BLOOMING LOU-BOOT-YLICIOUS



 

Photographer and artist Peter Lipmann continues the theme of the masterpieces of world art in a new series of works for Christian Louboutin.


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After their collaboration in 2011 on a baroque and biblical theme,
this spring/summer 2014 lookbook uses as inspiration beautiful and famous still-life painting by geniuses of impressionistic Old Masters. The David LaChapelle-esque campaign recreates and mimics these chefs d’oeuvre by capturing images which juxtapose the brand’s dazzling shoes – and their distinctive red soles –  and accessories with floral scenery. It cleverly arranges the collection by playfully displaying or camouflaging Louboutin’s whimsical shoes and handbags nestled between bouquets and floral arrangements. The exquisite campaign not only emphasises the collection’s warm spring tones or saturated colours but also the fine craftsmanship that can indeed make an object feel like a work of art.


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– Photos by Peter Lipmann –




UP IN THE CLOUDS



 

‘I imagined walking into a classical museum hall with just empty walls. There was nothing to see except for a rain cloud hanging around in the room.

– Berndnaut Smilde  –


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Berndnaut Smilde is an artist, a cloud artist to be precise. The Dutch ‘magician’ has developed a process of creating clouds using a smoke machine, combined with carefully regulated indoor temperature, humidity and moisture and also dramatic lighting before their rapid dissipation.

These photographs are therefore “documents” according to Smilde, the only proof of the cloud’s existence if a viewer misses it as each cloud lives for a few seconds and then disappears, without a trace that it was ever there.

His work is defined by the temporary, the intangible and the ephemeral. The shape of the picturesque, billowing cloud and its creation are of lesser interest to the artist than the jarring context and placement of the ominous, fleeting cloud in an indoor surreal, vacant space rather than the obvious outdoor setting.

The first exhibit featuring indoor clouds, called Nimbus, was created by Smilde in 2010. Smilde said he wanted to make the image of a typical Dutch rain cloud, inside of a space. “I imagined walking into a classical museum hall with just empty walls. There was nothing to see except for a rain cloud hanging around in the room.”


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A DECORATIVE GARDEN OF EDEN: CRESSIDA BELL’S CHRISTMAS OPEN STUDIO








Last Saturday, A-Gent of Style travelled to Hackney in North London to attend Cressida Bell’s Christmas Open Studio. A-Gent has always been very much aware of the artist and designer but also Charleston House in East Sussex and of course Bell’s famous lineage, so without hesitation, he enjoyed a jaunt to Clarence Mews,
“a bucolic enclave in the heart of Hackney”.




A-Gent of Style was thrilled not only to see for the first time under one roof the colourful, bold and highly patterned artefacts Cressida Bell is renowned for but also to meet the designer and visit the enchanting studio where she works her magic.




Cressida Bell is a direct descendant of the major members of the Bloomsbury group; her grandmother was the artist Vanessa Bell and her grandfather the critic
Clive Bell, her great-aunt Virginia Woolf and her father, the critic, author and artist Quentin Bell. Bell studied fashion and textile design at St. Martins School of Art followed in 1984 by an M.A in textile design from the Royal College of Art.
Despite being exposed at Charleston to paintings, painted walls, stained glass and textiles all designed by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and being unconsciously influenced by the Bloomsbury artists, Cressida Bell has managed to forge her own identity and style and has drawn her inspiration from many sources such as African and Indian cultures.




The studio is everything you may have imagined and much more. It felt a bit like being in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul with its exquisite eclecticism and richly embellished, contrasting patterns and vibrant colours. The overall look and aesthetics of Cressida Bell’s style is also somehow reminiscent of René Matisse,
Jean Cocteau or Cecil Beaton designs who too liked to paint the surfaces of their surroundings and created unique and original pieces of art.

Just as imagine Charleston House to be (A-Gent has to admit he has yet to see the iconic Sussex country retreat of Bell’s well-known Bloomsbury Group forebears.
A road trip last summer was aborted but it is now at the top of the 2014 resolution list), every inch of the studio is decorated or covered by something; painted doors, furniture or clocks, bespoke rugs, sketches, drawings, invitations, announcements illustrations, cookery posters, plates, fabric shreds, test sheets, paint pots, brushes and printing screens. That weekend, there was a plethora of tantalising treasures all for sale such as hand-painted lamp stands and shades, stationery, greeting and Christmas cards, and Bell’s ten-metre long printing table – Bell screen-prints herself – was strewn with silk, wool or cotton scarves, ties, cushions. And last but not least, her ready printed sheets of icing and eye-popping, edible cake decorations – Bell’s latest artistic pursuit – were on display (and feature in her book Cressida Bell’s Cake Designs: Fifty Fabulous Cakes.)




























































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