Design

July 17 2007

 
Some are happy to just get a haircut and some relationship advice from their stylist, but we want more. If stylists actually have a sense of style, why are hair salons mostly boring, sterile and cookie-cutter, we wonder? Our hunt for cool hair salons has yielded a few exceptions. One is Fur Hairdressing at City Square in Melbourne. It is Fur’s second salon; the first is in Greville St, Prahran. The new salon is an expression of Fur creative director Frank Valvo’s inimitable flair that has earned him a semi-permanent perch on the list of Melbourne’s best-dressed men.

Combining their talents with Melbourne-based Six Degrees, Fur stylists created a salon that appears much larger than its 24 square meters. The eclectic interior is a flexible set up changeable for one to seven clients. Imagine walls made of a recycled basketball court — one camouflaging a huge set of drawers -- add 70s disco kitsch, flexible sets of angled and rotating mirrors and you are all set for a new kind of hair salon experience. Fur’s custom-designed lighting and sound (using a BOSE system) will maximize your enjoyment. By Tuija Seipell. See also Pimp and Pinups
 








Lifestyle

July 12 2007




Underwater scooters? Sounds a bit like James Bond-meets-Finding Nemo. But despite its name, this Scuba Doo is no cartoon. The brainchild of Aussie scuba-diving specialists ScubaDoo International, the funky ScubaDoo will revolutionise scuba diving as it slips coolly beneath the waves from a launching pad, allowing the rider to cruise the reef at a speed of 2.5 knots without tanks, weights or mask, and with head and shoulders dry and safe in a clear, fitted dome. The secret to the ScubaDoo's easy mobility is an external compressor, attached to the scooter by a cable which floats above the scooter on the ocean surface. At A$22,700 (US$17,000 approx) it' not a cheap thrill, but expect diving centres and hire operators to charge approx. $130 for a 15-minute scoot through the depths. -  Lisa Evans

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Architecture

July 9 2007




While it may look like an optical illusion from the outside, this housing block in Izola on the Slovenian coast offers bona fide affordable options for many young families. The team of Ofis Arhitekti won a national design competition for their design of two apartment buildings each containing 30 units of varying size ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. 

Internal spaces may be small, however the unique trapezoidal-shaped balconies accentuate external perspectives and views directly to the sea. Structural elements are located externally as well thereby allowing more spacious living areas while taking advantage of the limited area of each unit and helping to keep the square metre cost low.



Ofis wrapped sunshades in the form of colourful canvas awnings around the blocks balconies. These defining features provide ample external space for each unit, while innovative side paneling allows for both privacy and ventilation. From within, the canvas panels create unique environments in individual apartments. Each coastal-facing apartment is thereby effortlessly adapted to Slovenia' Mediterranean climate. By Andrew Wiener

Travel

July 3 2007




Do & Co Hotel is located in Vienna's District 1, on the pedestrian-only Stephansplatz, right in the middle of the most historic part of this mindbogglingly historic city. The hotel of 41 luxurious rooms and two suites opened in May on the sixth floor of the famous, glass-walled Haas Haus building, but it is the view that really takes your breath away. What you see from the Haus is a straight-on, full-size, real-life panorama of St. Stephen's Cathedral -- Stephansdom -- that has defined Vienna since 1147 AD. It is the sound of this Cathedral's massive Pummerin (big bell) that announces the official arrival of the New Year in Austria.



The original Haas Haus building was a furniture and interior decor store, Philipp Haas & Sons. Several reconstructions later, the grand-daddy of modern Austrian architecture, Pritzker prize winner Hans Hollein, designed the current glass-steel-concrete structure. It opened in 1990 with notable disapproval by traditionalists. Hollein was also behind the latest upgrade that included the Do & Co hotel.

Do & Co, the hotel's holding company, is known worldwide for its first-class airline and event catering business and its Do & Co Restaurants and Cafes. In the Haas Haus, it operates also Vienna's hot spot, the ONYX Bar (pictured above) on the 6th floor, and Do & Co Restaurant (7th floor), plus luxurious event space on the 8th and 9th floors with amazing views over Vienna.



The heritage of the company's Istanbul-born founder and majority shareholder, Attila Dogudan, is reflected in the colorful touches interspersed in the Do & Co hotel interior by Amsterdam-based FG Stijl. The firm's partners, British Colin Finnegan and Dutch Gerard Glintmeijer, have managed to unite Dogudan's Turkish heritage and Vienna's prissy past with understated modern luxury. Your room will come equipped with Kilim bedspreads, chocolates from Viennese confectionary institution Demel (also owned by Do & Co), and a Bang & Olufsen flat screen TV. By Tuija Seipell

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Fashion

July 3 2007




Matthew Williamson was called 'the king of bling' by the Sydney Morning Herald for a reason.
 
Since his London debut in 1996, one thing has remained constant: Williamson's models will sparkle. His 2003 spring collection saw gold-sequined blouses and brocade jackets, while the fall of 2005 line had shiny velvets and satins and the fall of 2006 featured shimmering gold and silver jumpers, to name a few.
 
The trend continued most recently during February's New York Fashion Week. Williamson paraded his traditional flashy jewel-hued mini minis and doll-sized dresses - but this year there was also a noticeable smattering of fashions to file under - the bigger the better. Models processed down the runway in gaping shorts and trousers that were paper-bag-synched at the waist, as well as tent-sized sparkly muumuus and necklaces boasting fist-sized shell pendants. The most innovative of these enormous fashions could be credited to the pioneering of jewellery designer Scott Wilson.



Wilson and Williamson are both decorated alumni from the UK's finest art institutions. Wilson studied jewellery design at Middlesex Polytechnic and millinery at the Royal College of Art while Williamson began his career at star-spangled Central St. Martins. Both designers earned coveted fashion positions early in their careers. Immediately after graduation Williamson began working for Marni, while Wilson earned employment with Karl Lagerfeld as an undergrad. Williamson eventually went on to launch his own successful eponymous line. On the other hand, Wilson has garnered much of his renown through his collaborative efforts with showstoppers Burberry, Rifat Ozbek and Hussein Chalayan in particular � though he continues to maintain his own jewellery line. As Wilson explained to the International Herald Tribune, 'One-off pieces are the ultimate expression of my work, but they can be very time-consuming.'
 
In their collaboration, Wilson clearly embraced Williamson's predilection for shine with his jewelled bracelets, which are evocative of bedazzled bocce balls. The enormous bangles were seen on the lanky limbs of Hilary Rochas and Maryna Linchuk during Matthew Williamson's parade of jewel-colored frocks at New York Fashion Week in February. According to Fashion Wire Daily, Wilson's 'sequined bracelets [were] a deft accessory addition to a collection that underlined how British designers stint showing in America has helped him mature into a producer of highly wearable, yet always hip, clothes.'
 
The funky though undeniably glamorous bracelets have most recently been spotted cuffing the delicate wrists of Mischa Barton on the cover of UK Elle. The bracelets are custom-made, and available to the most audacious of luxury collectors for a mere $900 each. Contact the creator himself at (TK Scott Wilson's email address). By L. Harper

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Art

Ads

July 3 2007



Retro video game iconic heroes have been making a come back for some time now. From T-shirts through to shoes, we have seen the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong and dare we say their rival, Sega's Sonic The Hedgehog plastering their  pixelated faces all over some funky wears.

Hot on the heels of this fad, gaming giant Nintendo have promoted their latest baby Wii in Italy with this interesting wall display created by a series of posted notes. Behind each not lies a message inviting the recipient to relive the 80's through some classic games available on Wii. The post it notes make a nice 3D representation of a 2D pixel. Cute. By Andy G

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Design

June 28 2007


Staying at a hospital or visiting a dentist are mostly unpleasant events, even if you were there just to get a little nip-and-tuck or have your teeth whitened. The universal ugliness and dullness of those bland walls and uninspiring furnishings is surely not going to make you feel better. Plastic surgeons, spas and hair salons fare a bit better, but even most of them are just paying lip service to design or luxury with no real imagination, nothing that makes a lasting impression. Except a few. We’ve seen some that have undergone real makeovers and we want more! Let us know where the coolest places of beautification are — from hospitals, plastic surgeons, dentists to hair salons, spas, manicurists... By Tuija Seipel. Send [email protected]




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Fashion

June 26 2007


Consider it an antidote to the mass-produced “designer” fashions of Target and Wal-Mart. CoLab, an eyewear accessory collaboration, hand selects talented “street artists” from all over the world to become CoLab professors. These wisemen of design infuse their artistic aesthetic into the humble sunglass frame, creating a tantalizingly unique summer accessory.

CoLab is a brand-new venture out of Sydney with the aim of creating matchless art disguised as fashion. For the Spring/Summer 2007 season, CoLab invited Perks and Mini (PAM) of Australia, EBoy of Germany, Geoff McFetridge of the US, Rockin’ Jellybean of Japan, and Neasden Control Center of the UK into their “Colaboratory” to create inspired eyewear. Each pair will be sold as a limited edition, with no more than 1000 pairs of each design sold. Come next season, CoLab will select an entirely different slew of artists.

Each artist has contributed anywhere from three to five designs, culminating in a CoLab portfolio of 20 sunglass designs. Despite the commerciality of fashioning art into sunglasses, the project is inherently appealing to the underground artist as CoLab dictates: “There is no constraint, no rules to follow, no target market to appease.”

The designs intimately reflect this freedom, from blue goggle-shaped “Eyes” frames by PAM, to decal-ridden EBoy shades, to vintage inspired oglers by Rockin’ Jellybean.

The tragically hip lenses can be found through worldwide stockists, most notably, Paris’s Colette, which became CoLab’s first global stockist in January of this year.

In its distinctive pursuit, CoLab has created a brand without a brand — a welcome respite to those beleagured by the choice: Ray-Bans or absurdly-priced “designer” shades. By L. Harper


Food

June 25 2007



If decidedly unfashionable cuckoo clocks, Tyrolean kitsch and yodeling form your memories of Austria, update your impressions next time you are in Innsbruck. It is hard to not look up in Innsbruck, the provincial capital of Tyrol, with the Nordkette Mountains hulking all around. But focus a bit lower and zero in on the new Town Hall. The Dominique Perrault-designed building is on the Old Town’s (Altstadt) main artery, the 17th century Maria-Theresien Strasse.



Go up to the rooftop Lichtblick Cafe (also by Perrault) and marvel at the magnificent 360-degree views. The place is fashionable, sleek and definitely void of Alpen-kitsch. The walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and the roof is a translucent membrane allowing daylight through. At night, the entire cafe looks like a large glowing lighting fixture in the sky.
The 54-year-old Perrault is highly regarded for his ability to allow landscapes to be transformed but not interfered by his buildings. His notable upcoming projects include the EWHA Women’s University in Seoul, Korea (2008), the new Mariinski Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia (2009), and the Olympic Tennis Centre in Madrid, Spain (2009). By Tuija Seipell.

Fashion

June 19 2007




Emma Hope has come a long way from the overbearing florals of Laura Ashley fashions. After designing and manufacturing six collections with the company, Hope jetted on to bigger and better things - namely, her eccentric Emma Hope collection.

Since the commencement of her designing efforts, Hope has garnered five Design Council Awards, the Martini Style Award, and the Harpers & Queen Design Award. Hope's eponymous collection began solely with shoes - footwear could be considered Hope's forte, she's designed shoes for Paul Smith, Anna Sui and Mulberry. Hope later expanded her offerings to include handbags with quirky creations like a henna suede tote bag with delicate floral silhouettes carved out of its base, or a pair of men's white leopard print sneakers fashioned from ponyskin .

The designer's most eye-catching number is easily a velvet sneaker bag which offered in bright hues of violet, gold and fuchsia, among others. The unlikely juxtaposition of luxurious velvet to hold your sweaty workout ensembles seems a perfect fit for the celebs who emerge daintily coiffed - with nary a bead of sweat - after hours-long training sessions. And for the obsessively coordinated amongst us, Hope even offers matching "Magic Basket" sneakers, which are swathed in the same unlikely shades of velvet. These indulgent workout fashions are available at either of Emma Hope's three shops in London (Sloane Square, Westbourne Grove and Islington) as well as 150 additional stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods. By Harper Walsh

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