global: harmony a/w 2014 collection

© harmony

david obadia is one of the two mavericks behind popular french streetwear brand bwgh. while this brand appeals to a predominantly young demographic, obadia hasset his sights on developing a new label with a more minimalist edge that caters to a slightly more mature demographic. aptly called harmony - indeed what's in a name? yet it beautifully captures the focus to create contemporary pieces - its first collection, consisting of both menswear and womenswear, is to drop in stores as of next month. harmony's a/w 2014 collection draws inspiration from a quirky urban blend that includes barnett newman's abstract paintings, american sport apparel, business suiting, and last but not least, people in the street. the collection is very much a complete wardrobe, featuring a wide range of functional, timeless pieces, crafted in a variety of natural fabrics and with subtle detailing, that allow you to create a style of your own for any given occasion. shown here are six looks from harmony's inaugural a/w 2014 collection that we particularly like.

© harmony

berlin: no wódka concept store opening

© no wódka / photography: zajaczkowski

berlin is one of those cities where the local shopping scene is full of surprises. it may be far less affluent than say, hamburg or munich, but the german capital outshines both on the creative front, spawning a continuous flow of quirky and unique retail initiatives. one of the latest of such gems to have opened is the humourously named no wódka, a concept store dedicated to contemporary design from neighbouring poland. with its name founder aleksandra kozlowska intentionally pokes fun at the associations of cheap cigarettes and vodka that most germans have when thinking of her home country, by offering a sophisticated range of polish design. obviously, kozlowska is well-connected and as such she's able to tap right into the budding polish design scene. warsaw-based design agency kontent was enlisted to create a fitting setting for her curated goods. 

no wódka occupies a 86 sqm. [926 sq.ft.] retail space with a slight utilitarian aesthetic. consists of a continuously morphing front section and a permanent configuration in the back of the store. the setting near the entrance features movable furnishings, such as a counter, cabinets and a shop window installation. the decor in the back is a tad more industrial, featuring steel scaffold beams and plywood platforms that serve as a series of showcase settings. as said, no wódka exclusively carries polish design, ranging from fashion to homewares and furniture pieces. additionally, the store will host a program of rotating design exhibitions of polish designers and artists. location: pappelallee 10 [prenzlauer berg].

© no wódka / photography: zajaczkowski

são paulo: design house

© design house - the exhibition venue

são paulo's annual design weekend is returns aug 14-17, and the city is abuzz with interesting events for professionals and design aficionados alike. one of the many presentations is design house, an experimental platform that showcases contemporary design from both brazil and abroad. for this year, creative agency and event organizer diald has decided to focus its gaze exclusively on homegrown talent, presented at a striking 1980s mansion by brazilian architect ruy ohtake in the city's vila madalena neighbourhood. themed multi-utility, the design house showcase features 10 leading designers and design studios who all belong to brazil's new generation of creatives. they will create work on the premises as if being in a residency, not only allowing visitors to view their creative process and production, but also establishing a cross-pollination of sorts between the designers and their respective disciplines. the list of participants includes andrea bandoni, sao arquitetura, paulo goldstein, mariana ramos + ricardo innecco and estúdio ninho. local practice noono has been commissioned to design an site-specific installation at the forefront of the house, conceptualized with this year's theme in mind. location: rua professor nova gomes 228 [vila madalena].

© design house

tokyo: white mountaineering x tacoma fuji records

© white mounatineering

japanese apparel brand white mountaineering has struck a collab with with tacoma fuji records, a cult tokyo-based with a penchant for cool music. the two brands share a love for urban culture and style, and it isn't surprising the two have come closer by way of a special pop-up store that is opening today [6pm] on the premises of white mountaineering's flagship store in daikanyama. the temporary store will be stocked with a limited edition range of collab items, in addition to a selection of tacoma fuji records very own t-shirts and caps with hybrid graphics by both japanese and international designers that reference subcultures, sports and obviously music [open through aug 17]. make sure to drop by the white mountaineering store when in town for some trophy hunting. pop-up store location: takehisa building, 2-7 sarugaku-cho, ground floor [daikanyama].

© white mountaineering

taipei: aesop store opening

© aesop

a mature market on many levels, shoppers in taiwan know how to appreciate sophisticated goods. it was just a matter of time for aesop to raise its profile in the island nation, and now it has. the melbourne-based cosmetics brand has just launched a new signature store in taipei. situated in a ground floor unit at breeze center, one of the capital city's leading malls, the minimalist store interior has been designed by aesop's very own design department. the setting features a monochromatic off-white palette that intentionally evokes a sense of serenity amidst the bustle of the retail corridor outside. a striking feature is the curvilinear wall wrapped in pei pu, a locally sourced cotton with a rough weave. a nook nestled behind the wall allows shoppers to sit back and recharge in sleek chairs designed by japanese designer naoto fukasawa. as with all aesop stores, a demonstration sink forms a prominent part of the interior. here it's a version in white enamel, incorporated in a central island counter. the new aesop stores carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: breeze center, 39 fuxing south road, ground floor [songshan].

© aesop

amsterdam: are we strangers now?

© alex simpson

alex simpson is a london-based artist who has dipped her toe in ceramics, painting and printmaking. a graduate from the university of brighton and currently attending the prestigious royal academy of arts, simpson's work meticulously explores a liminal space full of possibilities and encounters, driven by a poetic and sometimes ominous imagination: rivers run backwards, mountains recede, and children play god. through her work the viewer looks toward the centre of creation. exhibiting for the first time in amsterdam, simpson's show are we strangers now? opens at the oz project space on fri - aug 8 [4pm-10pm]. the exhibition presents a new body of work, featuring paintings, ceramics, prints and also sound, all in exploration of the aforementioned allmighty liminal space. please note that after the opening event, the show can be accessed by appointment only. location: oudezijds achterburgwal 66 [centrum].

© alex simpson - husband and wife [top] and let him hide his face [bottom]

bangkok: yim huai khwang hostel opening

© yim huai khwang / photography: wison tungthunya

bangkok's appeal is unique and multi-faceted, and combined with its excellent geo-location has made it the ideal gateway for many to what beckons in the asian hinterland. still hugely popular despite some skirmishes on the local political front, the thai capital continues to develop a hospitality, leisure and retail infrastructure that ranks among the best in the region. and we're not talking high-end establishments only, as there have been a slew of recent openings that cater to visitors on a budget and a keen eye for aesthetics. a good example of such creative hospitality is yim huai khwang, a boutique hostel which opened a little while ago. located in the city's bustling huay khwang district, it occupies a 1970s structure which was originally built as an office. yim huai khwang is an initiative of chotirat and peung apiwattanapong, an audacious young couple who quit their day jobs in pursuit of a dream to establish a hospitality brand.

the duo enlisted bangkok-based practice supermachine studio to fully redesign the 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] premises into a contemporary 16-room hostel. the aim of the redevelopment was to give the building a fresh look, one that would be different from what it used to be, but while retaining a number of the structure's original elements. the exterior is covered in bamboo panels - all hand-made and usually applied in small houses in rural areas of thailand - and are inserted behind the existing sunshade to make a contrasting background and emphasize the form of the existing architecture. additionally, bamboo walls also act as defining frames of the hostel rooms, providing privacy between each unit. this juxtapositional approach extends to yim huai khwang interior where it unfolds in different concepts. the marble reception counter, a remnant of the previous renter, has been attached to the new collage wall made of old fashion and design magazines.

separated by a giant clock clad with colourful toys, the guest dining area is an all-white space clad in vintage tiles. as a playful contrast, the public area is a myriad of vibrant colours. there's a turquoise stair well, an orange hall on the second floor, and on the third there's a corridor dipped in a bright yellow. the design of the rooms is kept simple, using a palette of white and natural wood colours that visually enlarge the spaces. bunk beds are combined and built in capsule-like units to add little more privacy. next to a 4-bed dorm and a 6-bed dorm, yim huai khwang also features 8 private double rooms available for those who require a little more privacy during their stay. location: 70 thanon pracharat bamphen [huay khwang].

© yim huai khwang / photography: wison tungthunya

london: dalston anatomy

© lorenzo vitturi - plastic blue #1 + #2 from the series dalston anatomy [2013]

lorenzo vitturi is an italian photographer based in london and milan. interested in the evolution of urban life in general and the transitioning of specific neighbourhoods in particular, vitturi focused on ridley road market in london's dalston neighbourhood - an area which has seen an accelerated gentrification of late - to capture its very essence through photography before it's lost forever. aptly entitled dalston anatomy, this series documents this soon-to-be extinct urban environment in a rather unique way, arranging found objects, photographs and discarded market materials in often exuberant compositions. currently on display at the photographers' gallery, these are combined with street scenes and portraits of local characters, creating a unique testament. and while vitturi's work may seem colourful and exciting, it does have a certain reflective edge to it, making you ponder over the way we create, consume and whether or not we should decide to preserve [on through oct 19]. location: 16-18 ramillies street [soho].

© lorenzo vitturi - hairy orange, yellow balloons and rotten camote #2, pink #1 + #2 and yellow chalk #1 + #2 [2013]

beijing: i.t beijing market store renewal

© i.t beijing market

only four-and-a-half years after launching i.t beijing market - the hugely popular concept store collaboration of leading hong kong-based retailer i.t and comme des garçons - has been given a major interior make-over, one that aims to keep the chinese capital's increasingly savvy hipster community totally mesmerized. under the supervision of comme des garçons' creative director rei kawakubo and with the assistance of artists scott hove and clemens behr, a series of cool new spaces across the store's four floors and specific fixtures have been created in the store that fully comply with the brand's quirky creative vision. while kawakubo has supervised the design of each space, hove and scott have contributed a great deal to specific settings. in the first three spaces are the domain of oakland-based hove who has made his mark with pieces inspired by his cakeland series.

these are artworks shaped as traditional cakes, replete with ornate decorations but also with a highly sinister edge. behr has crafted a hybrid dressing room that's emblematic of his multi-dimensional geometric style. an added exhibition space, entitled tunnel, adds to i.t beijing market's drive to further engage its clientele with the brand's quirky focus on creativity. i.t beijing market continues to feature some of the planet's most innovative and influential high-end fashion brands, and has now created an appealing new retail platform for the next years to come. the store renewal was celebrated with a proper party, attended by a delegation of i.t dignitaries, comme des garçons' c.e.o. adrian joffe and some of beijing's usual red carpet faces. location: sanlitun village, sanlitun lu, area n5, building 1-4 [sanlitun].

© i.t beijing market

online: wings + horns x george cox

© wings + horns

while you're enjoying summer's glorious climes, fall and winter already loom on the horizon, and with it the necessity to plan for a fitting wardrobe. vancouver-based apparel brand wings + horns comes just in time with a stylish footwear proposition it has created in collab with british shoemaking company george cox. the latter's desert creeper boot has been masterfully tweaked, combining wings+horns’ signature 4-needle stitching with george cox’s famous woven creeper toe. mind you, the model was first introduced in 1949, and the construction of this collab shoe is as timeless as its design. the updated desert creeper features goodyear welting, a natural crepe sole and a custom co-branded insole, and each pair of boots is handcrafted at the george cox workshop in the u.k. where it was established in 1906. the desert creeper is available at the wings + horns flagship store in vancouver, but if you reside elsewhere it's also possible to snap up a pair online

© wings + horns