Timed to coincide with its purchase of department store De Bijenkorf, Selfridges’ Wonder Room plays host to a Dutch pop-up shop courtesy of curator Jane Withers. The space includes conceptual pieces from five graduates from the Design Academy Eindhoven 2010, alongside pieces from more established designers and studios such as Droog, Kiki van Eijk, Piet Hein Eek, Dick van Hoff, Atelier NL, Pols Potten, Jo Meesters and Lara de Greef. The project looks at everyday objects and rituals in new ways and bring wit to or a more human dimension to these things. Everyday Dutch continues at Selfridges until 27th March 2011.
This new exhibition on at The Cooper Hewitt will run until June 5th and is worth a detour if you are in New York. This is the most comprehensive exhibition ever organized of Van Cleef & Arpels’ masterworks reflecting the craft, innovation of the pieces complemented by never-before-seen drawings. When you arrive, you have the option of booking an iPad to accompany the visit, which is brilliant and gives expanded information. The exhibition also shows pieces worn by Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor and Eva Perón. My favourite pieces were in the Innovation section from the charming cigarette cases to the bags with hidden watches.
Upon entering Coup d’Etat in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill design district, I immediately thought of Roman and Williams and their well-publicized interiors for New York’s Ace Hotel. And indeed, Coup supplied key pieces for the Ace. In Coup, proprietor Darin Geise has created an immersive, heavily textured environment, stocked with weighty furniture, industrial chic pendant lights formed from repurposed grain sorters, headless wooden horses and a regal pair of stuffed peacocks. If you can’t get to the showroom, Coup’s collection can also be found on 1stDibs…but hands off the vintage saddle stones!
Last week saw the launch of the Brit Insurance Design Awards 2011 at the Design Museum. Billed as “the Oscars of the design world”, the shortlist reflects the most innovative design of the last 12 months in seven categories – from fashion to transport to furniture. We were delighted to see that three of our clients were nominated including Jacob Jensen, Flos and Yves Béhar (three times!). The overall winner will be announced on 15th March so we are dusting down our taffeta frocks and dinner jackets in hopeful anticipation!
Tate Britain’s new blockbuster show is a glorious celebration of this rather maligned medium. Watercolours have always been quick and relatively easy to use, though you need confidence for best results. It was fascinating to see Turner’s experimental washes, Nash’s gritty pictures of war-torn Flanders and Burra’s epic compositions amongst the huge variety of work on show. I was very taken by Rachel Pedder Smith’s picture of hundreds of seed pods – and bought the tea towel!