amsterdam: one cannot get fingerprints from a rock

© barry reigate / reflex amsterdam

london-based artist barry reigate [1971] studied at both camberwell college of arts and goldsmiths. a true exponent of the current zeitgeist, reigan is known to blend cartoon elements with bold graphics that aim to portray his critical view on current times. but it's not just works on paper that he crafts, sculptures are also very much a fixture in his highly eclectic creative output. opening on sat - oct 4 [5pm-7pm] at reflex amsterdam is reigate's first exhibition in the low countries. wittily entitled one cannot get fingerprints from a rock, the showcase presents a new body of work. of the 15 paintings on display a few are populated by a cartoon wolf figure, a talismanic figure that recalls the three little pigs fairy-tale and other childhood memories, and a typical reigate motif. although merely whimsical at first, the series feature composite images that insist on multiple interpretations. location: weteringschans 79a [centrum].

© barry reigate / reflex amsterdam

toronto: holt renfrew men store opening

© holt renfrew

as things are heating up in canada's expanding luxury market, retailer holt renfrew plays a trump card by opening a dedicated men's department store in the country's leading and most dynamic shopping destination. situated on toronto's golden mile, the newly launched holt renfrew men occupies a lofty retail space of 16,500 sq.ft. [1,533 sqm.] spread over two floors of a lglass-encased modern structure. the store has been designed by new york-based architecture + interior design practice janson goldstein and has resulted in a welcoming modern setting with a distinct testosterone edge.

carefully selected modern and vintage furniture pieces blend into a backdrop of sleek surfaces, impressive slabs of mirrors and shiny finishes. unique touches, such as fitting room walls upholstered in suiting fabric, and rotating installations of art and cultural objects, all curated by interior designer tommy smythe, add further character to the retail space. holt renfrew men is conceptualized as a one-stop shop for savvy male shoppers, and accordingly its offerings encompass an entire men's wardrobe, even bespoke tailoring. the department store has teamed up with walter beauchamp tailors, and offers all the services and perks that come with top sartorial men's fashion.

mind you, this includes luxurious shopping suites with a fully personalized experience, complimentary suit alterations, valet service, shoe shine, a cobbler for shoe repairs, on-site monogramming and, oh my, a doorman. and we haven't even talked about holt renfrew men's collections yet. the store is packed to the guilds with apparel, shoe and accessories collections by leading names in the galaxy of men's fashion styles - be it formal, not so formal or forward - and includes illustrious names such as neil barrett, bottega veneta, paul smith, valextra and gucci. location: 100 bloor street west [yorkville].

© holt renfrew

san francisco: @large

© for-site foundation / photography: paul jürmann

we can't help thinking of the odd coincidental timing of the current uprising in hong kong and dissident artist ai wei wei's much-publicized exhibition that's taking place halfway across the planet on alcatraz. entitled @large, it's held across four spaces of the island's notorious penitentiary facility, and is a compelling showcase which explores human rights and freedom of expression. ai wei wei has created site-specific installations which have all been inspired by the island's historic significance as a military fortress, federal prison, a site of native-american heritage and protest, and lately as a national park. the works on display not only raise questions about the aforementioned issues, but also reflect the artist's personal experiences. ai wei wei has been confined to remain within the city limits of his hometown of beijing and is prohibited to travel abroad [on through apr 26]. to visit the exhibition on alcatraz island, click [here] for ticket information + ferry details. location: new industries building [alcatraz].

© for-site foundation / photography: paul jürmann

london: mondrian london hotel opening

© morgans hotel group

there's no denying london is one of only a handful of truly global hubs. accordingly, the city plays a significant role in almost every imaginable field, from banking to fashion, cultural treasures, trade, and of course in the political arena. yes, the british capital is a force to be reckoned with. and we haven't even begun to talk about its sex appeal that has spawned a multi-faceted and continuously evolving lifestyle playground, one that often serves as a source for initiatives elsewhere on the planet. the hospitality scene is very much an exponent of the local buzz and innovation, and london continues to see a multitude of high-profile  openings, the latest being the swanky mondrian london.

a member of the overtly designy morgans hotel group, the hotel obviously comes with the chain's bells and whistles, and is like a wet dream for design aficionados. it's situated in the sea containers house, a colossal 1970s structure on the south bank of the thames, and built by american architect warren platner. originally designed as a luxury hotel, the building’s brief was never fulfilled and it instead was used as office. among the occupants was shipping company sea container from which the building now draws its name. all 16 floors have been fully renovated by design research studio, the company of lauded british designer tom dixon.

as a nod to the building's history, dixon's interior design draws inspiration from platner’s work, including the mighty cruise liners that the american designed. contemporary splendour kicks in from the moment guests arrive at the mondrian london. a giant copper clad wall, inspired by the hull of a ship, runs from outside the building and glamorously ushering them to the hotel lobby within. the ground floor is vast and also accommodates a restaurant + bar with sweeping river views. this warm-hued metal is featured in various elements across the premises, and culminating in a happening rooftop cocktail bar.

each of mondrian london's 359 bedrooms features a rich palette with a beautiful range of custom-designed furnishings. obviously, these lavish pads come with all the comfort and nifty tech amenities that modern travellers require. equally minute attention to detail has been given to the property's public spaces. the aforementioned ground floor restaurant, called sea containers, boasts a chic yet welcoming setting inspired by the golden age of transatlantic travel. this is the domain of chefs seamus mullen and luke rayment whose collective expertise has spawned a menu that's not only seasonally contemplated, but also globally responsible, and using only the very best of locally sourced ingredients.

adjacently situated is dandelyan, a swish and happening bar, created by award-winning bar impresario ryan chetiyawardana a.k.a. mr lyan, and his fans know that adventurous killer cocktails are plentiful wherever he hosts. the rooftop bar is designed with references to an ornate art deco-period ballroom, while the bar itself features a state-of-the-art lighting installation to give the place a glamourous edge. stunning views? but of course. and as the good life can take its toll, the mondrian london features adequate options in that department as well. there's a well-equipped fitness center for those who like to break sweat with various exercises, and the so-called agua bath house + spa if a more soothing approach is required amidst a stunningly designed setting. additional facilities include a 61-seater screening room and a number of flexible break out and meeting rooms. location: sea containers house, 20 upper ground [southwark].

© morgans hotel group

tokyo: 1ldk aoyama hotel opening

© 1ldk

contrary to its name this isn't a place where to lay down your head, but another quirky retail concept of 1ldk, a company named after a japanese real estate abbreviation [1 living, dining, kitchen] with stores conceptualized from such a perspective. what started with a single shop in naka meguro has grown into an influential chain, and 1ldk aoyama hotel is the company's second opening in the tokyo's upscale aoyama area. situated a low-rise structure around the corner from busy kotto dori, the shop features a lobby-inspired ground floor, replete with reception desk and lounge where shoppers can sit back and relax.

one floor up, 1ldk aoyama hotel features a series of rooms, divided by open frameworks of wooden beams. the backdrop of whitewashed walls is well-lit by halogen lamps that dangle from the ceiling in a grid formation. furnished with wooden tables, chairs and shelving, the shop oozes a quirky, welcoming charm similar to the other 1ldk shops. the offerings are tightly edited and include men's and women's apparel, accessories, bags, eyewear and homeware from both japan and abroad. the brand list 1ldk aoyama hotel includes labels such as universal products, s.e.h kelly, buddyoptical, cinoh and auguste-presentation. location: 6-8-18 minami aoyama [aoyama].

© 1ldk

amsterdam: the omnipollo

© kuvva gallery

karl grandin is a multi-tasking creative based in stockholm. next to illustration he has dipped his toe in many pools, and is one of the founders of global denim sensation cheap monday. grandin works with a variety of different techniques and artistic expressions, and his output has been extensively featured. since 2011 he has worked with henok fentie on omnipollo, an award winning brewery project on home turf. currently on display at amsterdam's kuvva gallery is the omnipollo, an exhibition that's partially inspired by the swede's niche beer brand. on display are a series of illustrations that take cues from old masters such as hieronymus bosch, as well as punk and skate subcultures. the presentation includes a giant tipi, designed and decorated by grandin himself. mind you, the artist has brewed a special sour-wheat beer for the show with raspberries and key lime. it's aptly called karl framboise and is for sale at the gallery [on through nov 3]. location: pazzanistraat 33 [staatsliedenbuurt].

© kuvva gallery

online: wings + horns x danner mountain light boot

© wings + horns

rain or shine, the great outdoors beckons those with an adventurous spirit. vancouver-based apparel brand wings + horns and footwear label danner from portland have such a following, and it's no surprise the two have teamed up. on the occasion of the canadian brand's 10th anniversary they're indulging the following of both with a specially tweaked and limited edition version of the latter's mountain light boot. the boot’s upper is made from horween cavalier chromexcel leather and is 100% waterproof, while the gore-tex lining allows your feet to breathe. footbed support is provided by the airthotic half-length, molded polyurethane instep that cups the heel and supports the arch of the foot. the wings + horns x danner collab boot is available at the brands' respective stores in vancouver and portland, but can also be purchased online.

© wings + horns