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Iris Van Herpen

The new fashion exhibit Manus x Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explores the relationship between fashion made by hand and by machine. One of its sub themes is the marriage of the most traditional handwork couture methods and the most advanced technological methods of clothes-making. Amongst its selection are seven dresses by the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, who stands peerless in doing just that.

There is a depth to her work that results in garments that are often called “otherworldly” or “futuristic,” though van Herpen will be the first to tell you that she sees them firmly rooted in reality. Another misconception, perpetuated by the fashion media that runs after trendy stories and by the general media that runs after sensationalist ones, is that van Herpen’s work centers on 3D printing. In reality, her work traverses a wide variety of techniques and materials in service only to two things; to give free reign to van Herpen’s imagination, and to transcend fashion itself.

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Axel Vervoordt’s Universe

I first came across the work of the Belgian art collector-dealer-interior-designer-manufacturer-real-estate-developer Axel Vervoordt when I reviewed his 2011 book, “Wabi Inspirations.” I was struck by how the interiors Vervoordt conceived reflected the beauty of simplicity, decay, and aging that are championed by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. It was not anything I expected from a major European collector, raised on Louis XIV furniture and antiquaries, whose roster of clients includes major celebrities and the old-time aristocracy.

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Boris Bidjan Saberi x Mad et Len

The Barcelona-based fashion designer Boris Bidjan Saberi has revealed his new capsule of home fragrances in collaboration with the French scent maker Mad et Len. The collection consists of two candles and two scented lava stone jars. The main scent note is vegetable tanned horse leather. Needless to say, it’s an olfactory match made in heaven.

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Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

If you find yourself in Munich, Germany, you might visit the Nymphenburg Palace, which was built in 1679. But you could easily miss one of its hidden treasures, Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, which has been producing porcelain wares since 1747.

The manufactory still belongs to the Bavarian crown. Although calling it a manufactory is misleading, because today the word implies mechanized production on industrial scale.

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Showroom: Mad et Len

On a recent trip to Paris I visited the showroom our favorite perfumer, Mad et Len. Moving to a dedicated showroom has allowed the brand to fully showcase its universe, which includes candles, lava rock home scents, and blackened iron objects hammered by hand. At the core of Mad et Len’s ethos is combining the light and the ethereal  (scent) with the dark and earthy (hammered iron).