The T Record: Six Issues We Advocate This Week

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Since the Maker Hotel opened its doors in Hudson, New York in August, it’s been a wish-list destination for locals and New Yorkers alike. Founded by Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg of beauty brand Fresh and hotel manager Damien Janowicz, it spans four historic buildings in the city center. It has 11 private rooms, a cafe, a lounge, a restaurant, a gym and now an online boutique. The Maker Shop, a natural one Enlarging the Empire, features a collection of home decor selected, if not designed, by Glazman and Roytberg. “It’s our love of design and our curated view of interiors and colors that we’ve always wanted to share with our guests beyond our rooms,” says Glazman. The shop’s goods, many versions The hotel is made of these by craftsmen from near and far – from a hand-blown decanter set made in collaboration with the BowGlass Works of the Hudson Valley (and available in gray, dark red and forest green) to a steel desk in the Louis XVI style handmade in France. But perhaps the biggest offer is the Frida bed, which is also in the hotel’s Gardener Suite. Stately and refined, the wrought-iron sleigh bed was designed in collaboration with the architect Kipp Edick, Forged using traditional artisanal techniques and paired with padded headboards and footboards for an heirloom feel. With one of the shop’s signature cashmere throws, available in neutral colors and plaid patterns and made in northern Italy on Prïvate 02 04 vintage looms, this is the image of unbridled comfort – and makes you feel just as luxurious as you are get away.

One of my peripheral pastimes this year has been waffling between missing out on the office, where I’ve spent most of my time, and actively hoping that I’ll never have to return. But if and when we will return to these glassy corporate storms, I wonder if or how Things will be different. The design collective Office of Things, which was co-founded in 2015 by a group of architects spread across the USA, had already dealt with the existential questions of office life before the pandemic began. The past few years have explored how to create a restorative environment in the workplace, culminating in a series of meditation chambers known as the Immersive Spaces Series, built in the Bay Area offices of YouTube and Google last year. These rooms are designed primarily for single users and offer sound and light environments a kind of sensory and psychological retreat, whether it be through strong fluorescent light or the sound of an obnoxious colleague. The company wanted to “create a space that transports you to another world and use that experience to create calm and refuge”. says Lane Rick, the project manager who runs the New York chapter of the Office of Things with Can Vu Bui. Before the arrival of Covid-19, I might have dismissed this as a Silicon Valley indulgence, but when I envision returning to a building full of people and demands of all kinds – let’s just say I hope my employer is watching.

On British designer Kit Kemp, who came across Mimi de Biarritz’s whimsical artwork in the Brocante de la Reine Victoria store a few years ago, immediately became an admirer of the artist. She was known for her intricately decorated interiors and her number of boutique hotels in Firmdale. Since then, Kemp has recorded the cheerful curiosities that came out of de Biarritz’s studio, which, like the former shop, was in the French city that shares its name in a number of its projects. From the chandeliers made from seashells to the giant paper mache beetles with all the details of entomologically pinned specimens: “Your artwork is a mainstay and a topic of conversation both in my house and in my hotels,” says Kemp. But it’s the artist’s paper mache mushrooms trapped in terrariums that last popped up earlier this year in the designer’s pop-up on the seventh floor of New York’s Bergdorf Goodman – a store selling seasonal baubles and home decor – that last caught my eye. On behalf of Kemp, these unique creations, enthroned on beds made of paper mache earth or moss, are hand-painted by the artist in chartreuse, aquamarine, periwinkle and other lively colors and housed under glass domes of various sizes. The results are contagiously gratifying and will play a part on tea trays and coats this holiday season that steals the scene. From $ 250, Kit Kemp at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

When Melissa Morris launched Métier, her line of handcrafted leather bags, in 2017, she wanted an exquisitely crafted bag that was beautiful, functional and had room for everything from lipstick to laptop. “Before 2020, our bags were our mobile offices,” she says. “Well, that has changed, and it made sense to pay equal attention to the parts for a home office.” And so, she has brought out a small range of items that have been specially developed to make your desk more inviting and clear. These include collapsible, origami-inspired boxes in a range of sizes – great for hiding chargers, sticky notes, and postage – that snap into place with magnets. There is also a range of notebooks, a collaboration with 135 year old English paper manufacturer GF Smith. The magazines that come in three Sizes include silky sides made from upcycled coffee mugs and enclosed in black or art deco patterned leather bags made by a father-daughter duo outside of Florence, Italy. Inside there are holders for business cards and an iPad or a small laptop, while there is a discreet pen loop under the strap. “I wanted to create a piece that you could intuitively put all your papers in and that would just sit neatly to the side,” says Morris. “But it can also slip effortlessly into a pocket for the days when we’re back on the road.”

This is the time of year I usually dust off my trusty shearling coat to prepare for the drop in temperatures (its furry texture has toasted me in New York’s coldest months). But this season, a handful of designers have given me more reasons to love the plush material and have incorporated it into a variety of cozy, practical accessories that will make it through Enhance any winter look. This cozy, caramel-colored For one thing, the Dries Van Noten bag is so soft and pillow-like that you might be tempted to use it as a headrest – and so cave-like that you can easily slide a change of shoes in. These lambskin bags by Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta with their curved tassels are just as dramatic as the floor-length fringed coat with which the designer first introduced them earlier this year. The young designer Jingjing Fan, who by now had a cult following since launching her accessory brand Elleme in 2015 offers a range of jewel colored lambskins Bags in fun shapes, like the baozi, named after the Chinese word for dumplings and adorned with a hand-sewn loop handle. And while lambskin slippers are generally reserved for indoor use, the new clog from Californian brand Jenni Kayne with cork soles and lambskin upper can be worn almost anywhere. This winter may feel particularly long, but that’s all the more reason to surround ourselves with comfort and warmth.

In a year around home life, Dutch Vogue stylist and editor Gijsje Ribbens found that getting dressed had lost its appeal. During Amsterdam’s first lockdown last spring, she teamed up with boyfriend Bart Ramakers, a Dutch fashion agent who has helped brands like Vetements and Halpern get dressed instead their homes. RiRa, an interior concept line that debuts this week with a selection of limited-edition objects, was born. For part of the collection, the pieces of which are all designed and manufactured in the Netherlands and Belgium, designer Sabine Marcelis, known for her Candy Cube installations for Celine stores, has created a series of whimsical mirrors that are plentifully splashed with vibrantly colored resins. There is a sculptural chair from the industrial design duo Müller Van Severen, which was produced in collaboration with the fashion brand Kassl and inspired by the latter’s typical pillow bags. And Vincent de Rijk, the innovator in architectural materials who worked with Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Urban Architecture (OMA) on Prada’s New York flagship, created the Liquidish, a hyper-glossy epoxy resin bowl whose playful shape is somewhat like red blood cells between prophylaxis and pro (there is already a waiting list). “You can love it or you can think it’s very ugly, but I like that,” says Ramakers of the collection. “It’s pronounced.”

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