Alaïa’s London Flagship Doubles As a Gallery, and Other News

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Thomas Ruff portraits at Alaïa’s newly opened store on New Bond Street in London. Image courtesy of Alaïa

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Alaïa’s London Flagship Doubles As a Gallery

Azzedine Alaïa was an avid art lover whose nonpareil talents in sculpting cloth earned the late couturier an avid following of high-profile power women and an enduring moniker: the king of cling. Honoring his predecessor’s vision has been key for Pieter Mulier, the Belgian talent who took the label’s helm in 2021 and recently unveiled an art-filled new flagship in London. Beyond offering figure-flattering knit dresses and goddess gowns, the store doubles as a gallery meticulously curated by Mulier. Marc Newson lamps warm up the concrete floor; a medley of chairs by Gerrit Rietveld, Franco Albini, and Gio Ponti lend dynamism, as do a Steven Shearer collage and painting by Sterling Ruby. Ascend a spiral staircase for the ultimate homage: an industrial kitchen that mimics Alaïa’s own in Paris, where his closest friends would gather in glee.

“Public Pool” by Cj Hendry. Images courtesy of Cj Hendry

Cj Hendry recreates the magic of Las Vegas pool parties with an installation in the desert.

Over the weekend, the New York artist Cj Hendry transformed the Nevada desert with Public Pool, a vibrant installation inspired by the spirit of Las Vegas pool parties. Featuring a massive inflatable pool and whimsical flower-shaped floaties, the spectacle invited visitors to immerse themselves in a celebration of Las Vegas extravagance, reflecting Hendry’s playfully engaging artistic style that previously yielded a vast indoor playground for adults in Brooklyn.

Costs to repair the Eiffel Tower are spiraling, prompting construction workers to strike. 

The Eiffel Tower is at the center of controversy due to neglect. Unions and the government are accusing the city of Paris of inadequate maintenance, threatening strikes during the upcoming Olympic Games. Despite promises of investment from the company managing the site, tensions persist over funding, with concerns extending to security issues and calls for its classification as a historical monument for enhanced protection.

The Line. Image courtesy of Neom

Saudi Arabia drastically scales back the ambition for The Line, Neom’s giant linear city. 

Officials for Saudi Arabia’s massive Neom megadevelopment have announced that The Line—a planned 105-mile-long linear city—will allegedly only house up to 300,000 people by 2030, as reported by Bloomberg. The number marks a significant reduction from the initial goal of 1.5 million. Despite scaling back due to financial uncertainties, officials remain committed to the $1.5 trillion project, although now only 1.5 miles are expected to be completed by 2030.

According to a new report, Yayoi Kusama was last year’s top-selling contemporary artist.

According to a new report by specialty insurer Hiscox and market research firm ArtTactic, Yayoi Kusama has been named the top-selling contemporary artist of 2023. The Japanese artist amassed $80.9 million in auction sales, largely driven by strong demand in Asia and propelled by her retrospective at Hong Kong’s M+ Museum. Despite an overall dip in art sales, auctions have witnessed a rise in works by female artists, with exhibitions like the Yoko Ono retrospective at Tate Modern and MoMA’s Leslie Thornton show expected to sustain this momentum.

The cost of a Québec City museum’s Jean-Paul Riopelle pavilion has nearly doubled.

The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ) is starting construction on the Espace Riopelle, a new addition to its campus in Québec City honoring the renowned artist Jean Paul Riopelle, but the project’s cost has almost doubled since its initial announcement. The museum expects the pavilion, marked by rising geometric volumes and a circular room showcasing Riopelle’s masterpiece, to be inaugurated in 2026, supported by increased contributions from various government and foundation sources.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions/

Today’s attractive distractions:

The comic book that featured Superman’s first-ever appearance sells for $6 million.

Typing with capital letters can be viewed as a rite of passage, but holdouts remain.

There aren’t nearly as many 24-hour dining options in America as there once were.

The Instagram-friendly tradition of afternoon tea leads cafes to update their spreads.

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