If you’ve ever visited the decorative-arts galleries of a museum and dreamed of sneaking behind the guardrails to rummage through the bureau drawers and lounge on the beds, now’s your honey. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has invited the artist duo of Michael E l m g r e e n and Ingar Drag- set to infuse five of its stately exhibit halls with their puckish imaginations. The result is “Tomorrow” the re-created apartment of a fictional architect nearing the end of a long life and an unsuccessful career. Broke and disillusioned, he has put his home on the market, with all its furnishings up for sale. Museum goers have the opportunity to walk into the narrative; as uninvited guests, they can peek inside the architect’s file cabinets, browse through his bookshelves, and sprawl on his sofa. Hlmgreen and Dragsetbest known for constructing a Prada boutique in the Texas desert—have filled their character’s domicile with more than 100 pieces drawn from the museum’s collection,as well a s f l e a market finds and a few of their own artworks, including their evocative 2011 installation High F. expectations, left. The creative pair liken the project to conceiving a film set, writing a narrative framework around the objects they found in the V& A’s treasure trove. They leave it up to us to color in the finer details of the story.
The legendary Vogue editor Diana V r e e l a n d was famous for her pronouncements on all things c h l e s o it’s not surprising that her in-house memo’s to fellow staffersare filled with her irresistibly readable opinions, directives, and ecstatic tidings of new trends: «This is the year of the ribbon.» «Let’s start now using big hats.» “Please be sure and note that every shoe has a strap around the ankle.”The best of these warm (but nonetheless strict) missives are collected in Diana V. Memo’s: The Vogue Years (R i z- z o l i). with crisp reproductions of the original typewritten notes, often addressed to such fashion-world luminaries as C r i s t o b a l Balenciaga. Diane v o n Furstenberg, and Horst P. Horst, as well as fellow magazine talents like Consuelo C r e s p i. editor of Vogue Italia, left. These candid memo’s give us a rare glimpse into the working life, and capricious mind, of an editorial genius-shown with Truman Capote, top right, and Cecil Beaton, bottom right-and a fascinating look behind the scenes at an iconic magazine.
THE SHIPPING NEWS
There are pop up shops, and then there is Irving & Morrison, a ship¬ping container that has been transformed Into one of London’s most charming home-accessories shops. The brainchild of fabric designer Carolina Irving and interior de-signer Penny Morrison, the store has been planted at the Old Gas¬works. a picturesque mews behind Chelsea Harbour lined with art and antiques dealers. Their wares handmade silk lampshades, cushions and ottomans created from antique textiles-meld English country style with jet set b o h o p a n a c h e. Despite its apparent i m p e r m a n e n c e. The owners say the tiny shop is here to stay-unless some smitten customer orders the entire container and its chic contents.
If hippie style is back, can happenings be far behind? A new show at New York’s S p e r o n e West water gallery celebrates the freewheeling early 1960s, when it was possible to assemble a giant structure from machine and bicycle parts, a piano, baby carriages, and other detritus, set it in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art, install electric motors, and then gather an audience to watch it self-destruct.
That 1960 piece, Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York, may have been short-lived, though its influence was not. Robert R a u s c h e n b e r g was a fan, but he was far from the only artist who embraced Jean desire to bring street life, sound, motion, and technology to art. With works by Robert, Tinguely, and four of their contemporaries and collaborators, “Radio Waves: New York, ‘N o u v e a u R c a l i s m c,’ and Robert” highlights a moment when action was as important as object, and camaraderie was a spark to creativity.
CALM AND COLLECTED
IT’S HARD TO LEAD A CLOISTERED EXISTENCE IN MANHATTAN. BUT THE NEW HIGH LINE HOTEL-HOUSED IN AN 1895 REDBRICK STRUCTURE BUILT AS A DORMITORY FOR A SEMINARY—IS AS CLOSE AS IT GETS. DESIGNERS ROMAN AND WILLIAMS PRE¬SERVED THE GOTHIC-STYLE ARCHITECTURE, INCLUDING THAT OF A STUNNING FUNCTION HALL (ABOVE). WHILE OUTFITTING THE 60 GUEST QUARTERS WITH ANTIQUE FURNITURE. MANY ROOMS OVERLOOK A PRIVATE GARDEN-THE IDEAL SETTING FOR A BREATHER FROM THE BIG CITY