tokyo: louis vuitton installation

© dsm ginza

it's a well-known fact that fashion designer kim jones has a soft spot for tokyo. so, it isn't very surprising that following a high-profile men's pop-up store at luxury department store isetan only last july, louis vuitton has once again pushed its menswear collection into the limelight with an immersive installation at another revered shopping destination in the japanese capital: dover street market ginza. situated at the so-called elephant room on the store's ground floor, it features a specially designed setting with its publicity slogan volez, voguez, voyagezdiagonally imprinted across the floor, walls, and even the furnishings. presented at the space are selected items from louis vuitton's a/w 2016 men's collection, in addition to exclusive products that'll only be available here. location: dover street market ginza, ginza 6-9-5, ground floor [ginza].

© dsm ginza

hong kong: touching/touched

© aishonanzuka

toshiaki hicosaka [1983] is kyoto-based painter who holds a degree in information design from kyoto university of art + design, and it's this expertise which may have inspired his tech approach – mind you, he has been using coarse-grained photographs as a base for many of his canvases. the japanese painter has a keen interest in the relationship between people and iconography, and extensively explores various media to maintain a broad perspective to explore and capture the essence of whatever catches his gaze. however, painting is very much at the core of hicosaka's creative focus, and the exhibition which opens today, in the presence of the master himself, at aishonanzuka gallery in hong kong is prove of that. entitled touching/touched, the show references hicosaka's practice of using a wide variety of materials even in his paintings, and thus a tactile allure that aims to link up with the power of an evocative image. on display is a range of major works that have been on display at major venues across the planet, in addition to a body of new artworks [on through oct 22]. location: regency centre, 9 wong chuk hang road, phase 1, unit 13a [aberdeen].

© aishonanzuka

vienna: qwstion invites store opening

© qwstion

little over a year after extending its operations to the realm of retail with a store of its own at homebase zurich, bag manufacturer qwstion expands with a second outpost in neighbouring austria. the store, offically called qwstion invites, is aptly situated in neubau, an area of the capital vienna that has become increasingly known in recent years for its cool vibe and the many independent boutiques and other quirky businesses that obviously come with it. occupying a lofty ground floor unit of 195 sqm. [2,099 sq.ft.] of a 19th century building, the interior design has been created by qwstion's creative director christian kaegi and his design team.

the aesthetic is loosely inspired by the concoctions of american artist donald judd [1928-1994], and as such, understatement is key. the palette comprises of raw but pure materials, captured by highly functional furnishings and fixtures. infusing the setting with a slight tech component, modular walls of perforated sheet steel have been added, while an elevated area made up of 9,000 wooden blocks simultaneously lends the design a warm tone. interestingly, qwstion's store also features café wolfgang, an equally sleek hospitality unit, replete with a monolithic aluminum counter and artek furniture, and which kicked off its operations last month.

so, what's on the shelves? the offerings straddle various categories of a modern urban lifestyle, featuring not only qwstion's coveted bag range, but also a tightly curated range of apparel, shoes,, accessories, and eyewear, but also furniture pieces and home objects. currently on the brand list are coveted names such as norse projects, new tendency, makr, laboratorio olfattivo and ystudioadditionally, qwstion has created a platform to support talented local designers that deal with the swiss modernist design heritage in one way or another. studio vandasye, terrazzo project and schönstaub are the first to present their products. location: zieglergasse 38 [neubau].

© qwstion

amsterdam: labs at the garage

© the garage / photography: amanda

in collab with the upcoming edition of amsterdam's unseen photography fair and festival, art gallery the garage has teamed up with foam museum and red hook labs, a so-called public benefit corporation from new york city, for a two-day workshop with talented local kids under the moniker labs at the garage. the initiative aims to engage with the city and share a positive and creative and social outreach. during two days, red hook lab instructors donjai gilmore and bashira webb have been engaging with these sepcially selected kids to teach them how to create meaningful  stories, both in still and moving image. the result will be festively unveiled at the garage on sat – sep 24 [5pm-8pm]. tadditionally, the special exhibition will present the most talented emerging artists in photography alongside the most acclaimed, including jamie hawkesworth, stef mitchell and kristin-lee moolman. location: the garage, brouwersgracht 75 [centrum].

© the garage / photography: seth [top] and kristin-lee moolman – faka #01 [bottom]

los angeles: mykita store opening

© mykita

the transformation of downtown los angeles into a alluring shopping zone has yet to see a slowdown, and the arrival of mykita in the neighbourhood is new proof. the berlin-based cult eyewear brand has picked a ground floor unit of the eastern columbia building, a thirteen-storey art deco structure from the early 1930s. although spacious, the sleek interior design, comprising of a palette of understated materials, such as grey terrazzo flooring, rubber-coated tops and tempered press wood panelling, creates a strong sense of intimacy and seclusion. the furnishings, captured by concrete volumes and an expansive, curved eyewear wall as a contrasting backdrop. mykita aptly marks the opening of the new boutique with a special edition frame that's based on the miki + shades set, a classic, round aviator model with an acetate front that comes with a tailored sunglass clip-on made of stainless steel. the so-called mykita dtla edition comes in the customised colourways nassau / black or antigua / glossy gold, and is available exclusively at the new store. location: 847 south broadway [downtown].

© mykita

bali: grace jones

© pier poretti – dancer pose with statue

as a global icon of contemporary pop music, you could say grace jones has been around – and we're not only talking her many achievements in the industry. extensively traveling around the planet to indulge her fanbase and for sheer pleasure, miss jones met swiss artist pier poretti [1950], based in paris at the time, while both were frolicking around bali in the mid 1990s, and the two immediately hit it off. after becoming friends, it wasn't until years later, when the lensman had relocated to the island of gods, that they reunited where they first ran into each other, and the two engaged into a ten-day shooting at locations across the island. on the occasion of the pop star's live gig at potato head beach club next month, the venue's escalier boutique will host a special exhibition of the aforementioned shooting.

opening today [7pm], it presents a selection of these staged portraits – mind you, poretti always shoots in black + white, and then tints the monochrome prints by hand with splashes of colour.  amidst the boutiques many coveted designer offerings [on through oct 10]. jones and poretti are currently working on a visual book together, entitled put more grace in your eyes. as for grace jones' hotly anticipated live gig, it's scheduled to take place on the premises of the resort on sat – oct 8. if you happen to be sojourning on the island, and wish to witness grace jones' inimitable sound live, click here to purchase your ticket. exhibition location: escalier, jalan petitenget 51b [seminyak].

© pier poretti – shower with coconut and eating passion fruit

st. petersburg: louis vuitton store relocation

© louis vuitton

almost a decade after first opening up shop in st. petersburg, luxury behemoth louis vuitton has relocated its boutique to new and bigger premises on nevskiy prospekt, the main thoroughfare in the city's historic tsentralniy district. only a few blocks away from its previous location, the boutique's current digs are far more prestigious, a fact that's also reflected by its retail space of approx. 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] spread over two floors. although louis vuitton is a company known to have deep pockets, the relocation is a clear sign of its long-term commitment to the russian luxury market, despite stagnant sales in this particular retail segment in recent years. the interior features a string of separate rooms, each featuring a different intimate setting with displays, cabinets and a seating arrangement, and presenting a different segment of  the extensive louis vuitton collection.

and to indicate its historic connection with the city, a trunk made by the french house for a cousin of czar nicholas II will be permanently put on display. as for the merchandise, it's for the first time that the luxury brand's full range of men's and women's products will be available in the former imperial city. also on the premises of the new boutique is a special section that features les parfums de louis vuitton, its newest fragrance collection. and to celebrate the store opening, limited edition shoe models have been released exclusively at the new boutique. location: nevskiy prospekt 115  [tsentralniy].

© louis vuitton

los angeles: eat the river

© please do not enter / photography: frédérick gautier

following a showcase earlier this year at concept store please do not enterparis-based artist frédérick gautier headed back to los angeles last july to take up a residency in the city's frogtown neighbourhood as part of the aforementiones concept store's new cultural program. fascinated by the many, and often gritty, facets of this urban sprawl, gautier jumped in the deep end to create a series of three-dimensional ceramic objects derived from the traces, cracks, holes, and imprints cast and drawn from the remnants of the area's physical history. its close proximity to the entirely concretized los angeles river, an iconic backdrop for many action movies, obviously shaped the local scenery, and actually is the treasure trove of his wide range of finds. and meanwhile, he documented demarcated plentiful sites of found objects. adding another visual layer to the elaborate project. the body of new work that has spawned from the residency is to be presented at an exhibition, entitled eat the river, opening on wed – sep 21 [6pm-9pm] at please do not enteron display at the store are a series of three-dimensional ceramic objects, all derived from the traces, cracks, holes, and imprints that are cast and drawn from the remnants of the area's physical history. location: 549 south olive street [downtown].

© please do not enter / photography: frédérick gautier

london: warehouse store renewal

© checkland kindleysides

british women's fashion label warehouse has redefined its retail format to match its rebranding and conquering of foreign markets, and the first boutique to have been transformed is on london's argyll street. the store occupies 251 sqm. [2,702 sq.ft.] set over two floors, and features a collab interior design by its brand consultant alasdhair willis and creative agency checkland kindleysides. the aesthetic is inspired by warehouse's brand mission entitled warehouse curates the city, and presents an understated, layered, and last but not least, eclectic palette of materials, including concrete, steel and glass. the result looks as an extrapolation of the street environment as a whole, and its energy and buzz in particular, providing a perfect urban backdrop for the new warehouse collections.

lighting also plays a pivotal role in the design, notably captured by chunky lightboxes that mimic the blue skies outdoors, and form a mosaic strewn across the ceiling, guiding shoppers further into the store. another striking feature is the single run cast concrete staircase that connects the two floors. in a very contemporary way, the new warehouse retail concept goes hand in hand with a strong digital presence, this is evident by specially created digital content showcased on screens located at the entrance and back of the store. the new warehouse retail concept will be rolled out next across the u.k and abroad. location: 19-21 argyll street [carnaby street].

© checkland kindleysides

amsterdam: whole

© freudenthal/verhagen

dutch creatives carmen freudenthal and elle verhagen met at amsterdam's rietveld academie in the early 1980s. while freudenthal studied photography, verhagen took fashion design classes, and it wasn't until 1989 that they started collaborating under the moniker freudenthal/verhagen behind the camera. and quite successfully so, having bagged assignments by a string of leading publications, fashion brands and companies. celebrating their 25th anniversary, a special 256-page monograph dedicated to their work will drop in select stores across the planet early next month. entitled whole, the book will appear in both a soft cover edition and in a limited edition hard cover, featuring a selection of 150 of their most iconic works from these past years, including editorial shots for i-d, dazed & confused, bernhard willhelm, and ad campaigns.

interestingly, all of these shots have been detached from their chronology and context, and have instead been arranged by colour to create an arresting new and coherent visual dynamic. the visuals are accompanied by introductions from kesselskramers frontman erik kessels, the dean of the london college of fashion, josé teunissen, fashion designer bernhard willhelm, and last but not least, fashion editor and rietveld academie professor mo veld. the book will be officially presented at x bank's gallery space in amsterdam on wed – sep 21 [5pm-8pm], and which as it happens, will also be hosting an entire freudenthal/verhagen retrospective. location: x bank, spuistraat 172 [centrum].

© freudenthal/verhagen