Tag Archives: Paris

So Far So Bold: FW 16 Accessories

To complete runway shows for fashion week, designers don’t simply focus on the clothes themselves. Instead they ensure that the accessories, hair and make-up are given just as much attention. While Paris Fashion Week will soon come to a close, it cannot be denied that the accessories on display for Fall/Winter 2016 are bold.

Over at Loewe, chunky jewelry stole the show in the form of bangles stacked on the wrist of models, to big gold chokers that were worn over high necklines. Also embracing the trend of chokers was Balmain. Under the watchful eye of Olivier Rousting, shiny metallic and corrugated plastic were just some of the materials used to create various versions of the accessory.

Thigh-high boots by Rick Owens

Thigh-high boots by Rick Owens

Another trend seen at the shows of both Balmain and Rick Owens, were thigh-highs. While the former stuck with tight thigh-high suede boots, Owens took athleisure to a new level with thigh-high trainers in black and white.

The hunger for fur shows no sign of slowing down, with Vionnet and Dries Van Noten showcasing coats and outerwear adorned with fluffy collars. But the chiquest (and perhaps wackiest) shaggy accessory had to come from Manish Arora, where the models carried puppies dyed purple to match their outfits.

Puppies dyed to match the model's outfits at Manish Arora's runway show

Puppies dyed to match the model’s outfits at Manish Arora’s runway show


All images are courtesy of AFP.

Focus: Maison&Objet Asia 2016

“It’s not all about the numbers,” Regina Chan says with emphasis, “this year it’s about making our positioning clear.” Chan, who assumed the newly created position as M&O director for Asia-Pacific in July 2015, is tasked to grow the M&O Asia brand across the globe, develop its audiences, and highlight its relevance in the Asian market. Ahead of the opening tomorrow, March 8 in Singapore, our friend the editor of Form magazine in Singapore brought us this story, direct from Chan herself.

M&O Asia launched in Asia 2014 with a well-attended inaugural show that drew participation from brands with international cachet, introduced a host of top-drawer speakers to the M&O Asia Summit, and shone the spotlight on a handful of upcoming design talents. Regional designers showed in national pavilions as the likes of Tom Dixon and Paola Navone headlined 45-minute talks throughout the show’s five-day run; it also named Kenneth Cobonpue Designer of the Year.Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

Without doubt, novelty played a major part in gathering the buzz for the first show; M&O may have been the major biannual trade event of its kind in Paris, but was a totally new entity in Asia. Comparisons among existing trade events around the region favored the newcomer, which was viewed as being more sophisticated, upmarket, and global—but with an Asian perspective. 

The post-show report card showed high marks in participation and attendance, and testimonials were uniformly buoyant, so much so that the organizers vowed to return the following year bigger and better.Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

But the second edition of M&O Asia was less stellar. There were fewer exhibitors than the first show; some returning brands brought what they have already shown in the January edition of M&O Paris, and even then, as a pared down version. Regional brands, many of them small- and medium-sized, worried about the disparity between the cost of participation and the value of deals closed during the show.

“A lot of people had the misimpression that M&O Asia was a sourcing show; that’s one of the reasons some of them went home with unmet expectations,” Chan clarifies. The event, she emphasizes, is for an exchange of innovative ideas among suppliers and specifiers; it is also for manufacturers to get to meet property developers, hoteliers, and specifiers who will require their services and products. “It works well for entities that are looking for a long-term business partnerships, but maybe not for those seeking to make a connection with agents and retailers.” Although that may happen, it is secondary to the fair’s objective.Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

Organizer SAFI is interested in cementing the show’s relevance in the Asian market, especially given its plan to stay for the long haul. From the choice of Singapore as permanent venue to the selection of people who will run the show in Asia, deliberate choices have been made. Working closely with M&O managing director Philippe Brocart and international development director Frederic Bougeard, Chan reiterates that “(We) view our presence in the long term,” Chan says, “and that’s why we’re ensuring that we are connecting with the right audiences.” Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

Chan candidly admits that this year’s edition of M&O Asia will be smaller than the previous ones. “We have gone through a list of potential exhibitors and decided who would benefit most from exhibiting. If we have the top developers from the region and beyond attending the show, we thought hard about the products and services that they will be looking for, and the brands that they will want to work with long into the future.” M&O Asia 2016 will see about 300 participating brands from 26 countries, including AGC Glass, Dornbracht, and Cotto. Of these participants, about 40 percent will be showing exclusively at the show, and 30 percent will be Asian brands. Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

Following in the footsteps of M&O Paris, which saw a major revamp in direction and layout in its September 2015 show, M&O Asia 2016 exhibitors will be grouped under three categories: Maison for high-end interior design concept, Atelier for customised design solution, and Objet for bespoke accessories. Chan shares that there will be installations, including one by Industry+ and another by renowned local design practice Terre, headed by Terence Chan. “It’s exciting to bring new ideas to the fair, so it becomes more engaging for visitors and participants. After all, we are interested in providing solutions and concepts. I’m particularly excited about ‘Man Cave’ and ‘Framed’ installations,” she says without giving away too many details. The Summit will feature international designers and thought leaders, and awards will be handed to the Designer of the Year and the Rising Asian Talents. “The three main components of our show are still Exhibition, Summit, and the Awards,” Chan says. 

Chan is clear about her mission. She spent a good part of the year travelling across Asia talking to designers, architects, developers, professional organisations, and practically anyone whom feels will benefit from attending the event either as visitor or exhibitor. “I was looking for people who would bring something to the table, both in terms of expertise, new ideas, energies.”

Regina Chan Director of Maison&Objet for Asia Pacific

Her estimation is well supported. A good number of international brands with offices in the region are increasingly doing contract work. Those with either a shop or business with retailers are strengthening their custom and contract services. In an industry whose performance is closely tied to that of real estate’s, survival often means opening up of more revenue streams. Retail is no longer the primary income source. It has become commonplace to see a brand that is represented by a local or regional retailer to take up space at fairs in order to reach out to underserved markets. This is another expression of strengthening the sales force geared toward contract and custom.

This year’s selection of designers representing Rising Asian Talents also bears an interesting aspect of this new direction. For Singapore, they picked Lekker Architects, represented by design consultant Joshua Comaroff and director Ong Ker-Shing. The multi-disciplinary practice counts landscapes and buildings—both residential and educational—among its recent projects. “What I find interesting is that Joshua first studied literature and creative writing before turning to architecture, and Shing has done extensive documentation of personal histories and living spaces of residents of Shanghai’s French Concession housing,” Chan reveals. Besides remarkable abilities and output in research and writing, the duo has already delivered a number of projects, placing them above ‘rising talents’ category. “I brought up the invitation carefully, not knowing what to expect,” recalls Chan. “But they were very gracious and open to the idea of participating.”Maison-Objet 2016 Asia

M&O Asia is keen on showcasing multi-disciplinary practitioners, or creatives whose body of works encompasses several categories and disciplines, seeing in them the power to innovate and deliver unique solutions to common problems. “I’m not bringing the quantity; I’m bringing the quality,” Chan remarks.

Story Credits

Text by Marc Almagro

Images Courtesy of M&O Asia

This story first appeared in Form.

Handmade Bicycles Get Second Coming

Forced out of business by mass production, a family-owned bicycle-maker in Paris is back in the saddle again, this time creating hand-crafted bicycles as the on-trend luxury must-have.

Maison Tamboite, founded in 1912, had an A-list clientele including the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker in its heyday.

“My grandfather didn’t brag about his customers,” said Frederic Jastrzebski. “It was by flipping through his order books and his diary… that we found mentions of these people.”

It was an uncle who closed down the company in the 1980s when bicycles began being mass-produced and could be found even in supermarkets, Jastrzebski told AFP.

After working in finance for two decades, Jastrzebski was turning 50 in late 2014 when he persuaded his brother – and their wives – “to revive the brand with the same sincere, artisanal workmanship, the same quest for authenticity and perfection.”

In the new workshop near the Bastille in eastern Paris, Jastrzebski has kept the old wooden drawers from the original shop on the other side of town.

He also has the original tools, an old catalogue and the counter on which his great-grandfather built bicycles.

Production has begun, with the Jastrzebskis peddling their two-wheeled creations as an “urban aesthetic” for the well-heeled.

Gleaming but not bling, the bicycles are virtual works of art, their metal frames contrasting with the honey-toned oak from Italy’s Lake Como region used in the wheel rims and the mud guards.

Hand-burnished leather is everywhere: used for the seat of course, but also on the handlebar, the pedals and the lock – as well as the optional satchel.

They sell for an impressive 11,000 euros ($12,000), with the electric version priced at 15,500 euros.

Each bicycle takes three months to make, custom fitted on the basis of no fewer than 15 measurements.

“The time justifies the price,” Jastrzebski said.

“Like a watch, a piece of jewellery, a handbag or an artwork, (the bicycle) will take its place as a luxury accessory that generates real emotion,” he added.

Craftsman Hugo Canivenc, the workshop’s only employee, said: “It’s work similar to making jewelry, requiring the same meticulousness.”

The frame alone can take a month to make before the glam embellishments are added, the 24-year-old noted.

Asked about the wisdom of leaving a Tamboite bicycle on a public street, even with a sturdy lock, Jastrzebski said: “All of our models are numbered and traceable. And let’s also remember that it’s the most basic bicycle models that are stolen the most.”

Besides, the bikes make excellent decoration in an entrance hall, “or even your living room”, he suggested.

Catwalk Questions Trouble Paris Fashion Week

As Paris Fashion Week comes in, fashionistas everywhere are tracking down their favorite models and shows, but within the industry itself something else might be stirring up that casts a bigger shadow over the whole series of events.

The current schism surrounding the ‘see now, buy now’ model of approaching Fashion Week has split fashion houses between the biggest names in US fashion and the European giants who hold a more ‘traditional outlook’. With the rise of instant communication, and in extension, instant gratification, more and more designers are wondering whether showcasing Autumn/Winter collections in Spring is actually the wrong way to go.

Keen on adopting or already adopting the new model include brand names like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, and Rebecca Minkoff.

“The younger customer does not want to wait any longer, they want to see it and wear it that day or the next day. So we’re going to change the rules” Hilfiger said. He echoes the sentiments of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) who views that “the system is broken”.

On the other side, designers are voicing their opinions about the time needed to develop desire within the consumer seeking the newest fashion. At Milan Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfield thought that it was “an immense waste” and a “distortion to the dialogue” between the brand and consumers. Carlo Capasa, the president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion noted that “if you are a label that inspires dreams, then you need time to work on that properly”.

Fashion mogul Francois-Henri Pinault, whose Kering group owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, told reporters it went against the “dream and desire” that drives the industry.

Lagerfield was also worried about the security problems that would erupt from the switch. “There will no longer be enough time to photograph the collections. And if we do it prior to release, there will be leaks” he said. The designer’s collections were often prized by counterfeiters.

Paris, which guards its status as fashion’s creative capital, said the change was purely commercially driven. The French Couture Federation claimed that young designers would suffer from the changes.

Heavy questions to ponder but probably less so for the thousands in Paris viewing the collections right now. With things shaking up like this, at the very least, no matter whether it goes the full mile or only in small adjustments, change seems to be inevitable for the whole industry.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Kenzo: “Snowbird” SS16 Fashion Film

Forget advertising campaigns with no plot, theme or script. Kenzo has just changed the game of how to tease an upcoming collection. Much like the Fall/winter collection of 2015, the brand used a short film to showcase the spring/summer 2016 line. Enlisting the help of Sean Barker who directed Tangerine, the designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim showed off an enigmatic 11-minute video earlier this month in Los Angeles.Kenzo-BTS-Snowbird2

Titled “Snowbird”, the short film sees the audience follow Abbey Lee of Mad Max as she shares a cake with her neighbors in a desert trailer park. Of course, since this is not a movie but a chance for the brand to show off its collection, the lead character is decked out in Kenzo throughout the film. Some of the actors are in fact residents of the community while others are professionals. We wouldn’t want to ruin the movie so we won’t delve further into the plot but it is impressive what the filmmaker has done on just a simple iPhone.Kenzo-BTS-Snowbird

Dubbed a fashion film, “Snowbird” seems to have been on the minds of both the designers and the director from the very beginning. The designers feel that rather disconnecting from the world of fashion and glamour, the film simply makes up one part of the whole collection. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the film helps to explain the inspiration behind the collection. Even the music was something made specifically for the film. Stephonik Youth, the filmmaker’s sister, wrote the original pieces that could easily pass for a dynamic release you could enjoy on Spotify.

The men’s fall 2016 collection was unveiled earlier in January while the women’s collection, will be showcased at Paris Fashion Week in March.

Dior Granville Candy Colored Jewelry

From peridots, green beryls, aquamarines, tanzanites, tourmalines and rubellites come together in this 12-piece collection and draw inspiration from Christian Dior’s childhood home, Granville. Named after the home he spent his time in as a child, which is now a museum, the candy-colored gems that make up the collection are the brainchild of Victoire de Castellane.

The brand’s fine jewelry creative director explained that the pieces were created “as if putting stickers together spontaneously, without any preconceived constraints”. Although inspired by childhood joie de vivre, the pieces have been meticulously crafted with creativity and exceptional skill in Dior’s Parisian high-jewelry workshops.

A pink gold watch in the "D de Dior Granville" collection, with brilliant cut yellow sapphires on the bezel, a diamond studded crown, turquoise dial and pale pink patent leather bracelet.

A pink gold watch in the “D de Dior Granville” collection, with brilliant cut yellow sapphires on the bezel, a diamond studded crown, turquoise dial and pale pink patent leather bracelet.

Christian Dior’s Normandy childhood is channeled in rings, earrings and bracelets that pop with color. The collection is accompanied by a range of nine watches, crafted from white, yellow and rose gold, evoking the festive and colorful ambiance of the Granville carnival.

Flagship pieces in the “D de Dior Granville” collection include a pink gold watch with a bezel set with brilliant-cut yellow sapphires and a diamond-studded crown. This fresh bouquet of springtime color is topped with a turquoise dial and a pale pink patent leather bracelet.

6 Models to Follow During Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week is the season when the hottest models tread the Paris runways for the biggest ready-to-wear labels. With the shows running through the first nine days of March, savvy fans can sneak a peek behind the scenes by following the current trending models on Instagram. We take a look at who to follow, to catch a glimpse backstage at the upcoming shows:

The Hadid Sisters, Gigi and Bella, both post actively on Instagram and are sure to share the backstage happenings (except at shows that ban social media, possibly). Last season Gigi Hadid took to the catwalk for Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab, Balmain, Versace and Anna Sui, while Bella modeled for Balmain. Both are bound to treat their followers with their upcoming stints in Paris.bella_hadid-Insta

Mica Arganaraz’s account is unverified by Instagram — for now. The Argentinian model was picked by Karl Lagerfield to open and close for the last Chanel haute-couture show. With the discerning designer’s approval, and her appearance as the face of Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2016 Campaign, Arganaraz promises a strong gain in followers during the Fashion Week itself. Last season she appeared for Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Sacai, Mugler, Loewe, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Dior and Haider Ackermann.mica-arganaraz-insta

Lily Donaldson has quite the presence online, despite being less active on social networks. Nevertheless, she’s certain to be booked. This British model may take the runway for Balmain, Elie Saab or Mugler.lily_donaldson-Insta

Jourdan Dunn is another British model to follow, especially for aspiring Fashionistas. Though she didn’t appear much last year in Paris, sticking mostly with Balmain, she could come back to surprise us this time. With over 1.6 million followers, fans can expect a few backstage snaps during the shows.jourdan-Dunn-Insta

We can’t end a list like this without the Instagirl herself, Kendall Jenner. She needs no introduction, but the famous brunette can definitely be expected to document her catwalk shows photo-wise on the social media site. She’s tipped to star in Balmain and Chanel catwalk shows, but could also appear for labels like Elie Saab or Givenchy.kendall-jenner-Insta

Boucheron Showcases Animal Instincts

French jeweler Boucheron’s love for animals is plainly evident, with what is called a bestiary included its collection since 1858. With its new collection at Paris Haute Couture Week, the French jewelry house has presented us with a few new creatures to accessorize an outfit. Joining the Boucheron animal kingdom is the “Collection of Animals”, with expertly crafted bejeweled charms providing the wearer with new designs that can now hold a unique meaning and symbolism for their wearers. Some, like the Hera and the snakes will be familiar to those with a keen eye for key jewelry designs. Nevertheless, even the old favorites are presented with new twists.

Cypris ring paved with black sapphires

Cypris ring paved with black sapphires

Artistic creativity has been matched with the exceptional skill of the Kering-owned jeweler’s craftspeople to bring a new “Collection of Animals” to life in 2016. Drawing on expert techniques such as carving, polishing and of course stone setting, Boucheron’s master jewelers have sculpted gold, crafted shapes and worked with various high-end materials to develop designs for this new high-end jewelry range.

Hera ring in white gold paved with blue sapphires

Hera ring in white gold paved with blue sapphires

The animals themselves have been carefully selected too. With symbolic meanings including protection, love, peace, femininity, devotion, immortality, innocence or hope, each animal-themed creation tells its own powerful story.

Hans the hedgehog ring in pink gold

Hans the hedgehog ring in pink gold

The collection includes some of Boucheron’s iconic snakes, with symbolic talismans “Kaa”, Python” and “Amvara” crafted from rose, yellow and white gold, and set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Pegasus in white gold

Pegasus in white gold

There are more than 20 species in the “Collection of Animals” range, including “Hans, the hedgehog”, “Cypris, the swan”, “Hera, the peacock”, “Hopi, the hummingbird”, “Arctic the polar bear and penguin”, “Honu, the turtle”, “Hirunda, the swallows” and “Biladom, the panda”.

Paris Fashion Week Runway Shows to Watch

The first week of March is going to be a busy one for Paris, and not just for fashion week. Following the numerous changes in major fashion houses, those in the know are waiting with bated breath on the announcement of new creative directors and for what newcomers will bring to the global stage.

Of the new designers announced in the line-up, one name that stands out is that of Dutch designer Esther Louise Dorhout Mees. She started her eponymous label Dorhout Mees, barely six years ago and has since caught the attention of the industry through her sophisticated designs and feminine collections. Her designs feature geometric shapes, prints, luxury fabrics such as silk and structural effects created by carefully placed folds and superimposed layers. France’s ready-to-wear ruling body Fédération française du prêt-à-porter, has scheduled this highly anticipated show for March 6 on its provisional schedule.

Though not a newcomer to the Parisian runway, Koché is still considered another relatively new name to the line-up. This second showing after a sensational debut Paris show will feature founder Christelle Kocher’s use of street culture, artisanal skills and techniques. Her keen use of new technologies gives rise to stylishly eclectic and high-quality collections. Paris Fashion Week will see the label present its autumn/winter 2016-2017 collection.

Lanvin, the oldest Parisian fashion house still operating today, saw creative director Alber Elbaz step down in October. In the interim, Chemena Kamali, formerly of Chloé, has been drafted in to oversee the women’s ready-to-wear collection. However, this temporary arrangement can’t last forever (the very definition of temporary) and rumors of a permanent replacement are intensifying. Stefano Pilati, who recently left Ermenegildo Zegna, is one of the designers thought to be in the running to replace Alber Elbaz. This remains unconfirmed by Lanvin but fashion week could be the ideal time to reveal the Israeli-American designer’s successor.

With the autumn/winter 2016-2017 shows just weeks away, the situation is almost identical over at Dior. If no announcement is made in the coming weeks, then fashion week could be a key time for Dior to reveal Raf Simons’ replacement. In the meantime, Dior’s in-house design team has been handed control of the upcoming collection, as was already the case for Dior’s Haute Couture show back in January. Christian Dior’s collection is booked for the Paris catwalk Friday, March 4.

Ferrari 335 Scaglietti Sells for $35 million

Ferrari stock may be experiencing volatility but the Prancing Horse continues to rise above expectations at auction, with the latest being a 1957 335 S Spider Scaglietti which sold for $35 million. The price is a world record for a racing car sold at auction.

Press reports state that applause literally broke out after the hammer came down on the bidding for the 1957 Scag at the Artcurial auction house just off the Champs-Elysees, Paris, last Friday, February 5.

The world was watching the sale with great interest, especially since Bonhams was also offering significant Ferrari models (amongst others) last week. That sale was nothing to write home about, as far as Ferrari models are concerned, with the 1966 275 GTB Berlinetta selling for roughly $2.29 million. Nevertheless, expectations for a cooling-off in Ferrari auction prices has not yet been met. The race car sold by Artcurial fetched 28 million euros, plus premiums and taxes taking the overall price to just above 32 million euros ($35 million).

For those keeping track, note that this result also beats last year’s top selling Ferrari at auction, the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spider, which sold for about $28 million.

The Spider Scag actually beat the record set in 2014 when a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for what was the equivalent of 28.9 million euros. The new most-expensive-ever Scag has a peerless pedigree, having finished sixth in the Sebring 12 Hours race in 1957, driven by British racer Peter Collins and his French partner Maurice Trintignant, and second in the Mille Miglia 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometre) road race in Italy, with Wolfgang von Trips driving. Yes this is the actual Scag that accomplished all that, not merely a similar model. Well, the same car but with some tweaks…

After the Mille Miglia, the car was returned to the factory to have its engine size boosted from 3.6 to 4.1-liters, boosting available horses from 360 to 400, allowing a top speed of 300 kilometres an hour (186 mph). This was in 1957 mind you.

The Scag enabled Enzo Ferrari’s outfit to win the Constructors’ World Championship title in 1957.

The identity of the purchaser of the Spider was not revealed following Friday’s deal but is US-based, according to Matthieu Lamoure, director general of Artcurial motorcars.

“Clearly, we won’t soon forget,” Lamoure told journalists after the hammer came down on the record sale, bidding having started at 20 million euros.

The sleek machine had belonged to the family collection of late French racing driver Pierre Bardinon, who died in 2012.

Legendary British driver Mike Hawthorn drove the Spider in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1957 and Sir Stirling Moss won the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix with it.

Chopard Fleur d’Opales in Full Bloom

The first bloom of spring is especially worth the wait when it is the flowering of high jewelry. At the Paris Haute Couture Week January 2016, Chopard introduced three new creations to its mysterious haute joaillerie garden, handily beating the first flowers of the coming season. Joining the existing three pieces of the Fleur d’Opales capsule collection, these creations showcase the beauty of the magnificent and spellbinding opal.


The 9-carat black opal ring from Chopard’s Fleur d’Opales collection

The unique pieces, take us into the world of flora and fauna where the precious opal is teamed with sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites, rubies, spinels and black diamonds. This gem that has fascinated the world from the middle ages, is in fact mined from a traceable and sustainable supply by Aurora Gems, in the Australian outback.

The 14-carat white opal ring from Chopard's Fluer d'Opales collection

The 14-carat white opal ring from Chopard’s Fleur d’Opales collection

The three new rings, carry a mixture of black and white opals and celebrate spring. In a first for the collection, one of the three rings features an impressive 14-carat white opal nestled amongst diamond-set titanium petals. The second (main picture) is a 10.7-carat black opal surrounded by tsavorites, pink sapphires and demantoid garnets. Rounding off the collection is a 9-carat black-opal. It sits in the middle of pistils made of engraved and brushed blue titanium and petals set with diamonds, pink sapphires and spinels. The flower is mounted on a ring that is set with demantoid garnets.

5 Must-See Design Exhibitions 2016

The Maison & Objet interior design fair has packed its bags in Paris to prepare for its next two showings, in Singapore and Miami. We’ll certainly be there for the Singapore show and fret not because there are plenty of other top design exhibitions around the world to choose from.

We first set our sights on the “Faire le mur. Quatre siècles de papiers peints” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Currently running till June 2016, it features nearly 300 pieces on display covering more than four centuries of wall paper design. A contemporary piece that joins several traditional designs is the “Lendemain de fête” or “morning after”. Made by the Santix wallpaper company, the design is printed on empty oyster shells and fruit peelings. A part of the exhibition, named “Tissus inspires, Pierre Frey”, focuses on one of France’s biggest wallpaper manufacturers. The exhibition will look back on more than 80 years of designs by Pierre Frey.

Hopping over to Italy, is the “Kitchens & Invaders” at the Triennale di Milano. Inspired by the Jack Finney novel, The Body Snatchers, it compares kitchen appliances to invading aliens. Running till April 21, it is said to be like visiting aliens slipping surreptitiously into the human world and revolutionizing societies; kitchen utensils working their way into our lives and changing things for good. The exhibition also explores the transformation of utensils into machines and robots. It is a great look back over the stars of the modern kitchen, from the earliest contraptions to today’s must-have gizmos.

Over in Denmark, is the “Learning from Japan” till September 24th at the Designmuseum Danmark. The Copenhagen Designmuseum celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015. As part of ongoing celebrations, the museum is focusing on how Japanese design inspired Danish art and industrial design. The exhibition features a selection of pieces from the museum’s collection of Japanese and Danish works.Must-see-design-exhibitions-learning-from-Japan

Also within Europe is the “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in Germany till February 28. This is the Vitra Design Museum’s first exhibition on the Bauhaus, a cultural movement that revolutionized the worlds of design and architecture through the school of the same name. The exhibition features rare pieces associated with the movement from the worlds of design, architecture, art, cinema and photography.

The only exhibition outside of Europe is the “Jaime Hayon| Funtastico” at the Design Museum Holon in Israel. Running till the end of April, it features the work of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. Considered one of the 100 most relevant designers of our time, his work is characterized by its fantastical, amusing and wondrous nature. As one of the most acclaimed designers of his generation, this exhibition at Design Museum Holon showcases his work from the last 10 years, including intriguing ceramic cacti and a rocking chicken.Must-see-design-exhibitions-Isreal

Alessandro Sartori Exits Berluti, Heads for Zegna

Following in the wake of fellow designers Alber Elbaz, Raf Simmons and most recently Stefano Pilati, Alessandro Sartori is the next big name to relinquish his role as Artistic Director at Berluti. The designer had joined the brand after leaving Ermenegildo Zegna’s Z Zegna label.

[UPDATE: Business of Fashion reports that Sartori is taking up the newly created Artistic Director role at Zegna. He starts work June this year, making the Autumn/Winter 2017 collection his first full collection for Zegna.]

The LVMH-owned Berlutti had been in the hands of Sartori since 2011. In his time at the label, he brought the legendary shoemaker to the world of luxury menswear, gaining notice from fashion editors. Like his counterpart Stefano Pilati, the designer showcased his last collection during Paris Fashion Week last month.

Of his departure, Antoine Arnault whose father Bernard Arnault is the CEO and Chairman of LVMH said: “It’s the end of a chapter for us, and it was a beautiful one”.

Rumored to be taking over the role, is Alexandre Mattiussi. The former menswear designer at Givenchy currently heads his own label AMI. For more on Alessandro Sartori’s departure, find out what our friends at Men’s Folio had to say.

6 Biggest Spring 2016 Haute Couture Looks

Playing host to the Spring 2016 Haute Couture shows last week, the French capital saw bold structures, exaggerated silhouettes and asymmetric hemlines gracing the runways. Bridging architecture with fashion, designs featured floor-skimming trains, sleeves and even tiers. One of the many eye-catching looks on the Parisian catwalk belonged to couturier Stephane Rolland. The striking red-layered dress stood out with a choppy and sculpted train that fanned outwards. This is but one of a number that we think will be showing up at red carpet events in 2016.

Stephane Rolland

Stephane Rolland

Ralph and Russo played with proportions by adorning its bridal ball gown with flared sleeves that fluted out from the elbow, dropping into diaphanous, jewel-encrusted mini trains of their own, and Guo Pei stunned with a square-cut train that stemmed from a corseted dress with sculpted hips that provided the perfect example of razor sharp form.

Ralph & Russo

Ralph & Russo

Guo Pei

Guo Pei

Elsewhere on the catwalks, Giambattista Valli sent out tiered gowns featuring triangular layer upon layer of stiff, frothy organza, and Alexis Mabille played with loose, voluminous structures that riffed on breezy nightwear but were in fact fitted to protrude outwards from the body.

Gambattista Valli

Gambattista Valli

Alexis Mabille

Alexis Mabille

Full credit, however, must go to the immutable Viktor & Rolf, whose colossal towering Cubist structures composed of distorted 3D facial features and gigantic ruffles went the furthest in pushing the increasingly porous boundaries between art and couture. We previously covered their collection here, alongside Valentino.

Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf


Ferrari Berlinetta Drives to Top Lot at Bonhams

British auction house Bonhams is gearing up for the sale of classic cars and motorbikes at the Grand Palais museum this Thursday, February 4. In its sixth year, the auction is expected to fetch millions of dollars where German and Italian models may garner the highest bids. Listed with the highest valuation as the top lot is the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta. Those looking to own a model that was developed closely by Enzo Ferrari himself can expect to begin their bid at $2.7 million.


1990 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta

Joining the Ferrari, is the Mercedes- Benz CLK GTR Coupé from 2000 ($2 million), a 1990 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta ($1 million), a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider with a hardtop ($980,000), a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT ($870,000), and a 1937 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Berlinette ($810,000).


1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ2 Coda Tronca Coupé

Next in line comes a 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ2 Coda Tronca Coupé ($650,000 to €870,000), then a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Coupé ($487,000 to $700,000), a 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Berlinette Coda Ronda ($490,000 to $700,000) and a 2002 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina ($490,000 to $600,000).

Among other curiosities, auction-goers will have the chance to bid for a 1967 Citroën DS21 Cabriolet Le Caddy ($270,000 to $380,000) and a 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5l Coupé once owned by Lino Ventura ($98,000 to $130,000).

A total of 250 lots will be up for auction, with 133 cars and 54 motorbikes, including 18 rare Italian motorbikes from the Stockholm Motorbike Museum in Sweden. All of the vehicles for sale will be on show at the Grand Palais exhibition center in Paris on Wednesday, February 3, from 9 am to 5:30 pm and on Thursday, February 4, from 9 am.

The Bonhams auction is being held at the Grand Palais, Paris, on Thursday, February 4, 2016. Visit the Bonhams official website for more information.

Haute Couture Week: 6 Quirkiest Accessories

With the all eyes on the Spring 2016 Haute Couture runway shows, designers such as Chanel and Valentino also showcased their talent and attention to detail with a range of accessories. From the whimsical to the zany, the several designers put their best feet forward with Chanel kicking it off with an update to the round-toe pumps (see below). Pearly beads covered the cap while a curved cork wedge heel added some height to the footwear.Paris-Haute-Couture-Accessories-Chanel

Chinese designer Guo Pei continued the elevated trend with mustard yellow sculptural wedges (top) and elaborate ribbons for ankle straps while models for Maison Margiela strutted knee-high boots with multi-colored motifs of various elements (below).Paris-Haute-Couture-Accessories-Maison-Margiela

Elsewhere, headdresses were a big trend. They ranged from Egyptian in style, seen at Jean Paul Gaultier, to Roman, as seen at Valentino (below), although several houses opted for fairytale-like crowns to create a romantic vibe. This was the case at Zuhair Murad, where metallic leaves decorated the models’ hairstyles, as well as at Elie Saab, where floral tiaras contributed to the enchanted feel of the collection.Paris-Haute-Couture-Accessories-Valentino

There were flashes of bling, such as the jewel-encrusted baseball caps seen at Elie Saab (below), and the humungous earrings on show at Guo Pei. There was also a nod to the quirky, with ornamental purses like the vintage cat bag seen at Ulyana Sergeenko stealing the show (scroll to the bottom for this wonder, which really deserves its own story).Paris-Haute-Couture-Accessories-Ellie-Saab


Haute Art: Valentino, Viktor & Rolf Provoke

If big risks and classical gowns are what you seek in haute couture, Valentino and Viktor & Rolf did not disappoint last week on the Paris runways. We were reminded of the vision of the Dutch duo January 31 as police confirmed that they had recovered a stolen Picasso in Istanbul; the Viktor & Rolf show looked like a tribute to Cubism, or perhaps their impression of what Theo van Doesburg would have sent down the runway if he had been a fashion designer. First of all though, we must credit Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for providing the haute couture fashion week this spring with a proper standard bearer and point of reference. The house of Valentino provided a fashionable history of art lesson in Paris on Wednesday night last week, as it showcased its Spring 2016 haute couture collection.



Under the creative direction of designers Chiuri and Piccioli, the Italian label whipped up a classical collection of show-stopping gowns that felt both timeless and modern. Perhaps they imagined themselves collaborating with Gustav Klimt when creating this collection.



Featuring floor-skimming, off-the-shoulder Grecian robes creased into sharp pleats and swishy velvet columns decorated with ornate bronze harnesses, the result was a demure yet worldly aesthetic rooted in technicality and expertise. Structures were fluid without being overly loose and the color palette offered up an opulent combination of rich creams, deep olive greens and resplendent burgundies.



Semi-sheer chiffons, plunging necklines and beaded kaftans worn with nothing underneath meant that there was plenty of skin on show, and yet the overall effect was one of highly serene virtuousness.



Art, as ever, was also the starting point for the Dutch pioneers Viktor & Rolf, whose all white collection was an exercise in Cubism. The design duo’s work has always been guaranteed to spark debate, and their towering sculptural dresses composed of distorted 3D facial features and gigantic ruffles bore more than a passing resemblance to the works of Albert Gleizes and Picasso.



In many cases the models were mere vehicles used to exhibit the pieces, their faces completely hidden behind the colossal façades of the designs. Simple black ankle boots allowed the construction to do the talking.



Big FUN at Maison & Objet Paris

Italian design house Seletti showed a selection of new homeware and furniture at the recently concluded Paris edition of the Maison & Objet interior design trade fair. The quirky designs made waves with observers, including the press, as the brand literally spelled out F-U-N in the form of its lighting range! Upbeat message like this one are clearly resonating with audiences.


Italian design agency BBMDS is back working with Seletti in this homage to the architecture of Italian cities, more precisely, their porticoes. Yes, just this element. This key feature of Italian cityscapes has been worked into modular bookshelves (see below), bringing Renaissance architecture to life in a functional storage solution. The bookcase is composed of modules, each bordered by portico-style columns. Square and rectangular modules are available in either white or anthracite.


Flower Attitude

Flower power got a fresh spin from Seletti this year. Italian designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba has created an original line of home accessories using historical Capodimonte porcelain. This Italian porcelain manufacturer is best known for its figurines and flowers. Here, Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba has honored Capodimonte’s creations by adding them to some troubling objects (see below), more usually found in a horror movie than a plush interior. Flower Attitude sees a serial killer’s weapons of choice – a hand saw, a chainsaw, an axe, a gun and a club – decorated with delicate, colorful porcelain flowers and transformed into candlesticks.


Alphafont and Alphacrete

Alphabet soup never looked so good. Following the success of its “Neon Art” range of letter-shaped lights, Seletti has added an upper-case alphabet to its lighting range with “Alphafont.” These illuminated letters (top) are 30 cm tall and can be attached to walls in various combinations to make words and phrases. An additional “Alphacrete” range (below) sees light-up letters encased concrete shells, making them suitable for outdoor use.


Cosmic Diner

This flagship Seletti range of space-themed tableware (below), designed in partnership with the Diesel fashion house, sees a coffee cup, bowls and candlesticks added to the collection. The coffee cup is finished in a cosmic black and is dimpled with craters like the surface of a planet, with its golden saucer forming the planet’s rings. The bowls are similar in design, with crater-finish and gold-metal options to choose from. The candlesticks are shaped like rockets.


Designer Tom Dixon Gets Oily at Maison & Objet

Tom Dixon, a leading light of British design, presented two new ranges of home accessories at the Paris Maison & Objet interior design trade fair, which wrapped up January 26, playing with light and color in original designs.


Iridescent materials appear to change color as the light and angle of view change. A diverse set of materials and beings are gifted with this quality, from butterflies to soap bubbles to pools of oil. Whether inspired by nature or by service station forecourts, this property has been purged from modern interiors despite enjoying popularity in the 1990s and during the Belle Epoque era, where it was frequently seen on glassware, ceramics and chandeliers. Now, Tom Dixon is bringing iridescence back to the forefront of design with a new collection of home accessories going by the name “Oil.” Tinged with oily multicolored notes, the collection includes large and medium-sized scented candles, a reed diffuser and a wax diffuser. All the pieces have a bumpy, almost “melted” look.


The collection also includes the “Warp” vase (above), a mouth-blown cylinder or demi-sphere of glass that’s squashed and deformed into a distorted shape. The almost rainbow-like iridescent finish is then applied by hand and the vase is fired at high temperature.


The “Materialism Quartz” collection (below) also includes large and medium scented candles, a reed diffuser and a wax diffuser, with aromas of musk, ambrette and pink pepper. Here, the vessels are formed from masses of milky-looking translucent glass. Each piece is made from a drop of glass that’s pulled, pressed and stretched into a unique shape. (Prices on request)

Other new items from the British designer include copper and brass versions of the “Bell” table lamp (pictured top), as well as additions to the “Plum” range (bottom) of cocktail accessories, like Martini glasses, Moscow Mule mugs, a serving bowl, shot glasses, a wine cooler and a tray.


The marble-based “Stone” collection gets a copper candleholder, three brass candlesticks, a tray, a table lamp, a wall light and a ceiling light.

Tom Dixon is a self-taught designer who became known in the 1980s through his work with Cappellini, a major Italian design house.

He was appointed head of design at Habitat in 1998 before creating Tom Dixon Studio in 2002. His brand is now sold in 63 countries.