The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 1 September 2018

Art

Image: David Stjernholm

Small wonders

The Danish capital is proving its worth in the art world with against-the-grain fairs promoting quality over quantity.

It may not be an art-world capital of the same status as London, New York and Hong Kong but Copenhagen is carving its own niche in the sector’s market. Fairs Code and Chart are both taking place this weekend inside exhibition hall Bella Center and gallery Kunsthal Charlottenburg, respectively. Despite having slightly different remits (Code focuses on international contemporary art, Chart on Nordic art and design), the fairs share a small-scale approach that favours gathering a limited number of high-quality galleries over filling their halls with countless exhibitors. It’s a direction that an increasing number of players – from big-box behemoths to emerging fairs – seem to be taking and one that will please anybody who’s ever suffered messe fatigue.

Fashion

Wise heads, young shoulders

Digital technology and new consumer models are helping fledgling fashion brands take a bite out of big business.

The sportswear industry has long been dominated by a handful of big players but digitalisation and the advent of direct-to-consumer models is enabling young brands to challenge for market share. District Vision, the New York-based label that makes fashionable yet highly technical running eyewear (and is about to launch apparel), is one such brand. “It’s a healthy process of fragmentation,” says co-founder Max Vallot of the shifting market. The challenge of independent direct-to-consumer labels “forces big brands to think differently and leads to a necessary readjustment of pricing, value perception and the way we think about sports. It had to be shaken up,” he adds. Read more about District Vision – and other young brands tackling the sportswear market – in Monocle’s Autumn Fashion Edition, our dedicated fashion newspaper, out now.

Design

Crafty crowd

Portugal’s premier craft festival kicks off in Porto, with soap-makers and pencil factories drawing big crowds.

From its abundant designers to the high-quality materials at their disposal, Portugal is a country with a talent for craft. After a successful first edition in the coastal city of Cascais last year, Portuguese Makers Craft Week is back for a swinging second edition fittingly held in Porto, Portugal’s second city, which is home to some of the best and brightest makers in Europe. This year, Viarco (Portugal’s oldest and only pencil factory) is showing participants how to make desk equipment, while famed soap-maker Claus Porto is giving lessons in packaging design. “It’s all about understanding the making process of these brands and this year we’re even organising tours of their factories nearby,” says Vasco Brada Da Costa, co-founder of Portuguese Makers, who are behind the annual event.

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Pixel perfect

Balmain’s latest collection is giving new meaning to the term ‘computer modelling’.

French designer and Balmain creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has announced that the brand’s pre-Fall 2018 campaign will be fronted by CGI models. Rousteing enlisted the help of photographer and visual artist Cameron-James Wilson, the man behind “the world’s first digital supermodel”, to create Shudu, Margot and Zhi to front his collection. The trio will wear digitised versions of Rousteing’s designs and will follow in the footsteps of the Kardashian sisters and Gigi Hadid as ambassadors for the brand. It has long been said that fashion represents unrealistic and largely unattainable standards of beauty, and the industry’s apparent penchant for CGI models seems to be an extreme continuation of that.

From Monocle 24

Cooking with fire

The Menu

Lennox Hastie of Sydney’s Firedoor restaurant on pushing the boundaries of using fire in cooking and why Maribor is becoming Slovenia’s top culinary destination. Plus: 150 bars not to be missed.

From Monocle Films

Funkhaus: on the same wavelength

We tour the stunning studios and recording halls of Funkhaus, east Berlin’s former communist broadcasting house.

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