The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 28 November 2015

Image: Lindsey Belle

Start fresh

Dreading weekend laundry is a thing of the past for New Yorkers thanks to a recently unveiled flagship shop from fabric-care mavens The Laundress. Opening its doors in Manhattan’s Soho, the crisp-white shop sells the entire product line – from its signature detergent to ironing water – developed by founders Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd. “We finally have the ability to represent our extensive product collection in full, showcased for the first time at a retail level,” says Whiting. “It’s like a candy store of clean,” adds Boyd. The shop’s Ask The Laundress counter is equipped with a demo station so that customers can learn laundering techniques from the best, including de-pilling, hand-washing techniques and tough stain removal.

Daddy’s boys

British menswear maestro Drake’s is moving into a growing market: childrenswear. Launched in 1977, Drake’s has long prided itself on creating dapper staples for discerning gents and built a reputation on its commitment to provenance. In recent years it’s gone further and invested in factories around the UK: one on Haberdasher Street in east London and another in Somerset, where Drake’s smart button-down shirts are made. “It’s a huge help that we have our own factories and we think there’s a huge opportunity there,” says the company’s creative director Michael Hill. “We can be flexible, hands-on and create a product we believe in.” Controlling the manufacturing process has given Drake’s an advantage over companies that have sent their production abroad. As a first step into the childrenswear market this is a smart move.

Image: Heiko Prigge

Serious host

British artist Jeremy Deller launches a new season this week at London’s Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury. The nattily titled DocHosts invites luminaries to discuss documentaries by presenting a factual film followed by a talk and Q&A. Deller’s choice is Message to Love, Murray Lerner’s epoch-defining film about the inaugural Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 that promised much, delivered some – including legendary sets from Jimi Hendrix and Leonard Cohen – and then collapsed into mayhem. All good filmic stuff. Deller’s work is often interested in collective memory and his questions to Lerner after the wig-out should be well worth the ticket alone.

Image: Courtesy of 26th SGIFF


The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is a rare opportunity for the city-state cinephiles to catch boundary-pushing independent features and shorts on the big screen. The SGIFF has launched the careers of the best homegrown film-makers, including the godfather of Singapore cinema Eric Khoo. On 1 December he’s premiering In The Room, a film that is set within the confines of a hotel room and tells the stories of guests who have spent the night there over the decades. The festival – on until 6 December – may be the only chance for Singaporeans to see it, as the censors want to snip out the more risqué scenes. Khoo is having none of it: “It’s ridiculous, you can join the military at 18, be armed with live rounds and die for your country but you can’t watch a film – I’d rather not show it at all here than have it cut.”

From Monocle 24

Image: Onny Carr

Back to bistro

A new initiative in Paris aims to bring diners back to the French capital’s restaurants after the recent terrorist attacks.

From Monocle Films

Alpino special: Slovenian ski-makers

With hi-tech production at the heart of its business, Slovenian brand Elan has carved a reputation at the forefront of ski design. Monocle films headed to the mountains to visit its factory and learn about its past, present and future.






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