Post 6: Philippe Starck

Starck’s furniture designs, he is widely known for his designs for the Italian manufacturer Kartell, many of which are made from polycarbonate plastic. These include the transparent Louis Ghost chair, Ero|S| chair, Bubble Club Sofa and Armchair, and La Bohème stool. He has also been involved in the relaunch of the World War II-era Navy Chair in the U.S., designing a classic furniture collection around it.

The Bubble Club chair is featured prominently in the television series Boston Legal. A pair sit on the balcony outside Denny Crane’s office, where he and Alan Shore end each episode with a cigar and a glass of Scotch while discussing the events of the episode.

The Louis Ghost chair is also featured in Ugly Betty: two such chairs can be seen front of Wilhelmina’s desk in the 2010 episodes.

Starck’s furniture has been featured at Pinkberry locations.

Among his interior designs for restaurants, Starck designed the Felix restaurant-bar at The Peninsula Hong Kong, a classic hotel facing the Hong Kong harbour on the Kowloon side. This design, located on the 28th floor, is known for several design features including the men’s washroom, which features urinals facing glass, and a spectacular view of the Hong Kong cityscape.

An earlier design by Starck, now world famous, was for the Café Costes in Paris (1984).

His design presence is heavily noted in Los Angeles, where his work is evident in numerous trendy restaurants, lounges and nightclubs including Katsuya, XIV by Michael Mina, The Bazaar at SLS Beverly HIlls, and s-bar Hollywood.In 1988, Starck was commissioned by famed nightclub impresario Ian Schrager, former co-owner of Studio 54, to refit the Royalton Hotel on New York’s West 44th Street. It was a design moment that has since changed the hotel industry; boutique hotels, where hotel design is an important factor, became the industry buzz.

The Starck-Schrager design hotel partnerships continued in New York at the Paramount hotel, and then spread to Miami with the opening of the Delano Hotel in South Beach in 1995, to Los Angeles with the Mondrian Hotel in December 1996,[14][15] to London with both the St. Martins Lane hotel in 1999 and the Sanderson hotel in 2000, to San Francisco with the Clift hotel, and finally back to New York with the Hudson hotel, with what is described as “Cheap Chic”.

The look and feel of Starck-Schrager hotels has been highly influential, including the approaches at Starwood‘s W hotels.

Starck also designed Jia, the first Philippe Starck-designed boutique hotel in Asia.

From 2007 until 2022, Starck is under an exclusive contract with nightclub mogul Sam Nazarian to design Nazarian’s new hotel brand, SLS Hotels. The first property, SLS Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (a massive renovation of the former Le Méridien At Beverly Hills), was opened on October 28, 2008, and was entirely designed by Starck. The hotel lobby features unique Starck-designed display cases presenting rotating design items curated by gallerist Murray Moss.From December 2007, Philippe Starck and his daughter Ara were involved in the redecoration of public areas at Le Meurice, Paris.Through residential design company Yoo Ltd, Starck has been involved in the development of several properties featuring Starck interiors.His work with the Pramac energy group, has produced a design for windmills that also function as wind instruments.

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Post 5: Alexander McQueen

Born on 17 March 1969 in Lewisham, London, to Scottish taxi driver Ronaldand social science teacher Joyce, McQueen was the youngest of six children. He grew up in a council flatin a tower block in Stratford.[8] He attended Carpenters Road Primary School, started making dresses for his three sisters at a young age, and announced his intention to become a fashion designer.

McQueen later attended Rokeby School and left aged 16 in 1984 with one O-level in art, going on to serve an apprenticeship with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, before joining Gieves & Hawkes and, later, the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans. The skills he learned as an apprentice on Savile Row helped earn him a reputation in the fashion world as an expert in creating an impeccably tailored look.

While on Savile Row, McQueen’s clients included Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles. At the age of 20 he spent a period of time working for Koji Tatsuno before travelling to Milan, Italy and working for Romeo Gigli.

McQueen returned to London in 1994 and applied to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, to work as a pattern cutter tutor. Because of the strength of his portfolio he was persuaded by Bobby Hillson, the Head of the Masters course to enroll in the course as a student. He received his masters degree in fashion design and his graduation collection was bought in its entirety by influential fashion stylist Isabella Blow, who was said to have persuaded McQueen to become known as Alexander (his middle name) when he subsequently launched his fashion career.

It was during this period that McQueen relocated to Hoxton which housed other new designers, including Hussein Chalayan and Pauric Sweeney. It was shortly after creating his second collection,“McQueen’s Theatre of Cruelty”, that McQueen met Katy England, his soon to be “right hand woman”,when outside of a “high profile fashion show” trying to “blag her way in”.He promptly asked her to join him for his third collection, “The Birds” at Kings Cross, as “creative director”.Katy England continued to work with McQueen thereafter, greatly influencing his work – his “second opinion”.

McQueen designed wardrobe for David Bowie‘s tours in 1996-1997, as well as the Union Jack coat worn by Bowie on the cover of his 1997 album Earthling. Icelandic singer Björk sought McQueen’s work for the cover of her album Homogenic in 1997. McQueen also directed the music video for her song “Alarm Call” from the same album[18] and later contributed the iconic topless dress to her video for “Pagan Poetry”.

 

Camilla Belle in a 2009 dress by Alexander McQueen, listed among “100 Best Dresses of the Decade” by InStyle magazine.

McQueen’s early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning the title “l’enfant terrible” and “the hooligan of English fashion”), with trousers aptly named “bumsters” and a collection titled “Highland Rape”.In 2004, journalist Caroline Evans also wrote of McQueen’s “theatrical staging of cruelty”, in 032c magazine, referring to his dark and tortured renderings of Scottish history. McQueen was known for his lavish, unconventional runway shows: a recreation of a shipwreck for his spring 2003 collection; spring 2005’s human chess game; and his fall 2006 show “Widows of Culloden”, which featured a life-sized hologram of supermodel Kate Moss dressed in yards of rippling fabric.

McQueen’s “bumsters” spawned a trend in low rise jeans; on their debut they attracted many comments and debate.[11] Michael Oliveira-Salac, the director of Blow PR and a friend of McQueen’s said, “The bumster for me is what defined McQueen.” McQueen also became known for using skulls in his designs. A scarf bearing the motif became a celebrity must-have and was copied around the world.

McQueen has been credited with bringing drama and extravagance to the catwalk. He used new technology and innovation to add a different twist to his shows and often shocked and surprised audiences. The silhouettes that he created have been credited for adding a sense of fantasy and rebellion to fashion. McQueen became one of the first designers to use Indian models in London.

McQueen also designed a range of dresses under the name of “manta”, priced at around £2800. The line, named after the manta ray, was inspired by a holiday McQueen took to the Maldives in 2009. The designs have been worn by various models and celebrities, including Lily Cole.

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Post 4:Walter Plunkett

Walter P`lunkett (June 5, 1902 in Oakland, California – March 8, 1982) the prolific costume designer who worked on more than 150 projects throughout his extensive and important career in the Hollywood film industry.

Born in Oakland, California, and although showing more interest in the schools theatrical group, Plunkett studied Law at the University of California. Moving to New York City in 1923 he began work as a stage actor as well as working costume and set design. After this time building experience in the industry he moved to Hollywood and started work as an extra, although he soon made the change to working in costume and wardrobe.
Hard Boiled Haggerty  was Plunkett’s first credited movie work in 1927. RKO studio’s soon acquired his services where he built an enormous costume and wardrobe department, becoming one of the studio’s industry leaders, getting a large amount of freedom, he started work that rivaled that of contemporaries Travis Banton and Adrian.

Plunkett’s best-known work is featured in two films, Gone with the Wind and Singin’ in the Rain, in which he lampooned his initial style of the Roaring Twenties.

In 1951, Plunkett shared an Oscar with Orry-Kelly and Irene for An American in Paris.

Plunkett retired in 1966, after having worked in films, on Broadway, and for the Metropolitan Opera. He spent the last years of his life with his partner Lee, whom he formally adopted so that he could inherit his estate. He died at age 79 in Santa Monica, California.
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Post 3: Bob Mackie

Legendary costumer Edith Head discovered Mackie in 1961 while working as a novice designer at Paramount Studios. Mackie’s designs were commonly seen on the Las Vegas Strip worn by numerous Burlesque dancers, Hallelujah inspired by Ziegfeld Follies at the MGM Grand from 1974 to 1980 and Jubilee! Which has been running since 1981. These shows all involve intricate, elaborate costumes and extravagant sets. Mackie’s design drawings from these shows can been seen in the Showgirls Collection.

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Mackie however is possibly best remembered for his humorous work on The Carol Burnett Show best with the “Curtain Dress” for the  Gone with the Wind  parody Went With The Wind, as well as the over the top ensemble worn by Cher at the March 1986 Academy Awards: black stretch pants, a bejeweled loincloth, knee high boots, a black chain-link top, and a huge feathered Mohawk headdress that was one and a half times taller than her head.Mackie is also known for having designed costumes for Whitney Houston, especially splashy evening gowns that she wore for many years during concert tours and award shows and which became a significant element of her appearance.

Mackie is often called the sultan of sequins, or the rajah of rhinestones, known for his sparkling and imaginative costume designs. He has won nine Emmy Awards for his designs, and was thrice nominated for an Academy Award.

Mackie has said, “A woman who wears my clothes is not afraid to be noticed.”

Mackie is also known for his exclusive dress designs for collector’s edition Barbie dolls.

Post 2: Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia

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After being a Metal Worker and Jewellery Designer, he went to work for Ray and Charles Eames until the war ended. In 1950 he moved to Pennsylvania and established his studio, where he worked with Hans and Florence Knoll .   This is where he designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. Amongst the pieces was the famous “Diamond Chair” a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded latticework of welded steel.

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Bertoia’s said, “If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”

They were produced with varying degrees of upholstery over their light grid-work, and they were handmade as the could find no appropriate method of Mass Production. However, the chair edge utilized two thin wires welded on either side of the mesh seat. This design had been granted a patent to the Eames for the wire chair produced by Herman Miller, who eventually won and Bertoia & Knoll redesigned the seat edge, using a thicker, single wire, and grinding down the edge of the seat wires at a smooth angle – the same way the chairs are produced today. Nonetheless, the commercial success enjoyed by Bertoia’s diamond chair was immediate.

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POST 2: Ray and Charles Eames

Charles & Ray Eames are still regarded as one of Americas greatest design teams. They spent their time creating and inspiring many of the great pieces of architecture, furniture, film and graphic design that we see today. They left there mark on the industry and have left many a new comers gazing in amazement at there simplicity and elegant style.

About Charles Eames

Charles Ormond Eames (June 17, 1907 – August 21, 1978). He learned the basic design skills as a labourer at Laclede Steel Company at which point he decided that design was his true calling.

Charles studied architecture at Washington University. But after two years of study, he decided to leave the university and explore other avenues. He struggled to study and work at the same time so eventually the riggers of this life pushed him into his own architectural practice In 1930.

In 1941 he married his colleague Ray Kaiser from California. The couple moved to California where they lived and worked for the rest of their lives. In California they designed and built the world famous Eames House, which overlooks the Pacific ocean.

About Ray Eames

Born Ray-Bernice Alexandra Kaiser (December 15, 1912 – August 21, 1988) she stands alone as an extremely talented designer in her own right. Ray studied abstract expressionism in New York. She was an accomplished artist, film-maker and designer who when joined with her husband Charles is responsible for many of the 20th century’s most iconic and classic designs.

Charles and Ray Eames: Designers

In the 50s, they pioneered technologies related to furniture and material design. Using plywood and fibreglass, plastic resins and wire mesh to come up with modern and unseen designs. Around the same time they produced their first film the unfinished Traveling Boy in 1950 and also went on to make the extraordinary “Powers of Ten” and “Toccata for Toy Trains”. They used these productions to experiment with modern ideas and movements.

Charles and Ray Eames spent a lot of their time in the office which was used by them for over four decades situated at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, California. This office at most times contained some of the world best designers and his staff included the likes of Harry Bertoia, and Gregory Ain. The latter was Chief Engineer for the Eames’ during World War II.

Many classic Eames furniture pieces were born in this office space, perhaps the greatest works originating there were the molded-plywood DCW Dining Chair Wood and DCM Dining Chair Metal both with the plywood seat (1945), the Eames Lounge Chair (1956), the Aluminum Group furniture office chairs in 1958 and as well as the Eames Chaise lounge in 1968.

Charles’s passed away (from a heart attack) while on a business trip through Saint Louis came as a shock to all in the industry, and he now has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

In the early days only Charles was give the distinction of designing many of the products and Ray was never really mentioned In the Herman Miller catalogues however later research has shown that Ray was very involved in many of the timeless designs and has since been considered an equal partner.

Classic Quotes from Charles Eames

  • “Eventually, everything connects.”
  • “Innovate as a last resort.”
  • “Design is the appropriate combination of materials in order to solve a problem.”
  • “I have never been forced to accept compromises but I have willingly accepted constraints.”
  • “Take your pleasures seriously.”
  • “The details are not the details. They make the design.”
  • “Art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic.”
  • “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”
  • “Ideas are cheap. Always be passionate about ideas and communicating those ideas and discoveries to others in the things you make.”
  • “In architecture the idea degenerated. Design allows a more direct and pleasurable route.”
  • “The details are details. They make the product. The connections, the connections, the connections. It will in the end be these details that give the product its life. “
  • “Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.”
  • “In architecture the idea degenerated. Design allows a more direct and pleasurable route.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_and_Ray_Eames, http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray/, http://eamesoffice.com/, http://www.google.com.au/search?q=ray+and+charles+eames&rls=com.microsoft:en-AU:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7SMSN_enAU479&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=0eqwUbCUKI-hiAeR2YDYBA&ved=0CFAQsAQ&biw=683&bih=337, http://www.hermanmiller.com.au/Designers/Charles-And-Ray-Eames