With every collection he designs, I always keep a wary eye on the lookout for the new Alexander Wang handbag that's sure to be a next season hit. Some pieces I miss the proverbial train on, only to find myself running behind it for months, even years after the fact - the leather, collegiate football clutch circa SS2010 is a perfect example of this.
This time around I'm being more proactive with Wang's SS2014 leather doctor's bag. I'll take it in any shade, really, but if I had to quibble about it, I'd insist on getting that textured, oxblood version. It sits at that perfect place between a heaving overnighter and a chic, but too small Boston duffle and I can imagine using it for decades to come as my everyday bag. And frankly, it's quite nice to look at, what with that flattened side/bottom element.
Speaking of heaving overnighters, however: don't you think it's about time Wang looks at making a supremely chic line of travel-ready leather pieces? If he were to create it, I'd definitely use one of his upsized doctor's bag for all my travels.
Just saying, Alexander Wang. Just saying.
NB Images Courtesy Style.com
You know that feeling when you've encountered something for the first time and it takes your breath away? And you can't stop thinking about it; you want to tell everyone about this mind-blowing, cool thing you've just seen?
I've been in and out of that state since learning of the Trilip Series of organic wood vases, as formed by the Antwerp-based duo behind LMBRJK. A big part of my excitement stems from the fact that these vases reminds me of the curling horns on the fawn/demon/thing in Pan's Labrinth. Which is silly, I know, but there is a visual parallel. So there....
In essence, I very much appreciate how natural these forms seem, even though they are melded together from many layers of laser-cut, Scandinavian soft and hard wood. Dreamt up by partners Jon Kleinhample and Masa Loncaric, the vases - and the LMBRJK studio, at large - serve as a responsive, adaptable and organic experiment in design.
See more about their process - and their supremely airy space - in this lovely feature on Coffee Klatch. And tell me if it doesn't make you want one of their vases.
NB Images Courtesy LMBRJK
Regardless of their unusual forms, Nick van Woert's multimedia sculptures and objects resonate with the viewer because they feel oddly familiar - they vaguely resemble something one may have encountered before. I came to his work through an appreciation of his Untitled series of fiberglass and steel statues that seem to have been frozen whilst attempting to extricate themselves from a gooey, polyurethane flytrap.
The florid, Romanesque forms are reminiscent of thrift store fare - think a copy of a copy of something that might have made it into the Louvre, if only it wasn't made from Plaster-of-Paris. With just a glimpse of the sculptural folds peeking out below the hardened film of polyurethane we know exactly what we're looking at, and yet, van Woert has almost obliterated all references to classic sculpture with his strangely beautiful works.
The same effect is seen with the 2013 additions to his steel and white-bronze assemblage works - all manner of collected objects are dipped in bronze then amassed in a collage form to the point where the individual piece ceases to exist and all we can see is the larger work. That is, until we move in closer and notice the little arrow-heads, axes, and such.
But this is no gimmick - van Woert has a long-established penchant for working with unconventional materials and techniques. According to a Sight Unseen feature, the Nevada-born, Greenpoint-based artist has toyed with leaving hollowed-out sculptures perched outside his studio for all types of flotsam to drift inside the crevices before he starts to work on the final look.
It's not the strangest approach I've ever heard of, but if he can take random bits of rubbish and make art of this standard, I say keep on with it.
NB Images courtesy Nick van Woert/Fourteen Square Feet
My only proper experience with Table Tennis involves watching two close friends of mine - the sisters Astra & Aleena Edwards - play in championship meets back home in Trinidad and around the world. These two are the real deal; they come from a West Indian sporting dynasty where their parents were also tennis champs. Even their brothers Aaron and Andrew weren't too shabby behind the net.
I've never played either sister, although I plan on one day taking them to task at the Wii Sports Resort version of Table Tennis where I'm an undisputed champ - for what it's worth, I was most recently ranked at the top of the 'pro' level. But I suspect they'll probably teach me a lesson and soundly take the win in two paddle-strokes, what with the Wii being the most novice-friendly of gaming systems and with me being everything but a Table Tennis pro.
When that inevitable thrashing occurs, my fallback plan involves setting up a live Table Tennis match using these Building Block x TOC custom pieces made with wood, hardy leather, and logo-embossed regulation balls. I'll even go all out and get the hand-knitted net from Correll Correll x TOC; after I've wowed them with my sleek tennis stuff they just might go easy on me, allowing me to get in a few token serves.
And if not, at least the pieces will make for a pretty nice display.
NB Images Courtesy Table of Contents
Photos this grainy and underexposed shouldn't be stylish. But shot by the French photographer François Guillaume with a Leica MP analog camera and some TriX, each street-style image hearkens back to the era of European New Wave film, totally bypassing any references to anything amateurish.
Mostly posted to Guillaume's tumblr, Thisisnotatie, the images feature the usual suspects of the international fashion month scene - there are shots of Giovanna Battaglia, Miroslava Duma, Kate Lamphear and the like, looking most nonplussed in their stylish finery. Taken in any other form, the snaps would just be a regurgitation of those seen on the average street-style blog.
With Guillame's moody touch, however, we get a subtle re-imagining of the genre that might just give street fashion photography some new legs...
NB Images Courtesy Thisisnotatie