If you haven’t been to The Design Exchange, it’s probably a good idea to go. The space is quite fascinating, sitting within the historic stock exchange building. Everything from its main entrance (Art Deco doors) to its super relevant, exciting exhibits there’s no reason to miss out. Past exhibits have included the heels of fashion icon, Christian Louboutin, to French lingerie and tableware.
So a designer toy from what I gathered is a collectible, and they certainly exist in multiple forms. There is no way anyone can dislike this show, well for the most part it is aesthetically pleasing, playful and nonetheless interesting. I was fascinated by the space itself, the lighthearted toys against the bleak, overbearing structures of the financial center.
It was a blockbuster show one could argue, with a star-studded line up, Pharell Williams a guest curator and infamous designer/artist Takashi Murakami. I learned of Friends With You Who, who took the pool toy to the next level at Art Basel. But what isn’t taken to the next level at that art show?
I was first introduced to designer toys in my first year at OCADU, not quite understanding what they were I had quite elaborate ideas for mine. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t accessorize my toy with a tutu and hat, my teacher told me to keep it as simple and sleek as possible. This show demonstrated the latter to me, not that they were simple but there’s an overriding aesthetic of beauty and simplicity.
Exhibition gift shops can be pretty cheesy at times, but not this one. Set up in the main lobby is The magic Pony pop up shop. The store has closed its Queen St location but you can still shop online. The shop is like a small show in itself. I thought I could leave with something small and cheap. After picking up a tiny plush toy and seeing the price tag, I realized this is not your average cheaply made plush toy, but a designer one. Also of note was the cool locally made jewelry and finally an awesome children’s book- Contemporary Art for Kids.
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