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Eclectic Cool
Cool Places

Cool… suisse

30 April 2012

Cool… suisse

My husband and I have been planning our summer holidays- want to go somewhere  where everything is perfect? (and they have good chocolate too)

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Cool Places, Design, Hong Kong, Shopping

Cool… Aesop hair

29 April 2012

Cool… Aesop hair

There is nothing better that a full head of swinging, glossy hair.  I have always been a big fan of the Aussie skin and hair brand Aesop and was pleased to learn that they are releasing a new range of haircare, consisting of 6 shampoos and 4 conditioners designed to address the specific needs of your scalp.

Products include a classic all-round shampoo to those that look after colour treated hair to those for oily scalps or dry hair. Each shampoo and conditioner is a blend of  botanical oils which impart a healthy shine while vegetable and synthetic proteins seal hair shafts to reduce breakage.

I am dying to try the volumising shampoo as my hair is a bit on the thin side and it promises to give my hair body and bounce.

One can’t talk about Aesop products without mentioning their spare and elegant packaging design.   Using a brown bottle reminiscent of pharmaceutical containers with simple but graphic labelling, this design is a masterclass in how simplicity can be striking and beautiful.

If you are in Hong Kong, make sure you visit the Aesop store in Sheung Wan designed by Melbourne architect, Ryan Russell,  which is clad in bamboo, evoking a very HK ambience.

The brand is also launching new stores in Zurich, Geneva and Melbourne as well as working with  the cool french label A.P.C. (love their store in Rue Madame in Paris).

The new shampoos and conditioners are available in Aesop stores worldwide now.


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Cool Places, Design, Events, Hong Kong

Cool… Master talk by Toyo Ito

28 April 2012

Cool… Master talk by Toyo Ito

Last Friday, the world famous Japanese architect, Toyo Ito, gave a talk to a small audience as part of the Master Talk series for Hong Kong Design Year 2012. Entitled Design after 3.11, Ito discussed some of his most recent works and how his approach towards design and architecture has modified after the 3.11 earthquake.

The last time Toyo Ito was in Hong Kong, he addressed an audience of around 1200 people as part of the Business of Design Week a couple of years ago.   It was fascinating to hear Ito speak in such an intimate setting as he has always been one of my architecture heros.

One of the world’s most innovative architects, Ito’s approach towards design has always been an exploration of form and light and he is very interested in the way that people move within his buildings as well as designing spaces that are appropriate for its intended use.

Toyo Ito is an internationally celebrated architect who was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale. Some of his most outstanding projects include the Sendai Mediatheque, the Yatsushiro Municipal Museum, the Tama Art University Library (Hachioji campus) in Tokyo, the Brugge Pavilion in Belgium, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in England, the VivoCity in Singapore, and the Main Stadium of the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Toyo Ito’s works redefine the dynamic relationship that exists between buildings and their surroundings by implementing the concept of sustainable development to his architecture.

Some of his most beautiful works show a lightness of form.  For example the Tama Art Library is a graceful and beautiful building, sensitive to its environment and its use as a place of study and contemplation.   The students are encouraged to use the building in different ways, there are spaces for group learning as well as spaces that allow the students to work solitarily while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Toyo Ito also designed the elegant Sendai Mediatheque which was affected by the earthquake. The dramatic video showed the effect that the earthquake had on this building.    After the earthquake, the building was not badly damaged but it focussed Toyo Ito’s attention on the disaster and its effect on the way that people live.

This lead to Toyo Ito’s Home for All campaign which he developed as a direct result from his talks with people who were affected by the disaster.    The simple building, constructed in wood, addressed the need for the community to have an centre where they can meet and discuss rebuilding efforts.   Ito said that after the 20th century, humans and architecture needed to be realigned with nature through energy-saving schemes or ecological ideas, to help create harmony for society. The use of wood and other inexpensive materials was in alignment with these ideas.

The talk also focussed on his concept of using nature to help disaster planning.  In one of his designs, Ito uses a large expanse of green space, landscaped to allow the protection of the city beyond, which could be used as a buffer and give time for people to move inwards in the event of a disaster and as a recreation area in safer times.  It is this type of innovative thinking that sets Toyo Ito’s work apart.

About Hong Kong Design Year

2012 Hong Kong Design Year (HKDY) is a year-long programme of signature events and celebration activities to propel the development of Hong Kong as a creative city. It aims to promote and enhance society-wide understanding about the values of design in business and in society, build the design and design thinking capacity of Hong Kong, and to promote Hong Kong’s design excellence.

About HKDY Master Talks

HKDY Master Talks is one of the flagship programmes of Hong Kong Design Year. It invites world-class design masters from various design disciplines to share design experiences with the public. The Talks aims to inspire and enhance society-wide understanding of the value of design and awareness of Hong Kong as an international design hub in Asia. It is a great chance for participants to discuss with and learn from the masters.

You can get further information from their website www.hkdesignyear.hk




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Design, Events, fashion, Hong Kong

Cool… farfetch

27 April 2012

Cool… farfetch

Farfetch is not your typical e-commerce site.  Bringing together the best curated boutiques from around the world, Jose Neves, the founder of farfetch, has created a site that offers the most unique collection of  clothing for both men and women.

With a long and varied career in fashion, Jose clearly has an eye for fashion talent and complimented the adventurous qualities of the typical Hong Kong shopper.

Yes, the HK fashionista will be in seventh heaven here. All the big retail names can be found: Autograph  and Hostem from London, Liska from Vienna, Tessabit and Degli effetti vintage from Italy and my absolute favourite shopping experience ( & a visit to this store IS an experience), L’Eclaireur from Paris.

These stores are on the cutting edge of fashion and represent not only big designer names but up-and-coming designers as well.

Shopping on the site is a breeze.   Even though you may be shopping in different stores, there is only one checkout process and a very minimal delivery fee so  that your purchases will be winging your way to you in a flash.

The site is a veritable treasure trove of the most special pieces the web has to offer and, as the offerings in farfetch are curated by some of the most fabulous retailers in the world, you are sure to find something truly original.  By far the best thing- you can visit the best boutiques in the world in minutes & from the comfort of your home, all without any jet lag.




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Cool Places, Hong Kong

Cool… fathom

26 April 2012

Cool… fathom

Cool travel guide fathom has a great list of things do in Hong Kong including some great lists of the best restaurants and private kitchens, not to mention quite a few places to eat my beloved dim sum. I’m hungry already!
Eclectic Cool is linked under local colour- thanks for the link guys!

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Cool Places

Cool… Marlene Mocquet

25 April 2012

Cool… Marlene Mocquet

Feast Projects launched French artist,  Marlene Mocquet’s new exhibition on the April 19.   The artist trained at  the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA- also known as the National Academy of Fine Arts).   Though, I am not huge fan of surrealist art, Mocquet’s complex paintings, whether large format or small cabinet works, have a level of detail and a textural quality that is compelling to view.

Though only 33, she has already had a retrospective at the Contemporary Art Museum in Lyon in 2009.  This is her first exhibition in Asia and it is full of imaginative and fantastical elements in oils mixed with other materials: cement dust, glitter, resin and industrial paints translated into screaming figures and animals set in mystical environments but with some darker references that seem quite disturbing.

Apparently, when beginning a piece, she doesn’t have any preconceived ideas, allowing her creativity full reign so that her process is more exploratory rather than thematic, though themes of darkness versus light as well as certain moodiness, rather than humour, emerges.



Hong Kong
April 19 – May 26, 2012

Feast Projects

Unit 307, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre
10 Lee Hing Street
Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

Tuesday to Saturday. 12-7pm

+852 2553 9522


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Hong Kong

Anzac Day Hong Kong 2012

24 April 2012

Anzac Day Hong Kong 2012

Tomorrow is Anzac Day where we Aussies remember all our brave servicemen and women who fought for freedom in wars stretching back to the Boer War in the late nineteenth century.  Even though we were geographically distant from the lands in which we fought, Australians and New Zealanders contributed their sons and daughters without question.

Happy Anzac Day.   Lest we forget.

If you are in Hong Kong, there is a ceremony and last post at 6.15am, Wednesday 25th April at the Centotaph in Statue Square, Chater Road, Central.   See you there.   

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Art, Cool Places, Design, Objects

Cool… venini @palazzo bagatti valsecchi

22 April 2012

Cool… venini @palazzo bagatti valsecchi

Two of my favourites, the Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi and Venini come together again to present their new collection.    The Palazzo is located in the centre of Milan in the Via Santo Sprito near the main shopping district.  Built in the 19th century by 2 brothers, the  Palazzo is a amalgamation of the Renaissance and the 19th Century.   It was turned into a museum in 1994 and has been used by Venetian glass manufacturers, Venini, to show off their wares for the past few years.    Clearly the luxe appointments of the Bagatti Valsecchi is a fitting backdrop to the rich colours of Venini’s  Murano glass creations.

This year, the  Italian designer Fabio Novembre has created stacked vases for renowned italian glass manufacturer Venini.
made of world-famous Murano glass, the containers are in the form of pharmaceutical drugs, with chemical compositions written on each.
Each color combination represents a different hormone: testosterone, adrenaline, oxytocin, phenethylamine and estrogen (I’ll take the oxytocin).  This  placebo effect is meant to take the place of medication, with the philosophy that the playful designs has the same hormonal effects as ‘happy pills’.

To create the vases, the incalmo glass technique is used —  a complex technique where different sections of blown glass are placed one on the other. After the first piece is made, the second must be placed directly on the edge while still hot, fitting perfectly and fusing so there is no overlap.

I seem to recall that Jonathan Adler did something similar a few years ago, but I am loving the colours and the chemical composition of the pieces.

Via Santo Spirito, 10
16 | 22 April, 2012
h. 10am to 9pm


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Collecting, Cool Places, Design, People

Cool… raw edges @ salone del mobile 2012

21 April 2012

Cool… raw edges @ salone del mobile 2012

As part of the Kvadrat project at the Salone del Mobile, design duo Raw Edges unveiled their  selvedge chairs.

The warp and weft threads of the cloth allowed the pair to unravel the threads from within the woven surface, creating a hollow sleeve. They then place two layers in different colors on top of each other and restitch them together using a transparent strip. The result is a colorful rim which appears from the exterior, reminiscent of the selvedge that is found at the hem of raw fabrics.

Raw Edges is a design partnership formed by Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay, who met each other during Ron Arad’s product design course at the Royal College of Art.   There work is interesting and beautiful.  They are most known for their pieces for Established and Sons,  but they have also worked for Stella McCartney, Arco,Cappellini and of course, Kvadrat.

Definitely a design duo to watch.


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