Warm Front

Starck With Ballantyne, Fall 2010

A consummate collaborator and tireless workaholic, Philippe Starck claims that he oversees 200-plus projects at any given time, working across architecture, product design, fashion, interiors, technology and, as Virgin Galactic’s creative director since 2005, even space travel. His past glories include the love-me-hate me Flamme d’Or building in Tokyo and the War-of-the-Worlds-esque “Juicy Salif” juicer he produced with Alessi in 1990, as well as interiors for hotels including the Sanderson in London and the Mondrian in Los Angeles. More recently, he has been focusing on ecological projects, such as creating chic, affordable wind-turbines for homes and gardens, and developing a range of pre-fab, low-energy-consumption houses. His new collaboration with Scottish knitwear brand Ballantyne hits stores this spring. Ballantyne CEO Giuseppi Rossi says, “Our traditional brand was in need of energy, innovation and technology, and Philippe Starck is miles ahead.” Starck, meanwhile, saw an opportunity to make a product that could last. “I have not the skill to be a fashion designer,” he says, “but I wanted to propose apparel based on quality, longevity and timelessness—structurally modern values.” The fall 2010 collection, shown during Fashion Week in Milan this January, features garments for men and women—cashmere coats, reversible cloaks, leggings, and convertible, button-shouldered tops—that involve a new heat-sealing technology developed by Starck, which renders stitching invisible and lends the collection a minimal silhouette redolent of Starck’s best-loved product designs (though a far cry from Starck’s own zany personal style!).

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