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Alice B. Would Approve
Even before Frieze Art Fair founders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp achieved art-world renown, the British couple dreamed of starting a restaurant. So three years ago, when they were asked to conceive of a project for the developer of 180 the Strand, a Brutalist building in central London, they leapt at the chance. Last month, they opened Toklas — after Alice B. Toklas, the cookbook author, partner of the writer Gertrude Stein and legendary salon hostess — a lounge and restaurant serving elevated Mediterranean comfort food. The space comprises an expansive bar and dining room furnished with vintage Børge Mogensen chairs and a lavishly planted terrace. Lunch service starts this week, featuring dishes like crab with leeks and sweet herbs and a stew of cuttlefish, mussels and chickpeas. In addition, Slotover and Sharp are opening an adjacent bakery and shop selling everything from heritage lemons to Martino Gamper-designed salt and pepper shakers. toklaslondon.com.
By Tracy Jenkins Yoshimura
What to do when your beloved Indian juttis, found in a market while traveling for your sister’s wedding 15 years ago, are finally beyond repair? For Jamie Haller, the Los Angeles-based fashion and interior designer, the answer was to make an homage to the shoe the basis of her namesake collection. “The original pair is the love of my life, and this is the new incarnation,” she says. Haller’s version marries the silhouette of its Rajasthani inspiration to old-world Italian craftsmanship via a century-old Tuscan factory specializing in sacchetto construction. Meaning “little bag,” sacchetto yields a luxuriously supple, breathable shoe with a glovelike fit. “I’m trying to achieve the authenticity of the original that gets better with age and becomes a second skin,” says Haller. Next up: a buffalo penny loafer lined in lambskin and inspired by 1970s Italian men’s shoes, debuting this month. From $390, shop-jamiehaller.com.
Women Designers Get Their Due
Since the days of the Bauhaus, the achievements of women designers have consistently been minimized or written out of art history. Case in point: The iconic Barcelona chair, presented at the 1929 world’s fair, bore only Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s signature despite having been co-created by fellow Bauhausler Lilly Reich. Jane Hall, a founding member of the Turner Prize-winning London architecture collective Assemble, has attempted to address this lacuna in “Woman Made: Great Women Designers,” an alphabetical survey of the work of more than 200 female practitioners. A joint venture by Phaidon and the global luxury group Kering, “Woman Made” features photographs of a representative piece from each designer along with a brief introduction to her work and spans the early 20th century to the present, from Jutta Sika’s graceful Viennese Coffee Set (ca. 1902) to Monling Lee’s bulbous, neoprene-upholstered Sport Sofa, made just last year. $60, phaidon.com.
From Flora to Fashion
The London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu has built a reputation for romantic, historically inflected women’s wear rich with literary references; this season, he’s finally focusing his wide-ranging sensibility on the men’s side. His new 36-piece collection is a nod to traditional English gardening clothes, deriving inspiration from the late British filmmaker Derek Jarman’s diary “Modern Nature,” which documents his cultivation of a plot on the Dungeness coast after he was diagnosed with H.I.V. Moralioglu cuts workman’s coveralls — Jarman’s gardening uniform — with a botanical toile de Jouy, elongates chinos with cummerbunds and abbreviates colorful knitwear with elegant boatnecks, achieving a natural extension of his formal yet insouciant women’s wear. From $295, erdem.com.
“Guys, we need a Ping-Pong table,” said lighting designer Vladimir Slavov one night over beers at Zaventem Ateliers, a former paper factory turned creative space in Brussels, which is home to more than 30 studios. “I answered, ‘Yes, let’s make it!’” recalls designer and Zaventem founder Lionel Jadot. What ensued was a sort of rec-room exquisite corpse, in which 15 of the resident craftspeople spent more than seven months making different sections of the table, each with only the vaguest idea of what the eventual assemblage would look like. This week, the completed table, dubbed “Spin Love” — a clover-shaped crazy quilt elaborately inlaid on both sides and bisected by a net of woven brass and copper — will be exhibited at Salon Art + Design in New York by Todd Merrill Studio. It’s for sale for $450,000. “It’s also an artwork,” Jadot explains. “It can be hung on the wall or taken apart and positioned on its side as two screens.” toddmerrillstudio.com.
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A Glorious Mess