Vitamin Suisse
At first glance, this necklace catches the light and each individual bead shimmers like a mirror. Upon closer inspection, however, it is discovered that instead of beads, it is made up of small square pieces of medical pill blister packages, each loosely woven on thin, metal wire. This necklace was designed by Verena Sieber-Fuchs, a...
Harlem Views
While Sheila Bridge’s Harlem Toile De Juoy was obviously modeled after a toile textile, hence the name, it also shares obvious characteristics with early wallpapers. The staggered placement of elements, the landscape views, the scenes from daily life, were common elements on wallpapers from the late eighteenth century onwards. Wallpaper landscapes were introduced by China...
Fillmore Festivities
Posters produced in the 1970s for The Fillmore, the legendary San Francisco music venue made famous by industry pioneer Bill Graham, were renowned for their psychedelic styling. Between 1967 and 1971, Tea Lautrec Litho, a specialist printing house operated by Levon Mosgofian, produced over 200 posters advertising Graham’s constantly shifting roster of weekly performances. The...
Prestige and Protection
Prestige robes with flowing, wide sleeves and elaborate embroidery were worn by aristocratic Fulani, Hausa, and Nupe men. Their use is primarily associated with the 19th-century Sokoto Caliphate, centered in northern Nigeria, and their distribution is to key Islamic trade routes throughout the region. Their lavish use of costly hand-woven silk proclaimed the wearer’s wealth...
Delicate Disposability
This simple plate is part of a large collection of disposable tableware designed by Shinichiro Ogata and produced by Wasara in Japan, with sustainability in mind. Made from a pulp consisting of biodegradable and compostable reed, bamboo and bagasse (a byproduct of sugarcane processing), these delicate looking yet durable wares take myriad forms, which allow...
Visual Space in Music
Though this striking drawing may at first seem to present a colorful abstract fantasy, the design meticulously translates 78 measures of the 1870 music drama Die Walküre into a new complex visual form. Before creating this ornamental design, John De Cesare worked very successfully as an architectural sculptor. He provided sculptural decoration for some of...
Chan Chan
The diversity of styles that characterizes Larsen’s range is the result of his insatiable intellectual curiosity about the world’s textile traditions. He wrote extensively about resist-dye techniques in The Dyer’s Art: Ikat, Batik, Plangi, including fold-dying, in which pleating or folding are combined with resists like clamping or binding to create complex geometric patterns with...
Tension on the Wall
The use of common, mundane materials creates a contemporary rendering of a traditional pattern in this wallpaper. “Barbed Wire” creates a window pane plaid design by the crossing of wires at right angles. The plaid design, a common wallpaper motif with collection examples dating back to the early nineteenth century, has been interpreted in a...
Medea and the Hand Mirror
Sixteenth-century Europe saw, with the apogee of humanism, the reactivation of intellectual and creative energies towards classical antiquity, through which the decorative arts flourished. Designs were highly imaginative, with increasingly complicated, fantastical motifs, in which material opulence coexisted with humanist knowledge in the form of historical and mythological themes.[1] A case in point is this...