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

tel aviv: gathering

© design museum holon / photography: itay benit

in today's industrialised modern society mass production and consumption has not only erased the human scope, but also the necessary perimeters to safeguard sustainability and thus the future of our planet. many in the global creative community have shown a disdain for a boring global market coupled with a fear of the virtualisation of society, and this has inspired them to create work that is linked to the humanisation of the making process and the contextualisation of a more responsible lifestyle. as a result, craft has become one of the major movements of our time and can be understood as the repetition of skills that belong to our common past, exuding a sense of belonging and continuity. currently on at design museum holon in suburban tel aviv is gathering - from domestic craft to contemporary process, an exhibition curated by li edelkoort and philip fimmano.

ths interesting show presents contemporary design themes that reflect traditional domestic crafts - think pleating, draping, layering, ribboning, smocking, wrapping, folding, needlework, felting, quilting, and yes, even baking - in an effort to remain connected to authenticity. but the show has an interesting catch, as the showcased work is by designers who've applied nifty new technologies and techniques to make bold creative statements that add to the existing design idiom. a special section of the exhibition explores issey miyake's 132 5. women's collection. presented at the exhibition are works by some of the planet's top creative talents, including patricia urquiola, tord boontje, erwan + ronan bouroullec, tokujin yoshioka and fredrikson stallard [on through oct 25]. location: 8 derech pinhas eilon [holon].

© design museum holon / photography: itay benit

kuala lumpur: aesop store opening

© aesop

following their collab on a store at kuala lumpur's lot 10 shopping mall earlier this year, aesop has once again enlisted melbourne-based kerstin thompson architects to create a signature store in the malaysian capital. situated at bangsar village II, the new extension of one of the city's other popular shopping malls, it features a store design that takes cues from traditional local architecture in an interesting way. locally sourced timber louvres have been repurposed timber as shelving units for product display, while timber slats dipped in a pale pink hue dress the walls, referencing the structure and palette of many local shopfronts and domestic façades. a cement sales cum demonstration sink counter is prominently situated in the centre. the new aesop store carries the australian brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: bangsar village II, jalan telawi 1, shop ugf11 [bangsar baru].

© aesop

hong kong: pop

© above second / tristan eaton - eddie vedder

it's an irrefutable fact that mural art and graffiti were the first true democratizations of fine arts in contemporary culture. what started out as an underground and almost anarchic form of expression has now been fully embraced by renowned museums and art galleries across the planet. as such, the works of these artists exemplify this generation’s transition of mural art and graffiti to the established gallery space. it so happens that above second, a savvy little gallery in hong kong that's well-connected to the global urban art community, is dedicating its upcoming summer exhibition to some of that generation's most brilliant stars. opening fri - jul 18 [7pm-10pm] on the gallery's premises in sai ying pun is pop, a showcase of a range of artworks by various leading artists influenced by pop culture, and which aims to capture the diverse colours and eclectic styles of the streets into the gallery. the show's participating artists include tristan eaton, cyrcle, okuda, joram roukes and takahiro komura. location: 9 first street [sai ying pun].

© above second / cyrcle - trials [top] and joram roukes - line backer [bottom]

new york: levi's commuter workspace

© levi's / photography: jorge quinteros

finding appealing new ways to connect with its following iconic denim brand levi's has launched a levi's commuter workspace in williamsburg. the very first of a series, it's a hybrid creative hub that serves as a gathering place, a resource center for avid cyclists and a shop stocked with the latest levi's commuter apparel. the temporary space boasts a low-key, utilitarian setting that's thoughtfully designed at the same time, using a range of compatible materials. the launch party took place earlier this week, indulging attendees with a complimentary bike valet, wash and tune-ups, goldsprints competitions to win a trophy tokyobike, complimentary beer and grilled cheese, and special gig by beach fossils and a sinkane dj set. mind you, a program of cool events is scheduled for the duration of pop-up space  [open through jul 26]. following this opening levi's is to launch levi's commuter workspace editions next - and almost simulateously - in both los angeles and london. location: 261 metropolitan avenue [williamsburg north].

© levi's / photography: jorge quinteros

los angeles: superm fruit

© please do not enter / brian kenny

in a previous post we talked about please do not enter, a new retail space in flourishing downtown los angeles geared towards urban males with a penchant for the finer things in life. next to carrying a tightly edited range of apparel, accessories, fragrances, design + art objects and art books, the store hosts rotating art events as well. opening thu - jul 17 [4pm-9pm] is superm fruit, the first west coast solo exhibition of slava mogutin and brian kenny a.k.a. superm, the new york-based russian-american art duo. joining forces in 2004, each artist emerged from completely different backgrounds. siberian-born mogutin was exiled from russia for his queer writings and activism and became the first russian citizen to be granted political asylum in the u.s. on the grounds of homophobic persecution.

kenny was born on an american military base in germany, trained as a competitive gymnast, and studied opera at oberlin conservatory. presented here at please do not enter is a body of the duo's recent works, including photography, large-scale drawings, collages and video. during the opening mogutin will additionally present and sign copies of his first book of writings in english, entitled food chain, while on jul 31 a video project - commissioned by please do not enter and produced by superm during their stay in sunny los angeles - will be screened. location: 523 west 6th street, suite 1229 [downtown].

© please do not enter / and slava mogutin

berlin: denham store opening

© denham

we talked about denham's first retail presence in berlin in a previous post. that was only six months ago, and now the amsterdam-based denim brand has permanently planted a flag in the german capital. located on the very same premises as the pop-up store, denham shifted its retail operations from the semi-hidden courtyard to a 125 sqm. [1,346 sq.ft.] premium streetside space on the münzstrasse shopping strip with a proper entrance of its own. the interior is inspired by denham's flagship stores in amsterdam and tokyo, featuring signature retail fixtures and fittings, and blending contemporary fixtures with rich vintage elements. a special feature in-store feature is the brand's sewing repair concept, dubbed the denham service co., which also includes an additional jeans washing program. the new denham store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's denim offerings. location: münzstrasse 21 [mitte].

© denham

online: work relation

© adidas

are football and marina abramović an odd couple? well, not to adidas. the sportswear brand has teamed up with one of the planet's most influential contemporary artists to create a short video that celebrates the brand’s partnership and support of the 2014 soccer world cup in brazil. this three-minute film captures the first ever re-staging of abramović’s iconic 1970s performance work relation - which focuses on commitment, teamwork and the strength found in togetherness - reimagined through the lens of the soccer tournament. this project marks adidas and abramović’s first project together and aims to demonstrate the many parallels that exist between the artist’s piece and the play of soccer, if not any team sport. the collab is initiated by dirk schönberger, creative director of adidas' sport style division and who is clearly a fan, adding an interesting and unexpected edge to the brand itself. click here to view the collab video.

© adidas

copenhagen: llama restaurant opening

© llama

copenhagen boasts a range of excellent restaurants, and some even with global fame. but despite the high standard of the local culinary scene it could do with a little more diversity as found in plenty of other european capitals. nicely filling the void is llama, the newest concoction of danish hospitality group cofoco. they've collaborated with designer lars larsen, creative advisor jonas hartz, and partners of the big agency jakob lange and bjarke ingels, a dining spot with a south american edge that seats no less than 180 guests. previously a dark basement space, it has now been transformed into an appealing dining spot that has literally opened up to encapsulate the happening downtown buzz. walls and floors are lined clad in a wild mosaic of handcrafted mexican cement tiles, it's very much a playful yet meticulously crafted mash-up of iconic design influences from south america with nordic cool.

black furniture, a vibrant green wall, and brass light fixtures not only create both a spatial configuration conducive to linked experiences throughout the restaurant, but also provide modern visual references of calm and balance. llama features three separate dininge spaces, with the bar as its beating heart. the kitchen is headed by chef duo carsten sand and peter yung jacobsen who've created a menu of delectable meat, poultry and fish dishes. these are heavily inspired by the many regions of the vast continent, but they're also rooted in the tradition of nordic cuisine and at the same time blend in scandinavian products and recipes. location: lille kongensgade 14 [indre by].

© llama

hong kong: pmq opening

© pmq / photography: albert poon

hong kong's pmq - short for police married quarters - is a 1950s bauhaus-style compound in the heart of the city's central district. originally the site of the so-called central school - the first government school to provide upper primary and secondary western education to the public, and which marked a new phase in the development of public education in the former british crown colony - the school was severely damaged during world war II and was eventually demolished to make way for the apartment complex as it's known today, providing accommodation for hong kong's married rank and file police officers. the buildings were vacated in 2000 and it took a little while to give it a new purpose. after an extensive two-year conservation and revitalisation scheme, pmq has now officially reopened as the city's new creative hub with a highly ambitious set-up.

by setting up pmq, the local government aims to increase appreciation of the value created by design and innovation, while also raising the profile of hong kong's high-quality brands in the international market. the land and buildings remain property of the local government, but pmq's entrepreneurial structure has been forged by stanley chu, lawrence fung and leong ka-chai, a savvy business trio with a successful track record of urban projects. the old apartments in the complex have been converted into more than 100 small, affordable spaces to be used by a tightly curated number of creative companies, art galleries, artisans, boutiques and restaurants.

in contrast with hong kong's usually steep rental fees, the ones here have been kept low for the coming two years. but tenants are expected to maintain an open-door policy for the public and stay open seven days a week as to emphasize pmq's new status as a creative hub rather than an ordinary retail mall. the venue has created quite a buzz in the city, while syncing its activities with the influential and recently held art basel hong hong event, it has also garnered considerable international attention too. next to the services, activities and offerings of its tenants, pmq features a rotating programme of art installations and events on its premises. location: 35 aberdeen street [central].

© pmq / photography: albert poon