Sunday, 26 September 2010

Alex Randall, Bespoke Lighting


Innovative lighting was quite difficult to find at the shows this year, however, Alex Randall was certainly the most exciting work that I have seen in ages.  I can see her installations working incredibly well in any Uber cool Boutique, Hotel, or Bar that would be brave enough to use them.  There is a kind of darkness (ironic I know) to Randall's lighting that makes it so appealing.  I adore the suspended saws with the tube lighting.  Here you can just make out that the blades have been temporarily covered with sellotape (ya' know Health and Safety an all that and its paranoia) but placed higher of course this wouldn't matter.  The Rat swarm lamp was one of the most interesting pieces, if only just a little too creepy for me, but nonetheless, so wonderfully interesting, provoking and judging from the swarms of people around it, it certainly was a hit.  Anyway, check out Randall's website at www.alexrandall.co.uk I think you need to be brave and commission this incredibly talented woman to produce something for your next project, although be prepared of course for Randall's compelling work to steal the show.



Asprey and Garrard, London


I'm in the middle of practising my SSShhhhh.......right now.  If any of you have spent any time in a library and been caught chatting and God forbid your mobile phone starts ringing, then those old librarians with their hair tied up in the obligatory ballet bun hair style, naturally of course in Grey will be straight over to tell (not ask) you to be quiet or turn it off. I'm not quite privy to this but, maybe there is a secret Librarian society out there that issue's new recruits with a hair bun made especially at the Librarian hair bun factory somewhere that allows multiple users to Velcro them into place as part of the uniform? - I just don't know.  Perhaps the ones you have experienced,  maybe have a discrete tattoo vaguely sssshhhhowing through that floral nylon gossamer blouse or perhaps a body piercing hidden somewhere ready to be tugged and gnawed at during the monthly hedonist night at some dubious night club?  Well maybe the cool ones are tattooed and pierced, if librarians can be cool?  .
Anyway, the scene is painted and my point is, could anything be more incredibly dull?  This week it was very difficult to look at the latest scheme from Asprey and Garrard here in London and be excited. Of course the product is superb, the brand is untainted and they do produce incredibly good quality schemes, albeit, and I know they wont thank me for saying it, and lets face it no one else will say it, but this really is the 'librarian' of a schemes this year in London (without the piercings and tattoos) Motifs of trees in muted tones carry the product behind which a printed screen has been placed - revolutionary stuff hey?. Of course, this scheme is certainly not difficult on the eye, although as with the recent scheme I mentioned at Tiffany, it seems that we've seen it all before, and in fact actually countless times. Looking through my archives, motifs of trees crop up on countless occasions. With a quick scan through my archived images I quickly found Henry Bendel (NYC) December 2009, Mulberry (London) August 2008 (image below), St. John (NYC) 2001 (image below), oh the list goes on. As any of the thousands of students I have worked with would confirm, motifs have been completely banished from my studio's when we work on the development of new concepts. Besides the fact that there is no design left to squeeze out of them, they nearly always, it seems, are used, I find, when retailers are dry of inspiration. OK, its Autumn and this is an Autumn scheme, but surely there's more to Autumn than motifs of trees without leaves and carrying handbags? And please don't make me look for all of those countless schemes using dry leaves, suspended leaves, leaves piled high, images of leaves in vinyl stuck to the fenestration....oh you get the gist. Come on guys....lets move on with this stuff, London is a fabulously rich resource from which to draw upon, so please, why don't you?  In the meantime where did I leave that book on the philosophies of Teyard de Chardin...........SSSSSSShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuush.







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