apartamento #07


apartamento #07

Issue 07 of apartamento is out! Featuring a cover by Juergen Teller, the compact little digest is choc-full of excellent writing, warm photos and tactile paper that makes it nice to touch. It’s perfect, as always, to curl up with for a long read.

There are interviews with Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame, Vuokko, Juana Molina, Bruce Benderson, illustrator Liselotte Watkins (who we interviewed a couple weeks ago ourselves), and design photography great Marirosa Toscani Ballo, in addition to others. There’s a snappy piece on fast-food burgers and other food features.

Tucked neatly inside is a neat supplement called “oficio y criterio” which explores the lives and roles of 10 Spanish maker-shakers. And of course, there’s a wealth of imagery by apartamento co-director and 2DM photographer Nacho Alegre. His brick still-lives are especially gorgeous.

Tag Christof

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10A Suspender Trousers Company / The New Black


10A Suspender Trousers Company / The New Black

From the fertile minds of designers Daria Dazzan and Matteo Cibic was born 10A Suspender Trousers Company. The line’s raison d’être is straightforward: gorgeously tailored, high quality trousers. And through rigorous research and highly evolved design, 10A manages to make garments that are beautiful, versatile and exceptionally durable.

Dazzan hails from the tailor-centric fashion world around Belgium, having studied at the Royal Antwerp Academy and cutting her teeth at Véronique Branquinho before moving on to Hussein Chalayan. Cibic is a product designer whose experience in materials such as ceramic informs his work in textile; he’s nothing short of a master of imaginative practicality. Their synergy is evident from the crisp craftsmanship right down to the very finest details of the line.

The brand is an outgrowth of the duo’s atelier AAAAAAAAAA, which makes a limited edition of ten bespoke trousers per month. 10A is a larger-scale progression of their original tenets: research, European fashion, and function. And while the collection has traditionally been reserved for men, they’ve released one women’s model with more to follow.

The trademark suspenders are integral and add an unexpected touch of refinement and timelessness. The collection comes in a delicious mix of fabrics – from raw denims to fine linens to radical wools – with a range of cuts (clochard, standard, slim). The line also includes handsome essential leather bags. Made of durable, lightly tanned leather, they age brilliantly (Matteo carries his everywhere) and are big enough to fit a big laptop. And lots of other things.

As a sweet, sweet cherry on top the sundae, 10A’s garments are produced in a factory in Northeastern Italy that operates on 100% solar energy. That’s sustainability we can get behind.

This season, the masterminds behind The Blogazine teamed up with 10A for an exclusive lookbook. With 2DM’s sharp, incisive photographer Vicky Trombetta both behind and in front of the camera alongside editor-in-chief Tag Christof, we got intimately acquainted with the label.

10A is a positive manifestation of modern Made in Italy: classy, well-informed, responsibly produced. In an age of transition, temporariness and fleeting fashion 10A’s values are a beautiful thing. 10A is both fresh and enduring. 10A is style. And as far as we’re concerned, 10A is The New Black.

See the line’s display at Verger on Via Varese this week during Salone del Mobile.

From The Bureau – Very special thanks to 10A

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Salone del Mobile: The Fair


Salone del Mobile: The Fair

With light at the end of our economic tunnel for the first time in years, the design world should be alive with audacity and imagination. But when it comes to the world’s biggest furniture fair, we didn’t see much to capture the imagination this time out.

We saw a decisive shift towards plastic chairs with metal frames: they were everywhere, from Swedese to wood pioneer Thonet. And speaking of wood, the was a conspicuous lack of it, as well as leathers and other natural materials despite the fact that quite a bit of brand literature was dedicated to proclaiming “sustainability.” Colour palates this year are generally sober and solid, with muted 1970s-esque shades of green, blue and pinks, while patterns are few and far between.

Arper’s whimsical umbrella canopy.

Plastic king Kartell was the star of the stands, with massive Broadway neon signs and colourful, well-organised sections – it was probably the best integration of product and display, too. Vitra’s stand, complete with crackling raw parquet and neatly-decorated cubbies was also pretty nifty, although it looked a bit too much like a child’s playroom. Other standouts included the umbrella ceiling and gravel floored mini-world of Elena Xausa and the walls made of metal chairs at Alias. We also loved the “tear-off” pads of sketches from Doshi Levien, Patricia Urquiola and others on the walls at Moroso.

Vitra, including the Tip-Ton, left.

Kartell’s Broadway lights.

Still, any good design nerd knows that chairs are the heart of Salone. But sadly, on the chair front it seems that very little forward progress was made this year. Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s “Tip-Ton” is typical Vitra – it’s well made and should age gracefully – but nothing from the usually innovative company truly stood out. Piero Lissoni’s Audrey chair for Kartell, which does a fantastic plastic impression of the typical rattan dining chair has finally made it to production (very cool!). But our favourite chair so far was the “Gaulino”, by Oscar Tusquets Blanca for Barcelona Design. Called “a cross between Gaudí and Mollino,” it’s wooden, sensual and suggestive. Hot stuff.

Doshi Levien sketches from Moroso.

Far and away the most fun part of the show was Satellite – the student’s realm – where genuine creativity is transformed into handmade prototype projects and the designers of tomorrow get their first chance to show their stuff. (But more on that from us towards the end of the week).

Alias’ wall of chairs.

Now for the rest of the week: Fuorisalone! Fun!

Tag Christof – Photos Emelly Blomqvist & Tag Christof

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Elena Xausa / 2DM For Salone Del Mobile & Ottagono


Elena Xausa / 2DM For Salone Del Mobile & Ottagono

2DM’s Über-creative illustrator Elena Xausa’s got her hands full this design week. Her large-scale works are on display for Gas as part of Fuorisalone, and she’s participating in events all around Milan. The newest issue of Ottagono – freshly on newsstands (we picked up our copy yesterday at the fair) – features an illustration by her, surrounding an intriguing story about the famous Unité d’Habitation building in Marseille.

And as a rad bonus, 2DM teamed up with her for a nifty limited edition canvas bag that the coolest people will be toting this week. S for Salone, flanked by an impressive array of designer chairs. Get yours while it’s hot!

Tag Christof

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Guest Interview n°26: Lucas Kalda


Guest Interview n°26: Lucas Kalda

With clients like Valentino, Vogue, Galliano and Acne under his belt, the Swedish model Lucas Kalda is on the verge of becoming a model with a capital M. Born in Stockholm, he’d prefer to live out an American dream in New York City. Maybe someday with his own billboard in Times Square…

So… who is Lucas Kalda?
I’m a 21 year old model from Stockholm, Sweden. I have been modelling since I was 15, so I’ve been in the business for a while. I would say that now’s s the best time in my career. For the moment I live in Stockholm with my girlfriend Louise and my little dog Prince, working at the Swedish brand Tiger Of Sweden. I see myself as a very down to earth guy who is very easy to be around.

How did you get your start as a model?
I started off because a booker at the Swedish modelling agency Stockholmsgruppen approached me in a shopping mall in Stockholm. And the rest is history…

Did you ever have thoughts of modelling before being approached?
Yeah, I had. A lot of people around me, as my friends… and even my parents told me I should send some pictures to agencies, but I never made it before Stockholmsgruppen scouted me.

What was your first job?
It was a show for a couple of small boutiques in an area called SoFo, which is the trendy and fashionable area in Stockholm.

Which myth about being a male model would you like to kill?
That it’s a very glamorous life and a lot of money. As an example, before doing fashion shows there’s a lot of work! You do different castings for four days, and you have maybe around 6-10 castings per day. If you do both Milan and Paris Fashion Week, you have around 50-80 castings in eight days. Then, maybe, you get one show! When getting a show, your agency takes between 50-70% of your proceeds. But the thing with fashion weeks is that it’s the best place to show your face! So it’s important if you want to do the big campaigns. There’s the glamour and money, but getting there isn’t easy.

When it comes to your own sense of style, who is your favourite designer and why?
My favourite designer is Rick Owens. I don’t exactly know why but every time I look at his shows or his collections, I love it. There’s something mysterious about his design…

Try to describe the biggest moment in your career so far?
I think it has to be when I did the Galliano show in Paris. I had the chance to meet John Galliano in person.  I only had the chance to say hi! He just told me to walk boldly and quickly. But there was something special about him, for sure…

How do you prevent yourself from being dragged into the dirty side of the industry?
I have never personally experienced the “dirty side” but I’ve heard strange stories about it. Maybe I will in the future but I think that the industry is better now than before. I also think the female models have it much harder than male models. They get asked to do things they shouldn’t, and so on…

And when you’re not working, what do you do?
I love football so a lot of my time goes towards playing and watch games. And of course hanging out with my friends. And my wonderful girlfriend and dog!

Has modelling helped you find yourself as a person?
It has made me much more aware of who I am. I have learned so much from modelling and I’m really happy I’ve had the chance to do it. To get around all by yourself and managing situations you never would have if you didn’t model. That part is great. Before I was a bit shy but after the years as a model I’ve changed. Now I don’t have any problems with that.

Who’s the coolest person you’ve met?
If not John Galliano, I’d have to say Nicola Formichetti. He’s the main stylist and editor of Vogue Japan, but is probably more known as Lady Gaga’s stylist. The master behind the “meat-dress” and all the other crazy stuff she wears. I did a shoot for Vogue Japan and he was styling. He was very funny and easy to hang out with. One funny thing was that when I told him that I came from Sweden, he replied with ”I hate Sweden and it’s fucking cold there!”

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done as a model?
I haven’t done anything too weird. However, when I did a presentation for Valentino, I had to stand still in the same position for four hours. We were six models who were placed in a room, wearing Valentino suits while people were watching us. I literally felt like a tailor’s dummy!

You’ve always been very interested in fashion, so what is your next step?
As a model, it’s to do my very best and develop my network! I see myself as a fashion buyer after my modelling career, so it’s a great opportunity for me to get to know people in the fashion business. My plan is to maybe study in Paris or in Sweden. But I don’t know when, time (and work) will tell!

Tell us about your dream job, modelling wise.
My dream would be to do one of the really big campaigns. If I hade to pick one it would be CK Jeans. Only me on a big billboard at Time Square in NYC!

Interview Swedish-English Translation Emelly Blomqvist – Images Courtesy DNA Models
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The Editorial: iFatigue, iFuture


The Editorial: iFatigue, iFuture

The iPad and its more diminutive sibling, the iPhone, are without argument our generation’s defining objects. And they are turning out to be something entirely more revolutionary than any shortwave radio, Polaroid, electric typewriter or Walkman. They are eminently portable. They combine an astounding number of functions on a flexible platform whose functionalities will be multiplied and enriched to the limits of its users imaginations.

Armed with our iDevices, we are the Bionic Man. And Einstein, armed with endless information at the swipe of a finger and the click of a graphic button. And critics. And publishers. And activists. And photographers. A fourth dimension has been opened – full of insight and information – that we access through our magic portals. The illustrious future 2011 once promised from afar is here. We travel through time and space by the use of sleek, smart technology.

But the fact remains that there is something deeply unsatisfying about the supposedly enriched experience these new gadgets bring. While not many would argue with the unprecedented convenience of a phone-camera-library-radio-map-everything, something crucial is missing. Form. Substance. This tablet-shaped enigma’s structure is neither an indicator nor a result of its function. And it’s hard to fall in love with a nondescript, rectangular brick.

The relationships we have built as human beings with our most essential objects is something profound. Hammers. Forks and spoons. Cups. Furniture. Books. And more recently, cameras, telephones, typewriters and other writing devices. These things have forms which remain semiotic constants (the iPhone uses a old-style telephone handset to represent its ‘phone,’ for instance). And when these objects are made with materials each possessing their own smells, weights and textures, they are transformed into something special. But with the iPad, objects are seamlessly subsumed into it and subverted entirely.

So, are we witnessing the death of separate functional objects? How will design grapple with this 4D universe? Is there a middle ground to be found?

With this in mind, and on the eve of 2011’s most important design event, we are thrilled to see what the minds of today’s best designers will astonish us with. As the lines continue to blur between the interfacial and the built worlds, we hope tactility and a real connection between form and function remains intact in some form or another. While we love our iPads and iPhones, we hope for a designed future in which we interact, learn, play and live through something more visceral than a tablet of metal, glass and electrons. Perhaps even our own eyes, ears, noses, hands and feet.

Tag Christof

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Tung Walsh / Hercules & Arena Homme +


Tung Walsh / Hercules & Arena Homme +

2DM’s rising star photographer Tung Walsh paid us a much welcome visit this morning while in Milan on for a top-secret shoot. (It’s going to be good, kids!) Meanwhile, we got to enjoy his newest published works in Hercules and Arena Homme +.

First up for Hercules, the most “Mediterranean” of men’s fashion mags, he captured interior design magnate David Collins

Next up for Arena Homme +, Tung went way outside the box. For this very lucky Year of the Rabbit, Tung made a series of brilliant portraits / self-portraits with his family in Kuala Lampur – notably his grandfather and son Angus. And the family is looking particularly fashionable, dressed in everything from Versace, Dior Homme, Ricardo Tisci, Vivienne Westwood, to Ray Ban and Palladium. Oh, Malaysia!

Until next time, Tung!

Tag Christof

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Essen: Teen Delicatessen / Food Porn


Essen: Teen Delicatessen / Food Porn

It’s time for spring games. Time to stick fingers into some Chantilly. It’s time for the sensuality of food porn. This editorial is of the season, and loves frosting on strawberries. And to go along with it, we have a very special strawberry recipe for you.

Strawberry Choco Cupcake
2 cups flour

2 cups butter

2 tablespoons of cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

220 g sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 strawberries for garnish

Strawberry Frosting
2 cups Philadelphia

1 cup butter

3 cups icing sugar

Pinch of salt

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt.
Melt the butter and sugar together until the mixture is
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat them well.
Unite the mixture with flour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F

18 and muffin tins lined with paper cups of paper.
Fill the molds with dough, be careful not to fill to the brim, stop at mere.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool before decorating.

Beat the butter and Philadelphia until mixed well.
Unite the icing sugar and salt, and beat slowly.
Cool the frosting for about 20 minutes before using it.
Decorate the cupcakes with a pastry bag.
Go wild with the frosting’s form!

Cut strawberries in half and use them to flourish the frosting.

Eat. Feel the pleasure.

Editorial photographed by Nadia Moro and styled by Esmeralda Patisso.

Visit Essen for more fantastic insight into the world of food.

Text Cristina Zaga

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Sandra Suy for Zara


Sandra Suy for Zara

2DM’s illustrator Sandra Suy knows how to work fashion magic. Her girls are fresh, sexy and always really well dressed. And now they’re on Zara shelves the world over – she’s teamed up with the fast fashion giant for a series of four new fragrances including the delicious Fresia and Violetta that we shot here.

Excellent work, Sandra!

Tag Christof

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Guest Interview n°25: Giuseppe Basile


Guest Interview n°25: Giuseppe Basile

Domus is one of the world’s foremost design and architecture magazines. Founded by Gio Ponti and first published in 1928, it is an elemental part of Italy’s design and architectural worlds. It is also among the most iconic publications from Milan, having matured through the 20th century alongside its home city, and has experienced its ebbs and flows intimately. It remains a powerful symbol of Milan’s reign as world capital of design, and itself faces down a treacherous path in the coming decades as communication of every form faces radical shifts.

The magazine’s art direction has been on the cutting edge for decades thanks to Giuseppe Basile. From its high-contrast early 1990s look and deliberately “technological” feel of the 2000s through last year’s sweeping redesign, Mr. Basile’s work has always been exemplary. He is, indeed, one of today’s great art directors.

We had the pleasure of meeting with Basile just as Domus once again finds itself in the midst of a drastic redesign, and on the eve of Salone del Mobile – Milan’s defining event. His vast knowledge and sensibilities are a refreshing counterpoint to the transitory, superficial environment we often find ourselves in.

Tell us a bit about your beginnings. Your origins, your education, your career path. How did you get your start as an art director?
I studied at the ISA di Monza, the school wanted by Pagano and Persico to bring the Bauhaus experience to Italy. Those were fantastic years in which I had the possibility to get to know big names in the art world as a student… in the professional world, I gravitated instantly towards magazines, which had been a constant in my life, even if I never ignored other sectors of communication, I always held that the editorial world was and remains the “gym” for a graphic designer.
I arrived at Domus in the 1980s, just after Mendini’s first stint as director… the magazine was then run by Mario Bellini, Lampugnani and Di Battista with some of the most talented (then) young journalists in the world of architecture and design. Pierre Restany coordinated the art, and I had the great fortune of seeing Italo Lupi work as art director. From him I learned much, then little by little, the longer I stayed at the magazine, I met other major graphic designers like Simon Esterson, and most of all Alan Fletcher, which whom I collaborated for five amazing years.
The quick (and deliberate) turnover of directors at Domus meant that I never had to change magazines, because the magazine itself changed every three years. It remains like that to this day. For the future, we’ll see…

You’re the force behind last year’s stunning redesign of Domus, which coincided with Alessandro Mendini’s installation as director. Give us a bit of background on the drastic change.
It happened one year ago, when the editor asked Alessandro Mendini to confront the massive changes we’re experiencing in communication. He accepted, with a rather monographic vision of the magazine, made up of of eleven publications with a 360° look at the state of planning, architecture, and design in the world: LA NUOVA UTOPIA (The New Utopia).
And it was a unique experience. It gave me the opportunity to get closer to one of the most illuminated minds in contemporary planning for a project we passed over twenty years ago, and that we assumed would never have the chance to reach fruition. Mendini prepared Domus for the “new era,” which is now being undertaken by the young, intelligent and determined architect Joseph Grima, who will have the difficult job of reinventing the magazine in the world of new technologies in communication.

Since Mendini’s deliberately short stay has come to its end with the last issue, #945, can we expect another complete redesign anytime soon?
Like I mentioned before, the change is already underway. Grima will bear the torch of Domus for the future with a sharp eye on the contemporary and on technologies that will have an impact on the world of architecture, design and planning.
Now we’re preparing the new project, and the premises are really very interesting. Salottobuono and the company directed by Grima are developing a project that is a real pleasure to be a part of. Naturally, there will be many changes – these last eleven issues were “one-offs.”
Grima’s vision is different, and it will be unveiled in the next few days within the context of the grand events of Salone del Mobile.

The most striking part of the last redesign remains the Lorenzo Mattotti portraits that have adorn the cover of the past year’s issue. Explain the decision to feature the portraits rather than imagery more directly related to contents?
Thirty years ago, when Mendini left Domus for the first time, he characterised his own direction with covers outside the “chorus,” which had lasting effects on art direction. In fact, he was the first to adopt the portrait in a systematic way for an architecture magazine. Back then they were photographs: pieces of artistically retouched “optical magic.” So, once again director, he wanted to revisit a discourse that had been abandoned as “suspect,” but with a new style. So he arrived at illustration, and the choice was made to commission Mattoti, probably the best-known Italian illustrator abroad.
The most interesting thing was the challenge of asking an artist whose style we liked, but who had never made portraits to make portraits! He accepted the experiment immediately, without hesitation and the result was perfect.
At the beginning the choice of these eleven portraits remained to be made, but once Maldonado was chosen (for the first of the issues), it became a natural progression.

What is working at Domus like? Is there a sense in the company that you’re the stewards of Gio Ponti’s legacy?
Of course. It has always been very gratifying to contribute to a project that has lasted for more than eighty years. Like I mentioned before, it gave me the opportunity to meet exceptional people, and that is the most that one can hope for from his profession because it permits you to keep growing.
Even today, with the this last experience with Alessandro Mendini, I was improved, enriched and surprised at the discoveries, and I don’t just mean on an intellectual level.
I consider this a real fortune.

Domus’ identity is wrapped up in the identity of Milan itself. Where do you see Milan in the grand scheme of things in today’s dramatically changed world?
Milano in the 1970s and 1980s was often referred to as the “Mecca” of design. That means that we have a heavy heritage to stack up to, and since we know when things are going well, the bad things are harder to see. Those things, which today are very present, leave it up to us to show that we deserve that heritage. And to do that, we must be even better than we were in the past.

What long-term impact do you think the 2015 Expo will have on the city? Its identity?
It’s difficult to express the difficulty with which everything is progressing for the Expo 2015 project. A huge opportunity has knocked on our door in a moment of extreme economic and social drama. This is a strong reason, thought that it must be overcome through our capacity for doing. Everything depends on how the operation will be managed, and only then can we really know anything about the impact it will have on the city.

Art direction can, paradoxically, be an invisible job. You’re charged at once with crafting a publication’s distinctive style while making sure that your work doesn’t distract or detract from contents. What do you consider your ‘signature’?
I don’t think it’s an invisible labour. I think the opposite: that we almost always tend to look solely at the aesthetic side to the detriment of content, and this puts us graphic designers in the front row. And in the line of criticism.
I think that art direction must be subordinate to communication, i.e. the content (nothing is really beautiful if its its separated from its contents, according to Charles Eames, but there’s a middle ground to be found). As in an orchestra, there are fundamental instruments that must be present and those that must be, let’s say, “discretely present” to play on their proper strengths. This is an ambitious result that is not always achieved… but when it’s like that, I’m happy with my work.

So, just how adventurous can an art director be while still effectively getting the publication’s message across?
Obviously, personal capacity is fundamental (this should be implicit in this question), but everything depends on the reader: the more illuminated he is, the more the art director can push himself forward. You’re lucky to have an audience that allows for uncensored possibilities, otherwise adventure would be downright reckless.

With everything from I.D.’s demise to the New York Times inevitable web-only future and a flooding of new tablet-based magazines, where do you see magazines a decade from now?
The calendar you’re asking me for is only in the agenda of people like Steve Jobs. It all depends on how technology will … . In fact, almost everything depends on this, so it will determine the acceleration of events. For our part, we can manage contents, but the case of NYT is simply a technological question. Giving news once a day obsolete when applications are updated in real time.
When you go deeper, it’s different. Criticism and research which naturally need time give the possibility of differentiation of mediums. The web has taken its place in the world, and will become powerful just like all the other means of communication in their own time… this of course will clean up the editorial world’s paper version.
But it is possible if well managed that magazines will become the reference point of these ten incredible years. This is a crucial point of the debates that are unfolding right now all over the world.

If you had to choose one typeface to use exclusively for the rest of your career, what would it be? (We’re stricter than Vignelli!)
Oh, Vignelli! I find that being able to express your own graphics using one or two fonts (like in the case of Vignelli, but also of Fronzoni and others) is naturally to make first-rate works. It is a measure of talent and capacity. It is one of the elements that characterises many of the “masters.” Still, many have shown an exceptional expressive capacity using as many as possible and exploiting huge creative possibilities in typography…Lubalin, Chermayeff, Fletcher, and Italo Lupi in Italy.
Me for my work, I have always followed and appreciated both schools of thought, but I have to say that I love all typographies. In every typeface, I find reason to fall in love, even in sheets of paper cut into characters… think of Matisse!

In your opinion, what is the most beautiful magazine in the world? (Other than Domus!)
I’m enticed by “mythical” magazines that have changed the world and our way of thinking…
Those which have the best contents, in all senses…

Introduction and Interview Tag Christof – Translations Helga Tripi & Tag Christof
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