Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Arabian Dance
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Arabian Dance
Is there any better example of Russian’s complete disregard for foreign influence than the Aeroflot logo? a full 22 years after the end of the Soviet Union the Russian state airline still retains a flying hammer and sickle as it’s banner, amazing.
reminds me of this Simpsons vignette
…and an idea of what a rebranded Aeroflot could look like via. Cargo Collective
Shallow success: two great things brought purely on looks>
1. two years ago, the publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson commissioned this incredible looking special edition of John Irving’s cult-classic novel the world according to garp, with its raw cardboard cover and baby bottle window opening to a bizarre collage of images reflecting the broad surreal scope of the book, not that I knew this when I brought it, I just loved the way it looked.
(thank god for that, look at the current edition in Irish bookstores)
2. around the same time I came across the beautifully packaged and mysteriously information free Numero Group label in a small record store in Vancouver, its covers often revealing nothing except the name of the record and a candid photograph of the musicians inside, among the mostly soulful selections was a record with three timeless looking young people on the cover in tinted blue: Antena - Camino Del Sol I brought it without hearing a note, and loved it, music that existed in the same universe as Joy Division and Serge gainsbourg, Kraftwerk and Astrid Gilberto, somewhere in Belgium in 1982.
A Place to Gather : a great film commisioned by the Craft Council of Ireland to showcase Irish craftwork for London design week, quality.
Rejected bench designs
Last Christmas in the downtime between the gluttony, presents and booze me and my Girlfriend found time to build our own Enzo Mari ‘Sedia 1’ chair, it was great exercise in the basics of woodworking and logic (we had to eyeball the measurements) This year I set myself the more ambitious challenge of actually designing a bench to build over the Christmas break.
I put together two separate designs but failed to meet the approval of my honest Finn, so it looks like like neither will be tackled for the time being, despite this I got a first hand lesson in dealing with a demanding client, mortise & tendon joints and lateral force, and hopefully I’ll get back to these when I have my own space for them.
This is a bit of a nebbish bitch, but after seeing the weirdly acclaimed Micheal Bastian’s latest collection, which looks exactly like something that the team at the Gap would come up with (and they are at the helm of a middle-market shopping mall behemoth whats Bastians excuse?) I was thinking that designers are as much defined by what they are not as what they are, which brings me to the point of this post: Christophe Lemaire.
Lemaire isn’t in the same household name league as most head designers for French luxury brands (as the design director of Hermes) but he’s passionate about consistency, and vocal about his distaste with fashion-as-novelty, the work he creates for Hermes is not much different from his own small line, and its most remarkable for its complete lack of American influence, in it I see Russian Cossacks, turn of the (19th) century bohemians, and pre-western Asian influences, by going back to these simpler tunic like garments he creates a modern, utilitarian but elegant look, season after season, a man who knows what he likes, and what he is and doesn’t need to read the trade papers for his next idea.
While the subject matter of most pre-modern painters can be distinctly passé (Posh people reclining, posh people with children, posh people with dogs, in fields? all painted with the highest degree of sycophancy) I find more and more to appreciate in their classical mastery of colour and mood, with French artist James Tissot’s ‘Holiday (the Picnic)’ from 1876, seen above is a good example.
Tissot’s father was draper, working in the fashion industry and his mother a hat maker and this early exposure seems to have given him a strong appreciation for the folds and texture of cloth but also colour, specifically an autumn inspired range of yellows, deep browns and oranges and rich reds a trademark palette that marks his work as much as cornflower blues and golds of Van Gogh or the burgundy’s and forest greens of the renaissance
Every once in a while I come across a really aesthetic digital camera that makes me consider getting into that game, last time it was the new Olympus Pen, and now designer Marc Newson's Pentax K-01.
Like the Pen it’s a half-way point between an SLR & a point and shoot, with a good sensor, changable lens and manual focus without being the mega chunky beast that most DSLR’s are, and its look is very much in the vein of Newsons wooly futurism with bright tactile yellow grips and blocky adjustment dials. I’m a casual shooter at best, taking mostly landscape and portrait shots so its apparent poor action shooting (the only downside in reviews) would not bother me, and its strong low light shooting ability is a definate plus. Unfortunately like most digitals the colors are apparently very saturated so require post editing and it lacks the smoothness of color to JPEG that the Pen has.
Definately a contender.
A beautiful short film about a 17th century Japanese farmhouse and the men who lived in it.
I have a pretty obvious love of the past, but I have very little tolerance for hunting down vintage goods, I lose patience with the dead ends and disappointments and when I eventually find something worthwhile its usually far beyond what I’m willing to pay for it, or (in the case of clothing) nowhere close to fitting me.
Luckily, my mum is a magpie and has an insatiable love of crate digging in musty auction houses, bootsales and charity shops and sometimes she sends something special my way, like the book above: 'jugend in beruf und freizeit' or youth in work and leisure, giving it to me with the idea that it “looked like something you’d like” well she was completely right, its a fantastic record of German youth during 1959 at both their workplaces and in a wide variety of activities, made up of monochromatic photographs submitted by young amateurs of the time.
The standard is surprisingly high, the photos are stylized and evocative, mostly darkly shot and reveal a country fully returned from the ruin of war, scenes of industrious youth in horn rimmed glasses tackling charts contrast with quiffed wandervogal’s smoking cigarettes in the wild and mopey artists with bohemian goatees drinking coffee. Beautifully laid out in a stark bauhaus influenced style and divided into various classifications : ‘youth groups’ ‘on the way home from work’ ‘meeting places’, fitting perfectly on the bookshelf alongside Rebel Youth and Love on the Left Bank. a find.