Tag Archives: Paris

Lotte New York Palace

Top 10 ‘Pokétels’ New York City: Catch ‘Em All

Listen up Pokémon Go fans: One hotel-booking site has found one major city with a host of Pokéstops and Pokégyms that any fan of the game would be happy to hear about. Hotels.com now provides users with a list of what they call the best “Pokétels” in the US with several found in New York City.

Alright, we grant you that it is slightly unusual for us to cover a game such as Pokémon Go. Needless to say, the global phenomenon is so powerful that it has swept up major names in luxury such as The Peninsula, the Four Seasons and the St. Regis. Yes, Pokémon Go has indeed come to the rarefied world of high end living, ready or not.

With nine out of 10 New York hotels making the list, it is clear that the city is a hotspot for those looking to get their fix for their addiction to the game. Cashing in on the craze, the site reveals that the top spot is occupied by none other than The Towers at Lotte New York Palace. With 11 Pokéstops and Pokégyms within 500 feet and another 231 within a 1.25-mile radius, the area is certainly a hotspot for those looking to expand their collection.

The geo-location-based game has taken off in various locations in recent weeks, which gets players off their couches and out exploring the world. Venturing out to see the city landmarks, monuments and public spaces, the game has even gotten players considering visiting new destinations. The majority of respondents agreed they’d take free Wifi over free breakfast if they had to choose, and expressed a booking preference for hotels that are Pokéstops.

While New York is the city to beat in the US, it is in fact Paris that holds the title of home to the most Pokétels, with six out of 10 spots taken by the French capital. We bring you the full Hotels.com list of top 10 US hotels within 500 feet of Pokéstops and Pokégyms:

4 Must-See Art Exhibitions, Paris

Mexican modern art, a Russian’s private art collection, and a major Magritte retrospective: just some of the not-to-be-missed art exhibitions AFP Relaxnews has picked out for you for the coming season.

Fantin-Latour à Fleur de Peau

From September 14, 2016 to February 12, 2017 at the Musée du Luxembourg

This is the first retrospective of the nineteenth-century painter’s work since the Grand Palais exhibition in 1982. It will include emblematic works by the artist who is known for his still lifes and group portraits.

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872, oil on canvas.

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872, oil on canvas. “Fantin-Latour à Fleur de Peau” from September 14, 2016 to February 12, 2017 at the Musée du Luxembourg. © Rmn-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Photo Hervé Lewandowski

Magritte, The Treachery of Images

From September 21, 2016 to January 23, 2017 at the Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is holding a René Magritte retrospective which will bring together a large number of both well-known and less familiar works by the Belgian artist, from public and private collections. Pictured top is The Anger of Gods, 1960, 80cm x 70cm oil on canvas, private collection.

Picasso-Giacometti

From October 4, 2016 to February 5, 2017 at the Musée Picasso

In partnership with the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation, the Musée Picasso will shine a light on the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti through the artists’ private archives.

Mexico 1900 – 1950 Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco…

Tiburcio Sánchez de la Barquera (1837-1902), Escandón Arango Family Portrait, 1867, oil on canvas. © INBA/Museo Nacional de Arte Photo © Francisco Kochen

Tiburcio Sánchez de la Barquera (1837-1902), Escandón Arango Family Portrait, 1867, oil on canvas. © INBA/Museo Nacional de Arte Photo © Francisco Kochen

From October 5, 2016 to January 23, 2017 at the Grand Palais

This exhibition will be the first in France to provide an overview of Mexican modern art from the revolution until the mid-twentieth century. Big names such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo will be included, as well as lesser-known artists such as Rosa Rolanda and Nahui Ollin. Visitors will also be able to see examples of nineteenth-century academic art.

Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection

"Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin collection" from October 22, 2016 to February 20, 2017 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton: "Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper (Chevalier X)" by André Derain, 1911-1914.

“Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper (Chevalier X)” by André Derain, 1911-1914.

From October 22, 2016 to February 20, 2017 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris is set to hold an exhibition of works collected by Sergei Shchukin, a Russian who was interested in 20th-century French art. Thanks to the cooperation of the Hermitage Museum and the Pushkin State Museum, the public will be able to see 130 pieces by major artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Rousseau and Toulouse-Lautrec.

5 Fashion Exhibitions, 4 Style Capitals

The style capitals of the world are not just home to runway shows. Over the next few weeks, Paris, New York, Venice and London will be hosting several exhibitions that feature iconic designs by equally iconic designers. Just looking through the list makes us wish we could pack our bags and hop on the next flight to these destinations just to catch a glimpse of fashion history. Join us as we take a look at five exceptional fashion exhibitions.

Anatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera, ParisAnatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera

More than a hundred garments and accessories are set to be on display till October 23 at the City of Paris Fashion Museum. Told in an unconventional way, the garments take us on a journey through the history of fashion. Highlights include a pajama suit worn by the British actress and model Tilda Swinton, a dress that belonged to Empress Josephine, and Marie-Antoinette’s corset.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the V&A Museum, LondonHistory-Of-Underwear

Exploring garments that have long been hidden from the public eye, the exhibition starts with men’s and women’s underwear that date back to the 18th century. The 200 pieces and archive documents will be on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London till March 12, 2017 . The exhibition looks at the role that underwear played in history and how the notion of the ideal body has changed over the years.

Culture Chanel exhibition: The woman who reads at the Ca’Pesaro, Veniceculture_chanel_.a34ee095626.h0

The seventh installment of the Culture Chanel international exhibition will be held at the Ca’Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice from September 17 until January 8, 2017. Having held a place in the heart of Gabrielle Chanel, the new instalment will see the city exhibit 350 works of authors who played a significant role in the designer’s creative life. The works of Homer, Plato, Virgil, Sophocles, Lucretia, Montaigne, Cervantes, Madame de Sévigné and Jean Cocteau will be displayed in the manner of a library.

Tenue correcte exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale (Appropriate dress required: when clothing causes a scandal) at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, ParisBall Gown, Viktor & Rolf (Dutch, founded 1993), spring/summer 2010; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2011 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Anna-Marie Kellen

From December 1 till April 23, 2017, the exhibition will showcase garments that have courted controversy and criticism in the past only to become everyday apparel. All the garments on display, including the shirt-dress, the female tuxedo and the miniskirt, were condemned at one time or another in history. In addition to the “scandalous” clothing, visitors will be able to peruse portraits, caricatures and advertisements.

Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

From November 8, 2016 to February 5, 2017 the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will dissect the way in which its collecting strategy has changed from an encyclopaedic approach to creating a body of masterworks. Concentrating on the last 10 years of purchases, the exhibition will highlight around 60 of these masterworks.

art-exhibition-paris-magis

Attend These: 6 Design Exhibitions, Paris

You might already be familiar with big-name shows such as Maison & Objet (from September 2 – 6) and Paris Design Week (September 3 – 10), but there are a number of smaller, off-beat gems in every corner of the French capital to check out too. Here are six design exhibitions even the most critical of design fans would love.

Muji Pop-Up Exhibition, September 2 – 25 2016; Rue des Blancs Manteaux
art-exhibition-paris-muji

The Muji pop up exhibition will focus on the brand’s visual identity. © Muji

Founded in Japan in 1980, Muji’s “no-brand” branding ironically made it a household name with its focus on product quality above all else. It is easy to see how one of its founders, Ikko Tanaka – an integral Japanese designer in the 20th century – conveyed the Muji spirit to everything, including the poster designs; a selection of these will be on display at the pop-up exhibition next month.

“Roger Tallon, Design in Motion”, September 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs
art-exhibition-paris-Roger-Tallon

Roger Tallon and his models for the TGV 001, TGV Duplex, and TGV Atlantique trains.
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / A.D.A.G.P. 2016

Highly regarded as one of France’s pioneering industrial designer, Roger Tallon might have passed away in 2011 but his remarkable work lives on. He was responsible for the design of many trains, such as the TGV Duplex, the Eurostar and the Montmartre funicular railway. Throughout his 60-year career, the prolific designer also had the route maps for the RER (Paris’ suburban rail network), Wimpy chair M400 spiral staircase, 3T tableware and Teleavia portable TV to his name. Now, many of his lesser-known works in the form of drawings, photos, documents and models – which he donated to the museum in 2008 – will finally be on display to public.

“The Spirit of Bauhaus”, October 19, 2016 – February 26, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs
art-exhibition-paris-bauhaus

Poster for the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar.
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Marcel Breur, creator of tubular furniture, and photographer Florence Henri (student of Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky) both had one thing in common: they both attended the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin from 1919 to 1933. The institution, famous for producing many influential artists and designers brought about a new approach to daily living by bridging the gap between all disciplines of art, including music, photography, architecture and even engineering. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs pays homage to this artistic movement by not only displaying original Bauhaus pieces, but also via the historical periods and their art forms which fueled the school’s spirit.

Exhibition of Jean Nouvel furniture, October 27 – February 12, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs
art-exhibition-paris-jean-nouvel

Triptychs, 2014, walnut and colored mirrors (Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Segui).
© Aline Coquelle

You might know Jean Nouvel for his architectural work but his furniture designs are mostly unknown pleasures. From 1987 to present day, the French architect has more than a hundred designs to his name. These will be displayed in various parts of the museum together with their advertising campaigns, of which he also designed in 1998.

“1976-2016: 40 Years of Magis Dreams”, August 31 – October 3, 2016; Pompidou Centre store (main image)

Italian furniture company Magis celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a retrospective of its history and most recent collections. The mini exhibition, which coincides with Paris Design Week, will also feature Magis’ symbolic cast iron mule, which was specially designed by the brand’s 76-year-old founder, Eugenio Perazza.

AD Interiors exhibition dedicated to collections, September 3 – 18 2016; Monnaie de Paris
art-exhibition-paris-ad-interiors

The Ora-Ito-designed kitchen for the 2016 AD Interiors exhibition which this year is dedicated to collections.
© Ora-ïto / “AD Intérieurs 2016, Univers de collectionneurs”

Six years ago, Architectural Digest magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary with its first AD Interiors exhibition, where 10 handpicked designers and interior decorators had to design a room using their style and expertise. For this year’s iteration, participants –including Ora-Ïto, Tristan Auer and Fabrice Ausset – have to create décor for a room based on the theme of the collections.

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions Fall 2016

The world of decoration and design kicks off a new season with the Maison & Objet exhibition in Paris, which will be held from September 2 to 6, 2016. It is the first in a raft of interesting upcoming design exhibitions around the globe.

1. Playing on an amalgamation of “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones”, the “House of Games” is the theme of the upcoming Maison & Objet interior design trade fair. Gearing up for exhibition in the Maison & Objet Inspirations Space from September 2 to 6, this year’s concept was conceived by trendspotter Vincent Gregoire from the NellyRodi agency.

True to its name, “House of Games” paints an offbeat kind of fantasy, while mirroring the need for games in modern society. It is a revival of baroque style combined with Alice in Wonderland eclecticism: masked balls and private clubs bask in a fin-de-siecle ambiance, while acknowledging the increasing popularity of board games. On that note, feather artisan Julien Vermuelen’s creations (pictured below) might best represent this year’s theme.

Feathered samurai by Julien Vermeulen © Julien Vermeulen All rights reserved / Maison & Objet 2016

Feathered samurai by Julien Vermeulen © Julien Vermeulen
All rights reserved / Maison & Objet 2016

2. “How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior” from October 1, 2016 to April 23, 2017 at the MoMA, New York

With this exhibition, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will explore the complex partnerships, materials and processes that have shaped interiors from the 1920s to the 1950s. The exhibition will bring together over 200 objects, including some from the MoMA collections. Big names in design will be featured, including Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Alvar Alto, and Charles and Ray Eames.

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

Triptychs (2014) in walnut and colored mirrors by Jean Nouvel (Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Segui). © Aline Coquelle

3. “The Spirit of Bauhaus” from October 19, 2016 to February 26, 2017 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris

From 1919 to 1933, the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin produced many influential artists and designers including Vassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breur, who invented bent tubular steel furniture, and the photographer Florence Henri, who took classes with Paul Klee. By bringing together painters, architects, craftsmen, engineers, actors, musicians, photographers and designers, the school created a new approach to daily living. The Musée des Arts décoratifs will pay tribute to this artistic movement via the historical periods and art forms which fueled its spirit, and will also display original Bauhaus pieces.

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Architect: Louis Kahn. © Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Photo by Lionel Freedman.

4. “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture” from November 5, 2016 to January 31, 2017 at the San Diego Museum of Art

The renowned American architect Louis Kahn is the subject of an exhibition in California’s San Diego Museum of Art. His most notable works include the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Capital Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The exhibition will include architectural models, original designs, photographs and films.

5. “Konstantin Grcic – Panorama” from November 25, 2016 to February 26, 2017 at the Hong Kong Design Institute

Konstantin Grcic, who designed such iconic pieces as the Chair One and the Mayday lamp, is considered one of the leading designers of our time. This new exhibition at the Hong Kong Design Institute examines the German designer’s career through drawings and installations specifically created by Grcic for the event.

Faena Hotel Miami,best design hotel by Virtuoso

Top 10 Luxury Hotels 2016: Virtuoso Selection

Luxury travel experts have christened a sumptuous villa set amongst the olive groves and lemon trees of Puglia, Italy their hotel of the year.

Winners of Virtuoso’s 10th annual Best of the Best awards, representing the standardbearers in luxury accommodations, were revealed at a conference in Las Vegas this week.

Taking the top title of “Hotel of the Year” is Italy’s Borgo Egnazia, a collection of white villas designed to evoke a traditional Apulian village, complete with piazza and alleyways.

The sprawling resort also features a championship 18-hole golf course, beach clubs and a renowned spa. Rooms are decorated in rich hues of cream, white and beige for a calming, restful effect.

It’s not the first time the Borgo Egnazia has been recognized within the industry. The hotel has also been awarded by Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Tatler and Leading Hotels of the World.

The Faena Hotel in Miami, Florida, was named best design hotel by Virtuoso

The Faena Hotel in Miami, Florida, was named best design hotel by Virtuoso

For the awards, Virtuoso surveyed their network of 390 luxury travel agencies and their 11,400 travel advisors around the world. Membership is invitation-only. Properties chosen belong to the group’s own network of 1,200 hotels, resorts, villas and private islands, located in 100 countries.

“Borgo Egnazia and the area of Puglia is one of the exciting new destinations in Italy that one could ever encounter,” said Annette Sordini of Protravel International, a Virtuoso agency.

“The hotel has an amazing ambiance, warm and friendly people, incredible food and a spiritual spa.”

Here are the other winners:

  • Best achievement in design: Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Florida
  • Best culinary experience: The Farmhouse Restaurant, Farmhouse Inn, California
  • Best bar: The New York Edition, New York
  • Best Family Program: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  • Best Spa: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
  • Most Innovative Guest Experience: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
  • Sustainable Tourism Leadership: andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • One to Watch: Hotel Eden Rome, Dorchester Collection, Rome, Italy
  • Hotelier of the Year: José Silva – Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, Paris, France
Design Festivals Around the World

Visit These: 6 Design Festivals Around the World

Pay attention, designers and design aficionados. As global festival season approaches, cities around the world vie for top spot as design capital of the world. Here, we bring you six of the best design festivals from around the world that you should have on your itinerary, should you be lucky enough to be planning a trip abroad.

Helsinki Design Week ( September 1 – 11)

As the largest of its kind in the Nordics, the Helsinki Design Week (pictured top) is a multidisciplinary design festival that hosts close to 200 events throughout the week. Held with the aim of promoting emerging talent, trends and international design collaborations, the annual event has successfully seen crowds of up to 120,000 people turn up previously.

Paris Design Week (September 3 – 10)

This Paris-wide event – organized to overlap with Maison & Objet – holds events in more than 300 venues in five areas in the city. Seven countries will participate this year, namely China, Ukraine, Estonia, Finland, the Flanders region on Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Denmark. Expect a cultural mash-up of exhibitions, cocktails and promenades as different nationalities culminate in the French capital.

London Design Festival (September 17- 25)

Known for collaborating with museums and cultural centers in the city, London Design Festival is organised to promote the city as a creative hub and gateway to the world of design. Its “Landmark Projects” installations program, in particular, has seen some of the world’s best designers commission work for it, including Alex Chinneck’s “A Bullet from a Shooting Star” in 2015.

Vienna Design Week (September 30 – October 9)

For a design festival that draws crowds of over 360,000 visitors, it is no wonder Vienna Design Week is already into its ninth edition. The annual festival chooses a district within the city to focus on so there’s something new to look forward to every year. This year, the spotlight is on the 5th Viennese municipal district of Margareten.

Design Week Mexico (October 5 – 9)
Design-festival-2016

Temporary installations for Mexico Design Week

Like a hub that connects artists, architects, designers and entrepreneurs to the public, Mexican design week is an accessible platform of events. Its dedication to bridging this gap earned it the appointment of World Design Capital for 2018.

Dutch Design Week (October 22 – 30)

As the largest design festival in Northern Europe, Dutch Design Week expects more than 275,000 visitors and 2,500 designers yearly. Unlike many others, this visionary festival chooses to focus on designs on the future instead.

4 Brazilian Restaurants 2016

4 Brazilian Restaurants: Rio Away From Rio

Not all Olympics fans will be lucky enough to go to Brazil (we know we aren’t!). In any case, you could argue that something as big as the Olympics is perfect for television but whoever you are and wherever you might be, food is not something best enjoyed vicariously. This is by no means perfect but maybe try Brazilian cuisine (hopefully not for the first time) at one of the four popular restaurants the AFP has picked out for you from around the world.

Maloka (Paris, France)

As Oka restaurant moves to the 5th district of Paris at the end of November, Rio de Janeiro-born chef Raphaël Rego has transformed its old location into a new restaurant called Maloka. With solid experience at Taillevent and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon behind him, Rego transports his customers to Brazil with no stopovers, serving local cuisine made with ingredients imported from his homeland. Parisians are introduced to cassava, a new twist on the traditional feijoada (a pork and black bean stew), and pao de queijo (cheese rolls) as they partake of genuine caïpirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail. This has become a hot culinary destination in Paris since its recent opening.

28, rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 75009 Paris

Beach Bistro 96 (New York, USA)

Rockaway Beach — a free beach accessible from Manhattan via the subway — has become a cool neighborhood of Queens beloved by surfers. Since May, a chef has been attracting foodies, and even a New York Times restaurant critic, to his Beach Bistro 96 here. A native of the town of Santos, in southern Brazil’s São Paulo state, Carlos Varella is the Big Apple’s latest hot favorite. Like his fellow Brazilian Raphaël Rego in France, he prepares culinary specialties from his home country such as pao de queijo. This former professional surfer’s menu also includes picanha, a cut of beef with a layer of fat that protects it during grilling.

95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Beach 96th Street, The Rockaways, New York

Cabana (Newcastle, UK)

The latest Brazilian eatery to open in the UK is in Newcastle. Cabana restaurants have opened their tenth address in this northeastern English city, offering a relaxed atmosphere and traditional Brazilian cuisine that has been given a modern twist for a new audience. This new business has also sourced some of its furnishings from Brazil’s poor communities such as the recycled jeans from a favela in São Paulo that have been used to line the restaurant’s chairs. Cabana already operates in London and Leeds, and plans to open another restaurant in Southampton in the near future.

117 Newgate Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Regina’s Farm (Fort Lauderdale, USA)

If you live in Florida, Regina’s Farm can transport you to the Brazilian countryside. Regina, a young Brazilian living in Fort Lauderdale was missing her native state of Minas Gerais, so decided to recreate a traditional Brazilian farm in her backyard. Brazilian culinary specialties are prepared on a wood stove in the company of roosters and chickens. Regina serves soups, cheese bread, fresh guarapa (iced sugarcane juice) and much more. The farm is a non-profit-making venture, which is only open to diners on Saturday.

1101 Middle St., Fort Lauderdale

Naked Restaurant The Bunyadi Heads to Paris

London’s naked pop-up restaurant is old news by now, having made headlines around the world and attracting more than 46,000 people to their waitlist. For those living under a rock, the restaurant, dubbed The Bunyadi (meaning natural in Hindi), is an eatery where customers basically eat in the buff. Unfortunately for Londoners – but fortunately for Parisians – The Bunyadi will close one month earlier than originally intended, and move across the Channel to the French capital.

The reason isn’t because of the lack of interest from the Londoners. Believe it or not, it is global warming. This year saw an unusually hot summer in London, which posed problems for the sans-aircon venue. Sweaty naked people eating together is probably as appealing as it sounds. Coupled with high interest from the French, The Bunyadi has decided to move house early. London fans need not be sad, however, for founder Seb Lyall reveals that a naked private members’ club will be launched in the city, where naturists in London can get bare with like-minded folks.

the-bunyadi-london-closes-1

With The Bunyadi, it is all about the bare necessities. Similar to the London edition, Paris’ outlet will see au naturel decor, as diners tuck into raw and organic dishes. Cell phones are also banned, and the dishes prepared without the use of electricity or gas. Lest you think this is mere copy-pasting, the Paris outpost will feature a different menu.

‘It’s really positive and I’m excited to be going to Paris,” said Lyall. “We’ll be taking our team there and finding a venue…People came over from Paris, people in the industry, and said, ‘we’d love you to open over here.’”

The Bunyadi served their final meals in London this weekend and will be flying over to Paris, where they hope to open for two-months starting September.

Design: Campana Brothers Turn Trash Into Art

One man’s trash is another man’s art it seems, especially for the Campana brothers. The Brazilian designer duo made up of Humberto and Fernando find their inspiration from what many would not think twice about discarding. Their studio in Sao Paulo, Brazil is filed with a slew of items made from the unlikeliest of materials.

From armchairs made from rag dolls and stuffed toy crocodiles, the designers have made a name for themselves in the design world with their quirky creations. Unlike a normal studio, the brothers who have no formal training in design. What they have is a team of artisans who not only sew leather and brush fleeces but also enter data on computers. “This is a laboratory,” says Humberto, the elder of the brothers at 63. “We are always seeking new forms of expression” added the former law student.

They pride themselves in surprising viewers with their work, such as sofas made out of cardboard and plastic packaging that is transformed into chairs. Another design that has caught the attention of fans is the ‘Favelas’. The artwork, as explained by Fernando, is their interpretation of how Brazilians living in the country’s slums build their homes out of objects they find in the street.

While they have had their work featured in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions such as New York’s MOMA and the Pompidou Center in Paris, the brothers also give back to society. They work with small cooperatives and artisans to support traditional local crafts to help show off the cutural riches of the country.

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo photo

Automakers Pass on Paris Motor Show

The upcoming Paris Motor Show will be marked by the notable absence of several major car makers, such as Ford, Mazda and Volvo, as well a boutique player we were looking forward to seeing, Alpine. [UPDATE] It is now being reported that Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Chevrolet, Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren and Rolls Royce will all be skipping the Paris Motor Show. These major names in luxury will instead be saving their big reveals for the Geneva Motor Show. Ford and Mazda have shunned the French capital’s show to focus on their own special promotional events and operations in dealerships.

Given that the list we have seen is quite extensive, who’s left at Paris in terms of luxury names you might wonder. According to news reports, fans of luxury motors will still be able to visit the Parisian stands of Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche to check out the new Spider, the restyled F-Type or the second-generation Panamera.

Volvo has been out of the picture for some time, following the last Paris Motor Show in late 2014. The firm will now focus on just one major event per continent each year, deciding to opt for the Geneva Motor Show rather than Paris this time.

Mazda will also be passing up on the Parisian rendezvous. Unsurprisingly, the firm doesn’t feel it gets enough visibility at such a “huge” show, where it’s hard to make an impact. What’s more, the schedule for announcing its upcoming models didn’t coincide with the timing of the Paris show. The Japanese automaker will therefore be organizing its own client marketing and communications operation during the time of the show.

The biggest blow for Paris Motor Show organizers was no doubt news that US manufacturer Ford won’t be attending the 2016 event. The manufacturer will instead be holding a series of events in dealerships in major French cities and carrying out its own promotional campaigns rather than relying on the Motor Show.

Finally, one surprise no-shower for 2016 is Alpine. Although the famous French brand made its comeback this year, Paris show-goers won’t be able to check out the new Alpine Vision, unveiled this year, with a design echoing the legendary Alpine Berlinette A110.

Nevertheless, there’ll still be almost 200 car brands heading to Paris for the event, set to showcase new models like the latest Peugeot 3008, the new Citroën C3 and the restyled Renault Clio.

In 2014, the Paris Motor Show welcomed almost 1.25 million visitors.

The Paris Motor Show runs October 1 to 16, 2016, at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Absennya Beberapa Pabrikan di Paris Motor Show

Paris Auto Show 2016

Paris Couture Week: Chopard High Jewelry Shines

Ralph & Russo, together with Chopard, are known to host some of the most elaborate and luxurious dinner parties, which usually involve the rich and famous. Their latest event earlier this month was no exception. Held on 4 July at the Georges in Paris, the prestigious dinner saw esteemed celebrities the likes of actors Sophie Marceau and Sonam Kapoor, alongside Victoria’s Secret model Jourdan Dunn wearing Chopard’s stunning creations.

Sonam Kapoor;Caroline Scheufele;Jourdan Dunn

(Left to right) Sonam Kapoor, Caroline Scheufele, Jourdan Dunn

Chopard’s precious jewels also made an appearance at The Art of Giving Love Ball at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris to raise funds for the Naked Heart Foundation, an initiative by supermodel Natalia Vodianova to raise funds for children with special needs. Graced by the powerful, such as Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, the supermodel brandished her own power look, with a pair of dazzling drop earrings.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the "The Art of Giving" Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the “The Art of Giving” Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

Le Roch Hotel & Spa Now Open

France welcomes another luxury hotel and spa to its stylish capital, with the opening of Le Roch Hotel & Spa earlier this week. Located on a prime plot of real estate, the 37-room hotel is just steps away from iconic Paris locations such as the Place Vendôme, the Opéra Garnier and the world famous art gallery: the Louvre.Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-suite

The spanking new hotel is housed in a heritage structure in the 1st arrondissement that dates back to the 19th century, which adds to its charm where sophistication meets modern design. The talented individuals behind the interior of the hotel are none other than interior designer Sarah Lavoine and architect Vincent Bastie. With amenities such as a sun-lit courtyard, a library a restaurant and an exclusive spa, Le Roch is a slice of Parisian heaven.Le-Roch-hotel-and-Spa-bathroom

The aesthetics of the hotel reflect the vibe of the neighborhood, while boasting colors such as sage, chartreuse and milky green. Furniture and fixtures are anything but boring, proving that the designer has a keen eye for detail. From pieces designed by Lavoine herself and crafted by Cassina, to the Carrera marble, solid walnut wood flooring right down to the bathtubs and basins by Kaldewei, each element blends together to create a stylish living space.Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-hammam-shower

If a spacious en-suite wasn’t enough, Le Roch provides a private hamman steam bath in each suite — perfect for resting those tired muscles after a day of travel. Complementing the bath are cosmetics from Codage that are specially commissioned for the hotel and spa. To be truly well rested and ready for the real world once again, the hotel provides guest with a 75-minute top-to-toe facial and body massage. To ensure that guests make the most of the signature in-house treatment, they are given a one-month supply of Codage’s ready-to-wear skincare line that combats jetlag and the effects of travel (Score!)Le-Roch-hotel-and-spa-dining-rooms

France being an international culinary hub means that the hotel has a restaurant steeped in world-class gastronomy. In the capable hands of chef Arnaud Faye, the restaurant provides guests with a menu that is anything but traditional French fare. Instead, the dishes use vegetables and botany for a truly gastronomic experience. While the meals are designed to be shared, we certainly wouldn’t complain about having a plate all to ourselves.

Le Roch Hotel & Spa – 28 rue Saint Roch, 75001 Paris

Garden of Dreams: Chaumet Jardins Jewelry

The cool, crisp air is filled with the chirrup of birds and the pitter-patter of light rain. A team of regional journalists, myself included, have been invited by Chaumet to gather at Shi-Yang, a bucolic tea house an hour’s drive away from the bustle of Taipei city and tucked away in the valley of the spectacular Wuzhi Mountain. I am led into a room on the second floor of the ultra-slick duplex, a structure that wouldn’t look out of place in a design feature; one end of the room opens up completely to face the lush greenery. I am left alone to “clear my thoughts” and to find my “inner zen”.

In Full Bloom_LO_bijoux_f

To fully understand why Chaumet has brought L’Officiel Singapore here, one ought to know that nature is, in fact, a really big deal for the Parisian jeweler. For 236 years, the brand has embraced both the beauty of the wild and wildlife as sources of inspiration, combining that with an inimitable know-how in craftsmanship and gem-setting to create highly impressive lines for an overarching collection named “Jardins”.

There’s Bee My Love, which, as its name suggests, celebrates the bee – a symbol of regality beloved by the French – and the honeycomb pattern on diamond bands and mini pendants. Hortensia translates the pretty hydrangea as bouquets of vibrant-colored stones on brooches, rings and earrings. Meanwhile, Attrape-Moi re-imagines the movements of spiders, dragonflies and, again, bees as playful motifs on the dial of a watch or as the centrepiece of a jewelry creation.

In Full Bloom_LO_bijoux_f

Chaumet unfolds a new chapter in the enchanting Jardins story this month by presenting two unique high jewelry lines, Abeille and Épi de Blé, which, like their predecessors, are inspired by the same beautiful garden universe that the brand has looked to for over two centuries. The Abeille line sees a return to the house’s treasured bee motif, elevating the insect in never-seen-before arrays of contrasting-colored gems. Striking mandarin and hessonite garnets sit alongside the cool tones of aquamarine, peridot and green tourmaline on gold rings, earrings and pendants, all of which are decorated with delicate open-worked wings and finished with only the finest brilliant-cut diamonds.

In Full Bloom_LO_bijoux_f

Meanwhile, the Épi de Blé range is a feminine tribute to Empress Joséphine, the first and eternal muse of Chaumet, and a fashion icon who, throughout her lifetime, remained true to the French Empire’s contemporary design codes. During her reign in the early 19th century, Joséphine quickly popularised the neoclassical tiara, which eventually led to the return of classical motifs such as the wheat sheaf in jewellery. Now, the symbol of life makes a second comeback as the Épi de Blé brooch and ring in yellow gold. The pair is rhodium-plated to resemble gold jewelry worn in the ’80s, but is updated with sparkling diamond accents for modern-day appeal.

In Full Bloom_LO_bijoux_f

Accompanying the Abeille and Épi de Blé lines are also new additions to Chaumet’s highly popular Hortensia family. There are two parts: Aube Rosée depicts the hydrangea in the morning through powdery pink opals, pink sapphires and pink tourmalines; Voie Lacteé portrays the flower in the night time using symphonies of milky sapphires, tanzanites and white chalcedony.

In Full Bloom_LO_bijoux_

The final showcase of Chaumet’s new Jardins chapter soars high into the sky, immortalizing the swallow – the bird of hope, loyalty and rebirth – in a range of geometric-style pieces composed of intense onyx, emeralds and sapphires. An ode to the brand’s innovative spirit, a pair of transformable earrings – embellished with a pair of white agates that can be detached to be worn as short earrings – takes the spotlight.

This article first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore.

One Night in Miu Miu Club Paris

Not everyone gets a chance to step into the opulent world that is Hotel de la Paiva but for one night only, Miu Miu gave its members access to the decorated private residence that once belonged to infamous courtesan Esther Lachmann in the 1880s.

The Miu Miu Club Paris is an evolution of Miu Miu Clubs held internationally, such as London, Shanghai, L.A and Macau. This year, the Italian label brings its unique brand of whimsicality and kitsch to the exquisite rooms of Hotel de la Paiva to showcase its Fall/Winter 2016 campaign and video.

Head over to L’Officiel.com to find out more about Miu Miu’s latest extravaganza.

Best Fine Dining Airport Restaurant 2016 Is…

One can sample some of the finest French fare, it seems, without leaving the confines of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. “I Love Paris”, named the best fine dining airport restaurant of 2016, was picked at the Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) Conference and Awards in Geneva.

Owned by chef Guy Martin, the restaurant serves up classic French cuisine such as blanquette de veau (veal ragout) and pot-au-feu as well as vegetarian burgers and mango carpaccio. The spin-off of the chef’s Michelin-starred Le Grand Vefour in Paris, edged out Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food to win the top prize in the category of chef-led, fine dining offer of the year.

However, Martin may not be the leader of the pack for long with the arrival of restaurants by celebrity French chefs Thierry Marx and Michel Rostang last week. Meanwhile, Copenhagen Airport took home the top honor for best overall airport for food and beverage for the second time — having first done so in 2014. While the Danish capital is now regarded as a culinary hotspot thanks to chef Rene Redzpei’s restaurant Noma, the airport offers 34 restaurants and coffee shops to choose from.

Other winners at the FAB Conference and Awards include Emirates Leisure Retail, Hudson and Brisbane Airport for the best airport coffee shop of the year. The Hausmann’s Flughafen Gastronomie at Frankfurt airport took home the title for the best casual dining restaurant of the year.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report, with an image from the same

Dior Tough Guys Heat Up Paris Fashion Week

Fans of Dior would be aware of the Maison’s sleek, refined style, but this SS17, the storied house shows that it is capable of more, baring a tougher side. It would be erroneous to deem it all punk – this is still Dior we’re talking about – but these boys are no joke. Every trope of the punk wardrobe was present, from string vests to dangling wardrobe braces, as if verbalizing a warning: don’t mess with the Dior boys.

Sure enough, the looks were dark and menacing, with braces-turned-chest-armour-cum-jewelry. More echoes of punk were observed in the check shirts, with evocations of the ghost of Johnny Rotten’s tartan in the contrasting red stitching against the collection’s predominantly black core. Of note are two pieces that ooze sheer punk fantasy: a blouson and a sleeveless jacket and trousers completely covered in boot eyelets, with laces hanging from each one.

Despite the omnipresent bad boy aesthetic, designer Van Assche asserts that the collection is more “New Wave romanticism” and less punk, citing his own “very good memories of New Wave music” from cult goth bands like The Cure as inspiration.

Whether it’s more punk or more New Wave, one thing is certain: the Dior tough guys mean business.

Utamaro Woodblock Print Sets Auction Record

The Japanese art of woodblock printing has a very long history, with its fair share of masters whose work is in high demand from collectors . One of these masters was Kitagawa Utamaro, an artist nonpareil at the time for his beautiful depictions of women. At a Paris auction, held by the Beaussant Lefevre auction house in association with Christie’s, Utamaro’s sensual skill was brought to the forefront again with an auction of his ‘Deeply Hidden Love’ (Fukaku Shinobu Koi) print. It fetched around 745,000 euros, and went way beyond the initial estimate of 100,000 euros – setting a record for both prints of the Ukiyo-e genre, as well as prints by the artist of course.

Auction of the Portier Collection

The auction held in Paris was focused on Asian art and objects from a collection held by the Portier family – mainly consisting of Japanese earthenware including chawan (tea bowls) and kogo incense boxes. All 90 lots put up were sold after intense bidding, which is an extraordinary result. Some of the other major lots sold included a portrait of actor Tanimura Torazo created by artist Toshusai Sharaku (101,000 euros), and a bust of comedian Iwai Hanshiro by Utagawa Kunimasa (78,680 euros).

“(The Portiers’) expertise has been a reference for the Asian art market for the past four generations,” said the auction house in a statement.

There was also a set of eight exceptional Edo stamps that mainly depicted portraits of actors done by leading artists at the time. Each stamp was acquired by Henri Portier and his son Andre, major figures in the Asian art market in France, in sales at the Drouot auction house over the past century.

Utamaro, Master of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Compared with more popular forms of art like painting, the techniques behind woodblock printing are less known. It was a complicated process that involved three people working in tandem with one another. The artist himself usually only made the initial sketch of the final product, before sending it over to a carver to carve out the block, and a printer to apply inks to the block. Especially troublesome was the fact that each block could only be used for a single color (although some used blocks repeatedly to get special effects). Multiple woodblocks had to be prepared for a single print.

When the whole process worked out, under the conception of a skilled artist, you get the masterful combinations of color and form that characterize the best works in the medium. The powerful contrasts of blues and whites, for example, that blends together, for example, in Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave Off Kamigawa’. Utamaro, on the other hand, was more focused on using those colors to create a light and idealized form of femininity – and captured subjects like courtesans and Geisha from the Yoshiwara district – or bustling scenes of human life.

The methodology of Japanese woodblock printing has fallen out of favor, especially in view of newer mediums like linocut and lithography (and not to mention digital printing today). Still, the effects and techniques achieved by the Ukiyo-e artists have inspired countless others in the East and West – including great painters such as Van Gogh, most famously. The prints are being perpetuated all over the globe and can gather up new fans over the years. Hopefully, that’ll continue.

Maria Grazia Chiuri

Dior Names Maria Grazia Chiuri Artistic Director

Anything can happen in the world of fashion and often does. In what seems like a big shake-up in the industry, Dior announces its first ever female artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who was previously from Valentino.

Chiuri, known for her romantic, intricate designs at Valentino, will leave the Italian House and her longtime creative partner Pierpaolo Picciolo, whom she’s worked with since 2008. She will not only fill the vacancy left by Raf Simons since his departure last October, but will also join an esteemed league of designers the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre and John Galliano, who previously helmed the label.

Meanwhile, Swiss design duo Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, who have been holding the fort, will likely move to Dior’s haute couture department, with their debut couture collection showing in Paris on July 4.

The LVMH-owned couture house has reportedly seen a four percent drop in growth in the last quarter, while its turnover is also down by one percent to (EURO)1.39 billion, and the brand is hopeful Chiuri can improve the situation. To be fair though, the overall macro-economic situation is likely to blame and the ripples from Brexit (still a possibility at the time of this announcement) will certainly not help.

Brexit Inspires Paris Fashion Week Catwalks

Great Britain determined its fate in a referendum to break away from the European Union despite the best efforts of experts and, strangely, the world of fashion. The anticipation of the results has not only dominated the news cycle in Britain but also the rest of the world, including the world of fashion, as reported previously on L’Officiel Singapore. Over at Paris Fashion Week, designers are making their political stance clear with their designs — of at least taking inspiration from one of the most talked about issues in Europe in the last decade. Sadly for us all, expressions of affection from Europe did not convince the English to stay the course…

Little England was under the spotlight, with cricket jumpers, brouges, boating shoes as well as neo-Morris men seen on the runway. The trend did not rest with suave and stylish designs. Instead, designers also sent out sweatpants, parkas, tartan and charity shop suits. The Balenciaga show in question was also a significant milestone for the brand as it is the first menswear runway show for the brand.

While the political climate was clear, Britain’s politicians were also unlikely forms of inspiration for designers. Looks such as double-breasted suits and blazers worn by Leave campaigner and UKIP party leader Nigel Farage were seen. Though it must be said that it will be a cold day in hell, as they say, before the aptly named Farage is seen in a Balenciaga shoulder padded suit with high-heeled boots.

Though not as controversial as Balenciaga’s, Dutch designer Walter Van Beirendonck’s designs sought inspiration from the Pony club and Morris men motifs that are familiar sights in a London flea market. While he denies using his clothes to make a political statement, the designer did concede that this is the first collection that has seen him use black on this scale. And he chose a riddle from the most English of books, Alice in Wonderland — “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” — as the title of his show. “I was questioning why this was all happening,” said Beirendonck. “We don’t have answers to our questions. I feel the world today is a riddle without an answer.”