The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week

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An Affordable Viennese Ritz

“I have always built my projects for locals, and the tourists follow, because the most curious ones want to be part of the local scene,” says Bernd Schlacher, one of Vienna’s most renowned restaurateurs (his Motto pub and Motto am Fluss attract a stylish crowd) and the owner of the soon-to-open Hotel Motto. With 91 rooms in a historic building in the city’s 6th district, it’s Schlacher’s first hotel project. He oversaw the design of the interiors, which he describes as “Art Deco opulence with some contemporary punk energy”: vintage chairs; sofas and lamps from the Ritz Paris; door handles and tabletop objets made by local craftspeople. Rome-based designer Chez Dede painted whimsical murals throughout the lobby, and a large-scale photograph from the Mexican artist Victoria Barmak adorns the rooftop terrace. Says Schlacher: “We wanted to create a legendary meeting place like the Ritz but affordable, and for young people.” Hotel Motto opens Oct. 2.

When the American-born artist Basil Kincaid began researching his St. Louis roots after a 2015 residency in Ghana (where he now lives), he discovered he came from a long line of quilt makers. Though already an established photographer and collagist by that point, Kincaid, now 34, had never sewn before, but around the same time he had a dream in which his grandmother urged him to try, and afterwards, “it was like I had always known how to do it,” he says. Fast-forward to the present, and Kincaid’s quilts have earned him not only a United States Artists Fellowship but a solo show at Galleria Poggiali in Milan. They’re often made from “emotionally charged materials” such as the cast-off clothes of loved ones, and involve a time-intensive collage technique in which he first makes a “palette” of individual quilts and then cuts and reassembles them to make new, larger compositions. His show, entitled “The Rolling Fields to My House,” will be on view through Nov. 20.

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Exquisite Vessels

Fed up with fashion’s conspicuous waste and questionable labor practices, Jennifer Francis and Alice Wells left the industry and in 2015 founded Kindred Black, an environmentally sensitive retail project producing ethically sourced, artisanally produced fashion and accessories. “We wanted to do something together that was environmentally focused but also more in line with our aesthetic and our interests,” says Wells. For their recent Apothecary and Slow Beauty lines of oils, toners, balms and serums, they found inspiration in the Ancient Greek and Egyptian rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, marveling at the millennia-old perfume vessels. Such “truffle hunting” through history, as Francis puts it, paid dividends in the form of the luminous hand-blown glass vials bearing the brand’s elixirs for face, body and hair. A particularly striking exemplar is the Unicorn Oil, a multiuse blend of 14 botanicals — immortelle, French plum oil and zdravets among them — that comes in a hypnotically kaleidoscopic bottle blown at the Xaquixe Glass Studio in Oaxaca.

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A Colorful Collaboration

Last winter, the sculptor and furniture designer Simone Bodmer-Turner and her friend Emma Kohlmann, a painter, decided to pool their talents and collaborate. After they’d riffled art books filled with images of painted ceramics throughout history (Greek amphorae, Picasso’s terra-cotta), the project coalesced: Bodmer-Turner’s Permanent Collection line, a group of sinuous multi-necked vessels heavily influenced by pre-Columbian and Etruscan shapes, would become Kohlmann’s canvas for the painter to adorn. The result is the Illustrated Permanent Collection, comprising 38 ceramic pieces created in Bodmer-Turner’s studio and hand-painted by Kohlmann with whimsical floral motifs and serene faces in bright hues. “The vessels in the Permanent Collection can come off very minimalist because they are finished monochromatically and are often styled very sparsely,” explains Bodmer-Turner. “I love that Emma brings this lively touch to them that feels very playful and modern.” Proceeds from the collection will benefit South Bronx Mutual Aid, Kohlmann’s home borough.

Nine-year-old brand Delfina Balda’s spring 2022 collection, Home to the Body, continues to incarnate founder Delfina Baldassarre’s vision of “wearable art”; indeed, many of the pieces were patterned on her abstract drawings and assemblage — “expressions of my subconscious,” says the former psychoanalyst, who grew up in Argentina. The “Home” of the title is conceived of as nature, “a space where the self feels grounded, whole,” according to Baldassarre. To that end, the collection incorporates organic shapes, colors and materials meant to evoke such a feeling. All pieces are handmade using natural fibers in family-run factories in Lima, Peru, the New York-based Baldassarre’s home away from home.

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