Monthly Archives: May 2013

Meeting luxury artisans at Hermès Festival des Métiers exhibition

30 : 05 : 2013

By Alison Bishop

Festival des Métiers, the touring exhibition from Hermès, touched down at London’s Saatchi Gallery for a short week and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of experiencing luxury as it is being crafted, so I had to pop in. So far the 18-month- old Hermès exhibition, which gives the public access to the skills of the luxury brand’s artisans, has visited the US and Asia and is now jetting across Europe.

There are around 15 processes on display with a senior artisan working through their current projects in the exhibition instead of in the Hermès atelier. Wandering around the mini replica workshops visitors can see a porcelain plate being hand drawn or a component of a classic Birkin being made. My favourite craft experience was the large silk screen-printing process – a particular highlight for its intricate precision detail. After hearing about my blogger friend DisneyRollerGirl’s trip to Lyon, where the scarves or ‘carrés’ are made, it was a bit of a luxury to be able to witness it for myself too.

Like the Chanel No 5 Culture exhibition in Paris or the Dior Impressions art-meets-couture event at the Musée Christian Dior in Granville, luxury brands are opening up their workshops and archives to consumers in an effort to show off the specialist and artisan craft that goes into the manufacture of products.

On LS:N Global, we call this trend Show Your Working. For more, see our Save Our Artisans microtrend.

Time Magazine : Pair Your Pumps with Lipstick: Net-A-Porter Launches Beauty Category

22 : 05 : 2013

LS:N Global editor, Lucie Greene speaks to Times writer William Lee Adams about Net-A-Porter’s foray into beauty. Greene says the expansion makes perfect sense,‘they can funnel their vast and loyal audience to their own beauty offer and benefit from the sales.’

Read the full article here.

Confused.com : GAME ON! : The Rise of the Personal Information Player

20 : 05 : 2013

Research we recently conducted for Confused.com shows that 35% of people in the UK have already used a self-quantifying app or service to monitor their fitness levels, mental health, and sleep patterns.

To download and read the full report see here.

The report also received media coverage on The Drumthe Money Advice Service, and Corp Comms.

The research feeds back into LS:N Global’s macrotrend about personal data, Personal Information Economy (PIE).

Stay tuned for more.

Rhizome Seven on Seven Conference 2013

14 : 05 : 2013

By Shepherd Laughlin

LS:N Global is interdisciplinary at its core. Trends don’t fit neatly within retail, technology, design or food, they often cross boundaries in unexpected ways.

The chance to see worlds colliding in real time drew us to the Seven on Seven Conference in Manhattan, organized by Rhizome, a website and nonprofit that promotes emerging artistic practices that engage technology. The event brought together seven leading technologists with seven leading artists to produce something – an idea, a service, a conversation – in a single day.

Before the teams delivered the results, the audience heard a keynote from Evgeny Morozov, one of the most strident critics of ‘technology will save us’ zealots in the Silicon Valleys of the world. In a new and widely noted book, Morozov pegs such people as ‘solutionists,’ all too ready to throw new technology at any complex human problem, often with unintended consequences.

But Morozov endorsed the day’s proceedings. ‘This is where there’s an opportunity to interact with designers and architects and artists, who might be able to articulate the kind of values that matter beyond efficiency,’ he said. ‘Finding ways to embody that vision into actual physical projects is something that technologists and designers will have to think hard about.’

Three thought-provoking projects

: Artist and composer Fatima Al Qadiri worked with Dalton Caldwell, founder of app.net, an ad-free social network. The two focused on the idea of information overload, which they called data dread. ‘How do we talk about the fact that a bottle of water wants to be your friend and give you updates?’ Caldwell asked the audience.

The pair responded with constantupdate.net, a video meant to be lasting, permanent and outside the online social conversation. Seeking visuals that would not look dated 20 years from now, they settled on Helvetica text flashing words such as ‘durable,’ ‘uninterrupted,’ and ‘fixed.’ A musical interpretation of digital notification sounds provided the score.

LS:N Global has described consumer reactions to information overload in our New Sublimity macrotrend.

: Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer teamed up with Harper Reed, chief technology officer for Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. This pair also found themselves inspired by the absurd aspects of Web 2.0, specifically the idea of having hundreds or thousands of ‘friends.’

Their creation, friendfracker.com, might be called antisocial media. The tool deletes between one and ten of a user’s Facebook friends, and does not indicate which ones it chooses. The site specifically tries to induce the feeling of having lost something unspecified. ‘The art is not knowing who was deleted,’ Lozano-Hemmer said. ‘And if you don’t know who was deleted, good riddance.’

: Julie Uhrman, founder of open-source video game console OUYA, was paired with self-styled Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey. Bailey delights in calling attention to the artifice of his own practice, and throughout the talk wore an iPad around his neck on a bling-y gold chain.

Uhrman and Bailey discovered that they both liked games and winning, and that they disliked PowerPoint. With this in mind, they reinvented the presentation as a video game. Sensors measured loudness of speech and expressive hand gestures, tallying up points over an avatar of the presenter projected behind the stage. Although the project was farcical, Uhrman and Bailey saw real-world potential for a tool to give feedback on presentation styles.

Check back with LS:N Global for more US events coverage, including our upcoming review of the Inside 3D Printing show in New York.

Going live: The presentation’s the thing

13 : 05 : 2013

By Peter Firth

The taxi rides are the worst. London ebbs past as you pensively wait in the back seat to arrive. At the venue you meet the organisers, set up and do your best to disguise the inner turmoil. The time for last-minute additions and note-scribbling has passed. All there is to do is take a quick slurp of tea and conduct a quick mental battening down of the hatches. Then you stand up.

‘Hi everyone, thanks for coming. I’m Peter Firth…’

As the newest member of the presentations team, I am trying my hand at in-house Trend Briefings, brand workshops and student presentations, and I’ve even been let on stage at the Tate Tanks. Since joining the editorial team at LS:N Global in 2011, I have written stories that have ranged from 150-word bulletins to 3,000-word macrotrend features, and covered topics from connected animals to insect dining. Now I get to share the ideas I write about every day with people in a live setting. It’s nerve-wracking, exhausting and terrific fun.

Meanwhile, the presentation has started. The clicker seems to be working and the audience looks expectant. The wobble in your voice goes unnoticed and people start nodding as you speak. So far, so good…

To learn more about how LS:N Global delivers bespoke and off-the-shelf presentations to clients internationally, emailDom Rodgers or call +44 (0) 20 7186 0102.

A very Marimekko tour

10 : 05 : 2013

By Helena Balls

A couple of weeks ago some of the LS:N Global team travelled north to a lovely but slightly cold Helsinki to host our first Trend Briefing there. It was a brilliant few days and to top it all off I was invited to visit the iconic Finnish textile company Marimekko.

On arrival at the premises outside Helsinki I sat down in the beautiful Marimekko sofas to wait for my host, Päivi Lonka, who is part of the management group. While I was waiting I was invited to browse in the on-site store where a friendly sale was open to the public. It was rammed, in a very organised way, with the most beautiful items of clothing, accessories and decorative items. There is also a massive room dedicated to the world-famous Marimekko textiles.

After meeting Päivi and her colleagues Niina Nenonen and Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko I was taken around the showrooms to see the most stunning displays, including the 2013 fairy tale-like Christmas collection, already on show, and a spring/summer 2013 table made for summer lunches or dinners. The summer collection was inspired by Finnish nature such as the rich archipelago, blue skies and wild forests and meadows.

Next was a tour of the textile-printing factory. On the way we walked through a stock room filled with colourful printed fabrics, ranging from the iconic 60s print of the Poppy to last season’s laid back and subtle spring prints.

The factory is not as big as you might expect, but there are loads of elements and stations with different things happening. In the colour kitchen designers mix and select the perfect Pantone shades for a specific print, and in the sampling area staff test their own screens on a piece of fabric to see if it works. Then, of course, there is the station where each centimetre of fabric is checked manually for any faults or imperfections.

What a great place to work. You can not only come up with designs, prints and patterns, but also perform the tests and sampling yourself and finally see your designs go through the factory to the finished product. The whole Marimekko building is a very inspirational, colourful and mood-lifting place, to say the least.

See our facebook album for more photos from the tour.

VOGUE FESTIVAL 2013

07 : 05 : 2013

By Lucie Greene / Photography by Morgan O’Donovan

With heels on, red lips and a suitably statement-making skirt, I descended on the Vogue Festival on 27–28 April – the second after the event was launched last year. This year’s festival was bigger and better than ever. Those interviewed on stage included Michael Kors, founder of Net-A-Porter Natalie Massenet, Victoria Beckham, Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace and panels including model David Gandy, Patsy Kensit and Daisy Lowe.

Vogue is the latest of a growing number of magazines to launch festivals – offering readers and fans a 360-degree way to immerse themselves in the brand. The Guardian newspaper, Wired, Monocle and It’s Nice That have all recently begun hosting ticketed events where readers can see expert talks, take part in discussions, or engage in workshops. At Vogue’s event readers could have their own Dior Eyes done, and then photograph themselves against a Vogue magazine wall.

The tickets for the Vogue festival weren’t cheap, at £30–40 per session, so this was clearly as much about boosting revenue as about branding and exposure. And it looks like it was a success on that front too – the event was packed with fans, industry types and international students.

I went to see the Michael Kors discussion with Yasmin le Bon on Saturday, and the Victoria Beckham and Alber Elbaz interviews with Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, both held on Sunday.

The Kors talk was fantastic, an outline of his remarkable rise to stardom with long-term model and muse Le Bon. What struck me most was his innate understanding of – and focus on – his core customers. Kors talked about his early years in retail and how that early connection to female shoppers, what they wanted and how they wanted to feel in clothing, has driven his entire business. He recommended that any budding designer start out working in retail to gain a key understanding of what women want.

Alber Elbaz was typically charming – and discussed his love of his female clientele too. ‘It was not the story of design or clothes, it was the fantasy of women that made me want to work in fashion,’ he said. (There is a reason that women become addicted to his party dresses, which make any woman, of any age, look incredible.)

Victoria Beckham was also self-deprecatingly funny, and as engaging as ever. ‘I’m nice. Everyone thinks I’m going to be a cow,’ she said, smiling. ‘I understand it actually. I think the same when I see the pictures,’ she joked. She also talked about how she juggles her family life with a hectic schedule.

Beckham has pulled off a hat trick. Her brand is now recognised as a credible luxury label. The clothes are beautiful. The bags are too. Remarkably, she has harnessed her celebrity power to drive her label’s success and visibility without compromising the integrity or feeling of luxury. Celebrity fashion labels are 10-a-penny, but hers is independently desirable. Her Facebook page is a lesson in this. Much like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, the powerful thing is the sense of personal connection to readers. Both feature just enough first-person, informal quips and snaps of their family, or references to friends, that when you follow them you feel like their friend. This is then skilfully integrated with product shots, press clips and promotions. Clever.

What struck me most about the festival was its intelligent – and at times – insider content. We have been saying it on LS:N Global for a while, but there genuinely seems to be an interest in, and awareness of, insider fashion. Among the big-name Q&As, Vogue’s festival featured debates about body image, a snapshot of to how a photo shoot is made, and a discussion about the rise of fashion blogging featuring Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo, Susie Lau (or Susie Bubble) and Garance Doré. There was a genuine feeling of a salon or progressive discussion.

Finally – I have to share this for those social marketers out there – I loved their idea of putting business cards on each of the seats for every talk. The cards featured the correct Twitter handle, name and hash tag so that fans were not only reminded to share their experience, but to credit the correct channels. Nice one.

Milan Design Week highlights

01 : 05 : 2013

This year’s Milan Design week was quieter than recent years with the financial problems of the eurozone in evidence around the city. But that didn’t stop us from sending three of LS:N Global’s team to report on one of the biggest and most celebrated design shows in the world.

Colour and vibrancy were prevalent at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile and the Re-enlightenment Rising trend shone through with scientific processes at the forefront of design directions as well as rough and ready production methods.

LS:N Global’s Seed section is the open-access section of the network. Updated three times daily, it covers the top stories in trends around the globe.

Here are our pick of the top Seed stories from Milan this year:

Pump it up: Puff! furniture is an experience
Israeli designer Moran Barmaper has created the Puff! collection of metal furniture that can be inflated with a bicycle pump, adding a different experience for users.

On a plate: Designers roll out edible tableware
The latest project by students from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam repurposes kitchen appliances as tools to make biodegradable and edible tableware.

Performance art: Dixon gives Adidas mobile slant
The Capsule for Adidas by Tom Dixon is an installation designed to demonstrate the sports brand’s knowledge of performance through Dixon’s inventive and slick designs.