Tag Archive | Designer

Eye On Design: Crocodile Banquette By Claude LaLanne

Crocodile Banquette Front View
All Photos By Gail

Claude Lalanne (born 1924) is a French designer known for her eccentric works, which are often animal themed. She also worked with her late husband, Francois-Xavier Lalannne (19272008), under the name Les Lalannes.

Crocodile Banquette

Claude Lalanne’s gilt-bronze Banquette Crocodile is one of the designer’s most sought-after pieces, the realism of its reptiles coming as a result of a trip to the Paris zoo in 1972. It seems the designer had envisioned the creation of such a piece for quite some time but was in need of an actual crocodile upon which to base it.

Crocodile Banquette Rear View
Banquette, Rear View

As the story goes, Lalanne decided to put in a request to the city’s zookeepers for the remains of a crocodile, should one happen to expire of old age when nature took its course. And so a crocodile did pass away and, shortly thereafter, Lalanne went to collect her specimen in the company of fellow artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

Crocodile Banquette Installation View
Installation view with Claude LaLanne-designed Mirror and Candle Holders

Since then, the highly textured crocodile motif has taken shape in a number of her works, ranging from chandeliers to tables and chairs as well as the bench, which was designed in 2006, and cast in 2007 in an edition of eight with four artist’s proofs.  Most of these pieces have been sold at auction at Christie’s and Sotheby’s for anywhere from $500,000 to $1 Million each.

Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 509 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC, Where You Can See This Bench and Other Works By Les Lalannes on Exhibit Through March 9th, 2019.

Pink Thing of The Day: Moschino Barbie!

Moschino Barbie Doll
Photos By Gail

Mattel launched the Barbie doll in 1959, but it was only in the late 1970s and 1980s that much of her wardrobe became a bright pink, known as “Barbie Pink.” Jeremy Scott of Moschino collaborated with Mattel on this Moschino Barbie (whose outfit is copied in fine detail from the pink leather ensemble seen below) that was available to purchase in the spring and summer of 2015.

Pink Leather Moschino Ensemble

Both the doll and the outfit above were photographed as part of the exhibit Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, on view at The Museum at FIT in NYC Through January 5th, 2019.

Moschino Barbie Outfit Detail

Moschino Barbie Doll Outfit Detail Above, and Runway Outfit Detail Below

Pink Leather Moschino Ensemble

Moschino Barbie Doll

Eye On Design: Obi Kimono Style Wrap Dress By Norman Norell

Kimono Style Wrap Dress
Photos By Gail

Unlike many 20th-century fashion designers, Norman Norell rarely sought inspiration from non-western or exotic cultures. Norell’s Obi 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.

Kimono Style Wrap Dress

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Norell: Dean of American Fashion, at the Museum at FIT.

Eye On Design: Norman Norell’s Mermaid Dresses

Mermaid Dresses
All Photos By Gail

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 1972 Dark Purple 1965
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
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.

Eye On Design: Down Filled Evening Jacket by Charles James

Down Filled Evening Jacket
All Photos By Gail

In 1937, Anglo-American couturier Charles James created the first high-fashion, down-filled jacket; an early James masterpiece. James meticulously constructed this classically inspired garment around the human form, resulting in a jacket quite unlike the boxy version produced by Eddie Bauer.

Model Wearing the Jacket
Photo of Model Wearing the Jacket

Soft and pliable, it was also dramatically different from James‘ own best known work: gowns as rigid as the hats he designed. The James jacket reappeared in the fashion press decades later. It then gained cult status and also may have inspired a number of New York designers who began to make their versions of the down-filled parka during the 1970s.

Down Filled Evening Jacket

Down Filled Evening Jacket by Charles James was photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2014 (Top Photo) and in the Museum at FIT as part of the Exhibit, Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme, which closed January 6th, 2018.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Toothbrushes

Pink Toothbrushes with Display
Photo By Gail

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!

Pink Toothbrushes Alone

Eye On Design: Cabinet De Curiosité By Shiro Kuramata

Cabinet De Curiosite 2
All Photos By Gail

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).

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.

Eye On Design Presents: Paco Rabanne Gold Metal Handbag Circa 1966

Paco Rabanne Gold Metal Handbag
Photo By Gail

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

Photographed in the Museum at FIT

Eye On Design: Piet Hein Eek’s Past and Future Found Glass Chandeliers!

Eek Chandeliers
All Photos By Gail

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.

Eek Chandelier

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.

Past and Future Collection Signage

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!

Eek Table Lamp

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!

Eek Chandelier
Photographed at the ICFF 2017 at the Javits Center, NYC

Eye On Design: Oshibana Flower Chair by Annie Evelyn

Oshibana Chair
All Photos By Gail

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.

Annie Evelyn Booth

Oshibana Chair Detail
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.

Oshibana Chair 1

Photographed in The Furniture Society Booth at ICFF 2017, Javits Center NYC