Archives

Eye On Design: Glass Flower Necklace By House of Chanel

Chanel Glass Flower Necklace By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

One of the enduring legacies of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was her elevation of costume jewelry to high fashion. Maison Gripoix, a house that has serviced the couture industry since its founding in 1869, was among her earliest and most frequent collaborators. The company’s specialized pate de verre (glass paste) technique was developed by the founder, Augustine Gripoix, and passed down generationally. Instead of the kiln method employed by other manufacturers, the house pours molten glass directly into the sophisticated metal settings that frame its designs. This meticulous an costly process allows for greater freedom of coloration and form, and lends a subtle effervescence to the floating glass components. This wreath of graduated translucent flower heads (circa 1938) was produced by Gripoix for Chanel and reflects the late 1930s vogue for romantic nature-based motifs.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Enchanté Wall Sconce By Misha Kahn

Enchante Wall Sconce
Photos By Gail

Furniture designer Misha Kahn’s work exists at the intersection of design and sculpture, exploring a wide variety of media and scales. Kahn’s approach melds an array of processes, from casting, carving, welding and weaving, to imaginative and singular modes of production. According to John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design (where Kahn earned his BFA in furniture design in 2011), “Misha creates work for a parallel wonderland, where traditional perception of material and structure is pushed to the edges of the room to make space for one big party.”

Enchante Wall Sconce

This whimsical wall sconce, with its crown-like polished bronze fixture and extended lime green glass hand takes its name from the French word for ‘enchanted,’ which is commonly translated as ‘nice to meet you.” You might also hear “Enchanté” uttered by a character in a cheesy movie while kissing the back of a lady’s hand, which I am told is considered rude.

Enchante Wall Sconce

This piece is produced on-demand and can be purchased for $18,000 at this link.

Photographed in the Friedman Benda Gallery Booth at The Salon Art and Design in New York.

Eye On Design: Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress By John Paul Gaultier

Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress
Photos By Gail

John Paul Gaultier was among the createurs who helped make French fashion so exciting in the 1980s. The way he played with conventions of sex and gender, in particular, has had a profound influence on fashion. For example, rather than using coresetry to reinforce conventional ideals of beauty, Gaultier has always emphasized that many body types, genders and ages can be attractive. This Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress, featuring Gaultier’s signature cone bra top (made famous by Madonna) is from his 1984 Fall collection.

Orange Shirred Velvet Corset Dress

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in NYC.

String Lights Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles!

Recycled Bottle Lights
All Photos By Gail

In the first week of December, I was invited to a fantastically fun Tree Trimming Party at The Norwood House, a private Arts and Culture club located in a multi-story townhouse on West 14th Street in Manhattan. The club is filled with beautiful contemporary artworks, rare collectibles and antiques, and eye-catching oddities throughout its many rooms. While I was exploring, I spotted this string of large, irregularly-shaped colored lights, which were  draped around a bust nestled on a stairway landing, and they grabbed my attention right away. Because, colored lights.

Recycled Bottle Lights

A close examination revealed that the lights are made from a variety of empty plastic bottles, which have been dyed a spectrum of colors and fitted through the bottom with a single light in each. Crafty!

Recycled Bottle Lights

Is this a likeness of Rasputin? Who knows!

Recycled Bottle Lights

I did some Googling to see if I could find instructions on how to make this specific style of upcycled plastic bottle lights, but I was unsuccessful in my quest. Perhaps you can scrutinize these pictures to figure it out for yourself! Good luck!

Eye On Design: Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest

Pierre Cardin Junior Unit Chest
Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest, Installation View (All Photos By Gail)

Pierre Cardin’s interest in geometry has extended throughout his career, beginning in his teens, when he was an apprentice tailor. Over the decades, his work has featured triangular lamps and square shoulders but it is the circle that predominates in his design. We featured a look at the circle motifs in his furniture design in This Post, and another terrific example of what the legendary designer refers to as his ‘couture furniture’ is the Junior Unit Chest of Drawers (197980).

Junior Unit Chest

Junior Unit Chest
Drawer Detail

Comprised of staggered, lacquered wood drawers which appear suspended inside a circular, chrome-plated metal frame, the Junior Unit is both modern and futuristic at the same time!

Junior Unit Chest

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum.

 

Eye On Design: Lacquered Wood ‘Sunset’ Cabinet By Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet 2
Photos By Gail

What a treat it is to experience the Pierre Cardin exhibit Future Fashion, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. I admit to being unaware that Cardin also made furniture until I saw a selection of his amazing woodwork staged amongst his retro-space-age fashions. This cabinet, which emulates a sunset above ocean waves, is from 2018.

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet 3

Cardin’s passion for woodworking began as a child in central France. Later, he created furniture inspired by the skies, landscapes, and forms of nature, using traditional woodworking and lacquer techniques that correspond to the handiwork in haute couture fashion. For this reason, Cardin described his handmade cabinets, tables, dressers, and chairs as “couture furniture” and utilitarian sculptures. Cardin intends his furniture, like sculpture, to be place so that the viewer can see if from all sides and directions.

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion Will be on View at The Brooklyn Museum Through January 5th, 2020.

Eye On Design: Display Cabinet By Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard

Gaillard Display Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

Like the side chair designed by Hector Guimard, seen just to the left of this cabinet in the bottom photo of this post, Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard’s Display Cabinet (1900) incorporates bold, animated, plant-like forms in its decoration. Gaillard exhibited similar furniture at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, also known as the Exposition Universalle, which helped popularize architecture and domestic objects with fluid lines and whiplash curves.

Gaillard Display Cabinet
Cabinet Design Detail

This cabinet was part of a larger set of dining room furniture that would have been marketed to both middle and upper-middle class consumers. A key idea of design reform at the turn of the 19th century was that well-designed objects should not be reserved only for the wealthy.

Gaillard Display Cabinet

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Eye On Design: Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Cozy Chair Installation View
Cozy Chair Installation View in the Todd Merrill Studio Booth at The Salon New York (All Photos By Gail)

An annual favorite NYC design event is now behind us for the year, but you can bet I’ll be featuring many of the most spectacular pieces of art furniture from The Salon Art + Design in these pages in the coming weeks. Let’s kick off with a unique chair from Berlin-based, Bauhaus educated, multi-disciplinary designer Hannes Grebin, who has created upholstered seating inspired by questioning traditional domestic decor. Applying the principals of Cubism to design, Grebin masterfully deconstructs the traditional shapes and detailing of a ‘Dad’s Chair’ into simplified geometric shapes and interlocking planes. Presenting The Cozy Chair!

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Grebin describes the chair as a ‘living sculpture,’ which puts the traditional views about comfort and taste into question. The Cozy Chair is a wing-back style that dates back centuries, but has here been re-analyzed, broken down and reassembled into something quite new and different.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

It is both fractured and asymmetric, but perfectly meets the demands of ergonomics. Angular and yet cozy, sculptural and yet functional, Grebin has struck a unique balance that makes The Cozy Chair an alluring work of design. The faceted planes meet elegantly giving the chair changing perspectives with each glance. His design is both a deconstruction and commentary on the mechanization of modern life.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Working with a master upholster in Berlin, the resulting seating is hand-crafted with the highest possible level of materials and workmanship. Grebin, the son of two architects notes, “Ultimately, I didn’t want to make just furniture. It was much more important for me that although all objects function, the design objects should become objects for discussion, in order to lead the theoretical design discourse to new ways and approaches.”

Available by commission from the designer; visit Todd Merrill Studio with all inquiries.

Pair of Ears Door Handles on Retail Storefront

Ear Shaped Door Pulls
Photos By Gail

In the midst of Black Friday bargain-hunting, I passed by this pair of large Silver Ears attached to the glass doors of a not-yet-opened business called, as the sign on the left door would indicate, Inked. A little Googling reveals that the ears belong to the future home of a retail shop and tattoo parlor affiliated with Inked tattoo lifestyle magazine. Originally scheduled to open its doors in OctoberInked will inhabit an 8,500-square-foot space for an art gallery, tattoo studio” in this ground floor space in Chelsea. Inked will be the first retail location for the tattoo lifestyle company. The magazine was launched in 2004, reaching some 1.2 million readers, according to a press release.

The Inked Retail Store is (or will soon be) Located at 150 West 22nd Street Between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan.

Ear Shaped Door Pulls

“Can You Hear Me Now?”

Eye On Design: David Bowie Aladdin Sane Chair

David Bowie Chair Installation View
Story and All Photos By Gail Worley

A definite “Oh, Wow!” moment at the recent BDNY show — (boutique design for the hospitality industry) at Javits Center — occurred when I walked into the booth for Century Industries. Because: David Bowie Chair.

David Bowie Chair Seat Detail
David Bowie Chair, Seat Detail

This gorgeous side chair, upholstered in vinyl imprinted with images of David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, is a show-stopper for sure.  The chair was designed by Century designer Lenny Levine in collaboration with Heloise Godin, another talented designer in the firm’s Connecticut office. Lenny was happy to fill me in on the chair’s origin story.

David Bowie Chair Back Detail
David Bowie Chair Back Support Detail

Heloise and I tried a few different mock-ups before deciding on the model you saw at BDNY,” Lenny told me. “Only two chairs of the Bowie print have been made so far. There’s another, slightly different version in our Connecticut showroom, with a black frame instead of chrome, where the artwork has darker tones, and there are no images of Bowie around the sides of the cushions. We have made this style of chair with different prints and metal finishes for shows such as HD (Hospitality Design) Expo in Las Vegas and HCD (Healthcare Design Conference & Expo) in New Orleans, which were both earlier this year. These design shows are all part of the launchpad for introducing the printed chair line.

Lenny enthusiastically admits to being a Bowie fan. “The image of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane was chosen because Bowie is synonymous with great art and high fashion. He is a seminal artist and his body of work is timeless; his sense of style beyond influential. David Bowie took risks, he pushed art and life to its fullest and, although he was British, he certainly invaded New York.”

Booth View
Installation View

Lenny explained that the chair was given a ‘Warhol‘ vibe, which then inspired Century to go with a Pop Art  / Deco style for its booth at BDNY. “The lightening bolt on the face was over sized and colored  a deep red and blue, giving it a bit of that Superhero feel. Although the vinyl appears to be distressed, that is a printing effect, making the faux leather appear to have texture.”

Bowie Chair Detail

Aladdin Sane Image Detail

“The additional images used are from the same contact sheets from the original album and promotional photo shoot, but they have been treated graphically to evoke motion. The steel frame of the chair was also fabricated on our Montreal factory and finished in a smoked chrome. This finish and the chair’s unique filigree backing gives it an automotive spirit!”

David Bowie Chair

This David Bowie chair is fit for a Rock Star, but priced at just $2500 (a steal), and Century will produce it on-demand for designers, hospitality, restaurants, etc. “We’re also getting requests from retailers to showcase the chair, based on our launch at BDNY,” Lenny added. Exciting! Visit Century on the web to inquire about the Bowie Chair at This Link!