Paris really needs to do everyone a favour and stop being such a beautiful, inspiring place; otherwise people are just going to keep on taking dodgy, arty farty pictures all over the shop.
Case in point:
One of the benefits of working in a design studio is the amazing design & reference books lying around. I found one about Morocco the other day and I feel like it’s SO NOW. Wha? Mozaic prints, trompe l’oile geometrics, arabesques. And the COLOUR. I could get all zeitgeisty on it and delve into why I think Islamic art is having a moment in Western culture, but then I would have to formulate abstract thoughts into sentences and really, you’re probably more interested in looking at pretty pictures.
It all just makes me want to go to Marrakesh and nosey about in a souk. Sigh. But in an AbFab way, not an annoying, Sex and the City 2 way. That film offended me on almost every level. Like made my skin crawl and eye hurt. But that’s for another day. Here is why I wanna go ‘splorin in Morocco. Someone take me please. Thanks.
Christmas present shopping for the lovable dickhead hipster in your life can be traumatic. Clothes are a no-go, as they either already have it, it’s too mainstream/last season/all of the above. Music is also out, as the bands they listen to you’ve never heard of/only produce 45′s on white label/don’t even have a record yet. Gizmos are just like, so lame, and they have read every book worth reading. Basically, the only thing left is art.
Lucky for you then, oh friend of hipster, that the Talbot Gallery is hosting All Wrapped Up for Christmas. This show comprises of the work of many very talented* artists and designers, with all pieces the same size, priced at 200eu. Which, given the quality of the work, is a bargain. And Irish talent doing they thang in Ireland is only a good thing, so if you are looking to spend a lil bit of cheddar on someone (that someone could be yourself!) then this is definitely worth a look.
Yes, I sound like a cheesy salesperson. No, my work is not in it, but I do believe that things like this are a far better way to shop for people at Christmas – hipster or no. Because this time next year, when you still havn’t unwrapped that rubbish dvd, or assembled that novelty thing, or read that book you promised yourself you would, think how you could have a beautiful piece of art on your wall making you smile every day. And god knows, we can all use a little bit of happy these days. So, Art is for life, not just for Christmas!
*I know this to be a fact because I am fortunate enough to know some of them!
It is far easier to say you are going to stay in and have a quiet weekend than it actually is to do so. It is thus with a level of smugness and a tinge of FOMO* that I report to have managed a full weekend of quiet civility. Ish. These are some of the things that have been entertaining me this weekend (and week).
1) Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990
Love love love the V&A. Love love love late night Friday museum banter. No queues. No tourists. Booze. Awesome. There were costumes worn by Leigh Bowery & Mr. Pearl, Dave Byrne’s giant suit from Stop Making Sense, images by Cindy Sherman & Richard Prince, typography and graphic design from the likes of Peter Saville (Factory Records) and The Face….There was lots of art and product design that I felt was quite dated, but then lots of graphic design that was still really fresh and modern.
What really struck me about the exhibition was how far product design and fine art has come in terms of aesthetic, but how I still feel like we live in a postmodern society. It’s a bit brain melty but very very interesting about where art, and society, is right now.
It also reminded me that I need to watch Blade Runner. And listen to Joy Division more.
2) Dazed & Confused 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Somerset House
If I’m totally honest, I don’t really read Dazed that much anymore. But anything that promises lots of Rankin & Juergen Teller & Nick Knight photos and I’m there. It’s a small but interestingly curated exhibition, well worth a gander. And Somerset House is one of my favourite places. And they have their ice rink & Christmas tree all ready to go….EXCITING!!!! As an exhibition, I was struck by how much of it was really recent, and perhaps a little disappointed that they didn’t have more archival sort of images. I am more interested in the start of Dazed, when it was still a bit more edgy and outsider-y, but that’s just me being a dickhead.
There is definitely something wrong with me. But I am fine with it. Here’s one I customised earlier.
**PICS TO FOLLOW I’M TOO TIRED TO DO AN OUTFIT POST**
4) Patrick Swayze.
Dirty Dancing. POINT BREAK. I wish I could merengue. And surf. And jump out of planes. Well, actually, it was Darrick Doerner who surfed that massive wave at the end. And the whole thing re-ignited my passion for surfing, and I have made a made a pinky swear with my roommate to go on a surf holiday to Cornwall in January!
Here’s Darrick and other big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton doing they thang at Jaws, one of the best breaks in the world.
5) Modeselektor – Monkeytown
Just what I’m in the mood to listen to. I think you will be too.
The only meal worth having. For reals. I also happen to be an EPIC breakfast chef. Which is handy, given my love for them. I mean, who doesnt love eggs?
It has been a busy week. I have been djing, working, blogging, designing and going to the opening of envelopes all over the city. And why I say this with my tongue firmly in my cheek, I did go to a summer party for a lovely little shop called No. 27 South William Street. A pop up collaboration between the great minds of Indigo & Cloth, A New Space and Industry, the month long store has set up home above where Indigo & Cloth permanently resides. I dropped in for a cheeky beer and a chat with the guys.
Since the store opened I have been a (very broke) fan of Indigo & Cloth. The store’s owner Gareth Pitcher has razor sharp eye for good design, building up tight collections for both men and women. The words Independent Boutique are bandied about a lot, but I suppose this is the Irish media’s way of separating this boutique from the other, less visionary, less design focused and less deadly boutiques out there. And as a sign of someone who is not only talented but lovely, Gareth is just as sound and enthusiastic about what he does to us broke feckers coming in and not buying anything time after time.
Furthermore, Anewspace, with its effervescent Jon, had a wonderful store in Chatham Street around Christmas, full of delicious art books, prints, tshirts and scarves that was a present (to myself) haven. As it was slightly in my price range, there were a few things I meant to buy but never got around to…note to self: stop spending ALL your Christmas money on shoes….
Anyway, joining forces with furniture design store Industry*, the three have created a great little space in the front room of 27 South William street. Last Friday they had a few summer drinks, and it was a real friends and family buzz, with New York style sitting on the stoop, having the chats. The guys behind the venture were the perfect hosts, making sure everyone had enough sauce, and making time to chat to everyone. I nabbed them to talk about some of the pieces in the store, which led on to talking about the fashion and boutique landscape in general. Apologies to Jon & Gareth, but I do love a natter!!
It’s an interesting perspective being a big fish in a small pond, and that’s exactly what Indigo & Cloth is. This is no bad thing however, as it stands up with any boutique I’ve ever visited in New York, Paris or London. The only difference is that there are masses of boutiques and buyers in these big cities, meaning that the small pond offers more editorial styling and extra-curricular activities than those chasing the dream in the larger ones.
While Dublin is far from perfect (sometimes frustratingly so), there is really a buzz in the air at the moment that things are possible that weren’t even a couple of years ago. Things seem achievable, in the sense that talent and hard work might actually pay off. Noone wants anything for nothing, just the chance to be able to set up shop or studio and do their best to make it. Things aren’t easy, and we might not make millions, but if we have a product to be proud of, then as Pitcher said, if we can have the nice beans on our toast, then we’re doing well. I couldn’t agree more.
The standout pieces in the store for me were the Matt & Nat bags, which are at first great design, and then you find out they are made from recycled plastic bottles and that the whole design ethos is totally environmental and ethical. Sustainability should always look this good.
Then there were a few screen printed tshirts from the legendary Obey label, and a few other carefully selected lines, perfect for boy presents (or oversize tshirts for yourself). There is nothing more refreshing than seeing a tshirt design that is really well thought out, that you can guarantee will not be on every second lad for the next three months. Well, actually, there are loads of more refreshing things than that, I was being pretty hyperbolic there, but it is nice, and these shirts are really nice.
* I have to admit to never having been into Industry. But I checked them out on the interweb and they have had some great write ups and their own site is slick and well designed. I will go soon.
My final post in my series on the NCAD grad show. I can’t believe it has been down a week already, time is flying! On the upside though, some of my drawings and photographs are going to be exhibited in the Jam Art Factory, which is a gallery on Patrick Street. And speaking of having things in galleries, watch out for this lot, as I have no doubt they are all going on to great things.
Sarah has a wonderful blog full of delightful illustrations and stories to make you chuckle, check it here
Next thing I want to show you is a video, as a picture just doesn’t properly describe Cian Corcoran’s Industrial Design Product, the Sol. It’s an amazing sampler/looper for djs, musicians, etc. Just watch it.
<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/24894367?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”400″ height=”300″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/24894367″>Sol Live Music Interface</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/designingmusic”>Cian Corcoran</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Cool, right? To read more about it, hop on over to his website, DesignGoat, where he and fellow super talented ID head Acky are already on their way to being hot shot industrial designers.
Finally, I am going to leave you with another link, to the VisComm website, designed by Shane Kenna as part of his final project. It’s slick AS, and features all of their work! Boom! Also, I love the class photos on the main page, such a cute idea!
Right, well that’s it! Hope you are all having a sunny Sunday!
I should have done this first, really, what with me being in textiles and stuff. But I’m doing it now. So enjoy. Here are my favs (in no particular order) from Textiles this year, across embroidery, weave and print.
I’m so proud of all the ladies from Textile Design, the show was amazing. I have been very lucky to be part of a really amazing class, and I wish everyone the best of luck in the future, but with work like theirs, luck will have very little to do with their success! xxx
Following on from yesterday’s post, next up on my highlights from the show is Fashion design and the MFA (Masters in Fine Art). Fashion’s offering was assured, varied and cut to perfection. No doubt these guys are headed to great things. The MFA had some really remarkable work, with some seriously accomplished painting and some great installation work. Shane O’Connor’s photography and Louise Peat’s paintings grabbed me the most, with their colour and composition just right.
You can catch full details of all the Fashion Graduates over on their website, here.
Shane O’Connor, MFA
Louise Peat, MFA