WINTER FINE ART &ANTIQUES FAIR, OLYMPIA






The iconic National Hall of Olympia, London, came to life last night with the Collectors’ Preview of the Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair 2013.
With an exceptional range of over 30,000 pieces of art and antiques to whet all appetites, the fair, which opens today to the public and will run until Sunday 10 November, is in its 23rd year and still relevant to trade and collectors alike.
It attracts over 22,000 visitors year after year and continues to focus on high quality antiques from 130 dealers and provides unrivalled choice for collectors, decorators and international visitors alike, offering both the traditional to the quirky from over thirty disciplines including furniture, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, textiles, silver and glass.




This year, the fair will be running alongside Asian Art in London, as well as some of the most important auctions in the winter season, so it’s the perfect time for collectors and art lovers to be in London. Highlights this year include Agatha Christie’s silver and Humphrey Bogart’s engraved glasses, as well as works by Archibald Knox, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Cartier.






THE ENCHANTING WORLD OF KLAUS HAAPANIEMI






Do some of these products look vaguely familiar to you?



If the answer is yes, it’s probably because you have seen in stores such as
John Lewis, the Conran Shop or Skandium the Taika and Satumetsä dinnerware made by Iittala – the Finnish design brand specialising in design objects, cookware and tableware.




These homeware ceramics were created by Finnish illustrator and artist
Klaus Haapaniemi whose designs are instantly recognisable through his phantasmagorical and whimsical imagery. Haapaniemi mixes his homeland folklore and Arts and Crafts, nature, paganism, fantasy, fairy tales and mysticism and instills his designs with his own quirky twist that conjures up a magical and ethereal world populated with wild animals, creatures and monsters.




Haapaniemi, who originally graduated as a graphic designer from the Lahti Institute of Design, Finland, has now become one of Britain’s most in-demand illustrators in advertising art, fashion and clothing fabric prints; his portfolio includes collaborations with Diesel, where he started as a print designer, then fashion label Bantam for which he moved to Italy to ultimately become their creative director and illustrator, and various projects with Levi’s, Cacharel, Marimekko, D&G, Iittala, Stella McCartney and Christian Louboutin.

He has also decorated the Christmas windows at Selfridges, drawn Christmas story-books with celebrity writers such as Madonna’s daughter Lourdes and David Hasselhoff. In 2008, he won the Graphic Designer of the Year award.









Project with Isetan Wonder Christmas 2012

Collaboration with Christian Louboutin


In November 2010, after moving to London, Haapaniemi launched a new home and fashion textiles brand called Klaus Haapaniemi together with the art director and concept designer Mia Wallenius – whom he met in Italy where she became senior art director at Gucci – under which he has designed his first signature collection including textile products in pure and luxurious materials combining traditional weaving techniques with modern prints and sophisticated colours.




He has now extended his brand to furniture, fashion, books, events and exhibitions and often work together with other designers and studios to create limited edition design pieces and bespoke commissions.



Collaboration with  Christian Louboutin

Collaboration with Christian Louboutin


A-Gent of Style
was delighted to hear that this summer Klaus Haapaniemi was opening his very first flagship shop in London. And what better location that Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street, the hip street that can boast Shoreditch House,
Conran’s The Boundary and Maison Trois Garçons as its residents and also the newly opened Lee Broom showroom, round the corner on Rivington Street.



Having two design-junkie friends living in the area, A-Gent of Style took the opportunity to visit the shop last week and was given a very warm welcome by Mia who very kindly took the time to help A-Gent with his research.




The showroom and shop showcase the whole brand’s products: scarves
(hand-printed silk, satin or fine wool), throws and shawls (lamb’s wool and silk), cushions (woven silk brocade, linen, embroidery, heavy woven tapestry or hand-printed) but also ceramics (cute cats or owls that can be used for storage or just decoratively), prints (beautiful silkscreens printed on coloured heavyweight papers and all signed as limited-edition) and some pieces of furniture such as upholstered, circular poufs.




Mia told me that, a few months ago, Haapaniemi launched a collection of rugs inspired this time by the summer and representing flowers, fruits, bees and pollination. Hand-dyed and made of tufted wool in Varanasi, India, the series of three designs feature the cosmic vortex and unity of the natural universe. The muted colour palette is inspired by earthy Nordic Arts & Crafts textile designs.




A-Gent of Style loved the simple, organic and elegant way the shop was designed: low-level, reeded joinery that skirts around the shop, gorgeous dark green/teal paint
(A-Gent’s favourite colour) and beautiful, delicate bobbin-shaped poles in natural timber on the shelves.








Isn't this whale adorable?

Isn’t this whale adorable?




This has got to be A-Gent's favourite item; love the colour and pattern

This has got to be A-Gent’s favourite item; love the colour and pattern





Gorgeous detail on the shelves that looks like a door plate and handle plate

Gorgeous detail on the shelves that looks like a door and handle plate








I love everything about this cushion pad: the shape, the blue and the contrast stitching

I love everything about this cushion pad: the shape, the colour and the contrast stitching

 

This rug is an incredible piece of craftmanship

 


 

Stunning piece of marble

Stunning piece of marble on the desk

 



A few gems hidden away in the office that Mia let A-Gent of Style see.

A great, big door handle made of wood

A great, big door handle made of wood

 

One of the walls upholstered in hand-woven silk fabric. Stunning

One of the walls upholstered in hand-woven silk fabric. Stunning

 

New rug

 

Another new rug design

 

This scuplted mural is made of brass and was used as the focal piece of a functioning bar designed for Design Week

This sculpted mural is laser cut copper and brass and was used as the focal piece for a functioning bar specially designed for London Design Week. Magical





A-Gent of Style was also let in on a secret: Klaus Haapaniemi will be launching soon a range of wallpaper. So stay tuned!




Next time you are in Shoreditch, make sure you stop by Klaus Haapaniemi and let yourself be enchanted. Or make a special trip there, you won’t be disappointed.

In the meanwhile, here’s Klaus Haapaniemi enchanting animation for Finding Wonder Christmas, Isetan, Japan.







HADIDISM



 



Not being content with designing some of the most striking contemporary buildings all around the world (A-Gent of Style will feature shortly the newly-opened Serpentine Gallery in a different post), the ever-prolific and multi-faceted
Zaha Hadid has again tried her hand at designing new decorative objects – she has already designed furniture and clothes in the past. A-Gent of Style would like to show you today two spectacular pieces that have been on his radar and which are worthy of an exposure.




Lately, the rock star architect designed a Liquid Glacial Table as part of her Liquid Glacial Collection that appears as if water ripples on the table top and drains into the legs’s ‘funnels’; it is made of new-fangled acrylic made in Italy and also plexiglass which have been sandpapered into its swirling shape thus creating a dynamic fluidity – a theme dear to Miss Hadid (see A-Gent of Style‘s review of the Roca Gallery) – and an intense vortex of water that seems to be frozen in time. The latest mesmerising version (shown here) is one of eight and looks as if it is floating, even moving like a pool of glistening water. It measures 260cm long, 160cm wide and 74.5cm tall and is on show at David Gill Galleries in London until November 16.












Additionally, the genius Hadid has created a wine bottle for Icon Hill, a red wine cuvée of 2009 vintage produced by the renowned Austrian winemaker Leo Hillinger. The sensuous and curvaceous recipient that has the shape of an elongated droplet and resembles a futuristic skittle, was designed with the help of a NURB-based software (don’t ask me). Miss Hadid explains: “One side has a concave indentation with the same curve as the back of the bottle so a row of them can interlock. A continuous spatial curve was then projected onto the bottle’s surface, defining areas for the concave indentation and suggesting the waves created when droplets break a liquid’s surface”. The bottle comes in a box which has the same shape of the bottle and has been cut from striations, another recurrent pattern in Hadidism (don’t look it up; I made it up).

Only 999 bottles were made. A-Gent of Style accepts home delivery.


















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