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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.

A is for Animal, Z is for Zombie Boy: Color Your Way Through Artists’ Alphabet Book

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coloring bookO is for…eyeballs, at least according to Jake and Dinos Chapman. An unconventional take on the alphabet book goes interactive in the pages of The Artists’ Colouring Book of ABCs, published by Humpty Dumpty Publishing in partnership with Alteria Art. Editors Charlotte Colbert, Alix Janta-Polczynski, and Lauren Jones rounded up 26 artists and divvied up the letters. Between Tracey Emin‘s “A” (for animal, specifically her cat) and Marc Quinn‘s “Z” (for Zombie Boy, laden with slices and scars), there’s Harland Miller‘s “D”-clutching Dracula followed by an escapist “E” from Chantal Joffe, while Yinka Shonibare‘s “Y” is being spirited away by exotic balloons. “I was lucky to get H,” said Betty Woodman, “because it has an architectural geometry I could hang my ideas on.”

Buon Natale, London! Dolce & Gabbana Design Claridge’s Christmas Tree

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ImageA Dolce & Gabbana Christmas conjures images of leopard-print stockings hung by the chimney with care and a tree draped in black lace, but the Italian duo have put on their Santa hats (red velvet, ermine trim) for one of their favorite casas away from casa: Claridge’s. The London hotel enlisted Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to design its annual Christmas tree (pictured). This year’s festive fair is decked out in hand-crafted Sicilian puppets known as pupi, hand-painted Italian glass baubles, and a custom-made “luminaire” framework created in Southern Italy. Note the designers, “Our Christmas tree isn’t only a celebration of Christmas as we celebrate it in Italy, but it’s at the same time a tribute to the artisanal Italian tradition.

Saks Fifth Avenue Decks the Halls with 3D-Printed Snowflakes by Marian Bantjes

printing snowflakesOh, the weather outside is frightful, but Saks Fifth Avenue’s latest holiday (and possibly last) collaboration with Marian Bantjes is so delightful. This year Makerbot and Mastercard join the mix, offering shoppers at Saks’ New York City flagship the chance to take home a 3D-printed snowflake.

Illustrated by Bantjes and printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 (pictured), the snowflakes are a gift with purchase for those who spend $150 on their Mastercard through December 24. Stop by to watch the Replicator work its magic Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Can’t make it to New York this holiday season? Bantjes’s work is just as entrancing in 2D. Pick up a copy of her stunning new monograph Pretty Pictures (Metropolis Books) and then buy five more as stocking stuffers.

Quote of Note | Will Cotton

cotton laduree“Macarons are the quintessential confectionery delight. In the macaron, the color, texture, and flavor become so much more than the sum of their parts. And since the flavors aren’t dictated by the cookies’ form, each one becomes a vessel of endless possibility for the most fantastic flavor imaginable.”

-Will Cotton, discussing his collaboration with Ladurée. The artist’s macaron flavor (think ginger-infused whipped cream) and box debuts this week in Miami at Art Basel Miami Beach.

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