london: le labo store opening

© le labo

founded in 2007, le labo's beginnings were modest to say the least. but the quirky vision and perseverance of co-owners fabrice penot and edouard roschi – mind you, le labo focuses on scents made of a single essence rather than blends – has paid off, and now almost a decade later the niche fragrance brand is a fixture in the luxury stratosphere, and supplies its fanbase through a growing network of stores across the planet. and we're not talkiing mere depositories, but branded boutiques with a distinctly designed aesthetic. just recently, the brand has added a new shop to its retail network, and this time in london's seven dials neighbourhood.

situated on the ground floor of a listed, late-18th-century building, it features an interior design that the founders created with their in-house design team. it's the company's third outpost in the british capital, and similarly to the company's other stores the backdrop looks slightly rustic, oozing an artisanal vibe, featuring a blend of custom-made furnishings, vintage items and a palette of subdued colours. the new le labo store carries the brand's full range of unisex fragrances, body and hair care products, scented candles and massage oils, and also offers the unique service to refill your empty perfume bottle with your fave scent. location: 48 monmouth street [seven dials].

© le labo

los angeles: balenciaga store opening

© balenciaga

with georgian designer demna gvasalia now at the creative helm of balenciaga, the iconic fashion house is following a new trajectory that not only tranforms the design codes of its collections – next to a boldly different signature for the women's collection, fashion circles eagerly anticipated the very first balanciaga men's collection that gvasalia concocted – but eventually also those of its stores. well, it so happens that the very first store to open under gvasalia's creative vision is one in los angeles. the luxury brand closed down an existing store on melrose avenue, and has traded up by opening on swanky rodeo drive in beverly hills.

the new west coast flagship measures a sizeable 175 sqm. [1,884 sq.ft.] spread over three consecutive rooms, each with a distinctly different setting. supervised by gvasalia himself, the palette incorporates an eclectic variety of materials, ranging from concrete and satin, to cast aluminum and glass, resulting in an aesthetic that pairs references of balenciaga's couture history and its original headquarters on leafy avenue george v in paris with raw modern design elements. the new store carries the brand's full range of women's and men's apparel, accessories, footwear, bags, jewellery and eyewear. location: 353 north rodeo drive [beverly hills].

© balenciaga

london: dover street market reopening

© comme des garçons - comme des garçons installation

after a short closure, dover street market in london reopens today with a coveted fresh offerings and a number of alluring new settings. indeed, it has only been four months since the store relocated to haymarket, but it's a tradition at dover street market to bedazzle its savvy fanbase at the beginning of each season. and as usual with each of the store's changeovers, there's a lot of novelties to take in, be it new comme des garçons collections, new brands or new settings. upon entering the ground floor shoppers stumble upon a newly installed comme des garçons installation in the event space which presents five key pieces from its a/w 2016 women's collection.

new spaces have also been allocated to london-based bulgarian designer kiko kostadinov who garnered global attention earlier this year with his central st. martin's graduate men's collection, italian designer daniela gregis whose new collection full of quirky women's silhouettes are a perfect fit for the store, and last but certainly not least revamped italian menswear label brioni. additionally, dover street market will be stocking a tightly curated slew of edgy new brands, both emerging and established, from across the planet. having made the cut are brands such as bernhard willhelm, avec modération, wales bonner, jan-jan vanessche, and itchy scratchy patchy, the label of model edie campbell and designer christabel mcgreevy which makes unique items from used levi's denim and sunspel tees. location: 18-22 haymarket [st. james's].

© comme des garçons

berlin: get out

© schlechtriem & dittrich

the pairing of works by artists stefan behlau and dennis loesch is a true feast of colour and form. both germans are part of dittrich & schlechtriem's stable of artists, and their current collab presentation, somewhat ominously entitled get out, at the aforementioned venue offers quite an exploration. the core is a series of works that have been on display at a show in leipzig late last year, presenting artworks that reflect the artists' respective explorations of the use of colour as a medium, and also the reproducibility of images in digital printing techniques. the pieces on display had been based on existing works by other artists as templates. loesch used the digital colour averages of the extracted calculated from the pixels of photographs, while behlau inverted the colours of his sources. the show in berlin offers a similar dialogue between two interesting and contrasting explorations of colour. while behlau's approach is classic, using paint on canvas, but loesch has crossed over to the tech side and has concocted inkjet prints on aluminum [on through sep 3]. location: tucholskystrasse 38 [mitte].

© schlechtriem & dittrich

tokyo: off-white store opening

© off-white

its official name, something & associates c/o off-white tokyo, is quite a mouthfull, but then again, designer virgil abloh clearly had a statement to make with his new retail outpost in aoyama, a fashionable shopping area that has rightfully been under global scrutiny for as long as we can remember. the arrival of off-white onto tokyo's retail scene in such a short time is quite an achievement, and signals the brand's growing stature and trajectory. the aesthetic of the store reflects the brand's carefully constructed aura of underground and rebellion, and this is immediately evident when seeing the expansive glass façade adorned by the brand's trademark of diagonal stripes – only it's sprayed on like graffiti.

occupying a lofty, 150 sqm. [1,615 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a low-rise modern building, the store rubs shoulders with a number of high-end brands from the realm of fashion. it features an interior design concocted by dong-ping wong of new york city-based architecture practice family. spacious and with a distinct edge, the setting has a faux office style, featuring vintage desks and old mac computers placed in the middle and a water cooler at the far end. the off-white apparel is showcased on black + white racks lining the wall, and the brand's footwear and accessories are displayed on robust floor-to-ceiling shelving near the entrance.

and speaking of the ceiling, it's intentionally exposed, laying bare the building's utility pipes, but it's matchingly overlaid by a latticed steel grid with embedded ceiling lights. this steel canopy not only offsets the pristine white setting below, but also lends it a slighty futuristic twist. right next to the fitting rooms a ticket window is situated where shoppers can settle all their trophy purchases. the new off-white store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, footwear and accessories. off-white is already planning another store which is scheduled to open early september in singapore. location: 5-2-13 minami aoyama [aoyama].

© off-white

paris: repossi store renewal

© repossi / photography: cyrille weiner

founded in turin in 1920, repossi is a family-owned jewellery house that has carved a niche position in the upper echelons of the fashion galaxy. this past decade in particular, and mainly thanks to current creative director gaia repossi, the company has gained a reputation through sophisticated avant-garde designs. this particular vision and fine craftsmanship eventually drew the attention of lvmh, and last year the luxury goods conglomerate snapped up a minority stake. we can only assume that the recent opening of repossi's dramatically revamped flagship store in paris – mind you, it was an elaborate project that took two years to plan and complete  directly spawns from this important business agreement.

situated on the ground floor of a unesco world heritage-listed building from the early 18th century on place vendôme, the prestigious boutique measures a total retail space of 90 sqm. [969 sq.ft.] set over three floors, and in line with the company's creative trajectory of late, it now boasts a sleek, modern design by acclaimed architecht rem koolhaas. each floor has been given a distinct aesthetic, the retail concept is based on the notion that shoppers purchase jewellery at different paces  fast, slow, and very slow, and the setting of each floor corresponds accordingly. the most exposed area of the repossi store obviously is the ground floor.

as such, the setting here is almost an extension of the outdoors, flaunting a kaleidoscopic impression of the boutique's overall aesthetic and allowing shoppers to quickly browse. one floor up a gallery is situated where the full repossi collection is presented. the basement section is home to a secluded salon where clients can either receive tailor-made service or privately explore jewellery items of choice. visually, the store resembles a tiered jewellery box, albeit an adventurously constructed one, pairing intricate structures with an unconventional palette of materials such as aluminum, coloured mirrors and concrete. although an open staircase connecting all three floors very much is the focal point, other striking elements simultaneously vie for attention. location: 6 place vendôme [st.-honoré].

© repossi / photography: cyrille weiner

tokyo: louis vuitton pop-up store

© louis vuitton japan

following the huge success of last year's pop-up store at isetan, louis vuitton's menswear designer kim jones has returned to the illustrious department store in his beloved tokyo to set up another temporary retail space. but this time, the louis vuitton pop-up store has a different angle, having limited edition merchandise on offer that's curated by none other than hiroshi fujiwara. the hugely popular japanese style guru, a longtime friend of jones, has collaborated on a capsule collection that fuses streetwear and high-end fashion into a hybrid range of items, including apparel items, bags, among which four versions of the monogram eclipse bag, small leather goods and iphone cases, and obviously these are all adorned by the french fashion house's iconic monogram. the louis vuitton pop-up store is situated on the ground floor of the men's building, and features a setting that blends the luxury brand's shimmer and shine with subtle underground elements that reference fujiwara's very own pop-up store the park-ing ginza [open through july 19]. location: isetan shinjuku, 3-14-1 shinjuku, ground floor [shinjuku].

© louis vuitton japan

stockholm: generator hostel opening

© generator

it's full steam ahead for generator. the design-led – and dare we say fun-infused – hostel chain has opened cool properties in europe's most buzzing destinations at an accelerated pace, and now stockholm too has joined the list. the new property occupies a former office building in norrmalm, a downtown area of the city, and features 796 beds in 233 suites, premium private rooms, and shared hostel lodging, all spread over 11 floors. and for those who love to live large, a studio apartment with a private kitchen and living is readily available. similarly to other generator hostels, the new outpost is infused with funky design elements courtesy of toronto-based practice and longtime collaborator designagency, and thanks to a series of alluring communal spaces, it's bound to be the neighbourhood's new social hub as well.

the welcoming and spacious lobby boasts quirky pops of colour and oversized pendant lighting, and is open day and night for guests and vistors alike to hang-out and chill. another place to rub shoulders over a drink and a bite is the ground floor café and bar. open daily, it's where to go for either breakfast and brunch or lunch and dinner, featuring a menu by chef david gard. a full-fedged restaurant, called standalone, and featuring a setting inspired by the swedish capital, and serving global street food, will open on the premises later this year. when duty calls, one floor up a lounge and convertible communal spaces are situated. needless to say that stockholm as your next destination to explore just got a little more real. location: torsgatan 10 [norrmalm].

© generator

singapore: k+ curatorial space opening

© kinetic singapore

based in singaporekinetic is a boutique design and advertising agency with an inquisitive drive. and so much so, it considers making connections with like-minded creatives across various disciplines essential to remain on top of the game. as described in a previous post, the company set up a gallery space at scotts square to provide a platform to budding creative talent. and now, more than a year later, a bigger 4,000 sq.ft. [372 sqm.] exhibition space and expanded format has been inaugurated on the premises of the same shopping mall. the new k+ curatorial space totally ups the ante, accommodating not only a gallery, but also a shop with a curated range of lifestyle products.

to be found on the shelves are books, furniture pieces and apparel items, all designed by singaporean creatives. but that's not all. the new venue also has a community space with attached co-working space for creative start-ups and a separate exhibition space for local art schools and associations. the gallery's inaugural show is dedicated to acclaimed local furniture designer nathan yong, and presents new furniture designs, as well as items that he designed under the grafunkt by nathan yong label. after the show, the new line of products will be carried exclusively at k+ curatorial space until february of next year. location: scotts square, 6 scotts road, unit 03-11 [orchard west].

© kinetic singapore

paris: amastan hotel opening

© amastan hotels / photography: adrien dirand

in paris, there isn't exactly a shortage of cool places where to lay your head to rest, but few offer the subtly calibrated style of the amastan paris. the newly opened and first boutique hotel of entrepreneur zied sanhaji is conveniently situated in the heart of the city – just off the iconic champs-élysées thoroughfare in fact – and is a tranquil urban haven for a more cultured flock of travellers. amastan's interior, created by designers juan pablo naranjo and jean-christophe orthlieb of local practice nocc, effortlessly pairs style and comfort with details that'll directly speak to the initiated.

the quirky atmosphere is immediately evident upon entering the lobby. an architectural light scheme complements a setting of walls clad in petrol blue herringbone parquet, and a specially commissioned, luxurious tapestry by german designer jan kath. the property features just 24 homey guest rooms, spread over six floors. these pads ooze a distinct homey vibe, and feature a palette that's extrapolated from the setting downstairs. similar blue parquet walls and flooring are paired with lacquered oak and brass, while bespoke furniture pieces further personality. rooms facing the back of the hotel come with beautiful garden views, and some have private furnished balconies.

as said, it's tranquil refuge in the heart of paris, but that doesn't mean it's entirely void of jolly banter...no sir! ground floor bar and night haunt anouk, accommodates locals and guests alike with killer cocktails and light bites amidst a stylish setting of floor-to-ceiling brass-framed bottle shelves, an ornate chandelier and large bay windows. the venue opens onto a lush, landscaped garden, perfect to steal a smoke and bond with gauloises-toting parisians. adjacent to the hotel entrance, amastan’s project space will exclusively host pop-up installations and collab projects in the realm of art, fashion and design. location: 38 rue jean mermoz [champs-élysées].

© amastan hotels / photography: adrien dirand