Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris

Ace Hotel and Ace Atelier have already shaken up the boutique hotel biz in the States with a quirky, vintage-inspired aesthetic that favors local flavor and unique character over the facade of luxury or predictable uniformity. This month, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch opens. Ace's first venture outside the U.S. will establish the name in a prime hub of creative London—and likely, we're guessing, be a stepping stone to a wider presence in Europe. But the Ace won't be a case of porting Portland to the East End. Rather, the Ace Hotel Shoreditch will be built on collabs with London locals. Here's what we know thus far.

• Local florist Hattie Fox will open a flower shop at the hotel.

tokyobike will produce a small fleet of bikes for guests to use in exploring the neighborhood.

• David Waddington and Pablo Flack of Bistrotheque will collab on the restaurant, restaurant bar and Lovage juice bar.

• Square Mile Coffee Roasters will open a lobby cafe and supply the coffee beans.

• Ace Hotel says the design for the exterior and interior will involve "local makers using traditional UK craftsmanship in a contemporary expression." Design firms Universal Design Studio, Crittall, Winchmore, Benchmark, Brockway, and Max Lamb, amongst others will create for the Shoreditch space.

• Room products will include Farmers' for Ace Hotel bath products, Rega turntables, custom Revo radios in all rooms, and a custom change tray by Ally Capellino.

• Designers John Smedley, Hancock, Assembil, Mr. Start and Gloverall designed the staff uniforms, but we've yet to see them ourselves.

Ace Hotel Shoreditch soft opens September 9 and accepts reservations for that date and beyond.


Photo by: Parker Fitzgerald

Folks who play with flowers for a living haven't always been on the radar of forward-thinking visual culture vultures—cue nightmares of the most expected arrangement in the whole world ever: stark red roses surrounded by the sweet white buds of baby’s breath. But when a group of young, cool, Brooklyn-based florists cropped up, it marked a sea change in the world of floral arrangement. Now, it’s becoming the norm to expect artful, inventive, overflowing arrangements and bouquets, often for magazine photo spreads, and sometimes for picture-perfect weddings. Our favorite of the bunch is Amy Merrick, who spends her time arranging overwhelmingly beautiful bouquets for both high-end events and favorite publications like Kinfolk (she was the mastermind behind the flowers-as-ice-cream shoot from the magazine’s latest issue.) She documents everything on her beautiful blog, which helps us feel a little more connected to visions of natural beauty, even while in front of a computer screen. And when she's not styling for editorial shoots, Merrick is imparting her skills to aspiring arrangers, teaching flower classes in Brooklyn and on a Washington state flower farm. Keep an eye on her blog and Twitter feed for updates.

Marvel at Merrick's portfolio online.

Ice cream flower photos by Parker Fitzgerald