guadalajara: casa fayette opening

© grupo habita / photography: undine pröhl

anyone thinking guadalajara is the desert hideout of a pack of rogues from an old skool western flick, clearly has been living under a rock. home to four-and-a-half million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, mexico’s second biggest city has become somewhat of a thing in recent years, emerging as a thriving economic hub and cultural destination to be reckoned with. and it’s right here where grupo habita, the country's acclaimed boutique hospitality chain have just revealed their latest property. an intimate place situated in a 1940s art deco mansion and called casa fayette, quirky hoteliers carlos couturier and moisés micha – the creative minds behind grupo habita – collaborated with local practice estudio 5 and milan-based dimore studio to create yet another alluring hospitality concept.

in adventurous contrast with the building’s original aesthetic, casa fayette’s 37 guestrooms and suites are housed in an adjacent minimalist structure, all featuring a sleek palette infused with blues and greens, captured by modern design with a slight nod to the jalisco region. chic? oh yes, this place lays it on thick with additional marble flooring, polished wood and mackintosh-inspired glass screens. obviously, the splendour extends across the premises, including the mansion itself, but in a retro-inspired form that complies with its history. this is particularly evident in the ground floor bar and restaurant, leading out to an alfresco patio with adjoining conference room and private terrace. one floor up, a pool, bar and terrace are situated, providing guests with an idyllic little retreat amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. location: calle lerdo de tejada 2308 [americana].

© grupo habita / photography: undine pröhl

stockholm: utopian bodies - fashion looks forward

© museea - exhibition setting

with fashion's perennial cyclic trajectory most consumers take time to look beyond the trends and see the hidden value of its creative foundation. an elaborate exhibition currently held at liljevalchs konsthall in stockholm explores fashion's potential, mapping out imaginable futures for the adorned body. entitled utopian bodies - fashion looks forward, and curated by serge martynov and sofia hedman, the exhibition sheds light on the aforementioned, presenting fashion’s possibilities and highlighting human creativity. it does so by projecting a vision, spread over eleven galleries, and each representing a theme.

in a series of evocative settings the topics sustainability, change, technology, craft + form, craft + colour, resistance + society, resistance + beauty, solidarity, memory, and last but not least, gender identity and love, are elaborated on in an attempt to show what's possible today and where we can be in the future. on display are over 200 objects, and includes plenty of highlights, ranging from hussein chalayan's tech-savvy table skirt and items from one of the planet's largest private collections of alexander mcqueen, to issey miyake's king + queen installation from the s/s 1999 a-poc collection.

and that's not all, folks. brands and labels that represent traditional craftsmanship are also represented, as well as exemplary names from fashion's new generation of avant-garde designers. the show also commissioned 16 leading swedish designers to create unique garments. additionally, artists orlando campbell and anastasya martynova made special artworks, charlie le mindu and perry patraszewski created signature wigs, and oscar wilhelmsson created make-up palettes. in the memory room fashion is shown as a material memory, showing how clothes can make us recall the past, and almost take on magical properties, all by way of a personal story.

many of the participants in this section have an authoritative cult status both in the fashion industry and far beyond, and includes fashion journalist hamish bowles, eurovision winner conchita wurst, fashion guru diane pernet, former model twiggy and indie pop queen lykke li. and indicating fashion as a source of innovation, the exhibition also presents some of the latest wearable technologies and how fashion is dealing with the global climate crisis [on through feb 7]. location: djurgårdsvägen 60 [djurgården].

© museea - exhibition settings

sydney: the old clare hotel opening

© the old clare hotel

wedged between the central railway station and the university of sydney, chippendale isn't exactly one of the scenic seaside neighbourhoods that sydney tends to be known for the world over. once a seedy and crime-ridden area, it has transformed in recent years into a buzzing arts hub with a string of happening galleries and creative companies to prove it. indeed, gentrification is in full swing, and central park, a mixed-use urban redevelopment project that encompasses a large chunk of it and replete with modern high-rises, has put it all in a turbo spin. although rigorous in some ways, the master plan also carefully preserves local architecture.

enter the old clare hotel, the newest property of hospitality entrepreneur loh lik peng and his first venture down under. peng enlisted the help of local architecture practice tonkin zulaikha greer to turn two heritage-listed buildings, a former pub and office, into boutique lodgings with a distinct contemporary feel. the venue features just 62 differently sized and decorated guestrooms that, just like the public spaces, have come about with the greatest respect of the buildings' original architectural elements. the original, slight-industrial setting of most pads has been paired with custom-made designs that ooze a quirky sense of style.

and obviously, with no concession to modern comfort and all the amenities that come with it. this meticulously crafted edginess effortlessly extends to the old clare hotel's public spaces and facilities, where even derelict elements have been adventurously incorporated in the current setting, adding up to the highly unusual vibe of the property. the old clare hotel isn't just a place where to lay your head to rest, no sir! on the premises, guests and visitors are able to wine and dine at a number of stylish spots. the clare bar, serves as the hotel lobby bar, and is a laid-back place where to relax and mingle over a drink or two.

feeling peckish? there are two dining spots on the premises that got expertly covered. located in an imposing 1930s warehouse-style interior replete with lofty ceilings and arched windows opening onto kensington street, chef clayton wells' automata restaurant serves a five-course menu, incorporating seasonal ingredients in a contemporary way. another culinary gem is silvereye, the domain of chef sam miller who pairs a northern european approach to food with local ingredients. mind you, a third diner is to be launched shortly. complementing the list of facilities at the old clare hotel are a rooftop swimming pool and a full-fledged gym, while a spa will open early next year. location: 1 kensington street [chippendale].

© the old clare hotel

online: argo II

© voyej

voyej and havehad are two quality brands based in jakarta, and each has been pushing the envelope within indonesia's booming lifestyle market. the two have joined forces to create a pair of expertly made collab shoes would look good on style-conscious males abroad as well, if we may say so. baptized argo II and based on the original circular vamp oxford model, it's tweaked here and there to lend it a sharper contemporary look. the leather upper is made from premium brown chromexcel supplied by horween, a renowned chicago-based tannery. with a keen eye for aesthetic, the details are filled in just as meticulously, featuring  a contrasting natural vegetable tanned leather patch on the heel part, neat round waxed laces, off-white rubber cupsole, goat skin lining, and an eva soft footbed. very much a fusion of both companies' values, the argo II shoes reflect specific signature elements. only 140 pairs of the argo II shoes have been made, and they're available at stores in indonesia, but if you reside elsewhere, they can be ordered online as well.


© voyej

new york: totokaelo store opening

© totokaelo

founded little over a decade ago in seattle, founder jill wenger knew from the very beginning what to bring to the table for totokaelo. having little experience in the retail industry, but astutely perceptive of the shifting needs and requirements of a new generation of shoppers, wenger crafted a concept that struck a sensitive chord. fast forward to 2015 in new york city where the young entrepreneur has taken a new leap of faith. wenger has relocated her operations to the u.s. east coast to make her biggest retail statement to date, and create a new blueprint of sorts for even bigger endeavours in the future.

settling for a five-storey red brick building in the heart of soho, and was previously owned by artist arturo di monica who left a mark on the interior that has been lovingly incorporated in the new setting. the totokaelo store measures a whopping 8,500 sq.ft. [790 sqm.] but manages to evoke the feel of a private apartment, albeit a rather fabulously designed one. as a result, each space has a distinct setting and atmosphere that effortlessly matches the tightly curated merchandise on display, and the aesthetic very much reflects wenger's aim to provide a shopping experience that's unusually personal.

mind you, the same can be said of totokaelo's staff as most of them are hand-chosen and mostly friends. but let's go back to the store, shall we? while all fixtures across the premises have been custom-made, it was wenger herself who sourced all the beautiful furniture pieces. a true perfectionist, she even flew in her trusted gardner from seattle to design the roof terrace garden. and although the store may easily impress by the fabulous way it looks, its the clever details that make it stand out. for instance, fitting rooms come with ipads that allow shoppers to communicate with staff on the sales floor, and even totokaelo-branded robes for the more assertive.

so, what's on the shelves of this quirky emporium? obviously, the curated stuff it has gained quite a reputation with, but in amplified form. you'll find key men's and women's apparel pieces, the kind that lends one's wardrobe a happening edge, in addition to matching shoes, accessories and bags. the brand list is fairly elaborate and packed with fashion power, featuring a cool mix of both established names and smaller niche labels such as rick owens, anntian, robert geller, vetements and the row. location: 54 crosby street [soho].

© totokaelo

online: the way of living 24

© the way of living 24 - apparel items by afriek

as founder of blend and joint publisher of ilovefake, two forward lifestyle magazines on the euro market, jurriaan bakker knows a thing or two about indie fashion, design, art, and last but not least, the lack of opportunities and expertise many young creatives are faced with. bakker came up with the idea to give this group of designers, creatives and artists a voice in support of their pursuit of beauty, and with partner claudia heika he has just launched the way of living 24, an online marketplace that connects independent designers, photographers and creatives with a savvy global audience.

the platform follows developments such as the slow fashion movement, the growing popularity of niche labels and the curated lifestyle. the way of living 24 focuses on those who are looking for unique quality products, made by independent labels supporting slow fashion instead of mass-produced stock. in fact, the way of living 24 provides the technology and services, enabling these young labels to have a global reach and make them more profitable. the list of featured products is already quite impressive, featuring over 150 independent labels from 25 countries and more than 3,000 lifestyle products. we gather it'll be your first stress-free holiday gifting season...

© the world of living 24 - van heesch bicycle and bag by vlieger & van dam

paris: aesop store opening

© aesop

althought well-established in paris with seven signature stores, there's still room to grow for aesop. the australian cosmetics brand ventures onto untrodden grounds and sets up shop in the leafy 16th arrondissement. set over 35 sqm. [377 sq.ft.] ground floor space of a modest low-rise structure built in 1925, the interior has been designed by the company's in-house design team. as with all of aesop's stores, the setting takes cues from the surrounding area, once distinctly rural and dotted with farms, vineyards and stone quarries. this resulted in the ample use of a compatible range of natural materials, such as stone marble and metal. walls are dipped in a soft blue-green hue and paried with a mosaic of stone from normandy. shelving consists of lacquered metal and marble, and lend a distinct geometric quaity to the store design. beautifully contrasting with the rigid lines are a stone basin – a fixture in each aesop store – and an elegant murano glass chandelier. the new aesop boutique carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: 16 rue jean bologne [passy].

© aesop

paris: chanel airlines

© getty images

and the global fashion crowd eagerly watched. we're talking karl lagerfeld's concoctions for chanel's s/s 2016 collection, but even more so the setting he created. following last year's brilliant supermarket mock-up and the recent catwalk protest march, the clever designer wowed the fashion elite to what arguably is paris fashion week's most spectacular show. once again held at grand palais, lagerfeld invented a sleek airport lounge – obviously situated at aéroport paris cambon – replete with a chanel airlines check-in desk staffed by personnel in specially designed attire, boarding passes for all attendees, and first class cabin seating for the most distinguished of invitees. and obviously there was a clearly marked gate no. 5 at the glamourous airport, referencing chanel's iconic fragrance. location: grand palais, 3 avenue du général eisenhower [champs-elysées].

© getty images

singapore: pedder on scotts store opening

© on pedder

with a string of stores from beijing to jakarta, the shoe collections of on pedder draws asia's savviest crowds. the high-end retailer has recently raised its profile in singapore with a dramatically enlarged boutique in the city's leading shopping area. situated at scotts square, an upscale mall where it has had a presence for the past two years, it now occupies 20,000 sq.ft. [1,858 sqm.] of retail space, making it one of the retailer's largest stores. whimsically called pedder on scotts, it features no less than seven distinctly designed zones that each cater to a different demographic, including one for men, kids and a dedicated sneaker section. needless to say, the store stocks a wide array of luxury and premium brands, and currently the brand list features coveted names such as alexander wang, adidas originals, christian louboutin, nike, lanvin and neil barrett. adding up to an ultimate lifestyle shopping experience is the presence of the coffee academïcs on the premises, a trendy hong kong-based café chain which makes its debut in the lion city. location: scotts square, 6 scotts road, shop 02-03 to 02-16 [orchard west].

© on pedder

online: black is everything

© just another rich kid / photography: phil knott

he's back. who? we're talking new york city-based artist and designer ken courtney and his iconic just another rich kid brand. resurfacing from a five-year stealth phase, courtney introduced his new black is everything t-shirt collection during the hoopla of the recent edition of new york fashion week. conceptualized with an approach a tad more liberal than most fashion brands, each of the six designs is meant to be whatever you want it to be. the garments are made stateside from preshrunk 100% cotton and have undergone a secret double wash, resulting in lightweight yet durable tees that feel luxuriously soft. just another rich kid's new black is everything collection is exclusively available online [no shipping fee / delivery in the u.s. only].

© just another rich kid / photography: phil knott