Architecture, Art & Culture, Design, Travel

The Hotel Can Mostatxins, Alcúdia

Beginning life as a 15th century manor house in Mallorca, the Hotel Can Mostatxins has been transformed into a contemporary boutique hotel. Located in the historic, eco-friendly tourist township of Alcúdia, the Hotel Can Mostatxins is surrounded by 30km of coastline, providing an ideal setting for those desiring a calm, welcoming atmosphere.

Though the property has recently undergone redevelopment – with those involved going to great lengths to ensure guests experience a modern hotel – the property has retained many of its original Gothic features. Resulting in a building which fits into its environment seamlessly.

The Hotel Can Mostatxins comprises a spa, plunge pool and eight bedrooms with immaculate facilities – several Double Superiors, a Tower Executive, in addition to the Suite in the Tower. All of the rooms are luxurious, filled with character whilst maintaining a modern sensibility. For instance, the walls of the bedrooms have some exposed original pale sandstone and the floors are covered in a light, oil treated oak. While the wooden beams have been lime washed and the ancient windows beautifully restored. For guests wishing to see unspoiled views across the rooftops of Alcúdia to the distant mountains and Bay of Pollenca, the Suite Room in the Tower provides these and they can be enjoyed from one of the festejadors just below the window.

The Hotel Can Mostatxins is located at Carrer del Lledoner, 15, 07400 Alcúdia, Illes Balears, Spain. To book a room online, visit here.

The Hotel Can Mostatxins can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Design, Fashion, Travel

Vilebrequin: SS16 Collection

Saint Tropez is associated with many things. For most summer tourists it is jostling for space to see the great, the rich and the A-listers meeting for villa soirées in Le Club 55 on Pampelonne beach or at the Byblos hotel’s Les Caves du Roy nightclub. For others, the wooded, rocky St Tropez peninsula providing panoramic views across the sea to the Maures mountains is where they want to be seen. As Peregrine writes, “It is, though, only the sheen. It disguises a multi-layered life, from villa evenings with moguls through to locals going to the market with baskets to do their daily shopping.”

It was this environment, this atmosphere, with the strolling vacationers and painters on the quayside, the influence of screen icon Brigitte Bardot starring in Et Dieu… créa la femme several years earlier who inspired Fred Prysquel in 1971 to sketch a design for swimwear on the edge of a table cloth. A design which became the Moorea – a feat of engineering were the shorts are manufactured using spinnaker sailcloth, chosen for its quick drying qualities, reinforced with double seams to ensure durability with eyelets positioned on the back below the waistband allowing water to flow rapidly out of the suit, subsequently stopping them billowing as the swimmer leaves the water – led to Prysquel founding Vilebrequin. A brand named after Prysquel’s passion for motor racing – Vilebrequin is the French word for crankshaft – and a brand synonymous with ingenuity, quality, craftsmanship and style. The originality the initial creations were crafted with can be seen today, with the launch of the Spring/Summer 2016 Happy collection and its subsequent advertising campaign.

The collection is comprised of T-shirts, shorts and swimwear and is inspired by quirky graphics, bold colour ways, and an ever-lasting summer, offering consumers a wide variety of styles, fits and finishes. This variety has been intrinsic to Vilebrequin since its diversification into womenswear and childrenswear – the Father and Son range was launched in 1994, with the Mother and Daughter line following in 2013. In 2014, Vilebrequin extended their product offering to also include resort wear, in addition to men’s and women’s beach accessories while maintaining their core values of elegance and freedom.

The Vilebrequin Spring/Summer 2016 collection can be found in Vilebrequin stores and online.

Vilebrequin can be visited on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Entertainment, Fashion, Travel

Equinox, Military, Quidditch & Frisbee: Four Ways to Improve Your Fitness

In the last few weeks I’m certain any regular gym-goer has noticed an influx of new members. Many of whom are eager to begin their New Years’ resolution of carving out their physiques to find their promised ‘new you’ lurking within this January.

A brand capitalising on this seasonal rush – complete with a glossy, high-end print, digital and out-of-home advertising campaign, Commit to Something, shot on location in Los Angeles by fashion photographer Steven Klein with styling by Mel Ottenberg and featuring models Alan Jouban, Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Erik Sage, Lydia Hearst, Mark Maceachen, Ryan Tift and Silvester Ruck – are Equinox. The American import, whose sole UK gym is located in the historic Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street, state that “Equinox is about commitment, we are obsessed with it, and we challenge our members to know who they are and what they want,” and this message is conveyed through their newly-released aspirational promotional materials.

Equinox offers their members access to individual training and various classes, such as Boxing Boot Camp and Tabata, in venues associated with energy, luxury and an impeccable attention to detail. Which is ideal if you want to train in an indoor group environment, by yourself or with one or two friends in an exceptionally well-designed, modern facility.

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However, this isn’t the only environment in which to enhance your fitness – particularly for those individuals who prefer to train outdoors, by themselves, or in an outdoor group environment with a specific goal in mind. For instance, traveling to somewhere with sunshine later this year, participating in a sporting competition or meeting new people while they exercise. I recently received a newsletter from Tom Cullen, editor and founder of I Choose Birmingham, which briefly discussed his attempts at improving his fitness and options available to achieve this goal within the Midlands. This piqued my interest and I subsequently began researching alternative methods of improving my own health and well-being, too – some of which are discussed below.

British Military Fitness

British Military Fitness (BMF) was founded on the principles of training learned in the armed forces. The idea is to get people of all fitness abilities outdoors training in parks, with motivation provided by military trained instructors. However, those behind BMF recognise that their classes are only effective and fun if an individual is exercising at the right ability level for them. Consequently, they decided to divide all class participants into three main ability groups: blue for beginners, red for intermediates, and green for advanced participants. This ensures that each participant is guaranteed an effective workout with people with a similar level of fitness. For further information about BMF and class locations, visit here.

British Military Fitness can be visited on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Quidditch UK

Many of us will be familiar with Quidditch through Harry Potter, the series by author JK Rowling. However, it’s not required that you enjoy the books or films to participate in the sport, even if Rowling did publish a guidebook to Quidditch several years ago. Quidditch UK write that the sport “is a trailblazer in the sporting world for inclusivity, played and followed by some of the most open-minded individuals in the world. It is both fun and highly competitive, a great hobby, keeps you fit and also makes you a part of a great community.” For further information, click here.

Quidditch UK can be visited on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

Ultimate Frisbee

UK Ultimate, the National Governing Body for the sport of ultimate in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, write that “Ultimate is a fast-moving team sport enjoyed by millions of players the world over. Although frequently compared to sports like soccer or American Football, Ultimate has some unique features that set it apart. There are no referees. And it’s played with a flying disc. To compete at the highest level, Ultimate players require speed, agility and endurance. Yet beginners find the game easy to learn and fun to play.” And they invite you to “Grab a disc, get out there, and discover why many think this is the ultimate team sport.” For further information, click here.

UK Ultimate can be visited on Twitter and Facebook.

Art & Culture, Design, Entertainment, Travel

Abstract Graffiti: At Home with Remi Rough

Those of you who follow my Twitter will know I am a fan of street art. In fact, one of my first experiences of the persuasiveness of the medium, was happening across a several foot high mural of Japanese recording artist Namie Amuro to promote the release of her 2012 album Uncontrolled in Tokyo. Someone who is known as one of the founding fathers of this particular artistic discipline is London-based artist and author, Remi Rough.

Rough finished 2015 with a solo exhibition, Home, his first in London, since 2011 at Scream London. The exhibition featured his now trademark abstract graffiti, which focuses on the interplay of colour and shape, appearing on a multitude of hand-made paper and wood canvasses, and explored the relationship of balance, tension and colour with geometric theory. My favourite piece from the exhibition is Cinqo, shown below, courtesy of Rough’s Instagram.

This piece, for me, is a visual representation of Rough’s earlier work. The shapes and colours utilised symbolising the trains which became his canvas as they traversed the city, potentially positively surprising those who saw the artworks and subsequently causing them to reconsider their perception of street artists.

To arrive at this stage in his career, where his work is as at home in a gallery as an outdoor venue, Rough has adapted his technique, taking inspiration from artists, such as, Kazimir Malevich whilst collaborating with other artists as a member of the collective Agents of Change. Rough’s work as a member of the collective, saw the exteriors of several venues across the UK transformed. For example, an abandoned village in Scotland became an extensive outdoor gallery, known as The Ghost Village Project, while the exterior of the Megaro Hotel in central London displayed to guests and passersby an intricate, colourful mural five storeys tall.

Mare writes that Rough “continues to challenge the boundaries of contemporary painting as he traverses between the collected history of art and todays urban lexicon. Thematically he continues to explore associations between Suprematism concepts, Abstract Expressionism and Graffiti art, which in practice and theory they become ever present. This amalgamation yields a new type of modernist painting, one that reflects his passion for the aforementioned but also his desire re-imagine it all for today’s world.”

Remi Rough can be visited on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, in addition to his blog. Artwork, among other things, can be purchased from Rough’s online store, here.

Architecture, Design, Travel

The Origami House, Shoreditch

I discovered London’s Design Haus Liberty, an award-winning architecture and design studio, through an interview the BBC conducted with their founder, Dara Huang in which she discussed the success of her business, entrepreneurship and the importance of having a “clear vision,” and “believing in what you do.”

Huang applies this philosophy to the project’s Design Haus Liberty works on, which include local and international residential, office, retail, and hotel developments. One of their projects that caught my attention is the Origami House, so called because of the building’s uniquely shaped internal walls and the influence this structure has on the recently renovated apartments housed inside. The building can be found on Shoreditch’s City Road and was developed in collaboration between Design Haus Liberty and their client, Eurobridge.

What attracted me to the property is the concept behind the redevelopment, one of clean and refined living in east London. To achieve this, the project included a re-design of the exterior of the building including the construction of a private entrance for tenants, an overhaul of the interiors, reinstating existing blocked windows, in addition to the creation of a commercial unit below the apartments.

Throughout the project, those involved ensured that the building and its interiors, upon completion, fit into the surrounding neighbourhood seamlessly. In interview with Dezeen, Huang states, “the Origami House treats the irregularities of the site as opportunities rather than constraints.” She added, “Similar to how origami pays attention to each fold and crease on the paper, the form and layout of the Origami House pays attention to the triangular floor plate and structure of the former building and folds to create unique spatial and visual connections for its inhabitants.”

Upon entering the Origami House, future inhabitants will find an environment which has received careful consideration to form a space which features creative design, is light, calm and inviting for all who visit.

Design Haus Liberty can be found online and visited on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Design, Fashion, Travel

Bershka: An AW15 Men’s Lookbook Overview

Founded in 1998 under the Inditex umbrella, Spanish fashion label Bershka is a brand synonymous with youth and adventure, and these characteristics appear throughout their seasonal lookbooks. Three, of which, appeared during Autumn/Winter 2015 featuring selections from the product lines, Man, BSK and Bershka.

The lookbooks were shot by photographer Claudio Rizzolo and utilise the city as a utilitarian backdrop whilst featuring British model Harry Uzoka, among others.

The images captured show pieces from the current collection which are functional, versatile, and inspired by industrial aesthetics. Somewhat similar to the brand identity being projected by Bershka through their recently launched stage concept, in their newly renovated retail outlets in Barcelona, Burgos, Santander and Cordoba. This concept includes recreated backstage concert areas and interactive mirrors enabling customers to try on clothes digitally and explore different combinations. Alonso writes that “The concept will be implemented gradually in Bershka’s retail locations, worldwide.” Selected images from the AW15 Men’s Lookbooks are shown below.

The current Bershka, BSK and Man ranges can be purchased online and in stores.

Bershka can be visited at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.