M a r c h
2 0 1 3
Fragments Design Magazine Chinese international school
The Vintage Issue
TablE of Contents Pg1 Credits Pg2 Letter from the editors FeatureD
Vintage Fashion Shoot
Pg9 Retrospect throught the lenses Pg10 Chairs Pg11 Typewriter
Pg12 ThE National Palace Museum Pg15 Making new technology Old school
Vintage: a style with no end
Vintage: a style with no end Pg18 Dead skin bags Pg19 Vintage Shopping
Vintage Fashion photoshoot
Mad men: set design
Pg29 Mad men: Costume Design Pg31 Mad men: Inspired photoshoot Spaces
Pg35 Traipsing through the traditional Pg39 Business of design week Pg43 Special Thanks
Business of Design Week
Mad men Inspired photoshoot
Art & Layout
layout director Doroty Sanussi Layout Artists Ariana barreau, Anny teng & Nicole Wang Artists Chloe Barreau, Sharon fung, Haani jetha & Bernetta li
contributing Writers Isabella key, ming yan lee, Beatrice chia, stephanie ng & Justina yam Models Charlotte Baughan & louise wihlborn Hair and Make-up Isabelle Ashworth & sophie pu
Ms. Chin Hwa Kang EditorS-In-Chief
Ariana Barreau & Mir Jetha
Creative Director - Isabella Key
Style Director - Beatrice Chia
contributing Writers ariana barreau, sasha corr, May Huang, Stephanie lun, Justina Yam and natasha young
Photography director - Anastasia Salnikow
contributing Writers cara fung, may huang and audrey ou
editorial assistant - Kate wang
contributing Photographers Ariana Barreau, Jessica eu, Stephanie Lau, Isabella Lu and anastasia salnikow
Director of business - Rachel Chung
Public Relations Director - Zacharie Star Zee
contributing Writers Mir jetha & Stephanie ChEUNG
Senior Editors - George Ho, May huang,
angela yang & natasha young
ince its launch in 2012, Fragments has strived to live up to its mm mission of looking at design through a different lens by presenting quirky observations, intriguing art and photography as well as thought-provoking articles on topics from Chinese Renaissance architecture in Hong Kong to animal skin bags. Hence, the magazine with its bits and pieces: Fragments. As a student-led design magazine, Fragments aims to provide an opportunity to showcase student talent while exploring the concept of design. Fragments currently has 45 staff members from years 8-13, including writers, editors, photographers, artists and layout designers. Over the next few months, we hope to expand our team. The theme of our pilot issue is vintage everything harking back to the 1960’s - fashion, architecture, product design, photography and art. The theme resonates in the 21st century; designers around the globe are embarking on innovative and expressive projects, but a tinge of nostalgia remains in the air. And in Hong Kong, “vintage” or “retro” seems to be a trend on the rise, saluting a segment of Hong Kong’s rich history. A very big “thank-you” to everyone involved who labored over this issue, particularly Ms. Chin Hwa Kang (our supervisor), who has guided us throughout this creative process. Once you’ve had a chance to pick up a copy of our pilot issue, please share your thoughts with us by filling out our brief survey or by attending our feedback session on March 20th in 1803 at lunchtime. If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading! Ariana Barreau Mir Jetha Editors-In-Chief
Art by Chloe Barreau
Harking Back Designs are everywhere, be it in an art exhibition or on the pane of a cafe window. We live in a modern society where the creative freedom of artists brings thrilling new designs and inspirations. However, there is still a tinge of nostalgia one feels when seeing something that seems to have been teleported to us straight from the infinitely inaccessible past. Therefore, there is little wonder why past trends and designs are once again re-emerging in the design world, and gladly embraced.
An example of a past trend that has once again become popular is the use of instant photography, which includes polaroids and film cameras. Polaroids - images on film - are passed down through the generations, containing bits and pieces intersecting with our different life stories. In 1947, Edwin Land, the founder of the Polaroid Corporation, showed instant photography to the optical society of America. Polaroids quickly became popular and as they were cheap and easily accessible, and were eventually used much more than digital photography. However, in 2001, the Polaroid company went bankrupt and polaroids then became distant, fond memories. In 2009, Polaroids became trendy again as The Impossible Project saved the last original polaroid film from being destroyed and tried to revitalize the use of polaroids. Currently, polaroids are so popular that digital impersonators are produced like apps such as Polarze and ShakeIt. Polaroids are the one and only kind of prints filled with imperfections that somehow make them more unique. They bring a sense of reminiscence with their square shapes and blurriness. As photographer Larry Fink says, “The color combines with soft focus to create images existing in the suspended time of a dream. The everyday appears to us as if from a great distance.” Digital photography, unless heavily edited, would not be able to achieve that. Polaroids have affected so many artists (such as Andy Warhol), as more people take to the trend of experimenting with the theme of vintage photographs by manipulating the canvas. Polaroid shots were also used to test shoot models and studio lighting setups before use. To me, polaroids are like windows that open up into the past, inspiring designers and photographers alike to take a step back reinvent the old. There is just something about the experience of taking a polaroid—something about how the image is slowly brought into focus in your palms that manages to move people emotionally.
Nowadays, there are a lot of retro-styled clothing being sold in big clothing franchises such as Forever 21, H&M, ASOS and Topshop. They seem very recurrent now, and are definitely inspired from the past. This is especially in relation to vintage bands. Just looking around during casuals days at CIS, we can spot at least one person wearing a Beatles t-shirt or a Guns & Roses crop top. Another type of retro-styled clothing is the type considered as ‘high fashion’. Many designers look to these clothing styles from the past to influence and inspire new designs. However, instead of simply copying the designs of clothing from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, designers gather inspiration from them and manipulate the designs to add a modern flair to them. For example, Anna Sui’s 2011 collection had many retro-styled pieces of clothing, with the cutting and patterns of the dresses very 1940’s style, while making the colours of them very modern. The blue dress on the left shows one of her designs with a modern electric blue element. Many celebrities in Hollywood wear retro-styled clothing out and about, and a great example is 22-year old singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. She has expressed a liking for retro-styled fashion, and her wardrobe comprises of many frocks, dresses, skirts and swimsuits inspired by mid-20th century style. A clothing material that is used often in the modern fashion industry is lace. Whether it is stockings, dresses or shoes, it is very popular. The first usage of lace was probably for Queen Elizabeth I’s extravagant clothing, and it has been able to remain a fashion trend till today.
Photos courtesy of Christopher Macsurak
Furniture Apart from polaroids and dresses, furniture design is also greatly inspired from the past. It is convenient that it is so, because the price of posh antique furniture certainly is not cheap. Proof that inspiration has been gleaned from past trends is evident in the Shambala warehouse, a store located in Horizon Plaza. One step into the store takes you several years back in time. The wooden cupboard doors are clasped together with large metal rings, like those in ancient Chinese culture, and to complete the aged look, the wood is only briefly polished so its musty scent remains. Intricate Chinese carvings from the past have also inspired modern designs, evident in the folding-screen, also seen at Shambala. Although minimalistic and more ergonomic chairs and desks are emerging on the market, there is still something about the worn-down and traditionally embellished drawers and rugs that never gets old (pun totally intended).
We dream of the future, and yet we draw our inspirations from things of the past, which is something that is so close and yet so far away. More old trends are resurfacing in todayâ€™s emerging designs in different industries as designers, and photographers and buyers alike are casting their eyes to that past, re-discovering something we miss. Something reminding us of past memories, and something reminding us of bits and pieces that so familiar yet unreachable.
RETROSPECT THROUGH LENSES The Fuji Film x100 is easily one of the most hyped cameras of the year. The new x100 is a digital, compact camera with 23mm length lens, with the ability to take both instagram-style and trendy high quality photos. The camera is designed to be a product of more than one generation: taking the best of both worlds. The camera’s settings imitate the traditional control systems of older cameras with a technical edge. For example, although the camera is mostly controlled manually, it allows both manual and electronic view finding. The frame lines move appropriately as the user moves, and each of its extremely quiet shutters makes it the perfect camera for traveling. Different to today’s fast and speedy DSLR cameras, the x100 takes longer to manually focus, as there is no automatic function. However, don’t be fooled- the x100 definitely delivers the best of both worlds. An old school leather compact design, the ability to manually adjust settings, all giving the camera a personalized touch. It is the type of camera that allows the user to
feel comfortable, personal, and indifferent to its environment. It also offers a number of different effects called “Film Stimulation” to snap shots with. Such unique and hybrid features combined into one camera, has made the x100 one of the most appealing and stylish cameras in today’s market. It is convenient, attractive, and ultimately takes beautiful photographs. The x100 is a tempting product, as it is easy to get carried away with such vivid, but simple effects. Many people feel at ease and natural manually controlling the camera, whilst others find themselves impatient, tedious and frustrated when working out the camera. The x100’s most concerning topic would have to be its price. More expensive than some DSLR’s, the x100 costs 10,200 HKD. Compared to a vintage styled Leica camera is the x100 is quite the bargain, but can be a tricky thing when deciding amongst cheaper DSLR’s. Nevertheless, The x100 is an exceptional camera, and is highly recommended for professional photographers or keen enthusiasts who need a top end camera of a practical size.
Photo courtesy of thephoblographer.com
Written by Justina Yam
CHAIRS Alexandra Corr You’ve memorized all you need to know. You’re as ready as you’ll ever be. You walk into the examination room, nervous but prepared. You find your desk, sit down, the clock starts - but lo and behold- all you can think about is how uncomfortable the chair is. You sit and squirm and you just can never concentrate on your work. The fact is, examination chairs at CIS are not good from any perspective. They don’t encourage any kind of posture, they look like they were made in the 1970’s. They aren’t even cute vintage, but splintery, clunky, sad excuses for a chair. It still remains that you do more work and better work when you’re comfortable. How can you be comfortable in a sickly army green metal frame with two planks of wood haphazardly thrown on as an afterthought? If you look at any well designed chair, you’ll see they take into account the way people sit, and the ergonomics behind chairs. The chairs are all rounded in shape, so even if there’s no padding you’re able to relax without parts of the chair poking into you. Almost all other chairs at CIS follows this type of design, yet the only chairs that haven’t been changed since CIS has opened, are the ones you take examinations in. I hope to live to see the day when CIS students can take exams in comfort, if not style.
Drawings by Bernetta Li
Typewriter Ariana Barreau
There is something very satisfying in typing on an old-school manual typewriter, whether one is punching its noisy spring loaded keys or observing the crisp printed marks it produces on fresh pages. Typewriters were first invented in 1808 and became only toys after the 20th century, but the influence of the typewriter still can be seen today as we use or personal computers. For example, the keyboards on our computers all use the QWERTY layout, which originated on the typewriter. In fact, the typewriter was designed to ensure that the word “typewriter” could be easily typed by using only the top row of the keyboard - try it! I recently discovered an old Victorian typewriter that could be plugged into any computer, capable of transferring what was being typed on a sheet of paper into a digital format! This typewriter is called the USB typewriter and was invented by Jack Zylkin, a founding member of Philadelphia’s first hackerspace, which is where a group of people with the same interests can collaborate on projects (usually related to computer technology). The USB typewriter is the perfect example of a design savvy product that renders vintage items trendy once more. There is also a D.I.Y. Kit available for those have kept their grandmother’s old dusty typewriter and would like to recycle it for a more unique experience when doing homework! The typewriter is a symbol of the past - a memento - that exemplifies the advance of technology. The typewriter makes typing pleasurable!
The National Palace Museum May Huang Photo courtesy of Jovi Ong
Photo courtesy of Nathan Cho
For antique-lovers, the National Palace Museum is one of the most sought-after tourist spots in Taiwan. It was originally located in Beijing to house the artifacts left behind by the boy Emperor Puyi, but during the Japanese invasion, the most treasured artifacts were evacuated South. When 1948 saw struggles between the Nationalist and Communist parties, the decision was made to have them shipped to Taiwan. Most of the artifacts remain there to this day. Probably the most famous artifact - and the most ubiquitous on gift shop keychains - is the ‘Jadeite cabbage with Insects,’ first made during the Ching Dynasty. The cabbage is perched upon a stand, artistically leaning at an angle and intricately carved so the layers of the many leaves are noticeable. It is known for its realistic look characteristic green and white hues of the bok choy. And of course, let’s not forget the cherry on top - upon close inspection, one will see two insects perched upon this cabbage, a locust and a katydid, metaphors in Chinese history of bearing plenty of children.
Right next to the jadeite cabbage is the equally realistic “Meat-shaped Stone.” Albeit not so delectable looking sitting upon the gold encrusted platter, this chunk of meat was forged from banded jasper, a stone that naturally layers over the years. These layers result in different hues and a rugged texture, an important part of the design aspect, because it makes the stone look even more like a fatty chunk of meat. The museum is also known for the many Ching Ming scrolls that are carefully preserved behind glass windows. This photograph (below right) is only a snippet from a 11.528 meter long scroll produced by the combined effort of 5 painters back in the Ching Dynasty. It is dubbed “Along the River during the Ching Ming Festival.” What must be admired is the intricacy of such a huge painting, which is its most prominent and successful design aspect. The landscape was designed so vastly that all the minute people painted on it, indulging in festive activities, must be at least a four digit number. The piece is well polished to the last infinitesimal detail and that is its best quality. One can only imagine the nightmare of trying to find Wally in this scenario.
My favourite scroll is definitely the “Carved Olive-stone Boat.” Chen TsuChang, a member of the Imperial Bureau of Manufacture in Yuncheng, poked holes and carve ridges into an olive pit to create a tiny, tiny boat carrying 8 passengers. To top this up, he even managed to carve miniscule slits into the bottom of the boat to create an intricate recurring pattern, as well as an entire Su Shi# text, called “Latter Ode on the Red Cliff” - over 300 Chinese characters on a tiny olive pit! The intricacy of this sculpture is so incredible, it has to be placed under a microscope in the museum so it can be viewed properly. It is definitely a masterpiece and prime example of an artist’s attention to detail, care, and patience. So, the next time you are in Taiwan and happen to wander into Taipei, be sure to check out this extraordinary museum and especially these precious artifacts!
Closeup detail of Ching Ming scrolls Photo source www.idmation.com
Photo courtesy of Sharleen Chao
Making New Technology
Retro is coming back and technology is no exception. Although one appreciates the sleekness and minimalistic look of technology today, there’s something quirky and fun about classic wired telephones, cassettes and boom boxes. Unfortunately, most people can’t afford to splurge on new retro devices, which often come at a hefty price. And when on a budget, no one wants to throw away perfectly good gadgets that they already have. iPhone and iPod accessories, like covers, are one great way to go to get that retro look without having to break the bank, costing no more than the typical ones, around $150. However, to really get that old school feel, there are also telephone handsets that can be plugged into any phone with an audio jack. These handsets give you the same feel as wired telephones, but still allow you to be mobile by using your cell phone, without hindering anything important such as sound quality. The handsets are extremely simple and easy to use, most even coming with a button that you can press when you finish your call, instead of resorting to the hang up button on your phone. Furthermore, research on these handset plug-ins have also shown that they can help reduce cell phone radiation, which can cause cancer, if exposed to excessive amounts. Most handsets are fairly cheap, ranging from $150 to $300, though the more expensive ones can go up to $500. Go to any electronic or audio lifestyle store, like HMV or DG lifestyle, and they’re likely to stock a range of them.
Photo: Jen_Mo / Flickr
Photo: Guillaume Capron / Flickr
Photo: Triojoyy / Flickr
A style with no end Justina Yam
For some people, getting excited over your grandmother's passed down lace wedding dress, your mom's worn bell bottoms and old floral fabrics comes naturally. What is this theory we have, that dressing vintage makes us feel hip and confident? For most, there seems to be a certain sense of nostalgia and aged beauty. For others, its being fascinated and intrigued, and escaping into the era of your wonders, whether it is the 1920s and everything is either bohemian or elegant , or in the 1960s, when clothing either meant dressing like a hippie or being picturesque and mode, to the spunky and hip clothing of the 1980s. Nevertheless, what is it about this retro-revolution? It seems that lately, the inspired and re-lived vintage trend is turning brands and labels to retro. The certain “aged and elegant” elements we find in the world full of vintage patterns and styles, have inspired new designs in today's world of fashion, bringing back that nostalgic feeling that makes us feel at home. In today's range of media, many vintage styles from the 60’s are seen in shows, such as Mad Men and Pan Am. In their world full of fitted sheaths, floral print cinched waist dresses, plaid capes and calf length pencil skirts, not to mention pastel colors kitten heels and structured handbags, everything seems perfect and exquisite. It is also fashion icons of the past, such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy and Madonna, which have influenced vintage appreciation. Their great confidence, sparkling personalities and timeless beauty have inspired many to follow their fashion styles. It is the image of sophistication, and wearing vintage like its your own era. Run your eye along the fashion trends today, and notice that trends and looks from decades past are still popular among many. Trends such as lace, floral print, chiffon, collared button ups, crop tops, high waisted bottoms, baby doll bottoms, oxfords and many others, all trace back to earlier generations of fashion. The artsy decoration prints, drop waisted dresses and sequins from the 1920s flapper era. 1940s floral frocks and sharp shoulders. The tight pencil skirts, high collared blouses, party frocks and Mondrian prints of the 50's and the 60's. Flare jeans and tweed blazers of the 70's. The crop tees, doc martins, boob tubes, neon colors and fluorescent tights of the 80's. Loved through and through, these vintage styles allows us to access the glamorous eras we have all secretly wanted to live through. While it is easy to access re-inspired retro themed clothing in today's big brands, actual secondhand vintage can also be found in thrift stores, or online at sites like Etsy, LA vintage, adore vintage, Modcloth and many more. Vintage is not a trend, but rather a style with no end. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same”.
Stephanie Ng “Feel how soft this is,” the saleslady said. Indeed it was. The texture of the bag was supple under my fingertips. “It’s leather of the highest quality, fresh from a calf ’s back,” the woman said proudly. “What?” I exclaimed, immediately retracting my hand. How ironic it was that moments earlier I had felt like I was petting a newborn animal, because, in fact, I was. The only difference, of course, was that the animal was dead. Up to this day, I still have no idea why people want to carry a corpse around. Many people see animal skin bags as a luxury, and due the rarity of items like crocodile skin bags and mink coats, also as a symbol of status and wealth. If people nowadays are only concerned with demonstrating their ability to purchase items others do not possess, why aren’t we killing humans so that some people can be lucky enough to own the first ever human skin bag? I see no difference between those shoppers and children fighting over toys on the playground.
without feelings, and therefore found it natural to tear off our skin to make purses for the lady hippos. That’s exactly what all the animals whose skin have been peeled to plaster on merchandise have experienced. No matter if the animals are farmed or wild, the killing process is equally as painful.
“The only difference, of course, was that it was dead.”
I came across a gruesome display the other day exhibiting a line of jewelry featuring the bodies of roadkill - think squirrel head rings and deer eye necklaces. Using animal skin to make a bag is already gross; worse still is the retaining of the shape and features of the slaughtered animal. There are many alternatives to using animal skin for bags. Plastic and canvas bags with animals prints on them are already gaining popularity, which is good news for the suffering animals. We’ve all been told by our parents and teachers to “do unto others as you would like done unto you.” If polar bears dominate the earth and begin to strip your skin to fashionable bags, you have no one to blame.
Imagine if this world wasn’t dominated by humans, but instead by hippos. Imagine if the hippos considered humans creatures
Vintage Shopping by Isabella Key
Have you ever opened your cupboard and sighed at the number of H&M items in it? I know I have. Hong Kong boasts a huge array or shopping venues ranging from the elite to the street, so why is it that we continue to buy things from the same old places? Unknown to many, vintage shops sit clustered in corners of the city, full of exciting, interesting and unique pieces, just waiting for you to find them! Here we take a look at several of the best Hong Kong has to offer.
1/F, 504 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay - B28, Basement Trendy Zone, Mongkok - 1/F, 23 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
As you enter this cool store, you are greeted by the amazing posters of bands which are plastered on the walls. The feel is slightly more modern than the other vintage stores and the goods include vintage ‘inspired’ pieces as well as the authentic vintage pieces. Racks of leather jackets and piles of t-shirts are the specialty here. Men and women’s clothing are sold.
Bags, POSTERS, men and women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes and trinkets.
Printed t-shirts and the amazing band posters
This place probably has the biggest range in terms of prices and goods can cost anything between $20 and $3000!
Overall rating (out of 5) 5
Amours Antiques 45 Staunton St, Central
Amours Antiques is full of feminine authentic vintage women’s clothing. Stepping in the shop one gets a nostalgic feeling, similar to that of being in an old lady’s living room. Clothes are the predominant goods being sold and several racks in the center of the shop display them all carefully encased in clear plastic bags to prevent damage. There is also a long rack at the back of the shop which holds vintage evening dresses. The clothes are all in perfect condition. Around the shop are also a few other vintage items and one fat grey cat who sleeps in the corner.
Women’s clothing, limited range of jewelry, lamps, mirrors, teacups and saucers, evening bags and old leather suitcases.
The lace and cotton casual vintage dresses and the teacups.
Fairly expensive as all the goods are authentic and in excellent condition. Most of the goods cost over $1000
Overall rating 3
Amours Antiques store front Photo: SonoElefante/Flickr
Retrostone store front Photo: dimsumdiva/Flickr
Select 18 store front Photo: LinhPhan/Flickr
57-59 Hollywood Road, Central
Shop A, ground floor, Grandview Garden, 18 Bridges Street, Central
Vintage HK is probably one of the most well known vintage shopping spots on Hong Kong Island. Nestled in a little side street the place has a certain charm to it. Upon entering the shop one is greeted with friendly assistants, a slightly musty smell and piles of vintage treasures. The shop is cluttered with goods ranging from chandeliers to knitted cat hats, so you’re sure to find something you love. The shop is moderately sized so it's simple to get around and most of the goods are strategically placed so that not much digging through piles of clothing is required.
Vintage HK has a variety of new and old vintage goods. These include, clothing for men and women, jewelry, shoes, gloves, homewares (lights, telephones etc.), a small selection of sunglasses and other little trinkets which lie around the shop in random and unexpected places.
Casual vintage dresses!
Depending on the good, the prices start at $100 but can reach up to $2000.
Overall rating (out of 5) 4
Approximately half the size of Vintage HK, Select 18 is a tiny, extremely full vintage shop. There is a back room which contains only eyewear and is completed with an old fashioned barber’s chair. The shop is cluttered and it is difficult to move around if it's busy. Bags and photographs hang on the walls and trinkets of all sorts occupy the tables and benches. A small selection of clothing is also displayed in one corner, and a lot of searching is required to find something of value. However, it's worth it as there are some amazing pieces among the collection. Amazing selection of bags and eyewear, clothing for men and women, cheap jewelry, wallets, gloves and little trinkets (pens, old phones, photographs, card holders etc.)
Eyewear and bags!
More affordable than Vintage HK, most of the goods in Select 18 are from $50 - $700, with certain eyewear and vintage leather costing slightly more.
Overall rating 4
Vintage HK store front Photo: Amanda/Flickr
Photographer: Anastasia Salnikow MuA: Sophie Pu Model: Charlotte Baughan Fashion constantly refers to the past for inspiration, which is why vintage is such a relevant trend. Vintage can always be seen as â€˜freshâ€™ to a new generation, especially since it was based on utility and futuristic ideals. At the same time, vintage clothing can bring back a sense of history and meaning that makes it unique
RIPPED JEANS : CHEAP MONDAY WHITE SHIRT : CLUB MONACO JACKET : CHANEL VINTAGE
JACKET : MOSCHINO VINTAGE
Christina Saint Marche / photo on flickr
Mad Men, the award-winning drama, has been nominated for another 17 Emmys in this Septemberâ€™s upcoming Emmy Awards. However, its cast and cinematography are not the only charms that Mad Men has to offer-the never-failing Mad Men set design has yet again surpassed TV series expectations. The fifth season of Mad Men has ended--and has delivered many plot twists and dramatic episodes. The most dramatic of them all, is Don Draperâ€™s stylish new apartment.
[SET DESIGN] JUSTINA YAM
Photo courtesy of selectism.com
Don Draper, an ever so mysterious character that us viewers have been following for 5 seasons now, has settled into a swanky, modern highrise. Sleek and smooth contemporary furniture, vibrant touches of rich colors popping through cushions, lamps and kitchen cabinets, has been humbly brought into the Drapers’ Manhattan home by his wife’s youthful taste. Entering the new era of interior design, the new apartment has more than a mere hint of the 60’s iconic furniture. Different from the stuff we’re so used to seeing, (goodbye typical American suburban pastel colored wallpapers and tabletops), Mad Men’s latest season has expressed all the essential elements to convey change during the decade’s significant change in society. From the must-have leather lounge chair, cocktail bar and long rectangular sofa, to the high tech gadgetry of the fireplace, kitchenware and study room, its like an apartment reinvented from an old 60’s poster. We are left wondering, how on earth do the designers of Mad Men do it? Mad Men has always been one of TV’s most captivating shows, and much of it has to do with the atmosphere the crew creates through set and production design. The Mad Men set designer, Claudette Didul, reveals that much of the set is real vintage, and brought in from other places to join the Mad Men set. Her main online sources include hunting Etsy, Ebay, and Craigslist, while her day-to-day on-foot scouting often takes place in flea markets and thrift stores. An even more extreme source, is signing up for estate sale emails,
in which the designers collect old valuables and furniture left on the property of people who have retired or passed away. Mad Men’s other production designer, Dan Bishop, specifically hand picks the modular sofas, leather chairs and glass topped coffee tables from a variety of vintage home magazines, vintage designers and stores to match his main inspirations: Decoration USA and Betty Pepis, both popular Interior Design books of the 60’s. What do you get after this incredibly long process of obtaining the perfect item? A perfect, authentic set that screams Scandinavian contemporary, a signature trait of the swanky 60’s. No longer is the furniture simplistic or decorative, and out of the 1950’s, as it was during previous seasons. This change is noticeable in the show’s critically acclaimed costume design as well. Working as a co-dependant relationship, the clothes and the set work together in harmony, giving the show excellent historical authenticity. Together, they create the perfect “Mad Men” atmosphere, in which the stingy sense of drama, tricky business men, peace hippies on drugs, and the mysterious Don Draper shall continue to stride forth in. It’s exactly how historical change should be conveyed. Other TV series set designs up for competition? Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and Boardwalk Empire are definitely high up in the ranks. One thing they don’t have: The dark, intriguing swing of the 60’s, where nobody is never quite who they appear to be.
Drawings by Bernetta Li
Photographer: Anastasia Salnikow Model: Louise Wihlborn
[COSTUME DESIGN] Following the show’s success in set design, is their costume design. Janet Bryant, an Emmy winning costume designer for her previous work in the American historical drama “Deadwood”, is the show’s key to maintaining its intriguing flare. Costume design is an utmost element on the show, and creates the show’s authenticity of characters and surroundings. It does so by reflecting America’s social change at the time through costume. At first, the show’s costume style was mainly 1960’s businessmen and housewives, rather than young bohemian hipster style. Moving from the conservative 1960’s, costume styles are constantly changing as the show approaches new ground in 1966. Weiner, the show’s creator, also depends on Bryant to develop characters, based on the background of the character and script. From here, Bryant develops the personality and aesthetics of the character through eye catching styling, and fine retail work. The designer’s inspiration derives from her grandmother, and other fashion icons of the 60’s era.
MyLifeInPlastic.com / photo on flickr
One of the most fashionable on the show, Betty Draper’s feminine, elegant costumes are first heavily influenced by Grace Kelly to fit her housewife character. As the show progresses and Betty’s character continues to evolve, the theme of her costumes change accordingly to the character. In addition, the designer takes a great deal of inspiration from her grandmother and mother’s clothing. Bryant’s authentic sources of inspiration are evident in the costumes’ historical reliability and appeal. In fact, some of her mother’s old clothes from the 60’s have been modified into costumes for the show. Other female characters costumes’ are just as distinct, with Joan’s bright colored, bodacious tight dresses and Peggy’s school-like blouses and skirts. Another crucial part of the show’s authentic costume design, are the undergarments Bryant requires actresses to wear in costume. Back then, undergarments gave women specific body shapes, enabling actresses to move and look the way they’re supposed to, according to the restricting undergarments of the era.
MyLifeInPlastic.com / photo on flickr
mrrobertwade (wadey) / photo on flickr
Moving from women’s costume, Mad Men men’s costume design is more than just a slick suit and tie. In fact, a prime example is Pete Campbell. An ambitious young character, he is always dressed in different shades of blue suits. Such colors emphasize his masculinity, yet portray his elegance and mystery. In contrast with Don Draper, whose slimcut black suit and occasional weekend plaids are always predictable. The show’s incredible costume design has transported audiences from everyday life to life in the 60’s, and has helped create a realistic portrayal of the characters and their surroundings. With so much hype about the costumes Banana Republic collaborated with Bryant in 2011 and most recently this year, to work on Mad Men clothing collections for the line. This will be their third time collaborating with Bryant. The collections continue to show the changing style and culture of the 60’s featured in the show’s latest costume developments.
Fragments 30 MyLifeInPlastic.com / photo on flickr
Inspired Photoshoot Photographer: Anastasia Salnikow Model: Louise Wihlborn
Dress: Zara (60s Inspired)
Floral Dress: Tailored Vintage (Made in Italy 60s) Location: Mandarin Oriental
TrAipsing Through the Traditional Mir Jetha
The past three decades in particular have witnessed Hong Kong’s rapid transformation into an architecturally vibrant metropolis where Chinese and Western influences still manage to co-exist, even if that coexistence is sometimes an uneasy one. There are obvious challenges in maintaining a diverse cityscape in a place like Hong Kong with its growing population, scarce living space and strained resources. It is not surprising that Hong Kong has been systematically destroying its historical buildings as developers compete for dollars and to build “Asia’s World City.” The city, once home to farmers and fishermen populating shanty towns of sticks, canvas and corrugated iron, is losing its native charm. Despite such grim prospects, there are corners of this vertical city that play to the past and are being restored.
became popular in the 1930’s.It combines Western cement construction with Chinese decorative motifs. Only about 10 such buildings survive in the city. The mansion has appeared in a number of television shows and movies over the years, including the 1973 Bruce Lee movie, “Enter the Dragon”.
Man Mo Temple
The future of the restored King Yin Lei is still far from certain. The government is soliciting bids for an operator to operate and manage the mansion. The winning bid must be from a nonprofit organization and must allow public access. The Ink Society has proposed turning the mansion into an Ink Museum. If they win, visitors will be able to visit the historic building and attend sessions with Ink Art masters. Another proposal has been put forward to turn the building into a wedding venue for couples to experience the “lifestyle and ambience of Hong Kong in the 30s” on their “special day”.
Hong Kong Island’s oldest, recently renovated and most important Taoist temple was built in the 1840‘s as one of the first traditional Chinese style temples. It is named after its two principal deities: Man, the god of literature and Mo, the god of war. Once a court of arbitration for local disputes, it now functions as a place of worship. Tour buses thronging with all manner of tourists take in the typical curved roof and zodiac animals. The light fragments against thick incense coils that hang with sheets of red wishing paper, creating yet another photo opportunity in a singular neighborhood filled with character and studded with history.
The 17,000-square-foot mansion has now been restored with direction from Tang Guo Hua, an architecture professor at Guangzhou University. Almost all of the original materials have been retained or reproduced. This includes all the mortis-and-tenon wood and metal in the windows and floors. Most of the elements for the renovation are from China.
King Yin Lei is located at 45 Stubbs Road.
Man Mo Temple is located at 124-126 Hollywood Road.
King Yin Lei King Yin Lei was built in 1937 on a hillside on Hong Kong Island. In 2007, a developer purchased it and began to destroy its ornate decorations. After a public outcry and considerable controversy, the government was forced to protect the historic mansion. It was declared a protected monument in 2008. The building is in the Chinese Renaissance style, which
King Yin Lei
Incense coils in Man Mo Temple Photo by Anastasia Salnikow
The Blue House The Blue House is a neo-classical shophouse. The shophouse is made of brick with plaster rendering. The shallow gable end at each flank wall is a classic design. There is a timber staircase in between every two blocks. The flats are rectangular (in shape) with cantilevered balconies that overhang the street. Paneled and glazed doors open onto these balconies. The balconies are supported on reinforced concrete corbels and have ornate balustrades. The site of the Blue House was originally occupied by the Wah To Hospital. The hospital was the first in Wan Chai to provide locals with Chinese medical treatments. It was later used as a temple for the God of Medicine, Wah To. The temple was replaced by a martial arts school and later by an acupuncture clinic. When the government took over the building in 1978, it was painted an electric blue, which is now its signature color. The government is revitalizing the Blue House and the surrounding area, which contains other architectural landmarks. The Blue House is located at 74 Nullah Lane, Wanchai. To get a feel for what remains of traditional Hong Kong, wander through these architectural gems while you still have the chance.
Photo taken by Jessica Eu
The Blue House sketch, by Chloe Barreau
Business of Design Week
As an aspiring Architect with a specific interest in the cultural preservation of heritage sites, the Business of Design Week Conference 2012 was an eye-opening experience that gave me sneak peak into the real world of design and a nibble of what ideas are revolutionizing the design industry. Mir Jetha, Isabella Chon and I had the opportunity to listen to world renowned designers talk about their work and innovations, specifically, we had the chance to listen to landscape architect, Andrew Grant, cultural preservationist of City University, Sarah Kenderdine, one of the founders of MVRDW, Winy Maas and internationally acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind. I have always admired Libeskindâ€™s approach to design - a synthesis of modernist angularity while integrating the cultural fabric, history and identity into their designed spaces. I feel that many architects nowadays impose their own architectural design identity on building designs, making the structures divorced from their roots, completely disregarding local culture. I believe that successful architecture captures the essence of its location and the â€œspiritâ€? of its people. I feel that Libeskind masters this duality between ingenuity and cultural heritage.
Daniel Libeskind Libeskind is responsible for some of the most iconic urban landmarks worldwide, including the ground zero master plan in New York City, the military history museum in Dresden, the Jewish museum in Berlin and the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in Hong Kong. During the presentation, he organised the presentation under segments entitled; Hand, Expressive, Heritage, Sculpture, Dialogue, Diversity and Rebirth. But it was during the group interview that I found most intriguing. He touched upon a topic that has been on my mind a lot recently. He emphasized that the built environment had a great impact on individual’s mental health and well being. We are living in an age where we are becoming more and more aware and concerned about our health, our food, where it comes from and its nutritional content. I can only hope that urban planners and architects can put greater emphasis on the design of public spaces that positively impact our health. To me, this is really important because having grown up in Hong Kong, a city congested with a juxtaposition of ubiquitous residential blocks and office buildings; I have always felt a sense of both awe and misgiving about its architectural scene. The tower edifices give the Pearl of the Orient its identity as a financial hub, but they lack a distinctive Chinese flavor. Architecture should reflect the cultural values of its people, to deliver aesthetic and functional reality to these values. I feel that the city’s rapid growth sacrifices the cultural identity of which I am proud. As a city, Hong Kong is so focused on economic prosperity, convenience and speed, how can architects and planners utilize the existing spaces that we have now and make them more therapeutic for the busy Hong Kong people? Perhaps people need more spaces that allow them to slow down. According to Libeskind, “Hong Kong should be a daring city…a sustainable city shouldn’t be just a city that trades goods, but it also need to trade ideas”. To what extent is this true?
Andrew Grant Grant is a landscape architect, and he talked about his work in Singapore and importance of public spaces for busy cities. He led the design team on the “Gardens by The Bay” project at Marina South in Singapore that won the Building Project of the Year Award at the World Architecture Festival 2012. Unlike what Norman Foster is doing with the city park in the West Kowloon Cultural District, I love how Grant made it a design goal to incorporate “Singaporean National Identity” into the landscape project. Grant decided to make the plan resemble the shape of orchids on a stem, because “the orchid is the Singaporean national flower”, although this reference to me, seems too direct, at least the architecture connects to its roots. What makes this national part so special is also the different cultural districts within the park. There are clearly distinguished Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Malaysian and Thai sections since the largest ethnic groups in Singapore are all represented in different areas of the park. This, to me seems more obvious than the former, and does not celebrate the infusing of cultures to make a new Singaporean culture that makes Singapore so interesting as a city, but in theory and concept, at least it celebrates the diversity of Singapore. What I respect most about Grant is his ability to let go of his designs. He wants nature to “take over” parts of the bridges and walkways. In fact, the metal chassis is designed to lead weed and branches to grow and wrap around the metal so that eventually many structures in its entirety will be covered by nature. By relinquishing his control as an architect, I think that this really has the potential to represent the infusing of nature and architecture, the wild and the tame - now that is something that should be introduced to the tame and rigid Hong Kong.
Sarah Kenderdine Kenderdine researches at the forefront of interactive and immersive experiences for museums and galleries. Her widely exhibited installation works integrate cultural heritage with new media art practice especially in the realms of interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative. I found her lecture particularly interesting because she discussed the strange dichotomy between preservation, and “augmented reality”. As an avid believer of cultural heritage, and myself having a lot of interest to pursuing architecture with a concentration on human architecture, culture and society, I was sitting on the edge of my seat to learn about the direction in which cultural preservation in architecture is heading. To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it. Certainly, it is fascinating to add animation to cartoons on temples, or to “discover” and magnify through the screen on an iPad, but there are so many sacrifices. Certainly, I agree that it is great to make tourism accessible through screens and affordable for all, but there is nothing that can capture atmosphere, smells, humidity, and noticing details that you, the viewer wants to see. I don’t like the idea of superimposing color onto faded walls, or putting in 3D graphics of animated hindu gods in the 3D viewing room of an old temple. It looks unrealistic and tacky. I confidently raised my hand amidst the hundreds of design professionals. I was so shocked by this method of “cultural preservation” that I asked Kenderdine, firmly but politely, “Don’t you feel that you are inventing a reality? Aren’t you making too many sacrifices?” a rather rushed answer about this being “avant garde method”, “direction of the future” was made. I wasn’t really impressed by her answer. I don’t know why but right when I sat down 4 people handed me their business cards, all were from the people that worked with Kenderdine. They asked me to visit the temples that Kenderdine has been working on, maybe they want someone like me with a very different perspective to add an interesting punch. I do have mixed feelings towards this direction of “cultural preservation”.
Stephanie Cheung is a Senior Editor at Fragments. She will be leaving Fragments this summer to study architecture at Cornell University.
It was a very exciting conference to be part of and a great chance to meet leading designers from around the world. It confirmed my interest in studying architecture in order to contribute to the cultural preservation of historical architectural gems in Hong Kong, China and the Middle East as well as designing structures with improved cultural relativity.
SPECIAL THANKS TO
& DEBORAH LITTLE OF DEEM FURNITURE
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HONG KONG
WHO KINDLY PROVIDED THEIR FACILITIES FOR OUR PHOTOSHOOT ON PAGE 31. Thanks to the annual fund for funding this publication.
fragments The design magazine at CIS