Honest By is a fashion company conceived and curated by Belgian designer Bruno Pieters with experiences at Martin Margiela, Thimister and Christian Lacroix under his belt. The philosophy behind it is rooted in its transparency behind the operating methods and manufacturing processes of a fashion design company from conception to production. All the information is presented right down to the cost of making the ‘care’ and ‘made in’ labels. Every part of the collaboration process is transparent including the store mark up calculations. In communicating all information regarding a garments production process; Honest by wants to shed light on the questions: where is it made and by whom. Bruno Pieters believes that fashion is a celebration of beauty and that the story behind that celebration can be equally beautiful. Yet it is the clean aesthetic and sharp tailoring that first caught my eye in Pieters’ 2012 collection where the minimalist silhouettes allow the details of the designs to be somewhat androgynous. I really like how the structured forms are juxtaposed by its versatile way of wear and comfortable materials. The responsibly sourced, supplied and produced philosophy is the icing on the cake.
Search results for “Nest”
One of Apple’s finest minds Tony Fadell is the force behind Nest, a new thermostat manufacturer. The device is a sleeker and smarter alternative to a traditional wall eyesore most people are used to. Nest learns your heating and cooling preferences and adjusts accordingly. It is also wi-fi enabled and can be controlled directly from your computer or smartphone. Technology should be about more than newest, loudest, prettiest. It should make a difference. We take what’s familiar and look at it in a new light. Our team focuses on making technology that’s simple, fresh and helpful. This ability to adapt is also reflected in the design of the device. A true chameleon, Nest blends into any wall and reflects any colour. Apple influences are strong in the shape of the piece. And it seems that Steve Jobs’ war on buttons has gained a new mighty little soldier… Watch the video to see Nest in action.
Once again, Jil Sander has left her own label after expelling Raf Simons from the house in 2012. For Autumn Winter 2014, the brand’s design team took over to produce a minimal collection that proves even without a creative director, a show can still carry on its identity without any compromises. The collective effort has created a new Jil girl that’s both tomboy and feminine. With her popped collars and bright creepers, she knows where she wants to go, and what she wants to do. The outerwear and the pants especially emphasizes this masculinity undertone, while the floral dresses totally contrast that. With a few tailoring twists here and there (literally), there is an additional newness to what is seemingly ordinary. The trend of pastels is apparent through a combination of soft colors applied onto vibrant textures, from the glossy finish to the interwoven feel of knitwear. Accessories were simplified to small bags and exactly one pair of sunglasses, which I found quirky and humorous. All these elements fused together to elevate the energy of youth with an elegant manner. Although there was no innovation, the ready-to-wear aspect was highly regarded and the collection was wearable at its finest. In...
In February Noon Studio launched their latest iternation of the steel stool we have featured in the past. I did like the previous edition, the simple construction and use of honest materials, but I like the latest iternation even better. The founders of Noon Studio, Gautier Pelegron and Vincent Taiani, have worked on a few important details in the construction and decided to powder coat paint the high grade steel sheet. I love the contrast of the oiled European ash and the black steel. Pelegron and Taiani say the stool is influenced by traditional English craftsmanship and Provencal (southeastern France) rawness. The stool tries to express the direct simplicity found in real traditional antique Provencal furniture and the know-how of British craftsmanship which still holds today. The stool is not just a stool. One can easliy use it as a side or coffee table, book holder or shelving system.
Look carefully or you might miss the tiny Yokaya restaurant and residence in Fukuoka, Japan. This humble white rectangle is nestled on a busy street between several tall condo buildings. Designed by rhythmdesign, the structure is a mere 135 square meters and houses a restaurant on the ground floor with an apartment above. The front facade is entirely opaque on the upper stories, while a cutout on the ground floor invites passerby into the restaurant. Wood and concrete are the main materials used in the interior. In the restaurant, the simple design allows the food to take center stage. The apartment above is arranged with a similar aesthetic: built in storage keeps the space uncluttered and the furnishings are limited to essentials. I love the modest design of this duplex building. The clean lines of the architecture and precise use of materials come together quite elegantly. Yokaya is quiet and reserved, but it is its little form that stands dignified on this bustling street.
Kebei Li’s Bronze Cable Holder reinterprets the utilitarian. Fusing functionality and form, this piece helps to express the beauty in the un-ornate. Simplistic in finish and beautifully crafted, Li has really crafted something minimal, from an everyday untapped opportunity for assistance. Inspired by his daily frustration of charging cables falling off of the table, the intent was for this to be a very function-driven design approach with clear affordance. Rhode Island-based Li is very passionate about the use of raw and genuine materials and the absence of decoration. I find this approach very interesting, especially his quality of honesty with the materiality. His work focuses on the human-object interaction and how the reliability of use and the making of the design all connect in some way. The material itself, being bronze was specific due to its layer of patina that forms through use over time. There is also an emphasis on the controlled geometry which I appreciate on many levels. Photography courtesy of Kebei Li.
151E is a shop based in Fukuoka dedicated to Japan’s finest teas. The name is written in alpha-numeric characters, but is pronounced ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会), which is actually a Japanese phrase nearly impossible to translate for its multiple roots and interpretations. However, the term can be used to encourage one to cherish a once in a lifetime moment, or perhaps a cup of tea, in the tradition of tea ceremonies which are always of significance in Japanese culture. 151E opened in Fukuoka in October 2013 and boasts the finest varieties of teas from the Kyushu region. In typical Japanese fashion, the shop features an elegant interior with clean, raw materials and showcases an beautiful range of minimalist packaging for each tea.
Natural growth. This basic principle is not only valuable for UK based fashion label Cotton Love‘s fabric choice, it is also their very healthy idea of developing a brand. Having established a neat niche online shop which started out as a vintage curation platform, it is a natural and highly welcomed next step to establish Cotton Love’s in-house collection for both sexes, galvanizing the style and attitude of its trustful customers. It is no question that the Kickstarter funding project, which is a requirement to start production, will be a success. Launching via Kickstarter on a pre-order basis ensures that, as a small independent brand, we are able to fully realize our vision, manage production quantities and maintain manufacturing within the UK. I really like the attitude of founder Nigel and creative director Ruth, focusing on independence in a very competitive industry. But, more importantly, being a potential future customer, I love the very pure and refined clothing they design, focused on honesty of construction and a distinguishable identity.
Urban Oasis’ Still House Collection is a new take on the traditional drinking vessel and serving accompaniment. The beautifying of the everyday through materiality and finish, offer an element of occasion through form. Designed in New York City, the collection is distributed both locally and internationally and has a growing consumer base. The pieces are a combination of glazed and raw ceramic elements that are intended to bring a sense of calm and simplicity. Exhibited and sold through Still House in New York, Urban Oasis has created a collection that is both accessible, considered and embedded with deliberate minimalist detail. There is an organic quality to the forms also, playing with light and illumination through the materiality. Open since May 2011, Still House is a vehicle for emerging designers across New York, Japan, Scandinavia and Europe and is a blend between shop and gallery where they pride themselves on being a place to find new art and design talent. Nestled in East Village, I applaud the launching pad they offer for local artists and the quality and accessibility to designed pieces they offer the end user. Photography courtesy of Still House.
My wire sculptures tell stories of simple human moments: a woman adjusting her hair, a face gazing from behind tightly wrapped arms, a mother gently cradling her baby. The honest, unguarded moments are the ones that I find to be the most beautiful. Simple human moments executed in a simple and poignant physical form, Zimbabwe-born Gavin Worth‘s wire sculptures are mesmerizing in their beautiful frugality. By bending black wire into free-standing life drawings, he creates sculptures that engage the viewer in their subtle changes – when the light in the room shifts, so does the mood of the piece. Worth is a self-taught artist, having cultivated a lifelong passion for drawing, painting, and sculpture. He worked for nearly a decade in San Francisco as an actor and musician before moving to Cairo, Egypt to teach at the American International School.
Danish electronics giant Bang & Olufsen need little introduction. Consistently producing timeless design with high quality materials, B&O have recently released these incredibly beautiful BeoPlay H6 headphones. A pair I have been fortunate enough to test hours on end over the past week. Firstly, the design of the BeoPlay H6 is hugely impressive, striking the right balance of classic and modern design influences, resulting in a simple, elegant, and extremely comfortable pair of headphones. The design itself was conceived by Jakob Wagner, and with a choice of black or natural leather, it is a perfect match for the style-conscious consumer who refuses to compromise quality in sound, design or craftsmanship. The natural, stitched cow leather cover and soft lambskin ear pads, which I am currently using, should age gracefully with use. My favourite design features however, (aside from being the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn) are the detachable audio cable and the ports in both speakers. This not only allows you to decide which side to insert the cable, it also allows you to share your audio with others. For such high-end headphones, there is high expectations for the BeoPlay H6 when it comes to sound quality. Perhaps...
G house, a stunning minimalist private residence nestled in Afeka, northwest of Tel Aviv, is the result of the collaboration of Axelrod Architects and Pitsou Kedem Architects whose work may already be familiar among our readers. Their masterful attention to detail reveals itself in the frameless, flushed architecture. The intersecting beams, columns and planes of this project deliver the sunlight in an almost abstract way, penetrating the volumes and reflecting across the glass and walls on the inside. The roof floats over and cantilevers over the structure, providing much needed shade for this home. My favorite part of this project is the narrow, vertical stairwell, the ‘slice’, that faces the street not only serves as egress, but emphasizes the dramatic volume of the interior with the massive height and extensive use of glazing . The back of the house now has a clever way of letting light in. As the architects describe it: The ‘slice’, containing stairs to all floors, is punctuated by a linear skylight and a ribbon window that dramatically illuminates the stairwell. The result is a spectacularly unifying element in what would have simply been the backside of the building. Photography by Amit Geron.