The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 27 February 2016

Image: Iwan Baan

Universal knowledge

Libreria is a small new bookshop on London’s Hanbury Street and is based, according to its founders, on a fear of the gargantuan “Library of Babel” from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story. The execution is easier to understand and enjoy than its backstory: a deep, narrow, chic showcase for the best in books. Shelves of untreated timber house fiction and nonfiction in unlikely categories such as “Despair & Redemption” and “Mothers, Madonnas & Whores”. Downstairs a risograph printer will crank you out an edition or a poster and upstairs is where you’ll find director Sally Davies. After working as tech and innovation correspondent at the Financial Times she now runs a bookshop, which opened this week. It’s the next logical step: scrap the screens, browse, breathe and read.

Image: Getty Images

Available to order

Chatter at Milan Fashion Week continues to centre on the changes afoot in the world of fashion. Particular focus is being paid to Burberry’s decision to go straight from runway to shop with its collection, doing away with the usual wait. Not everyone is behind the idea: the president of Italy’s fashion chamber Carlo Capasa says he wants fashion to remain driven by “a spirit to create desire” and not simply “to satisfy a need”. Andrea Cané, creative director of luxury outerwear label Woolrich says “the most important thing is making the product well”. While companies such as Woolrich – which is heavily investing in saving its heritage mills – are confident that their customers will value quality over speed, others such as Prada are finding a compromise. The Pionnière and Cahier bags everyone was eyeing during Thursday’s show were in select shops within hours.

Image: Olaf Becker

Pretty penny

The words “creative” and “business” don’t always go hand in hand but Munich is determined to prove good design makes good money with Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) – on until Sunday – which consists of a series of conferences, workshops and company tours held citywide. Vitsoe’s Munich outpost is hosting an exhibition featuring jewellery made by graduates of London’s Central St Martins, while Japanese designers are showing off their collaborations with their French and German counterparts at Shu Shu, a retailer of contemporary Japanese designs. The marquee event is the MCBW Forum at the Alte Kongresshalle cultural centre, where there will be a host of conferences and podium discussions with industry leaders. More than 53,000 attended last year’s affair; it looks like no one needs convincing that business can be beautiful.

Image: Neville Sukhia, Courtesy of The Indecisive Chicken

Spice of life

A new book by art historian Prajna Desai is putting the spotlight on Indian cooking – and going far beyond typical curries. Mumbai-born Desai, who is also a curator with a doctorate in pre-Columbian art and architecture from Yale University, wrote The Indecisive Chicken: Stories and recipes from eight Dharavi cooks, which explores what India’s working class cooks and eats on a daily basis. Desai hosted workshops from June to September 2014 in Dharavi – India’s most famous slum – with eight women, learning recipes they cook at home. The book includes a monograph on each contributor and is a unique collection of delicious dishes, many of which are unlikely to be found on any restaurant menu.

From Monocle 24

Image: Richard Harbaugh

All about Oscar

How did the Oscars make it to the top of the awards-show heap? We trace the story of cinema’s shiniest show and ask whether it’s time to reassess its place in the cinematic calendar. Plus: from Sophia Loren to Giulietta Masina, how Italy stormed the best foreign-language film category.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Guide to Miami

Miami has a lot going for it: its shoreline, year-round warm weather and diverse population. Our new travel guide will help you explore the neighbourhoods to discover its full potential. We’ll introduce you to the dynamic art scene, the best bars and restaurants and everything in between.

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