#JJStyle: Erbert Chong Discovers A Black Metropolis, AW 2014

Ever since I went to check out Erbert Chong’s debut  starting with a SS14 collection this time last year, i’ve been a fan of his understated yet sharp work. “Fierce” is something I would describe Erbert’s overall directive since launch. As I reported before, Erbert is a graduate of no less than three international fashion programmes… Parsons, FIT, and then ESMOD in Paris. 

One year later, his AW14 collection (ie. second line), is about to go on sale. Dubbed Black Metropolis, the latest lookbook campaign, photographed by Rosemary Conway, does its best to give the looks… derived from turn of the century “Old-World glamour and dark occultism”, a proper stage. The looks are feminine, but with a very masculine and architectural raw edge. Of course, Erbert looks to Fritz Lang’s 1927 Futura-Art Deco film, Metropolis, an inspiration source, as are objects and other architectures like the Chrysler Building.

Still quintessentially a Hong Kong designer, Erbert infuses classic silhouettes of the traditional qipao into the mix to help give a sense of height and strength to the his clients who are always all too eager to wear his collection.

Other things to note, the fabrics used in this particular line are specially sourced from Beijing’s oldest historic fabric shop, Rui Fu Xiang, renowned for their history of making handcrafted Chinese silks for traditional cheongsam and qipao dresses.

WEAR Erbert Chong

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#theWanderlist: WOAW! Brings You Elephant Grounds Coffee

Style icon and distributor of the stuff that us kids love, Mr. Kevin Poon, makes a business through the curation and distribution of well designed style & lifestyle goods.

From comfortable yet stylishly cool fashion shoes, speakers, watches, heck even scented candles and men’s soaps, all the items he’s personally picked out to sell himself… are available now under one roof at the WOAW! Concept Store, a showroom/shop for his wares.

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That said, like a true businessman, Kevin has also gotten into the coffee game. Right timing as well, now that Hong Kong has plenty of new coffee houses on offer, which basically means, Hongkies can’t drink enough… but question is… are they drinking the right stuff?

Elephant Grounds Coffee, as the new venture is called, is conveniently located inside the WOAW ! store, complete with a nice bar and a wide balcony overlooking a community park below. Whether you’re needing a recharge break after / during shopping, or just need some contemplative time with a cup of joe while staring down at old men playing checkers on a park bench… I truly recommend Elephant Grounds Coffee because it’s just so tasty and hits the right caffeine spot in your brain.

On offer are full bodied and full flavoured drip coffees that are locally sourced made of fine Brazilian, Sumatran, African, and Costa Rican beans. For blended coffees, everything is great… but let me suggest, the Elephant Grounds Short Black, the Dark Roast Latte, and the extremely rich Elephant Grounds Iced Coffee. 

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On weekends if you’re lucky, you can cool down with one of 30-40 random ice cream sandwiches on offer. When I went I had the “Weekend Special”, a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies… complete with sea salt to sprinkle on top. If you’re not that adventurous, the Homie Cookies are great alternatives.

While there’s not much yet in Hong Kong to create a “coffee scene”, it’s good to know that there are places like Elephant Grounds and a few others in the city that really care about serving great tasting coffee.

Meanwhile, Here’s some kids who love a good Coffee and Cookie combo… Katrina and Jason, the dynamic duo behind Bite Me Magazine.

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This skinny guy.

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Time Out HK Editor, Arthur Tam (on the right) and friend.

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And here are some old men you can stare at playing checkers.  Zone out to this on the balcony.

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Now get coffee and buzz off.

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DRINK Elephant Grounds Coffee . WOAW! Store, 11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, T: +852-25231313

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES: Restaurant in Historic Building, A Must-See Style Destination

Aberdeen Street Social may have been operating for a few months now, but I bet you haven’t seen photos like these of the new Restaurant/Cafe/Bar’s design concept by award-winning, Shanghai based, Neri & Hu Design Research Office. The just-released images of the restaurant’s interiors reflect the unique collaboration between the designers, Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu, with the restaurant’s founder, Yenn Wong, with Michelin-rated star, Chef Jason Atherton. To add more creativity to the mix, the whole bar/restaurant is situated in a re-appropriated historic building which used to house the Junior Police Clubhouse and Junior School within the just opened, Police Married Quarters (PMQ) Design complex. Plus at the Cafe’s entrance on ground floor, guests won’t miss a fantastic new interactive art piece, by 2014 Sovereign Asian Art Prize winner, Adrian Wong, of a series of octagonal barber shop poles on a clover mosaic, pieces which are reclaimed from a residence within the PMQ itself.

The concept for the interiors and the restaurant is all about creating an inclusive environment of convivial social get-togethers over meals, cocktails, and dessert. The ground floor is defined by its large bar and cake display, plus two rows of tables for groups of any size, while the dining room upstairs is for more intimate experiences, with all tables enhanced by bespoke pendant lamps. An outdoor patio, a room length balcony, and a garden terrace framing the property allows guests to stretch out within this special urban oasis.

To complete the social experience, the Managers are outfitted in Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers, a line designed especially by award-winning designer, Thom Browne.

via Lyndon Neri, principal designer:

"We decided to rejuvenate the convivial spirit within the ancillary building of what was once the Junior Police Clubhouse (JPC) and Junior school at PMQ by creating an ambient atmosphere to encourage creative minds to gather and interact with each other."

This isn’t the first time Neri & Hu has worked with Yenn Wong, check out their other collaborative projects here.

EAT Aberdeen Street Social . JPC, GF 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong (entrance at Hollywood Road intersection of Aberdeen Street) . T: +852.28660300 . Reservations are necessary / DESIGN Neri & Hu

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES:  Your Own Working Loft Space In Chai Wan, Finally

With more and more creative start ups, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and freelancers in the city, investors in Hong Kong are finally giving some of these non-corporate dreamers a stab at an atypical non-corporate kind of working environment to cater to this niche, but steadily growing market of self employed heroes. In the last few years we’ve seen spaces like The Hive, Regus, or Garage pop up in Central… but sometimes even then, these things get too crowded or too corporate.

That said some of us have friends who work in these big loft spaces in Chai Wan or Wong Chuk Hang, and are completely envious of their free-wheeling artsy lives. Well envy no more… now launched in Chai Wan is a new “New York like” decorated loft space about 3000 square foot large designed just for future-space-starved-free-wheelers. Puerta del Sol, as it is called, co founded by Harold de Puymorin with two other partners, aims to offer a new kind of hot desk venue, that allows community engagement plus admin services to anybody in need of such a space.

Designers, Artists, Architects, Photographers, Writers, PR gurus, heck even accountants, are all welcome here. Plus Puerta del Sol can aid members with Business Registrations, VISAs, marketing, legal, and accounting services. Anyway to lift freelancers of the ground… which is great for a whopping 1,888 HKD a month of membership don’t you think?

"Open Hearts, Open Minds" is the Puerta del Sol motto… I care more about "Open Space" and "Open Community", and in Hong Kong where that’s hardly on offer, hopefully the "scene" proposed at Puerta del Sol is the answer we’ve all been looking for.

Plus the loft’s design looks completely amazing.

VISIT Puerta del Sol Hong Kong . Reality Tower, 4 Sun On Street, Unit 8 D, Siu Sai Wan, Hong Kong

JJ.

#JJStyle: Hong Kong’s Fierce Finest in Style-Off

This Sunday and for the next five Sundays after, the new PMQ (Police Married Quarters) in Hong Kong’s chic SOHO District, will be hosting the brand new Design Market @ PMQ, an initiative created to provide a platform for the city’s emerging independent designers to showcase and sell their products on a regular basis.

To support the initiative, Hong Kong’s fiercest and most stylish movers and shakers have banded together to create a “Style-Off” ad campaign, not only by celebrating the featured designer’s own creations, but also by taking part in an editorial shoot with PMQ’s architecture as a backdrop.

From top to bottom, the participating influencers include, amazing fashion blogger, CarrieBloomwood aka. Carrie Kwok, writer Christophe Wong, the Refinery’s creative director, Elizabeth Lau, Vogue China’s contributing fashion editor (my girl) Grace Lam, stylist Jasmine Smith, and Art Director Kenneth Wong.

According to Design Market, the campaign was formulated to raise awareness of young and emerging designers and to give advice to the general public on how to “Change Your Fashion Perspective” by experimenting with new styles and designs (aka. HK there’s more to fashion than Giordano and Comme Des Garcons!) 

Different Designers’ key pieces are mixed and match to create unique bespoke looks for each of the influencers in the shoot.

Future dates for Design Market @ PMQ, are Sunday August 24, October, 5, October 12, November 2, and November 9, 2014.

VISIT Design Market @ PMQ . 35 Aberdeen Street Social, Central Hong Kong

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Art Pops With Food at BIBO

When I first started writing this blog about four years ago, one of the initial goals with theWanderlister+ was to elevate Hong Kong’s cool subculture must-sees to a level where everyone who was interested about the city’s most stylishly cool and creative hotspots, can find it easily. When theWanderlister+ began, there were a few options for a blog post, and now many years later… I can’t even keep track of what this city has now on offer. This is how much Hong Kong has changed over time, and now I am in a situation where i’m only blogging about new restaurants like Nouveau French restaurants like BIBO months since it opened its snazzy gold doors in April. That said, I wish I’ve covered it sooner. Here’s why.

BIBO is one one of those “Wanderlister-ish” destination restaurants i’ve been wanting to try for a long time, but the obvious pile up of flashy street art (as could be seen through the restaurant’s shopfront windows on Upper Lascar Row aka. Cat Street) just seemed too intimidating and overwhelming. However, whoever the owners of BIBO are, they definitely paid quite a hefty sum to get some of the world’s “IT” pop-street artists to work on some site-specific pieces in the space. While Facebook Hong Kong is making controversy as news spreads regarding their practice of seemingly ripping off of local artists’ works to serve their interior design, BIBO meanwhile makes proud statements that they paid for their art which is admirable. The Global artists on display here are not only given a permanent stage in the city, but they are being compensated for their equally visible work.

Facebook has works that look like the King of Kowloon’s on their walls, but BIBO has an actual piece by the deceased local artist! And for sure Hong Kong makes Facebook makes way more moolah than Bibo can ever see from this city.

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Other works at BIBO that are impactful, include a huge etched portrait in concrete by Vhills aka Alexandre Farto. And to the right of that some stylistic graffiti work by German artist, Stohead.

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A major presence in the main dining room and visible from the lane outside is a large timber sculpture from KAWS. I thought it was a tad ostentatious when passing by, but after sitting in the dining room, I realised that its big scale actually works for the space.

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Several other pieces to note are some video-game inspired graphics by guerilla artist, Invader, as well as a few quiet pieces by Banksy.

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Men, if you use the urinal, you’ll be having an intimate moment with a Damien Hirst’s pills.

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Outside the WC’s… a rare hand drawing by deceased American artist, Keith Haring.

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And even up to now, according to management, there are still new acquisitions only days or weeks old, as the space’s design and decor is apparently in a constant state of flux based on acquisition and inclusion of new pieces. Accent works by Murakami, Kusama, Basquiat, and Shepard Fairy line the bar and the library reading areas.

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If you’re a fan of BIBO’s bar and cocktails like I am, you’ll be having another moment with JR’s pensive eyes. JR was last in the city via a collaborative show with Galerie Perrotin here.

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There’s just so much visual stimuli here. It’s great actually. Like this work by Jonone.

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If I have to be critical about something, and I believe there’s always room for improvement about everything… it’s that there needs to be work thats representational of Hong Kong’s own art scene, NOW. And like the food and the wine (which are amazing by the way), everything at BIBO is an imported culture of “cool”. That’s my only gripe, which is an important point to make.

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I went to a press dinner with lifestyle writer extraordinaire, Johannes Pong, and my friend Ann-Marie, who is a secret chef and a critical foodie, and she and I both agreed, the food and service at BIBO is completely excellent. And she is super critical, so I trust her view on everything food.

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Everything on offer is the work of Chef Mutaro Balde (formerly of Alain Ducasse at The Plaza Athenee) who is in charge of creating food that is French, Continental, Playful, and Innovative. Highlights of our meal include a very tasty Vegetarian Salad made of figs, artichokes, and asparagus, an anchovy and parmesan mac and cheese, and the l’oeuf mayo’ which is an egg with creamy yolk. We also tried something called ‘la Saint Jacques’ which is a dish of scallops with fresh pesto garnish, and a ‘foie gras poele’, a foie gras pan seared on grenadine-poached rhubarb.

BIBO has a comprehensive wine list and an amazing house sommelier by the name of Wallace Lo, who recently won Best Sommelier of Hong Kong 2014. Price wise, if you were to do dinner from starters to dessert, and pair it all with wine, a night at BIBO can set you back at about 1500-2000 HKD a person. That said, the food and the ‘underground art gallery’ ambiance are worth the visit if you’re looking to create a unique urban dinner experience for yourself.

We’re all definitely returning real soon.

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EAT BIBO . GF 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan . T: +852-256 3188

JJ.

Interfacing Western and Eastern Identities, Works by Gongkar Gyatso

From 18 September to November, Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong will unveil a brand new show displaying work of Gonkar Gyatso, one of Tibet’s “pre-eminent contemporary artist”, whose work is focused on bridging both Eastern and Western culture via tongue in cheek compositions which speak to viewers from both sides of the globe.

For Pop Phraseology, Gyatso will combine references to traditional Tibetan life with that of the mass-media culture. The interfacing is the sum of works that will be on display, a collection that Gyatso does on both his 2D and 3D pieces.

Via Gallerist Pearl Lam:

Gyatso is deeply moved by the need to preserve and celebrate his own culture and just as artists like Judy Chicago, who seeks to make the vernacular of womanhood part of our discourse, or Glenn Ligon, who works to talk about Black Identity in America, or Yinka Shonibare, who uses the textiles of his heritage to address issues of colonialism, Gyatso inserts Buddhist and Tibetan iconography into our daily lives. They all ask, where is our place? What is our role? And, where are we going from here? It is a fascinating and inspiring discourse to be engaged in.

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From Top to Bottom: Wisdom of the 1% (2013) 60x40in, Meditations In and Out of Love (2014) 60x60in, Pendulum of Autonomy (2014) 60x80in, Untitled - Silver Base (2014) 60x80in, Untitled - Blue Base (2012) 16x18x12in.

VISIT ‘Pop Phraseology’ a Gonkar Gyatso Solo Exhibition . 18 SEP – NOV 2014 . Pearl Lam Galleries, 6F, 12 Pedder Street, Central, HK

JJ.

#JJStyle: Three Words. MISCHA. Camo. Collection.

As a long time fan, friend, and supporter of MISCHA’s founder/designer, Michelle Lai, i’m very pleased to announce the arrival of an amazing new capsule line she’s created that’s adventurous, innovative, yet still very “on-brand”, dubbed The Camo Collection. 

The Camo Collection retains MISCHA’s signature hexagonal graphic prints, but splatters it all with a new fluid camouflage motif defined by a traditional muted green, but with vibrant pops of color to mix it up. With the new Camo Collection, MISCHA not only breaks out of the brand’s two-tone japanese-inspired motif of the full-on hexagon shape wallpapering the bags, but she may also have to get used to a new kind of clientele… men.

While there have been talks about a 100% menswear collection from MISCHA for a long time (and there still might be in the foreseeable future), this Camo Collection does a great job catering to both women and men who are already big fans of the MISCHA product and aesthetic. That said I expect the line to gain a few MORE fans as well. Much More. The look and the print is something I have not seen in the market, which I think only works here because of the hexagon pattern giving the whole print a really cool base to play off of.

To further celebrate the arrival of the capsule line, MISCHA collaborates with both Lane Crawford and Kapok to supply the shops with limited edition pieces designed exclusively for each store. A limited edition Messenger Backpack (not shown on this post) will be available at all Lane Crawford stores from August 2014 and a special Kapok version of the “Jet Set Tote” featuring Kapok-exclusive colourways and details will also be available at the same time.

I know what I want…  definitely “the Voyager Duffel”, its the best way to escape in style. 

WEAR MISCHA

JJ.

#theWanderlist: F11 Photographic Museum Opens in Happy Valley, Housed in Restored Art Deco Structure

Here’s something new in the neighborhood, the F11 Photographic Museum located in Happy Valley Hong Kong will mark its official opening with a Best in Show exhibition by legendary American photographer, Elliott Erwitt, who will himself attend the museum’s launch on September 18th. Erwitt is expected to sign copies of his latest book, Regarding Women that same week.

Best in Show is curated by the museum’s owner, Douglas So who is a former corporate lawyer and philanthropist, and photography expert, India Dhargalkar, and will feature over 50 original photographs from Erwitt’s collection.

“Our vision for F11 Photographic Museum is to generate interest in photography and an appreciation for the art form,” explains So. “We do this through our curated collection of rare cameras, books and prints. In choosing to house the museum in a Grade III historic building, we also hope to encourage more private conservation and revitalisation of Hong Kong’s heritage properties.”

The new museum occupies a three-storey Art Deco ex-residential building, newly restored in the neighborhood’s Yuk Sau Street. The ground and first floors are expected to house exhibitions, while the second floor will be a private museum to showcase… a VAST DISPLAY OF LEICA CAMERAS, including a Model A Anastigmat from 1925… which was the first year Leitz sold cameras to the public. The upper level of the museum will be home to over 1000 titles from the Magnum Book collection, including many rare and first signed editions and maquettes… available to the public for research purposes.

VISIT Elliott Erwitt’s ‘Best In Show’ Exhibition at the  F11 Photographic Museum 18 September to 30 November . 11 Yuk Sau Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong . T: +852-65161122 

JJ.

DESIGN NOTES: A Panoply of Dreams, Omar Khan Home Collection Debuts

My pal whom I first met in Hong Kong, Parsons graduate and amazing designer, Omar Khan, made a name for himself doing great visual merchandising work for On Pedder and then Joyce before going solo doing freelance work for events, and as a spatial designer under his new company, The Omar Khan Collective. Omar then moved from Hong Kong to Malaysia a few years ago, to continue his work for clients and friends in the broader region, which, through his various projects, he was able to slowly accumulate a whole archive of artisan-crafted handmade featured carpets he has created through his journey which can now be sold under a sub-moniker, Omar Khan Home

Omar Khan Home, has since debuted this past year at the first Maison et Objet Asia Singapore in March 2014, and has already been exhibited at Lane Crawford’s Chengdu Flagship… with word on the street that it may also be on offer here at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong as well. (Will keep you updated on this.)  

Omar Khan, a Singaporean with Dutch, Chinese, Egyptian, Pakistani, and German roots, was educated in the states since High School to college, uses his amalgamated past experiences to create designs which re-orient the “orient”, but in a graphic format that is contemporary and romantic… ie. “a panoply of objects, textures, and sensations”, according to him. The line as of now consists of 15 designs, with each comprising of about 3 different variations and made of wool, viscose, and silk… all hand tufted in Malaysia with Omar’s personal guidance on each piece that goes from factory to client. His signature rugs are quintessentially memorable and are each defined by “strong graphic motifs and fantastical elements” which Omar says are derived from his “dreams”. We have a quick chat with Omar about the new Omar Khan Home line and his amazing 2014 debut so far.

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theWanderlister+: Congratulations Omar on the launch of the the Omar Khan Home, tell me about the new line and how it fits conceptually with your design company, The Omar Khan Collective?

Omar Khan: The Omar Khan Collective and the home brand, Omar Khan Home, is really a company and product that wants to tell your story, be it thru lifestyle, retail, residential or commercial projects. We shy away from trends and we believe a personal investment into your life means more. I suppose thats why I decided to launch with a collection of statement rugs.

From an interior perspective, I always felt that having a rug in your space is an anchoring element. From a wellness perspective, we see the rug as more than just a rug, it’s a statement. You chose that piece because on some level it resonated with you. 

theW+: The last time you were on Wanderlister.com, we discussed your VM work for Papillon, a lifestyle boutique destination in Kuala Lumpur. That was about 4 years ago. Do you still do similar kinds of work today? And how does your work for The Omar Khan Collective feed into your home styling brand and vice versa?

OK: We are first and foremost an interior focused company. We have a consulting arm that deals with issues outside the realm of interiors but still very much intrinsic to the end presentation, We have done big atrium installations for two malls in Kuala Lumpur and some VM and  branding consultation around the region.

Within the consultancy we have what we call “Crafted and Curated” and this is an initiative specific to hotels who want to up the ante with their gift stores. Omar Khan Home will be expanding into scented candles and luxury towels which we will use to anchor the merchandise selection and then add on with a special curation from local artisans. Selfishly i miss a really good hotel gift store so to be able to bring that back is very interesting to me.

theW+: The feedback of your work has been quite positive. Some of your rugs have been showcased throughout China via Lane Crawford and other parts of Asia as well. Why do you think that the response has been so great? Did you expect it all?

OK: For me the rugs are a labor of love, which comes from a pure creative side that I feel resonates with people. I am planning a series of trunk shows throughout the region and it will be interesting to see the perspective on the collection from country to country. I always believe in the transformative effects a rug can have on a person and in their home, so for me that positive response specific to wellness is quite rewarding.

theW+: Who do you look to as your design heroes?

OK: I suppose they come from all different design fields. Hayze Menon, the man behind the music from my video, Brian Christie, who concepted and directed it, Meredith McLean, a creative powerhouse whose ability to take your vision and go the extra mile to turn it into reality. I’ve been privileged  enough to work with them and continue working with them on collaborative projects moving forward. 

Statement Rugs by Omar Khan Home from Omar Khan on Vimeo.

In regards to the usual suspects, I’ve always had Ray and Charles Eames, up there on the same pedestal as well as Erwin Olaff, Tim Walker & Dries van Noten.

theW+: What else will we see from Omar Khan Home, I know you will be collaborating with Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, among other projects…

OK: Moving forward, as a company our biggest ethos is that everything presented by The Omar Khan Collective should resonate with you. I hope to expand into Bed & Bath products with a range of oversized luxury towels, chinaware, fabric, and wallpaper collaborations. Such is the case for our brand new and very limited range of scented candles from France. There are 4 notes - our hero scent “Fleure Blanche”, “Palace”, “Lounge”, and my personal favourite “Bad Boy”. I have such great dreams for them in my head : )

DESIGN Omar Khan Collective and Omar Khan Home

JJ.