tokyo: ninehours hotel opening

© ninehours / photography: nacása & partners inc.

when ninehours launched its first property in kyoto in 2009, the sleek and forward design not only redefined the capsule hotel formula but also changed the often biased perception by many of today's modern travelers. after a teaser showcase earlier this year at tokyo's narita airport - the japanese capital's main international gateway - ninehours has opened a second property right next to terminal 2 in anticipation of the growing global demand for accomodation and short-stay facilities at major air hubs. similarly to the kyoto property, the new venue is a collab effort of architect fumie shibata of design studio s, masaaki hiromura who designed the signs and graphics, and interior designer takaaki nakamura.

ninehours' hospitality concept is simple and entirely based on an infrastructure of pure essentials, packaged in easy-access modern comfort. mind you, its name is consequently inspired by the notion that a hotel stay is made up of 7 hours of sleep, 1 hour of chilling out and 1 hour of grooming. the setting is one of simple design, void of any frills yet hospitable at the same time. the property features 129 capsules - 71 for male guests and 58 for female guests in separate sections - which have all been fitted out with a specially designed mattress and pillow, and a nifty sleep ambient control system to help guests rest well.

a stay at ninehours may be based on the essentials, but that doesn't mean it's stripped of the pleasurable things in life. when staying the night, guests are offered quality loungewear and indoor slippers, in addition to quality towels and a set of sophisticated bathroom amenities. the hotel also offers well-designed communal facilities, including plenty of lockers to store your luggage, a lounge where to eat, drink or work on your laptop, and a modern washroom with ample shower cabins. location: parking building 2, level b1f, next to terminal 2 [narita airport].

© ninehours / photography: nacása & partners inc.

johannesburg: where paradise grows

© goethe-institut johannesburg

ingrid lafleur is a detroit-based curator with a keen interest in the black american cultural legacy. lafleur has ralllied complex movements, a multidisciplinary art collective from her hometown, for an exhibition at goethe-institut's experimental project space goetheonmain in the heart of johannesburg. entitled where paradise grows, it's a reference to the asian paradise tree, an invasive non-indigenous flora of detroit, and used as a metaphor for contemporary colonization. quite ironically, the venue is situated in the rapidly gentrifying maboneng precinct, and aims to invite viewers to think more deeply about their own communities and share change-making ideas for their communities. according to lafleur detroit and johannesburg are surprisingly similar cities.

both have a majority black population, experience rapid urban renewal, and have transformed because of racial tensions that caused businesses and investors to leave for 'safer' areas. the show itself is a multi-media presentation that outlines the influences and ideas behind complex movements’ ongoing project and science-fiction parable of their creation beware of the dandelions. the show is an immersive setting built on the aesthetics of hiphop, and is embedded in a larger curatorial project by lafleur, called afrotopia' and which uses the arts movement afrofuturism as a tool for transformative education in detroit and elsewhere [on through aug 3]. location: goetheonmain, 245 main street [city + suburban].

© goethe-institut johannesburg

hong kong: wisteria hysteria in white hats

© i.t

it was in 1984 that comme des garçons' elusive creative director rei kawakubo first met british milliner stephen jones, and the two being totally on the ball in their respective fields, the immediately hit it off. jones consequently designed hats for many comme des garçons men's and women's collections. the two have renewed their collaboration with a new collection of men's and women's hats which have been given their own installation at the comme des garçons store in hong kong. the hat designs come in a wide range of artfully constructed concoctions, and they're all made in white. coinciding with the presentation is the launch of a new collab unisex perfume called wisteria hysteria. following the 2008 launch of a perfume packaged in all-black, the very latest fragrance is presented in an all-white perfume bottle design marked with a chic little ribbon. similarly to the previous perfume, wisteria hysteria has a distinct floral tone, but infused with pepper, clove, frankincense, mate, musk, benzoin, amber, and of course, wisteria plants. location: comme des garçons, 10 ice house street [central].

© i.t

global: lanvin winter 2014 ad campaign

© lanvin

lanvin's new winter 2014 ad campaign is another exercise of frivolous chic. centered around edie campbell, a young british model and emblem of london's jeunesse dorée, the quirky campaign actually rallied her next of kin - from mom sophie and brother arthur, to grandfather jeremy, edie's beau matteo, and yes, even miss campbell's four-hoofed stunner dolly - to pose and frolic around in front of the camera, all decked out in lanvin's new collections. next to a witty video by guy stephens, in which creative director alber elbaz makes a cameo appearance of sorts, the campaign features a series of beautifully styled shots by photographer tim walker. shown here are three shots that we particularly like. you can view the full range of photographs in your fav read in the coming months ahead.

© lanvin

st. petersburg: street art museum opening

© street art museum

with all the historic architectural splendour and art treasures abound you'd almost forget st. petersburg isn't just an open-air museum but a thriving modern city as well. and while its glorious tsarist past is most evident downtown, a more contemporary cultural phenomenon is celebrated in the suburban krasnogvardeyskiy area. it's there where the street art museum is to officially open its doors in 2016 on the vast industrial grounds of sloplast, a fully operational laminated plastics factory and the biggest of its kind in all of russia. almost 70 years old, many of the estate's buildings were left derelict during the 1990s but are to be redeveloped in the near future by helsinki-based practice jkmm architects.

a chimney built in 1992 has already been designated as the venue's landmark, while the boiler house will become home to an exhibition space and the resin factory is to be converted into a concert venue and skatepark. but the ambitious plans also include a hostel, a co-working space and restaurants. presently, up to 200,000 sqm. [2,152,782 sq.ft.] of wall space has been made available to street artists from home and abroad, and this could very well be increased. the site of the street art museum has already been visited by leading urban artist, such as the late p183, escif and timothy radya, and who've all left their unique mark on the premises. currently on is casus pacis [motive for peace] a showcase featuring the work of around 60 young urban artists from russia, ukraine and elsewhere. 

the showcase is inspired by the coming centenary of world war I, and that despite huge losses and sacrifices, history seems to repeat itself when taking the tension between russia and ukraine - now further increased by the tragic crash of flight mh17 - into consideration. on another level the show is also a reflection on the current reality of urban artists. on display are over 200 works, ranging from giant murals and sculptures, to media art and performance art. mind you, throughout the summer the exhibition is accompanied by a program of lectures, informal talks and meets with artists. location: shosse revolyutsii 88 [krasnogvardeyskiy].

© street art museum

global: comme des garçons shirt x erik schedin a/w 2014

© erik schedin / photography: anders kylberg

stockholm-based designer erik schedin has once again collaborated with the comme des garçons shirt label. for the coming a/w 2014 season, the creative has tweaked a sneaker design he made for his final degree at the swedish capital's renowned beckman’s college of design. at the time the sneaker was the first of its kind, void of logos or labels, made of all-white leather with a subtle perforated lining. schedin's newest concoction comes in a black calf leather upper and a matching black rubber sole. interestingly, it has been released in three different editions, each marked with a different graphic. the comme des garçons x erik schedin collab sneakers will be available at select comme des garçons stores and select other depositories across the planet.
 

© erik schedin / photography: anders kylberg

bangkok: joint café + workspace opening

© joint café + workspace

the opening of joint café + workspace has given bangkok's savvy mobile workforce a place where to be productive, network, and last but not least, hang and play, in an inspiring setting. designed by thai design practice 56th studio, it's in the asia hotel car park building and features a series of spaces with a highly flexible configuration. intended as a 'workplace for all', it's geared towards professionals who generally work out of home, and their clientele. dipped in a pristine white hue, joint café + workspace aims to be a blank canvas where occupants and visitors call the shots. the choice of furniture pieces is eclectic, mixed and matched with subtle asian props and cool contemporary graphics.

the co-working space features 16 seats, available in fixed desks and hot desks. the corner space seats up to three people, and is suitable for working solo, private tutors and small group meetings. but a true winner is the so-called room space, a cleverly constructed area fitted with whiteboards which double as partitions that can join up to no less than five meeting rooms, serving from small meetings to workshops or even a medium-scale seminar. all seats come with free wifi and in some cases additional perks. when it's time to relax and play, the café corner is readily available, serving a range of snacks and drinks. location: asia hotel car park building, 296 thanon phayathai, 12th floor [siam].

© joint café + workspace

online: garde le pour toi

© paradis

simon mény and pierre rousseau make up paris-based electronic duo paradis. known for their unique sound that cleverly blends french pop with soft house beats, they've gained quite a following on home turf as deejays. for the past two years mény and rousseau have been working in the south of france on their first album, and in anticipation a single has been released. the very catchy-tuned song is entitled garde le pour toi [keep it to yourself] and is accompanied by a video directed by daniel brereton who originally trained as a graphic designer. this is very evident in the video, where images inspired by london's urban geometry are interspersed with artsy shots. next to listening to it over and over again, we also got a chance to brush up on our french. 

amsterdam: clarks originals x herschel desert boot launch

© clarks originals

clarks originals has teamed up with vancouver-based heritage brand herschel supply to tweak the iconic desert boot. earlier this week the limited edition shoe has seen its global launch taking place during an immersive one-night showcase at walls art gallery in amsterdam's scenic canal district. although the shoe's silhouette is still instantly recognizable, significant alterations have been implemented, most notably the leather shoestrings and a heel patch in raw denim, to give it a distinct contemporary edge. the launch setting in the dutch capital featured additional displays of additional designs by both brands, all presented in sleek modern displays, and against a backdrop of artwork that not only references issue #3 of the journal, herschel supply's very first publication, but also its creative focus in general. press professionals and a select group of invitees rubbed shoulders in a relaxed atmosphere to view the showcase and engage in jolly banter. the clarks originals x herschel supply desert shoe will be available as of today at select stores across the planet.

© clarks originals

gothenburg: nudie jeans repair shop opening

© nudie jeans

after opening up several much-publicized outlets in leading cities across the planet, nudie jeans does its homebase of gothenburg justice with a stellar nudie jeans repair shop of its own. occupying 55 sqm. [592 sq.ft.] ground floor space of a 17th-century building in the heart of the city, the store has been designed by in-house interior architect ida toll who has fused the building's original elements with matching raw and repurposed materials. wood flooring has been left untreated while tubular steel piping is resolved into clothing racks, hung by suspension natural leather straps.

the fitting room drapes are constructed from different grades of dry nudie denim and signature vintage furniture pieces are a nod to the brand's past. adding a contemporary touch are plates of raw copper and zinc, appropriated as canvases for hand-painted brand signage. taking centre stage is a floor denim display which integrates the cash wrap. another signature element is the in-house workshop which provides shoppers with expert repairs on their trophy denim pieces. the new nudie jeans repair shop offers the brand's full denim collection. location: drottninggatan 49 [centrum].

© nudie jeans