Saturday 16 January 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Saturday. 16/1/2016

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Saturday

Image: Getty Images

Change of suit

As trunks of leather goods and trolleys of fine suits are wheeled out of the gates of Pitti's Fortezza da Basso, the fashion world casts its eye north: Milano Moda Uomo autumn/winter 2016 kicked off yesterday afternoon. Though Milan’s menswear week is starting on the closing day of Pitti, the overlap is unlikely to ruffle any well-heeled feathers. Florence is a trade show for buyers to scout for the best bespoke garments and observe industry trends; Milan is a glamour gala and media juggernaut, replacing Pitti’s low-key booths with catwalk shows and parties put on by the biggest names in luxury fashion. This Milan edition will see fresh faces at the helm of established houses with debut collections from the likes of Roberto Cavalli’s Peter Dundas and Boglioli’s Davide Marello.

Image: Getty Images

Same old?

Is Kengo Kuma’s new design for Japan’s national stadium a knockoff? Zaha Hadid thinks so. The Iraqi-British architect sees “significant similarities” in the structure and layout to her own proposal, which was adopted by the Japan Sport Council in 2012 but dumped last July over its ballooning cost. Now Kuma has weighed in. On Friday the Japanese architect, whose design was picked in December, highlighted the differences: shape, height, materials and philosophy. Kuma’s stadium will sit lower: it’s 20 metres shorter than Hadid had proposed. Its wooden eaves and roof will fit in with the leafy surroundings of Meiji Jingu Gaien park. The stands will be stacked flat, not in a concave “saddle”, and an abundance of trees and a stream on the premises should attract the public when the stadium isn’t in use. As Kuma noted, it’s meant to be the opposite of the concrete castle Hadid had envisioned.

Image: Getty Images

Welcome to Miami

It’s impossible to think of Miami without conjuring up images of pastel-hued mid-century art deco hotels lining sandy white beaches. Credit for maintaining this enduring image of the city goes to the Miami Design Preservation League, which established the annual Art Deco Weekend almost 40 years ago; this year’s edition started yesterday and continues through Sunday. Highlights of the festival include an architectural photography exhibition, a classic-car show and walking tours that parse the nuances between art deco, Miami modern and Mediterranean revival styles of architecture. Typically we would avoid the hordes of sun-chasing revellers on Ocean Drive but for one weekend every year we feel it’s an exception worth making.

Image: Ben Quinton

By accident or design?

British prime minister David Cameron has pledged £140m (€183m) towards demolishing or regenerating 100 postwar social-housing estates, claiming their “brutal” design was the root of rampant on-site crime. The slight against the Brutalist architecture of many of the estates in question has understandably piqued lovers of design. “For Cameron to suggest – read: scapegoat and accuse – architects of the 1960s and 1970s of designing in crime in British housing estates is shortsighted,” says ArchDaily’s European editor at large James Taylor-Foster. “Today estates such as Broadwater Farm and Robin Hood Gardens are comparatively unpleasant places to live but only partly due to their design. Years of social neglect have created this mess.” As the popularity of the Barbican proves, Brutalism isn’t inherently undesirable – though a refresh of Britain’s most dilapidated estates would be welcome. Unfortunately the money promised isn’t likely to go far after decades of disregard.

Image: Bill Wilson


The skies are always sunny, the grass is eternally green and roses are always in bloom. We wander through suburbia in the cinema, from the dark drama of Sam Mendes to the bright colours of Doris Day. Plus: how has the television soap opera influenced the way emotionally driven stories are told in the cinema? The answers may surprise you.

Artisan perfume makers

With a nod to the past and a wink to the future, Monocle takes a look at the world of perfume and the new generation of expert alchemists.


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