Manolo Blahnik´s Art of Shoes in Prague

Kampa Museum in Prague is currently hosting the touring exhibition by the well-known master of shoes – Manolo Blahnik.

Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes is an intimate retrospective spanning 45 years dedicated to work of the Spanish designer, one of the most influential figures in contemporary fashion, whose inventiveness and superb craft has managed to cross boundaries between fashion and art.

A rather interesting fact about Manolo´s personal life is that he has some Czech heritage – his Czech father lived and worked as a pharmacist in Prague before WWII. He left the country after the Nazi occupation. Manolo, now 74, grew up on the Canary Islands at a banana plantation with his father and Spanish mother, before leaving for Geneva and Paris to study law, languages and art. Manolo Blahnik opened his first boutique in London in 1973 and is currently based in the UK.Manolo Blahnik the art of shoesThe exhibition has over 200 hand-picked shoes and 80 original drawings on display, capturing the essence of Manolo Blahnik´s design DNA through his obsessions and inspirations: architecture, art, botany, literature, cinema, the Eighteen Century, Italy, Russia, Spain and many other cultural, extraordinary broad influences that fascinate him.

The careful selection of shoes includes his works from the 1970s until the present day. Many of the displayed shoe models have become famous through the film industry and the TV series, for example being worn by Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”.

The touring exhibition was staged in Milan, Italy, and in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. After Prague, it will move to Madrid and then to Toronto, Canada.

The exhibition is open till 12th November 2017.

This story was also published in Estonian web magazine Femme.

Manolo Blahnik is being as productive as ever with his movie “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards” having been released last month.

 

 

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Eat Me!

Trapholt Modern Art and Design Museum is located just on the outskirts of the little town of Kolding, in Southern Denmark on the mainland of Jutland. It is one of the largest and most popular museums in Denmark, outside of Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Eat Me – says the name of the exhibition and with many items displayed you would really want to do it, while with many others the feeling is completely opposite. More than 60 artists have experimented with the concept of food and items linked to it, pushing the boundaries and discovering the new meanings.

There are different ways to look at it – the food and related items have been discovered through the multitude of angles: society, culture, identity, nature, boundaries, senses and future.

It is a multisensory exhibition, taking the cuisine outside of the kitchen to the galleries and offering an experience to many senses. The display offers active and passive participation levels, which make this exhibition so unique. Here and there, in addition to just observing and visually admiring the artwork, it is possible to eat, taste, chew, feel or smell some of the exhibits.

A few personal highlights:

The little room with walls painted with chocolate by artist Anya Galaccio – the smell is rather mouth-watering and divine! Imagine living in a chocolate house! 🙂

Marije Vogelzang´s large installation of a “Teardrop” – where one can stand in the middle of the installation, below the pipettes and someone else can drop a drip of flavour in their mouth by pulling one of the strings.

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One can take part of the artwork creation process for Simone Brühl´s project, made of colourful bubble gums. Anyone can contribute a personally chewed and styled bubble gum to the display, which later will be morphed into a huge ball.

A much less pleasant sensory experience is experienced at Helen Chadwick´s box of food waste, which seems to come alive through the rotting process. Bubbling and unpleasantly smelling mass brings out the  desire opposite to eating it.

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The beauty of the mushiness and the visual softness of the moulded food can be admired on close-up photographs, even though it does not provoke a desire to eat it.

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Danish artist Rose Eken, known for her super realistic ceramics work, created a full meal in ceramics medium.

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Christopher Boffoli amuses with his photos of an exploration in the world of tiny people with big appetites.

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After the exhibition, feeling rather hungry from all the multisensory stimulation, I´d recommend heading down to the cafe for a lovely culinary experience and if it´s still daylight – accentuated by a breathtaking view of the Kolding Fjord.

The exhibition is open till 21st May 2018.

Here We Are!

Burberry continues the tradition of the open house they´ve been having every season since last September. This time they moved from the Makers House to the semi-refurbished building of Old Sessions House, just outside the Farringdon Station in Clerkenwell. The prominent landmark of the 18th century, the former courthouse-turned-restaurant and members´ club rarely opens its doors to the public. It is currently in the midst of transformation.

This time the brand´s new collection is embraced by the vast photography exhibition depicting the true quintessence of the British life and character.
‘Here We Are’ brings together the work of over 30 of the 20th century’s most celebrated social and documentary photographers. The list includes the well-known names, such as Shirley Baker and Ken Russell, Karen Knorr capturing Belgravia in 1979, Charlie Phillips showing around in his local Notting Hill neighbourhood, Brian Griffin´s unconventional way of portraying the British businessmen, Burberry´s latest collaborator´s Alasdair McLellan´s photography work and many more…

My personal favourite was the photo presentation by the Russian fashion designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy of models styled in Burberry´s latest collection.

The exhibition is stretched over three floors winding throughout the rooms of Old Sessions House, Burberry´s new show venue. “Here We Are” is divided into themes which reflect different aspects of the British way of life. The semi-renovated building was quite a sight in itself.

And of course, there are clothes! You can´t forget that Burberry is a very British fashion brand, creating the clothes these everyday moments can be captured in. The main trends include red military-inspired jackets(I used to have one of these a few years ago made by an English young designer with crazy leather sleeves), the long black military-inspired woollen coat which I completely fell in love with, a lot of tartan fabric, large selection of see-throughs, multiple versions of knitwear and long woollen socks.

However, note that the models and mortals pictured on the social photography are not (always) wearing Burberry.

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The exhibition is free and open till 1st of October 2017.

 

The Size Doesn’t Matter

You may think this post is about fashion and celebrating all human sizes, not just XS size models – on the contrary, this is the name of Estonian Design exhibition, pointing out that despite its tiny size, the country has a rather high density of talented designers.

As part of London Design Festival, 16-24th of September, Estonian Design House is displaying a large selection of the newest design objects, blending the innovation, latest technologies and solutions of the day with the rich visual heritage.

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The exhibition displays home furnishing products: textiles, furniture, lighting, ceramics, glass and a small selection of apparel, shoes and accessories of high quality and made using natural materials. Nearly 50 designers are represented. The crisp collection is characteristic of the Nordic country – characterised by a minimalist style, natural materials, ingenious solutions and humour.

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At the back of the shop, it is possible to purchase some of the quirky masterpieces.

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In addition to the physical design items, the event is screening the newest Estonian Fashion Film “Northern Spirit” – setting the mood and introducing the work of 10 fashion designers, and an additional array of accessory designers.

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Riina O gloves are also featured in some of the video clips.

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OXO Tower Wharf hosts a number of other exhibitions and events over the weekend, so it is well worth heading down there over the weekend to explore more!

The Estonian Design exhibition, along with the pop-up shop is open every day until the 24th September, 11-6 pm.

The Multi Style World of Anna Sui

American fashion designer Anna Sui is revealing her world of decades-long work and the inspiration behind it in her retrospective exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum.

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The retrospective exhibition of a truly American signature fashion designer bedazzled with its multiplicity of subcultural styles. Her inherent style grasps rock-n-roll romanticism mixed with pop/sub culture and with a touch of Bohemian chic.
Anna knew already as a 4-year old kid that she wanted to become a fashion designer and everything she did since then was leading her to the goal.
The exhibition displays her different collections, from the first catwalk show to the present day, each representing a certain ever changing style, her research and inspiration, the collaborations with other creatives and much more.
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Her “archetypes” range from surfers and school girls to hippies, mods and punks, nomads and rock stars, creating a different story with each collection. The right word to use to describe her style would be eclectic. As well as playful and fun – not something to be taken too seriously. Some of her whimsical accessories feature dog head turbans and gingerbread handbags, for example.
In addition to the pop culture, the strong influence in her work is a nomad, travelling to all the corners of the world. The indigenous and national dress is a great source of her interest, as well as her references to global cultures.
The amount of her research into vintage fashion and popular culture is impressive. Anna Sui blends her sources of inspiration from photography, art, graphic design, music and subculture styles, creating her own interpretation of the current moment by using the unfamiliar perspective on familiar things. Each of her outfits creates a different “fairy tale” and you can transform yourself through her clothes.
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Anna helped to define the American look in the 1990s. The fashion was infused with the youthful spirit in that era, turning its back to the head-to-toe high-end designer brands that dominated in the 1980s. Anna´s retrospective work from the 90s reinvents itself in the current day fashion with the revival of the main style elements.

The exhibition is open till 1.st October 2017.

Riina O at London Craft Week

The first week of May welcomed the third edition of London Craft Week.

Riina O had an honour to participate in the Leather exhibition, organised by Bill Amberg at the Leathersellers Hall. Hand-picked as one of the fourteen Britain´s finest independent leatherworkers, the selection included saddlers, sculptors, bag makers, bookbinders, cordwainers, etc.

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During three days, between 4-6th of May, the Leather exhibition was held at the place most suitable for it – the freshly renovated Leathersellers Hall. Completed just last Summer, the hall designed by Eric Parry and finished by Bill Amberg leatherworkers team, the interiors include such details as walls and even the elevator interior covered in veg tan leather, combining the Leathersellers Company´s six-century history with modern luxurious interiors. The London Craft Week Show offered one of the first opportunities for members of the public to set foot inside.

Riina O demonstrated the best of our glove collections, where ages old craftsmanship has been joined with modern technological advantages. The making process could be witnessed at the display of the deconstructed gloves and work tools, as well as at the craft presentation.

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On Saturday it was even possible for the public to try the glove making at Riina´s masterclass of a modified design of an archery glove with just two fingers.

The exhibition was supported by the Leathersellers´ partner livery companies, including the Glovers Livery and it was a real pleasure meeting them in person again.

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Riina O exhibiting at London Crafts Week!

If you are in London this week, head over to the Liverpool Street neighbourhood, as 5-6th of May 2017 Riina O is showing at the Leathercraft exhibition at the Leathersellers Hall.

Located at 15 St Helens Place, you can find the best of the British leathercraft.

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I will be running the craft presentation today and the archery gloves workshop tomorrow.

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Don´t miss out!