NATURE MEETS URBAN
The perfect print for the Serpentine Pavilion 2017
T-SHIRT CALVIN KLEIN
JACKET FRANKIE MORELLO
Architects, art enthusiasts and design snobs every year wait patiently to see who will be this year’s artist to design the temporary pavilion in Kensington Gardens, by the Serpentine Gallery. The project was commissioned in 2000, and since then 17 architects have graced us with though provoking and stunning design. We are eagerly awaiting number 18. Last year, the Serpentine chose architect Diébédo Frances Kéré, originally from Burkina Faso, to share his design aesthetic with the world.
Nature is a central theme for Kéré, as the building itself is set to resemble a tree. The roof, cone-shaped, provided shelter from the elements and transforms the central frame into a waterfall when it rains. This feature was not only beautiful but would have served to irrigate the nature surrounding the pavilion. Kéré definitely thought about British summers when he was considering the waterfall aspect… ☺. The tree-like central structure was surrounded by a vibrant blue lattice that enclosed the space and gave it an intimate feeling, whilst the open roof made it feel airy and light. Architecture like Kéré’s served to combine what is often seen as disparate: nature and urban centres. The building almost seemed like it could have slipped seamlessly into the park, whilst also bringing a unique meeting space so people can experience the surrounding beauty of the architecture and the greenery of the park.
I often find myself seeking out these green spaces, like so many urban dwellers, as we need spaces to escape the greyness and heaviness of the city. This space, nestled in Kensington Gardens made me feel like I had found a secret tree-house, something that would serve as my private sanctuary… if only it wasn’t filled with so many others trying to do the same.
So, what is a good outfit to wear when you need to fight the crowds, the weather and makes you feel comfortable, yet fashionable? By now, you know that I love prints. They can be an excellent way to express yourself, whilst simultaneously making yourself stand out. But it’s that tricky balancing act between looking cool and looking like some accidentally wallpapered your legs. You can mix prints and fabrics as coats, jumpers and trousers. Often people are terrified of prints, but when you pair them with something that balances the look, it can all come together.
Last year I found these amazing trousers from ASOS ‘Super Skinny Smart Trousers, in Black and White Textured Fabric’ just reminded me of the jungle. There is something a bit zebra about them. I paired these loud trousers with a simple black Tee from Calvin Klein. I always have a few staples that I can pair with everything, and every person should have good quality Tees in various colours to mix and match. I love Calvin Klein and Banana Republic as they have high-quality t-shirts that don’t fall apart after one wash. Lastly, I decided a black jacket would add the perfect balance to the loud print. But me being me, it wasn’t just any old jacket. The jacket from Frankie Morello is a clever patchwork of neoprene and suede, which gives this coat an exciting mix of textures and shapes.
In the end, you can dress the outfit up or down depending on the shoes you wear. I opted for Nike trainers as I wanted a more relaxed feel that made this outfit less serious. In the end, I felt great in the outfit. It was different enough to stand out, but not in a bad way. And I was warm, comfortable and the neoprene of the coat protected me from the rain. Now all I have to do is find an outfit for this year’s pavilion…