Design Museum presents the rebel couturier Azzedine Alaïa

‘I make clothes, women make fashion,’ said Azzedine Alaïa famously. He was the fashion world’s outsider, the rebel couturier, some would argue the last real couturier for he made everything himself and to perfection. Alaïa oversaw the construction of each and every one of his commissioned garments. He was highly skilled as a designer and technician, and he would almost always allow the material, often advanced technical fabrics, to speak... Read More

Book review: FuturBalla, Life Light Speed

I have long been intrigued by the Italian futurists. Radical in its early days, the movement was fascinated by progress, speed, modernity. When researching The Life Negroni, we travelled around Italy in search of arts and ideas, of elements that make this classic cocktail so timeless and so special. We soon realised how interlinked the Negroni is with this creative movement when we came across the rich futurist archives at the homes of Campari... Read More

Lee Ufan’s Relatum – Stage opens at Serpentine Galleries

Once-upon-a-time ‘Rock on Top of Another Rock’ lived in Kensington Gardens Hyde Park outside the Serpentine Galleries. The public sculpture by Swiss artist Fischli & Weiss stayed here until a few years ago, its public life prolonged for its popularity, and it made me smile every time I walked, jogged, or ran past it. It was so simple and so perfect for this magical little corner of London. As seasons changed so did these seemingly... Read More

SOS Brutalism explores the radical movement

Simple block shapes made of raw concrete – this is how brutalism has come to be defined. Yet behind these concrete buildings – some poetic and sculptural – lay a movement with strong principles. New brutalism was controversial the moment it emerged on the architectural scene in the 1950s. It deliberately set out to be hard edged and radical. Progressive social ideals informed much of its thinking. Ironically brutalist building design is... Read More

Senna by McLaren: When design follows performance

McLaren Automotive‘s latest car is Senna, a driver-focused road-legal track car that pushes the limits of vehicle design. It will be built in very limited numbers at the Foster-designed factory in England next year. I was lucky to be treated to a sneak preview of this car earlier in the week, and it really is very, very special. Read my full review here. #gallery-5 { margin: auto; } #gallery-5 .gallery-item { float:... Read More

Giles Taylor on the design of Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII

Rolls-Royce revealed Phantom VIII in July, and I was fortunate to drive the car earlier this month. This is an incredibly important product for the marque, since Phantoms don’t get to be designed and engineered from the ground up very often – in fact the Phantom has been reborn only eight times in its 92 years, when Sir Henry Royce conceived the first model in 1925. Since, the world’s wealthy, powerful and famous have owned Phantoms.... Read More

Exhibitions – Basquiat: Boom for Real at the Barbican

‘I get my facts from books, stuff on atomisers, the blues, ethyl alcohol, geese in Egyptian glyphs,’ wrote Jean-Michel Basquiat, the American artist who, in his short life (1960-1988), drew, painted, wrote, made lyrical, vibrant, radical, exciting, colourful, powerful works of art. ‘I don’t know how to describe my work,’ he said later. ‘It’s like asking Miles, how does your horn sound?’ Basquiat:... Read More

Highlights of London Design Festival 2017

The creative industries are worth close to £90bn a year to the economy, offering some three million jobs here. It is a ‘serious, big, wealth-earning and reputation-enhancing’ sector, Sir John Sorrell told the Financial Times this weekend. These numbers came back to me as the London Design Festival (16-24 September) kicked off bringing colour and creativity to pockets of this dynamic city. In its fifteenth year, LDF is expecting some 350,000... Read More

Bentley design director introduces new Continental GT

‘I had to ask myself if we should make something completely different, or do an evolution of the existing design codes,’ says Bentley Motors director of design Stefan Sielaff as we settle down in London to discuss his creative approach to the marque’s latest product, the new Continental GT, ahead of its formal reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show. He continues, ‘I felt it would be a shame to behave too harshly with a brand like this. It... Read More

Electric luxury: Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet studies the ultimate in luxury electric driving for the Mercedes-Benz pinnacle sub-brand. Exhibited at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this week, it recalls a more innocent time when coachbuilders sculpted hand-finished, exclusive cabriolets. To me it is a smile and a nod to my favourite era, the world of Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, the French Riviera, “To Catch a Thief”… Read the full story here. #gallery-10... Read More

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