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The Age

Friday March 25, 2011


PETITION FOR LE CORBUSIERPIONEERING modernist Le Corbusier considered the Indian administrative city of Chandigarh his crowning achievement, designing everything from buildings to manhole covers and furniture.However, over the past few years many of the jewels have begun appearing at auction the latest includes armchairs from Chandigarh's high court.Now a growing international preservation campaign is under way. Design critic Alice Rawsthorn has written a petition that calls on the Indian government "to take action to prevent the destruction of Le Corbusier's architectural vision for Chandigarh". The campaigners will lobby the UN for Chandigarh to be admitted as a World Heritage site and tighter controls on the removal of public property from Chandigarh. IN DESIGNJAPANESE architect Shigeru Ban has been perfecting disaster-zone architecture from Rwanda to Kobe. But in the wake of Japan's recent disasters, he's been raising money to build interiors rather than exteriors. "Simple partitions for evacuees taking shelter at gymnasiums are what's required," Ban's website declares. For people who don't normally have close relationships with neighbours, being thrust together in high-density shelters only exacerbates their distress. Relief is not just about shelter, it's also about retaining dignity. www.shigerubanarchitects.comAUSSIE EGG CUP AND SPOON JOINS ALESSIMELBOURNE designer Helen Kontouris joins illustrious company Marc Newson, Denton Corker Marshall and Tom Kovac, among others in designing kitchen accessories for Italian manufacturer Alessi. Kontouris's stainless steel Scoop egg cup and spoon has been launched at Maison & Objet in Paris and the New York International Gift Fair as part of Alessi's 2011 spring/summer collection. Dining out with Kontouris in this season's collection are international heavyweights Marcel Wanders, David Chipperfield and Karim Rashid. "It's been a four-year journey and such a joy to be over the hump to the other side," says Kontouris. www.alessi.comRAY EDGARTHE BRIDAL BEATTOMORROW and Sunday the first Portobello Bride Boutique Market, a showcase of offbeat wedding gowns, accessories and workshops begins at St Kilda Town Hall. Event host the Portobello Bride website promises that frou-frou and meringue-like bridal extravaganzas are off the menu in accordance with tradition at similar, and wildly popular, markets in the US. Confirmed stall holders include jeweller e.g.etal, fashion designers Fleur Wood and Luisa Beccaria. Open 10 am to 5pm on both days. Entry $15 or $35; details OF CONTRAST A WINNING FORMULASHORT/LONG, hard/soft, tight/loose, thick/thin, rough/smooth. Winter's second flush of fashion delivers the science of contrast, conveying the clearest sense of modernity: hemlines shorter at the front than at the sides or back (pictured), tailored garments in leather, shearling-lined skin or stiffened wool blends, often belted hard over slim pants or looped and silky draped dresses stopping narrowly at the knee or a mid-calf hemline, generous volumes of textured knitwear over smoother, lighter weight base garments. It's a rare designer or product developer not expert in the delicate art of contrast. JANICE BREEN BURNS

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