Minimalissimo


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Honest By is a fashion company conceived and curated by Belgian designer Bruno Pieters with experiences at Martin Margiela, Thimister and Christian Lacroix under his belt. The philosophy behind it is rooted in its transparency behind the operating methods and manufacturing processes of a fashion design company from conception to production. All the information is presented right down to the cost of making the ‘care’ and ‘made in’ labels. Every part of the collaboration process is transparent including the store mark up calculations. In communicating all information regarding a garments production process; Honest by wants to shed light on the questions: where is it made and by whom. Bruno Pieters believes that fashion is a celebration of beauty and that the story behind that celebration can be equally beautiful.  Yet it is the clean aesthetic and sharp tailoring that first caught my eye in Pieters’ 2012 collection where the minimalist silhouettes allow the details of the designs to be somewhat androgynous. I really like how the structured forms are juxtaposed by its versatile way of wear and comfortable materials. The responsibly sourced, supplied and produced philosophy is the icing on the cake.


One of Apple’s finest minds Tony Fadell is the force behind Nest, a new thermostat manufacturer. The device is a sleeker and smarter alternative to a traditional wall eyesore most people are used to. Nest learns your heating and cooling preferences and adjusts accordingly. It is also wi-fi enabled and can be controlled directly from your computer or smartphone. Technology should be about more than newest, loudest, prettiest. It should make a difference. We take what’s familiar and look at it in a new light. Our team focuses on making technology that’s simple, fresh and helpful. This ability to adapt is also reflected in the design of the device. A true chameleon, Nest blends into any wall and reflects any colour. Apple influences are strong in the shape of the piece. And it seems that Steve Jobs’ war on buttons has gained a new mighty little soldier… Watch the video to see Nest in action.


Nestled in a suburban neighborhood in Toronto, Canada is the delightfully modern Blantyre House. Completed in 2011 by Williamson Chong Architects, this house was designed with a focus on incorporating light into long and narrow spaces. Tall windows cover both ends of the thin house. Using windows of this height brings light deeper into the dwelling. The interior features a great room with an impressive kitchen unit. Floor to ceiling cabinetry provides storage and a clean, bright aesthetic. The dining table is incorporated with the kitchen island to save space in the shallow room. The second floor also features large windows which illuminate a small living area. The uppermost level of the home holds the master bedroom. Smaller windows and white walls provide a quiet sanctuary for sleeping. My favorite feature of Blantyre House are the windows. I love how every window is unique to the wall and room it hangs. The windows provide the home with a plethora of natural light and are also angled so as to provide the best views of the trees and sky. Photography by Bob Gundu.


I was recently introduced to high-end European menswear brand Enfin Levé and their superbly simple Eorri collection. As opposed to the brands mainline avant-garde aesthetics, Eorri extends the direction by releasing minimalist, simple designs made with the finest fabrics for a comfortable, everyday wear with a unique identity. Handcrafting their clothes in small, local ateliers and manufacturers in Italy, Switzerland and Poland, the seasonless silhouettes of Eorri are easy to wear, with an aim to provide the greatest comfort. Having personally experienced the quality of this Eorri collection, which includes slim fit t-shirts made with soft and thin cotton, elastic waistband pants and shorts, Enfin Levé have successfully produced relaxed, minimalist design with an intriguing style, establishing their identity in the men’s market. Available in various menswear stores in Japan and United States, Enfin Levé also ship internationally. Photography by Mateusz Bral / Model: Olaf Piwowa


Issey Miyake is notable for its challenging take on the general concept of fashion. Along with the clever mind of artistic designer Tokujin Yoshioka, the collaboration between two creative visions have produced the TO watch collection that is both minimal in design and unique in material usage. TO, having four versions varied from SILAN001 to SILAN004, the fusion of the metal dial and the leather strap gives a certain boldness and masculinity to the user. With three circular layers, two for each hand, and one for the time marks, which bleed to the edge of the dial, there is something monumental about this small-scale piece of accessory. SILAN003 is the one that stands out the most to me, due to the contrast between the silver and the black, as well as the textures of the two materials. The correspondent silver buckle also helps heighten the elegance of this particular watch. Not only the watch is cautiously designed, its packaging is also carefully articulated with the use of metal spin-brushing. Nesting inside the black foam and the simple instruction is the product itself, waiting to embrace the wrist of the modern man. Photo Courtesy of Andrew Kim


In collaboration with AUDI Design, Leica introduces the Leica T — a new mirror-less compact camera system that features a beautifully minimalistic design, and engineered out of a single block of aluminium. The Leica T features a large APS-C sensor with 16.5 megapixels, ensuring colour fidelity, the finest details and pictures with exceptional brightness and clarity. A 3.7” touchscreen display handles the majority of functions with a simple, intuitive design, and with an integrated wi-fi module, sharing your photos has been made incredibly easy. The craftsmanship that goes into making Leica T is remarkable. Watch the video to see for yourself → Focused on what is essential — the sheer joy of photography. Simple and brilliant with a stunning aesthetic.


Sydney based menswear label Song for the Mute unites Parisian-born, Italian-trained fashion designer Lyna Ty and graphic artist Melvin Tanaya under its wings. Coming from these two different angles, it seems to be the fabric’s surface which initially brings the two creatives together and inspires the work on any new collection: In essence, the label is a symphonic poem of tactile expectations and contemporary dreams. Visiting the flagship store of Song for the Mute in Sydney, I am not only awed by the impeccable fit and the cutting edge use of fabrics, but also by the all-round perfect and inviting set up of the label’s branding, the most friendly staff imaginable, and an open and honest interior design. And although it is definitely a menswear undertaking, there are more than a few pieces in the current collection I would love to wear myself. So I am very much looking forward to the upcoming online shop opening.


This serene spa and wellness centre has been built by David Chipperfield Architects. It occupies two floors of the historic hotel Cafe Royal in London, and creates a perfect balance between minimalist austerity and the old world elegance that surrounds it. This project is also an ode to some of the most exquisite textures. The spa features two carrara marble hammams, a Finish sauna in solid hemlock with domed ceiling, a stainless steel jacuzzi and solid marble private jacuzzis in the treatment rooms. I love how the idea of luxury has been approached in this design, by focusing on things that truly matter: open space, honest materials and the sense of simplicity and grace.


Late last year we introduced you to the simple, minimalist and superbly designed branding and packaging of Håndværk by Savvy. The small, artisanal New York based fashion brand specialises in supremely luxurious pieces with a thoughtfully curated collection of high quality everyday essentials made from the finest natural raw materials and innovative fabrics. The label was founded by husband and wife Esteban Saba and Petra Brichnacova, who both share a passion for textiles. Their vision? To create a lifestyle brand grounded on the essence of quality craftsmanship and minimal design. From the grey mélange sweatshirt, cut from super soft loopback knit fabric — to the classic white cotton crew neck t-shirt — to the light grey pure cashmere scarf — this basic collection is filled with quality and a simplicity that has the minimalist in me wish-listing. Håndværk are also offering a 25% discount using the code: minimalissimo


Once again, Jil Sander has left her own label after expelling Raf Simons from the house in 2012. For Autumn Winter 2014, the brand’s design team took over to produce a minimal collection that proves even without a creative director, a show can still carry on its identity without any compromises. The collective effort has created a new Jil girl that’s both tomboy and feminine. With her popped collars and bright creepers, she knows where she wants to go, and what she wants to do. The outerwear and the pants especially emphasizes this masculinity undertone, while the floral dresses totally contrast that. With a few tailoring twists here and there (literally), there is an additional newness to what is seemingly ordinary. The trend of pastels is apparent through a combination of soft colors applied onto vibrant textures, from the glossy finish to the interwoven feel of knitwear. Accessories were simplified to small bags and exactly one pair of sunglasses, which I found quirky and humorous. All these elements fused together to elevate the energy of youth with an elegant manner. Although there was no innovation, the ready-to-wear aspect was highly regarded and the collection was wearable at its finest. In...


In February Noon Studio launched their latest iternation of the steel stool we have featured in the past. I did like the previous edition, the simple construction and use of honest materials, but I like the latest iternation even better. The founders of Noon Studio, Gautier Pelegron and Vincent Taiani, have worked on a few important details in the construction and decided to powder coat paint the high grade steel sheet. I love the contrast of the oiled European ash and the black steel. Pelegron and Taiani say the stool is influenced by traditional English craftsmanship and Provencal (southeastern France) rawness. The stool tries to express the direct simplicity found in real traditional antique Provencal furniture and the know-how of British craftsmanship which still holds today. The stool is not just a stool. One can easliy use it as a side or coffee table, book holder or shelving system.


Look carefully or you might miss the tiny Yokaya restaurant and residence in Fukuoka, Japan. This humble white rectangle is nestled on a busy street between several tall condo buildings. Designed by rhythmdesign, the structure is a mere 135 square meters and houses a restaurant on the ground floor with an apartment above. The front facade is entirely opaque on the upper stories, while a cutout on the ground floor invites passerby into the restaurant. Wood and concrete are the main materials used in the interior. In the restaurant, the simple design allows the food to take center stage. The apartment above is arranged with a similar aesthetic: built in storage keeps the space uncluttered and the furnishings are limited to essentials. I love the modest design of this duplex building. The clean lines of the architecture and precise use of materials come together quite elegantly. Yokaya is quiet and reserved, but it is its little form that stands dignified on this bustling street.