The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 18 June 2016

Image: Getty Images

Damage limitation

After a sizzling edition of Pitti Uomo capped off with a stunning catwalk show from Raf Simons, the menswear world has landed in Milan for Milano Moda Uomo. But the spring/summer 2017 instalment of Milan men’s fashion week is unlikely to match the highs of Pitti: its line-up is suffering from some glaring omissions. Bottega Veneta will show its men’s and women’s collections together in September; Ermenegildo Zegna and Calvin Klein are taking a break while new creative directors settle in; and Brioni has opted to show in Paris instead. To make up for these absences the National Chamber for Italian Fashion is staging more events (there will be 84 cocktail parties, exhibitions and talks) and has added some fresh names to the schedule, such as Strateas Carlucci, the first Australian designer to feature here, and Cifonelli, a tailor who has traditionally shown in Paris. But these are little more than patches on gaping holes that might well see fewer PR reps, editors and buyers in catwalk front rows. Milano Moda Uomo is on until 21 June.

Good translations

Babel is a 10-year-old Swiss translation and literature festival. It started in Bellinzona with the aim of providing “linguistic hospitality” but for its 10th anniversary Babel has crossed borders to celebrate its first UK edition. On today at Wilton’s Music Hall, a 300-year-old venue in Tower Hill, London, the event hosts readings from poets and fiction and non-fiction writers from China, Mexico, Bosnia, the US and Switzerland. “Thanks to Babel, several authors that were previously untranslated have been translated into other languages,” says organiser Nausikaa Angelotti. The all-day festival also features live music, the launch of Specimen – the first digital multilingual magazine on typography and literature – and an after party at Libreria, a bookshop and the latest space by creative collective Second Home.

Brush with the past

London’s Tate Modern is doing more than just expand its physical presence this week with the opening of its new Herzog & de Meuron extension. The museum also launched the Tate Time Machine in collaboration with creative-technology agency Blue State Digital. The project takes users through time to experience and understand the cultural and political context surrounding works in the new space, from Pablo Picasso’s world in the 1930s to Shozo Shimamoto’s 1950s Japan. “Tate’s new Tate Modern space shows us how art has changed over the past 100 years,” says Blue State Digital creative strategist Haneef Khan. “To make that real for people, we wanted to take them back in time to see what was really happening when artists were making work.”

Mind mapping

Released this week, Pierluigi Serraino’s The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study gives readers a glimpse of the genius behind a creative movement that still resonates today. The book dusts off the forgotten findings of a study conducted in 1958 and 1959 by the University of California, Berkeley, which sought to map the minds of visionaries such as IM Pei, George Nelson, Louis Kahn and about 40 of their contemporaries. Drawing on interview transcripts, aptitude tests and other original sources, Serraino’s intriguing book seeks to answer the question that researchers posed when the studies began: what accounts for artistic greatness? Though it’s impossible to know for sure, this book offers plenty to ponder.

From Monocle 24

Image: XTU Casson Mann ANAKA La Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin

We take a trip to through Bordeaux’s new cultural centre dedicated to the wonders of wine.

From Monocle Films

Art is therapy


Art is about more than just nice paintings:it can be a tool for understanding the many brushstrokes of life. So says philosopher Alain de Botton, who co-curated Art is Therapy, an exhibition in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Monocle’s Culture editor Robert Bound met De Botton to learn more about his artistic treatment.

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