DESIGNS ON LONDON: The London Design Festival will have a distinct fashion flavor, with names including Swarovski, Selfridges and Kvadrat taking part in the September showcase.
Swarovski has teamed with designer Kim Thomé on an installation called “Zotem,” which is meant to be a fusion of “totem” and “zoetrope.” The 59-foot tall monolith was created with more than 600 bespoke Swarovski crystals and will stand at the entrance of the V&A Museum. The Swarovski crystals are presented in a gridlike pattern within a matte black aluminum frame.
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“The only brief I was given was that I was to use Swarovski crystals and that it would be situated in the Grand Entrance of the V&A — which was enough for me to work with,” Thomé told WWD. “As I had no preconceived idea of what I was going to do when I was first given some sample Swarovski crystals, the project was really led by what I learnt by experimenting with the crystals and exploring the how they could be experienced differently.”
He said the inspiration behind Zotem was a response to the interior architecture of the V&A’s Grand Entrance. “I wanted to create a site-specific installation that would entice people to explore, as a sort of a visual link between the interior spaces on the museum. The models I built were about a quarter of the size of the real thing. The crystals I used for these were big, but are something anyone could order. We blew them up two and a half times to fit the installation. When they arrived — over 600 of them — the scale suddenly hit me. It’s going to be gigantic.”
Zotem will be on display at the Victoria & Albert museum from September 15 to October 31.
Also on display at the museum during the London Design Festival is Kvadrat’s collaboration with the London-based furniture designer Faye Toogood. The Danish textile brand has partnered with Toogood on 150 coats created with Kvadrat’s sculptural material.
The coterie of bespoke coats will be showcased in the circular-railed cloakroom at the museum. Some coats will feature sewn-in maps to direct visitors to other coats displayed throughout the museum. This installation will run from Sept. 19-27.
In addition, Kvadrat has teamed with the Scandinavian home furnishings store Skandium at Selfridges. The Kvadrat home accessories collection designed by Raf Simons will be on sale. Selfridges also plans to host a panel discussion relevant to the Kvadrat designs.
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