The T Record: 5 Issues We Suggest This Week
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A design-oriented guest house in Athens
Athens is an unconventionally beautiful city with a rich history and world-class art scene, but in the many summers I’ve traversed en route to the Greek islands I’ve always hesitated to sacrifice beach time for a decent stay there. However, with the opening of Esperinos, a new vacation home in the Philopappos Hill neighborhood bordering the Acropolis, the standards have changed for me. Originally built in the 1930s, the property was empty 30 years and was on the verge of collapse when its owners invited Stamos Michael – one of the most important up-and-coming furniture and interior designers in Greece – to imagine it as a one-room apartment. He created a space that cleverly blends the past and present, combining his own furniture and lighting with classic Cycladic architectural elements Vintage Athenian clay tiles and window sills salvaged from a monastery on the island of Tinos. The color-blocked walls also offer a (shoppable) selection of local contemporary art, which speaks to Esperino’s bigger goal: to experience the current cultural renaissance of Athens in a more immersive way, almost like sleeping in a gallery. It’s far more interesting than your average design hotel and an accessible portal to a destination worth exploring in a real way. From $ 189 per night, available April through November; esperinos.com.
Le Monde Beryl celebrates two new launches
Le Monde Beryl, the London-based shoe brand known for their handcrafted (and incredibly comfortable) gondolier-style slippers made from velvet and silk, is launching a new jewelry collection this week. Founders Lily Atherton Hanbury and Katya Shyfrin, both trained gemologists, have made Georgian-style ear warmers, chokers, bracelets and cruciform earrings from oxidized silver and 18-carat gold with precious and semi-precious stones such as amethysts. Garnets, freshwater pearls and rose-cut diamonds – all made by artisans in London and India. There are also chain necklaces with dangling cross pendants made from a special blackened galvanized steel from Germany. “These pieces are designed to have multiple lifetimes – something we certainly wanted to reflect in the quality of the jewelry, but not in the cost,” said Hanbury. The couple also sourced a tiger-print velvet from the 145-year-old Venetian textile house Luigi Bevilacqua to adorn their original Friulian slipper and almond-toed mule, as well as a new flat and shoulder bag from Mary Jane (which will be) from next month be available). From $ 95; itronedeberyl.com.
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Lynda Benglis’ groundbreaking early work
It might be strange to use the word “underrated” to describe an artist as famous as Lynda Benglis, whose work is in the collections of most major American museums, but it’s not a bad nickname for her either. Still best known for a series of ads she created on the Artforum magazine pages in the 1970s. One of them contained a picture of the artist wearing only white-rimmed sunglasses swinging a giant dildo – Benglis is one of the most interesting and groundbreaking sculptors of the past 50 years. A new exhibition with Ortuzar Projects and Cheim & Read looks at their early results from 1967 to 1979, when their work in sculpture was no less radical and influential than what Jackson Pollock had done Painting about 20 years earlier. She expanded the basic definitions of her medium through seemingly impossible feats, such as in “Bravo” (1973-74), which looks like John Chamberlain’s crushed metal, but is actually an aluminum wire structure wrapped in plaster of paris canvas and sprayed with aerosolized Metals, in this case a combination of zinc, bronze, and copper, hung on the wall like a painting. Their work picked up the almost philosophical interest in which minimalists like Robert Morris and Donald Judd were interested traditional materials but added bold color and texture to the mix. She was a minimalist willing to play disco and I would bring her over Judd any day of the week. “Lynda Benglis: Early Work 1967-1979” runs through December 3rd at Ortuzar Projects, 9 White Street, New York City. Cheim & Read, 23 East 67th Street, New York City; and Ortuzar Viewing Room, 23 East 67th Street, New York City; ortuzarprojects.com and cheimread.com.
Playful furniture inspired by Italian pastries
Semi-Italian sisters Victoria and Emily Ceraudo, who grew up in Cambridge, England, fondly remember trips to a nearby Italian deli to buy their Nonna Pastries such as sfogliatelle, cannoli and bomboloni. The London-based duo, who founded the interior and antiques company Ceraudo in 2016, pays tribute to these classic sweet treats with their irreverent new in-house fabric series. The two designs in the Dolce collection – the playfully spotted Dolce Dots and the large-format Cosmos Check – are available in shades that come straight from the shelves of a traditional pasticceria, including panna cotta, a rich cream; Parma Violet, a sugary, faded lilac; and the red-clay biscotti. The textiles appear on pillows, fabric and wallpaper and can be selected for Ceraudo’s range of customizable upholstered furniture, including cocktail chairs, footstools, armchairs and stools. For the sisters with a background in fashion and architecture, there was no more appropriate place to photograph the collection than the Italian delicatessen Lina Stores, a landmark of London’s Soho filled with hanging sausages, fresh mozzarella and of course, candy. “The crowded shelves and fun colors – we’ve always loved it,” said Victoria. “It’s the kind of place you step into and sip espresso for hours and eat a pastry like they do all day in Italy.” ceraudo.com.
Affordable fine jewelry that pays tribute to cities
A few years ago, Noura Sakkijha, who comes from a family of jewelry stores, felt that something was missing when it came to buying jewelry for yourself. Too many brands were still using the traditional marketing strategy of encouraging men to buy Exorbitant Balls for women rather than targeting people who are interested in buying fine jewelry for themselves. In 2015 she founded the direct customer company Mejuri, which offers a range of rings, necklaces, bracelets and other items, among other things reasonable prices and publishes new designs every week. This, along with the brand’s discreet packaging and the use of ethically sourced diamonds, has made Mejuri a success with younger women and men. “It was very important to me to deal ethically with our diamonds. I am very proud of that,” 35-year-old Sakkijha recently told me about Zoom. This week, Mejuri is launching a new ring as part of a limited series – with stars cut into the thick gold band and embedded with small diamonds – inspired by a popular style in the brand’s evergreen collection, the Dôme ring, as as well as the city of Los Angeles. Last month, a Dôme ring hit the market in tribute to New York’s Chrysler Building with stacked scallops. More rings, each dedicated to a different American city, will be released in the coming months. Mejuri’s jewelry feels tasteful and reserved for those of us who want to adorn ourselves thoughtfully, but without too much fanfare. From $ 475; mejuri.com.