For their new collaboration with Aesop on the brand’s Cambridge store, the English design duo JAMESPLUMB, who have already developed a reputation for using the most seemingly pedestrian materials to magical effect, used bulrush, the wild plant that typically grows on the banks of lakes and rivers. The plant grounds the two-room space both physically and metaphorically, an English answer to the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which has perhaps unfairly hogged the spotlight when it comes to matters of finding beauty in earthiness and the aging of organic matter. To that end, JAMESPLUMB commissioned Felicity Irons – one of the last English rush weavers – to create extra long shelves using bulrush. The plant was also used to inlay the display cabinets and the sinks.
This spring Ann Demeulemeester will release her third collaboration with the Belgian houseware company Serax.
“I believe that if you make something beautiful, sooner or later it has a way of presenting itself to the world.” The Belgian designer talks to us about her new houseware project.
As you probably know we love all things Aesop. And so every time a new store opens, we are happy to take a peek inside.
It was with great trepidation that I first walked into the Ann Demeulemeester flagship store in Antwerp in 2001. It was on my first trip to Europe. I was twenty-five, and I was backpacking, reclaiming my American right of passage, about seven years too late, but I had no money before that. It’s safe to say that I was probably the only backpacker this summer to stop over in Antwerp to go shopping for fashion. But it was the highlight of my trip. I stuffed my backpack into a locker at the magnificent Antwerp train station, and made a beeline for Louis, followed by Dries Van Noten, and then a long walk down Nationalstraat to Ann Demeulemeester, saving the best for last. I don’t remember why, but I only bought a belt there, which I still wear. “Just the belt?” the salesperson ask, probably not meaning to embarrass me.
Chances are you have not heard of Studio KO unless you keep a very close ear to the ground when it comes to architecture.
On Saturday Rick Owens New York hosted a book signing for the designer and his wife for the recently released Rick Owens: Furniture. Below is our photo reportage from the event.
Photography by Wataru Shimosato
There is something attractive in polymaths, namely that the way they operate bespeaks a certain unstoppable curiosity on their part, whether intellectual or artistic.
Masamichi Katayama, the founder and principal of the Japanese interior design and architecture firm Wonderwall, turned 50 earlier this year. To celebrate his achievements, amongst which are countless retail interiors in Japan and beyond, the german publisher Gestalten released a first comprehensive monograph on Katamaya’s work, Wonderwall: Case Studies ($69).
I first came across the work of the Belgian art collector-dealer-interior-designer-manufacturer-real-estate-developer Axel Vervoordt when I reviewed his 2011 book, “Wabi Inspirations.” I was struck by how the interiors Vervoordt conceived reflected the beauty of simplicity, decay, and aging that are championed by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. It was not anything I expected from a major European collector, raised on Louis XIV furniture and antiquaries, whose roster of clients includes major celebrities and the old-time aristocracy.