Thu. Jan 27th, 2022


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Vintage style in the heart of Colombo

PR, opened by Shanth Fernando's daughter Annika in 2013
PR, opened by Shanth Fernando’s daughter Annika in 2013 © Sandun de Silva

In 1987, when Shanth Fernando – already a well-known quantity in international style circles for its elegant marriages of Dutch colonial design and contemporary Sri Lankan craftsmanship – opened its first retail store on Colombo’s Flower Road, it took months for locals to come in and shop. Now, 35 years later, the household goods and accessories emporium Paradise Road (long since transposed to a large old colonial building on Dharmapala Mawatha) is an institution. The clutter of rooms across its two floors forms the best kind of treasure hunt, stacked high as they are with porcelain and pottery, table linen and candlesticks, lanterns and vases and picture frames. There are notebooks bound in batik and its dupioni, and cotton sarongs in all colors and patterns (for a more elaborate – and super-chic – fashion and resort editing, hit PR, opened by Fernando’s daughter Annika, which has a lot of that on is design offer, in 2013).

PR offers a fashion and persuasion, many of them designed by Annika

PR offers a fashion and persuasion, many of them designed by Annika © Sandun de Silva

STAY: The Fernando experience extends to Paradise Road Tintagel, a 10-suite heritage residence that has become a luxury hotel. Each space is unique and composed of art, antiques and textiles. It sits right up there with Blakes, from Amsterdam Seven One Seven and the Montefiore hotels in Tel Aviv on our list of true originals. From around £ 140, paradiseroadhotels.com


Find it in Sydney

The exterior of the new Lucy Folk store in William Street, Sydney

The exterior of the new Lucy Folk store in William Street, Sydney

Jewelry and fashion designer Lucy Folk and interior designer Tamsin Johnson have been friends for years. Although they are both originally from Melbourne, they have jointly defined a style that is distinctive of Sydney – refined but unstudied, widespread in their chosen influences, without exception in dialogue with natural shapes, textures and colors. So it makes sense that Folk’s new flagship in Sydney, which opened in November, should not only be designed by Johnson, but just next to Johnson’s store in William Street, which in recent years has replaced Glenmore Road as the primary lifestyle artery in Paddington. . If you’re a fan of Folk’s Greek-inspired towel dresses and kaftans, or her collaboration with like Luke Edward Hall and the leather worker Corto Moltedo, it’s going to be a – ahem – gold mine for you. Johnson lined the store’s ceilings with Tuareg rugs, walls clad in soft buttery plaster and handcrafted wooden cabinets with heavy textures, creating a kind of storefront souk feel that fits perfectly with Folk’s aesthetics. Upstairs is a custom jewelery design studio and there is also a medina-like courtyard for tea or relaxation, with its own Folk Curatorial Library. If you like the ceramic lights or the early 20th-century French chairs, there are more like them in Johnson’s place next door.

Inside Lucy Folk's flagship store in Sydney
Inside Lucy Folk’s flagship store in Sydney
The new Folk store was designed by Folk's friend Tamsin Johnson

The new Folk store was designed by Folk’s friend Tamsin Johnson

STAY: We have long thought the Hotel Ravesis has the potential to be one of the loveliest stylish places in town; with rooms newly refurbished in ice cream shades and pieces of rattan and block-printed textiles, it is now. From around £ 190, hotelravesis.com


Art and design in the medina of Marrakech

One of the rooms at Philomena Schurer Merckoll's Riad Mena

One of the rooms at Philomena Schurer Merckoll’s Riad Mena © Reed Davis Photography

It’s hard to type a single address in Marrakech as the one that deserves the trip for the visit (it’s definitely worth a try). But in a place that has evolved so much over the past two decades, one relative newcomer to the scene has found a perfect balance between salon, studio, art gallery and tranquil duck-in of the happy pandemonium of the medina. Philomena Schurer Merckoll, owner of seven rooms Riad Mena, opened The Pink Door in a three-room space next to the riad at the end of 2019. The idea was both to cultivate local talents to create exclusive designs and works of art, and to invite others from further afield to share their impressions of Morocco through ceramics, fashion, photography and more (Schurer Merckoll was one of the very first to show the embroidered kayamiya tapestries by the brilliant French artist Louis Bartholomew). You can sit by the fountain and sip champagne while admiring the editing of vintage and new art monographs (most of which are also quietly on sale).

LRNCE ceramics at Riad Mena, next to The Pink Door

LRNCE ceramics at Riad Mena, next to The Pink Door © Reed Davis Photography

The courtyard at Riad Mena

The courtyard at Riad Mena © Brita Sönnichsen

STAY: Right next door – the two-story riad has a coin-operated location in the medina’s Derb J’Did district, a wide lush courtyard, a rooftop lounge and some of the most elegant rooms in the city. From € 150, riadmenaandbeyond.com


Knitwear that is worth making a fuss about

Norlha's boutique in Ritoma

Norlha’s boutique in Ritoma

Jak khullu. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If not, it should be on your radar – this ultra-fine wool from yaks, those long-lost cousins ​​of bison and buffalo, is as soft as the softest cashmere, but much warmer – and 100 percent sustainable and animal-free. For more than a decade, Kim and Dechen Yeshi have been engaged in the fair trade purchasing and manufacturing of khullu their mission in Ritoma, a remote village on the northeastern Tibetan plateau. This is where they Norlha Workshop, which now produces probably the only prestige yak cashmere in the world. The end product is sold to, among others, the luxury world pantheon, Louis Vuitton and Hermès; the company employs more than 100 local artisans, most of them women.

Norlha ear shirt, £ 799

Norlha ear shirt, £ 799

Norlha Nomad Naturals boiled scarf, £ 361

Norlha Nomad Naturals boiled scarf, £ 361

Two years ago, they opened a retail boutique in Lhasa, showcasing their own designs – not just the shawls and scarves that brought them international attention for the first time, but also men’s, women’s and children’s designs that only play as well in Marylebone High Street as they do on the high tundra. The shop sits on the Barkhor, in Old Lhasa; around the city’s famous main temple, Tsuklhakhang, it is traditional where merchants and pilgrims from points near and far gathered to exchange goods. With low-beamed ceilings and walls alternating pine plank and deep ox-blood paint, the store is frugal and cozy, placing the extraordinary Norlha goods, and story, at the center of the show. norlha.com

STAY: The Songtsam collection of hotels in Tibet offers a small, thoughtful alternative to the big names. With a hilly view of Potala Palace, Songtsam Lhasa Linka’s 45 rooms are a beautiful, colorful articulation of local craft traditions, from woodwork to textiles (and are equipped with oxygen concentrators to relieve acute mountain sickness). From around £ 115, songtsam.com

@mariashollenbarger





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