The most amazing show of London Fashion week was that of Mary Katrantzou . Her autumn-winter collection featured stunning trompe l’oeil prints with International Herald Tribune fashion editor Suzy Menkes calling Katrantzou’s work “a collection of startling beauty”. It was only Katrantzou’s second solo show.
Karantzou trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and then continued her training at Central St Martins. The detail of the prints are unbelievably detailed…and those lampshade skirts would hide those problem hips too!
28 February 2011
Many years ago one New Year’s Eve, I went to a dance party (it was the late 80’s!) in the Hordern Pavilion , Sydney. Grace Jones was the headline act and she swept onto stage wearing a magnificent hooded leather cape. That cape was by Azzedine Alaia and as fashion moments go, it was a thrilling one. Later in the act, she flung off the cape onto the stage where it was stolen! I read in the paper later that she never got it back, even though she asked for it to be returned. Some thief (or crazed fan) in Sydney still has it.
Tunisian born, Alaia (pronouced Aliya) has worked for some of the most exclusive designers (Dior, Mugler, Guy Laroche) in Paris since the 50s. Andree Putman, was stopped walking down the street in New York by a buyer from Bergdorfs, and his career in the US was launched.
He still produces the most magnificent clothes and shoes. Cut and punched leather and figure hugging shapes are his signature. He has eschewed the marketing push of the large conglomerates (Richemont, Prada) that have had stakes in his business and just sticks with what he wants to do, rather than designing the latest ‘it bag’.
28 February 2011
Ovo has recently launched their new stingray and petrified wood collection. As you have probably gathered, I am pretty partial to the use of natural materials in a luxe way, using quite a bit of stingray (or galuchat as it is also know) in my own furniture and jewelry designs. These designs, which are simple and classic, certainly more than do the job. Check them out at OVO in the designer Star Street Precinct now.
16 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai tel: +852 2526 7226
27 February 2011
One of my absolutely favourite designers, Yohji Yamamoto, is having a retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 12 March to 10 July 2011. His designs, like his contemporary, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, transcended fashion, and became the icons of the 80s. I am definitely making a trip to London to see it- if it was anything like the Grace Kelly exhibition last year, it will be worth the trip!
23 February 2011
I love the muted gleam of silver and its weight in your hand. Over the years, my collection was by English makers. Of course, the English were, prior to the 20C, the best silver makers in the world, but I have been seduced by the silver made for the export market by Chinese silversmiths in the late 18th century through to the 20th Century.
These handmade pieces are typically decorated with eastern motifs, meaningful as well as beautiful: dragons (a symbol of strength and virility- a great gift for your man!), bamboo(resilience), plum blossoms (new beginnings), lotus (fertility), chrysanthemums (blooming through frost). These designs were applied onto western shapes: tea sets, mirrors, dressing table sets and salvers being typical. Since Westerners spent months traveling to and then living in the far east, they chose a pattern that could be custom-made while they holidayed or worked.
The quality of these pieces are some of the finest you will ever see. The pieces are easy to identify, with the initials of the maker beside chinese characters. There are few fakes: generally even a novice can tell the age of the piece by its patina and markings, but to make sure, deal with reputable specialists: Esme Parish, with offices in Singapore as well as Hong Kong, and Honeychurch Antiques in Hollywood Road often have some gorgeous pieces.
20 February 2011
This is a first of a series of occasional posts looking at great designers you should know. These greats continue to influence designers today. Most of the objects will be familiar to you and are readily available.
Instead of random order, I have decided to post alphabetically…though I reserve the right to go forwards or backwards at will!
19 February 2011
So you have moved into a new home….you may be renting , buying or, as illustrated, renovating and suddenly your old stuff looks tired, boring, just doesn’t fit or doesn’t exist! A person that can help you could be an interior designer.
Designers can do everything from picking a paint colour to redesigning and extending spaces.
How do you know who will be right for you?
18 February 2011
This vandalised billboard (top) was completed by banksy in LA. It has been claimed by the billboards owners CBS Outdoors, even though the garage owners offered to pay 10000 USD to allow it to stay. Lucky them- a banksy artwork for free!
banksy was in LA for his oscar nominated film ‘exit through the gift shop’.
Other LA artwork spotted- a young shooter armed with crayon ammunition (bottom).
17 February 2011