Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: MacAndreas Tartan Mini Kilt with Sporran and Safety-Pin Mouthpiece By Vivienne Westwood

Westwood Kilt
All Photos By Gail

Pioneering designer Vivienne Westwood’s seminal 1993/94 Anglomania collection enshrined the kilt in high fashion. It was worn on the runway by Kate Moss, who sported the look shown here, and by Naomi Campbell, who famously fell while wearing the Super Elevation Gillie platforms. The kilt evolved from a single long piece of durable, harsh twill in muted colors that Scottish Highland men wrapped around the lower body, belted, and the passed over one shoulder.

Beginning in the late seventeenth century, pleats were sown into the back the skirt, loops were added for ease of belting, and the top length formed an autonomous garment. For Highland clans , the kilt symbolized familial, military and geographic loyalties. Following a series of incursions known as the Jacobite Uprisings, the garment was banned by English law in 1746, and its use declined precipitously. The kilt was revived by nineteenth-century elites, who invented new traditions around its use.

Kilt Sporran Detail
Kilt Sporran Detail

Worn by the military until the mid-twentieth century, the kilt became a nostalgic symbol for Scottish nationals in diaspora, and it is a common element of girls’ private school uniforms and ceremonial wedding attire. Punks subversively paired it with hoodies and graphic T-shirts

Photographed at part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern? on Through January 28th, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: The Tower Cabinet for Mario Tchou Residence, By Ettore Sotsass

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet
Tower Furniture for the House with the Little Chinese Girl, Mario Tchou Residence, Milan (All Photos By Gail)

Ettore Sotsass (1917 – 2007) designed the interiors of Mario Tchou’s Milan apartment and named the project for Tchou’s daughter, who captured his heart as she attempted to scale the Tower.  The latticework, dowels and cubic proportions suggest the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Wiener Werkstatte, and the Bauhaus.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Detail

These interests merge with eastern touches — the Chinese red and black lacquer, gold leaf and pagoda construction — into a hybrid table/desk/shelf/cabinet/chest of drawers, a catch-all for the needs of daily life.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Detail

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet
Installation View

Sotsass wrote in the architecture and design magazine Domas, “The fact remains that a piece of furniture could be like architecture. with windows from which to looks outside . . .The piece of furniture can be looked at in many ways, always changing.”

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet

The Tower, in short, is a kind of perception machine for the interior of the home.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Installation View

Photographed as part of the exhibit Ettore Sotsass: Design Radical, at the Met Breuer (Through October 8th, 2017 )

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Eye On Design: Gio_Graphy Disco Window Display at Bergdorf Goodman

Disco Ball Head Mannequins
“My Favorite Color is Rainbow” (All Photos By Gail)

It must have been some kind of cosmic coincidence that, while walking to the train after attending a late night Birthday party for Randy Jones, best known as The Cowboy from ’70s Disco legends The Village People, I passed right by the iconic NYC department store, Bergdorf Goodman, and got a face full of this mind-blowing, disco ball extravaganza window display.

My Favorite Color is Rainbow

My Favorite Color is Rainbow is just one in series of over-the-top window display tableaus created by W Magazine in honor of Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia‘s new book Gio_Graphy: Fun in the Wild World of Fashion. The hardcover book is described as, “A witty guide to living the glam the life from an international style star, featuring hilarious anecdotes, fashion advice, and much more. Dubbed a “cyber icon” and “fashion heroine” by the New York Times, Battaglia is known for her colorful street style and fun-loving personality. Her monthly column in W chronicles fashion, art, and adventure. In this, her first book, she has written an irreverent how-to guide for dressing for every occasion, finding fashion inspiration, living stylishly, and having fun while doing it. Heck Yeah!

Disco Ball Headed Mannequin Window Shot

Covering style and beauty for daytime, nighttime, travel, and work, this book is brimming with chic and inspirational wisdom, from how to pull off bold fashion moves like barely-there tops, enormous hats, and powerful reds; advice for how to survive fashion emergencies (like what happens when you show up to an event in the same dress as someone else); and her secrets for donning multiple outfits in a day (bodysuits are key). Also featured are tips and tricks she has learned from fashion-world friends. Filled with humor and style, this is a must-have book for anyone interested in fashion and having a good time.

If you can’t make it to Bergdorf Goodman (located at 754 5th Avenue (at 58th Street), New York, NY 10019 you can buy the book (which has a publication date of October 24, 2017) at This Link!

Disco Ball Headed Mannequin

Eye On Design: Grecian Sofa Circa 1820

Grecian Sofa
All Photos By Gail

This Grecian Sofa (New York Circa 1820 – 25) exhibits a highly sophisticate blend of line, detailed carving and subtle color.

Sofa Arm Detail

The carved vert antique legs in the shape of dolphins are found on others sofas of the period and relate to maritime talismans. Traditionally, in Greek myth, dolphins aided shipwrecked sailors.

Sofa Installation View

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Rolleiflex Twin Lens Camera

Rolleiflex Twin Lens Camera
Photo By Gail

Irving Penn purchased his first of many twin-lens Rolleiflex cameras in 1938. He acquired this one in 1964 and used it and other similar models for portrait sittings for the next four decades. The camera is topped with a modified Hasselblad chimney viewfinder and mounted on a Tiltall pan/tilt head above a table tripod of the artist’s own design.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Bryan Hunt’s Coenties Ship

Coenties Ship
All Photos By Gail

Just across Water Street from the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a tiny circular plaza, lined with shops and cafes, known as Coentis Slip. In the center of the plaza you will find the similarly-named Coenties Ship by renowned sculptor Bryan Hunt. The 20 foot tall stainless steel strapping form that stands upon vertically on a circular dome of cast glass is impossible to ignore.  With the Spaceship-like form of this sculpture, Hunt has stated that he intended to invoke buoyancy and nautical nuance poised for a future. The sculpture was erected in October of 2006.

Coenties Ship

The sculpture was originally commissioned by the Art Commission of NYC as part of the Percent for Arts program. In order to resolve certain structural logistics issues, Hunt partnered with the firm of Jaroff Design, who specilalize in custom architectural metal and glass design and fabrication services to the architecture, interior design construction and art communities. Hunt wanted to balance his curving metal sculpture with a bell-shaped pedestal made out of custom cast glass, but he was unsure whether that could be done. Drawing on their expertise in combining integrated lighting and custom glass fabrication, Jaroff Design developed, and then fabricated the solution – casting the bell in numerous individual pieces installed around a supportive metal core.

Coenties Ship Base Detal

The pedestal appears to magically support the massive sculpture and its interior lighting system (not seen here, due the sculpture being photographed during daylight hours), devised by lighting designer Dale Knoth, illuminates the surface with a glowing green tone. Additional light comes from below the ground, where a mirrored finishing on the base of the inlaid decorative backpainted glass pavers reflects the light from the pedestal upward. Together, the cast glass and architectural lighting components provide the perfect accentuation for the upward swirl of the cast stainless steel.

Coenties Ship

Coenties Ship was awarded the New York City Design Excellence Award in 2006.

Eye on Design: DCW Side Chair By Charles and Ray Eames

DCW Side Chair
Photos By Gail

This modern and affordable dining-room chair was designed by the American husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames. Built after an exhaustive period of testing, the different parts of the chair were fabricated using heat and pressure to bend the plywood. The DCW Side Chair (1946) was lauded for being both ergonomic and comfortable

The Eames‘ pioneering use of new materials and technologies transformed the way people decorated their homes, introducing functional, affordable, and often highly sculptural objects and furnishings to so many middle-class Americans.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

DCW Side Chair