If you’re in London for Frieze and need some zen time out from the frantic pace, here’s my tip. Go and chill at the Barbican.
The Noguchi show just opened two weeks ago at Barbican Centre and it’s a perfect stroll through the artist and designer’s timeline.
Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor and multidisciplinary designer, creating everything from theatre sets to kids’ playgrounds to furniture and of course, the now-classic Akari lighting. Starting out as an apprentice to Brancusi in Paris, you can see some early influence in his own sculptures (above).
But it’s the design pieces that stand out for me. One of my highlights is the bronze model of an unrealised New York playground called Play Mountain (below). It was designed without apparatus, just sculptural slopes and steps for kids to play in.
On the ground floor level of the show, there’s a wide array of Noguchi’s furniture and product designs, including many iterations of the washi paper lighting. The colourful origami-inspired aluminium tables are another example of everyday design that’s simple and functional, yet a joy to behold.
NOGUCHI is at Barbican Centre, Beech Street, London, EC2Y 8AE until 9th January 2022. Advance booking is essential. See more here.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Noguchi by Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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What is it about the Cannes red carpet that’s so much more refined than other red carpets? Don’t answer that. I think I know the answer already.
American premieres and awards are super-planned and super-commercial, all about diamonds and deals. Somehow Cannes just seems a bit cooler. Here’s the evidence; Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in classic garconne style – Birkin in Celine and Gainsbourg in Saint Laurent. (more…)
The highlight of couture week has been Balenciaga couture Fall 21. A tribute to the absolute essence of Balenciaga, it was both austere and grandiose, and I think it’s fair to say, surpassed everyone’s expectations.
Having kind of tuned out recent Balenciaga ready-to-wear collections (too hype-y, too meme-y!), I was enthralled by this first Balenciaga couture collection in 53 years. The minimalist silhouettes, (what a fab trench!), the space-age headgear, the jeans and tee treatment and the baublicious jewels. What looked like a crocodile skin skirt and trousers were in fact made from tiny pieced-together squares of leather. There were shades of Margiela (one of Demna Gvasalia’s most respected designers), McQueen and – to my eye – Raf’s Dior. (more…)
[UPDATED: THE COLLECTION HAS NOW LANDED AT SELFRIDGES…]
If I could do a career switch, I would love to be a Chanel beauty-packaging designer. Every product I’ve ever interacted with, from the lipstick bullets to the Les Beiges bronzer compact has been the ultimate personal luxury experience. (Also, the products are the best of the best.)
Just launched is the Chanel N°5 Factory Collection*, a limited edition line that takes that idea to its logical conclusion. Chanel has taken its 100-year-old flagship product – Chanel N°5 – and turned it into a brand in itself. The Chanel N°5 Factory Collection is a capsule of 17 limited edition products, all scented with the smell of Chanel N°5. Genius.
The real genius part is the packaging. Functional-looking tubes of body cream*, individually wrapped bath tablets*, gouache-style body lotion tubes* and a body oil bottle that looks like it belongs in the garage (top). The collection is designed to mimic utilitarian products, giving Chanel N°5 a witty, youthful accessibility. (more…)