Unlike many 20th-century fashion designers, Norman Norell rarely sought inspiration from non-western or exotic cultures. Norell’sObi dresses (circa 1965) were a rare exception. Named after the wide belt used to secure and ornament a Japanese Kimono, the wrap-wtyle Obi Dresses were constructed with a built-in panel of fabric that encased the upper torso using a hook and eye closure.This interior garment allowed the outer wrap layer to glide smoothly over the body.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Norell: Dean of American Fashion, at the Museum at FIT.
Aptly called the Mermaid, Norman Norell’s shimmering, sequin-covered evening gown is arguably his most recognizable creation. Like many designers, he was influenced by Hollywood costumes, especially those created during the Golden Age. In fact, Norell began his career working for both Brooks Costume Company and Paramount Pictures during the 1920s. It is not surprising that he was one of the most successful at incorporating silver screen glamour in his luxurious, ready-to-wear evening garments, especially his Mermaid gowns.
Silver Blue Evening Gown (1972); Dark Purple Long Sleeve Evening Dress (1965)
What made Norell’s Mermaids so successful was his ability to strike the perfect balance of physical comfort and visual impact. Most often, he made the gowns using a base of knitted silk jersey. The base was then covered with a dazzling pavé of hand-applied sequins that were dyed repeatedly to match the jersey. Each of the tiny, reflective discs was sewn on with its on unique stitch pattern, allowing the sequins to shift and move independently. The result was a garment that reflected the maximum amount of light
Forest Green Evening Dress (1972)
Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Norell: Dean of American Fashion, on View Through April 14th, 2018 at the Musuem at FIT in Manhattan.
These Pink Toothbrushes with Pink Bristles are sold in the MoMA Design Store (at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC) for $5.00. The toothbrush was designed by award-winning Danish designer, Andreas Engesvik, who is probably best-known for his furniture designs. You can find them in the point-of-purchase area by the registers, displayed alongside colorful earplugs, capsule-shaped pill cases and snow globe key fobs! Art!
Shiro Kuramata (1934 – 1991) a member of The Memphis Group and among the most innovative designers of the late twentieth century, was fascinated by the visual possibilities of acrylic. The artist stated that his ideal objective was to see objects floating in air. Named for the Wunderkammern owned by Renaissance princes that displayed natural and man-made curiosities, Cabinet De Curiosité (1988) offers the magical impression of suspending its contents in midair. Kuramata explored the phenomenological effects of acrylic — light and lightness, invisibility and reflectivity, weight and weightlessness – and the material has become the poetic signature of his work. Kuramata used the term Neiro, or “sound-color,” to describe the synesthetic effect that acrylic has it both its physical presence and the spectral color-shadows it casts as light passes through it. Its prismatic luminosity changes with light and viewpoint, exploiting the optical effects of the material. Shown here alongside Flower Vase #3 (1989).
Paco Rabanne was first known as an accessories designer and his work was regularly featured in the pages of magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. This bag was likely made after the designer has started his clothing line. It shows how his idea of “futuristic armor” was translated into an eye-catching accessory
We saw these gorgeous light fixtures at ICFF and just fell in love with their Rococo look! Not only are they beautiful to look at, but the story behind them is also fantastic! Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek’s work embodies the concepts of transformation and reinvention. Spanning furniture design, architecture and fine art, Eek elevates discarded, quotidian and unorthodox materials into pieces that make a strong case for the Design-as-Art conversation. This is likely why Eek was presented by Paris-based glass lighting manufacturer Veronese with a dream job: to give a second life to their found glass pieces.
The project began when Veronese’s creative director Ruben Jochimek came across a forgotten stockpile of spare glass pieces — all hand blown by skilled Italian artisans of Murano — in the basement of their Parisian showroom. Comprised of over one-thousand pieces, the collection had been building up since 1931. These ornate glass pieces — stored on dusty shelves for nearly a century — included crafted cups, drops, rings and flowers.
Piet Hein Eek took Veronese’s found glass objects and came up with the Past and Future collection of chandeliers! An eclectic feast of styles and colors, the resulting product blends glass parts from different collections, giving a second life to Veronese’s long-forgotten glass pieces. Upcycling at its finest!
The lamps are made of 40cm glass tubes, equipped with LED lighting into which the spare parts can be slotted. Each model is 40cm high and 25/30cm in diameter, creating a suspension composed of three modules. The tubes can also be assembled to create longer chandeliers. Visit Veronese online at This Link!
Photographed at the ICFF 2017 at the Javits Center, NYC
Annie Evelyn is a furniture maker who creates alternatively upholstered chairs. Joy, laughter and the unexpected are at the heart of her work. Using furniture’s inherent interactive qualities and relationships to the human body, Evelyn sets out to invent new tactile experiences.
Oshibana Chair, Upholstery Detail
The Oshibana chair is covered with handmade paper flowers and silk flowers on a wood and foam base. See more of Evelyn’s work at her Website.