• Archive for February, 2011

    Spring has sprung at The Conran Shop

    by  • February 28, 2011 • Life.Style.etc Loves, Uncategorized • 3 Comments

    There’s something about cherry blossom that is so pretty. Agree? Then head to The Conran Shop, with its windows filled with cherry blossom trees on a carpet of more than two million fabric petals. Each day from 24 February to the end of March, the team at each store will add more than 50 buds to each tree until they are heavy with blossom – finally coming into full bloom on 3 April when the windows will be changed for summer. That’s devotion for you.

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    The world according to Minna Parikka

    by  • February 28, 2011 • The World According to... • 1 Comment

    Flame-haired Minna Parikka, the Helsinki-based creator of seriously playful and very beautiful shoes, gloves and bags worn and carried by global style mavens and sirens, talks Lady Gaga, orange mock-croc and living in a doll’s house.

    How does your working day begin? With a huge pot of fresh ginger and lemon green tea and 100 sit-ups. No day is the same, though. I travel a lot for work and, besides designing, I get to do everything that is needed to run my own brand. So that could be a photo shoot, tradeshow, meetings, decorating my shop window, braking shoes and making masks out of them, accounting, drawing or booking flights for my next trip.

    What’s your studio like? I have spent 10 days in Helsinki in the last two months and I will be moving to London for a while in March. So my studio travels with me wherever I am.

    Do you like working with other people in a buzzy environment, or do you prefer going solo? I do all the design work and creative directing on my own, I have never even had a design assistant. I like to have my own space and be with my own thoughts. On the business side, I definitely prefer it buzzy.

    Describe your signature style. Fun, flirty and feminine. Strong use of colour combined with playful themes and dominant detail.

    What’s your process, where do you tend to look for design inspiration? I travel a lot, meet other designers, love shopping for designer clothing, go to museums and galleries, hang around with my friends, enjoy cities as well as nature activities. Active life gives the best inspiration for me to create new things.

    Who have you seen wearing your shoes and you’ve thought, ‘yes, that’s who I design for’? I love it that there is somebody like Lady Gaga who is doing something over the top in this time when many things seem so mediocre. It was such a privilege to make a one-off shoe mask as well as design the official double platinum award for her. But my main line is more for a woman like you or me who wants beautiful things with wear ability to cheer up her day.

    You’ve known since a teenager that you wanted to be a shoe designer, when was the point that you thought ‘my dreams are coming true’? Firstly when I moved to England to study shoe design in 1999, secondly when I started my own company in 2005 and thirdly every time when somebody tells me that they are a fan of my work.

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    The inspiration of enchanting Icelandic musician Ólöf Arnalds

    by  • February 24, 2011 • Life.Style.etc Loves, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    The magical voice of Ólöf Arnalds has certainly captivated her fellow Icelanders – soft as it is bold, playful as it is melancholic. And further afield, Rolling Stone describes her songs as ‘fragile as tiny china swans’ – nice – while Mojo cuts to the chase with ‘Reykjavik’s answer to Kate Bush’. Now, we know we know design, but we also know a beautiful song when we hear one – just listen to forthcoming single Surrender (guest vocals from another brilliant female Icelandic vocalist, yes, that one). And where does this enchanting classically trained multi-instrumentalist find inspiration? Here are three places…

    The album, Ho! #1: Roady Music from Vietnam ‘I came across this collection of road music from Vietnam when it was released in 2000 by Trikont. I became totally obsessed with it because it was so different from any music I had heard before. This was before music from all over the world became so accessible online. A few tracks from this record have stayed with me, some because they are so funny and strange, but the songs that moved me most did so because of the unrestricted expression of the voices.’ Listen here.

    The composer, Skúli Sverrisson ‘Skúli and I started to collaborate when working together on his music for his record Sería, which came out in 2006. Through my collaboration with Skúli I found my own voice as a lyricist and a singer, which lead me into writing my own songs, too. Skúli has been my main artistic advisor for both of my existing records and he has influenced me deeply as a musician and an artist. He will be producing my next album that I plan to record in the summer.’

    The book, Proust was a NeuroscientistThis was the first book I read about art and the brain. This particular book, by Jonah Lehrer, is very inspiring for artists as it validates the significance of creative search from a new point of view. It basically traces how artists from different fields through the ages have, through experimentation and self discovery, come to important conclusions about the human brain that later have become known neuroscientific facts.’

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