From left, Mette Hay, Seungi Mun, Tino Seubert, Philippe Malouin, Lucy Kurrein and Marjan van Aubel.


ALL IN GOOD FUN: With its new Lernert & Sander film, COS seems to be simultaneously parodying how essential seating is for this season’s holiday get-togethers and poking fun at fashion designers’ ongoing game of musical chairs.

But those six designers vying for five highly designed seats in “COS x Musical Chairs” weren’t found in a casting call. As visitors to COS’ site can learn, the competitors also created the contemporary furniture they are vying for. In what appears to be an international effort, the H&M-owned retail chain recruited Canadian designer Philippe Malouin, Dutch-born Marjan van Aubel, Denmark-based Hay cofounder Mette Hay, German product designer Tino Seubert, British furniture designer Lucy Kurrein and Seungji Mun, whose Mun studio is based in Seoul and Copenhagen. Each wears items from the COS party collection and plays the game to music provided by a COS-dressed four-piece band.

The artists and filmmakers known simply as Lernert & Sander certainly know how to work the fashion crowd, having provided a bevy of creative services for such companies as Kenzo, Hermès, Brioni, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Colette, Nowness, Viktor & Rolf, L’Oréal and Wieden & Kennedy among others. Reached in their Amsterdam studio Thursday, the duo didn’t have time to spare since they were the subject of a photo shoot. They have created high-conceptual art films, installations and other fashion projects together for the past nine years.

By the end of COS’ unexpected short film, Hay and van Aubel (the force behind the solar power design studio Caventou) are the last two in the running for The Soft Edge Chair designed by Iskos-Berlin for Hay. Online shoppers who are intrigued by the other modern chairs the half-dozen designers race around can find all the details as well as the designers’ philosophies and inspiration resources. Mette, for examples, notes, “My suitcase is always filled with small objects from my travels, which could be anything from a napkin at a restaurant to a ceramic cup or a bar of soap.”

While the COS x Musical Chairs project has a highly informative component, the retailer isn’t the first to use the game as a marketing tool. In the is-anything-truly-new world of fashion, Cynthia Rowley created a 60-second video of models playing musical chairs and wearing looks from her collection for New York City’s Taxi TV in the fall of 2009. But maybe COS and Lernert & Sander are referencing the game’s metaphorical political meaning where one leader replaces another, a very popular trend this holiday season.

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