Mention caviar and champagne, and most of us will think of opulent, lavish environments, luxury bling and furs, high heels, tuxedoes.
But not so in Helsinki. Finland-born, Los Angeles-educated and now Helsinki-based designer Jonna Laajisto took the Finnish approach: She focused on creating an understated setting and fitted it to respond to the historical harbour environment. And left out everything else.
Laajisto was commissioned by the Finnish fish and seafood purveyor Savu-Kari to create a caviar (and roe and oyster) shop and restaurant in one of the most enviable locations in Helsinki, Eteläranta 20, overlooking the main harbour where the commuter ferries and sight-seeing boats dock and depart for the archipelago, and right across from the city’s famed open-air public market (Kauppatori) and the recently renovated and re-opened Old Market Hall (Kauppahalli).
She adorned the tiny 45 square-metre (485 sq.ft) space with only the essentials: a few tables, chairs, counter, shelves - all Finnish origin. We love the tiled floors, aged clip boards for menus, minimalist lighting and unpretentious chairs, as it all harkens back to the Old Market Hall feel yet with a lovely modern urban seaside café essence.
The only real touch of colour comes from the blue Rocket stools designed by Eero Aarnio and available at Artek.
Finlandia Caviar has only 11 seats plus four more outside (when the snow thaws) and it is also available for private events, such roe-tastings and parties.
Various types of caviar and roe are served straight from the tin, nestled in ice, accompanied by crackers and truffle cream. And of course champagne or vodka.
Jonna Laajisto is also responsible for the design of Minna Parikka Universum, the Helsinki (and only) retail boutique of our favourite Finnish ladies’ shoe brand. It is also an understated, minimalist white shell that offers up Minna’s fun, limited-edition shoes like pearls inside an oyster. - Tuija Seipell.
The interior design of the 80 square metre (861 sq.ft.) space is by Isabel López Vilalta.
We love how the cozy, traditional taverna atmosphere is first achieved with the reclaimed wood, felt-coated walls (great for for acoustics as well as appearance), unpretentious furniture and colourful cushions, and how it is then nicely balanced with the sleek, hard, white floor and bar to conjure up a casual, urban ambiance.
We are especially spellbound by the large, spindly pendant lighting fixtures by Arik Levy. There’s just something adorably clumsy and benignly spooky about them. Plus they remind us of the Black Widow spider lady in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. - Tuija Seipell.
Images: Alejo Bagué.
When the annual London Collections fashion show opens, brands strive to out-do each other not just with their seasonal fashion shows but also with the parties and events.
This year, heritage menswear brand Thomas Pink offered up an unusual setting for the brand’s launch party at the venerable London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. A cocktail bar made of paper.
Thomas Pink joined with the 170-year-old paper brand James Cropper to produce a stunning centerpiece bar for the launch of Pink’s London-inspired Fall/Winter 2015 collection.
Designer Sam Robins of design studio Flow Creation envisioned the white Corinthian columns and mouldings of the ICA, the pristine white men’s shirt and the White Kendal Manilla paper and created a free-standing bar with paper glasses, lamps and architectural detailing. At the end of the event, VIPs were handed pink pens so that they could leave their personal marks on the white paper surfaces. Tuija Seipell.
We first discovered CJ Hendry hyper-realistic drawings at the end of last year and were stunned immediately.
In early April this year we launched the Art Hunter in Sydney in conjunction with Jaguar and introduced CJ Hendry’s work as one of the featured elements of the occasion. Her reputation took off like a rocket and her work is selling out at record time.
For those who have just discovered The Cool Hunter or CJ Hendry, here’s some of the background story.
Her rise is extraordinary in the art world as it has all happened in just six short months. It is a testament to her talent and once again, a testament also to what we call “The Cool Hunter Effect.” We hear about it all the time. How careers have taken off, reputations have been established, sales taken off because we have featured their work on The Cool Hunter.
We are happy to be the catalyst and supporter of excellent work, but CJ Hendry is unusual even among the ones we’ve supported before. So much so, that we became her exclusive agents/gallery.
And we HAVE supported her from the start because we saw the striking talent and the strong appeal of her old-school hand-drawn artistry in today’s technology-heavy world.
A few days prior to opening the Art Hunter, we posted an image of one of CJ Hendry’s works on Instagram to introduce her as one of the many artists we’ve been showcasing.
Within a few hours, we had received more than 50 enquiries from international buyers wanting to buy the piece we just posted. We did the same thing the following day and posted a different image and continued that a few days in a row. The result: All of her works were sold BEFORE we even opened The Art Hunter!
And this is how 90% of CJ’s work have been selling ever since. We recently introduced her playing card series, also on Instagram, and sold out the entire set within five days. All 54 cards, including two Jokers
Her $50K Fashion IT Bag series sold out. Her Boxing gloves were sold to a buyer in Saudia Arabia, the Nike ball went to London, the basketball to an employer at Apple in San Francisco. Even Kanye West now has one of CJ’s pieces.
Her mailing list now exceeds 1000, all serious potential buyers wanting to know what’s next.
So, to market her work further, we have wanted to take a new route, to continue to do things differently. To put an extraordinary talent into the boring same-old, white-walled art-gallery setting somehow just did not make sense to us. Her work deserved to be the talk of the town, an event, a happening, a celebration.
We decided to showcase her work in a private home in Sydney - a perfect match to her talent. After a long period of scouting, we found the incredible house that fits the style of CJ Hendry’s work impeccably.
It is a two-storey warehouse in Surry Hills converted to what is possibly Sydney’s coolest house. Home to a young savvy entrepreneur who likes to entertain, the house features its own private nightclub complete with gold bar, see-through glass smoking room, four bedrooms/bathrooms, a pool that looks into the nightclub and a super impressive sound system.
Plus a sleeping pod shaped like a UFO - the owner’s bedroom. The house alone offers limitless talking points, yet it served perfectly as the background for CJ’s pieces. They literally belong there. Neither overpowers the other, both the art and the house get to shine, they are flawlessly aligned.
Opening night was a huge success with over 500 people turning up to an art event they hadn’t experienced before - all being driven to and from the space courtesy of Uber.
The CJ Hendry art show residence was open only for four days to the public (4 Dec - 7 Dec). All the works sold out, 95% were sold before we even opened the doors and only 3 were available on opening night which were snapped up fast.
The gold bar in the private nightclub with flowers by Melbourne based florist FLEURS who we flew up for the event to create flower installations within the space. The gold flowers on the bar were sprayed 24 carat gold.
Pool balls, gold sofa and gold flowers.
Cj's sports artworks
The entrance to the private nightclub was a perfect setting to display Cj's playing card and pool ball series.
The bathroom in the private nightclub.
We had 2 large grazing tables that our talented event guru Natalie Longheon from Just Add Cream had created. Natalie also did the event design and production and we have used her previously for the Art Hunter & Summer Lovers Store.
The food was the talk of the night, super quality provided by the Louis Vuitton of butchers - Victor Churchill in Woollahra and incredible cheeses by Salt Meat Cheese in Alexandria. Mud Australia provided the plate ware
Guests admiring the detail in CJ Hendry’s work
Admirers taking selfies in front of CJ’s work.
A huge thanks to our sponsors: Penfolds wine, Ciroc Vodka, San Pellegrino, Peroni, Rekorderlig Cider.
Up close and personal
"Can you believe this is an actual drawing” was the most frequently overheard comment of the night.
- In March 2015, we’ll be showcasing CJ’s new works in Melbourne in yet another exceptional, un-gallery space.
- And Summer 2015, we’ll show more of CJ’s works in New York City and Art Basel Miami.
- CJ is exclusively represented by TCH. To be updated on CJ’s upcoming works and to get on her mailing list, send an email to - [email protected]
Photos by David Wheeler and Damien Milan.
Staircase in Hotel de Seze in Paris
Sales Pavilion in Ningbo, China by the One House.
Mirrored Cafe in Gifu, Japan by Band Design
Grotto Private Sauna in Toronto, Canada
Hotel Villa in Honegg in Switzerland
Hunter Boots is making waves again. The Edinburgh, Scotland-based historic icon has opened its first-ever flagship store at 83 Regent Street in London with a celebration featuring a troupe of Singing-In-The-Rain dancers arriving in a red double-decker wearing head-to-toe Hunter Original collection.
The store design is a funky combo of urban shopping heaven and agricultural themes that echo farm life and barns – all thought up by the design team at Checkland Kindleysides.
Established in 1856 and known for its dutiful supply of millions of trench boots for the British troops in both World Wars, Hunter has been making a steady move from boots only to a full-fledged clothing brand.
When Hunter hired Alasdhair Willis (aka Mr. Stella McCartney & co-founder of Wallpaper with Tyler Brûlé ) as their design director two years ago, everybody paid attention and started expecting big things. And they have not been disappointed.
The expanded repertoire and the new flagship are just the beginning, however. Willis is going to launch yet another new line in 2015. Hunter Field will be a more technical outdoor collection, for “the guy and girl who wants to look amazing in the wilds of the great outdoors,” as Willis has been quoted describing it.
The flagship, with its barnyard ambiance enhanced with a two-storey high LED screen showing fashion shows and campaigns, will not be the only retail expansion either. According to Checkland Kindleysides, it will form the foundation of future retail and shop-in-shop opportunities. - Tuija Seipell.
Over the past two years, architect Robert Mills (Robert Mills Architects and Interior Designers) and his yoga-enthusiast spouse, Lucinda Mills, have created a sophisticated yoga and Pilates emporium in Melbourne’s South Yarra neighbourhood.
The business, One Hot Yoga, is divided into four studios that occupy space at three addresses. Studio 1 (One Hot Yoga) is at 36 River Street, Studio 2 (One Hot Yoga and Mat Pilates) is at 46 River Street, and right next door at 48 River Street is the newest addition, Studios 3 and 4 (One Hot Pilates).
In total, the studios take up nearly 800 square meters (about 8600 square feet) of space. We love the reception area with its minimalist customized furnishings, glass-covered display case and views of the inner courtyard with its lush greenery.
Simplicity, natural materials, finely controlled lighting and tone-on-tone colour schemes create a gracious and calm environment for all of the spaces. Elegant touches, such as heavy linen curtains and beautiful change rooms enhance the ambiance of understated luxury. Tuija Seipell
Those of you who are regular TCH readers know of CJ Hendry already. She is the extraordinary pen-and-ink artist whose work we fell in love with and then introduced to the public, first through Instagram and then at our Art Hunter temporary art experience in Sydney that we hosted with Jaguar.
The success of her work has been absolutely phenomenal, and for a good reason. Nothing compares to the mesmerising result of her painstaking work. Each image appears to be an enlargement of a black-and-white photograph, except that it isn’t. It is a one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn piece of art.
Since the first images of her meticulous work were published on Instagram, CJ Hendry has been exclusively represented by thecoolhunter.
She started her series of images of playing cards, one image per crumpled card, and we posted one of the cards on Instagram a week ago. Since then, more than 40 cards have been sold.
We are in the planning stages of introducing the cards – and other CJ Hendry exclusive artworks – at a live space in Sydney or Melbourne next month, but we cannot reveal the details just yet. Keep an eye on The Cool Hunter for final specifics.
We are also planning a show of her work in New York for summer 2015.
Each card is 60cm x 60cm framed - To pre order before the show email [email protected]
****UPDATE - All 54 cards have now been sold via our Instagram in 5 days*****
Toronto’s funky, ever-evolving King West Village has just gained another interesting entrepreneurial tenant at the brand-new, 12-storey condo and townhouse project, Fashion House, at 556 King Street West.
The newcomer is Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a flexible concept by husband and wife, Jeff Armstrong and Sara Kardan. The sunny space functions as a hair, nail and beauty salon, a coffee and tea bar (during the day), a cocktail bar (at night), a shop, and even an event space, all tied together by a tightly controlled palette of colors (mainly black, white and wood) and materials.
The designer of Her Majesty’s Pleasure, John Tong of +Tongtong has created, among other notable spaces, also the re-incarnation of the interior of Toronto’s famed Queen Street West hotel, The Drake, dating back to 1890. - Tuija Seipell.
Chef-owner Heinz Reitbauer is a member of the Reitbauer family that operates the famous Steirereck restaurant and the Meierei café beneath it in Vienna, and the Pogush Country Inn in Styria, in the southeast of Austria.
His family’s latest contribution to the Austrian culinary excellence is the complete and spectacular renovation of Steirereck that consistently places among the top of the world’s 50 best restaurants list.
In 2005, the Reitbauers moved Steirereck from its home of 35 years in Weißgerbe Lände to Vienna, and took up the former Milchhauspavilion, an Art Nouveau or Jugendstil dairy that overlooks the lush Stadtpark and its Wienfluss promenade. They renovated the building completely prior to opening to the public.
In 2012, the owners announced an open competition to, once again, completely re-imagine the storied restaurant to meet the needs of the ever-demanding, world-travelled, upscale restaurant clientele, and to respond to the demands of a busy kitchen as well.
Viennese architecture firm PPAG architects won the competition with its innovative solution that began the development of the new restaurant environment not from a space that will contain tables, but from an individual table and its connection to its surroundings.
In the new pavilion, formed of long, molecular fingers, each table is flanked by its individual wooden background wall and located against an outer wall. This gives every table the feeling of being private but also connected to the park outside and the rest of the dining area and kitchen inside.
This rearrangement of functions and addition of space did not increase the number of seats – it remained at about 80 - but the main dining hall of the old dairy building with its newly flexible configuration of tables and partitioning now provides additional event space, and all of the inner functions of the restaurant, from food preparation and patisserie to washing, test kitchen and staff areas have been improved and expanded as well.
Wood, glass and reflective metal are the main visual elements of the new Steirereck that now nearly conceals the Milchhauspavilion yet appears to take up very little additional space. - Tuija Seipell.