by Miryam Muller in , ,

The trend sensitive London has always been a global hub for art and commerce, but it is now also becoming a genuine tech contender. Our colleague and friend from London has been informing us on the big fashion-tech-shift she has been seeing within the industry. Huge fashion houses are closing down many of their smaller stores, to open up bigger, developed stores where they integrate the online and in-store experience for customers and at the same time sell more and more of their products online.

A great deal of this new London fashion-tech-industry is due to the number of creative technology start-ups that have jumped from 15 to more than 300 in just three years, taking British fashion designers along the road to submerge and re-define their brands. The latest to go along with the trend is Burberry. It’s new London flagship store has been unveiled this week and has been designed to resemble the brand's website as the store has organized it’s 44,000-square feet store just like their Burberry.com webstore. As they are furthering their focus on online-offline integration, e-commerce purchases can still easily be collected or returned at the store itself.

Also did they give all the sales associates iPads that have been loaded with super sophisticated “clienteling” apps, in order to give customers a more tailored in-store experience, linked to their online profiles.

But so far, the integration of original digital content is the most amazing element of this new retail strategy, as it brings our digital world to life in a physical space, where the customers can experience every facet of the brand through immersive multimedia content exactly as they do online. “Digital communications is an integral part of our culture at Burberry, so in the end it touches everybody,” chief creative officer Christopher Bailey told. Burberry is yet just another example of how major retailers are integrating the online and in-store experience for customers. This trend points out how going to the store is less about shopping in the sense of purchasing clothing than it is about shopping in the sense of strolling around town with and popping into a boutique for fun. This means that in the steady state, offline commerce will serve only two purposes: immediacy (stuff you need right away) and experiences (showroom, fun venues). All other commerce will happen online.


by Miryam Muller in , ,

Blastfurnace, the new exhibition from Dutch artist and designer Joep Van Lieshout is “an escape from design.”

The exhibition, staged at London’s Carpenters Workshop Gallery, brings together three recent works in bronze as part of Van Lieshout’s New Tribal Labyrinth series.

Van Lieshout, who founded his Rotterdam-based studio in 1995, combines industry and art to convey messages about equilibrium and anti-consumerism. The exhibition is, he says, “an escape from design, a hate and love towards design.” The artist, known for his large-scale sexual sculptures, has previously produced furniture for the Dutch brand Lensvelt, as well as collaborating on architectural projects with studios such as MVRDV.

Blastfurnace, a three-level bronze structure, depicts all the elements in a steel factory, including the furnace, water wheel and bellows pumping air into the lower section of the blast furnace.

The work, Van Lieshout says, “is an extreme contradiction of form follows function. I am not looking for the most functional coffee table or shelving unit; this is not important in the design process. It’s actually the opposite.

“I ask myself the question how can you make a piece of furniture that is very dysfunctional. You can maybe put your car keys and cigarettes on the table, but that’s it”.

Now, Van Lieshout plans to add a new dimension to his work. “I want to reinvent the industrial revolution by making a blast furnace, sawmills, machine factories, textile factories on a real scale.”

The studio is working on reproducing its blast furnace model as a life-size scale blast furnace: ten metres in height and with the function to produce real steel. It plans to exhibit in Zurich and Marseille next summer.

Blastfurnace by Atelier Van Lieshout

Blastfurnace by Atelier Van Lieshout


by Miryam Muller in ,

I love this time lapse video of planes approaching London’s Heathrow Airport. It’s sped up 17 times faster than normal, and the result causes the planes to look like little toys bouncing on string.

The video shows just how short the distances between approaching planes at the airport are, but it also reveals the interesting effects of air currents on the descending aircrafts.




by Miryam Muller in , ,

Recently given the title  “Princess of Print” by the New York Times, Greek designer Mary Katrantzou already had launched her first audience winning collection at London Fashion Week in 2008, the same year she graduated from Central Saint Martins.

Mary’s premium medium of succes is the digital printer, which she uses to print her extravagant digital collages onto garments. “I use digital tools in a very painterly way,” she says. Filling her designs with trompe l’oeil prints like gilded chandeliers, fake rolexes, groomed hedges, pencils, Thai banknotes and all kinds of cool blingy jewels. Each print starts as a Photoshop file on her computer, intuitively, adding elements and mirroring pieces until they feel right. Then, she puts them onto the dresses.

“I started wanting to work a lot with different objects, trying to engineer them around the body, and see what kind of effects that will have in flattering the woman. It’s about trying to do with print, what a black dress does.” Also she interesting ways to work humor into her designs, for instance, her S/S 2011 collection, which described 3-D modeled spaces of hyper-luxury, was titled “C’est ci nes pas une chambre,” or “This is not a room,” as a fun little insiders reference to Magritte’s pipe.

Although Mary is majorly influenced by fashion house Versace, for whom wild, hyper-pigmented prints are a constant motif, unlike Versace, Mary’s prints simultaneously criticize and engage the fashion world’s unquestioning culture of excess. Her 2013 Ready to Wear collection went straight to the source, abandoning the actual symbols of luxury for their currency: international banknotes.

With a newly launched website, a collection of small leather goods, and collaborations with the fashion houses like Current Elliott, Katrantzou has plenty to keep her colorful energies busy.



by Miryam Muller in ,

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing” – George Bernard Shaw

Playful furniture like these adds fun to any board meeting or dinner session. The Swing Table from Duffy London has eight suspended seats floating around a walnut wood table and is available in bespoke finishes and sizes. This design creates a room within a room, and with the chairs floating above the floor, it definitely makes vacuuming easy!


by Miryam Muller in

meet the superhumans paralympics london olympics Possibly the best and most moving piece of promo you will watch from the Olympics.

Meet the Superhumans, the stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Edited to the tune of Public Enemy, this emotive trail shows the struggles Paralympians face and how they have overcome the impossible and emerged victorious.

The campaign was commissioned by Channel 4 marketing, and conceived and directed by Tom Tagholm, for Channel 4′s in-house agency, 4creative.

Dan Brooke, Channel 4′s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer said: “London 2012 is a coming of age moment for the Paralympics. This campaign will help bring a whole new audience to it and may even raise a goosebump or two along the way.”



by Miryam Muller in ,

To coincide with the London Olympic Games in 2012 the V&A will stage two major exhibition on British Post-war Art and Design. The games offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the best of British design and this authoritative show will document the transformation of design in Britain between the post-war ‘Austerity Games’ of 1948 and the global competition taking place in 2012.

“British Design 1948 to 2012,” will be opening March 31th at the Victoria and Albert Museum, charts artistic upticks after the war, during the oil crisis in the ’70s and after the recession in the ’80s, when the “creative salvage” movement spurred the careers of designers like Tom Dixon. “Designing Women,” at the Fashion and Textile Museum, which opened March 16, focuses on the midcentury modern textile designs of Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler, and plays up a heroic moment of British ingenuity: three women inspired by the Bauhaus and the Secessionists rejected the chintzes and florals of the ’30s and ’40s and helped democratize modernism.


by Miryam Muller in

The last time the Guardian produced a TV ad was 16 years ago, in 1986. The ad was the well-known and successful “Skinhead” spot, created by BMP, and can be seen here in all its mid-80s Camcorder glory.

Now, in 2012, in a totally different climate for newspapers, and at arguably the most important time for the organisation in its nearly 200-year history, the Guardian is about to launch a full rebrand. The newspaper has been very vocal about its transition from old-school print product to digital first open journalism platform, but up until now this discussion has largely been the preserve of media geeks. Now BBH has created this excellent video retelling the Three Little Pigs, directed by Ringan Ledwidge, fairytale through a hypermodern lens, showing how The Guardian’s open journalism would combine traditional sources and the social media conversation to cover a tale that twists in ways you might not imagine. Brilliantly effective and good fun.


Still taken from the Guardian's "Three Little Pigs" ad



by Miryam Muller in

Mark Ronson teamed up with the Olympic hopefuls to record their sounds and make a song for the London 2012 Olympics, sponsored by Coca Cola. One of the goals of the Move to the Beat™ campaign is to help young people connect to the 2012 London Olympics. A commercial has been released as well as a trailer for a feature length documentary on how Mark Ronson went about creating the song.


The song “Anywhere in the World” breaks new ground in music creation, fusing the sounds of music, sport and Coca-Cola to create a unique rhythmic beat. Ronson used innovative recording techniques as he travelled the world to capture the sounds of the Coca-Cola Move to the Beat athletes –five Olympic hopefuls chosen for their sporting prowess and inspirational stories.

Director Kim Gehrig comments,

"When we started planning the event, we set upon an extremely ambitious aim to visually represent the fusion between sport and music. We worked to create choreography that the athletes would perform in time with the beat of the track and as we were only shooting five takes, it had to be spot on every time. We had a unique opportunity to bring Move to the Beat to life in an innovative way and I’m delighted with what we achieved.”

The Move to the Beat ads will begin to air in multiple countries around the world from early 2012.