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RAW MAGAZINE ISSUE N°1

AUTUMN/WINTER 2009

DENNIS HOPPER R AW NIGHTS MATERIAL WORLD G-STAR’S LONDON MARC NEWSON ELWOOD ANNIVERSARY HYPNOTIC BR ASS ENSEMBLE BENICIO DEL TORO G-STAR: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE SEASON


RAW MAGAZINE ISSUE#1 1

CONTENTS 2. JEANOLOGY

The story behind G-Star and the iconic denim designs that made it famous

6. G-STAR STYLE The latest designs from the G-Star collections as seen on the New York catwalk

8. RAW NIGHTS

From a summer night of art curated by Dennis Hopper in LA, to Phoenix-curated evenings in Tokyo and Osaka.

10. DENNIS HOPPER The original wild child and Raw Icon still does things his way – with a little help from Rudyard Kipling and G-Star

12. BENICIO DEL TORO The Raw Icon on being Che Guevara, loving Joy Division and connecting with the G-Star sensibility

14. CROSSOVER

From boats to bicycles, how the G-Star philosophy extends way beyond what you wear

16. MARC NEWSON The world’s most acclaimed industrial designer on entering the fashion industry with G-Star

18. G-STAR ARCHITECTURE The blueprint for G-Star stores from Amsterdam to Soho and Shibuya

20. G-STAR’S LONDON The sights, sounds and best-value bites in the British capital – plenty to keep you busy between G-Star stores

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT

G-STAR.COM

FACEBOOK.COM/G-STAR

YOUTUBE.G-STAR.COM

© G-Star International BV 2009. All rights reserved. Except as permitted by applicable mandatory law, the contents of this publication cannot be copied, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including digital format, or stored in a database, without the copyright holder’s prior written approval. Printed in the European Union.


2 JEANOLOGY

DENIM AS DESIGN DECODING G-STAR’S UNIQUE DNA

Twenty years ago, a Dutch brand with a particular vision launched with the intention of reinventing jeans. Not with tales of ranch hands and rock stars, not with claims to history or heritage, but with a new ethos for the then-fast fading world of denim. That ethos was product development, with the goal of “luxury denim”. G-Star took the old, fundamental fabric and applied fresh thinking, looking to a bright future rather than a dusty yesteryear. Call it a new beginning, call it a clean slate, call it the genesis of a new Jeanology. G-Star’s science of cutting and shaping was conceived to make denim more practical, more comfortable, more contemporary. Seven years of research later, the G-Star Elwood was unveiled, establishing both a much-imitated icon and a new blueprint for denim. It is a philosophy – one more akin to the permanence and applied intelligence of product design than the fleeting cycles of fashion – to which G-Star has remained true, and which has won it an international reputation for experimentation in the specialist field of jeans. This is denim for design fanatics, rather than mere denim fanatics. G-Star has gone on to apply this approach to projects with the likes of Cannondale and industrial designers Arne Jacobsen and Marc Newson. At a literal and figurative level, G-Star works with the raw material of denim to create its core products, styles that redefine what jeans can be. Leave your six-shooters at home. G-Star’s is an authentic denim philosophy that holds up even in our digital age. Josh Sims

Josh Sims is one of the leading UK authorities on menswear. He has written and edited articles on style, culture and technology for publications including Arena Homme Plus, The Face, Wonderland, the Financial Times and the Independent. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: G-Star handcrafted petrol can G-Star handcrafted desk chair G-Star handcrafted outboard motor G-Star handcrafted chainsaw G-Star handcrafted lamp G-Star handcrafted shovel G-Star handcrafted extinguisher G-Star handcrafted cement mixer OPPOSITE: G-Star handcrafted corset dress


JEANOLOGY

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4 JEANOLOGY

THIS PAGE:

G-Star Elwood in RAW Denim, ямБrst introduced in 1996 OPPOSITE, FROM LEFT:

G-Star Trail Elwood G-Star Elwood Embro 96 front to back Exper Breaker


JEANOLOGY

DESIGNS IN DENIM THE JEANOLOGY OF G-STARS PHILOSOPHY

The G-Star blueprint begins with the often overlooked premise that clothing is not two-dimensional – it must be sculpted to fit a three-dimensional figure. So, as well as special fabric finishes resulting from advanced treatments and extensive hand working, and unexpected details such as distinctive zips and leather trims, G-Star’s Jeanology constructs complex seams to structure denim around the body. This results in distinctive silhouettes and smarter pieces of clothing. Taking its design cue from leather motocross trousers, crossing them with workwear painter’s pants and finishing with an ultra-modern edge, G-Star’s Elwood style mapped out an altogether new way of thinking about denim. Telling details pointed the way: its easy, slanted pockets replaced the standard but awkward cut of traditional Western cuts, while the crotch rivet, wider belt loops and looser fit all made sense in a more mobile society. But it was the Elwood’s shaped, reinforced construction that made its avant-garde take on a “traditional” piece of clothing truly definitive. Its latest incarnation is the G-Star Trail Elwood Narrow – like the original style, a magpie gathering of the best details inspired by other functional clothing staples. The Elwood remains an enduring influence on other G-Star styles, too. The new Fince Arc Pant, for example, is an even more intricately built version of the original Arc Fit. For women, the Exper Breaker takes the three-dimensionality of the original iconic designs and adds oversized back pockets and an extra dose of angularity, with twisted seams and sharply slanted pockets. It’s about real freedom of movement, not a crass, simplistic idea of liberty through design – nothing less than industrial couture, just as G-Star’s concept of “raw luxury” always promised. Josh Sims

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6 NYFW09

FIX UP, LOOK SHARP NY RAW’S TAKE ON EVENINGWEAR

TOP ROW, FROM LEFT:

NY RAW Master Jacket, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Raynus Pant NY RAW Master Jacket, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Master Pant NY RAW Raynus Gilet, NY RAW Raynus Pant, NY RAW Master Shirt NY RAW Master Jacket, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Master Pant, NY RAW Master Holster NY RAW Noa Jacket, Jacksonville Dress Shirt, NY RAW Noa Skirt NY RAW Daala Coat, New West Correct Body, NY RAW Customized Rhapsodie pant NY RAW Pollux Coat, Correct Duo Gilet, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Customized Fire G-Star Elwood Pant BOTTOM ROW, FROM LEFT: NY RAW Kendal Dress

NY RAW Jade Nail Jacket, NY RAW Customized Dean G-Star Elwood Pant NY RAW Koco Denim Fur Coat, NY RAW Disra Pant Correct Slim Tailor Jacket, Correct Suit Stripe Jacket, NY RAW Customized Scuba G-Star Elwood Pant Gunnar Biker Jacket, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Customized Rhapsodie Pant Correct Long Jacket, Tech Correct Leather Jacket, NY RAW Customized Scuba G-Star Elwood Pant NY RAW Noa Jacket, NY RAW Master Shirt, NY RAW Customized Fire G-Star Elwood Pant


NYFW09 7

Classic elegance and ultra-modern design collide in the latest RAW collection, as couture-level workmanship and G-Star values combine to create a new conception of denim’s place in the 21st-century wardrobe. Dressing for dinner might sound like an idea from another, older era, but the fall/winter NY RAW range turns it into something utterly contemporary. Both men’s and women’s lines take inspiration from the long-standing structural principles of classic men’s tailoring, but with those principles applied to denim, the result is definitively modern. Match it with traditional luxury materials, such as cashmere, and distinctively RAW details, such as outsized pockets and unexpected buckles, for a new silhouette that nods to sartorial history while embracing the future. Now that’s smart.


8 RAW NIGHTS

Taylor Momsen, New York Fashion Week

Marc Newson & friends, RAW Night Tokyo

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, RAW Rhythm festival, Amsterdam

AndrĂŠ, RAW Night Tokyo Black Eyed Peas, Sensation White, Amsterdam

Dennis Hopper T-Shirt, RAW Night Los Angeles

Hiromix, RAW Night Tokyo

Tomoki Suketane & friends, RAW Night Tokyo Dennis Hopper & Lindsay Lohan, RAW Night Los Angeles


RAW NIGHTS

NIGHT LIFE FASHION, ART AND MUSIC: BEST SERVED RAW

From a summer night of art curated by Dennis Hopper in LA, to Phoenix-curated evenings in Tokyo and Osaka, via Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Dizzee Rascal at the RAW Rhythm Festival in Amsterdam, RAW Nights are about staging truly unique events in unforgettable locations. G-Star challenges artists to relate to their work and audiences in new ways – and challenges those audiences not to have a phenomenal night. When music, art, fun and fashion collide without limits, amazing (and insane) things happen.

Jay-Z, MTV Video Music Awards, New York

DJ Mademoiselle Yulia, RAW Night Tokyo

Dizzee Rascal, RAW Rhythm Festival, Amsterdam Peaches Geldof, New York Fashion Week

RAW Night Los Angeles curated by Dennis Hopper

Dizzee Rascal, RAW Rhythm Festival, Amsterdam Ryan Leslie, RAW Rhythm Festival, Amsterdam

United Fellas, RAW Night Tokyo

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RAW ICONS

DENNIS HOPPER REBEL WITH A CAUSE

DENNIS HOPPER, RUDYARD KIPLING AND A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

Who better to inaugurate the “RAW Icons” initiative – G-Star’s salute to stars who share its commitment to creative culture and the belief that classics never fade – than Dennis Hopper? The original, untameable Hollywood spirit made a characteristically unexpected appearance on the New York catwalk at the close of the RAW show: he read a poem by Rudyard Kipling. Hopper’s recital kicked off an ongoing relationship with RAW in pursuit of art and adventure.

RAW Icon Dennis Hopper at New York Fashion Week, Gotham Hall G-Star New York Fashion Show, Gotham Hall


RAW ICONS

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IF you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, / If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, / But make allowance for their doubting too; / If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, / Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, / Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, / And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: // If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; / If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; / If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same; / If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken / Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, / Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, / And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: // If you can make one heap of all your winnings / And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, / And lose, and start again at your beginnings / And never breathe a word about your loss; / If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew / To serve your turn long after they are gone, / And so hold on when there is nothing in you / Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ // If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, / ‘Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, / If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, / If all men count with you, but none too much; / If you can fill the unforgiving minute / With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, / Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, / And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son! - If by Rudyard Kipling


12 RAW ICONS

“IT’S JUST SECOND NATURE, IT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN SHOWN, WE’RE LIVING BY YOUR RULES, THAT’S ALL THAT WE KNOW” THIS PAGE:

RAW Icon Benicio Del Toro at New York Fashion Week, Hammerstein Ballroom OPPOSITE: Official Che movie poster


RAW ICONS

BENICIO DEL TORO HAIL TO THE CHE

HOW BENICIO DEL TORO, JOY DIVISION AND CHE GUEVARA CAME TOGETHER ON THE NY RAW CATWALK

When Hollywood stars hook up with fashion brands, their smiles for the camera are usually the result of complicated negotiations between agents and lawyers behind the scenes. When Benicio Del Toro rolled up unannounced as the Raw Icon at the end of the fall/winter NY RAW catwalk, though, the audience (which was itself packed with star names) was treated to a genuine meeting of minds. G-Star and the screen star had a connection that was authentic, organic and easy; growing out of shared passion and convictions. And a certain wildness: why bother reaching out to Hollywood types who walk on the mild side? At Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, under a spotlight and wearing tailored RAW couture, the Oscar-winning actor read the resonant lyrics of Joy Division’s “Candidate”. G-Star had been a staunch supporter of Che, Steven Soderbergh’s epic biography of the revolutionary leader, which won awards in Cannes and acclaim from critics, but struggled to find widespread US distribution because of its refusal to simplify its subject matter. G-Star, however, had never doubted that the film was worth supporting. Meanwhile, Del Toro had seen G-Star unite with photographer-director Anton Corbijn for another daringly original film – the Joy Division biopic Control – and so never doubted G-Star’s dedication. “G-Star supported the movie Che, which I also produced, in so many ways,” Del Toro said. “While I was thinking of how to thank them for that, the offer to take part in this NY show was made. Of course I accepted it straight away. The idea of reading the Joy Division lyrics aloud was fixed at once. I knew that they’d created a visual for their latest campaign with the cast of the movie Control, and I also love the Manchester sound. I feel I share with G-Star the same passion for movies and music.”

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14

CROSSOVER

The dark grey RAW Ferry 01, gliding across Amsterdam’s canal network, embodies the concept of Crossover in beautiful motion: G-Star aesthetics applied where you least expect them, often with names more renowned in the field of industrial design. As well as city ferries, there have been collaborations with Land Rover and Cannondale. For the latter, a bike created by the renowned American cycle firm was tricked out with new finishes and colours and fitted with bespoke parts – decades of Cannondale engineering wisdom uniquely fused with G-Star’s visual sensibility. Product designer Marc Newson headed the other way, crossing over to the fashion side to collaborate with G-Star on a meticulously finished limited-edition luxury line. Ultimately, all the designers realize, it’s not about your differences but about finding connections that transcend disciplines.

THIS PAGE:

RAW Cannondale: RAW Crossover collaboration with Cannondale, expert American bicycle maker for 35 years ABOVE & OPPOSITE: RAW Ferry: The interior was designed and developed by the G-Star Interior design team using natural, raw materials such as wood, leather, canvas and steel


CROSSOVER

G-FORCE CROSSOVER TAKES THE G-STAR SENSIBILITY INTO NEW TERRITORIES

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CROSSOVER

MARC OF DISTINCTION MARC NEWSON ON MOVING FROM SPACE-PLANES AND KETTLES TO AN ULTRA-HIGH END G-STAR COLLECTION

Caroline Issa is publisher of Tank, the celebrated London fashion and culture magazine. She grew up in Canada, with Iranian and Singaporean ancestry. As well as a prestigious business background, her unique fashion sense leads her to be regularly snapped by bloggers outside the shows at New York, Paris, Milan and London fashion weeks. ABOVE:

Marc Newson at G-Star Headquarter, Amsterdam THIS PAGE, FIRST ROW:

G-Star by Marc Newson Limited Silk Jacket G-Star by Marc Newson Galaxy Jacket G-Star by Marc Newson Limited Shearling jacket SECOND ROW: Marc Newson Biomega Bicycle Marc Newson Lockheed Lounge Marc Newson Hemipode Watch


CROSSOVER 17

Marc Newson has created the insides of aeroplanes for Qantas, spaceships for Astrium, trainers for Nike, lighting for the Sydney Olympics ceremonies, and household items for Tefal, Alessi and more – and managed to do it all in a way that is definitively and distinctively his own. As he launches his latest collection for GStar, the Australian-born designer talks about why we wear what we do, and thinking in three dimensions. Are you attempting to get into the fashion world? Not really. The whole point of this exercise was that, as a guy, as a consumer, as someone who spends money on clothes – whether I like it or not, for better or worse – I could never find anything I really wanted to buy. Have you always loved sportswear? Yeah. Don’t get me wrong, I can always make the scene if I have to, in a tie and jacket, but I wanted to create a range I could wear every day. Luckily, I don’t have to wear a suit and tie to work every day, or rather, I don’t need to look a certain way for what I do. So I thought I would like to have a go at designing a range that I myself would like to wear every day, be it at work or not. Do you think growing up in Australia influenced you? I think it probably did influence me in many ways – the fact that it’s a very warm climate means you just don’t wear as many clothes as you would in Europe. It doesn’t get cold there, per se, so of course you’ll be wearing T-shirts, board shorts and casual pants when you are there. So it’s definitely influenced me a lot – and my love of sportswear too! Is it fair to say you approached this collaboration from a more functional aspect, rather than fashion? I’d like to say that I’m designing clothes. It would sound really pretentious of me to say that I was designing fashion; it’s really clothes. This collection, like the others, has the same philosophy – while G-Star has its own particular relationship with fashion, I think we both wanted this to be different. We are in a rarefied position where we don’t have to play by the same rules, and that’s an extraordinary position to be in, especially for someone like me. You step in and the G-Star enterprise is like a well-oiled machine with such amazing resources. Having said that, it’s the kind of environment I love to be in – anyone would, right? Why? What stands out about it? I love quality and I love industries that still have access to craftsmanship and the ability to make things to the highest standard. Fashion is one of those industries, whereas it’s really dead in a lot of the other sectors. Take architecture, where quality is almost nonexistent now. It’s awful the way things are made nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, intellectually, there is a lot of quality, but in practical terms… well, in the last 100 years, I would say we’ve gone backwards in terms of finish, quality and craftsmanship. In the fashion industry, though, whether it’s shoes, couture or a simple garment, you can still find places that make beautiful things to such a high standard. Of course, you pay for what you get. Have you seen or read anything recently– a film, a play, a book – that particularly influences your design process these days? If you can believe it, I haven’t seen a film in about three years. I have no time to read books, which is really sad! I wish I could say I’ve been influenced by numerous things lately, but the reality is that my job as a professional designer means delivering. I’m interested in materials, process, technology – these are the things that inspire me to do what I do. I can never answer the question, “What inspires you?” as I can never seem to find the right answer, but those are certainly things that do. This new business is a whole new world for me, with new materials, different technologies – of course I’d love to introduce the thought process behind what I do into this new environment. And, conversely, I want to pick up what G-Star have to offer, which is an amazing insight into the fashion business. Their business turns around at breakneck speed – I don’t normally get exposed to things that happen this quickly in my day job. It’s extraordinary.

Do you and G-Star agree any “rules” for your approach to the latest collection? The sentiment behind our collaboration was that we wouldn’t be slaves to the seasonal cycle and we wouldn’t have to do one every season on the dot. G-Star certainly don’t need me to help their success; they already do a great job of it themselves – it was more of a fun exercise. On the other hand, we had to kind of rationalize it as well, and examine whether it was just a frivolous exercise where we’d throw away money. What challenges did you face doing a collection of clothes rather than something like shoes? With shoes, it’s more like designing a product; it’s quite straightforward. Garments, on the other hand, you can easily rely on the good people who make the stuff. The thing I knew nothing about is cutting – taking a 2D concept in material and making it something that lives on a three-dimensional, moving human form. I guess it’s not dissimilar to designing jewellery or even furniture in a way – furniture doesn’t really work without people! Which cities do you love to travel to? Tokyo would be on the top of my list – I love that part of the world. I think maybe because I grew up in Australia and we consider ourselves more Asian and a part of that world rather than anywhere else. And the first thing any Australian does after graduation is travel, and chances are they’ll travel to Asia before anywhere else in the world. Travelling is enormously important to me, whether it’s for work or pleasure. It has also been a huge source of inspiration for me. I don’t understand why, but I am attracted to Asia in general and feel it’s such a dynamic place – Europe, by comparison, can sometimes feel like Disneyland! And finally, the final frontier: can you tell us about your interest in space? I’m interested in space technology, I guess, because at the end of the day that’s where technology for me as a designer is born: in the aerospace industry. It’s born there and trickles down to us designers, even in the fashion industry. New materials, new technologies, new processes – all were developed for the aerospace industry. So if you are a designer, it’s where you have to start. It’s the first port of call, if you can get access to it. Interview by Caroline Issa


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ARCHITECTURE

UNDER CONSTRUCTION HOW G-STAR’S DESIGN DNA INFORMS EVERY BRICK OF ITS BUILDINGS

Tim Abrahams is the associate editor of leading architecture magazine Blueprint and an expert on architecture and urbanism. He has collaborated with numerous architectural practices and also writes for magazines including Wired, GQ Style and New Statesman THIS PAGE:

G-Star store, Hasselt, Belgium OPPOSITE, FROM TOP:

RAW Gallery, Tokyo, exterior RAW Gallery, Tokyo, windows G-Star at Bread & Butter trade fair G-Star store interior, Amsterdam G-Star store, Covent Garden, London


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The shared DNA of G-Star’s globe-spanning stores captures and communicates the design ideals of the brand. Its in-house team works with local architects who know the environmental and planning peculiarities of each territory – from local fire regulations to planning restrictions – but always retain control of the big picture. Still, it was important for G-Star to make a splash in its home town, where everyone knows it and where that DNA first took form. Especially because it’s just opened a shop beyond the normal commercial edge of Amsterdam – past PC Hooftstraat, on the eastern corner of the junction with Hobbemastraat, towards the canal – it had to make a bit of a statement. With the new Amsterdam store, G-Star did just that, but on its terms and with its DNA. Riveted steel forms a pediment above the main entrance. Inside, an enormous denim wall reaches all the way from the basement to the mezzanine. Different floor levels have been achieved by creating “floating” floor sections of concrete and glass. That store’s riveted frontage is similar in colour, mood and material to that of the flagship New York store on Lafayette. But the SoHo shop, set against the taller townhouses of Lower Manhattan and the towering, wider skyline, has a totally different presence and scale. Over in the Union Square branch, meanwhile, while brushed steel remains a signature, wood tones dominate, in keeping with the district’s broader style and renowned bookshops and market. Those colours, and the store’s long, expansive structure, offset the tones of the denim on display in a uniquely apt way. On Broadway, the site of G-Star’s third recent opening, they store famously boasts a style all its own. There, G-Star’s choice of a location with plenty of heritage – the former HQ of an old fabrics company – was as important as the new designs of its architect. Despite being a new arrival at the address, the shop also represents a continuation of the bustling history of the Garment District. As New York amply demonstrates, G-Star’s architectural consistency and control isn’t about duplicating the same idea in all its global bases – it’s about being a part of the home city while retaining your original voice. Glass takes on a special importance in the coastal Australian light of the Bondi Junction branch, while in Shibuya, the GStar store is built around the unique winding stairwells, stone, cobbles and side roads of of Tokyo’s world-famous pedestrianised shopping district. The area’s unique fusion of bold new technology and unpolished urban elements made it the perfect locale for an in-store RAW Nights event this June, while back in 2008, glass and steel reflected the urban intensity of Japan’s biggest city while the Tokyo shop functioned as a temporary “RAW gallery” – a display for audacious concept clothing. The challenges presented by one-off occasions, at design and style events from New York fashion week to huge European streetwear show Bread & Butter, often contribute to the store designs of the future. G-Star’s architectural style may be built to last, but one way or another, it is always looking forward. Tim Abrahams


20 STREETWISE

RAW LONDON

ROUTES AND CULTURE: THE UK CAPITAL ACCORDING TO G-STAR Between shopping sprees at G-Star’s store in the famed home of street fashion that is Carnaby Steet, and its nearby branch in Shorts Gardens, the boutique section of Covent Garden, there are a wealth of places to eat, drink, shop and take in some incredible art and culture. Here is a guide to some of our favorites.

G-STAR STORE 11-12 Carnaby Street, London W1F 9PQ +44 (0)20 7494 4418

1. FERNANDEZ & WELLS CAFÉ One of the finest cafés in an area famed for them, Fernandez & Wells uses the famed Monmouth Coffee Company beans for the black stuff, and serves up a mean spread of sweet and savoury snacks. Their lunch and wine bar nearby at 43 Lexington Street is worth a bite or three, too. www.fernandezandwells.com 73 Beak St, London W1F 9SR +44 (0)20 7287 8124

2. PLAY LOUNGE Premium importers of Kubrick toys, Moomins, one-man Pop Art brands like Joji Okazaki and a million other Japanese collectibles, all at premium prices. But there’s eye candy for everyone if you just want to browse… www.playlounge.co.uk 19 Beak St, London W1F 9RP +44 (0)20 72877073

make a fuss with the name or the menu; they just make some of the finest fish and chips in the capital. 20 Berwick Street, London W1F OPY +44 (0)20 7437 3280

style of omelette that’s a favourite in Japan. www.abeno.co.uk 17-18 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JE. +44 (0)20 7379 1160

8. THE 100 CLUB

15. NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

The famous venue, tucked away between the huge shop fronts on Oxford Street, is one of the last legendary music venues still intact in Soho following the Astoria’s demise. It started with jazz in the 1940s, went on to become an epicentre for blues and beat in the 1960s, and now its intimate, dive-like basement endures as a stage for new bands and comedians. www.the100club.co.uk 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL +44 (0)20 7636 0933

Sister venue to the National Gallery (which is round the corner on Trafalgar Square, and has a superior café as well as an unrivalled collection of art). Here great lives are celebrated through the work of leading portrait painters and photographers in its regular big-hitting exhibitions. There’s no charge to enter. www.npg.org.uk 2 St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE +44 (0)20 7306 0055

9. THE ROYAL ACADEMY

If you’re in London’s Chinatown early on a Sunday afternoon, after soaking up the sights, sounds and smells and have an appetite, look no further that this huge, justly famous restaurant. Get a table quickly – after 1pm chances are you’ll have to queue; plus dim sum is best superfresh – and then wait as the huge selection of delicious morsels come to you. New World, 1 Gerrard Place, London W1D 5PA +44 (0)20 7734 0396

16. NEW WORLD Though there’s often a fee to see its major travelling shows, the Royal Academy is free to enter, and a welcome break from the conspicuous consumption of Piccadilly’s posh shops and arcades. It’s a hub for British talent (with the Summer Exhibition), young talent (thanks to its esteemed courses) and just hanging out (with its beautiful piazza). Unmissable. www.royalacademy.org.uk Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD +44 (0)20 7300 8000

10. JAPAN CENTRE 3. CURZON SOHO Central London’s most experimental, bold cinema for new films from around the world and way beyond the mainstream. It’s the perfect movie detox after too many bloated blockbusters. www.curzoncinemas.com 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5DY +44 (0)871 703 3988

A modern London landmark, Japan Centre’s two buildings house a restaurant, grocer, travel agency, and one of the widest selections of Japanese magazines, books and goods (many also available via mail order) in Europe – not to mention some of the finest tempura in town. www.japancentre.com 212-213 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HX +44 (0)20 7434 4218

4. LEON

11. HAUNCH OF VENISON

The original outlet of this thriving seasonal / superfood specialist, the Carnaby Street Leon showcases the menumaking skills of rising-star chef Allegra McEvedy, and provides plenty of food for thought as well as pleasure. www.leonrestaurants.co.uk 35 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7JE +44 (0)20 7437 5280

Tucked away behind some of the city’s most exclusive shopping streets, Haunch of Venison is an oasis of modern art and bold curation – and free to visit. Wim Wenders, M/M (Paris) and Mat Collishaw are just some of the multidisciplinary talents who have already featured in its seven years on the scene. www.haunchofvenison.com 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET +44 (0)20 7495 5050

5. THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S GALLERY The much-respected home for photography, from documentary to fashion and portraiture, moved to this discreet little alley recently, so now it’s even closer to G-Star HQ. There’s always something worth seeing, it’s free to visit, and the bookshop is worth the trip all by itself. www.photonet.org.uk 16-18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW +44 (0)845 262 1618

6. SISTER RAY This famed alternative record store went from a 1980s Camden Market stall to the home of forgotten classics and new independent releases in Berwick Street. If you don’t find what you want there, most of the capital’s other remaining vinyl champions are just a few strides away. From secondhand reggae specialists to funkateers on Berwick Street itself, to house round the corner at Nuphonica (51 Poland Street), it’s a sound destination for music shopping. www.sisterray.co.uk 34-35 Berwick Street, London W1F 8RP +44 (0)20 7734 3297

12. HUMMUS BROS The hummus-with-everything philosophy of this store’s founding Soho branch (there’s another in Holborn) more than meets the needs of vegetarians, carnivores and spice fiends of all kinds. Beyond the famous chickpea puree, aubergines and pitas feature heavily on the menu, while well-priced daily specials ensure there’s always something to surprise. www.hbros.co.uk 88 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TH +44 (0)20 7734 1311

13. DOVER BOOKS The UK outlet for the New York publisher that specialises in reprinting forgotten visual classics and creating copyrightfree collections of graphics for designers and students. For such a humble shop, it packs an awful lot of eye candy. www.doverbooks.co.uk 18 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LG +44 (0)20 7836 211

17. FREEBIRD BURRITO The New York Times, no less, said this stall (which can be found on a cobbled street in an unlikely corner of Soho) makes the famed Mexican snack “just the way a burrito should be: hot, cheap, bursting at the seams, and to go”. A variety of authentic fillings are on offer and Freebird is open daily from 11.30am-3.30pm. Rupert Street (near the junction with Brewer St), London W1D 6DD

18. DONMAR WAREHOUSE London may be famous for its theatreland, but these days, it can be hard to find anything but glitzy musicals and stale crowd-pleasers. The not-for-profit Donmar Warehouse manages to get in the star names and challenging material, even though it only has 250 seats. Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen have starred there in recent times. www.donmarwarehouse.com 41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX +44 (0)870 060 6624

19. BELGO CENTRAAL The labyrinthine underground flagship of this mussels-andbeer budget restaurant chain is situated within moments of G-Star’s Shorts Gardens store, London’s theatreland and the unique shops and markets of Covent Garden. As well as a variety of hearty shellfish dishes, Belgo does addictive French fries and a formidable range of Belgian beers. www.belgo-restaurants.co.uk 50 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9JL +44 (0)20 7813 2233

20. MAGMA BOOKS Now one of a small network of Magma stores (plus a mailorder magazine service), the small but beloved original branch stocks a wealth of new magazines and books on art, design and fashion as well as cutting-edge comics, plus cards, collectibles and more. Owner Marc Valli is a genuine magazine enthusiast who recently launched his own title about visual creatives, Elephant. www.magmabooks.com 8 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9RY +44 (0)20 7240 8498

14. ABENO TOO 7. FISH & CHIPS Soho’s celebrated fish and chip shop closes early, and its queues are often huge. But it’s worth the wait – they don’t

The no-nonsense, canteen-style sister restaurant to Bloomsbury’s Abeno, this hot, bustling eaterie near Leicester Square specialises in okonomiyaki – the unique

G-STAR STORE 5 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AP +44 (0)20 7240 3707



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