Metropolis 2019 Gift Guide: Wear
This holiday season, Metropolis's editors are highlighting our picks for the best design-minded gifts.
From sustainable cooking aprons to sleek backpacks, we’ve searched high and low for the most impeccably designed items for our fashion gift guide. We admit, Bauhaus abounds on our list, because even 100 years on, the influential design school is still inspiring designers and brands alike. In our selection, we’ve tried to follow suit, choosing lasting design over passing trends.
At 104, Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera is still turning out work, which graces the walls of cultural institutions like MoMA and the Whitney. Now her vibrant, geometric paintings translate to wearable form as part of Uniqlo’s Color & Rhythm collection of t-shirts, now available at the MoMA store. The retail giant has released these editions just in time for the re-opening of the museum’s expanded campus, as well as its new exhibition, Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction, which explores the legacy of abstraction in Latin America.
When you’re whipping something up in the kitchen, aprons can often be a sartorial afterthought. But Alice Waters, the chef behind Chez Panisse, has designed a unisex apron with Permanent Collection that serves up style and protection against stovetop splatters. Made from organic linen by the Cradle to Cradle–certified Belgian textile house Libeco, the apron comes in a dark indigo color (a hue that helps to conceal stains). Nota bene: Five percent of the proceeds from the apron will go toward Waters’s foundation, The Edible Schoolyard Project.
Stay warm this winter with a scarf inspired by the work of textile designer Gunta Stölzl, who was the first woman Master in Bauhaus’s weaving department. One of her most iconic works was a blanket with a dynamic pattern of criss-crossing lines and colors, which was used in the student dormitories in Dessau. The original textiles have all since been lost, but with the help of Stölzl’s family, the U.K.–based studio Wallace Sewell has produced a scarf based on the Master’s design. So now a very lucky friend or relative can be the recipient of a piece of design history.
The Bauhaus’s centennial this year has spurred a number of brands to pay tribute to the German design school’s legacy. Case in point: COS’s capsule collection. The fashion brand has re-released pieces, such as a women’s collarless tuxedo shirt and a man’s hidden-button poplin shirt, which take cues from the Modernist movement.
Textile company Maharam gave Leon Ransmeier a straightforward brief: to design a bag that he would want to use himself. His answer was the the A-Pack—a simple, utilitarian backpack made of waxed cotton canvas sourced from Scotland. There’s plenty of storage, including a larger compartment for a computer, and four internal pockets for items like a phone or set of keys. A-Pack comes in two sizes and three color options (black, ivory, and lapis). Whether you’re a minimalist or schlepper, this multipurpose, “designer” bag is perfect for toting around town.
Discerning jewelry fans on your list—the ones who might lust after a Harry Bertoia brooch—will surely appreciate the Vignette collection from Ladies and Gentlemen Studio. A nod to the seminal 20th-century movements like Constructivism, and yes, the Bauhaus, these sculptural, sterling silver brooches will dress up any lapel.
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