because expectations have an incredible impact on the success of a show. In other year’s the slight drop in overall attendance, the decline in international visitors, past exhibitors who didn’t show and the more limited range of new product introductions might have all been cause for significant grumbling and an aura of discontent, but because no one is really sure what to expect in business these days, the relative normality of show business was greeted as success. New products were shown, orders were placed, deals were made…the design industry continues to do business. And IMM Cologne demonstrated that even in this uncertain era, shows remain a critical, vital, part of the design business.

So, that said, let’s get to the good stuff! Here’s a few favorites from the show. For more on what caught my attention at  IMM Cologne, check out my postings on Designer Pages, Surroundings and in the March issue of Vision magazine.

I have definite soft spot for young designers and the d3 design talents section of IMM Cologne typically offers a full buffet ideas and approaches—thoughtful, playful, analytical, experimental, etc.—sometimes all from one designer. 

Chae Young Kim 
Deftly combining natural and artificial, intuitive and scientific approaches, hand-drawn and digital renderings, Chae Young Kim developed a series of patterns until the theme Urban Camouflage. Using fractal structures and patterns to construct an almost unnaturally lovely take on nature, Kim uses computer graphics and repeats that deliver a truly hand-drawn feel. 

Urban Camouflage by Chae Young Kim

Urban Camouflage by Chae Young Kim

Kai Linke 
Ich war’s nicht (It wasn’t me) is a collection or purposely deformed stools, shapes that look as if they have been twisted and damaged through use or abuse, but were instead created that way. One of Linke’s earliest prototypes was made of a felt form that was then filled with concrete. The weight of the liquid concrete further distorted in shape and once the concrete hardened, the felt was stripped away and the final, randomized shape was left. In these examples the stool on the left in steel and bronze, the one on the left is concrete.   

Ich war's nicht by Kai Linke

Ich war's nicht by Kai Linke

D.E.C.A.F. 
A design collective, the D.E.C.A.F. name represents their concept of Design-Environment-Concept-Art-Furniture. The group created a lamp that brings “street art” into the home in a fun, functional, (relatively) clever manner. Designed to work for both interior and exterior applications, the Graffiti lamp, according to its creators, “sheds light on those who work in the dark.” I love the concept and the overall look, however I would have loved loved it had the graffiti said something other than “lamp”. 

DECAF Graffiti Lamp

DECAF Graffiti Lamp

Raphaël Charles 
The 20/30 rug appears to be made rocks or stones scattered on the ground. The name comes from a standard grade of coal and is actually composed of polyethylene foam leftovers that are typically not otherwise recycled. The main rug is made of springy nuggets attached to felt base and each is supplied with a scattering of loose “lumps” to use as the owner wishes. 

Raphaël Charles 20/30 rug

Raphaël Charles 20/30 rug

Ryohei Yoshiyuki 
There were a couple of pieces of convertible furniture that I found particularly appealing in the d3 section. This piece is called Your Level, a typical modern cabinet that can be transformed into eight separate shelving storage units, or combined in a variety of manners. Even the tallest unit stands securely against the wall on its own (assuming of course you have relatively level floors) without the need for additional support.   

Ryohei Yoshiyuki My Level

Ryohei Yoshiyuki My Level

Philippe Malouin 
This piece took second place in d3 innovation award. Called the Grace table, it is a remarkable innovation in engineering, although I have to admit, in looks it leaves something to be desired. Grace is an inflatable table, large enough to seat 10 adults and sturdy enough to support all the plates, cups, bottles and more that go with meal of that size. Malouin’s challenge, working with Eurocraft, a leading manufacturer of inflatable structures, was that stability, rigidity and flat surfaces are not the typical characteristics of inflatable furniture. And, when deflated, Grace, along with its legs and support structures all fits in a standard-sized duffle bag. 

Philippe Malouin Grace table

Philippe Malouin Grace table

Pepe Heykoop 
Recent Eindhoven graduate Pepe Heykoop took home first prize the d3 innovation awards with A Restless Chairacter, a chair based on a rickety old chair in his studio. Through re-engineering each joint in aluminum and rubber, Heykoop is able to control the overall flexibility of the chair, which means the user can wiggle, twist, squirm and sway without damaging the structure of this seemingly stiff, uncomfortable chair. The flexible frame is wrapped in an equally flexible skin of polyurethane rubber. 

Pepe Heykoop A Restless Chairacter

Pepe Heykoop A Restless Chairacter

19 February 2009 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trends

Although the overall theme of the trends presented at the January 09 edition of Heimtextil was Expect the Unexpected, none of the individual trends really broke any new ground. The trend hall did however present a comprehensive, well-grounded look at the near future and, as one would expect for a textile show, there was a strong emphasis on innovative fabric constructions, fibers, techniques and finishes.

Here’s a quick look at each of the six main trends along with a sampling of shots from the trend hall. For greater detail on the Heimtextil 09 trends, along with the trends and new product finds from Frankfurt, IMM Cologne, Paris Maison&Objet and other shows, I’ll showing hundreds of images during my presentation on Thursday, May 14, at the Vision show in Atlanta.

Illusionist
New technologies allow for featherweight padding, layering and folding that create mass and volume without the weight and bulk. This volume can come from layer upon layer of breezy mille-feuilles; soft yet structured folds; or sculptural padding.

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Illusionist: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Time Traveler
Open up a rare treasure chest where every second slipping by is cherished for the creation of a new cultural heritage. From medieval mystique, a rejuvenated Art Nouveau and Art Deco to centuries-old classics, the stage is set for ornamental opulence, laced luxuries and sensuous graphics.

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Time Traveller: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Fortune Teller
In a world where cultures collide and yesterday spills into tomorrow, inspiration comes from the vagabond, the bohemian and free spirits everywhere. Eco and ethnic folks break all the rules and create a rainbow of new ethics and traditions. Fame and fortune can be found in chaos and eccentricity.

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Fortune Teller: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Alchemist
Dissecting the structures of metals and minerals, alchemists recalculate the laws of nature. Catching the light from every angle, facet and curve, sharp shimmers and sheens add new dimensions to an intriguingly sculptured surreality.

 

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Alchemist: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

 

Witchcraft
Bewitched and bewildered by the mythic creatures of the forest, artisans copy real and imaginary fur, feathers, floral and fauna. Vintage skins and technology that allows fabrics and finishes to mimic nature are key looks; while loose, floating yarns add to the modern rustic mood. 

 

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Witchcraft: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

 

Enchanted
The artist’s sketchbook of pop fantasies has been torn up and stuck together again. A playmania of bold and brash color explosions, free-painting a wacky world with a sprinkle of anar-chic to smooth over the crazy edges.

 

Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Enchanted: Heimtextil 2009/2010 Trend

Which is your favorite trend? Take our poll and find out where you’re favorite ranks!

13 February 2009 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

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