What is Luxury? Being an Outsider

Luxury is ubiquitous, craft has been commodified and, according to Peter York, “authenticity is a con.” When luxury is no longer luxurious and limited editions can be purchased at Primark, only ultra-luxury will do. This means finding something that no one else can have, or afford – be it bespoke, vintage or antique – perhaps a pair […]

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Dreamtime for Indigenous Australian Textile Designs

In anticipation of the British Museum’s forthcoming Indigenous Australia exhibition, we look at the rise of Aboriginal textile designs in fashion and interiors. Indigenous Australians’ oral tradition and spiritual values are based upon reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime – a sacred era when ancestral totemic spirit beings created the world. […]

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Cave Paintings Inspire Primitivist Fashion

The oldest art ever discovered is now available for public viewing. But the cave paintings to be seen in the Ardèche region of France are in fact recent reproductions of the originals. The Chauvet cave, named after Jean-Marie Chauvet, one of the three people who found the treasure trove of Paleolithic paintings, is open rarely, to just a […]

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Inventing a More Caring Future: Designs of the Year 2015

The main difficulty with an all encompassing design competition is that, ultimately, it does not compare like with like. Some of the entries are life changing, or could affect us all in the future. Others seem more of an artistic expression, designed purely for our amusement. There is the added complication that, whilst some of the […]

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Freak Out: The Body as a Canvas

A far cry from bespectacled, retro-inspired geek chic – or the homogenized normcore look, is the trend for increasingly extreme tattooing and body piercing. Although tattoos have been around since Neolithic times, and 5000-year old mummified humans have been found with body piercings, the relatively recent association of such body adornments with sailors and criminal gangs has […]

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Back to Nature: Primitive Materials in Design

Ancient tribal crafts were based upon the faith of Animism – the worship of nature, and the belief that natural physical entities possess a spiritual essence. Traditional tribes hunted for food, then used every last piece of the animals they slaughtered to create useful products. They were resourceful and respected the natural world. We may […]

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