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Monday, 31 March 2014

Calling Time on Taxidermy


Monochromatic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld famously said that "trendy is the last stage before tacky". Well, taxidermy has certainly been trendy for a while, and whatever your opinion of plywood deer heads on gastropub walls, this homage from Maison & Objet in Paris made me chuckle.

Perfectly straddling the lines between trendy and tacky, the Jean Paul Gaultier inspired mâché walrus bust is topped off with a kitch cap from the French Naval Marines [complete with obligatory red pom pom]. Mounted on an equally J.P.G. striped background, I'm not sure it'll be featuring in forthcoming artist's Barbican retrospective. That said, animal forms have an enduring and iconic place in design. So, is taxidermy dead? By definition, it always was. And it isn't going anywhere soon.

Design Downtime - The Marvel in Morocco


Don't be fooled, Design Trawling is not for the faint hearted. Sure, the relentless circling the globe in the search of meticulously crafted artifacts sounds like fun. Buckling-up in your usual seat with a copy of the weekend FT and chalice of fizz during take-off, only to louche around luxury accommodations in locations with corresponding Wallpaper* guides seems like a hoot. But it's not. Honestly.

Every armchair, every streetlamp, every window frame, doorknob and bedside alarm clock; it's all design; and it's all fair game for Design Trawler. Food critics work when they're examining towers of wild venison and polka-dots of berry jus. Film enthusiasts cast their verdict on the basis of a few hours of explosions, wide-angle shots and [if they're lucky] subtitles and moody music. But for a Design Trawler, short of confining ones self to a white room with no windows [it has been suggested], there is little respite or sanctuary. Well, there is one. It's called Amanjena.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Every Dog Has Its Day


If the battle of Trafalgar taught us anything, it's that podiums for displaying ever changing whimsical works of contemporary art are of pivotal importance to the nation. This applies in equal measure indoors, and particularly where Ultralofts are concerned [the tall, black and shiny variety are recommended]

Introducing the First Plinth! A space to precariously perch a seasonally curated selection of fine design finds from Design Trawler. Glossy and substantial podiums instantly elevate anything placed on them to artefactual superstardom and encourage a gallery-like rotation of environment. As for the honour of the first exhibit; it has to be Jeff the Balloon dog; the subject of Design Trawler's first article back in 2010.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Nose to Tail Lighting


The dilemma with taxidermy, is that some people, find the idea of mounting a zebra head on the wall a little inappropriate, no matter how marvellous it looks. Putting the entire animal on display would, of course, be fine, but not everybody has the space for a monochromatic horse in the living room.

I spotted the most remarkable solution in Paris. Using two cleverly positioned ceiling spotlights, the body of said equine appears in shadow as if by magic. A dramatic feature that'll be sure to keep your vegan friends associates happy. Pair with floor lamps by Dutch design house Mooi.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Bottega Ikea Leather Weave


I know I give Ikea a hard time when it comes to their disposable art decorations, but every now and again the purveyor of plywood picture frames comes up trumps. These woven stoage boxes, with elegant loop handle and silver stud punch way above their £10 price tag.

A nod to the signature intrecciato woven leather of Itallian couture house Bottega Veneta, the Bladis box could sit quite happily alongside Veneta's £200 pencil holders, £300 tissue boxes and £400 picture frames [or Montecristo 'A' cigars]. Ideal for storing the neatly stacked piles of cash you've just saved.
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