Friday 6 January 2012

Fri 6th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Samara Tompsett set design

In my quest to document the lineage of the fashion industry's Set Design world, here is a new name for my coverage and a contemporary of the most recent featured artist Robert Storey. Above are documentary photos from Samara Tompsett Studio who has collaborated with Alex Mattsson to devise and art direct his window for Selfridges Bright Young Things. Since meeting Samara at the over-night install, she has kindly put together these work-in-progress shots to share ............ and hopefully catch up on some well deserved rest inbetween! The scheme launched this morning with the windows being unveiled and products hitting the shop floor. Alex's trademark rainbow fascination was carried through from the lighting rig of perspex stalactites and laser beams to the spectrum spandex attire and finishing up as a couple of printed pieces available to pick up in the pop-up shop (and online).
Make sure you swing by the Duke Street stretch of windows whilst up West this weekend to see Samara's set and the other 14 designer's interpretations of their collections................
See more of Samara's work including display for Dunhill, prop design for Jimmy Choo and installation area at Latitude Festival............ here.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Shaun Samson

Shaun Samson has continued the Mexican theme from his multicolour SS12 collection by spelling out his name in rainbow crepe piƱatas............. needless to say I LOVE this vibe ........... wouldn't it be brilliant if they actually contained candy to smash and celebrate at the end of this season after he shows at MAN on menswear day of LFW.......

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" at Selfridges: Alice Lee

Alice Lee is the title of a husband and wife design duo who initially ran a 3 season stint with New Gen in 2002 after Alice had graduated from the MA fashion course at CSM. Since this first foray into the industry, they have been busy establishing another all consuming concern - a family! Returning to knitting seasonal collections, they showcased SS12 in September and have displayed these intricate pieces with spinning magnifying glasses for closer inspection in the Duke Street window. I was particularly drawn to the array of coloured weaves they brought down to make multi-hued hair-dos!

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Becky Sloan

Perhaps the best qualified member of the BYThings school of 2012 being equipped for window display and set design is props maker Becky Sloan who is also part of This Is It Collective. A dab hand at constructing larger-than-life fun puppets for exhibitions and short films, Becky has taken the opportunity to invent two new geometric characters. Partial to putting a pair of eyes on her figures, I wonder what indication these rotating logos have to her part in the pop up shop ............... which will be available online for those who can't access the physical spectacle, find out more here......

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Oliver Ruuger

Oliver Ruuger is an accessories designer who merges sculpture and form to make wearable pieces that are by his own admission labour intensive articles to create............... hmm............. a man after my own heart!!! From what I saw of the initial parts Oliver was hanging in his window, its beautiful with the fur trim handle umbrellas that will be available in store........... developed in his inimitable style of using natural materials in a mix of exquisite craftsmanship ..........

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Maarten van der Horst

Maarten van der Horst is regularly taking up extra curricular projects with the last I wrote about in collaboration with Susie Bubble for Peroni, and the first time I fully saw his designs at Arnhem Mode Bienniale. I was too early
when I arrived last night to witness what he has up his tulle fluffy sleeve for BYThings, so here is just a hint at the mint mannequins to wear his magnificent print collection............ Maarten will again be showing as part of the Fashion East show on Mon 20th Feb at LFW .......... get your ticket requests in now!

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Nuha Razik

Nuha Razik is part of the arts segment of Bright Young Things amalgamated talent, being a multi-media artist. Her medium is more often than not photographic for either still or moving image and here she has set up a surreal room with shadows and light play. Nuha also experiments with screen-printing which sometimes takes the form of t-shirts for fashion brands................. so lets see what she has conjured up
as her product for one of the three pop-up shops tomorrow............

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Alex Mattsson

Menswear designer Alex Mattsson has teamed up with set designer Samara Tompsett to execute his futuristic cosmic light beam biker scheme.......... here they are last night fitting perspex gems to the ceiling which will reflect a rainbow glow from his spectrum collection ........... and the initial artworked visualisation of how the concept will look........... walk down Duke Street tomorrow to see the finished article............ #sefridgesbyt

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Astrid Anderson

To get 1st hand insight into how Selfridges devise and execute the pioneering scheme, I contacted Hannah Emslie, the Styling Manager of the 3D Creative team for some background :

"Deciding on just a few Bright Young Things is really tough with such a breadth of talent in London. We have so many brilliant graduates and young designers, many of whose profiles have risen dramatically in such a short space of time. It was really important to us that the designers and artists we chose all had something unique to offer – at Selfridges we're known for diversity in the brands we carry, and we wanted to represent that in our choices."

"The designers work with our Production team who help them with the installation logistics, from advice on how to achieve a particular visual effect to suggesting suppliers - but the creative direction remains with the designers. The window installation is also the responsibility of the Bright Young Things, executed over a series of night shifts. Our team are on hand to support, but ultimately it's really down to the designers. It's a really consuming project for them, especially having produced all the product to sell in store too - but it's all worth it!"

Here are a couple of images of menswear designer Astrid Anderson sewing lace cases for basketballs as part of her window on the Duke Street side of the building ............... which will completed tonight and unveiled tomorrow morning.......

Thurs 5th Jan 2012: "Bright Young Things" install at Selfridges: Sorcha O’Raghallaigh

Last year began the scheme of Bright Young Things at Selfridges Department Store in London where the creative team decided to dedicate the windows and area of the shop floor to emerging designers. Alongside allowing the talent to take over installing individual displays they were also commissioned to fill a special pop-up shop in store with a tailored selection of sales items. This visual insight is a perfect platform to promote blossoming brands and secondly offer the public a chance to purchase one of their early pieces. Workshops were organised for the artists to share their unique skills with classes held in the space so customers could meet the new generation of names and try out their disparate disciplines.
A second year has been under construction, researching and recruiting 15 creatives from varying fields including fashion, accessories, photography, illustration and cuisine. Each practitioner has been shown the ropes of how to undertake the task of putting together a set design to encapsulate their aesthetic and given two night shifts to make the concepts a reality. I was allowed access last night to take a tour around each area and document the initial stages of setting up their wares. Its been exactly three years since I was in the windows myself, installing headwear to the January scheme so luckily I know my way around the warren of tight spaces to find the pockets of prop arranging pandemonium.
Congratulations to all the artists involved in unfamiliar territory of preparing a 3D world for their products / ideas to inhabit. Over the next few posts I will be unveiling who is on the agenda and showing a little sneak peak into the work in progress ....... beginning with Womenswear designer Sorcha O’Raghallaigh who is creating a pastel pink cloud sky in a hyper-real dream scene ............centring around a ten-foot-tall mannequin reflecting the models from her CSM graduate show, who walked the runway on stilts................

Get involved in the project that opens tomorrow by searching and using #selfridgesbyt on Twitter.

See my coverage of last year including a studio visit to Simone Rocha prior to her involvement in the scheme here.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Weds 4th Jan 2012: HARK cont.........

Since writing about the HARK exhibition from Andy Macgregor and Audrey Roger last week, they have sent over some more photos to show the progress with the paper sculptures from their studio. If you look at the ceiling of their fun filled room, you can just see some of the multi-colour totems that are taking shape and being stored for the install later in the month. It looks like they are having a virtual game of techno Tetris inbetween the shelves and desks! I'm looking forward to this show so much ........... I want to have one already, and I havn't even seen it yet!
Find out more about the unveiling at the Old Shoreditch Station, 26th Jan on their blog.

Tues 3rd Jan 2012: Ella Dror PR

Its about to be the 1st year anniversary of Ella Dror and Ashley Smith setting up London's newest PR company with upcoming talent............ so much has happened in this time with them travelling to Brazil and New York with Craig Lawrence, L.A with Alex Noble, Moscow with Piers Atkinson ............ 2012 is set to be another bumper year, jam packed with action so I recommend following them on Twitter for the news as it unfolds............. with setting up at Selfridges for Bright Young Things tonight........

(Ella's photos of my cards I sent to their office)

Tues 3rd Jan 2012: V&A Reading Rooms - Christmas Craft Lock-In

For a final festive post, here are images from the Christmas Craft Lock at the V&A Reading Rooms where I gave a workshop with my paper accessories "Cut out and keepsakes" kit. The Reading Rooms is a seperate location to the main museum as a cafe space dedicated to their books with the walls lined in shelves for you to pick up a monograph to enjoy alongside your macciato. Special events take over the space such as the Friday-late I took part in with other creatives including knitter Ingrid Wagner, book binders Shepherds Falkiners and the gift shop's own Alison Acampora.
This is the kind of thing I love about living in London - that there are so many different classes open to the public between all the different museums, galleries and councils. To find out about future events with the V&A, head over to the site and sign up for the newsletter which will notify you of the upcoming bookings.............

(Images c/o V&A)