One of the highlights of my unexpected trip to London last month was a visit to the Design Museum. One ticket gives access to three fascinating exhibitions .....
'Hello My Name is Paul Smith' was due to end in March but by popular demand has been extended until 22nd June. Paul Smith is an established British Designer who combines traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge, innovative design .... 'Classic with a twist' is the way he describes his style. The twist may be a flamboyant lining in a suit or adding vibrant colour to a conventional tweed.
There are recreations of his first tiny shop (just three metres square!), his Covent Garden design studio and his office, which has been described as creative chaos!
The walls of the gallery space are covered with framed prints and photographs including David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Banksy and works sent to him by friends, family and fans too. It's a small part of his collection from the walls and basement of his office.
|"Is that a Paul Smith coat?"|
Paul Smith loves colour and print .......
.....and we are all familiar with his signature stripes. Apparently yarns or threads are wrapped around pieces of white cardboard to see how well the colours sit next to each other. He developed the brand's identity with clever collaborations and two examples caught my eye ..... My first car was a mini (bright yellow!)
Paul Smith may be a global brand but it's clear that he's still very hands-on, involved in every aspect of the business. A talented photographer, he has taken photographs for many of his campaigns.
He is keen to credit his wife Pauline's influence. In 1970 she was his girlfriend, a fashion tutor at Nottingham's School of Art and Design and she encouraged him to open his own shop.
The exhibition ends with his inspirational quote on a giant post-it.
Click here to see the Paul Smith spring/summer 14 collection and his biography here
'Extraordinary stories about ordinary things' is an exhibition devoted to contemporary design, including the evolution of the anglepoise lamp and many familiar items. It investigates the impact of design on our daily life.....key objects which have shaped the modern world and which we so often take for granted ...such as the humble biro ..........
Hard to believe that the LAR armchair was designed by Charles Eames way back in in 1948 and yet it's still so current.
The Tulip chair designed by Eero Saarinen in 1956 has always been a favourite of mine......
and we've all probably sat on one of these!
Naational identity is explored through objects which define the nation including a telephone box and motorway signage which was standardised to make life easier and the initial trials took place on the Preston bypass, my home town!!
|The design for the iconic |
Before leaving, I visited 'In the Making' curated by design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby where the secrets behing the production of marbles, tennis balls, pencils, Olympic torches etc. were revealed!!
The production process has been stopped and the objects displayed in their unfinished state giving an insight into the design of everyday things ......
|Bentwood chair - another favourite design|
|So this is how a tennis ball is made!|
"We have curated an exhibition that will provide a platform to capture and reveal a frozen moment in the manufacturing process
and unveils an everyday object in its unfinished state. Often the object is as beautiful if not more so than its finished state" Jay Osgerby
PS What an interesting museum shop!
I've been a fan of Design Museum books for a while. You can read my reviews here, here and here
and I'm looking forward to reading my latest one ........