Italian label Borsalino set a new standard for modern hat-making in 1857 when Giuseppe Borsalino opened his atelier in Alessandria, Piedmont. To honour the artisan the Italian town erected a museum in his name in 2007 and now, 10 years on, it’s being spruced up. The regional government has invested €130,000 into refurbishing the 19th-century Palazzo Borsalino, which will soon feature a boutique, terrace lounge and an interactive exhibition space for visitors to see how hats were made through the centuries. There’s also a new 1,400-strong collection of headwear made between 1900 and 1960, displayed in the original Chippendale vitrines designed by the palazzo’s architect Arnaldo Gardella. The refurbished museum will open again in late 2017.
Portuguese furniture brand De La Espada is the latest in a spate of design-minded firms to see the potential beyond shops being just spaces to sell their wares. The company has recently collaborated with Porto-based Flattered Apartments to kit out a top-floor residence in the Foz do Douro neighbourhood of Porto, with tasteful chairs and tables designed by Neri&Hu (made in nearby Mira), Portuguese-made soaps and crockery and a welcoming bottle of port on the kitchen table. These rentable stopovers take De La Espada’s goodies away from the shop floor and into a more personable setting. Other companies such as LA-based Our Living are also experimenting with apartments that can offer both accommodation and provide a platform for their products.
Good news for visitors keen to see Western Australia: Qantas has announced plans to construct a new international wing at Perth Airport. It is due to be completed by March 2018 – just in time for Qantas’s first non-stop Perth-to-London services. The wing will include an outdoor seating area replete with BBQ grills (perfect for anyone looking to soak up the sunshine before embarking on a long-haul journey), a new immigration area, even more restaurant options and a spiffy transit lounge. And while the new wing will be a boon to travellers, it will surely benefit Western Australia too – the state is eager to attract more tourists as the mining industry wanes.
It’s the time of year when fashion houses debut their pre-season collections and, unlike the fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris, these cruise shows can happen anywhere: Chanel stayed close to home in Paris last week; Dior held its runway show in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve in Calabasas, Los Angeles, for 700 guests on Thursday; and on Sunday fashion editors and buyers are touching down in Kyoto to attend the Louis Vuitton show at the Miho Museum. This whirlwind schedule has become a kind of competition between brands, as each house attempts to land the most outstanding post and organise the most talked-about show. And it’s not over yet: Gucci will show its cruise collection in Firenze on 29 May.
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