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Art Design

Artist-Designed Face Masks by Threadless Give Medical Supplies to Communities in Need

April 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

A recent launch by Threadless is an impressive, multifaceted initiative to combat COVID-19 that’s a win for consumers trying to stay safe, health-care workers on the front lines, and artists and creatives who’ve lost income. The Chicago-based eCommerce company announced this week that it would release artist-designed face masks, with a portion of proceeds going to MedShare, a nonprofit that delivers medical supplies to communities in need. Featuring work from Rob Sheridan, Alex Norris, and Mukta Lata Barua, the cloth face makes comply with CDC guidelines but are not medical grade.

Jake Nickell, the founder and CEO of Threadless, told Colossal that in just six days, the company raised $100,000 and has increased its target to $250,000. “When the CDC released guidelines for wearing cloth masks, we knew our artist community would be clamoring to design them and that we could raise a lot of funding for frontline workers through mask sales,” he said. “Masks are looking to be a part of our culture for the foreseeable future so (we) may as well express ourselves a bit through art and design when wearing them.” The move coincides with Threadless’s decision to give artists 60% of apparel sales from their shops, although the company said many are donating their face mask profits.

Artists and small businesses are encouraged to participate in the initiative by uploading their designs and logos. Purchase your own face covering from Threadless, and follow the company’s progress on Instagram. If you don’t need a mask but still want to help, you can donate on MedShare’s site.

 

 



Animation Documentary

Bloomers: An Animated Documentary Recounts the History Behind an Undergarment Business

March 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Consumers are paying closer attention to the ethics and business practices behind the products they buy, and animated documentarian Samantha Moore is shining a light on one company creating everyday essentials. Last year, the Shropshire-based creator released “Bloomers,” a short film that chronicles the history of the Manchester-based lingerie company Ella and Me, which began production in the United Kingdom before moving abroad and back again.

From flowing silk to lace-trimmed underwear strung up only to be snipped apart, the detailed project colors mostly the garments, swaths of fabric, and spindles of string. The workers and machines remain black-and-white line drawings throughout the film as it walks through the manufacturing cycle from design to consumer purchases.

Moore helps illuminate the impacts rising production costs had on Ella and Me since its beginning as a mom-and-pop business. She documents its inception and even the employees’s familial connections to the textile industry. The animation is set to a diverse soundtrack that includes interviews with the company’s team, in addition to noises commonly found on the production room floor, like scissors slicing through soft cotton and the repetitive tick of sewing machines.

Since its release, “Bloomers” was nominated for the Best Short Film at the British Animation Awards 2020, was the winner of the Best British Film at London International Animation Festival 2019, and took home the top prize as the Best Documentary at ReAnima International Film Festival 2019. Keep up with Moore’s animated documentaries on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Craft Design

Gummy Bears, Sugary Cereal, and Sushi Converted into Playful Apparel by Nicole McLaughlin

March 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin

Nicole McLaughlin (previously) ensures she always has a snack at her fingertips—or stashed in a puffy vest or lining the top of her sandals. The former Reebok graphic designer creates upcycled clothing, footwear, and household items from pouches of gummy candy, old fleece jackets, and even inflated bags of popcorn. Often prominently displaying logos, McLaughlin’s projects provide a humorous take on branding and fashion trends.

The playful pieces also are part of the designer’s years-long efforts toward creating environmentally aware fashion. “I would go to thrift stores and try to find something that I could make something new out of,” McLaughlin told WWD of her initial desire to create her converted, and now edible, apparel. “This inspired my philosophy to be more sustainable and I adopted being sustainable into my practices as a designer, because there’s so much to be done here.” To see what she thinks up next, follow McLaughlin on Instagram.

 

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Design

Elegant Jewelry Collection Designed by Mara Paris Profiles Subtle Faces

February 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mara Paris, shared with permission

An admirer of Pablo Picasso’s and Henri Matisse’s single-line drawings, Ayça Ozbank Taskan of Mara Paris has developed an elegant jewelry collection influenced by the two artists. The Paris-based designer portrays the personas dominating her work through simple profiles with few facial details. Although the noses and mouths differ throughout the series, each figurative piece features a prominent eye. The delicate collection includes earrings, rings, and necklaces, in addition to a more uncommon piece: Designed to sit at the front of the ear, the Dina Ear Cuff is billed as “a gentle ode to art that is always found in unexpected places.” You can purchase the minimalist adornments in Mara Paris’s shop. Head to Instagram to follow the brand’s latest designs and to keep up with Ozbank Taskan.

 

 



Craft

Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Asya Kozina and Dmitry Kozin, shared with permission

Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”

Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.

 

 



Design Photography

Nairobi's Motor Taxi Drivers Sport Extravagant Costumes in 'Boda Boda Madness'

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Machete Rider.” All images © Jan Hoek, shared with permission

Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.

“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)

“Vybes Rider”

“Ghost Rider”

“Lion Rider”

“Mad Max Rider”

“Rasta Rider”

“Red Devil Rider”

Hoek and Case stand with the riders