sidebar1.inc

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sadie Williams, Alan Taylor and more brightness - by Silvia Bombardini

IMG_0046
IMG_0045IMG_0048

 

Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,

 

A recent graduate from her Central Saint Martins MA in fashion textiles, Sadie Williams already has her own window at Selfridges, as part of their ever so astute selection of Britain brightest rising stars. And hers is bright indeed. In our London weather so dreary and wet, her floor-length gowns refract and glow. Pillars of light of an almost papal grandeur, they're glittery statement of a luminous female authority. So different from the flimsy, slippery womenswear we've somehow got used to, Sadie's work gives us dramatically dropped waists in sparkling racing hues. She was inspired by Japanese bikers gangs and brought to the London scene their flamboyant stance, their speeding hearts and wild and warm, fast summer nights. Her textiles were achieved with multiple treatments of sublimation, print design, and through the use of a heat press "that squishes everything together" - for an already iconic result. Just last week Susie Bubble was wearing one of her Selfridges-sold, 60s-shaped minidresses, and  new prestigious collaborations already seem on their way.

IMG_0983IMG_0979

 

On a side note, I think I could mention maybe once more how very fond I am of Selfridges' Bright Young Things initiative. Their Concept Store at the Oxford Street shop is just like an inflatable cabinet of wonders. And this year they're also launching a series of interactive events you really wouldn't want to miss out on. Earlier this month I went to see Alan Taylor chatting with Steve Salter of Style Savage about his newest collection and the influence of Francis Bacon. Here's a clip, in case you're curious:

 

 

Later,

Silvia

03:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Asia Argento & the opening party for the Ermanno Scervino boutique in Rome during Alta Roma. Photos & text by Glenn Belverio

P1010290

Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Italiano-style: Asia Argento brought her ukulele to the Ermanno Scervino cocktail and belted out an impromptu ditty from her new--and first--album, "Total Entropy."

Dear Shaded Viewers,

During Alta Roma in Rome, I attended the opening cocktail for Ermanno Scervino's new fashion boutique on the via del Babuino (across the street from Tiffany's). The exciting news is that Ermanno Scervino's new "protaganist", the brand's campaign model, is none other than Asia Argento.

I adore Asia Argento and, as many of you know, I am a huge fan of her father's films. In 2005, I interviewed Dario Argento at his office in Rome, at the invitation of the Turino Film Commission and Turino Tourism. (It wasn't easy to convince them at first, as they didn't want to promote Rome. So, they flew me to Turin after my interview where I promoted the city's tourism with gusto by making a beeline to their rather excellent gay sauna.)

Asia burst onto the world stage, or at least how I remember it, in Dario Argento's controversial film "The Stendhal Syndrome" (1996) in which the then 20-year-old Asia portrayed a rape victim who takes on her attacker's dark persona. (She did start acting at age 9 and appeared in her father's film "Trauma" in 1993. But I don't think I became aware of her until I saw "Stendhal Syndrome.") She's had a colorful career since then, fraught with drama and gossip to be sure, including her delightful star turn as Madame du Barry in "Marie Antoinette." (And I'll always treasure the scene in her film "Scarlet Diva" when she plunges into a mosh pit while pregnant.) Asia is currently married to film director Michele Civetta.

Last month, Italian Vogue reported on Asia's new career as the muse for Ermanno Scervino. “As she has cinema in her blood, no-one knows the world of cinema like Asia does. I love her evolution: every small thing of her expresses a charm that is in a continuous evolution. When I imagined a face for the new woman by  Ermanno Scervino, I immediately thought about her” the designer said.

“Together with Asia," Scervino contintues, "we wanted to tell a new style, that looks towards the past but is immediately projected towards the future. Never be nostalgic."

The video for the campaign, featuring Asia describing her childhood, is pretty great and can be seen here on the Italian Vogue site.

 

P1010249

 Before Asia arrived at the party in a burst of glorious punk-rock impudence, as if she had been shot from a cannon, the soiree was a rather soigné affair. Men in expensive suits and women dressed as if they had raided Halson's closet floated in circles around the crowded room through champagne bubbles and a DJ set of fabulously louche '70s disco. Such a refreshing change from the typical New York fashion party, where douchey faux-hemian "DJs" try and fail to spin their way out of a wet reclaimed hemp paper bag...and everyone is dressed like they're competing in a Chloe Sevigny costume challenge.

P1010247

 Darling, I ONLY wear endangered species! (Just kidding! These pieces are made from beaver--or is it pony hair?--printed to look like leopard. I need that coat for my next skiing jaunt in Gstaad.)

P1010254

 I think I found a new chair for my apartment! Nunzia snapped this photo of me chilling out in the shop's lingerie salon.

P1010255

I was mad for the chandelier. I wonder if I can snag a smaller version for my Mao Room?

P1010251

 Double trouble with Nunzia Garoffolo.

P1010259

Possessed by Andy.

P1010261

 Fashion designer Paola Balzano, Nunzia and turban designer Genevieve Xhaet.

P1010262

 Nunzia and Alta Roma organizer Conseulo Aranyi, who was feeling the effects of the hectic zaniness of organzing a major fashion event.

P1010264

 And here's Asia in the brand's campaign. The photos were shot by Francesco Carrozzini in an old delabré Milanese theatre, chosen for its film-noir ambiance.

P1010266

 Asia arrives at the party with her entourage...

P1010268

 ...and about 100 members of Rome's paparazzi. A real La Dolce Vita moment. The photogs are snapping Asia's reflection in the mirror behind the DJ booth.

P1010275

 Asia warming up on her ukulele before she gave an impromptu performance to promote her album.

I quite like this song and video ("Sexodrome") from "Total Entropy":

 

P1010279

 Not sure who in the crowd changed her demeanor. Cue Sonic Youth's "She's in a Bad Mood."

P1010292

 Love this shot.

P1010294 

P1010265

Nunzia in a Fellini-esque postmodern mood right before she made her escape from the party.

 

Thanks for reading.

Ciao, baci, prego,

Glenn Belverio

 

03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

VACCINE

As someone who has been fan, proponent and originator of independent publishing in the past (The Key, STOP & CSNA) I'm very excited to announce the launch of my on-line & limited print edition art & literary journal VACCINE. VACCINE will feature a varied assortment of photography, multi-media art & collage, graffiti, short stories & broken werd. The extremely talented & visionary art director Frank Gargiulo will be in charge of the design and visual presentation. The early roster of contributors is nothing short of stellar, including Scooter LaForge, Dietmar Busse, Gazelle Paulo, Bubi Canal, Joel Handorff, HOMO-RIOT, Walt Cassidy, Paul Wirhun, Ethan Shoshan, Honey McMoney, Brett Lindell, Benjamin Fredrickson, Nicholas Gorham, Jonathan Daniel Federico, Chick Byrne, Marne Lucas, Richard Schemmer, Allen Todd Yaeger, Derek Dewitt, Natasha Gornik, Max Steele, Maria Pineres, Bj Dini, Muffinhead, Lee Baxter, Dick Mitchell, Ben Copperwheat, Clint Catalyst, Jeff Silverman, Simon Crawford, Shain Kish, Michael Alago & more to come. I am currently accepting submissions for the first edition which will debut in December 2013 at vaccineartjournal@gmail.com.
No censors. No limits. Ain't no stopping us now. As always, come correct or don't come at all.
Original VACCINE Logo by Mike Lohr @ semiliquid.net

VACCINE

03:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, 26 May 2013

THE CAPSULE COLLECTION OF ARNOLDO BATTOIS THAT CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THEIR SECOND FLAGSHIP STORE IN VENICE TEXT BY NUNZIA GAROFFOLO

 

 

Arnoldo][Battois_PAP capsule collection_1
Arnoldo Battois

Arnoldo Battois, renowned brand of accessories established by Silvano Arnoldo and Massimiliano Battois, recently opened its second flagship store in Venice ( which is the native city of the designers as well as a source of their inspiration).  Campo San Maurizio, will showcase their  bags and a capsule collection of womenswear and accessories.  The leitmotiv of the brand is lightness and movement.

 

Arnoldo][Battois_PAP capsule collection_2
Arnoldo Battois

 

Arnoldo][Battois_PAP capsule collection_3
Arnoldo Battois

 

Arnoldo][Battois_PAP capsule collection_4
Arnoldo Battois

 

Arnoldo][Battois_PAP capsule collection_5
Arnoldo Battois

Arnoldo][Battois_store_1
The second flagship store of Arnoldo Battois

 

Arnoldo][Battois_store_2
The second flagship store of Arnoldo Battois

 

 

10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cairo's Fashion Nights + interview with Pashion magazine editor & CFN organizer, Susan Sabet. By Glenn Belverio

P1120399
Susan Sabet wearing a ring from Sabry Marouf at CFN

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I'm back in New York after 11 glorious days in Egypt. At the suggestion of my friend Susan Sabet, the editor-in-chief of Pashion magazine whom I met during Alta Roma in 2009, I traveled to Cairo to attend the 2nd edition of her event Cairo's Fashion Nights. This edition was held at the upscale First Mall, which is next door to the Four Seasons at the First Residence where I stayed for 3 luxurious nights.

I really enjoyed meeting the young and established Egyptian designers; seeing their work and making new friends, and having long conversations with Cairenes who work in fashion, interior design and PR. We discussed everything from Cairo's salad days of the Roaring Forties to today's state of affairs. Besides fashion, I learned a lot about the nuances of Egyptian life, religion, class and, of course, the current political situation. While people were having a great time relaxing with wine and fashion, more than a few could not refrain from filling me in on the current political troubles. It was quite illuminating, and a refreshing change from the specious, sloppy and agenda-ridden reporting on Egypt by the Western media.

While fashion might seem frivolous to some in light of Egypt's current situation--the country's journey on the long, rough road to democracy--many see it as another example of the vitality and resilience of the Egyptian spirit. The culture of fashion emphasizes the importance of the larger role that creativity plays during times of civil unrest.

 

P1120392
Susan and I at CFN. I could say I look a little dazed from the jet lag, but I often look like this.

 

Glenn Belverio: As you know, American Vogue launched Fashion’s Night Out in the fall of 2009 in response to the economic downturn that started with the market crash of 2008. Anna Wintour wanted to inspire people to go shopping again. But lately, many fashion critics, particularly Cathy Horyn, have rightly complained that there’s no need for the event anymore, which is held in many cities from Milan to Paris. I think the New York version has become a pointless free-for-all for bridge and tunnel hoi polloi who would otherwise never be invited to a fashion event. Plus, the American economy is up and people are shopping again. Now Fashion’s Night Out just feels like a Vogue branding ego fest. 

However, in Cairo it’s a completely different situation. Egypt is in the middle of a political transition, to put it mildly. Amidst tumult and uncertainty, Egyptians are just trying to get on with their lives. What were some of your hopes and goals for this edition of Cairo’s Fashion Nights?

 

Susan Sabet: Based on the initial idea of Vogue's Fashion’s Night Out to get the retail business up again, we launched Cairo’s Fashion Nights in November 2011, ten months after the Egyptian revolution.  Another year down the road, retail is still not what it used to be in the pre-Revolution era, and people need encouragement and extra enticement to go down to basically resume their old way of life. The full house we had I think is proof we succeeded. But Cairo’s Fashion Nights is also aiming to promote the many young Egyptian designers that have started to appear on the scene in the past couple of years. Many of them do not have the means to open up a store or find it difficult to find local key retailers that specialize in high-end international brands to display their products. So an event like this is the perfect platform to get their name and product out there.

 

GB: You have a delightfully refreshing gung-ho spirit when it comes to organizing CFN. You were running around the First Mall, dressed for the event, but schlepping rolls of backdrop paper, tripods, glue guns and mannequins up and down the escalators, like a determined, hands-on producer putting on a play at a renegade theater. “The show must go on!” What was your creative process for launching this event and how did you decide who would be hawking their wares and services at it?

 

SS: Unfortunately there are always last-minute hang-ups and unexpected bad surprises, so I prefer to take care of the final details myself. CFN’s first edition was held in the Zamalek district, home to many high-end retailers and local designer ateliers. This set-up had the charm of moving from store to store, even if more difficult, as we do not have shopping avenues as in Europe or NY and stores are scattered. Hence, we had to do the event over two nights to give shoppers the opportunity to be able to visit all the participating stores. Due to the political turmoil in the past months, I felt it is easier and more encouraging to find a compact outlet that boasts high end retailers as well as offers space for visiting designers. So the First Mall Cairo was the obvious choice and right partner to go with.

P1120338

 GB: What are some of the things you think Egyptian designers can contribute to the worldwide fashion industry? How is their viewpoint different from, say, designers in New York or Paris?

 

SS: Young Egyptian designers like most young designers in the world aspire to show one day in NY, Paris, Milan or London. They are exposed to international fashion through local retail, media and travel and follow the international trends. I think that the ones that are using traditional local fabrics and  handcrafts, or take inspiration by our culture and know how to adapt it to the current trends, are the ones that will succeed to stand out, provided of course they get the chance to show abroad and can deliver the quality needed to compete.

 

GB: What do you think the future holds for Egypt’s fashion industry under the current political administration? How do you think it can adapt to the changes in the economy and society?

 

SS: Egypt’s fashion and textile industry has always been big. The current situation has maybe slowed down many of the businesses but it is temporary, I believe. After all, we are 91 million people that need to be dressed.

P1120391
Susan & Anna Tarabolsi

 GB: What advice would you give to young, emerging Egyptian designers for making it in the local and global markets?

 

SS: Whether it is to succeed in the local or global market your product has to be in demand and of high quality. I tell them to go and visit trade shows in Paris or Milan to see what the designers show, what sells, what the prices are and where they can position themselves to find maybe a niche they can fill to lure buyers with something special.

 

DSC_0114

The fashions of Deana Shaaban

DSC_0110
Susan, Amerigo Lopez and Nadia Zorkani

DSC_0122

P1120342

 I chatted a while with designer Amina Khalil who founded her brand, Amina K, in 2009. Amina studied fashion design and marketing in London and it shows because she comes off as very savvy and versed in the international fashion scene. The brand is inspired by and dedicated to Egypt: Amina almost exclusively uses Egyptian resources, fabric and workmanship. (However, the much-touted Egyptian cotton is often hard to find. The global demand is so high--all those high-thread count Egyptian-cotton sheets!-- that most of it gets exported.) Her limited-edition pieces put a modern Western spin on traditional Egyptian silhouttes. I really like how she does the layered look...all those scarves and other knit pieces are so chic for hanging out in the desert.

P1120344

 Layered look from Amina K

DSC_0115

 Designer Deana Shaaban and CFN reveler. Hedda Hopper is looking up from Hades, green with envy over those hats....

DSC_0152

Jewelry designer Azza Fahmy, Indjy Hosny and Rawah Badra. I visited Azza's workshop outside of Cairo during my trip--story on that to come, stay tuned.

P1120415

Rana Kandil, who does PR for Azza Fahmy, models one of Azza's pieces.

P1120395

 "I'm just crazy about Tiffany's! Nothing very bad could happen to you there." Especially when they're serving Egyptian sparkling wine, which was pretty top-drawer. At one point, the young waiter shot a cork cannon-like across the small boutique and it almost split a yellow diamond like an atom, and we all laughed and drank 8 more glasses and thought it divinely tres fou. Hibba Bilal, my host and the Director of PR at the Four Seasons at the First Residence, and I chatted at length about Egyptian society, pop culture, art and politics.

P1120398

Hibba, me and Ricky Martin outside the Bulgari boutique. We went in and ogled the bijoux for a few moments.

P1120377

 In the middle of the evening, there was a catwalk show of Egyptian designers. Here's a look from Nevine Altmann.

DSC_0276

 A look from Hany El Behairy

P1120339 copy

 My new Egyptian friends! Jewelry designers Ahmed Sabry and Daki Marouf of the brand Sabry Marouf. I will be doing a longer post on their work next week, but here are a couple of their very cool pieces:

P1120410

 Sabry Marouf necklace accented with bullets. Radical chic, darlings! The Revolution will be gilded.

P1120403

 Sabry Marouf Ankh necklace. "The Love Machine", Egyptian-style!

P1120423

Me modeling a Sabry Marouf silver-plated metal tie. I like how it looks with my pink Paul Smith shirt. Fashion! Turn to the left.

P1120353

Shahira Fahmy, Susan and Laila Al Far. I had a long chat with Shahira. She is a real renaissance woman. She used to design for the brand Mix' n Match and now does creative direction for them. She also designs interiors and did the suites at the Four Seasons at the First Residence and other hotels in Egypt. She really filled me in on Egypt's political situation, it was very informative.

P1120418

The night more or less climaxed with a rather giddy French wine and dance party at a club in the First Mall called 35. The party was hosted by the French Embassy and the theme was "The Best of French Fashion in Cairo" and there were new looks there from Nina Ricci, Lanvin, Celine and Kenzo. Pictured above is Camilia Galey (left), the wife of the French Ambassador to Egypt, Nicolas Galey. Mrs. Galey really tore up the dance floor and was the life of the party! I had pizza with her and her husband, cousins and friends afterwards and it was a hoot. She is from Algeria and we talked at length about the Middle East and New York.

Thanks for reading and please visit Egypt and support Egyptian fashion and tourism! Egypt is safe if you possess common sense and now is the time to visit some of the world's most spectacular sites without having to deal with huge crowds of tourists.

Previously on 'Glenn Belverio in Egypt':

My visit to the Nubian villages of Elphantine Island in Aswan (Upper Egypt)

My drive-by photos of the streets of Cairo

My visit to the astonishing Temples of Abu Simbel

 

Salam,

Glenn Belverio

 

06:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, 24 December 2012

MADS DINESEN OPENING AT XXX BERLIN

Better late then never, right ? I am behind again on posts, sorry.

Mads-dinesen-for-xxx-berlin_1d

Here are some images from Mad's opening at the end of November at XXX.

PHENOMENA
A photograpic performance by Andrea Splisgar, Mali Lazell and Mads Dinesen.

MASKS
Installation, photography and soundtrack by Mali Lazell, Frauke Schmidt and Mads Dinesen.

MUMMED
Soundsculpture by Frauke Schmidt and Mads Dinesen.

THE SWAN KILLER
DER MONDANE TIGER with the voice of Andrea Splisgar narrating THE SWAN KILLER from the 'Anthology of black humour' by Andre Breton.

Mads-dinesen-for-xxx-berlin_1u

Mads-dinesen-for-xxx-berlin_1l

396985_4372358104745_1707072617_n
Andrea Splisgar and hans h. 

Was great evening. Enjoyed seeing Mads collection for XXX, especially the finely breaded hair veils on the hats.

Mads-dinesen-for-xxx-berlin_1e1a

It was my first time at XXX and the space was great, featuring works of various designers and artist as a small cafe in the back.

Mads-dinesen-for-xxx-berlin_1m2

Andrea's narration of THE SWAN KILLER from the 'Anthology of black humour by Andre Breton playing inside the wardrobe below, was beautiful and haunting.

IMG_6178
WARDROBE JUST IN THE DISTANCE WHERE ANDREAS NARRATION OF BLACK SWAN WAS PLAYING AND ON SALE.

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.26.10 AM
Tim Van Den Oudenhoven, Mads Dinesen, Andres Ernst, Andrea Splisgar, Krista Figacz, Michelle Baards, Yoshihiro Shimomura, Hans H., Maurice Hermes, Me and Filsproduction (sorry any names and face I missed)

 

If you are in Berlin and have a chance defiantly check out XXX.

- GRIFFIN

02:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, 22 December 2012

"Echo Beach" and Wies Schulte - Christmas magic at Graanmarkt 13, text by Tanja Beljanski

One of the best luxury goods stores in Belgium - Graanmarkt 13, once again gave us that magical Christmas opportunity to meet the designer behind the label.

On Thursday, December 20th, revealing us its singular universe, INDRESS and its designer Wies Schulte presented the A/W 2012 collection and the new movie "Echo Beach".

INVITATION


Previously shown at Palais de Tokyo in Paris in November this year, and now at Graanmarkt 13, this beautifully mysterious, yet comical film, delicately brings the fantastic and burlesque together.

Who is Esther van Eijndhoven, the "ghost hunter"? And the girl who is following her, Jo, what is she looking for? Who is the "frogman"? What connects them all in a small, foggy, seaside town?

Each season Indress makes a movie to feature its collection. It is Wies Schulte's husband, director Frédéric Guelaff, who is responsible for it. "It is a family business," smiles Wies. "My husband makes the film each season I make the collection. The actors are wearing my clothes. And this young girl Jo, is actually my daughter Renée." 

But, these are not fashion movies where aesthetic is dominating the story. After the film "Northern Sky","Echo Beach" is a second episode where we follow the path of the character Esther van Eijndhoven, the "Ghost Hunter", played by Julie Gayet. "Eijndhoven is actually my mother's family name, which gives something more to the story. It was my husband's idea to give that name to the main character," explains Wies. Mysterious young girl, Jo, is played by their 14 years old daughter Renée Guelaff. This beautiful and surprisingly talented girl happens to have not too much interest in acting, but in studying medicine. As I heard from her mother, Renée decided to act in "Echo Beach" after making sure that it will not take much of her time.

IMGP0020

IMGP0023
Renée Guelaff as Jo in the "Echo Beach", directed by Frédéric Guelaff

Indress is a French fashion label launched 12 years ago. The designer Wies Schulte was born in the Netherlands. At the age of 17 she moved to Belgium. After graduating at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Wies went to Paris and started working for Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. The relationship between the French fashion legend and young Schulte was a bit tensed. "De Castelbajac told me I was not made to work for the others, and that I should work for myself," says Wies. After two years at De Castelbajac, she went on and worked at Kenzo for four years.

In 2001 she created Indress together with Aude Buttazioni, who has since, as Wies says, departed for the other adventures. Started with a single piece, a small cotton bag, presented at Tranoi, and immediately sold in Japan, they went on adding the shoes next season. The shoes were instantly sold in 9 colors! They continued adding another product each season until 2005 when they presented their first complete collection of 25 pieces.

Today Indress offers us thoughtfully designed upscale products, among the others, elegant casual chic silk dresses and precious feather accessories; beautifully and carefully made in France, available in a range of truly distinctive colors.

 

IMGP0040

IMGP0034

 

IMGP0016

IMGP0036
Indress at Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp

 

Indress is sold worldwide in the multi-brand stores, and I wish them honestly to open one of their own - in Paris.

386306_468889306484286_146246759_n

548138_468888953150988_451927768_n
 Wies Schulte, Indress A/W 2012, photos: Charlotte Leduc

 www.indress.net

 

12:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

paolobongia opens in Beverly Hills

Paolo 1

Paolo 4

Paolo 5

The house of paolobongia has opened its exquisite doors in Beverly Hills and is making everyone on the block drool. paolobongia reveals himself as a multifaceted artist, and his individual designs reflect the different personalities and lifestyle of each woman. From the material, shape and size, to diamond and sapphires, each and every one of his distinct pieces seems to envelope the finger with its delicate beauty. Speaking of beauty, designer/architect Gulla Jonsdottir was brought on to create the look of the space. If anyone knows the sophisticated and luxurious its Jonsdottir, who is behind some of the most sumptuous properties around the globe including; The Thompson Hotel, Double Seven New York, Red O, Hotel La Jolla, Grauman’s Chinese re-vamp and The Roosevelt Hotel to name a few. “You want your space to reflect the brand, and that’s what I wanted to achieve with the design of paolobongia.”  To check out the store or see more go to http://www.paolobongia.com

08:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

LIZ GOLDWYN TALKS ABOUT INSPIRATION BEHIND HER RECENT COLLABORATION WITH MAC COSMETICS

My good friend Liz Goldywn, talks about the inspiration behind her recent collaboration with MAC COSMETICS and her love for vintage lingerie. See video below.

Liz+Goldwyn+2011+MOCA+Gala+sMcoQa4u5GBl

Liz Goldwyn

Hollywood-star-liz-goldwyn-created-these-beauty-bags-for-mac-cosmetics-and-you-can-get-them-today


- GRIFFIN

03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Beijing Design Week 2012 - Shang Xia store opening preview & the last of my snapshots from this trip. Photos & text by Glenn Belverio

P1110903

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Our trip to Beijing Design Week wrapped up in early October and one of the last highlights was our visit to the opening of the gorgeous new shop from the brand Shang Xia. Founded in 2008, Shang Xi brings Chinese craftmanship to the needs of contemporary lifestyles though a mix of heritage and innovation. Translated, "Shang Xia" means "up" and "down"--a reference to the brand's philosophy of the flow of energy from the past continuing through to the future, transmitting the essence of Chinese culture and its aesthetics.

We were meant to attend the opening of the exhibit organized by the store at the very Soviet-friendship-era-sounding Agricultural Exhibition Center, but the Chinese government shut it down less than 12 hours before the show was to open. It was October 1st, the big holiday commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China, and government officials decided it was too close to Tiananmen Square to host a non-government event. Welcome to China, dolls!

Given that the shop only had a few hours to prepare a smaller presentation in their retail space, I was impressed by how they pulled it together so quickly and did such an expert job! BTW, the Shang Xia exhibit is currently at the Agricultural Exhibition Center until the end of October, so march on over there if you happen to be in Beijing!

P1110889

P1110876

Jiang Qiong'er, CEO and Artistic Director of Shang Xia, showed us some of the pieces for sale, cut from to-die-for fabrics. This wrap is from Shang Xia's Cloud silk collection and features ultra-fine Muga silk and mulberry silk, hand-woven with a creamy white and light gold grain. No two pieces are identical. Inspired by Han Dynasty traditional clothing, the long and wide cut floats generously around the body (like a cloud). Light as a feather, thin as  gossamer. Divine!

P1110877

 Anne-France Berthelon, who writes for Ideat, modeled the piece.

P1110872

 The partitions in the store are designed to invoke the shape of ancient grey-bricked hutong walls.

P1110873

P1110880

 Qiong'er showed us the beautiful book (all the photos are shot by Paolo Roversi--impressive!) about the brand and her family, which includes this photo of her grandmother, Zhu Xiuyin. (We all got to take home a copy of the book, which is gorgeously produced.)

P1110884

 Paolo Roversi's photo of Qiong'er's grandmother complemented by this sumptuous swathe of red felted cashmere. It's made from the rarest quality of Mongolian cashmere which is kneaded, rubbed and rolled into seemless, elegant shawls.

P1110899

 This I absolutely loved: the walls in the back of the shop are made from compressed pu'er tea. They impart a lovely, subtle scent.

P1110895

 And of course pu'er tea was served in the corner of the shop with the compressed-tea walls. Pu'er is the most famous tea from Yunnan province.

P1110908

P1110901

 This featherweight bowl is made from eggshell porcelain that employs a technique that has existed for almost a thousand years. During the Ming Dynasty, porcelain master Hao Shijiu invented eggshell cups. The porcelain is remarkable in its extraordinary thinness and takes over forty processes to make, from turning the clay mixture to firing three times.

P1110797

On one evening, we were invited to a bottomless champagne toast at the Baccarat store in Sanlitun. Here is Jeffrey Ying wearing his celebrated electric-blue mohair suit. Because I was out all day on a Long March from design exhibits to press lunch to shop visits, I was in my utilitarian Uniqlo for the People's Liberation Army casual top. I didn't know we were going to end up at such a fancy fete!

P1110798

 Artist Cyril Duval and friend during dinner at the new Italian restaurant in the Opposite House hotel.

P1110440

 Of course Alice McInerney (right) and I had to organize a dinner for all the visiting press at our favorite Yunnan restaurant in Dongcheng, just two hutongs down from the fabulous Orchid Hotel where I stayed last year. As you may well know, Yunnan food is my all-time favorite cuisine in the world. Here we are digging into a second platter of flash-fried shrimp and lime leaves. My other favorite dishes are the fried goat cheese and mint salad garnished with extremely hot chili peppers. From left: Dan Howarth of Dezeen, Anne-France Berthelon of Ideat, Greg Schoeder and Alice. (Ana Dominguez Siemens from El Pais was also there, but she was in extreme pain from the chili peppers and I think she was rolling around under the table when I took this photo.)

P1110444

 Alice and I at Dada. We stopped there after dinner but the music was terrible and the crowd was dodgy and crunchy (honky hippie kids from Europe and Australia who think they discovered the hutong lifestyle). We left and went to Mei Bar which offers excellent cocktails and lounge-lizard music. I had a fresh rosemary mojito.

P1110343

I was really surprised that Putin let one of the Pussy Riot girls out of jail to attend the Lacoste and Campana Brothers party at Captital M. Must have been one of those shady deals between the Kremlin and the Chinese Communist Party.

P1110445

 Jeffrey and I at Dada.

IMG_2585

 On one particularly boozy night, I went to one of my favorite Beijing discotheques, Baby Face, with Dan from Dezeen and James Gaddy from Surface. It's a straight place so the slide show of half-naked white men behind the DJ was rather curious.

IMG_2587

 The dance floor at Baby Face. Yes, this is where all the rich Communist Party brats go to party their privileged asses off and then pass out under the tables. In front of the club is a row of Mercedes and Ferraris. That's the new face of Communism, dolls. It brings to mind what Evan Osnos wrote in the current issue of the New Yorker: "...the son of a close aid to China's President, accompanied in the predawn hours by two women in states of undress, had totalled a black Ferrari on an expressway in the capital. For the Party, as it prepared to anoint a new slate of leaders to run the country for the next ten years, the timing was excrutiating." I'm sure he was driving home from Baby Face!

P1110816

Marianna Cerini looks on as Dan Howarth of Dezeen is possessed by the spirit of a bygone empress in front of the Opposite House.

P1110301

Not quite the view I had from my terrace in Vienna or my beach-front suite in Rio, but of course my Beijing hotel view featured a construction site. I think they are building a casino/gulag/tapas joint here.

P1110303

 The maid put this red moss in my room to "purify the air" but I think it might have been a moss version of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers pod.

Thanks for reading.

My previous reports on Beijing:

Beijing Design Week at Caochangdi Village & Red Bricks Complex

Motorcycles, mooncakes & melting World Trade Center candles at Wuhao Curated-Shop

BJDW on Dashilar Alley with the Campana Bros & a chandelier made from 1,664 yogurt jars

BJDW at 751-D Park featuring an old East German water tower & the Dutch on abandonded architecture

Beijing's #1 dandy gives a swanky cocktail party for the Party on China's National Day

Rem Koolhaas' CCTV Tower gives the international press a collective hardon

 

Love,

Glenn Belverio

P1110707

06:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack