tokyo: maison margiela concept store opening

© maison margiela

following a specially conceptualized showcase held two years ago, maison margiela has returned to isetan shinjuku department store to pull off new retail bravado. theatrically entitled martin margiela - a chronology, it's an evolving concept store which will feature a series of differently themed installments with a variety of collections through february of next year. kicking off the temporary venue is intersection, a theme inspired by the fusion of contradictory elements, a recurrent and emblematic side to maison margiela's aesthetic. mid-september sees the anticipated inauguration of a new era, showcasing the first ready-to-wear designs by new creative directior john galliano for the brand's a/w 2015 collection. the following installments, respectively entitled timeless icons, universe and new gender, will each showcase designs that reflect the brand's iconic dna. the aesthetic of the concept store, set below a canopy of glittering stalactites, is an all-white affair with specially designed furnishings and trompe-l'œil effects, but will change with each installment to reflect the theme [open through mar 1]. location: isetan, 3-14-1 shinjuku, third floor [shinjuku].

© maison margiela

tokyo: son of the cheese store opening

© son of the cheese

in the land of the rising sun things are often not what they seem. a stiff hierarchy and strict social codes pretty much rule all aspects of life, but there's a wildly evocative domain – or should we rather say refuge? – where especially young japanese happily escape to whenever they can: retail. it's in tokyo where we continue to see some of the most interesting new shops emerge. whether infused with millions of yen or modestly conceptualized around a specific product. founded by veteran skater kaito yamamotoson of the cheese started out as a hangout for kindred spirits in the heart of daikanyama and quickly became an epicenter of the lifestyle culture that surrounds it. this popular hub has recently relocated to a new location, offering an enhanced setting and services.

son of the cheese has cleverly banked on its innate street cred to become a proper brand, and the quirky new digs fully contribute to this new stature. the venue is similarly hybrid, encompassing a retail space, a bar + lounge, and very soon also a sandwich counter. its aesthetic is anything but polished yet by all means homey, using the building's original details to its full potential. the walls, ceiling and wooden flooring have seemingly been given minor tweaks to keep the vibe authentic and somewhat raw. furnishings comprise of carefully sourced vintage pieces that add up to the laid-back atmosphere throughout the premises. stocked at the store is son of the cheese's very own collection of apparel and sunglasses, in addition to a selection of items of compatible other brands. location: mansion namikibashi, 1-31-19 higashi, unit 302 + 303 [daikanyama].

© son of the cheese

amsterdam: good hotel opening

© the good hospitality group

amsterdam's newly opened good hotel is brimming with modern design, but it's not there just to look pretty. founded by dutch designers remko verhaagen and sikko valk, the floating pop-up hospitality venue pairs a contemporary aesthetic with the purpose to extensively train 100 long-term unemployed in various jobs in hospitality during the course of one year. after concluding the training, participants will be offered a three-month contract at good hotel, followed by professional mediation in the city's booming hotel business by a local staffing agency. but let's go back to the property itself, shall we?
 
as said, it floats, on a repurposed pontoon along the ij waterway. good hotel features 144 rooms, a bar and restaurant section, and a spacious lobby area where to mingle and unwind. the design of the property boasts a clean, modern aesthetic that combines design classics by various dutch brands and cherry-picked items of hema – more or less the dutch equivalent of japan's muji department store – with custom-made pieces and artworks inspired by rio de janeiro's urban scene. and speaking of which, in 2016 the entire hotel will be tugged to this olympic city where it will be permanently moored off somewhere in guanabara bay. amsterdam location: westerdoksdijk 38 [centrum].
 

© the good hospitality group

paris: wavy days

© steven harrington

steven harrington is a los angeles-based artist who has found a way to deal with his own anxieties by creativvely channeling them towards painting. his emotions now take shape in a wide variety of to playful cartoon-like images, in the hope of shedding humour on and giving perspective to the subjects for himself and others. harrington will be having a solo exhibition, entitled wavy days, at colette in paris, opening at the famed concept store's gallery space on mon - aug 31 [6pm]. on display will be a collection of 16 paintings, 15 drawings, and two sculptures that he created during the past year and a half, and these items represent a brand new body of work that has never been exhibited, or shown within a gallery space before. location: 213 rue st.-honoré [st.-honoré].

© steven harrington

são paulo: aesop store opening

© aesop / photography: leonardo finotti

keen to serve its avid following with striking signature stores, aesop's global retail network continues to expand. the latest outpost to join in one in são paulo, and not surprisingly, it's in the hottest neighbourhood of town. the store is situated on tree-lined rua oscar freire, the city's most prominent shopping strip, occupying a rectangular 62 sqm. [667 sq.ft.] unit on the ground floor of a residential building. the new venture is a perfect fit as aesop has long admired brazilian modernist architecture and the vibrant personalities behind it. for the brand's inaugural brazilian store a collab was forged with acclaimed architect paulo mendes da rocha and his collaborator, fellow architect martin corullon.

the setting of the new store very much hints mendes da rocha's roots in brazilian brutalist architecture, featuring robust materials and fixtures, most notably the cast concrete desk which wraps itself around a pillar in the center of the store and a set of matching cylindric displays. the boldness is balanced by frivolous cement tiles traditionally used for domestic flooring and supersleek shelving that lines the wall. large slabs of mirror reflect the daylight that pours in and visually enlarges the space at the same time. rumour has it that a second store is already planned for the vila madalena area. the new aesop store carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: rua oscar freire 540 [jardim américa].

© aesop / photography: leonardo finotti

london: chromotopia

© heretic

heretic is an illustration, design and experimental screen printing studio based in london. comprising of luke frost, jon rundall and therese vandling, an exhibition displaying their sophisticated set of creative skills, entitled chromotopia - into the spectral nation, will open on thu - aug 27 [6pm-12am] on the premises of stories bar in london. the trio's activities are pretty diverse, ranging from hand-printed record covers to immersive sound and visual installations, and this showcase is an exploration of colour interactions and screen printing as a medium and a process. it sheds light on the journey that an image makes, from digital manipulation into analogue and the transformations and distortions this journey can bring about, uncovering hidden complexities within simple compositions. location: 30-32 broadway market [dalston].
 

© heretic

copenhagen: stedsans restaurant opening

© stedsans / photography: mikkel jensen

farm-to-table dining is a global trend, but here in copenhagen they've taken it to a whole new level – and we mean that literally. it all started last year with the launch of østergro, a full-fledged farm smack in the middle of the city's østerbro neighbourhood. and it's not just any farm, but situated on the rooftop of a modern office building. at 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] it's a fairly sizeable operation, and supplies the local community with a wide variety of organically grown vegetables. mind you, it's even home to twelve chickens and four bee families. as of this summer season the østergro farm has stepped up the game by opening a seasonal gourmet restaurant on the premises.

aptly named stedsans  østergro stedsans means 'sense of direction' in danish –  the cutesy diner is accommodated in a greenthouse that sits pretty amidst rows and rows of vegetables that'll end up on your very plate. if you think this is some urban hippie affair, think again. chef flemming schiøtt hansen has honed his skills at a variety of establishments across copenhagen and his wife and co-founder mette helbæk is a well-known food writer, and both aim to deliver an unusual culinary bravado on this rooftop. each day six different italian-style dishes are served on large plates that are sent around guests. these contain the season's best produce, fresh from the farm and nature.

and this chef knows what's good: asparagus with hand-peeled shrimp, lemon and smoked cheese, or grilled carrots, seasoned lightly with good quality olive oil, followed by a braised piece of organic beef, and for dessert strawberries with cream. in short, stedsans  østergro is a place where flavours are kept pure and simple. the duo's particular culinary approach also affects the restaurant's operations. there's hardly any garbage because the compost heap is right behind the kitchen and no tin cans are used. the chicken eat all the food scraps and both the dishwasher and the cleaning routines use probiotic water.

dinner at stedsans  østergro is an elaborate feast which consists of no less than six courses, and the concoctions are all served as shared food. you'll be seated accordingly at an elongated, beautifully set dinner table inside the cozy greenhouse. you'll have to book and pay in advance – by the way, it's dkk 350 per person and this amount is non-refundable – and additional drinks can be bought on site [open until end of september]. location: æbeløgade 4, third floor [østerbro].

© stedsans / photography: mikkel jensen

global: nudie jeans fall 2015 collection

© nudie jeans

known for blending urban style and comfort with an innovative sustainable production, nudie jeans' fall 2015 collection presents plenty of cool new options. denim obviously anchors the collection, and comes in a sophisticated variety of fabrics and hues. selvedge is presented in indigo, greytone and black rigid japanese and turkish fabrics. to true denimheads washed selvedge is the holy grail, and the many gradations featured in the new collection are exemplary of nudie jeans expertise. the range of apparel items make up a complete wardrobe, including compatible shirts, sweathshirts, knitwear and outerwear pieces that allow versatile and coherent looks with a timeless quality. the fabrics used is a mix of technical waterproof fabrics, cow and lamb nappa leathers, and engineered recycled wool blends, all in demure palette of mineral and botanical nuances of granite, antracite, coffee and sycamore leaf. the nudie jeans fall 2015 collection is available at the brand's flagship stores and select depositories around the planet.

© nudie jeans

chengdu: the temple house opening

© make - the temple house complex

with a population of around 14 million residing in the metropolitan area, chengdu ranks among china's biggest cities for a good reason. this is an economic powerhouse to be reckoned with, and one that has gained an accelerated significance this past decade. the boom has been to such an extent that the city has managed to propel itself into the ranks of top tier cities shanghai, beijing and guangzhou. reflecting chengdu's rapid transformation is s flurry of high-profile retail and hospitality openings, and the latest one to have shaken up the local scene – in a good way, obviously  is the temple house. an initiative of hong kong-based swire hotels, and the latest addition to its portfolio of design-led hotels called the house collective, there's something highly distinctive about it.

the hotel is part of an ambitious project to preserve surrounding heritage buildings, including the thousand-year-old daci temple. one of the ancient structures and its ornately designed courtyard, now form the splendourous backdrop of the hotel's entrance, and is partially enclosed by two sleek L-shaped high-rises that collectively house 100 rooms, 42 serviced apartments and most of its facilities. all buildings are connected by a sequence of meticulously landscaped courtyards. the complex has been designed by make, a practice based in london, and sets a new standard of modern hospitality in this boomtown.

the guestrooms and suites come in various sizes, and there's even a penthouse for those who like the luxury to be laid on thick. all pads share a clean, uncluttered modern design that's welcoming at the same time and subtly infused with elements from the sichuan region. and obviously, it fully meets the requirements of today's savvy traveller, featuring amenities such as complimentary high-speed internet access, a 46-inch interactive tv and a spacious bathroom with rain shower. adding up to the temple house's upscale lifestyle experience are a string of happening facilities, designed by new york city-based creative practice avroko, that are each a destination in their own right.

situated on the ground floor is the temple café, an informal all-day restaurant serving an array of international dishes. upping the ante is tivano, a gourmet restaurant offering authentic dishes and flavours from italy amidst a lavish setting that includes an open kitchen, a fire place, and there's even an curated wine cellar. to end the night in jolly fashion there's jing, a buzzing lounge + bar that serves any drink imaginable, and has a deejay who's ready and able to infuse the fun with matching beats. relaxation? check. the temple house is home to a stellar spa + wellness facility which offers various treatments, and there's a swimming pool and gym for those who crave proper physical excerise. location: 81 bitieshi lu [jinjiang].

© swire hotels

paris: white bird store opening

© white bird

stéphanie roger has opened her second upscale jewellery boutique in the upper marais neighbourhood of paris. stephanie, a self-trained jeweller, started out some twenty years ago on renowned place vendôme and has worked with the likes of cartier, piaget, chaumet and dinh van. white bird first opened its doors on rue mont thabor in 2010, and it was an immensely personal project, grounded in stephanie’s taste and experience. the second store speaks volumes of the loyal customer base she has built and the reputation she has created with her genuine care, down to earth nature and an impeccable eye for detail. the second white bird store was born out a collaboration with interior design firm en bande organisée and architect johanna étournel.

the store features a combination of industrial elements – aluminum and glass – with warmer materials fashioned by hand such as limestone, brass and felt. the selection here differs somewhat from the offerings on rue mont tabor, but adheres to the same tenets of expert craftsmanship, the interplay of raw and precious materials, and contemporary design imbued with a touch of nostalgia. it includes the line i am by ileana makri, which is edgier and more accessible than her other lines as well as several collections geared toward a male clientele: the californian brand stormie and m. cohen, minimalist bracelets by le gramme, and leather and gold bracelets by tassia canellis made exclusively for white bird. location: 7 boulevard des filles du calvaire [marais].

© white bird