Has there even been a pair of shoes whose design were inspired by ceramics? Not to my knowledge, and that’s what makes this collaboration between Los Angeles ceramicist Ben Medansky and New York shoe brand Koio so remarkable. Medansky is well-known for his bold ceramics, which feature speckled glazes and pops of Yves Klein blues, odd, geometric clusters, and repetition of angular shapes.
Applying those same principles to a pair of sneakers sounds challenging, but the resulting outcome couldn’t have turned out more perfect. What catches your eyes first is obviously the cobalt blue sole of the shoe, which is such a stunning color. Complimenting it is the speckled leather uppers which bring a nice balance to the shoe, as it would be in Medansky’s ceramic works.
“The speckle on the leather was appropriated from the clay body I use that has a high iron content. I also wanted to create something that I had not seen before which led me to the ceramic accent on the laces that I call shoellery, like jewellery for the shoe.”
I think the “shoellery” is such a fun, quirky detail. In a time of Off-White zip ties it’s refreshing to see a natural material being integrated into a shoe like this. All in all it’s an unusual but beautifully executed collaboration. You can snag a pair of these for yourself by clicking here.
I’m always looking for inspiration for my projects and the world of fashion is always fertile ground to draw from. Last week, Marc Jacobs showed his FW18 collection at New York Fashion Week and it was a stunning affair. He sent down the runway a love letter to 1980’s haute couture, made up of exaggerated over coats, layers of scarves, and dramatic hats that transformed models into mysterious femme fatales.
What really spoke to me were the striking color combinations and the intense contrast of each piece that made the show all the more profound. The hues were vibrant and jewel-like, which radiated against deep shades of olive, plum, and blacks. The palette is certainly evocative of the 80’s but thanks to his styling and color pairings these look feel contemporary and of the now.
I’ve pulled swipe from Marc Jacobs personal and brand Instagrams to give a more comprehensive look of the output and the decisions that went into the clothes. I mean, how cool are the hairdos below? Those gradients are everything. Hopefully this sparks some ideas in your own work!
Last year I came across the work of Hola Lou, a visual artist and graphic designer based in Mexico, who’s site I frequently visit to see what new pieces she’s added. Her style, inspired by her right now home of Mexico’s Caribbean, incorporates bold, geometric shapes brought to life by an invigorating color palette. This the kind of art I want to wake up to in the morning, that gives me a feeling of good energy and life.
One thing I really appreciate about her online store is that she has a range of products at all different prices. If her original paintings are out of your price range you can snag one of her giclées or screen prints which are equally beautiful. She even has a “freebies” section where you can download some of her works as wallpapers for your mobile devices.
I stopped by the store last night for some much needed “post-airport craziness” bubbly wine, and I was waiting in line at the register I happened to notice a new logo and branding for York. You know, the Hershey company that makes peppermint patties.
The mark is a really nice evolution from the previous version, but what I specifically love about it is how the lettering mimics the look of the peppermint icing inside of a peppermint pattie. If you’ve ever taken a half bite of one of these the icing tends to be slightly stringy and a little messy, and the mark does a great job of mimicking that physical quality of the candy (quite literally in fact at the end of the circle container around the logo).
The letter forms themselves are way more elegant and considered. The old Y is kind of a hot mess balance-wise, with the over inflated upper and shrunken descender. The O to the R has a really nice playfulness, the K flows nicely into the circular container around it now, and I’m a big fan of the Y descending down and out of the blue container lozenge. Getting rid of the “Get the sensation!” tagline really helped the overall lock-up as it provides a lot of great negative space above and below the logo, giving it a much more elevated feeling overall.
As you can see in the gross, conveyer belt photo I took above, they don’t seem to be printing that distracting dot pattern on the package which I think is a plus. I thought it was helpful to see how the metallic package is really quite striking with the pop of royal blue, and how the white of the logo has a nice contrast with the blue.
Overall, this is a beautifully refined word mark/focused branding effort that most consumers won’t notice, but clearly it’s remarkable enough for me to notice at a busy check stand. Now the big question: Anyone know who did the work? I’d love to be able to credit them! Email me if you have details.
Contrast in design creates striking moments. A great example of this is when you mix something new with something old. The Louvre Pyramid by I.M. Pei at the Louvre Palace is a perfect example of architectural contrast. Not all projects need to be quite so stark though as evidenced by this lovely pavilion intervention at Berrington Hall.
As described by it’s website, Berrington Hall is a “neo-classical mansion with fine interiors, set in landscape grounds,” a posh canvas for which Studio Morison introduced a giant, pink pineapple that’s origami in form. It’s funny because I feel like the pavilion is so different from the environment around it, but the fact that it’s set in a garden is very appropriate. Pineapple’s are grown in the ground, the pink color harkens back to a victorian color palette, and the origami form is very flower like overall.
It’s definitely a fun intervention that would bring a smile to the face of any person who came across it.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I’m certainly a sucker for beautiful design. Los Angeles based chocolatier Jonathan Graham, founder of designer chocolate brand Compartés, teamed up with Kelly Wearstler for a newly designed shop in Century City. The result is one of the most elegant candy stores I’ve ever seen, made of antique brass and imported Italian marble everywhere.
Beyond the eye-catching patinaed copper exterior, the new Compartes shop (designed by one of Architectural Digest’s top interior designers in the world, Kelly Wearstler) features hand plastered walls in the style of the most beloved Italian architects, custom arched ceilings, custom hand painted tiles, custom light fixtures made from Onyx and plenty of brass.
It also doesn’t hurt that his chocolates are some of the best (I highly recommend the Love Nuts) and that he serves a “frozen hot chocolate,” which is described as a mix of “soft serve ice cream and milkshake and rich european style thick hot chocolate rolled into one.” Sounds amazing.
10250 Santa Monica Blvd #1625
Westfield Century City Mall
Shawna X is a New York based artist and visual designer who’s work is an ecstatic explosion of colors, gradients, nude women, and fantasy landscapes. I am always all about crazy colors and Shawna X gives me all the feelings. Her ability to balance colors and contrast means all of her imagery is super impactful.
I found an interview with Shawna from March 2017, where she speaks about creating art during these tough times, which I found quite relatable. This is why I’ve started writing again, because we all need some good vibes and inspiration from the art around us.
Q: How do you see your role as an artist in these increasingly fucked up times?
A: It’s suffered. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter. When our world is suffering, the last thing anybody cares about is artistry and creativity. However I must remind myself that being an artist is a privilege because my life thus far has given me the space to think, feel and create freely- and that inspiration from art is almost as good as faith, it speaks and helps people who need it.
I’d highly recommend following her on Instagram, and then checking out her shop Bad boy nice girl, which has loads of awesome products to fill your apartment with.
I’m a big fan of Eleni Kalorkoti, an Irish illustrator with a distinctive vibe made up of lots of greyscale with pops of bright color. Proud to say I own a little original piece by her! Anyhow, she recently teamed up The Good Pin Club to release the pin below, a lovely little lady framed by her majestic plume of hair. It’s a sweet little pin on it’s own, but what makes it even better is that all profits go to the London Fire Relief Fund, which helps people affected by the horrific Grenfell Tower fire.
Snag one for yourself by clicking here.