online: abel – discovery set

© abel

abel is a a fragrance brand founded in amsterdam by new zealand native frances shoemack with a simple goal – to create the planet’s best natural perfume. as a former winemaker with a penchant for scent and a holistic philosophy, shoemack was looking for a modern natural perfume, and eventually teamed up with fellow countryman isaac sinclair, a european trained and são paulo-based fragrance perfumer and nose. the abel fragrances cobalt amber, white vetiver, golden neroli, grey labdanum and red santal – contain 100% natural ingredients, and rather than clouding your personality with a consistent intensity, they evolve on your skin, working with your natural body chemistry to create a unique scent. a newbie to the brand? lucky you. abel has just launched three discovery sets that allows you to explore the fragrances or have it delivered as a gift. each set comes in a beautiful box of five 15 ml sample vials, and can also be accompanied by a1.5 ml bottle or a 50 ml bottle. fancy one? then click here to order yours.

© abel

amsterdam: mama kelly restaurant opening

© de horecafabriek

concrete and pink usually conjure up entirely different connotations, but in the soon-to-open mama kelly restaurant, the two opposites found a harmonious pairing. the establishment is part of a flurry of restaurant openings in amsterdam in recent months, and adds to its steadily growing reputation as a gourmet destination. occupying a 1,000 sqm. [10,764 sq.ft.] unit across four levels directly below the tribunes of the city's olympic stadium, a listed building erected for the 1928 summer olympics, it's managed by spousal duo rem and willemien rambaldo, singha witteman and bas bloemink.

the collective first launched a namesake restaurant in an industrial zone in the hague two years ago, and with this new venture, once again a penchant for unusual locations is demonstrated. also being the creative director of design agency de horecafabriek, co-owner rem rambaldo may perhaps exhaust himself by wearing more than one hat, but we imagine it to be a great advantage as well. as said, a soft pink hue prevails across the premises, covering not only the venue's concrete shell, but it's also captured by a variety of furnishings. the omnipresence of this colour is somewhat balanced out by bare concrete and parquet flooring, in addition to elements of shiny brass and leather throughout the premises.

when weather permits, guests are able to sit back and chill on the outdoor terrace. as said, mama kelly's new outpost in the dutch capital is set across four levels, and each features a distinct aesthetic that's also compatible at the same time, incorporating design products by tom dixon and piet hein eek light fixtures. similarly to the restaurant in the hague, the menu is anchored by french country chicken and canadian lobster dishes, and supplemented by a fairly wide range of other mains, starters and side dishes. mama kelly's new amsterdam outpost is scheduled to open its doors on mon – nov 13. location: olympisch stadion 35 [amsterdam zuid].

© de horecafabriek

beirut: the trick brain

© aïshti foundation

aïshti foundation switches on the magic again by revealing its third exhibition, once again held at the stellar seaside gallery space just north of beirut. the multi-storey venue, a monolithic aluminum-clad structure by london-based architect david adjaye – mind you, we talked about the opening in a previous post  is home to the treasure trove private art collection of luxury retail tycoon tony salamé and his wife, and which undoubtedly is one of the largest in the middle east. as longtime collectors of modern art, the ever-growing collection encompasses well over 2,000 works by both established and emerging artists from across the planet. 

the exhibition is entitled the trick brain, and is the third and final part of a trilogy that delves deep into the couple's elaborate collection, laying bare its treasures. the show is curated by massimiliano gioni, a new york city-based curator and artistic director at the new museum, and premieres some of the avid collectionneurs' most recent acquisitions. the show aims to highlight similarities and contrasts among a group of multi-generational artists whose work reflects a fascination with the loud, collaged experience of life in the digital age. the recent acquisitions on display include important works by a range of leading artists.

the multidisciplinary display includes works by john armleder, isa genzken, maria lassnig, matt mullican, cindy sherman and wolfgang tillmans, all presented in dialogue with contributions by a younger generation of artists, including adrián villar rojas, danh vo, haegue yang and anicka yi. the new showcase at aïshti foundation reflects a palette of ideas, interests and opinions in today's international arts scene, ranging from a resurgence of interest in figurative painting and a growing spiritualism, to the depiciton of the digital age and new representations of gender and sexuality. it's this over-excited sensibility, embedded in the many artistic interpretations, that has brought forth the somewhat ominous show title [on through sep 30]. location: aïshti foundationjal el dib seaside highway [jal el dib].

© aïshti foundation

sydney: céline store opening

© céline

following last year's arrival at the new luxury section of melbourne's chadstone shopping centre, french fashion house céline has opened a second outpost down under in sydney. the boutique is nestled on the fourth floor of westfield sydney, an upscale mall in the city's downtown business district. the store measures 186 sqm. [2,002 sq.ft.], and the aesthetic follows the design codes laid down by creative director phoebe philo, featuring terrazzo tile flooring, stuccoed walls, chunky marble-clad displays and cabinets, and sleek metal clothing racks in black. similar to céline's other stores across the planet, danish artist thomas poulsen a.k.a. fos has designed bespoke objects for the store, including mirrors, a jewellery table, an accessories display case, and a seating area in ceramic and wood, and last but not least, flower pots that hold lush plants. the new céline store carries the brand's full range of women's apparel, bags, shoes, eyewear and jewellery pieces. location: westfield sydney, 1188 pitt street, shop 4009 [town hall].

© céline

london: double trouble

© giacomo favilla + valeria crociata

hailing from tuscany, lensman giacomo favilla [1984] started his professional career in 2003 at an advertising studio in italy, working for a number of publications national magazines. later on, he relocated to london to take his operations to the next level, and has since collaborated with renowned stylists on portfolios of many models and actresses. favilla is currently based in milan where he recently collaborated with italian creative director and illustrator valeria crociata on a project that's inspired by the desire of many young individuals in today’s society to transform into something they're completely not.

the idea of the project was to play with the subject's facial features and expressions, adding geometric shapes, thus creating a double meaning. the intent is not just aesthetic as each subject represents a certain type of action. favilla and crociata tried to interpret the parts of the subjects which are often concealed to the outside world, and bring them to the surface. the result is to be put on display in an exhibition, entitled double trouble, and opening at the book club in the british capital's shoreditch area on wed – nov 8 [6pm-midnight]. the show is curated by art director liat chen, and presents a series of prints and an animation. location: the book club, 100 leonard street [shoreditch].

© giacomo favilla + valeria crociata

paris: les grands verres restaurant opening

© lina ghotmeh / photography: takuji shimmura

as a hub of life's many pleasurable things, paris isn't short of new ventures that excite the senses. on the expansive premises of palais de tokyo, one of the city's premier venues for contemporary art, a new dining space has opened that aims to indulge visitors on more than one level. following the closure of the venue's popular restaurant tokyo eat last december, niche hospitality group quixotic projects has taken over the spot, launching a new and alluring restaurant. it's obvious to see les grands verres is a far cry from its predecessor. designed by paris-based lebanese architect lina ghotmeh, sophistication and elegance have gone up quite a few notches.

the dining venue flanks one side of the building, right along avenue du président wilson, and is marked with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow in floods of daylight. the new interior design features clean lines and a certain level of minimalism that's quite agreeable with the elongated dimensions of the space. les grands verres comes with an adjacent cocktail bar and lounge called readymade, and features a chunky bar, made from rammed earth, polished marble flooring, chairs upholstered in demure burgundy and soft blue fabrics, and playful tiered seating arrangements with cushioned benches and sleek brass side tables.

behind a see-through curtain, the dining area proceeds with a slightly adapted aesthetic. a similar bar, but here measuring 18 metres, extends all the way to the back of the establishment, and is directly situated opposite a series of cozy booths with matching timber furnishings. both the marble flooring and a linear configuration of pendant lamps tie in the bar and restaurant. at the far end of the dining space, a separate dining room can be found. taking centre stage here is a large custom-made table, in a shap that can be best described as a three-leaf clover, seating no less than 22 people. it's surrounded by seating arrangements that line the walls.

the abstract wall decorations that adorn the premises are slightly tweaked in here, and shown to their full advantage. and that's not all, folks. a 200-seat outdoor terrace is readily available when weather permits. it's preston miller, a young chef with stints at celebrated venues stateside under his belt, who helms the kitchen at les grand verres, offering mediterranean-inspired lunch and dinner menus with seasonal local ingredients. being a modern dining concept, the venue has embraced low-waste practices by utilizing reusable bottles and containers, and participate in on-site composting. location: palais de tokyo, 13 avenue du président wilson [chaillot].

© lina ghotmeh / photography: takuji shimmura

paris: chanel at colette

© colette

as you probably already know, these are the final months of colette. the iconic concept store, which has contributed a great deal to the thrill of shopping in paris for the past 20 years, nears its permanent closure coming december, and a rotation of monthly store installations is already in full swing. the latest to occupy the premises is the fashion house of chanel. the event, aptly dubbed chanel at colette, pretty much is a takeover of the premises by the luxury fashion house, featuring chanel-inspired window installations, settings, and of course, a roster of special events. upon entering the premises, shoppers come across into a décor inspired by the 2017 cruise collection, while pieces from the a/w 2017 collection will be featured next week.

the chanel ready-to-wear space is organised around three central themes: day, which puts the accent on colours and prints, night and its sophisticated dresses, and finally sport with its chic relaxed looks. within this sinuous drapery, organic niches in plexiglass provide the showcases for ready-to-wear pieces and accessories. products available as limited-edition series will also be on offer throughout the month of november: tees created by karl lagerfeld, a compilation of music made by dj + producer michel gaubert, and at the end of the event, adidas originals hu nmd x pharell williams customized by pharrell williams especially for chanel at colette.

and there's more! all month long, many events are scheduled, notably 3.55 a.k.a. the chanel at colette podcast, where on tuesdays and thursdays lifestyle journalist daphné hézard will welcome friends of chanel, top artists from the realm of film, literature, music and dance. caroline de maigret, ambassador and spokesperson for the house, will be doing a talk on style. chanel's creative makeup + colour designer lucia pica will be sharing her vision of beauty in a beauty talk. a live action painting by street art legend futura 2000, as well as make-up tutorial workshops are held every friday with a presentation of the chanel neapolis s/s 2018 collection and a showcase concert by the french-cuban group ibeyi, will also be on the programme [on through nov 25]. location: colette, 213 rue st.-honoré [st.-honoré].

© colette

busan: kakao friends flagship store opening

© betwin space design / photography: yong-joon choi

in the far east, the adjectives 'cute' and 'cuddly' transcend the usual western parametres, becoming larger-than-life projections, and also big business. most outsiders are acquainted with japan's hugely popular kawaii phenomenon, but the genre has gradually evolved, spawning clever adaptations in different forms and formats elsewhere. it's in the tech-savvy environs of south korea where internet company kakao developed its kakaotalk  instant messaging app for smartphones. launched in 2010, the app has garnered 220 million registered users across the planet, and given its meteoric rise, the company quickly developed kakao friends, a range of eight animal-inspired emoticons created by korean illustrator soon-ho kwon a.k.a. hozo.

fast forward to 2017, and the playful emoticons have proven to be extremely successful on home turf, and so much so, that they've spawned merchandise, several shops, and as of late, also a standalone flagship store. situated in downtown busan, the store occupies a modern structure in the heart of the city, featuring 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] across four floors. the interior design, created by seoul-based practice betwin, follows the assignment to create a distinctive retail environment on each floor. the result is a series of clean, understated settings – in which sophisticated lighting plays a pivotal role – that allow the colourful kakao friends merchandise to pop. as functionality is key, the majority of furnishings and fixtures are streamlined and sleek, and partially captured in wood to somewhat counterbalance the austerity that usually comes with modern design.

the ground floor presents items of kakao friends' most popular character ryan, in addition to additional toys. one floor up, similarly branded items such as stationery, fashion and cell phone accessories and jewellery can be found in a contrasting setting with angular features, and surrounded by lifesize versions of jay-gfrodoneo, ryanapeach, tube, muzi and con. on the third floor, featuring walls clad in light timber, and that seem detached from the ceiling, homeware, toys, travel goods and additional toys are presented. the top floor is home to apeach café, a place where to sit back and relax after splurging downstairs. a reflection of the apeach character, the setting is immersed in a pink hue, featuring a service station in the middle, matchingly clad in shiny rosé metal, and surrounded by various seating arrangements. the lighting adapts accordingly, now being both functional and atmospheric, and is captured by an increased variety of fixtures. location: 62 gwangbok-ro [jung-gu].

© betwin space design / photography: yong-joon-choi