Marino, the Great

PeterMarinoAll clad in buckled leather pants, biker boots, and harnessed up with bondage straps across his torso, Peter Marino doesn’t appear to be your typical architect. The lines between fashion, interiors and art continue to blur as time goes by, and so it’s no surprise that one of the architectural industry’s most recognised and influential figures would have success in conceptualising some of the world’s most notable high fashion retail spectacles. He’s also worked on a number of hotel penthouses/ presidential suites and numerous private residential projects worldwide. Most retail spaces are viewed by brands as an opportunity to market the ‘experience’ of what the label is about- a bonus in having a stand-alone boutique with a visible shop-front. So extreme has retail design become, that many stores are now a tourist destination. I remember visiting the Prada store on Rodeo Drive back in 2007, and being completely overwhelmed by it’s brilliance. It was so vast, so balanced, so fresh in it’s layout and design that it felt like I was encountering something new- it seemed no expense had been spared, and I was sold on the Prada experience. 

The number of awards he’s won and his level of prestige contributes to the success of an architect like Peter Marino. Each label that he and his staff of 160 work with, some examples which include  premium luxury fashion houses like CHANEL, Louis Vuitton, Zegna and Loewe, get the complete Marino treatment; a stunning fashion statement through beautiful design, a fresh approach to use of modern materials fixtures and fittings, an experience true to the brands’ heritage and an impressively high bar set for architectural retail space standards. Think grand curved staircases surrounding a gigantic pendant of clustered lights representing a pearl necklace, the fusion of raw finishes like wood or rattan flanked by traditional stonework, a reflective metallic wall feature spanning the full height of a four story staircase, floor to ceiling shelving, or LED screens displaying the work of upcoming artists.

The Melbourne Chanel boutique in Flinders Lane had its alterations entrusted to Peter Marino, and two days ago the new store was opened with an additional floor and the creation of a roof top garden. To celebrate the opening of the boutique, a limited edition Boy CHANEL handbag has been specifically designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the occasion with the Melbourne customer in mind.

CHANEL Melbourne Flinders Lane Boutique, designed by Peter Marino

CHANEL Melbourne Flinders Lane Boutique, designed by Peter Marino

Source: petermarinoarchitect.com, CHANEL, fashion.telegraph.co.uk

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Spring 14 Collection round-up

With another show season over, and most of the previews and presentations done, I thought it was time to do a quick review of what to expect for the Spring Summer 2014 season ahead. Some of the stand-outs for me are below.

There was black, there was white, there was sheer. There were  the rounded shoulders at many collections, and flashes of the prettiest pinks and pastels. Architecture and clean lines as always was present in New York. I particularly loved Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung and Alexander Wang.  Spring14_NewYorkFrom Left:  Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang

London designers always push the wearability boundaries so when putting together this show round-up, I kept thinking- “Would I actually wear this?”. Burberry Prorsum were incredibly wearable, as was Richard Nicholl. I loved the texture at Erdem, and the prints at Mary Katrantzou, who played with extreme proportions and silhouette. Christopher Kane was beautiful as usual, and Roksanda Ilincic showed a very tight, pulled together collection.
Spring14_LondonFrom Left: Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Burberry Prorsum, Erdem, Tom Ford, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Richard Nicholl

One of my favourite citie’s for design- Milan pushes the boundaries in fashion and interiors/furniture. Although it doesn’t quite have the level of  historical ateliers that Paris does, the craftmanship and quality of Prada and Marni were beautiful. Fendi was a favourite and I’d kill to touch and feel that collection up close. I also loved the consistency of Dolce & Gabbana- a label true to my heart since Fashion College. I’ve read reviews since Milan Fashion Week claiming that the season was ‘sombre’ and ‘boring’ and that Milan needs to ‘step it up’ as a city, but I completely disagree. I think it was beautiful.
Spring14_MilanFrom Left: Bottega Veneta, Prada, Fendi, Marni, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Fendi, Marni, Dolce & Gabbana

Ahhh… Paris! What’s not to love? From Karl’s blank canvas for colour at Chanel, to the lace and embroidery at Valentino… There was heavy metal and shine, especially at Lanvin. We also saw a return back to nature with tribal huntresses at McQueen- a display of textural genius.  I also loved the Spring florals at Dior, the bold print at Celine (who really knows their customer) and I again loved the colour and print at Kenzo this season (but thankfully no logo sweater in sight!)
There was so much beauty from the Paris season that it was hard to do a tight edit, so I’ll have to elaborate more as the season drops into stores. Definitely an exciting season for the French designers. I haven’t mentioned Louis Vuitton here (or the fact that it was Marc Jacob’s last show) because although extremely beautiful, I don’t feel it represented what the season was about as a whole… but I may touch on that another time.
Spring14_Paris From left:  Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Chanel, Valentino, Chloe, Christian Dior, Celine, Kenzo, Alexander McQueen

Compiled by Sarah Bonett
Images via: style.com, dphotographer.co.uk, worldleadingvacations.com, iwallscreen.com, weareholidays.co.in

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