DESIGN NOTES: Designer Stefano Tordiglione Breathes New Life in Brooks Brothers Hong Kong Flagship

The Menswear market is huge in Asia, and especially in Hong Kong, so no wonder there’s been a great selection of casual, business, and luxury bespoke tailoring labels that have entered the city within the last few years. The newest player in town is a beautiful new flagship for American tailoring company, Brooks Brothers, in the IFC. This project, by HK-based studio, Stefano Tordiglione Design, seeks inspiration from the house’s original flagship in New York City on Madison Avenue as the creative basis of its conceptual direction.

Items reminiscent of the original Manhattan architecture include the shop’s exterior stucco plasters which surround columns, the interior ceiling, and the window details. A cash-wrap island in the middle of the shop, greets customers at entry, reminiscent of classic destination Department Stores in history. Antique pieces are also used for the shop’s various fixtures and visual merchandising islands, plus all furnishings are crafted in Chicago Heritage and American Walnut to reflect the brand’s American heritage. New designs incorporated by Stefano Tordiglione include a fresh take on the industrial-style chandelier, and fitting rooms which reflect old style Chicago lofts. Also on display in the shop are large-scale photographs of Brooks Brothers heritage shirts over time from its first ready-to-wear collection, button downs, and non-iron shirts.

Other design innovations include a whimsical direction for the shop’s mosaic floor, handmade in Italy and redesigned to resemble a classic New York pavement, the pale green striped walls based on a Park Avenue flat, and on the timber façade… a bronze geometric pattern based on a classic window pane from a 20th Century Long Island mansion. The message is clear, classic heritage is modern again.

Brooks Brothers will soon be celebrating its 200-year anniversary, and Stefano Tordiglione Design makes sure that the Hong Kong IFC flagship will be ready to give new life as it stands on a strong brand’s DNA. 

SHOP Brooks Brothers IFC . Shop 1096, 8 Finance Street, Central, HK, 3196 8228 HK . T: +852 2234 7088 / DESIGN Stefano Tordiglione Design LTD

JJ.

#JJStyle: Blast Off Cosmonaut, Jonathan Liang’s AW14 Collection

One of Asia’s hottest designers, Jonathan Liang, is busy at work in his Paris studio making the most out of the best opportunities, not only as a young 26 year old making global waves in fashion via his own namesake line, but also as the new Creative Director of Malaysia’s “IT” label, Dude & the Dutchess.

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On offer in stores now is Jonathan Liang’s Fall-Winter 2014 collection inspired by the Cosmonaut. Before fashion, Liang was an illustrator. The narrative as concept is obviously on full display here stating that the collection is “an adventure starting from the Big Bang through the cosmos - a life of space suits worthy of Jane Fonda’s Barbarella.” Signature Liang is at play with each item’s form dependent on function and utility, yet defined by refined feminine silhouettes and innovative use of various fabrics and textures. 

This collection is complimented by a collection of exclusive footwear designed in collaboration with Nelissa Hilman.

WEAR Jonathan Liang

JJ.

 

#JJStyle: Lane Crawford A/W 14, A Focus On ‘Modern Living’

For the latter half of 2014, Lane Crawford based in Hong Kong, renews its focus on the elements which enrich and inspire our daily lives. The latest visual campaign by the prolific Laurent Segretier with Hair & Makeup by Katsuya Kamo, expresses the season’s must-have looks and edits, frames fashion and accessories amidst a backdrop of set pieces, animations, and installations by six of China’s newest generation of smart style thinkers; namely Gautier Chen, Cui Dan, Leaf Greener, Lucia Liu, Naihan Li, and Zhoujie Zhang.

Zhoujie Zhang brings a world of digital objects to Lane Crawford, using a special technique to create 25 women’s bust forms made of hexagonal steel formations. Furniture maker and architect, Naihan Li, will present four crates reflecting the modern gentleman’s apartment living. Street style star and ELLE China Senior fashion editor, Leaf Greener and stylist Lucia Liu, will each formulate an exclusive fashion collaboration with Lane Crawford. Esquire China’s fashion director, Gautier Chen, and GQ China’s fashion director, Dan Cui, will each formulate an exclusive collaboration as well that will focus on Menswear.

For the coming season, expect shearlings, tailored classic winter coats, thick cozy knits, and fringes contrasting with soft fluid skirts for women. For men, Sartorialist looks are still quite strong, with a touch of rock and roll look in dark tones and sporty fabrics. Also for men, more custom costume jewellery will be on offer.

SHOP Lane Crawford

JJ.

#theWanderlist: BEP Vietnamese Kitchen Stands Out By Fusing Street Style Viet Meals With Low-Key “Normcore” Branded Design, And It Works

For some new dining destinations in Hong Kong, maybe the best way to stand out is to keep things minimalist, easy, and not look like theres so much effort in trying to stand out. I mean new “must-go” restaurants in this city open almost every week, and this current normcore attitude, you know the “desire to NOT stand out” and the “opposite of hardcore”… is maybe what works if one really needs to make a mark these days amongst the glut of dining choices on offer.

That said, being normcore, is not as easy at it looks. One has to be methodical about materiality, textures, lighting, form, layout, and overall aesthetic planning. There’s a difference between a space or restaurant that’s minimally Designed vs. one that is just… well… empty.

BEP Vietnamese Kitchen opened just recently, and the group who runs it knows exactly what they’re doing since they’ve spent all these years perfecting the casual Vietnamese offer through their other brand, Nha Trang. BEP is located in a little alleyway just behind PURE Gym Soho off Staunton Street with a panoramic glazed window framed in a seemingly untreated silver aluminum cladding. The feeling is that of a diner you’ve seen before, and the immediate familiarity and openness in the facade design (also a row of tall chairs for outdoor seating), makes anyone feel welcome in this joint.

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The interior and exterior work is designed by Candace Campos of ID, originally from Los Angeles, now based in Hong Kong. And Before BEP, Campos has worked on other F&B projects in the city such as Mana, Tate Dining Room, and Heirloom and a few other residential projects under her belt. Campos kept things minimal at BEP with light timber tables, and sexy chairs that look like folded cardboard. Columns are clad in square stark white ceramic tiles with a dark grouting which creates a “subway” style grid, underpinning all the light timber and raw concrete finishes. It feels like a cool easy anteen in Brooklyn or Los Angeles. 

Together with Campos, the branding work for BEP was executed by Danielle Huthart through her firm, Whitespace, with denim uniforms designed by Paola Sinisterra of Tangram (apparently). This is a style trio that’s hard to beat.

Oh and the food… so my friend, Louise, took me here one Saturday, and everything they’ve got are easy to eat shareable snacky dishes like Squid Cakes, Pomelo Salad, Stir Fried Clams, Beef Salad, Sesame Rice Crackers, Garlic Fried Chicken Wings, various options of Bun Chay (dry noodle with fried goods on top), and you know the basic Pho offerings. For those who are into that stuff… there’s plenty of Sriracha for you to plop into your meals. Price wise its a great deal with meals coming out to about 100hkd a person (and it’s Central…AND it’s a place you actually WANT to be seen in!) It could be my new local.

My favorite dish? The Banh Xeo, a thin flour crepe stuffed with shrimps, pork, lettuce, and herbs. I loved it with fish sauce. So delicious. Give it a go. It’s very economical, nothing to lose, lots to gain.

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Some Photos via BEP Facebook. Some Photos by Me.

EAT BEP Vietnamese Kitchen . Lower Ground Floor, 9-11 Staunton Street, SOHO, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852 25227533 / DESIGN Candace Campos of ID / BRANDING Whitespace Hong Kong 

JJ.

 

DESIGN NOTES: Facebook Hong Kong’s Headquarters Localizes With Wall Graphics Similar To Works of Local Artist

Making the rounds on the interwebs is Facebook’s new Hong Kong show headquarters on the 60th floor of One Island East. At 11,000 sq.ft, Facebook in Hong Kong  is all typically very “Facebook” in terms of office programming and interior design. The Coconuts Hong Kong blog calls it “super hip” and “luxurious”. Although the office is primarily a marketing showroom (since most of the coding works are done at Facebook’s headquarters in California), its cool to see that there is a need to have such a “visible” office in Hong Kong to represent the Asian Market… ie. Hong Kong earns Facebook a lot of $$$$.

That said, it’s weird then that the “Cool graffiti with a Hong Kong flair” that Coconuts Hong Kong writes about that adorns Facebook Hong Kong’s new space closely mirrors the work of one of Hong Kong’s art darlings, Peter Yuill, whom I interviewed and featured on this blog several times before. As far as I know, Yuill didn’t execute the works in the Facebook headquarters, but he wouldn’t tell me more than that. That said, hopefully since Hong Kong makes Facebook a lot of money, it would be nice to see Facebook giving back to the local context and creative culture instead of setting foot in the city, and simply doing a god-forbid, “China Copy” of local Hong Kong artist’s works… which I hope is not the case in this situation. It’s okay to import a brand in the city, especially if it makes a brand money, but to do a surface and merely visual representation of local Hong Kong art and artist’s work, instead of outright cooperative engagement with the artist, is more harm to the brand, and will most likely make that brand lose street cred amongst  a percentage of its core constituents.

Will report if I hear anything more about this. I think Peter’s work is excellent, and i’ve seen his work in different commercial and F&B environments before. It’s really weird to see a Peter Yuill-type work in someone’s office that isn’t done by Peter himself… and it’s quite a wonky version of his style as well.

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UPDATE 14.07.28 5:30PM: Quite a discussion is happening on the comments area over on our Facebook Page, where some of our readers have remarked on the close similarity between works by artist, Tsang Tsou Choi and Peter Ross Art. Tsang Tsou Choi aka. “King of Kowloon” is deceased, but Peter Ross still makes art in Hong Kong to this day. Most recently Peter Ross’ work was featured in Hong Kong Magazine.

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PHOTO CREDITS: All Images of Facebook Hong Kong’s Interiors above via MARKETING INTERACTIVE / Coconuts Hong Kong. Last three images copyright Peter Yuill from his social media accounts and website.

DESIGN Peter Yuill

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Fashionistos, Design Junkies, and Carnivores at ED1TUS

Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong’s rough industrial district on the West Side of town may at first seem like a collection of junky old factory buildings right now, but in a couple of years time, one may just have to say that this area could be the city’s closest contender to a “true” design centre. And by Design Centre, i’m not talking about consumer focused centres like PMQ, i’m talking about the area in town where design, fashion, food, and art can converge organically due to a healthy and well supported creative business eco-system. Mix that in with the need for REALLY sizeable and open loft-like spaces that creatives generally yearn for… then you’ve got an organic business enclave.

The Lane Crawford headquarters are located here and so is the SPRING Workshop, and a handful of designer’s showrooms in The Factory…  all beautiful, contemporary, and very in the moment. This week, I wanted to highlight a new addition to the neighborhood… a menswear-focused showroom for distributors dubbed, ED1TUS, located a few doors down from Lane Crawford.

David Wakely, the company’s co-founder and head curator, toured me and my friends around one Saturday and we basically stayed for a couple of hours checking out everything since sample sales were on live.

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ED1TUS responds to Hong Kong’s evidently strong Menswear market in relation to all of Asia, which is apparently twice the size of the Asian womenswear market. FYI, Menswear sales in the region including China also account for 20% of the global luxury market.

Here’s the thing, until the last few years,  just when the “Sartorial Dandy” became a thing for all guys, “Menswear” as a sector used to be safe, boring, utilitarian, and formal. Now guys feel that it is okay to dress more fashionable, and men are being educated by bespoke suiting shops like The Armoury and Moustache. David, a seasoned ex-menswear buyer for Lane Crawford, saw the opportunity for more brand awareness, diversity, and further education for the region, catering to an ever growing “Middle Luxury Market” composed of young men always in search of the new, the cool, the interesting, and the different… ie. labels not yet readily available in high end department stores, but with a style clout and price range above the likes of Zara and the Gap.

The ED1TUS showroom is roomy and spacious, with nothing for sale but a few menswear accessories, knick knacks, and magazines. The showroom is not closed and is open to the public as evidence of its shared space collaboration with modern furniture destination Casa Capriz (who picked up from Chai Wan and moved front end operations here in this showroom), and the inclusion of a deli dubbed, The Butchers Club, a restaurant open to the public for lunch and dinner, and has become a destination in Hong Kong for many looking for great deli sandwiches and amazing steak dinners.

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Brands on offer include a casual Italian contemporary brand, Mauro Grifoni, cashmere styles by Drumohr, olive oil finished leathers by Stewart, and handmade footwear by CM Made In Italy. Some items from ED1TUS I also love include men’s bags by Meilleur Ami, fragrances by Mirko Buffini, bath and body products by Australia’s Gentleman’s Brand Co.

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For those gents looking for items for the home, the Casa Capriz showroom offers masculine unique and vintage items for the home with emphasis on the 1950’s to 1970’s modern era, and amazing lamps designed by Lumio. 

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Check out the showroom, because one of the three founders are always there. If not David, then his partners Jino Khidir (ex-Tom Ford) and Jules Shah (ex-Monocle and Konzepp) will be there on hand to assist. For Casa Capriz, founder, Irene Capriz, will always be there.

Speaking of Irene Capriz… I’m really loving these table selections from her curated furniture shop… if Only Hong Kong had larger living rooms in general!

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I’m a big fan of this sweat style from Mauro Grifoni.

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I also would like to thank my dear friend and art advisor, Zoe Pena (right) for the amazing lunch she hosted at her gallery, LIGHTBOMBS Contemporary, located a few doors down from Lane Crawford and ED1TUS. Through the lunch, I met the really cool editor and home stylist, Kissa Castaneda, who is the sole reason why I subscribed to all issues of ELLE Decor Philippines (obviously I’m a fan), and is now bringing a bit of the magic she brought at ELLE Decor for us here in Hong Kong via her new gig at Home Journal.

Welcome to Hong Kong, Kissa!

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All of us ended up rummaging through ED1TUS and Casa Capriz for a couple of hours to burn off that lunch. It was good times. 

Nice to see the Wong Chuk Hang hood buzzing and doing so well!

VISIT ED1TUS (with Casa Capriz + The Butchers Club Deli) . Shui Ki Industrial Building, 16th FL No.18, Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong . T: +852 9760 0437 (ED1TUS) . T: +852-2884 0768 (The Butchers Cub Deli) . T: +852 9318 1730 (Casa Capriz)

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES: London’s V&A Museum To Open Design Museum in Shenzhen, 2016

Something new and note worthy, and to arrive in 2016 is Shenzhen’s future Shekou Museum, which will act as China’s first major public building devoted strictly to all things “Design”. What’s more, London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum has officially signed a partnership and operations agreement to have its first Asian outpost at the new building to be designed by Japanese modernist architect, Fumihiko Maki.

The 27.2 Million USD museum, located in Shenzhen’s Shekou District, is situated in a masterplan also designed by Maki dubbed the “Shenzhen Sea World Cultural Arts Centre” (which made my eyebrow raised but whatever) and is a full on project developed by China Merchants Group (CMG). In the contract between the V&A and CMG, the English institution has agreed to play an advisory role for the museum, developing content for future rotating shows and exhibiting from their own collection. According to a statement released by the V&A, it aims to use its collaboration with CMG to promote the best of Chinese design to an international audience and vice versa. Hong Kong’s M+ museum geared towards “visual culture”, which basically means “design”, will open a year later in 2017.

DESIGN Fumihiko Maki / VISIT Shenzhen: City of Design

JJ.

#theWanderlist: The Best Sunday Brunch Yet

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A wet and rain-soaked weekend is coming up, so I thought I’d share with you photos from two of my favorite Sunday brunch joints in Hong Kong… you know just in case those junk boating plans fall through. Whenever Sunday rolls around, everyone always asks the same question… What is the best brunch in Hong Kong??? And if you’re like me, you think it’s a Google search away, when in reality, the information you’d get online as feedback could even be more painful to get through. Let me help.

The “Best brunch” depends on a lot of factors for different people. Some are all about “views” and some are about “ambiance”. For me, that criteria is important, however in addition, I find the most important elements of a great Sunday brunch is that A. It has to be Western (unless it’s outright dimsum which is fine), B. It’s gotta serve amazing juice, coffee, and bloody maries, C. Eggs. It’s gotta serve eggs or eggy dishes well, and lastly D. The special Added extra something that only a unique restaurant can provide… and its not necessarily champagne. (Though that’s an easy tack on that’s very welcome.)

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+ “Old World Becomes New Classic” // The Principal

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The Principal, is one of Hong Kong’s classic hidden gems, located on a little tucked-in corner on Star Street. The restaurant, owned by the Press Room Group, IS a destination that doubles as a sleepy neighborhood locale. The interiors are fresh, clean, and crisp… and earthy. Reflected ceiling is in timber, the back wall is clad in light clay brick tiling, and the seating in a light beige and brown madras with a slight blue-grey tint. Tables all have a bit of plant life in a clay pot, everything seems very… mediterranean. The design for the fit out, by Australian studio, Hecker Guthrie, serves as a nice and subtle backdrop for the restaurant’s offerings, delicacies reminiscent of old world flavors, but adapted for a modern, urban palate which expects innovation.

Executive Chef, Jonay Armas, honed his craft in Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, including La Terraza del Casino and El Chaflan in Madrid, and El Raco de Can Fabes in Barcelona. Regularly, meals at The Principal come in three “travel” inspired set menus, but for the Sunday Brunch, it’s the world’s buffet… direct to your table.

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The menu begins with a “Picnic”, when the waiter brings to your table a wicker basket filled with items and things in glass jars, tin cans, and cheese wrapped in paper. Items in the basket, which are then carefully laid out on the table include; a Strawberry and rhubarb yoghurt mousse, cold cuts and cheese, liver pate, Moroccan-inspired hummus, Anchovies in Vinegar-garlic-olive oil, and freshly baked bread.

For some people in Europe, that’s it for Brunch… but if you’re a guest at the Principal, like me and my sister were… it’s the first course of a six course meal. 

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For the rest of the meal (you know, it’s 6 courses like I said), we were served a delicious ceviche, tempura made of seasonal vegetables, eggs cooked sunny side up in front of us and served with free range bacon, and lastly for savory, the Sunday Roast… a Spanish suckling pig served “Korean Style”, wrapped in lettuce.

And of course, there’s no full meal without… Desserts!

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These beautiful creations include cakes that taste like Snickers Bars, frozen raspberries with pop rocks, Pina Colada Profiteroles, chocolate meringue lollipops, and of course… Churros. Delicious.

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Service at The Principal is extremely on point, and attentive. And for a price of 740HKD, the six course Sunday Brunch also comes with bottomless Champagne (a Brut Le Mesnil-sur-Oger), a selection of Wine /Beer, Juices, fancy water, and Graffeo Coffee or Harney and Sons Teas. NOT BAD. Great even!

+ “Dockside and Farm Fresh Simplicty” // Fish & Meat

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Fish & Meat is definitely one of my most favorite new restaurants in Hong Kong. Not only is it designed by one HK-based designer I admire (and whom I had the pleasure of interviewing before), Ben McCarthy of Charlie & Rose, but the Fish AND the Steak are both equally divine… at least for dinner! I was recently invited to taste the new brunch menu which has just launched last month… and it’s just not any other brunch menu… it’s brunch… with the addition of a BUTTERMILK. PANCAKE. STATION. I kid you not.

For mains on offer here (besides the Buttermilk Pancake Station itself with homemade toppings like Vanilla Cream and Caramel Sauce)… is an Organic poached egg Brioche with Truffle, Pan Fried Sea Bream with fennel and green pea puree, Organic Sunny Side Eggs, and a Cedar River Prime Sirloin… to name a few of what our table consumed. 

Unlike The Principal, Fish & Meat is really visible to its neighborhood location on the corner of Glenealy and Wyndham Street, with the right amount of glazing on both sides to let plenty of sunshine in, and vantages to the city out. Ambiance? Design? Check. Views? Check. 

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Fish and Meat’s general philosophy, a sensitivity towards “farm to table” methods of sourcing, preparation, and serving are all on point even for Sunday Brunch and is evident. It really feels like you’re being served farm fresh food in a farm fresh environment. Compared to The Principal, you can get more relaxed here and be a little bit louder… but then again, it depends on what kind of mood you want for Sunday Brunch.

I also had my fill of the “Cold Buffet”, a selection of fresh oysters and mussels, and a few salads made of beetroot gravlax, crab, watercress, squash, asparagus, and even the basic Ceasar is also available. There’s a delicious farfalle pasta in red pesto and burrata also on offer for those carb-inclined.

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Service at Fish & Meat is also quite good and personable, and generally matches the menu’s casual attitude. The mains are delicious, but you know… if you can do it… have the the Steak or the eggs. You won’t regret it!

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So that’s my brunch wrap up, a picture summary of my two favorite brunch places. It’s not too sceney nor is it overwhelming. They’re both buffets on an intimate scale, and with each having their own unique offerings. If you check out any one of these brunch places this weekend, be sure to tag me on Instagram @theWanderlister, so I can inspect and comment on all your delicious #SundayBrunch #FoodPorn.

EAT The Principal . 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong . T: +852-25633444 / EAT Fish & Meat, 32 Wyndham Mansions, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852-25656788

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Good Girl Gone Bad, JOURDEN AW14

Hong Kong’s hottest womenswear line, JOURDEN, is going global and will be the upcoming line soon at Opening Ceremony stores in New York City and Los Angeles. Their Autumn-Winter 2014 collection is an evolution of a JOURDEN girl growing up.

Via JOURDEN:

The collection presents a number of distinctive silhouettes, including shell & polo tops, sheer ribbed jumpers, pleated, trapeze and marquee skirts, dresses, high-waisted shorts, perfecto bikers and hunter jackets. AW ‘14 showcases the label’s signature skirts manifested in new shapes of trapeze and marquee. While the flimsy confetti fabric is transformed into thicker, stormy black and navy versions, the quilt motif also reappears in white and blue interpretations. Continuing a strong yet subtle love of uniform aesthetics, the looks are completed with polo tops trimmed with prominent zippers, a unique adornment displayed throughout the collection, or crude shell tops embellished with sharp yellow, green, red and navy stripes.

JOURDEN shies away from an overt sex appeal, focusing instead on reinstating elements of strength from the original perfecto biker jacket. It is offered in variations of cashmere wool, quilted confetti and duvet motif, as well as mohair fun fur paired up with shimmer fabrics.

via Creative Director, Anais Mak:

“The JOURDEN girl is crusty, candid and determined, but also introvert at times. Every season, I try to make the girl speak up a little bit more. The contrasts between the disciplined, time-honored blocks, and the bold fabrics in each piece exhibits unexpected juxtapositions of the girl. In our times, to be proper means very rebellious.”

The rest of the collection will be available at Liger Hong Kong, along with select premium retailers in Tokyo, Shanghai & Taipei.

WEAR Jourden

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Happiness Is Just A NoLIta Morning

New York’s NoLIta district is a little area between Little Italy and Soho, which is defined by Houston Street on the north, Bowery on the east, Broome Street on the South, and Lafayette Street on the west. I discovered Nolita the other day at the strong advice of my friend, Katrina (someone who really needs a #Wanderlister blog of her own.)

Nolita was dubbed by the real estate community as such in the mid 90’s to reflect the neighborhood’s yuppy gentrification. The real Italians moved out, and instead moving in is a great selection of independent fashion boutiques, keeping NoLIta free of hideous Italian restaurant tourist traps, and Old Navy.

SOHO has turned into a mall (a long long time ago), while neighborhoods like the West Village or Madison Avenue may be a bit too label oriented… so people come to Nolita for an indie rare-finds shopping Saturday. On my itinerary the other day, I went to visit an amazing curated shop by Katrina’s friend, ate brunch at an I-cant-believe-its-a-vegan-joint called, The Butcher’s Daughter, and checked out some art at the New Museum on the Bowery. But first… best to start with the right foot with a much caffeine fix at the Nolita Gimme! Coffee.

+ DRINK // Gimme! Coffee

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Gimme! Coffee was a specialty coffee shop I treated myself to when a reward was in order during in college at upstate New York. Slightly more expensive than on-campus cups o’ joes, Gimme! Coffee’s highly rated roasts are just that much better than most everything in the market for low-key on-the-go coffee. Gimme! Coffee also makes their money supplying coffees to different restaurants and businesses, and sources their beans straight from a farm in Colombia, paying a competitive price, so the farmer can cut out abusive middle men. 

In 2006, Gimme! Coffee was awarded the best espresso bar in Manhattan by the New York Times, and Roast Magazine picked Gimme! Coffee to win last year’s Roaster of the Year. To me, it’s just damn great coffee that can give you the fuel for those long day urban adventures… which begins with…

+ SHOP // Creatures of Comfort

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Via an introduction from Katrina, I was able to get a great sneak into Creatures of Comfort, a quirky and niche shopping destination in the city for women who aim to dress for everyday simplicity with a statement. The store’s manager, Cath Martin, gladly showed me around, introducing the LA-based shop’s curation of the stylishly messy, easy, lazy, and elegant… (basically anything that resembles Isabel Marant.) Oh, there’s an area for bored boyfriends as well… at the guy’s section towards the front, also very well curated, as expected.

Designers at CoC include Norse Projects, J.W Anderson, Christophe Lemaire, Rachel Comey, Kara Walker, Common Projects, Cosmic Wonder, Band of Outsiders, Robert Clergerie, and many others, including the prominently displayed in-house lightweight womenswear collection, also called, Creatures of Comfort.

Founder, Jade Lai, wasn’t there the day I went to shop, but she’s from Hong Kong herself, educated at at Otis College, and learned what she could of the rag trade from her Dad, Jimmy Lai, founder of Giordano. (The parallels end there.) Check it out, it’s a neat place to shop, and if you live in New York, CoC always hosts different events and popups in collaboration with artists, creatives, and the brands they carry.

+ EAT // The Butcher’s Daughter

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The Butcher’s Daughter is great go-to brunch place any day of the week. Regular customers rate it very well, better than traditional media, but for what you get ie. healthy, vegetarian, vegan that doesn’t scream it, to me it’s impressive. I chose to sit in a stool at the corner of the shop so I can face the window and view outside to do a bit of NoLIta people watching. However, there are plenty of big communal tables here indoor and out if you choose to bring a big party of friends.

For lunch I ordered, “Spicy Kale Ceasar Salad”, at 14USD it’s a big hefty meal, which consisted of a bowl of local kale, a generous portion of avocado, delicious bits of almond parmesan, toasted almonds, shallots, croutons, and heaping side of tempeh (which basically made it taste like I was having some kind of grilled chicken on top.) I usually hate green grass juice that hippies drink, but I loved the “Green Simple Juice” they recommended, which was basically cucumber, Kale, and green apple…hmmm. Can still taste it now!

+ VISIT // New Museum

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The New Museum, a building designed by Japan’s SANAA, is generally a mixed bag of programming, but whenever i’m there, I always luck out with good shows. Lucky me I guess. When all is said, done, and purchased in NoLIta, on the Bowery a few blocks down from the shops is the said museum at just the right boutique size that you can pretty much spend the last few pre-dinner hours getting your culture fill.

I really enjoyed the exhibition by Icelandic artist, Ragnar Kjartansson, who for his exhibit, displayed a looping video scene with a live guitar orchestral performance, titled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage 2011/2014. For the whole day, and the duration of the exhibition, 10 musicians play a lose and live harmonic performance to accompany a video where a character (played by the artist’s mother) gets swept off her feet by a plumber (played by the artist’s father), when eventually they do the nasty. The musicians add the dialogue via music.

Also on display, a show by Camille Henrot, titled The Restless Earth. I’m a big fan of this Parisian artist’s body of research in regards to visual representation, digital archiving, and the documentation of artifacts of cultures and items found within the “natural world” and how it gets transformed physically and conceptually via modern desires, modern use, and modern science. I fit all of what she does in one sentence… so I guess I really am a fan.

Shows at New Museum rotate each month, so there’s always something to return to here, worth supporting. Even if you only have a hour.

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Before I forget, if you go to Creatures of Comfort, make sure to check out my friends, Katrina and Jason’s copy of BITE ME Magazine. It’s in New York (including all other cities in the world), and there’s just no excuse not to own one delicious bite of this amazing publication.

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DRINK Gimme! Coffee NoLIta . 228 Mott Street, New York City, NY . T: +12122264011 / SHOP Creatures of Comfort . 205 Mulberry St, New York City, NY . T: +12129251005 / EAT The Butchers Daughter . 19 Kenmare Street, New York City, NY . T: +12122193434 / VISIT New Museum . 235 Bowery, New York NY . T: +12122191222

JJ.

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