riga unaravelled

photograph: cartla breeze shoot at the beautifully restored Garden Palace Hotel in Riga. Riga is a fabulously modern city that is filled with early 20th century art nouveau buildings, including what is now Garden Palace Hotel. Originally built by a German shipping magnate in late 19th century, it was updated with the more modern art nouveau. It stood empty and in disrepair even after the Berlin wall crashed bringing the Soviet regime to an end and even after Latvia gained independence. The current owner ultimately restored the building, painfully dissecting layer after layer of paint to uncover the original colours, matching marbles and woods. Furnished  with French antiques, Persian rugs and a fabulous art collection, the hotel co Antains lavish suites and comforts for the guest including a bar featuring art deco furniture. Oddly enough, during this updating, ecomodista can not locate the hotel's official website. Perhaps the news entry from August 9, 2017 explains why. The report describes armed men taking over the hotel due to a dispute between Akbar Abdullayev and another owner involving a Scottish shell company. Current web sites for hotel rooms do not include photographs of the lobby and other public areas, so it's possible much of the art and antiques have been removed, what a pity. A rather complex explanation of  Abdullayev's involvement (he's from Uzbekistan) provides an insight into the complexities of tracking money laundering.
photograph: model Ekaterina Stafetskis makeup Jekaterina Hlopova, hair Oksana Kirilenko
photograph: Cat House, well known medieval revival with overtones of art nouveau at 10 Meistaru ilea in Old Town Riga, Fredrich Scheffel, architect
photograph: interior of Garden Palace Hotel, Riga. Winter setting in on the Baltic is cozy, damp cold ameliorated by the innumerable cafes and new boutiques dedicated to consumption with a lighter carbon footprint have opened.  We flew into Riga from Hamburg to work with the stylist Deniss Schevelove who had just spent an enormous amount of time working with designers during Riga's Fashion Week, which regretfully we missed. Riga is incredibly modern and new construction abounds. ecomodista fears the fate of some of the wooden buildings at the edge of the Art Nouveau district, which we trawled when not working on knit wear. Initially we stayed at the Albert Hotel, and yes, it is dedicated to Albert Einstein, with clever allusions sprinkled throughout the building, including a clock for relative time.  The Albert has become a techie hub, just around the corner are corporate offices of groups such as Ask.lv an uncensored forum for teens and recently sold to Ask.com and Tinderbox owners.
photograph: dress ELETTO, sunglasses Fendi, shoes Lella Baldi, model Ekaterina Stafetskis
photograph: wayne decker, Deniss Schevelove, stylist, adjusts the model's shoe