Whistles New York, 2018
We’ve been collaborating with Whistles for many years so were excited when they approached us to re-design and fabricate their interiors and window displays for their New York store. We felt Whistles is a brand whose purpose is to celebrate modern effortless style, mixing classics with key seasonal trends. Our overriding concept in elevating existing stores as well as to develop a new store concept and direction for the future, to take what is Whistles as a lifestyle brand and create a lifestyle interior.
The key feature of the store are the rails, each one is unique as the frame emerges from different sculptural forms, shapes and materials. For two of these large sculptural shapes we used a technique of carving polystyrene blocks into the loose forms and then applying a fibreglass membrane to give strength. The final process involves layers of Jesomite to create the desired surface. this gave the look of a sculpted smooth heavy material like stone and can be easily manipulated to emanate organic shapes similar to Hepworth's sculptures. It was important that the artists marks were still evident on the surface with hand and brush marks. In creating these shapes and the painting we enlisted the help of artist and fabricator Rosie Tonkin who was instrumental in these elements for the store.
For the render on the hexagonal shapes we mixed pigments with a plaster and cement mixes to create a soft pallet of pinks. Once again although smooth it was about fine texture and subtle tones. These soft tones were designed to contrast with the bold brush strokes and brighter colours in the large paintings behind them. The painting were made up of panels that had been rendered in a natural off white concrete on which they were painted. The painting although graphical in form maintain the artists markings and workings an important feature that runs through the artisan approach to the design and fabrication of the rails and artwork.