Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Gradations

Window drape by Rodarte for Knoll.

Remember those super-ugly blends we all made in the late 80s/early 90s, simply because we could? And then, around the turn of the millennium, there seemed to be a unanimous agreement amongst designers that dégradé was très passé. Which meant it was just a matter of time till it came back. And so it has. Much improved, I might add.

I’d like to acknowledge the new generation of blending (or “ombre” as they call it in fashion) that has been underway in recent years.

Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoes specially made by Atmos, Tokyo,
gradates from red to black.

American Apparel gift box.

“At Water’s Edge,” is the riskiest and most recent of the blends here. It is a chapbook of essays about New York’s shoreline, written by students in SVA’s D-Crit graduate program for design criticism. Walker Design leaves the safety zone of blending dark to light, and manages to successfully blend unrelated colors. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how—could be that they kept it all fairly light, or perhaps it’s the use of white typography—but they’ve kept the gradation this side of cheesy. The foil stamping is extra refreshing and modern.

Versace Atelier, Spring 2011 ombre gown.

Textile, Minä Perhonen.

I’ve also discovered some blended beauties from the pre-digital era.

Burmese art glass tumbler and saucer.

Rusty surfboard, c. late 70s.

Lake Garda, photocrom ( see older posts here and here)

It’s a good thing this length of French woven silk from the late 1800s was protected with plastic when I saw it a Brimfield, because I was absolutely drooling over it. Alas, extremely fragile and too expensive.

Peter Alexander, Green Widget, 1969, cast polyester resin.

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