Italy – For Milan Fashion Week, renowned Italian design veteran Gaetano Pesce has produced a multi-coloured set for Bottega Veneta’s spring/summer 2023 show featuring resin-covered flooring and an assortment of chairs. Taking place in a Milanese warehouse, Pesce’s resin-poured creation pools into a swirl, marking the runway in tones of pink, blue, orange and lilac.
Inspired by his signature vibrant works with resin, each of the 400 chairs was constructed of cotton canvas then dipped in resin and customised with Pesce’s hand drawings. Some were even branded with the Bottega Veneta name across the back. Pesce declared that he wanted the space to be a ‘tribute to diversity’.
The chairs from the Bottega Veneta show will move on to be exhibited and sold at Design Miami (30 November–4 December), a beautiful use of repurposing. Commissioning work from the legendary Gaetano Pesce adds prestige to the Bottega Veneta brand and aligns it with the luxury home market.
Global – Vogue titles around the world have unveiled Vogue Meta-Ocean, a virtual fantasy oceanic world that presents works from a diverse range of digital artists, including 3D designers accredited by global Vogue titles.
Meta-Ocean was first introduced by Vogue China to build on a previous creation by the magazine, Infni+. An avatar featured on the cover of a companion title was designed by artist Cattin Tsai, laying the foundations for the digital world. For Tsai, the virtual ocean serves as a space to start conversations about endangered marine life, as well as representing the global scale of the project. The experience is part of a wider project exploring the theme Fashion’s New World, an exploration of current shifts in culture and artists.
Magazines have always been authority figures in showcasing cutting-edge talent and other-worldly ideas and this project demonstrates Vogue’s continuing relevance in the digital fashion sector. Meta-Ocean also represents editorials in a 3D space and highlights growing interest in digital fashion outside the gaming world.
Designers Tian Wang and Teague Miller partnered with fashion designer Minnie Park from Mirae Studio to create the collection of ‘loungewear built for inaction’. The entire Kickback line is made with Kevlar, a synthetic fibre that is bullet-proof and knife-proof.
Soon available to purchase, the hand-crafted bathrobes are lined with ballistic aramid fibre body plates, offering protection and tranquillity needed in a country where ‘you can get shot by anyone, anywhere, at any time’. The robe comes with matching slippers to shield the wearer from self-inflicted accidents and is reportedly comfortable ‘unlike the truth’, according to the product description.
Through this collaboration, designers weaved in their know-how and used satire to call out America’s looming gun violence problem – an example of how Elastic Brands successfully respond and adapt to the social climate.
New York – Luxury auction house Christie’s has opened a new division, Department X, which specialises in the auctioning of sneakers, streetwear and sports collectibles. The space will host rare collectibles, ranging from music to fashion, art and sports, appealing to a new generation of collectors. Department X is an opportunity for Christie’s to expand its knowledge of pop culture and allows it to branch out to reach a new clientele.
To mark the launch, the luxury auction house will be holding a private selling exhibition of the rare sneakers, Ye Walks, designed by rapper Kanye West. This literally follows in the footsteps of its recent selling collection of rare Michael Jordon Collectibles.
Department X is proof that the luxury landscape is ever-changing; taste and what is deemed valuable constantly evolve.
UK – Self-styled architects of taste Bompas & Parr are re-inventing poppers, making them into upscale and exclusive products. During London Cocktail Week (13–23 October), the poppers will be mixed in a curated drink menu at The Standard hotel’s Sweeties bar.
The launch of the artisanal poppers is part of the Excalibur XO activation, an ode to pleasure, ‘queer culture, public joyfulness, sex positivity and exceptional design’. On-site, Poppers Sommeliers will be available to present the line and the cocktail pairings. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a queer micro-exhibition and aromatic panel talks, all centred around the history of poppers and celebrating their role at the intersection of indulgence, erotica and art.
The Excalibur XO project aims to create an inclusive and educational space around pleasure and queer culture, while bringing an innovative concept to the food and beverage sphere through the atypical use of poppers in mixology.
Widely used but rarely in the open, popper inhalants contain amyl nitrite and are mostly used as recreational drugs, especially by gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Bringing them into the public sphere in a luxurious, curated and covetable product encapsulates the Pleasure Revolution: a vision of unashamed and unbridled hedonism.
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