While a couple of us at We Heart Towers were excitedly discussing Embrio, a colleague shoved in, had a good look at the images we were selecting, and loudly exclaimed “I fucking love that place”. As we nodded in agreement I realised I’d just been saved considerable time wracking my brain for superlatives, as it couldn’t be put any better. We fucking love this place.
Recently born in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, Embrio is fashion brand Monstore’s first retail outlet, but one with a serious twist – a bit of a breech birth, in fact. Skulls are scattered among the edgy clothing of the ground floor store. Chains and black steel, plus the orgasmic pictures on the stairs, give the place a bit of a sex dungeon vibe, in the nicest possible way. A handwritten neon sign, at first glowing sinisterly in red, reveals itself to be a blunt but rather romantic message.
Up the porn-lined stairs is Bar #1, a similarly dark affair, expanding on the wooden elements, vintage objects and neon from the lower floor and adding tiles and vines that give a Mediterranean feeling. Further up still, guests emerge from the shady floors into the sunlight of a roof terrace, with lovely old wrought iron seating providing an unexpectedly respectable space to take a breather and to come up for air.
If that wasn’t enough, and it is more than most, Monstore are planning art exhibitions and fashion shows to take advantage of their multi-faceted premises. It seems a perfect match for this already artfully crafted business. Their own clothing range – which we want, hint hint send us some stuff in XL – is covered in hand drawn designs, and Embrio itself has that personal quality in its DNA. Yes, we fucking love this place.