singapore: perfect is no fun

© wataru komachi - neu sky, berlin [2014]

tokyo-based artist wataru komachi lands his first exhibition in singapore, opening fri - jul 18 [8pm-late] at underground watering hole and art gallery 22. entitled perfect is no fun, komachi's show presents a body of new work, consisting of a series of photographs and silkscreen collages. the works give viewers a good insight in komachi's eclectic artistic vision which is very much inspired by zen philosophy and putting the present digital age in a perspective of relativity and slight irony. mind you, the works on display at the show are all for sale, in addition to work from komachi's other portfolios and even t-shirts. location: 22 mosque street [chinatown].

© wataru komachi - love 2 [2014] and because i'm happy [2014]

london: loewe space opening

© dover street market

parent company lvmh is quite visibly shaking things up at loewe, the spanish luxury fashion and leather goods brand. having appointed british-born jonathan anderson - who's better known for his own label j.w.anderson - as its creative director, it's drastically rebranding itself to regain fashion relevance. next to churning out more appealing collections, loewe is also busy to reposition itself in the global retail arena and has opened a new space in one of the planet's leading stores: the original dover street market in london. the new space not only reveals loewe's new retail aesthetic, but also presents the first collection of items designed by anderson.

this pre-launch capsule collection features a range of different items, including bags, including masterfully tweaked versions of its iconic amazona and flamenco bags, accessories, key menswear pieces, and home items such as leather cushions, lambswool blankets, and even a wood-and-leather chair re-edited from the loewe archives. a selection of items is inspired by meccano, an engineering game created by frank hornby in 1901, reinterpreting its shapes and colours in leather or as prints to convey notions of combining and building. location: dover street market, 17-18 dover street, second floor [mayfair].

© dover street market

los angeles: the line hotel opening

© the line hotel / photography: adrian gaut

it's as if los angeles has entered a new golden age of sorts with new and sometimes unexpected areas coming into bloom. making a bold statement in koreatown is the line hotel, a collab hospitality effort by the sydell group, culinary entrepreneurs roy choi, the houston brothers, designer sean knibb, and last but not least, art + design brand poketo. they've taken on a mid-century landmark structure by architecture + engineering firm daniel mann johnson + mendenhall, and transformed it into the neighbourhood's new beacon of modern lifestyle. the line hotel features no less than 388 guestrooms, including studios, suites and apartment suites, spread over twelve floors.

fully designed by knibb, the interior design of the property is sleek and edgy, while also taking full advantage of the distinct korean culture that's deeply rooted in this lively part of town. the various settings feature an abundance of natural materials, organic forms and open spaces to create indoor and outdoor settings that blend function, intimacy and contemporary style. rooms feature the modern comfort and amenities that today's traveler expects, including comfortable king-size beds, free superfast wi-fi, and a decent shower. a big bonus are the floor-to-ceiling windows which provide sweeping views of koreatown. but that's not all, folks.

the hotel has a few aces up its sleeve which contribute to the well-deserved buzz, and which seems only logic given the background of some of its co-founders. the line hotel isn't just to spend the night, but adds up to koreatown's lively scene with a string of happening facilities of its own. there's pot, a korean restaurant with hot pots, blood soups, and barbecue on the menu. the pot lobby bar is its drinking den extension, and designed as a classic hotel bar as found in the korean homeland. also on the premises is café, a hybrid concept which mixes the compelling chaos of tawainese bakeries, the underground food markets in seoul, l.a.'s very own salvadorian and mexican panaderias and supermarket birthday cakes.

somewhat the opposite is commissary, a greenhouse restaurant with a focus on plants, fruits and vegetables. at the same time it’s a tranquil pool deck-side space with the amenities of a private club but created for everyone. want to let your hair down until the wee little hours? no problemo. the stylish speek lounge, hosted by the houston brothers, is readily available. last but not least, there's a well-stocked, 24-hour newsstand and boutique by poketo on the premises. location: 3515 wilshire boulevard [koreatown].

© the line hotel / photography: adrian gaut

london: return of the rudeboy

© somerset house / photography: peter macdiarmid

london's somerset house currently hosts return of the rudeboy, an original and rather cool exhibition created and curated by prolific photographer and filmmaker for music’s most wanted dean chalkley and fashion industry favourite creative director harris elliott. the show presents a sartorial subculture through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces. over the course of the past year the duo has photographed over 60 sharply dressed individuals from across the u.k., all of whom embody the essence of what it is to be a rudeboy in the 21st century, to document the life, style and last but not least, attitude of this growing demographic. far from a snapshot street-style photography project, the curated collection of images shows the subjects presenting their pure and singular sartorial swagger in locations linked to the specific rudeboy lifestyle, whether it be on the streets of shoreditch or on swanky savile row.

presented at the exhibitions are immersive multimedia installations and set pieces that further elaborate on the everyday details of the modern rudeboy, from the music he listens to down to his daily grooming routine. mind you, since grooming is such an integral part of the daily routine, the space will host a pop-up grooming station where you can even book appointments to get a hair cut or beard trimming. to add more spice to the showcase, chalkley and elliott have collaborated closely with a variety creatives to contribute exciting, engaging and enriching content, including new york-based producer rashad smith, the art comes first creative collective and international dj don letts [on through aug 25]. location: somerset house, strand, terrace rooms [holborn].

© somerset house / photography: peter macdiarmid [portraits] + dean chalkley [creative direction by harris elliott]

milan: dolce & gabbana sartoria store opening

© dolce & gabbana

the innate peacock mentality of italian males not only sustains a large part of the italian fashion industry, but has also inspired a style-conscious demographic across the planet. dolce & gabbana has emphasized its leading position in high-end men's fashion by expanding its lavish boutique on milan's corso venezia with an atelier - the brand's very first - for bespoke men's clothes. located right next door in the same 16th-century neo-classical palazzo, the new store features a regal setting that does justice to the building. the atelier opens onto a typical milanese courtyard that was once the home of several artisan shops and which now is embellished with a genuine sicilian garden. divided into various rooms, meticulous attention has been given to the design and decoration.

floors are an alternation of no less than five different types of marble with parquet floors in typical 19th-century fashion and various design pieces chosen for their uniqueness furnish each room. highlights are the one-of-a-kind bookcase by giò ponti, originally designed for a hotel in st.-tropez, a table by ignazio gardella, and a majestic palmengrten chandelier with 140 light bulbs arranged in a radical pattern reminiscent of the palms in the outdoor garden. dolce & gabbana's new atelier is home to talented expert tailors who work in these rooms and are more than able to meet the requirements of the discerning male customer. location: corso venezia 13 [duomo].

© dolce & gabbana

paris: flying houses

© laurent chéhère

an artsy place with a highly personal vibe, hôtel jules & jim in the marais district is the obvious choice for those susceptible to anything creative. so, it's not surprising they go the extra yard to please hotel guests with appealing exhibitions. currently on at the hotel's gallery space is an exhibition set up in collab with galerie paris-beijing by french photographer laurent chéhère. entitled flying houses, the show presents a series of works which employ traditional photography and digital manipulation. depicted are various buildings, isolated from their urban context and allowing them to float in the sky, totally detached from gravity. the series is inspired by a poetic vision of a bygone paris, but also influenced by cult movies such as hayao miyazaki's howl's moving castle and le ballon rouge by albert lamorisse. chéhère scavenged the working class neighbourhoods of ménilmontant and belleville to trace the most interesting structures, be it an erotic cinema, a run down hotel or a non-descript home [on through sep 28]. location: hôtel jules & jim, 11 rue des gravilliers [marais].

© laurent chéhère

melbourne: hermès store opening

© hermès

australia's luxury boom is reaching ever-new heights and many foreign high-end brands have timely decided to enter the market or expand their existing footprint. the most dynamic place where retail activitiy of this kind is most evident is melbourne, and it's right in the heart of the city where hermès has recently opened a prestigious new store. situated on the ground floor of harley house, a 1920s landmark structure built in georgian revival style, hermès' new boutique measures 260 sqm. [2,799 sq.ft.] spread over two levels and is double the size of its previous downtown address. the store interior has been designed by rdai, a paris-based practice and longtime collaborator of the french luxury brand. known for its discreet chic, the store setting is very much a three-dimensional extrapolation.

it features a decor of walls clad in timber, matching shelving and displays, mosaic floors and sophisticated lighting. upon entering, shoppers encounter hermès' iconic ex-libris etched into the floor. the ground floor is dedicated to men's ready-to-wear, silk items, perfumes, jewellery and the brand's equestrian collections. a central staircase leads to a more intimate space on the second floor. a dedicated women's domain, it's here the women's ready-to-wear, watches, jewellery, homeware and tableware collections are presented. having a flexible configuration, this floor can easily be transformed into a private appointment showroom. location: harley house, 71 collins street [cbd].

© hermès

global: bwgh x puma a/w 2014 collection

© puma

for the second time around, the boys behind french label brooklyn we go hard - have collaborated with sportswear giant puma. the a/w 2014 collection is pretty much an extrapolation of the previous one, and david obadia and nelson hassan have picked a new range of iconic items from the extensive puma archives to rework and blend in their distinct urban flavour. as an avid art aficionado, obadia has a keen eye for colour and composition, and it isn't surprising he has drawn inspiration from american abstract expressionist painting, in particular the works of artists such as hans hofmann, helen frankenthaler and ethan cook. his notions have been translated into contemporary pieces that playfully marry sportswear, street style and modern art. shown here are some of the looks and items that we particularly like. the bwgh x puma a/w 2014 collection is now available at select stores across the planet.

© puma

tokyo: andaz tokyo hotel opening

© andaz - sweeping city views from the new andaz tokyo

with a unique hospitality formula that blends in design and creativity, andaz hotels have quite logically popped up in some of the leading creative hubs across the planet, and it was only a matter of time that the andaz tokyo would open its doors. the first andaz property in japan, it occupies the top floors of toranomon hills, a new 52-storey mixed-use highrise in the heart of tokyo. similarly to other andaz hotels, great attention has been given to the interior design of the andaz tokyo to create a unique hospitality experience. renowned interior designers tony chi from new york city and tokyo-based shinichiro ogata were enlisted to do the job.

they succeeded in creating a contemporary design distinct setting that emphasizes japanese cultural sensibilities, using a range of natural materials, such as washi paper and walnut. mind you, the japanese penchant for authenticity of material and textures has been translated to sophisticated and modern interiors. the andaz tokyo features 164 spacious guestrooms and suites, all with sweeping views of the city. the bathroom is a key feature of the room design, equipped with deep soaking tubs inspired by japanese bath culture. obviously, the rooms feature all the modern comfort and amenities today's travellers expect from a five-star properties.

and in true andaz fashion, all non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks and locally-inspired snacks are complimentary, as are local telephone calls and wireless internet access. andaz tokyo features a string of facilities that further entice with exquisite settings and offerings. the andaz tavern on the 51st floor is the hotel's main dining venue. soaring floor-to-ceiling windows form the backdrop for suspended undulating wood sculptures by british artist charlie whinney. the menu here features refined european provincial cuisine prepared with seasonal japanese ingredients, offering uncomplicated and wholesome dishes with simple flavours.

on floor up the rooftop bar is situated and here the decor morphs into a modern take on a katsura imperial villa, the quintessential example of japanese architecture. the main area of the bar is separated into three different spaces with a variation of ceiling heights, providing the right ambience for each guest’s personal choice. the drink menu features crafted cocktails infused with delicate teas and fresh seasonal fruits, domestic draft beers, bubbles and fine sakes. interestingly, there's an open-air roof-protected terrace overlooking tokyo bay. last but not least, there's the ao spa + club with special treatments and exclusive products which help you to unwind or rejuvenate in a state-of-the-art environment. this area comes with a full-fledged fitness center and swimming pool. location: toranomon hills, 1-23-4 toranomon, floors 47-52 [toranomon].

© andaz

melbourne: marais store opening

© marais

marais, the renowned melbourne-based retailer, has opened their second door located at 73-77 bourke street. their newly constructed 'temple to high fashion' is opulent, extravagant and a pioneering new retail space. it was designed and built in conjunction with built, f2 architecture, dcg and the flaming beacon – and features two expansive levels, including their standard retail fare, micro stores, a shoe salon, a v.i.p. fitting room and a lingerie department. the intricately concocted visual drama of the space is anchored a three-tonne dcg-designed chandelier, and backed up by smoked mirror ceilings and counters, an infinity lift, walls draped in chainmail and seashell pink marble walls housing their lingerie department. the space elevates the traditional retail store into a gallery in which the beautiful works of art and design are given the recognition and presentation they deserve. the current range of labels stocked, include  givenchy, céline, balenciaga, linda farrow, isabel marant, alexander mcqueen, lanvin, erickson beamon, mawi, bernard delettrez, rick owens and atelier bordelle. location: 73-77 bourke street [cbd]. 

© marais