MAKE IT POP: JEFF KOONS & DOM PERIGNON





Art and champagne. Two of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite things merging together. Heaven.



Contemporary American artist Jeff Koons has teamed up with legendary French luxury champagne maker Dom Pérignon to produce a scaled-down version of his stupendous Balloon Venus sculpture.






Balloon Venus

Balloon Venus

 

In tainted high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating dress, the special edition sculpture  – only 650 hundreds specimens were created – of this collaborative project houses a bottle of the Rosé Vintage 2003 preciously cradled and guarded by its 2 ft. tall, voluptuous encasement, a modern-day,
goddess-of-wine Venus.






“The gift box was designed by Jeff Koons himself, for both Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 and Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003”, explains Dom Pérignon, “with a careful all-embracing conception of the outside and the inside facets. The outside reproduces on a dark background the Balloon Venus for Dom Pérignon matching their colour with the cuvée: pink for the Rosé and yellow for the Blanc. A view of the artist’s studio is visible on the reflective surface of the Balloon Venus and refers to the creative energy of the artist. The image is underlined by Jeff Koons’ signature. From the outside, the gift box extends the feeling of being in the presence of Balloon Venus, as the reproduction sets à 360° view of the object.
The gift box opens to expose the bottle, unveiling first an elaborate design that simulates the iridescent interior of the original sculpture made of high chromium stainless steel with transparent colour coating dress. The iconic Dom Pérignon bottle erupts, exactly as it does from the body of the Balloon Venus
for Dom Pérignon, magnifying the revelation.”









“The bottle foils give a pop-twist to the colour of its cuvée, Dom Pérignon Blanc or Rosé, interpreting the tension between the colours and the dark bottle” adds Koons. “It bears a metallic shield with the same colour layout as the foil and the box. The label plays with coloured surface on the depth of shield, emphasizing its allure, playful and still mysterious.”

 



“‘Dom Pérignon by Jeff Koons’ prolongs the encounter between Dom Pérignon and Jeff Koons”, explains the prestige house’s chef de cave, Richard Geoffroy. “After creating the Balloon Venus for Dom Pérignon Rosé, Jeff Koons transposed its creation and re-designed the iconic codes of Dom Pérignon’s bottle and gift box, by taking inspiration from the shapes and colours of Balloon Venus. This Limited Edition is the ultimate expression of the fruitful collaboration based on absolute shared vision of the power of creation and of collaboration.” 



For the collaborative project, the sculpture with a bottle of champagne will set you back $20,000 USD, ahem, a pop – a bargain considering Koons’s twelve-foot stainless steel sculpture “Balloon Dog” sold for $58.4 million (£36.8m) at an auction at Christie’s in New York two weeks ago, making it the most expensive piece of art by a living artist sold at auction.






 “Venus of Willendorf”, a, 11cm high palaeolithic figurine found in Austria in 1908, dating back to around 23, 000 years BC considered to be one of the earliest known depictions of the human form “proposes a new kind of idol, a modern-day goddess of love who embraces her beholder in reflective curves and suggests fecundity and creation”,  Koons explains. “It’s both masculine and feminine. Well, if you look at the inside – it’s like a Rorschach, but you can pick up on some of the masculine elements, even the shape of the bottle there, and if you look at the Balloon Venus from the front, it’s so fertile.”


 

A pop-up shop was specially created in the Assouline bookshop in Claridge’s where the highly collectable took centre stage. A-Gent of Style was dazzled by this explosion of neon pop shocking pink, a true feast for the eyes, heightening the artist’s trademark creative verve and the creative collision.

 

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For the ‘sweetie dahlings’ amongst us, two less lavish and more accessible limited-edition gift boxes were also created with the Rosé Vintage 2003 and
the Blanc Vintage 2004 going for £330 and £155, respectively,
available at Harvey Nichs.



“Being creative is trying to expand what the possibilities are”,
says Jeff Koons. “Within the gift boxes, we discover, with an exceptional playfulness and intensity, two Vintages of the year: Dom Pérignon 2004—intense, elegant and radiant—and Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003—vibrant, seductive and infringing.
A promise of a both divine and profane experience.”





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwmtUql8h7c




Cheers! and happy Friday!






LEARNING HIS STRIPES: PAUL SMITH & THE DESIGN MUSEUM






Today’s recipient needs little introduction. Most of you will have instantly recognised the image above and will have, at one point or another, held a bag or a gift box adorned by this iconic pinstriped barcode with its trademark rainbow of multifarious colours that is universally associated with the signature logo of …




Paul Smith‘s illustrious career and exceptional impact on the world of fashion and retail is the subject of a much-anticipated exhibition this winter
at the brilliant Design Museum in London.

“Hello, my name is Paul Smith” is a major retrospective opening on Friday until March 9, 2014 that will give a comprehensive insight into the five decades of the British designer and retailer’s world, influences, achievements and working methods.


Due to the huge popularity and influence of the designer (his empire is represented in 72 countries), the exhibition is likely to appeal to a broad audience and break visitor figure records – and even the Design Museum’s own records as it already celebrated the designer in 2001 with its ‘True Brit” exhibition.




The rich visual experience curated by Donna Loveday (she of the museum’s hugely successful Christian Louboutin show last year) will take the shape of a long corridor and will chart the designer, retailer and businessman’s career throughout various media (music, photographs, artifacts, projections, films, soundbites) and approaches such as these:




a display of Sir Paul’ Smith’s daring sartorial creations from collections selected by the designer himself dating back to his first show in Paris in 1976 up to today
(the company shows an impressive fourteen different collections every year), personal archives, hand-drawn sketches and other inspirational elements that make Paul Smith’s mind tick and creativity flow, a reconstruction of Smith’s first humble 1970 shop in Nottingham famously measuring three metres square, a makeshift version of his current studio and a room dedicated to the paraphernalia he’s received from his adoring fans throughout the years, most probably from Japan where his fan base is huge.








Another area will also be devoted to his architect wife Pauline whom has had a huge influence on his work, another one will showcase the unique design behind each of his stores accompanied by selection of jewellery, books, artworks, antiques, objets and curiosités that typically complement the clothes, and of course his great, whimsical collaborations ranging from cars (Rover’s Mini), cameras (Leica) and rugs (The Rug Company) to water bottles (Evian) and bicycles (Rapha) – Smith aspired to a be a professional cyclist until a road accident crushed his dreams when he was fifteen – and a special feature giving the visitors a glimpse into the brand’s future projects.






From his impeccably smart and tailored menswear and womenswear, his inventive approach to fabric, colour and pattern to his principles of traditional craftsmanship of tailoring and techniques with a contemporary edge, and his ‘English eccentric’ twist and Brit-wit style,  A-Gent of Style has been a huge admirer of Sir Paul Smith and looks forward to entering this world of “creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty” that epitomises the man behind one of the most quintessential British labels and leading fashion brands in the world.



Paul Smith stores – interiors and exteriors

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Paul Smith Spring/Summer 2014 collection

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Paul Smith objets and collaborations

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A Channel 4 interview





A BBC interview






During the run of the exhibition, the Design Museum will be hosting a series of exciting events such as Paul Smith Instagram Takeover, Live Twitter Q&A with Paul Smith and Sophie Hicks on Designing for Paul Smith.








A book “Hello, My Name is Paul Smith” published by Rizzoli will be published to coincide with the exhibition



 

 

MAN UP: TOM FORD VS. MARC JACOBS





The male grooming market is growing and booming (is this where the portmanteau ‘grooming’ comes from!?) at twice the race of the women’s in the UK.
The resurgence lately of grooming barber salons in London such as Murdock,
Ted Baker and Pankhurst and the fact that Men’s Health is the best-selling title in the men’s magazine market are obvious evidence. When moisturisers and nose-hair trimmers are old hat, it’s time for ‘complexion perfection’.



Two behemoth (and hunky) fashion designers have caught up on the trend and have taken this sybaritic primping and peacockery to another level and are not targeting the retrosexual men or the gaysters but this time straight metrosexual men who not only want to disguise the signs of ageing but also want to openly and confidently smarten up their act, look their best and age gracefully.

Keys, wallet, iPhone…concealer. Let the battle of the manscara begin.







The designer/director/tastemaker Tom Ford is expanding on his 2011 collection of women’s beauty products and will be releasing worldwide tomorrow a skincare collection for men. Here is a short promotional film featuring Cuban male model Juan Betancourt (since you asked) and Ford’s suave voice.


The line is composed of six multi-functional skincare and grooming products designed to purify, calm and revitalize skin. It includes a face cleanser, an oil-free moisturiser, an anti-fatigue eye treatment, a hydrating lip balm, a purifying mud mask, a skin revitalizing concentrate, a concealer and a bronzing gel, the last two coming in three shades to match different skin tones. Two new fragrances for
Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection will follow suit.




“Tom Ford For Men is based on my own personal grooming regiment. It is born from my deep conviction that fine grooming doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It should be simple, straightforward and intuitive”, Ford explains.







Tom Ford’s Men’s Grooming products are now available online at Harvey Nichols











“Boy tested. Girl approved”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4Bbb1PlagY


Fresh from his departure at Louis Vuitton (see A-Gent of Style‘s review of the last fashion show here), Marc Jacobs and has launched in a bold new venture a brand new make-up line in conjunction with Sephora consisting of 122 different products, three of which only are unisex and targeted at the metrosexual: a brow tamer, a color corrector and a lip balm.


















Time for A-Gent of Style to polish his look.







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