Junya Watanabe’s Techno Couture

Pre-Instagram times, a collection worth thousands of posts (and unforgettable, eye-catchy content…). Back in 2000, Junya Watanabe presented one of his most ethereal collections ever. At first glance, the honeycomb ruffs Watanabe showed in his “Techno Couture” line-up called to mind those seen in Rembrandt portraits. Well, not exactly: those starched confections couldn’t fold and be stored in an envelope, like Watanabe’s ground-breaking designs. They certainly weren’t made of a “techno” fabric like polyester chiffon, from which the designer created his exaggerated take on the ruff, transforming it from an accessory to a garment with an organic-meets-space-age aesthetic. The material might have been unknown in Rembrandt’s time, but its method of production – hand sewing – certainly was. In the above collage, some of my favourites looks from the collection interact with Malwina Konopacka‘s “Forms” collection of ceramic tableware.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, ceramics and photo by Malwina Konopacka.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

I finally had the time to visit Fondation Louis Vuitton during my recent stay in Paris. Surrounded by the greenery of Bois de Boulogne, this place really does stun with its view. At the beginning of March, no particular art exhibition was taking place here – just the sole experience of Frank Gehry’s architecture. Bathed in natural daylight from the skylight, the exhibition “An Architectural Journey” was like a walk inside of a living organism. Prepared in collaboration with Frank Gehry’s teams in Los Angeles, the exhibition proposed an open itinerary for visitors. Like the building itself, which offers multiple possible paths, you could easily get lost in all the wings and sails of the construction – but somehow, this was a kind of pleasure to explore it without a plan. The visual experience offered a vision of the building’s striking beauty, as well as its technological complexity. Definitely worth a visit, even though getting there takes a while.

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Sottsass’ Carlton Shelf

Carlton room divider, designed in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass, in wood and plastic laminate. The vivid colors and seemingly random interplay of solids and voids suggest avant-garde painting and sculpture. The ultimate dream, seen at The Store X Soho House in Berlin.

The Row Stores

There’s quite a lot of The Row on the journal this week. Blame it on Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen‘s universe, which is so, so… perfect. Their Los Angeles and New York stores aren’t any news, but posting about them is pure pleasure. Getting the details right is pretty much a full-time occupation for the Olsens. You know that from seeing their collections, for both, women and men. You realize it even more once you see (or are lucky enough to visit) their store interiors. In Los Angeles, the space unfolds at ground level in a personal, quiet way, where one minute you can’t tear your eyes away from a cashmere robe, only to have some exquisite chair begging for your attention the next. As Ashley put it in her own words for Vogue, “in Los Angeles, it’s all about mid-century homes and growing up, it was glass and water and trees.” They opened their second store in New York, the city where the designers are based. Having lived in New York now for 12 years, the Olsens wanted the store to very much feel like a home. Located in a townhouse, with a Jean Michel Basquiat canvas on the wall for instance, it’s a sort of dream-house filled with the finest garments. Induldge yourself in all this The Row goodness by scrolling down to the stores’ images…

8440 Melrose Place / Los Angeles

17 East 71st Street / New York

All photos courtesy of The Row.

 

Rick Owens Furniture at Andreas Murkudis

Although it’s been a while ago, Andreas Murkudis hosted a temporary pop-up store feauturing Rick Owens and Michele Lamy‘s furniture line. I wanted to see those designs for such a long time, and it was worth the wait. There’s something truly incredible in their raw beauty. When Lamy and Owens first started out making furniture, it was purpose-built; their marital bed was the first thing that they created, long before they thought that their work might evolve into the sort of thing to be exhibited at global art galleries, because “we don’t buy; we do,” as Michele told Another Magazine back in 2017. “We have always been this way, always building spaces; small or big. Rick with his studio, me with Les Deux Cafés…” Formed from basalt and petrified wood, crystal and oxbone and alabaster, such objects might easily appear sterile, but they are instead imbued with resounding warmth. “Part of the romance invested in the furniture is the look on the faces of the guys who work on it when she sweeps into their studios in the jewellery, furs and smoke – her love for them and their love for her is a big part of every piece,” writes Owens in their book dedicated to their furniture. Most beautiful things are made with love.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki and Owenscorp.

Triennale Brugge

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I went to Brugge (you might also know it as Bruges), the capital of West Flanders in  Belgium, last week. The city is world-known for its canals, cobbled streets, townhouses and medieval buildings – shortly speaking, majority of this magical city is under protection of UNESCO. Well, no wonder why. But this time, this city felt even more enchanting than usual.

Now I’m honest. I had no idea that the Triennale Brugge 2018 is on – this was meant to be a few day trip to the town I’ve been visiting for years. But the occurring event transformed this city into a breathing artwork. The Brugge Trienniale invited international artists and architects to think about this question: how flexible, liquid and resilient can a historic city like Bruges be in an age when nothing seems to be certain any longer? Many of them sought inspiration for their work in the role of liquidity in the city that is literally criss-crossed and surrounded by water. The waterways that once earned Brugge its international renown, become a metaphor for Liquid City. Fifteen works of art, installations and meeting places have been put up in the city centre. You can walk into them and experience them. And while seeking them, discover the less touristic, off-beat tracks of Brugge. My favourites? The inflated installation by Spanish studio Selgascano, which is a literal ‘meeting place’ on water, and Jarosław Kozakiewicz‘s ‘Brug’ bridge. The ‘Skyscraper’ by StudioKCA, which is a massive whale sculpture made of 5 tons of plastic pulled out of the ocean, makes you think as well.

Triennale Brugge 2018 lasts until September 16.

Céline in Munich

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Our road trip to Italy (lots of posts coming up!) had some stops. And the first, but very major one, was the Céline store in Munich. We weren’t only lured by Phoebe Philo’s last pieces for the brand. The two-floor store was opened last September, and will be -unfortunately – soon refurbished under Hedi Slimane’s direction (as all the other Céline boutiques around the world). So, we wanted to have this ‘good-bye’ moment with the multicoloured marble tiles inlaid with semi-precious stones, the abstract hangers and shelves, fluffy sofas and enormously big pot plants that made each Céline store somewhat feel like home for all the Philophiles. As all the other Céline stores, this one was designed by the Danish artist Thomas Poulsen. Together with the pre-fall 2018 goods  (think rubber boots and over-sized hoodies), everything from the colours to textures works in a perfect harmony. Now, I’m serious – if an eventual garage sale of the Céline store stuff comes up, please, let me know!

Maximilianstrasse 22 / Munich

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

República das Flores

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to enter a cabinet de curiosités? Well, entering República das Flores might be just the experience you’ve always been dreaming of. It’s a magical store that’s located in a Pombaline house from the beginning of the 19th century in Lisbon’s Chiado district. What to see and love in here? Perfumed paper, cushions, soaps and bath products, Bordalo Pinheiro china, fresh flowers, linen table clothes from Porto, vintage garments, jewellery from remote destinations, Alentejo oil and wine, antique objects from India and Morocco… in fact, you can’t go out with empty hands.

Rua Alecrim 99 / Lisbon

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Acne Studios in West Hollywood

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Acne Studios knows how to launch a new store. The Swedish label has opened its second Los Angeles flagship in West Hollywood. This space is designed to resemble an art gallery, with two glass walls allowing passers by to see the store and its central sculpture, designed by the London-based artist Daniel Silver. Other elements of this dreamland include industrial touches such as a concrete floor and a corrugated ceiling, while an acid yellow color catches one’s eye immediately. And there’s a patio!

(By the way, Acne has some really good sunglasses this season… and they match the West Hollywood colour palette, so why not drool over them here as well?)