To many, Irving Penn is known as the man behind the lens of several iconic fashion images – from the 1950 photo of his wife, model Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn in a Rochas Mermaid gown, to the 1995 photo of a bee sitting atop a pair of rosy – (almost) literally bee-stung – lips. But Penn also had a creative side away from fashion, capturing urban social snapshots in the United States and tribal women in Africa. Now, for the first time, many of his unseen works are on display at the Dallas Museum of Art in ‘Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty’, the first comprehensive retrospective of his work in two decades.

‘He saw beauty as an absolute value,’ says Sue Canterbury, the Pauline Gill Sullivan associate curator of American art at the Museum. ‘You see this thread running throughout his work, whether it’s a fashion model in Paris, or a biker in San Francisco with Hell’s Angels, or the people he shot in his travels in Peru, New Guinea, or Morocco.’

The exhibition, which features around 140 photographs, takes viewers through what Penn saw from behind his lens, from early street scenes of Philadelphia and New York in the late 1930s, to his images of the residents of Cusco, Peru in the 40s and native Dahomey girls in the late 60s. Also included are famous portraits of artists and intellectuals like Salvador Dalí and Langston Hughes, and Penn’s surveys of the post-Second World War European working class.

As the show leads on to his fashion work, Penn’s gift for fashion photography becomes evident in the way the silhouettes of the clothes become sleek sculptures. ‘Before he stepped in, fashion shoots were situational,’ says Canterbury. ‘You created a tableau vivant. He changed it by creating these wonderful plain backgrounds. The result is that there is no distraction from the clothes.’ Penn was a master of composition, darkroom developing and still life, and had an eye for making anything beautiful – even the flattened street trash he photographed in platinum in the 1970s. He saw beauty in everything, even boxes of frozen produce (photographed in 1977). ‘It was very innovative, the way that he [thought], and also the way that he saw things could be shot,’ concludes Canterbury.

By Ann Binlot/Wallpaper


The Japanese emporium Muji opens a sprawling new NYC flagship this week—the company’s eleventh US store—in a prime location on Fifth Avenue across from the New York Public Library. With two floors and nearly 12,000 sq ft at its disposal, the store is Muji’s largest in North America and offers several new services (a scent bar, embroidery station) and collections (kids’ apparel) that haven’t previously been available in the States, as well as exclusive items like natural-material knitwear and animal-themed printed children’s’ clothing.

Exposed-brick walls, wood shelving and potted plants scattered throughout serve as a contrast to the brand’s streamlined, minimalist collection of living essentials—everything from toasters and rice cookers to suitcases—lending the space a warm, inviting feel. Highlights exclusive to Fifth Avenue include three personalisation stations: the Aroma Lab, where visitors can create a bespoke home fragrance blended on the spot for use in the brand’s popular diffusers; an embroidery station, where over 100 designs — including a cheese burger, Mount Fuji, the New York taxi cab and letters — can be added to textiles or clothing; and a rubber stamp bar, where shoppers can personalise Muji’s arsenal of paper goods and gift bags with a range of playful stamps.

The boutique also features an expanded area dedicated to Found Muji. Here, visitors can persue Muji’s ongoing collection of curated artisanal and utilitarian everyday objects and homewares inspired by different cultures around the world. For the opening, the Fifth Avenue space’s Found selection showcases utilitarian glassware, textiles and ceramics inspired by the Basque region. (via Wallpaper)



Philanthropist Eli Broad’s contemporary art museum, The Broad, is finally opened on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The 120,00 square foot, $140 million project, designed by New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, contains almost 2,000 of Broad’s contemporary art pieces as well as storage, conservation facilities, offices, an auditorium, and an adjacent restaurant and park. (via Wallpaper)

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Colour is literally on the menu at Pantone’s new pop-up café in Monaco. Located on Grimaldi Forum, the temporary establishment provides a brilliantly hued counterpoint to the already-colourful backdrop of Larvotta beach, where vacationers can ‘Taste the Colors’ until early September.

Founded in 1963 by Lawrence Herbert, the New Jersey-based colour systems company has enjoyed a cult following for years, inspiring everything from a chocolate colour chart to an entire hotel. The photogenic space – realised by Monaco Restaurant Group (the same firm behind Mozza and Song Qi) – pays homage to the iconic Pantone Matching System, with numerical codes and swatches assigned to the tables, napkins, and chairs.

The café serves up an extensive menu of salads, sandwiches, ice cream, granitas and more – all of which have also been matched to a Pantone chip and accordingly packaged. (via Wallpaper)

Pantone Café runs until 9 September 2015. Open daily from 10am to 8pm and until 10pm on Thursdays.

Grimaldi Forum
10 Avenue Princesse Grace
98000 Monaco

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Wallpaper* has collaborated with GFSmith on a cover project that looks to celebrate the magazine’s 15th anniversary. 15 designers or brands were approached to each create a special cover design, to be printed on Colorplan paper stock. Collaborators include Build, It’s Nice That, James Joyce, MadeThought, Nike, and Spin… “Wallpaper* asked us to commission 15 designers to each produce a ‘celebrity’ bespoke cover around the concept of Wallpaper* Famous for 15 years’,” explains GFSmith’s James Groves.

“In the true sense of bespoke, using digital printing by FE Burman, each cover design was printed on to the stock of the designer’s choosing from our Colorplan range,” continues Groves. “FE Burman pushed the printing by using many different processes including multiple passes of white ink. The results show how choice of paper plays an integral part of the design process.” (via Creative Review)

Very nice. A sight for sore typo eyes.