moscow: kurt cobain - the last session

© jesse frohman - the last session [1993]

today marks the 21st anniversary of kurt cobain's death. an icon of american counter culture, his legacy is still very much alive, and continues to inspire obstinate young musicians across the planet. new york-based photographer jesse frohman crossed paths with cobain in 1993 when he was given an assignment to shoot the musician and his band nirvana for a british newspaper. this photo session proved to be the very last formal shoot that cobain took part in before his much-publicized suicide. last year, thomas & hudson published a selection of these shots in a book that's aptly entitled kurt cobain - the last session, and shouldn't be a surprise it has found a global audience. to commemorate cobain's passing away and his band's induction in the rock 'n roll hall of fame department store tsvetnoy central market – a nucleus of hot young labels and thus a fav destination of moscow's hipster demographic – hosts an exhibition of a wide range of these photographs by frohman on its premises [on through apr 15]. and that's not all. a special capsule collection has been released which will be available for one week only. it contains a t-shirts, iphone cases, caps, skateboards, and even surfboards with the image of cobain. and obviously the book is for sale there as well. location: tsvetnoy central market, 15 tsvetnoy bulvar [meshchanskiy].

 

© jesse frohman - the last session [1993] and tsvetnoy central market - the anniversary merchandise

osaka: saturdays surf nyc store opening

© saturdays surf nyc

japan's fascination – if not a downright obsession – with americana lifestyle is endless, and reflected in a myriad of things that entices a large demographic of savvy young consumers. but it's fashion in particular upon which their discerning focus is most fixated, and brands who know best how to translate this foreign coolness into appealing collections, not only thrive here, but also gain a highly sought-after reverence that's quite difficult to achieve. surf lifestyle-inspired label saturdays surf nyc first arrived in the land of the rising sun in early 2012, setting up its first overseas store in tokyo's daikanyama district, and although the brand was already known here and had a handful of stockists nationwide, the aforementioned opening instigated a new surge in brand popularity and recognition thanks to an equally appealing retail concept.

and now, only three years on, saturdays surf nyc opens its fourth japanese store in the heart of osaka. situated just off nagahori dori, a major thoroughfare, the store occupies 3,500 sq.ft. [325 sqm.] spread over two floors of a modern building with a façade covered in glazed blue tiles. the new york-based brand has once again pulled out all the stops to make a striking statement that further defines its coolness factor. ensuring a constant buzz and heightened interaction with the fanbase is a stylish café section on the ground floor. it's the first of its kind for saturdays surf nyc's operations in japan, and is in fact a collab with chef makoto asamoto – of jiyugaoka bakeshop fame – who has created a special menu of various bites and beverages for the establishment.

when weather permits, a row of doors opens, allowing easy access to a spartan-chic setting with tiled walls and concrete flooring. furnishings, consisting of a communal table, stools and a sturdy wooden bench, have a matching utilitarian edge. beside the staircase, which leads to the actual retail space one floor up, a concise selection of offerings is showcased, most notably a range of signature surfboards. the spartan-chic aesthetic extends to the upstairs retail space where concrete surfaces, wood and tiled walls are once again the prevailing materials. the new saturdays surf nyc store carries the brand's full range of surfboards, apparel, accessories, grooming products, art items and coffee products. location: 4-13-22 minami senba [minami senba].

© saturdays surf nyc

bangkok: super siam

© 56th studio

we talked about 56th studio, the innovative bangkok-based creative agency, in a previous post. already well-connected to its homebase and flourishing community of creative professionals, it opened a compact private gallery space on the premises of its downtown office, to further boost connectivity among each other and exchange ideas. the next event to be held there is exemplary of the new venue's engaging focus. entitled super siam, it's a colourful exhibition that opens on sat - apr 4 [7.30pm-9pm] and is inspired by the current vibrancy of an eclectic kind of thai visual culture that you see pretty much all around bangkok.

and it does so by presenting no less than 40 quirky chair designs – mind you, all designs are for sale  and a variety of other artworks. the entire presentation has been coordinated and curated by 56th studio, and showcases the designs of seven talented thai artists, designers and photographers who've all made their mark on the thai capital's intriguing creative scene: jackkrit anantakul, jirayu ko + yo yota, unchalee anantawat, peerawayt krasaesom, very kind invention, tada hengsupkul, pichan sujaritsatit, and last but not least, 56th studio's very own saran yen panya. location: the green connect, 235/10 sukhumvit soi 31 [sukhumvit].

© 56th studio

baku: harvey nichols store opening

© harvey nichols / photography: ilgar gracie

azerbaijan's vast resources of black gold have put its economy in a turbo spin and created an affluent upper crust that's eager to splurge. although this specific demographic has done so for quite a few years, they've grown weary of tedious private jet commutes to european fashion capitals and boomtowns in the gulf region, and increasingly seek opportunities to spend their hard earned petrol dollars on home turf. a steady influx of luxury brands has illustrated this trend, spawning a sizeable number of flagship stores in the country's capital of baku. the recent opening of a prestigious new outpost by harvey nichols – one of london's leading department stores – in the heart of the city, marks a new momentum in the country's retail history. situated at globus plaza, an upscale mall and nucleus of luxury brands, the size of the harvey nichols store is quite baffling.

the department store occupies no less than 110,000 sq.ft. [10,219 sqm.], spread over seven floors. all interiors have been designed by four IV, a london-based creative agency, and boasts an array of settings that aim to reflect and connect with baku's newly gained buzz and sophistication. and adding up to the upscale shopping experience at globus plaza, the new harvey nichols store features over 500 curated designer brands, ranging from womenswear, menswear, kids collections, bridal garments, perfumery and cosmetics. but that's not all. complementing the shopping experience is frankie, a lavishly decorated rooftop bar, restaurant and club – this is a hospitality formula imported from harvey nichols istanbul – where the well-heeled can recharge before their much needed next shopping spree. location: globus plaza, tbilisi prospekti 35 [nasimi].

© harvey nichols / photography: ilgar gracie

online: 13 bonaparte - collection 6

© 13 bonaparte

at the very core of david sarfati's design aesthetic is simplicity, but one that subtly hints a rich palette of personal interests and influences. sarfatie's men's label 13 bonaparte is equally quirky, going against the usual cycle of seasonal fashion, and instead proposing collections in a manner and speed that's far less dictating. other than simplicity, the timeless style of 13 bonaparte is centered on versatility and comfort, and is captured in a wide range of quality fabrics. whether you opt for casual or downright dressy, pretty much each garment delivers to the game you play. the brand has just released collection 6, its newest range of designs for the coming season, and once again it's an appealing and complete men's wardrobe that provides a wealth of options. shown here are five looks from the new collections that we particularly like. the new 13 bonaparte collection is exclusively available at the brand's very own boutique in the heart of paris, but if you reside elsewhere the garments can also easily be ordered online. store location: 2bis rue de normandie [marais].

© 13 bonaparte

melbourne: i love ugly store opening

melbourne: i love ugly store opening

© i love ugly

new zealand-based menswear brand i love ugly has recently extended its brick and mortar arm to the usa [los angeles] as well as maintaining multiple stores in nz and a long rap sheet of stockists reaching from taiwan to norway. firmly placing themselves on the global radar, it would make sense that the first australian location would pop up in the cosmopolitan capital of the country, melbourne. housed in a linear concrete and glass ground floor space on russell place, the brand stays true to their minimalist aesthetic and pragmatic design approach featuring an almost entirely onyx-coated interior, and the only deviation being the light timber floor and shelving interior.

the melbourne destination, like its predecessors, is interestingly designed in-house by the i love ugly creative team. inspried from feedback by their retail staff for functionality, then from a visual point of view, handed onto the design team for a consistent brand experience. an inspiring 21st century communal effort in both design and ergonomics to say the least. apart from producing great looking clothes, what's curious about i love ugly is an obvious application of basic design principles into an immersive brand package. key characteristics are present not only in their garments, but also integrated into architecture and the retail environment reflecting the teams deep design roots.

the idea of the melbourne space is to immerse the customer in a unique micro world, blocking the outside atmosphere. and in tandem with the brand's ethos revolving around offering a high quality and premium image at an accesible price, the russell street depot certainly achieves this. rumor has it i love ugly may land in new york and london sometime soon in the future, something which we're sure will have the locals in both style capitals salivating. location: 16-33 russell place, shop 22 [cbd].

© i love ugly

amsterdam: perihelion

© gallery vassie / jason oddy - palace of nations [1999]

gallery vassie continues to entice photo buffs with compelling shows, and the latest talented lensman given the opportunity to marvel is london-based jason oddy. held at the gallery's satellite space on the premises of fotofactory, the exhibition is entitled perihelion and presents a curated number of monumental highlights from oddy's vast body of work from the past fifteen years. this is a photographer who's fascinated by the politics of place, immersing himself in a given space for days and sometimes weeks to capture its very essence with in stunning stylized compositions. all the while, many of these photographs examine the manmade world we normally overlook or take for granted. included in this showcase is concrete spring, one of oddy's more recent series and created in the wake of the arab spring. it's a most interesting in-depth examination of the relatively unknown post-independence legacy of renowned brazilian architect oscar niemeyer in algeria [on through may 2]. location: fotofactory, keizersgracht 82, ground floor [centrum].

© gallery vassie / jason oddy - photographs from the concrete spring [2013] and playas [2004-2005] series