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American Horror Story: Hotel

Maybe you're like me, which in today's context means that you're kind of a series addict frequently caught red-handed binge-watching new episodes of a series you love. If so, maybe you've spent your last few months frantically waiting for new episodes of American Horror Story's fifth season, AHS: Hotel, to come up. And if, on top of that, you're a design lover (which you probably are since you're on this website), you must have noticed how great, how beautiful, how... stunning the whole set of this new season was!

American Horror Story: Hotel

I find every season of American Horror Story aesthetically delightful as far as sets and costumes are concerned. In Asylum, the gloomy atmosphere and ominous decors clearly contributed to the success of the whole story. In Coven, the classy manor and the mystical feeling added to the elegance and oddness of the scenario. And in Murder House, the place was literally a character in its own right (I still haven't watched Freak Show yet, so as you can see, my addiction has its limits!). Therefore, I couldn't wait to discover what would be the set design chosen for Hotel - and I was not disappointed. 

American Horror Story: Hotel

Production designer Mark Worthington drew his inspiration from Art Deco, a movement characterized by graphic cold lines and compositions that are "beautiful, but [not] necessarily inviting." From the lobby to the Countess's bedroom, including hallways and guest rooms, everything looks very strange and creepy, thus enhancing the murderous atmosphere that prevails in this season. Some elements are reminiscent of other cinematic masterpieces, such as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Also filled with references to the characters themselves (for instance, the venus flytrap on the columns' capitals is as seductive and threatening as Lady Gaga's character), the whole decor is a labyrinthine house of horrors that aims at confusing guests - sometimes, even Ryan Murphy got lost among the continuous hallways built in the shape of a rectangle and surrounded by secret rooms and trick doors!

American Horror Story: Hotel

American Horror Story: Hotel

American Horror Story: Hotel

American Horror Story: Hotel

Have you watched AHS: Hotel? What did you think about the set design?

Happy New Year!



Bye bye 2015!

The Design Deer wishes you a happy new year filled with joy, glory, love and well-being, not only in your home but also in your relation to others and the world... Life is short, so enjoy it as it should be! Also, among the many resolutions that I'm willing to take right now, posting new articles on a more regular basis is at the top of the list, and that's a promise ;-)

Peace, love and glory xoxo
Peace, love & glory xoxo 

Redefining spaces

Mirrored Ziggurat

Shirin Abedinirad is an Iranian visual artist born in 1986 in Tehran. After graduating in visual arts, the young woman had the opportunity to work with Benetton at the Fabrica, the brand's research center based in Treviso, in Italy. She then made performances in countries such as Iran, Turkey, Spain and India, and now lives between Tehran and Florence. She has already created three outdoor installations that give space and land art a new definition.

Her works question our way of looking at our immediate environment. A deep desire seems to emanate from these elements, which are perfectly arranged so as to redefine our perception in natural or urban landscapes. The artist thus invites us to create new visual schemes, and to reckon our proximity to the elements that surround us, including the earth and the sky.

Mirrored Ziggurat

Mirrored Ziggurat

Mirrored Ziggurat

Mirrored Ziggurat (2015) is a pyramid-shaped structure made of mirrors. The shape was inspired by Ziggurats, ancient Mesopotamian temples. Presented at the Underbelly Arts Festival in Sydney, Australia, the installation aims at connecting the earth and the sky through a staircase that seems to link up nature and men. The perception of space is altered, and the result makes spectators question their own vision of the world, which suddenly becomes a place made of optical illusions and reflections. As through the lens of a third eye, people are able to look at themselves in their immediate environment. Disconnected from their body envelope for a few seconds or some minutes, they are thus both in and outside of the artwork.

Evocation

Evocation

Evocation

For Evocation (2013), round mirrors were placed in Iran Central Desert. Such objects accompany spectators as they walk in the sand, and offer another vision of the path ahead by reflecting the sky and the sun. The boundary between earth and sky fades, and the lack of water becomes more flagrant as these blue circles suddenly look like tiny pools amid such an arid landscape. The Iranian desert is thus adorned with a bewitching mirage that highlights the golden stretch of an endless horizon. By transforming nature in a misleading way, the artist highlights the relative perceptual relationship between humans and the elements.

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Finally, in Heaven on Earth (2014), stairs were covered with mirrors so as to alter the logical perception of environment. Through this piece of work, people have the possibility to rethink their advance, check the reliability of each step, and fight against the malaise caused by a lack of standard landmarks. Light is an essential concept in Persian culture, therefore these mirrors create a kind of artificial paradise that transforms the world and makes us look at it differently. The sky thus becomes the ground, and light almost materializes in front of spectators.

Hellfest 2015: A Glimpse into Metal!

Hellfest 2015

In my last article, I hinted that things were to come on the blog, well here's one! In the end of June, I went for the first time in my life to one of the most gigantic metal festivals in France: the Hellfest! As you can imagine, the experience was absolutely awesome, and I came back with lots of good memories, starting with concerts. On this point, special mention to Faith No More for one of the best performances of the festival, but also to L7 (although the sound was awful from where I was standing), Mastodon, Truckfighters, Monarch, Russian Circles, the Wampas, NOFX, and also, pro forma despite the fact that the concert was not that great (I left after 3 songs), Marilyn Manson, if only because seeing the character in flesh and bone was interesting.

In terms of decor, I was taken aback by the immensity of the site and the crew's attention to details: from the stages to the snacks, including the merchandising booth and the cathedral-shaped entry, everything was created so as to dazzle visitors (who were more than 150,000 in three days... I can not describe how crowded the site was!). Thousands of metalheads ready to move it move it thus took the two main stages, the Altar, the Temple, the Valley and the Warzone by storm!

The moments spent around the festival were also very pleasant, as the camp on one of the parking lots allowed me to spend a few days with - of course - Mr. Bennet, but also some of our friends, with whom we shared barbecues, aperitifs, discussions, laughs and rest (rest is important, even if nights in a tent are short... and sometimes very cold - "hello, I just discovered camping..."). Here are some pictures taken on the festival site, which I hope will depict the atmosphere of the event!

Hellfest cathédrale

Hell City

Hellfest 2015

Hellfest

Hellfest grande roue

Hellfest site

Hellfest décor

Hellfest site

We find everything on the site, even a highly visited tattoo shop: 

Tattoo shop Hellfest

The sculptures adorning the door of the "Kingdom of Muscadet", which were created by Barbes Vertes, were amongst my favorite artworks:

Sculpture Hellfest

Statue Hellfest

Details of a tower by Monic la Mouche: 

Sculpture details Hellfest

There were also giant desk lamps as street lights:

Hellfest décor

The "Gibson shop":

Hellfest Gibson

Inside the market were stunning custom guitars, including a telecaster that I really wish I could have bought...:

Hellfest guitars

The woods allowed festival-goers to flee the hotness of those summer days and to rest while admiring lighting effects by night:

Hellfest

Finally, I took the opportunity to visit the center of Clisson. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by the authentic atmosphere of this ancient place. Among the city's main tourist sites is the medieval castle built on a granite promontory, which dates back to the 12th century:

Clisson

Some other views of this beautiful city nestled in the heart of the Pays de la Loire (unfortunately, the weather was grey on that day):

Clisson

Clisson

Clisson

Clisson

There was even a nice wink to festival-goers in the Sèvre nantaise!


The town of Clisson really benefits from a rise of activity and popularity during the Hellfest, therefore traders do not hesitate to play the game (even the employees of the supermarket where all metalheads go food shopping wear Hellfest t-shirts!):

Hellfest rose

And finally, here is the monumental guitar that the festival crew offered to the city of Clisson. It was created by artist Jean-Francois Buisson, who is also at the origin of the 8-meter-high metal tree erected in the heart of the festival site:

Hellfest guitar

A Trip to Saint-Émilion

Saint-Emilion


Hello everyone! This early summer is already quite hectic, and I have a lot to tell you... You'll understand what I mean quite soon ;-)

But for now, let's focus on the little getaway that Mr. Bennet and myself enjoyed last weekend. We went to Saint-Emilion, a town in the Southwest of France, about one hour away from Bordeaux. Taking advantage of the good weather, we walked on the steep alleyways and cobbled paths of this beautiful medieval city adorned with a particularly dazzling mountain panorama. Braving the heat and the laziness of a Sunday, we had the opportunity to discover the historical monuments and wine hills of this popular tourist site, before visiting the surrounding countryside.

Thanks to this visit, I learnt that Saint-Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the city teems with preserved ancient buildings, such as the monolithic church, which is the second largest in the world, or the Cordeliers Cloister that you can see below:

Cloître des Cordeliers

An ideal place for hiking near the Dordogne river, adorned with green hills, vineyards and castles, the town is famous for its wines and regional products such as foie gras. Among the sites that are not to be missed if you go there is the Tour du Roy, also called castle of the king, a 13th-century Romanesque citadel and dungeon that dominates the city from a unique viewpoint. Similarly, the Collegiate Church and its cloister are truly worth a visit, especially for the exhibited artworks.

Tour du Roy

Cloître de Saint-Emilion

Cloître de l'église collégiale

Art à Saint-Emilion

Below, you can see the inside of the Collegiate Church, with a rather surprising element: a huge piece of wood on which each visitor is invited to hammer a nail and make a wish. The result is worthy of a work of art!

Eglise collégiale de Saint-Emilion

Dans l'église collégiale

Saint-Emilion


After walking through the streets, enjoying the nice weather and the calm of the end of June, we went back to Bordeaux, our heads filled with memories of exceptional landscapes...

Visite à Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

Visiter Saint-Emilion

Fontaine à Saint-Emilion

Balade à Saint-Emilion

Bar à Saint-Emilion

Ruelle à Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

Vue de Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion