hong kong: pradasphere

© prada

after a hyped edition earlier this year at harrod's in london, prada has launched its immersive pradasphere showcase in another leading fashion and shopping mecca, hong kong. the milanese fashion house has opted to construct a special pavilion for this exhibition, situated along the city's busy harbour on central ferry pier 4. similar to the inaugural edition in london, pradasphere elaborates on prada's history, craftsmanship and creative director miuccia prada's much-admired creative vision. the scenography is set-up as a natural history of the luxury brand, presenting visitors a rare peek into a rich collection of archival objects.

these are arranged to reveal the sophisticated references of miuccia prada and here team. the centrepiece of pradasphere comprises of six towering showcases, dedicated to the central themes that have distinguished the work of prada. the displays combine work from diverse collections to demonstrate the recurrent concepts present in the work. in addition, the exhibition features a prada history timeline, a screening room presenting short films, and last but not least, architectural projects and a library of publications [on through dec 5]. location: central ferry pier 4, man kwong street [central].

© prada

los angeles: shinola store opening

© shinola

shinola banks on the new momentum it has created with fancy new stores, adding yet another outlet in silverlake, a happening area of los angeles. situated in a low-rise structure, the retail space measures 1,100 sq.ft. [102 sqm.] and is the lifestyle brand's first store on the u.s. west coast. the setting is simple and functional, and allows shinola's varied range of offerings to pop. a mix of vintage and custom-made furnishings blends well with the rustic elements of the building, while a polished concrete floor adds a contemporary edge. the new shinola store carries an exemplary selection of the brand's merchandise, including watches, journals, leather goods, shoe polish, pet accessories, and last but not least, a range of bicycles. location: 3515 west sunset boulevard [silverlake].

© shinola

dubai: declaration

© tashkeel / artist el seed at his exhibition

faouzi khlifi a.k.a. el seed [1981] is a talented french-tunisian street artist who has taken calligraphy, a highly sophisticated art form in the arab world, to a whole new level. celebrated for his bold murals and other artworks on outdoor surfaces - more aptly known as exercises of so-called calligraffiti - in various projects and exhibitions across the planet, el seed recently took up a residency in the boomtown of dubai, facilitated by contemporary art organization tashkeel and the related salama bint hamdan al nahyan foundation. during this time the urban artist has crafted a series of works which audaciously extrapolate his calligraffiti style to a series of monumental three-dimensional sculptures that rather spectacularly weave across the premises of tashkeel's exhibition gallery. entitled declaration, el seed's work is inspired by a poem of syrian poet nizar qabbani which describes the beauty of his lover despite her age. the artist not only uses the poem's lines to publicly declaring his love for the ancient art of calligraphy, but also pays homage to his earlier pieces by adding a new dimension [on through dec 27]. location: tashkeel, nad al sheba road 1 [nad al sheba].

© tashkeel

new york: feit store opening

© feit

they've had their store in sydney for quite some time, but now tull and josh price, the fraternal australian duo behind cult shoe brand feit, have expanded their retail operations with a sleek new store in new york city. behind a façade with large windows framed by slabs of shiny metal, a serene setting constructed from baltic birch, concrete and translucent panels unfolds. the imposing purity of this aesthetic, created by the price brothers and australian installation artist jordana maisie, not only reflects feit's well-known ethos and creative process, but also elevates the shopping experience to a level beyond the ordinary. upon entering the store, shoppers view cascading planes that emerge from the existing architecture and a split-level display showcases the coveted feit collection. the nifty layout is constructed as such that it a peek behind the scenes to where the showroom and repair sections are situated, while installation displays connect the customer to feit's meticulous shoemaking process. the new feit store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's shoes. location: 2 prince street [nolita].

© feit

london: the pop-up flea

© the pop-up flea

the pop-up flea has become a popular global event that draws savvy trophy seekers in each city it has set up base. after the inaugural tokyo edition it's once again london's turn, and on nov 21-23 the event will occupy an elaborate chunk of space within the old truman brewery in spitalfields. once again the pop-up flea will present shoppers a wide range of beautifully made goods, brought by a curated and unique mix of american and british brands. mind you, there there's hardly a store anywhere that can match the sheer size and quality of these combined offerings. for its second installment in the british capital, the pop-up flea hosts quite a number of leading brands, and this time includes tellason, billykirk, shinola, sunspel, and loft trading. location: old truman brewery, 91 brick lane [spitalfields].

© the pop-up flea

são paulo: prada store opening

© prada

it has only been three years since prada entered the brazilian market, and since then it has rapidly expanded with additional stores in major cities nationwide. but it's in são paulo where the italian luxury brand's biggest and most discerning fanbase resides, and thus a second boutique has recently been added there. contrary to the country's inaugural boutique at jk iguatemi mall, the new store at cidade jardim - the city's other upscale supermall - will also carry prada's coveted men's collections. situated in the ground floor, it features a signature interior design by house architect roberto baciocchi and is replete with all the usual hallmarks. there's the façade in black marble, framed by polished steel. once inside, shoppers first encounter two large spaces presenting the women’s bags and accessories collections and the men’s travel and leather goods collections, amidst a setting of black + white marble chequered flooring and walls covered in matching black marble. furnishings come slim steel and crystal, supplemented by display counters with coloured leather detailing. the women's apparel collections are showcased in various rooms, all decorated in a soft green fabric and dotted with elegant velvet sofas in a similar hue. obviously, the men's department boasts a masculine touch, evidently displayed by ebony floorboards and walls, metal display cases, bold display counters and matching leather sofas. location: shopping cidade jardim, avenida magalhães de castro 12000, ground floor [cidade jardim].

© prada

paris: korea, here and now

© tom greyhound

tom greyhound is an interesting retail concept which popped up earlier this year in the boutique-infested marais area of the french capital. launched by ambitious korean retailer handsome - which owns an eponymous concept store in seoul - it aims to be more than just a store and is gradually morphing into a happening showcase of contemporary korean design and culture. the store currently hosts a concise exhibition which gives shoppers a glimpse of past and present creativity from homeland korea. curated by lo/a, a paris-based creative agency with interests in publishing and retail, the showcase is entitled korea, here and now. what's presented is an eclectic collage of artsy publications which epitomize contemporary korean culture. each booklet is dedicated to a major player, and includes leading artists who've gained international recogniction such as nam june paik, hein-kuhn oh and osang gwon. the presentation is further supplemented by a concise selection of design objects and fashion items [on through jan 3]. location: tom greyhound, 19 rue saintonge [marais].

© tom greyhound

online: aesop presents 'the guild of artisans'

© aesop

australian cosmetics brand aesop honours its fascination - or should we say obsession? - with fine craftsmanship through a striking video accompanying an extensively researched website repository. the video was created in collaboration with the apiary a.k.a. ex-melbourne and now berlin-based film making duo lily coates and gavin youngs. entitled the guild of artisans, it allows aesop to explore in-depth their fascination with craft and a specific focus on textile, timber, leather, copper, marble and ceramic. six in all, the special gift kits are associated with each of the materials and feature a range of aesop products in a reusable tin box. this distinctive collection is available at all aesop signature stores and counters in selected department stores, but can also be purchased online.

© aesop

tokyo: aman tokyo hotel opening

© amanresorts

otemachi tower is the ultimate in skyscraper-chic. soaring upwards to almost 200 meters in the air, the newly opened structure dwarfs most other buildings in otemachi, a business area in the heart of tokyo and located a stone's throw away from the imposing grounds of the imperial palace. it's right here, on the top six floors, where amanresorts' newest retreat is to open its doors next month. a remarkable choice to say the least, as this five-star hospitality chain is arguably best known for idyllic locations in exotic rural settings or on far flung tropical islands. sure, there once was a property in delhi, and since last year a rather grand venetian palazzo ranks on its property list, but it's this venture in tokyo which breaks new grounds, providing amanresorts with its first truly urban presence.

aman tokyo, as it is called, may be nestled in the planet's largest metropolitan area, it's conceptualized as such to emanate a very similar resort-like atmosphere as its far-flung sister establishments, yet with a distinct urban edge. the hotel is designed by kerry hill architects and features 84 guestrooms and suites, all with sweeping views of the city and its landmarks. the spacious deluxe rooms have large foyers and bathrooms, and face the imperial palace gardens. the premier rooms look towards tokyo skytree, while the suites feature spacious open-plan living rooms and pantries. top of the bill are the so-called aman suites, at 157 sqm. [1,690 sq.ft.] one of the grandest pads in town. needless to say, all rooms come with the amenities and facilities modern travelers expect these days.

as with other amanresorts properties, the interior design blends in elements from local culture. classic japanese materials such as camphor wood and washi paper have been paired with contemporary design and modern technology, resulting in various fusion settings with an intriguing kind of elegance. this is most evident in the lobby, situated below a 30-metre high vault covered with screens of washi paper and resembling the interior of a japanese paper lantern. mind you, adding up to the lobby's zen-like serenity is an indoor garden replete with water feature and rock formations. the allure of aman tokyo obviously extends to its facilities, and tokyo being a renowned gourmet capital, the hotel has a few trumps up its sleeves for even the most discerning of palates.

the café by aman specialises in mediterranean-inspired fare, featuring the hotel’s own signature sake, and even offers lunch and dinner with outdoor forest view seating. on the 33rd level, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the imperial palace gardens and a distant mount fuji, the lounge by aman is situated. this is a relaxed meeting place, suitable for a drink or snack. the restaurant by aman serve fine dining with a focus on mediterranean cuisine, including an equally refined selection of japanese and asian inspired dishes. not surprisingly, aman tokyo has a wine list to match, stocking no less than 1,200 carefully selected wines in an impressive glass fronted walk-in wine cellar. and of course fans of good sake won't be disappointed.

adding up to the hotel's meticulously created sense of luxury is a beautifully designed wellness area that occupies 2,500 sqm. [26,910 sq.ft.] spread over two floors. dedicated to total relaxation and health, the area encompasses an aman spa with eight treatment rooms, a fully equipped fitness center, a yoga studio, a pilates studio, and last but not least, a 30-metre swimming pool with, once again, stunning city views. location: otemachi tower, 1-5-6 otemachi, 33rd floor [otemachi].

© amanresorts

global: dior homme a/w 2014 - leather goods

© dior homme

it took just one look at dior homme's a/w 2015 collection to get us totally mesmerized, and each and every item seemed like an essential trophy in our dream wardrobe. well, our craving actually goes beyond the realm of apparel, as style statements usually stand or fall with matching, if not an essential kind of accessories. aptly called les essentiels - indeed, what else? - by dior homme, a concise range of accoutrements is readily available to stand one's ground coming season, regardless of any given volatile fashion circumstances. shown here are three faves that we picked from the collection: a briefcase in black perforated calfskin over gray felt, a portfolio in black calfskin over gray felt with two front pockets, and last bust not least, a zipped coin purse in the same luxe material with a removable key holder. all these items are available at dior homme flagships and shop-in-shops across the planet, in addition to a select number of other depositories.

© dior homme