I don’t know about you, but I have always been a fan of brutalist architecture. Recently one of my favourite buildings at my old university was torn down. It was big, heavy and concrete, and I loved it and feel like I’m the only one mourning it’s destruction. That’s maybe why I’ve instantly fallen in love with Mareike Kanafani’s brutalist jewelry. I came across Kanafani’s collection when trawling through work from Schmuck Jewelry Fair that took place in Munich earlier in March. As the oldest Jewelry Fair, it’s the benchmark for what’s new in jewelry design and often showcases techniques that push the traditions of the field. Kanafani’s concrete works do just that and have brought her some well deserved attention.
Personally, I’ve not seen jewelry made this way before. I’d be interested in the construction techniques as, from my small amount of concreting experience, I do know that the material, although strong, needs a spine or mesh to help keep it altogether. It’s got me all intrigued, it’s not something that I would want to drop accidentally. Maybe this dichotomy is something that Kanafani is playing with here? The idea of fragility and stability being fused into one and being one in the same. It’s an interesting concept for jewelry, a genre of design that is routed in preciousness and expense.
I can’t find out where you purchase Kanafani’s work, and the range so far is small and concise, but shoot, what a way to start. You can see more from Schmuck Jewelry Fair by clicking through here (trawl to the bottom).
Ah, summer is coming… Time to change your travel plans to add Milan or San Diego to the list of cities you are visiting this year! We are giving out two scholarships to summer design courses offered by four top universities. Yes, you get to spend your summer days soaking up one of these beautiful cities AND all the inspiration and knowledge to be gained from these great schools!
And, as usual, there’s some extra icing on this cake. On arrival, Frontier is giving you a shiny new iPad Mini* to boost your creativity — think of it as our welcome present to you. This sleek little device will slide nicely in your handbag while you are busy exploring and creating. All you need to do is have a current portfolio displayed on Frontier and fill in the online application form.
Other good news is that the already broad palette of courses on offer is getting even better. For the first time, you get access to some cutting-edge 3D animation, game design and visual effects courses from the award winning Media Design School in Milan. New Zealand’s school that has nurtured digital design professionals to bring you the magic of the biggest current Hollywood blockbusters like The Hobbit, Avatar and Tin Tin has made its way to Europe!
Whatever discipline are you interested in, we have an awesome short course for it! This unique summer collaboration of four universities (Domus Academy, NABA, Media Design School, NewSchool of Architecture + Design) cover a wide variety of areas, including:
- Design & Architecture
- Fashion & accessories design, fashion management
- Digital Arts (3D, Gaming, VFX, Photography, Graphic Design)
- Business in Design
- Visual Arts
- Design experiences
This is too good an opportunity to pass you by. Read about all the details here. Make sure to submit your application and make your portfolio look hot before the 2nd of May – that’s when we are closing the competition and progress to the judging phase.
Who knows…it might just be you winging your way to a foreign land, armed with a Summer Scholarship and an iPad. So get busy getting creative, spice up your portfolio.
The fashion world is taking a breather at the moment. With all of the media hype and fanfare surrounding the big labels A/W14 collections simmering down, it’s time to take a break from what is the all encompassing promotion of the worlds fashion power houses. It seems appropriate then, that in this lull, I stumbled across the humble Lindsey Thornburg.
Thornburg is essentially a thoughtful hippy who somehow found her way into the fashion industry. Originally studying philosophy, Thornburg began designing under the moniker Fabric. After returning from a trip to Peru and visiting Machu Picchu, and armed with inspiration from the indigenous Quechuan culture, Thornburg created her first eponymous collection of cloaks. These cloaks have become Lindsey Thornburg’s signature and are a base to which her ethos of ‘never-ending timelessness’ in fashion is rooted. Rather than following the trend-based whirlwind of the industry, Thornburg’s calm and centered approach of quality and grounded fashion has in turn brought her attention from all the top fashion reporters. Thornburgs mission “to keep people warm…” through a on-going collection that is added to and perfected overtime, rather than replaced each season, is the breath of fresh air that the industry needs. These garments are designed to be worn over a lifetime, rather than just for a few months. This attitude firmly positions her at the centre of a shift by contemporary designers, who are trying and encompass craft, quality and spirituality in their design process. Something I think she is achieving without a fault.
Her most recent fashion film, directed by photographer Simon Cave, perfectly ties into the label’s ideal. Hooded wanderers trek through woodlands and icy waterways. There’s a darkness in there, and a haunting feeling that is complemented by the warm, heavy shrouds worn by the nomadic model. This clip is restrained, relying purely on beautiful cinematography, perfect editing, cleverly layered trickery and of course wonderful cloaks. I absolutely love it.
Lindsey Thornburg is one to definitely check out. You can see her full collections of cloaks by clicking here.
Cecilia Lundgren’s work caught my eye recently on Domus Academy’s Facebook page. Having first studied graphic design in Sweden, she completed a Master in Design at Domus Academy in 2007. Since then she has moved back to her homeland and has been successfully working with a number of international clients. It was her digital illustration that was featured by Domus—bright colours, loose line-work and multiple layers of activity in each image. This was enticing enough to lead me through to her website, where many pleasant surprises awaited. I am a sucker for watercolour done well and was happy to find some exquisite examples of fashion illustration in Lundren’s personal work. She has attained an enviable lightness of touch in delicately rendering feminine portraits and figures. There is an artful restraint in her approach, with a good understanding of light, contrast and white space, which are key to successful manipulation of this tricky medium.
I also love her drawings of political figures, Lundgren captures personality and character well with her deftly placed line-work and inky blobs. Vivienne Westood’s likeness makes an appearance too, complete with a blazing head of hair. What’s really impressive is Cecilia Lundgren’s ability to move between digital and traditional illustration tools with ease. She is comfortable with a number of styles and makes it all look deceptively effortless. Do check out her portfolio, it’s worth a look. And while you’re there, her talents don’t stop with illustration—check out her travel photography. Actually, I think this is my favourite part. There are some really stunning moments captured there, again demonstrating a sophisticated harnessing of light, great compositional skills and perfect timing. I’m very envious and impressed!
Viviane Sassen is one of those rare people who truly stand out in their field of work. She has shot for a wide variety of commercial clients including magazines Dazed & Confused, Purple Fashion and Fantastic Man and fashion labels such as Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and Carven. Her photographs have often been described as strange and surreal and there is a certain recurring unsettling quality to her work. Her focus on the formal elements of the image, striking colours and shapes, combined with an acutely sensitive employment of light and shadow, creates a certain distance between the viewer and the subject. The models’ faces are often obscured, limbs are contorted in awkward positions, the body fragmented by the use of mirrors, the perspective flipped. As a result, the human body simply becomes another prop in the construction of the final image.
Fashion is no stranger to the objectification of the female figure. However, in Sassen’s work the body is treated as another formal element for the photographer to experiment with, rather than being a subject of the male gaze. Though a number of photographs are somewhat erotic, the sexiness is disrupted by an unexpected use of colour, bizarre props or strange camera angles.
Sassen is increasingly focused on developing a personal practice situated somewhere between documentary photography and fine art. Flamboya and Parasomnia are two intriguing series of work shot in Africa which feel more intuitive than her fashion shoots, inspired by the vivid memories of the Dutch photographer’s early childhood in Kenya.
A retrospective of Viviane Sassen’s work, “In and Out of Fashion” is on at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, U.S until May 4. A fascinating exhibition on many levels—both for the work on display and the innovative installation techniques, which include looping video projections of photographs. Definitely check it out if you can!