We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit in Netflix and I was so impressed by the cinematography, costumes, sets and the overall impeccable production design and styling. The last time a series’ art direction and design made such an impression on me was when I watched Mad Men.
The show is situated in the 1950s and ’60s as the story’s fictional heroine Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) — a brilliant yet self-destructive chess prodigy raised in an orphanage — rises to international fame.
The show’s production designer Uli Hanisch is behind the sets, whether it’s the orphanage, or the traditional mid-century-modern home, or the glamorous chess-tournament events hosted in Las Vegas, Paris and Mexico City. Everything is palette-matched and perfect. Special mention will have to go to the full-pattern and colourful wallpapers inside the Wheatley home.
It is interesting that, while the story spans the globe, most of The Queen’s Gambit was shot in Berlin, even the Aztec Hotel chess tournament which is supposedly based in Mexico City.
Designed by Gabriele Binder, costumes for The Queen’s Gambit reflect the growing sophistication and self-assurance of the main character, often incorporating structural lines and black-and-white patterns, taking inspiration by chess colours, while paying homage to Pierre Cardin, Courrèges and the Mod style of the era.
A very interesting (virtual) exhibition of the costumes included in the series is presented in “The Queen and The Crown” by the Brooklyn Museum.
“Of Course a Horse” is the name of the new campaign from Gucci, photographed and directed by Yiorgos Lanthimos in Los Angeles and Chateau Marmont. Great soundtrack, outrageous styling and of course, horses!
Love the style of Annelie Vandendael, a Belgian-born photographer. She uses very interesting and playful imagery in her pictures like fish, ice-cream and animals. Using a Hasselblad analog camera, she likes to show the realistic nature of her subjects.
She says: “Nowadays it is no longer obvious to see real images because they are all manipulated and photoshopped. Representing real people with their imperfections is far more interesting for me! I depict the human being rather as a piece of nature than as an object. It is a reaction against examples of fashion photography in which the personality of the individual is irrelevant. Therefore I aim to let the authenticity of the body speak for itself. A manipulated body gives us a wrong perception of reality anyway.”
I would love to have a pair of these Marijuana Stockings by Strathcona. The brand specializes in fine printed socks, objects and leisure wear, all of which are limited-edition and original: painted, collaged, photographed or drawn by founder/artist Ryley O’Byrne.
Beautiful jewelry inspired by simple scribbles. The Australian artist Iris Saar Isaacs used her own scribbles to create witty and contemporary designs for brooches, earrings and necklaces made with stainless steel, aluminium and rubber.
A very cool tribute to calligraphy: The world of contemporary calligraphy inspires the new Persol Calligrapher Edition for eyewear. The featured artist in the company’s latest communication campaign is Paul Antonio, Persol’s official calligrapher and also one of the official Royal calligraphers in London. You can see some more of his excellent calligraphy demonstrations in Persol’s Vimeo channel.
Amazing colors and photography! The classic Italian shoe brand Santoni and the storytelling photographer Simone Bramante (aka @brahmino on Instagram) have joined forces for a new campaign called Tales of Colours. The campaign highlights Santoni’s exclusive service offering the opportunity to create customized shoes in a selection of colours of your choice.