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Friday 31 May 2013

In Bed with Boateng

There was something that always bothered me about the Saville Row inspired bedding that I had made up a little while ago. Yes, the pinstripe Super 120's wool & cashmere cloth makes for an excellent ornamental pillow, and yes the fact that bedding can 'always bother me' is cause enough to hand in my Man-licence, but I've finally cracked it! Any suit worth it's salt, needs silk.

Be it a bright Ozwald Boateng lining or burnished Hermès cravate, the addition of these burnt orange herringbone bolsters not only increases the pillow count to a luxuriously inpractical seven, but delivers the much needed punch of satorial bedtime power dressing [£510 Hermes Faubourg pillow-case optional].

Undesign - The Monster in the Closet

From one beast to another. Rather than roaming the plains of Africa, this brightly coloured Korean mask sits hidden away in the utility cupboard. A tongue-in-cheek memento bestowed upon me from our scout in Japan, almost certainly because it is the antithesis of cool, understated design [thanks James!]

So stuffed by the water tank it was, and has been, for years. This is 'undesign'. Not planned, not masterfully considered, but enduring. Sometimes endearing; as in the case of the Korean mask, sometimes practical; keeping the sugar next to the Nespresso machine, but sometimes also, misguided.

Ask yourself, is your living room furniture arranged in the same layout as the previous owner's? If so, the ugly multicoloured head of undesign may have crept out of your own closet without you knowing.

Thursday 30 May 2013

King of Coffee Tables

King of the Elephants, Babar is an iconic and enduring character from the golden age of colonial, Tin Tin-esque adventure [and indeed, the young reporter's favourite flea market on the Place du Jeu de Balle in Brussels ranks amongst the best when it comes to big game design hunting].

In a world of conceited, over-sized and under-read coffee table monoliths, this first english edition, first in the series storybook from 1933 is my new favourite page turner. Beautifully worn, expect 'propper' books like these to soon replace Tom Ford retrospectives and anything from the 'Hip Hotels' stable.

Design Safari - The Flamant Rhino

On a recent design safari, bounding across the plains of Europe in search of wild designlife, I spotted the rare and magnificent Flamant Rhino. Part of a family of refined barware, the Flamant Rhino is bred from solid rosewood and highly valued for it's two brass tusks. When threatened, it is able to quickly dismantle under the protection of eight Glencairn whisky tumblers in to a set of fine coasters. On this occasion, the beast got away, but can be yours for €99 from your nearest Flamant game reserve.

A Machine for Sitting

Godfather of modernism, Le Corbusier, in creating his Villa Savoye sought to achieve the 'machine a habiter' or, machine for living - from its modular design [echoing virtruvian principles of human-sized scale and proportion], to its white facades with no ornament or decoration.

That makes his self titled LC-1 chair very much the 'machine a asseoir' [sitting] - designed from turned and polished tubular steel, the modest frame supports a pivoting back rest and two leather armrest belts. The smallest, most comfortable chair you've ever sat in, and part of MoMa's permanent collection, Le Corbusier's 'machine for sitting' is made that little bit less mechanical with a Cowhide colourway.
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