Sterling Ruby’s Calvin Klein

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Collages by Edward Kanarecki (the above featuring elements from Sterling Ruby’s art).

Raf Simons‘ take on Calvin Klein is the biggest momentum going on in New York’s fashion, whether we’re speaking of his brilliant autumn-winter 2017 show or the visionary advertising strategy. As if that wasn’t enough to make a dusty brand take-off right away, there’s also the Madison Avenue flagship re-designed by Ruby Sterling, which reopened last Saturday.

Raf and Ruby are long-time friends and have collaborated on many projects – from a capsule collection of parkas and sweatshirts at Simons’ eponymous menswear line to fabrics for Dior’s haute couture show in 2012 (the Belgian designer designed womenswear at the French house for three years). Simons and Sterling’s paths cross again, but this time in form of a three-floor store covered in glowing yellow paint and the artist’s custom-made installations. As Ruby described his work in the past issue of 032c, his art is something cartoonish and illustrative, yet contains dark gothic humor of it. Knowing Simons’ signature style, that’s quite a match. Also, the artist often uses motifs connected to Americana – a theme Raf frequently relates to while working at Calvin Klein, the all-American fashion powerhouse. It’s worth adding that aong the clothes and accessories with CK tag, you are able to buy vibrant Italian glassware, Homer Laughlin coffee mugs and Rose Cabat’s ceramics in Raf and Ruby’s brand new empire.

But if you’re not planning New York in near future and have no chance to get hold of Simons’ Calvin Klein garments, better get hold of those yellow sleeves, this jacquard blouse or that very in-demand turtleneck. Just saying.

Acne Studios in Berlin

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It’s impossible not to love Acne Studios for at least two reasons: it’s edgy, yet wearable clothing, and remarkable store designs across the world. Although the one on Potsdammer Straße in Berlin isn’t the newest addition to Acne family, it’s a place where you want to stay for longer. Like in an art gallery, the wide, metallic tables display Acne’s sculptural wedges and arty sandals. One-of-a-kind chairs, piles of signature, pink shoe-boxes, industrial ceiling lamps: the store reflects the multi-faceted chcarecter of Jonny Johnasson‘s aesthetic. As the current menswear collection features a lot of lovely pastel pink (like the rubber sole of the shoes I’m trying below), one of the sellers wore a pair of pants in a matching colour. “Boys should wear more pink!” he said. Indeed!

Potsdamer Straße 87 / Berlin

Not Just Chocolate Boxes

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While walking around Paris, I was surprised to spot so many new chocolatiers on the market. Forget Godiva. Even Pierre Marcolini is quite a yawn. The gourmet world of Patrick Roger amazes with rhapsody of unconventional flavours, unusual combinations of textures and extraordinary choco-aesthetic (I mean, just look at the image above – his current window display on Place Madeleine). Roger’s search for perfection leads to intense, extravagant chocolates with extraordinary ‘fragrances’, as he tends to say. This chocolatier makes no compromises when it comes to the origin of the ingredients he uses in his cooking, looking back at his childhood and exotic voyages for inspiration. Discovering the new and thriving to surprise the taste buds – his green boxes guarantee all that.

And the interior is a delightful addition. Designed by X-TU Architects it has an abstract, honeycomb structure resembling a beehive. It is a modern shop-gallery of sculptures that is not limited to just chocolate packages. Aluminum and bronze perfectly fit Roger’s slightly raw style of chocolate creation.

First photos are by Edward Kanarecki; the last are via Pinterest.

Buly 1803

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Starting in the late 18th century, the famed “Bully”, established in 1803 on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, made a name for himself (which he then wore with a double consonant). At the turn of the 19th century, perfumers were still the heirs of the craftsmen from the Ancien Régime, and the keepers of their trade secrets. The vogue of perfumes followed in the wake of a fresh openness to the world and to its novel, sometimes exotic flowers – as with Joséphine de Beauharnais, who imported to France and acclimatized new olfactory species and audacities. Bully welcomed the advances of science and cosmetics to formulate his own inventions in form of perfumes and scented oils. Among these, his remarkable skin care products achieved lasting fame. Throughout the Golden Century of beauty, which witnessed the invention of the first formulations of modern cosmetics and perfumery, the ‘officine’ gradually established itself as a trend-setter.

Today, Buly 1803 is reborn in Paris, on rue Bonaparte 6 in the sixth arrondissement, with a different spelling and a refreshed concept. Visiting their boutique was like entering a cabinet de curiosités, falling hard for the opulent marble furniture, antique illustrations on the walls, and Japanese porcelain flacons costing 3000 euros and up. Buly 1803 is a true gem and it’s quite unbelievable to find brands like this in our world of fast, mass-consumption.

Discover Buly 1803 finest products: Buly 1803 Pommade Concrète balmBuly 1803 Campagne D’italie candle & Buly 1803 tortoiseshell comb.

All photos by Edward Kanarecki

This is Paper Store

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This is Paper is Warsaw‘s best kept secret. Aesthetically aware and Japanese-minimalism loving, everything about This is Paper feels well-considered, and absolutely individual. Starting with their already cult, extremely durable, vegetable-tanned leather backpacks, and ending on advertising-free, signature magazine issues, this Polish brand found back in 2011 keeps on evolving up to now, being consistently true to their style. A brand, so perfect in its creative strategy, definitely should have a space, where its vision can be experienced by the others – and here it is, the newly opened, flagship store, hidden in Warsaw’s not-that-trendy district and settled on quiet Odolańska street.

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When I entered This is Paper’s stationary boutique the first time, I was pleasantly shocked by the oozing peace of those white walls and wooden shelves (holding denim rucksacks, practical transfer bags, loads of plants and niche books). Everything seems to slow down here, and the time flows in the peculiar rhyme of Asa Changs & Junray’s “Hana” track. The sales assistant matches the place’s pace, too, with laid-back, unpretentious attitude. On the left, I’ve spotted the tea-room corner, and I was really surprised, when the ‘This is Paper girl’ suggested trying her favourite taste. “You can’t buy blindly – first try it” – such a hearty and down-to-earth statement to say. In awe, I sipped the delightfully refreshing tea while listening to the story of its origin. Of course, the high-quality green tea comes from Japan, and the owners of This is Paper did their best to find the most organic and pure type. Their taste buds took them to Fukuoka prefecture, were they discovered a small, family business – against mass production, the father-and-son duo care about the tiniest details of proper tea-making process. This is Paper specializes in a wide selection of teas from Fukuoka, but they also import a great brand from Berlin – Paper & Tea.

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I discovered This is Paper a few years ago (prove: I’ve written a piece about them here), and when I discovered that they are opening a store, I just couldn’t wait to see it. But it was their Instagram post with ‘matchamisu’, which made me come straight to their place. Except selling tea, This is Paper uses it in a variety of little, home-made desserts, and matcha-modified tiramisu is their latest addition. I tell you, it’s heaven for the eye and for the mouth. Also, you can try out their another specialty – matcha pralines with edible green tea, roasted rice and other flavours.

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This is Paper’s store (and design studio located in the back of the retail space) isn’t just a minimally furnished spot in an off-beat part of Polish capital. It’s a totally different view on commerce, which fuses all human senses and creates desire. “Less is more” isn’t a clichee here, but an asset.

Odolańska 6-8 / Warsaw

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Zorza Bistro

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Zorza Bistro is a perfect example of today’s casual dining place, which attracts you with every detail – and if you don’t go inside right away, you feel really, really guilty. Social media is a dominating factor in today’s gastronomy. The first time I saw this place on Instagram (@zorzabistro), filled with stylish photos of bruschettas and cold soups, I knew I’m writing it down in my Warsaw agenda – and as I love well-executed branding matters, like typography, this was indeed a heaven for me. Visual identity of Zorza was developed by Kaja Gadomska, graphic designer, who decided to create something that would match the classical, yet very contemporary aesthetic of the restaurant. Just like her bold logo design, the interior is kept in a softly art deco manner, with brass tables, marble columns and preserved, stone floors. The cuisine at Zorza is diverse, spanning from roasted artichokes and hot dogs with home-made sausage to meat-stuffed cabbage and coated chicken in Asian sauce. If you’re still unsure whether you need to go to Zorza, then there’s one more, great feaure of this place – you can sit outside, and have a view on Warsaw’s brilliant street style.

Żurawia 6 / Warsaw

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The Store Berlin

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The Store is an ever-changing space created to inspire, create, work and enjoy – and most of all, to shake-up the stereotype of how a fashion retail place should look like. Located in the über-cool Soho Haus Berlin hotel, The Store makes you feel like at home, with its beautifully curated furniture (from chic Pierre Jeanneret seats to Mathieu Matégot heart shaped-patio set) and a connoisseur-level book selection, coming straight from London’s cult Idea Books. Moreover, The Store is Berlin‘s hottest fashion destination right now, with heaving hangers of Vetements, The Row and Loewe. The shelf with classic vinyls and a lovely corner with freshly-cut flowers is at the entrance, while the bar, which serves organic salads and other seasonal goods, will keep you here for a longer time… so just sit on one of the velvet armchairs, take a sip of your coffee and try on these Vetements boots with a cigarette-lighter heel!

Torstraße 1 / Berlin

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There is a Comme des Garçons display of autumn-winter 2016 collection right now, too!

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Maison Borella

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During my recent trip to Milan for the pre-fall 2016 re-sees, I’ve stayed at the Maison Borella. This hotel literally makes you feel like at home. The cozy atmosphere of the Naviglio Grande district is already close to my heart – and when I saw the peaceful, all-green patio, I felt instantly that this is my favourite hotel in Milan from all I’ve been to. In a former balustrade townhouse, Maison Borella is kept in a stylish, Italian manner – eclectic lobby filled with beautiful flea-market finds and charming, minimally furnished rooms with original wooden ceilings have this modern “vintage” aesthetic I love so much. In fact, I would love to live in a place like this, having a wonderful view on the patio every morning…

Alzaia Naviglio Grande 8 / Milano

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Photographs courtesy of Design & Culture by Ed

Jungle by Malwina Konopacka

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Malwina Konopacka is one of the most promising new-gen talents coming from Poland. She has her own, precise vision of design and art. Or rather, a fresh combination of these two. JUNGLE is the name of new, limited edition of hand-painted ceramic vases made by the Warsaw-based illustrator and designer . The series consists of 20 individual leaf-motif vases, including 2 inspired by the works of Henri Rousseau, and 10 designs with gold elements. The artist continues to explore form, function and pattern, as she initiated with the first series of vases called OKO (The Eye), presented in 2014 (more here). But what makes me really proud as a Pole, is the fact, that Malwina and many other Polish designers will have their major exhibition at EXPO 2015 in Milan!

The JUNGLE collection will be presented at “The Polish Table. La Tavola Polacca” exhibition in the Polish Pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan between 13 – 27 September 2015.

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Photography by Paulina Pajka