The Hotel Britomart announces opening date

Downtown Auckland is set to welcome a chic new hotel, with The Hotel Britomart announcing it will start welcoming guests on 1 October this year.

After six weeks of construction delays due to lockdown, work on the site has restarted and the scaffolding has even come down to reveal the hotel’s stylish brick exterior.

Work will now focus on the interiors of the 104 rooms, comprised of 99 timber-lined guest rooms and five luxurious Landing Suites. Three of the Landing Suites have lush sky garden terraces.

Designed by Auckland-based Cheshire Architects, The Hotel Britomart will be New Zealand’s greenest hotel, with a 5 Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

“Work on The Hotel Britomart site is completely back on track,” says Matthew Cockram, Chief Executive Officer of Cooper and Company, owners of The Hotel Britomart.

“The current circumstances mean our opening in October will focus mostly on domestic tourists, who we think will recognise the enormous appeal of The Hotel Britomart’s design and the many attractions of the Britomart neighbourhood around it.”

The Hotel Britomart will be a luxury accommodation offering that showcases impeccable design from the inside out.

The hotel’s exterior is made from precast panels containing 150,000 hand-made bricks, in keeping with the building’s 150-year-old brick neighbours.

Every room at The Hotel Britomart features hand-made ceramics by local artisans, including work by ceramicists Elena Renker and Rachel Carter.

Cheshire Architects designed the bronze-and-paper ‘Fulcrum’ table lamps in every guest room, which are available from New Zealand furniture and lighting brand Resident.

The rooms will also include toiletries by organic New Zealand skincare brand Sans[ceuticals], who recycle their own packaging and whose products contain no artificial colours or bleaches, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals or any other nasties.

The hotel is a bold new addition to Britomart, the historic waterfront neighbourhood in downtown Auckland that has been the focus of a thoughtful 15-year regeneration process led by Cooper and Company.

As well as a new brick-clad tower, the hotel project includes the refurbishment of two neighbouring heritage buildings, as well as the creation of a new public laneway linking two key Britomart streets.

A new restaurant named Kingi (short for kingfish) will open on the ground floor of historic Masonic House to serve locals and hotel guests, while three other new restaurants are opening just steps from the hotel entrance.

How Dior’s Alluring New AW 20/21 Couture Collection Came to Be

With the current climate of the world, Dior has released a short film show of their new Autumn/Winter 20/21 haute couture collection.

‘Le Mythe Dior’ showcases Dior’s new haute couture by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. The film is a collaboration with director Matteo Garrone and pays homage to Dior’s heritage by setting the scene of divine femininity and elegance.

The film embodies the enticing image of ‘the Dior woman’, who exudes the balance of elegance and allure. Mythological creatures including a mermaid, nymphs, the goddess Galatea, Poison Ivy, and the Sazae-Oni – who comes from Japanese descent, all showcase this idea of an ethereal woman.

The accompaniment whimsical music constructs the sense of a dream-scape utopia and plays on the charm of youthful tales.

The film features real, functional, miniature models of the collection made up of thirty-seven pieces. “It required an attention to detail that was almost obsessive,” says Chiuri. “Everything from the skirt, jackets and linings were all like real haute couture garments.”

This miniature style is an ode to France during World War II, and the presence of the Theatre de la Mode. A collaboration between fashion designers and artists saw a puppet show displaying perfectly crafted haute couture dressed dolls, with gorgeously designed decor by artists.

These scenes of miniature designs were shipped around the world to show that french couture was still very much alive, surviving even the most unfortunate political climates.

It is this ideology that Chiuri translated into her own collection this season while amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This season dolls will be dressed in Chiuri’s collection and travel around the world in a trunk for couture customers to peruse through and purchase, with fittings done over zoom.

Chiuri started working on the collection during lockdown and she didn’t know if she would be able to have a real, live show for it – what she did know was the fantastical direction that she wanted for the pieces.

“It was very clear from the start that my reference would be tied with the dream or fantasy world,” describing the finished collection as “the mythology of fashion”. 

Drawing from female surrealist inspirations including the works of Lee Miller, Dora Mare, Eleonor Carington, Jacqueline Lamba and Dorathee Tanning, the film follows a fantastical tale of feminine mythological creatures and a journey of the miniature collection to find gowns that fit their auras.

“The women surrealists are less well known than the men and often they are regarded as muses rather than the talented artists they were,” says Chiuri. “They were very modern, very unconventional for the time they were living in, and the way they express themselves through clothing really interests me.” 

Chiuri creates a blend of the fantasy and dream world – she needed someone who understood her vision to direct the visual representation of it. “Matteo and I speak the same language… he is a big dreamer,” says the designer.

“During the pandemic, we have been thinking more, reflecting more, dreaming more,” says Chiuri. “Surrealism makes you dream and so should couture.”

This harmonious collaboration celebrates the union of artists from two different realms and shows us what fashion shows may look for the future.