This week in our inspiring designers series we’re looking at the iconic Vivienne Westwood.
With roots in punk fashion, Westwood’s designs always carry that subversive edge which makes them feel so unique. However, her work also possesses a certain sophistication, a stylish elegance that escalates her designs to the level of luxury.
Though Westwood’s use of prints and patterns is perhaps more sparing than some of the other names we’ve showcased here, her use of colour is always pleasing and playful. Her collaboration with Melissa, too, demonstrates her ability to produce designs that are at once trendy and inventive but also eclectic and full of character.
What we find most inspiring is the theatricality of her work; her designs are full of whimsy yet possess a certain edge that is the hallmark of Westwood style. Think Alice in Wonderland, but with more eyeliner.
This week we’re finding inspiration closer to home at the G&V Hotel, Edinburgh.
Formerly the Missoni Hotel, the re-branded G&V provides a refreshing change from other hotels situated along the Royal Mile which tend to adopt the traditional Scottish style. Instead, the G&V is decorated by block colours, plenty of stripes, and zigzag patterns which are used as feature or statement touches and so avoid overwhelming the eyes.
The bar space (pictured below) is particularly special – carefully chosen lighting combines with bright, bold colours on the walls and furnishings to create a space that is playful yet easy to relax in.
The more adventurous use of design in this hotel makes it stand out amongst Edinburgh’s hospitality scene, adding an extra dimension to the most popular destination in the Scottish capital.
This week we’re looking at fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki, though you might know her better as the founder of high-end clothing and homeware brand Biba.
Hulanicki launched Biba in the 1960s, before it became a popular high-street brand in the 70s. The brand was relaunched in 2010 inHouse of Fraser stores, where it continues to be successful for its iconic patterns and prints.
What we find most inspiring about Hulanicki’s work is its subtle theatricality and use of beautiful Art Deco style. The designs are bold, statement prices yet remain sophisticated and elegant. The use of plush colours ensures a sense of luxury, making the Biba homeware collection feel really special.
This week’s hotels inspiration can be found further afield in the Luna2 Hotel, Bali.
This tastefully eclectic hotel is the work of interior designer and founder of Luna2, Melanie Hall, who has skilfully married contemporary chic with zany patterns and Pop Art. The result is actually two spaces: the Studiotel and the Private Hotel, which cater to those who thirst for adventure with a twist of opulence.
Each space combines bold colours with statement prints to create a fun yet fresh style which is stimulating and keeps the eye alert. The contrast in design between the interior and outdoor space is very complementary – the poolside area sees the same themes toned down ever so slightly to let that sense of relaxation to settle in; though the ‘Shoot the Moon’ feature (pictured below) at the Studiotel pool ensures that the sense of joviality is maintained. The furnishings are equally interesting, making good use of slick shapes and rich colours which maintain the feel of contemporary luxury with polished metal framing.
Overall, the Luna2 makes us think of a playground for adults – in the best way possible. It’s funky yet chic, edgy yet playful; think Space Odyssey meets Roy Lichtenstein.
Revered for their digital prints, fashion and textile designers Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke have collaborated with many major corporations where they have produced cutting-edge work that never fails to express a strong sense of personality. If you like making a statement then Basso & Brooke are for you.
We really adore the diversity of their prints, which are often busy with a geometric, artsy style. The designs are inspiring for their bold, surreal style that sometimes borders on ‘trippy’. We’re also impressed by their ability to match their prints to such a range of products: clothing, accessories, homewares, even skateboards!
This week’s inspiration comes fromLe Royal Monceau, Paris; a beautiful hotel with a true passion for the arts.
Part of the Raffles Hotels and Resorts group, Le Royal Monceau boasts divine opulence at every turn. Much of the interior inspiration comes from 1940s and 50s period style, the influence of which can certainly be seen in the classic glamour of both the Prestige and Signature Suites. Another design treasure is the Presidential Suite 241 which is the epitome of classic Parisian style: sophisticated, understated, just plain beautiful.
The conservative glamour found throughout the hotel is brought into contrast by the Art District, the hotel’s own in-house art gallery (pictured). The work which features in the gallery showcases the contemporary artistic culture of Paris, adding an extra dimension to this otherwise understated decorous space.
Today we’re looking to the futuristic work of architect and designer Neri Oxman for inspiration!
Oxman’s designs are particularly striking, incorporating digital and computational design with materials science and synthetic biology to explore the relationship between the natural world and the artificial components that we build into it.
We find the ‘Wanderers’ collection particularly compelling, not least for Oxman’s stunning use of colour, materials, and surface textures. This project is a collaboration with Stratasys, a 3D printing company, and ties in with their collection ‘The Sixth Element: Exploring the Natural Beauty of 3D Printing’. The designs are tailored to the various environments of the planets within our solar system, and the concept behind each design is to aid humanity’s survival within that landscape through absorption and production of biomatter.
What we find so inspiring about Oxman’s designs is their tactile quality; you can’t help but be drawn in by the diverse textures and materials. Though beautiful, the designs are also subversive and surreal – a unique blend of science, technology, and design innovation that we can’t resist.
Over the past few months Andrea has been working alongside our Chief Designer, Eliza, as an intern. Andrea is currently studying Styling and Design with Academy Artemis in the Netherlands, though she has been working with Moody Monday for the past six months. As she’s nearing the end of her time in Edinburgh, we wanted to catch up with Andrea and ask about her experiences.
What three words would best describe your experience of Edinburgh and Moody Monday? Worldly
How has interning for Moody Monday compared to your expectations before you arrived in Edinburgh? Before I came I knew Moody Monday was re-branding as a company. What I did not expect was that I could help with literally everything. A great challenge!
What aspect(s) of the internship have you enjoyed most? I loved working on the styling projects, so being highly creative. This involves setting up the photo shoots but creating the look book as well. Besides working, meeting the people at St. Margaret’s House made me happy too.
What advice would you give to other design interns?
For a long time I was quite shy about showing my designs to other people, until I noticed people actually enjoyed seeing my work. Don’t be shy – show your work to others. You will see when you do; people are supporting you., always.
How will you use your experience of this internship in the future? Well, I always said I want to freelance or start my own business. Working at Moody Monday showed me a lot different aspects of having your own business.
What do you think is the most challenging part of getting into the design industry? Everything should be challenging. Then you move forward and that’s something you need in life, although that is my opinion. I think the most challenging part would be to keep surprising the people who are enjoying following my blog, Poppin, over and over again with my designs and eventually my products.
Which designers do you idolise/get inspiration from? One of my idols is Iris van Herpen, an amazing Dutch fashion designer. I recently discovered Blackpop, a designer from the United Kingdom. I think her print designs are quite amazing. And, of course, I love the work of Antoni Gaudi, especially how he found his inspiration and looked at things differently. Well, I can talk about this the whole day because there are a lot more great designers who I idolise!
What would be your dream design job? E.g. the interior of a famous building. For me, working with prints is everything. That’s why I started my own blog about 3 months ago – Poppin. So, working with print design could be my dream job, especially if I create products with my prints.
Tell us about Poppin! Poppin is my blog about prints, patterns, structure, and texture in fashion, interior, and exterior design. But that is not everything: for example, nature is something that can be really interesting with regards to patterns as well. We are surrounded by beauty itself – I filter everything that inspires me, to inspire you. At the moment I’m working on a first product but this takes time. When I’m ready, you will see it appear on my blog.
What has been your favourite experience in Edinburgh? Wow, really hard question. Living abroad in general is quite an experience. There are a lot experiences and adventures I had the past five months. For example, my journey to the Isle of Skye was more than amazing. Scotland is absolutely beautiful. I tried haggis, surprisingly I really liked it! Although, black pudding not so much. During my time in Edinburgh I met great people and I’m thankful for that.
This week we’re in Switzerland at the 25Hours Hotel, Zurich (West).
Designed by Alfredo Häberli, the interior of the 25Hours Hotel is bursting with colourful graphics that combine to make a delicious treat for the eyes. Inspired by the city’s artistic culture, the space is coloured by intricate prints, details that echo urban graffiti art, and dashes of bold furnishings.
Häberli’s design concept makes for an overall experience of wonderment and vibrancy which showcases the spirit of Zurich’s creative district.
We adore the continuation of graphic shapes and bold colours which form the surface patterns of the Living Room (pictured). The use of colour to accent particular furnishings is also a great touch.
A change in pace this week for our inspiring designers series, we’re looking at Ryo Matsui, of Ryo Matsui Architects Inc.
Matsui’s work is undeniably elegant, clean, and stylish, with a real architectural edge. His use of contrasting surface patterns and muted, natural colours means his design concepts remain at the forefront of contemporary trends.
What we find most inspiring about Matsui’s work is its ability to present complex design ideas in a simplistic, minimalist form. His use of lighting is also something to be marvelled at; these finishes are often delicate but make such a difference to creative spaces.