paris: the gift to be simple

© lidewij edelkoort / photography: anastasija mass – by hands [2017] by friso wiersma

for a leading trend forecaster such as lidewij edelkoort, sniffing around for the next big thing merely is one way that proverbial pot of gold. back in the 1980s, edelkoort put together exhibitions in paris to keep in better touch with the creative scene. and now, after three decades, there's a full circle moment as the insightful dutchwoman has opened edelkoort gallery, a new exhibition space on the premises of her office in the french capital. the focus of the venue will be on design, arts and crafts, and basically anything striking that signals the current zeitgeist. on top of that, the gallery space will host a rotation of events, including the forecasting agency's seasonal presentations, a heartwear pop-up store, and public debates about the anti_fashion movement. the gallery's inaugural show is entitled the gift to be simple, is a collab effort of edelkoort and her partners philip fimmano and françois épin, and is part of a programme of shows curated with a keen eye for current events and tomorrow’s leading trends.

vintage works are displayed alongside emerging designers to emphasize the strength of a continuous dialogue in design, additionally, edelkoort's own design collection will also be dissected and shown at intervals. but let's go back to the inaugural show, shall we? as the title already implies, it presents curated examples of sobriety in design, and in this case, seven contemporary designers alongside vintage shaker and modernist furniture from private collections around europe. edelkoort has been observing the emergence of new shaker-inspired design for several years, noting that in chaotic and fearful times, humanity will naturally look for answers and find solace in simplicity. the selected designers are atelier van lieshout, gali cnaani, floris hovers, georges nakashima, hans wegner and friso wiersma [on through mar 18]. location: 30 boulevard st.-jacques [montparnasse].

© lidewij edelkoort / photography: anastasija mass – by hands [2017] by friso wiersma

seoul: andersson bell store opening

© creative studio unravel

although this flagship store opened its doors a little while ago, we think it's still worthwhile mentioning for a number of reasons. situated opposite the lush greens of dosan park in the tony neighbourhood of cheongdam in seoul, it's the very first retail space of andersson bell, a young korean fashion brand with a growing cult following on home turf and abroad, and bears witness of its success. the brand commissioned local architecture practice creative studio unravel to create a matching interior for the 108 sqm. [1,163 sq.ft.] space, and the result is one that pairs sleek understatement with a bold artistic element. the objective was to create an empty meditative-like environment, and this has been achieved by a palette of polished, fabrics and sobre colours. the store is divided into different sections, each presenting part of the andersson bell collection in a setting defined by displayed artworks which are a collab of contemporary korean artists le dongil and cho gi seok with fabrics manufacturer fivecomma. in a separate room clad with mirrors, the brand's premium line is showcased. the andersson bell store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, denim pieces, shoes, accessories, and lifestyle goods. location: 38 seolleung-ro 153-gil [cheongdam].

© creative studio unravel

amsterdam: amsterdam – a living machine

© salle privée / dariusz jasak – autopon

as an emerging luxury menswear brand, salle privée primarily defines its profile through well-made garments, but also goes to great lengths to connect with its target clientele on more than one level. the dutch brand projects a dynamic mindset, allowing for exploration and appreciation of the finer things in life, and culture is on top of the list. salle privée has affiliated itself with polish photographer and graphic designer dariusz jasak for an exhibition on the premises of its boutique in amsterdam. the show, entitled amsterdam – a living machine, is architecture-focused and presents a series of shots of landmark brutalist structures across the dutch capital that also lays bare how urban life and culture is largely defined by brick and mortar. the exhibition opens on fri – jan 26 [6pm-8pm], and if you'd like to attend, then click here to gain access to the party. location: salle privée, cornelis schuytstraat 9 [amsterdam zuid].

© salle privée / dariusz jasak – autopon 2 and leeuwenborgh 

tokyo: shiseido the store opening

© shiseido

founded in 1872, shiseido is a powerhouse in the global cosmetics and fragrance business, and has continued to raise the bar with both products, and as is the norm in japan, also an extremely high level of service. the company has maintained a plush salon and showcase in tokyo's leafy ginza shopping district for quite some time, situated only a few blocks away from its headquarters. the venue has been given a remarkable makeover, and its a project that aims to resonate on a global scale, anchoring shiseido as a top cosmetics and fragrance brand for all the world to see. the retail space, aptly rebranded as shiseido the store, occupies a multiple levels of modern structure, each with a different purpose. the interior design is a collab effort of oki sato, head of design at japanese architecture practice nendo, and designer keita aono.

the ground floor is a visually spectacular space that upholds shiseido's history and core values by subtly incorporating its camellia-inspired hanabaki logo in the overall design. the floor, dubbed beauty square 1, is dotted with clustered displays situated below a ceiling adorned with intricately designed light fixtures shaped after the aforementioned flower. here, products of the company's premium line clé de peau beauté are presented. alongside the backlit filigrain wall, a styling bar is situated for consultations on hair and makeup. one floor up, beauty square 2 unfolds in a smilarly spectacular fashion, featuring brightly lit clustered cosmetics and fragrance desks embedded in a space that's clad in timber floor-to-ceiling. also to be found on this floor is the beauty up cabin, a separate space for private beauty treatments.

the third floor is home to the sleek and minimalist beauty boost bar + photo studio, a section of shiseido the store where shoppers can obtain a full makeover and have this transformation captured on film, and comes with a premium salon to sustain a full star treatment. finally, on the fourth floor, customers are able to indulge in one-on-one beauty sessions held in a private studio. the so-called select goods space displays works by artists mai miyake, who designed the store windows, and other artists. a café called shiseido the tables, serving bites and drinks, will also open on this floor early next month. given the significance of the retail space, special attention has also been given to the store windows which feature nature-inspired installations by miyake, and while shoppers peruse the coveted merchandise, they'll hear specially commissioned soundtracks by composer shuta hasunuma. location: 7-8-10 ginza [ginza].

© shiseido

st. barth: guy bourdin

© louise alexander gallery

we're not sure if the legendary lensman has ever set foot here, but guy bourdin [1928-1991] is making a grand appearance on sunny st. barth. the annual edition of art saint barth has just kicked off, and this year the iconic photographs of bourdin take centre stage. paris-born bourdin was a self-taught photographer who at one point even became a protégé of artist man ray, and later on developed a signature visual style in fashion photography infused with hypersensual stagings. until this very day, bourdin lives on as one of the most daring and intriguing artists in the world of 20th-century visual culture. the show is held at le penthouse, the private residence of moroccan actress asmaa khamlichi – mind you, she happens to be one of the biggest collectors of bourdin phoitographs – in the sleepy capital of gustavia, and features eleven of his masterpieces. the event is organized in collab with the louise alexander gallery in the italian resort of porto cervo and the guy bourdin estate, can be accessed by appointment only, and gives visitors the special privilege to go through the singular vision and lens of the artist and seet the works up close of someone who has revolutionized the history of fashion photography, and continues to influence the world of contemporary creation [on through mar 31 / by appointment only]. location: le penthouse, 21 rue jeanne d'arc [gustavia].

© louise alexander gallery

los angeles: the nomad hotel opening

© sydell group

the buzz that surrounds downtown los angeles isn't going to stop anytime soon. in fact, it's accelerating and even starts to rub off on adjacent neighbourhoods. the transformation is nothing short of miraculous, and has given this once neglected part of the city a well-deserved new lease on life. with the influx of new boutiques, restaurants and venues where to indulge in contemporary art, the offerings for lifestyle connoisseurs is on the up. luckily, they now also have a fitting place where to lay down their head. following the opening in new york city almost six years ago, the nomad, an upscale hospitality concept of the sydell group, has now arrived on the u.s. west coast, and breathed life into one of the area's many landmark buildings.

the hotel occupies giannini place, a 1920s neoclassical building and former office of the bank of italy, featuring doric columns along the façade. once again, french architect and interior designer jacques garcia was tapped to create matching settings, and he turned to italy as a nod to the building's italian heritage. the guest rooms’ colour palette is drawn from the property’s fully restored gold and blue Italianate ceiling in the lobby, and each room is appointed with custom designed furnishings and original artwork from design studio be-poles with many also featuring freestanding pedestal bathtubs. topping the seven room categories – and fully compatible with the lifestyle of those who live large – is the lavish rwb suite.

at 1,250 sq.ft. [approx. 116 sqm.] it's the largest pad in the house, and it comes with a king bedroom, large living room, library, dining room, pantry and guest water closet. mind you, the master bathroom also includes a double vanity, walk-in shower with terrazzo floors and a freestanding pedestal bathtub. oh, did we mention the sweeping views of the downtown skyline from here yet? many of the building's original architectural features have been retained and incorporated into the new design. the original vault that once housed 12,000 safety deposit boxes and a 50-ton door have been kept intact, alongside the coffered ceiling and square pilaster columns topped with corinthian capitals located in the lobby and restaurant areas.

as for facilities, the nomad los angeles pitches in with a string of buzzing spots across the premises that also contribute to the renewed appeal of the neighbourhood. the lobby restaurant, a meeting place for guests and visitors alike, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. a more formal dining spot is mezzanine, and which as its name already implies sits right above the lobby. it's here, in a fittingly plush setting, where acclaimed supervising chef daniel humm pulls out his trump card. other happening places include a coffee bar on the ground floor, the giannini bar for signature cocktails, and last but not least, the rooftop. the latter features an outdoor café, cocktail bar, and lushly landscaped pool area, offering similarly stylish turf as the indoor premises. location: 649 south olive street [downtown].

© sydell group

tokyo: louis vuitton store relocation

© louis vuitton japan / photography: daici ano

the land of the rising sun is one of the planet's most significant luxury markets and at its very core is ginza, one of tokyo's upscale shopping zones and a prerequisite platform for any discerning brand in fashion and lifestyle's upper echelon. obviously, louis vuitton has a prominent presence here – mind you, the luxury behemoth first opened a standalone store on bustling namiki dori in 1981, and is currently being renovated. for the time being, it has relocated to new premises further down the street. the new boutque occupies a street level unit of a mid-rise building, measuring approx. 756 sqm. [8,138 sq.ft.] set across two floors. the façade is adorned by mesh panels with geometric pattern inspired by designer marcel wanders' concoctions for louis vuitton's nomad collection which was launched late last year, and it's also applied indoors on the ground floor.

inside, an open space unfolds, flooded by natural light that comes in through large windows. the ground floor presents the women's collection, featuring a palette of light hues and matching furnishings, among which pieces from the aforementioned nomad collection, whereas the men's domain upstairs is captured by slightly darker colour tones and a variety of matching furniture pieces, props, and photographs and posters by french architect charlotte perriand. the temporary boutique stocks men's and women's ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, shoes, watches, jewellery and sunglasses. in celebration of the store opening a special women's leather bag, called capsine and inspired by japanese omikuji, was released exclusively at the store. location: 6-6-7 ginza [ginza].

© louis vuitton japan / photography: daici ano

milan: woolrich store opening

© woolrich

woolrich already operates a sizeable network of boutiques across europe, north america and japan, but recently opened its first flagship store on home turf. situated on corso venezia, a bustling thoroughfare in the heart of milan, the store measures a whopping 700 sqm. [7,535 sq.ft.] and features a variety of settings. the italian fashion brand's creative director andrea cané collabnorated with acclaimed tokyo-based practice wonderwall to design its interior, and this resulted in a series of spaces that combine practicality and a cool aesthetic. upon entering the store, shoppers cross a lounge-inspired space where to sit back and relax over coffee or gawk at the collection of iconic woolrich garments on display.

the chosen aesthetic of the woolrich shop is predominantly defined by light colours and simple materials, such as wood, glass and metal. furnishings comprise of wooden and steel shelves, while the building's concrete pillars are encased in transparent glass. the cool factor jumps up a few notches when it comes to the next few store sections and services. providing shoppers a unique experience, there's a personalization workshop where to have special customization or decorations added to your new apparel pieces. another features is the ice room which has temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius, allowing shoppers to test live the comfort and performance of a trophy winter coat.

also on the premises of the store is a lush winter garden, managed by japanese florist satoshi kawamoto. the new woolrich flagship store obviously carries the brand's full men's and women's collection, but also has a dedicated kids department. and that's not all. there's also a curated selection of items, sometimes co-branded, by a rotation of other brands. currently on the shelves are new balance, motor cycle helmets by smith, edie & watson computer glasses, reversible bags with the woolrich fabrics by chiharu hayashi, and sprung leather jackets. location: corso venezia 3 [duomo].

© woolrich

tokyo: louis vuitton installation

© louis vuitton japan / photography: yasuhiro takagi

although creative kim jones and louis vuitton have announced that they'll be parting ways, the designer's coveted men's creations can still be still be snapped up in louis vuitton stores across the planet. it's at the luxury brand's boutique in tokyo's plush shopping district of roppongi where the master's s/s 2018 men's collection is pre-released with an exuberant installation. as the collection takes cues from the hawaiian islands, the colour-infused settings blatantly feature motifs of the prerequisite palm tree on carpets, displays and props – mind you, even the store's expansive glass façade is adorned with the lanky tree species – and even a small customized car a has been included. the installation obviously includes a selection of items of the s/s 2018 men's collection, including apparel pieces, sneakers, sandals and bags. location: louis vuitton, 6-12-3 roppongi [roppongi].

© louis vuitton japan / photography: yasuhiro takagi

seoul: freitag by mmmg store opening

© freitag / photography: nils clauss

starting out as a modest design studio in 1999, mmmg – that's short for millimeter milligram – eventually evolved into a shop, selling its own designs and a slew of tightly curated homeware and lifestyle items from across the planet. the retailer has successfully carried freitag's bags and accessories for quiite some time, and recently upped the ante by launching freitag by mmmg, a dedicated retail space on the premises of its store in seoul's popular itaewon shopping area. measuring a sizeable 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.], it's now official freitag territory with all the bells and whistles that come with it. similarly to freitag stores across the planet, the minimalist setting is defined by the swiss brand's signature modular storage system and industrial-inspired cabinets and seating. the space directly adjacent to the store will also function as a flexible pop-up location, while the store itself plans to host local talent and activate a courtyard linking the freitag brand with what is one of the korean capital's mosty buzzing alleyways, where the old, formerly residential brick buildings are now occupied with young, independent creative businesses and projects. the new freitag by mmmg store stocks over 2,000 individual recycled products, ranging from bags and backpacks, to smartphone and laptop sleeves. location: 240 itaewon-ro [itaewon].

© freitag / photography: nils clauss