Extreme Makeovers Home Edition

DSC_3761Each summer I find myself in Sweden for a short while and up until now that has meant only spending time in Stockholm, but for this trip I’ll be a little north of Stockholm in Uppsala for a very special project that I’m working on. It’s extreme makeovers – home edition.

Home RenovationsI’m doing a big favor for a very special person in my life who’s just bought a new apartment and asked me to help with renovations such as stripping the walls of questionable wallpaper, numerous other tasks and then decorating the apartment.

DSC_3850Needless to say I’m much more looking forward to the decorating phase than the heavy duty renovations but I have the best crew working with me so I’m certain the apartment will look absolutely amazing by the time we’re done.

Color Hunting at 21_21 Design Sight

DSCN6759Despite continued rainfall here in Tokyo, my sister and I ventured out into the thick, hot, wet air to visit 21_21 Design Sight where the exhibition Color Hunting directed by Dai Fujiwara is currently taking place.

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21_21 Design Sight Color Hunting ExhibitionThe exhibition illustrates the infinite sources of color inspiration available to us through the process of “color hunting”. This design method encourages the exploration of various colors found in nature such as the sky, sea, plants and stars, or the urban environment, etc. as a starting point and to experiment with different shades and color combinations. The exhibition invites viewers to expand their horizons.

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21_21 Design Sight Color Hunting ExhibitionColor in Action: Blank Thermometers Scaling Memories by artist Shigeru Moroizumi. The interactive artwork consists of liquid which climbs up in reaction to human body heat when a person applies their finger to the bulb, but we do not know how much the liquid climbs because there is no measuring scale. Viewers are asked to choose a color thermometer marking where the liquid is before applying a finger to a bulb and then record where the liquid stops after a short while. They are then asked to determine what the moving colors might represent and what it means when they come to a halt. Feelings and thoughts are encouraged to be recorded next to the thermometer.

21_21 Design Sight Color Hunting Exhibition

DSCN6815The building itself and the exhibition space of 21_21 Design Sight is absolutely stunning! I’m in love with the raw grey cement walls and floor in combination with the razor sharp cut glass, asymmetrical design and warm mood lighting. I’m ready to move in on a permanent basis!

21_21 Design Sight Color Hunting Exhibition

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A Rendez-vous with Hermès

DSCN5943The London Saatchi Gallery is currently playing host to Festival des Métiers, a rendez-vous with the Hermès craftspeople in an event that invites the public to learn more about the intricate skills behind the brand’s luxurious leather handbags, watches, silk scarves, garments and ceramics.

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Hermes ManufacturingLots of curious and often very feisty spectators pushed and crowded to see the craftspeople at their stations/booths working away. Next to the artisan stood an interpreter to whom you could pose questions about what you were witnessing and sometimes they even narrated step-by-step the process.

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Saatchi Gallery Rendez-vous with the Hermes CraftspeopleThe rendez-vous proved very popular and therefore also wildly busy. If you’re planning on attending, you should try to go during off peak hours if you want to fully enjoy the experience and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions.

The London Louvre

DSCN5693London’s very own Louvre? No, but that would be rather wonderful wouldn’t it? Just as luxury brands set up boutiques worldwide, why shouldn’t art institutes and museums do the same. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is now expected to open in 2015 after original plans to open in 2012 were delayed and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi expected to open in 2017, are just a couple of examples of this. So, is a London Louvre really that far fetched? Well, yes given that Paris is only a short train or plane ride away but one can fantasize right :) Instead what you’re really looking at is simply a very cool office building found in Southwark.

A Life in Colour

DSCN5678If you love a good color explosion then the Kaffe Fassett exhibition A Life in Colour at the Fashion and Textiles Museum will prove a sheer delight, if not be sure to keep your sunglasses on for your own safety. And, to give fair warning I’ll also disclose that the exhibition leans towards arts and crafts, mainly textiles with minimal fashion of just a few sweaters and some embellished beanie hats.

Kaffe Fasset A Life in Color Fashion and Textiles Museum LondonThink ethnic bohemian with influences from oriental porcelain, traditional geometric Islamic art and Renaissance decorative arts.

DSCN5564A glimpse into Kaffe Fassett’s sketchbook.

FTM Fashion and Textiles Museum London

DSCN5590Collections of his quilting, needlepoint, knitting, mosaic work as well as a few of his paintings are all proudly on display next to clear points of inspiration.

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Art13

Art13 Olympia, London FairI have a new found interest and drum roll please… it’s attending art fairs! Yesterday I attended the fabulous new modern and contemporary art fair Art13, held in the Olympia Grand Hall.

Art13 London Fair Sculpture by Eilís O'ConnellConetwirl by Eilís O’Connell, 2008, Carbon fibre and epoxy resin, 300 x 530 x 250 cm.

Art13 Olympia London Art FairHaving recently attended the London Art Fair 2013 in Islington, which presented some of the great names of 20th century modern British art, as well as other contemporary art through the 130+ galleries featured, I couldn’t help but compare that experience to Art13. Although I enjoyed the Islington London Art Fair, Art13 somehow felt much more exciting, impressive and international with artwork from some of the world’s leading galleries on display from 30 countries.

Art13 Kensington (Olympia) London Art FairPaintings, photography, sculpture and prints were proudly on display in the beautifully arranged gallery spaces. The fair felt open and very inviting, allowing a seamless flow of cohesive aesthetics, ideas and trendy visitors. It was such a beautiful atmosphere!

Art13 Kensington (Olympia) London Art Fair Boat Sculpture by Artist Zhu JinshiThe interior view of the large-scale installation Boat by Zhu Jinshi, 2012, Xuan paper, bamboo, cotton thread, 1200 x 350 x 600 cm.

Art13 Olympia London Art FairI thought the fair was absolutely terrific and I certainly wouldn’t mind spending yet another day exploring the many artworks on show in finer detail and discussing them with their obliging gallery representatives. March 3rd is the last day of the 3 day long fair so be sure to take the time to stop by for a visit!

Valentino, Master of Couture

Valentino Master of Courture, The Catwalk at Somerset House LondonThe last emperor, master of couture, also known as Valentino Garavani, showcases just that, some of his much deserving masterpieces of over 130 breath-taking haute couture designs which have been worn by the crème de la crème of socialites, fashion icons, film stars, and political spouses in his latest exhibition at Somerset House, London.

Valentino Master of Courture, at Somerset House LondonThe “Catwalk” section of the exhibition (as shown in the first photograph) is absolutely sensational and musn’t be missed if you’re in town. I was even so delirious by the end that I could imagine myself stylishly strutting up and down exclusive red carpets and elegantly mingling my way through the best cocktail parties in the most stylish of the archived couture. Who knew that 1960-70s couture could be so timeless and chic! However, some of the 1980s couture would prove a much more difficult task of incorporating into your modern day wardrobe and frankly, it would be borderline unforgivable if you ask me, those poofed up shoulder are hard to pull off no matter who you are!

Valentino Master of Courture, at Somerset House LondonThe exhibition also featured an enlightening section that shared behind the scenes footage of the highly skilled and time consuming work that goes on in the Valentino atelier through demonstrations of a few technical samples. It really opens your eyes and gives you an appreciation for the difficult and highly intricate craft of couture techniques! Magazine clippings, and personal correspondences from some of Valentino’s most elite clients were also on display.

Valentino Master of Courture, at Somerset House LondonI think Countess Luann would approve of the fabulous exhibition as ♪ chic, c’est la vie ! Regardless, I certainly do!