Wednesday 1 June 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 1/6/2016

The Monocle Minute

Image: Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images

Eyes on the ball

It’s a good month to be a football fan. This weekend the best in the Americas meet in the Copa America, while a week later Europe’s finest take part in Euro 2016. And if you can’t wait for either there’s always the World Cup for nations that don’t officially exist, which is taking place now in Abkhazia. From Kurdistan to the Chagos Islands, Somaliland to the Sapmi, this tournament features a mix of breakaway states and nations in name only. Football has long played a part in the birth of nations: Algeria, for instance, had a national team long before it won its independence. Flags, passports and currency are important – but from the perspective of many, a nation can’t become a state without a football team.

Image: Carmen Chan

Right up our street

Hong Kong isn’t normally known for having an abundance of space but business travellers will soon get a different perspective: this month Cathay Pacific opens the doors of one of its biggest airport lounges to date. The Pier business-class lounge is modelled on a local Hong Kong street and stretches the length of five departure gates, incorporating concepts both familiar (such as a noodle bar) and fresh (such as a teahouse). Designed by Ilse Crawford’s Studioilse, the lounge includes similar touches to its first-class namesake next door, from the warm-bronze and cherry-wood colour palette to bespoke furniture made from comfy mohair upholstery. But with more floorspace than its neighbour this roomy Hong Kong stretch could become the most desired real estate on the block.

Image: Andrew Harrer/Getty Images

End of the road?

Despite the decline of high streets around the globe the notion of “main street” is still a potent idea in many towns in the US. But as a spot where local businesses thrive and residents come to dine, shop and mingle, the US high street has also suffered. Fortunes seem to be shifting in Buffalo, however, after city officials have moved to reverse a 34-year-old rule. Cars were banned along Buffalo’s Main Street in 1982 and as they vanished so did much of the life of this central artery: restaurants closed, shops moved and Main Street became a ghost town in the centre of the city. Now efforts are underway to revive the street and the first step has been to allow cars to cruise along it once more. It appears to be working: several new restaurants have opened over the past few months, with more expected before the end of the year. Main Street, in Buffalo at least, may be on the cusp of living up to its name once again.

Image: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Home and away

May and June are the months when fashion houses like to travel, inviting celebrities, fashion journalists and their best clients to attend their resort shows in exotic locales while they’re at it. Last month Chanel hosted its show in Havana while last weekend Louis Vuitton journeyed to Rio de Janeiro for a surreal and sporty affair at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. This week, however, Dior and Gucci are sticking closer to home meaning the fashion microcosm will settle in the UK for a couple of days: yesterday Dior showed its 2017 spring/summer cruise collection at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (pictured), the principal residence of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill; and tomorrow Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci, will be showing in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. Without the tropical climes to please attendees, Dior and Gucci are relying on the strength of their offerings to make waves.

Time to collect

From design to art, magazines to furniture, we all know the pleasure of collecting. But how do we ensure that passion beats pure investment? This was the question that Robert Bound posed to the speakers at this year’s Quality of Life Conference in Vienna.


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