paris: agnès b. a/w 2015 men's collection

© agnès b.

even before the show started, the scene right in front of agnès b.’s headquarters in the canal st.-martin district resembled a convivial gathering of old friends. the company’s staff greeted arriving guests, while these new arrivals hugged and kissed those who had just preceded them. once inside, the happy reunion continued with a festive glass of bubbly and salmon sandwiches. the catwalk show was packed to the guilds, and immediately started off with catchy soundtrack of french rock - yes, what else? - that spurred on the models to maintain an energetic strut. as always, these ambassadors of style had been carefully selected, and this time a platoon of fresh-faced chaps shared the runway with slightly, to somewhat older icons from the french capital's rich cultural scene. agnès b.'s a/w 2015 men's collection is an expansion of the brand's highly popular non-fashion approach to fashion, featuring classic silhouettes with an alternating contemporary or vintage edge. looks can easily be mixed and matched, also with items that hang in your closet, and we mean that in a good way! this is still agnès b. and the spirit of her line of garments still exudes playfulness, quirk, and yes, even a hint of of subversion. shown here are six look from agnès b.'s a/w 2015 men's collection that we particularly like.

© agnès b.

paris: maison kitsuné opening

© maison kitsuné

the kitsuné brand knows what genuine fun is, and it's no surprise a third store in paris will open its doors on sat - jan 31, right in the heart of pigalle, an area of town known for its buzzing nightlife. the shop is situated on the ground floor of a historic mid-19th century structure by french architect eugène viollet-le-duc. the popular music and fashion brand hired architects emiliano salci and britt moran of milan-based practice dimore studio to decorate the space and they came up with a playful design that subtly juxtaposes different styles and details. at 70 sqm. [754 sq.ft.] it's quite compact but the clever use of colours and textures, the practical configuration and simple yet highly effective lighting, all add spaciousness, albeit faux. a shimmer of luxe is injected by shiny aluminium which has been used to cover the ceiling, while it also lines doorways and specific wall sections. custom-made shelving lines the walls and furnishings come in tables made from stratified wood, and chairs are lavishly finished with amaranth fur. the new maison kitsuné store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's collections. location: 68 rue condorcet [pigalle].

© maison kitsuné

cape town: space minding

© ólafur elíasson / stevenson [cape town + johannesburg], neugerriemschneider [berlin], tanya bonakdar gallery [nyc] - mono scanner [2004]

following the opening of a much-publicized inauguration show of the glitzy fondation louis vuitton in paris, artist ólafur elíasson lands another prominent exhibition halfway across globe at stevenson's cape town gallery space. in his first ever show in south africa, entitled space minding, a group of works are presented that are all focused on light. the work mono scanner consists of a cylindrical fresnel lens, mounted horizontally on a rotating pedestal, and casting a single, narrow beam of light onto the floor, walls and ceiling of the room. as the lens rotates around the horizontal axis, the vertically oriented band of light sweeps slowly across the surfaces of the room, giving the impression that the band of light is emitted from the lens not as a disc but in the shape of the room’s rectangular cross-section.

a single rotation takes approximately one minute and 30 seconds. a second room features works from elíasson's polar fall fade series. each artefact consists of three coloured glass panes, supported on a wall rack, with a different elliptical cut-out in each pane. the overlapping ellipses create a variety of colour saturations and tones. they're hand-blown by artisans and possess visible bubbles and variations throughout. the works extend the artist’s interest in creating pigments and visual effects through the superimposition of coloured, transparent layers. visitor oscillate between viewing the piece head-on, gaining the complete colour spectrum of the combined panes, and from the side, revealing the depth and construction of the layers [on through feb 28]. location: buchanan building, 160 sir lowry road [woodstock].

© ólafur elíasson / stevenson [cape town + johannesburg], neugerriemschneider [berlin], tanya bonakdar gallery [nyc] - mono scanner [2004]

chengdu: muji flagship store opening

© muji

it won't be long until chengdu ranks among china's top tier cities. the boomtown of 14 million inhabitants has steadily grown into an economic force to be reckoned with, and the increased affluence in the region has greatly influenced the its retail landscape. a slew of foreign brands have already found their way to chengdu's increasing number of malls or expand their presence. japanese retailer muji had established a few shops here, but recently added a colossal flagship store. situated in the jinjiang shopping and entertainment district, the new store measures 3,135 sqm. [33,725 sq.ft.] and is the company's largest establishment overseas. next to muji's coveted range of non-branded offerings, its flagship status comes with special sections and goods, such as café & meal muji, a diner serving with simple yet tasty and nutritious dishes, idee, muji's own line of designer furniture and homeware, and also found muji, a section which features a rotation of tightly edited and artisanal merchandise from around the planet. location: 19 daci si lu [jinjiang].

© muji

paris: henrik vibskov a/w 2015 men's collection

© henrik vibskov / photography: hörður ellert ólafsson

the historic premises of espace des blancs manteaux in the marais district of paris formed the backdrop of the show of henrik vibskov's a/w 2015 men's collection. the catwalk initially featured a curtained off section, but as the show was about to kick off an intricately designed and very theatrical 20-meter long installation was revealed that not only referenced the collection's quirky subtitle messy massage class, but also emphasized the danish designer's penchant and talent for playful visual drama. for his latest collection vibskov incorporated impressions from the medical world and tweaked them into his usual off-beat mix of avant-garde and street style. the silhouettes bear his instantly recognizable signature, featuring experimental proportions and a new kind of masculinity. upper bodies are long and stretched, while trousers remain baggy, cropped and sometimes even cropped. and although this was a showcase of vibskov's men's collection, one or two women's outfits were shown that very much indicate a fashion-forward unisex quality of most of designs.

© henrik vibskov / photography: hörður ellert ólafsson

los angeles: the elder statesman store opening

© the elder statesman

what was launched seven years ago as a wholesale business in custom blankets, greg chait has now turned into a luxury lifestyle brand. and the cherry on the cake - for now that is, as we're sure greater things lie ahead - is a new boutique that exemplifies the style and aesthetic of the elder statesman brand. occupying a converted bungalow in leafy west hollywood, the store measures 1,600 sq.ft. [149 sqm] and sits on an equally-sized yard. the setting, designed by los angeles-based practice commune, is very much a holistic extrapolation of the elder statesman's aesthetic of timeless design, pure materials and personality.

the structure has a roof clad in copper with skylights that allow in floods of daylight. inside, flooring, doors and windows are made of alder wood, subtly corresponding with exposed beams overhead. the wall and ceiling are dipped in a crisp white, giving the space a fresh look. a mix of custom-made furnishings - some with a vintage look - and carefully selected objects, give the store a distinct personal edge. this distinct sense of style extends out to the yard where it takes shape in a stone patio, landscaped with desert cacti and native greenery. the elder statesman carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, accessories, kids items and things for your home. location: 607 north huntley drive [west hollywood].

© the elder statesman

jakarta: banal aesthetics

© salihara / photography: erik prasetya

erik prasetya is one of indonesia's leading photographers. his long career spans a wide variety of genres, but his roving eye eventually settled for a journalistic angle, and it's the very field prasetya excels in. it was during in the 1990s that he met the iconic sebastião salgado and worked for him as a fixer during the brazilian photographer's stay in jakarta. it was this collaboration which heavily influenced prasetya's style, and which eventually led to a project to document everyday life in the bustling indonesian capital. entitled banal aesthetics, it evolved into a series that has colourful documented street life across the city for no less than twenty years, from 1990 to 2010. an eponymous exhibition dedicated to this lenghty project and featuring a collection of compelling photographs is currently on at galeri salihara. both black + white and colour photographs are displayed, all featuring the human dynamics of this ever-growing megalopolis of 29 million inhabitants [on through jan 31]. location: galeri salihara, jalan salihara 16 [pasar minggu].

© salihara / photography: erik prasetya

venice: opvs store opening

© opvs

omar pavanello and emanuel cestaro are the two driving forces behind declare independence, an italian manufacturer of leather bags and accessories. founded only two years ago, the brand's approach to design is obviously marked by craftsmanship, yet paired to a distinctly contemporary aesthetic of understatement with a sporty twist. its team of skilled artisans do the entire production, from tanning to colour development, creation of the products and finishing, in-house. the ambitious duo decided to take their operations to the next level - and into the global spotlight along the way - by opening their first boutique, and where else but in a part of their scenic hometown of venice where traditional craftsmen and shops have been established for centuries.

the retail space, symbolically named opvs, occupies a compact ground floor unit which has been dramatically redesigned, as if to defy the historic scenery outside. polished slabs of black marble are paired with vertically louvered chrome-plated paneling. complementing the futuristic look are boxy displays, leather-clad benches and waver-thin metal shelving lining the walls. while rows of windows allow in floods of daylight, a sophisticated lighting system strategically highlights opvs' coveted offerings across the premises. the store opening kicks off the brand's expansion, and plans for a second store in paris are already well underway. location: calle seconda dei saoneri 2671 [san polo].

© opvs

tokyo: gate

© fondation d'entreprise hermès / photography: nacása & partners inc. 

ginza maison hermès is one of the french luxury brand's most iconic stores. situated in a striking glass tower by starchitect renzo piano in the upscale shopping district of ginza, it's the ultimate showcase in one of hermès most important markets. as such, the flagship store doesn't only excel in highly exclusive handmade offerings, but it also aims to show the brand's creative vision and its strong engagement in contemporary art. ginza maison hermès is one of the few boutiques on the planet which is also features an exhibition space. currently on at this venue is an exhibition by warsaw-based artist monika sosnowska [1972].

greatly influenced by avant-garde art culminating in the polish capital in the 1960s and witnessing the fall of communism in her homeland, sosnowska draws her inspiration from the history of modernism and the changes of our times. the show here in tokyo, the artist's first, is simply entitled gate and presents a series of large-scale sculptures and installations which feature motifs from real architecture. sosnowska has seen old buildings and public facilities, symbolizing socialist authority, being torn down. sosnowska takes the walls, staircases, façades, windows, corridors and other architectural aspects in fragments and interprets the forms into her language of unique sculptures, and symbolize hope and a new beginning. location: ginza maison hermès, 5-4-1 ginza, 8th floor [ginza].

© fondation d'entreprise hermès / photography: nacása & partners inc. 

sydney: perks and mini store renewal

© p.a.m.

not particularly shy of edgy experimentation, fashion label p.a.m. has given its flagship store, situated in the prime sydney shopping area of darlinghurst, a funky makeover. only four years after the store opened its doors, the décor has retained the black + white checkered floor, but has replaced the floor-to-ceiling, scaffolding-like clothing racks by equivalents that seem to defy any aesthetic. shiny copper tubes and plateaus, protruding from heavy-looking chunks of concrete, dominate the space. the changing rooms have a similar construction and are paired with flowy printed fabrics. adding up to the distinct artsy vibe are carefully selected artworks. the new interior design has been done in-house by p.a.m. and with a little help from friends. currently stocked the store is the brand's a/w 2014 men's and women's collections, in addition to copies of its inaugural edition of free independent times, a new fun read that's pretty much the printed equivalent of the brand. coinciding with the store reopening, p.a.m. has launched its brand new website. location: 20 burton street [darlinghurst].

© p.a.m.