[Editor's note: In celebration of the holidays, we're counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #5, was originally published February 29.] As much as we love virtual globetrotting, we live for real world travel adventures. If you’re like us and spend weeks obsessively planning every last detail of your trip to ensure that your not-often-enough vacation is maximized to the hilt, consider this our gift to you. We’ve scoured every inch of the great world wide web to create a guide to designed sleeping experiences that are anything but ordinary.
The English writer G.K. Chesterton, notably George Bernard Shaw’s frenemy, said “there are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” From the surrealist creation of our favorite discreet Belgian fashion designer to pillows made of chocolate and ice to a toon shaded room by a German comic book artist that will make you feel like you stepped into the world of Jessica Rabbit, click through to see what strange and wonderful places await the next time you’re trying to maximize your unconscious dreamstate. We want to try them all, but let us know in the comments which one you’re dying to stay in!
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Culture industry was a term coined by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkeimer, two brainy theorists with awesome surnames who waxed poetic about the failure of the Age of Enlightenment. Heady stuff, but their century-old theory about mass-produced culture and the media machine that makes it is relevant now more than ever.
Over the last decade individuality has — ironically — been standardized thanks to the likes of indie superstore, Urban Outfitters, H&M and (sorry Jenna Lyons) J. Crew. The fashion equivalent of the soap opera, retail giants are by definition formulaic, adhering to pre-existing templates that above all else, promote scalability and profitability.
With the modern mass culture factory growing at a mind-blowing rate, we thought we’d take a minute to look back at its antithesis: the avant-garde. Should consumerism ever go the way of the dodo, here’s a fun reminder of what our closets might look like if artistic originality not sales figures ruled the day. From the Godfather of vanguard fashion, Issey Miyake, to Björk’s partner in fashion crime, Hussein Chalayan, to the intentionally anonymous genius behind Maison Martin Margiela, click through to see how we think these eccentric and original designs measure up in terms of everyday wearability. Let us know in the comments which look you’d consider rocking any old day of the week.
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We love collisions of culture as much as the next guy, but we have to admit to having a soft spot for those involving provocative hip-hop artists and legendary New York cultural institutions. A few months ago the most venerable of concert halls welcomed Jay-Z’s charity performance in what The New York Times hailed as “the highest-profile hip-hop show ever at Carnegie Hall.” Decked out in a white satin Tom Ford dinner jacket adorned with a diamond Cartier lapel pin, Jay-Z defined blinged-out class. As the Times’ music reviewer went on to write, “more than any of his peers Jay-Z understands the cultural politics of infiltration, and as he gets older, he has made it more the subject of his music.”
We were reminded that bling has transcended the world of rap, even sneaking in to the bourgeois world of architecture, when we stumbled across the whimsical large-scale sequin architectural installations of Theresa Himmer. We couldn’t help but wonder what other sparkling structures might exist in the world. From a blue crystal encrusted urban revitalization project in London to Margiela’s shimmering Beverly Hills boutique to a small gold glitter covered house in the Egyptian desert, click through to check out some of the best building bling out there (and, yes, we will be taking credit for coining that phrase).
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