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The Sandman Chronicles

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Oscars 2015 - who won for best dressed?

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:44:00 +0000

The awards season always culminates in the Oscar ceremony, so the ladies keep their best bets for impressive (or disastrous) appearances for this night. Who wore whom has managed to upstage who won what, and with the choices the Academy makes each year, deservedly so. Let's check some of the best dressed ladies on the 87th Academy Awards red carpet (all photos courtesy of and Donato Sardella, and Getty Images).Update: The best dressed lady was not even on the red carpet (of the actual ceremony that is): Diane Kruger went to the Vanity Fair Party in a smashing Donna Karan pants/dress outfit:Mark Seliger portrait in a special set/photo booth inside the VF party - Joshua Jackson accessory optionalLook at that train! Photo by  Billy Farrell/Bfanyc.comCate Blanchett is the undisputed Queen of Hollywood. She probably surprised most of the nominated for Best Actress ladies in picking a simpler dress to wear (Galliano for Margiela, a first for Oscars) - you can see it in the outfits they picked, thinking of how to upstage Cate who would be giving them the award. Tough luck ladies. Cate is never upstaged. The necklace is a one of a kind piece from Tiffany's in their signature colour. It doesn't get more regal than this.Lupita Nyong'o is resplendent in a custom made Calvin Klein dress covered with 6000 pearls. She's becoming the heir to Cates' throne. Margot Robbie wore a laid back Saint Laurent dress with a 30s Van Cleef and Arpels necklace that suited the plunging neckline so good. I think if she had piled some big hammered gold cuff bracelets on it would have looked even better - next time check Loulou De La Falaise on how to wear YSL.Thankfully Rosamund Pike did not disappoint - I was afraid it would be yet another disaster like some of her recent appearances. But she rose to the occasion with this magnificent Givenchy Couture. One of the rare occasions that red looks good on the red carpet.When I read that Emma Stone, one of my favourites, would be wearing Elie Saab, I flinched. I do not like most, if not all, the clothes Saab makes, so it looked as a disaster in the making. Fortunately it wasn't. My only objection is the light shade of green - she would have looked so much better in a darker one.AP IMAGESMarion Cotillard picked an unusual shape (at the back at least) for the red carpet - and it was a breath of fresh air. I love the texture of the (lasre cut?) fabric and she looks great in it. So beautiful and French. Dior Haute Couture.Scarlett Johansson is the embodiment of "whoa" here. I love her short hair (although it looked as if she skipped the hairdresser this time) and the shade and shape of the dress suits her to a T. Versace Atelier with Piaget necklace.Sophie Hunter looks gorgeous in this red Lanvin - another proof that red can look great on the red carpet as long as you have an amazing dress. Cumberbatch accessory optional.I love Patricia Arquette and she always looks great on the red carpet. Simple, elegant, real. She's wearing Rosetta Getty who designed this especially for her.How stunning can Viola Davis look? Very. Even though a stronger colour would have suited her better (a violet?), she nails it once again. Zac Posen should research some fabrics that do not crinkle that easily.Naomi Watts (Naomi fookin Watts) got some flack for this Armani Prive gown, but I really like it. Texture, metallics, cut, all work well on her.A knight in shining armour. I love this encrusted metallic gown Laura Dern is wearing, like a modern Joan of Arc. Only missing a sword. Custom made Alberta Ferretti,Tegan and Sara, nominated for best song for the Lego movie, stayed true to themselves and their style. And won hands down. Tegan is wearing  a The Kooples suit and Barbara Bui shoes, while Sara is in a Public School dress. Everything is awesome indeed.[...]

Season's Greetings!

Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:36:00 +0000

Oscar De La Renta dies

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:19:00 +0000

One of the designers that epitomized american fashion (whichever way you look at it), Oscar De La Renta died on the 20th of October 2014 at 82. His illustrious and enduring career spanned nearly half a century. Trained by fellow Latin designers Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo (at Lanvin), before returning to the USA to launch his company. He had a stint in Balmain for whom he took the rains in the 90s to make heavenly couture. He dressed many women, making them look and feel better. He loved women, he loved designing for them, being with them, loving them. His Dominican roots were always a major part of his aesthetic and style without overwhelming it. But he was first and foremost an American fashion champion, always putting out one collection after another, making clothes the way he saw fit for his loved ladies to enjoy and cherish. Below is a small selection of his work. He will be missed.Christy Turlington for Bill King, British Vogue, 1986Sketch by Antonio Lopez for an adBalmain couture, Vogue US 1997 by Peter LindberghLinda Evangelista by Arthur Elgort for Vogue US, 1991Perry Ogden for Town & Country, 2013Karlie Kloss, advertisment, Spring/Summer 2012Kate Moss for Annie Leibovitz, Vogue US, 2009Bridal advertisment, Spring1/ Summer 2011, Craig Mc DeanJanuary Jones by Kurt Iswarienko for Edit magazine, May 2013Amber Valetta for Steven Meisel, Vogue US 2006Karlie Kloss, advertisement, Autumn/Winter 2011, by Craig Mc DeanSteven Meisel for Vogue US, December 2010Grace Mahary, Imaan Hammam, and Cindy Brunaby Craig McDean, Vogue US, January 2014Harper's Bazaar, 2009Christy Turlington, advertisment, 1994Karlie Kloss for Annie Leibovitz, Vogue US, 2013Fashion show, New York 2009, by Damon Winter/New York Times[...]

Horst: Photographer Of Style - the V&A exhibition

Sat, 11 Oct 2014 17:21:00 +0000

One of the advantages of being in a metropolis is getting to see amazing exhibitions about almost every subject. Fashion, style and design being my favourites, the Horst: Photographer Of Style exhibition mounted by the V&A museum in London, from September 2014 to January 2015, was perfectly in synch with my trip there to see Kate Bush performing live in Before The Dawn. So I visited V&A again (second time this year) for what is a fantastic exhibition about one of the best photographers that ever lived, Horst P. Horst.The V&A main entrance poster for the exhibition © 2014 Stratos BacalisBorn as Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann on the 14th of August 1906, in Weissenfels, Germany, the youngest son of a hardware business owner, he studied design and carpentry at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, under the tuition of Walter Gropius. In 1930 he travelled to Paris to work as an apprentice to Le Corbusier. It as there that he met Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, a famous photographer at French Vogue. Huene became Horst’s mentor and partner, teaching him about photography and inviting him into the creative world of 1930s Paris. He then started to work for French Vogue himself, and later on for the American edition and Vanity Fair magazine, where his first portrait of a Hollywood star, Bette Davis, appeared in 1932.Bette Davis for Vanity Fair, 1932. © Condé Nast/Horst EstateThe rest is history. Horst had a long and wildly creative career, establishing a style completely his own, shooting portraits, fashion, landscapes and even branching into less well known areas of photography, working well into his mid 80s, stopping only when his eyesight failed him. He influenced many photographers and artists, while his images still stand as paragons of lighting, composition and style.Hat and coat-dress by Bergdorf Goodman, modelled by Estrella Boissevain, 1938. © Condé Nast/Horst EstateThe exhibition is designed as a timeline but also separated into sections of his work: beginning with Haute Couture, it showcases first his fashion work in France and the United States, with the brilliant black&white photohraphs that made him famous and established his personal style.The entrance of the show. Installation image of Horst – Photographer of Style. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Horst was photographing with a collaborative process: that involved of course photographer and model but also the art director, fashion editor, studio assistants and set technicians. Modelling was still in its infancy in the 1930s, if existing at all, so many of those who posed for Horst were stylish friends of the magazine’s staff, often actresses or aristocrats. By the middle of the decade, Horst had succeded his mentor George Hoyningen-Huene as Paris Vogue’s primary photographer. His images frequently appeared in the French, British and American editions of the magazine. Many of the photographs on display in the exhibition are vintage prints from the company’s archive.Horst photographic prints from the 1930s © Vogue UKAt the end of this long gallery of photographs, there is a podium with couture dresses from the era, from designers whose clothes Horst shot for Vogue. Meticulously restored and displayed, the outfits recall the glamour and style of the decade while bringing the elusive subjects of his art a bit closer to reality and the visitor.Custom-made mannequins dressed in original pieces from designers including Mainbocher, Lanvin, Molyneux, Maggy Rouff and Vionnet © Vogue UKThe exhibition then moves on to the second section: Surrealism. Surprisingly for me, one of the main images in this section is what has probably become his most iconic photograph ever: Mainbocher corset.Mainbocher Corset (pink satin corset by Detolle), Paris, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst EstateThe Mainbocher Corset is one of the Twentieth Century's most prized portraits. The widely published copy of it is retouched (below) - the corset made to look[...]

Sensing Spaces - exhibition at the Royal Academy Of Arts

Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:16:00 +0000

My second trip to London did not leave me much time to go around and see anything as I had too much work in my hands. My last full day there though, held a special surprise. In between the opening of the fair where I'd successfully supervised the stand building for one of our clients and a business meeting, I managed to see an exhibition I wanted to catch since the previous trip here, Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition ended on the 6th of April 2014. All photos were taken from me except the Kengo Kuma one which is from the exhibition website.The main galleries of the Royal Academy were transformed by installations created by seven architectural practises from around the world: Grafton Architects, Diébédo Francis Kéré, Kengo Kuma, Li Xiaodong, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura (in no particular order). These installations set out to evoke the experience and power of architecture within a traditional gallery environment. As our daily activities of working, sleeping, being entertained, usually happen withing architecture, sometimes even interacting with it. Buildings are an ever-present background to our lives.The visitor of this exhibition now has an architectural experience in a specifically built space - inhabiting it in a new way instead of the functional or visual way of everyday life might be. Upon entering the gallery and seeing the magnificent wooden structure by Pezo von Ellrichshausen (see photos above) with the four huge columns and it's robust upper balcony, it felt like being Alice the architect in the wonderland of Architecture. Pity there was no Mad Hatter to serve us tea!Architectural exhibition usually display drawings, photographs and models of the works produced by the participating architects. In that way, the visitor is distanced from the direct contact with the buildings. The physical exploration of them though is usually the key to understanding them. In the real world, one sees buildings, enters them, move inside them, inhabit them. Appreciating their qualities takes time, sometimes changing in the process. The sounds, smells, materials, views and volumes of the buildings tackle our senses and become part of the whole process.In this exhibition, instead of models and photos and drawings, we got to see the real thing: the "buildings"themselves. We got to experience the nature of the physical spaces, interact with them. The curator said that in the heart of the exhibition is the interaction with three factors: the nature of physical spaces, our perception of them and their evocative power. The installations we experienced (because we did not simply see them) highlighted different aspects of architecture: from manipulating light, mass and structure, to transformations brought about by use, movement and interaction.The selection of the architects was made based on their engagement with how architecture might move beyond the practical and functional to address the human spirit. They consider how people will inhabit their buildings, how human body and its senses responds to their spaces. They use their appreciation of history to create buildings that acknowledge the past but also are highly meaningful within the present. Their works are strongly anchored in their contexts: from the urban or natural landscapes in which they are located to the cultures and traditions that surround them. The architects' different geographical, generational and cultural sensibilities enrich the array of perspectives and encourage a broader understanding of what architecture can offer us.Kate Goodwin, the curator of the show, conceived the exhibition in a spirit of enquiry, having had discussions with the architects and developed it through the process of design. Each architect worked with an open brief: to explore the potential of architecture, its relevance to people, the connections it evokes, and how these might be conveyed using [...]

From Club to Catwalk: 80s Fashion

Sat, 05 Apr 2014 10:59:00 +0000

Another exhibition I was very lucky to see in London this past January was one in V&A (it ended in February), dedicated to 80s Fashion. From Club To Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s explored the creative explosion of London fashion in that decade. Through more than 85 outfits, the exhibition showcased the bold and exciting new looks by the most experimental (and then young) designers of the decade, including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett, Wendy Dagworthy and John Galliano. The exhibition traced the emerging theatricality in British fashion as the capital’s vibrant and eclectic club scene influenced a new generation of designers. Also celebrating iconic styles such as New Romantic and High Camp, and featuring outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, the exhibition explored how the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear helped reinvent fashion, as reflected in magazines such as i-D and Blitz and venues including Heaven and Taboo.For me it was like travelling back in time, re-living my teens, remembering things I had completely forgotten, identifying stuff I used to pore over in 80s magazines, seeing amazing clothes and remembering songs and events that marked my adolescence. Then it suddenly dawned on me: my teen years were encapsulated in a museum exhibition! I felt really old and odd at the same time. Luckily that feeling passed by quickly as I thoroughly enjoyed the outfits and photos, the texts and layout of the exhibition, which was minimal but thoroughly into the spirit of the decade with the bold graphics and colours. One of the best parts was a dark room with small screens all over, playing a slide show of photos from the clubs of that era, accompanied by the appropriate soundtrack. One could recognise all the famous (and not so famous) people of 80s London, even seeing together people one would not imagine had met. Below you can read about the concept of the exhibition. The ’80s saw the explosion of the London club scene. Specialist club ‘nights’ offered opportunities for dressing up in the company of a like-minded crowd. Stevie Stewart of Body Map explained that ‘each group of people, whether they were fashion designers, musicians or dancers, filmmakers, living together and going out together had a passion for creating something new that was almost infectious’. Early clubs such as Billy’s, Blitz and the Club for Heroes were small and attracted a selective crowd. As the decade progressed, venues such as the Camden Palace and one-off warehouse parties began to attract much larger audiences. Although less intimate, they perpetuated the creative link between music, club and catwalk. This symbiotic relationship remained the defining characteristic of 1980s style.In the early ’80s, London fashion began to create a stir internationally. Fashion shows took place in New York and Japan. One breakthrough event, titled ‘London Goes to Tokyo’, included many of the designers featured here and in the upstairs gallery. The inventiveness of London design owed much to the excellence of the city’s arts education. Colleges such as St Martin’s, the Royal College of Art and Hornsey College of Art offered advanced training in the fundamentals of fashion design, while also encouraging individuality. At night, young designers’ imaginations were sparked by a vibrant London club scene. John Galliano recalled, ‘Thursday and Friday at St Martin’s, the college was almost deserted. Everybody was at home working on their costumes for the weekend’. Designer Georgina Godley remembers, 'Young London was all about taking risks and creating something out of nothing through passion and ambition'.Amidst the colourful extravagance of 1980s fashion, one label in particular stood out thanks to their pioneering approach to making and showing their creations: Body Map. The exhibition looked back at the DIY origins of the label with it[...]

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore: a very emotional exhibition

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:05:00 +0000

Last January I had the immense pleasure of seeing the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibition at Somerset House in London. Since the moment my trip to England's capital was finalized, I set my eyes upon seeing this unique show, to have the chance to be intimate with the scores of her amazing clothes by famous designers such as Alexander McQueen or Housseing Chalayan or Prada. But that was not the only reason. Blow was a unique creature, a woman who had managed to infuse the fashion world with her singular sense of style and aesthetics, her vision and her love for up and coming talented designers.Isabella Blow by Mario Testino, 1997. Image used as the show's poster.Who was she? One of the scores of British aristocracy offspring, born into an infamous family (her grandfather was involved in the White Mischief scandal), she eventually had to work to make ends meet despite her lineage. Born Isabella Delves Broughton in 1950’s post-war Britain, with a family seat at Doddington Hall in Cheshire, her family history can be traced back to the 14th Century – a factor which played an important part in Isabella’s life. Having been brought up in a rarified world of aristocracy, she said in an interview that it was trying on her mother's pink hat that sowed the seed of her love for fashion. The remnant turret of Doddington Castle where she played as a child, incorporated into the ancestral seat of Doddington Hall designed by Wyatt, was also instrumental to her love of medieval aesthetic.Isabella Blow wearing Philip Treacy's Castle Hat, 1999, photo by Pascal Chevalier Isabella’s thirty year career began in the early 80s as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue. On her return to London in 1986 she worked at Tatler followed by British Vogue. In 1997 she became the Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style after which she returned to Tatler as Fashion Director. Driven by a passion for creativity, Isabella is credited for having nurtured and inspired numerous artists and designers. And her amazing collection of clothes really reflects that. Isabella Blow with Philip Tracey hat, photo by Sean Ellis The exhibition showcased over a hundred pieces from her incredibly rich collection, one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design, now owned by Daphne Guinness. This includes garments from the many designer talents she discovered and launched, such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald amongst others.   Exhibition entrance, photo by Stratos Bacalis From the moment one arrived on the Somerset House Embankment Galleries entrance from the Thames, you got the sense this was no ordinary exhibition. A sense that was confirmed upon seeing the first room, in darkness interrupted by spotlighst focusing on select details of her personal life. The first section of the exhibition explored Isabella’s background, and her British aristocratic ancestral roots. Highlights included family photographs and the sculpture entitled ‘Isabella Blow’ by Tim Noble and Sue Webster, made of various artifacts of her that shaped, when properly lit, her portrait on the back wall.The second section featured pieces from Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy’s graduate MA collections from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art respectively, including Isabella’s wedding headdress. Exploring the way in which both designers used whatever they could get their hands on to make their garments and hats, this section celebrated the beginnings of their careers and the talent Isabella saw in them and her eye for discovering young talent. The next section, to which one had to walk up a flight of stairs, exhibited key items from McQueen and Treacy’s AW 1996 collections. McQueen dedicated his AW 1996 collection, entitled Dante, to Isabella and this was hi[...]

White Island Works rings - art becomes wearable

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:35:00 +0000

Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos and Artemis Lydl are a creative couple that I have come to known for a few years now and happy to call friends. They are extraordinary people, smart and artistic, always ready to engage into thoughtful conversation. Constantinos is an accomplished artist that not only paints but also illustrates (has been published numerous times in Greek newspapers and magazines) and draws comics. They both create books , apps, videogames and art. Their most recent venture (apart from making their family bigger) is their extraordinary biomorphic black rings.

The design of the rings derives from Konstantinos' artwork, namely the White Island Works series. They translated fragments of it into small pieces, set as precious gems on rings, ready to be worn by everyone.

They come in various shapes and sizes and new designs are added to the mix. I love the graphic feel of the artwork and the layered edges.

The detail of design and quality of construction is amazing. Even the box they come in looks very fetching. 

You can buy them (and other stuff from the series as well) from their Etsy shop. The prices are amazing. So what are you waiting for?

Christian Tagliavini - a fantasy world of paper and cardboard

Sat, 08 Mar 2014 12:05:00 +0000

  There are some creative people that stand out in your mind, above all else, with their ability to make something that speaks directly to your inner self. One artist like this is Christian Tagliavini, a graphic designer and photographer. I had seen Tagliavini's work many times in the past on-line, marvelling at what he does using cardboard an paper to create elaborate costumes that dress up his models accordng to the concept he is working on at the time. A recent encounter with some of his work up close, remined me of his extraoidrinary talent again, and I thought I would share it with you.He is Swiss-Italian, educated in Italy and Switzerland, where he lives and works as a photographer. This provides him the perfect frame and background to invent, create and totally produce images that blend fine arts and craftsmanship. Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring the observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in his exquisite photos. he has received numerous international awards and has exhibited his work all over the world. his latest show was in Berlin in 2013.  I love the photographs he creates as well as the incredible costumes. He makes them himself using mainly paper and cardboard, printed, cut and glued in intricate ways, bringing to life fairytales and forgotten worlds. I'd love to have one precent of his creativity to make stuff like this for my fashion dolls.   [...]

So who won the Oscar for best-dressed?

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:01:00 +0000

The red carpet has become a major advertising opportunity for fashion brands, who will do anyhting possible to get their stuff on the most famous and likel to be awarded people attending. It is a battle field strewn with the "corpses"of stylists, hairdressers, make up artists and personal assistants, who wage the war behind the scenes. Let's see who won this year (all photos courtesy of and Donato Sardella).For me the first place is a tie - Two amazing women ruled the red carpet. First up it's Lupita Nyong'o in custom made Prada (she said she helped design the dress with a concept of bubbly champagne and the blue she was surrounded with growing up in Kenya) and Fred Leighton jewelry. Absolutely stunning. The way she moved with it showed an amazing command of the dress. She's an Audrey Hepburn in the making.The second lady up up up there at the top of the best dressed is Charlize Theron. Wearing black Dior Haute Couture and Harry Winston jewelry, she is pure Hollywood royalty.Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection by Francisco Costa and Bulgari jewelry is a vision in white. Elegant, stunning, gorgeous.Usually her fashion choices leave a lot to be desired but last night she was a winner in the fashion category. Sandra Bullock nailed in Alexander McQueen and Lorraine Schwarz jewelry. Her hair looks great too. I think it needed a cuff instead of a bracelet though. This one combines a 70s vibe with that old Hollywood glamour of the 30s we know and love so much. Kate Hudson is breathtaking in Versace and Neil Lane jewelry. It looked equally good without the cape.Wonder how she got to wear Chanel Couture while not being nominated - maybe just presenting an award clinched the deal. Ethereal. Her hair looked better on TV. Her jewellery is by Tiffany & Co. Pity she did not have her best accessory with her (Justin is on tour).Amy Adams looks stunning in blue Gucci Premiere Couture and Tiffany & Co. Blue was the colour of choice this year, particularly in navy or ultramarine shades. Darren Le Gallo looks dashing too. More elegant gents at the end of the post (ladies first always!).I really love Karen O and she did not dissapoint me at her first Oscar ceremony - her performance was great, singing The Moon Song from the film Her gown is by Camilla Stærk, with Forevermark jewelry. She looks like coming out of an old Holywood film, very Art Deco-late 20s-early 30s. Her red gown during the performance was great too. Speaking of the 20s, Jennifer Garner's Oscar de la Renta dress has that flapper vibe but her hair-don't misses the point completely. Otherwise it looks fantastic.I love Jennifer Lawrence and this Dior Haute Couture dress with Neil Lane jewellery (back necklace again, feels so last year). looks good on her but I think she needed something better for the ceremony. Her Hillary Clinton (thanks Peter Davis for the comment!) hair does not help either. Emma Watson's Vera Wang dress, with Chanel jewllery, is one of those dresses that look great in movement and on film but not in photos. She looked absolutely stunning walking down the Oscars stage to present an award. Love the bold red lipstick too.Cate Blanchett's Armani Privé dress would have been perfect if it did not have those weird things embroidered on it - there is such a variety of things ot pick when embroidering a couture dress. Her giant opal drop earrings from Chopard are stunning. Amazing hair and make up too. Divine.Kerry Washington was one of two gorgeous pregnent ladies attending (I know there was a third but the dress was a disaster). She is in a custom made Jason Wu dress (his first Oscar dress) and Jennifer Meyer jewelry.The second beautiful and elegant pregnatn lady was Olivia Wilde with a dashing Jason Sudeikis bu her side (in Prada). Olivia is in Valentino and [...]

Design at auction

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 10:05:00 +0000

It is not unusual for famous designers to collaborate on designing a collection or on a single product. But having the notoriously reclusive Jony Ive of Apple and the multifaceted Marc Newson curating a collection of one-of-a-kind coveted design objects to be auctioned off from Sotheby’s for the) Product (RED charity project of Bono was surely the design event of 2013.No one can say that either Ive or Newson are household names. Yet they are famous for designing coveted products that are mass-produced although each one does it in a very unique and different way from the other. Ive is responsible for some of the most iconic products that came out of Apple since its re-invention by Steve Jobs on his second term there. The iPod iMac, iPhone, MacBook etc. all have his stamp on them. Now he even oversees the software division’s design.Newson on the other hand is his own man, working as a freelancer for various companies and has designed products that range from the extremely exclusive (the Lockheed Lounge chair was an edition of ten) to the mass produced (for example his G-Star Raw collection). Both are fascinated by materials and the manufacturing process: it is the way of making the objects that infuses their design philosophies. It might come as a surprise to some, but the two men are close friends for some years now, having been introduced in Japan in the late 90s; They share a love of cars that leads them to spend time together visiting antique car fairs.Bono, who knew Ive for years (they met when Apple released the U2 iPod in 2004), first asked Newson to design something for Product (RED) in 2007. Eventually, and after the successful art auction Damien Hirst organized for the charity, Bono decided to bring the two men together to curate a similar project on design.Simply amassing a collection of favourite design objects was not an option: too much, too easy. Instead, they focused on a core group of about 40 objects re-imagined in one-of-a-kind versions from the design duo, some unique finds (a space shuttle glass window made by Corning), plus a pair of items they designed especially for the event: a desk produced by Neal Feay Studio that reminds one of the latest iMac model with its ultra-thin edges (but the top looks more Newson than Ive) and a camera based on the Leica Digital Rangefinder, made by the revered company as a custom object. Even an Alaia dress was added.The whole process took almost a year and a half to finish, mostly because manufacturing most of these unique items takes such a long time – no one can hurry the making of a Hermes saddle. After all, time is the ultimate luxury and luxury objects need time to be hand-crafted carefully to their exalting standards. The collection was auctioned on November 23 at Sotheby’s in New York. The auction amassed 12,883,000$, with the Steinway piano fetching the largest price, a staggering 1,925,000$, the Leica camera in 2nd place with 1,805,000$ and the Ive/Newson table third with 1,685,000$.[...]

30 years of Apple's Mackintosh computer

Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:41:00 +0000

30 years ago, Apple released what would be a life-changing device for many people - the Mackintosh computer. Presented in a now iconic way, with a commercial that is still one of the best ever created, it brought a new way of using computers, making it more user-friendly, innovative, inspirational and unique. It brought creativity on everyone's fingertips.The one that started it all — the original Macintosh — wasn’t just a computer. It was a declaration that the power of the computer now belonged to everyone. At the time, most people didn’t even know how to use one. But thanks to the simple graphical interface of the Macintosh, they didn’t have to. It was approachable and friendly, starting with the smiley face that greeted you. There were folders that looked like file folders and a trash can for throwing things away. And with the click of a mouse, you could suddenly do the unimaginable. You could move things around on the screen, change the way they looked, combine words with images and sounds, and create like never before. A new era had begun.Released on March 2nd, 1987, the Macintosh II featured a new modular design that could support a much broader range of displays — including some that offered colour. With the simple addition of a video card, the Macintosh II could display 256 glorious colours from a palette of 16.7 million.The Macintosh Portable was Apple’s first battery-powered computer and it came out in 1989. Weighing almost 16 pounds, it wasn’t nearly as portable as today’s notebooks. But that didn’t stop it from being the first off-the-shelf notebook to be taken into space, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 1991. Among other things, it was used to send the very first email from space.The original iMac (1998) marked the beginning of a new chapter for Apple and computers. The lowercase i in its name signaled something new and important — the Internet — and showed that the iMac was built for the next age of communication. It was the first computer to do away with floppy disks and popularize the USB port. Its egg-shaped, all-in-one design wasn’t like anything anyone had seen before. The translucent shell came in an eye-catching Bondi Blue, with other colours added later. But the most beautiful part of iMac was its simplicity: You just plugged it in and turned it on.The Power Mac G4 (1999) was heralded as the world’s first personal supercomputer. It was so powerful it was even classified as a weapon by the U.S. government. Paired with Final Cut Pro, which also debuted this year, it brought Hollywood-quality editing capabilities to a desktop computer.The Power Mac G5 (2004) was the first desktop computer with 64-bit architecture. It also introduced the tower design that would define pro computing in the years to come. Inside its beautiful anodized aluminium chassis was amazing power and expandability and the engine that would propel a decade of creativity.The new Mac Pro (2014) isn’t just a big leap forward, it’s a huge change in direction. It takes the most advanced technologies available today and puts them together like no computer before it. With two workstation-class graphics processors, incredibly fast flash storage, and unprecedented expansion capabilities, it’s designed to create on an epic scale. And we can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it.Check out a video about Mackintosh computers from Apple.[...]

Adidas Stan Smiths are back! And so is this blog!

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 18:30:00 +0000

It has been a while since I have written anything in this blog. Quite a while in fact. Late last year I decided I had to start writing here again, as this is my first blog and it used to be my main one, a place currently occupied by The Fashion Doll Chronicles. But hopefully The Sandman Chronicles can return back with a heart. And what better start then the return of my favourite shoes: Adidas, after a two year hiatus, is bringing Stan Smiths back.I do not know the reasons behind them being out of stock for so long, probably just a way to make demand stronger. After all it is an all time classic shoe and one of their Originals, so it would make no sense not selling a design that is still popular after all these years; in fact it has sold 40 million pairs since 1971, apparently making it the most popular sports shoe ever.. I had not noticed the absence until last month a salesperson in an athletics chain store informed me that they were out of stock for the last two years but would return in 2014. And return they did.So what is new with the re-issue? While the main design is the same, some details have been changed. The Stan Smith shoe is now using sustainable leather and other re-purposed materials to give it a premium eco-friendly make-over. It features a soft leather lining, the classic perforated 3-Stripes, and an off-white rubber out-sole. And it seems the Stan Smith face is now printed on the tongue (the pairs I have owned through the years never had it, just his name). The back tab is also now available in red (I think only the classic green and blue were available before). Plus a line of  bright suede versions will be available from March 2014.The promotion of the relaunch is employing a variety of media and manners - even a pop up store designed like a shoe box was erected for a couple of weeks in East London. There is also a twitter campaign that invites people to post their photos on twitter with the hope of being "Stan'd"- i.e. get their name and photo printed on the tongue of a personalised pair of Stan Smiths for them. Years ago I had written a post here about why this design is my favourite one and it's history and background, which includes a neat association with the film Blade Runner. You can read all of it here.[...]

Happy Holidays to all!

Tue, 24 Dec 2013 20:02:00 +0000

'Tis The Season!

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 14:10:00 +0000

OpenHouse Thessaloniki - 24th & 25th of November 2012

Fri, 23 Nov 2012 14:48:00 +0000

In 2012 Thessaloniki joined the Open House family and started organizing an event that will celebrate the city’s architecture and design. Open House is a simple but powerful concept: showcasing outstanding architecture for all to experience, completely for free. Open House initiatives invite everyone to explore and understand the value of a well-designed built environment. The Open House event started in London in 1992, gaining in the past 20 years a lot of appreciation and support. Today 21 cities are members of the Open House Worldwide family and host annually this event, including New York, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Helsinki, Melbourne, Barcelona, Chicago, Rome, Lisbon etc. The first Open House event in Greece is taking place on 24th and 25th of November in Thessaloniki. Selected architectural sites will be open to the public during this weekend. The event is organised by the non-governmental and non-profit organisation Open House Greece, founded in 2012. Open House Thessaloniki aspires to expose the architectural treasures of this dynamic city, and make architecture accessible to all. Its aim is to contribute to the deeper understanding of urban design and public space, and enable all citizens and visitors to explore and understand the value of a well-designed built environment. allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="500"> Open House Thessaloniki from senselens on Vimeo.Visits to buildings will take place ​​in the following way: 1. Select from the program which buildings you are interested to visit 2. Check the opening hours 3. Visit the building 4. Entrance to the building is done regularly when group of people with specific number is formed 5. No pre-booking is needed 6. Admission is free to allThe visitors who will walk around the center of the city on 24 & 25 of November will meet the colored boxes that WHYNOT designed as a parallel project for Open House Thessaloniki, in order to mark the buildings that take part in Open House Thessaloniki event. Inside the first 12 boxes you will find a map with information about the buildings (address and visiting hours) and about the way to reach the next spot. A surprise is waiting for you inside the 13th box!Above is the map of Thessaloniki showing the buildings included in the program. Check out the changes that have been made on the visiting hours of the original program: Latomou Monastery (Osios David) New visiting hours for Saturday: 10.00-12.00 Saint Sophia Church New visiting hours for Saturday: 10.00-12.30 National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation Tours at 10.00, 11.30 and 13.00 New Waterfront of Thessaloniki New visiting hours for Saturday and Sunday: 10.00-19.00 B' Concert Hall New visiting hours for Saturday: 17.00-20.00 Residence building in Argonafton New visiting hours for Sunday: 11.00-13.00 "Aliki Perroti: student residence New visiting hours for Saturday: 10.00-17.00 [...]

Information Centre for Lake Pamvotis, Nissi, Ioannina

Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:53:00 +0000

The Information Centre for Lake Pamvotis opened last May in the Nissi village on the sole island of the lake, near Ioannina in Greece. It is housed in a traditional old building that was renovated for the purpose. The Centre is providing visitors with information about the lake and the surrounding area. Its design, the museological and museographic planning is by Tetragon Ltd. (the company I work for). Official contractors for this project are Tetragon Ltd, OIKOM Environmental Studies and OIKOS Nature Management, with the invaluable cooperation of the Management Authority of Lake Pamvotis.When going through the main entrance, one can see the reception area while on the right is the room dedicated to traditional fishing. The permanent exhibition about the lake is located on the first floor. Going up the stairs and exactly opposite them is a segment that has extensive information about lake Pamvotis - the environment, the area in which it lies, its long geological history. On the left you can see a large model of the lake that attracts the attention of visitors. Near it, and following from the previous section, the visitor can discover, through text and a smaller model, information about how the system of the lake operates: the origin of the water, how it was created and the movement of water into the lake.  On the far left wall are three bright diagrams showing the shape of the lake in its long life. The large and impressive model of the lake reflects its current form. Pressing the buttons light up lights for points of interest. Right next to the window is a table shaped like a water-lilly leave with a pair of headphones. Wearing them, the visitor can hear various myths and old stories about the lake and the surrounding area (the voice doing the English narrative is by yours truly). And right after this is the section dedicated to the lake ecosystems. Here the influence of water on vegetation in the area is examined. The section continues to the other side of the stairs, where plexiglass lecterns emerge from brightly lit blue floor. Each of these provides information about the main lake plants, reeds and water lilies, but also how they form peatlands. Above the desks and at eye level is a large screen, which displays a slideshow about Pamvotis. It is extremely interesting and does not last long (I made this!).   To the left of the screen and into the blue lit floor that resembles the water of the lake, visitors can see the types of fish that live in it. Carp, Eels, butterfly fish, cut in natural size, are "swimming" in the blue-green "water," while on the back plate you can read more about them. On the floor, you can see the grypos fishing tool and hung from the ceiling is another one named pezovolos: two traditional ways of fishing here. At the back of the room, one can observe different species of birds and animals that live in the lake and around it. The impressive composition suspended from the roof, makes it easy to identify the characteristics of the local fauna species: crayfish, ducks, egrets, frogs etc.  At the end of the hall there is a large section informing the visitor about the human impact on the lake and the ecosystem. Also you can see how locals live from the Ioannina lake - fishermen, craftsmen, merchants and all people are affected directly or indirectly from it, while in turn they affect it too. Towards the end of the exhibition, the visitor can read the corresponding panels about how the lake has been a refuge since prehistoric times for humans and animals, something that continues to the present day. The lake was also a natu[...]

Museo Ferrari in Modena, Italy by Future Systems/Shiro Studio

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:34:00 +0000

Mention Ferrari to anyone and they get dreamy eyed, mention their favourite model immediately and usually comment on the latest travails of their Formula One team. Even though it is a rarefied brand with cars made in very limited numbers and for a very specific clientele, everyone in the world knows who they are, what they do and feels it is a special kind of car. Enzo Ferrari surely did not even think that the firm he started way back in 1929 in Modena, Italy, would become such a prominent global brand.Such a storied and legendary car (and fantasy) maker could not stay long without a museum. A place where the visitor could embrace the brand’s story and ethos, admire the exquisite cars that make up it’s glorious history and maybe get a piece of it for himself. Built around an existing building in Modena, an early 19th century house restored to its original condition, the building reminds one of a classic Ferrari engine hood, with the curved shape, the vents and the bright Ferrari yellow (contrary to what most people believe, the brand’s colour is yellow as you can see in their logo, and is also Modena’s).The building was not finished without trouble. Future Systems, the architectural practice that won the 2004 competition for the museum was dissolved in 2009, as the construction was about to start, due to the demise of Jan Kaplicky, the head architect. Andrea Morgante, his former associate and director of this project, was appointed by Ferrari to finish the task. With the help of his new studio, Shiro, he made it.The total area encompassed by the museum is 5,000 square meters for both buildings. The old one, build in 1830, having been the house and workshop of Enzo Ferrari, now houses the history of the firm, in an interior construction designed by Andrea Morgante, to remind one of a book’s pages, fluttering open to give a glimpse of its contents. Te construction, which keeps each further chapter a secret until the visitor advances to it, runs the whole length of the 40m workshop, while the house encompasses two smaller exhibitions and administrative offices.The new building, sloping gently to embrace the old, much like the new technology of Ferrari embraces it’s long history, has on display the main exhibition of Ferrari cars, including the most prestigious ones: about 40 models, selected on a rotating basis from amongst all of Ferrari cars ever, based on the company’s own specimens and the collaboration with many Italian and international car museums and collectors around the world.Apart from the impressive curved aluminium roof, the building has a double curved structural glass facade that filters sunlight in the vast, almost continuous interior. Thermo sensors, photovoltaic technology, water recycling and the use of geothermal energy (a very sensible move since half the permanent exhibition space is below ground level), make the building almost unique in Italy for employing energy saving systems that are environmentally friendly in a museum. Article written by Stratos Bacalis for The 6 Million Dollar StoryPhotos courtesy of Cento29 and Andrea Morgante[...]

Prostho Museum Research Centre by Kengo Kuma

Sun, 27 May 2012 14:24:00 +0000

Kengo Kuma - with offices in both Japan and Paris - is not your regular architect. His work with wood is very idiosyncratic and gives a particular architectural identity that makes his buildings stand out. He has a unique way of designing and constructing with wood, honouring the Japanese tradition, but with his look firmly turned to the future.Prostho Museum Research is a characteristic sample of Kuma's oeuvre. The inspiration for its design was an old Japanese game called cidori. In it, one puts together wooden sticks with joints of a unique shape. The shapes you achieve just change by rotating the wood, without any nails or other metal. This game's tradition passes from one generation to the next in the small mountain city of Hida Takayama, where there are still many skilled craftsmen.The building is in Aichi of central Japan and was designed by Kuma, while it was constructed with the help of engineer Jun Sato and craftsmen from Hida Takayama, applying the cidori principles. The game has as it's basic element a wooden stick with a cross section side of 12 mm. That was translated with a variety of sizes into the building, with a cross section side of 60mm and basic lengths of 2 or 4 meters. The grid of the structure is 50 cm. The same grid is also used inside the museum for its permanent exhibition.The wooden structure of the building is not only a decorative element, but also makes up its basic structural frame. The architect believes that modern buildings with shells that simply cover their structural frame are useless. For him, there is no element of the building that is simply decorative - all play a major part in its construction.The core of the structure, behind the exhibition space, supports all the wooden construction. By placing sheets of glass to fill the grid, the architect managed to give the impression of a wooden grid running through the building in all its length, uniting the interior with the exterior space. The museum is basically a showroom for the GC dental hygiene company and was first presented in the Milano Salone in 2007. Visitors are probably in a dilemma between the permanent exhibition with the history of artificial dentures and the building that houses it.The architect likens a walk inside the building with a walk in a deciduous tree forest, where one can enjoy the sunlight through the branches. His repulsion towards the use of concrete and metal led him to redefine the use of wood through a traditional Japanese game. Building with wood from the surrounding area, with the cidori system, he also suggests an alternative solution to modern architecture: the building as a result of human labour instead of mechanical perfection. A look to the future with the feet firmly planted in a centuries old tradition.Article first published in The Six Million Dollar Story[...]

A tale of a fin

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 23:10:00 +0000

It's wonderful to see how things can translate into design: from the now classic 60s Cadillac tail fin to the 80s Thierry Mugler car corset to the 2012 Prada "car" shoe. Just imagine an inspired actress wearing corset and shoe, getting out of a 60s Cadillac to arrive at the Oscar's ceremony. How pale the rest of the pack would instantly look. 

Zaha indeed

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 13:56:00 +0000

The Iranian architect Zaha Hadid is an infamous figure, talked about both for her innovative, uncompromising work, and the fact that she is the only famous woman architect in an art still dominated by men. Her buildings are symbols of both talent and technological developments, causing both positive and negative comments. Which makes one realise that she has never gone for a typical project.The Riverside Museum in Glasgow would not be an exception. Built to replace the old Museum of Transport on the banks of the city's river, Clive, it attracts the passers-by with the lines, the zigzag roof and its incredible curves. The metal construction lined with sheets of zinc, was designed to resemble sheds that house trains, buses, planes - namely those which it will host inside. The wavy curves allow the frame to support the whole structure without many internal columns, leaving plenty of space for exhibits. Open from two sides, towards the river and the city, it manages to attract the public and emphasises the relationship of the building with the city and the environment. It unites the river with the city, forming a link that, depending on the configuration of internal partitions, may be more open or closed. The zigzag of the plan forces the showroom to be clearer towards the visitor. The unusual lime green colour of the interior walls helps achieve this, selected by Hadid in collaboration with the company Event Communication Ltd. who developed and studied the museum's permanent exhibition.Beyond its 7500 sq.m. exhibition space, the museum also has a real sailing ship moored at a special pier in front of it: the Tall Ship Glenlee. The cafe of the museum has excellent views over the River Clyde and the Kelvin, which joins the Clyde just below the site. Thus Glasgow acquires a museum that is expected to attract numerous visitors from around the world for its architectural value - the wonderful exhibits (trains, planes, cars etc.) are the icing on the proverbial cake.Article originally written in Greek for The 6 Million Dollar Story magazine.[...]

Interior design workshop in Athens

Sat, 07 Jan 2012 16:43:00 +0000

It's humanity's nature not only using and shaping it's surrounding space but also fill it with beauty and meaning. By using the term interior design we describe that group of projects that are about transforming an interior space into an effective environment for the spectrum of human activities taking place there. Designers and interior architects have defined the relationship of humans and their environment based on psychological and natural parameters, with the purpose of improving their quality of life. This procedure delivers economic, functional, aesthetic and social advantages and in that way provides strategic thought, which aims into the multifaceted performance of an investment. The first ESO, a workshop dedicated to interior design, wants to gather the creative society of these designers so as to introduce their work to us and also their dynamic, their thoughts and perspectives. We will be able to see the way in which it develops and draw conclusions about its place in Greek reality.The speakers panel for ESO, which will take place at the Onassis Cultural Centre on the 7th of February is: - Maria Vafeiadis (mkv design) Key Note Speaker  - Zeppos - Georgiadi (zege)- Babis Ioannou (ISV)- Dimitris Karampatakis (k-studio)- Memos Philippidis (mplusm) Presenting: Giannis Douridas, Architect   |  Pecha Kucha Athens  Distinguished graphic designers will take part in the workshop with short intervening presentations. They will examine the relationship between graphic and interior design.The art direction and design of the ESO communication is by Stage Design Office. Soon there will be more information. Due to the limited number of seats, please reserve your seat soon here.The workshop is organized by the magazine +design in collaboration with[...]

Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Sat, 24 Dec 2011 16:56:00 +0000

Adieu Monsieur Lesage

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:49:00 +0000

Francois Lesage is one of the people that influenced my taste in fashion very much. When one hears the word "embroidery" it usually conjures images of  tacky wedding outfits or traditional household items our grandmothers made ages ago. On the other end of the style spectrum, it is one of the cornerstones of Haute Couture and its creativity.Christy Turlington in YSL Braque hommage, 1988The house Lesage (for not only fashion designers have "houses") was created by Lesage's father, when he bought the Michonet embroidery house in 1924, suppliers of the court of Napoleon III and the first couturier Charles Worth. It went on to become a cornerstone of Paris fashion making, having clients such as Madeleine Vionnet or Elsa Schiaparelli. Coco Chanel was herself avoiding them, mainly because her main opponent, Schiaparelli, was their client. Later on, with Monsieur Lagerfeld at the helm, that would change to the point that Chanel as a company acquired the Lesage firm to help it maintain the high standards of their craft and continue an almost lost art into the 21st century.Christy Turlington in Chanel 1990Francois Lesage was born in 1929 and he said, "never had any doubt as to what I was to do in life, given I was born into a pile of beads and sequins" . When he took over the atelier, he became one of the icons of the Parisian Couture pantheon. Always elegant in dark impeccably tailored suits, one could see him sitting at the front row of the fashion shows of esteemed couture houses he had worked for. He later was awarded the Chevalier D'Honneur distinction from the Legion D'Honneur.Christy Turlington in Christian Lacroix 1990During the 20th century, the number of experts in embroidery kept declining in Paris, but Lesage, with their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail kept on the forefront of couture. When Francois took over, he managed to lure clients such as Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Yves Saint-Laurent and Christian Lacroix. He did not just translate into embroidery the designs but helped the fashion designers find inspiration. Some just had to utter a word like "India" "peacock" or "Byzantium" to get Lesage to procure samples of intricate work for them to transform into ethereal creations. he was a creator like them indeed.Linda Evangelista in Lanvin by Montana, 1993The house keeps an incredible archive of the work they have done for fashion designers over the years. Monsieur Lesage was always worried about the continuation of the craft, of educating young people to keep the tradition alive and evolve it alongside haute couture, keeping the same high standards. Quite a difficult task, one which seems to have been secured with the Chanel take-over and the foundation of the Lesage Embroidery School inside the atelier in Paris' 12th arrondissement.Schiaparelli,  1938The atelier employees around a dozen people, with reinforcements added during overload periods such as the couture seasons. It can take from 20 hours up to 500 hours to painstakingly make the embroidery for a fashion outfit, depending on the design and the materials used. It is an art that speaks of a long lost era of hand-crafted beauty, elegance and flourish that tries to find its way into the modern era. Let us hope his demise does not signal the end of it all. YSL - the famous Van Gogh jackets, 1988The book dedicate to Lesage by Editions AssoulineThe famous embroider[...]