MARCH 2013 - The General Aesthete

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Spacecraft Models by Papafoxtrot

Founded by London-based designers Postlerferguson, in collaboration with manufacturing consultancy ADDA, in Hong Kong, Papafoxtrot designs and produces models of classic engineering that are certainly above “toy” classification.

From their first collection of mini cargo ships, to their most recent, devoted to iconic unmanned spacecraft, Papafoxtrot’s designs, the designers say, are for “everyone who ever sighed at a container ship or swooned over a satellite.” Using materials like maple and stainless steel, the models are beautifully crafted, an aesthetic that extends to their refined packaging, wherein the model’s body is carefully suspended, as well as illustrated and described.

Above: Spektr-R (the model being just under 5″ x 5″), described by Papafoxtrot:  ”Upon reaching orbit, the Russian radio telescope Spektr-R’s antenna will unfold its 27 carbon fibre petals to reach a diameter of 10 meters. Once operational, however, its effective diameter will be larger than the Earth by cooperating with ground-based stations to form a virtual super-telescope. The effective resolution will be more than a thousand times that of the Hubble, allowing scientists to peer into the hearts of black holes and making it well worth the more than twenty years the project has taken.”

$32, available directly from Papafoxtrot, also at A+R Store

Martone Cycling Co.

While most modern bicycle manufacturers go for sporty and flashy themes, or the illusion of quality under a hip facade, Lorenzo Martone’s recently launched Martone Cycling Co. takes a design-driven approach to the bike, whereby style and quality meet in the middle. Intended for city use, the bicycles employ an automatically-adjusting gear system, meaning no ugly cables. For your carrying needs, Martone has incorporated a far-from-provincial basket at the front. The minimal designs are made even more chic by the monochromatic colour options of the first collection.

Above: Men’s Mercer, $899 at Martone Cycling Co.

Photo: Martone Cycling Co.

Nightscape by Ulrich Lang

When Ulrich Lang set out to create Nightscape, his direction was clear: the strength of patchouli, but not the patchouli you know and are afraid of. Nightscape is not a fragrance that could be classified as “hippy,” or even very earthy, for that matter; the potency works in another direction, one that reads as herbal and heavy-hitting, but not in-your-face.

Many fail to realize that though a common, recognizable, and often discounted note, patchouli, done correctly, can be extremely elegant. One example is Chanel’s Coromandel, by Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake: an incensey oriental that opens with bitter orange and develops into a sensual, rich warmth. And those who have had the pleasure of being in a room fragranced by Diptyque’s patchouli candle know that the smell is familiar, but new in all the right ways.

The thing Lang does beautifully with Nightscape’s composition is avoid the expected. The formula does not deliver a vanillic, overly sweet, or even terribly warm message. It has a crisp, green opening, that then clouds up and lands in a carnal and suggestive place, a sort of comfortable minimalism. A heart note of jasmine lends grace, while geranium and leather balance the unisex wearability. Though the sillage is not incredible, Nightscape’s message is best left close to the skin, all the better to hypnotize with.

When interpreting his fragrance visually, Lang asked photographer Matt Licari to hit the streets of New York, carrying a small lab sample of Nightscape for inspiration. The result, featured on the bottle’s box, is a glittering image of the city that is both modern and decidedly classic: a smart representation of Nightscape’s narrative.

$110, available directly from Ulrich Lang, or at Barneys New York

Otto Fan by Stadler Form

With warmer seasons around the corner, having a good fan to keep air circulating and cool your home is important. Unless you’re willing to venture into the industrial market, it is very hard to find a home fan that is beautifully designed, not a mess of poor quality materials, and most importantly, effective.

After searching, and trying a few of the more minimally designed fans out there, I’ve finally landed on Stadler Form, a company with a mission of making home appliances not only of highest quality, but attractive.

Stadler’s Otto fan, by renowned Swiss designer Carlo Borer, is my favorite. Otto’s body, constructed of formed African sapele wood (also available in bamboo), works with high-grade steel for a look that is both Danish Modern and industrial-inspired. The straightforward design is validated by the fan’s heavy weight of over 9 lbs, which speaks to the build and material quality. With three speed settings, Otto can produce a subtle breeze, or at its highest, a real gale.

$200, available at Stadler Form

Design Class: BMW E9 Coupe

The BMW E9 (the body style for the BMW 3.0CS/i/L, 2800CS, and the 2500CS) was a two-door coupe produced for BMW by Karmann from 1968 to 1975. Undeniably elegant in styling, the E9 platform also became a very successful racing car, notably in the European Touring Car Championship and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, this fact helped establish BMW’s reputation as a sporty driver’s car. Approximately 30,000 E9s were produced over the entire production run, and US cars came through importer Max Hoffman, as there was no BMW North America at that time.

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Vipp Table

Consistently growing their collection, Vipp has made a big move with the release of the Vipp table. The table’s frame is constructed of  powder-coated aluminum and a steel wire stabilizer that support a table top made from untreated, recycled teak planks, making each table unique. The industrial profile is balanced by the natural top, which will patinate with use and time, as teak is known for doing so beautifully. Again, Vipp finds the perfect meeting point for design and utilitarian function.

$3550, available at Vipp Copenhagen