5 design things to do this week: May 6 - 12, 2019

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This week, you can: immerse yourself in La Cienega design events; celebrate student designers; admire the rule-breaking fashions of Rudi Gernreich; see photographs of wallpaper that tell a story of people and place; and play and party to support the A+D Museum.

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1) LCDQ Legends 

The La Cienega Design Quarter - bordered by Santa Monica Blvd, Melrose Ave and La Cienega Blvd - has long been a destination for sophisticated shoppers and professionals looking for top quality home design.  Legends is a three-day mix of keynotes, panel discussions, open houses, trunk shows, cocktail parties, exhibitions, author events, special appearances and window displays bringing together the who's who and everyone else in the Los Angeles design world.

For this year’s theme, "Legendary: Icons of Design" - a revival of the very first Legends theme in 2009 - 40 internationally-renowned design stars will present their homages to legendary interior designers of the past. You can read more about this year's program, including living legends and honorees Bunny Williams and Susan Rheinstein, here and see the detailed schedule of events here.

Suggested Event: "Peter Shire: Good Taste." Farrow & Ball is hosting an exhibition curated by FURTH YASHAR & entitled Peter Shire: Good Taste, on view from May 7th – 11th at the Farrow & Ball La Cienega Flagship. The show presents a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse into Shire's active L.A. studio, featuring a cross section of works in medium, scale and color. The exhibition celebrates color as a tool for pushing design boundaries, serving as a catalyst for dismantling the divide between sculpture and object and invites viewers to question their own ideas of what defines art and design and what constitutes "good taste." Shire has been making a comeback in recent years; check out DnA's profile here.

When: Tuesday, May 7 through Thursday, May 9. You can see the complete events schedule here.

Where: La Cienega Design Quarter, Map

Tickets: $95 - $495 (VIP). Registration is required to attend any venue event. You can register here.

Photo credit AIA|LA Staff

2) AIA Los Angeles Grand Opening: 2 X 8 Exchange 

The 2×8 Student Competition, Exhibition and Scholarship program showcases exemplary student work from architecture & design institutions throughout California. As many as 16 schools participate in the annual show, selecting two student projects that epitomize the institution's core vision. This year's show, 2 x 8: Exchange adds VR immersion by Trimble Consulting and Rios Clemente Hale Studios, a zero waste plan and raffle prizes to the engaging pop-up gallery of student work. 

When: Opening reception Wednesday, May 8, 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Where: Helms Design Center, 8745 Washington Blvd, Culver City 90232

Tickets: Free. More information and RSVP here.

Also, don't miss  Benjamin Ball & Gaston Nogues of Ball-Nogues Studio  in conversation at Helms Design Center, Thursday, May 9, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Free.

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3)  Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich

Los Angeles fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985) introduced the “monokini,” the thong, unisex caftans, pantsuits for women, and enough inventive and fearless clothing to earn him a worldwide reputation as one of the most prominent designers of his time. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich explores the visionary and progressive ensembles that transcended rigid social expectations and championed authenticity above all.

A Viennese Jew, Gernreich fled the Nazi regime and immigrated to the U.S. in 1938. The exhibition examines the circumstances that enabled Gernreich to grow into a trailblazing designer, from his early career with the Lester Horton Dance Theater to his role as a founding member of The Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization. It shows how Gernreich dovetailed his personal background with his design vision to champion freedom of expression.

The exhibition features over eighty Gernreich ensembles, along with accessories, original sketches, photographs, ephemera, and newly filmed interviews of friends and colleagues. All mannequins for this exhibition were custom produced with flat feet—a deviation from industry standard. Flat feet were a design feature Gernreich emphasized, dressing his models barefoot or in sensible short-heeled or flat shoes. Illustrating how Gernreich challenged conventional notions of beauty, identity, and gender, Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich reveals how the designer redefined style in ways that continue to influence fashion today. You can hear more about this show Tuesday, May 7 at 1:30 pm on DnA, 89.9 FM or at kcrw.com

When: Opens Thursday, May 9; Exhibition runs through Sept 1.

Where: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, 90049

Tickets: General admission $12. Tickets available at the door beginning May 9. No reservations.

Also, don't miss Fashion Forward: Humberto Leon and Justin Tranter in conversation at the Skirball on Thursday, May 9 from 7:30 - 9:30 pm as they discuss the influence of Rudi Gernreich and explore how fashion can address themes of personal freedom, inclusion, and diversity.  Arrive early to view the exhibition Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich which will be open to ticket holders from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Cocktails and light fare will also be available for purchase. You can get tickets here, $15, free for members. 

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4)  Michele Asselin: Commons

Michele Asselin is an LA-based photographer who explores the stories of people of a place and time through the environments in which they work, live and play; her work examines how people and places come to reflect the systems of which they are a part.

In the artist's own words of the space that she photographed for Commons, "These photographs depict the wallpaper in the banquet room of the former Hollywood Park Casino, now demolished. The floral design, which references late-nineteenth century ornamental motifs, seems to have been selected to signal Old European high taste and distinguished age. It must have originally imbued the room with glamour, and a sense of fantasy. When the wallpaper started peeling, the proprietors protected it from further damage with sheets of Plexiglas, clumsily drilled into the wallpaper. The Plexiglas unwittingly undoes the intention of the original, like an expensive couch covered in plastic. Through a clumsy attempt at preservation, the wallpaper becomes a metaphor for destruction—the effect of the original is destroyed by its protection.”

When: Closing reception, Saturday May 11, 2 - 4 pm

Where: there-there, 4859 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles 90029

Tickets: Free

Other works by Michele Asselin currently on view: Forward Motion at Union Station through mid-Fall and Clubhouse Turn part of Photoville LA at Annenberg Space for Photography, May 3, 4, 5.

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5) "Celebrate: Play" A+D Museum's Annual Fundraising Gala

For this year's theme, "Celebrate: Play", A+D Museum will be transformed into a wonderland of imagined realities, creating a space for exploration and fun.  The night will be an experience of interactive games, and live performances in a wide array of expressive art forms. Play is a state of mind that exists outside of restrictions; it is in these spaces that our minds are at their most vibrant. Play goes beyond recreation; it is a vital means of education and human connection, values the museum aims to champion. You can read more about the A+D Museum and the Gala here.

When: Saturday, May 11, 7 pm

Where: A+D Museum, 900 E 4th St, Los Angeles 90013

Tickets: $100 (students and members $50). More information and tickets here.