16 Jul Delightful Shopping | Light
Delightful Shopping | Light
De-lightful suggestions from Portugal, Poland and Colombia to bring more light and lightness to your home and life.
WHEN AESTHETICS MEETS FUNCTIONALITY
A stained-glass wall dividing two rooms by a sliding door were conceived as a single unit by Witraze. In order for it to attain its fullest visual potential, the decoration background is minimal. Among pastel colours and simple shapes, the stained-glass wall is the only colourful element of decoration. Dancing arches on the background of vertical planes of colour instil a tropical flare into the cool and subdued elegant interior. The panels used to make both door and wall were tempered to make them last.
ORIGAMI ART-INSPIRED LAMPS
They’re called OWL Paperlamps, but they don’t stop at owls. You can also find tortoises, rabbits, penguins, elephants, parrots and whales in the collection of this Portuguese brand which is winning over the international market. Inspired by the secular Japanese art of Origami, these animal-lampshades are made of 160 grammes of the highestquality paper. There’s a palette of carefully-selected colours for each one, creating different and unique ambiances with the glow that comes out of these original figures. Whether it’s caramel, light-blue or sandy-beige, there’s a shade for every taste. The lampshades come in a DIY kit with instructions about which materials to use when putting the models together.
COLOMBIAN SWIMWEAR CONQUERING THE WORLD
It’s often out of apparently unimportant details that great ideas appear. That’s what happened to Catalina Alvarez, one of the owners of Colombian swimwear brand Agua Bendita (meaning “Holy Water”): as she looked down at a waste bin full of pieces of colourful fabrics at her father’s clothing factory, the fashion designer saw that beautiful bikinis could be made out of them. Marina Hinostroza joined her and that’s how these Made in Colombia swimsuits which are winning over the world came about. Models Bar Rafaeli, Irina Shayk and the Portuguese Sara Sampaio have already posed with Agua Bendita’s creations. Flowery, exotic and inspired in the country’s culture, there are also clothing lines for men and children. The final touches come from the skill of women who, in their homes in rural areas, add embroidery and artefacts to the original design which escape the precision of machinery. The result is a happy and kaleidoscopic swim in an Agua Bendita of colour and energy.
SALT FLOWER WITH NATURAL FLAVOURS
Salmarim salt flower comes from the salt evaporation ponds in the Castro Marim Marsh Natural Reserve, in the Faro district. In the heart of the oldest Portuguese reserve, sunlight, water and summer winds combine to bring to the surface these small pure crystals which are so enjoyed in western cuisine. Harvested using artisanal methods every day throughout the summer, which needs to be hot and dry, they dissolve on our fingers and on our taste buds, preserving the minerals offered by the Atlantic. As well as natural salt flower, the brand combines this product with other traditional aromas from Portuguese cuisine, available in four other varieties: Aromatic (with parsley and oregano), Mediterranean (with olive and chilli), Lemon (lemon and capers) and Red Pepper (red pepper, garlic and bay leaf). Each one comes with recipe suggestions by chef Henrique Mouro. While the Aromatic flavour is ideal for salads, the Mediterranean goes best with pasta and vegetable gratins.
JEWELS THAT ARE AS LIGHT AS HAPPINESS
Lilou Paris jewellery and accessories promise you moments that last forever, and as light as happiness can be. Created in 2009 by Polish Magdalena Mousson-Lestang, the brand has stores in Poland, Germany and France. Loyal fans include tennis player Agnieszka Radwańska and German actress Sibel Kekilli, best known for her role in Game of Thrones. Its pieces are timeless, soft and elegant, and each one tells a different story. Lilou charms can be customized with a personal engraving, amplifying their unique meaning. Names, special dates and messages, and even pictures – the look of your loved one, the smile of your best friend, an unforgettable landscape – bring these fine jewels a truly personal touch.
Poland tradition is still alive and well when it comes to pająki chandeliers. Believed to bring positive energy and good luck, these paper and straw mobiles decorate the homes during Christmas and Easter and are always present on special occasions, like weddings and christenings. Pająki chandeliers were listed as one of the big 2017 trends by Elle Decoration, largely due to the work of Polish designer Karolina Merska, who has exhibited her creations at festivals, both in Poland and abroad. Karolina takes inspiration from architecture and fashion and she picks the straw herself during the summer. Then, in a game of patience, over two or three days, she creates colourful chandeliers and lends an artistic and modern twist to this traditional lucky charm. To make one single pompom, she needs many tissues. These are stacked in thirty layers, and each layer forms a small tube. Karolina Merska’s chandeliers win us over with their colour, but they also surprise us by their lightness, cheerfulness and versatility, and they’re even appreciated by the little ones, who enjoy seeing them hanging in their bedroom. Success has encouraged Karolina to attempt new experiences in the challenges put before her, as is the case with the three-metrehigh, waterproof pająki, made of metal, which she designed for the London Design Festival.
Practical and comfortable, espadrilles are many people’s favourite footwear for the summer. These jute-soled shoes were born in Egypt to conquer the world, and they have one of their most acclaimed ambassadors in Colombian brand Castañer. Rafael Castañer is thought to have started this family business in 1776, although the first factory only opened in 1927. They began by making espadrilles for farmers; then, during the Spanish Civil War, they made footwear for the army; and, in the 60s, due to a drop in demand for that material and to the preference for rubber soles, they turned their attention to tourists and celebrities. But their big leap came, literally, in the 70s, when a young Yves Saint-Laurent saw the espadrilles at a market and asked them to create a line for the brand. The business may have grown, but the technique which brought the brand international fame has remained the same for a hundred years. For example, men’s footwear is still entirely sewn by hand in Bagnoles, a town in La Rioja, where 70 to 80 women, in their own homes, lend their know-how to these luxury creations. Made of canvas, denim or leather, with basic, army or nautical designs, replicating either the trainer or classic shoe format, this season’s espadrilles for men suit any look and occasion. www.castaner.com