Monday, February 22, 2016


Ana Rajcevic's Animal headpiece
"Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder," and how one perceives beauty takes on extraordinary "discourse around the transformative power of aesthetic innovation" said Caroline Baumann, director of the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
      Now is your chance to assess the recent work from the most outstanding voices in the global design scene. "Beauty -Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial," the fifth installment of the museum's popular contemporary design exhibition series is on view through August 21, 2016.  With projects ranging from experimental prototypes and interactive games to fashion ensembles and architectural interventions, "Beauty" will stimulate the imagination, assault your senses with innovation and perhaps even demand that you reassess your concept of  what is considered beautiful.  Image: Ana Rajcevic's Animal headpieces partly obscure the face of the wearer, questioning the boundary between humans and animals. Photo by Matt Flynn.
      The image provoking exhibit features works by 63 designers filling most of two floors of the museum with more than 250 works from around the globe and explores beauty through themes: Extravagant, Intricate, Ethereal, Transgressive, Emergent , Elemental and Transformative.
Alfreaks by Haas Brothers/ Monkeybiz 
TRANSGRESSIVE is an eye catcher that should resonate with anyone young at heart. On view for the first time in the United States, be sure to see the charming, whimsical Alfreaks. The collection of fantastical beaded creatures, created by Haas Brothers in collaboration with Monkeybiz, is a nonprofit income generating bead project that works with craftswomen from the Khayelitsha township outside of Cape Town, South Africa. The Haas Bother is the partnership of designer and twin brothers Nikolai (Niki) and Simon Haas. Playful and confrontational they create furniture and sculptural objects that explores themes of nature, sexuality, society equity and authorship. In 2014, they began collaborating with Monkeybiz.  The bead artists lovingly call themselves "The Haas Sisters" and together they create the expressive, fantastical and joyful Alfreaks collection. 

Image: Fantastical beaded creatures created by Haas Brothers in collaboration with Monkeybiz.
        Fashion takes a spin into the dramatic with clothing concepts that are more sculptured forms with chameleon characteristics than mere wearable art. Lauren Bowker founder of the London-based fashion and accessory house, The Unseen, engages contemporary materials, and like the leopard who changes his spots, creates stunning garments that change color based on heat, wind pressure and turbulence. 
'The Scarab" by The Unseen 
Image: This leather jacket that takes a unique direction in fashion, by the use of chemical technology created by the designers of TheUnseen. It is covered in ink that responds to heat and wind pressure and when automated fans blow on the garment, it reacts and changes colors. Photo by Johnny Lee.
     Lauren Bowker, founder of TheUnseen, leads two hands-on Color Alchemy Workshops exploring contemporary materials. Bowker, who creates stunning garments that change color based on heat, wind pressure and turbulence guides participants through the precise chemical process for hand-dying their own color-changing leather. Saturday, February 27th 3-4:30 pm and 6-7:30 pm. Registration required $25 general, $20 members, $15 students.
      Ta Ta darlings!!! It's a wild, wonderful world of amazing innovation, worth a visit to "Beauty--Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial."  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and click on the Blog that resonates with your interest. The link is located in the left-hand column.

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