Popped along to The Design Museum’s preview of its annual Designs of the Year award this morning. Now, I am not just a fan of great fashion design; I am a fan of great design full stop. That is why this selection is always such a joy. An international list of talent across several categories; including architecture, fashion, furniture, product and digital.
On the fashion side it was great to see established labels – Comme Des Garcons, Prada and Giles Deacon alongside newcomer Craig Green. A super witty video ‘I Want Muscle’, directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock showed Kizzy Vaines, a female bodybuilder looking super glamourous and glossy. It’s aim to challenge the traditional ideas of femininity in fashion.
There was also some very clever curating. Placing the beautifully distressed Giles Deacon gown next to the similarly textured Tié Paper Chair by Pinwu created perfect harmony. Placing Zaha Hadid’s mesmerising Liquid Glacial Table on the other side was a lesson in textural juxtaposition.
There was also clever mixing of Proenza Schouler’s AW12 pieces with Jolan Van Der Wiel’s amazing, ‘futuristic industrial’ Gravity Stool.
Other pieces that really caught my eye were the non slip Liquiglide Ketchup Bottle by the Dave Smith/Varanasi Research Group at MIT – a sure fire winner with all greasy spoon and burger bar owners (I want to see these at MEATliquor)
The Free Universal Construction Kit from F.A.T. Lab + Sy-Lab. The plans can be downloaded for free and then a set of 80 adapter bricks can printed using a 3D printer. The bricks allow interconnectivity between ten popular international children’s construction toys. Kids can build Lego/Duplo/K’Nex/Tinkertoy hybrids! What better way to teach our kids that we can all get along, no matter where we come from or what we look like? I may be reading too much into this one.
And the Little Printer by Berg. Because it is a teeny printer and it can print newspaper that are 2 inches long. Much easier to handle for us little people that the regular sized broadsheets.
And Book Mountain in Holland, designed by MVRDV. This is pretty much my dream Library. Yes, I do have one of those.
Oh, and these little chairs. Not in the exhibit, just in the the shop. But something about their placement in the window made me smile.
All images are either Style Sequel’s or are used with permission of The Design Museum.
I think we all like to think that we can cope with every fashion name thrown at us, slipping it into our conversation with ease. But let’s be honest, that is sometimes not the case. Or it is sometimes not the case with me and I am happy to stand up and say so. I have been doing a little research on how top designer names should be pronounced and I can tell you that it is far from cut and dry. I think I am now more confused actually.
(All capitals eg ‘AA’ or ‘KEY’ take the stress of the word – thanks BBC)
There seems to be little controversy on how Louis is pronounces, LOO-ee, seems to be the consensus. However when it comes to Vuitton, lordy there are some very different views on that one. There is the simplified VI-ton and the slightly more tongue bending Voo-EE-ton. Marc Jacobs’ apparently says “VWEE-ton” and many people side with Yves Carcell (the Frenchman who runs the fashion and leather goods division of LVMH) and his pronouncement of vwee-TO(NG). I even called the Louis Vuitton shop on New Bond Street a few times and I got slightly different versions there too.
Since Balenciaga founder Cristóbal was Basque purists believe his surname should be pronounced bal-en-thi-AA-guh. However as the house of Balenciaga itself is French most people substitute the ‘t’ for an ‘s’ so it becomes bal-en-si-AA-guh. Other spellings of this last one, which have the same effect overall are bah-lehn-see-AH-ga or balenSEEaga.
PS Balenciaga’s head designer from 1997 to 2012 is no easier. Easy to remember to drop the s from Nicolas – so Nee-co-la – but Ghesquière is a little trickier. I have heard it pronounced as guess-SKARE, guess-KEY-air and (sin of fashion sins it seems) guess-QUire. From what I have read the middle one is most accurate. I love you Nicolas but thank goodness for the ease of Wang is all I can say!
Taken from founder Miuccia Prada’s nickname, I always (to the amusement of my team) get this one wrong. I actually know I am saying it wrong, but something in my brain just won’t let me say it correctly. I always say Mwee Mwee, but I KNOW it is Myoo Myoo or Mew Mew – like a cat. I have also seen Me-You Me-You which I kind off love.
Looks tricky but actually once you know this one it is easy – pro-EN-za SKOOL-er is the consensus. Interestingly the label’s designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have been quoted as saying “One of our biggest regrets is the name of our company. There are so many letters. Even coming up with a font was a mission.”
I am huge Chalayan fan and I have been to events where he was speaking (such an interesting man), but I swear on those occasions everybody pronounced his surname slightly differently. I have always said Hoo-sane sha-LIon, but I have heard it pronounced with a ‘ch’ sound- as chuh-LIGH-uhn. And many slight variations on both of these. Still no clearer really.
I honestly feel I have opened myself a phonetic can of worms here. Must be the love of research in me. There will be more to follow. Let me know yours or feel free to correct/comment on any of the above.