Frette x Dimorestudio

London's Mayfair has just had an injection of modern Italian style at the new Frette store in South Audley Street. The Fizz says molto bene!


Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran of Milanese design studio Dimorestudio have brought the glamour and sophistication of a sleek Italian palazzo to the new Frette store in London’s Mayfair.

Opulent materials such as Marquina marble, emerald green glass and brushed brass create a stylish space to showcase Frette’s new Autumn Winter collections of luxury bed, bath and table linens, and nightwear. We’re particularly loving the beautiful duck egg blue walls, the colour-zoned floors and the elegant illuminated stairwell which features black glazed metal set on opal white glass. If you feel the need to take a pew, classic designs including Gerrit Rietveld's 'Utrecht' armchair and Charlotte Perriand's 'LC7' chair for Cassina are dotted around too. 

ABOVE: Glossy dark blue cabinets with brushed brass handles, full height sliding panels and clever lighting are just some of the luxe details in Frette's new London showroom
BELOW: Black marble and polished concrete is used to great effect. We love the change of colour in the floors to mark out different zones 

ABOVE: Incorporating emerald green and opal white glass, black metal, concrete and steel, the illuminated stairwell is a masterful mix of materials 

To mark the opening of the new Mayfair boutique, Brit designer Ashley Hicks has collaborated with Frette on a new range of embroidered geometric bed linen that will be exclusive to the store and available online in the UK. If you’re in the market for something more bespoke, head down to the lower ground floor where you can add your own touches to any item from Frette’s collections. 

Dimorestudio has pulled out all the design stops here, so much so that we just want to bed down and snuggle up for the night. Zzz...

Serpentine Pavilion 2015: the ultimate Instagram playground

Love it or hate it, this year's Serpentine Pavilion sure knows how to party...


Like Marmite or Madonna, this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is a vote splitter. Designed by Spanish architectural duo SelgasCano to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the London gallery's renowned annual pavilion commissions, its cocoon-like maze of psychedelic colour and playful slug-shaped plastic tentacles were bound to divide critics. Gravitas is ditched for a rainbow riot. Sleek sophistication for a trippy pleasuredome that feels low-tech, temporary and like a prototype work in progress (the pair see it as exploratory research for a future building).

As the launch shindig proved though, José Selgas and Lucia Cano's alien abode is quite the party pavilion. Exploring its tactile, translucent tubes, and peering out through its colour-changing plastic panels, broken up by breathtaking 'windows' to the park and sky, is fascinating and fun. And while some have been underwhelmed by its architectural construction of woven strips and scaffolding, and rough-and-ready finish ('like waking up with a hangover in a tent'), it's nothing if not photogenic. Visitors agree this is the ultimate Instagram pavilion, perfect for clicking, sharing and liking.

ABOVE: A café and events hub forms the core of SelgasCano's colourful Serpentine Pavilion, which combines clear and opaque walls 
ABOVE RIGHT: Its double-layered plastic skin wraps over steel arches
BELOW: Visitors enter via various portals and peek out through openings to interact with nature; at night the pavilion resembles a sexy spaceship

Being inside the pavilion is key to understanding its alternative appeal. 'The spatial qualities only unfold when immersed within it,' says SelgasCano. The pair 'sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, colour and materials.'  These varying effects are created by wrapping a double-layered shell of flourine-based plastic (EFTE) in different hues over an amorphous, polygonal frame, with four tunnels formed from metal arches. Some sections are opaque, others translucent, with stained-glass-esque hues and reflections changing as you wander through, and the odd secret entrance to keep you guessing. 

SelgasCano is no stranger to colour, having designed the vibrant Merida Factory Youth Movement skatepark in Spain and orange creative workspace Second Home in London. This pavilion marks a bold change from recent paler offerings, including last year's rock-like cave by Smiljan Radic, Sou Fujimoto's ethereal white edifice (2013), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai WeiWei's sunken pool pod (2012) and Peter Zumthor's serene black courtyard garden (2011) – the last bright outing was Jean Nouvel's all-red pavilion in 2010. What's more, 2015's party pad really comes alive at night, glowing with good vibes. So throw architectural restraint to the wind and discover an iridescent Instagramable idyll.

The Serpentine Pavilion is open daily, 10am-6pm, until 18 October 2015 at the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2. Photos by Iwan Baan, NAARO and Jim Stephenson