This week was brutal. No replies, no progress, endless rain, and then, what. I seriously feared drowning in self-pity. Relief came via text message from @andymeetswarhol. If I wanted to join him for the preview event celebrating Markerad, the Ikea x Virgil Abloh collection. Of course I was up for it.
All I craved was candy, candy, candy. And candy I got, courtesy of the “Cereal Bar”. Picture a room filled with a giant box of Kellogg’s Unicorn Froot Loops. Bowls of the actual loops with strawberry and banana flavoured milk. And a candyfloss machine. I loved it. All of it. Even the fact the milk came from a cow and was not organic. Andy Warhol would have loved it, too. Who’d have thought a fistful of Virgil Abloh styled cereal thrills would be such life-savers?
Oh, what about the products?
If you haven’t spent the weekend in a remote earth hole, you’re probably familiar with the Mona Lisas (“Backlit artworks”), the glass-door cabinet to “Display Your Icons” or the “Wet Grass” rug.
Whatever you think of him, Virgil Abloh is the master of the meta quotation mark, the phrases for the young: “When does design become art?” he wonders here, “There’s always an underlying message in my creations. A little bit of irony – and a human connection,” he offers there. He is, as Vanessa Friedmann, The New York Times’ fashion critic, noted in a recent review “a genius at giving brand language the gravitas of meta-cultural-commentary” who has a knack for cutting “deeper meaning into what are essentially simple pieces”.
But then, if it works it works. Virgil’s elevated Ikea basics perfectly matched the haute utility-wear aesthetic of the Gen Z crowd attending the event. Think fleece and hiking boots on the dancefloor. Picture a carefully curated look that suggests an imminent survival trip in the mountains or a fishing weekend (but more likely involves the daunting challenge of an e-scooter ride to the nearest coffee bar). I’m not dissing. Au contraire. I’m writing in great relief I won’t have to stop living in my super functional-luxe E.Tautz coat for the foreseeable future. We will survive.
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