John Brevard

Sunrise-over-the-big-stupa-at-Borobudur-temple

Borobudur-Temple-Pictures

The Borobudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Indonesia, and is one of the great wonders of the world. We chose this monument to shoot for our first Ad Campaign in 2014. This temple directly reflects the brands ethos and inspiration. As you look upon the breathtaking Javanese Buddhist architecture, one can see the connections between our design inspiration and this ancient architecture. Ancient temples such as this one are gifts to us and point the way to an integrated world culture.

 

11325970_1437940973177654_276814867_n

The monument is both a shrine to the Buddha and a place for pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument and ascends to the top through three levels symbolic of Buddhist cosmology. Everyone ascends through the world of desire, the world of forms and the world of formlessness. the Borobudur stupa is also a replica of the universe. It symbolizes the micro-cosmos, which is divided into three levels, in which man’s world of desire is influenced by negative impulses; the middle level, the world in which man has control of his negative impulses and uses his positive impulses; the highest level, in which the world of man is no longer bounded by physical and worldly ancient desire. To this day, temples such as this one are still used for meditation and for people to experience other realms of awareness.

Imagine living during this ancient time, away from the distractions of contemporary materialism, you’d experience a connectedness to the earth, energy, and the cosmos. I personally feel that these temples were created to send a message to us that illustrate an evolution of consciousness.

We strive to tell a story of a singularity of consciousness and have created this platform to help us deepen that connection.

Sunrise-over-the-big-stupa-at-Borobudur-temple

The pine cone (fractal form) symbol is one of the most mysterious emblems found in ancient art and architecture. It wasn’t just used by one culture but many around the world. It cant be denied that this symbol has meaningful significance.  It can be found in the ruins of the Indonesians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Christians to name a few. It has been said to symbolize the “pineal gland” or “Third Eye.”  This gland is said to lie at the geometric center of the brain. The French philosopher Descartes famously referred to the pineal gland as the Seat of the Soul. The Third Eye seems strange, even downright alien to us in the West, even today, despite our living in the “information age.”  It has been said to be the gateway to other dimensions of consciousness

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 5.07.14 PM

These ancient architects create fractal pineal gland like structures that can perhaps be pointing the way to further self discovery. The pineal gland is the axis point to higher dimensions of consciousness.

11881907_416213851909556_942121979_n

 

 

gallery-1429898991-hbz-luxe

What is luxury? A fur coat, a silk Hermes scarf, a vintage Chanel 2.55, or a Guerlain lipstick? Or is luxury time, or even knowledge? Ultimately, everyone has their own version of luxury, but the V&A’s new exhibitionexplores the history of the subject and questions the traditional norms of what is usually thought of as luxurious. By collecting a highly curated selection of objects—from furniture made of human hair, to a classic Hermes saddle—the exhibition investigates the future of luxury through culture, economics, art, fashion and design.

WE RECOMMEND

Below, BAZAAR talks with one of the curators, Leanne Wierzba.

HB: How do you define luxury in terms of fashion?

LW: In terms of fashion, we’re really looking at the motivations of the designer and also thinking about the investment, time and application of skills that’s involved in the production or making of an object. So, it would be difficult to say that any one type of material could be considered universally luxurious. One of the fashion designers we included in the exhibition that we think epitomizes luxury is Carol Christian Poell. He’s Austrian by birth but based in Milan and does menswear, primarily. What’s interesting about Carol is that, unlike most designers who begin with the fabric, he begins with the thread. He spends a lot of time and puts in a lot of research in developing textiles himself. He’s developed a textile that is 15% glass beads—they reflect light in a particular way. Another interesting thing about his work is that he doesn’t use lining. You can actual see all the internal seams. All though there’s a very raw aesthetic, it’s completely precise because the lining typically hides a lot of mistakes or other fabric that hasn’t really been dealt with.

HB: Which fashion objects throughout time have represented luxury?

LW: One of the objects we have in the exhibition is a 17th Venetian lace chasuble, of course used in the church. Another fashion example that we have in the exhibition is Iris Van Herpen’s work. What we think is interesting about her is her compulsion to innovate and collaborate. Most of her work is done collaboratively, people from different fields—architecture, industrial design, or music, and she is bringing in knowledge and expertise and disciplines from other industries and applying them to fashion. We have a Savile Row suit in the exhibition, but it’s actually a military uniform. We thought that was incredible that the object is so heavily codified and it has so much cultural meaning—that’s luxury as well.

Snuffbox, Jean Guillaume George Krueger, Berlin 1775-1780

HB: Can luxury be inexpensive?

LW: One of the increasingly recognized luxuries in busy cities like London is time. Regularly, when we speak to people about luxury they say time is their biggest luxury. Time for yourself, time to spend with loved ones and family, and also time to develop knowledge and to become a connoisseur of luxury.

HB: Does sustainability play into luxury?

LW: One of the resources that will continue to grow will be human hair. In the exhibition, we have a project where they’ve created furniture and accessories using human hair, and resin. They’re quite beautiful, but once you look closely and realize its human hair, people are quite disturbed by that—which is interesting, because there’s a huge global hair trade at the moment. Having it re-contextualized as furniture is a really strong statement.

HB: What does the future of luxury fashion look like?

LW: It’s really tied up in supply chains and thinking of production. That’s really the focus of the exhibition. I think the supply chain will have to be more adapted to resolve ecological and ethical issues related to current fashion models. We agree that the future of fashion, especially pertaining to luxury is about small batch production and imbuing the kind of objects you’re creating with meaning and intention. Something that you would really want to invest in, value and hold on to. Luxury is something you’d want to repair rather than discard and replace.

What is Luxury is on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum from April 25th-September 27thand is in partnership with the Crafts Council and sponsored by Northacre.

02WHITNEY2-articleLarge

If their experience was anything like mine, they probably felt they were walking on air. At the opening celebrations I attended, including the ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Thursday with Michelle Obama and Mayor Bill de Blasio present and Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s director, presiding, the atmosphere was euphoric, unlike anything I’d experienced in over four decades in the New York art world. Now we know how it feels, I kept thinking, when a museum emerges bigger but better from the excruciating process of building a new home. Now we know what can happen when an architect — in this case Renzo Piano — and trustees, a director and curators are on the same page and keeping their priority straight. Namely, to accommodate art and people with equal finesse.

Photo

The new building offers 50,000 square feet of galleries. CreditMichael Appleton for The New York Times

When a structure like this opens, a sensation of transformation occurs in real time. The Whitney and its collection are shifting shape — growing and deepening before our eyes.

At Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, the city’s cultural metabolism seemed to quicken noticeably as successive speakers affirmed art’s importance to society. That’s because the new Whitney forces a decisive yet organic realignment of the balance of power among New York’s main museums that is good for all concerned. With its enlarged galleries and the reveal of its collection, the Whitney, and to some extent American art, should begin getting the full respect both deserve.

One sign of this realignment: Last Friday, the Museum of Modern Art congratulated the Whitney in a quarter-page ad in The New York Times. It seemed magnanimous but weird. “Welcome to the top tier,” it seemed to say. And yet, except for the white lettering, the entire page was black, like a death announcement.

Advertisement

In my years in New York, I’ve seen a lot of disappointing architectural activity among the city’s museums: expansions and new structures that displayed glaring flaws from the outset that either got worse or became, at best, bearable. The most prominent include two expansions at the Museum of Modern Art, one at the Guggenheim, two at the Brooklyn Museum, two at the Morgan Library & Museum, a new building for the New Museum and the coming — and going — of the American Folk Art Museum.

The Whitney is palpably a different order of achievement. Art looks better here, to my eyes, than it did in the old Whitney, and it is amazingly comfortable to be in. I didn’t understand this fully until last Friday night, my third time inside the building.

Photo

The museum’s new home in the meatpacking district shifts the balance of power among the city’s major museums.CreditBebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Up to that point, I’d seen Mr. Piano’s eight-floor structure empty, looking big and fabulous inside but somewhat anonymous. I’d visited again when the first show, of roughly 600 works by some 400 artists, was nearly installed, which was thrilling. For a permanent collection display spanning more than a century of art, the opening show has an unusually high (for the Whitney) percentage of works by women (nearly one-third) and a strong representation of African-American and Asian-American artists, if too few works by Hispanic artists. But this isn’t just a matter of numbers; diversity is broadcast by the art itself, throughout the show and in numerous outstanding works and telling juxtapositions.

To cite but a few: Among the works unfamiliar to me were I. Rice Pereira’s “Boat Composite,” a large, vivid yet grisaille canvas from 1932 that dominates a gallery of Precisionist paintings and photographs with its bold scale and paint handling, learning from Fernand Léger while presaging the great late works of Stuart Davis and Philip Guston. And old standbys suddenly became new knockouts: Lee Krasner’s “The Seasons” from 1957 commandeers the Abstract Expressionist gallery, which is further enlivened by excellent lesser-known works by Norman Lewis, Alfonso Ossorio, Hedda Sterne and Eldzier Cortor. In a gallery centered on the use of non-art materials, assemblages by Raphael Montañez Ortiz and Noah Purifoy hold their own against a Rauschenberg combine, and Jim Dine’s “The Black Rainbow” from 1959-60 shows him at his rough-edged best.

But to see the new Whitney in active use is to understand its success as a place for visitors. It instantly became the most physically welcoming art space in New York outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And it accomplished its new level of comfort without carving a huge event space out of its center, as many museums have done. For better or for worse, the Whitney is in something of an event space, the meatpacking district, but it also has a series of events spaces at its margins: a flexible auditorium and four large terraces, three of which are linked by an outdoor staircase.

The Whitney may be too hospitable for its own good, but only time will tell. It has timed tickets that are designed to control crowding, but people may linger longer than expected. After art they can retire to the eighth-floor cafe, the terraces or the lines of comfy leather couches facing glass walls overlooking the Hudson and Greenwich Village at either end of the fifth floor (an unmitigated luxury for denizens of New York museums).

The outdoor staircase epitomizes the operative and symbolic logic of Mr. Piano’s design. The meaning and function of a wide switchback three-level affair in steel grating will be parsed for years to come. It is the most aggressive part of the multiple components that make the building a kind of architectural assemblage. From the street, the switchback juts out over the building’s east face like a fire escape on steroids or a fragment of an aircraft carrier. From the galleries, it is a people magnet but also a people mover, integrating the indoor galleries and the outdoor terraces and eliminating dead ends in a way that rarely happens in buildings of any kind. It affords a third way to move among three (if not four) of the museum’s main display floors. It is something like the Whitney’s very own High Line, except that it works for its living.

Mr. Piano has built more than his share of disappointing museums, including his expansion of the Morgan Library. But the new Whitney reaffirms why museums began turning to him in the first place. Moreover, it shows that despite Manhattan’s treacherous real estate market, the borough can still accommodate a gracious museum that is equally receptive to art and the viewing of art. It proves that these conditions are mutually dependent. You can’t have one without the other.

PHOTO: MCV PHOTO.

Whether you’re talking about high-end splurges like Chanel bags, or mass-retail staples (think the Nike swoosh), the designer logo has long been considered a status symbol. But, as anyone who’s clicked through pics of the Fashion Week collections — or even breezed through the mall recently — knows, the role of the ubiquitous fashion logo has been moving in the opposite direction.

Some brands have embraced minimalism. Louis Vuitton made news back in 2013 when it pulled back on the use of its iconic LVs in accessories. And, logo-less purses, such as the understated Mansur Gavriel bucket bags, have usurped the popularity of branded carryalls. Now, there’s a noticeable change happening on the other end of the fashion spectrum: Major fashion labels are flaunting the logos of brands other than their own.

Call it the Jeremy Scott effect. For his debut fall 2014 Moschino show, the designer sent models down the runway decked out in McDonald’s and SpongeBob SquarePants motifs. Scott’s throwback vibes continued for spring 2015, with a Barbie-inspired Moschino collection that was almost exclusively pink and plastered with the Mattel doll’s logos. Scott has been repurposing logos — both commercial and indie — for his eponymous line for years, and he’s not the first to do so, but following the financial success of his Moschino collections, others in the industry are rushing to get in on the business.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF JOYRICH.

The trend picked up more steam this season with additional designers hopping onboard: Opening Ceremony showed tops printed with old-school Kodak branding, NYFW newcomer Bobby Abley debuted a collection featuring characters from The Jungle Book, and Joyrich referenced retro Coca-Cola logos in its pieces. David Melgar, creative director of Joyrich, explained the inspiration behind the logo-centric design: “Being that we are heavily influenced by ‘80s and ‘90s pop [and] street culture, I wanted to do something that reflected this time. I liked how the logo had a nostalgic, vintage feel to it and I felt that with the combination of the fabrications that we used, it would bring life to a whole new story.”

Inspiration aside, tapping into these instantly recognizable images is also a strategic move. Jeremy Scott is consistently one of the top-ranked brands on social media for both Scott’s eponymous line (its spring 2015 collection earned 650,000 likes, posts, and tweets), as well as Moschino, which essentially won the Internet last season with 1.5 million total interactions.

It’s smart for designers to capitalize on our nostalgia for other brands, but we have to wonder: How is this even legal? Turns out, there’s a line between nodding to another company’s logo and infringing on its intellectual property rights, and it all boils down to the message the design sends to consumers.

According to Christopher Sprigman, a professor at NYU School of Law, brands that evoke other brands’ logos must first negotiate licensing deals. “I had seen a report that there was a deal made between Kodak and Opening Ceremony,” he said. “If there hadn’t been one, it would raise questions in the consumers’ minds about whether the product was sponsored.” Not having a deal could have spelled major trouble for OC.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF OPENING CEREMONY.
Kodak, on Opening Ceremony.

In this case, the partnership with Kodak was part of a collaboration between OC cofounders/designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim and the photo company. As the duo said in an interview with Kodak, “We’ve always loved Kodak’s logos and trademarks, and admired Kodak’s dedication to continuity. We think the capsule celebrates all [the] Kodak values we appreciate.”

Unsurprisingly, this type of licensing deal usually entails a financial transaction. “It’s a situation in which a brand like Opening Ceremony would say, ‘We want to use T-shirts with your logo,’ and Kodak would say, ‘Okay. Pay us money.’ The fashion industry is notoriously for-profit, so this would be typically a deal that exchanges a license for money,” said Sprigman. The goal is to define the relationship between the parties, and if a designer incorporates a logo in a way that might cause confusion about whether it was sponsored, he or she runs the risk of being sued.

The exception? When logos are used in a way in which there’s no risk of misleading consumers into thinking they’re endorsements. One example is using multiple logos. Sprigman cites the streetwear designer Heron Preston. Hissignature tees feature 17 logos splashed all over them, including Google, Nascar, Home Depot, and M&Ms. But, despite all the branding, Sprigman says the message remains clear: “If I had looked at this shirt, I wouldn’t necessarily think that any of these companies were sponsoring the shirt,” he said. “I don’t think the trademark law would require this to be licensed, because I think consumers would conclude that this is a commentary about brands as opposed to a T-shirt sponsorship.”

With London, Milan, and Paris still left in Fashion Month, these clearly aren’t the last of the logos we’ll be seeing on the runway. So, designers, take note: Imitation might be the highest form of flattery, but don’t forget to ask permission first.

christophe-and-co-apollo-armill-2
Gizmag met with the company at Baselworld to take a look at the luxury bracelet (Image: Ch...

Gizmag met with the company at Baselworld to take a look at the luxury bracelet (Image: Chris Wood/Gizmag)

Christophe & Co’s high-end Armills are luxury jewelry pieces that offer optional built-in technology, running for a year or more on a single charge. The highest-end model, the Apollo, retails for a US$149,000, making it just about the priciest wearable around. We got the chance to check out the bracelet at Baselworld 2015.

While describing the entry price for the bracelet as “steep” would be a vast understatement, Christophe & Co’s Aleksandr Bernhard was keen to point out that the bracelet should be viewed as a high-end jewelry piece first, wearable tech product second. Discussing the piece at Baselworld, where six-figure watches and jewelry items are comparatively commonplace, provided perhaps the best context for this.

However, while the company might not want us to view the product as a technology piece first and foremost, it’s difficult to get past the sky-high price tag when discussing the tech on board.

The box that the piece comes in is designed to mirror the product itself, constructed from...

Optional technology

The wearable tech side of the Armill is entirely optional, and takes the form of an upgradable module, allowing it to stay technologically relevant as time goes on. It makes use of NFC and Bluetooth LE, and features a kinetic energy generation system that recharges the battery using the motion of the user’s arm, allowing for a year or more between charges.

“We decided to take a watch movement similar to an auto quartz, but create a lot more electricity and actually charge the electronics.” said Bernhard. “This is something that, when I had the idea, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do it, because nobody had done it with wearable tech before.”

What’s interesting about the technology side of the Christophe & Co Armills is that the company is willing to tailor its abilities to the specific requirements of the client. For example, if the customer wants the bracelet to, for example, unlock their car or work as a contactless payment method, then the company will work to develop the module to make those desires a reality, even if it takes months of development.

The wearable tech side of the Armill is entirely optional, and takes the form of an upgrad...

The company is in the process of creating a network of partners around the world, who hold prestigious events – such as Formula One races – where the Armill will act as a physical entry key using the built in NFC technology. Users can also set up the device to message a specific contact, such as a personal assistant, by tapping a combination on the built-in capacitive sensor.

A luxury construction

All three versions of the Armill – the Apollo, Orion and Virtus – have ceramic shields that the company claims exhibit a level of complexity and precision never before seen. The manufacturing process involves calculating the exact degree of shrinkage that will occur during the sinteringprocess – something that’s made extremely difficult due to the small-scale, precise dimensions of the product.

The Apollo Armill that we saw at Baselworld features more than 1,500 micropavé set GVS dia...

“From a manufacturing perspective, nobody has ever done a piece of ceramics like this.” Bernhard told Gizmag. “People in the ceramics industry have told us ‘you can’t do that, it’s impossible’, and we did it. The ceramics are more expensive than anything else on the piece.”

The Apollo Armill that we saw at Baselworld features more than 1,500 micro pavé set GVS diamonds. All the gems are fair trade, and each and every one is set by hand under a microscope. The engraving is carried out by UK artist Maryam Golubeva, with three different designs available, each tailored to different markets.

The bracelet features a kinetic energy generation system that recharges the battery using ...

Despite the delicate nature of its construction, the Apollo Armill feels solid and substantial in the hand. It has a reassuring weight to it and features a custom-made clasp that’s designed to ensure the pricey wearable won’t slip off your wrist.

Designed in conjunction with Pininfarina, the piece exhibits the same quality of finish you’d expect from a luxury sports car. The opulent design certainly won’t appeal to all tastes, but the construction feels every bit as high-end as its creators insists, with the engraving, hand-set gems and glossy ceramic finish giving it a luxurious feel. Given the price point, we wouldn’t expect anything less.

The Armills – and the Apollo in particular – are targeted at the same audience that would usually be interested in ultra high-end watches and jewelry pieces, with each bracelet selling for US$149,000. The majority of the smart features are similarly tailored towards ultra wealthy clientele, and would be of less value to your average consumer, not to mention that they could mostly be handled by wearables costing a tiny fraction of the Armill’s asking price.

Reiterating a jewelry-first perspective on the product, Bernhard stated, “This is built to a standard, and to an ideal, and the price is the price. It’s not for everybody, it’s very specific, very small volumes, it’s made in the UK so it’s extremely expensive to make, but it’s made at the very top level.”

Only 25 of the Apollo variant will be constructed, while the Orion and Virtus models will sell for $93,000 and $75,000, limited to 100 and 300 units worldwide.

Source: Christophe & Co