Miami marvels: fashion’s finest findings at Design Miami/Art Basel
It wasn’t only the art aficionados that descended on Miami this week, the fashion crowd also flocked to the bright neon lights and Art Deco beachfront. Though the tried and tested approach of teaming up with artists for Design Miami/Art Basel is still going strong, this year’s proceedings stepped it up a notch. Dior’s Kim Jones brought his all-star cast to Miami’s Allapattah district for his Pre-Fall 2020 extravaganza: a psychedelic collaboration with Shawn Stussy hosted opposite the brand new Rubell Museum. If ‘Art Week’ (as the global fairs are now routinely called) was becoming an extension of fashion week, Jones’ sojourn further validates that notion. There’s plenty more to see, though.
The French fashion brand is putting the circular economy and need for greater transparency at the very heart of the home, with an oblong sofa designed by Crosby Studio’s Harry Nuriev. The design is familiar, referencing the overstuffed recliner we would all recognise, subverting it through material choice. The transparent vinyl exterior replaces what would traditionally be leather or fabric, allowing the stuffing to be clearly seen. Within, damaged, unsellable and obsolete Balenciaga stock fills the sofa with colour, texture, patterns and even visible tags. Closer inspection reveals all the details you would traditionally expect: stitched seams and button details on the backrest, as well as a row of seat cushions, armrest and extendable footrest. The aim? To promote environmentally conscious design, encourage sustainable practices and recognise the responsibility designers have to counterbalance their environmental impact. Photography: James Harris
In ‘South Beach Stories’, interior designer Sasha Bikoff reunites with Versace, building on their spectacular Salone del Mobile showcase earlier this year. Bikoff’s one-of-a-kind furniture pieces are every bit as bold, bright and brash as you’d expect, drawing from archival Versace prints and sitting glamorously alongside Doug Ordway’s archive campaign shots. The original publication by the same title gathers a selection of heartfelt stories told by Miami residents in the nineties. If the acerbic neon lights don’t get you, the nostalgic vibe will.
Fresh from the #ComeAsYouAre_RSVP campaign, starring Iggy Pop, Alessandro Michele called upon experimental filmmaker Harmony Korine once again. This time though, the duo also teamed up with Snap, road testing their latest video-capturing glasses, Spectacles 3. The result is a trippy journey through Miami, titled Duck Duck, a surreal blend of reality, wearable cinema and spontaneous storytelling. (Read: Life-size cartoonish animals, a man clad in a hot dog costume, and a range of 3D and augmented reality effects.) To coincide with the film’s premiere, Gucci and Snap unveiled a set of 50 limited edition specs designed by Korine.
Bringing a spot of Eternal City to the Sunshine State, the Roman fashion house enlisted Swiss studio Kueng Caputo to create ten pieces of furniture, ranging from stools and benches to a stylised palm tree. Inspired by the iconic Palazzo della Civiltà HQ, the immersive installation is as playful as it is bright, inviting spectators to take a seat and get up-close-and-personal with the Zurich-based studio’s intriguing material combination: glazed terracotta bricks and supple Selleria leather. ‘Fendi has a DNA of contrast and dialogue, which we wanted to celebrate by choosing a strong and heavy counterpart to its soft and flexible leather,’ Sarah Kueng told Wallpaper*. The artisanal bricks create architectural forms, referencing the HQ’s own construction – swooping arches and undulating surfaces – while the soft leather sits cleanly on top. Beyond creating a refined salon space, these pieces pay homage to Fendi’s tradition of craftsmanship and experimentation with style.
American designer Andrew Kudless joins the prestigious stable of Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades this Design Miami with his Swell Wave Shelf. The unit, crafted from oak and leather, is an elegant meditation on the powerful forces and delicate balance of the natural world, sensitively evoked through the undulating, smoothly polished wood planks, perfectly held in place by leather straps. As is tradition, the San Francisco-based designer’s addition sits surrounded by other limited-edition pieces from previous years, including the work of India Mahdavi, Patricia Urquiola, RawEdges, Nendo and the Campana Brothers. Each piece is both elegant and practical, faithful to the ‘art of travel’ ethos that the maison’s founder started.
Now in its fifth year, ‘Chance Encounters’ returns to the Spanish luxury brand’s Miami outpost, transforming the imposing 18th-century Spanish granary that runs the length of the boutique into a sensational setting for dialogue once again. ‘It is an opportunity to create conversations across time, between artists whose work resonates strongly with my own creative approach,’ says Jonathan Anderson, the brand’s creative director. This year he’s brought together two British artists: Turner Prize-nominated Hilary Lloyd and Ewen Henderson. Lloyd’s films – displayed on monitors dotted throughout – are praised by Anderson for their ability to capture the way we relentlessly consume images. Her textiles echo her rough-cut, spontaneous videos, which in turn relate to the late Henderson’s textured large-scale ceramics.
If the promise of The Pouch or the Italian leather brand’s sought-after slides doesn’t lure you into Bottega Veneta’s new store in the Design District, that sweeping staircase of pink Portuguese marble certainly will. Marking creative director Daniel Lee’s first foray into interior design, the two-story space proves that there is little Lee can’t do. Fresh from winning big at the Fashion Awards in London, this Design District outpost is the perfect fold to Lee’s design aesthetic. Rough materials play with polished surfaces – plaster, marble, concrete, brass and, of course, leather – creating a balance that is at once familiar and surprisingly refreshing. Womenswear and accessories occupy the ground floor, with Lee’s trademark chunky chains on display in glass cabinets. Snake your way up the spiral stairs to reach menswear and come face to face with what might be the most satisfying changing room yet: a sliding round door of polished plaster which encases you in a perfect circle.
In the 1950s, Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret created a series of solid furniture pieces for Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year, Berluti creative director Kris Van Assche – who used the building as the location for his A/W19 digital campaign – and François Laffanour, founder of Paris’ Laffanour Galerie Downtown, teamed up to restore17 of Jeanneret’s pieces back to their former glory. Though that isn’t to say they no longer bear the signs of their age; the hardwood -- solid teak -- retains the holes and marks of its origins and use. The upholstering, on the other hand, has been dotingly replaced with Berluti’s Venezia leather by Paris-based upholstery and leather workshop Domeau & Pérès. The hand applied patina enhances the depth of colour and curves of each piece with beguiling effect.
If you were a palm tree, what would you wear? Seersucker, pincord and gingham, according to Thom Browne. The New York-based designer unveiled his first large-scale public work, a soaring 20 foot-sculpture, at Zaha Hadid’s instantly recognisable Moore Building. Curated by Deana Haggag, president and CEO of United States Artists, ‘Palm Tree I’ holds deeper meaning than its cheerful, pop art exterior belies. The tropical tree may symbolise paradise and relaxation, but it is also a meditation on the disturbing similarities between the workplace and holidays with their respective recognisable uniforms and schedules. Aside from creating an Insta-ready backdrop, the nearby sandpit and mirrors also reflect the performative nature of holidays and continues Browne’s exploration into Americana iconography.
Following on from the popular M/M Colour Stool launched at Salone del Mobile earlier this year, Miu Miu and M/M (Paris) have joined forces once again. Their latest creation? The M/Marbles Stool: a three-legged design crafted from walnut and palm wood (paying homage to the tree-lined roads of Miami), rubber and glass. Only 40 seats have been created, and are on show at the Design District Post Office and The Standard Spa. Like its predecessor, the M/Marbles Stool is punctured with perforations that transform the functional seat into a rather playful one. Individually crafted glass matchsticks inject each seat with colour and delight. Photography: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Miu Miu §