I was quite taken by the Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2013 collection presented at Milan in February, earlier this year. From the space in which the collection was presented, which featured a metallic polyhedron at its centre that danced light spectacularly onto the models, through to the idiosyncratic styling (simple makeup, slick-back hair) and the garments themselves, which were bold and yet reserved, odd for the subtle and not-so-subtle flamboyancies (such as the inclusion of actual gold woven into some of the clothes and the calf-leather dress and coats) and pleasant for their selection of colours ranging from moodier tones of plum, burgundy and navy through to almost-sky blues, slightly pale yellow and splashes of apricot. The architecture of the clothes in this collection interested me; they are at once derivative of what has come before at the house of Jil Sander, and yet slightly edgier, more refined and sharper. Whilst this collection didn’t blow me away in the way Raf Simons’ work for the label often used to, it was refreshing to see this collection amongst all the others this season for its diligence in restraint, sophistication and minimalism. For this, Sander has my respect.
Search results for “Metal”
The San Paolo Parish by Fuksas Architetto, completed in 2009, is a carefully articulated play with volumes. In concept, the main space is a box suspended within a box. It’s a play of intersecting regulated shapes, strategically placed, with emphasis on the void. The relief between volumes is therefore where the natural light enters the structure, allowing for shards of light to move through the spaces over time. Light enters both horizontally and vertically through the space. Emphasising the play with nature and built elements. Located in Foligno, Italy, the San Paolo Parish was initially conceived for a competition, which was won in 2001. The jury cited that the design was a sign of innovation that met the latest international research, becoming a symbol of rebirth for the city after the earthquake. Also therefore capturing the essence of what the spiritual and meditative space is intended to embody. This project features the use of pure geometries and natural day-lighting that create a spiritual connection with the heaven. Comprised predominantly of concrete, glass and metal, the series of regulated shapes that comprise the San Paolo Parish complex is beautiful. The lines are consistent, beautifully executed and each element is carefully curated....
This simple and elegant candle holder has been created by Germany based designer Patrick Frey for homewares company Utensil. The piece is a modernized take on a Victorian hand held candlestick our ancestors used to light their way around the house. In Frey’s version, the traditional silhouette has been preserved but significantly simplified. Spike candle holder consists of two elements – a round metal plate and a meat hook, that serves both as a functional handle and a fixture for the candle. I like the effortless beauty of the piece. It is also quite practical and accommodates different diameter candles. Comes in a variety of colors.
Young Frankk is a jewelry line launched in 2011 by Virginia-based US artist turned jewelry designer, Christine Young, drawing inspiration from simple and minimal designs, yet infused with bold graphic, geometric, and even organic shapes. As a graduate of Parsons School of Design for Illustration, she incorporates her drawing experience into her designs by translating line work onto metal. Every piece is made by hand by the designer, creating one-of-a-kind and unique pieces. I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity, minimalism and geometric quality of Young Frankk’s lookbooks. Every piece has a boldness and completeness to it, like a story being told with each one.
Kaki side table has been created by Taiwan based furniture designer Kenyon Yeh. A lightweight and aesthetically austere piece, Kaki can serve to hold a vase, flower pot, books or a lamp. It can even be used as an improvised writing desk by those of us who live in confined spaces. Kaki is made of powder coated metal and consists of only two elements - a bent tabletop, which rests against the wall for added stability, and two legs. I love the simplicity and versatility of the piece. Its neutral design and light frame make it easy to move around and apply to various tasks.
Think Black Lines by Nendo was originally conceived for an exhibition (curated by Phillips de Pury and Company) at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2010 based on condensed expressions of meaning. Whereby the designs gently break the relationship of before and behind, and traverse at times the space between two and three dimensions. The exhibition was a series of utilitarian items, envisioned on this similar principle of lines, in particular the theme of ‘outlines’. The resulting series of coat racks, all exhibited as minor transgressions of one another, were the play on two and three-dimensional principles. The slightness of these outlines I think is quite beautiful. While the practical functions of the item are still represented in the form, it is the less-ness of the outcome that is emphasized. This series of experimentation with lines, cast in black metal, is quite timeless. The structures represent the ultimate fusion of form, diverging from its original functional aesthetic.
A Frame is a collection of elegant linear folding tables, created by London based designer Tomás Alonso for furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard. Each table has a simple A-frame base (hence the name), which folds completely flat when the piece is disassembled. Designer explains: It is a proposal for a “temporary” piece of furniture that accommodates to contemporary living in cities, which implies living in small spaces, that change from time to time as we move from one flat to the next. I like the idea of a single colorful metal leg, it gives artistic individuality to each of these objects. The tables are made from Japanese oak and powder coated steel, they come in different sizes and diameters.
The wonderfully minimalist Leis kitchen utensil set consists of a fork, spoon and spatula developed by Slovenian studio Gigodesign, who also designed the packaging, for the manufacturing company Rimarket. Leis is a revival of the Slovenian wooden kitchen accessories, also referred to as suha roba. The result is beautifully designed and elegant pieces made by hand with local Slovenian beechwood, remaining absolutely contemporary at the same time, with an integrated magnet for fixing to any metallic surface.
Italian abstract artist Agostino Bonalumi is renowned for his estroflessioni works or painting objects from 1960 to present. They are essentially made from structures and frames, which, when placed at the backs of canvases, causes them to stretch and deform, creating plays on light and shadow. The result allows the viewer to actively participate in each three dimensional piece. It is a collection of Bonalumni’s recent painting objects that I would like to share with you today. From 2010 to 2012, he has created these elegant and deceptively simple acrylic on canvas works. Gallery Vedovi, where Bonalumi’s work was recently exhibited, writes: Bonalumi uses special substructures in wood or metal to break the evenness of the canvas that lent it a plastic relief, thus allowing to capture light and to throw shadows on its own. The strength of these geometrical shapes is enhanced by the monochrome in a homogeneous, nuance free and flat colour. I would love to check out one of his exhibitions in the future. If any of you have had the pleasure, please share your thoughts.
Joshua Browne created a clever and minimalist dinning table for people living in small flats with little or limited space. The dining table, named TTable, can allow for both one person to dine alone or, with the extension, accommodate for visitors. TTable is a non mechanical table with a sheet of lacquered metal that simply glides over the existing maple wooden table, hiding it when extra table top is not needed. When fully extended the sheet metal drops onto a lower part of the table removing the lip between the two surfaces.
Stockholm based design studio Form Us With Love created this stunning modular hanger named Prosthesis. In medicine a prosthesis is an artificial device extension that replaces a missing. In this coat hanger, the prosthesis unifies all its parts to a beautiful unit for storage of clothes. The hanger, made of wooden modules and a dyed metal joining piece, is manufactured by Malmö based RVW.
Aptly named after what inspired its form, Melt, by Japanese design collective Nendo is essentially a piece of structural metal, in a black powder coated finish for that matter, that appears to ‘melt’ into the back, the arm rest and the legs of a chair while being supported by the seat. At the 2012 Salone del Mobile, the chair was part of a series called K% black&black which is described as perfecting the balance between structure and function in furniture, without the unnecessary distraction of new materials, technique and colour. It was a small but pleasant ‘aha’ moment when I first saw the chair without reading the brief. Clever and simple, its form has the modern sensibility to suit any contemporary interior, minimalist or not.