Design

March 11 2009




Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal is the newest addition to the Scandinave spa line-up.

Located in Old Montreal and close to the Old Port, the 12,000-square-foot spa is the first urban undertaking of the Scandinave team, spearheaded by Benoît Berthiaume, co-founder and executive VP of the Gestion Rivière du Diable group.


 
Occupying the ground floor of a restored former warehouse, Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal’s setting is less intimate than the rural settings of the first two Scandinave spas. The first corporate spa opened in 1999 in the log-and-stone cabin country of Mont Tremblant’s ski hills in Quebec, and the first franchise opened in 2006 in the Blue Mountain ski hills of Collingwood, Ontario.
 
The Old Montreal spa was designed by Montreal’s award-winning architectural powerhouse, Saucier + Perrotte, led by Gilles Saucier and André Perrotte.


 
The interior is somewhat sterile and cold with its open spaces and expansive surfaces of glass, marble, slate and limestone. In recreating the hot-and-cold “thermo therapy” of the “Scandinavian bath” experience, this spa is definitely closer to Reykjavik’s somewhat clinical Blue Lagoon than to the wood-paneled saunas of Finland.


 
Scandinave’s next corporately owned spa is scheduled to open late this year in the ski hills of Whistler, British Columbia, to be ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics. - Tuija Seipell
 

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Ads

March 11 2009




Perwanal Saatchi & Saatchi in Jakarta, Indonesia, has taken interactivity and creepy-crawliness to a new, flat level with the creation of this massive 'floor sticker' in an Jakarta shopping center .
 
The ad, for Jakarta's pet emporium JAKPETZ, promotes Frontline Flea & Tick Spray  with the slogan 'Get them off your dog.'
 
Viewed from the upper levels, the people walking on the ad look disgustingly flea-like, and the scene elicits constant reactions that sound something like 'yikes!' The team behind this effective promo included Chief Creative Officer Andy Greenaway, Executive Creative Director Juhi Kalia and Art Directors Aryanto Salim and Joel Clement. - Tuija Seipell

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Transportation

March 10 2009



Bespoke is the new black — we’re living in a world where we can design anything we could ever possibly want exactly how we want it. Here are TCH, we’ve become bespoke gurus — from supercars to track shoes to mobile devices, we’ve been talking about custom design for as long as we can remember. For this latest installment of custom-made products, we’ve found some pretty cool brands that let you build your own bike.

In Los Angeles, James Perse provides a platform to build a custom vintage-style beach cruiser (pictured above) — a quintessentially Californian bicycle typically seen meandering along the Venice boardwalk and down through Santa Monica. The James Perse Cruiser, available in a variety of colours, is instantly recognisable with its fat tyres, wide handlebars and soft, cushy saddle perfect for cruising along the beach with your surfboard in tow.



Republic Bike invites you to custom-build bicycles based on shared designs — choose from an array of colours for the frame, saddle, grips, chain, rims, tires and crank.  Who says your front tyre can’t be yellow, while your back tyre is pink? Ever dreamed of having a blue bike frame with red handle grips and a white saddle? Republic can make this dream a reality. The Aristotle is a singles peed bicycle with a fixed/free hub.  Typically a fixed gear bicycle does not allow a rider to coast as the rear cog continually spins. But Republic has made it possible to shift from fixed to free if coasting is your thing.



And finally, there’s a Japanese company called Pedalmafia, a place to build a 1/9 scale bicycle, the Pedal ID, not quite the bike to ride around town but cool nevertheless. The website allows you to choose practically every part of a fixed-gear bike in many different color combinations. Pedalmafia has also teamed up with Yamamoto, one of Japan’s largest toy/model makers, and provided the basic component set along with optional accessories to create the perfect bespoke bicycle. - Andrew J Wiener.


Fashion

March 10 2009




This week in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld presented a poised, elegant and mostly black take on power suiting for Chanel that included this fantastically witty take on the working gal's briefcase. We hope that it's not just a prop for the catwalk. We're sure someone out there could pull it off in the real world. It's highly functional, after all. - Laura Demasi - via Fashionation
 

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Art

March 8 2009

Gianluca Fallone is a designer/illustrator from Argentina, currently based in London. At only 23 years old, he has managed to build up an impressive folio that includes work with clients such as MTV, Nike and Cartoon Network.

Fallone’s stance is simple —’I love type and design, and I particularly like when both are present — and evident in much of his work. He is inspired by Japanese animation and comic books that also triggered his ’illustration-design rollercoaster,’ and his pieces are beautifully crafted and extremely detailed. Fallone is putting his mark on the Argentinean design world, and we are expecting to see great things from this young and amazingly talented artist. - Brendan McKnight

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Food

March 4 2009



Subtlety is not in the vocabulary, if Toronto’s club king, Beirut-born Charles Khabouth, is involved in an entertainment or hospitality venue. The CEO of Toronto-based Ink has done it again with the reopened ULTRA, designed by Toronto’s Munge Leung. Partners Alessandro Munge and Sai Leung were also in charge of the award-winning design of the original ULTRA five years ago.
 
The new ULTRA has a dark, hellish and somewhat mad vibe with black and red as the dominant colors, and gigantic images of threatening roosters looming over the 400 or so diners. Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage created the threatening bird pictures.


 
Khabouth’s Ink is engaged in a range of prominent hospitality venues, including the Pantages Suites Hotel & Spa in Toronto (club) and The Beatles Revolution Lounge in the Mirage in Las Vegas. - Tuija Seipell


Music

February 25 2009



Solo albums suck. Well, most of the time they suck, because most of the time they're lousy and ill-considered cash-ins that end up shedding little light on this new side of the artist and just end up damaging our opinions of the original band. History (and record store discount bins) are littered with failed solo-grabs and side projects. How many jokes end with a punch-line about David Bowie's Tin Machine experiment? Was anyone even awake for Nicole Scherzinger's lone-Pussy Cat Doll phase? And really, who wants to listen to an hour's worth of material from the drummer from Weezer? But people do get it right every once in a while. Like Victoria Bergsman's split from the Concretes, or Nick Littlemore's work with Teenager and Empire of the Sun outside of Pnau. This is not to forget someone like Marvin Gaye's creative peak after leaving the Moonglows or even the obvious work of Michael Jackson once he broke free of his brothers. And while Morrisey never quite matched the lightning in a bottle after the Smiths' end, his has been one of the most consistent and enduring solo careers in memory. So here's two fine examples of how to make pretty great solo record.



NICKEL EYE

With the Strokes' hiatus continually stretching over the last couple of years, we've seen the band's members peel off into a multitude of side and solo projects. From Albert Hammond Jr's confident strides on his two solo discs, to Frabrizio Moretti's new island-indie group Little Joy, and Julian Casablancas and Nick Valensi's shuffling guest spots with the likes of Queens of the Stoneage, Pharrell and Regina Spektor. The latest Stroke to go it alone is Nikolai Fraiture, masquerading here as Nickel Eye with Time of the Assassins. It's a bold and surprising move from the notedly reserved bassist, but an impressive to be sure. Hints of the classic Strokes' sound litter the disc, but Nickel Eye's strength lies in the variations on that sound. There's added harmonicas, whistles and plenty of acoustic guitars. It's like if the Strokes were concerned with classic Americana instead of New York cool and lived on throat-scraping moonshine instead of famous models.



FEVER RAY

After the Knife's Silent Shout conquered everyone's world in 2006, O. Dreijer and his sister K. Dreijer Andersson put their musical partnership on hold. This led to the birth of Fever Ray, Karien's latest solo-output. While the self-titled debut of Fever Ray isn't far removed from the Knife's spooky electronic terrains, this record does feel different. It's sparse and paced against the tension heard on the Silent Shout and the attitude of Deep Cuts. Most remarkable of all is the glimpse at Driejer Andersson herself that Fever Ray offers. Beyond the Knife's stark exterior, we see a little of what drives Karin and how she's still steps ahead of the game. - Dave Ruby Howe

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Stores

February 25 2009

Established by the Berneda family in 1939, Barcelona’s own sports shoe house Munich continues to stay on top of things. In the 1970s, Munich made tracks with the Made in Barcelona footwear line and the X logo.

The Munich flagship store was designed by Ignasi Llauradó and Eric Dufourd of dear design, a design and architectural firm the two established in Barcelona in 2005.

Dark-glass surfaces, mirrors, metal trees and cage-like boxes hanging from the ceiling (from which the shoes have “escaped”), all carry a carefree, experimental and impermanent air. The angular and clunky space with its hard edges and seemingly moving parts is clearly an attempt to say that the septuagenarian brand is nowhere near slowing down. - Tuija Seipell

Events

February 23 2009



Sick of going to the opening of an envelope new store opening party? The tried and tested formula is safe, uninspiring and obvious. (Eg. celebrity invites, cult dj spins some safe retro tunes and the real consumer is supposed to be inspired by this out pouring of elitism to then visit said store.) Always ready to challenge the status quo, Diesel's new store on Fifth Avenue in New York took a decidedly different approach at a time when consumer behaviour and creative marketing is not only revered but essential.
 
Titled "Five on Fifth", the guerrilla marketing campaign for Diesel allows the consumer on the street to witness real life installations in their store windows. Intimate dinner parties that would normally be held behind closed doors were staged in the windows featuring famous New Yorkers. Each night was a different theme (cleverly organised to appeal to a cross section of consumers) with a club night featuring key dj's like Richie Rich, Kenny Kenny and Patrick McDonald,  a sports night with the key players from the New York Giants and then a Fashion night featuring the girls from Ford Models.


 
Street teams also gave out free goodies in key spots alongside the intimate window dinners in an attempt to catch the busy eyes of the press who were running with blackberries in hand from Fashion week's shows to parties.
 
Bravo to Diesel for their creative, inspiring and well executed campaign that should hopefully set the bar for economic-chic alternatives for store openings! - Kate Vandermeer

Stores

February 20 2009



The second U.S. store (after N.Y.) of the Japanese brand BAPE has become a solid street-corner anchor at 8001 Melrose Avenue in L.A. With only a few flimsy palms outside, the eye-catching, BAPE signature camo print in juicy neon tubes strikes a commanding visual presence especially at night.



Inside, a huge glass cylinder, six meters in diameter, dominates the cool 4.5-meter-high space. Inside the cylinder, sneakers revolve on conveyer belts giving both an industrial and a museum-like feel. The oldest BAPE stores in Japan have already celebrated their first decade, but in Europe and the U.S., the brand has only recently started to gain a retail presence. In addition to Japan, BAPE stores exist in Hong Kong, Paris and London, and now two in the U.S.



The L.A. store was designed by Masamichi Katayama and his company Wonderwall. The 43-year-old Katayama is well known for retail work in Japan, France, U.K., the U.S., Russia, Hong Kong and China. - Tuija Seipell


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