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Stephanie Murg

Quote of Note | Pete Wells on Keith McNally

cherchemidi

“[O]f course, he worries about the interiors. Cherche Midi’s is lovely. Outside is a dystopian intersection. You’d never know it in the dining room, which feels intimate, almost private, although of course every face is on display, bathed in light the color of apricot jam.

For three decades, Mr. McNally has been rooting around in the same Lego kit: distressed mirrors, chipped subway tiles, bottles backlighted to look like stained glass. In his hands, these well-worn tricks give restaurants the battered nobility of a vintage Saab. When anyone else tries, they end up with a 1986 Ford Escort. Sets and lighting will never be the whole show.”

-New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells in his recent review of Keith McNally‘s Cherche Midi, which opened in June on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in NYC

Holy Philately! USPS Debuts Batman Stamps in Gotham City

batman stampsBatman turns 75 this year (and yet, riddle us this, Adam West just turned 86), and the U.S. Postal Service is celebrating with—you guessed it—stamps! The collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment debuted last week in Gotham City at the Batcave-like Javits Center, where legions of Batfans had conveniently already gathered for Comic Con. There was no mention of Robin. The stamps, a limited-edition Forever affair (which only sounds oxymoronic) now available at a post office near you and on the USPS website, follow the Caped Crusader and his trusty Bat emblem, through four eras of comic book history.

Spire Wins People’s Design Award

COOPER HEWITT'S 2014 NATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS GALAThe people have spoken, and selected Spire as the winner of the 2014 People’s Design Award, announced by presenter Bruce Mau at the Cooper-Hewitt‘s National Design Awards ceremony and gala held last night in New York. Designed by Zhao Zhao (pictured), Spire—a wearable device that senses and tracks physical movement, position, and breathing patterns—takes its place alongside past winners such as PackH2O, Trek’s Lime Bike, and Toms Shoes.

The mission of Spire, which began shipping this month after three years of R&D, is to “change the way the world breathes.” Data from the device, which is zapped to a mobile app, can provide the wearer with insights about his or her daily activity and state of mind, according to the San Francisco-based team. The app also can help users to boost their activity, relaxation, and focus. Spire bested a slate of 20 nominated works, ranging from elegant and inventive consumer products (Drift Light, Lumio, Soma Water Bottle) and eco-friendly construction materials (Mushroom Building Blocks) to emergency tools (SAM Junctional Tourniquet) and design solutions for human and environmental problems (Deka Arm, Ecozoom Stove).

Quote of Note | Emmanuelle Alt

vogue paris jj14

“This story [for the June/July 2014 issue of Vogue Paris] began with Inez [van Lamsweerde] and me exchanging images by e-mail. Sometimes it comes from almost nothing; it might just be a color. When you’re shooting in the sun—you know that strong blue sky in St. Barths—you need a contrast. So I might say, ‘What do you think about red and white?’ And Inez is like, ‘Oh, yeah, sure!’ I’ll send a picture of a red shoe and a René Gruau illustration, which is full of red, and just a silhouette or a little sketch. It’s not always photographs—often it’s a painting or a frame-grab from a YouTube film. Very quickly, we’ll start to build up an image of a woman, and then we can discuss the casting. Some photographers will keep changing their casting or think they need a stronger idea. But Inez isn’t someone who hesitates. It’s like three phone calls and everything is booked.”

-Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt in an interview with Penny Martin, editor of The Gentlewoman, that appears in the latest, fashion-themed issue of Aperture

Visionaire Teams with John Baldessari, Samsung for ‘Celebrity Selfie’ Art Issue

dustin hoffman

blue visionaire“I’ll probably be most remembered for putting dots over people’s faces, so its funny to do an issue devoted to the selfies of famous people,” says John Baldessari, who has applied his signature “color interventions” to a suite of celebrity self-portraits for the latest issue of Visionaire. The sixty-fourth incarnation of the shape-shifting publication, creating in partnership with Samsung, is now available in three editions—Red, Green, and Blue—each with a distinct set of portraits tucked in a canvas-clad portfolio that folds out to become a display case. After meeting with Baldessari in his Venice Beach studio, Visionaire founders Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos recruited the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Cameron Diaz, Miley Cyrus, Marina Abramovic, KAWS, Bill Cunningham, and Gisele Bündchen to contribute self-portraits that were printed in black and white and then altered with embossed shapes and colors created by Baldessari. The resulting images range from the exotic (as when a turbaned Lupita Nyong’o gains a second chapeau in a floating, noseless face) to the serene (the clasped hands of Ed Ruscha, amidst a yellow orb and swoosh of orange). “Now we live in an age of self-celebration and constant surveillance in which nearly everyone carries some form of camera,” notes Dean. “It seems ironic and hilarious that an artist so famous for putting dots over people’s faces would devote an issue to the technology that celebrates face-time.”
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John Galliano Named Creative Director of Maison Martin Margiela

renzo tweet

gallianoRenzo Rosso has a reputation for talking trash, but like any billionaire, he deploys compliments with military precision. “Who wouldn’t like to work with him?” the mogul said last month of designer John Galliano. “If he ever got back his name, I would be the first to produce his collections.” Fast-forward a few weeks, past Rosso’s firm denials and the Milan spring 2015 collections he enthusiastically appraised from the front row (sometimes beside Kanye West), and it’s official: Galliano is the new creative director of…Maison Martin Margiela.

Rosso’s Only The Brave (OTB), which owns Diesel, Viktor & Rolf, and Marni, as well as production and distribution powerhouse Staff International, acquired Margiela in 2002, seven years before the departure of its enigmatic Belgian founder. The Paris-based house has maintained its artsy appeal, both preserving and advancing Margiela’s minimal yet experimental bent, which dabbles in Warholian cult of personality, albeit a collective one, while celebrating sartorial anonymity. Galliano, a puckish chameleon whose obsession with historical and cultural references fueled his dazzling, scandal-capped tenure at Dior, would seem an ill fit for a house that loves nothing more than sheathing quotidian objects in white cotton, but Rosso sees it differently: “Margiela is ready for a new charismatic creative soul.” Loosen up those lab coats, avant-gardistes, for there is a Gibraltar-born toreador-ringmaster in the maison. He is your new pirate king.

Pass the Mvstard: New Design Marketplace Debuts

mvstard

Between Quirky and Kickstarter comes Mvstard, which aims to offer a new way to discover, shop for, and support design. Launched last month to coincide with London Design Week, the web-based platform was born out of a frustration with the current process for getting product to market. “We found it difficult to introduce new products at a sensible cost without scale, and tough to get scale without big investment,” says founder James Coombes. “We believed there was a better way.” Sign up to help solve the chicken-and-egg scale issue and directly support designers by committing to pre-purchase products you love. The opening selection includes an iPhone-charging desk lamp, a mobile made of varnished leaves, and a nifty cast-aluminum stool.

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Nan Goldin, Martin Parr Among 2014 Lucie Award Honorees

(Nan Goldin) 1998
Nan Goldin, Guido on the dock, Venice (1998)

The Lucies, presented annually to honor statuette-worthy achievements in photography, turn twelve this year, and in the run-up to the glittering November 2 gala at Carnegie Hall (tickets now on sale), the Lucie Foundation has announced the 2014 honorees:

• Lifetime Achievement: Jane Bown
• Achievement in Fine Art: Carrie Mae Weems
• Achievement in Documentary: Martin Parr
• Achievement in Photojournalism: Nick Ut
• Achievement in Portraiture: Nan Goldin
• Visionary Award: Pedro Meyer

Top winners of the 2014 International Photography Awards juried competition will be announced at the gala, as will the winners of the Lucie Foundation’s Support Category Awards, including Print Advertising Campaign of the Year, Fashion Layout of the Year, and Picture Editor of the Year.

Parsons Adds Industrial Design MFA Program

(Alessio D' Aniello)Would-be undergraduates aren’t the only ones with innovative new educational opportunities at Parsons The New School for Design. There’s also a new Master of Fine Arts program in the works. Slated to launch in the fall of 2015, Parsons’ full-time Industrial Design MFA is geared to professionals who want to further develop their industrial design practice as well as those who are new to the field. As for the curriculum, developed by Rama Chorpash, expect well-crafted opportunities “to employ advanced making skills and critical inquiry to design products at various scales of production, from low- to high-volume, and from desktop manufacturing to systems involving global supply chains.” Students will cap off their two years of study with a thesis project “that develops innovative or provocative designs carrying forward or challenging industrial design theory and practice.” Excited? The program’s official kickoff will take the form of “Product City: Shortening the Supply Chain,” an October 30 panel discussion featuring Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez (founders of Makers Row) and Stephanie Schacht (head of responsible growth at Etsy), with Chorpash and Victoria Hattam (professor of politics at The New School for Social Research) moderating.

Anonymous Tips: Because Sharing Is Caring

who could it be now.jpgIf we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy murder plot, thanks to our “Anonymous Tips” box, which the Mediabistro tech wizards have placed at the top right of this page. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Type in your news—design happenings, gossip, movements of the Revolving Door, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “send.” We’ll get the news, you’ll retain your air of mystery.

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