The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 18 January 2016

Image: Karsten Jipp, Koelnmesse GmbH

Part of the furniture

The year’s first interior-design show begins today: the week-long IMM Cologne is set in the expansive Koelnmesse exhibition centre on the banks of the Rhine. Only Milan’s Salone del Mobile can attempt to compete with Germany’s leading furniture fair, which annually welcomes about 150,000 exhibitors from more than 130 countries and sets the trends for the industry. Alongside the young talent exhibiting this year you’ll also find industry veterans such as Finnish design company Artek, Swiss brand Vitra, Austria’s family firm Wittmann and Germany-based Walter Knoll. A highlight will be the fifth edition of the installation “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”, designed by this year’s guest of honour Sebastian Herkner. His simulation of a furnished house will reveal his vision for the future of interior design and celebrate the most important trend of all: the return to comfort.

Image: Luigi Fiano

Fast fashion

Running from one runway to another at Milano Moda Uomo may be part of the frenzy of fashion week but as the whirlwind of events gathers speed, some doubt whether the hectic pace is good for the industry. The addition of more appointments to the designers’ calendar has already caused grievances, and buyers and customers are just as keen to slow down. Some canny labels are tapping into hospitality to curb the rush: Neapolitan brand Kiton will add four apartments and five rooms to the top floor of its offices in Via Pontaccio by 2017. “This building has to become the company's second house, where our consumer can spend 24 hours a day,” reveals Kiton’s CEO Antonio De Matteis. Meanwhile, Caruso will inaugurate a suite at the Four Seasons hotel, next to its shop in Via Gesù: the space will be fitted out by the label for an experience that extends well beyond the changing rooms.

Home is where the art is

The rare but intriguing possibility of living inside a work of art is up for grabs in Los Angeles: Frank Lloyd Wright’s first and only Usonian house in southern California will be auctioned this February. “There are very few houses that qualify as a unique work of art,” says Peter Loughrey, founder of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (Lama). The 1939 Sturges Residence was finished just after Wright’s iconic property Fallingwater. The winning bidder will also obtain artwork from the collection of its former owners, Jack Larson and James Bridges, including pieces by David Hockney and Andy Warhol. But does Lama expect the buyer to make a home inside this artwork? “Considering the last owner stayed in the house for 48 years, yes,” says Loughrey, “this house is eminently liveable.”

Image: Alamy

Up to speed

We’ll have to wait a little longer for the world’s longest flight to crack 17 hours: Emirates has announced it will be delaying its Dubai to Panama City route. Flights on this route, which will take 17 hours and 35 minutes, were set to begin on 1 February but are now being pushed back to 31 March as the airline awaits codeshare approvals. Though they may not appeal to everyone, non-stop long-haul flights are particularly attractive to business travellers for whom every hour counts. Last year Singapore Airlines announced that it plans to revive its 19-hour flight to Los Angeles in 2018 due to demand. The world’s longest non-stop flight (for now) is Qantas Airways’ Sydney to Dallas route, which takes 16 hours 55 minutes.

From Monocle 24

Image: Stefan Schmidlin

Swiss kitchens

Swissbau fair in Basel brings Swiss kitchen companies together, exhibiting the latest trends. We get the latest.

From Monocle Films

Pitti Uomo 2016

We ask what’s next for menswear as retailers flock to Florence to spot trends and stock up on Italian fashion – a €9bn industry – and foreign brands. Denim is darker, the fit wider and men are starting to move from beards and suspenders to a more elegant English look.

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