The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 23 September 2017

Fashion

Catwalk among the pigeons

Fresh faces at Milan Fashion Week are raising the bar – and possibly a few hemlines.

Milan Fashion Week is known for its historic brands helmed by creative directors who are household names, such as Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi, Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani. This women’s spring/summer 2018 season, however, a clutch of newcomers are taking the reins at big labels. Yesterday afternoon, at the Roberto Cavalli show, British designer Paul Surridge (an alumnus of Acne Studios, Burberry and Calvin Klein) sent models down the runway in floaty black dresses and zebra-printed skirts. And one of the week’s most anticipated events, the Jil Sander show, takes place tonight. It’s the debut catwalk event from husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier, the brand’s new creative directors. The couple have complementary backgrounds – Luke was head designer at streetwear giant Supreme and founded OAMC; Lucie was head designer at Dior and, prior to that, worked at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton – that consumers are hoping will bring a distinctive haute couture-streetwear blend to the famously minimalistic German house.

Literature

Powerful penmanship

A new compilation of Martin Amis’s many and biting opinions is a polemical page-turner.

When Martin Amis isn’t writing novels (or playing tennis), the potent and reliably irascible éminence terrible of English letters is a lethal, laser-precise and very funny critic and commentator. A new collection of his non-fiction, The Rub of Time, picks up where 2001’s The War Against Cliché left off as he covers fame, fortune and fellow writers via literature, sport, friendship, royalty, pornography and politics (he’s good on easy target Trump, better on Romney: “is Mitt the kind of guy you’d like to have a glass of water with?”). Best, though, is Amis on other writers; the precision of his judgment on and praise of Vladimir Nabokov, JG Ballard and Don DeLillo is the sort of stuff you wish you’d read as a student (especially if it had been pouring out of your pen). As you’d expect, not a word is wasted. Amis won the war against cliché a long time ago – and the rub of time has been kind.

Arts

Due east

China’s burgeoning art market is attracting western gallery owners to the region.

Hauser & Wirth will be the latest to join a growing list of western galleries operating in Asia. The international gallery, which represents artists such as Paul McCarthy and Hans Arp, has announced the spring 2018 opening of a space in Hong Kong. Its eighth location – and first in Asia – will be housed in the city’s new cultural hub H Queens, designed by William Lim of CL3. Run by Vanessa Guo and Lihsin Tsai, the gallery will join the likes of David Zwirner and White Cube in the city-state. To support its influence, Hauser & Wirth is opening bureaux in Beijing and Shanghai next month. Though it’s not always the easiest region for western companies to enter, now that China shares the top art market position with the US and the UK it’s hard for international galleries to not try to establish a presence in the region.

Design

Image: Paul Carstairs

Waste not, want not

An engineering firm has teamed up with a social enterprise to help organise your workspace.

London’s Goldfinger Factory, an award-winning design collective, is launching a line of characterful desk tidies created in collaboration with Arup, the engineering and design firm. It’s a fun collaboration stemming from an interesting project. Located on the ground floor of Erno Goldfinger’s iconic grade-II listed Trellick Tower, the Factory prides itself on its approach to using reclaimed materials – the new Goldborne collection is made from reused timber and plastic. Set up as a social enterprise, the Factory also provides affordable workshop space for craftsmen and women who, in turn, pass on their knowledge to trainees looking to pursue a career in design. There’s also a showroom and a community café with a woodworking workshop and a teaching academy underneath.

From Monocle 24

Image: Nicholas Taylor

Basquiat and beyond

The Monocle Arts Review

Ossian Ward, head of content at the Lisson Gallery, and Jane Morris, editor at large of The Art Newspaper, give us their take on one of London’s biggest art events of the year: Basquiat: Boom For Real at the Barbican.

From Monocle Films

How to fix your high street: Frome

We visit a monthly market in the unassuming Somerset town that’s proving easy sell to locals, buoying local businesses and luring in punters from miles around.

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