Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: Sea Beauties Vintage Wallpaper

Sea Beauties Wall Paper
All Photos By Gail

Designs inspired by nature form the largest group of more than 10,000 wallpapers in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Often, a wallpaper theme would tie-in with the room’s use: designs of food were popular for dining rooms and water motifs dominated in bathrooms. The modern bathroom. with a designated space indoors, running water and flush toilets, had been developed by the late nineteenth century.  Given the concerns for hygiene and running water, ceramic tiles were the preferred wall-covering because of their durability and sanitary nature. For those on a budget, early wallpapers imitated this look with varnished tile patterns.

Sea Beauties Wall Paper

Around 1910, bathrooms shifted away from this sterile, hygienic look to become a more pleasant, decorative room that was harmonious with the home’s decor. Some moisture-resistant coverings were introduced in the early 1900‘s, but general-use wallpapers at this time were printed with water-soluble pigments and thus were unsuitable for use in bathrooms.

Panel 2

By 1934, the development of washable wallpapers coincided with a new array of decorative papers that had no hint of their sanitary past; rather, scenic designs featuring more panoramic views, as seen here, became popular, appealing to decorators and homeowners who wanted to bring the outdoors inside.

Panels 1 and 2

Sea Beauties Scenic Wallpaper (1920 – 35, Ideal Wall Decoration) seen here in this three-panel set, contains a lively underwater view of fish, shells, coral and plant life in their natural habitat. Multiple sets could be used to wrap around the bathroom, creating an immersive environment.

Panel 3

This early water-resistant design is printed in oil colors, so it could withstand the moisture and occasional splash from the tub, giving the wallpaper both a practical and decorative purpose.

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Upper Manhattan.

Sea Beauties Wall Paper

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Eye On Design: Rei Kawakubo’s Tartan Dress

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress
Photos By Gail

Fall weather is slowly creeping into NYC, which means fashionable ladies are thinking about layering-up, integrating heavier fabrics into their wardrobes, and maybe adding a tartan plaid to a traditionally muted seasonal color palette. From the look of it alone, one might assume that this voluminous design by designer Rei Kawakubo is from a fall line, but you would be mistaken. It was Kawakubo’s collection from Spring 2017 that featured enormous garments that engulf the body, such as this geometric Tartan Dress for her label, Comme de Garcons. Her designs have typically embraced abstraction and, more recently, a non-functional style. Since 2014, the designer’s collections have consisted of garments that bridge the gap between art and fashion, moving into uncharted territory.

Photographed at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress

 

Eye On Design: Steer Horn Chair By Wenzel Friedrich

Steer Horn Chair
All Photos By Gail

Trained as a cabinet maker, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the US in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas. In 1880, he realized the potential of the Texas stockyards’ plentiful supply of steer horns for use in the making of furniture. It is likely that Friedrich was inspired by furniture he had seen in Europe, where antlers and other emblems of the hunt were used as décor as early as the 15th century. Friedrich’s horned furniture fulfilled the Victorian fancy for the unusual, as well as symbolizing the Wild West. Heating the horn made the material pliable, allowing Friedrich to create exaggerated curves for his pieces. If you happen to live in San Antonio, you can see examples of his work in the historic Oge House, which is now a Bed & Breakfast.

You can read more about Friedrich Wenzel’s horn furniture designs at This Link.

Steer Horn Chair

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Signature Collection Handbags By Kent Stetson

Martini Handbags
All Photos By Gail

There is little doubt that a fashionable handbag can tie a look together like no other accessory, and in many cases it ends up being the conversation piece of an outfit. While “It Bags” from design houses like Hermes and Moschino can set you back thousands — or even tens-of-thousands — of dollars, it’s possible to own a super cute handbag that is truly a work of art for a very affordable price. Allow me to introduce you to the Signature Handbag collection from designer and artist, Kent Stetson.

Oyster and Donut
Oyster Clutch $230; Donut Clutch $212

Kent Stetson creates functional, wearable art which he refers to as Art-To-Go! His handbag designs include popular themes like food, fashion, pets, flowers, cocktails, special interest hobbies, and his own abstract patterns, so there really is a bag to suit every taste. Assorted designs feature a novelty closure adornment, such as the faux oyster or donut seen on the bags in the above photo. Stetson’s bags are so visually exciting, you may not be able to resist the urge to own more than one!

Snakeskin Clutch
Snakeskin Clutch $212.00

The Signature Handbag collection has a fascinating origin story, which Stetson shares on his website; “In 2003, after the disappointment of dismantling an exhibition of my paintings where nothing sold, I started cutting up the canvas pieces and sewing them into bags.” Kent found that these fun and unique handbags sold immediately.

American Express
American Express Clutch, Price N/A

His story continues, “Raised on a farm, watching my mother repair and maintain the harnesses for the horses, I gathered a sense of the craft of leatherwork. I had the tools that I needed, I simply had to connect the dots to my paintings. It turns out that I did not need a wall to display my art, and that a bag was a perfect way to package it.”

Splash Buddha
Splash Clutch $198; Buddha Clutch $208

Originally, the bags were a framing device but they since have become his medium. Stetson’s designs are an instantly-recognizable wardrobe staple enjoyed by celebrities and collectors worldwide. These signature clutch bags are made from luxury-quality coated canvas, and range in style from traditionally artistic to kitsch. You can see that these designs are a great way to spark a fun conversation that breaks the ice and turns everyday adventures into an opportunity to make new friends.

Lipstick
Lipstick Clutch $208

Succulents
Succulents Clutch $212

The designer employs a team of highly-skilled technicians who work alongside him to produce each piece, and his Rhode Island-based workshop has a high bar for excellence, having earned many awards. There are nearly 50 steps in making each signature bag and all pieces are produced to order, making each one specially for the recipient.

Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights Clutch, Price NA

Stetson never loses sight of the fact that he had to fail hard in order to become a success. “Whether you are one of our early first patrons, or a new collector,” he offers, “it is an honor for me to make something that I know you will enjoy using. Thank you for helping me turn what was a disappointing start to my career as an artist into something more wonderful than I could have ever imagined!”

Macaroon
Macaroon Clutch $212

Mary Jane
Mary Jane Clutch $208

All handbags come with a removable cross-body chain, a logo dust bag, a clear vinyl inner pocket, and each is individually signed. All prices include shipping. Shop Online for Kent Stetson’s Signature Collection at This Link!

Assorted Clutch Bags

All Photos Taken at NY Now Summer 2019 at the Javits Center.

Eye On Design: Meat Dress By Jeremy Scott

Meat Dress By Jeremy Scott
Photos By Gail

Even if you weren’t watching the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards at the time of its broadcast, everyone remembers at least hearing about Lady Gaga’s controversial dress made of raw beef, which was commonly referred to by the media as The Meat Dress, by designer Franc Fernandez. That dress was one-of-a-kind, but did you know that another designer, Jeremy Scott, made an entire line of meat inspired couture? Yes, it’s true. This form-flattering dress — with it’s jewel neckline and elbow-length sleeves — comes from Scott’s Spring / Summer 2011 collection and appears to be fashioned from prosciutto, but it’s actually just pink and white printed latex. I love it.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Met, Which Closed on September 8th, 2019.

Meat Dress By Jeremy Scott
Meat Dress Installation View

Eye On Design: Unknown Pleasures Album Cover Art

Unknown Pleasures Cover Art

Photo By Gail

This poster by Peter Savile, who first came to prominence for his designs for Factory Records, was issued to promote Joy Division’s 1979 debut album, Unknown Pleasures.  Band member Bernard Sumner found the image, a rendering of successive waves emitted by a pulsar, in an astronomy textbook.  Saville reversed the image from black-on-white to white-on-black, conjuring the darker atmospherics of the album’s sound. The Cover Art design has attained an iconic status, particularly of late, going so far as to spawn the term “joyplot,“ which refers to a method of data visualization that involves the layering of successive and comparative histograms.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Too Fast To Live Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

Eye On Design: Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture
Photos By Gail

Creating cool, modern furniture from upcycled car parts is not an entirely new idea, but in this case there is a unique motivation behind the design. This fun and funky Side Chair and Cocktail Table — which incorporate discarded car tires and refinished bike wheels — is by Xtreme Upcycle, a small business whose proprietors have a deep social conscience behind everything they produce.

Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Embracing the theme of Turning Trash Into Treasures, Xtreme Upcycle (established in 2012) lives its vision of reducing waste and combating climate change; finding alternative uses for discarded items and recycling them into up-cycled new products! Based in Ghana, West AfricaXtreme Upcycle works on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by halting climate change in its own small, but significant, way. In partnership with it upcycled fashion accessory business MH Couture, they promote positive environmental sanitation processes, create employment for all (with an emphasis on women), and contribute to the education of underprivileged young women and girls in West African society. They also embark on regular tree planting exercises in rural communities. Fantastic!

Follow and contact Xtreme Upcycle via Instagram at @xtremeupcycle!

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture

Photographed at the New York Now Show at Javits Center