Sushi Azuma is a Japanese restaurant designed by the Osaka-based architecture practice Stile led by Ietsugu Ohara. The concept for the architecture is conceived with the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony in mind, where the activity revolves around the preparation and presentation of the tea. The interior spaces and the materials are kept to a strict minimalist architecture, allowing the colors and lighting to present and highlight the preparation and dining of sushi. Everything has been meticulously designed in this space, from the proportion of the furniture to the sizes of the paneling, to a visual play on the architecture such as on the inside of the private dining niches where the cantilevered table appears to subtly ‘lift’ itself from the bench seating, which is such a clever, minimalist detail. Accent walls are dipped in a contrasting darker wood while curved walls are only highlighted by the cove lighting, allowing the public and private spaces to coexist as an integral part of the architectural procession. While Ohara’s intention was to focus on the food, one cannot help but appreciate the calm and peaceful aesthetic of Sushi Azuma’s minimalism. Construction: Ida Home. / Jiro Ida Lighting: MAXRAY. / Hiroyuki Nagatomi Decorative lighting: flame. / Kenichi...
Minimal. Fundamental. Elemental. Relevant.
Sally LaPointe’s Spring/Summer 2015 latest show at New York Fashion Week is truly sophisticated and beautiful collection. Within each individual piece, proportions of familiar elements such as boat necklines, bell shaped skirts, capped sleeves and vests have all taken on a new silhouette. Whether it is a play on the proportions of these elements, a refinement in the tailoring, the lines are blurred so gowns feel more relaxed and casual, and separates are styled to be more serious and formal. New York City-based Sally LaPointe brings a freshness to this strong, almost rocker-chic womenswear line. It is an approachable yet elegant minimalist collection that is simply very cool. Images courtesy of Style.com.
The Spring Summer 2015 collection by New York City-based label Assembly entices with the effortlessly-casual designed with precise tailoring and draping. Owner Greg Armas’ expertise in both mens and womenswear manifests in the architecture of the details. His journey took Assembly from a fashion design resource to a multi-brand unisex boutique which has since led to their own in-house collection since 2009. Having collaborated with, sourced and sold hard-to-get pieces from brands of the same minimalist design sensibility, Assembly portrays a certain nonchalance towards other moving trends with its confident femininity, making it one of my favorite collections for this season.
Renowned New York City-based designer Narciso Rodriguez displays his signature minimalist forms and sensual silhouettes in his Resort 2015 collection with understated details of geometric cutouts, simple lines that highlight the anatomy and even a twist of floral prints reduced to a pure bold graphic. Stunningly nonchalant, the collection embodies the architectural fluidity in the construction and tailoring of body-con dresses and separates of bell and A-lines. Cut-outs around the ribcage and scapulas; a black line that follows the curve of the spine on a white dress; color blocks that highlight dropped waists and curves, minimalism breathes such confidence and sensuality in this collection, a collection that will withstand trends and seasons. Images courtesy of www.narcisorodriguez.com.
The Los Angeles label Co have created yet another stunning collection for Resort 2015. In a theme of luxurious fabrics molded into these sculptural forms and volumes, giving ubiquitous styles of A line, empire lines, slips and puffer coats an elegant yet sporty twist. Coming across this collection by chance, I could not believe these were the same designers I had featured 6 months ago. Co’s Resort 2015 is so beautifully styled and photographed, the images have such incredible depth. While the fabric reflect the light so the texture is highlighted, the details of each piece though minimal are pronounced. I could not think of a more beautiful way to present this collection.
Agata Bielen is a jewelry designer with a stunning minimalist namesake jewelry brand that resonates the elegance of pure stainless steel with subtle geometry. Shortly after her first exhibit upon graduating from the Architecture and Design Faculty at the Fine Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, an encounter with street style photographer The Satorialist Scott Schumann had encouraged Agata to launch her own label. Stainless steel is often seen in utilitarian objects, we unconsciously associate it with the functional rather than sculptural. Yet Agata’s design reminds us in its own way that the material is beautiful in its simplicity, its color and its consistency. Her designs are understated yet refined; the geometry is familiar yet the forms are original. The styling and photography by Kamil Zacharski completes the beautiful portrait of the entire jewelry collection.
MLTV Clothing, otherwise known as Molotov Clothing, is an independent Swedish label that has transposed classic menswear with a modern, understated yet relevant identity. The collections, known as Episodes, explore juxtaposition of forms and materials. Firm lines soften with asymmetric cuts in shirts; heavy knits combined with layers of sheer fabrics; a lot of effort has gone into exploring and expressing minimalism in its details and construction. Besides my appreciation for the technical, I was excited to come across Molotov Clothing for the awesome brand styling. MLTV’s founder Anna Sjunnesson has so kindly allowed us to take a sneak peek and to share her upcoming FW2014 collection that will be launching in late August, and shared the inspiration and direction for the collection: We love to work with contradicting themes, where the cohesively is the contrary, and using unexpected details to draw attention to the item and the art. We work hard to keep the impact on the environment at a minimum. Part of it is to create pieces where the items have a greater purpose then just a regular garment; concept, vision and ideal are important compounds in our creations. This is definitely a label to keep a lookout for. The Episodes are available at various retailers. Images...
Mansur Gavriel is the highly sought-after label with a collection of beautifully designed leather bags made and crafted in Italy. Designed by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel who moved to New York City especially to start their company, the collection first surfaced in the summer of 2013 and saw immediate success, being sold out as soon as it hit the stores. The label has continued to deliver their minimalist designs of signature tote and bucket bags that come in bold pops of single color or contrasting outer tanned leather with matte patent interiors. The craftsmanship of these bags reveal just enough detail of the effortless style behind the designs which is what I love most about this label. It is a true practice of patience to get your hands on one.
Casa No Tempo is a family farm passed down through the generations that underwent a renovation under the care of Joao Rodrigues and family, with the architect Manuel Aires Mateus. The now-converted home stay is located on a magnificent site an hour south of Lisbon in Montemor o Novo, Alentejo, known as the unspoiled Portugal with the pristine landscapes filled with oak and olive trees. The connection to the earth and the surrounding terrain is a significant part of the design in this house. The expanse of the landscape fill the rooms with views of cork trees, pastures, wild fields, dams, ponds and streams through the massive windows. While the clean, minimalist architecture details allow nature to make its presence within, modern interior fixtures and fittings allow this rural getaway to be most comfortable and luxurious. I cannot help but fall in love with all the simple yet significant touches of this farmhouse. The frameless openings of the interior emphasizes the depth of the rooms, making the height of the rooms feel infinite like the sky above. Instead of tiles, the swimming pool is spread with a sand colored plaster right up to the edge, emulating a shore line that compliments the farmhouse in site. I hope to visit this beautiful site one...
The launch of Australian label, Eska Alikai‘s AW 2014 collection by Micha Dyball consists of elegant, minimalist pieces that are indicative of both a confident presence as well as a pragmatic need for comfort. Her minimalist sensibilities are designed into soft leather, eco-friendly tencel, fleece, denim and cotton voile. The details of layering add a lot of personality into the clean, geometric pieces. I found this collection so appealing as each outfit is styled to celebrate the structure and fluidity in the mixed use of material and yet, it is easy to wear. Eska Alikai may be relatively new to deliver a full collection but the label has achieved much success in editorial exposure and already has an e-commerce site. I am looking forward to the next collection already. Images courtesy of Eska Alikai.
Connected Magazine is a new contemporary fashion magazine that has just launched its first issue. As the brainchild of Nani Lim and Pontus Samuel, the magazine started of as a school project and evolved into a platform for the Stockholm-based duo to express their identical love for photography, fashion and design; a platform that celebrates the motivation of good design instead of mere current trends: There is a very one dimensional look on fashion today, which is basically “buy! buy! buy!”, and we felt that the function behind clothes sort of got lost in translation. The style of minimalism is the tool that is used to express their aesthetic and visual language both in the design of the magazine as well as the articles they feature. The images exude an appealing simplicity and the styling of the editorials are of a minimalistic elegance. The magazine communicates the team’s personal tastes and inspiration to their audience. I love the fact that it is so personal and shared in such a beautifully crafted and designed publication, which makes this project more meaningful. As the editor Nani Lim so eloquently sums up: Most of our inspiration comes from meeting creative people and the interaction...
Designed for a group of artists to reside, work and exhibit, the architect Jun Murata of Jam Architecture transformed a house in Osaka, Japan, of former wood construction into one of modern simplicity and elegant, minimalist finishes. The spaces were carefully thought out to accommodate the needs of the artists. Public and private are logically separated: the living and dining, as well as the tatami spaces face south where one can assume the intent is so that the residents can enjoy the natural light. On the other hand, the opposite side of the house meant for reading and art installation is designed with more controlled lighting where slivers of light penetrating the interiors, making it an integral part of any art installation. The architect has acknowledged that as carefully designed this minimalist mix-use house is for the artists, plants can give the space a rich contrast. I especially love the fact that the number and type of plants chosen for the space is minimal as well, allowing the harmony of their presence compliment the spaces they are in. Images courtesy of Jun Murata / Jam Architecture.