Music

March 10 2008


The Spice Girls landed on our doorsteps more than a decade ago with promises of ‘girl power’ and telling us what we wanted, what we really, really wanted.

With the pop and fizzle of The Spice Girls’ stunning rise now a distant memory, the UK is undergoing a second wave of ‘girl power’.  Instead of pre-fabricated, hyper-merchandised glitz, this new crop of ‘girl power’ artists embody lyrical honesty and authenticity.  Where the Spice Girls relied on sass and cleavage and commercial pop smarts, the UK’s current crop of female singer-songwriters embody honest self reflection and realness.  

Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen led the way with their upfront, unforgettable reinterpreta-tions of contemporary pop.  In the wake of Winehouse and Allen’s success arrives the next wave of UK female singer-songwriters.

20 year old Kate Nash smashed through with her single ‘Foundations’ and won the hearts of the indie crowd with her cover of the Black Kids’ ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance’.

Duffy, currently sitting at #1 in the UK with her track ‘Mercy’, has a voice that sits com-fortably between Winehouse and Dusty Springfield and comes with the promise that her music will last decades.

Adele too, with her soulful croon and anthemic single Chasing Pavements’, is cramming the airwaves and poised to take her sound global.

All in all, it’s a welcome arrival. It’s ‘girl power’ you can actually believe in. By Nick Christie

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Fashion

March 6 2008


At last...an alternative to jeans for men. NYC company Bonobos has created a range of great-fitting men's casual trousers that'll take you from the office to drinks. Available only online, the brand uses lightweight corduroy, stretch corduroy, twill and tigersharks wool - all comfy fabrics that hug the body without suffocating it. And that means across the backside too (if you know what we mean)....so if you've got it good, flaunt it. By Lisa Evans



Architecture

March 5 2008



Most of us have a personal image of an ideal escape or getaway. A secluded beach shack hidden on an island paradise - a tucked away cabin built into a snowy mountainside - a private chateaux set on the quiet, rolling hills of a vineyard - basically anywhere we feel removed from the mundane normalcy of our own daily lives. 



X.Pace, a Sydney/Singapore-based design studio is on the verge of helping us redefine the ultimate lifestyle solution - the highly luxurious Hingarae residences and resort located in Lake Taupo on New Zealand's north island. Hingarae embodies everything one would expect from 6 star standards - the ideal balance of extreme luxury, privacy and ultra-modern built form set upon a pristine natural environment. 



The development will offer twenty eight opportunities to own a fully-furnished Hingarae Module. Each individual Module is 200 square metres set carefully within 1 hectare of natural landscape. Oversized glazing allows uninterrupted views to the surrounding forest, green countryside, snow-capped mountains and crystal blue lake. The interior design is equally rewarding offering an exceptional imported blend of modern and futuristic furniture. The main living space sits on a revolving disc floor that allows orientation toward the exterior or the LCD screen.



Numerous additions to Hingarae Module ownership include an electric car for all on-site traveling, personal use of Hingarae's premium luxury 4WD vehicles for off-site travel, access to on-call helicopter, on-going membership to Jack Nicklaus' Kinloch Golf Club, ongoing winter season's pass to Mount Ruapehu's Whakapapa (New Zealand's largest ski area), shared use of Hingarae's motor launch and unlimited access to the 6 Star Hotel Hingarae and all its facilities including a recording studio. Hingarae also fully manages and maintains each Module and its individual acreage.



Nearly every aspect of a superior style of living has been taken into consideration during the conception and development phases of Hingarae. Unlike anything in the world, this New Zealand destination will soon embody the ultimate expression of escape for those of us able to get in - as prices start from US$1.9 million. As for the rest of us, we can always hope for an invitation from a generous friend. By Andrew J Wiener.

Music

February 27 2008


With their new album 'In Ghost Colours' to be released next month, Cut Copy are going to be everywhere very soon. Radio, TV, car stereos and who knows - maybe they’ll go down the Pnau path and put their tracks on slick commercials.

'In Ghost Colours' is certainly one of the most hyped Australian electronic albums ever. With the release of the first single 'Hearts On Fire' followed soon after by 'So Haunted', musical appetites were whetted worldwide. Then came a freely downloadable mixtape which dropped Cut Copy gems in between indie classics like Panda Bear's 'Bros'. 

Backed up by a national tour and a support slot at Daft Punk’s Neverland shows, Cut Copy have well and truly done the groundwork to build the excitment.  Now when we can't take any more, the clip for 'Lights And Music' emerges. The tension is palpable. People are dying to hear the record in its entirety. Bring on March! By Nick Christie

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Architecture

February 27 2008




An architect's house could be his ultimate expression of his relationship to the surrounding world. Arthur Casas positioned his own House in Iporanga outside of Sao Paulo deep in the Atlantic forest - the quintessential Brazilian landscape according to Casas.

Two symmetrical rectangular cubes face one another on the north and south sides of the site. Two retractable 36 foot-high glass walls connect the cubes and frame the main living and dining rooms of the house. The entire exterior is panelled in Cumaru wood that blends effortlessly into the surrounding forest.



Cumaru is also used inside as flooring where it stands out against the stark white walls - the only 'colour' found in the minimalist space. To an architect, one of the defining features of the overall design of a structure is effective interior spatial division. In his own house, Casas successfully divided the ground floor into distinct public and private areas. The kitchen and service area - including a separate bedroom and bathroom - were placed in the north cube structure. A studio and a guest bedroom and bathroom are located on the opposite side. The entire space is connected by the vast living room flanked by wood terraces on both ends. An infinity pool appears to be spilling over to soak the surrounding flora.



A floating Cumaru stairway leads to the first level, where one finds the master suite in the southern cube. A narrow bridge crosses over the middle of the living room and leads to an additional guest bedroom, bathroom and a home theater.

The main objective of Casas' design brief for the House in Iporanga was to provide an escape into the Brazilian forest. He has accomplished the creation of a personal retreat, a place where he is able to relax and recharge. By Andrew J Wiener



Food

February 20 2008




Negro de Anglona is a stylish restaurant in Madrid created in a converted 17th century Spanish palace, Palacio de Anglona, by architecture and interior design virtuoso, Luis Galliusi. Known for his ability to combine unexpected elements and to create elegant spaces, Galliusi has designed houses, stores, hotels, restaurants, offices and clinics in Madrid, Paris, Cairo, Mexico, Morocco, Indonesia and Miami. His client list includes Manolo Blahnik, Chanel and Phillippe Starck. In the seven rooms of Negro de Anglona, Galliusi has shown his usual flair. He has combined a strong, black-and-white color palette - including enormous black-and-white, back-lit images of castles - with ornate floor-to-ceiling drapery and other, strong decorative elements. The task of overseeing the predominantly Mediterranean menu has been trusted to the 24-year-old chef, Aitor Garcia Cerro. By Tuija Seipell


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Lifestyle

February 19 2008



If you are lucky enough to have a home theatre, most of us would be happy with a projector, surround sound and perhaps a comfy sofa or two. Not so for these homeowners.

Pentagram Architects partner James Biber has designed this home theatre in Montauk New York, taking inspiration from Radio City Music Hall and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The theatre has a series of round arches, which house 600 five-watt dimmer-controlled light bulbs that provide a soft ambient light for when you need to find that elusive remote control. And as in the Music Hall, the lights are positioned to glow away from the viewers — because we all hate to have lights in our eyes when watching the big screen.

Biber has designed the theatre to function like a TV room, in that it is comfortable and intimate enough for a romantic night in with a bottle of red and a Hugh Grant movie, but can also easily accommodate up to ten people to watch the big game, or perhaps a slumber party with the girls.

All of the surfaces in the room are covered in orange felt to help with the acoustics, and seating on the floor has been taken care of by Edelman Leather who custom made the beanbags.

This house, which also boasts a large private outdoor space looking onto the Atlantic Ocean, recently won an American Architecture Award for distinguished buildings and a Citation for Design in the AIA New York State Design Awards. By Brendan McKnight

See also - A Home with the coolest outdoor home theatre


Design

February 15 2008



Cool Spas are popping up everywhere as if they had just been invented, but in the Bavaria region of Germany – as in many parts of the world with healing, thermal or mineral springs – baths are part of ancient history.



Bad Aibling, located some 35 miles southeast of Munich, has held the official title of a Bad (German for bath, spa, springs) since 1895 but the thermal spas have bubbled up there much, much longer. It is particularly refreshing to see one of the older facilities, Thermal Bad Aibling, receive a complete overhaul and emerge as a viable competitor in the world of spoiled and pampered spa goers.



The most striking new feature at Bad Aibling are the large white domes, placed seemingly randomly in the hilly landscape, letting the alpine scenery dictate their placement. Each dome is dedicated to its own treatment, temperature, ambiance and experience.



In addition to the fairly standard fare, such as a wide selection of massages, beauty treatments, saunas and different-temperature baths and pools, Thermal Bad Aibling offers a beautifully lit Turkish haman plus something no other spa has – so far. It is an immersive film experience by LivingGlobe where the guests can enjoy a special 360-degree film projection and light show produced specifically for Thermal Bad Aibling. The main outdoor swimming pool areas will open in May 2008, but hot pools are functional, creating the atmosphere of time-tested pleasure of soaking in hot water in cold air and enjoying the view. By Tuija Seipell



 
Design

February 15 2008



For eons, walls of greenery have surrounded people and creatures living in jungles, rainforests and other lush places.



Ancient Asians and Europeans since Roman times have paid gardeners to create green art and sculpture for their gardens, from elaborate topiary sculptures and mazes to vine-covered walls.



And, of course, we’ve seen inventive uses of built outdoor space – including rooftops, patios and balconies – as places to bring more green into our overly concrete-covered lives. Smudging the line between indoors and outdoors, and playing with the illusion of greenery where it doesn’t really belong, are also the basis of some recent installations that we like.



Mass Studies, founded in 2003 by Minsuk Cho in Seoul, Korea, has produced some great examples of this. Among them is Ann Demelmeester’s store (pictured above) in Soul. It is one of only four concept stores showcasing the fashions of the Flemish designer.



Green walls are not just visually interesting and environmentally beneficial, they add a sense of calm and peace that is difficult to achieve by other means. The inclusion of real, living plants on a large scale in places where you don’t expect to see them, also adds other sensory elements – the scent of the greenery, the sound of water, perhaps the feeling of humidity around the installation. The organic texture invites touch and inspires conversation – how was this installed, how is it cared for, who did it?



We’ve found some interesting green installations, such as this school in the UK and a hair salon in Japan, but we’d love to see many, many more. We think there’s room for much more creativity and daring in this arena, so let us know if you spot remarkable and unusual examples. - Tuija Seipell. Send to [email protected]

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Ads

February 13 2008




Leo Burnett in Sao Paulo created this simple yet clever ad for Arcor bubble gum.


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