Formica® High Pressure Laminate (HPL) was transported out of its usual interior environment and onto the catwalk of London Fashion Week by design duo Basso and Brooke. Renowned for their original vibrant prints and dramatic cut, the duo also revels in pushing the boundaries of design technology. Working with the world-renowned milliner Stephen Jones, Basso and Brooke created imaginative head-pieces from multi-layered laser cut Formica® HPL, to stunning effect.
Inspiration was drawn from the work of late 20th century Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and American artist Peter Halley, amongst others, reflecting in Basso and Brookes show, a brave new Utopian world, full of sharp geometric patterns and bold colours. With a powerful positive and optimistic vibe, the show featured nine hats made entirely of Formica® HPL, mixing this iconic material with outfits in softer co-ordinating fabrics.
Weve been fascinated with the properties and scope provided by Formica laminate and have been looking at ways to incorporate it within our work for a while, enthused Chris Brooke of Basso and Brooke. With Sottsass connection to the material and the incredible colour range offered by Formica Limited it was an obvious extension for us. The hats create an amazing effect and were definitely a talking point.
HPL from the Formica Limited specification range was chosen for its sheer variety of designs and finishes, including an array of Plain Colours in both matt Velour and textured MicroDot finishes, as well as Ebony, Smoked Oak and Maple Woodline from the Naturelle Woodgrains range.
Bruno Basso (Brazilian) and Christopher Brooke (British) have established a highly successful label since winning the first Fashion Fringe initiative in 2004 in the UK. There are over 75 international stockists for their collections produced by Aeffe in Italy. In 2006 they won Best New Designer at the Elle Style Awards and have been recipients of New Generation three times.
Stephen Jones is perhaps one of the most famous milliners working today and his hats have been an integral component in some of the most memorable fashion runway spectacles of the past quarter century. He burst onto the London fashion scene in the late Seventies making millinery modern and compelling. In materials that were often radical,= and with designs that ranged from refined to whimsical, his exquisitely crafted, quixotic hats encapsulated the fashion mood of the moment. Twenty-five years later, Jones era-defining edge continues to attract a celebrity clientele which currently includes Kylie Minogue, Marilyn Manson, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce Knowles and Alison Goldfrapp. He has collaborated with a role call of fashion designers including Vivienne Westwood, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, Rei Kawakubo, Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano for Dior.
Ettore Sottsass played an important role in Post Modernism, his work was colourful and humorous in contrast to the black, modern products of the 1980s. He was one of the founding members of the Memphis Group in 1981, whos products were renowned for their experimentation with bright colours, suburban motifs and materials such as laminate.
For 25 years, Peter Halleys geometric paintings have engaged in a play of relationships between what he calls prisons and cells. Icons that reflect the rapidly increasing geometricisation of social space in the world in which we live.
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