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!)

Saint Laurent Rive Droite

The place where the Colette once used to be, now is the location for Saint Laurent Rive Droite. Thought up as a retail destination, it’s the concept store curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello. The Rive Droite name takes its inspiration from Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche, the line that introduced Yves’s unique way of combining prêt-à-porter and luxury fashion with the opening of his first boutique in Paris back in 1966. The store space is built around the idea of a cultural experience, showcased through different events such as exhibitions, performances and artistic exchanges. The products on sale are also exclusive to the space, offering rare books, vintage record players, condoms, skate-boards and toy cars. I went there to see what all the buzz is about. It’s a chic store, filled with French design classics and gorgeous clothes, that’s for sure. But then, it feels like another YSL store. So when I read that “it’s better than Colette”… well, it’s definitely not.

213 rue saint Honoré

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!)

Dover Street Parfums Market

25 years after the launch of the first Comme des Garçons perfume, 15 years after opening the first Dover Street Market in London, Comme des Garçons opens Dover Street Parfums Market in Paris. It’s a place you never knew you needed so much. Located two minutes from Musée Picasso, this outpost of DSM is dedicated to beauty with a selection of perfumes, cosmetic and make-up brands from around the world. From avant-garde independent young labels (Kerosene, 19-69, Ormaie…) to the most established and classic references, it’s an explosion of scents, sounds and textures. Skincare, body and hair care products are also part of the proposal, with a majority of sustainable and organic brands aimed for all the human spectrum. It’s about authencity, diversity, originality and inclusivity. Special guests include Gucci with its Alchemist’s Garden line; Byredo’s unique corner; events by MAC cosmetics (and their Instagram-big Comme Des Garçons tattoo kit available only here); Julien D’Ys’ hair installations; and Thom Browne who is about to launch his very first perfume range entitled 09.27.65. Dover Street Parfums Market has no commercial visuals, logos or gifts with purchases. As for the interior, Rei Kawakubo designed a forest of pillars with egg shaped shelves carved within them. Mainstream beauty stores and department stores are becoming even more bleak and charmless in my eyes now.

11 bis rue Elzevir / Paris

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.

7 Rue de Moussy

Le Marais’ 7 rue de Moussy is the address that gives me those good goosebumps. It’s Azzedine Alaïa’s flagship store, which is also the brand’s headquarters (and as well used to be Alaïa‘s home and studio, just above the spacious boutique). I love this place so much and I will never forget seeing the man himself here few years ago, taking a run through the racks and disappearing behind the doors of his atelier. His spirit is all over the place. This didn’t change at all throughout the time. And what’s most important, the soul of Azzedine is preserved by the maison, and thankfully not “rebranded”. There’s the untouched Julian Schnabel artwork leaning against the wall. The fitting room, where I imagine Naomi Campbell tries on her dresses. All the design treasures Azzedine hand-picked himself for the space. For me, it’s one of the most sentimental places in Paris. A post on Association Azzedine Alaïa and its foundation is coming up!

7 rue de Moussy / Paris

Galerie Mingei

I could spend days on visiting the art galleries near Saint Germain des Prés. One of the most impressive is Galerie Mingei, where sublime Japanese bamboo design is exhibited. Works of such artists as Wada Waichisai and Suemura Shobun are all here (some where presented with Loewe not a long time ago during Salone Del Mobile in Milan). Those weaved forms are so harmonious and relaxing…

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.