All posts tagged Stephen Jones
Ever wondered what the future is going to look like? Yeah, so have we. That’s why last week, we trotted off to the Designs of the Year awards at the Design Museum to look at how today’s movers and shakers in design are shaping tomorrow right in front of our eyes. And from a fashion film starring female bodybuilder Kizzy Vaines to a wheelchair-friendly airplane seat – and from artificial candles to Giles’ burnt fashion, it was clear that design comes in all shapes and sizes. One thing they all did have in common, though, was innovation. And letting you look at things from a different perspective – actually making you stop and think. And hey, you might just find that in a couple of years’ time, this is what the world is going to look like…
At first glance you might think that ‘I Want Muscle’, a fashion film by Elisha Smith-Leverock, featuring designs by David Koma, stars a muscular young man. Or a man wearing a blonde wig. And oh, a red bathing suit as well. And heels. The drag version of Pamela Anderson in Baywatch perhaps? But uhmm, are those boobs? And his face actually looks really feminine. As in, really really really feminine.
A closer look at this fashion film, that won the A Shaded View on Fashion Film MK2 Grand Prix in 2011, reveals an extremely muscular young woman, who is in fact female bodybuilder Kizzy Vaines.
Shots of her dancing around are combined with close-ups of her shoulder blades being squeezed together. All those muscles moving together looks like a kind of choreography in its own right. The film makes you question your ideas of gender and beauty straight away – what is it that actually defines ‘male’ or ‘female’? And why is it that some really stereotypical ideas about gender and beauty are so deeply programmed into our brains? Are they imposed upon us by society or are they more primal concepts of femininity and masculinity? All these questions are exactly what is so strong about this film – it expands the boundaries of gender ideals and our interpretation of beauty.
Kapow! is a unique novel about the Arab Spring, connecting the visual narrative with the dynamic storyline without a single illustration. With a story by Adam Thirlwell and really beautiful graphics by Studio Frith’s Frith Kerr, a visiting lecturer at CSM, this book is brilliant in its simplicity.
Text blocks are placed within each other and next to each other, big blocks of text are juxtaposed with a single word, horizontal text is placed next to vertical text, some bits are upside down and placed on pages that fold out, and the text blocks come in all kinds of different shapes.
All of this makes it an interactive book, involving the reader in an experience that goes beyond just reading the text. It’s almost like a journey, a completely different way of reading a book – you’re in constant motion, moving both the book itself and your eyes and head around.
It reflects the dynamic story of the Arab Spring beautifully and really involves the reader with it – instead of offering a guided tour, this book takes you on a vibrant exploration of the Arab Spring.
Candles in the Wind kind of makes you wonder what is so special about things that look like super-long floppy discs with a candle in them. Until you realise you’re looking at a digital light installation, not involving any type of flame, with the floppy disk thingy actually being the technological device that produces the fake flame.
And that is exactly what the title plays on as well. A candle burning in the wind? Yeah, sure. How could a candle actually burn in the wind without being blown out? This is in fact precisely what light artist Moritz Waldemeyer, who has worked with Hussein Chalayan on robotic, video and laser dresses, is specialised in – making the impossible seemingly possible – or making the seemingly impossible possible, if you prefer. And what is real and what is fake? And does it really matter? The lights are simply really beautiful and incredibly cleverly done. If you ask us, the 2013 version of a candlelit dinner should include one of these.
Maybe at an initial glance not quite as cool as some of the other nominated pieces, but certainly no less innovative and forward-thinking, is Priestmangoode’s Air Access. Paul Priestman - who founded Priestmangoode with fellow CSM Industrial Design alumnus Nigel Goode - designed an air travel solution for wheelchair users. It consists of two separate parts – a wheelchair that transports the passenger from the gate into the plane in one go, and a fixed frame in the airplane. After the wheelchair has been moved into the plane, it can be clicked into the fixed frame and together they form a seat, taking up just as much space as a regular one.
What would someone want to save in a fire at an English mansion? That’s what Giles Deacon asked himself when designing his A/W 2012 collection. And luxury and glamour in decay is exactly what you see in the fabulous dress on show at the Design Awards – without any loss of beauty. If anything, the decay itself turns into beauty. Hand-burnt edges of different kinds of lush fabrics and materials, including ivory silk, chiffon and ostrich feathers, are layered on top of each other. Some parts even have little holes burnt into them, showing the layers underneath. It all perfectly reflects the initial idea of luxury and destruction that inspired Deacon. Which in its own way reflects the economic times that we’re in. It turns this dress into a poetic combination of the fantasy of a mansion on fire and the economic reality that the world is in. And the hat by milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones, made of porcupine quills (you can easily picture the collection of interesting objects in that stately English home that were quickly grabbed before fleeing the fire..) creates the illusion of a mohawk. Oh, how we love English eccentricity…
The Sea Chair gives an insight into what design could (or maybe should) be about in the future: recycling materials instead of using resources we’re running out of, and making the world a less polluted place.
Made of plastic waste found in the ocean, this design collaboration between Studio Swine and Kieren Jones, MA Textiles Futures Course Coordinator, could not give a better example of making the best of what we’ve got. Their specially designed machine, the Sea Press, selects plastic by colour, heats it, and then moulds it into something new.
Whether the resemblance of what they create to fossilised trees is coincidental or not, it’s funny to think that both have something in common when it comes to durability. Even though one is made of synthetic waste and the other has gone through a natural process of millions of years, they will both last for a long time. It’s this durability that is plastic’s negative character trait. But when it comes to turning that plastic into something that is actually supposed to last, it’s fantastic.
One of fashion’s newest superstars, Craig Green, has come a long way since graduating from the MA Fashion just a year ago. Being nominated for his outstanding graduation collection alongside the likes of Comme des Garçons, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Giles and Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton is quite an achievement and needless to say, we’re all really proud!!
His architectural collection, inspired by nomads and with innovative prints made to look like light projections on the body, suggests a crusade in some far-away universe. Or maybe it’s what backpackers and festival-goers could look like in the future… Either way, needless to say, we are really proud of Craig and, just like everyone else, we are super hopeful for this fresh talent’s future!
Photograph by Irving Penn. Publihsed in Vogue, December 2003.
V&A is one of the greatest museums in the world and its installations and exhibitions often feature works of artists, musicians, architects and designers who studied at Central Saint Martins…we do not even mention the Fashion Galleries. Go and see Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950, open from Sat 19 May 2012 –Sun 6 January 2013.
Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion (6th July – 29th July 2012) is a free display of works created in collaboration by leading fashion designers, most of whom are CSM alumni: Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and milliner Stephen Jones, and notable artists from Britain. They have come together to celebrate and promote the creative relationship between fashion and art.
Yesterday 1Granary attended an evening talk at V&A where CSM’s notable alumni Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk, leading UK artist and RCA drop out, discussed their collaboration for Collusion display, with curator Susanna Greeves.
Desdemona Morris by Julie Verhoeven
Today, on May 24 in Hyde Park, London the wildlife charity will unveil unique commissions from leading artists, designers and architects created to inspire awareness of the WWF’s breadth of work and the imminent threats to our natural environment. As well as fund-raising, the evening will highlight the organisations work to protect endangered animals and their habitats, tackle climate change and promote sustainable ways of living. The event will be co-hosted by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry and Ed Smith, Chairman of the WWF.
Fashion MA’s colourful tutor -Julie verhoeven, contemporary fashion genius Hussein Chalayan and millinery maverick Stephen Jones are all Central Saint Martin’s alumni are part of the Pandamonium. (more…)