Re-radical and unpredictable

Valentino is no stranger to outrageous and unapologetically bold prints. (Which I think is part of their strategy of street-style domination and to minimize/deter counterfeiting.) They teamed up with Memphis Group member, Nathalie du Pasquier, to create the ‘Counting prints‘ for their Fall 2017 collection.

Some background on the Memphis Group can be found from this video below.

This design group that defined the look of the 80s, had some crazy furniture designs and insane pattern-on-pattern-on-pattern creations. Some funky, some timeless and others plain old kooky. With this Valentino collection, the kookiness still remains but uses more sophisticated, tertiary colours – browns, teals, tangerine and bubblegum/flamingo pink.

I’m not crazy about the colour pink. But I think the pink and teal photographs very well together. In any case, while looking up pictures of the Memphis Group. I came across some pictures of their furniture and think it looks so kooky-amazing. And usually I’m not super into homeware and furniture. But since I’m starting the process of doing up my abode at the moment, I’ve been trawling the world wide web (especially Pinterest) for home decor ideas and inspiration. So this topic seems especially relevant now.

The Memphis Group’s furniture reminds me of Vice & Vanity’s work. With the bright colours and intersection of plains, shapes, materials. (On a side note, how is Vice & Vanity???)

Anyway, leap frogging into another art-meets-design homeware piece. My recent internet trawling brought me to this – the ‘Red and Blue Chair’ by Gerrit Rietveld. Can you imagine this chair design is nearly 100 years old (designed in 1918)?! According to Wikipedia (via MoMA) the primary colours were added in 1923. Its described as a “floating chair”, when placed in front of a black wall. Which makes sense. But it just screams Piet Mondrian to me.

 

Credits: Red&Blue chair, Memphis Group furniture, Valentino

Body beautiful

So as part of shaking things up here at Wottoncool. I’d like to dedicate more posts to self-esteem and body positivity. I don’t think I’ll get everything right when talking about our bodies and body positivity. But I’m here to learn and start a conversation. And I think thats part and parcel of how the conversation can change, if more people start talking about it.

First up, Ashley Soto! Came across her video interview on BBC and love how vulnerable she allowed herself to be in the interview, talking candidly about suicide and the journey of learning to accept your body. And then really owning the vitiligo and showing her own spin on it. Check out the video below:

Meet the girl turning her vitiligo into art ✍️(via BBC Radio 1)

Posted by BBC Scotland on Saturday, August 5, 2017

Image credit and video credit

An Honest Cross Section

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Beloved biscuits brand, Julie’s, has spent the significant part of the first two quarters of 2014 inviting and asking people ‘Who is the Best of You?’ An abstract, open-ended question that sounds more like it belongs as a year-end Cambridge art topic for the Drawing & Painting segment, but nonetheless, they asked this question all the same.

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The question and resulting responses, collated from the likes of Kumar and Michelle Chong, an edible art installation by Janice Wong of 2am:dessertbar (who presents a very sweet-smelling, edible art installation), illustrator/embroiderer Teresa Lim and MINDS Lee Kong Chian Gardens School, amongst others, and are presented in an exhibition in the Marina Square atrium which runs till this Sunday, 26 October 2014.

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Walking around the exhibit space, if you aren’t paying close attention to the exhibits, the curation can quite easily be lost. Weaving through the temporary walls, slew of frames, posters and artwork write-ups, upon closer inspection, and if you stay ever so still, you’ll feel a distinct buzz in the space. An almost containable sort of energy that subtly creeps from the many corners and fills the exhibition venue.

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I believe the energy comes from the works on display. The far-reaching corners of Singapore from where these stories are plucked and put together that emotes. My closest reference to this is probably a National Day-themed exhibition, which tends to present Singapore in the simplified heuristics of Chinese, Malay, Indian & Other (or CMIO, as the abbreviation in referred to heavily, in certain circles). Just as ‘gender-neutral’ism is becoming a thing in Sweden, and we are struggling with gender stereotypes, still (there was some ridiculous attempt at a case for stereotypes in The Straits Times online forum). I feel that these simplified categorizations provide flawed presentations of each race.

Anyway, I digress.

How does this all relate back to the exhibition? Well, I feel that this showcase presents, possibly, the most honest cross-section of Singapore I’ve ever seen. High income, low income, heterosexual, LGBTQIA, artistic, scientific, able, handicapable, traditional and non-traditional family units, any the spectrums in between, I think I caught a glimpse of at least some, if not all, of these represented in the exhibition.

And I think it was nice, for a change, to have everyone acknowledged, even if its through a brand exhibition.

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If you can, I highly recommend spending about an hour and a half, at least to experience most of the exhibition. Particularly the videos by our very own film-making heavy-weights – Boo Junfeng, Liao Jie Kai, and Royston Tan.

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Boo Junfeng’s video (above)

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Liao Jie Kai’s video (above)

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Royston Tan’s video (above and below)

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I’m not typically a person who enjoys videos, but I was quite surprised to find that I really enjoyed Royston’s video.

In contrast with the bulk of exhibits, which took on a very positive spin to the theme. Talking about the person, activity, idea, place etc. which brings out the best in them, I felt that Royston’s video touched on a much darker topic of a failed relationship, and that being a defining moment. At least, that’s how I interpreted the video. And, I can relate.

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The Best of You exhibition

22 October to 26 October 2014

Marina Square, Central Atrium
6 Raffles Boulevard
Singapore 039594

Entry is free.

ALEXANDER WANG X H&M

With the burgeoning rise of buzzword ‘activewear’, (don’t believe me? Read this, this and this) I’m looking forward to seeing the Alexander Wang X H&M collaboration pieces up close, particularly the neoprene(?) criss cross dress and mesh shorts.

The collection drops at H&M’s ION Orchard and Orchard Building outlets on 6 November.

Ahead of that, here’s a first look at the campaign images shot by Mikael Jansson in London.

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6104_201_PRSportsmen Andy Carroll (English soccer player) and  kickboxer Rivaldino dos Santos (above) star in the campaign alongside supermodels: Joan Smalls, Raquel Zimmermann, Isabeli Fontana and Natasha Poly.

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Raquel Zimmerman is such a strong mover, as you can see here. And I kinda wished this campaign captured more movement other than the hair swish.

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The full campaign will launch on 30 October. Keep your eyes peeled, it’ll probably be EVERYWHERE. hehs.

And pencil in the date: Thursday, 6 November 2014 – Alexander Wang x H&M 

A Palette for all moods

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Even if Italian artist Simone Legno’s name doesn’t ring a bell, his famous tokidoki illustrations, seen on LeSportsac bags since 2006, shouldn’t be a stranger. Coinciding with Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (I think), Simone Legno was in town to launch the latest tokidoki for LeSportsac collaboration in Singapore.

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Fans of the brand, and there were many, had the opportunity to get a limited edition poster and meet with Simone Legno for an exclusive fan meet & greet and autograph session. Many who queued had requests for sketches of their favourite characters. Simone, with his arsenal of Sharpies was very obliging with requests for sketches, autographs and photos. Props to Simone for whipping the sketches up in a flash!

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The meet and greet was held at the LeSportsac store at Ion Orchard, B1-12. The store was packed with lots of people all trying to take photos and have a closer look at the exclusive 19-piece collection creation for this collaboration and to mark LeSportsac’s 40th Anniversary. Staff had on the cutest temporary tattoos, so they were easy to spot amongst the crowd.

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A special for this collaboration, Simone Legno and LeSportsac unveiled a new character for the tokidoki series.

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If you follow my instagram (@wearewottoncool), you would have already met Palette, the leopard.

Palette really knows how to wear her heart on her sleeve – her leopard sports change colour based on her mood.

Now what’s not to love about a cat that does that?!

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Palette makes her appearance alongside the rest of the tokidoki crew on both the tokidopoli and tulipets prints. It was almost a game of “Where’s Wally?” trying to find her.

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Although tokidoki isn’t in my arsenal of usual go-tos, seeing from the crowd that gathered for Simone, the tokidoki cast and Palette, I can’t deny that there’s definitely an allure to this heavy influence of Japanese pop culture. Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Takashi Murakami is one other example which immediately pops into mind. 

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Prices for this 19-piece collection ranges from $105 for a cosmetics pouch to $635 for their duffels and weekender bags.

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My personal favorite is the Palette backpack (above), available in white and black, which retail for $305. I think it’d make for an interesting editorial/model off duty shot. hehs.

The collection is available at all 5 LeSportsac stores now. Their locations are at Ion Orchard B1-12A, Isetan Scotts Level 1, Isetan Orchard Basement 1, Robinsons JEM Level 2 and Takashimaya Department Store level 2.

If you buy the collection (especially the Palette backpack) please send me pictures!

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Primary Ponder

XQ Paul Smith

If ever there was a nod to the concept of ‘global citizenship’, Paul Smith’s latest exhibition with contemporary Chinese artist collective X+Q Art demonstrates just that. Artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci will present their vivid series of refined sculptures starting this week.

Clocking some serious mileage, this traveling exhibition has made stops at exhibitions in London and Shanghai, Paul Smith stores in Faubourg St Honore, Paris and Melbourne. Singapore joins these ranks as a additional destination.

XQ Paul Smith Blue

Qu Guangci’s Chinese cherub-esque sculptures ‘The Angelest Quin’ (above in green and blue) are more successful of the two sculptures. They come in four colourways – red, blue, green and yellow, and for whatever reason, make me feel very relaxed the more I stare at them.

*Psst! You can take one home for S$430 too!

XQ Paul Smith I have seen

Artist Xiang Jing’s ‘I Have Seen Happiness’ rabbit/girl sculptures evoke a air of whimsy. First, it throws me off because I see a girl with bunny ears, but from the press release, she (or it?) is described as a rabbit. Second, the combination of girl + rabbit immediately conjures the association with Alice in Wonderland.

These sweeties retail at S$790 a piece and would make for a beautiful conversation starter when guests come over.

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See them up close at the exhibitition at the Paul Smith Boutique at Mandarin Gallery.

The exhibition is ongoing from 14 September to 2 November 2014.