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Art Digest: February 15—21

By Februar 21, 2021 No Comments
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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: February 15—21

Whew, New York Fashion Week has just ended, taking place in the first part of the week. I mean, it was an exciting, at some point rather unexpected show, so now it’s time to process the impressions. While an extensive review of the event is about to come up, we can already discuss some of its striking moments: e.g. how Anna Sui designers referred to Jane Birkin’s character from the 1968 movie in the brand’s Fall Winter 2021 collection. However, the current episode is not only about the NYFW 2021, but also some other news from the battlefield of fashion, arts, and, suddenly, food packaging design! The latter topic is well-known to most of us beginning from childhood, thus, I just couldn’t pass by… So welcome aboard, we’re about to take off!

Big Mac ® packaging by Pearlfisher. Courtesy of Pearlfisher

‘Innate joy of the McDonald’s’ in a new packaging designed by Pearlfisher 

I’m sure everyone knows this feeling. You have a long drive in a car with your sweetheart or family members. Suddenly you see an inviting red sign with a yellow letter M on it on the back of the road… Hesitation fades away, McDonalds is always a good idea! When you drive up to a food pick up window, what would you choose? Most probably, a Big Mac®? Well, since you’re a fish lover, you might take a Fillet-O-Fish®, and cheese enthusiasts will opt for the Cheeseburger®. Regardless of the country, most of us are used to roughly the same design of the packaging of our favorite McDonalds snacks. Yet from now on, things are getting different. 

Fast food chain McDonalds has briefed the branding agency Pearlfisher to create a new design for its food packaging. The main goal for the designers was to reflect McDonald’s‘ ‘playful point-of-view’ and its ‘innate joy’, Hamish Campbell, executive creative director at Pearlfisher shares. Graphics unveiled by the branding agency feature simple, recognizable, and facetious packaging items, each of them speaking for itself: e.g. the white wrapper of the EggMcMuffin® has a yellow ‘yolk’ on it, while the Quarter Pounder® box is covered with the stripes of ‘grilled cheese’ and ‘beef’. However, it’s the conical red packaging of the McDonalds French Fries® that undergoes no changes (perhaps they couldn’t think of anything better yet). To sum things up, the new McDonalds packaging design by Pearlfisher bribes with its witty simplicity, but shall it fully replace the existing and already fancied one? Well, time will show. 

New packaging design for McDonalds by Pearlfisher. Courtesy of Pearlfisher

In a Barbie world: designer Richard Quinn takes a doll to showcase his new collection 

Aged 31, London-based fashion designer Richard Quinn has already gained favor of such famous fashionistas as Queen Elisabeth II and singer Lady Gaga. Actually, why wouldn’t he? Apart from having incorporated technical-design smarts into his outfits, along with his signature wallpaper prints, Quinn also cares about the message: for instance, in his latest collections the designer has touched upon the topic of Brexit chaos, sharing his bold and positive ‘I-want-it-to-be-London-centric’ outlook. This time, however, Richard Quinn demonstrates a kind of a more laid-back attitude, testing a look from his Fall 2021 collection… on a Barbie doll! The collection is human-sized, by the way. 

‘If we were able to show this season, Barbie would be our woman of choice to open the show,’ Mr. Quinn explains in a statement. Okay, the point taken: since couturiers can’t come up with physical fashion shows yet, why not think about extraordinary ways of presenting new collections? A generously embellished gown based on a crinoline the Barbie mannequin wears was hand-crafted by Quinn’s atelier, #nooutsourcing. All in all, it took the tailors 10 days to complete the marvelous look. By the way, Richard Quinn x Barbie collaboration is a part of London Fashion Week unfolding these days. Check her official Instagram account, @barbiestyle to explore some other baby-doll looks. 

Richard Quinn Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear collection. Photo_ Carlo Scarpato

A gown from Richard Quinn Fall 2021 collection, showcased on a Barbie doll. Courtesy of Richard Quinn_

Richard Quinn Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear collection. Photo_ Carlo Scarpato

A bit of Jane Birkin in Anna Sui Fall Winter 2021 collection 

You remember that? Psychedelic looks in Anna Sui Fall Winter 2021 presentation broadcasted at the latest New York Fashion Week. Just in case you’ve missed it, there is a video below. But let me finish my thought. Couturier Anna Sui like no one knows that the devil is in the details, this rule perfectly works for the field of fashion, even if the collection items seem to be speaking for themselves.

That’s what we see in her Fall Winter 2021 campaign: titled ‘Phantasmadelic’, the collection features such boho outfits as faux-fur leopard coats, rhythmically-patterned tees and shirts, easy dresses embellished with ruching and sequins. The looks are topped with tender yet artistic makeup, inspired by the 1968 film ‘Wonderwall’. Performed by the incredible Jane Birkin, the main character, quite a typical swinging 60s fashion model is in the focus of her neighbor’s attention, who is a conventional scientist and has a nose for extraordinary, ‘beyond-one’s-self-control’ effects and their carriers. Yes, exactly, the movie is about the vibrant and psychedelic world of the artistic bohemia at that time, so you can imagine it’s rich visual aesthetics. Interesting enough, Jane Birkin’s character is called Penny Lane, just like the famous song by the Beatles, and what’s more, music for ‘Wonderwall’ was produced by George Harrison, the quartet’s lead guitarist. The carrying away sound, Jane’s chic cut-crease eye makeup and her dreamy outfits, that’s what makes the work a perfect source for inspiration. But you know, seeing is believing, so after getting enough of Anna Sui Fall Winter 2021 presentation, you might want to check out the film.

‘Neon Structure’ by Lucio Fontana to grace Guggenheim Bilbao’s atrium 

I bet the first work by Lucio Fontana that may come to your mind will be something from his Concetto Spaziale series or paintings with slots. It’s no wonder, while Fontana is widely known as the founder of Spatialism, an art movement, which proclaims synthesizing different mediums like color, sound, and space into a new type of an artistic expression. Concetto Spaziale is a really important part of the painter’s oeuvre, but not the only one. That’s what Guggenheim Bilbao might have thought about while arranging Fontana’s installation in the museum’s atrium, which, for its part, will be embellished by the artwork during the next three years. 

The light installation ‘Neon Structure’ by Lucio Fontana dates back to 1951, the year when the Ninth Milan Triennial themed Goods — Standards’ took place. Creating his work for the Triennial, the famous artist partially referred to the idea of light drawings introduced by his equally famous colleague Pablo Picasso a few years earlier, yet Fontana believed in the authenticity of his pet project. Meanwhile critics of the mid 20th century couldn’t fully appreciate the artist’s multifunctional concept, Lucio Fontana annoyingly noted in his statement: ‘[It] is not a lasso, an arabesque, nor a piece of spaghetti… it is the beginning of a new expression’. From now on, a wonderful piece of the luminous spaghetti (sorry, Lucio) will grace the atrium of Guggenheim Bilbao, just like it was at the Ninth Milan Triennial, at the Palazzo dell’Arte 70 years ago. 

Artist Pablo Picasso with his work ‘Light Drawing’ (1949). Photo_ Getty Images

Artist Lucio Fontana working upon his Spatial Concept painting. Photo_ Getty Images

‘Neon Structure’ by Lucio Fontana at the Palazzo del Arte, Milan (1951). Courtesy_ Photo Archive Fondazione La Triennale de Milano

On the cover: Jane Birkin in ‘Wonderwall’, 1968. Photo: Pinterest