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Samuelsohn Performance Weatherproof Suits

Rain-repellent fabrics get a classic cut in the brand's new line

by David Graver in Style on 29 September 2014

Menswear, Samuelsohn, Style, Suiting, Suits, Tailoring

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Any suit-wearing individual caught in an unexpected storm or using a not-so-effective umbrella understands the discomfort of wet dress attire. Wool absorbs moisture and makes it more manageable, but wet wool also certainly carries a scent when saturated—in addition to a textural change. Heritage brand Samuelsohn offers a solution. Their new F/W 2014 Performance line of suits incorporates Loro Piana's Rain System wool, which actually repels water (not to mention stains) and deters wind. This lightweight, flexible material protects both the suit and (in turn) its wearer against the elements.

The brand keeps their classic cuts and signature style, but the fabric change truly makes their new suit performance wear. There's an artistry to this formal attire, based upon hand-stitching and luxuriant, classy flourishes—reflective of their 90+ years of history. However, the additional increased functionality, by way of an intuitive interior pocket system and even form-recognizing fibers, sets it apart. Not to mention the fact that these suits are prepared for the weather to change—as it's want to do.

Browse Samuelsohn's rain-repellent suits online, or purchase them at select retailers, with prices starting at $1,195.

Images courtesy of RO NEW YORK

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Contemporary Art at Le Méridien Chambers

Even the public bathrooms host video artwork in this highly cultural, downtown Minneapolis hotel

by Nara Shin in Travel on 29 September 2014

Minneapolis, Contemporary Art, Tracey Emin, Hotels, Interior Design, Midwest, Travel, Walker Art Center

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Some boutique hotels seem to add artwork to the lobby as an afterthought for sheer novelty. Real estate magnate Ralph Burnet (of Coldwell Banker Burnet), however, has been merging artwork and service for a unique experience since 2006, when he founded Chambers, a 60-room hotel in Minneapolis that features selections from his private art collection but also rotates through new works. Since then, it was bought by Le Méridien (which in turn, is owned by Starwood). While in town recently, we finally had the opportunity to experience Le Méridien Chambers after having it on our radar for so long, and the takeaway is this: it's a memorable stay that's just as enthralling as whatever else is on your itinerary.

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About 250 contemporary art works from Burnet's private collection are on display throughout every nook and cranny of the hotel and it almost becomes a treasure hunt-like environment. Read a newspaper under Tracey Emin's neon work "Be Faithful to Your Dreams," (1998) in the lobby den, or walk by Sam Taylor-Wood's mesmerizing seven-minute film, "The Last Century" (2006), on the way to the ATM. The mix of videos, paintings, sculptures (including two giants sculpted by Martin Honert to a realistic-looking pile of garbage bags by Gavin Turk) and more penetrate the hallways to the guest rooms, so you're in contact with art more often than not.

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It aims to break the deterring perception that art is only meant to be seen during limited hours of the day in a controlled gallery or museum environment; instead, the hotel has set up an open, inviting place for artwork to become part of your everyday routine (if only for a weekend). Furthering this idea of approachability is Clark Whittington's Art-o-Mat, a repurposed cigarette vending machine that dispenses matchbox-sized original works from local and national artists (one of many scattered throughout the country) for $5, and sits by the elevators.

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Your hotel keycard (artist-designed, no less) also functions as a free pass to Minneapolis' famed Walker Art Center, where Ralph Burnet and his wife Peggy serve on the board of trustees. (We recommend hopping on a Nice Ride bike and taking a quick seven-minute spin to the Walker through Loring Park; both the hotel and art center are in close proximity to bike stations.)

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Remnants of good times are noticeable in the luxury suite where we stayed, as the furniture and walls appear to have a few scuffs here and there, but the room was sparkling clean. Stained hardwood floors and minimalist furnishings are paired well with bright blue tiled bathrooms. One note is that because we were placed on the second floor, the room overlooked the brightly lit main drag—and we had to be conscious of pulling down the shades to maintain privacy at night. The five-story hotel is across the street from Orpheum Theatre and just a few blocks from venues like First Avenue and State Theatre.

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Food-wise, new restaurant Marin replaced the former occupant, D’Amico Kitchen, earlier this year, and brings health-conscious plates to the table. The farm-fresh menu specifies everything from calories and grams of fat to gluten-free and vegan options. Aside from its outdoor (and dog-friendly) patio in the summer, Marin also has a nicely hidden bar—called The Library—downstairs that's especially cozy during Minnesotan winters.

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The hotel does have its own gallery space, Burnet Art Gallery, which is open to the public. It typically hosts six solo exhibitions a year, the majority of which showcase local artists. During our visit, Andréa Stanislav's solo exhibition "Phase Velocity" was on view (and continues until 12 October 2014). Stuffed white birds, reflective pink cube mirrors and holographic collages featuring the female form made for a stimulating post-lunch walkthrough.

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For those planning to visit Minneapolis over the upcoming US holidays, Le Méridien Chambers is a unique hotel that reflects the city's unequivocal, collective support for the arts. Regular rooms start at $209; luxury suites start at $399.

Images by Nara Shin

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Unseen Photo Fair 2014: The Hand-Built Image

From meticulous collages to deceptive sets, five photographers' take on the time-honored art of physical photo manipulation

by Karen Day in Culture on 29 September 2014

Amsterdam, Collage, Photography, Photomontage, Unseen Photo Fair, Unseen14, Handmade

A motto we adhere to around CH HQ is that there are no new ideas, only new executions. Such is true of contemporary photo collage. The technique has been around since the early 1920s, when the Dadaists took to the medium so that they “could attack the bourgeoisie with distortions of its own communications imagery." Agendas aside, many photographers still toy with this craft-like approach, but go beyond traditional cutting and glueing. At this year's Unseen Photo Fair and in the center of town at Foam Gallery (the fair's founding organization), we saw myriad ways in which photographers manipulate the viewer through a hand-built image. Below are five standouts.

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Femke Dekkers

Dutch photographer Femke Dekkers bewilders the human eye with her sculptural compositions. Telling Unseen that she's "looking for a perfect balance between a coincidence and a staged situation," she uses everything from crayons to wallpaper and cardboard to create the sets that result in her "painted pictures." This trick in depth and perception is utterly fascinating.

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Daniel Gordon

Currently filling the entirety of Foam's upstairs sections is the laborious work of Brooklyn-based Daniel Gordon, who culls and prints images from the internet which he then assembles into an image of his own. Through meticulous layering and guileful lighting, he transforms fragmented parts into a brilliant whole.

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Lilly Lulay

In a nod to the fact that photos are—by definition—fragments of reality, German photographer Lilly Lulay collages together different images to depict a whole. Her keen understanding of color and pattern make them compositionally compelling, but her use of snippets also lures the viewer into wanting to know more about each individual cut-out piece.

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Nadine Stijns

For her exhibition of her series "A Nation Outside A Nation"—a documentation of Filipino labor migration—at Unseen, Dutch photographer Nadine Stijns layered images to "create a more tangible depiction of migrant life." While her take on the technique is quite simple, the small twist really does amplify the viewer's overall understanding of her subjects.

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Caio Reisewitz

Born in 1967, Brazilian photographer Caio Reisewitz has capturing photographs of his native land for nearly two decades. His recent move into photo collage though has only heightened the impact of his images, and his scenes of urban environments fused with pictures of Brazil's expansive rain forests really pinpoint the tribulations of economic development.

Images by Karen Day

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