cape town: mulberry & prince restaurant opening

© mulberry & prince

a fixture on the shortlist of must-see cities of savvy travelers across the planet, cape town has quite a reputation to uphold. sure, it's the perfect launch pad for exploring south africa's scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife, but the city itself has been known to as a hub of la dolce vita. and it looks as if the local urban scene is picking up steam as an increasing number of sophisticated establishments are popping up in the fashionable pockets across town. a striking recent addition to cape town's hospitality scene is mulberry & prince, the restaurant of young entrepreneurs cornel mostert and cynthia rivera.

respectively hailing from cape town and new york city, the duo met while studying at the prestigious culinary institute of america, and following experiential stints at renowned eateries in both the u.s. and europe, they decided to join forces and try it on their own on these sunny shores. mulberry & prince, named after two streets in new york city's soho district, is situated in the buzzing central business district, and features a contemporary interior by local practice atelier interiors. the setting oozes the neighbourhood's effortless cool with distinct south african elements and colours blended in.

the palette is eclectic yet cohesive, comprising of stained glass, dirty pinks, lush velvets and a mix of custom-made and modern furniture. adding an artsy touch to the premises are abstract paintings by south african artist kurt pio, and which happen to be for sale. al fresco mingling? check. a matching courtyard is readily available for relaxation out in the open. not surprisingly, mulberry & prince's menu is equally cosmopolitan, serving a modern take on american cuisine. an array of small to mid-size dishes incite culinary delight, adventurously pairing flavours of different cuisines that mostert and rivera have come across during their many travels abroad. location: 12 pepper street [cbd]. 

© mulberry & prince

stockholm: fablab store opening

© fablab

based in stockholm, set designer and stylist johan svenson has earned his spurs in the realm of fashion and advertising, collaborating with both leading swedish and foreign publications. svenson has now expanded operations and set up shop in södermalm, an area of the swedish capital where shopping has gone to an adventurous next level by way of an increasing number of quirky new shops. the creative's own venture, named fablab, certainly adds up to the neighbourhood's growing reputation. the store occupies a compact ground floor unit of a lowrise 1930s building by architect carl åkerblad, and features an interior that's as equally austere as the façade. 

the walls are tiled up – mind you, it's a retained element from the milkshop that was previously housed here – and paired with factory tiles in a red brownish hue. furnishings are simple but befitting fablab's ambition to become the city's mini-hub of cool design and lifestyle products, featuring custom-made modular displays and glass shelving. fablab truly is a labour of love, stocking a rotating collection of items cherry-picked by svenson himself. many brands are exclusive to the store and can't be found anywhere else in the country. currently on the shelves are coveted items such as knitted blankets by eley kishimoto, hôtel costes fragrances, monkey lamps by selettiyüli cosmetics and japanese bath linen. location: bondegatan 7 [södermalm].

© fablab

dubai: play restaurant opening

© gatserelia design

a boomtown for many decades, dubai has gained its fair share of glamour, luxury, and last but not least, jaw-dropping superlatives. it's a bubbling oasis that continues to evolve with a slew of alluring lifestyle options few other cities can match. in the latter category falls play, an upscale restaurant that opened a little while ago on the premises of the h dubai, a five-star property in the heart of the city. perched on the lofty 36th and 37th floors, the dining spot obviously is a seamless extension of the hotel's aesthetic, featuring an equally plush interior by beirut-based designer gregory gatserelia.

largely defined by marble and brass, the design is contemporary with clean lines and smooth surfaces, but it also boasts an exuberant edge that's unmistakably middle eastern. the space is dotted with custom-made fixtures and furnishing, including suspended brass lanterns hanging in space, beautifully contrasting wall, ceiling and floor mosaics that mimic dubai's dynamic skyline – mind you, the design is conceptualized as such that the sweeping city views the location form an integral part of the dynamic design – and a sculptural shooter bar modeled after the profile of the human face and adorned with lamps in the shape of pointing fingers.

offering guests a full night out on the town, play is an haute lifestyle playgound, featuring a bar area, a dining section, and for the most discerning of the dining demographic, a hi-tech infused v.i.p. area with art déco-inspired fixtures and furnishings. so, what's cooking at play? mirroring dubai's unique blend of east and west, a gourmet menu concocted by celebrated chef reif othman offers a wide variety of dishes inspired by mediterranean and asian flavours, and make the restaurant a destination in its own right for discerning palates. location: the h dubai, 1 sheikh zayed road, 36th + 37th floors [al jaffiliya].

© gatserelia design

havana: work in progress

© chanel / photography: olivier saillant

no longer in the shadow of global politics, cuba is the alluring new frontier, and along with this newly acquired stature, its famously scenic capital of havana takes center stage. coinciding with the french month of culture which kicked off last weekend the city, iconic french fashion house chanel will show its 2016/2017 cruise collection here today. in tandem with this much-publicized event, that'll undoubtedly bring high-profile guests to the local scene, the brand's creative director karl lagerfeld has brought along an accompanying exhibition. entitled obra en proceso or 'work in progress' in plain english, the showcase is held at factoría habana, and presents a sizeable body of work that represent lagerfeld's main interests: fashion, architecture and landscapes. interestingly, it also includes more than 200 photographs that lagerfeld snapped himself, and explores his great diversity of subjects, approaches and techniques [on through may 12]. location: factoría habana, calle o'reilly 308 [centro].

© chanel / karl lagerfeld's works on display at the obra en proceso exhibition in havana

shanghai: triple-major store renewal

© triple-major

when keeping a finger on the pulse of fashion as a retailer, it's essential to update the shop environs from time to time. well, that's exactly what triple-major has done with its outpost in shanghai. situated in the city's taikang lu neighbourhood, the boutique has long been the go-to address for those in search of forward fashion styles from across the planet. all three floors now feature an uncluttered, gallery-like aesthetic, captured by whitewashed walls and polished concrete flooring that mimicks the façade of the building. fixtures and furnishings are sparse, consisting of a variety of sleek clothing racks, shelving and mannequins, while cherry-picked artworks and props add a homey vibe.

a chunky vintage japanese slot machine adds a whimsical note to the shopping environment. the renewed triple-major store continues to stock brands that are hard to find in the city, if not the entire country, and currently includes men's and women's apparel items, shoes and accessories by coveted names such as damir doma, walter van beirendonck, lemaire, ffixxed studios and henrik vibskov. complementing the curated range of coveted garments is a sharp selection of international art and lifestyle magazines. location: 25 shaoxing lu [taikang lu].

© triple-major