antwerp: chanel store opening

© chanel

chanel has had a presence in brussels for as long as we can remember, operating a flagship store on prestigious waterloolaan. but last week, the french luxury brand expanded its belgian footprint with a second store in the historic heart of antwerp. the store occupies the elongated ground floor of a striking red brick structure, situated amidst a slew of other high-end brands. as all other chanel stores, its interior has been designed by new york-based architect peter marino, and features a luxurious palette of rich materials, fabrics and hues that mimic the style of founder coco chanel's lavish apartment in the french capital. the chanel boutique occupies an area of approx. 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.] and is divided into four sections. upon entering, shoppers encounter two consecutive spaces dedicated to bags, seasonal must-haves, small leather goods, shawls and sunglasses, followed by a salon-like setting with sofas and fitting rooms where the brand's ready-to-wear collection is presented. location: schutterhofstraat 12 [centrum]. 

© chanel

tokyo: talking heads

after showcases at dover street market's flagships in london and new york city, gary card's talking heads installation has arrived in tokyo. the london-based artist has dipped his toe in a multitude of creative pools, making quite a name for himself with highly original designs that are exciting, fun and meticulously crafted. card was commissioned by comme des garçons' c.e.o. adrian joffe to create a traveling installation that would showcase the collection of various sunglasses available at dover street market stores, and he used clowns heads as an inspiration. entitled talking heads, the pieces are all hand-made from polystyrene and coated with jesmonite, and each head has been given a wildly decorative mask of neon colour paint. card has made different series for each of the stores, but all have now been united for this final showcase here in the japanese capital [on view through aug 12]. location: dover street market, 6-9-5 ginza, 6th floor [ginza].

© dover street market ginza

london: ace hotel 7th floor event spaces

© ace hotel / photography: andrew meredith

we talked about the opening of ace hotel's first international property in london in a previous post, but that was merely the beginning. in the meantime the hospitality formula has been tweaked to further perfection, resulting in a range of rather stunning new facilities on the 7th floor. allowing an increase of business and pleasure, the top floor of ace hotel london features an adaptable collection of six confer­ence rooms, meeting places and event halls. at 600 sq.ft. [56 sqm.] the 100 room has been the only space that has been operational for a while. the other five are new additions, and form a patchwork of meeting spaces that work as well for both banquets and board meetings. there’s the spacious britannia [837 sq.ft. / 78 sqm. with a private balcony], the sibling griffin and empire rooms [respectively 886 sq.ft. / 82 sqm. and 721 sq.ft. / 67 sqm.].

the range continues with the economical bower [391 sq.ft. / 36 sqm.] and stingo [424 sq.ft. / 39 sqm.] spaces, each named with reverence to the east end’s rich theatri­cal heritage. all rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art teleconferencing systems, wifi, multi-zone audio and portable projection screens and flatscreen tv's. being perched on the top floor, a great bonus are the sweeping views of london and some of its greatest landmarks. needless to say the aesthetic of the new facilities seamlessly matches the rest of the stylish property. included are furnishings have been designed by michael marriott and a striking lighting installation by fabien cappello. full service catering is available the on-site restaurant, serving locally-sourced, english modernist bras­serie cuisine for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and can be fully customized when required. location: ace hotel london, 100 shoreditch high street, 7th floor [shoreditch].

© ace hotel / photography: andrew meredith

global: monocle mediterraneo 2014

hitting newsstands and bookstores today is one of our fav summer reads, monocle's newest edition of monocle mediterraneo. issue #5 features 68 pages of beach-inspired fun, and this year its editorial scope is somewhat further off the usual med, with stories from rome and montijo. an innovative addition is a commissioned piece of original fiction by anne zouroudi, author of the hermes diakatoros crime series, and will be accompanied by audio programming on monocle 24. other highlights of monocle mediterraneo include a feature on the expertise of portugal's 751 squadron at close quarters with a visit to air base no. 6 in montijo, an insider article on 10 brands on the verge of a major come-back, open-air cinemas in greece, a proper bar crawl around the sunny mediterranean, and a trip around the colourful italian pop dancefloor from past to present. monocle mediterraneo will be available for the next eight weeks at sales points in 110 countries and territories across the planet.

© monocle

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