Floating above the London skyline for one week only is a personal love letter to London but with a sentiment everyone is keen to share
“It’s a civic design project,” says British fashion designer Anya Hindmarch about Chubby Hearts, an installation of giant floating heart-shaped balloons appearing at 29 key locations across London, including Embassy Gardens and Goodluck Hope.
The idea came to Hindmarch when she was sitting “in a completely packed auditorium in the Royal Festival Hall…I sat there surrounded by all these people thinking London is so resilient and so creative. I wanted this to be my love letter to our amazing city”.
Launched on Valentine’s Day and continuing into London Fashion Week, the 8m-high helium filled balloons, each equivalent in size to a double-decker bus, will be at Embassy Gardens on the morning of Feb 19th and at Goodluck Hope the following day.
John Mulryan, UK Managing Director, Ballymore, said: “We thought Anya’s idea was really inspired. The balloons may be temporary but they are drawing attention not just to London’s wonderful architecture but it’s creativity and just as important it’s sense of fun. We’re delighted to be involved.”
One of Anya’s inspirations is her own Spring Summer 2018 collection that includes chubby, cartoon-like bags. The other she says, was Pink Floyd’s Flying Pig balloon above Battersea Power Station that famously broke free of its moorings during a photo-shoot for the cover of the hit album Animals in 1976.
Forty-two years on and simple ideas still have huge impact but these days there are myriad of requirements and permissions that need to be in place before a project like this can get off the ground.
“It’s a simple idea but in order to execute it I had to talk to so many different people including 13 London boroughs, the Mayor and the Civil Aviation Authority, but it hit a chord. People have been amazingly positive.
“I wrote to Ballymore on Christmas Eve saying ‘how about it?’ and they came back immediately and said, ‘we love it, we’re in”, she recalls.
The Mayor of London who has helped facilitate the project said: “As London Fashion Week showcases the capital to the world, these huge heart balloons animating our great spaces and architecture will show once again that London is open to talent and creativity and gives it a warm welcome.”
Check the Chubby Hearts over London website for more information and schedule.