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We love a bit of set design here at Livingetc, so we were more than intrigued to see what three contemporary artists would conjure up for the Royal Ballet’s exciting collaboration with the National Gallery entitled Metamorphisis: Titian 2012. Based on three Titian’s great paintings of the Diana and Actaeon myth, three short ballets were choreographed around sets designed by Conran Shawross, Mark Wallinger and Chris Ofili. Wallinger’s vision included futuristic two way mirrors, Ofili opted for psychedelic forest like scenery, and Shawcross put a giant robot behind the dancers, whose single lit arm mirrored the dancer’s movements. Tonight the piece will be shown live on big screens across the UK for free, see where you can watch here.

Kate, Editorial Assistant

Photography: Johan Persson, courtesy of ROH


Fancy picking up some lettuce and a few tomatoes for your lunch while waiting for the bus? Well, thanks to guerrilla gardeners Chelsea Fringe and local residents in Stockwell empty spaces are being transformed into thriving Edible bus stops. The scheme is hoping to roll out  around the capital so keep an eye out at your local bus stop for anything green and leafy emerging – it’s probably not your average weeds. Off to pick a strawberry…

Mel, Art editor

Coming to Sadler’s Wells this May, Angelin Preljocaj’s ballet interpretation of the classic fairy tale Snow White is a far cry from the cheerful Disney animation most of us know. Dark, dramatic and even a little bit frightening, it’s probably much closer to the Brother’s Grimm original tale. What caught our eye here at livingetc were the spectacular sets and costumes, (just as important as the choreography in our opinion) designed by none other than Jean Paul Gautier (costumes) and renowned set designer Thierry Leproust. Both the costumes and the set design cleverly frame the dancers and transport the audience into the magical realm of make-believe without a shred of kitsch or cliche….although we hope there’s still a ‘happily ever after’ ending!

Kate, Editorial Assistant

Jamie Hewlett

Quentin Blake

Design from the library’s Olga Hirsch Collection of Decorative Papers

Think The British Library is just for dusty academics and clever clogs? The Spring Festival, from 1-5 March, should change your mind. Aimed at creative types but available to everyone, there are various workshops, including the Art of Illustration with the likes of Quentin Blake and Jamie Hewlett, but we’re heading to the Spring Market in the library’s Piazza on Thursday 1 March. Twelve designer-makers have been chosen from 80 entries into a competition of people who had used the library in some way to develop their work.

Or if you’re just looking for design inspiration, trawl the library’s fabulous archive and collections, including Japanese woodcuts, textile designs, fashion magazines, vintage knitting patterns, photographs, maps, stamps – and curators more than happy to guide you in the right direction.

Click through for a taste of the Spring Market designers.

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StolenSpace gallery will host an exhibition with Hecox’s work in November, titled Borough & Lane. It’s the first time the artist has used his snapshot eye to capture mundane moments in London, having previously worked in New York. And perhaps it’s his fresh take on the city which captivates – finding beauty on towpaths and in market stalls is a quality which should be applauded. 4 November – 27 November 

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This weekend I’m day tripping with Toast to the Wilderness festival on the Cornbury Estate, Oxfordshire. The festival has been dubbed as a celebration of ‘arts and outdoors’ combining music, food, theatre, literary debate and outdoor pursuits so I’m in for a cultural one and Toast have joined in with a variety of events that sound right up my street!

The toast ‘spa’ gives me an excuse to swim in the wild lakes (although I’m frightened of fish!) and mooch about in the wood fired oak hot tubs and sauna. Finally, I’m hoping I’ll end up with a glass of my favourite tipple, wrapped up in a Toast hammam towel and nestled on a couple of cosy Reindeer rugs! (see above)

If the weather writes off the above you’ll find me in the Banqueting tent, enjoying a feast put on by Sam and Sam Clark from London’s famous Moro restaurant and Skye Gyngell of Petersham Nurseries Café. If you needed any more persuasion, a few of the musical highlights include Antony and the Johnsons, Mercury Rev, Laura Marling and Daniel Johnston .. Smug?… me?… no!

If you  do fancy any of the above, get in there quick as it’s all over on Sunday!

This is the second post from my trip round the Les Arts Decoratif in Paris on Sunday, but as an Art Deco fan, I just wanted to share a few snippets of the world’s finest collection…

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It’s quite difficult to find a quiet spot in Paris, particularly a quiet spot attached to megamuseum The Louvre, but, ah ha, there is the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. I went to see the Hussein Chalayan retrospective and ended up wandering into an exhibition looking at the work of Czech toy designer Libuše Niklová. From the Sixties to the Eighties, she made some seriously cheerful playroom friends. Click through for an outrageously cute lamb and a rather pensive lion.

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Life.Style.etc really wishes that men would dress up more. Quit wearing jeans and do the dandy thing. If only every Tom, Dick or Harry was more like Tommy Nutter, who swept into Savile Row in 1969 and transformed the stuffy world of tailoring forever. Who wore Nutters? Who didn’t? Three out of four Beatles did as they crossed the road on the cover of Abbey Road (shame on you George Harrison). Mick married Bianca wearing a white Nutters suit. And later on, Tommy Nutter designed the Joker’s costumes in the 1989 Batman film. Important and era-defining, yes and yes. You can see wonderful Tommy Nutter creations in all their glory in The Fashion and Textile Museum’s exhibition, Rebel On The Row, which runs 20 May – 22 October 2011.

These images and brilliant pieces of furniture are just a glimpse of the 800 or so items on display in The Musée National de la Marine in Paris, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of The France, French Lines’ flagship ocean liner. The only way to travel in the early Sixties…

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As the team behind Livingetc, the UK’s leading magazine for modern interiors, we’re always out and about, scouting for inspiration. And when we see something that makes our design minds flutter with joy, we’ll share it with you here. To purchase the digital version of the magazine, click here.

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We’re always looking for inspiring houses, full of clever design tricks, to feature in Livingetc. If you think your home is what we’re after, email pictures to our houses editor,