Don't Lose Sight of the Shore
Plastic chairs, bespoke power sockets, a building that glows like a lantern, and a brutalist chess set
It’s been a little over five months since moving to Barcelona and it’s starting to get comfy. Our things arrived from Los Angeles, the artwork is on the walls, and everything is in its right place. I need to take photos of the space and share them sooner than later. The weather here has fully changed to autumn/winter, the layers are in full effect, and I’ve finally figured out how to turn on the radiators. Lots of progress on the home front.
Digitally, I’ve been having a realignment as well. I’m more dedicated to cranking out an edition of TFIB once a week, simplifying my criteria for what I write about and how many things I share (this blurb plus eight items, always doing things by fours). Then there’s the whole Twitter sitch’ going down, lord knows what’s going to happen there. I looked at the landscape of places I could branch out to and I felt that Tumblr was the best place to build.
So I’ve put on my curator cap once again and built a space that highlights all the fascinating visuals I come across. The Fox Is Black on Tumblr is a place for bite-sized inspo, updated daily. Lots of color, lots of random beauty, and of course, links and attribution so you can venture down the rabbit holes I discover. Having both Substack and Tumblr, I now have two parts that create a more holistic view of how I see the world. I encourage you to follow me over there, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve put together in a weekend 🤗
Hope you’re well 💙
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💭 — There’s something quite magical about the combination of light and glass. How glass diffuses any object that sits behind it, creating a mysterious, ethereal sort of feeling. Think plants in a greenhouse on a foggy morning. Maison Hermés, located in Tokyo’s neon-lit Ginza shopping district, gives me that beclouded feeling. The 10-story building is made up of 13,000, 450mm-square glass blocks (with special smaller, curved glass bricks at the building’s corners). It’s such a beautiful space, like a glowing lantern you can inhabit.
💭 — There are few people who are truly making waves in fashion right now quite like Demna. As the art director of Balenciaga, he’s both adored and reviled, though personally, I feel like his antics go above the heads of most folks. This is why I found T Magazine’s profile on the designer so fascinating. As with most people, the story of his life is complex, tragic in many ways, and now… he’s trying to make great work and lead an interesting life, which, more power to him. In his own words, “That’s why fashion has never really mattered to me. I love doing it, but I don’t care, to be honest. I’ve seen things that make fashion seem so irrelevant.”
💭 — Not sure how necessary this item is, though you can consider me intrigued. Transparent, makers of those very cool looking transparent speakers, have crafted their own bespoke power socket dubbed AVOLT. It features three sockets, two USB ports and a flexible 1.8-meter cable. You can also stick it to a wall or under a desk with the integrated magnet. Cords are a necessary evil in our current time, and for me, this feels like an elegant way of hiding this necessity in plain sight.
💭 — I spotted the work of James Shaw in the most recent issue of The World of Interiors and I was smitten with the charming awkwardness of the designs. Made from waste plastics, he has challenged himself to create “new beautiful materials.” I think he’s done and amazing job (as you can see above), a chair like this would be a standout in any room.
💭 — Nearly 20 years ago I played a little bit of chess. I still find the sport to be quite interesting, the act of thinking ahead and getting into your opponents brain. Also, there’s the aesthetics of it all that’s so appealing, that symmetrical battle that occurs. I discovered a Brutalist Chess Set designed by Jordy Virguetti, all handmade from concrete, which overall has a midcentury vibe, like if you combined elements of Frank Lloyd Wright with Alexander Gerard.
💭 — Savvy Studio, who’ve done some tremendous work with their Casa Bosques chocolate design, have another great branding project they did for Ditroit Taqueria. Critically acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera opened up a casual taco spot behind his restaurant Damian. The taquería takes its name from the Mexican slang ‘por ditroit’ – through the back – alluding to Ditroit’s location in Damian’s back alley. So Savvy took inspiration from LA and Mexican culture, blending a dynamic mix of typefaces to create a vibe that brings these cultures together in a beautiful way.
💭 — I’ve been a fan of Little Thunder and her work for years now, a Hong Kong based artist who makes large scale physical paintings and incredible detailed digital work. My favorite thing is when she posts her process videos on her Twitter, giving us that behind the scenes look at how she creates such stunning pieces. She’s an incredibly talented painter and you get to see this shine through in the confidence of her brush strokes. She makes what she does look so effortless, it’s truly a remarkable feat.
💭 — I wrote about the continued renaissance of Bottega Venetta last month and so I figured I’d follow it up with a Vogue interview featuring Matthieu Blazy that I somehow missed. Similar to the Demna piece above, it goes into great detail about Matthieu’s life and his journey to where he is now. As someone who barely passed high school and didn’t go to college, I can relate to his disdain for schooling. And overall, I really enjoy his approach to creative, like this quote:
“ ‘What is craft, and where does it sit in tradition? How can we bring modernity?’ We didn’t talk about shape. We didn’t talk about image. It was the feeling of the brand.”
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