Friday, July 17, 2009

Wearable design

1923, Coco Chanel said to H
arper's Bazaar that "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." Coco Chanel always kept the clothing s
he designed simple, comfortable and revealing. Unlike most designers in that Europe, she kept the woman inside the c
lothes at the center of her creations. "I gave women a
sense of freedom; I gave them back their bodies: bodies that were drenched in sweat, due to fashion's finery
, lace, corsets, underclothes, padding."[3] She took what were considered poor fabrics like jersey and u
pgraded them. Chanel's style is popularly associated with the image of the 1920s flapper, a "new breed" of self-confident young women that challenged the established concept of socially acceptable behavior. The flappers demonstrated their independence through new looks and attitude, such as short skirts and haircuts, openly using cosmetics, and being seen to smoke and drink cocktails. Compared to previous generations of women the flappers also showed an increased level of activity, pursuing athletic sports, driving their own automobiles, and going out to nightclubs where they could listen to jazz music and do energetic dances such as the Charleston.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Furniture Designer - Verner Panton Posted by Julie Davenport

VERNER PANTON (1926-1998) was a master of the fluid, futuristic style of 1960s design which introduced the Pop aesthetic to furniture and interiors. Born in Denmark, he made his name there before settling in Switzerland in the 1960s.

During the ‘Beat’ years of the mid-1950s, young European artists and writers bought battered old camper vans to travel across the continent. One of the oddest-looking of these vans was the Volkswagen belonging to Verner Panton, a young Danish architect, who had customised it into a mobile studio.

Every few months, Panton set off from Copenhagen in the Volkswagen for a trek across Europe dropping in on fellow designers as well as any manufacturers or distributors which he hoped would buy his work. Famed like the rest of Scandinavia for its organic modernist designs, Denmark was then at the centre of the contemporary design scene. Yet Verner Panton’s style could not have been more different from the soft, naturalistic forms and materials which were the hallmarks of Danish modernism. He knew that he would have to look further afield to win acceptance for his work.

Panton had close links with many of the most important Danish designers of that era. Pøul Henningsen, the lighting designer, had taught him at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Art. After graduating, he had worked for Denmark’s architectural grandee, Arne Jacobsen. Panton also enjoyed a close friendship with designer-craftsman, Hans Wegner. But whereas Wegner was famed for his skill at modernising classic Danish teak chairs, Panton’s passion lay in experiments with plastics and other rapidly advancing man-made materials to create vibrant colours in the geometric forms of Pop Art.

Nothing in Verner Panton’s childhood suggested that he might become a designer. Born in 1926 to innkeeper parents in Gantofte, a tiny village on the island of Fünen, he longed to become a artist, but showed little talent for painting or drawing. Despite this, he won a place at the technical college in Odense, the largest town on the island, in 1944. Denmark was then occupied by the Germans and Panton joined the resistance. Towards the end of World War II, he spent several months in hiding after a cache of weapons was found in his room. After completing his studies in Odense, Panton moved to Copenhagen in 1947 to enrol as an architecture student.

Panton Chair, 1968 Design: Verner Panton Manufacturer: Vitra

Wire chairs and Moon Lamp,
Design: Verner Panton
© Marianne Panton

Flying Chairs, 1964
Design: Verner Panton
Manufacturer: Herman Miller/Vitra
© Poul Ib Henriksen

Furniture System, 1973
Design: Verner Panton
Manufacturer: Fritz Hansen
© Marianne Panton


1926 Born in Gamtofte on the island of Fünen, Denmark to innkeeper parents.

1944 Moves to Odense, also on Fünen, to enrol at the Technical College. Becomes involved with the Danish resistance against the German occupation.

1947 Starts an architecture degree at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Arts.

1950 As an assistant to the architect, Arne Jacobsen, works on the Ant Chair.

1955 Fritz Hansen launches Panton’s first mass-produced pieces of furniture, the Tivoli Chair and Bachelor Chair.

1957 Designs a self-assembly weekend home to be sold as a limited edition.

1958 Opening of Komigen restaurant, designed by Panton for his parents, is an instant hit, as is the Cone Chair he created for it.

1960 Develops first inflatable chair and designs the Astoria Hotel in Norway.

1961 Panton’s furniture, textiles and lights published in Mobilia’s "Black Book".

1963 Moves to Basel (after a short stint in Cannes) with Marianne Person-Oertenheim. Begins collaboration with Herman Miller-Vitra in Basel.

1964 Flying Chairs and Shell Lamps create a furore at Cologne Furniture Fair.

1965 Unveils S Chair, first cantilevered moulded plywood chair, for Thonet. Starts work on the Panton Chair with Herman Miller-Vitra launched in 1968.

1969 Living Towers unveiled in Paris. Spiegel headquarters completed.

1970 Designs fantastical Visiona II exhibition for Bayer at Cologne Fair.

1973 Completes work on the interior of Grüner & Jahr’s offices in Hamburg.

1990 Vitra puts the Panton Chair back into production.

1994 IKEA produces Panton’s Vilbert Chair as the Panton revival takes off.

1995 Panton Chair appears on the cover of British Vogue.

1998 Verner Panton dies in Copenhagen 12 days before the opening of his Light and Colour retrospective at the Trapholtmuseum in Kolding, Denmark.

2000 Verner Panton: Light and Colour opens at Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhein, and the Design Museum.

© Design Museum

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Costume Designer-Edith Head

Edith Head (1897-1981)
In 1924, (whilst lack of art design or costume design experience), She was hired as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures in the costume department. She than later admitted that she had borrowed another student's sketches for her job interview. Edith was famously known for her Straight-cut bangs, dark glasses and tailored suits as her trademark which made her more famous than the major stars who shone in the industry.
In her six decades of costume design, she worked on 1131 motion pictures, recieved 35 Academy Award nominations and won 8 Oscars. In addition to her film/costume work, she designed Vogue sewing patterns, staged Hollywood fashion shows, wrote many magazine and newspaper columns, wrote 2 books (The Dress Doctor and How to Dress For Success).
She started off Designing costumes for Silent Films, such as 'The Wanderer' (1925). She worked at Paramount for 44 years until she went to Universal pictures in 1967.
During her Paramount Years she was nominated for 35 academy awards every year and won eight times. Her costumes were being worn by the most glamorous and famous actresses in films. In the 1950's she began appearing on Art Linkletter's tv show, and writin
g books on fashion.
The "sarong" dress that was designed for Dorothy Lamour in 'the Hurricane' made her well known.
During her universal Years, she designed a woman's uniform for the Untied States Coast Guard,designed costumes for a mini TV series based on the novel Little Women.
Some of the many films she worked in was, Peter Pan,The Golden Bed,Wings,The Pursuit of Happiness,The Cursade and many many more.
Here is a link to all the Films she worked in-

Oriel - Chairs by Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon -         “S” Chair
Product Description:     Occasional or dining chair

Materials: Steel and Various

Dimensions: H: 1400mm, Dia: 600mm

Tom Dixon’s love of motorbikes directed his path into the world of furniture design.  A couple of serious bike accidents had forced him to drop out of art school and then discontinue as a musician, (bass guitar for a disco band).  His unrelenting interest in motorbikes required him to learn the skill of welding, which he learnt from a friend in one quick lesson.

"I was immediately hooked on welding...mesmerised by the tiny pool of molten metal, viewed from the safety of darkened goggles. Allowing an instant fusion of one piece of steel to another. It had none of the seriousness of craft and none of the pomposity of design: it was industry.

It suited my impatience me the opportunity to build, destroy, adjust and remake structures instantly.”

At the time London was full of scrap metal yards, due to the eighties boom, giving a ready availability of material waiting to be transformed.

Tom’s reputation grew and caught the attention of Italian furniture design company, Cappellini, whose support provided the manufacturing capability and vision of Dixon, and several other burgeoning designers.

The "S" chair made Tom Dixon's name, evolving from early prototypes in his Creative Salvage days. It was initially woven with recycled rubber inner tubes, and then covered in rush, a material traditionally used for drop in seats. Cappellini were attracted by its sculptural form and amazing legless structure of bent steel frame. Launched by Cappellini with a vibrant felt upholstered covering in 1989, the "S" chair quickly reached iconic like status and now has a permanent place in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

 Serpentine Lounge Rubber Band Chair

 Galvanised Chaise Longe

LuLu : Costume Design

(Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events; new film, Public Enemy)
(Sweeney Todd)

Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood (born 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American costume designer.

Colleen has been nominated for an Academy Award numerous times and won Academy Awards for the movies Chicago in 2002 and Memoirs of a Geisha in 2006. Colleen has collaborated several times with directors Tim Burton and Jonathan Demme. Beginning her career as a fashion advisor in Washington State in the early 1970s, Colleen eventually ventured into the world of costume design for theater and film, initially coming to fame through her work on Sting's Bring on the Night World Tour. Colleen Atwood has been involved in some pretty amazing films, and music videos:

Married to the Mob (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Ed Wood (1994), Little Women (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996), Gattaca (1997), Beloved (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), The Tick (2001-TV series), Chicago (2002), Big Fish (2003), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Mission: Impossible III (2005), My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade (Music Video) (2006), My Chemical Romance - Famous Last Words (Music Video) (2006), Sweeney Todd (2007), Public Enemies (2009), "Nine" (2009), "The Rum Diary" (2009)

Colleen has been partially involved in developing or has been the lead designer for producing the costumes on over 50 films to date. Colleen was the lead costume designer for all of the new costumes created for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2005-2006. She designed the military uniforms for the band My Chemical Romance.

Jacqueline Durran 

(Atonement costume designs)

Jacqueline Durran has worked in the costume department of an impressively diverse range of films: from Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake, to Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and, Jo Wright adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, and most recently Atonement, both starring Keira Knightley. She has gained herself a broad selection of awards for her costume designs.  

I came across a website with Jacqueline being interviewed, if you're interested:

How did you become a costume designer?

At the age of 20, after studying philosophy, I realised that costume designing existed as a job! I thought it would be wonderful to work alongside actors and directors in the theatre or on film sets. I found some work in a costume hire house, where I got to know designers who came in to get inspiration for their work. I then became an assistant in the wardrobe departments of the Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy and James Bond, Die Another Day.

What's the design process on a major feature?
It’s different on every feature, but what usually happens is you’re interviewed for the position when the film is still in the planning stage. If you’re given the job, you have a preparation period in which you go away, do your research and begin making clothes. On Pride And Prejudice this period was only nine weeks. During this time, I had an assistant working for me, who’d go out and buy fabrics and materials for me to look at. You always hope that casting will happen as soon as possible, so that you can start taking measurements and making costumes with an actor in mind. The department draws up a ‘costume plot’ – detailing exactly how many different changes of clothes each character will need. You’ll then look at the director’s order of filming, and begin to make the costumes in the order that they will be needed. As well as an assistant, there’ll also be a person who does the fittings and takes care of the physical wardrobe, and, as was the case on Pride And Prejudice, a person who’s job it is to make the clothes look older than they really are!

Various productions of Pride And Prejudice have come and gone over the years. How did you make sure that the costumes in this new version stood out?
The first thing I did was ban myself from watching any previous adaptations. I knew it would be too difficult not to be influenced and I wanted to produce as fresh a look as possible. Secondly, most film versions of the book were set in and around 1815. The director decided that this version would be set in 1796/7, so we were talking about a different era of fashion. I took inspiration from original references – paintings of the period and surviving costumes.

The styles worn by actors in films often influence real life fashion. Could that be the case with Pride And Prejudice?
It will, as it has done on so many previous occasions. In the 1960s, Doctor Zhivago inspired the Russian peasant look. I’ve already been interviewed by an American magazine, whose editor believes that the film will inspire the Empire line. That’s not to say that Pride And Prejudice will start this trend or that it will become a dominant look in mainstream fashion; it may well just tap into an idea that’s already around and be adopted by the fringes. When I’m designing costumes for a film, I’m not in a bubble; I’m influenced by everything around me. The costumes in Pride And Prejudice reflect, to some extent, what’s going on in the world of fashion at the moment, and by the same token, could well influence new looks.

(Atonement Costume Design)

(Pride and Prejudice)

Images via Google search

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Susie B Post 5 - Fashion Photographer & Illustrator

Patrick Demarchelier was born near Paris in 1943 to a modest family. For his seventeenth birthday, his stepfather bought him his first Kodak camera. He quickly became a natural behind the camera. Then he learned how to develop film, retouch negatives, began shooting friends and weddings…
He started working in a dark-room for a young women’s finishing school where he put together portfolios for the students. There, he perfected his technique, sharpened his eye and began to develop his personal style.
He discovered fashion photography by working as a free-lance photographer. His work drew the attention of Elle, Marie-Claire, 20 ans Magazine in France, Italy and in Germany. In 1975, he left France for New York without speaking a single word of English with the intention to follow his girlfriend – who left him before he even arrived – this trip would launch him on his journey to become one of the greatest fashion photographers. He learned English on the street and by watching TV. He began his international career working for Glamour and Mademoiselle Magazines. He later worked for Vogue magazine and Harper’s Bazaar in September 1992 which resulted in a 12-year collaboration. Demarchelier’s work rapidly became recognized by key players in the fashion industry and he was quickly solicited to shoot prestigious international advertising campaigns. Dior, Louis Vuitton, Céline, Tag Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, etc

Patrick Demarchelier’s artistic approach for a photo shoot is identical whether it’s with a celebrity or a fashion model. He seeks to unveil the sublime natural essence of his subject and reveal their inner optimism. Robert de Niro, Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Nicole Kidman, Julia Ro
berts, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Gianni Versace, Warren Beatty, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Laura Bush, Président Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, etc. and Lady Diana's official photographer.

Patrick Demarchelier loves spontaneity. It’s at the beginning or end of a photo shoot that he unveils the subjects’ natural essence. A state of mind that he pursues to capture. The Demarchelier touch is spontaneity and positive vision projected upon his subject.

Patrick Demarchelier’s fashion photographs emphasizes the recognition of the art of fashion. his sensitivity, deep sense of humanity, respect for his subjects, and ability to unearth passion in each individual. Regardless of whether the subject is famous or unknown, they vibrate to the frequency of the photographer’s generous gaze. And the visitor is carried away by the life force bursting from the model’s eyes.

Kareem Iliya

"Iliya's work is usually described as being 'ethereal' and 'mystical'. He works with watercolor and ink on paper, often in vibrant colors through which figures and objects seem to burst and radiate."

Kareem Iliya was born in Lebanon in 1967 and studied fashion design in Texas and New York. He works with watercolours and ink to create those beautiful illustrations. His playing with contrasts and the colour gradient in his work are stunning!

Kareem Iliya started his fashion career working with Giorgio Armani, and from 1992 also freelanced as an illustrator. His images are hauntingly full of grace and mystery.

In addition to being an illustrator, Kareem Iliya is also a menswear designer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Post7- Candy/

Ann Roth

Birth Details
October 30, 1931 Hanover, Pennsylvania, United States
Costume designer
 Attended Carnegie-Mellon University
 Costume designer.
 Worked for American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA; McCarter TheatreCompany, Princeton, NJ; American Ballet Theatre; American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, CT; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington,DC; Minneapolis Opera, Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco Opera, San Francisco,CA; Hartman Theatre Company, Stanford, CT, 1981; and Long Wharf Theatre, NewHaven, CT, 1982.

Ann Roth's distinguished career as a costume designer spans forty years of work on some of the industry's most memorable and high-profile films. She won an Academy Award in 1997 for The English Patient, and she has been nominated for Oscars® on three other films: The Hours, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Places in the Heart.Earlier this year, Ms. Roth was also presented with the Costume Designers Guild's honorary Career Achievement for Film Award.Ms. Roth's most recent work as a costume designer will be seen this year in Miramax Film's Cold Mountain,directed by Anthony Minghella from the best-selling Civil War novel by Charles Frazier, and starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. She has also been working on Frank Oz's The Stepford Wives, and M. Night Shyamalan's The Woods.