The Doodles of Prominent Designers Punctuate the Latest Installment of the Intimate Fashion Title
A fantasy jet by Marc Newson, sunglasses by Ron Arad and a Zaha Hadid illustrated vortex all feature in “Objects on Paper,” a story from the latest issue of A Magazine Curated By. This edition of the fashion title—which asks a different designer to sculpt its contents for each instalment—is the creation of Stephen Jones, a London-based milliner who has made headpieces for the likes of Björk and Grace Jones and collaborated with designers including Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs. As curator, Jones dedicated his issue to his muse, the legendary hat-wearer and Italian fashion writer Anna Piaggi, whose kaleidoscopic sartorial style has been much missed on the front row of fashion défilés since her death at the age of 81 last year. Now in its 12th edition, the Belgian-published tome explores its curators’ individual worlds, celebrating their ethos. Jones mined his erudite address book to compile the magazine, which also features Jake & Dinos Chapman, Hamish Bowles and Giles Deacon between its richly printed pages. “It is about finding the right time to work with various people on our radar—catching some at the emerging stage, or others when they are firmly established,” says the magazine’s Editor in Chief Dan Thawley. “We always look for a designer with something to say off the runway.”
How did you first get involved in guest editing this issue?
Stephen Jones: I was in Florence at lunch with Linda Loppa, the director of the fashion school Polimoda and her husband Dirk van den Eynden who is the director of A Magazine Curated By. She suggested to us that I create an issue. I was delighted but scared because I’d always respected it since the first issue came out 10 years ago—but following in the footsteps of Margiela and Yohji, wow!
What was the most memorable moment from the whole experience?
SJ: I think visiting Howard Tangye in his studio. He is such an extraordinary illustrator and fashion authority but when I saw that the illustrations that he was working on were almost lifesize portraits I could not believe it. The artistry, the commitment, the work—it was an honor to be there.
Could you tell us about your relationship with Anna Piaggi?
SJ: Anna was like my second mother. We met with Manolo [Blahnik] when she was editing Vanity magazine in Italy in the early 80s. It was a story about hats and shoes photographed in the Portobello Hotel by her husband Alfa Castaldi. Since then we became inseparable but I always knew it was mainly because I’m a milliner, not only that we were good friends! I think she is still a magical and iconic figure, like Diana Vreeland or Coco Chanel.
The Danish Architect Provokes BIG Questions During the Venice Biennale Architectura 2012
Young starchitect Bjarke Ingels talks manifestation, midwifery and shamanism while riding down the Venice canals in this short by Kelly Loudenberg. Known for his impressive architectural endeavors like a state-of-the-art waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen that will be outfitted with an outdoor ski slope for use during Nordic winters, and the 8 House apartment complex just outside the Danish capital that allows residents to bike all the way up to their top floor apartments, Ingels is a vocal advocate for “hedonistic sustainability” and was recently profiled in The New Yorker. “Find a job you love and you won’t have to work another day in your life again,” advises the young creative. “If you let your desire guide you, if you take decisions with your heart and with a smile on your face, they are probably wiser decisions in the long run.” In Venice as a contributor to the Danish pavilion exploring future visions of Greenland, Ingels together with his firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) proposed Air + Port, a mixed-use air and sea hub on the island of Angisunnguaq. Now based in New York, Ingels is currently working on his first American project, a residential building in Hell’s Kitchen called W57 that will occupy an entire block and add a distinct, sloped pyramid-shaped silhouette to the Manhattan skyline. Here the dynamic Dane considers alternate career paths, architectural envy, and kittens.
Your firm is called BIG—list a few things that always are better big?
Ideas, checks, balloons, brown eyes.
And a few that should always be small?
Carbon footprint, energy bills––well, any bill––kittens. Sometimes the most interesting is when you can combine both. Just ask Biggie Smalls.
Biking up a building to reach your apartment; skiing down a trash processing plant...what sporting activity is next to be included in one of your designs?
We started construction on a 588-meter-tall tower in Tianjin, China, that would be pretty amazing for base-jumping in a squirrel suit.
If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you have been?
Biggest source of architectural envy (i.e. monument you wish you’d built)?
The Sydney Opera House by Danish architect Jørn Utzon.
We hear you've got a thing for fast cars. If you designed your own car, what would it feature?
A Tesla with four seats and a convertible roof would be a pretty sweet deal—and automated driving when the traffic is too dense and static for human enjoyment.
Favorite music to work to?
The Knife, Giana Factory, The William Blakes.
Best place for a late-night bite after leaving the office?
[Arty TriBeCa barroom] Smith and Mills, NYC.
You’re adding a building to the New York skyline at the age of 38. What's one thing you want to do before you're 40?
Well, we just broke ground, and with a little luck I’ll actually finish it!
Three things the city of tomorrow should prioritize?
Biodiversity, cultural diversity and architectural diversity.
Filmmaker Asa Mader Casts the Supermodel in his Experimental 3D Installation Ray of Life
Having appeared as the face of Chloe, Versace and Kenzo, Estonian supermodel Carmen Kass floats ethereally through a dark void in director Asa Mader’s atmospheric new film, Ray of Life. Known for his multi-dimensional fashion and cinematic narratives, including collaborations with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Lou Doillon and Lea Seydoux, Mader made the short as an exploration of one woman’s search for the source of light. “There’s a theory that the entire universe is nothing but a holographic projection from a black hole, and in which we find eternity,” says the Paris-based filmmaker. A fascination with Professor Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and theories of black holes led Mader, a self-professed science geek in a family of painters, to collaborate with luxury fashion label Jay Ahr’s Artistic Director Jonathan Riss and FashionLab, an experimental design center for 3D technologies, on Kass’s moody search for illumination. “The film is essentially about immortalizing all the things we cannot reach—of looking and wanting to find a forever,” explains Mader. Ray of Life is currently showing as panoramic 35-meter holographic projections in the Piazza Strozzi in Florence during the sartorial summits Firenze4Ever and Pitti Immagine Uomo.