Sunday, 29 April 2012

Salone di Mobile -10 of the best in design.

This years "Salone di Mobile" Design Fair in Milan was as inspiring as ever.

There have been some mixed reviews of this season fair and the general statement.
Some have said that companies were being a little cautious in what they presented and how much investment they had made into exploring new ideas and new collections.
Even some reports state that the visitors were far down on previous years.

I visited the fair on the first day and I had the impression, that this years session was somehow buzzing with a far larger audience.
The recession, the double dip, the crisis, however you want to describe it as, is at the moment, driving one thing......
...................a new desire for creativity, both form the product manufacturing industry and also form the consumers at large.

The manufacturers are following trends in looking at craftsmanship, getting back to the heritage of their design business and looking deep into the archives for what made them who they are today.
You can see everywhere attention to fine details in the way corners are folded and blended into different materials.

Mixed side tables from Poliform, set in a beautiful color scheme, with deep turquoise and dark blue against the bright red accent and dark natural wood.

Optical illusions and Flourescent orange chairs combine to add a touch of surrealism.

Mini square pattern rug is offset by the deep brown legs from a table and chair set.

Marble and wood side table set from Poliform, contrasting 'mineral, natural, and textural'. 

Combinations of materials are carefully combined.
Wood and leather. Marble and woolen textures.
In many of the designer room settings, I observed beautiful interactions between 'mineral, natural and textural' items. Side tables in wood, low coffee tables in Marble and sofas and cushions in coarse woolen textures.

We see a strong return to decorative patterns and the use of neutral colours with lacquered vase items in pop colours bringing in a 3rd dimension.

 In contrast to some of the messages on visitor numbers, I felt that with the huge number of visitors, the Milan design fair was buzzing with designers, buyers, store owners and design lovers.

Some fantastic ideas were again exposed to a huge number of amateur and professional "clickers!"

See Clickers as you I and everyone else with access to a recordable device!!
Today we live in an environment where the digital camera and then followed by the smart phone is king!

The Designer brands and independent designers tried desperately to preserve the integrity of their work with soft touch security guards and friendly hostesses who in the main are quite helpless to enforce the "No Photo" signs displayed quite visibly around the stands!

So, in the spirit of continued sharing, I am bringing you some of my top 10 design, trend, items from the Milan design Fair 2012.

#1 "Confessions" the privacy booth, by Nick Ross, a student, shown in Rosanna Orlandi.

#2 The trend of ceramic and wood combinations, 'form in a form' - A lamp from Poliform.

#3. Continuing the trend of 'form in a form' A light in a dome lamp by Poliform.

#4. Trend in Material mix - Marble surface top combined with fluorescent table legs by Borsolini.

#5.  The trend of patterns and decorative statements, this abstract rug hung on a wall at Reflex.

#6. Beautiful twinkling LED Lights, with a feeling of the true meaning of 'Fairy Lights' from Reflex.

#7. Looking deeper into the dark wood statement, we see this excellent idea of "Twisting drawers", where each drawer opens independently with a slight twist.

#8. Bringing movement and motion to still design, here these rubber baskets look still and inanimate, but once you spring the basket to life, they wobble uncontrollably!!

#9. Iridescent gold combined with purple, update last years spectacular statement in the "Moon chair"  from Moroso.

#10. Fossilized wood. This table comes form a tree which is 48,000 years old and has been incased in mud in New Zealand. The touch is like silk with a finish that is dense and super smooth.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

London store trends - Fourth & Main

Independent Creativity is alive again.
Newburgh Street, London W1, used to be the hustling bustling hive of independent creativity, small one off boutiques, Owner driver operations or creative spin offs from the likes of  Levi's - with their experimental Cinch concept used to drive a special type of creative customer looking for true inspiration and the possibility to mix their own style and something off the mainstream path.

New on the London scene and fresh on the block is a great new store.

Convenience store complete with Daily Specials Board.

It is located on the corner of Newburgh Street in the Carnaby Street area of London Soho
The new menswear fashion store "Fourth & Main" opened last week, April 21st, to a soft trickle of 'fashionistas' looking for that something special and well cared for.
The mentality is cool, inspired and with an English 50's style.

Modern British interior.

It oozes quality, and the possibility to really discover something special.
The fashion concept is a small limited collection of less that 50 different styles each in a limited colour sophisticated range, where the focus is on quality materials, honest styles and a simple, direct, no nonsense approach.
British workwear.

The owners, 2 young guys, who've been friends for more than 10 years, began writing their journal and eventually evolved the idea into having their own Fashion store and label.

They are the designers, the writers and the collaborators, they are really entrepreneurs!
.........And they are enjoying it! 

The store has the feeling of an 'Old British Convenience store', where a friendly atmosphere and a local smile is offered by the owners and store staff.

Clean Design.

The shop interior is decorated in a minimal and functional style with the use of a simple Cedar wood book cases which houses proudly, both products and the "Fourth and Main journal".
The look of the products is a combination of clean and modern stylish menswear.

Beautiful cotton Club shirts, in a range of 3 colours, Linen blend double breasted blazers, cotton twill colonial style Bermuda shorts and a workers jacket matched with simple tonal T shirts that add a spirit of soft combination. 

The look is somewhere in the vain of Classic British design, where typical English workwear meets a fine tailored sophisticated style.

Maraget Howell, Nicole Farhi or the origins of some Paul Smith vintage pieces.

Beautiful simplicity, Cedar wood bookshelves and simple hanging system.

Friendly atmosphere, with chalk board list of Prices.
Shirts 65.00 GBP, T- shirts 30.00 GBP, Shorts 50.00 GBP, Blazers 155 / 200 GBP.

Old English convenience store style front windows.

Let's hope that this sparks a renaissance of individual British style in the area.
Be sure to make a visit!
Sidney Rhule. April 2012

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Trends: The New Colour Revolution.

This is the New Colour Revolution.

Fresh, clashing dynamic, colourful, lively and all with the power of a New Generation.
We can see artistic influences from all angles in a new attitude to colour, colour combinations, colour mixing, and colourful techniques in painting and photography. 
It is visible on the streets, we see it in London, Paris and Amsterdam. It is visible in Art we see it in the latest David Hockney retrospective at the Royal Academy, in London. until April 9th. (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao- May 14th - September 30th)
You have to check out his ipad work. the colors he is developing here are totally incredible.

So from contemporary art to street art, I am totally in love with the new energy, that is coming through the voice of the street at the present.
I have been quietly watching the change of mood and being stimulated by the new creativity with colour and street graphics. It has been exciting to make my own personal links in the influence on design currently.

Here is something form Dutch design week, October 2011, where new colour combinations create a fresh energy.

Dutch Design Week. objects in colour.

Colourful statements in high street fashion, from the boutique mentality to the mass market statement.

High street colour on colour boutique message.

Ted Baker Accessories in Selfridges, London 

Glasswear in a new colour energy statement.

Its great, I feel the same type of bubbling spirit that I felt 20 odd years ago in the Eighties. It is something that is creeping in around us at the moment and back in the eighties everyone wanted to touch it, be involved with it and be influenced by it.

David Bowie, Duran Duran, The Human league, Athena posters, they all had a new understanding about photo's, graphic print and art. 

It was a 'future modernity' and the desire to experiment with a new vision.
Remember 'Flash Dance'?  

New materials, new graphics, from airbrush stencil artworks to digital photo montages or modern record album sleeve covers.
In Shoreditch, Lomdon recently, I was exposed to the latest crop of new art. 
The references here drive me towards a disposable set of cartoon characters who are munching their way through Redchurch Street into Brick Lane and back out behind Liverpool Street Station.
Grids of clashing primary colours run alongside new characters in motion.
And this Artist or artist group have been busy!!

Colour with colour, but who is chasing who here?

New bomber jackets with a statement in multi coloured graphics.

Is this a new buddy for "Sponge Bob!" It is definitely Cool London.
Excellent use of colours with the contrasting combination of purple and yellow, pale blue, turquoise blue.

The multi coloured fox head, Redchurch Street London.

Part of a trilogy, near Redchurch Street, London. November 2011

Comical genius. Ultra graphic prints. Brick Lane London, November 2011

Vintage pullover from Beyond vintage, Hanbury Street London. November 2011

How simple it could all be, if it could all come together in one. 
Colour is not done yet and especially when we combine with black details or black frames.

Let the colour love shine out!!