The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 5 December 2015

Image: Courtesy Art Basel

Wet and wild

It rained on a bit of the parade at this week’s Art Basel Miami Beach but there’s a decent roof on the Miami Beach Convention Center so works still shifted at a healthy rate. Under the new stewardship of Noah Horowitz in his role of director of Americas, there was the customary curtsy to Latin America and a nod to that former foe and artistic hothouse Cuba. The best art was Neo Rauch’s odd, allegorical canvas at David Zwirner; the best photo opportunity was Sylvester Stallone mugging for punch-ups with his guests at a party at the former Versace Mansion; and the best invitation was to Lisa Cooley’s “Dolphins! Drinks! Paintings on fire!” boat party. Curators, collectors and party people swapped beach bodies for brollies but nobody cared very much. You need rain and shine to produce a good vintage and that was 2015.

Image: Simon Brown

Interior monologue

For tips on renovating a space and how to mingle formality and flair to make a successful interior, look no further than Kit Kemp’s new book Every Room Tells a Story. This beautifully bound tome from Australian publisher Hardie Grant chronicles one of our favourite hotelier’s most successful work. “Interior design isn’t brain surgery but it’s very important in influencing the way you feel,” says Kemp, whose use of humour and imagination has helped redefine and personalise hotels. For further inspiration, a stay at any Firmdale hotel (of which Kemp is a co-founder with husband Tim) is highly advised.

Image: Kohei Take

Expanding wardrobe

US retailer Need Supply Co has just opened its third bricks-and-mortar location, this time in the charming city of Kumamoto in southern Japan. This is the company’s second shop in Japan, which has followed hot on the heels of its first in Tokyo earlier this year. The new location is designed by the company’s team in Japan and fitted with crown mouldings reminiscent of its roots in Richmond, Virginia. The decision to set up in Kumamoto – a fashion city on the rise – is a wise move, proving this company has as much vision for its market as it does in choosing its offering. The shop is stocked with hard-to-find pieces as well as exclusive-to-Japan collaborations.

Image: Nik Harrison

Merry marketeers

The Big Design Market taking place this weekend in Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building should offer plenty of inspiration for Christmas shoppers. With an increasing number of transactions taking place online, the market’s emphasis on showcasing independent designers such as KeepResin and Golden Monkey is most welcome. Retailers from Australia and around the world will be hawking everything from homeware to teddy bears. There’s even a cycling track to test-ride bicycles if you’re in the market for one. For the retail-weary there are plenty of eating and drinking options that include a champagne bar and food trucks parked outside.

From Monocle 24

The regional flavours of Spain

A Madrid pop-up is on a mission to shake things up and spread the word about culinary talents from around Spain. The restaurant at Urso Hotel is taken over every month by a different chef; right now Madrileños are tucking into Mallorcan flavours.

From Monocle Films

Bring the cheer, Antwerp

For this Christmas-shopping special, Monocle films drops anchor in the portside city of Antwerp. From hand-crafted mitts to traditional treats, head to local landmarks and hidden treasures with Monocle to get Christmas all wrapped up.

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