Coachella; The Heart of Boho Chic

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held annually in Indio, part of the California Desert. It features many music genres, including rock, indie, hip-hop and electronic vibes. The festival also includes visual arts including sculpture and installation art. Alongside the great music, Coachella is an event where some of the best dressed style icons hang out at all-night parties or by the pool dressed in Boho-chic style, and everyone is trying to out-do each other with the hippest style statements. With one weekend down, there is still this weekend for the festival goers to appear in their ultimate festival outfit.

Effortless style is what it’s all about, looking amazing but without looking like you have tried too hard. Think back to Kate Moss at Glastonbury when she waded through the mud in a pair of hunter boots teamed with a cut off sweater dress and studded belt; the hunter boot craze started. Other style icons since have included Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn and Kate Bosworth. As well as these more obvious famous faces, the rest of the general festival goers make a pretty good job at looking ultra cool and manage to create some rather unique style statements.

Festivals such as Coachella are a gold pot for the design industry as this is where many new trends emerge. Bloggers, designers, stylists and fashion editors are all keen to grab the hottest trends storming from the festivals. You’ll be sure to see some of these looks following shortly after in fashion stores and magazines.

Tamsin Cook – Images from LA Times and Whomwhatwear (Guy Lowndes) 
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The Gardens of Seville

Architecturally confused and completely beguiling, Seville is a city for the wide-eyed and whimsical. And for those with a proclivity for all things green.

Easily Spain’s most flamboyant and passionate city, Seville mixes Christian-Muslim architecture (think tiled courtyards, cobbled alleys and terracotta aplenty) with flamenco, tapas and Spanish eccentricity. Yet one of its most charming features is its gardens – not to diminish the towering Catedral de Sevilla, Hospital de Los Venerables, Capilla de San Jose or hipster-attracting Alameda de Hercules of course.

Still, to truly lose yourself in this city, where parties spontaneously erupt on steaming Spring evenings and gypsy street performers reign supreme, simply enter the famed Real Alcazar de Sevilla, once the residence of the King of Spain. Walk past the interlinked series of buildings, each as ornate, unique and exotic as the last, and enter the gardens – a blooming nirvana, perfectly maintained and utterly vibrant. The sounds of the city and the shadows of fellow tourists melt away and you’re left with nothing but the buzz of dedicated gardeners and a labyrinth-like layout made up of well-trodden paths, themed floral creations, water features, tile-covered seats and cat-shading trees. All you can do is walk from flowery spot to flowery spot and bask in the beauty (and sun) that surrounds you. It’s re-tamed nature at its best.

Further afield and devoid of an entry fee, you’ll find the Parque de Maria Luisa. Opened in 1914, this area began its life as the private gardens of the San Telmo Palace, before being donated to the people and re-designed by French engineer Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, who gave the space a rather romantic twist. Inspired by the Alhambra and Alcazar, wandering alone with your thoughts here is both exhilarating and bewildering. You loose track of time and place, all sense of direction and the desire to be anywhere but the present. And it is blissful.

In a city famed for its characters, flavours and built attractions, it’s lovely to discover that all things botanical can still consume and amuse you in such a delightful way.

Liz Schaffer 
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Baylage, Ombré & Multi-tones: Colour Up!

When we wrote about this trend last year we reflected over its many ways of repetition and how large fashion houses kept on reinventing the trend in new manners. Therefore, when approaching the subject of hair trends again, it came as no surprise that roots, multi-tones and colour blushing were on the agenda again. Or should we say still?

Ombré or baylage, whatever you prefer to call the look, it’s definitely here to stay. Shimmering blondes leave their roots dark and even if carefully made by a hairdresser, it creates that careless look that doesn’t require much attention to make you look dashing on the streets. For an even more subtle feeling, the salons work with what they call colour blushing, which leaves you with a more undone and hazy look.

The Blogazine spoke with Leyla Dölen, the Technical Director at Toni&Guy in Stockholm to dig into the hairstyle trends this year. “You got it right with the baylage and colour blushing, it’s still trending. Colour blushing really is like adding a bit of blush to your hair!”. Leyla mentions colours as magnolia and jasmine in contrast with honeysuckle and pink champagne as new tones to the trend. “Colour definitely is this season’s ‘must-have’. Let it be baylage or multi-toned, but put colour on it. We are seeing expensively styled blondes, but also more distinct colour placements that draw inspiration from the graphic prints of Peter Pilotto and Alexander McQueen.”

For the ones who don’t want to go blonde or crazy coloured, Leila mentions high-shining brunettes and shimmering reds in earthy tones as an option. “We are mixing deep colours like horse-chestnut, honey, apricot dahlia, hazelnut and amber to still keep that multi-toned feeling.”

Whichever look one chooses to go for, with so many directions, interpretations and colours – can you go wrong?

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Special thanks to Toni&Guy 
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Guest Interview n°46: Philippe Malouin

We met Philippe Malouin, one of the most exciting young contemporary designers of today, during Salone del Mobile 2013 held last week.

Philippe was born in Canada but has studied in Paris and at Design Academy of Eindhoven, a school that has surely influenced his approach towards design. In fact, Philippe is more interested in un-orthodox production processes and exploration of different materials than in formal virtuosity. We had a pleasant chat with him on the occasion of his first solo show in Italy, properly titled ‘Simple’, held at Project B gallery in Milan.

Written by Rujana Rebernjak, interview by Monica Lombardi, video by Renzo O. Angelillo 
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Cream Dream

Cream Dream

The most important thing to make good ice cream is the ingredients. We visited a workshop for a closer look at some preparations. It’s interesting because the hard choice of which ice cream to pick, is as as tricky also for fresh pastries. The famous Sicilian cannolo, with its crunchy pastry, is filled with ricotta cream and garnished with candied fruit and cherries in brandy. The result is fabulous and it’s a great idea for summer, to be enjoyed with a good sweet wine.

The Piedmontese hazelnuts, fresh and crisp, are the main ingredient of hazelnut ice cream, to match with a softer waffle. The machines help to mix the ingredients and achieve the right texture, the milk is produced in the neighbor’s farm, and the result is amazing. There is nothing better than coming from work and enjoying a cone of ice cream before returning home for dinner. You have to taste blackberry together with vanilla and with a splash of raspberry juice. What a delight!

Stefano Tripodi

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From the Skies, Roads and Catwalks

From the Skies, Roads and Catwalks

“The weekend comes, my cycle hums, ready to race to you”, sang Pratt & McClain. It was a hit that defined an era, and a refrain that no one will ever forget, timeless Happy Days. In the hustle and bustle of seasonal trends, some garments, protagonists of the contemporary costume history, hardly lose their place of honor. Leather jacket is one of these.

Its invention is attributed to Manfred von Richthofen, the heroic German aviator known as the Red Baron. The first flying jacket was born during the first big war. But even if the inspiration came originally from the sky, it was truly the road that gave the jacket the imprint we know.

In the late 20s in America, a leather craftsman named Irving Schott decided to shorten the body of the flying jacket and to equip it with a zipper – three to be precise – and a belt: perfect for darting on a motorcycle. Its name, Perfecto, such as Schott’s favorite cigars. From the 40s the basic black jacket was acclaimed by sex symbols, the Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, who wears it in the cult movie The Wild One, and James Dean. In the common imagination the leather jacket started to be associated to the idea of strong and unconventional masculinity.

With the years of protests and Flower Power, the leather jacket was properly placed in a wardrobe, but at the end of the 70s the musical Grease, set in a 50s American high school, dusted off the memory of this item.

The first who adopted the leather jacket as a uniform of irreverence were the musicians. Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Ramones and Sex Pistols, whose leader, Malcolm McLaren, with his superlative girlfriend, opened a store that became the symbol of fetish-oriented punk fashion in London. The shop was named Sex in the King’s Road and that girl was Vivienne Westwood.

The trend of leather jacket became a global phenomenon. In New York, Andy Warhol let his artist friends customize a jacket with decorations, symbols, designs and unique embroideries. Michael Jackson chose it for Thriller, while Madonna matched it on a stunning evening dress to accompany her husband Sean Penn at the premiere of his latest film. It appeared on red carpets as well as on catwalks. Mugler, Versace and Anna Sui reinvented the mythic item with studs, sequins and big zipper pullers.

But as always, history is made of twists and turns, and during the 90s the jacket came out the flow, fashion was looking elsewhere, to the Japanese minimalism and the squared aesthetics. But after the style recess at the change of the millennium, it returns on the spotlight. Shortened, studded, metallic, in crocodile leather. A revisitation of the 80s style. Certainly, if at the beginning leather jacket was in itself a symbol of independence and social freedom for body and mind, now it has become a wardrobe topic, which has retained only the superior layer of the mask of a rebel, only a hint of the true spirit icon.

Antonio Moscogiuri

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Nikolas Gambaroff: Quality Interiors at Giò Marconi

During the weekend of the MiArt fair, the action didn’t only take place in Milan’s city fairground. Many of the city’s galleries also took the opportunity to open the doors to their newest exhibitions, and one of the most interesting ones turned out to be Nikolas Gambaroff’s Quality Interiors at Giò Marconi. The German-born, New York-based artist is presented with his first solo show in the gallery, including new works of polyester window film or silicon among a set of mannequins and one of his perhaps better-known newspaper paintings.

For Quality Interiors, with its title perhaps giving an ironic nod to the madness of last week’s Salone del Mobile, Gambaroff filled the three ground floor rooms of the gallery with lusciously pink works made of Polyethylene Terephthalate Window Film. Usually abbreviated PET, the film is normally used in synthetic fibers, food and liquid containers, or even film and solar cell technology. The specific type used by the artist is usually applied to the windows of commercial buildings to convert the sunlight into infrared radiation and reduce the energy flow. Treated in different ways and torn apart to reveal the back of the structure, Gambaroff’s works look fragile yet alluring, mirroring the visitors walking by. On wooden tables, the flat, wrinkly silicon works in nude pastel pink hues give more of a matt, tactile impression, as a reminiscence of human flesh.

The largest room includes a set of half-dressed mannequins, a collaboration between Gambaroff and Nina Yashar, the interior design priestess and founder of Milan’s Nilufar Gallery. Beautiful fabrics in tribal patterns are wrapped in unorthodox matters around the mannequins, mirrored in the shiny surface of the pink window film work. The mannequins become a constant audience in relation to the work, gazing in different directions in a play with different ways of seeing and being seen.

Bearing Gambaroff’s more well-known newspaper-based work in mind, Quality Interiors shines a new light on his artistic production. Still, the works revolve around the same themes as before, in a dissection, deconstruction and re-evaluation of what painting is today. Given the impressions in Giò Marconi, it’s a very human thing.

The exhibition is on view until May 18th 2013.

Helena Nilsson Strängberg – Image courtesy of the artist, Gió Marconi 
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The Diffusion of Responsibility

Talking about my country’s cultural aspirations, George Carlin once joked that “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Just about everyone is blissfully zonked out in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, an absurd meta-pop film that simultaneously critiques and celebrates American hedonism, violence and general irresponsibility in its most hilariously desperate and depressing form: through the eyes of college girls, in Tampa Beach, sometime in March. Want to know what mainstream youth culture looks like in America? Watch this film.

Spring Breakers follows four young bombshells (Candy, Faith, Brit, and Cotty) who rob a chicken shack with squirt guns and ski masks in order to fund a last-minute spring break trip to the Florida coast. “Pretend like it’s a video game” one of them says. “Act like you’re in a movie.” This advice isn’t specific to the robbery, it’s a mantra for their entire way of life. No one seems to have a clue who they are, and no one takes responsibility for their actions. It’s a familiar feeling.

Korine is obsessed with America’s glorification of sex, violence, drugs, and how those components shape individual identity. Like Kids, Spring Breakers is focused on a group of young people (mostly women) who don’t know where they fit in, trying to be cool, exhausting the possibilities. Each character attempts to be something they’re not, with humiliating and sobering consequences. The film isn’t realistic (nor is it meant to be), but it’s characters’ desires are.

After going broke and getting busted for snorting cocaine at a random party, the girls wind up in jail and are bailed out (financially and legally) by a drug dealer/rapper named Alien (played to a tee by James Franco). “Some kids want to be president, others want to be a doctor,” he tells his new friends by way of introduction. “I just want to be baaad.” Alien is not bad. But he is rich, free from the burdens of work or school, and living alone in a big mansion on the beach full-time. In his world, as he likes to say, it’s “Spring Break forever.” But what does that mean, exactly?

Alien’s got everything the girls want, but the problem is that they want the wrong things. But there’s something missing. Alien is all image and no substance, a sharp warning of the type of person you end up becoming when “having shit” becomes your motivating goal in life. Alien needs an audience to justify his existence, but he has no friends. He has the guns and the ego to point them at his rival drug dealer (played by Gucci Mane), but not the heart to use them, which turns out to be a fatal flaw. Paradoxically, the girls have the heart to hang with Alien, but only because they’re too stupid and media-saturated to know just what it is they’re getting into. They think that’s what they should be doing, which might just be the real lesson here. Take Spring Breakers literally, as many critics have, and you’re sure to be offended. Take it as satire, as you should, and you’ll be amused at the cultural introspection lying beneath the glossy surface.

Lane Koivu
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Sunday Breakfast by Love For Breakfast

A touch of spring all in one glass. A bit of happiness in a smile check.

Alessia Bossi from Love For Breakfast 
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Salone 2013: Something Good

Something Good is a project initiated three years ago by a group of young Italian designers with the idea of creating a platform for creation of hand-made objects, raising awareness towards the quality production of local artisans as well as giving an output for emerging designers, who often find it difficult to enter the corporate world, dominated by bombastic international names. For their third appointment at Salone del mobile, Zaven (Marco Zavagno and Enrica Cavarzan), Matteo Zorzenoni and Giorgio Biscaro have created a series of simple, but beautiful objects, designed both through their impeccable vision as well as the profound knowledge of local artisans, their partners-in-crime.

How did you designers meet?
We basically studied in the same university so we know each other from that time. We are a sort of a team of three different design studios: one is Giorgio Biscaro, one is Matteo Zorzenoni and then Zaven which consist of Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno. We started this project two years ago when we started working with artisans of the local area of Veneto, where we are based. The main group of organizers are us four and we started this new company with a first collection based on our designs, with the idea of opening up to other projects in the future.

What is the idea that guided the creation Something Good?
We started by inviting people to collaborate with artisans and local producers and we saw that it was going really well so we decided to start this project, Something Good. This is the first time since we started two years ago that we are here with some sort of structure that is not an exhibition, and it’s the first time we are actually selling the products we developed together. It’s very exciting!

Can you tell us something more about your show here in Milan?

We are presenting a few projects that are made in the Veneto area with local artisans. Since everything is made by artisans, the objects are really perfect in one way, but can also have certain ‘deficiencies’ or ‘mistakes’ due to the material we work with. They are not actually mistakes, but result in unique pieces. Like these vases, they are made of borosilicate glass and are hand blown which means that each piece is made individually, so there can be a difference from one vase to another.

Could you explain the particularities of the objects displayed? How and where were they made and who are the artisans you have worked with?
The vases (DIP) are designed by Zaven and this chromed centre-piece (NISH) is made by Giorgio Biscaro. The cutting board (IN-LAY) is designed by Matteo Zorzenoni and made with two different types of wood. These pitchers are also designed by Matteo and developed by a glass master in Murano. 
You can see from the display that we work with different scales of the project. We don’t want to be stuck with something that is complicated, we want to manage the production in the right way, so we try to find a way of working with the right scale of things together with the artisans. The product basically comes from our dialogue and we solve the problems and develop the objects together with the artisans. Their role is as important as ours, it’s really half and half in terms of design.

What were your goals in creating this project and pursuing this kind of production?

The idea is based on working in a way that is flexible: we can choose what to produce according to the abilities and skills of the artisans we are working with. The point is to make something that is of quality, and strictly related to the tradition of the work of the artisans. We work with small quantities each time according to requests and we are going to sell online – the shop opens in 10 days.

What do you think is the role of traditional crafts in Italian design?

People always think every project is made in the industry but in reality the first project or object is made by the artisan who makes the first prototype. Also, many times it’s the artisan who works with the final product for the industry. The artisans are the core of the industry in Italy – we don’t have the culture of machinery and we have really powerful skills, and traditions are still very important for Italian design. It’s important to keep the abilities of artisans alive. People think that the work of an artisan isn’t that ‘cool’, but actually, being able to work with your hands and your head together, is what creates great things.

You as designers curate the production process as a whole with Something Good, do you feel that the traditional role of a designer has changed today?

As a designer you must know everything. Every time you work with a company that works in different fields or with different techniques, you need to have the knowledge of the production process. So for us, to curate the whole process, being ‘on the other side’, has been a great challenge. It makes you grow as a designer because you start thinking about the communication, the packaging etc.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe & Rujana Rebernjak – Photos Alessandro Furchino 
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