moscow: catcher store opening

© catcher

after two rocky years, the luxury market in russia has bounced back, and as moscow is the epicentre of it all, the recovery signs are most evident there. and it's not only the leading global players that have reinvigorated their presence and offerings in this important market, there's also a new generation of local savvy entrepreneurs that carve a niche for themselves. it's in moscow city – a new and prestigious business district and upscale residential enclave along the moskva river, marked by a cluster of some of europe's tallest highrises – where a quirky concept store has recently opened its doors. the boutique, called catcher, is an initiative by lidiya aleksandrova, a fashion professional with a lengthy track record in the luxury business, and pretty much reflects here expertise as a buyer and store manager.

occupying an elongated and narrow ground floor unit of a modest three-storey structure, it's easily dwarfed by the nearby soaring towers and the imposing afi mall. the interior is simple yet sophisticated, and largely defined by the large windows that encase the building. it's a retail setting that's all white, captured by walls, displays and shelving in that colour, and even features white marble flooring. the merchandise at catcher primarily targets an in-the-know female demographic, and aleksandrova has curated an eclectic collection of exclusive trophies that'll tickle even the most jaded of shoppers. the offerings include off-white's sculpture tote bag, camilla elphick's whimsical pez heels, ceramics by fornasetti, a selection of tom dixon's copper homeware items, pawaka eyewear, and bang & olufsen speakers. location: presnenskaya naberezhnaya 8/1, shop 99a [presnenskiy].

© catcher

los angeles: william anastasi

© ghebaly gallery

based in new york city, artist william anastasi [1933] has been active since the early 1960s, pioneering the art world with a predominantly abstract and conceptual body of work. the artist currently has a solo exhibition at ghebaly gallery in los angeles which not only brings together several key series from the past thirty years, but also illustrates several important modes of the his thinking and making. anastasi is increasingly recognized for his significant contributions to the development of conceptualism and minimalism in the 1960s and 1970s, and he has built a lifelong practice around ideas of chance, reduction, language, and the unchoreographed movement of the body. abidingly skeptical of conventional representation, anastasi’s work bends toward a personal mantra of simple, as simple as simple  even dumb.

this notion of automatic drawing emerges again in donald duck, painted in 1998. the disney cartoon is a rare moment of popular iconography in anastasi’s otherwise spare vocabulary yet it was a figure that the artist drew over and over during his childhood. also on display is a set of three paintings from the ongoing bababad series, a body of work anastasi began in 1986. the paintings depict the sound of god’s voice upon the fall of adam and eve in james joyce’s masterpiece finnegans wake, a sound called the thunderword in joycean scholarship. the power of language is also the subject of the small painting this jew from 2004. the painting captures and combines multiple strains of the artist’s work [on through jan 13]. location: ghebaly gallery, 2245 east washington boulevard [butte street junction].

© ghebaly gallery

shanghai: oppo flagship store opening

© oppo

thanks to an avalanche of tech innovations, the time we spend using our cell phones is ever-increasing. as such, you'd think that the retail spaces where these coveted devices are sold would be just as awe-inspiring. well, they're usually not. but in shanghai, things have recently taken a u-turn, thanks to a retail initiative by oppo, a consumer electronics company based in china's booming pearl river delta. in 2008 the company entered the cell phone market, and eventually became a dominant player on home turf, while also operating divisions across southeast asiaindiapakistan, kazakhstan and north africa. oppo has banked on the momentum with a prestigious flagship store, its very first ever, in the country's leading hub of lifestyle innovation, fashion and trends.

the company tapped designer zhang xing to create an immersive store interior that not only allows visitors – read: trophy hunting millennials – to easily engage with the brand in a playful and fun way, but also signals an ambitious brand upgrade. the design of the store is people-centric, enabling visitors to explore the premises and mingle with friends in a relaxing manner along the way. mind you, apart from the product display area, more than half of the oppo store is designed for this purpose. giant pebblestone-shaped benches randomly dot the retail space where one can sit back, relax, take selfies, or experience the showcased products around casually.

six light-emitting bars provide gentle light from all angles, allowing for clear and natural photos while a mirrored ceiling brings amazing light effect that creates a dreamy yet real space. in order to create a friendly vibe, the sense of technology has been reduced to a minimum. the display area is furnished with customized tables and benches, providing ample room to experience the cell phones. and then there's this eight-metre whale which dangles from the ceiling, providing a whimsical note to the setting. the oppo store regularly holds workshops about cell phones and photography in order to increase engagement with customers. the flagship store marks the rollout of a network of brick and mortar venues, and the next store is scheduled to open shortly in the major tech hub of shenzhen. location: 688 huaihai zhong lu [huaihai lu].

© oppo

online: fallen bird

© another something

joachim baan and christoph van veghel, the duo behind online culture and design platform another something, haver recently ventured onto untrodden ground with illustrator lennard kok. following a fruitful rebranding collab two years ago, the three creatives got together to work on a drawing of a crashed airplane that kok had made earlier. michiel verweij joined the project to bring kok's vision to life in 3d, and finally ceramist suzan becking formed the last part of the equation, as the boys aimed to materialize the sculpture into the perfect paradox: a crashing plane made from porcelain. aptly called fallen bird, the crashed airplane is made in a limited edition of 25 + 5 ap’s and is both numbered and signed by the artist. mind you, it also comes packaged in fancy silver box. the fallen bird sculpture sets you back for eur 250, and is exclusively available online.

© another something

oslo: hermès store opening

© hermès / photography: einar aslaksen

the buzz in luxury retail isn't going to stop anytime soon, at least not in oslo. in fact, it has just got started, and more and more monobrand flagships are nestling in many of the stately buildings that line the streets downtown. the house of hermès has joined the handful of brands from the luxury segment with a standalone store. the brand initially launched retail operations with a shop-in-shop on the premises of department store steen & strøm, but has now moved across the street, occupying a 190 sqm. [2,045 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a listed early 20th century building. following a throrough renovation, the store was given a new interior by paris-based architecture practice and longtime collaborator rdai.

upon entering the store, shoppers are welcomed with hermèssignature ex-libris, followed by a succession of stone arches that separate the boutique's four spaces. past the entrance, a large space unfolds, dedicated to silks, fragrances and jewellery accessories. the exploration continues to the world of leather, including equestrian and belts, and next, one encounters the areas dedicated to the men’s and women’s collections, including ready-to-wear collections and accessories, shoes, hats, and gloves. the back of the store is home to watches and jewellery. location: nedre slottsgate 15 [sentrum].

© hermès / photography: einar aslaksen

panama city: diablorosso gallery relocation

© diablorosso

the pioneering diablorosso gallery has relocated to the outer limits of panama city's historic casco viejo district, right in front of the tree-shaded plaza santa ana. the new premises, situated on the ground floor of a landmark 1930s structure, are marked by a floor-to-ceiling gass façade that allows in floods of daylight and lofty spaces that enable the gallery to even better present its programme of art shows. the newly opened space also opens a relationship seeking to shape new interactions, encounters, and discussions with the neighbourhood and its inhabitants, and continues its mission of inclusion, education, critical reflection, independent thinking and advance public appreciation of contemporary art and culture to generate social commentary and impact.

diablorosso's inaugural show, entitled keep the lights on, features works by artists josé lerma, donna conlon, ingrid cordero and fabrizio arrieta. josé lerma’s recent body of work reflects his recurrent interest in historical figures, using portraiture to depict status. the artist creates abstract figures and saturated spaces that intertwine with each other with a free-use of doodles. donna conlon’s comfort zone is a work of video art based on the conventions of society confine to us. the video depicts an anonymous woman walking inside a forest in-between crowd control barriers, removing the elastic bands that prevent her from moving forward.

last but not least, there's ingrid cordero's eco01 photo series features her exploration of the relationship of the fabric as a plastic instrument and functional object, creating organic and abstract sculptures produced by the entanglements between the fabric and her body. fabrizio arrieta’s paintings present the divisive debate between abstract and figurative art with the art of collage, manipulation, and appropriation of digital images. his works demonstrate the impact generated by the media in the construction of our own identity, and even reject the idea of the totality thus making what is visible and recognizable more significant, even poignant [on through jan 20]. location: heurtematte building, avenida central +  plaza santa ana [casco viejo].

© diablorosso

miami: chance encounters III

© loewe

the frenzy surrounding of the annual contemporary art and design events in miami may have long subsided, but an interesting and related display can still be viewed art the loewe boutique in the city's design district. presented by the loewe foundation, the chance encounters III exhibition rallies artists from various disciplines in order to explore unexpected conversations. this year's works by sculptor and ceramicist sara flynn, sculptor richard smith and photographs by lionel wendt are showcased in a setting designed around a monumental 18th century granary from portugal that has become the focal point of the store. it's made from stone and wood, and encapsulates the luxury brand’s celebration of past, present and future, and provide a resonant setting for the work of these three creatives along the way [on through feb 4]. location: 110 n.e. 39th street [design district].

© loewe

kiev: blushhh! store relocation

© akz architectura / photography: lesha yanchenkov

since its inception two years ago, the blushhh! boutique has quickly become a fixture for kiev's fashion-obsessed female demographic. banking on the momentum, the boutique has relocated to new premises in the downtown district of pecherskiy, and commissioned local practice akz architectura to create a matching interior that playfully reflects its stature. the new location of blushhh!, a ground floor unit of a five-storey residential building, measures 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.] spread over three rooms. the setting is defined by a tiered plinth that runs along one side of the store, adding depth and an intriguing visual rhythm to the design. dipped in a light pink hue, it's also quite distinctive as the backdrop comprises of white walls and sections covered in silver foil. installed atop this plinth are metal frames which serve as clothing racks. doorways are lined with slabs of mirror, and add a whimsical spatial effect to the setting. light fixtures comprise of fluorescent tubes, and which have been installed in a variety of configurations. blushhh! stocks a collection of ukranian women's apparel, accessories, shoes and homeware. location: vulitsya zhilyanskaya 54 [pecherskiy].

© akz architectura / photography: lesha yanchenkov