#theWanderlist: Man Mo Cafe Honors Tradition While Infusing The New
I’ve always thought that Upper Lascar Row, aka “Cat Street” parallel to Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan, was one of the best preserved streets in Hong Kong. Walking through this pedestrian-only alleyway, lined on both sides with an amazing selection of Chinese Antiques, traditional furnitures, and vintage junks, I really get a sense of Hong Kong’s craft and aesthetic history because it’s all here on display. To me the 100 year old Cat Street really feels untouched, and locals and tourists alike can still come here to find items, decorative and historic, real and replica… to take home that is uniquely of an old Hong Kong style.
On a rainy Wednesday evening, when all stalls were closed, I came in after work to check out for the first time the Man Mo Cafe, the first concept restaurant to open on Cat Street. For better or for worse, once one “destination” restaurant opens, others will follow… however its on this street that founder of Man Mo Cafe, Swiss-born chef Nicolas Elalouf, aimed to not only establish a Chinese-focused restaurant which was rooted within history (possibly an unavoidable decision due to such an iconically historic site), but to formulate a humble Cafe which allows Elalouf to combine his own expertise for what he had learned in the west in order to create something new for Hong Kong.
I doubt that a “Destination” restaurant was Elalouf’s intent with Man Mo Cafe, however, armed with a duo of amazing chefs, one from Robuchon and another an award winning chef from the Original Din Tai Fung in Taipei, Elalouf has made it clear that his fusion dishes are unlike any other. Scores of restaurant reviews from the likes of Hong Kong Tatler and Time Out Hong Kong have been published since they’ve opened earlier in the year, and all have been unanimous… the balance of the eastern tradition of dumpling making, with the western tradition of preparing delicacies, is absolutely achieved in their signature dishes.
Some of my favorites include the Burger Buns (glazed Char Siu Bao) featured above, which come complete with a vial of thousand island dressing that you squeeze into the bun after biting off the top of it.
The Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese Dumpling.
The best… this Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao will melt in your mouth.
This Panfried Shanghainese, Truffle and Brie Dumpling, is another best dish.
We loved this savoury Steamed Ratatouille dumpling, filled with delicious vegetables and a tangy tomato sauce. (I felt like I was eating a Western dish… but I was eating it with chopsticks from a steam basket).
To end the dinner we had a taste of Man Mo’s famousNutella Ball in Sesame Seed Pastry.
As well as a bit of these delicious HK Egg Lemon Tarts.
Daphne’s Hong Kong facade works on display is one of a planned series of rotating exhibitions for this simple yet elegant space.
Daphne’s exhibition is actually going to get extended because works have sold and new works have just been placed up on display this past week to take its place.
Here’s a photo of all of us with Chef Nicolas at the end of the evening.
Word on the street is that there have already been offers to purchase this independent restaurant by a bigger restaurant group. Whatever happens to this place, hope the quality keeps up. The pricepoint is not that bad either, about 800HKD for two people. The service is fantastic and food items get made only when ordered, so dont expect to rush your meal and give it some time.
EAT Man Mo Cafe . 40 Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street), Sheung Wan, Hong Kong . T: +852 26445644 . Tue-Sun 12-3 and 6-Midnight
Last month, Ning Lau, founder of digital style platform, Who-Are-Invited, was able to get together a group of unique and cool individuals in the city to discuss each of their interests in art for an online editorial titled, Discovering Art.
Who-Are-Invited was established by Ning a year ago for the purpose of bringing together “creative talents from all walks of life”, representing the diversity of Hong Kong and China’s vibrant digital community through stories and editorial content. Using this platform, Ning is able to introduce a group of “interesting and exciting individuals” each week including “journalists, fashion designers, bloggers, artists, musicians, and readers/followers”, all showcasing their personalities and work via a series of “strong and impactful fashion visuals”.
Ning reached out to me before to discuss appearing in one of her other projects within the Who-Are-Invited platform, but due to scheduling conflicts and tight deadlines, we were never allowed the opportunity to align. This time around Ning proposed an interview at The Cat Street Gallery, basically an institution on Hollywood Road, whilst a show by Gina Jones, titled Southern Brights, was on display.
I really like the work of New Zealand based Jones, who actually trained and practices as an Architect, but now uses what she knows in relation to composition, material, and form making, to introduce new kinds of works that are focused on pop-color and formal play on a 2D plane.
The shoot included a dear friend, former Vogue China’s Editor and Stylist, Grace Lam, who believes every kind of Art, whether it be fashion, painting, or music, can have elements which can bring happiness to others, which is the most important thing. She herself appreciates Modern abstract art the most, especially if the work references fashion, like the art of British practitioner, Martin Gaye “Spartacus” Chetwynd.
Also in the shoot is Creative director, Kenji Wong, founder of Growth Ring, who works on all creative aspects from fashion to interior design in relation to his customer’s needs. On weekdays he explores different galleries in the city to find some inspiration for his work. Although technically not an artist, Kenji is inspired by the way Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, plays with light and space.
I discussed my thoughts on how and what I look at when I view and assess art, as well as my forever obsession with the works of Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko, who pretty much inspired my earlier architectural representational sketches.
Hong Kong Tatler’s fashion editor, Justine Lee, was also part of the shoot. While Shoes and accessories for the shoot were provided by Hogan Shoes from their Spring-Summer 2014 collection. Photography for the campaign was taken by the ever cool, Calvin Sit.
TOP, Ease (2012). MIDDLE, Murmur (2014) ABOVE, Antony Gormley with his self-portrait, Form (2013).
In the month prior to Art Basel, the Hong Kong branch of White Cube is playing host to a new show by the world-renown sculptor, Sir Antony Gormley, titled States and Conditions, Hong Kong. Usually Art Basel month is a great way to present the heavy hitter artists, however the choice to exhibit a Gormley show prior to the annual art fair may have something to do with A) the gallery wanting an introspective Gormley show to shine bright above the hustle and bustle of fair traffic and/or B) a Gormley show is just plain difficult to literally sell an Art Basel crowd.
The “difficulty” is partly due to the site specificity of the Gormley show. That said, it’s a very good exhibition and one that needs to be seen before May 3rd. If you miss it, you’ll be missing out on an opportunity of a moment. Based on Gormley’s own project drawings available via the exhibition’s catalogue, the works created for White Cube Hong Kong are meant to be experienced at that site. Taking one piece away from this context would be like breaking up a family. According to the artist at his talk, the “sequence of architectural volumes (of the gallery space, is) an opportunity to create a connected narrative.”
And all parts of the show are connected. Every work is a qualifier of the previous work, according to Gormley, and what is presented here is thought forming, process, and various manipulation of volume, emphasizing that the interconnected acts is a full spectrum of creation (with every chapter readily available for sale, of course).
In his talk at the gallery two weeks ago, Gormley states that White Cube Hong Kong is a “privatized gallery”, a prime example of the “architecture of capitalism”. However he takes this opportunity to present new works as an act of subversion.
White Cube Hong Kong has only been operating for about three years, yet no one has proposed work, quite like Gormley, which speaks directly to the gallery as a manifested product of its physical site and as an art market destination in Hong Kong.
Small Prop 111 (2013)
It’s within these found conditions, all defined literally by a logical series of White Cube-like rooms, Gormley responds by imposing 90-degree surfaces to a sculptural self portrait; a lone work on the 2nd level of the gallery titled, Form (2013), which pretty much evolves to become the behemoth piece that is Murmur (2014), located on the street level space right underneath it.
Gormley responds to the gallery’s starkly geometric and commercial existence with a counter proposal of space, one that is derived from the evolution of his own proportions.
Strain II (2011)
Murmur (2014), as with all other works in this show, celebrates the opportunity to formulate a discussion between our raw animal natures, our bodies, and our conscious choice to confine / and define ourselves via cubic spaces, something that is not of our natural world and can potentially be a segregative experience in the process.
And outside these cubic spaces? Back to classic “Gormley” studies in Reserve (2013) where the object’s human proportions is itself the one true shelter in unison with the wild.
My plan was, instead of having a big party I would have a dream week of food tastings from four fresh dining hotspots i’ve never been to and two I wanted to revisit. In the previous post, I wrote about the delicious entrecote from La Vache, the humble yet delectable offerings of ABC Kitchen, and the wonderful pairings found at Ham & Sherry.
In this post we end with the last three… a fun yet underwhelming revisit to La Cantoche, an amazing re-experience at Fish & Meat / Stockton, and a new burger discovery with Beef & Liberty.
+ “Fun French… I Used To Love It, Now I Just Like It”
The last time I was at La Cantoche, was for a media tasting with about 12-14 of us, and the plates from the entrees to mains were generally flawless in presentation to delivery. Some dishes, like the Rice Krispies in Lettuce Wrap were infectious while the Roasted Camembert Cheese with Potato Balls and the Reblochon Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu were divisive. This time the Camembert and the Cordon bleu were the star attractions of the dinner, but that’s because everything else (even the Rice Krispies) were generally dry (as in not moist) and underwhelming. The birthday chocolate cake was 1-note sweet, flat, and dry. At the media tasting, the Camembert and Chicken Cordon bleu probably tasted the same as at my birthday, but because every other dish tasted so delicious, juicy, and fresh, we couldn’t help but compare.
Conceptually it’s a fun restaurant from a French-Viet guy (present almost every night) who wanted to take basic home cooked French fare, but mix it with a bit of the Asian twist he grew up with. Unfortunately, when we started putting photos on Instagram and Twitter, another “La Cantoche” from Paris tweeted back saying this:
I checked out the website of the Parisian La Cantoche, and sure enough, it’s also youthful twist at French fare, with their logo’s font being similar to the one being used in Hong Kong.
Do we have a Chinafied version on Hollywood road perhaps?
In the end of the day none of this would have mattered if the food stayed the same quality as the Media Tasting… but that’s the media tasting. I love the ambiance and vibe here in general, but I from the last time I was here, to now… it was a bit disappointing and not really consistent. That said my birthday table had about twenty of us, and there was another birthday table of about 20 people as well. We RSVP’d over a month in advance, so I’m sure they were more than ready.
Thanks to these guys for showing up and celebrating with me!
Also thanks to the Lovely Louise for planning it, making it happen, and putting it all together!
EAT La Cantoche . GF, 227 Hollywood Road on 5 Wa Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong . T: +852-24260880 . Walk Ins Welcome
+ “Fish, Meat, and Drinks To Die For”
Okay let me tell you about Fish & Meat. This place is crazy excellent. I’ve only been to this place once with friends (NOT a media tasting) and I can tell you 100%, Fish & Meat is the best new place for… well… fish and meat. From the pre-drinks, to the entrees, to the mains, to dessert, then post-drinks after at Stockton below, it’s by far an excellent and hearty meal that takes you somewhere else… like a European Seaside community or something to that effect. I’m not so sure about the back story, but the “on point” theatrical yet restrained ambiance of the restaurant’s decor is by designer du jour Ben McCarthy of Charlie & Rose, whom I interviewed recently for INDESIGNLIVE Magazine.
Everything on the menu is everything you could possibly want in a menu from a Western seafood restaurant. The offerings are straightforward, with the key element being that is focus on classic simplicity with a big dose of heritage touches.
For my dinner we had the fish, a Whole Roasted Italian Sea Bass with Fennel and a tasty Romesco Sauce, and meat, a 32 Oz Prime Beef Rib from Kobe with a house Bearnaise and Salsa Verde. The menu says they’re for two people, but we were more than stuffed with the four of us. When ordering don’t miss out on my favorites, the Sweet Corn Polenta, and the Grilled Fennel with Celeriac, Saffron, and Verjus. For Starters a selection of from Roasted Bone Marrow, to Fresh Baby Spanish Octopus, and Soft Duck Egg Raviolos are available. Don’t skip the Sicilian Lemon Tart with Country Clotted Cream at the end.
Overall everything in the meal was finely cooked, at the right temperature, with the right zesty flavours, leaving every one just right and more than satisfied. The restaurant is on the pricier side, but I really feel that i’m actually getting European flavours, and not just an imitation.
After Dinner, make sure to remind your hostess to allow you entrance at the “super secret, speakeasy” bar downstairs called, Stockton. Also designed by Charlie & Rose. Stockton has some of the finest fancy “mixology”-esque cocktails in the city. It’s adventurous while being not to feminine or trendy. I love whisky and this place has amazing whisky based cocktails. Try my two favorites, the Athole Brose featuring a Blended Whiskey with Wild Heather Honey, Oatmeal, Drambuie, Luxardo Amaretto di Sachira, and topped with Double Cream or the Brass Monkey, an HM King with Compressed Citrus, Maca, Lucuma, Vanilla Gum, and Chuncho Bitters.
When i’m around the Central area, Stockton is the new “local” for me there. I’m not a Lan Kwai Fong (Hong Kong bar street) type of person so this place is a good go-to, always punctuating a night’s out after dinner.
The decor is lovely, and the space is filled with found antiques from Thailand and Paris… making it feel like an authentic pub, rather than a theatrical reproduction.
+ “New Burger Joint I Really Like, Plus the Korean Fried Chicken…”
My sister and I ended my #JJsBirthdayWeekofEats, with a Sunday brunch at Beef & Liberty, a new beautiful burger joint on Level 3 of that three-story modern commercial building on the corner of Wing Fung Street and Star Street. I didn’t know much about Beef & Liberty before I got here, but I was just a fan of the branding work by WHITESPACE HK and the wall mural by Los Angeles based artist, CYRCLE, that you can see from the street. (Even though I’m obviously a foodie, i’m a design tourist first.)
According to their website, Beef & Liberty is a “modern homage to the original beefsteak clubs… originating in eighteenth century London.” Guys, it’s a burger shop. And a pretty good one at that. The meat is hormone-free grass fed beef from Hereford and Angus cattle, naturally raised by small-scale farmers in Tasmania.
My sister and I shared one burger (it was the 6th of 6 major meals straight) and one appetiser. We started with the Crispy Chicken Wings, which are basically Korean Fried Chicken. The wings are huge and the skin is cooked crisp. While it is saucy, it doesn’t take away from the crispiness of the dish nor is it too oily either. It’s a perfect wing and Korean chicken served just right. For the burger we didn’t order the Classic (I rarely do for fancy burger joints like this), but instead ordered the Green Chili Burger… a burger with green chili slices, jalapeno relish, cheddar cheese, butter lettuce, and mayonnaise. The burger was big enough to share for two, but not too big to sink your teeth into without ingredients slopped around because of it. The bread here is perfectly pan fried, and absorbs the oil well… meaning it doesn’t fall apart. The beef was cooked rare (how I like it), with the jalapeno relish and green chili giving an interesting southwestern tex-mex twist to the flavour.
We ended the meal with dessert (who doesn’t)… a Warm Skillet Cookie & Cream, which is exactly what it says it is. The chocolate chip cookie is freshly baked and the clotted cream is homemade, balancing the overly sweet cookie. I’d definitely come back here again.
EAT Beef & Liberty . Star St. Precinct, 2F, 23 Wing Fung St., Wanchai, Hong Kong . T: +852 28113009 . Reservations Recommended
Overall the dinners were great, but most important was that I was with friends and family members which made the experience very memorable.
I also just wanted to quickly show off some of the great presents I got this year; like this hilariously amazing sweatshirt with a “United States of James Franco” print on it from RAD in Paris.
Other cool gifts; check out these travel bags from my friends Eddy and Jason. Eddy makes these amazing camo totes from his label, Compound By 3 Spirit and Jason just launched a menswear leather accessories label called Hammer & Needle. (The travel books are via my other pals Katrina, Jason, and David from Louis Vuitton.)
Now that my amazing “Jesus Year” 33 is over… I can’t wait to continue to work that much harder creatively moving forward into the coming year based on the cool stuff that has happened within the last twelve months.
And of course, much Gratitude to the everyday. I don’t forget this.
#theWanderlist. Six Meals in Six Days; La Vache!, ABC Kitchen, and Ham & Sherry To Start
Celebrating a birthday is a very interesting thing. There are transformative years, like a celebration of a decade’s past or even half that, when the appropriate way to celebrate a threshold is a grand birthday bash. Then there are the odd years when its that weird transition, like in my case, turning 34, which is neither as cool as “Jesus-Year-33” or as exciting as 35. In this situation, you wonder… if the birthday is worthy of any big bash at all?
Everyday is indeed a day to celebrate living and breathing, that said, we always should find an excuse to throw a party, a dinner, or anything for a celebration. Life’s short ya know? So while I usually throw big bashes in Hong Kong every year for the birthday, this year… I wanted to try something else… an “Intimate Dinner” series. And because I am who I am, I chose to celebrate this year with six intimate dinners… claiming the entire week for celebration. (The seventh day is gym day.)
For those who have a week of dinners to spare, value intimate conversations, as well as entering a “weird age” not warranting a grand bash, I suggest scheduling a few dinners big and small with all your fabulous friends so that you catch up with each and everyone one of them over tasty food and drinks, instead struggling a “hello” over loud music.
In the case of Hong Kong, a foodie haven, a birthday week is a perfect opportunity to sample the newest and best this city has to offer in the Dining scene, and for me a great way to “wanderlist” all the freshesr hotspots for the blog. I even created an Instagram hashtag, #JJsBirthdayWeekofEats. Here’s to the first three meals of the week…
+ “All You Can Eat Fries With Rib Eye”
Our “Birthday Week of Eats” began at one of the newer restaurants in town, La Vache. At La Vache, you can pretty much have anything you want… as long as what you want is a Trimmed Entrecote Steak with fries and a walnut salad. That said, there’s only one thing in the menu to get right, and they passed with flying colors. Entrecote with fries is a staple meal in plenty non-descript urban cafes in France. In Hong Kong’s La Vache, it’s the star of the show. Using USDA grade Rib Eye, your steak is cooked any way you want it, with melt in your mouth unlimited french fries, and a light walnut salad to start, all for less than 300HKD. An iconic and addictive “Sauce Maison” is also a reason to go back. Drinks and a Dessert cart (great selections) are available as an add-on to the meal.
Decor is surprisingly light, modern, charming, tasteful, and really has a feeling of being located in Paris. I especially loved the cool illustrations of Paris everywhere you look. This most likely has something to do with making you feel like you’re having a dining getaway.
There are no reservations here at La Vache so pick your visit here wisely.
EAT La Vache! . GF 48 Peel Street, Central, HK . T: +852-28800248 . No Reservations
+ “Europe’s Best In Da’ Hood”
For my second night of dinners, me and the boys went to check out the famed ABC Kitchen, pioneered by a couple of chefs from the now defunct M at the Fringe. What makes this place interesting is that those two chefs are basically cooking up signature dishes which earned M at the Fringe it’s accolades, awards, and fans. These renegade chefs are offering 5-star dishes democratically at not-so-M-on-the-fringe prices.
Contextually, there’s no hoity-toity here. ABC Kitchen is located in a cooked food hawker centre in the middle of Sheung Wan. The only thing that’s fancy about it is an amazingly iconic suckling pig (also from M) that everyone orders, the red and white checkered table cloth, and an extra personal and friendly service that’s seemingly alien to the city but expected in an HK family run cooked food eatery.
We tried the beetroot risotto, the seasonal mussels, the foie gras with toast, and all of the desserts. Overall we were completely impressed by the Kitchen’s classic European fare, served here using fresh ingredients, at a truly affordable price.
Despite its very compact space, Ham & Sherry, a new Ship Street locale by the super duo, Yenn Wong and London-based Jason Atherton, is such a cool and beautiful drinks and dine destination. A big contribution to the charm is most likely the smart use of Catalonian-inspired blue and white tiles from wall to floor, plus framed mirrors throughout, giving a feeling of an expansive social house in Spain, all under the creative design direction of Shanghai-based studio; Neri and Hu.
Wong and Atherton first collaborated on 22 Ships across the street, serving Spanish tapas in a completely inventive way. Gone are the fusioned influences of 22 Ships, but instead Ham & Sherry, pairs classic Spanish selections, like a range of Iberico Bellota Hams, a creamy mixed Seafood Paella, a scrumptious Salt and Pepper Chipirones (Squid), and a dish of Garlic & Chilli Prawns, with an impressive selection of sherry. The idea to have a sherry-based destination eatery was initially due to the success of the sherry offerings at 22 Ships. Some of the 50 choices of sherry at Ham & Sherry include a range of moscatel, manzanilla, and classic finos.
If you ARE new to Sherry, your wait staff will be more than happy to assist you in pairing each of your dishes with the right Sherry of choice or vice versa. If you’re feeling up for it, you should have both Ham & Sherry and 22 Ships in the same evening, some people do. Since this is my third night of birthday eats with three more nights to go, I decided to pace myself instead.
EAT Ham & Sherry . 1-7 Ship Street, Wanchai . T: +852 25550628 . No Reservations
The rest of #JJSBirthdayWeekofEats to come! Stay Tuned.
Okay. Let me just put it out there and get the obvious criticisms i’ve been hearing on and on about about Zaha Hadid’s design for the new new PolyU Design Jockey Club Innovation Tower out the way. Ready? Here goes:
CRITIC: The Tower is out of context with the rest of the Hong Kong PolyU Campus in Hung Hom.
ME: This is a criticism that most new “avant-garde” iconic buildings get around the world in relation to their context. And really… the language of this urban brutalist dream that is the HK PolyU campus is a product of its time and does not reflect what design innovators are doing at this point in time. Any further investment in architecture should support new ways of form exploration and form making.
CRITIC: The Tower facade, defined by a series of white aluminium fins is too flimsy.
ME: Actually I think it’s quite okay. I get that the horizontal striations are generally in line with the rest of HK Poly U’s Horizontal red bricked striations.
CRITIC: The windows and the buildings are too difficult to clean and maintain. They need to erect bamboo scaffolding to clean each area.
ME: You got me on that one.
CRITIC: The floor layouts are too crazy.
ME: Actually the floor layouts are not bad. Each floor is a kind of place that is different from floor to floor. The corridors are as important as a place of gathering as are the classrooms. I would imagine design students could be more open to congregate within these playful spaces than traditional narrow corridors and boxy classrooms.
The vertical circulation without use of lifts is easy, using a main escalator from the Ground Floor Gallery to the First Floor, with subsequent floors connecting via a series of easy sloped staircases which are quite comfortable.
CRITIC: The paint job is a cheap white paint with no gloss or special finish. Design students can just easily scratch it.
ME: Agreed. I too am worried about the white paint used in the interior spaces, since it is a design school and different materials are always being lugged around by students.
Now that all those critical statements are out of the way and addressed, lets focus on the Good. Yesterday we had the pleasure of attending the ribbon cutting at the Innovation Tower’s official opening to the public with Zaha Hadid and company in tow. After seeing a series of speeches, all the guests were immediately invited to rush into the new building to what turned out to be an open house.
Here’s a few facts; the PolyU Design school was first established in 1964, which makes it 50 Year Old. In 2009 BusinessWeek rated its Master’s program as one of the World’s 30 Best Design Thinking Programmes. In 2013, PolyU Design became the only school in Asia to get in on Business Insider’s World’s Best 25 Design School list. While there is no Architecture Programme being housed here, they do teach Art / Education, Communication Design, Digital Media, Interior Design, Interactive Media, Product Design, Design Business, and Multimedia Entertainment Technology.
Construction work on the school began in 2009, shortly after Zaha Hadid was named Design Architect. Four years later, the building completed in August 2013. In total, it houses 15,000 square meters of net floor area, accommodating about 1,800 staff and students.
While true that the building has its faults (what building has none?) overall the impression that I get here is that a Zaha building was achievable in a conservative city full of red tape like Hong Kong, and by the looks of some of the finishes… seemingly with the constraints of the allocated budget, which, correct me if i’m wrong, was about 40 million usd.
BRAVA. TO. HER.
I mean, look at these spatial moments. It’s pure ArchiPron!
#theWanderlist: Zaha Hadid x Stuart Weitzman in Hong Kong
London based award winning Architect, Zaha Hadid, is everywhere in Hong Kong these days. For one, I’ll be attending the inauguration for her project for Hong Kong Poly U in two weeks, the Innovation Tower, Zaha’s first stand alone building in the city. Additionally, for those who have been shopping at Landmark Men’s Neil Barrett store in Central within the last two years, would get more than a hint that the shop is a Zaha-designed store. And priced at a whopping 1,500Euros online, sources say that Zaha’s United Nude shoe collaboration has been a hit in this city and mainland China as well.
Now taking our love for shoes and architecture to the next level, look what I spotted walking around the Hong Kong IFC Mall the other night… Hong Kong’s brand new Stuart Weitzman flagship, one of a handful in the world designed by Zaha Hadid. Hong Kong and the Milan stores are some of the first in operation. Other locations to follow include New York City, Rome, and possibly London and Beijing.
While the stores will conceptually be unique to each location, Hadid tells DEZEEN Blog that each “design is divided into invariant and adaptive elements to establish unique relationships within each worldwide location,” yet will all be conceptually and formally developed as if from the same family. This is to help establish the spatial direction as that uniquely of the Stuart Weitzman brand.
Enjoy my photos, and check out the shops (for architectural study of course. ahem.)
Seen&Scene: Chen Fei and Izumi Kato, Chinese and Japanese Painters Debuts Solo Shows Together at Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong
Above, “There will be a day to see you again (2013)” Acrylic on Canvas and “Step Father (2013)” Acrylic on Canvas, both by Chen Fei.
Young Chinese artist, Chen Fei, born in 1983 in Shanxi, is making a solo come back to Hong Kong via Galerie Perrotin. Fei, who was originally discovered by gallerist, Nicole Schoeni, first exhibited here with Schoeni at her 2008 group show, Niubi Newbie Kids and Niubi Newbie Kids 2, and then had his first Hong Kong solo also with Schoeni in 2010 with Bad Taste. With Schoeni Art Gallery closing its doors recently, Galerie Perrotin, has stepped in to offer Chen Fei his second Hong Kong solo titled, Flesh and Me.
"Sorrowful Peasant (2013)", Acrylic on Canvas by Chen Fei
With Flesh and Me, Chen Fei explores further his usually cinematic themes of him and his heroine via a stylistically, “Supreflat”, approach. According to Nicole Schoeni, Chen Fei and his work is representative of a generation of Chinese Post-80’s youth who grew up in an essentially consumerist and media centric society, devoid of the discussion of politics. His works may not be politically conscious, but is telling of generational influences via pop-culture narratives with an overtone of cynicality, humor, and anime violence.
"See Yourself (2013)" Acrylic on Canvas, by Chen Fei
Seven new works adorn the space, each painted with the typical obsessive meticulousness that Chen Fei has been known for. The depiction of his subjects, a woman and his own self, depict Fei’s interests in flesh as it relates to sexuality, pain, ownership of the body, mortality, and perhaps our place in the universe.
"Dark Stars (2013)" Acrylic on Canvas, by Chen Fei
The specificity of the Chen Fei’s work runs in stark contrast to the works of Japanese, Izumi Kato, which adorns the main central gallery that one can see as they enter the space.
Untitled works from 2013 by Izumi Kato
Born in 1969 at Shimane Prefecture, the exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, marks Kato’s first solo show outside Japan in career that almost spans two decades. Owing to his responsibilities as primarily a painter, to the two-dimensional medium of the canvas, Kato seeks to create a better way of not recreating our world, but creating a new one within that flat format.
While Chen Fei seeks to reflect the Japanese graphic obsession of a precise “Superflat” style, Izumi Kato is very comfortable with letting compositions arise from the application of paint from his own fingers wearing vinyl gloves and typical rubber kitchen spatulas. The effect of the medium combined with the alien-like beings depicted in his works, enable Kato to create new worlds with new characters unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Untitled from 2009, by Izumi Kato
Three dimensional figures, propped up on plywood platforms on the wall or on ready-made furniture, help Kato break the wall of the painted image, and bring his characters into our own space, where they seem happy enough to inhabit.
Those who know me personally know that my addiction to multi-tasking and juggling of several projects from both being a designer and blogger keeps me up on my toes so high that I’m basically flying on my own space ship. This is the reason why to some, I must look like some kind of “Space Cadet.” Additionally, some may also consider me “Spacey” because of my vocal (to my close friends) beliefs in the active exploration of a “non-physical”/ spiritual universe. What the!? You Ask? Let me explain.
This means that, although I’m personally not religious (spirituality too boxed up according to other people’s definition), I believe in a “metaphysical” order to the Universe, meaning that from my perspective on things, the Universe we see is a sliver of a portion and a by-product of what is actually REALLY out there. And just because one can’t materially and physically feel, see, and directly measure something, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This has been conceptually confirmed theoretically in science within the last 6 months.
Living in Hong Kong, has been an amazing contributor in helping me foster my interests in the esoteric study which among the many “spiritual” topics I’ve been interested in, is Feng Shui. Additionally, I’ve noticed that every successful or creative person I know in this city, even those who seemingly only believe in the worship of money, have at one point or another, seeked the counsel of a Chinese medicine doctor, a Feng-Shui master, or a neighborhood temple’s local clairvoyant. From the culture of “paper burning” as a way to honor the dead visibly on sidewalk streets, to the iconic towers of the city designed by the likes of Norman Foster and IM Pei, Feng Shui has had a presence almost everywhere, shaping this unique first world city.
Feng Shui is older than Christianity and dates back practices to around 6,000 years ago in China, and is essentially the study of the correlative relationship between each human being and their spatial universe, using maths to calculate your relational physical elements “fire, water, earth, metal”. What Feng Shui allows people (who believe in it) to do, is to manipulate the physical environment they live and work in, so that this environment can work on their favor from a more “balanced” standpoint, balancing luck in career, relationship, and health in an yearly basis in relation to each individual. For 2014, I’ve finally gained a new local Feng Shui expert (I used to rely on my hobbyist aunt from Texas) in the name of the very stylish, Thierry Chow.. With fellow spiritualist, writer, and social media personality, Johannes Pong (below right), we met up with Thierry, and her boyfriend, Canadian artist, Peter Yuill (below left), for a welcome dinner in the neighborhood to discuss more of her work as both a budding Feng Shui master and the converging of her practice with design work for a new generation of dual-language/dual-culture believers.
Thierry who has been featured locally with profiles in several magazines and websites like Sassy Hong Kong and Lifestyle Asia, has only just begun her practice. An apprentice of “legendary feng shui master”, Chow Hon Ming, her father, Thierry seeks to give modern solutions for people living in today’s world. She plans to soon design modern furniture and home items, which combine basic feng shui principles, that look and feel good from a design perspective. For the month of February, she even held events with her dad at the Little Square space on Square Street which is really fantastic for her new career because Little Square gets the cool young crowd, a completely different audience relative to your aunts and grandma, for example.
After dinner with Thierry and Peter, Thierry agreed to reorganize my home based on Feng Shui principles for 2014, as well as give me one of her special readings in which she assessed my whole life via that feng shui point of view. I’m here to tell you that Feng Shui needs not to be about old school crystals, weird statues, and balls with running water… in fact, as part of the modern incorporation and principals, it too can be stylish. Here are a few things I’ve had to do to integrate well spatially with 2014:
+ Money Corner
I had to get all “red” in the South Corner of my flat because this year my chances for wealth have doubled if this corner was “activated”. The aromatic diffuser, replaced fish bowls and tacky waterfall machines. Thank God for Thann Hong Kongat K11 and their diffusers! The red painting I sourced from Pinterest.com, plotted out in hi-resolution and framed myself. The charms (looking like a pot of Gold) are gifts from Mischa and John Hardy.
+ Lucky Wrist
Because I naturally have so much “fire”, Thierry advised me to wear less read, and more soothing colors to reflect colder elements like water and metal. Ie. Jewellery. Even though men have begun to wear more jewellery and wrist pieces as part of today’s Dandy-inspired looks, I’ve just preferred to wear watches. After asking readers on Twitter where I can source “silvers” and “golds”, my friend, Angus, told me that Kapok on St. Francis Yard sells the full range of Men’s Miansai bracelets. Any of them would work, but I decided to purchase the Rose Gold Cuff. It’s a solid brass base with a 24K Rose Gold plate. I’ve been MORE lucky ever since.
+ Green To Grow Relationships
My most favorite part about finding stuff for the home is filling it with plants. I was happy to buy more plants for the center portion of the flat, especially ones that looked a little more “floweri-sh”. Its best that one gets flowers for the relationship corner, however if the plant only looks like a flower, that can pass as well. Although I love flowers, they’re really a bit too high maintenance.
+ Red, Yet Earthly Work Chair
I was tempted to purchase this “Chinese” Style chair from Ikea, because according to Thierry, it’s best If my Western corner (My work corner) had more earthly elements. Also Red is a very lucky color for career, while the timber seat reflects more of the earthly vibe needed for this specific area, which is different for everyone. I ended up not getting the chair because it wasn’t available, and upon further research online, the chair had quality issues. I just wanted to point out, that solutions for Feng Shui can be stylish while also a fun challenge.
+ Socks for Lunar New Year
Despite the fact that I’m supposed to wear less red, universally, everyone is supposed to wear red socks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The GAP in Hong Kong had these amazing knitted boot socks at 30% off. It’s a great excuse to buy great looking pair of socks, while sticking to this superstitious rules in a fun and stylish way.
I also wanted to point out for the month of February, BOOM Magazine released a special 2014 Feng Shui Almanac that totally looks old school. This is one of Thierry’s latest projects, and a way for her to make the practice be relevant to our generation and integrating her work with design. It’s quite cool. Some cool content on here is a guide on where you should stand at a bar in relation to your Chinese Horoscope and a guide to how to twerk.
(Twerking is not related to Feng Shui in anyway FYI.)
Also I spotted Peter’s work area he shares with Thierry. Thematically, he’s into metaphysics too.
Born in 1929, LA-based architect, Frank Gehry, needs no introduction. Being relatively the most populist of all starchitects of his generation, Gehry is also easily the most touchy-feely of the bunch. A straightforward practitioner, his exploration of form is unabashedly sculptural without the theoretical mumbo jumbo that guides the fluid works of Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenmann, and Thom Mayne of Morphosis, for example.
The architect-as-sculptor liberates Gehry to do what he does best, design form without constraints, which includes the computer. Those who have studied Gehry’s work know that his studio is filled with hundreds of physical models, and there’s the old legendary tale of his designing Bilbao from a cocktail napkin. But because this is architecture and his stuff needs to be built, his projects go through a process of rationalisation, which eventually has to work structurally, as well as respond to a site’s scale constraints.
Funny however that while his latest buildings and his non-habitable works like his corrugated cardboard furniture series – Easy Edges (1969-73), Experimental Edges (1979-82), and the Knoll Furniture Series (1989-92) – all focus on trying to make the thing kind of not look like the thing it is supposed to be, the Fish Lamp studies, of which the latest versions of them are currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong, are exactly what he names them to be. The angle here is not really about the restraint of formal explorations as to what the fish can be, but really about the earlier brief that started it all, a request by Formica Corporation to Gehry to create something new with their plastic laminate product, ColorCore, in the early eighties. Gehry’s Formica product is a thin sheet of glossy plastic laminate, which when broken and ripped, reflect the scales of a fish when grouped together. The properties of the torn plastic gives the sculpture different levels of translucency, especially when the LED within the fish is turned on.
According to Gallerist Nadia Chan of Gagosian Hong Kong, these fish lamps, 33 new pieces in total and exhibited amongst four Gagosian galleries around the world, were all hand sketched by Gehry and are site specific to the floor plan. Eventually like all architectural works, his sketches are further studied on computer, and built in his California studio by hand. The hand-chipped fish scales are then individually glued piece by piece on a wire armature built based on the computer’s model.
Not a surprise, Gehry sells well, and the Hong Kong showing, tied with the Lunar New Year, is considered the grand finale of all four Gagosian shows. Hong Kong has the most new works of these Koi light sculptures, a lucky symbol by Chinese standards. An extra treat to Gehry fans is his inclusion of a big black alligator sculpture located at the very end of the visitor’s path.
The exhibition, ending on 1 March 2014, has already sold well for the gallery. A single fish or a school of them can be acquired making sure Gehry’s offerings easily adapt to Asian spaces. The architect originally planned to make a press appearance in Hong Kong for the show’s opening, but sources say, due to health and schedule, he was not able to make it to this side of the Pacific. Noting his age, this may very well be the last we see of new fish from Gehry at such a grand scale.
For those who want to see his fish on permanent exhibit, there is always the giant Fish Sculpture at Vila Olimpica at Barcelona (1989-92) and the Standing Glass Fish (1986) at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which will be situated at their sites pretty much forever.
The other day I was hurrying to get to a meeting in Causeway Bay, when I a passed by this interesting window for the relatively newly established Hackett London flagship store across the street from Lee Gardens One. Against an unfortunately minimal ounce of hesitation on my end, and owing to the fact that walking into Hackett London’s Hong Kong store for the first time would most likely give me informative content for this style blog… I gingerly ventured in like some soldier of duty for all you readers.
I walked out with this jumper almost an hour later.
Thank you very much… 30% Off End of Season Sale. The choice was between that above, and this below.
A brand of the 80’s, Hackett is essentially a modern menswear lifestyle label focused on a style that is essentially and classically 100% English, yet with a contemporary twist.
The Hackett Shop in Hong Kong, big by any standards for this city with menswear and kids clothing in stock, is apparently a mere fraction of its globally iconic, Sloane Street flagship with lifestyle offerings way beyond what we have here.
Offerings in the UK include a spectacle range, grooming products, and barbers.
That said, men who visit the store in Hong Kong can enjoy personal and bespoke tailoring, and a bit of a drink in the bar.
I snooped on the Tailor at work.
As well as enjoyed laying out some key pieces on the adjacent fitting table.
Here are some key #JJStyle looks that the staff helped me put together. This one is me channeling classic Dr. Who.
And perhaps… my favorite look of the two, Dr. Who now.
The Hackett Hong Kong shop is split up among two levels, with different rooms catering to different looks. Some rooms are geared to formal looks, while others are geared to more casual sporty looks, and there’s a room for that safari travel look. There’s even a room for kids.
This room below is an homage to the English member’s only dining clubs.
Complete with British-centric books to peruse.
There’s also plenty of accessories of which to choose from.
And ties of a full range.
Made In England.
It sure is!
Hackett’s founders, Jeremy Hackett and Ashley Lloyd-Jennings’, portraits adorn the shop’s staircase walls.
I love this decor.
It’s good to have a bit of variety for menswear in this town don’t you think?
Here are some key looks for Spring-Summer 2014 via the label’s creative director, Michael Sondag (previously Tommy Hilfiger.) This season’s styles are inspired by the candid photographs of Terry O’Neill, the work of David Hockney (a recurring theme within most labels this season), and the things and objects one can find in the artist’s atelier.
Quite quirky and modern isn’t it?
WEAR Hackett London . GF, Eton Tower, 8 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong . +852-31010008
Because we were all free, and the opportunity came up to jet out of HK on Western and Chinese Valentine’s Day (ie. Lantern Festival) weekend, me and my friends went to Taipei for a last minute getaway trip care-of my pal, DJ Angus Wong’s, hospitality friends and family discount at the amazing W Taipei.
In total it was a 48 hour trip. We departed Friday night via Cathay Pacific and jumped on a plane to Taipei where we were immediately picked up by the W Hotel limo and whisked to the W Taipei less than an hour away from the airport for hotel check in… and then party immediately after. That first evening, Angus was hosting W Taipei’s 3rd Year Anniversary bash with W Singapore’s Mr. Has. When the W has these parties, they tend to fly in the big music guys from other W’s in the region. I’m a big fan of both Mr. Has and Angus so it was definitely a great way to start the evening and the weekend.
In terms of quality of design and quality of fit out, the W Taipei is a great urban hotel, that’s tasteful and cosy, doing great service to the W “lifestyle” which is pretty much party party party. I loved the public spaces, the heated pool, as well as the top floor bar/restaurant, Yen, with amazing views of the city.
The rooms are comfortable, and well layed out. All internal doors and walls can be hidden in the pocket, so the whole space can feel more open and more free. There’s a great spatial flow. If you make a reservation here, make sure to ask for a room with a window that faces the Taipei 101. It makes for a more dramatic effect.
The great thing about W Taipei is that the hotel is located right in the middle of an ever modernising CBD (Central Business District).
Right next door is the humongous Eslite Bookstore, the 24-hour bookstore with cool cafes and several design stores and independent fashion located within.
Also down the street from W and Eslite is the Taipei 101 Tower and mall where you can go up to check out all of Taipei from the top of the city. There aren’t too many skyscrapers in in Taipei so you can pretty much see everything around the tower 360 degrees.
But if you’re wanting your agenda away from malls as much as possible, then you can forego lux shopping for Taipei’s indie designer boutique lanes instead off Dunhua South Road.
My pals loved the Frapbois Shop… a teeny bopper destination shop which sold all things quirky from Frapbois, CdG, and Kenzo, to a name a few brands.
I loved this curated wasteland shop, called Artifacts… which is basically their version of Kapok or Colette, except less French.
You can drink Faro beer while you shop.
And check out the cool clientele.
It’s Taipei, so luxury indie goods are not cheap. That said I wasn’t really in a buying mood myself, so I settled for one of these key chains… guess which one I got?
There were some stores which sold awkward merchandise…
Like what’s that all about?
Of course, we also had to go to the original Din Tai Fung in Xinyi for some Xiao Long Bao. I’m not kidding… it’s certainly the best, and for some reason, tastes way different than the Hong Kong DTFs… much lighter and tastes more fresh.
We went on some random time… like 4pm, so the wait for a table was only about 15 minutes, compared to the 2 hours it takes to get a table during peak hours.
When in Taipei, make sure to have a sip of TenRen’s Tea, the best fresh hot and cold tea in the city. Lucky us in Hong Kong, we’ve got a location in Sheung Wan and another one in Causeway Bay’s Eslite location now. So refreshing.
A brisk walk down Xinyi Road and subsequently, Yongkang Street, will let you discover very cool old antique galleries, junk shops, and japanese cafes worth exploring with your camera.
There’s this random community oriented shop that sells its space to a different business owner everyday. The owner can sell their products AND hold interactive workshops about it.
I got so excited checking out their product of the day… some bamboo type contraption that you heat up on hot coal and hit your knees with… that i completely forgot to get the name of the shop. Nonetheless, if you just walk down on Xinyi Road, you can’t miss it. They even asked to take a photos of us, and were super excited to do so as well. Taiwanese people are all so super friendly.
Other cool things to see, a really amazing junks shop complex in a community space on 60 Yongkang Street. Really interesting selection of stores, each with their own unique offerings.
And if you’re lucky… you can meet this man who plays a mean two-string violin.
Seen&Scene: Joao Vasco Paiva Processes Hong Kong, One Neglected Object at a Time
I just want to take the time to apologize to my buddy, artist Joao Vasco Paiva, from the bottom of my heart for not posting about his exhibition much sooner. Paiva’s latest and best show yet, titled Near and Elsewhere, for Edouard Malingue Gallery, launched in late November and lasted for almost two months. Of course I should have posted about it in December or January, when it was most helpful, but with the year’s end and me flying to Texas and back… there seemed to be no time. But Alas… wait no more, here it is… better late than… well later.
Portugal born Paiva, is an active art practitioner in Hong Kong. At a relatively young age, 29, Paiva moved head first right into producing art after graduating with distinction for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Media in 2008 in Hong Kong. Now his career is shooting straight up, being one of the Saamlung Gallery pioneers in collaboration with curator, Robin Peckham, in 2011-2012, and has since exhibited in museums and galleries in Hong Kong, Portugal, UK, Australia, Hungary, New York, and London. The Near and Elsewhere show at Edouard Malingue marks Paiva’s second solo showing, the first being hosted at the Goethe Institute in Hong Kong earlier last year.
The formal studies for Near and Elsewhere reflect Paiva’s own method of archiving Hong Kong’s public space and urban by-products. The objects in the exhibition is essentially a collection of neglected pieces of the everyday. From “boarded-up shop fronts camouflaged by a collage of ads, cast-off plexi strips, and mark-ridden fences used to prop severed wood”, Paiva looks at the unconscious development of form in common and useful space, as a way to underpin an exploration for new composition.
Untitled (from the Wanchai Market 3) 2013 . Oil on Stone Resin
A practice in displaying found object THIS IS NOT. Paiva’s obsession with documentation of Hong Kong, puts him in line pretty much with the likes of these “expat artists”, those born outside the city, but spend their lives reveling in the gloriousness of this alien world… the works of Architects, MAP Office, and photographer, Michael Wolf, come to mind immediately. Paiva’s collection of 2D stacks of planes in different shades of white within “The Brief Moment in Time” series, or the Untitled Speed Bumps or Untitled Styrofoam boxes in resin, pretty much scream Hong Kong as a signifier, however these are new items. While MAP Office draws and writes to deconstruct the sometimes absurd nature of the city as a form of documentation, and Michael Wolf, magnifies the residential building facade of Hong Kong as a seductive vertical veil, Paiva processes the neglected pieces as a way to properly validate their formal existence, either by re sculpturing them exactly as they were but with new medium, or giving them a painted and glossy finish to really accentuate their uniqueness… as with the Untitled Lumberyard pieces.
They may not be objects of desire in a traditional sense, but Paiva makes a good case that all objects are in fact desirable, because none would have been crafted or invented without its usefulness, of which all these pieces at one point in their lifetime in Hong Kong… were very useful.
Untitled (from the Wanchai Market 1) 2013 . Oil on Stone Resin
Untitled (from the Wanchai Market 2) 2013 . Oil on Stone Resin
Untitled (Corner) 2013 . Dental Stone Gypsum
From a Brief Moment In Time Series 2013 . Oil in Wooden Board
Friends and Supporters of Joao Vasco Paiva. Monocle editor, Aisha Spiers and her partner Jared.
Artist, Jin Meyerson, and Thyvane’s Roger Ouk.
My favorite piece… Untitled (Lumberyard Array 2) 2013 . Latex on Wood, with Steel Base.
Apparently some of the forms where photographed and imported into Sketch Up and rationalized and made new… it’s really fascinating how Paiva imports the found object, develops it, and re exports it as the art.
DESIGN NOTES: HK's East Kowloon By Design, What To See
Due to a really slow work month, me and my designers took one afternoon off to check out this year’s architectural pavilions on exhibit for the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture (UABB) in Hong Kong. For those of you who have lived in Hong Kong for a while, and are a bit confused, the “Bi-City” is a politically correct way to say Hong Kong and Shenzhen without having to worry which city to name first in the official title.
I really wish they would just stick with one brand, one logo, one website, or at least have each a clear web link for information between the two. The HK site has a small tiny logo in the lower left hand side which links to the SZ programme (but the logo looks like sponsor…not actually part of the programme). The SZ site has no link back to Hong Kong. That said once you’ve gone past the initial confusion and realize it’s both the same biennale, you have until February 28 to spend half a day on the Hong Kong showing, and a full day on the Shenzhen showing.
I have yet to visit the Shenzhen arm of the exhibition, but at least me and my designers were able to spend a couple of hours checking out the Hong Kong exhibits which are “bi-harbour”, meaning the sites for the shows are both on the Kowloon side of the Harbour in Kwun Tong, and the Hong Kong side in North Point/Fortress Hill.
The Kwun Tong site is fascinating. For those visitors who only know Hong Kong via the glittering towers of Central or the hilly terrain of Lantau, Kwun Tong was once one of Hong Kong’s most highly industrial areas centered around the salt trade amongst other things.
The neighborhood is currently undergoing an kind of development renaissance since the government will be putting in place an MTR connection here, in part to serve the newly opened Kai Tak Cruise Terminal designed by Foster + Partners on a strip of site that was once the Kai Tak Airport, which is parallel to the Kwun Tong Promenade… the site of the UABB. Of course with any development, controversy always follows, and the UABB, a bi-annual event that seeks to question the urbanistic growth between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, was a target of activists who wanted to focus on the the Government’s pro-development schemes of the Kwun Tong neighborhood. Even some of the event organisers and partners were not allowed into the programme’s opening day of which Chief Executive, CY Leung was in attendance.
That said, here are some highlight photographs* from the Hong Kong exhibit that you should take note of:
+ EKEO (Energizing Kowloon East Office) Hong Kong Head Office Temporary Building / Designed by Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD)
The most interesting part about this is actually the temporary building which houses the exhibition, designed by the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) and the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD). The building was completed in 6 months, taking 3 months for design, and 3 months for construction. Housing 20 staff members, the building used recycled freight containers for a modular scheme, amongst utilisation of raw bamboo, low flow water technology, daylight sensors, recycled aggregates to help lower its carbon footprint overall.
+ House of Red . House of Blue / Designed by Kacey Wong
Kacey Wong’s introverted House of Red . House of Blue pavilion is an open air library cocooned in a croissant-like pavilion made of burnt wood and chopped down tree trunks. The books in the pavilion set amongst the seats and the trunks of trees, all focus on the subject on Hong Kong and China’s built environment and building culture.
+ Make Out City / Designed by Architectkidd, CHAT, Studiomake, Thingsmatter
Make Out City is an interesting formal work designed by Bangkok designers, Architectkidd, CHAT, Studiomake, and Thingsmatter. All the pieces for this lookout platform with two seats were fabricated by hand in Bangkok and shipped to Hong Kong. According to the designers, the work “illustrates the hybridized manner in which (they) like to fabricate things. It is a long, skinny lookout platform (which allows) visitors to climb out and gaze out onto the water.” Additionally they wanted to point out that the piece is made of four separate components; stair, structure, platform, and periscope. Which I suppose is why it takes four designers to design the whole thing?
+ Kwun Tong Promenade Stage 1 / Designed by Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD)
Above, Herzog & de Meuron’s winning M+ Building Competition.
The M+ Museum, the main cultural anchor of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), is slated to open in 2017. However, prior to its launch, the museum and its curatorial teams have been busy spending the last several months giving form to its vision as a “museum of visual culture” via a continuous effort on the building of its works – local, regional, and global. Prior to the unveiling of the museum’s Architecture Collection at ArtisTree last week, the museum so far has had a jump start with the news of its Sigg Collectionthanks to a sizeable donation of over 1,500 pieces by Swiss collector, Uli Sigg, the world’s largest universally recognised private collector of Chinese contemporary art from the 1970’s to present.
Below, Utopic constructs by Urbanus, Steven Holl, and MAD Architects.
Excluding the Sigg Collection, M+ has since recently acquired around 800 works to date, of which 80 per cent are by local artists and designers. A percentage of this is of course the Architecture collection, the first and only one of its kind in Asia, consisting of models and drawings of realised and unrealised architectural and urban projects as it relates to Hong Kong and China, including all shortlisted entries to the actual design of M+ itself. The show, part of the museum’s “Mobile M+”series of exhibitions allow Hong Kong’s citizens to engage with the museum’s curated programmes in the people’s turf (site specific shows all over town), and is certainly more than a peek of things to come. This allows curator, Aric Chen, and Assistant Curator, Shirley Surya, to present their vision of what it means to house a permanent collection of Architecture as it relates to visual culture and the Hong Kong context.
Above, M+ Building Design entries by Shigeru Ban and Renzo Piano, respectively.
As of now, the vision for the exhibition – excluding the M+ competition collection – is posited via five lenses: Place Making (Architecture within locality), Crossed Transfers (Architectural form studies beyond cultural borders), Urban Laboratory (manifested urban strategies as it relates to Hong Kong), Critical Futures (grand Utopic ideals), and Digital Reality (conceptualisation of space via Computer-aided Design). I’m pretty sure the narratives will continue to evolve even beyond the Museum’s actual opening, as new issues and frameworks present themselves from now until then. However as it is presented at this moment, the chapters work well at indexing a varied collection, defined by multiple mediums.
Above, brick work by Jiakun Architects.
Scale models of stand-alone buildings from designers Ai Wei Wei, Steven Holl, and William Lim of CL3 are placed adjacent to full sized brick works via Jiakun Architects’ “Rebirth Brick” project for the survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Original courtyard drawings by modernist master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are exhibited adjacent to studies of courtyards by Jackson Wong Chack Sang, who founded Wong & Ouyang. Of course models of completed typical Hong Kong residential towers by Rocco Design Architects and unbuilt dream towers by MAD are expected of architecture shows, but it’s the critical studies by the likes of artists such as MAP Office, anothermountainman, and Cao Fei, that really give us a full picture of the affect of Hong Kong and China’s building culture.
Below, Photographs by anothermountainman.
MAD Office’s Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix question the grim practice of luxury tower design as subservient to the developer’s marketing message, usually as muddled euro-centric desires of the nouveau riche. Anothermountainman’s large-scale photographic prints reframe China and Taiwan’s uncompleted development dreams. Perhaps the best work that spoke to me in the whole collection is the one by artist Cao Fei, titled “The Birth of RMB City (2007)”, a video simulation of a virtual city comprising an amalgamation of architectures from China, Macau, and Hong Kong, built and destroyed within the online world of Second Life. I call it a critique of a building frenzy led by money; others would define it as an introspective work of the built environment.
Below, Cao Fei’s “RMB CIty” Video Installation and works by MAP Office.
According to curator Aric Chen, “collecting architecture requires both humility and judgment… (with) a constant awareness that what and how a museum collects can have an impact on architectural practice itself.” The impact of such a collection to the building industry will only be clear several years from now, however with so much being torn down and built in China and Hong Kong these days, a building archive such as this one is necessary if only to define an architectural identity before it disappears completely to yet another one of the region’s bullet speed urban redevelopment projects.
VISIT Mobile M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection will be held from 10 Jan – 9 Feb 2014. Opens daily from 10am – 8pm. ArtisTree, 1F Cornwall House, Taikoo Place, Island East, Hong Kong.
My experiences in Wanchai pretty much defined my first few years’ experiences in Hong Kong as a whole. You see, Wanchai was the location of the first design office that I worked in, and it’s also the neighborhood where I moved into 9 years ago when arriving to this city. No, I’m not talking about “Suzie Wong’s” red-light Wanchai special, I’m talking about “SOJO”, the area South of Johnston Road defined by cool cafes, and destination bars, restaurants, design stores, with a sprinkling of unique fashion shops, designer furniture store, and art galleries.
Below, Brunch at Stone Nullah Tavern.
What defines SOJO as different from today’s Sheung Wan, is that SOJO is still pretty much an up-and-coming neighborhood, with more affordable rent, less expats than Central, and still a bit flexible for designers to set up a home or a shop front. Additionally Wanchai’s SOJO district has a much bigger stake of the city area than Sheung Wan, with various blocks to explore off Queen’s Road East and Johnston Road for style savvy city-trekkers like me.
If I wanted to explore Wanchai’s SOJO on foot, I’d start my journey getting off the A3 Exit at the Wanchai MTR, explore the markets across the street on Wan Chai Road, while finding my way up to Queen’s Road to explore architectures that range from Old Heritage like the Old Wanchai Market or the Blue House, to 80’s modern, to completely contemporary buildings, like the Hotel Indigo by Aedas and the Opus by Frank Gehry, which can be seen from the street.
Other side streets off Queen’s Road East not to be missed, the future re-development of Lee Tung Street / Wedding Card Street as a pedestrian only shopping haven, Ship Street the location of the famous 22 Ships Restaurant by Jason Atherton, and St. Francis Street which connects to Moon, Star, and Sun Streets, where the Monocle Magazine Bureau and Kapok Shops are located.
Below, late night drinks at Tai Lung Fung
That said for my weekend stay last month, I started my everyday exploration at the Hotel Indigo, where the team there graciously invited me to stay for two nights in exchange for a blog post about them and the surrounding neighborhood. Writing about design and boutique hotels, are right up my alley… pun intended.
Because I’ve written so much about Ship Street and Star Streets on this blog, I thought that the stay at Hotel Indigo would be a great opportunity for me to really explore everything on the Eastern end of SOJO. Historical buildings not to be missed include the Old Wan Chai Post Office constructed in 1912, and now an Environmental Resource Centre. Of course it is hard to miss the Blue House on Stone Nullah Lane, for its strikingly iconic blue painted façade. The Blue House and the adjacent Yellow House behind it are currently being renovated to become a “living museum” which should be open in a few more years. Up the road is the beautiful Pak Kai Temple, worth a visit. The Old Wanchai Market from the 1930s has been converted into a residential tower podium which some may find garish, while others may just appreciate for the fact that it was never torn down at all.
Hotel Indigo was a real pleasant surprise, in that the hotel was playful without being overtly theatrical like most boutique hotels in Asia. The interior design moments in each of the spaces within the tower’s 29 floors were sensual without it being too dark or trendy-try-hard. The best part of the hotel, thank God, are its 138 rooms, which generally come in two tiers, a studio type suite, or a 1-Bedroom + Living Room Grande suite.
Two weeks ago, I decided to give myself a break and purchased a last minute ticket online to fly back for my annual family Christmas get together in Fort Worth, Texas (aka “The Lonestar State”)… my hometown.
As expected with most all-American (relatively) mid-sized towns like Fort Worth, everything is all spread out. In Texas we call this spread a “sprawl”, the opposite of Hong Kong density.
Texas is SPRAWLING.
Below and Above, The Kimbell Museum designed by Louis Khan.
For this brief non-Asia specific blog post, I wanted to present my photos of Texan “sprawl” as it relates to some of Fort Worth’s most unique cultural treasures, a group of world class museums which emerge lightly like an oasis on a sea of a very flat wintery beige landscape.
First off, I find the sheer existence of these museums, with their breathtaking and unique collections set… in the middle of Fort Worth’s vast flat grassland really oddly fascinating. How did these clusters of museums get built on this site… amongst the flatness, the occasional taco stand, the gas station, and some 1950’s post-war reconstruction government edifices, in the first place?!
Well thanks to Oil Money and a very philanthropic minded Oil Family (the Bass Family), all these museums stand here today. That said, I’m thankful to have had such an access to the Kimbell Art Museum’s rare permanent collections at such formative years. The Kimbell houses a highly curated and select collection of important works by old-world masters such as, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, El Greco, Velazquez, in an intimate building designed by none other than a master, Louis Kahn. It’s no surprise that I ended up following a creative career path with that kind of cultural influence in my own back yard.
As I recently walked in and around Kahn’s introverted yet timeless building most notable for its series of barrel-vaulted roofs, I was immediately transported back to all those moments when my relationship with art and architecture first bloomed right there in that very museum.
Above, the Kimbell Extension by Renzo Piano.
Other buildings I visited in the museum complex; the newly opened glass roof extension to The Kimbell, by Italian architect, Renzo Piano. Across the street, and about twice the size of the Kahn’s Kimbell, at two full stories, my other favorite; The Modern, by Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, with a collection of contemporary masterpieces.
Below, The Modern by Tadao Ando.
Both buildings by Piano and Ando, with their repetitive roof forms, also sit lightly on a generally flat site just like The Kimbell. Both designs are strongly influenced by Khan’s Kimbell planning, the Kimbell being at the core of Fort Worth’s museum complex, tying three beautiful modern buildings together.
Lucky Forth Worth.
I just want to add that before I flew to Texas, I was graciously gifted one of only 74 limited edition travel satchels… a special red and blue colored Seventy Eight Percent ”Dimitri”, designed by an amazing person, Hong Kong based- Israeli designer, Shai Levy, a creative I covered on this blog several times before.
What makes the bag special is that it is Seventy Eight Percent’s first collaborative bag ever, this one with noted New York accessories designer, Eddie Borgo, a jewellery wunderkid who is known for his luxuriously sleek-yet-punk triangular and pyramid shaped motifs. This bag’s print of “interlocking triangles” is definitely a great example of that formal obsession with the triangle…. my favorite shape.
Below, Bag by Seventy Eight Percent x Eddie Borgo, Levi’s Jeans, Club Monaco Blazer, Watch by Daniel Wellington, shirt by J.Crew, Shoes by Ralph Lauren.
The “Dimitri” Eddie Borgo bag was a perfect travel companion to the States for me. I was able to fit everything in this stress-free and stylish lightweight carry-all… my SLR camera, sunglasses, passport, travel documents, wallet, iPad, keys, diary, and smartphone. With everything that I placed inside, it was still a surprisingly light carry.
Material of the leather is vegetable tanned (great for the environment), and the canvas a Japanese cotton.
The limited edition Eddie Borgo bag is available now at Lane CrawfordHong Kong (IFC, Harbour City, Times Square Causeway Bay) and Lane Crawford online and comes in Beige and Brown. Another collaborative line is with Brooklyn-based artist, Julia Chiang, available in all Blue and Beige and Green. A portion of the proceeds of the collaborative bags go to the Changing Lives Foundation, a foundation focused on reaching out to underprivileged youngsters in Hong Kong and Mainland.
And because it’s red and blue, it was THE perfect travel accessory for a trip to the U.S.of.A! It was good to be back, albeit briefly.
Have Books, Will Travel. Discover New Cities in 2014 With These Top Travel Guides
From Left to right; it’s a Mexican Cathedral in Panay Philippines, Villa Savoye in Poissy by Le Corbusier, The Gates in Central Park by artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, a Harajuku Girl in Tokyo, and lastly the Santa Maria Dela Pace, my favorite church in Rome.
There’s just something about traveling. I LOVE TO TRAVEL. My blog was almost called “The Wanderluster” or “The Wanderlust” if it wasn’t for it being such a popular if not albeit appropriately cliche and overused word to label almost any travel/style based blog and/or Pinterest mood board these days. IE. The URL was already taken. So, I turned the “u” with an “i” on the title, and as they say… the rest was social media history!
As you can see at the photo collage above, when I travel, I always look out for Architecture old and new, fashion trends I see on the street, and unique exhibitions, both indoor and outdoor. Traveling allows me to break with life’s daily monotony, and I always rely on Traveling to remind me that life is lived in different ways by different people, and their cultures and societal norms can help inform a new perspective, which is definitely something I can utilize in my design work and lifestyle choices.
One of my biggest 2014 resolutions, is to attempt to visit new places i’ve never been in Asia, as well as continue to discover the new in my city, Hong Kong, and in the surrounding Pearl River Delta region. To help me with this resolution, I’ve narrowed down four books to help me with this whole discovery.
Not only are these books really beautiful graphically and to the touch (which totally speaks to my design-oriented sensibilities), the four titles also allow me to plan travel itineraries via 4 unique time scales; lifestyle pampering for just a moment, day long architectural walks in my city, 2-day regional jaunts, and long weekend adventures throughout Asia. By the end of the year, i’ll let you know how it all turned out i’m sure.
+ 0-6HOURS / Wallpaper* City Guides Hong Kong 2014
To be honest in the age of the internet, I almost completely forgot about Wallpaper* City Guides. While there was a time that I relied on these guides solely to help me anchor my urban trips, I’ve found them less useful over the years, especially when there are blogs (like mine) that tell you what’s the cool in a city that continually evolves as much as Hong Kong does.
As my final end-of-2013 wrap-up-post before the blog sees new stories for 2014, I’d like to revisit 10 of our most read post from last year. These posts are not necessarily my most favorite, or the ones i’m in love with (heck the ones I loved the most turned out to be the least read…so who knows).
Anyway what this list successfully shows is a skimmed overview of the trends and events that got people interested on Wanderlister.com. Highlights include Monocle Magazine’s big Hong Kong and APAC tour, Art Basel’s inaugural Asian branded fair, the emergence of proudly made Hong Kong labels like PYE, the popularity of public inflatable Art, and the turn to Southeast Asian and Filipino cuisine in the city.
Anyway, 2013 was so so cool in so many ways, hope 2014 is even better!
13 FEB 25 - The Monocle Shop in Hong Kong recently entertained friends and family of Monocle Magazine via a block party, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule, Advertising Director, Anders Braso, and Hong Kong’s newest bureau chief,Aisha Speirs, as part of their big APAC push.
13 MAY 19 - Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) arrives for the first time in our great city with tons of buzz. For those who are new to all this, all you need to know that this art fair in Hong Kong is the 3rd largest art fair in the world, third only to Art Basel in Basel and Art Basel in Miami. Before we get further into the fair, so much is happening around the city with “OFF-Basel” (Official and Unofficial) Activities in the build up to opening night.
13 MAY 04 - Bangkok is quite good with super “Designed” Wallpaper*-esque nightlife concepts and offerings and has been since the emergence of “IT” joints like Bed Supper Club, FACE Bar, and Fallabella in the last decade. While those bars are a memory of what they once were, making waves as of late are two new hotspots located high above the city with, SCARLETT, perfect for those wanting a sunset with a scene, and a new “speakeasy” very low underground, at the new/old Maggie Choo’s, for those wanting a bit of naughty privacy.
Eat, Shop, and Be Merry... The Last #Wanderlist Of The Year
It’s countdown to Christmas, and it’s the second to last Sunday before the new year, 2014. I’ve had a minor cold for the last two days, which has finally gotten a tad better. With a bright sun shining through the window, I couldn’t wait to get out into Hong Kong to have a mid-morning family brunch somewhere new… and by family, I mean my sister, Bernadette, and my gal pal, Louise.
The offerings for dining destinations in the city multiply each month. Not knowing which new place to try, Louise definitely knew where we should at least be headed… the corner of Upper Station Street and Tai Ping Shan Streets in Sheung Wan where not one, but three new cafe/bistros have just opened up; namely the Upper Modern Bistro by Michelin rated chef, Philippe Orrico, ANTIPODEAN Cafe an all around coffee house, and lastly, NOSH Tai Ping Shan, a very airy and open western eatery on the top end of the street. We finally settled at NOSH because a friend of mine, Eugene, is helping run the place and the crisp cool weather today was perfect for seating at the cafe’s window bar table. I sat on the outside, while Bernadette and Louise sat on the inside.
For Hong Kong, with increasingly strict outdoor street seating laws, but very tight spaces for restaurant planning flexibilities, some restaurants are starting to get really smart about using the establishment’s facade edges to try to place in more seats. It’s al fresco, but just not “all the way” alfresco.
Scene&Seen: Pop Ups and Markets, Oh My! Finding The Perfect Gifts From HK's Best Designers
Before this year, 2013, comes to a full close, I would like to say Thanks and give some Gratitude to the faces and creatives who inspire me on a week to week basis. It’s because of them that theWanderlister+ Blog exists. Hong Kong is obviously an entrepreneurial city, but it’s also city known for a people who multi-task, can easily create and make what they want to do, formulate networks that can help, and make something out of nothing. If you’ve got a “will”, there are definitely multiple routes in the city to get to where you want and need to be. This blog not only reflects my real passion about all things style and design in Hong Kong, but it’s also gone to help other people discover the best and the coolest in all things, design, art, architecture, interiors, fashion, and style, and the people and friends who make that happen from my perspective. Not only in this city, but other cities in the Asian Region as well.
So Thank You creative people of Hong Kong! :)
Speaking of creative people, it’s Christmas time once again. And gift giving season is in full force this week, until next week when people all over the city will be celebrating Christmas with their loved ones. All the best independent fashion brands have in some way or another, hosted amazing pop-up events to make sure you keep your eye on unique offerings from them over the typical goods available at the mall! After exhaustingly visiting my share of them within the last few weeks, let me #Wanderlist for you the best of the best. Starting with…
+ TANGRAM FOR GOODS OF DESIRE / Unisex Fashion
Just in the nick of time, Tangram collaborated with Goods of Desire for an extremely successful capsule collection called, Tangram for Goods of Desire. The collection, which sold quite rapidly on its opening night, is only available in the iconic Hollywood Road location, taking up almost all the Ground Floor Space, as a uniquely branded pop-up store-in-store concept. As seen in my previous post of the collection’s lookbook, the style is very casual, youthful, and playful, and there are some pieces, like the silk coat i’m wearing above, that great for guys as well. I was debating on whether to get the silk one, or the one that’s made of luxurious wool… and I ended up purchasing the silk one and am still quite happy about my choice.
However the brains behind G.O.D., Douglas and Ben, did end up surprising me this week with the wool coat anyway.
DESIGN NOTES: Sou Fujimoto at BODW 2014, Discovery Through Designing "IN-Between"
I didn’t get to see and visit much of BODW Business of Design Week 2013 this year, however, the one talk I DID get to see was the one I wanted to see from when I first heard about the speaker lineup, and that was the talk of architect, Sou Fujimoto. Fujimoto, who visited us in Hong Kong from Tokyo, is currently riding high off of his latest work, the much celebrated pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London’s historically iconic Kensington Gardens. Not only did I get to listen to this designer’s very engaging talk, I also had a chance to meet with him one-on-one (really briefly) before he went on stage. He was nice, friendly, and a generally pleasant guy to have a chat with, and between meeting him personally and listening to his talk, this relatively young Architect (born in 1971) who Toyo Ito just named is Japan’s “next big thing” at his press conference at BODW, was in rare position, even amongst other architects… to play.
The issues he was most concerned about, as stated in his visual presentation, was to play in a state in which a project exists; “between architecture and landscape”, “between furniture and architecture”, “between inside and outside”, and of course as in the case of the Serpentine Pavilion… “Between nature and architecture”.
Ahh the beauty of ambiguity which the best architects find themselves choreographed in.
As a corporate architect I sat watching the talk in complete envy of Fujimoto’s position and creative power. But like all “Starchitects”, Fujimoto hasn’t rushed his career to build the biggest or wildest things, but instead has taken the time to pick and choose projects which enabled him to articulate the obsession with “in-betweeness” as an opportunity to play at white forms in repetition.
An “MC Escher”esque cafe in Taiwan with stairs over stairs over stairs… (I’ll take the ground floor table please.)
A building made of arches, over arches, over arches, for a competition in the Middle East…
The stacked landscape of ramps over ramps for an extension building to the Kunsthalle Bielefeld.
This crazy invisible house in Japan made with transparent boxes stacked over other boxes…
And other houses he designed which pretty much rely on stacking same forms over same forms…
And check out his house-as-a-column design… the form of the house being defined by floor slabs stacked on other floor slabs… an idea of the programmable column which was derived from his study of the Sendai Mediatheque project by his idol, Toyo Ito… funny that.
That said. It’s really not surprising that his Serpentine Pavilion from this summer, looks like this.
Which I believe, may be the best offering yet for Serpentine Gallery… and between any gallery and architect for that matter! Fujimoto’s ambiguous position about architecture, in turn makes him naturally ambiguous to form making. In the age where most architects we know are just following the Chinese Yuan wherever it leads them (usually to an “iconic” form built cheaply)… its nice to know that there are still architects out there who are unafraid to step back and let the process of form-making take the lead. The Serpentine Pavilion is a product of process of a career based on the study of repetitive language, and questioning the validity of pre-conceived formal expressions. The grid in his work is a natural bi-product of his being Japanese (hello Ando and his Tatami geometries!) and the cheekiness is the the natural assimilation of Dutch upside down pragmaticism, which in a way has affected how a certain generation of architects have begun to tackle their projects post Delirious, New York by Rem Koolhaas.
Anyway i’m going on way too long on this post. But the point is, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and listening to Sou Fujimoto, and I thank BODW Business of Design Week for the opportunity. He lives on his “cloud” and so do most successful architects, and of course they need to be on that cloud or else why would you pay them? To regurgitate what already exists? Actually… most Developers do… but that’s besides the point. Fujimoto is clearly a visionary and a design vanguard that the profession needs at this stage. Let Zaha build her stadiums, and while she does that, Fujimoto can build his pavilions and toilets in the garden… and teach all of us new things in the process.
Who knew that there are still new and fresh ideas out there? Especially in the realm of Architecture.
Chatting with Toyo Ito… where he said that “Sou Fujimoto is the next big thing in Japanese Architecture.”
*FYI Clicking on some of the photos in this post will take you to the original source page.
Design Notes: Updates on Central Police Station (CPS) by Herzog & de Meuron
I stumbled upon these two renderings of the CPS Central Police Station the other day on the ARUP website. What’s notable about these images is that 1) they’re not cloudy and abstract like the previous official images of the project and 2) they show the building massing performance OUTSIDE the CPS property and gives us a good example of how the iconic building may be perceived from afar. What I also appreciate about the building is that the facade and skin system has been refined and it looks quite interesting. I do have to say that its Swiss designers, Herzog & de Meuron’s earlier works show a real interest not only in tactile materiality in their facade systems, but also in the color, hue, and texture, their materials create as a way to contextualize the object within the existing environment. Earlier works play with glass, stone, and use of rougher copper or CORten hues. The latest two projects for Hong Kong, the CPS and now M+, really do play it safe with its use of white. Even the first scheme for CPS (the bamboo scaffolding homage) was green steel. Is this a choice by the architects to play it safe as a result of Hong Kong’s extremely prickly and conservative building approvals environment? Who knows. Hope to get more information about the Jockey Club’s CPS project in the next few months… and who the possible tenant running the heritage & contemporary art museum will be.
Another shop we love that’s made a crossing over (ie. crossing the Harbour into Kowloon), is Kapok, sending over their Kapok TOOLS brand into prime shopping mall property into Harbour City’s Ocean Terminal. (I consider the K11 branch a pop up). This shop makes Kapok’s 7th store (YES 7!) and 8 if you count the pop up in Paris just this past month. With four in Hong Kong, and three in Singapore, and one online shop, it’s only a matter of time whether shop curator and propietor, Arnault Castel, will ever start a label of his own. He has enough “K”lout.
Speaking of labels, there are a few Kapok-monogrammed items, like his collaboration with swimwear darlings, TIMO, and his “K” caps above.
Also, Arnault, start a music label and you’re all set to go!
From choice vintage Rolexes on consignment to proper jackets, suits, trousers, Made-in-USA shirts, and down to special necessary sartorial details like pocket squares and socks straight from Japan, Club Monaco’s The Men’s Shop has expanded to a location close to you. What WAS supposed to be a 10-month long test Pop-Up on St. Frances Yard in Hong Kong, the Men’s Shop concept proved so successful, that it’s practically rolled out in every new Club Monaco fit out in major cities.
For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I love me some Club Monaco… it’s classic, it’s modern, it’s casual, well made, and best of all, non-pretentious… everything that I love about dressing well. And as you know I helped spread the message when Club Monaco launched their Men’s Shop concept here in Hong Kong last year (which I still shop in), so it was quite a surprise to discover the concept in Harbour City close to where I work.
I’ve also seen some photographs of the latest New York fit outs which incorporate the Strand bookstore which I think is pretty fresh. Anyway, just in time for the Holidays when you have to dress your best, there’s definitely a space for you at Club Monaco’s The Men’s Shop.
I’m a big fan of timber wall finishes, slate tiles, and persian rugs. Now where’s the whisky?
WEAR Club Monaco The Men’s Shop . Shop 2336, LVL 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui . T: +852-21185647