The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 23 June 2018

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Knowing where to look

Dedicated followers of fashion know that Paris’s unassuming showrooms are home to the crème de la crème.

This weekend will serve up some vital shows at Paris Fashion Week Men’s, including Kim Jones' debut for Dior Homme. But to really gauge the direction of the industry you need to look far beyond the catwalk. The city’s leading tradeshow continues to be Man, which features French brands such as Arpenteur and Le Mont St Michel as well as foreign labels. Yet most fashion editors and journalists will be making a beeline for Le Marais, the downtown neighbourhood that’s home to a cluster of multibrand showrooms. “It’s an open-air tradeshow during men's week,” says Josh Peskowitz, owner of top LA menswear shop Magasin. “There is a lot you can accomplish in a small area by going to showrooms.” On his list of must-see spots this year are Paddlers (featuring Japanese brands such as Fujito), Meg Company (including US labels Yuketen and Monitaly) and The News.

Festival

Image: Alamy

Thirst for culture

Put that pint of lager down: Mykonos is aiming for a more sober reputation as a hotspot for high ideals.

In some quarters, Mykonos is known as Greece’s answer to Ibiza. However, a new event is proving that there is more to the island than drinking, dancing and dozing it all off in the sun. The inaugural Mykonos Art Festival begins today and it promises to be a cultural feast. Much of it will take place at the island’s Athens School of Fine Arts but many exhibitions and events will be hosted in small churches dotted about, as well as Mykonos’s open-air cinema. “We hope it becomes an annual fixture and changes people’s perception of the island,” says Antonis Kioukas, the festival’s curator. Time to get the arty party started.

Culture

Organised chaos

A new exhibition in London is opening a window on Japanese culture and debunking some design myths along the way.

Japan House in London’s Kensington opened yesterday with its inaugural exhibition, Futures of the Future. The space, funded by the Japanese foreign ministry, is designed to promote the country’s culture overseas through dining, retail and gallery exhibitions. The new show has been curated by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and as well as showing models of his greatest work, it explores the compositional wonders of everyday things, such as a pine cone, a sieve and a number of meticulously stacked crisps. Fujimoto seems keen to debunk a myth around Japanese design, namely the fact that it is only about minimalism: “Most people recognise Japanese culture as clean, calm and being about Zen, and of course this is very important, but there is more diversity,” he explains. “A lot of it is not so much about being quiet but about being chaotic. Japanese culture has such range. If you look at a Japanese city for instance, it is very different to a Zen garden.”

For more on our interview with Sou Fujimoto, listen to our episode of Monocle on Design.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

The bigger picture

Xi Jinping has become China’s foremost film critic: he wants to tone down on the action movies to keep the spotlight off his own military endeavours.

If life imitates art, China’s taste in films could be a worrying sign. The biggest hits at the box office in recent months have been titles such as Wolf Warrior 2 and Operation Red Sea, both of which feature the Chinese military exploding their way to victory on land and sea. It might be good entertainment but it’s bad PR according to Xi Jinping, especially when he’s trying to play down his country’s military moves in the South China Sea. In advance of the Shanghai Film Festival, which wraps up on Monday, the Chinese premier issued a warning to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, suggesting that it would be better if it steered clear of showing an excess of war-themed titles. Chances are that he would prefer to play up the feel-good story resulting from Chinese and Indian film producers buddying up to make more Bollywood films for the People’s Republic.

From Monocle 24

Bagel bonanza

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North American lessons on great bagels, foraging for rare ingredients in Ontario and the week’s top headlines from Italy.

From Monocle Films

Quality of Life Survey: top 25 cities, 2018

Our annual ranking is back as we take a fresh look at the best cities to call home. From open-minded mayors and improved transport links to fresh retail openings and investment in public space, find out who’s doing it best.

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