Shun the detox and eat cake at the Barbican Conservatory – 7 Star Life

There is a hidden marvel nestled in the middle of London, surrounded by an erratic maze of concrete walls. During the winter months when the sky resembles a dreary grey blanket of clouds, we crave escapism somewhere wild and green – almost jungle like…

Source: Shun the detox and eat cake at the Barbican Conservatory – 7SL

My newest contribution to 7 Star Life magazine

Riina O at Oksana Tandit boutique Tallinn

It is a great pleasure to announce the re-start of our collaboration as a guest designer with Oksana Tandit boutique in Tallinn, Estonia.
From the beginning of November we are offering there a selection of  our classical leather glove models, as well as some from our latest Autumn/Winter collection. Laser cut leather is combined with details of hairy ponyskin, featuring funky hairy buttons as decoration element.
Exclusively in Tallinn boutique we are offering a slightly modified version of classical elbow-length gloves, with Mousquetaire-style buttons on the wrist.

Riina O Jessica gloves

In addition to the limited edition collection of gloves in standard sizes, from S to XL, there is also an opportunity to place a personal order based on client´ s hand measurements. Free of charge as part of this project. In this case firstly a trial sample is made, if the size fits, only then the ordered pair gets crafted at our London studio, to guarantee perfectly fitting pair of gloves.

Oksana Tandit boutique is a beautiful designer´ s showroom of the namesake fashion designer, that hosts a selection of products from the guest designers. Current “guests”, in addition to Riina O gloves, are Tanel Veenre jewelry and Jukocute bags.

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Oksana Tandit Boutique
Tornimäe 5, Tallinn
Opening Hours: from Monday to Friday from 11AM to 5PM

Read our press release in Estonian from web magazine Femme.

Riina O at Les Suites Paris

Riina O would like to introduce our newest stockist in Paris – Les Suites Boutique. It is a great pleasure to work with this amazing shop in such a prominent district, just next door from Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe, with neighbors such as Cartier, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, to name but a few.

We took a trip to Paris to personally deliver a selection of gloves from our Autumn/Winter collection to the store, alongside with the leather bound lookbook for additional personal orders.

Riina O gloves

Les Suites has been crowned as the most beautiful luxury boutique in Paris. The striking decor takes you back to another era, confronting modern minimalism with the abundance of elegance and style. The majestic chandeliers shine upon haute couture gowns and exquisite accessories. All of this overlooked by an amazingly helpful team who will transforming shopping into pleasure. What a bliss!

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Les Suites
47 rue Pierre Charron
75008 Paris
Opening Hours: from Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 9PM

Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty”

“I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when i´m dead and gone people will know that the 21st century was started by Alexander McQueen.”

The retrospective exhibition of Alexander McQueen´s works called “Savage Beauty” finally came home to London. When “Savage Beauty” first showed at New York Metropolitan Museum in 2011 it became one of the most successful exhibitions in the Museum´s history. I think of the same fate for this exhibition at V&A.

You can feel tension in the air as you walk in through the doors into the exhibition room. Muzzled mannequins at one wall, with Lee McQueen himself talking on tape about making his first collections off his dole money. Creating gorgeous clothing pieces off absolutely no budget.
Shows were his playground to do whatever he wanted, go wild and stage a performance – never dull.
As you walk through the rooms of perfectly tailored jackets – a skill he learned while apprenticing at Savile Row even before starting his career as a fashion designer – you enter another room titled “Romantic Gothic” followed by the sound of classical music with mannequins wearing gimp masks and couture. The keywords here are: Victorian Gothic inspirations, Edgar-Allan Poe, dealing with dark side of his personality through fashion.
“There is blood beneath every layer of skin.”
McQueen´s women are never naive and innocent, they are dominating, aggressive, tough, someone who won´t go down without a fight and often come out as a winners.

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Then you continue to  the darkened corridor into the room with walls covered in bones, like Parisian catacombs. It is a fully engaging exhibition space with aquarium-looking screen in the ceiling, inspired by his “Irere” collection. “Romantic Primitivism” room explores tribalism in McQueen´s collections. Primitivism of noble savage, Yoruba mythology is used as inspiration for mannequins with horns in the middle of their face. Exotic pieces include beaded pony skin evening dress, a coat made out of hair, crocodile heads on the shoulders of a garment, etc.

4. Romantic Primitivism Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

And you proceed to another room accompanied by the sound of classical music again that leads you to experience his “Romantic Nationalism” of his last, post mortem collection. Utterly royal. McQueen tartan mixed with lace and crystals.
“It was time to come out of the dark and into the light”.

5. Romantic Nationalism Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

“I want to create pieces that can be handed down, like a heirloom”.
“The Cabinet of Curiosities” filled with a selection of his most creatively outrageous pieces and collaborations with other craftsmen and designers. Wooden dresses, leather molded body pieces, tops made of sea shells, metal pipes or crystals, unbelievable 3D-printed shoes.
“I find beauty in grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things.”

6. The Cabinet of Curiosities Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

The maze of the exhibition continues into the dark room with a glass pyramid in the middle with a hologram of Kate Moss “dancing”. This was created not digitally, as one can assume, but using a “Pepper´s Ghost” technique from the 19th century, involving projectors and mirrors that at a time was believed that real ghosts were being called back from beyond the grave.

Kate Moss hologram

Just when you expect it to be the end you step out into the mirrored room of pastels inspired by the Far East, Japan in particular. It is easy to spend hours there looking at every stitch and guessing the source of inspiration for every pattern or detail.
This is followed by a room of “Romantic Naturalism” with real(or probably artificial) flower dresses from “Sarabande” collection, sea shell dress and feather dresses. McQueen´s love for ornitology and savagery of animal world and nature. You can only wonder which unusual materials did McQueen not use in his collections…
The final room displays his arguably best collection of “Plato´s Atlantis” early era of digital print, and 3D-printed footwear, perfectly captured and evolved within itself.
“There is no way back for me now. I´m going to take you on journeys you never dreamed possible”.

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5 years since his death McQueen´s star shines brightly. During his short life he gave so much to the world of fashion. He was without a doubt one of the most talented, creative and masterous designers of our times.

Utterly inspiring exhibition! I would recommend going there alone to fully experience it, breathe in all the details of his craftsmanship and absorb dark and savage concept.

This story was also published in Estonian web magazine Femme.

300 years old diner in Paris

Looking for a place to have dinner we stumbled upon this charming little French restaurant  just next to Notre Dame cathedral, on Ile de la Cité.
La Maison du Vieux was built in 1512, of the stones left over from building Notre Dame cathedral. At this time there were 37 houses built for monks and only 2 of them have survived  today. In 1723 the building was bought by a wine merchant, turning it into the restaurant that exists to this day. Being almost 300 years old, it is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris where you can really feel the history as you enter. Even the name of the place suggests that it is an “Old House” in translation.
Fortunately the history reflects in the tradition of French cooking, but not in the age of the food itself. They offer high quality courses freshly prepared of products coming from organic farms of South of France. The restaurant also has their own wine cellar.

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We were seated upstairs at the window with the view to the towers of the cathedral. History is reflected in every detail of the interior design: the heavily figured red fabric for wallpaper and tented ceilings, the antique prints, the exposed stonework and rich draperies. The whole place feels truly authentic and utterly French.
The food was very good! La Maison du Vieux offered a complementary starter of mushroom soup, I had scallops as main course and crisp Crème Brûlée for dessert, accompanied by the best quality Chardonnay.
All in all exceptionally pleasant experience and just the idea of the place having served meals for nearly 300 years already, made it feel really impressive!