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Matteo Ugolini has designed the Memory suspension lamp for Italian lighting manufacturer Karman. Formed from matt ceramic, the lamp has a quilted exterior and comes in two shapes: drum and cylindrical. 

Image  |  Plumen
Plumen, the company responsible for producing the first designer energy saving lightbulb back in 2010, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce the Plumen 002, their alternative to the 30W incandescent light bulb. The bulb can be used anywhere a filament can and has the benefit of saving you energy and money without any loss of light quality.
As we said in today's earlier post, Mara Hoffman's psychedelic designs seem to have taken off like nothing else this year.  Capitalising on this fact, on June 2 she launched her first home line which is being sold through US retailer Anthropologie which already stocks many of her clothing and swimwear.  Full of her bright, graphic, patterns items include a nattily upholstered armchair, bedding, cushions and printed notebooks. 

It seems that recently you can't take two steps without seeing Mara Hoffman's distinctive psychedelic patterns at the beach or around the pool. Case in point - Hoffman recently collaborated with Havaianas, the ubiquitous flip-flop makers to create these vibrant and fun slides. 

The collection was inspired by her resort 2014 line which was based on Indian mythology and mysticism. Retailing for $44 the rubber flip-flops have a cushioned footbed with a textured rice pattern.
A little late with this one, but better late than never.

Finnish company Marimekko's signature bold prints have graced clothes, fabrics, furniture, and tableware and now they can be found on clothes and accessories from Banana Republic who earlier this year tapped the iconic brand for a limited-edition capsule that includes tunics, maxi dresses, a romper, and printed separates, plus accessories like ballet flats and zip-up clutches.  The collection featured patterns created by three of Marimekko’s storied designers: Maija Isola, Maija Louekari and Aino-Maija Metsola.  Each design tells a unique story through print.  The collection went on sale in select stores worldwide in May and offers a versatile summer capsule that marries culture with style.

Summer's finally here - time to ditch the old plastic table and chair set and treat yourself to something really stylish like this outdoor furniture collection by Norm Architects for design Within Reach.  Called the Finn Collection, the teak furniture has been specially crafted to withstand the elements.  The wood may be oiled or left bare to create a weathered patina.

For the second year in a row, a Bermudian design student has been making her mark on the London fashion scene.  This year it's the turn of ex-Miss Bermuda Rochelle Minors who, like Meagan Wellman last year, looked to her homeland for inspiration.  Minors played with the geometric shapes of the shuttered windows which are a staple of Bermudian architecture, as well as the bright, pastel colours in which homes and buildings on the island are painted, ostensibly to better weather the elements.  Her tunic-like tops and boxy jackets were paired with Bermuda shorts and, in some instances, accessorised with curtain ring necklaces.

Image  |   Joshua Lue Chee Kong
Trinidadian artist Joshua Lue Chee Kong, who we featured here previously, is currently exhibiting at Medulla Art Gallery, Trinidad.  The show entitled Moulded Memories sees Lue Chee Kong using Sculpty clay to explore his fascination with dreams and curiosity about why some dreams are remembered and some forgotten.  With a background based in graphic design, Lue Chee Kong's switch to sculpture began with an invitation to a Raku class taught by ceramic artist Bunty O Conner who for many years ran a pottery factory called Ajoupa.  The Sculpty clay he uses gives a softness to his creations and references a childhood playing with Plasticine.

Lue Chee Kong has a keen interest in history and culture and is presently exploring Trinidad and Tobago’s folklore.  Mythological forms and archetypes are also represented, as Lue Chee Kong is interested in rituals, customs and objects that are used in ceremonies.  He draws heavily from folklore and the diverse culture of his native country as well as the cultures and histories of the ancient Egyptians, West Africans and Mayans.
Image  |  PINCH

London-based design studio PINCH have created a series of perfectly-sized, brightly coloured side tables called Float.  Made of oak, the hand-turned tables are colour-blocked in varying shades inspired by fishermen’s floats. 

Images  |  Thakoon
Gorgeous, textured clothes from Thakoon.

Image  |  Just Cavali
We've ever been a huge fan of Cavalli but we love this surf-inspired collection from Just Cavalli which is filled with brightly-coloured florals and pops of shiny silver.

Image  |  Honor
It doesn't get more ladylike than these pretty floral and lace dresses from Honor.

Image  |  Gucci
Gucci give us an unusual mix of slouchy and smart.  Oversized, embellished sweaters top wide-legged trousers and jeans which are juxtaposed with tailored skirts, dresses and blouses.  Snakeskin touches add drama.

Image  |  Fendi
One of our favourite collections for Resort 2015 (okay we'll admit we love the styling), these sporty looks from Fendi featured polka-dots, mesh, geometric silhouettes and complicatedly beautiful handbags and accessories.

Image  |  Etro
Etro presented  a mini collection of seven looks, four of which are featured here.

Culture of Entitlement 2 - Edwin ME Smith
Image  |  Bermuda National Gallery
We are going to preface this by saying that the images accompanying this post will not do the art justice.  This year the Bermuda Biennial was split between two locations.  A "soft" opening was held at The BNG East in the Town of St George's on June 14 and yesterday saw the opening of the main show at the BNG's gallery in Hamilton.  The theme of this year's show A View From the Edge, could have fallen easily into cliché, but the artists chosen to exhibit instead demonstrated a subtly in responding to the mandate and the resulting artwork was, in the main, moving and thought-provoking.  Many of the artists were born and brought up on the island or spent large parts of their formative years in Bermuda and therefore have a unique perception of the island, its history, culture, limitations and isolation which must naturally flow from being a small landmass in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean without the benefit of the proximity of other islands that its neighbours to the south enjoy.  Persons who perhaps are not born and brought up on the island generally tend to see it differently from the native Bermudian.  Tourists and visitors see the beauty which is evident on surface but may not be as familiar with the darker undercurrent born of the island's history, culture and size.

Some of the standout works included James Cooper's treatment of photographs as sculpture.  This time geometric strips of the image carefully placed to draw attention to the horizon were peeled back revealing coloured swatches painted on the wall behind.  There was a hypnotic draw to Catherine CR Lapsley's paintings which used a grid system as a metaphor for the self-imposed restriction which mirrors life in Bermuda contained as it is by the island's size, isolation and natural beauty.  Ami Zander's mixed media piece using yarn and found objects was visually striking and dealt with the vulnerable and underrepresented in society, but it did call to mind the work of Jamaican artist Ebony J Patterson who exhibited at the BNG in 2012.

We are always appreciative when local traditions are reinterpreted and no one did this better than Edwin ME Smith whose mixed media pieces Culture of Entitlement 1 and Culture of Entitlement 2 (pictured above) address the traditionally Bermudian practice of marking out one's spot or camping along a parade route days, and now sometimes weeks, in advance but were also reminiscent in our mind of the way in which the island was carved up and divided into tribes by European settlers.

The 2014 Biennial opens to the public today and runs until November 22.

Images  |  Erdem
It's a hyper-feminine collection heavy on frills, lace and floral patterns from Erdem.

Image  |  Burberry
Another strong collection from Christopher Bailey full of textured midi skirts and double-breasted coats and jackets.

Image  |   Thomas Ketecka
Comfortable but smart clothes from Maiyet.

Images  |   House of Holland
Punchy brights from the House of Holland.  Once again, animal print and pattern mixing look like they're going to be huge trends for Resort 2015.

Image  |   Fausto Puglisi
It's all about the legs with these fierce looks from Fausto Puglisi.  Featuring flared or pleated skirts which are slit almost to the waist or stop well above the knee, the feminine silhouette is toughened up with the addition of seriously covetable leather jackets and embellished gladiator sandals.

Images  |  Antonio Marras
Quirky florals in a limited palette from Antonio Marras.

Image  |  Adeam
Modern, contemporary clothes from Adeam. 

Image  |  Rochas
Sweet sorbets colours characterise this feminine collection from Rochas.

Images  |   Theirry Mugler
Sexy minimalism and an architectural feel in contrasting black, white and primary colours from Theirry Mugler.  Here, even the supposed soft touches like the scallop detail on the tops, skirts and dresses are hard.

Image  |   Greg Kessler/Kessler Studio
Patterns, polka-dots and stripes are used to great effect in this presentation by Kenzo which features puffy jackets, cropped trousers and pinafore dresses.

Image  |  Emanuel Ungaro
Every current trend has seemingly been thrown together in this one collection from Emanuel Ungaro. Animal prints, embellished bomber jackets, cropped tops, pattern mixing, florals - they can all be found here, and yet somehow it all works.

Image  |  Acne
Culottes and cargo from Acne.

Image  |   Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein's Francesco Costa sent simple but effective Sixties-inspired shift dresses and double-breasted coats down the runway.  The limited, neutral palette was livened up with pops of royal blue or orange.

Image  |   Rosie Assoulin
Rosie Assoulin plays with shape and proportion for Resort 2015.

Image  |  Issa
Wavy lines and abstract patterns characterise Issa's Resort 2015 collection.  Designer Blue Farrier looked to artists as inspiration for Issa’s latest collection which features delicate floral appliqués and boxy shapes.

Image  |  Paul Smith
With the start of the Fifa World Cup 2014, Paul Smith has designed and released this limited edition signature stripe leather football to commemorate the event.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this stylishly, minimalist watch which is one in a long line of altruistic projects that have been featured here.  Some projects are still running successfully, but others have unfortunately folded and we hope that the 1:Face charity watch will be around for quite a while.  As we have seen before, the various charities (which include those in the fight against Aids, hunger, cancer and in support of the Red Cross) are represented by different colours and will receive the proceeds from the sale of the relevant watch. 

Belgian design company Ethnicraft debuted a new collection at ICFF recently and we love the way the various woods - teak, oak, and walnut - have been used to produce warm, practical designs which while coming from differing schools of inspiration, manage to be cohesive.   

The collection consists of tables, chairs and a desk.  The 'Turtle' coffee tables have been designed with the biomorphic form language of 1950s American design in mind and feature a powder-coated stainless steel top and solid oak legs, while the solid oak top of the 'Moon' table is encircled by a powder-coated stainless steel frame which is designed to contain spills and messes.  The dowel chair's starkly simple construction in blonde wood is a nod to twentieth-century Scandinavian design practices that emphasised family, democracy, and ease of construction while the 'B' desk’s design highlights utility and comfort.

The items are often constructed using only a few pieces of wood which are joined with glue and dowels.  As a ethically-driven company, Ethnicraft takes care to ensure that their woods are sustainably sourced and treated with the highest ecological standards, using only water-based and low-VOC finishes. The result is a timeless design which combines today's respect for the environment with a simple, authentically modern look. 

We are drawn to the idea of spontaneous photo projects featuring ordinary people. Some years ago, Trinidadian artist Rodell Warner experimented with taking photographs of strangers making eye contact with his "Closer" series of images.  In this case, Chicago-based photographer Richard Renaldi has taken the idea one step further by asking strangers to touch and the results are some surprisingly intimate portraits.  Renaldi started the project in 2007 and completed it last year.  He has now compiled the best images in a book published by Aperture entitled Touching Strangers.

& Other Stories make us feel like summer is finally here with the release of their line of brightly-coloured mirrored sunglasses and floral sandals.

Image | ASHISH x Topshop
London-based designer Ashish Gupta who we last featured here and who is known for his outlandish clothes and accessories, has collaborated with Topshop on a line of summer-influenced clothes and accessories.  Called “Beach, Please!” the collection features bikinis, slogan tees and terry cloth dresses and, if you live in the UK, the LED footwear that graced the fall 2014 runway however the prize for the most quirky item in a range filled with quirky items has to go to these geometric white-framed sunglasses.

Swedish firm Claesson Koivisto Rune designed this series of brightly-coloured cupboards and cabinets for Casamania.  The Legato collection is named after the Italian word for “tied together” which indicates the manner in which musical notes that are played or sung smoothly.  The colourful doors in various widths have rounded edges that mimic the way musical notes are drawn, resulting in an eye-catching storage unit.  

Bermudian fashion designer Meagan Wellman recently graduated from the University for the Creative Arts and wasted no time launching her label M-SEW earlier this year.  Wellman mines her local culture to great effect putting her own spin on the clothes and accessories she rather than churning out a facsimile of what is seen on the international runways.  Although based in London, M-SEW is available online enabling her luxury womenswear and sophisticated clothes to be available to an international audience.
These pendant lamps made from solid oak and suspended from a coloured textile cable are designed by Enrico Zanolla.  Called the Nojar Collection the lamps provide a warm, organic touch to any  space.

Image | Anila Quayyum Agha
We love the interplay of patterns, lines and circles which are created by the intricately cut and illuminated box by Pakistani mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha.