Designer, filmmaker, fragrance magnate, and one-man brand Tom Ford is taking to the airwaves! Sirius XM Radio has selected Ford as the inaugural subject of Iconography, a monthly series that will “honor the life, career, and impact of iconic personalities.” A one-hour, exclusive interview with Ford debuts March 19 on the satellite radio provider’s OutQ channel, but clips will begin airing tomorrow. The conversation with OutQ host Frank DeCaro ranges from Ford’s early inspirations and wildly successful career at Gucci Group to plans for future projects—we hear he’s almost done with the screenplay for a second film project—and his guilty pleasure (Hostess Donettes). Listeners may come away with an understanding of the “real” Tom Ford. “I think most people don’t actually know me,” he told friend and artist John Currin in this month’s issue of Interview. “They know the projection of me that I use to sell things. And they know me from an expression of material beauty. I’m actually very introverted. I’m very shy. I’m very emotional.”
Archives: February 2011
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Fresh off a triumphant couture collection inspired by René Gruau and only days before Paris Fashion Week begins, John Galliano has had his world turned upside down by allegations that he made anti-Semitic and racist remarks and assaulted a couple in a Paris cafe. After the Thursday night altercation, the designer was briefly arrested and then escorted home by police, who did not press charges. However, LVMH-owned Christian Dior wasted no time in suspending its longtime creative director. “The House of Dior declares with the greatest firmness its policy of zero tolerance with regard to any antisemitic or racist statement or attitude,” said Dior president and CEO Sidney Toledano in a statement.
The couple involved in the incident filed charges against Galliano, who proceeded to sue them for defamation. Meanwhile, the controversy didn’t deter Galliano devotee Nicole Kidman or Sharon Stone, a face of Dior Beauty (and someone whose own culturally insensitive remarks got her in trouble with the brand a few years back), from wearing Dior gowns on last night’s Oscar red carpet. Neither actress would comment on the situation. Whether Galliano’s fall ready-to-wear collections for Dior or his own label will hit the runway this week remains anyone’s guess, but the plot thickens. Today a second complaint was filed with the Paris police. According to WWD, a woman claims she was verbally attacked by the designer earlier this month at the same Marais cafe, which is near Galliano’s home.
“When you go to designers’ houses, you see a lot of kitsch. Instead of living the work they do, they like to see the exaggerated edges of how things can go. And kitsch has a kind of shameless enthusiasm that allows you to revel in these values, like excessive decoration or the overly bold use of color, that are not quite respectable. It’s the same sort of appeal as postmodernism, except kitsch is done with such self-consciousness. It’s fun for its own sake. You can’t say it’s elegant or beautiful, but you can say it’s a lot of fun.”
-Industrial designer, IDEO co-founder, and Cooper-Hewitt president Bill Moggridge in Sunday’s The New York Times, with regard to his love of vintage trailers
WWD has confirmed our exclusive report of Chanel’s imminent pop-up shop partnership with Paris boutique Colette. The temporary store, opening Tuesday in a former garage on Rue Saint Honoré, will stock items ranging from gritty (graffiti-covered handbags, scooter helmets) to glam (spring looks from Chanel, Eres maillots) as well as a few extraspecial offerings, including nimble-fingered Lemarié craftspeople demonstrating how to create a camellia (house artisans supply Chanel with approximately 20,000 of the blooms each year). Book that Air France flight tout suite, because the shop is only open for ten days. All of which brings us to our Friday Photo: the dust jacket for Paris Is a Woman’s Town, a 1929 lady’s guide to the City of Light written by Helen Josephy and Mary Margaret McBride, described on the inside flap as “well-known newspaper women.” The worldly pair, who may or not have resembled the rather stout figures depicted on their book’s cover, dispense plenty of advice for the Paris-bound, as “the average woman on her first trip is abashed and even frightened by the unfamiliar language and scenes about her.” Lesson one: watch out for that evil-looking guy with the cane!
Smooth or crunchy? This eternal question, known to excite strong opinions in choosy moms, is rarely debated in art musems and galleries, but change is afoot—and just in time for New York’s Armory Arts Week. The peanut butter perfectionists at Peanut Butter & Co. are teaming with the National Peanut Board (March is its poster legume’s designated month) to launch the Nutropolitan Museum of Art, a pop-up art gallery devoted to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Lee Zalben, founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., worked with food photographer Theresa Raffetto and food stylist Patty White to create 365 exciting new takes on the PB&J. A selection of the photos will be exhibited at the Nutropolitan, a three-day affair that opens to the public next Friday, March 4, at Openhouse Gallery in Manhattan. All proceeds from sales of the prints will be donated to the Food Bank For New York City. The city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance should also clear plenty of shelf space for gourmet peanut butter, because everyone who pops into the gallery will receive a a free jar of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter (one per family) and a second jar will be donated to the Food Bank in their honor. PB&J nuts not in New York should check out the event’s soon-to-debut Tumblr here. And did we mention that a jar of PB & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams—think peanut butter cup in a jar—can be yours for a few clicks and $6?
Usually when you have unexpected visitors wandering a still-under-construction skyscraper, it’s squatters, renegade skydivers, the tightrope guy from Man on Wire or some mix of all three. However, this week in London was something new altogether. Found by way of Archinect is the news that a six month old fox had been found living at the very top of the city’s and Europe’s soon-to-be tallest building, the Shard. After what would have been a very harrowing climb for a person, moving from the completed 35th floor to the completely open air 72nd, the sort of thing that apparently doesn’t bothers foxes, the animal had been living “on a squash-court sized platform,” living off food that construction workers had left behind. Fortunately, thanks to the daring efforts of animal control officers, he was rescued and returned to terrain more native to foxes:
“We think he got the message and, as we released him back on to the streets of Bermondsey shortly after midnight on Sunday, he glanced at the Shard and then trotted off in the other direction,” Mr Burden said. Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling at Southwark Council, said: “Romeo has certainly been on a bit of a jaunt, and proved rather elusive, but I’m glad our pest control officers were able to help out.”
With that nice story to leave you with, this writer heads off on a quick vacation to someplace much warmer than Chicago. See you again on Tuesday.
If you want one of the hottest tickets going for the start of next month, that usually means you’ve already missed your chance. However, that’s not the case this time around. As you might have caught wind of earlier this month, social networking giant, Facebook, announced that it would be moving from its current headquarters in Palo Alto, California to the town not made famous by Thomas Edison, Menlo Park. The company is moving into the 57 acre campus that once housed Sun Microsystems before it was purchased early last year, with the first employees heading over in June (they also picked up 22 adjoining acres just to make sure they have enough room to stretch out a bit). The Palo Alto Daily News is now reporting that on March 5th, Facebook has invited “more than 100 architects and other design professionals” to spend a full day wandering their new headquarters and deciding what can be done to improve it. While it’s likely unexpected that they’ll have a fully fleshed out master plan or new architectural renderings all rendered, the marathon sessions, something its coders are familiar with, is an interesting concept to bring to what amounts to urban planning. Here’s from the Daily News about how the session will function:
The design professionals have been divided into four teams that will approach different elements of the area around the future Facebook campus, [AIA spokesperson Noemi Avram] said. One team will look at existing businesses, another will scope out the perimeter of the campus, a third will focus on an area northwest of the campus near two Constitution Drive properties Facebook recently bought for future use, and a fourth will explore housing possibilities.
The paper goes on to explain that residents of Menlo Park will be invited to share their own ideas and the public is welcome to come watch. The whole thing starts at 8:30am, Saturday March 5th, at the decidedly Silicon Valley-esque address, 10 Network Circle.
Earlier this week, we reported that after nearly a decade of attempts, there is finally going be an Architect Barbie. While through a wider lens, it isn’t perhaps Barbie Betty Friedan, it’s certainly better than some of the other picks from years past in Mattel‘s annual “I Can Be” competition for the famous doll (we’re looking at you Dolphin Trainer Barbie — not that dolphin training isn’t important or empowering). Judging from the reaction our post received, it appears that many of you agree. Our pals over at Architizer dropped us a line to tell us that they’d passed the news around of the blond bombshell’s new career to female architects, AIA Young Architects prize winners to be specific, to get their opinions on their now-fellow industry peer. The responses were great, and largely uniform in that she’ll probably discover that she needs a new wardrobe once she starts getting out to construction sites. A couple of our favorites: here’s Angie Brooks from BROOKS + SCARPA, who said…
“No make-up, cut her hair short.” She’d also add “boots that will not topple over when one tries to walk over 2x4s or steel beams, clothes that are appropriate for climbing ladders at a job site.” She adds, “And get rid of the pink. Contractors hate pink …. and wearing it is a good way to invite animosity before you even start the job.”
And this one from Jinhee Park from SsD:
“I think she should wear a dress with more structured design or a ‘black turtleneck’ … A pink hard hat would be hot!”
If you thought Santiago Calatrava‘s bridge troubles had ended when the starchitect returned fire last fall on critics of his Peace Bridge in Calgary, you’d be wrong (Why else would we be writing this post then? What a boring conversation that would be). Following his battle to stop Bilbao from mucking up his work, his tourist-eating bridge of doom in Venice, and his might-not-be-safe-in-a-flood river-crosser in Dallas, his bridge in Calgary has been mired in controversy, ranging from cost to appearance to construction delays, resulting in the whole city taking sides. The Peace Bridge was initially scheduled to open in late 2010, but as that deadline’s now come and gone, the local Daily Commercial News reports that the new launch date will be sometime “in the middle of 2011.” Who is to blame? Back in November, Calatrava said that it was construction hold ups and city government bureaucracy. They in turn blamed the architect, saying he and his team were making too many difficult requests that were causing delays and angering the contractors. So who’s to know? In the end, as a city transportation representative told the News, “This is a unique structure that requires a lot of time and attention. We have flexibility with time, but not quality and the budget.”
What’s become par for the course over the past year or so has happened once again, though this time it’s not as painful as in times past. After a steady two month climb into positive numbers, increasing industry optimism all the way, the American Institute of Architects‘ Architecture Billings Index has taken a dip once more. While the plunge was fairly high by month-to-month standards, dropping four points, it stopped at an even 50.0. As anything above 50 means growth in demand for architectural services and anything below means a decline, leveling out exactly in the middle certainly isn’t the ideal, but it also doesn’t seem like the end of the world, like when it was in free fall back in early 2009. Here’s a bit about the new report from the AIA’s cautiously sage seer of numbers:
“This slowdown is indicative of what is likely to be a very gradual improvement in business conditions at architecture firms for the better part of this year,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “We’ve been taking a cautiously optimistic approach for the last several months and there is no reason at this point to change that outlook.”
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