Aesop Brighton

The new Aesop store in Brighton is a lesson in seaside bliss

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

The trend for wellness in interior design is growing. The bolstering effect of a wisely chosen colour can be as soul-feeding as being outside in the open air. Imagine a yellow front door intended to energise and uplift, or a chalky deep purple in a hallway, the painterly equivalent of a warm and welcoming hug… Colour is key to luring buyers and going green is one of the most enticing tips when it comes to inducing calm.

Transporting the serenity of the seaside to home decor, minus any nautical tropes, luxury plant-based Australian skin and haircare brand Aesop has gone head-to-toe verdigris for the palette of its new Brighton store. In the North Laine quarter, it’s the first for the coastal resort and one of only a few UK boutiques outside London. Conjuring up wistful memories of childhood holidays and a simpler life, the blue-green interior echoes the oxidised railings of the city’s seashore with its idyllic Victoriana, backdropped by cloudy skies and an opaque sea.

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As with each of the distinctive global Aesop concept stores – often created in collaboration with outside designers, but here delivered by the in-house team – the decor is simple. In one room, a scrubbed farmhouse table has rush seating placed around it, while in another area, porcelain sinks for product sampling add to the domestic scene. Elsewhere, the space is kept empty, save for vintage botanical prints or artfully stacked decorative bookshelves.

At a time when maximalism is dominating many design stories, Aesop makes an eternal case for the beauty of minimal design. Inherently chic, this blissful interior proves that decorating simply is something to aspire to – as is having a display of Aesop products adorning your bathroom shelf!
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Aesop Brighton 104-105 Gloucester Road, Brighton, UK

Ostens: Scents and Sensibility

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New scent brand Ostens is channelling the sensory power of fragrance with a vibrant, immersive installation in London

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

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New fragrance brand Ostens wants to change the way we think about scent. The idea is to harness emotions – through the use of single note-inspired scents – and visualize them in terms of colour. Abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky believed that colour is a power that directly influences the soul. Ostens is clearly on the same page.

The conceptual label is currently showcasing its first set of fragrances in a gallery-like space at London’s 62 Blandford Street in Marylebone, debuting with a pink neon-lit, rose-inspired installation designed by Ostens’ Creative Director Mark Wilkie. The sensory experience will constantly evolve with a fresh installation every couple of months to showcase individual perfumes. This is about encountering perfume not through typical advertising but instead by taking in the atmosphere directly and following your nose for yourself.

ABOVE: An eye-popping luminescent pink display in London’s Marylebone showcasing ’Rose OiI Isparta’ from Ostens’ debut fragrance collection
RIGHT: Ostens co-founders Laurent Delafon and Chris Yu outside the Blandford Street store
BELOW: ’Rose Oil Isparta’ eau de parfum, £145 for 50ml; ’Patchouli Heart’ eau de parfum, £85 for 50ml; ’Cedarwood Heart’ fragrance oil, £35 for 9ml

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Ostens is masterminded by two fragrance experts, Laurent Delafon and Chris Yu, who worked with some of the most talented perfumers at International Flavors & Fragrances to craft their new unisex scent collections, launched this December. Creative inspiration came from championing exceptional hero ingredients from Laboratoire Monique Rémy – a world-leading supplier of natural ingredients to the perfume industry, now owned by IFF. The result? Tantalising perfumes designed as an ode to a single note, such as ‘Patchouli Heart No. 1’ by perfumer Domitille Michalon Bertier and ‘Rose Oil Isparta’ by Dominique Ropion. Préparations (perfume oils) intensify and carry the key ingredients, while Impressions (eau de parfum) use the hero elements as a jumping-off point.

Combining perfume with colour and art, Laurent and Chris have taken the olfactive compositions even further by developing a visual language for each of the hero notes, making the invisible visible through the use of colour combinations to evoke emotions generated by the distinctive scents. 
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Ostens offers five Préparations (fragrance oils), from £35 for 9ml, and six Impressions (eau de parfum), from £85 for 50ml. Discover Ostens in residence at 62 Blandford Street, London W1; see website for opening hours.

Goop London Pop-Up

Goop brings its Californian-inspired beauty, fashion and homewares collection to the UK with its debut London pop-up store, a blend of British craftsmanship and West Coast chill

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has opened in its first UK pop-up store – in London’s Westbourne Grove – and we’re already feeling enriched.

Combining retail therapy with their open-minded and holistic approach to wellbeing as a lifestyle, it is far from wacky and a brilliant new destination for anyone interested in Californian-vibe beauty and style.

Expect a chic, curated collection of Goop’s own-line products, including luxurious, high-performance skincare drawing on organic ingredients, Italian-made limited edition clothing, and pretty plates and glassware by brands such as Mud Australia, Nude Glass and CB2. The understated homewares range features tempting cushions, throws, tableware and kitchen kit.

You’ll also fall for the light-filled, nature-inspired surrounds created by London-based interior designer Fran Hickman. Her vision for the store references the Zen-influenced monochrome paintings of Yves Klein and early physic gardens devoted to the study of restorative plants. Fran worked with local design talents to bring the space to life – Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart for planting, Pinch for furniture and beauty displays, Nest Design for the electric-blue curtains in the dressing area, and Vitsoe for its iconic shelving systems. Architectural salvage firm Retrouvius supplied a vintage museum cabinet.

ABOVE: The entrance to Goop’s London pop-up shop is filled with plant displays by Nikki Tibbles.
ABOVE RIGHT: Goop’s own-line detoxifying salt bath soak G.Tox. £30 for 680gm

ABOVE: A deep blue colour scheme channels the ocean on the basement fashion floor; industrial chipboard delivers an inexpensive yet effective display system in the homewares section, flanked by sunny gold paint; Pinch’s smart red ‘Joyce’ cabinet and ‘Clyde’ side table with stripped floorboards and tile details; the ‘Imo’ bench by Pinch in a restful foliage- and light-filled space at the front of the store

Goop celebrates its 10-year anniversary with this London outpost – slated to stay open until 27 January 2019 – setting the stage for further international boutiques. Goop fans in search of their simple yet elegant contemporary pieces can also shop online.
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Goop, 188 Westbourne Grove, London W11

Aesop – London and Melbourne

With a new beauty parlour at each end of the London to Melbourne route, Aesop has just ticked all our boxes...

BY AMY BRADFORD AND SOPHIE DAVIES

Bloomsbury is the setting for another London outpost of Australian skin care brand Aesop, in an elegant store by local design studio JamesPlumb. The duo took inspiration from the location on Lamb’s Conduit Street – the site of a 16th-century conduit to convey water to city dwellers from nearby springs – when creating the interior, which includes two water features. The first is a stream running through a wall of copper shelving; the second a sculptural installation in which water drops from a copper ‘quill’ pipe into a vessel below. The space also features a garden room and outdoor area, reclaimed Staffordshire quarry tiles on the floor and a moody colour scheme influenced by the paintings of Bloomsbury Group heroine Dora Carrington.

ABOVE: Thin pipes convey water between oxidised copper shelves at Aesop Lamb's Conduit Street
ABOVE RIGHT: Reclaimed tiles and plants create a garden feel
RIGHT: Bespoke copper taps and sinks contrast with a dark palette; water drips from a sculptural pipe 'quill' into a shiny reservoir below

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ABOVE FROM TOP: A bold feature wall of 1,550 cardboard sheets creates a curvy cocoon at Melbourne's Aesop Flinders Lane

Meanwhile in Melbourne, Aesop's in-house Design Department has reintroduced its iconic Flinders Lane store on one of the city's hippest strips. Designed in 2007 by Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux of Melbourne's March Studio, the cardboard-clad space was originally created in just five days as a temporary installation. Rebooted after inevitable wear and tear, it now features a tactile, sinuous wall of reclaimed industrial cardboard on one side, reminiscent of a cave or Uluru's rocky outcrop. Intended to evolve with age, it's contrasted with a darker palette in the rest of the shop, with a restrained balance of concrete, lacquered oak and blackened steel. Continuing its habit of collaborating with local design studios, Aesop recently opened boutiques in Berlin, TorontoFrankfurtParisNottingham, Fukuoka, Hamburg and Los Angeles, as well as a new store on East London's Broadway Market. Inspired? Check out our earlier stories on Aesop's Richmond and Berlin Mitte branches.
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Aesop Lamb's Conduit Street, 50 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1, UK
Aesop Flinders Lane, Shop 1C, 268 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000, Australia

Aesop Richmond

Georgian grandeur gets a 21st-century update at Aesop's new Richmond store, all in the pursuit of beauty

BY AMY BRADFORD

They’re all completely different, but Aussie beauty brand Aesop’s stores are always modern and inspiring. The latest, Aesop Richmond, is located in a sensitively restored Georgian townhouse in south-west London, which was stripped back to its original features by the in-house design team before being embellished with Turkish rugs and blue paints by heritage Brit brand Sanderson.

Taking pride of place in the shop's centre is a huge antique fish-scaling sink, which now serves as a basin for cleansing hands after you’ve tried out a product or three. Raw floorboards, a vintage fireplace and ample windows are testaments to the building's great bones; a sleek circular mirror adds contemporary style. Plans are afoot for a café/event space and treatment rooms upstairs, too. See you in the queue!
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ABOVE AND BELOW: Soothing aquatic blues create a sense of calm in the light-filled showroom. The minimal seating and neatly arranged product displays almost become a backdrop to the space itself, which is relaxed and welcoming

Aesop, 19 King Street, Richmond, London TW9