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].
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].
danish fashion brand won hundred has opened a second store on home turf, and this time it's in the heart of homebase copenhagen. the new retail space occupies a compact unit on boutique-infested klosterstræde, and the interior is a collab between the brand's creative director nikolaj nielsen and designer tania mikkelstrup. an exemplary show-off of scandinavian understatement, it features a setting in soft tones of grey that complements won hundred's contemporary brand identity. a series of chunky displays in various sizes dot the premises, framed by walls in a similar hue and faux herringbone parquet flooring. lighting plays an important dual role, creating depth in the palette and highlighting the merchandise on display. the new won hundred store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, accessories and footwear collections. location: klosterstræde 15 [indre by].
the word has been out for a while now. but hey, we love airplanes...and star wars too, so we thought mentioning this anyway. we're talking ana – short for all nippon airways and japan's biggest carrier – and its much-publicized star wars project which will officially kick off mid-october, and preceding the release of the eagerly anticipated star wars: the force awakens late december. so, what's the deal? three ana aircraft will get a proper star wars makeover, beginning with a brand new boeing 787-9 dreamliner that'll be transformed into the r2-d2 ana jet. following a fan appreciation flight on thu - oct 17, the plane will be deployed on international routes from tokyo to vancouver, san josé, seattle, sydney, jakarta, beijing, munich and paris. coming winter, the star wars project will see an additional boeing 767-300 with a special livery fly domestic routes, followed next spring by a boeing 777-300 that'll primarily serve destinations across north america.
following last year's pop-up venue in covent garden, the dandy lab has launched a new temporary retail venue at old spitalfields market, a well-known shopping destination in the buzzing east of london with lots of contemporary shops and eateries. set up by julija bainiaksina and peter jeun ho tsang, two young entrepreneurs with a penchant for men's fashion, it's a retail concept with a curated range of products, but one that's firmly anchored in the digital realm at the same time. the dandy lab enhances the shopping experience by offering nifty services such as a virtual showroom, an interactive styling wall, smart mannequins, and last but not least, a café section replete with charging points. the look of the store is crisp and understated, featuring simple shelving, fixtures and props. an infusion of dark blue and timber flooring dipped in soft grey give the shop a contemporary edge. and just like the dandy lab's previous edition, a cherry-picked range of niche british brands and items is presented, including smyth & gibson shirts, sleek leather bags by alfie douglas, alfred & wilde's graphic prints, notebooks by sloane stationery and london terrariums' homey glass-contained plant concoctions. location: old spitalfields market, 73 brushfield street [spitalfields].
chilean artist nicolás aracena müller has taken over the premises of design boutique chamber in chelsea. using it as if it were a private studio, he created works from scraps of wood he has found across town. interestingly, the creative process was made visible through the gallery windows, and the artist freely interacted with the public. this collection, entitled atalaya, is named after a street in valparaíso where the artist lumberyard and inspired him to create furniture pieces. the first results are now presented as an exhibition, and can be seen as an autonomous exploration of contemporary design and fabrication. this showcase also happens to be the first project of aracena müller's studio, a venture which uses the urban landscape as canvas and research material. also on view is be aracena müller’s extensive set of self-fabricated hand tools, as well as a video that will act as his visual journal, offering a deeper look into the ideas behind his work [on through sep 12]. location: 515 west 23rd street [chelsea].
in the old days, jakarta's most discerning shoppers were obliged to commute abroad to get their much needed fashion fix. but this past decade the local retail scene has dramatically improved in terms of size and variety, and the indonesian govenrment's recent decision to lower the luxury tax with as much as 40%, this particular demographic is very likely to splurge more on home turf. the papilion is one of the city's few multi-brand retailers in the high-end segment which has a keen eye for global trends, carrying a curated selection of brands and items that easily appeals to the savviest of shoppers from home as well abroad.
launched in 2002 in kemang, a tony neighbourhood in south jakarta, the retailer opened two additional branches in the following years, including one at pacific place, arguably jakarta's leading luxury shopping mall. very timely anticipating the shifting retail landscape, the papilion has tweaked the format of the latter store and added ample floor space along the way. the shopping experience has been given a dramatic boost thanks to alluring new settings on the lofty ground floor premises. although the overall aesthetic is understated, a collection of well-picked furnishings add a welcoming, homey vibe that entices to leisurely browse an expanded range of tightly curated lifestyle goods for both men and women.
so, what's in store? first and foremost, there's a lot of coveted labels from the fashion galaxy, including black comme des garçons, anya hindmarch, junya watanabe, dries van noten and marni. but that's not all. complementing the balanced mix of apparel, shoes and accessories are cherry-picked items that would grace any discerning household, ranging from diptique's scented candles and fornasetti homeware, to table decorations by secondome and egizia's artsy glassware. but the cherry on the cake – pun intended – would probably be the luxurious patisserie annex tea salon where jakartans are able to recharge after their shopping spree. called t-lounge by dilmah, it's a collab between the famed sri lankan tea company and dutch patissier huize van wely. location: pacific place, jalan sudirman 52-53, shop g-20 [senayan].
baracuta's revival takes a further giant leap forward with the launch of its first store in london's soho district. the brand was founded in 1937 and went on to become a staple in wardrobes of stylish men across the planet, thanks to its iconic jacket designs. but as said, baracuta is back on track to regain its former stature with what it does best, and having a retail showcase of its own is a logical next step. the store occupies 59 sqm. [636 sq.ft.] spread over two floors of a historic red brick building. the concept of the interior design is a fusion of baracuta’s history and distinctive brand identity, taking literal cues from the the tartan lining of its renowned fraser jacket, and thus intentionally flaunting its british roots. the use of enduring materials such as ceramics, wood and copper wiring add an artisanal edge to the setting. the baracuta store presents the brand's full range of men's and women's jackets, coats and accessories, and also offers shoppers bespoke packaging. location: 14a newburgh street [soho].