Monday, 6 December 2010

Underground Opulence at the Tate

We were excited to make it to a Fashion In Film screening at the Tate Modern on Friday night. The house was fairly packed and everyone seemed excited though perhaps like me wondering what to expect - though I was just excited to finally see Jack Smith's legendary Normal Love in all its glory. Before that however we were treated to a handful of silent whimsical shorts, each accompanied by some rather jaunty live piano - my favourite had to be Tit for Tat, Gaston Velle's butterfly fantasy from 1907 - though another from 1907, The Pearl Fishers, again from France, had beautiful sets - though we had to laugh at some of the hilarious costumes - the key theme here for these early silents was their pioneering use of visual effects to create these vivid fantasy environments.

On to Normal Love then, which was as absorbing as I hoped - no dialogue, but a series of songs from all over the place roughly synced over the top, including some amazing Egyptian/ Arabic style music. The various set pieces blended into one another of the course of the two hours of the film included a mermaid's milk bath grotto, a post party boardwalk, glittering bodies strewn everywhere, and a filthy swamp, where our mermaid tried in vain to resist a beefy suitor. Beautiul costumes, and the colours! Just beautiful. And to think back then these films were made for nothing, and for no-one but the maker and his friends and cast - brilliant.

The 3rd Fashion in Film Festival : Birds Of Paradise continues at the Horse Hospital, Tate Modern, Barbican, and BFI Southbank, until 12 December.

(Photos from various places - the still of the green mummy from Normal Love, the double exposure of the woman from Ron Rice's Chumlum, and the final one from a Smith fan site)

Monday, 15 November 2010

FLORIST at Showstudio Shop

We saw and loved Florist at the Showstudio shop, a beautiful small and perfectly formed show of still life inspired work, on until 13 January.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

More Dutch Design Week

Lloyd Hotel foyer

Piet Hein Eek Collectie

Joost Wever Design

Eefiene Bolhuis

Iris Van Herpen at Dutch Design Awards

Else Schenkeveld

Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion

Check out the amazingly cool avant-garde Japanese fashion exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery. Kyoto Costume Institutes' Akiko Fukai has beautifully curated this space with other-wordly fashion creations, including designers such as Yohji Yahamoto and Junya Watanabe! The short feature film of Yohji Yahamoto and Comme de garcons' Rei Kawakubo is a must see!

The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei

Yesterday we took a trip to the Tate Modern, where the vast space of the Turbine Hall has been taken over by hundreds of millions hand-crafted, hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds. 'What you see is not what you see, and what you see is not what it means' says Ai Weiwei of his representation of indivuality that left us with the urge to touch just a few of the millions of precious porcelain particles! we highly recommend a trip down there - the exhibition is on until 2 May 2011, and it's free admission too!

Piet Hein Eek Collectie at Dutch Design Week

We were lucky enough to bag a flying visit to Eindhoven this weekend for a taste of Dutch Design Week. The highlights were many, but the standout by far was this beautiful old factory space, left by Philips, which has been transformed into a facory/showroom/exhibition space/shop by Piet Hein Eek, one of our favourite furniture designer/makers. The place was crammed with all sorts of oddments, from Piets own work (including reclaimed wood cabinets, chandeliers made from cheap frosted glass lampshades, and simple turquoise china in bulk) to shrink wrapped soldiers, Tokyo Bikes, and even a surgery themed installation from AF Vanderhorst.

Highly recommended for anyone visiting this lovely part of the world. Nagging in the background of course is how this and many other spaces in the town became available - talk to any cab driver and they'll tell stories about the various members of their family, usually stretching back generations, who used to work for Philips. Nice to see some signs of new life taking hold.