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collaboration

MoMA Collaborates with Uniqlo on Pollock Tees, Warhol Totes, and More

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Cover yourself in Jackson Pollock‘s inky drips, schlep your stuff under the cover of Warholian camouflage, and wear the creative feats of Keith Haring on your feet—all for less than the price of admission to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The institution has teamed up with Japanese fast-fashion chain Uniqlo on a line of wearables printed with images from works in the MoMA collection, including details from two of Pollock’s 1950 works on paper that have been transposed to cotton t-shirts, a tote bag covered in a collage of Basquiat drawings, and a bandanna featuring Warhol’s tomato-red can of Campbell’s soup from 1962. The Uniqlo at MoMA collection, part of the retailer’s SPRZ NY (“Surprise New York”) project, is now available at at the MoMA Store as well as Uniqlo. Nothing is over $50.

Leica Loses Its Mind, Collaborates with Hello Kitty and Playboy

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Does it get any better than Leica? The company, synonymous with German engineering at its finest, is in the midst of its jubilee year: founded in 1849, Leica debuted Oskar Barnack‘s 35-millimeter marvel in 1914. In the century since, it has kept its brand pristine by focusing on optical excellence and joining forces with the likes of likeminded Hermès for a few limited-edition models. Which is why we did a double-take when we learned that the esteemed company had been roped into Colette’s latest collaboration, in which Hello Kitty teams up with—wait for it—Playboy. This strange duo is then plastered across products such as Bic pens, a Charvet tie, and, yes, a Leica camera. The limited-edition Hello Kity x Playboy Leica C, on which Sanrio’s famous character sports Playboy bunny ears and wields a camera, was available for purchase on the Colette website for €920 (approximately $1280) but today has mysteriously disappeared: perhaps all ten of the cameras sold or a Leica executive came to his to her senses.

New U.S. Embassy in London to Showcase 007-Level Security and Style

Having outgrown its home in the Eero Saarinen-designed London Chancery Building, the Embassy of the United States in London is getting a new home. Nancy Lazarus sizes up the project, a transparent, crystalline cube now taking shape on London’s South Bank.

View from northeast
(Renderings courtesy of KieranTimberlake/Studio amd.)

“The U.S. government is taking their design seriously again,” said David Sprouls, president of the New York School of Interior Design. His proof? Under the State Department’s Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities program, the American government is commissioning noted architects and designers to build embassies and consulates worldwide. He spoke briefly at NYSID’s “Design Diplomacy” event last week, where plans for the new London embassy were previewed.

Currently 31 international projects are in the design or construction phase, and these facilities have evolved beyond the purpose-built or modern compounds of earlier U.S. embassies, according to Jerry Withers, project manager at the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations that manages the program. They’re part of the 2010 Embassy Design and Security Act, whose flexible design standards encourages more local influences and cultures.

“Showcasing and representing America well abroad while still being functional, sustainable and safe”: those are the tall tasks of the embassy design program, Withers said. One of the toughest design challenges is to convey U.S. openness since security requirements have tightened in the wake of overseas incidents.

The new U.S. embassy in London is the most high-profile project, and it began about six years ago, when Kieran Timberlake was awarded the architectural design after an international competition. November 2013 marked the groundbreaking and the opening is slated for 2017.
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David Rockwell Brings NYC to LA in Oscars Greenroom

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How do you luxe up a windowless room in the bowels of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre? Architectural Digest poses this question to one designer each year as it creates a backstage lounge for the Oscars. The task of creating the AD Greenroom (the 12th!) for the 2014 Academy Awards (the 86th!) went to David Rockwell. Having perhaps exhausted his interest in Hollywood Regency and cinema magic through his work on the on-stage proceedings, Rockwell looked to New York City loft living as inspiration.

Faced with the equivalent of a basement studio, he focused on “urban simplicity, but married with film glamour.” The latter came in part from actress Susan Sarandon, who helped select works from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences archive that line the walls: on one side, a wall of screens powered by Rockwell LAB software display digital images from socially conscious, Oscar-winning, and Oscar-nominated films, while on the other side, 14 framed works features images from classic screwball comedies—one of Sarandon’s favorite genres.

Tea Time with Geoff McFetridge

While Americans pound coffee and gobble sleeves of Milanos, those in more civilized—if less productive—nations know the restorative power of a pause that involves a fresh cup of tea. Bigelow Tea joined Los Angeles-based artist and designer Geoff McFetridge for tea time and captured the creative magic that can happen in the couple of minutes it takes to to steep a cup of tea. The contemplative short, directed by Bucky Fukumoto, is part of Bigelow’s “While You Were Steeping” series.

Kvadrat Debuts Raf Simons Collaboration

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A taste of Kvadrat/Raf Simons, which arrives at retail in April. (Photos from left: Anne Collier, Kvadrat)

It’s easy to forget, now that he has ascended to the creative helm of Dior, that Raf Simons began his career as a promising young furniture designer. He returns to his roots with a new range of textiles, cushions, and throws created in collaboration with Kvadrat. Simons looked to his beloved mid-century masters, including Jean Royère, Pierre Jeanneret, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner, for textured elements, including a woven mohair reminiscent of sheepskin, speckled boucles, and a fur-like textile. Others reimagine the work of the late Swedish textile designer Fanny Aronsen.

And while Simons used many of the textiles in his fall/winter 2014 menswear collection, for which he teamed with artist Sterling Ruby, the Kvadrat collection was conceived with interiors in mind. “We are making fabrics that are like a blank canvas for designers,” said Simons in a statement issued today. “They are waiting for input from the furniture designers—we don’t control the design they will use the textiles for, so we try to leave it very open; these fabrics should be multifunctional.”

Stefan Bucher Creates Cellular Valentines

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It’s January 24th. Do you know where your Valentines are? Swap those chalky candy hearts and flimsy greetings for a microscopic approach with “Love Cells,” a pack of whimsical Valentine postcards created by Stefan Bucher for Moo’s Luxe Project. Each of the hand-drawn designs is a pattern of tiny, almost-hidden hearts: lay out all ten cards to form one large pattern that can be rearranged into several configurations. All oroceeds from the $29 packs of sturdy postcards (with matching envelopes) go to ShelterBox USA. Says Bucher, “Their mission to provide shelter, warmth, and dignity to disaster and conflict survivors also comes with an edict to provide transparency to their donors, a value I hold in high regard.”

New York City Ballet Taps JR for Art Series

JR_Art Series_NYCB_EyeJR is coming to Lincoln Center. The French artist, who rocketed to global fame following his 2011 TED Prize win, has created works inspired by the New York City Ballet as part of the NYCB Art Series inagurated last year by the Brooklyn-based artist team known as FAILE. JR photographed around 80 NYCB dancers, and their images will be used to create a large-scale installation that will be displayed in various areas of the David H. Koch Theater, the ballet company’s Lincoln Center home. An enormous image featuring all of the dancers—and spanning some 6,500 square feet, according to NYCB—will be displayed on the theater’s promenade and serve as the centerpiece of the installation. Tickets are now on sale for three special Art Series performances that will take place on January 23, February 7, and February 13, with all tickets priced at $29.

Intel Teams with Opening Ceremony, Barneys, CFDA on Wearable Technology

carol and humberto OCWatch out, Google Glass, there’s an Intel-powered bracelet on the horizon, and it will be designed in collaboration with Opening Ceremony (founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are pictured at right) and make its retail debut at Barneys New York. The in-the-works “smart bracelet” is part of a broader wearable technology initiative announced by Intel at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which runs through Friday in Las Vegas.

In addition to the product partnership, the company outlined its plan to work with the Council of Fashion Designers of America “to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate, and exchange ideas on wearable technology.” The alliance will connect the CFDA’s 400 members with hardware and software developers. “The collaborations we announced today will merge the expertise of two very distinct disciplines of technology and fashion, essential in realizing the vision of prolific adoption of wearable technology,” said Intel’s Ayse Ildeniz in a statement. “Intel’s aim is to initiate sustainable, long-term cooperation between the technology and fashion worlds beginning with today’s announcements.”

LUSH Teams with Vivienne Westwood for Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

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knot wrap vivBefore you run to the store for another roll of glitter-flecked snowflake paper, check out the sustainable solution cooked up by LUSH. The Canadian handmade cosmetics juggernaut teamed with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the Knot-Wrap, a square of organic cotton that can be re-used as a scarf or drawstring bag after the presents are long gone. Profits from the knot-wraps, available online and LUSH stores while quantities last, go toward Westwood’s Climate Revolution initiative.

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