tokyo: archeology of the future

© vincent fournier - okol kv2 space suit, kazbek seat from a soyuz rocket, warehouse, london [2009]

diesel art gallery in shibuya [1] continues to host tantalizing shows by leading artists from across the planet. opening on fri - aug 22 is archeology of the future, an exhibition of vincent fournier. since his childhood, the paris-based photographer and video artist has had an avid interest in exploring uncommon and mysterious worlds. as a result, his work not only reveals a passion for science and technology, but also intriguing visions of utopia as fantasized by humankind. presented are 30 of fournier's works, including photography, videos, and also 3d print sculptures. part of the art works have been selected from the artist's new post natural history series, a subjective inventory of the most representative places, objects or situations regarding space exploration.

this specific series is presented for the first time in the land of the rising sun. additionally on display is a range of works from fournier's space project series, a subjective inventory of the most representative places, objects or situations regarding space exploration, and the man machine series, which documents several robot humanoids in very recognizable daily situations. a day after the opening on sat - aug 23 [4pm-6pm], vincent fournier will drop by the gallery for a special book signing session, while an additional number of his works will be presented at isetan department store in shinjuku [2] on aug 27-sep 2. location [1]: diesel shibuya, cocoti building, 1-23-16-b1f shibuya [shibuya]. location [2]: 3-14-1 shinjuku [shinjuku].

© vincent fournier - sokol space glove, yuri gagarin cosmonaut training center, zvyozdniy godorok [2007] and dragon fly [2014]

london: saskia pomeroy installation

© other/shop

saskia pomeroy is a young british artist who quite successfully dips her toe in print, drawing, painting , sculpture and textiles. a graduate of the glasgow school of art in 2007, her work is full of imaginitive explorations of relationships within compositions of colour,texture and shapes. sometimes abstract, sometimes observational, pomeroy's work is bright, colourful, and always joyful. having a keen eye for art and design, other/shop in soho has collaborated with pomeroy to create an exclusive installation of ceramic designs and artwork on its premises. on this occasion other/shop and the artist have curated a a series of ceramic designs, artwork and a collab range of limited edition t-shirts with the latter's signature prints. and especially for this intallation, pomeroy has also produced a ceramic collection named the abstract case, and which consists of several large ceramic vases that explore interlocking prism forms [on through aug 31]. location: other/shop, 21 kingly street [soho].

© other/shop

madrid: celso y manolo restaurant opening

© celso y manolo / photography: pablo zamora

one of madrid's most stylish new eateries of late is named after two adventurous brothers who in the 1960s escaped a dreary existence in rural asturias, in search for a better life in the bustling capital. manolo arguelles got a simple job at a bar in the chueca neighbourhood, and when his employer retired a few years later, he took over the business and was joined by his brother celso. the fraternal duo carved a name for themselves with la carmencita, and the small tavern became synonymous to good food and drink. fast forward to 2014: chueca has become quite a playground for those into cool restaurants, clubs and boutiques.

so, when manolo and celso retired earlier this year, spanish hospitality entrepreneur carlos zamora - who already owns a string of renowned establishments in the city - stepped in to give la carmencita a new lease on life as celso y manolo. now, the name may have changed, but a lot of the interior's original 1950s elements have been retained, and we dare say it has morphed into one achingly stylish tapas restaurant. a true show stopper is the robust marble bar, measuring 8 meters and made from three different shades of marble. the added furnishings and decorations are effortless, consisting of modern and vintage furniture pieces, in addition a tightly curated selection of spanish handicrafts and vintage memorabilia.

the monumental bar is manned by a busy chef and his staff, serving those seated or standing across, but they'll happily attend to those in seating area, a space which can host up to 34 guests. as said, celso y manolo is tapas restaurant, and its menu features an abundance of tasty bites which can also be ordered in half portions for easy sharing purposes. the tapas dishes have been kept simple but given a refreshing modern twist, ranging from a bocata de calamares, to a signature ensaladillas celso y manolo, or the adventurous tartar de ternero al vodka. there's simply too much to choose from. obviously, there's a good and matching selection of beverages, including a selection of local wines, draft beers by la cibeles, and a number of signature cocktails. location: calle de la libertad 1 [chueca].

© celso y manolo / photography: pablo zamora

singapore: the frankenstein freak show

© kult / kitto

as part of the launch edition of creatory, an exciting new festival which celebrates the many talents of singapore's thriving creative community, kult magazine pitches in with a quirky event of its own. held on aug 23-24 at a multi-level disused warehouse space in a suburban part of town, it presents the frankenstein freak show, an exhibition inspired by mary shelley’s classic grotesque creature. on display will be a wide range of frankenstein-inspired portraits, created by 24 leading artists from around the planet. from wildly bizarre to the grotesque, these larger than life portraits will be showcased in a new exhibition format that includes a collab with imaginarts. this creative agency has built a massive frankendoll in the space, in addition to another technologically savvy collab between an artist and a 3d printing studio. the aim is to bring one of the art pieces to life. and that's not all, folks. a pop-up bar concept will be hosted by potato head folk’s studio 1939, and which will be featuring two unique cocktails. be there or be square! location: 37 mactaggart road [geylang].

© kult / ben frost and russell [top + bottom]

new york: closed shop-in-shop

© closed

slowly regaining the global limelight, closed is a contemporary fashion brand from the old continent with hybrid roots. founded in italy in 1978 by renowned fashion couple marithé and françois girbaud, it gained huge popularity across western europe in the 1980s with innovative denim pieces and preppy-inspired leisurewear. today, closed is based in hamburg, and with an ambitious new team at the helm, it's once again emerging as a label to watch. after expanding in europe, opening a string of branded stores in leading cities, closed was first introduced to the u.s. market in 2010. it has now taken a bold next step by opening a shop-in-shop at the personnel of new york boutique in the west village, and clearly an indication it'll open a standalone store next. the storefront is made up of four large windows that allow plenty of light to enter the space. inside shoppers will find a homey setting with natural wood fixtures, along with antique jewellery display cases that add a warm and inviting feel. the closed shop-in-shop carries the brand's a/w 2014 men's + women's collection, one which features tweaked versions of its most iconic pieces iconic [open through sep 28]. location: personnel of new york, 9 greenwich avenue [west village].

© closed

superchat melbourne: dot.comme

© bryan sun

dot.comme was founded in june of 2013 with an explosion of vintage and archival pieces from designer labels - comme des garçons, junya watanabe, issey miyake, yohji yamamoto, walter van beirendonck and bernhard willhelm – appearing online. earlier this year the collection moved into a physical space – a studio in the nicholas building on swanston street. no such collection emerges overnight – the pieces from the late 1970s to today have been painstakingly curated by longtime collectors otto la rosa and holly-rose butler. their eye for beautiful design is matched only by their enthusiasm, passion and knowledge.
 
the distinct spaces offer up two fantastic retail experiences. their online website has runway photos, seasonal information, construction, materials and a host of other pertinent and oft forgotten details of these archival pieces, to say nothing of what could easily claim to be the largest online collection of its kind. the beauty of the page is its ability to frame the pieces within their appropriate historical context and an element that really lends itself to the kind of story telling these archival and collector pieces can do. then the simple and minimal studio in the nicholas building emerged. the space reminisce of a vintage store three levels up in some unmarked building down a questionable looking alley in tokyo's harajuku district – with the one caveat being that the store presents the clothing in a manner that allows their beauty to shine through. the brick and mortar experience is augmented through the presence of holly and otto – two passionate, intelligent guardians of what is arguably one of the greatest archival collections in the world.
 
being able to discuss the collection with them in person is a real marvel, they're personable and knowledgeable, and a real delight to talk to. this story-telling element again plays a pertinent role in the physical space, with otto and holly being able to talk you through every single piece they have, their specific collections, how they fit within the respective seasonal collection, how they fit within their own collection and where they purchased them – which is more often than not a incredible tale in itself. otto recalled the story of travelling half way across italy in search of a jacket to his matching velvet suit pants – and this is not an isolated event. the collection, as its title suggests, is crafted through years of hard work, refinement, research and an array of far flung international shopping trips. your author had the pleasure of visiting their store and spending an hour or so with otto and holly to talk about their collection and their plans for the future. location: nicholas building, 37 swanston street, level 3, room 4 [cbd]. 
 
what first sparked your interest in clothing? and why japanese // vintage // archival pieces? i became interested in clothing as a young teenager after first seeing what designers like walter and bernhard were doing at the time. it gave me a whole new perspective on clothing in general - that it could be fun and a great way to express yourself. i later found an affinity with designers out of japan just through research online looking through old runway photos which lead to finding pieces in shops on travels around europe and japan. 
 
one might traditional associate archival pieces with a showroom - but dot.comme is named and was launched as an online venture - why online before bricks and mortar? the decision was based solely on the fact that a large slice of the market for archival pieces remains based abroad, being an online store really opens it up to everyone and allows us to be more adventurous with our buying.
 
what impact does the physical space you have entered - have on the clothing you are selling? it’s fantastic, it allows people to come see the clothes in person and try them on which is of course a completely different experience to online. we love meeting likeminded fans and chatting for hours, definitely makes it all worth it!
 
how do the two experiences differ? and how do you adopt your vision to these intrinsic differences? we try to research every item so we can provide dates, collections, runway photos where available and we believe these things are really important in an online shop to help share the history of the pieces.
 
the inherent sustainability of second hand clothing is an element that is often not explicitly considered, does it play any role in your business? absolutely, the history of items is a huge factor in what drives us to sell archival second hand clothing. the pieces we sell are truly timeless and our buyers are after something special they can’t get anywhere else, they certainly aren’t concerned with always wearing the current season.
 
what are you reading // watching // looking at for inspiration? always watching old collections and looking through our collection of catalogues [some of which we also sell in our store] - so inspiring to see the progression and transitions the designers make over time.
 
what are your favourite pieces or collections at the moment? for me the comme des garçons women’s collections and walter van beirendonck’s menswear consistently push the boundaries which i love to see!
 
when did the personal collection finish and a 'business' collection begin? or is that still just a very blurry line? it’s still a blurry line… having a 'business' collection is a just a way of justifying buying so many pieces of clothing!
 
is the fact that you are now purchasing clothing to resell affect your purchasing patterns? or does it remain a very much personally curated collection? i always buy for myself first, the consideration of whether the item is saleable or not doesn’t factor at all in my buying. if it did i wouldn’t have the same passion that i do and i don’t think it would work.
 
where do you buy from predominately? family and collectors we have connections with in europe account for the bulk of the collection. the occasional trip to japan turns over some hidden gems too, although you really have to hunt for those special pieces.
 
who do you sell to predominantely? mainly clients from new york, london and paris. many of our customers work within the fashion industry, and they're long-time collectors of the designers. 
 
the dot.comme online store offers a really in-depth look at the clothing for sale - with a trove of information and corresponding runway and show photos. was this a conscious decision to frame the clothing within the broader context of a specific collection or look? research in this particular field is something i’m very passionate about so it’s really just about sharing my passion with likeminded individuals who care to know more about the designers or the specific pieces. 
 

© bryan sun

london: louis vuitton space

© dover street market

as one of the planet's most directional stores, any brand is eager to be represented at dover street market. at the retailer's london store, louis vuitton has just opened its very own dedicated space on the second floor. the setting consists of a specially designed modular storage system in light birchwood, stacked in an eye-catching trapeze shape. the space features louis vuitton's a/w 2014 women’s ready-to-wear collection designed by nicolas ghesquière with a carefully edited selection of directional pieces and key runway accessories including leather goods, fashion jewellery, sunglasses and shoes. similar louis vuitton space will also be launched at dover street market stores in new york and tokyo. location: dover street market, 17-18 dover street, second floor [mayfair].

© dover street market

oslo: mardou & dean s/s 2015 collection

© mardou & dean / tor gunnar berland

there's a lot of creative talent in norway, but it looks as if only now that 'the scene' is coming of age, young people actually start to believe there's an opportunity to make it on home turf rather than opting for a career abroad, and better still, constructing it from a norwegian point of view. mardou & dean is a young oslo-based fashion brand, founded by ingrid bredholt and patrik rosenfors. a young and ambitious duo which trained in fashion design in milan, they're emblematic for the growing force and newly gained self-confidence of the creative scene in the norwegian capital, and are carving out a name for themselves with streetwise collections for young and savvy urbanites. mardou & dean's presentation of its s/s 2015 collection was held at one of the buildings that make up akershus festning, a medieval fortress complex which overlooks the scenic oslo fjord.

mardou & dean's s/s 2015 collection is another ode to rebellious youth culture, albeit one that playfully blends in elements of a more glamourous existence. men's and women's looks are tailored and have a gutsy flair, featuring suede in natural dyed colors, crushed velvet, hand-embroidery in gold thread and beads, giving specific pieces a distinct vintage look. while the multitude of looks created a certain incoherence, certain pieces stood out as being iconic pieces for this young brand, notably the men's leather jackets. as it turns out, mardou & dean teamed up with an italian artisan atelier to create these garments, all inspired by classic motor racing designs. a quirky edge was provided by the aesthetics of astrology - with emphasis on the sign of scorpio for men and leo for women - but which added artistic value to only a few pieces. mardou & dean already operates a store in oslo, with a bigger flagship set to open next month and audacious plans to expand abroad.

© mardou & dean / photography: tor gunnar berland

st. barth's: art meets fashion

© each x other

it's a given fact that art and fashion go hand in hand. ever since yves saint laurent developed his iconic mondrian shift dress in 1965, there have been a slew of many of illustrious fashion houses have collaborated with major visual artists. in 2008 louis vuitton celebrated artist richard prince’s first solo show at london's renowned serpentine galleries with a limited edition bag, and the fertile cross-pollination of the two disciplines hasn't stopped there as you know. the so-called art meets fashion philosophy has long been a method of democratizing the visual arts sphere, making it accessible for a wider audience, and let's face it, there's also a certain commercial gain for the stakeholders. we now live in a world where richard prince, damien hirst, jeff koons or any other iconic creative talent works explicitly for the runway, the rack and also e-commerce stores.

but what exactly has changed in the estimation of fine art? within art and fashion collaborations there's the inevitable blurring of lines which also reflects the wider and changing characteristics of society as a whole. so, if you happen to be frolicking around the sunny beaches of st. barth's this summer, you might enjoy dropping by eden rock gallery to take in a show dediciated to this topic. the group exhibition is aptly entitled art meets fashion, and on display is work of a variety of artists presented through fashion. taking centre stage at the show are emblematic pieces designed by some of today's leading artists and designers, including jean-charles de castelbajac, thomas lélu, robert montgomery, maripol and ruiz stephinson [on through aug 28]. location: eden rock hotel, baie de st.-jean [st. barth's].

© each x other

london: house of vans opening

© vans

as a leading global hub, london is an ideal stage for any brand to get a message across. the city's creative industry is one of its many trump cards, there's a sizeable demographic of subcultures around, and the supply of off-the-beaten-track sites seems endless. it's no wonder vans has decided to make a defining statement in the british capital with house of vans. the much-publicized venue opened last week right next to waterloo station. it's situated in an expansive, dungeon-like space below the railway tracks and measures 3,000 sqm. [32,292 sq.ft.]. house of vans aims to be a meeting place for london's multi-faceted urban scene, embracing its many subcultures - perhaps mostly the skating community - with an appealing set of facilities. the concept of house of vans takes cues from a similar venue which opened in new york city in 2010, and its most prominent feature obviously is a skatepark.

replete with plenty of ramps and bowls it challenges even the cockiest of skaters. but that's not all. accomodating underground culture as a whole, house of vans offers both emerging and established artists the chance to shine, featuring four studios with interactive workshops, a cinema, a gallery space, and also a performance space that is able to host 850 guests. vans' big boss steve van doren flew in to attend the opening party, as well as skateboard icons christian hosoi and tony alva who obviously showed off a few tricks on the ramps. afterwards a crowd of many illustrious names from the skating, surf and snowboard scene boarded a vessel for a party cruise on the thames. location: station approach road, arches 228-232 [lambeth].

© vans