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Jonathan Saunders Fall 2011

The summer sale season is nearing an end, fall deliveries are slowly beginning to make their way to the retail floor, and August issues have hit newsstands. That means it is time to put fall in full focus. One of my favorite collections of the season is of that of Jonathan Saunders. His fall collection embraces color and pattern in experimental form with unexpected vivid arrangements that can’t help but catch your attention. The vibrant, expressive prints seem to resemble overexposed photographs, which is likely as Saunders sites Paul Outerbridge as a source of inspiration. Outerbridge an early pioneer with the use of color photography in the 1930’s was known for his ability to transform common objects into semiabstractions with the use of color and light.

images via style.com

Andreia Chaves – “The Invisible Shoe”

Sometimes I like to think that my shoe obsession stems from my deep appreciation for architecture. More often than not I find myself lusting over the most complex sculpted shoe like that of a wide-eyed tourist admiring the Eiffel Tower for the first time. My theory couldn’t be more spot-on with the latest designer to garner my attention. Brazilian footwear designer Andreia Chaves fuses art and design to produce futuristic yet wearable creations. Her latest collection, “The Invisible Shoe Series” combines traditional hand-craftmanship with advanced 3-d printing technology courtesy of Freedom of Creation to develop a reflective surface that evokes the illusion of the shoe being invisible. The collection is composed of 3 distinct styles, each handmade in Italy.

Zoo Finest – Thecorner.com Launches a Shop Curated by Zoo Magazine

Berlin based Zoo Magazine partnered with the cutting-edge online fashion retailer thecorner.com to curate Zoo Finest, an exclusive mini-store featuring an avant-garde assortment from four promising emerging design talents. The unique collaboration originated from the need to support creativity, authenticity and originality on an international level. It will showcase the designs of Anne de Grijff, Hien Le, Issever Bahri and Kaviar Gauche, chosen for their creativity, craftsmanship and their fresh take on modern fashion. The shop is slated to launch towards the end of July. I am eagerly anticipating the what the designers have to offer. Learn more here.

Luis Mallo – Beyond Barriers

I stumbled upon “In Camera” the work of photographer Luis Mallo and found myself intrigued by his unconventional compositions. I admit I tend to be drawn to the abstract, but there is something more to his photographs. They are shot through obstructions such as fences and walls while unexpectedly providing clarity and interest to what lies beyond the barriers. They offer an interesting balance of perspective between the foreground and background.

Hard Rock Show + Tell: Basile and Pape

“Like a rock” are the first three words the come to mind when I think about jewelry line Basile & Pape, the brainchild of the husband and wife design duo Robin Basile and John Pape. Both veterans of the fashion industry, they worked as editors, photographers and stylists until 2009 when they formed Basile & Pape. They sought out to create a bold line of statement jewelry as a result of being unfulfilled by the predominately small and demure accessories dominating the market. They said, “We design with editors, stylists, and fashion-forward consumers in mind. We design big, substantial pieces that can be seen from afar and worshiped up close.” Untamed and unrestrained, each piece is individually handcrafted of sterling silver adorned with decadent, out of this world geological formations. To view the collection and to shop online visit: Basile & Pape

Mbuti Barkcloth Paintings

Deep within the Ituri Rainforest of the Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire  lies the habitat of the Mbuti people, one of the last hunter-gatherer cultures in the world. This distinctive nomadic society thrives solely off the rich, natural environment of their surroundings. The Mbuti are bamiki bandura, “children of the forest.” Their values are deeply rooted in spiritual and symbolic tradition expressed through song and dance. The barkcloths are produced as ritual dress for festivals, celebrations and rites of passage, including wedding and funeral ceremonies.

The elaborate art of the barkcloth is a social activity, and Mbuti learn how to make barkcloth from an early age. The barkcloth canvas is obtained by the men, sourced from the inner bark of about six different species of trees. It is pounded with an ivory or wood mallet to produce a subtle textured and supple fibrous canvas composed of various natural shades of white, tan or reddish brown. The women prepare the dyes and paints from a variety of roots, fruits and leaves which they collect from the forest. The paint is applied with twigs, twine or fingers.

The Mbuti barkcloth paintings reflect their world. They are abstract expressions of the forest from the geometric intricacies of the trees to the creatures that inhabit it. The artisans transform signs of the visible and the invisible into a unique visual language that reflects the spiritual and symbolic core of their culture. The artists combine a variety of motifs from butterflies, birds, leopard spots with geometric patterns that give an impression of motion, sound and shape within the forest landscape: light filtered through trees, buzzing insects, ant trails, tangled vines. Cross-hatched squares, perhaps representing the texture of reptilian skin, are shorthand for turtles, crocodiles or snakes.

To learn more about about Mbuti Barkcloth visit Textile of Africa or FAO

To view more and purchase visit  the Indigo Arts Gallery or Gebhart Blazek / Berber carpets & textiles

Piet Hein Eek

enormous lounge chair

scrapwood dining table

scrapwood sideboard

scrapwood cupboard

Forward-thinking Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek raises the bar for the future of sustainable design. His remarkable  mosaic creations are composed entirely of recycled scraps of metal and hardwood. Each one-of-a-kind piece is exquisitely hand-constructed, making them limited-edition pieces of art. His unique vision is representative of the growing convergence of art and design. It is rich with emotion and personal expression, taking little influence from the past.

Urban Mobility: Puma x Hussein Chalayan

   

Urban Mobility, a partnership between Puma and Hussein Chalayan has continued yet another season with a new spring collection now in stores. The line fuses sportswear and fashion with Hussein Chalayan’s innovative and progressive approach to design. According to WWD, the collection for spring-summer 2010 is  “fashion sportswear” and accessories for the “modern urban traveler.” “Urban Mobility is a considered balance between Puma’s technical excellence and my narrative approach to design,” Chalayan stated.

Shop now at Puma and Revolve Clothing