Photography Pola Esther

We recently stumbled upon the thrilling photographic work of New London, USA, based photographic artist Pola Esther, who was born and raised in Lodz, Poland. As an artist Esther uses photography as her main platform for expression, with her fascinating series named ‘Mutual Attraction’ consisting of diptych collages, clearly showing her love of photographing nature, mostly human. The work of Esther reflects upon her intimacy, femininity and sexuality. Images with the figure can be provocative, encouraging us to peep through the keyhole, where behind lays a romantic and sometimes grim world full of the unknown. She produces a highly diverse color palette moving as broad as grainy, blurry black and white to silky pastelle-like colors in orchestrated romantic settings, sometimes juxtaposing different styles, creating wonderful little spectacles which continue to fascinate us. read more…

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Creative Culture The N.B.K. Residence 2 by Bernard Khoury

Located at the ninth and last level of a building in Beirut, Lebanon, this tremendous three storey apartment is articulated by architect Bernard Khoury through an independent structure capping the building. Structurally, the apartment only shares the building’s vertical circulation core, as well as the perimeter along which its two peripheral walls lie. Beyond the ninth level, the structure of this residence becomes autonomous. The result is what resembles an independent house placed atop a building. Virtually situated on the former demarcation line which separated east and west Beirut, this apartment opens up onto the hell of its city, placing it neither east nor west but in between. Whereas usual preference for Mediterranean roof apartments is to turn their backs on the urban fabric in exchange for a sea view, this apartment is oriented toward the city, taking advantage of the setbacks imposed due to the surrounding projects defining its entire periphery. The result is a thrilling mixture between futurist, reminding of a giant robot, lines combined with a way more classical interior due to the use of wood making it a true gem within the heart of Beirut. read more…

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Another Feature — GERTRUD & GEORGE

We are extremely proud to elaborately present lifestyle brand GERTRUD & GEORGE: the main collaborator in the very first Our Current Obsession named NOIR. The brand which is the brainchild of the very gifted Nick F. Cerutti, is a tribute to Gertrude Stein and George Sand, whose lives and respective bodies of work never ceased to redefine the art of writing and one’s perception of gender. Founded in 2001 to serve bespoke and semi-bespoke purposes prominently in Japan to begin with, GERTRUD & GEORGE nurtures an intrinsic sense of equilibrium between aesthetics, function and execution in order to conceive pristine high-end goods. Since 2011 Nick and his partner Mathieu Annen have shifted their focus towards accessories and bags, which resulted in a perfect jet-black line named The Esquire Suite, consisting of 7 models which come in three different sizes and varying river buffalo grains and depths. read more…

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Creative Culture Square Wind Bell

We love elegant design which is boiled down to its core and the Square Wind Bell by the very talented Kouichi Okamoto of Kyouei Design inhabits everything of those elements. The designer, who first gained attention in the world of music at the end of last century and since stretched his spectrum of output significantly, created the minimum wind chime from metal and glass, utilizing the properties inherent in each of the resources used to produce sound. The Square Wind Bell is created out of two iron lower-outs covered in trivalent chrome plating, which are united to every single other by a basic slit in each and every corner, forming a mixed geometry that teeters on the edge of a consuming glass. As one plate catches the wind, the other acts as a excess weight, striking the transparent volume repeatedly and resounding with the action of the wind. Highly sophisticated and elegant. read more…

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Cycling Winter in Japan

From December to February, if one takes a trip to the countryside of the Japanese town of Tsukuba, known for its science industry, Siberian winds meet the moist air of the Pacific and innundate the peaks and valleys with snow. Temperatures drop far below zero, and rural inhabitants must plan carefully to survive the long, hard months of winter. These icy temperatures and the sentiment of finding ways in bearing the hard atmosphere, inspired to yet another stunning series by regular collaborator Ben Ingham and Rapha for The Road collection Autumn / Winter 2014 which was designed for riding in extreme condition like the countryside of Tsukuba. The images of Ingham translate the Japanese countryside to a highly grainy aesthetic, as if the winter-cold needed to be feelable directly through the photographs, and overall spoken resulting in one of the rawest series to date which we really like. read more…

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Printed Matter Tokyo Diaries

The latest by inspirational Lisbon-based publisher Pierre von Kleist editions brings us back to Japan. After releasing the beautiful ‘Japan Drug‘ by António Júlio Duarte in May now follows another tremendous grainy black and white photographic book by the name of ‘Tokyo Diaries’. In 2009 André Príncipe, the co-founder of Pierre von Kleist editions, and filmmaker Marco Martins travelled to Tokyo to shoot a film about elliptical narratives and the importance of the diaristic practice in Japanese photography. During one month and in a totally improvised way, the filmmakers shot hours of 16mm footage and thousands of photographs of their daily life as well as their encounters with photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Hiromix, Kohei Yushiyuki and Kajii Syoin. The film which was the result of this trip: ‘Traces of a Diary’ was subsequently shown in film festivals around the world and received the jury prize at Documenta Madrid. And now the amazing book which was created out of the 100 rolls of Tri-X 400 film which remained unused  brings the essence of the beautiful trip back to printed still images. We love the character which the images transcend, capturing a dynamic energy within a highly inspirational generation of Japanese photographers perfectly. read more…

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Creative Culture Michelle Yu

Last week the amazing work of the highly talented Singapore-based Michelle Yu was brought to our attention. In everything the 25-year old creates there is a sense of dark brooding energy to be found, and we particularly love the work named ‘mad girl’s love song’ which is inspired by the poem with the same title written by American poet Sylvia Plath in 1951. Plath who suffered from depression most of her adult life, which she ended by suicide when she was 30, left an oeuvre of poems, short stories and a novel which are considered to be a significant milestone for the genre of confessional poetry, which focusses on individual experience, the psyche, personal trauma, and taboos. This sentiment of personal trauma, very apparent in ‘mad girl’s love song’ is beautifully caught in the black and white drawing by Yu. All figurative elements in the drawing, a girl’s head, hand and feet, two birds and what appears to be a set of lungs are drowning in a fire-like pool. Beautifully catching the emotions of despair and misunderstood love which are expressed by Plath. read more…

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Craftsmanship BOS Ice Tea

We really like South African BOS, employing potent African mythology and rich symbolism to articulate its message and brand of premium ice teas. The BOS brand; its packaging, which feature these familiar traditional African emblems like the lion, sirius and the celestial wolf; and the original range of ice teas (which has been extended by now) were conceived by its founder Grant Rushmere. In 2009, Rooibos farmer and entrepreneur Richard Bowsher joined Grant as a co-founder of the business. Together they established the business and launched BOS unto the South African market in June 2010, with the brand spreading worldwide since. And although a very significant growth over the last few years the company still has its core goals close to its heart: to become a globally successful brand and beverages business; which is ethically managed (from farm to table), and is inspiring to its customers, employees and business partners. read more…

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Travel Culture Chanel — DDP

On the 29th of August a new inspirational Culture CHANEL exhibition opened, the successor of the exhibition in Paris last year, this time in the highly impressive Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Korea. Each of the exhibition’s ten sequences, which were curated by Jean-Louis Froment, acts as a particular landmark in Mademoiselle Chanel’s life story. More than 500 pieces including photographs, books, objects, manuscripts, archives and artworks along with fashion, jewelry, watch and perfume creations retrace the life story of the legendary designer who left an enduring mark on her time. In a stunning and therefore very fit context the exhibition retraces the fascinating adventures of the designer and her brand whose language undeniably still is synonymous with modernity and creativity. read more…

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Another Feature — Our Current Obsessions: NOIR

Last Friday was a very special day. After a lot of hard work over the course of the last couple of months we were finally able to open a next chapter in the AS&Co universe: a tactile space that will be open for the public named Our Current Obsessions. The new space, which also houses the studio, can in many ways be seen as a direct result of what has been created online since the eruption of Another Something in 2009, but with more focus in its purpose. Our Current Obsessions will hybridize the traditional concept of an art gallery with a retail-space, always based around one particular theme in which we will take a deep-dive both off- and online. Located right at the mouth of one of Amsterdam’s main canals, it is a little dream come true that finally our love for the ‘beauty of cultures’ can be touched and shared in the analogue world. read more…

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Printed Matter Brownbook Fashion Directory 2014

We’ve been following the Dubai-based Brownbook Magazine for quite some years now and feel inspired every time by their totally unique perspective on lifestyle, which is oftenly imitated in the West but rarely shows the authenticity one only finds at the source. Last month, for the third time, they released their annual Fashion Directory which again is of the highest standard. The 2014 issue focusses on The Wedding. From a tribal beauty competition in Niger to an alfresco shaving ceremony in Turkey, beautiful photography and illustrations delve into the culture, customs and accessories of 10 of the most stylish weddings from past and present. One discovers the stories of recent brides and grooms, whether a henna night in Canada or a Muslim wedding in China, everything with an in-depth anthropological slant and beautifully designed. read more…

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Travel Casas na Areia

What started as the creation of a weekend house of architect Manuel Aires Mateus ended as one of the most beautiful retreats we have seen in a long time, named Casas na Areia, located one hour south of Lisbon, in Comporta, Portugal. The beautiful region is known for the magnificent white sandy beaches, the wine, fresh fish, the rice paddies and the pine trees. It’s integrated on the natural reserve of river Sado, home to a great variety of wild life such as flamingos, storks and dolphins, but also one of the best places in Portugal for bird watching, with 100 different species to be seen in just 1 day. Next to this, the design of Casas Na Areia is simply mind-blowing, making it the perfect place to forget about everything and find peace of mind. read more…

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Cycling Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road

Philippe Brunel’s painstakingly assembled anthology of tales and photography named ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ quickly became a touchstone for fans of road racing, capturing the ethos and aesthetic of decades of the sport. It is a book born of days in the archives and from countless hours of interviews, making it an indispensible companion for anyone drawn in by the golden age of professional cycling. After spending many years out of print, ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ now has been republished by Rapha, featuring re-scanned, duotone photography on Fedrigoni paperstock, bound in high-quality Buckram. All the original Kings  of Pain are captured by Brunel like you rarely see them, the book consistsing of some of the peloton’s most compelling stories and images. Be they brave, fragile, or a touch crazy, this book celebrates the riders as human beings making it a perfect celebration of the sport. read more…

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Creative Culture WorkOf

Since its foundation in January of this year New York-based WorkOf is changing the way interior designers and consumers connect to independent, locally made home décor by creating a go-to source for direct access to the nation’s independent designers and makers. Founders Charlie Miner and John Neamonitis saw that interior designers wanted an easier way to source independent design, and consumers were interested in furnishing their homes with locally made home décor but neither had a reliable destination to source these pieces and therefore they created the digital platform to provide in this service. Since its launch in January the start-up has grown to include over 40 designers and makers with more than 300 home design objects. During NYCxDesign this last spring, WorkOf debuted the inspirational WorkOf Apartment. Using close to 40 pieces from their partnered designers, the whole apartment installation introduced products from Calico, Souda, Eskayel and Vidi Vixi, among several others, resulting in an amazing overview of their catalogue which is now also offered online. read more…

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Fashion Olaf Hussein 2014/2015

After we wrote about the first steps of Amsterdam-based denim label Olaf Hussein at the end of last year, a lot of work has been done by Olaf and his team. They presented their new collection during last Amsterdam Fashion Week and received a lot of rightful positive feedback after participating in the major fashion fairs. With their new collection Hussein en co put the mod back in modern; drawing inspiration from the stylish young men of the late fifties and implementing that within an updated appearance. Nevertheless from their clean aesthetics, to their razor sharp tailoring, traces of the mods can still be found throughout the entire line, mixed with contemporary details like bonded fabrics, drawstring hems and seams sealing tape; Olaf lifts the classic look to the current modern standards. The collection shows character and depth marking a serious step in the right direction for the Olaf Hussein brand, promising great things for the future. read more…

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Creative Culture The Vulkan Beehive

We love this project by prestigious Oslo-based multidisciplinary studio Snøhetta named The Vulkan Beehive. Set atop the roof of the Mathallen food hall in central Oslo, the honey-colored wooden cabins became home to 160.000 bees this past July, which shows that the little ingenious insects continue to inspire in the creation of great projects. The shape and natural geometry of the honeycomb were key-elements in this project, as the highly inspirational studio created these sculpturesque urban hives in real bee style with a multi-faceted form and hexagonal-patterned façade. Constructed entirely out of a light-colored wood finished with an intentionally honey-reminiscent hue, the hives were designed with an appearance that reflects their purpose of bringing back bees to the city environment of Oslo in an utmost elegant manner. read more…

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Cycling House Industries x Richard Sachs

Last Friday marked the grand opening of the beautiful Richard Sachs exhibition which was designed by House Industries at the Rapha Cycle Club NYC, which will run for the upcoming month. The inspirational exhibition walks through the bicycle builder’s personal industrial revolution from his early days as an apprentice to becoming a modern folk hero in the cycling community. The show highlights the balance of tradition and innovation with which Sachs has built a loyal following and profoundly influenced cycling culture worldwide. House Industries, an internationally-recognized graphic, product and type design firm, has been a long-time supporter of the Richard Sachs program and therefore makes for the perfect partner of this inspirational overview. read more…

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Photography The People of Bantayan

During super Typhoon Yolanda, or Haiyan, in November 2013 the people of Bantayan, a small island in the central Philippines, took shelter in schools and government buildings. After the storm the residents of these impoverished fishing communities returned to the site of their villages to find a devastated landscape, littered with felled coconut trees, corrugated iron, and twisted palm fronds.

International aid flooded in to help the victims in the form of food, medical supplies and temporary shelter. After six months the tents and tarpaulins are gradually being replaced by swiftly erected plywood houses, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Kerry Dean, a British photographer, and Alex McIntosh, a member of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a research centre at London College of Fashion, recently travelled to the Philippines to photograph and interview the residents of Bantayan, many of who are still living in donated tents or temporary shelters, cobbled together from the wreckage of their former homes. The result is a beautiful and insightful series that captures a conundrum, a vibrant, colourful community, welcoming and open but fearful of and unprepared for a future where little seems secure. read more…

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Creative Culture Koya No Sumika by mA-style architects

The Makinohara, Japan-based architecture firm mA-style finished the design of this extension for a young couple’s house next to the main family home in Yaizu last year, but we still find this one of the more elegant designs we have seen in a long time. The house that was extended is an one-storey Japanese-style house with an area of approximately 200 m², a very common house seen in rural areas. The house is large and has many spacious rooms where the whole family can gather and socialize, but the young couple wanted a new quiet space that would ensure them a private area. A simple extension would enable them to seclude, but the connection with the main house might get lost which they wanted to prevent. Therefore, by utilizing the functions for living in the main house, the extension is designed as a minimum living space pursuing distance without losing contact, very in line with the complexity of delicate Japanese social interaction and inherent serenity. Above all it’s a space of stunning beauty one sees rarely. read more…

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Music Another Summer Playlist

It’s been a little while since our friend Michael A. Muller shared his favorite tracks for our Spring Playlist and with summer slowly turning it’s back towards the Netherlands it’s time for a new playlist. The Another Summer Playlist resulted in a pretty eclectic mix with a lot of great releases in folk, indie and rock but also in garage, house and techno. We’re very happy to include a beautiful song by our friend, and co-founder of Libertine-Libertine, Rasmus who together with Bjarke Niemann forms Death Has No Dominion. Rustie’s remix of Machinedrum’s Back Seat Ho is the craziest track in the list with a for us unusual trap sound, but it just undeniably sticks in your head. We love new releases by Moodprint & YellowStraps, ODESZA featuring Madelyn Grant, Balmorhea, Damon Albarn and Alt-J, with its mind-blowing video. Other, from the electronic realm, tracks that follow are the Shaken-Up version of Silent Shout by the recently broken up The Knife, the great Son Lux track named Easy featuring Lorde, tracks by David August, Chrome Sparks, Martyn and Four Tet and the super promising track named Girl of the upcoming Jamie XX album. We conclude this summer mix with another slow-burner by Francis Harris of his new album Minutes to Sleep named Me To Drift. Enjoy: here’s to some more sunshine! read more…

Another Feature — Curated Nº 10 — The White Rabbit

We have been a little quiet about our last couple of Curated gifts, but last week we celebrated the release of already the tenth gift for our subscribers. For this tenth anniversary we collaborated with Rotterdam-based design label Sweatshop Deluxe, which offers young designers the chance to produce limited released of their designs and helped us with the production of The White Rabbit. This porcelain rabbit we created is a design of Lise Lefebvre, a French designer, who is based in Amsterdam. Next to the work she produces with her studio, she also works as the head of education for product design at the Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam and she teaches at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. The exclusive limited editions of the faceted porcelain rabbit were dipped in indigo glazing, giving them an unique beautiful two-toned appearance, as if The White Rabbit just took a little dip in magical water. read more…

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Printed Matter The Age of Collage

We are still inspired by the book named ‘The Age of Collage’ which was published by Gestalten a year ago. The book is a striking documentation of today’s continued appetite for destructive construction found in the art of collage. Showcasing outstanding current artwork and artists, the book also takes an insightful behind-the-scenes look at those working with this interdisciplinary and cross-media approach. The collages featured in this book are influenced by illustration, painting, and photography and play with elements of abstraction, constructivism, surrealism, and dada. Referencing scientific images, pop culture, and erotica, they reflect humanity’s collective visual memory and context. Among the featured artists are the highly talented Ashkan Honarvar and our friend, multitalent Sergei Sviatchenko. read more…

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Photography The Sadhu of Kumbh Mela

By Jungles in Paris

The latest story by the ever-inspiring Jungles in Paris brings us back to colorful India where talented Belgian travel photographer Pascal Mannaerts moved from the camel herders of The Great Indian Desert towards the east of North-India where at four locations the utmost fascinating and impressive Hindu festival Kumbh Mela is celebrated. The festival which takes place at the confluence of three sacred rivers; the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati, is the largest regular gathering of people on earth. Pilgrims come together at a time and place of divine indication, forming a massive swell of humanity from which a single type usually stands out: the sadhu, or holy man. read more…

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Fashion Libertine-Libertine Autumn/Winter 2014

We haven’t been writing about our friends from Copenhagen for a little while, but we absolutely love the new imagery for Libertine-Libertine‘s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, which is again of the highest standard. With this lookbook the Danish label of Rasmus Bak, Pernille Schwarz and Peter Munch Ovesen returns aesthetically to its punk roots, very much in line with the great monochromatic imagery for last in-season ‘Black Moon’ collection. As always the collection combines a street-ready sensibility and dapper cut and sew designs; consisting of returning items like bomber jackets, parkas, button-up shirts in different prints and colors, with the ‘Trasher,’ ‘Gung-ho’ and ‘Mosh’ patterns as signatures for this season’s collection. The images were shot by regular collaborator, photographer Sacha Maric and art directed by the Copenhagen-based studio Ironflag. read more…

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Creative Culture Ashkan Honarvar

Since his graduation in 2007 artist Ashkan Honarvar has been making a name for himself with his utmost fascinating collages in which he focuses on the dark side of humanity. Themes like colonialism, war, mass destruction, megalomania and other grotesque behavior are all observable in his progressively growing body of work. We particularly love his series of this year; ‘Conquest 5′ and ‘Identity Lost’ which was released in 2013. The series examine different visual languages, out of which the new images are created, but the results are equally haunting and show beauty in the most macabre images, exemplifying the enormous talent of Honarvar. read more…

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Travel The Silent Conversation

We love this beautiful and insightful film by London-based director William Williamson for DAZED named ‘The Silent Conversation’. The aesthetic and gripping short looks into the relation between the people of Lahore, Pakistan, and everyday fashion. As well as visualising the feel of garments and textiles and the importance of clothes-making in Pakistan, the film explores how clothing fits into Pakistan’s strong traditions; traditions that are also being broken. In a country where people are standing up more and more against harsh social mores that ask for countless restrictions, fashion becomes more than a means to dress up and look nice. As shown through the examples of female police women and transvestites in the film, fashion is used as a tool to express authority, individuality and boldness, which is tremendously captured by Williamson, who also created a tremendous soundtrack for the imagery. read more…

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Printed Matter The Monocle Guide to Good Business

We’ve been fans of Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle and everything they put out since it’s foundation in 2007. The next highly promising product, which will be released next month and published by another inspirational company, Gestalten, is ‘The Monocle Guide to Good Business’; a book for would-be business leaders, start-ups, and established companies that feel it’s time for some new ideas. A book made to be used, like writing in its margins and leaving dog-ears in your favorite pages. No management speak or self-help miracles for untold riches. Rather, this is a guide championing doing things well: from how you run the show to minor details like which pens to buy. The 300-page book features great photography and illustrations. It’s a handbook for those who want to make a company that will last; the ultimate reference for doing a job you love, by the people who are doing one hell of a job for quite some time now. read more…

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Photography Yuriko Takagi by The Selby

We really like this series by the always inspiring Todd Selby in which he portrays the beautiful Tokyo studio of the visionary Japanese photographer and fashion designer Yuriko Takagi. In signature Selby-style every little detail that is worth seeing is highlighted in the recognizable colorful photographs of the light studio of Takagi. The Tokyo-based is best known for her studies of the human body and ethnic elements used in in fashion photography combines earthly Japanese serenity with folkloristic souvenirs from all her worldwide travels, from dolls and masks to a rather large collection of garments. And even her history as a fashion designer is still reflected by the Singer sewing machine which seems to not get a whole lot of action anymore though. Yet another highly inspiring photographic story by The Selby. read more…

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Fashion Private Classicist

Once again our friend Sergei Sviatchenko returns with a very interesting project. After starting Close Up and Private in 2009 as an online art project in which he shared his collage-like photographic vision on style, it quickly rose to fame for both this created aesthetic as Sergei’s own impeccable style, which gained him personally a lot of rightful attention. Based on this fundament of Close Up and Private, Sergei now decided to take his endeavors one step further, in a concept which features continuing collaborations with an international rage of heritage brands and skilled craftsmen. With the new project, named Private Classicist, Sergei aims to create a solid range of classic menswear items that verges on pushing the boundaries of current minimalist fashion towards the classic style championed by Sergei himself and his work. read more…

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Creative Culture Apparatus’ Horsehair Lamps

Founded by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson in 2012, the New York-based design studio Apparatus has a specialty in creating elegantly robust lighting fixtures. At the time of the foundation Hendifar, a former fashion designer, and Anderson, who worked in PR, had just moved in together in Los Angeles and were unsatisfied with what was available on the market. After relocating the company to New York, Apparatus took off. Design-wise the created aesthetic by Apparatus is the product of playful experimentation with vintage components as well as taking inspiration from the time honored method of American industrial design, aiming to mary both form and function. We particularly love the Pendant and Sconce lamps out of their horsehair series. In the beautiful designs which were presented at last International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May wefts of horsehair are combined with brass and etched glass to create these amazing and extraordinary lamps. read more…

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