Last spring, something curiously wonderful occurred at the offices of Mary Katrantzou: people began to send in illustrations of her Autumn Winter 2012 collection. One by one, the team began to share the works of art on the Mary Katrantzou Facebook page… and the artworks kept rolling in. In early June, the clever minds of Katrantzou seized the social engagement opportunity and an inspired illustration competition was officially conceived. What would be the prize? Scoring a much coveted seat at the Mary Katrantzou Spring Summer 2013 show in September. This serendipitous contest has now come to an end and the lucky (and talented) winner will be announced on September 1st. Meantime, above is a small curation of the stunning creativity in the running. Below is the BeautifulCurious pick for “Best in Show”, but we wish every artist the best of luck and of course applaud the social media brilliance here.
All of the entries can be seen here
High luxury is serious business and it is easy to understand why such brands rigorously guard their secrets. Yet there is one among this set who boldly gives theirs away: Hermés. Okay, not really, but this most revered brand so humbly invites us to partake in their very special blend of pretend through an animated video on the Hermés YouTube Channel. It is a peek at what secrets will conclusively be revealed on the Hermés website where an interactive cut away of various workshops and departments at 24 Faubourg awaits discovery. The most wonderful part about the experience is that the whimsical charm does not compromise the prestige of Hermés luxury whatsoever. In fact, it is all the more endearing that such pure unadulterated values of inspiration, curiosity and creativity are so venerated…. perhaps the secret is revealed after all.
Instagram continues to be an ever more relevant consumer engagement tool for luxury brands, including Burberry, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Armani, Audi, and Hermès. The visual ease it provides for visual storytelling to exist – from both sides – is not all that dissimilar to the cross collaboration concept of the Target and Neiman Marcus variety. It’s an endearing blend of high (fashion) low (tech) in the space where incumbent, wealthy consumers view the luxury experience as inclusive rather than exclusive. Add to this the arrival of V Magazine’s 2012 Fall Preview featuring the editorial titled #InstaGlam by Kacper Kasprzyk, which is inspired by the rich, punchy tones that are achieved through the ease of Instagram filters. Be it a product launch, a peek behind the scenes, an interactive brand endeavor, or a form yet to be, these little pictures are worth well more than a thousand words.
With this post begins a weekly feature on BeautifulCurious called “Curious Luxury”. Curious Luxuries will be a curation of unexpected, creative, clever, or innovative luxuries. Without further ado, here is Curious Luxury No. 1:
Download, print, color, cut, fold, glue… In a few words, attaining a Kelly or Jigé handbag has never been so simple. A few clicks of traveling the world of Hermès online at www.hermes.com will take you to this delightful collection of do-it-yourself paper handbags. These are just a few of the creative and inspiring surprises awaiting discovery. Enjoy a few BeautifulCurious favorites…
Download Paper Jigé
Download Paper Kelly
In the beginning, there was Karl. Or at least this is so for the very curious role of “Diet Coke Creative Director”. And now there is Jean Paul Gaultier. Sometimes less is more – just watch.
Prada Parallel Universe
Make way for Prada, who is clearly paving their road to digital success with their “Parallel Universes” campaign for the Spring/Summer 2012 accessories collection. These playful retro gems by illustrator/graphic designer Vahram Muratyan (of “Paris versus New York” fame) are so charming that it makes one pause to marvel at how innovation can be so simple. If these animated delights are not enough, there is sure to be more where this came from:
“They” say it’s the shoes that make a man, but does anyone dare say what makes a lady? Chantal Thomass and Antoine Herlbert seem to have a very convincing suggestion on this matter. Antoine’s hyper-realistic, sumptuous illustrations for Chantal Thomass commands attention as well as sheer delight. The delicately detailed craft of this storied lingerie brand is so beautifully rendered that it is difficult to say which is more seductive: the lingerie or the art?
For good measure, it’s best to explore both:
There is a certain kind of charm to behold in vintage text books, such as the smell of aged parchment or lavishly drawn diagrams of living organisms, inked in a certain color palette of a certain time. And if you’re really lucky, such text books have passed through the hands of Michael Baumgarten, as seen in Vogue Gioiello. Hidden inside volumes of the natural world happen to be intricately carved niches, hosting some of earth science’s finest specimens. Diamonds shimmer alongside a family of coral and blue sapphires meander among transparent microorganisms. Science is a treasure.