News This Week, 14th June 2010 By The Luxury Channel

It’s time to put some colour and fun back in your wardrobe

Louis Vuitton has renewed their creative collaboration with Japanese Neo-Pop artist Takashi Murakami. Previously Murakami has re-invented the famous LV monogram in bright and bold colours, merging the Louis Vuitton heritage and quality with the contemporary art scene and bringing the designs firmly into the 21st century.

This season, he’s gone one step further. Iconic Louis Vuitton designs have been reinterpreted in summery, bright block colours, interspersed with Murakami’s trademark smiling faces. The prints feature on bags, accessories, beach-clothes and bikinis.

www.louisvuitton.com

Whiskey matures into a worthy investment

£10,000 whiskey worth the 50 year wait?

Glenfiddich has released a very rare 50-year-old whiskey, priced at £10,000 per bottle (£357 a dram!). As well as the whiskey, which comes in a numbered, hand-blown bottle decorated in silver, the investor receives a gift pack including a history of the whisky and a certificate allowing the holder to visit the distillery, where David Stewart, the master distiller, said “they will be treated rather well”. Fifty bottles will be sold each year for the next decade.

Mad for menswear

John Galliano has just unveiled his first ‘urban casual’ menswear and sunglasses collections under the Galliano label, including knitwear, shirts, jackets, jeans, leather and accessories.

Hermès has opened its first men’s only store, located on Madison Avenue in New York, the four-storey flagship stocks silk ties, menswear, shoes, belts, hats and luggage.

The British designer Matthew Williamson has also launched his first menswear collection. Initially a capsule selection, the line is to be expanded each season, and includes cashmere jumpers, printed and beaded t-shirts and printed scarves.

Coach has announced plans to open its first men’s only store on Bleecker Street in New York in May 2010. Products stocked will include leather-goods, footwear, outer- wear and fragrance.

Hermés on the high seas

Wally Yachts and Hermès have teamed up to launch the new Wally-Hermès Yachts or ‘WHY’ brand. WHY aims to provide a new lifestyle of living on the sea by creating new boat designs providing maximum style, space, durability and technology. Hermès have been involved in every step of the design process, including the development of the interiors, which will be upholstered in water-resistant buffalo hide.

Talent Parade

LVMH has teamed up with Parsons School for Design to launch a competition focusing on the importance of craftsmanship. Under the competition, titled The Art of Craftsmanship Revisited: New York, designs by 23 five-person teams made up of Parsons students have already been shown. The winning students will be named in June 2010.

Taking over the world

The Soho House Group is continuing to move forward with new expansion projects following the recent launch of Dean Street Townhouse in London. This year will also see the opening of Soho House Berlin, Soho House West Hollywood and Soho Beach Club Miami.

Peace on Earth

Plans for the new incarnation of the legendary Peace Hotel building in Shanghai have now been unveiled. It has been announced that the hotel will be called the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, aimed exclusively at artists, and will have a ground floor devoted to retailing watch brands owned by the Swatch Group.

Dorchester Design

The hotel group The Dorchester Collection is aiming to build its name in the fashion world with the introduction of a new design competition. Launched in London during Fashion Week, the competition offers the winning fashion designer a prize of £25,000 and the opportunity to hold an event in any of The Dorchester Collection’s global properties.

Let them eat cake

Two Irish hospitality providers are embracing the art world to raise awareness of their product amongst new audiences. The Merrion Hotel has launched its Art Tea, an afternoon tea concept with cakes, sandwiches and pastries inspired by works of contemporary art housed in the hotel. Artists with works represented in edible form include Sir John Lavery, Jack B Yeats and Paul Henry.

More MOMO

As Beirut grows in reputation as an international hotspot, restaurateur Mourad Mazouz has announced that he is to open an outpost of his Momo concept in the Lebanese capital. Momo Souk will launch in June 2010 as a 200-cover brasserie serving French, North African and Lebanese dishes.

Middle Eastern delight

Mandarin Oriental has announced that it is to open its first Middle East hotel – a new luxury resort on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. The project is due to launch in 2013 and is being developed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), which is based in Abu Dhabi. The hotel will have 160 rooms and suites, as well as 35 serviced apartments, 50 branded residences as well as lots of luxuries such as spa and private beach club.

The flavour of Florence

Il Salviatino is a new hotel in Florence that will officially launch in April this year. Created around a historic villa in the Fiesole area, the 45-bedroom hotel includes many original features, including some uncovered during the restoration. Amongst these are frescos that had been hidden under a false ceiling and a sarcophagus that has now been turned into a bath. Mosaic floors, wood panelling and glasshouses in the grounds have also been restored by local Florentine artisans.

Brand new Petrus

This month Gordon Ramsay is to open a new incarnation of Pétrus. The chef originally opened the restaurant at The Berkeley hotel where it was overseen by his protegé Marcus Wareing. However, the concept was shelved after Wareing negotiated a deal to launch his own restaurant at The Berkeley. The new Pétrus is to be launched close to its former location and will now be on Kinnerton Street in Belgravia.

Harrods

As we look for alternatives to invasive beauty procedures, Harrods is to open clinics run by specialists in non-invasive beauty experts at its Medispa Urban Retreat. Therapists setting up shop in the space include well-known practitioner of Chinese medicine John Tsagaris, who will be offering anti-ageing acupuncture, LED light masques and chrysotherapy – a Chinese facial procedure.

Sixth sense

Six Senses has launched its first Paris spa, located on rue de Castiglione, designed to serve as an urban sanctuary balancing elements of the natural world with minimalist styling. The spa’s two floors are joined by a vertical wall garden in the reception space and the treatment rooms are cocoon-shaped pods built in oak. See our review of Six Senses London Spa this week.