Greetings, HAPpers! Paul Jebara here, HAP’s Design + Culture Editor, thrilled to be sharing our first-ever Above Par Edit with you. We at Hotels Above Par are always looking to bring you our most exciting finds in the universe of hotels, culture, entertainment, design, and more—all in a quick-to-read format. So with our monthly Edit, you’ll be receiving a digest of stories on the most dynamic and newsy HAPpenings around the world. So what kind of news are we talking about here? Everything from releases of fascinating coffee table books to acclaimed documentaries, innovative skincare products to redesigned airline cabins, mind-blowing art exhibits, fashion collabs, and so much more. Keep an eye out for the Above Par Edit each month, in our newsletter and online. And send us feedback about what you’d like to read more of—we’re always aiming to go Above Par for you. x Paul
THE NEWEST (AND BEST) PREMIUM ECONOMY CABINS LAUNCHING THIS YEAR
With more airlines revamping their fleets to include dedicated premium economy cabins, you might be wondering whether it’s worth spending the extra few hundred (and in some cases, thousands) of dollars to level up on that long-haul flight. The answer is yes. On flights more than five hours, you’ll certainly appreciate the extra width and pitch on premium economy seats, which aims to bridge the gap between first and economy. But here’s even better news: The latest crop of premium economy offerings includes more perks than ever before. Take Finnair, for example, which launched a stellar premium economy cabin at the start of the summer travel season—along with a new route from New York City to Stockholm—that includes a three-course meal, memory foam seats, a Marimekko amenities kit, and a 13’’ entertainment screen. Swiss and KLM followed with their own intimate premium economy cabins—with a maximum of 28 seats in each—that provide passengers with extra luggage allowance, noise-canceling headphones, and more sophisticated hot meals. Among the most exciting reveals this year came from Emirates, which introduced a new premium economy segment on all A380 planes featuring customizable leather seats, meals served on Royal Doulton china, and an upgraded in-flight entertainment system.
DAVID LACHAPELLE’S CELEBRITY-STEEPED RETROSPECTIVE ARRIVES AT NEW YORK’S FOTOGRAFISKA
From now until January 8th, 2023, New York City photography museum Fotografiska is showcasing its first-ever building-wide exhibition across six stories—and it’s a must-see. David LaChapelle: Make Believe presents more than 150 works from the visionary celebrity photographer, including both iconic portraits and never-before-seen pieces spanning three decades, in what is his first major solo exhibition in North America. Through portraiture that blends the surreal with the hyper-real, LaChapelle has captured some of the most famous faces in recent memory, from Britney and Madonna to Lizzo and Eminem, and oh so many others. His NYC homecoming is one you won’t want to miss.
BALMAIN’S COLLABORATION WITH POKÉMON? GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL.
Ultra-luxe French fashion house Balmain has teamed up with Japanese franchise Pokémon to create a limited edition capsule of unisex apparel, accessories, footwear, and more. The Balmain x Pokémon collection has an obvious mascot—and its name is Pikachu. The cheerful, electric-charged yellow rodent is omnipresent: its silhouette sewn onto denim jackets; its winky smile on graphic sweaters and tees. Balmain’s popular B-Bold sneakers have also been painted in a Pokéball color scheme with bright red, yellow, and cream. Perhaps most significant is the collection’s initiation of Balmain’s partnership with SharpEnd to produce 15 NFC-enabled badges at select Balmain stores, allowing customers to win VIP tickets to the Balmain Festival at Paris Fashion Week and access to the Balmain Fashion set in Pokémon UNITE.
STOCKHOLM DESIGN WEEK HIGHLIGHT: INDIA MAHDAVI’S FRANKLY YOURS TAKEOVER AT SVENSKT TENN’S GALLERY
French architect India Mahdavi has collaborated with Swedish brand Svenskt Tenn on a landmark “takeover” of its Stockholm flagship that blows out a singular print created by late Austrian designer Josef Frank. Launching during Stockholm Design Week on September 5th, Frankly Yours features the legendary “tree of life” print—which was created in the 1940s—plastered on the gallery walls and upholstered Mahdavi-designed sofas. The architect also created two new products for the Stockholm showroom: a pewter tray and vase derived from her Petits Objets collection. Frankly Yours is on show until October 23rd at the Stockholm flagship.
AT ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL, AN IMMERSIVE ART INSTALLATION TAKES FLIGHT
Orlando International Airport just revealed its newest terminal—and along with it, an interactive digital art installation that will offer “unexpected moments of magic that restore the joy and wonder of air travel.” Terminal C will be home to a multimedia experience—the first of its kind in the aviation space—dreamed up by Gentilhomme Studio and Sardi Design that consists of 114-foot-wide displays across 3,888 square feet of custom LED panels. The photo-realistic screens will host immersive documentary-style scenes of Central Florida’s diverse wilderness, from manatees swimming in the crystal rivers to massive bird migrations, along with vignettes of Orlando’s glimmering skyline.
ACTRESS BRIE LARSON’S ‘GROWING UP’ DOCUSERIES EXPLORES THE JOYS AND FRUSTRATIONS OF BECOMING AN ADULT
Growing Up, the hotly-anticipated unscripted series produced by Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson, is now available to stream on Disney+. The hybrid documentary series is comprised of 23-minute episodes, each spotlighting adolescents aged 18 to 22 years old as they overcome the obstacles and triumphs of reaching adulthood. According to a description of the show, the characters “represent a wide range of lived experiences, giving audiences emotionally powerful narratives that offer an engaging look at teenagehood and the diverse social, familial, and internal obstacles young people face on their path to self-discovery and acceptance.”