A BAR AT the ICA London has been made by British design studio, Flow Creation using papers from UK manufacturer James Cropper, as a collaboration with clothing brand Thomas Pink for the recent menswear shows.
The 170 year-old paper manufacturing company, James Cropper, who are based in the Lake District, and heritage clothing brand, Thomas Pink commissioned a paper bar and set of paper drinking accessories, as a centrepiece at the ICA (the Institute of Contemporary Arts) during the recent LC:M (London Collections Menswear) AW15 presentations.
The free-standing bar was designed and built by Sam Robins of Blackpool-based design studio, Flow Creation, and was made from two different weights of James Cropper’s White Kendal Manilla stock and was completed with paper glasses, lamps and fine architectural detail to complement the historic setting to stand at the centre of Thomas Pink’s, London-inspired AW15 collection launch.
Robins’ brief was to called on the designer to evoke the crisp freshness of a new, white shirt while testing the qualities of the versatile paper stock.
Using James Cropper 315gsm and 180gsm paper, Robins combined manual hand-working and paper cut techniques with computerised design and cutting processes in his studio to develop the bar and drinking paraphernalia.
Working with Thomas Pink’s commercial team and event and lighting designers for his cues, Robins was inspired by the architecture of ICA itself with its Corinthian columns and ornate cornicing.
Robins says, Sam says: “Initially I was shocked by the size of the venue; it’s a really grand, imposing space. The bar has grown to 8.5 metres long as a result. Thomas Pink really let me develop the design and specifications with little intervention, simply asking that it did the job of allowing models to interact with it as an alternative to your usual catwalk fashion show. The paper has stood up to every test I have thrown at it, with heavier stock taking the burden of structural support and the lighter weight allowing for decorative elements. Many of the props are really quite large, but can stand without additional support.”
Lemon slices, martini glasses and even a paper-framed, 3D artwork of the Thomas Pink logo, the ”cheeky fox”, were made by Robins as part of the concept. He incorporated LEDs and RGB lighting tape into hidden parts of the bar to ensure it responds to thematic changes during the show.The bar was strengthened with an MDF sub-structure for surface strength and ballast which was the only ”structural concession required of the paper, to give models confidence in using it” .
Commercial Director of James Cropper, Chris Brown said: “Our customers come to us for a product that is perfectly matched to their needs, and in this case our White Kendal Manilla was ideal for laser cutting as well as the purity of its colour. Kendal Manilla has become established as a benchmark in quality in the art, craft and stationery markets and has proved perfect for the intricate construction of this fun, visually stunning project.”
In accordance with James Cropper’s strong environmental ethos, the paper bar will be recycled following the show as well as all the James Cropper branded paper drinks cups used to serve cocktails at the event.
The Kendal Manilla stock contains up to 40% reclaimed fibres from single-use drinks cups. The reclaimed pulp originates from James Cropper’s own, innovative recycling plant, which gives the formerly unrecyclable waste material a new lease of life.
A video of the event.
by Caroline SimpsonTags: ecology > ICA London > James Cropper > LC:M 2015AW > Thomas Pink