Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton’s art space which occupies the 7th floor of their vast Tokyo Omotesando boutique never seizes to amaze me with their interesting exhibition program and their Traces of Disappearance exhibition is no different. With a live bird sculpture and a gummy bear mosaic that mimics traditional stained glass windows, can you really blame me?
For you fashionistas or photography buffs, this is the exhibit for you and what better setting than Chanel’s vast Tokyo Ginza store which houses it’s very own gallery space on the 4th floor in the Chanel Nexus Hall. The exhibition Signature of Elegance displays a stunning selection of black and white fashion photographs by the legendary photographer Lillian Bassman (1917-2012).
While some images oozed post WWII glamor typical of Christian Dior’s New Look, others appeared as modern as ever. Lillian Bassman’s images of furtive eroticism featuring corsets, girdles and lingerie could easily enough grace the current pages of Vogue Paris without looking out of place. And, unlike the crass, sometimes even disturbing, erotically charged images of Helmut Newton (1920-2004), Lillian Bassman applied a tasteful sensitivity to her work with the female form.
So whether or not you find yourself in Tokyo at the moment and have access to Chanel Nexus Hall, Lillian Bassman is a name well worth looking up and getting some inspiration from.
When the weather is as gorgeous as this, there’s nothing quite as nice as taking advantage of it by being outdoors. Therefore, I chose to spend my day in the beautiful Uppsala Botanical Garden exploring the park, orangery and tropical greenhouse.
Ulla Viotti’s brick garden.
It’s not everyday that a rousing exhibition such as this presents itself so it’s always important to take advantage. Retrospectives are especially exciting as it offers a large selection of an artist’s work in one setting allowing the viewer to observe the breadth of their work and development.
I’m a big fan of Helmut Newton’s black and white fashion photography which to this very day continues to command our attention with its modern, edgy perspective. However, have a more difficult time finding purpose or pleasure in his female nudes of pornographic and sadomasochistic tendency.
As he himself put it, “I love vulgarity. I am very attracted by bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste which is nothing more than a standardized way of looking at things… If the art world rejects me, all I can say is ‘good luck to the world of art.’ If I look for a real point of view, I’m not going to start by looking at what art will accept so I can conform to that. That’s why… sadomasochism still seems interesting to me today. I always carry chains and padlocks in my car trunk, not for me but for my photos.” -Helmut Newton, Press conference, Austria, 1984
It’s been a new experience discovering Uppsala, Sweden with its many historic buildings such as Uppsala Cathedral which dates back to the late 13th century, Uppsala Castle from the 16th century, Uppsala University which was founded in 1477, and one of Uppsala University’s renowned scholars Carolus Linnaeus’s garden and house.
Although I’ve been extremely busy with the apartment renovation and interior design project that I’m currently working on, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of time to explore my surroundings. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve found so far.
At long last I have a morning that allows me to sleep in so I take full advantage and don’t rise until past noon. Since that throws any hopes of having a productive start to my day I head on over to Ottolenghi to have brunch and to catch up with a friend that I haven’t seen in forever. Their food always makes me feel ultra healthy up until the point where I misbehave and order a dessert. I decide to try their rhubarb tart and of course it’s delicious. Both of their cookbooks Plenty and Ottolenghi – The Cookbook decorate my personal library so I know very well what I’m in for. Oh dear, it would be so much easier if I didn’t like cakes, pastry, chocolate and cookies as much as I do.
Then on a full stomach it’s time to get working again. My latest project is a photography one so I bring along my camera (which is with me most of the time anyway) for a stroll around the Chelsea, Notting Hill area and end up taking in the busy sights of Portobello Road. It’s a party, the streets are lively with musicians rocking tunes, antiques exchanging hands, plants, kitschy London souvenir shops, smoothie and food vendors, animals and a ridiculous amount of baby strollers line the streets. Although I often dread overly busy streets, today it works to my advantage as people are exactly what I’m in search of.
I get exactly what I came for but for now I’ll have to wait to reveal the official images to you all. Soon though darlings I promise. On Pembridge Road, I, like everyone else stops to gawk at the jewelry in Hirst Antiques. It’s total eye candy as almost everything glitters and sparkles. Inside the boutique the display cases are stuffed with accessories which are organized by color. The diva inside me is convinced that I’d look absolutely amazing in everything I see but luckily my common sense hasn’t gone entirely out the window so for today I manage to resist turning into a showgirl.
In keeping with a white Christmas, why not stop by Somerset House for a glimpse into the magical world of the talented fashion photographer Tim Walker through the exhibition Story Teller. I really can’t stress the magical and incredulous factor enough as some of the props and sets used in the original photo shoots are included alongside his gorgeous photographs. Although it might not be entirely clear in the photograph, this elegant swan is actually a boat or at least the frame of one. If up to par, I certainly wouldn’t mind taking it out for a casual spin around either the lake in Hyde Park or possibly even the ponds of Kew Garden given that the winter temperatures improved significantly.
This photograph of superstar actress Helena Bonhem Carter left me wondering where her other half Tim Burton was. The two Tims (Walker and Burton) share a taste for theatrics by staging stunning atmospheres and creating fascinating characters through the use of their own preferred mediums.
The exhibition is free admission and open until January 27th, so swing on by if you think you dare…
Headed over to Shibuya’s Seibu department store where I stumbled upon a Robert Mapplethorpe flowers exhibition. Here, oddly enough it’s not that unusual to find art exhibitions at large luxurious department stores such as Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi, or Seibu. Last summer, I enjoyed the Mapplethorpe exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden at the Fotografiska Musuem which, featured amazing portraits, still lifes, and nudes.
The beautiful black and white flower photographs were made extra intense against the dark backdrop of the exhibition.
Art meets life with these Mapplethorpe themed garments featuring the photographer’s motifs.
The exhibition was as lovely as I had expected. Robert Mapplethorpe is such a fabulous genius! Each photograph heightens the natural beauty of the flowers featured through a terrific choice of form, light, and contrast. I got so inspired that I picked up the exhibition book Mapplethorpe The Complete Flowers, although way too heavy to carry around for my shopping spree…
Another day, another palace to enjoy. Welcome to the ever so stylish Tullgarn Palace! Enjoy!
Beware of the dog.
Little known fact but, the gift stores are filled with their own little treasures. Not only dashing postcards of the stylish interiors and dapper portraits seen inside but it also happens to be my source for regal “äppelmust” in Swedish, apple juice. Yum!
If I was… King for a Day.