Portrait of An Artist

The tile of the recently released book ‘Portrait of an Artist’ by Hugo Huerta Marin, published by Prestel, sounds quite humble. It’s the subtitle: ‘Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women’ that gives us a glimpse of what lays underneath the covers.

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Hugo Huerta Marin is a multi-disciplinary artist and graphic designer whose work focuses on gender and cultural identity.

‘Over the course of seven years and countless journeys’ the author met some of the most inspiring creative women in their homes, studios, galleries, theatres to take their portraits and have insightful conversations.

The selection of portraits is extraordinary: Miuccia Prada, Angelica Houston, Marina Abramovic, Rei Kawakubo, Julianne Moore, Annie Lennox, Shirin Neshat, FKA Twigs, Agnes Varda, Orlan, Uma Thurman among others – basically the book brings together all the incredible, inspiring, influential women you’d really like to meet.

Choosing instant photography such as Polaroid was brilliant too – the portraits look simple, intimate, yet very powerful and relevant.

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charlotte by hugo huerta marin

miuccia by Hugo huerta marin

The book is available at Prestel, Amazon, Penguin

Vogue Arabia March Highlights

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The 2021 March issue of Vogue Arabia comes with a statement cover page marking the 4th anniversary of the magazine as it was first published back in 2017. As an issue dedicated to creativity from MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), it features various ‘creative visionaries’  such as Mous Lanrabat, Alia Bin Omair, Mahira Abdelazizm, Mohamed Abdelhamid, Safeya Binzagr, Monir Shahroudyand more. Well done.

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Photo: Mous Lanrabat / Styling: Katie Trotter / Model: Athiec Geng / Editor-in-chief: Manuel Arnaut

 

Dior vs. Modernism

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Taking inspiration from Bernard Rudofsky’s historical & provocative exhibition – Are Clothes Modern? (MoMA, 1944), Maria Grazia Chiuri clearly states her intention to redefine the modern couture at the House of Dior. It is not easy to make things look modern when it comes to haute couture. It is very challenging, and there are very few designers to succeed in redefining couture (I believe Iris van Herpen is one of the few).

However, Maria Grazia Chiuri who was recently awarded French Legion d’Honneur, brings in a new approach and a clear intention to change. Therefore, the white dress in the opening of Dior Fall 2019 fashion show works as an open manifesto.

I have selected for this post a few details from Dior Fall 2019 couture collection, that in my point of view, look truly modern (the socks-style sandals inspired by Rudofsky’s designs, the braided hairstyling paired with black veils).

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Images source: vogue.com

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 @ TWA flight center

Under the creative direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton fashion shows benefit from very special locations.

While Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show was staged at the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan, and 2019 Cruise show was hosted at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, Nicolas Ghesquière choose for  Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 collection another iconic location – The TWA flight center, a newly renovated terminal of JFK airport. Designed by Eero Saarinen, the place was recently transformed in a public lobby for a new hotel by firms Beyer Blinder Belle and Lubrano Ciavarra Architects.

Working in collaboration with artist Es Devlin, the chic terminal featuring a red heart-shaped lounge was filled with plants to look like an hi-tech oasis, perfect to host a Louis Vuitton fashion show under the direction of Ghesquière. That was definitely a perfect match for an impeccably designed collection.

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TWA flight center, JFK airport, New York

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Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, Cruise 2020 collection

 

Hidden Treasures – Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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If it happens to be in Dubai these days, you definitely need to visit d3 (Dubai Design District) where an exquisite jewelry exhibition is on display till April 13th.

Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an exhibition gathering more than 300 priceless items of jewelry from Saudi Arabia, from Bedouin styles to pieces belonging to the royal family, was organized by the French jewelry design school L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.

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The collection belongs to Art of Heritage group from Riyadh, established 30 years ago as a cultural trust aiming to promote research and study around Saudi culture, arts and crafts. Art of Heritage sets a foundation for a future museum bringing together artworks and objects that reflect the history and lifestyle of various Saudi tribes and regions since the 19th century.

Pramod Kumar KG, the curator of Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights the complexity and diversity of the pieces on display, as being relevant not only for the Arab identity but for the multiple influences Arabs were exposed to – African, Egyptian, Celtic, Austrian, Indian etc.

From the works of the pilgrims that came to Makkah and stayed on and created different crafts … to the goods and influences from the trade routes that passed through, to the newer styles and creations by designers in the Kingdom, the Art of Heritage Museum, when it opens, will be one of a kind,” says Kumar KG (read more on Arab News)

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The display conceived for the exhibition is also fascinating – the choice of black faceless mannequins not only highlights the shape and style of jewelry pieces showcased, but also creates special atmosphere. With the styling concept, Hidden Treasures: Jewelry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia brings in the bold mysterious presences recalling various generations of women that wore these accessories – the hidden beauties of the Arab world.

Images source: thenational.ae

Connections

Maha As Asaker Undisclosed

Maha Al-Asaker photography, Disclosed series

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Museum of the Future, Dubai, UAE

P-rouette by Hadar Neeman

Recent years saw a prominent rise of 3D printing technologies that were successfully implemented in shoe design. While 3D printing solutions were largely adopted in sportwear (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance etc.) to design models that enhance confort and performance, the new technologies also transformed the fashionable approach to shoe design. Avant garde designs promoted by United Nude or Melissa, projects initiated by designers such as Marloes ten Bhomer, Julian Hakes or Sebastian Errazuriz, are relevant and inspiring for an entire new generation of fashion designers who are ready to reconfigure the industry of shoe-making.

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P-rouette, the graduation project of Hadar Neeman, who studied at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, is relevant as it approaches a less explored field – ballet dancers shoes. The classical ballet pointe shoes are particularly interesting as require special customization (each dancer has unique feet) and it require minutious manufacturing process that integrates various materials and components glued and manufacturing process that integrates various materials and components glued and stitched together to provide best fit and structure to enable dancers to dance on the tips of their toes.

The beauty of Hadar Neeman’s P-rouette is her alternative approach to classical ballet pointe shoe manufacture. That’s an innovative approach, as it integrates functionality, esthetics, sustainability in the design process. Using 3D scanning with a mobile app to respond to wearer needs it provides the option of customizing the shape of the shoe and its hardness. Then through the 3D printing process using elastomeric polymer that provides a lightweight and shock-absorbing structure, various materials can be integrated in the production process in order to provide confort, reduce pain and deliver a durable solution for ballet dancers. The finishing also looks modern and flawless, suitable for new millenium ballet dancers. Hope to see it implemented & developed for large scale production.