From Absent Friends to This is Home: Your Culture Guide to May

Do - Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends | National Portrait Gallery. Absent Friends is the first exhibition of portraits by Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017), one of Britain’s greatest artists. Hodgkin’s paintings are characterised by rich colour, complex illusionistic space and sensuous brushwork. The role of memory, the expression of emotion, and the exploration of relationships between people and places are all fixations. The exhibition surveys Hodgkin’s development of a personal visual language of portraiture, which challenges conventional forms of representation. Until 18th June 2017. 

Howard Hodgkin  -  Going for a Walk with Andrew.

Howard Hodgkin - Going for a Walk with Andrew.

See - Loewe Exhibition | Liberty. To coincide with London Craft Week, Liberty will host a pop-up showcasing LOEWE: This is Home, direct from Salone de Mobile, Milan’s International Furniture Fair. Curated by LOEWE’s creative director Jonathan Anderson, the exhibition will house a category spanning collection of inimitably designed products, each obscuring the lines between decorative and functional. Coalescing inspiration from various art disciplines, the display offers an exploration of novel forms for the interior, articulated through a mix of materials, hands, techniques and cultural references. 2nd - 21st May 2017.  

Eat – Clarette | Marylebone, London - The heiress of the renowned Chateaux Margaux estate has just opened Clarette, the ultra-chic three-storey wine bar in Marylebone. The wine list in predominantly French, though there are wines from around the world so there is certainly something for everyone. There is also a selection of sharing plates available to complement the wines. 44 Blandford Street, London, W1U 7HS. 

Read - Ibiza Bohemia | Assouline. From roaring nightlife to peaceful yoga retreats, Ibiza’s hippie-chic atmosphere is its hallmark. This quintessential Mediterranean hot spot has served as an escape for artists, creatives, and musicians alike for decades. It is a place to reinvent oneself, to walk the fine line between civilization and wilderness, and to discover bliss. Ibiza Bohemia explores the island’s scenic Balearic cliffs, its legendary cast of characters, and the archetypal interiors that define its signature style.

Visit - London Craft Week | London. This annual event showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. 3-7 May 2017. Full programme at: http://www.londoncraftweek.com

From Japanese House to Centrifugal Soul: Your Culture Guide to April

Do - The Japanese House, Barbican. While away an afternoon weaving in and out of The Japanese House's ten individual, fully-furnished rooms and maze-like gardens. Rabbit chairs, sliding libraries and an outdoor cinema are just some of the details that make up Moriyama's remarkable domestic environment. Until 25th June 2017. 

The Japanese House, Barbican. 

The Japanese House, Barbican. 

Contemporary Living, Christie's South Kensington. 

Contemporary Living, Christie's South Kensington. 

See - Contemporary Living: Art, Craft & Design (April 1st - 4th) at Christie's South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW7 3LD. Christie's latest offering in collaboration with The New Craftsmen and Southern Guild features contemporary designers, craftsmen and artists. Open for just four days, the exhibition will change each day with pieces by Sebastian Cox, Georgia Campbell and David Krynauw.

The Marksman Public House. 

The Marksman Public House. 

Eat - The Marksman Public House. Recently voted Michelin Pub of The Year 2017, The Marksman offers menus inspired by the rich and diverse culinary history of London, focusing on the best of British seasonal food and drinks in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. 

Mat Collishaw, The Centrifugal Soul. 

Mat Collishaw, The Centrifugal Soul. 

Visit - Blain|Southern. In The Centrifugal Soul, Mat Collishaw’s forthcoming exhibition at Blain|Southern, the artist presents new sculpture, installation and paintings. Drawing on various forms of illusion, the exhibition explores ideas of superficial truth and the erosive effect of our primal urges for visual supremacy. From April 7th 2017. 

Joan Didion. 

Joan Didion. 

Read - South and West, Joan Didion. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks of overheard dialogue, interviews, observations and articles. South and West offers a glimpse into her never before seen notebooks, offering an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. 

From The Rise of Modernism to Venetian Chic: Your Culture Guide to March

Visit: Degas to Picasso, The Rise of Modernism - Ashmolean Oxford: The exhibition presents over 100 works from a private collection that has never been seen in Britain before. The exhibition plots a course from Romantic artists such as Ingres, Gericault and Delacroix via the dramatic artistic transformations of Van Gogh and Cézanne, to the radical experiments in Cubism by innovators such as Picasso and Braque. Until May 7th 2017. 

Read: Venetian Chic, Assouline. Francesca Bortolotto Posait knows her way around Venice. Join her to visit artist's studios, elegant Ventian friends and palaces' secrets. To have her as a guide is to experience firsthand her affection for the private side of the mythic city whose daily visitors outnumber its population. Photographer Robyn Lea makes this book a revelation of the Venice of dreams. 

Eat: L'Antica Pizzeria, Stoke Newington. The world's best pizzeria has landed in London. The family run restaurant opened in Naples in 1870 and it is widely recognised as the city's best by the locals. 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. 

Do: Wolfgang Tillmanns, Tate Modern. From intimate still-lifes and portraits, to images that address vital political issues, explore the photographs of this Turner Prize winning and groundbreaking artist. Until 11th June 2017, Tate Modern. 

See: Hamlet, Almedia Theatre. This well-known tragedy will be directed by Robert Ick and have stunning set design by Hildegard Bechtler. Andrew Scott will take on the title role of Hamlet in the Almedia theatre's new production. Until 8th April 2017. 

From Josef Frank to Travels with Chufy: Your Culture Guide To February

Go - Do Ho Suh: Passage/s | Victoria Miro Gallery. The exhibition will feature new fabric sculptures conceived especially for the gallery, including a walk-through configuration of Hubs, and a range of work on paper. The exhibition will be the first presentation of Suh's work in London since Staircase-III was displayed as part of Tate Modern's Collection Displays in 2011. 

See - The Fashion & Textile Museum, Josef Frank Patterns, Furniture, Painting. In the first ever UK exhibition, explore the work of artist and designer Josef Frank. Don't miss the chance to see Frank's stunning designs and colourful brand of modernism. 28th January - 7th May 2017. 

Eat - Aquavit, St. James's Market. The critically acclaimed and 2 Michelin starred New York restaurant has arrived in London. Aquavit London is a fresh concept that combines signature dishes with sophisticated design, all in contemporary Nordic style. In our opinion, this stunning restaurant would be the perfect place to celebrate Valentine's Day. 

Visit - Condo 2017. Condo is back again this year with a collaborative exhibition by 36 galleries across 15 London spaces. From 14th January - 11th February 2017. (http://www.condocomplex.org

Read - Travels with Chufy, Sofïa Sanchez de Betak | Assouline. Travel and style influencer Sofía Sanchez de Betak invites readers on a journey to off-the-radar hideaways and secluded retreats where those in the know seek unforgettable experiences. From the savannahs of Kenya to the glacial bays of Iceland to the soaring mountains of Patagonia, Betak shares her favorites: settings where wildlife and adventure abound, the lines between a hotel and its surroundings are blurred, and visitors are welcomed like old friends. 

From Swing Time to Zaha Hadid's Confetti: Your Culture Guide to January

See – Australia’s Impressionists, The National Gallery. Break away from the darkness of winter for the sun-filled landscapes of the Australian Impressionists in the first UK exhibition of its kind. Until 26th March 2017.  

Visit – Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings, Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Don’t miss the chance to see the rarely seen drawings of the visionary architect Zaha Hadid. The exhibition is housed in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension that was completed by Zaha Hadid in 2013. Until 12th February.

Eat – Kricket, Soho. If you have already tried their amazing Indian small plates, you’ll be pleased to hear that Kricket is opening their second restaurant in a larger space with the same delicious food. Opens January 5th. 12 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HH. 

Read – Swing Time, Zadie Smith. Start the new year right with a great book. We seem to love everything that Zadie Smith releases, but her latest is a brilliantly written treat. 

Do – Chinese New Year. Whether you celebrate at home or in the main parade in Central London, see in the Year of the Rooster surrounded by colour, friends and dragons.

GreenModelMe: Green Lifestyle Lessons With Daniela Christiansson

Last month, the second edition of Green Fashion Week went live in Milan, Italy. In the light of the event, we discussed green living tips, climate change and the future of fashion with its founder Daniela Christiansson, also a model and ambassador of green lifestyle and beauty at www.greenmodelme.com...

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela, how did you grow interested in a more conscious, ethical lifestyle?

Being Swedish and growing up in Switzerland, I've always led a rather conscious lifestyle — as both countries take care of the environment and are healthy, it has been quite naturally a part of me. Likewise, I have always wanted to have a blog and 6 years ago I challenged my father telling him that I will set up a blog as guidance to sustainable lifestyle to influence people to change their habits and encourage them to believe that together we can cause less harm to Earth. Climate change is real and we have all the resources to fight it, we just all need to gradually change our consumption and lifestyle habits. I hope to influence as many people as possible with GreenModelMe, my team and partners. 

What are your key lifestyle tips for adapting a more mindful approach to living in this speedy world?

Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things. Our society is just pushing us to buy and consume more things, which we ultimately do not need. We are a generation that is stressed, addicted to speed, constantly rushing and many individuals lose themselves by living through a virtual world or through someone else's ideals. Also, my father always tells me to slow down. We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end. It is an ambitious way and probably one of the best ways to succeed, but not for our own good. 

Therefore, I suggest to switch off as often as possible and live in the present. Take some air, relax, do some sport, read, cook healthy and organic food and if possible, do it in a community to share and cherish those moments. Like in the old days. 

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

I am travelling often, which makes me work on my computer or phone most of the time. It is a good opportunity, but I also oblige myself to take a break and look outside the window, sleep or listen to music, when I am alone. I think it is important to share and communicate as often as possible and be less connected in virtual worlds, because these are the opportunities — in real life — where you can create the best memories, which contribute to our happiness and health. 

I would say the best approach is to enjoy the present and the simple things with what we have and not constantly keep looking for more. We can as well create a lot of different things with what we already have by reusing or mixing them, for example. We just need a little bit of creativity. 

Consume less of everything (food, clothes, everyday products). Be creative and learn to reuse! Additionally, replace many products with better quality and eco-friendly alternatives. You can get a lot of tips from GreenModelMe — on improving your health, finances and the environment. 

What are the visible benefits of leading a more conscious lifestyle? How do you preserve a balance and cope with stress?

As said above, I try to disconnect, enjoy the little moments, do some sport and relax, which definitely gives me more power short-term — a better mood, a better concentration and freshness (which is very important in my modelling career, to be relaxed and look fresh). As for the long run, it definitely contributes to my health, self-esteem and happiness. 

“Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

You are the founder of Green Fashion Week hosted in Milan last month. What do your role and this experience mean to you?

I came to this idea with my manager, the owner of Major Models Milan, Guido Dolci, after attending COP21. 

I was invited to COP21 by the UNFCCC to make their promotional video of the Climate Neutral Now Campaign in which I am a champion with my boyfriend, and where I was invited by the UEFA to assist at the SIIS (sustainable innovation in sport).

Everyone loved my idea of GFW and consequently a team was directly created to make it happen as soon as possible. The first edition took place four months later in April 2016 in Abu Dhabi, which was a beautiful success. We called it the Abu Dhabi Fashion Sustainability Experience involving Major Models and my partners of the UN to make a zero emission event.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

I am involved with various eco-friendly brands and I develop projects with companies to make the event as green as possible. Furthermore, knowing what I talk about, I represent and promote the Green Fashion Week, that is in addition to presenting it and modelling for it during the event. This project is very precious to me, I always call it my baby and I really hope to make sustainable fashion the new trend — more visible and approachable. 

“We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

You always seem to look so effortlessly flawless. What are the beauty tips you religiously follow?

1. Drink a lot of water 

2. Eat clean whenever possible 

3. Exercise

Pretty natural, right? 

Who is your 'green lifestyle' or 'green fashion' muse?

I don't have one in particular because I find that many people are an inspiration to me. The people working in the business, such as companies or designers, are the best coaches, as they have all the knowledge in the world. I love to learn in that way and I always keep myself updated with the latest news. I read articles and blogs as well, because I like to see different opinions and ideas. I also watch documentaries when I have time.

 What are your latest go-to eco beauty products you would recommend?

Thank you for asking me the latest because there are so many great ones! I am a fan of Moroccan Natural, which is an organic skincare brand. I love their Cactus Oil. I find Dr. Hauschka very good because it is a complete organic cosmetic brand with both skincare and make-up products. Their philosophy is very much concentrating on what is best for the environment and the human's health. 100% pure lipsticks are very good and I am of fan of Kure Bazaar nail polish. They cure your nails as well. 

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

What fascinates and inspires you the most about eco fashion? How to still look stylish with consuming less?

The story behind the clothes. Knowing how the garment has been made and learning about its components interests me the most, and the creativity, skills and innovation behind the garment always fascinate me. I love when the designers tell me about their values, the story of the garment and the materials they are using. We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.

I have always used the same clothes several times and created different looks by just changing the accessories, which makes it easy to style a look. I don’t see the point in buying one garment knowing that I will only use it once. I usually shop what I like and therefore, it is sad to use an item only once, no? I see that as a waste of money and resources…

“We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

There are so many amazing eco-friendly brands out there. People often think that they are not beautiful, or look too basic, but they are completely wrong! This is one of the goals of the GFW — making people aware of the amazing conscious designers and spread the message of the issues to do with fast fashion and climate change. I always love to discover new eco brands — I have a list and I’ve almost lost track of it already, because the numbers are just growing. I love it!

Sleep In Bliss: Responsbily Made Sleeping Masks by ÖÖLOOM

It’s very easy for sleep to become an insignificant, routine activity. Yet we all know that good sleep is essential for our physical well-being and sanity. I am a resident sleepyhead. So when I spotted Estonian brand Ööloom’s (literally ‘night animal’) range at the store, I was immediately in awe. A company dedicated solely to provide people with a great sleeping experience with their soft animal-shaped sleeping masks – what more could you want? To top it all off, their products are responsibly made and locally-sourced. I felt like I needed to introduce Ööloom to all the professional nappers out there. Mihkel Virkus, resident visionary and a rigorous sleeper at Ööloom, answered our most haunting questions. 

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

'Fox Girl' by Ööloom, 2016. 

'Fox Girl' by Ööloom, 2016. 

It’s not every day that we see a new brand dedicated to great and sustainable sleeping gear. What inspired you to launch a sleeping mask line? 

Quite true. You don’t see many distinct sleeping brands. I guess people tend to take sleep for granted much of the time. 

This kind of ties in with the origin story of Ööloom. The thing is, many people view sleeping as a passive act. You just close your eyes, and don’t worry about the rest of it. But the reality is that you actually go on breath-taking adventures inside your own mind. Just because you grow stronger and become rested doing it, doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing.

We think that the dream world and the human capacity for imagination should be celebrated and to that end a regular sleeping mask just won’t do. The Ööloom sleeping mask stands as an active reminder of the silliness that your brain can muster up.

Ööloom unicorn mask with packaging, 2016.  

Ööloom unicorn mask with packaging, 2016. 

Who is Ööloom?

Ööloom is a creature of the night. The friendly kind, of course. He is mysterious, but never frightening, like a hedgehog in the fog. He acts as a sort of an ambassador for the seemingly unreasonable dream-world – delivering fresh and unconventional ideas to our rational and, dare I say, dull reality. The word itself comes from the Estonian language. It loosely translates into “night owl”, a person who tends to stay up quite late. But we ourselves prefer the literal translation – “night beast”.

"The ÖÖLOOM sleeping mask stands as an active reminder of the silliness that your brain can muster up."

I love napping on couches and when I’m travelling. Where is your favourite place to nap?

Ahh yes — couches are fantastic. I’m a big fan. But I’d say it’s not about where you fall asleep that interests me the most. It’s what kind of a world you dream yourself into. I once napped into a parallel reality situated inside the imagination of a blueberry pie. It was a pretty sweet dream.

Variety of Ööloom sleeping masks, 2016. 

Variety of Ööloom sleeping masks, 2016. 

Your products are made in Estonia, using locally sourced materials. Conscious production is something we strongly care about. What is your take on it? Do you think more companies should produce ethically made products?

We at Ööloom spend a great deal of time in the subconscious or unconscious, depending on your understanding of how sleeping works. As a matter of principle, we aim to be very conscious about our actions while we are awake. 

A lot of the raw magical power of our products come from the way we make them. The sheep that provide the wool are hand-fed, the felt is hand-made from the wool and the masks are hand-sewn by a small army of lovely ladies. The love and care that is put in, reflects in the finished product.

"Many people view sleeping as a passive act. You just close your eyes, and don’t worry about the rest of it. But the reality is that you actually go on breath-taking adventures inside your own mind."

The importance of locally sourced materials for us is very much a part of the brand. It’s the cold Nordic environment that has made us, Estonians, so creative. The first Estonians that arrived here had to figure out how to build a fire on top of frozen water before they could go to bed. That’s not easy. This has made Estonians more appreciative of sleep and we believe that local materials carry that same appreciation within them.

There is definitely a trend towards more ethical ways of manufacturing. I think it has a lot to do with the ever-growing amount of information available. About the producers as well as to the consumers. It’s easier now to know where, how and by whom, the stuff is actually made. 

For us it’s a no-brainer. As a consistent brand that values happiness, we need to know that the journey of the wool from the belly of a sheep to the face of a human is a happy one as well.

Ööloom panda sleeping mask, 2016. 

Ööloom panda sleeping mask, 2016. 

You have a few endangered species featured in your line of night animals. Where did that idea stem from and will we see more in the future? 

Yes, that’s right. The “endangered species” is a category in the e-store (ooloomstore.com) for the animal sleeping masks that are no longer in active production. The reason is that we want to keep the main collection at 10 different animals, so that the already tired and sleepy person looking for a mask wouldn’t be overwhelmed by choices. We introduce new animals fairly slowly. Maybe one or two new faces a year, the most recent one being a black fox. The older ones fall out of the ‘current collection’ and remain in the ‘endangered species’ category – available only online. We just didn’t have the heart to cancel their production altogether because in our world no animal should go extinct. Imaginary or otherwise.

"It’s not about where you fall asleep that interests me the most. It’s what kind of a world you dream yourself into."

What does Ööloom dream about? 

Ööloom dreams about many things. The most common and reoccurring dream is one of total world domination. I’m not an expert in dream interpretation. But this probably reflects the ambition of the company and our own plans for total world domination – achieved not by force, but by the creative use of happiness, whimsy, and dangerously cute sleeping gear.

See more:

Ööloom sleeping masks exclusively featured in our Conscious Gift Guide.

https://ooloomstore.com