Here at KHACHILIFE, we’re all about good design — not solely in terms of fashion or décor, but in how it applies to every area of our lives. “We believe that these principles apply not only to the aesthetics or function of our surroundings, but also to how we approach a healthy, active lifestyle” — such is the belief upon which our magazine was founded, and we endeavor to promote the art of living well by examining how good design can positively impact the cars we drive, technology we use, travels we embark upon, fitness regimens we take on, books we read, art we study, foods we eat, and so much more.
With that in mind, we’re taking an all-encompassing approach to design this month, exploring how we can surround ourselves with innovative, useful, beautiful things and experiences in order to make for a healthy and happy fall.
Inspired by the freedom of Parisian women, the folly of his artist friends, and by his era, Marcel Rochas did not invent a single signature piece, but over the years and decades he created a unique vision of femininity. His vision was a style that is comfortable, pleasant to wear, and sumptuous to behold — true femininity that women love, and femininity that makes them feel beautiful. That femininity has always been apparent in his designs, be it in a smart-casual tennis dress (1929); a black sheath dress with graphic white trim (1931); an Egyptian-inspired silhouette with wide shoulders, narrow hips, and a high waist (1932); or a dress strewn with birds (1934). It could even be found in a stunning gypsy-style dress made of multi-coloured muslin or an inimitable mermaid version (1946). Each garment is always underpinned by the essential Rochas values: a bold spirit, joie de vivre, and elegance.
Mixed reality is the next generation of tech, and Microsoft is marking itself as one of the leaders in this competitive new space. HoloLens, designed to be worn like ultra-futuristic goggles, transforms one’s surroundings into a blended environment through holograms. These holograms are responsive, allowing the wearer to interact with and work with content and information. The device is controlled by natural and sensual interface commands like gaze, gesture, and voice, and is a complete game changer when it comes to user interaction; perhaps it won’t be too long before buttons, keys, and screens become a thing of the past. Interested in diving into this latest breakthrough in well-designed tech? The HoloLens is available as either a Commercial Suite ($5000 USD) or a Development Edition ($3000) — or, if you’re curious but not quite ready to commit (or wish to make use of the technology for a pop-up or event), the device is also available for rent.
Poul Henningsen was a man of many talents; the Danish designer made significant contributions to the design world, especially when it came to lighting, but he was also an author, critic, and architect. Henningsen was an iconic public figure; he was a cultural leader in Denmark between the World Wars, and was notably outspoken against the Nazis — according to Design Milk, his public criticism forced him to flee to Sweden in a rowing boat. He was so iconic, in fact, that he, and many of his designs, were simply referred to by his initials: PH. The PH Lamp was notable for its multiple concentric shades, designed to eliminate visual glare from a naked bulb, instead providing light that had been diffused by reflection. Today these lamps are still in production, and what better way to celebrate good design in the home than with the addition of a product that changed the field of lighting forever?
Heat is both the beautifier and bane of hair — it affords us those voluminous, glossy curls and sleek, straight manes, but it can also do serious damage. Dyson’s Airwrap styler is the company’s answer to achieving impeccable styling without the use of extreme heat. Powered by a digital motor, this tool uses an aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Coanda effect; when air is propelled at a certain speed and pressure, it will naturally follow an adjacent surface, and the Airwrap creates a spinning vortex around the barrel. Hair is naturally attracted and wrapped within the vortex, and the hydrogen bonds that hold its shape are repositioned and reformed. This is one seriously high-tech update to the rollers and pin curls of days gone by — and your tresses will be oh-so-healthy and grateful for it.
Few luxury carmakers are as synonymous with good design as Aston Martin. Not content with simply being the flavour of James Bond, the company produces a bespoke collection called Q. This unique personalization service allows a client to have a direct hand in the design details of the vehicle, with options ranging from exclusive trim to decked-out enhancements at the specification stage. Even more bespoke is the Commission option, allowing clients to collaborate directly with the Aston Martin design team to create one-of-a-kind interior and exterior surface details. Current models envisioned by the brand are a Red Bull Racing Edition, inspired by Red Bull Racing’s distinctive race livery, and the Henley Royal Regatta, with an interior that strategically inverses the exterior colours.
Toronto is no stranger to “Best Of” lists; it’s been named one of the twenty greatest cities in the world in which to live, the best city in the world, the world’s 5th best city for millennials, and so on. One of the elements that consistently puts Toronto a notch above the rest is its killer design scene; when it comes to the worlds of architecture, technology, graphic design, restaurants, arts and culture, urban planning, and more, the vast multicultural city sits on the cutting edge. Toronto was recently ranked by LUXOS as one of the world’s most design-savvy cities, with the publication citing the development of a new “Smart City” by Alphabet’s urban innovation unit, Sidewalk Labs. A new waterfront neighbourhood, it will house both residential and commercial developments, with family-friendly initiatives and a rich work/play area for the leaders of the city’s tech innovation industry.
Finally, there is no all-encompassing design experience quite like fine dining; everything from the exterior/interior design to plating and presentation plays a key role in the perfect foodie experience. The French Laundry was founded by Chef Thomas Keller, who envisioned a destination for fine French cuisine in the Napa Valley. Located in a two-story, renovated 1900 saloon that was originally built from river rock and timbers, the restaurant has received three Michelin stars (the highest possible rating) for the past twelve years. When it comes to the cuisine, Keller has established relationships with the finest purveyors, farmers, and foragers to ensure that ingredients are top quality. And in each of the two daily tasting menus, no ingredient is repeated. “We serve a series of small courses meant to excite your mind, satisfy your appetite, and pique your curiosity,” the restaurant promises. “We want you to say, ‘I wish I had just one more bite of that.’ And then the next plate arrives and the same thing happens, but in a different way…a whole new flavour, feel, and emotion.” Bon appetite indeed!
There’s a very fine art to cocktail design — and perhaps nowhere is this more recognized and celebrated than Barchef. Located in Toronto on the endlessly trendy Queen West strip, this elite cocktail bar is known for producing some of the most creative cocktails anywhere; Food and Wine Magazine named it one of the “top seven new and innovative bars in the world.” Co-owner and cocktail maven Frankie Solarik, whose work has received international acclaim and earned him features with The New York Times, CNN, and a guest judge spot on Top Chef Canada, creates tantalizing cocktails that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. “Artistically,” he says, “I strive to create an experience involving all the senses: a visceral and emotional journey of taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight.” His cocktails make use of a broad spectrum of ingredients; truffle snow, spruce and chartreuse espuma, beach essence, and green cardamom cream are a just a few of the tantalizing options on the menu. Perhaps what Barchef is best known for is its Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan; once the drink is prepared, it is placed on a bed of hickory and smoked under a bell jar, producing a taste and experience that will stay with you for years to come.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel is responsible for some seriously iconic structures around the world; the Philharmonie of Paris, France; the Louvre Abu Dhabi; Agbar Tower in Barcelona. Les Bains des Docks is located in Le Havre, France, a port town with an evolving waterfront. Architecturally, the exterior of these public baths was designed to add density to the waterfront in the form of a hollow mass. Les Bains des Docks house the perfect trinity of fitness and relaxation: a heated outdoor Olympic-sized pool, an indoor/outdoor leisure pool, and a spa centre. The design of the pools takes its cue from the formation of natural rock pools and lagoons, and in winter, the outdoor pools are accessible via hot water channels. Inside, atriums are filled with lush vegetation, water, and natural lighting that filters in from above. After a swim or day at the spa, guests can enjoy a meal in the upstairs cafeteria.
Located in the Kaarti section of central Helsinki, this internationally recognized museum celebrates Finnish design — and given that Scandinavia is an absolute hotbed of exciting and innovative design, this museum is a must-visit for the savvy traveller. The museum operates under the belief that the core purpose of design is to build a better life — one that is more beautiful, more functional, and more appropriate to its purpose. Peruse the exhibitions and get your fill of Nordic functionalism and sustainable design; the permanent collection is comprised of 75,000 objects, 45,000 drawings, 125,000 photographs, and a registry of 1,000 designers, so there’s a plethora to experience. This October, don’t miss a special exhibition called Utopia Now — The Story of Finnish Design. Having opened in February 2017 in honour of the anniversary of Finnish independence, the exhibition presents a history of Finnish design through living stories. Travelling to Helsinki at a later date? Don’t worry — fortunately, this exhibition is scheduled to run until 2020!