Aesthetica Gift Guide

There is still plenty of time to get some last minute shopping in and we’ve got lots of ideas to help you out. Whoever you’re buying for we’ve got a multitude of suggestions that are bound to enhance the following year and offer new cultural opportunities. From membership cards to books, subscriptions to jewellery, we’ve got it covered. Read our top 10 suggestions for gifts this Christmas from top institutions, independent and established companies.

1. Subscription to Aesthetica
Top of the Christmas list is obviously a subscription to Aesthetica. The perfect gift for any art lover, the magazine provides an invaluable guide to key artists and current exhibitions with stunning visuals and dynamic content, direct to their home. 12 months of unmissable content kick starts with exclusive online access to innovative films selected from the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2013, free with their first issue.

2. Metallic Patchwork Wallet
Comme des Garçons has created a limited edition range of wallets specifically for the festive season. Iconic Comme des Garçons shapes have been reworked with a metallic patchwork exterior to produce a visually stunning purse that is both practical and stylish. Available in a selection of five sizes, the unique wallet makes a perfect stocking filler and is sure to be useful the whole year round. The product is currently on sale at Dover Street Market where there are numerous other gift ideas.

3. The Art Deco Poster
Thames & Hudson has teamed up with author William Crouse, long-time poster aficionado, to produce an in-depth volume of images and information on poster art. Selecting 300 of the most sought-after examples of the work created between the wars, Crouse organises the pieces thematically into subject categories (aviation, communication, fashion and more). The book includes unique examples by masters of the art form such as Nizzoli, Cassandre and Beall.

4. ABC Teacup
Made in England by We Love Kaoru, this alphabet teacup & saucer is hand decorated and adorned with 22 carat gold detail. The perfect personalised gift, this cute cup will add a bit of sparkle to any tea-drinking day. The independent company was established by Central St Martins graduate Kaoru Parry who specialises in creating beautifully translucent contemporary fine bone china. Parry works to preserve the traditional values of true craftsmanship and the quality of British ceramic design and production.

5. Angie Lewin Tote Bag
Angie Lewin is well-known for her striking prints of skeletal plant forms set against the sky. Her work is currently celebrated in A Natural Line at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield. Inspired by the park’s historic 500-acre landscape, Lewin has created a series of new prints and watercolours for this solo exhibition, all of which will be available to buy. The tote bag is available for purchase in the gift shop and is accompanied by a selection of mugs. Her exhibition runs until 23 February.

6. Karen Mabon
Karen Mabon is an independent designer producing a curious and quirky collection of scarves and jewellery. All of Mabon’s beautiful products are layered with imaginative narratives and bold patterns. Her hand-drawn characters make for a playful palette of designs and result in wearable pieces of art. Illustrations include everything from a fast-paced stock market setting to a sweet shop. This necklace will instantly offer an accent to any outfit and will add a bit of interest to even the most mundane of days.

7. The Allure of Chanel
The Allure of Chanel is Paul Morand’s last book and is one of the most outstanding within his oeuvre. Based on a series of personal conversations between the author and Coco Chanel, the text is written in prose and details the character of the elusive and charming nature of the fashion designer. Originally published in 1976, it is now re-released with additional illustrations from Karl Lagerfeld, embellishing it with 73 new drawings.

8. Picturehouse Membership
Film fans are sure to be satisfied with a Membership to Picturehouse. The cinematic gift includes three free tickets (or six for joint members), discounts on subsequent tickets, 10% off food and drink and much more. If you purchase before Christmas the subscription will start on Boxing Day, allowing the recipient to enjoy as many films as possible for the whole year. With locations in 15 cities across the country, including London, York, Oxford, Liverpool and many more, the present can be used nationwide.

9. Membership at the London Library
This is the perfect Christmas gift for book lovers everywhere. Providing access to over 1 million books in over 2000 subjects and 50 languages, plus access to 750 magazine and periodical subscriptions, this present will enhance the recipient’s entire year. The historic library building is located in the heart of St James’s in London’s Piccadilly and is a meeting point for writers, scholars and book-worms alike. Aside from the vast array of books available, members can rent books for longer periods of time.

10. Vanja Contemporary
Especially for Christmas, Vanja Contemporary has a selection of special editions for under £100, and in the name of festivity shoppers will also receive a selection of artist postcards for free. The online art gallery has an international exhibition programme and offers the opportunity for audiences to purchase original works and limited editions of fine art including conceptual photography, drawing and mixed media artwork. One such piece on sale is a high quality photographic print of one of a work from Pakapoukas’ Scenes series.

10. Scene 06 by John Pakapoukas. Photographic print 29.7 x 40 cm, courtesy of Vanja Contemporary.