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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.

Design-Apart Debuts ‘Living Showroom’ in NYC

A new showroom aims to dispel the myth that bespoke design is difficult to produce, tricky to access, and crazy expensive. We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to experience “artisanal products in a real-life setting.”

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Diego Paccagnella2Custom design comes to life in a new take on the traditional showroom. Design-Apart, known for delivering bespoke Italian design through its online marketplace and design services, recently launched its first “living showroom”—a real apartment where people live, cook, clean, and work—in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“I thought we could do more to present Italian designs than traditional showrooms do. There are so many showrooms out there, but they’re just aesthetic,” explained Design-Apart founder Diego Paccagnella (pictured) at a recent press preview. “Here we live and interact with design, giving people a deeper experience of living in a place designed by Italian artisans.” He and his family are living there for a year.

Paccagnella and Stefano Micelli traveled around Italy to source designers. “We selected companies not by their size or by how famous they are, but more for their flexibility in producing customized projects for clients,” said Paccagnella. “The objects here are built by artisans and they consider the people who live here,” Micelli added.
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Big Time: Olafur Eliasson, Peter Zumthor Among New Mentors in Rolex Arts Initiative

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(Photos courtesy Studio Olafur Eliasson and Keystone/Christian Beutler)

Rolex’s Arts Initiative gives new meaning to the phrase “ones to watch.” For the past decade, the luxury watchmaker has paired mentors and protégés in dance, film, literature, music, theatre, visual arts, and—beginning last year—architecture for year-long creative collaborations. The program, which encourages dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines, has devised dynamic duos such as Anish Kapoor and Nicholas Hlobo, Zhang Yimou and Annemarie Jacir, and SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Yang Zhao.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice was the setting for a festive gathering held earlier today to announce the seven creative wizards who will serve as mentors for the 2014-15 program: Olafur Eliasson (visual arts), Alejandro González Iñárritu (film), Michael Ondaatje (literature), Alexei Ratmansky (dance), Kaija Saariaho (music), Jennifer Tipton (theater), and Peter Zumthor (architecture). As for the emerging talents, it’s pick-your-own-protégé. Each of the mentors will choose a talented young artist to join them for a year of creative collaboration—and a grant of 25,000 Swiss francs (approximately $28,000, at current exchange rates).

Hamilton Wood Type Museum Teams with Erik Spiekermann to Go Hard in New Home

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Strong and Silent Types. The new crew at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum stands in front of a vintage photo of their predecessors.

hard_typefaceWisconsin’s Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum–the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production, and printing of wood type–recently moved into a new home in Two Rivers, and the race is on to reopening day. Helping to inaugurate the new space will be the museum’s annual Wayzgoose type conference, which gets underway November 8. Among the special guest speakers this year is the fontastic Erik Spiekermann, for whom a typographic tribute is in the works: Hamilton will be cutting the Spiekermann-designed font, “HARD” (pictured above), at the conference. “I’m excited to see Hamilton cut this font using traditional methods,” says Spiekermann. “With Hamilton’s vintage pantographs and former type-cutting employees, this will be a chance to see history in the remaking.”
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Rodarte Teams Up with ‘Magazine Junkie’ John Baldessari for Garage Cover

garage russiaOn these shores, the fall/winter issue of Garage comes in two varieties: one features urban cowgirl Andriana Lima photographed by Inez & Vinoodh (and styled to the gold-and-denim hilt by Carolyne Cerf de Dudzeele), while another features that same image as interpreted by John Baldessari, the subject of a solo exhibition that opened last week at Garage editor-in-chief Dasha Zhukova‘s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow. Baldessari’s work also makes the cover of the Russian edition of Garage, for which the artist collaborated with Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. The cover image (pictured) is reproduced from a collage featuring a trippy blue, black, and pink tie-dye pattern developed for Rodarte’s fall 2013 collection. “We were really honored to collaborate with John Baldessari, as he is our favorite artist and we admire his work greatly,” said the Mulleavy sisters, who have previously collaborated with the likes of Catherine Opie, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, and Frank Gehry.

Meanwhile, back in the American edition, Baldessari chats with Zhukova in an extended Q&A that weaves among images of his work. The artist reveals that one of his goals “is to be to known for something besides [putting dots over people's faces]. It’s going to be hard.” And did you know he loves magazines? “I’m a junkie,” he tells Zhukova of his predilection for periodicals. Art magazines? Fashion magazines? “Sure,” he answers. As for his relationship to the fashion world, Baldessari takes a more personal approach. “When I get up in the morning, I have a mirror. I think about whether this color might look good with that color. I’m not obsessed with it, but that’s certainly about fashion,” he says. “On the other hand, a former studio manager said that she doesn’t even look in the mirror in the morning.”

Bid to Win Martha Stewart’s Faux Bois Paddle Board for Breast Cancer Research

Saturday’s second annual Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink—a chic charity event that begins with a stand-up paddle board race and ends with a party at the North Haven, New York home of Richard and Lisa Perry—raised $1.2 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and there’s more to come from an online auction that includes some of the paddle boards customized by the likes of Tory Burch, Cynthia Rowley, and Nicole Miller for the sold-out waterfront bash. While most of the creative types recruited for the BCRF benefit boards opted for surfer brights or pop patterns (mod maven and event co-chair Lisa Perry lined hers with signature rainbow dots while Aerin Lauder‘s is awash in a sunny ikat), Martha Stewart stuck to her longtime favorite look: faux bois. The 11-foot board (pictured), signed by Stewart and surfing great Laird Hamilton, is up for bids through tomorrow afternoon on CharityBuzz.

Rodarte and Todd Cole Debut Short Film


A still from “This Must Be The Only Fantasy,” a new Rodarte film by director Todd Cole.

Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy have long been inspired by films, and they’ve translated their otherworldly aesthetic to the screen before in “The Curve of Forgotten Things,” starring a luminous Elle Fanning. The designers have again teamed with director Todd Cole for a mesmerizing short film, produced and released by Intel and Vice Media’s The Creators Project. Scored by Beach House and set in Los Angeles, “This Must Be the Only Fantasy” (below) cinematically showcases Rodarte’s spring 2013 collection, which drew heavily from medieval-era design cues including chain-mail armor, marquetry, and corseted silhouettes. “When we conceptualize a collection, we are always thinking about how we can further create an immersive experience,” say the Mulleavys, “one that brings to life the world that we are imagining.”
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