Saturday, October 31

Halloween proper, Gareth Pugh

The young Gareth Pugh was born in 1981 in Sunderland, England. He is the infant terrible of British fashion scene, following the steps of a long tradition of fashion as theatrical drama back to Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood. He started his career as early as 14, working as a costume designer for the English National Youth Theatre and later graduated in 2003 from London design school Central Saint Martin. He has been showing his collections in fashion week since 2006.

Pugh's collections are autobiographical, he draws inspiration from Britain's extreme club scene. Pugh's trademark is his experimentation with form and volume. He often distorts the human body almost beyond recognition by using elements like balloons, PVC inflated into voluminous coats, black and white patchwork squares, Perspex discs linked like chain mail, and shiny latex masks and leggings. He has used materials including mink, parachute silk, foam footballs, afro-weave synthetic hair, and electrically charged plastic in his clothing. Pugh describes his designs as being "about the struggle between lightness and darkness."

This Fall09, Pugh presented his colletion not with a runway show but actually with a video show as unique as his clothes. 

To get to know him better, listen to his own words in this interview at youtube.comYou may watch the entire Pugh's Fall09 collection at He also has menswear, watch the collection at

Friday, October 30

If KERNING is your thing, ask MAX.

"Clean type is godly type." - meet punctilious MAXKERNING, Extensis' new virtual pitchman. The latest humorous graphic design targeted social media campaign. Hello MAX, tidy up Type! Listen to him for a while and have fun if you understand the inside jokes, a little help: kerning = letter spacing. Visit

Poor distressed MAX says "When I look around, I see too much disorder in the world—needless chaos and messes. I sense panic and stress. In fact, I feel it myself. It rattles my soul and gives me an ache in the head and a sourness of the stomach. Because everywhere I am assaulted by sloppy text that is displeasing to the eye. This must be stopped..." Max's manifesto, "Letters to Live By" can be downloaded as a pdf in the "Manifesto" section of his site.

Only two things MAX I need to criticize...
Well, first I could lend you my dyson, that is a more proper "designer" vacuum cleaner... and last but not least...we, graphic designers, mostly use Macs and you forgot to mention the compatibility. Ok, we let this one go for this time. Visit the product website at

Meanwhile let's just have fun with you, extra polished MAX. Follow him in Twitter and Facebook. Watch these fun videos starring MAX and his less fortunate brother, LES Kerning.

Wednesday, October 28

"I don't do nice" - Zaha Hadid's deconstructivism

Zaha Hadid, (Arabic: زها حديد‎), was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. A notable British Iraqi deconstructivist architect that after graduating from Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, worked with her former teachers, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, becoming a partner in 1977. It was with Koolhaas that she met the engineer Peter Rice who gave her support and encouragement early on, at a time when her work seemed difficult to build. In 1980 she established her own London-based practice, Zaha Hadid Architects. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre project. 
See more photos of the amazing model at

Trying to understand her style is a challenge, so let's just listen to her words "In another way, I can be my own worst enemy. As a woman, I'm expected to want everything to be nice, and to be nice myself. A very English thing. I don't design nice buildings - I don't like them. I like architecture to have some raw, vital, earthy quality. You don't need to make concrete perfectly smooth or paint it or polish it. If you consider changes in the play of light on a building before it's built, you can vary the colour and feel of concrete by daylight alone. Some winters ago, I flew from New York to Chicago in the snow; at sunset, the landscape and cityscapes became no colours other than starkly contrasted black and white, while the rivers and lakes were blood red. Amazing. You wouldn't call that a nice landscape, but it had the quality of light and life I would love to get into our buildings."

Madrid Civil Court Building Project. 

"I'm trying to discover - invent, I suppose - an architecture, and forms of urban planning, that do something of the same thing in a contemporary way. I started out trying to create buildings that would sparkle like isolated jewels; now I want them to connect, to form a new kind of landscape, to flow together with contemporary cities and the lives of their peoples."

2012 Olympics Aquatic Center. To read more about the changes the project suffered visit:

For an architect," she says, "everything connects. The design of a handbag, or furniture or cutlery [Hadid has recently produced designs for three] have their challenges, and they're fun to do. I'd love to get some designs into mass, low-cost production. I want to be able to touch everyone, not just the educated and cultural elite, with a little of what we can do. One of the things I feel confident in saying we can do is bring some excitement, and challenges, to people's lives. We want them to be able to embrace the unexpected." She recently collaborated with Lacoste by designing exclusive futuristic boots that will be for sale this year.

She also designed vanguardist structural boots for Melissa's shoes, watch the video at: and watch the video of the making of the scaled model bellow. Personally, I would have designed them with a higher heel and all the way to the knee, more sexy and feminine.

Learn about more incredible plastic design shoes of the Brazilian brand Melissa by Zaha Haddid.

Order your copy, Taschen published this September a great compilation book: HADID Complete Works 1979 - 2009.

Walk through her projects, feel the space and understand her unique vision.

Follow Zaha Haddid's BLOG

Tuesday, October 27

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Givenchy

Known for their portraits of sophisticated, powerful women, Alas and Piggott are one of the most respected and acclaimed photographers working today. Both born in 1971 in Turkey and Wales, respectively, met for the first time in England in 1994. With a background in classical music (Alas) and graphic design (Piggott) and some experience in fashion photography, they decided to team up... And the first photos they showed to "Dazed and Confused", the London fashion magazine, immediately made the cover.

Shot at the Château de Ferrières,  female models Ranya Mordanova, Mariacarla Boscono, Leonor Scherrer, Adriana Lima and Iris Strubegger; and male models Simon Nessman, Manuel Ramos and Jakob Wiechmann, pose for Ricardo Tisci’s collection for Givenchy Fall 2009/2010 ad campaign.

You may watch the Givenchy's runway RTW Fall09 at: and complete collection at:

"Visionaire" is the photographers new book which comes housed in a limited-edition Louis Vuitton case designed by Marc Jacobs. Alas and Piggott photographed a series of intimate portraits inspiring contemporary icons. Participating actors are Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and Selma Blair; singers Jennifer Lopez and Lil' Kim; models Gisele Bundchen, Stephanie Seymour and Christy Turlington; New York City Ballet principle dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied; and fashion designers Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney.

Monday, October 26

“Strength is built by one’s failures, not by one’s successes.”- Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (1883–1971), a French orphan whose rough upbringing and life of hardship, hard work and survival instincts shaped the woman of this century.

Before Chanel, women of the Belle Epoque wore corsets and clothes so highly structured that they could hardly breathe. She believed that "women were supposed to dress for themselves and not their men". Contemporary to the invention of the automobile, Chanel created sportswear, literally borrowing sporting clothes from her boyfriends, like sailor shirts, trousers and tweed jackets. She designed women's clothes out of wool jersey, previously used for men's underwear. She dare to pile fake jewelry, faux pearls, which had been unheard of before. It was called "poor chic".  She revolutionized the way women looked, popularizing the sun tan, bobbed hair, and red lipstick. Her perfume Chanel No. 5, sold in a glass cube that still looks modern today, is the number one selling fragrance in the world and the first perfume ever to have a designer's name.

Chanel's style is associated with the 1920s flappers, a new breed of self-confident young women that challenged the establishment. The flappers demonstrated their independence through new looks and attitude, such as short skirts and haircuts, openly using cosmetics, and being seen to smoke and drink cocktails. Compared to previous generations, the flappers were more active, pursuing athletic sports, driving their own automobiles, and going out to nightclubs where they could listen to jazz music and dance Charleston.

Coco Chanel was living proof of her motto, "Fashion passes but style remains." She said "I gave women a sense of freedom; I gave them back their bodies: bodies that were drenched in sweat, due to fashion's finery, lace, corsets, underclothes, padding."

To understand her deeply, take a tour to her apartment at the Ritz in Paris with this incredible animated video, the place where she spent the last 30 years of her life. She lived 88 years and worked until then:

Watch the trailer of the recently released movie about her life "Coco Avant Chanel" at:
You may also visit the movie official website, don't miss the photo gallery:

The trailer of a previous movie, now in DVD, produced by Lifetime, "Coco Chanel":

Coco Chanel parle de l'élégance. Even if you don’t speak French you can apreciate her brillant mind...

So Chanel... A flash from the past, Chanel Resort 2009/2010 designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Watch it : and A close-up to the accessories:

Saturday, October 24

Patrick Nagel illustrated the 80's Iconic Woman.

Like some of the old print masters Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard, Nagel (1945-1984) was influenced by the Japanese woodblock print, with figures silhouetted against a neutral background, with strong areas of black and white, and with bold line and unusual angles of view. His simple and precise imagery is also reminiscent of the art-deco style of the 1920s and 1930s- its sharp linear treatment, geometric simplicity, and stylization of form yield images that are formal yet decorative.

Born in Ohio, lived most of his life in LA, where he accepted commissions from major corporations and magazines, including IBM, ITT, United Artists, MGM, Universal Studios, Playboy, Architectural Digest, Rolling Stone, Oui, and Harpers. 

By 1976, Nagel became very popular for his sexy illustrations defining "the Nagel Woman". In 1978, he created his first poster image for Mirage Editions. He also painted the cover of rock group Duran Duran's Rio album, which later became a top selling album.

He influenced the esthetic of a decade, introducing a stronger almost insensitive extremely beautyful woman never portrayed before. Some say that he inspired the look of the Robert Palmer's babes in videos like Addiction to Love and Simply Irresistible. Watch them at: and

This last one later turned in a Pepsy commercial. Watch it at: and

And let's not forget ladies, the improved version of the "Addicted to Love", "Man, I Feel like a Woman" by Shania Twain. Now we may call it "the Nagel Man" Enjoy the view...

Thursday, October 22

Temperley London opens The Circus

For spring/summer 2010 collection the British label Temperley London introduced its travelling Circus Zoetrope installation in New York instead of a traditional catwalk show. Acrobats, contortionists and circus paraphernalia along models created a magical illusion of animation in the recreation of a spinning zoetrope.
A fascinating short film created by Legs Studio based in NY Watch the film at

Play with an interactive experience clicking at