A LONDONER IN TANGIER: ASILAH




After a much-needed, month-long hiatus, A-Gent of Style returns as the holiday season draws to a close, at that time of year when summer will soon be a distant memory.

 This summer, A-Gent of Style holidayed in Tangier, Morocco. There will be a few features of this magical city coming up on the blog in the next couple of weeks but today, A-Gent of Style would like to transport you to another enchanting destination.


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On the recommendations of many friends, A-Gent of Style was whisked away on his first day to Asilah, the impossibly charming, laid-back fortified resort town located on the Atlantic coast just some 30km south of Tangier. With its impressive gateworks and square stone ramparts flanked by palm trees, Asilah also boasts wide, stretching sandy beaches. It has of course an undeniable Moroccan identity but also a rich history and past, and strong cultural influences, mainly Spanish and Portuguese.

But the most elegant and impressive part of Asilah which took A-Gent of Style‘s breath away is the Medina with its labyrinthine lanes of gorgeous white-washed buildings suffused with splashes of pastel and vivid colours, where combinations of green and blue can be seen in droves (you can imagine A-Gent‘s reaction), and where patterns in all shapes and forms unravel before your eyes in the most incongruous places, all against a pitch-perfect blue sky. Utterly delightful and inspiring. A-Gent of Style defies anyone not to fall for the authentic, unspoiled Asilah. Judge by yourself now.

 

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– Photos by A-Gent of Style – 








REVERED, VENEERED MARQUETRY



 

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Marquetry. A unique, hand-crafted art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to form decorative structures and designs, that has its inspiration from 16th century Florence, and which uses primarily woods but also bone, ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, pewter, brass, fine metals or even straw,
A-Gent of Style‘s favourite manifestation as championed by the Art Deco master decorator Jean-Michel Frank.


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Thanks to the brilliant feature on marquetry and parquetry by Matthew Morris in the new (September) issue of House & Garden and a few months before an article in the Financial Times, A-Gent of Style discovered the wonderful works of Christine Meyer-Eaglestone. The German-born, Leeds-based artist has created some 400 pieces so far and her marquetry works reflects her deep interest in Bauhaus, minimalist constructivism (which immediately attracted A-Gent of Style) through also Japanese elements of design, Frank Lloyd-Wright also some undeniable Art Deco references (the screen above was love at first sight and ticked all the boxes: Art Deco AND green/blue!). Balance, counterpoise, dynamic growth and rhythm are all essential elements within Christine Meyer-Eaglestone’s work.

Ornate, precise, one-off, central pieces with a strong identity representing another great celebration of craftsmanship made in the UK. What’s not to love.


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Imagery by Christine Meyer-Eaglestone – 




THE FOX’S DEN by ZIM & ZOU for HERMES





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A friend of A-Gent of Style notified him last week of a new design tour de force – this time from the retail design world – which is not only impressive but also refreshing to see as a leading fashion house has taken the risk to think out of the box and given a new spin on window displays by using traditional, crafty mediums. Enough reasons for a feature on this blog.


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French graphic design studio Zim & Zou (Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann) have lent their skills once again for fashion house Hermès by crafting a fantasy and whimsical window for their Barcelona store in Paseo de Gracià, with intricately folded and vibrantly coloured paper and leather, all created painstakingly by hand. Some of you might remember
A-Gent of Style‘s feature last Christmas of the not too dissimilar award-winning Winter Wonderland displays at nationwide John Lewis stores made out of plastic, metallic and synthetic household products.

The Hermès-orange and blue hues of this scene tells the story of a small fox who inhabits the rather 1950s-looking space with his own personal objects, giving a glimpse into his life (wait to see the framed photographs!), quirks and personality (so much for anthropomorphism).

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A month and a half, 68 tubes of glue and 144 large sheets of paper later, ‘the fox’s den’ was completed with (human) geometric-ornamented furniture and household objects all made of paper, from the table and stool he sits on and stares at the onlookers to the assemblage of photos hanging on the fanciful floral-and-sylvan patterned wall (yet to be identified by A-Gent of Style). The fox sculpture alone was made from Hermès’ leather remnants and took two weeks to make. Each small piece was cut by hand and then glued slowly together so that the fox could look as realistic as possible. And doesn’t he just look cute!

Hermès accessories such as ties, scarves and shoes are strategically placed throughout the dwelling, uniting the fashion label’s wearable designs and the delicate and complex paper craft work.

In this CAD-saturated world where one can easily OCD on too much digital, how exhilarating to see a tangible, concrete solution that embraces craftsmanship and artistry but also the whimsical, the playful and the adorable.


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– all imagery by Nacho Vaquero, courtesy of Zim & Zou –






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