A Magazine, Issue 79

Page 1

No. 79 AUG/SEP 2015 LL10,000

Own your style this season Fashion Change on the catwalk Music A hip-hop heavyweight Beauty Return of the caveman Art Audrey Hepburn lives on Design East meets west Travel Moroccan nights

www.dior.com - 01 99 11 11 ext.592

Granville, France Birthplace of Monsieur Christian Dior






T 01 9 9 1 111 EXT 5 70

1 4 1 E L- M O U T R A N E S T R E ET



137 el-moutrane street

downtown beirut

telephone +961 1991 111 ext 148



BEIRUT 62 Abdel malek Street 01 99 11 11 ext. 222






Inside No. 79 AUG/SEPT 2015


52 Beirut Soul food and precious stones 54 London Dress to the nines 56 Paris French with a twist 58 Milan From cuisine to culture 60 New York Glittering grandeur 62 Event Beirut’s newest destination





74 Mixed media Wael Lazkani 76 Monograph Niemeyer rediscovered 78 Villain The rise of the anti-hero 80 Concert A hip-hop heavyweight

86 News Fashion goes renegade 88 Collection Sonia Rykiel 90 Debate Is honesty the best policy? 92 Forecaster Ahead of the curve 94 Diversity Change on the catwalk 96 Inspiration Aurelie Bidermann 98 Tip Air travel becomes fashionable 100 Editor Publishing’s style icons 108 Hot stuff Changing seasons 114 Runway Key trends 116 Accessories Precious cargo 132 Accessories Shades of fall 148 True grit Marie-Ange Casta 160 Layer on Cover up 174 Lost in time Eternal elegance 202 Insight On set

208 Counter Make me over 210 Ritual Bathing beauty 212 Evolution Return of the caveman 214 Influence Singing the blues 216 Concept Summer glow

222 Update World view 226 Trend Tools of the trade 228 Project East meets west 230 Airport LAX’s new terminal 232 Decor Wallpaper’s having a moment 234 Museum The Whitney takes shape 238 Storyteller Thoughtful seating 240 Hotelier Ian Schrager 244 Clubhouse Behind closed doors

High Art

252 Exhibitions What’s on view 256 Collector Artist acquisitions 258 Icon Audrey Hepburn lives on 262 Renaissance Istanbul’s makeover

Inside Lifestyle

268 Treat Daily bread 270 Getaway Escape to the seaside 276 Retreat Moroccan nights 280 Kitchen Grandma’s home-cooking 284 Neighborhood Saifi streets 286 Ranch The heart of the West 290 Meal Eat sunshine 292 Farm Rustic pleasures 296 City Made in Sicily

Last Word

No. 79 AUG/SEP 2015 LL10,000

300 About time A girl’s best friend

Own your style this season Fashion Change on the catwalk Music A hip-hop heavyweight Beauty Return of the caveman Art Audrey Hepburn lives on Design East meets west Travel Moroccan nights

Cover She’s wearing a Theory shirt and Paige jeans Photographer Rayan Ayash. Stylist Guylaine Tilleau. Hair Charlie Le Mindu. Makeup Helene Vasnier. Model Marie-Ange Casta from IMG Models

In issue 78, A magazine neglected to credit Etro on page 143 of the “Bird of paradise” shoot. We apologize for the error.

Rare Elegance

Fall in love with these graceful earrings with a stunning and unique combination of iridescent Tahitian pearls, alternately cut diamonds and rare, deep red, pear-shaped rubies.

33 Weygand Street, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon. 01 981 555 www.georgehakim.com


Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

Art directors

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Senior art director Mélanie Dagher Junior art director Josée Nakhlé Guest art director Raya Farhat


Associate editor Pip Usher Digital editor Christina Tkacik Assistant editor Celine Omeira Italy editor Renata Fontanelli UK editor Grace Elena Banks US editor Robert Landon Editoral intern Rowan Usher


Stephanie d’Arc Taylor, John Burns, James Haines-Young, Daniel Hilton, John Knight, Robert Landon, John Ovans, M. Astella Saw, Natalie Shooter, Roman St. Clair, Jasper Toms, Laura van Straatan, Millie Walton, J. Michael Welton


Fashion photographers Rayan Ayash, Samantha Casolari, Luke & Nik, Alice Rosati Contributing photographer Tony Elieh


Joe Arida, Rosa-Safiah Connell, Amelianna Loiacono, Gary David Moore, Guylaine Tilleau

Rayan Ayash Originally from Lebanon, Rayan Ayash flies around the world shooting campaigns for brands like Versace. Inspired by beauty and glamour, his work has been featured in magazines that include Vogue and GQ.

Christina Tkacik Christina Tkacik was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the U.S. After working at National Geographic in Washington, D.C., she packed up her computer for Beirut and is now digital editor at A magazine.


Melhem Moussallem, Karine Abou Arraj, Stephanie Missirian

Production and printing

Senior photo producer Fadi Maalouf Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

140 El Moutrane St., Fourth Floor, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, tel. 961.1.974.444, a@aishti.com, aishtiblog.com

fashion frenzy When people talk about the most wonderful time of the year, it’s not usually September they’re referencing – unless, of course, they’re fashion fanatics. There are the palpitations that kick in with the first beat of each runway show; the Instagram addiction as street style photos flood in; the satisfaction of teasing out definitive trends from hundreds of catwalk looks. In the A magazine offices, the August/September issue is our annual favorite, combining summer’s relaxed spirit with the glamour of fall’s Fashion Weeks. Join us as we transition from cutoff shorts to woolen capes, welcoming a spectacular new season with bronzed and open arms.

MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

© 2015 TUMI, INC.




Available at Aïshti Stores 01 99 11 11

A cityscape

Just in Beirut Opera Gallery (left)

Fuelled by international success, Opera Gallery is here to take Beirut by storm. From Warhol to Picasso, its contemporary collection is a welcome addition to Lebanon’s ever-growing art scene. 94 Foch Ave., tel. 01.971.471, operagallery.com

ButcherÕ s (below)

Colette Jewelry (above)

Science meets fashion in this eponymous jewelry line as founder Colette uses her gemologist training to create unique pieces out of natural precious stones. The hard part is deciding which dazzling spectacle you like best. Available at Sylvie Saliba, Charles Malek Ave., Quantum Tower Bldg, Ashrafieh, tel. 01.330.500, sylviesaliba.com

Margerita Kids (below)

Margherita Missoni’s new clothing line boasts chic, kid-friendly clothing for the next generation of bohemian fashion icons. Fluffy jackets, daisy patterns and vibrant hues – now if only they came in adult sizes. Available at Aïshti Minis

Alexander Wang (above)

Alexander Wang’s fall/winter 2015-16 collection channels your inner adolescent. Drawing upon heavy metal rock and punkbondage for inspiration, Wang presents an almost entirely noir collection, paired with androgynous tailoring and leather detailing. Available at Aïshti stores A 52

© Alexander Wang, Angelina, Butcher’s, East Village, Fitness Zone, Margherita Kids, Opera Gallery, Ralph Masri, Sylvie Saliba, Muse, Tailor’s Bar

Nurture yourself at Butcher’s BBQ joint – from grilled cheese sandwiches to slowcooked meats, this new restaurant serves all the soul food staples. Open for early birds and night owls alike. Mar Mikhael, tel. 01.567.227

Angelina (left)

A taste of la belle vie, Parisian confectioner Angelina is the perfect spot to while away an indulgent afternoon. Sample delectable pastries or treat yourself to the famous L’Africain hot chocolate. El Moutrane St., angelina-paris.fr

Ralph Masri (below)

Jewelry designer Ralph Masri knows that fashion is regarded as a window into the soul – his latest collection, Sacred Window, was inspired by the elegance of stained glass mosaics. Madrid St., Mar Mikhael, tel. 01.566.538, ralphmasri.com

TailorÕ s Bar (above)

The vintage décor, laidback atmosphere and appetizing menu at this new joint in Badaro makes it the perfect spot to sit back and remember the good old days. Badaro St., tel. 71.449.344, tailorsbar.com

Fitness Zone (below)

East Village (above)

Determined to get in the zone this summer? Stop by this luxurious health club, boasting an impressive range of exercise classes and sporting facilities, complete with saunas and steam rooms to help ease post-workout muscles. Beirut Souks, tel. 01.999.901, fitnesszone-lb.com

Inspired by the creative buzz of New York’s East Village, this stylish kitchen and cocktail bar is sure to become a regular spot – after all, a Big Apple a day keeps the doctor away. Badaro St., tel. 76.838.386

Muse (left)

Overwhelm your senses at Muse, a luxury chocolate concept store where textures, sounds and smells complement the delectable morsels. On warmer days, an exquisitely crafted ice cream sandwich should satisfy sugar cravings. Fakhr el Dine St., tel. 01.371.301, themuseconcept.com 53 A

A cityscape

Just in London

Night Elm (below)

Missy Flynn, the founder behind Dalston’s achingly hip restaurant, Rita’s Dining, has just opened another East London hotspot. Stop by Night Elm, a cozy bar, for watermelon slush puppie cocktails. 175 Mare St., tel. 44.20.3096.1530, ritasbaranddining.com

Liberty in Fashion (below)

One of the most prolific living artists of the 20th century, Marlene Dumas tackles consumerism, celebrity and identity in her work. This major retrospective casts the artist as one of the key political commentators of our time. Runs until May 10 at Tate Modern, Bankside, tel. 44.20.7887.8888, tate.org.uk

This sharply curated exhibition celebrates Liberty’s 140th Anniversary with a tour-deforce of the brand’s pioneering prints and trends, from Orientalism to Art Nouveau. 83 Bermondsey St., tel. 44.20.7407.8664, ftmlondon.org

Luxury nail art reigns supreme in fashionable London. The newest addition to the scene, Reecey Roos, is a haven of catwalk-inspired designs and innovative art for your talons. 9 Camberwell Green, tel. 44.20.7701.4721, reeceyroos.co.uk

FashionÕ s Night Out (above)

MilroyÕ s (above)

Established in 1964, legendary whiskey specialist Milroy’s of Soho has just opened a bar in its basement. Expect the best whiskey that money can buy, with a dash of English eccentricity thrown in. 3 Greek St., tel. 44.20.7734.2277, milroys.co.uk

The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone (right)

This hotel in leafy Marylebone possesses a flair for detail, with carefully selected antiques kitting out the elegant bedrooms. Don’t miss enjoying a drink at the hotel’s cocktail lounge; the Silk Gimlet comes highly recommended. 28-30 Seymour St., tel. 44.20.7324.4567, thezettertownhouse.com A 54

Reecey Roos (above)

Vogue’s legendary fashion party returns for its seventh year, offering up mentoring classes, seminars on how to get into fashion and special talks with British designers. Visit vogue.co.uk/special-events/fashionsnight-out

© Fashion’s Night Out, Liberty, Milroy’s of Soho, Night Elm, Reecey Roos, Zetter Townhouse

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden (below)

A cityscape

Just in Paris Restaurant Le Gabriel (below)

Chef Jérôme Banctel’s inventive dishes are classically French, with exotic touches – nibble on some candied kombu here, bite into a sliver of tomato tempura there. Against a chic backdrop, the experience is a gastronomic delight. La Réserve, 42 Avenue Gabriel, 8th arrondissement, tel., lareserve-paris.com

Herborist (below)

In the Left Bank neighborhood where the streets are paved with literary history, this flagship boutique has undergone a novel remake. Some 50,000 books now line the store’s walls and pillars, mixing fashion and fabulous fiction. 175 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arrondissement, tel., soniarykiel.com

H™ tel Phileas (above)

Steamer trunks and compasses at this bright, contemporary hotel recall the exhilarating days of transatlantic travel. It’s just the thing for city-hoppers and globe-trotters zipping around the world in eight, or 80, days. 24 Rue d’Amsterdam, 9th arrondissement, tel., phileashotel.com A 56

Maison Plisson (left)

Honey and spice bread and jams – oh, my! At this fine foods deli, the shelves are stocked with intriguing items from the best independent French producers. Eat in or take away, from this maison to yours. 93 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 3rd arrondissement, tel., lamaisonplisson.com

© Herborist Opéra, Hôtel Phileas, Le Gabriel, Maison Plisson, Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel (above)

Traditional Chinese herbs and a serene, modern sensibility come together at this spa, tearoom and beauty boutique – all the better to re-orient the frazzled soul. 38 Avenue de l’Opéra, 2nd arrondissement, tel., herboristinternational.com

A cityscape

Just in Milan

Mudec Museum (left)

Designed by David Chipperfield, this museum, dedicated to interdisciplinary research on the cultures of the world, includes works from around the globe. Gorge on knowledge then indulge at the rooftop restaurant. Via Tortona 56, tel. 39.02.8429.3701, mudec.it

Mantra Raw Vegan (above)

Still unconvinced about veganism? This recently opened spot, specializing in delicious, dairy-free cakes, is guaranteed to convert a whole new crowd. It’s pricey, but worth every penny. Via Panfilo Castaldi 21, tel. 39.02.8905.8575, mantrarawvegan.com

Funky Table (above)

It’s all about what you can bring to the table at this unusual homeware shop. Founder Mariangela Negroni travels around the globe – from China to Argentina – discovering pieces that spark dinner party conversation. Via Santa Marta 19, tel. 39.02.3674.8619, funkytable.it

Designed by OBR’s talented duo Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi, the Triennale’s spectacular new restaurant – a glasshouse immersed in lush vegetation, with views across the city skyline – is beloved by Milan’s beautiful people. Viale Alemagna Emilio 6, tel. 39.02.3664.4340, triennale.org

Alcantara (right)

With the opening of its flagship store, Alcantara has cemented its status as a leader in ecological leather products. Curated by the artist Rebecca Moses, her limited edition, “Fashion Foodies” handbags are a delectable investment. Via Mecenate 86, tel. 39.02.580.301, alcantara. com

Tokuyoshi (left)

Japanese chef Tokuyoshi moved to Italy with the dream of opening his own restaurant. Fast-forward a decade and he’s the mastermind behind “contaminated cuisine,” the blend of Italian and Japanese food on offer at his fashionable establishment. Via S. Calocero 3, tel. 39.02.8425.4626, ristorantetokuyoshi.com A 58

© Alcantara, Funky Table, Mantra Raw Vegan, Mudec Museum, Tokuyoshi, Michele Nastasi

Terrazza Triennale (below)

A cityscape

Just in New York

Albertine (left)

Nestled in a landmark Beaux-Arts mansion beside the French Embassy, this bi-level specialty bookshop and reading room offers French and English translations of more than 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries. 972 Fifth Ave., tel. 212.650.0070, albertine.com

From its oyster bar, beer hall, multiple restaurants or, soon, cabaret, take in idyllic Lady Liberty views at this renovated 1886 harbor house along Battery Park’s historic Pier A. 22 Battery Pl., tel. 212.785.0153, piera.com

Hayward House (above)

Restored to its original opulence, the Grosvenor Atterbury mansion makes an idyllic backdrop for Marin Hayward’s glittering luxury accessories line. A neighboring men’s fashion venture named for her father, Dennis Hopper, is underway. 131 East 70th St., tel. 212.585.1712, haywardluxury.com

Good Room (below)

This unassuming 5,000-square-foot North Brooklyn dance club is all clout and no pretense, though you may still spot Alexander Wang on the dance floor, or Björk behind the turntables. 98 Meserole Ave., Brooklyn, tel. 718.349.2373, goodroombk.com

Cosme (below)

Enrique Olvera has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest chefs, and those who’ve experienced the Mexican-inspired culinary innovations on the menu of his first New York venture know why. 35 East 21st St., tel. 212.913.9659, cosmenyc.com

The Happiest Hour (above)

This retro West Village paradise features exotic trinkets, mid-century fixtures, tropical cocktails and frozen punches served in classic tiki ware. Downstairs, a sultry ’50s cocktail lounge is fit for the cast of “Mad Men.” 121 West 10th St., tel. 212.243.2827, happiesthournyc.com A 60

© Good Room, Pier A Harbour House, Paul Wagtouicz/The Happiest Hour, John Bartelstone, Paul Wagtouicz, Hayward House

Pier A Harbor House (above)

Celebrating 280 Years of Royal Service



© Saskia Lawaks

A cityscape

A 62

BeirutÕ s newest destination 1

Tony Salamé, David Adjaye, Massimiliano Gioni and Jeffrey Deitch hosted an event and dinner for 130 major players in the worlds of art and media on July 1st, 2015. Held at the Grand Palais to celebrate the Aïshti Foundation’s upcoming opening on October 24th and 25th, it was an evening that set the tone for the Foundation’s glittering future. A collector at heart, Tony Salamé, founder of the Aïshti chain of stores, has had a passion for modern and contemporary art since the early 2000s. However, it wasn’t until an encounter with Dino Facchini, owner of the Byblos brand and Byblos Art Hotel in Verona, that he began to collect pieces from the Arte Povera movement. From there, his interest grew to include more



63 A

A cityscape



In a short period of time, he’d assembled more than 2,000 pieces by 150 international, regional and Lebanese artists. In 2005, he considered starting a museum. It would give him a chance to place these private works of art within the reach of the public, framed in the context of a shopping mall. This first project, still in progress, was designed by internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid. A second key encounter, this time with star architect David Adjaye, convinced him to start another project in the Aïshti mall on the seafront, an industrial area north of the Lebanese capital. Adjaye, keeping with Salamé’s vision, created a concept that unites a shopping complex, spa, pool, restaurants and an open-air bar into one expansive mall. Art is a crucial element in the Aïshti Foundation. A landscaped promenade facing the sea hosts monumental sculptures from Salamé’s collection, selected by curator Cecilia Alemani, while curator Massimiliano Gioni will be organizing the launch of the exhibition, along with a book published by New York Karma. A 64




© Saskia Lawaks

recent works, like those from the Young British Artists. He roamed fairs and galleries around the world, meeting artists and requesting special projects.

1. Aishti foundation model 2. Tony Salamé 3. Marie-Sophie Eiché, Elham Salamé 4. Manal Khader, Tony Salamé, Raymond Araiji, Ziad Antar, Carol Shoucair 5. Massimiliano Gioni, Tony Salamé 6. Tony Salamé, Daniel Buren 7. Audience 8. Elham and Tony Salamé, Ashley Shaw-Scott, David Adjaye 9. Tony Salamé, Jeffrey Deitch, David Adjaye, Massimiliano Gioni 10. The Lebanese ministry of culture Raymond Araiji, Caroline Bourgois, Tony Salamé 11. Jeffrey Deitch, Jennifer Flay, Massimiliano Gioni 12. Daniel Buren, Marie-Sophie Eiché





65 A

A cityscape



15. Jeffrey Deitch, Jennifer Flay 16. Tony Salamé, Joelle Hamade, Wadad Araiji, Raymond Araiji 17. Mohamad Bassetneh, Victoire de Pourtalés, Heidi Loubier, Jean Marc Loubier, Peri Bassatneh 18. Karim Abillama, Raya Raphael 19. Jean-Marc Loubier, Heidi Loubier, Tony Salamé 20. Alexander Hertling, Andrew Hamilton, Katy Hamilton




© Saskia Lawaks


A 66

collection Serrure - dinhvan.com

SYLVIE SALIBA - Quantum Tower Achrafieh - BEIRUT - 01 33 05 00 - www.sylviesaliba.com

Aïshti’s newest lifestyle destination for art, WELLNESS, food and fashion opens this September


Aïshti’s newest lifestyle destination for art, WELLNESS, food and fashion opens this September


A playground _ mixed media

Alone on a desert islandÉ By Daniel Hilton

Wael Lazkani, chef at Jaï In the hectic and high-pressure world of a chef, a long stretch of solitude and reflection while marooned on a desert island can be just the soul food that one needs. “I would be delighted to finally have some quiet time to think a little,” says Wael Lazkani, Beirut’s crusader of Asian cuisine and chef at Jaï. But thoughts can’t occupy all that time alone, so he’s bringing some essentials along with him. Lazkani’s obviously a fan of imaginative and surreal cinema, as he’s bringing 8½ – enthusing that Federico Fellini’s “dialogue and images are just so quirky, such an honest reflection” – as well as cult anime Ghost in the Shell, a film he describes as “pure poetry.” Just in case he’s stranded in paradise for life, Lazkani’s packing Lebanon’s best-loved songstress, Fairuz. “What better way to spend a lifetime than listening to Fairuz?” he says lovingly. And for those more upbeat moments there’s A Love Supreme by jazz legend John Coltrane, “a genius musician who finally finds his voice and his confidence.” Jaï was set up after Lazkani ate his way across Asia, and his choice of Wu Cheng’en’s Monkey: Journey to the West, “an epic 16thcentury tale of Chinese folk law and history,” reflects his interest in the continent. “So much of old China is present here.” To keep the memory of life outside paradise alive, H.G. Wells’ The Outline of History, an arching account of the world’s progress, is coming too. “His humanist approach to the complete history of the world, with its serious personal prejudices, is a great lesson in how to think.”


Jaï, Mexico St., Kantari, tel. 01.341.940

A 74


LEBANON BEirut SOukS +961 1 991 111 Ext 595

A playground _ monograph

A legend in new light By John Burns

Unearthing Niemeyer’s forgotten works

With a career that spanned a period of 70 years, it’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that some of Niemeyer’s unbuilt projects have been neglected from memory, following the same unfortunate fate as some of his built works: the ruins of a semi-built international fair in Lebanon, for example, or his nowcrumbling universities in Algeria. Oscar Niemeyer in Abu Dhabi is a new publication I edited for Emirati publishing house Brownbook, which was produced in collaboration with Fundação Oscar Niemeyer, the architect’s official archives. Its title alludes to one such unbuilt project, an all-out Arabian pleasure park that Niemeyer A 76

proposed in 1981 for Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi. It was a project mentioned only in footnotes and online stubs but one that begged a question: How, four decades into his career, did Niemeyer wind up on the shores of a tiny island off the coast of a then-insignificant GCC nation? In 1964, following the deposition of Brazil’s then-President João Goulart, Niemeyer packed up his trunk and self-exiled to

© Moylin Yuan / Brownbook

The late modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer designed everything from Brazil’s capital city right down to a box of chocolates. Before his death at the grand old age of 104, his plan chest in Rio de Janeiro heaved with the blueprints of over 600 projects.

This and previous page This new tome on famed modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer focuses on his unbuilt pleasure park in Abu Dhabi

Europe; a hardline, right-wing Brazil was no place for an avowed communist. “I decided to pack up my architecture and my hurt feelings and go abroad,” Niemeyer wrote in his memoir. It was during this period that Niemeyer set sail (for he was afraid of flying) to the Middle East and North Africa. His political leanings led to friendships with revolutionary leaders and designs for newly independent nations in the region. Until he returned to Brazil in 1985, the architect lent his signature freeflowing, futuristic forms to sketches for a zoo in Algeria, a town plan for Libya and a Toyota branch in Saudi Arabia, among others. Abu Dhabi was no different, it seems. Sometimes detailed, often little more than a squiggle, Niemeyer’s sketches for Abu Dhabi illustrate an ambitious master plan featuring domed 1001 Nights theme parks, UFO-like

auditorium centers and a modernist care home for geriatric Emiratis. Although, as Niemeyer himself once wrote, the project “never made it off paper,” what I found curious during my research and interviews is that his plans for Abu Dhabi bear relevance to the city’s current urban development. At a point when Saadiyat Island has caught the imagination of starchitects such as Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry and is set to become the world’s most concentrated square mile of art, culture and architecture, it’s interesting to note the ironic twist of fate of its barren neighbor, Lulu Island. A 30-year old love affair between one of the world’s most legendary architects and the Middle East has been all but forgotten in the slew of anticipation surrounding the projects that his disciples are set to build. Visit brownbook.me 77 A

A playground _ villains

Left Frank Underwood is ruthless in his pursuit of the presidency Below Walter White’s unassuming façade hides a multitude of sins

A wolf in sheepÕ s clothing The rise of the anti-hero

a benign smile and a few carefully chosen words in his southern drawl. It’s sink or swim when it comes to the White House, and Frank intends to stay afloat until the end.

“A handbook for gangsters,” The Prince has influenced those hungry for power ever since Machiavelli penned it in the 16th century. Leaders, he wrote, are expected to operate beyond the constructs of right or wrong, making ruthless decisions with an iron resolve. “It is necessary that a prince who is interested in his survival learn to be other than good,” he explains. Recent television’s most Machiavellian characters prove that viewers have a particular soft spot for an anti-hero with megalomaniacal tendencies.

And still, we find ourselves rooting for him. Despicable, tyrannical, amoral – yet Underwood’s most lethal weapon is his charisma. In season one, at the funeral of a teenage girl killed in his home state of South Carolina, he speaks with powerful eloquence on the devastating impact of grief upon faith, referencing a beloved father who died when he was young. Yet this recollection of Frank vulnerable at his own father’s funeral is quickly quashed by his aside to the camera – a mechanism that creates collusion with the viewers – where he declares, “The man never scratched the surface of life. Maybe it’s best he died young.” He has manipulated those around him, he has manipulated us as viewers, and we can’t help but admire him for it.

Frank Underwood from House of Cards is one such misanthropic mastermind. A morally bankrupt politician played by Kevin Spacey, he has charmed his way into the psyche of anyone who’s watched the wildly successful Netflix television series. Intent on seizing the presidency of the United States, he tramples on anyone weaker or kinder in his pursuit of power. With his wife Claire by his side – a bastion of style in tailored neutrals and a chic blonde crop – Frank commits atrocities with A 78

Walter White, the family man-turned-drug baron in HBO’s Breaking Bad, begins as a normal guy and ends as a monster. From high school chemistry teacher to drug kingpin, his insatiable ego transforms him

into a villain and combusts the lives of all close to him. Unlike Frank, Walt begins as an Average Joe: he lives modestly, loves his wife and son and gets excited by atoms. In short, he’s a geek, and an endearing one at that. But his diagnosis of terminal cancer changes everything. Faced with mortality, panicked at the thought of his family surviving without his support, he begins cooking meth to earn money. The intentions are noble. Yet the means of achieving them become increasingly dubious until, finally, the viewer has a moment of terrible clarity: Walt has become grotesque. His descent into darkness is so slow, so gradual, that we are guided into amorality with him. Only when his redemption becomes impossible do we accept him as a villain. Popular culture’s recent spate of psychopaths has thrown off the hackneyed stereotypes of yesteryear to assume a veil of respectability. Gone is the palpable aura of menace; these men wear country club clothes and make small talk with the neighbors. We are so seduced by their normality that we make excuses for their evil. Slowly, we become complicit in their crimes – and our realization that we’ve been duped comes too late.

© Breaking Bad / AMC, House of Cards / Sony Pictures

By Pip Usher

Aïshti Downtown Beirut TEL. 01.991 111 Aïshti Seaside, Jal el Dib TEL. 04.717 716 Aïshti Verdun TEL. 01.793 777


A playground _ concert

A very female force

By Natalie Shooter

Akua Naru, hip-hop heavyweight

Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, Naru’s first musical influence came from the gospel music of her church; later, she found inspiration from artists as diverse as Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest and jazz musicians Nicholas Payton and Roy Hargrove. She fostered her lyricism as a young girl, reading and writing poetry, and music naturally followed. “At some point, when a beat was playing, those poems became rhymes. I have been doing it ever since,” she says. Alongside her rhymes developed a powerful sense of political consciousness, one that continues to be the driving force behind her music today. “It’s not hard to notice when you grow up black and female in a small city in America,” she explains. “As a teenager, I was in a number of arts and political awareness programs where I was able to come into contact with activists who had A 80

survived previous movements. I was inspired to read and study... And raise questions. I believe this really shaped me as a young adult.” Her recent album, The Miner’s Canary, released in early 2015, showed an evolution in her sound, her distinctively raspy vocals and pertinent lyricism layered on to a characteristic medley of neo soul, jazz and hip-hop influences. The album’s artwork – which remade an iconic photograph of the Black Panther Party’s Huey P. Newton, though clutching a spear and microphone – points to the potential she sees in music to create change. “My music is rooted in social justice. It’s always questioning the world I have inherited, and tries to paint a way towards something better,” she says. “I believe that music is powerful enough to awaken, educate, inspire. It tells us where we are and some music can show us where we can go.” Easily one of the most charismatic female voices in hip-hop today, Naru continues the tradition of creating music that calls out to people. “If I did not believe in the potential of music, how could I stand behind it?” She pauses. “I believe people are waking up and I don’t believe that will change.” Sept 26, radiobeirut.net

© Daniel Ziegert

Over the last three years, Radio Beirut has become a platform for the underground music scene, hosting everything from jazz and classical tarab to electropop, reggae and folk. This summer, they’ve taken their soundtrack outdoors – and invited Akua Naru, a Colognebased hip-hop artist, to close their series of music sessions with her potent form of spoken-word poetics.

A fashion _ news

Fashion fragments New faces, new places

See by Chloé’s fall/winter 2014-15 collection is all about individuality, and the brand drives the point home with a new campaign featuring 20 stylish girls discovered across Europe. Their distinct personalities were captured on film by Matteo Montanari. Visit chloe.com

New home for NYFW

Adiós Lincoln Center – after five years, New York Fashion Week is changing venues. Skylight at Moynihan Station on West 33rd St. and Skylight Clarkson Square on Washington St. will be the new destination for the weeklong event. Visit nyfw.com

Tongues are wagging Gender neutral

Fashion’s moved a step beyond androgyny to genderless “his-n-hers” looks that are made to be swapped between the sexes. Looks by Gucci. A 86

Next month, fashion’s most controversial photographer will release a two-volume monograph of his 20-year career, Terry Richardson: Volumes 1 & 2: Portraits and Fashion. Tom Ford, Chloë Sevigny and James Franco are all contributors. Visit terryrichardson.com

© Gucci, New York Rizzoli, See by Chloé, Skylight

See by ChloŽ girls

Aïshti, Downtown Beirut, t.01.991 111 Aïshti seAsiDe, JAl el DiB, t. 04.717 716


A fashion _ collection

In focus By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

Rykiel’s legacy lives on through Julie de Libran

Rykiel once offered a brief version of her story. She started sketching her own designs in the early ‘60s, a pregnant housewife unhappy with maternity options. When she and her husband, a clothing boutique owner, later divorced, she inherited her own shop. Dissatisfied with what labels were offering working women (particularly those, like her, with a post-work social life), Rykiel commissioned a factory in Italy to produce her short, tight, poor-boy sweater. From the shop window it made the cover of a big fashion magazine, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn became clients and the rest, as they say, is history. After decades of sketching designs, Rykiel unofficially retired in 2007 – but not because the Bingo tables were calling. Afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, her health had slowly deteriorated for years. Today, she contributes ideas while her daughter, Nathalie, runs the company and Julie de Libran designs each collection. De Libran arrived at the house two seasons ago after making an impression at Gianfranco Ferré, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Versace and Louis Vuitton, where she was creative and studio director for womenswear until last year. When asked how she’s found settling into the new role, her enthusiasm is palpable. “It’s been fantastic! And this is just the beginning,” she says, before adding, “but there’s still a lot I want to do.” A 88

With iconic stripes, an abundance of knits and some very obvious nods to the ’70s – the era when Rykiel shot to fame for her deconstructed “démodé” look – it was evident at the spring/summer 2015 show that the designer takes Rykiel’s legacy seriously. But that doesn’t mean she’s restricted by it. “It was important to me to go through the archives when I arrived at the house,” she says. “Then I needed to close everything and create my own vision for women today, while still respecting where I am.” By fall/winter 2015-16, she was doing just that. The latest collection has a new, if familiar, Rykiel woman in mind. Adding that today’s muse is even busier than her early counterpart, de Libran explains, “I don’t think she’s different than before – her spirit is the same.” The designer outfitted a hectic lifestyle with denim, leather and tweeds that move and feel like knits. She also played with contrasts, pairing soft, supple velvet and cold, reflective textiles and beadwork. By all accounts, de Libran is the epitome of the Rykiel woman, complete with a successful career and mercurial French style (her penchant for ’70s silhouettes seemed almost fortuitous when her appointment was announced). If she had to choose one look to live in this season, she says it would be a mix of pieces from the collection: the velvet Liberty-print jumpsuit with a matching cape, worn with a shearling purse and sock-trimmed boots. “My philosophy is to make your own fashion by wearing clothes that suit your shape, lifestyle and personality.” But most of all, she adds, “keep an element of surprise and passion in whatever you do.” Sonia Rykiel wouldn’t want it any other way. Available at Aïshti stores

© Gilles Tapie, Derek Hudson, Jean-Luce Hure, Sonia Rykiel

Now well into her 80s, Sonia Rykiel has always been driven by a combination of instinct and necessity. Despite later being hailed Queen of Knits, she had no training in fashion design and had never picked up a knitting needle. Yet when she needed something to wear nearly 50 years ago, she ended up building an empire.

This page Highlights from Sonia Rykiel’s fashion shows throughout the years (left, right); the designer (center) was known as the Queen of Knits, as showcased by stylish ensembles on the catwalk (bottom)

89 A

A fashion _ debate

Yes or no Should “Do I look alright” be met with an honest answer?

YES Here’s a true story: when I was a teenager, I woke up to an enormous zit on my forehead. Well, I’m sure I had plenty of enormous zits, but this one was particularly red, angry-looking and with a wider-thannormal surface area. Upon seeing me, my mother – my own mother! – exclaimed, “Would you look at that bloody enormous zit!” I resented her enough for it that I remember it 15 years later, and am now putting her dubious parenting skills in print. I’ll get to the point. Beyond hiding in a dark room, there wasn’t much I could do about that zit, and as such, there was no reason to point out the angry red elephant in the room, or should we say, on my forehead. But a bad outfit is a whole different story. We choose to put on clothes. And we can choose to take them off. It doesn’t take very long either, unless your friend is permanently wrapped in a latex bodysuit (in which case, you should definitely be having a word). And as for a friend’s “feelings,” let it be known that how we present ourselves to the world is important. You probably agree, because you’re reading this magazine. If your friend is dressed up like a bimbo, bore or lunatic and you let her go about her daily life like that, then there’s every chance she won’t get that job, the man of her dreams or respect from the cruel world that we live in. You’re doing her a favor. For me, there is no question about it: if you can’t tell your friend she looks like a sad sack of awfulness, then you’re no friend at all. By John Ovans

NO A friend of mine once began wearing gold chains around his eyeglass to keep them from falling off, like an elderly grandmother might. At first I thought it was painfully unfashionable and contemplated whether I should flush the chains down the toilet when he wasn’t looking. But he kept wearing them as though it was the statement of the year. He thought he looked good. Within a couple weeks, I realized it was actually a bold choice, reflective of both his fondness for practicality and eccentricity. I suddenly felt free to take my own chances too. Why not wear a bathing suit as a blouse, or silk pajamas as a sweater?

That’s why it’s your job to make your friends think they look good all the time, even if they don’t: because eventually, they’ll believe it. This is true whether the topic in question is something natural (“Does my nose look too big?”) or something changeable (“Do I look fat in these pants?”). Be supportive. Lie – until it’s the truth. By Christina Tkacik A 90

© Shutterstock

At the end of the day, looking good isn’t about looking good. It’s about confidence. You can be a Ukrainian supermodel wearing Chanel, but if you don’t feel like a cover girl, you won’t look like one. Conversely, you can have unconventional looks or style, but if you feel comfortable in your own skin, the world will soon adjust to embrace you. In refusing to bend to society’s rigid tastes, you’ve done mankind a great service. You’ve expanded what it means to be beautiful. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself when I wear a bikini in public.

A fashion _ forecaster

Ahead of the curve By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

can give straightforward advice backed up most and, as a result, influencing the most.” data.” (Or by connections. Pelizzari also Their buying power translates to skinny, Orietta Pelizzari “Ibyrelies on insiders to tip her off, including one androgynous runway looks that suit a certain a high-tech printing company that devised body type; think rocker rebels at Saint is fashion’s crystal ata new way of producing luxury sneakers for Laurent and Alexander Wang. Even more a particular client. She was able to get textile traditional brands are adapting to this new ball samples and investigate the technique’s client. “Armani used to use an Italian size

You may have heard of a trend forecaster or cool hunter, but that’s an altogether different job. “Cool hunters grab ideas, saying, ‘Blue is the color this year,’” she explains. “Analysis is when you say ‘This shade of blue is good because…’” Her approach requires a team of no less than six people each season – specializing in everything from style scouting to marketing – and sometimes decades of quantitative research to determine the status of a trend. Pelizzari has worked with Milan Fashion Week and its affiliated fashion houses, including Etro, Missoni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali and Corneliani. Some brands tap her at the start of the design process, before a pencil even hits paper. “A creative director talks with me because I’m outside the company. I see things differently and I don’t have to abide by the brand’s rules,” she says. Whether its on color, material or silhouette, A 92

potential for the rest of the industry.)

CEOs tend to impose trend analysts on designers, but Pelizzari says she’s usually welcome, despite the industry’s notorious egos. “Creative directors see me as someone who takes the pressure off of them,” she explains. She either backs up their ideas or guides them towards something more commercially viable, which ultimately means more success – and praise – for a collection. Other brands ask for Pelizzari’s expertise just before a collection hits the sales floor. She might consult with a sales team or communications department, advising on strategies for specific markets. Pelizzari illustrates her role using Kim Kardashian as an example. The reality star may sell out clothes in Latin America, but she’s an ineffective PR tool in Asia. Brands that regularly send her clothing in exchange for Instagram posts or red carpet credit would be advised on a more relevant approach. “She influences no one in Asia,” says Pelizzari, “because no one has her body type.” There’s a reason this example is at the top of Pelizzari’s mind. “Ten or 15 years ago, Europeans were the biggest spenders,” she says. “Now, the Asian consumer is buying the

50 or 52 model, but now they need men who are toned and skinny,” Pelizzari points out. “A size 44 or 46 is standard.” This influence trickles all the way down to shop windows on Italy’s famed Via Monte Napoleone, filled with lithe, genderless mannequins that court out-of-town spenders rather than curvaceous locals. Coincidentally, when we meet for coffee in Beirut, Pelizzari is on her way to Shanghai. She spends some days riding her bike between meetings in Milan, but most often an airplane acts as her office. On this flight, “I have my ‘To Do’ list: prepare six trends, one press release, a presentation on which brands a retailer should invest in and another one on the direction of denim.” When she lands, she’ll pick up a local Time Out magazine and sightsee in the supermarkets, hair salons and restaurants where the average person spends money. She’ll pay particular attention to young people. “How can we predict how they’ll grow, and plan a strategy accordingly?” she says, stroking the Italian leather couch beneath her. “They don’t buy Cassina furniture today, but maybe one day they will. It’s my job to predict which couch they will buy.” Visit mattori.it

© Orietta Pelizzari

Orietta Pelizzari has been called many things: image expert, idea scout, international market consultant and, most recently, unofficial Italian ambassador. But when she introduces herself, the founder of trend forecasting studio Mattori goes simply by “trend analyst.”

93 A

A fashion _ diversity

Change on the catwalk By Pip Usher

The new breed of supermodel

Born Leandro Cerezo to Toninho Cerezo, a famous footballer, and a devout Catholic mother, Lea T has endured relentless public scrutiny as a transgender model. After making her modeling debut with Givenchy in the house’s fall/winter 2010-11 campaign (prior to that, she had worked as assistant to creative director Riccardo Tisci), her success has been stratospheric: magazine covers, turns on the catwalk for European fashion houses, the face of Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign and contracts with major beauty brands. Lest anyone forget, there was also that Love shoot: as she languidly locked lips with Kate Moss, it cemented Lea T’s status as a global player and garnered headlines galore. In the meantime, her success and her openness has sparked conversations about the transgender community across the globe, with Lea appearing on Oprah, America’s most beloved barometer of popular culture, after the controversial photo shoot with Vogue Paris. Yet she is circumspect about her impact. Explaining her decision to publicly A 94

© Jean Paul Gaultier, Navabi, Love

Lea T looks exactly how you’d expect a Brazilian supermodel to. With her lithe limbs, tangle of glossy dark hair and cheekbones that could slice a guava in two, the only thing that seems surprising about her international status is that, now 34 years old, she didn’t break into the fashion industry sooner. But Lea T is not just another beauty queen. In a nude photo shoot with Vogue Paris in 2010, she bravely revealed something. She has a penis.

This page Ashley Graham’s lingerie campaign for Navabi and the high-profile catwalk appearances of Andreja Pejić have helped redefine fashion’s traditional definition of beauty Opposite page Lea T’s intimate cover with Kate Moss was a career-defining moment for the transgender model

identify as a woman to Vanity Fair Italia, she said simply, “the choice is between being unhappy forever or trying to be happy.”

Transgender supermodels oversee empires. A plus-sized beauty graces the cover of Elle. Non-conformity has become fashionable – and the fashion industry’s a better place for it.

Jean Paul Gaultier

As the parameters of beauty shift, others have capitalized on this newfound liberalism. The implications of anorexic model Ana Carolina Reston’s tragic death still echo nearly a decade later, but size 16 model Ashley Graham is proving that curves can work in an industry renowned for its obsession with waifish women. Featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Love magazine and Teen Vogue, Graham believes that her presence is reassuring. “It’s important for women to see body diversity in the community reflected in the media, and you can tell it’s wanted,” she has said. “I think seeing plus-size women on catwalks gives normal women confidence.”

Jean Paul Gaultier

Accusations of Lea T’s accomplishments being a mere gimmick have been silenced by the arrival of another transgender supermodel on the scene. Discovered in a McDonald’s in Melbourne at the age of 16, Andreja Pejić was initially coined as simply androgynous, walking the runways for Jeremy Scott, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. During his fall/winter 2011-12 show, Gaultier deliberately played with the fluidity of her gender. Clothed first in an elegant tuxedo jacket and shirt slashed to the navel in a homage to James Bond, Pejić later emerged in furs and sky-high stilettos, a sultry, slinky “James Blonde.” But she wasn’t merely androgynous – she was transgender. In 2014, Pejić underwent gender-reconfirmation surgery, capturing it all in a documentary that hopes to humanize the experience. “There was a level of social responsibility in my decision to go there and document the journey,” she said, speaking to an Australian news station. In a later interview with Vogue, she recalled her horror as adolescence approached. “I wanted to stop puberty in its early tracks,” Pejić remembered. “I was worried about my feet being too big, my hands being too big, my jawline being too strong.”

95 A

A fashion _ inspiration

Second nature By Stephanie dÕ Arc Taylor

“I love Beirut!” says French jewelry designer Aurelie Bidermann in the Sylvie Saliba boutique in Furn el-Hayek, amongst the champagne and cake slices celebrating the local launch of her new collection. Dripping in rings and bracelets, Bidermann shares what inspired her new styles. Hey, if it’s good enough for Beyoncé (who recently bought the Cashmere Rubies earrings), it’s good enough for us. Nature “Everything in the collections is inspired by nature; it means a lot to me,” Bidermann says sincerely. It’s true: nearly every piece, from the silver shark tooth necklace, to the ladybug earrings, to the nautilus pendant, represents an object from the natural world (with the addition of precious or semiprecious stones). Luck The idea of luck is integral in Bidermann’s designs. She offers both charm bracelets and emerald four-leaf clover pendants and earrings. “My mother used to distract me from mischief by telling me to go find a four-leaf clover in the garden. When I found

A 96

one she put it in a book she still keeps by her bed,” she recalls fondly. “I believe in the power of the four-leaf clover – why not?” Travel From Egypt to New York to India to Italy, Bidermann’s “love of escape” fuels her designs as well. Her jewel-encrusted elephant pendant, for instance, was inspired by a heady trip to India. “About 15 years ago, I was in India for the wedding season… I saw an elephant with amazing decoration on its back and its trunk. It stayed with me.” Lace “Years ago I found a piece of lace in my grandmother’s attic I was totally in love with,” Bidermann explains when complimented on her lace series of bracelets and rings in gold with inlaid pink diamonds, white diamonds and sapphires. “I found this amazing technique where you can dip the lace in gold; it became iconic to my brand.” Available at Sylvie Saliba, Charles Malek Ave., Quantum Tower Bldg., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.330.500, sylviesaliba.com

© Aurelie Bidermann

Four ways Aurelie Bidermann gets inspired

LESILLA.COM Aïshti, 71 El-Moutrane Street. Tel.: 01.991111 - Aïshti Seaside, Jal el Dib Tel.: 04.717716

A fashion _ tip

Flights of fancy By John Ovans

miu miu

Air travel becomes a fashionable affair

It was Posh Spice who made the airport the new red carpet, giving the waiting paparazzi something to photograph by way of towering heels, show-stopping trench coats and an endless array of sin-obscuring sunglasses. Now, it’s standard fare for famous folk to arrive looking like they’ve fallen out onto a catwalk – from your Bosworths to your Krugers, everyone looks disconcertingly hot when they step off the airplane. Even for the non-famous, tipping off a plane after a long-haul flight looking as rough as a pair of old boots is no longer socially acceptable. After all, what will your taxi driver think when he is expecting a sleek,

A 98

chic jetsetter but is instead greeted by a madlooking banshee? But while La Beckham has never been one to opt for comfort over style – remember those thigh-high PVC boots with no heels? Hell, she probably gave birth in stilettos – that doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, you can do both. Luckily, pre-fall and fall/winter 15-16 have served up a roster of items that are going to help you along in your new mile-high look. Fendi, never afraid to play God in the shoe laboratory, has created a winning shoe hybrid in the fur bootie – think slippers with heels. If even that sounds too high maintenance for the likes of a layover, then

© Stella McCartney, Fendi, miu miu, Gucci



Stella McCartney

you’ll be glad to hear that Gucci is doing them too, but in flats. Think slippers, like slippers. Michael Kors also pitched in on the animal pelts with what the media dubbed a “power fur” – a cascade of coziness that could double up as the cushiest of pillows to nap into in lieu of a gruesome airline pillow – as has Dries Van Noten with a range of snug-as-can-be fur stoles. Stella McCartney, who uses sustainable practices where possible, offered up a faux-alternative, with a range of ludicrously cuddly wraparound coats. Our far-sighted readers will also understand the bugbear of contact lenses at a high altitude, because nobody wants to arrive at their glamorous destination looking like a strung-out vampire from Twilight with sockets full of sore, red eyes. Invest in a sexy pair of specs – allow us to recommend Paul & Joe, Gucci, Prada and miu miu, all of whom are changing the game for frame-wearers, oft with large frames in a nod to the geek chic trend that refuses to die. Got 20/20 vision? Then you’ll have the privilege – nay, the right and responsibility – to style out a pair of shades. With cat-eye lenses at Fendi and Armani, chunky colorful frames at Versace and oversized numbers at miu miu, you have plenty of choice when it comes to pulling off a touchdown with celebrity finesse.

Stella McCartney

One more thing: while it’s understandable to wish to spend your flight living it up on free drinks – after all, they come in such convenient little bottles – it is now universally understood that we should be arriving at the arrivals gate looking as picture perfect as the celebs who set this trend. So first things first: lay off the booze, drink lots of water and whatever you do, never forget to moisturize. Now, go forth and holiday. 99 A

A fashion _ editor

The editing room By John Ovans

When it’s your job to know about fashion, you better be damn sure you look the part. We’ll start with the Godfather, because frankly, it would be rude not to. While many fashion editors move with the trends – after all, it’s their job to follow them, and set them too – Anna Wintour’s look is almost freakishly consistent, season after season, year after year. In fact, there’s really no need to tell you about Ms. Wintour’s style, because as fashion editors go, you can’t get much more iconic. Fall/winter 2015-16 is basically the Terminator in a miu miu shift dress; a preying mantis with a penchant for florals and zany prints; an iceberg with a bob. You get where this is going. Burberry Prorsum

A 100

Dolce & Gabbana

It must be said, though, that it wasn’t always this way: the fashion wilderness that was the

© Shutterstock, Burberry Prorsum, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent

Burberry Prorsum

Publishing’s fashion icons

This page Carine Roitfeld, former editorin-chief of Vogue Paris, flies the flag for French style Opposite page Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour favors loud prints and a nipped silhouette

Marc Jacobs

’90s saw Wintour out and about in rainbow sequins and gold lamé turtlenecks. Quelle horreur! She’s been rocking her signature silhouette for about a decade now, which her fearful underlings must be grateful for, because it means her looming shadow is easily identifiable. Always nipped in to show off her tennis-honed figure, any style variations tend to oscillate between sleeves/no sleeves; and sometimes, incongruously, she does the soccer mom thing and flings a cardigan over her shoulders. Wintour also loves a good fur, and doesn’t much care what you think about it. The antithesis to Wintour is Katie Grand, editor of British style bible Love, super-stylist and regular collaborator with Marc Jacobs (she master-minded the latest ad campaign featuring Helena Bonham Carter in mismatched spotty gloves – classic Grand). The fashion maven has made a name for herself with her ability to lasso the zeitgeist and make whatever she’s doing or whomever she’s working with seem fresh. As for her personal style, Grand veers between the charmingly kooky – think oversized denim overalls wrapped in white faux-fur covered in red fried egg


Saint Laurent

splatters, or colorfully wacky coats apparently appliquéd by a mad person – and the sophistication of some of her favorite designers, such as Azzedine Alaïa and Prada. Given that she’s kept every single item of clothing since the age of 15, storing them in their own room in her London house and filing them alphabetically, she’s certainly got plenty to choose from. She also has a big toothy grin, hardly ever wears make-up and is often spotted out and about with an oversized bow in her hair. Friend crush! 101 A

A fashion _ editor


This page Katie Grand’s style is as edgy and eccentric as Love, the style bible she heads



If Grand flies the flag for British eccentricity, then Roitfeld gives us a lesson in French fashion like no other. Favoring a look that is timeless, tailored and confident, and the cool elegance of designers such as Saint Laurent, Chloé, and Balenciaga, Roitfeld pulls off hip-hugging pencil skirts, leather pants and tuxedo trouser suits with regular aplomb, generally in black, black and black. She isn’t afraid to skew masculine, and is a big fan of oversized shirts, which is handy, because her husband owns a range of them. Having said all that, she recently told The Cut magazine that she thought the wetsuit was the next big thing and then went on to style a swimwear shoot in which all the models wore something called a “facekini,” so maybe she’s losing the plot. A 102

© Céline, Gucci, MSGM

Rounding off our fashion editor style icons is Carine Roitfeld. Formerly editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, and now fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar, permasmokey-eyed Roitfeld is an exemplar Parisian who somehow manages to channel a bit of Kurt Cobain (is it the hair? It must be the hair.)

LEBANON 225 Foch St., Downtown Beirut Te l . + 9 6 1 1 9 9 1 1 1 1 E x t . 4 8 0


Burberry Prorsum



Jimmy Choo


A 108


Michael Kors


Dig it Theory

Rag & Bone


A fashion _ hot stuff

Marc Jacobs

Saint Laurent




Saint Laurent

Black magic

109 A





Charlotte Olympia

A 110 Saint Laurent


Elizabeth and James

Nancy Gonzalez


Sickly sweet miu miu

Charlotte Olympia

Temperley London

Eugenia Kim


Sarina Suriano

A fashion _ hot stuff


Adam Lippes

Bottega Veneta

Adam Lippes

See By Chloé


Saint Laurent


Vamp it up

111 A

Agent Provocateur


Valentino Garavani

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney


Burberry Prorsum


Alexander McQueen

Statement style

A 112 Jimmy Choo

Sarina Suriano


Burberry Prorsum

Christophe Robin

A fashion _ hot stuff

Alexander McQueen

Helmut Lang


Saint Laurent

Burberry Prorsum


Rag & Bone

Burberry Prorsum

Rag & Bone

Downtown girl

113 A

Rag & Bone


Bottega Veneta

Alexander McQueen

David Koma

Alexander McQueen

Bottega Veneta


Alexander McQueen

A 114

Saint Laurent

Dark desire

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti


Alexander Wang

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Bottega Veneta


Saint Laurent

David Koma

David Koma



Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli


Metallic fever

A fashion _ runway

115 A

Antonio Berardi

Burberry Prorsum


David Koma

Dolce & Gabbana




Oscar de la Renta


Antonio Berardi

Christophe Robin

Christophe Robin

Christophe Robin

Girlish charm


Alice & Olivia

Alberta Ferretti


Bottega Veneta

Dolce & Gabbana


Cape it


Burberry Prorsum


A fashion _ accessories


A 116

Tabbah ring

117 A

A fashion _ accessories

Mouawad necklace

A 118

119 A

A fashion _ accessories

A 120

This page Charlotte Olympia clutch, Tabbah ring, Cartier pen Opposite page Mimi earrings. Available at Sylvie Saliba

121 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page Lydia Courteille ring. Available at Sylvie Saliba Opposite page Mouawad brooch

A 122

123 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page Bvlgari watch Opposite page Garrard rings. Available at Sylvie Saliba

A 124

125 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page Earrings by George Hakim (center) and Vhernier. The latter is available at Sylvie Saliba

A 126

127 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page Venyx rings. Available at Sylvie Saliba Opposite page Noor Fares earrings. Available at Sylvie Saliba

A 128

129 A

A fashion _ accessories

A 130

This page Bvlgari necklace Opposite page Mouawad necklace

131 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page She’s wearing a Balenciaga coat and a Fendi bag Opposite page She’s in a Balenciaga coat

A 132

Shades of Fall Photographers Luke & Nik Stylist Gary David Moore Location London

133 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page She’s in a Stella McCartney look Opposite page Her shoes are by Stella McCartney

A 134

135 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page Her bag is by Céline Opposite page She’s wearing a Valentino dress and her earrings are by Céline

A 136

137 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page She’s wearing a look by Céline Opposite page Her shoes are by Dolce & Gabbana

A 138

139 A

A fashion _ accessories

A 140

This page Her shoes are by Céline Opposite page She’s in an Azzedine Alaïa dress and Balenciaga shoes (left). Her dress is by Prada and her shoes are by Céline (right)

141 A

A fashion _ accessories

A 142

This page She’s wearing a Valentino dress, Moschino shoes and Dolce & Gabbana earrings Opposite page Her earrings are by Dolce & Gabbana

143 A

A fashion _ accessories

This page She’s holding a Prada bag Opposite page Her dress and earrings are by Balenciaga and her shoes are by Dolce & Gabbana

A 144

145 A

A fashion _ accessories

A 146

This page She’s wearing a look by Céline Opposite page Her coat is by Prada Creative Director & Production Tereza Bila Hair Yusuke Morioka Make up Martina Lattanzi Set Designer Jaina Minton Models Kerry from FM Model Agency and Blue Sumrie from Elite Model Management London

147 A

True Grit Photographer Rayan Ayash Stylist Guylaine Tilleau Location Paris

The rise of Marie-Ange Casta The psychologist Carl Jung theorized that men and women have masculine and feminine sides, and our life’s journey is about finding an internal marriage between the two. But for model and actress Marie-Ange Casta, exploring both sides comes easily. When looking at potential film roles, she confesses, “I like getting dirty... I’d love to play a man, for example.” Despite a supermodel as a sister – Laetitia Casta, who has been the face of Guess and Victoria’s Secret – modeling didn’t always seem like a natural profession for the younger Casta. Growing up between Paris and Corsica, she reflects, “I preferred to imagine myself doing incredible things, like singing in a band on stage in front of thousands of people or being a firefighter and saving lives.” Her first encounters with the fashion world didn’t go so well, either. One evening, while her sister was modeling for Guess, the head of the company joined their family for dinner. During the meal there came a pause in the conversation where everyone was searching for a word. “I suddenly had an epiphany… I said, ‘I know, I know, penis!’ This was obviously not the case at all.” Her parents were hugely embarrassed, although her mother laughs today when she tells the story. But a few years after Casta obtained her degree in fine arts, she was tapped to be the face of Mango. As for her film career, she happened to audition for a film on a whim. “Everything came by coincidence,” she says. Casta credits her father’s emphasis on perseverance as crucial to her success. “My father told me a phrase some time ago that resonates in my mind: ‘To succeed you have to fight, have hope when nobody has any, have strength when everyone is exhausted, and remain standing when others are down,’” she recalls. “This is the greatest gift he gave me.”

She’s wearing True Religion jeans, an Agent Provocateur bra and a Current Elliott jacket. Her earrings are by De Grisogono and her rings are Ginette NY

This page She’s in a 7 for all Mankind shirt, an Agent Provocateur bra, and Joe’s jeans. Her ring is by Cartier Opposite page She’s wearing a Theory shirt and Paige jeans

This page She’s in a Jitrois jacket and Current Elliott jeans. Her necklace is by Repossi Opposite page She’s wearing a Sonia Rykiel shirt and a Current Elliott skirt. Her ring is by Repossi

She’s wearing a dress by Rani Zakhem

She’s wearing an Azzedine Alaïa shirt, an Agent She’s Provocateur in a Chanelbra jacket, and jeans skirt and by shoes The Kooples. Her necklaces are by Ginette NY and her ring is Cartier Hair Philippe Mensah Makeup Sergio Corvacho Models Kristina S from Model Management and Isy Dupont from Frimousse

This page Her shirt is by Azzedine Alaïa Opposite page She’s wearing a Current Elliott shirt, Jitrois pants and an Ermanno Scervino belt. Her ring is by De Grisogono

This page She’s in a True Religion jacket, Paige jeans and an Ermanno Scervino belt. The shirt is the model’s own. Opposite page Her shirt is by Sonia Rykiel Production Angela de Bona Hair Charlie Le Mindu from Jet Root Makeup Helene Vasnier from ArtList Model Marie-Ange Casta from IMG Models

Layer on Photographer Alice Rosati Stylist Rosa-Safiah Connell Location Studio, London

She’s wearing a Bottega Veneta coat, a Joseph top, miu miu shorts and Balenciaga shoes. Her rings are by Dior and her gloves are the stylist’s own

She’s in a Michael Kors sweater. Her gloves are the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a miu miu coat and a shirt and roll neck sweater by Joseph. Her shoes and rings are by Dior and her shorts and leggings are the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a Dsquared2 coat, a Bottega Veneta skirt, a Joseph roll neck sweater and Chloé shoes. Her gloves are the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a Balenciaga coat, Sacai Luck pants and Dior shoes. The shirt and gloves are the stylist’s own

She’s in a Burberry skirt, a Joseph roll neck sweater and Balenciaga shoes. Her rings are by Dior and her leggings are the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a Chloé jacket, miu miu shorts, a Sonia Rykiel top, a Joseph roll neck sweater and Balenciaga shoes. Her rings are by Dior and her leggings are the stylist’s own

She’s in a Sonia Rykiel coat, a Chloé sweater, Balenciaga gloves and shoes by Dior. Her pants are the stylist’s own

She’s in a look by Dior. Her gloves are by Balenciaga

She’s wearing a Stella McCartney dress and her shoes and rings are by Dior. Her leggings are the stylist’s own Casting and production Erin Fee Hair Louis Ghewy from The Book Agency Makeup Valeria Ferreira from Caren Model Audrey Nurit from Select Model Management

Lost in time Photographer Samantha Casolari

Stylist Ameliana Loiacono

Location Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como

She’s wearing an Ermanno Scervino dress and a vintage belt. Her shoes are by Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti

She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana dress and shoes. Her belt and earrings are vintage

Her sweater is by Fendi and her earrings are vintage

She’s wearing a look by Fendi. Her belt and earrings are vintage

She’s in an Ermanno Scervino dress. Her earrings are vintage

She’s wearing a Pucci jumpsuit and Roberto Cavalli shoes

She’s in a Moschino suit and a Dolce & Gabbana shirt. Her belt is vintage and her shoes are by Roberto Cavalli

She’s wearing a Tory Burch dress and Roberto Cavalli shoes. Her hat is vintage

She’s wearing a Prada dress and a vintage belt

Her jumpsuit is by Pucci. Her belt and bag are vintage

She’s wearing a Maison Margiela dress and a vintage necklace

She’s in a Michael Kors look. Her boots are by Roberto Cavalli

Her pants and sweater are by Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti and her belt is vintage

She’s in a Maison Margiela dress. Her earrings are vintage

Her jacket is by Moschino

She’s wearing a Tory Burch kaftan and a vintage hat

She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana shirt and a Moschino jacket Hair Marco Minunno from WM Management Makeup Cosetta Giorgetti from WM Management Model Eva Minaeva from Women Direct

A fashion _ insight

On Set

By Christina Tkacik

A 202

In 2002, Annie Leibovitz photographed George Clooney smiling in Lake Como, his holiday hideaway of choice. Since then, Italy’s most scenic spot has experienced a resurgence of high-end tourism, with everyone from Bill Gates to Britney Spears flying in for a bit of rest and relaxation. But fame isn’t a recent phenomenon; Lake Como’s status as an elite playground predates Clooney by centuries. Verdi wrote La Traviata on its shores, and Churchill took up painting here after World War II.

Wary of letting the shoot become overtly pretty, Loiacono opted for a model with an edgy, modern look. Loiacono, who’s worked with Tilda Swinton and Demi Moore, selected Eva Minaeva, whose intense gaze, paired with a septum piercing and choppy haircut, balanced out the hotel’s tranquil beauty. (Minaeva’s striking looks have also caught the attention of new Gucci creative director, Alessandro Michele, who cast her in the fashion house’s menswear spring/summer 2016 show).

A magazine’s cover shoot draws upon Lake Como’s storied history to create a compelling interplay between past and present. When searching for the shoot’s location, stylist Amelianna Loiacono knew she wanted a chic hotel that would showcase the area’s natural beauty. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo turned out to be just the ticket. Surrounded by a beautiful garden on one side and Lake Como’s alpine waters on the other, with an outdoor pool that sits in the lake itself, the recently restored hotel was built in 1910. Today, it combines all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel with an old-world glamour (the bright red Alfa Romeo seen in the shoot is, in fact, available for guest use).

But for the wardrobe, Loiacono kept things traditional. Focusing on elegant clothes that matched the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s timelessness, she explained, “I thought about what kind of woman would choose this hotel for her vacation. I started to create her hypothetical wardrobe, made of capes, impeccably cut suits and precious dresses,” In the end, the spread was as much about the hotel and Lake Como as it was about Eva and the clothes. According to Loiacono, “the sophisticated atmosphere of Grand Hotel Tremezzo pervaded the shoot, becoming as much a protagonist of our pictures as the models and clothes photographed.”

© Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Behind the scenes at A's elegant shoot



A beauty _ counter

Make me over

The next beauty favorites

Beauty inventory An organized makeup junkie’s dream, the Stash app lets you scan the barcodes of products in your cosmetic bag and alerts you when they’re about to run low. It also suggests new additions to your routine from over 115,000 products. Visit itunes.com, products by Dior A 208

The Chanel treatment Coco Chanel lived at Paris’s Ritz hotel for 34 years, and the legacy continues with Chanel au Ritz Paris, a new skincare destination slated to open in the Ritz Club at the end of this year. Visit chanel.com

© Mara Hoffman, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, The Ritz, Algamaris

Undercover Looking for a sunscreen that’s gentle on your skin? Algamaris has you covered. The French brand offers UV protection in a certified organic formula with a mineral sun filter, available in everything from spray to cream to stick form. Available at Dermapro, Saifi Village, George Haddad St., tel. 01.975.544, dermapro.me

Copper coating After a wave of ruby pouts (which are sticking around this fall), metallic bronze shadow puts the focus back on eyes at Zac Posen, Mara Hoffman and Marchesa. Look by Mara Hoffman, Yves Saint Laurent Couture Mono No. 6 in Argane


A beauty _ ritual

Bathing beauty

By Grace Elena Banks

In the tub, not the club

Pruning in 38°C water isn’t for everyone, but for those in the know, the pre-sleep bath is a wellness technique on the rise. It’s also an Instagramable event, thanks in part to new beauty brands such as Glossier – which shot their line around a bath featuring sage smudging sticks, crystals, a succulent and bubbles – and Sausanne Kaufmann, whose bath oils come with fresh sprigs of thyme inside. The first baths were Roman and built in 354 AD around thermal springs. Bathing was a fundamental part of socializing and bath houses were divided by class and sex. Since then, the humble tub has appeared in living rooms in the 1600s, on front porches in the Caribbean and in bathrooms across the A 210

world. As Diane von Furstenberg declared in her book The Bath – an addictive tome of glamorous bath tales – “The bath is the cradle for communion with life, because water is the source of all that lives.” So whether you rock out to your Walkman à la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, or go back to basics like DVF, the bath is a place to reconnect, and while you’re at it, sample some of the best beauty products around. Baths have come a long way since the days of strict door policies, but two brands developed in the early 1900s, Kneipp and Weleda, design bath oils around the same Roman principles of mineral rejuvenation. Weleda’s plant-based products are 83 percent raw and tailored to the body; their Mineral Pine Bath Milk is one of the most natural bath products on the market. Another historic addition to your bath is Kneipp bath salts, created by Sebastian Kneipp, founder of the Naturopathic Medicine Movement. The color of these potent salts makes them

even more fun; pour in a cupful and watch your bath turn violet, blue or bright yellow. For a nightly outerbody experience, no product can beat MIO Liquid Yoga. An urban secret passed on from friend to friend, this invigorating oil leaves you with a post-yoga high. Or pair Diptyque’s Precious Oils for Body and one of the brand’s popular candles for an amplified experience. If oils aren’t your thing, powders will keep your skin fresh and your mind healthy. Pursoma’s Digital Detox Bath uses Montmorillonite clay to remove harmful radiation that comes from mobile phones and tablets. Superior baths are an experience, not a chore. Turn your bathroom into a hammam-worthy destination by decorating surfaces with crystals, trinkets you’ve found while travelling and some verdant greenery. Now that’s a scene to boast about at the water cooler. Diptyque is available at Aïshti stores.

© Shutterstock

It’s possible that you’ve found yourself at that incredibly liberating life stage. The one in which rather than boast about a night out at the latest hotspot, you gracefully name drop a series of cult beauty brands that made an appearance – in your bath.

A beauty _ evolution

Primal movement

By John Ovans

Lebanese men are no strangers to the gym. With bodybuilding culture so prevalent in Beirut, trainers are constantly looking for new ways to challenge clients who are in pursuit of better abs and bigger biceps. To do this requires the constant changing up of routines. “Functional” training has been de rigeur for years, which is as it sounds – exercising the body for use in everyday life, targeting the core muscles of the lower back and abdomen using a mixture of bodyweight exercises and cardio. “‘If you do one hour of training on the elliptical, you can still walk out of the house and break your neck,” says Jad Jaber, co-founder of Beirut-based fitness consultancy Tan and Train. “The idea of functional training is that it can help you in the way you run, the way you walk and your day-to-day living.” Jaber reveals that recently, however, more of his clients have begun to inquire about something called caveman training, which has its roots in A 212

functional training and is similar to the everpopular Crossfit. This is all down to the fact that everyday life in 2015 is no longer as challenging as it was, say, a 100,000 years ago, and the fitness industry is responding accordingly. Cavemen and women didn’t have the luxury of taking escalators into shopping malls or ordering meals online – they were too busy running away from saber-toothed tigers and climbing up trees to forage their food. This is the notion of caveman training, which is based on primal movements such as jumping, swimming, crawling, running, rolling, climbing, fighting and lifting, jolting us out of our static lifestyles and getting us back to our prehistoric roots. The outdoors becomes the gym; logs take the place of barbells; highintensity, cross-country sprints displace the treadmill; and star jumps are superseded by animal movements like frog jumps. Even walking around barefoot can help to strengthen muscles in your feet. While one of the great things about caveman training is that it doesn’t require a gym

membership, you may need some professional guidance, and it’s more likely to benefit those already in good shape. “If you have a weak core, don’t get into such training, because you’ll immediately get into lower back injuries and God knows what,” advises Jaber. Several companies are, however, cropping up to provide these “transformational fitness courses,” including Wild Fitness, which holds courses in Kenya and Andalucia. These boot camps seek to foster a corresponding mindset of curiosity, honing instincts to ensure we move with purpose. Nutrition, too, is addressed – the already-popular Paleo diet propagates a “hunter-gatherer” menu based on seafood, meat, seeds, fruits and nuts that compliment this return to primitive form. While it’s not for everyone, there’s no denying that Lebanon’s rugged mountains provide the perfect backdrop for this sort of training. And if you happen to see a woolly mammoth charging at you the next time you’re shopping in the Souks, you’ll have the benefit of being quicker on your feet than most. Visit wildfitness.com

© Shutterstock

Caveman training harks way back


IT’S A BIG WORLD. GO RUN IT Available at Aïzone stores T:01 991 111 and retail sport shops Follow us on


A beauty _ influence

Singing the blues By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab


We’ve got the blues and we’ve never looked better. While fall typically signifies the return of dark, smoky eyes, Chanel is turning up the volume with Blue Rhythm de Chanel, a new, jazz-inspired collection out in August.


The French house describes the collection’s signature look as “a fascinating rhythm in blue major, with its rebellious spirit sweeping away everything in its path.” And while it’s a bold and defiant look, this isn’t the time to freestyle – it takes a steady hand to perfect.

Next, line the base of the upper lashes with blue eyeliner. “Extend it outwards using an eyeliner brush to create almond-shaped eyes,” Ezzarqui says. Apply a navy blue powder on top of the liner, blending it towards the temples, and then line the lower lashes with the same shade. “Blend this towards the temples, too,” explains Ezzarqui, “and meet the makeup on the upper eyelid.” A light blue hue enhances the shape of the eye when added to the middle of the eyelid, while a black shade around the outer counter of the upper and lower lids structures the graphic effect. “Blend the product inward to create volume,” Ezzarqui instructs, adding that a touch of shimmering blue shadow in the center of the lid and a hefty coat of mascara are the final crescendo. Ezzarqui offers two subtle variations, depending on your mood. For more intensity, use a black or blue pencil inside the waterline; to brighten the eyes, try a pencil in pearly white. No matter which you choose, this is one look that deserves a standing ovation. A 214

4. 1.

6. 7. 1. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Iced Blue 2. Chanel Les Beiges, Healthy Glow Cheer Colour SPF 15, No. 70 3. Dior Mascara Diorshow in Pro Black, No. 090

4. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo No. 18 5. Chanel Les 4 Ombres, Blue Rhythm Collection in Tissé Jazz, No. 244 6. Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro in Medium Blonde, No. 06 7. Chanel Liquid Eyeliner Intensity Definition in Dream Blue, No. 60

© Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Giorgio Armani, Dior

Chanel makeup artist Najette Ezzarqui suggests starting with a clear, glowing complexion, so eyes can take the lead. “Highlight the canvas with an illuminating base, followed by foundation and concealer,” she says. Finish with a powder and a sheer blush on the apples of the cheeks “for a touch of radiance and color.” A touch of gloss is all the lips require. Because eyes will be going solo, redefine skimpy or unruly brows with an eyebrow powder or gel.


A beauty_ concept

Summer glow

Photographer Tony Elieh

From top Lancôme Ombre Hypnôse Stylo in Bleu Nuit, No. 07, in Turquoise Infini, No. 06 and in Erika F, No. 05; Essie nail polish in Melody Maker, No. 915, in Make Some Noise, No. 913 and in All Access Pass, No. 916; Chanel Sparkling Mascara in Jazzy Blue; Yves Saint Laurent Eye Liner Effet Faux Cils Shocking No. 4, No. 2 and No. 3; Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in Vibrato, No. 665; Yves Saint Laurent Couture Mono Eyeshadow in Khôl, No. 10

A 216

From top Yves Saint Laurent Couture Mono Eyeshadow in Marceau, No. 3; Yves Saint Laurent Couture Variation Palette in Nu, No. 1; Essie Nail Polish in Groove Is in the Heart, No. 918; Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Nude Insolent, No. 10; Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in High Density Black, No. 1; Lancôme Ombre Hypnôse Stylo in Or Inoubliable, No. 01 and in Sable Enchanté, No. 02; Yves Saint Laurent Couture Eye Primer in Fair, No. 1; Lancôme Sourcils Gel in Taupe, No. 03 and in Châtain, No. 04

217 A

beirut souks, souk el tawileh - beirut city center, hazmieh, level 1 also available at all aïzone stores in beirut, dubai, amman


this is where we tell you what to wear

Foch Street . Beirut City Center . Aïshti Downtown Aïshti Seaside . Aïshti Verdun . Aïzone ABC Achrafieh and Dbayeh . Aïzone InterContinental Mzaar

A design _ update

World view

By J. Michael Welton

Eye-popping designs from Paris to Tahoe

© Karen Fuchs, Baxter, Friedman Benda, Mountainside Northstar, Juho Huttunen / Nooks, Paris Design Week

New York Architect/designer Ettore Sottsass was one of the 20th century’s great modernists. On Sept. 10, 100 of his works will be offered at the Friedman Benda Gallery. Included are furniture, ceramics and enameled objects, all created between 1955 and 1969. Sept. 10 - Oct. 17 at Benda Gallery, West 26th St., New York, friedmanbenda.com

A 222

© Karen Fuchs, Baxter, Friedman Benda, Mountainside Northstar, Juho Huttunen / Nooks, Paris Design Week

Bahamas Architect Chad Oppenheim’s boldest new design is “House on a Dune” in Harbour Island, Bahamas. It’s favored by high-profile celebrities like Elle Macpherson, Diane von Furstenberg and India Hicks as it reconnect its guests with nature. Visit oppenoffice.com

Como Baxter’s on a roll. First there was the new London showroom, opening last September, then came the Beirut shop in early December. This year, the company, known for merging architecture, art and furniture (with an affinity for nuanced leather), celebrates its 25th anniversary. Visit baxter.it

Helsinki Designer Janine Rewell has built a dollhouse dedicated to the idea of monkeying around – for both sisters and brothers. Handmade and painted in Finland, it’s one of seven designs (including the exceedingly cute Bunnyhouse), in Nooks, the Dollhouse Collection. Visit nooks.fi

223 A

A design _ update

Lake Tahoe The “Stellar” collection of residences by architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson are defined by their views, with shed roofs tipped up to reveal vistas at 6,700 feet. The Carson Range rises in the distance; landscape design and ski slopes dominate the foreground. Visit mountainsidenorthstar. com

A 224

© Karen Fuchs, Baxter, Friedman Benda, Mountainside Northstar, Juho Huttunen / Nooks, Paris Design Week

Paris This year’s Design Week promises a more democratic approach, with attractive new pricing and the alluring élégance of beaucoup brands, boutiques, hotels, museums, galleries, restaurants, concept stores and design showrooms. Runs Sept. 5-12, parisdesignweek.fr

The Aïshti Foundation New Skin Selections from the Tony Salamé - Aïshti Collection Curated by Massimiliano Gioni Opening October 25, Beirut Building by David Adjaye

A design _ trend

Tools of the trade By J. Michael Welton

Writing instruments loaded with style

Apple (left)

Parker (above)

Since 1921, the Duofold Black Ballpoint Pen has served as an emblem of excellence for writers looking for comfort and luxury. Finished in precious metals, it’s the company’s signature item. It’s also an icon of avant-garde design, one that sleekly embraces the Art Deco spirit. Visit newellrubbermaid.com A 226

LÙ p de LÙ p (above)

A stylus created for architects and designers who want to draw freehand on their tablets as naturally as they do on paper, the “loop and point” tip is designed for accurate, smooth writing and drawing. It’s calibrated to feel like a high-end pen and has a soft finger grip. Visit lupdelup.com

© Apple, Hammacher Schlemmer, James Cutler, Lup de Lup, Montblanc, Parker

With the Watch, users can send messages, read email and answer calls to an iPhone, all from their wrists. They can communicate by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of their own heartbeats – and board a plane with Passbook. Visit apple.com

Ito-Ya (left)

The pencil favored by award-winning architects Peter Bohlin and Jim Cutler is so light that Bohlin says it’s like drawing with air. Made in Japan from incense cedar, its barrels come in red, gray, white and black. The black eraser’s plugged in at the tip, clean as a whistle. Visit pencils.jp

Montblanc (right)

The Meisterstück White Solitaire is a chaste update to a 90-year-old classic. The white lacquer on its cap and barrel offers the appearance of purity, with gold-plated finishes for its clip and cap rings. The nib? Hand-sculpted in Au750 gold by master Hamburg craftsmen. Visit montblanc.com

Typo-Free (left)

This electronic typewriter comes with a typoflagging, 78,000-word dictionary and a fullline memory that enables the user to correct work before committing it to paper. Even if a typo slips by, a built-in, lift-off correction system will make words on paper sing. Visit hammacher.com 227 A

A design _ project

Cultural collision By Daniel Hilton

Plurality, identity and the meeting of East and West are some of the modern age’s most pressing issues. As the Aga Khan addressed a Toronto crowd in May, they were certainly at the forefront of his mind. “How can humankind honor what is distinctive about our separate identities and, at the same time, see diversity itself as a source of inspiration and blessing?” the royal imam of Nizari Ismailism asked, as he inaugurated the Canadian city’s Aga Khan Park, a project a decade in the making. The questions were, in a sense, rhetorical. Standing before him was the culmination of a project celebrating not only Islamic traditions, but the extraordinary scope of the globalized 21st-century world. These exquisite public gardens linked the Toronto Ismaili Center, a celebration of the presence of the Ismaili community designed by the A 228

late, great Indian architect Charles Correa, and the Aga Khan Museum, a collection of Islamic arts and culture housed in a grand building by Japanese Pritzker Prizewinner Fumihiko Maki. The challenge was to unify these two projects, keeping the modern, global scope of Toronto and the two buildings while staying true to Islamic traditions. To help Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic achieve this, the Aga Khan asked him to visit the world’s greatest Islamic gardens, from Cairo’s Al-Azhar Park to Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb, for inspiration. “He saw our garden as a masterpiece, which was very, very gratifying after 10 years,” said Djurovic, as he cracked fresh almonds in the shade behind his office in the mountains overlooking Beirut. “I realized that this notion, this Islamic garden, in every continent and in every culture, has readapted itself and reinvented itself. In Toronto we had to create what belongs there, something that makes sense to the place and the time.” For Djurovic, it was most important to capture the essence of an Islamic garden so he stripped it down to certain

©Gary Otte, Janet Kimber, Tom Arban

East meets West in Toronto

©Gary Otte, Janet Kimber, Tom Arban

This and opposite page Toronto’s Aga Khan Park brings an Islamic aesthetic to the city

themes. “In the old days the Islamic garden was enclosed for safety or privacy,” he said, adding, “now our enclosures are against all the cars and the noise – and to offer you a place to escape from the fast pace of life, from this rhythm that we’re in.” Other common elements include a strict geometrical layout and the presence of running water. Where charbagh gardens are laid out with four quadrants of lush greenery surrounding a central water source, Djurovic replaced the areas of plantation and the fountain with low, square, black water mirrors, overflowing from all sides and reflecting the garden and the heavens. Fundamental in making Islamic gardens so sensual, water has always been an important tool in the tradition of creating paradise. A huge orchard, or bustan, contains just one kind of tree: the white birch, a native to Canada, whose paleness extends the extensive use of marble in the museum out into the open air. The white birch’s bloom and berries are sweet, attracting wild birds as paradise is brought to earth in a uniquely Canadian way. For the Aga Khan, Dujrovic’s vision has equaled his own, and he can now look forward to generations using it in the future. “As we walk through this place, we can feel a deep sense of connection with those who walked through similar gardens centuries ago,” he explained. “And by renewing our connection with the past, we can also connect more effectively with one another – and, indeed, with those who will walk these paths in the future.” Visit agakhanpark.org 229 A

A design _ airport

By J. Michael Welton

Fentress Architects’ new LAX terminal

The newest public gesture from Denver-based Fentress Architects is a site-specific terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In a nod to the nearby Pacific Ocean, it’s designed in the shape of a curling wave. It follows a series of Fentress-designed airports that take their cues from the context, culture and people of the region they serve. In Raleigh, North Carolina, they designed an airport terminal clad in natural wood, to recall the handcrafted furniture and musical instruments for which the American state is known. In Denver, Colorado, the tented fabric of the airport’s roofing famously mimics the snow-topped Rocky Mountains, visible in the distance. But LAX is all about the surf. “You’re nestled in the curl of a wave, with retail, dining and entertainment all around,” says Curt Fentress, founder of the 130-person firm that bears his name. Natural light pours into that curl during the day, through a series of clerestories that helped the building earn its LEED Gold status. An immersive and sophisticated entertainment management system – this is Hollywood, after all – is a central feature, with an elevator shaft clad in television screens broadcasting 30 hours at a stretch in

A 230

© Lawrence Anderson

Shooting the curl

a continuous loop. “It’s 80 percent entertainment, and 20 percent paid for with $21 million in sponsorships,” he says. The airport has been opening in phases for the past few months, with 18 working gates scheduled by year’s end. All will be capable of accommodating Boeing 747s and 777s; nine of them will be able to handle the new Airbus 380 double-decker aircraft with ease. “It’s the largest double-decker facility in the US,” he says. By the time it does open, 4,000 people will be arriving and another 4,000 will be exiting the terminal every hour. A total of 15 million passengers will use the terminal annually, boarding direct flights to destinations in Europe and the East as well. “It’s a Pacific gateway with flights to Asia,” he says. “It’s a new icon at that airport, and a much more receptive, warm, inviting and welcoming one.” It’s that kind of vision, execution and culturally sensitive design that’s earned Fentress a series of commissions not just in the US but in the Middle East too, including Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai. They started with a control tower and radar installation at Qatar’s existing airport then worked up to tall buildings elsewhere: a 58-story office building

in Dubai and a 65-story, mixed-use hotel and retail tower in Kuwait. The firm’s newest work there – a pair of 16-story courthouses with 80 courtrooms in each – are scheduled to open in Kuwait City later this year. All told, the firm has designed 12 buildings in the Middle East, adapting to intense environmental conditions along the way. “It’s a physically different environment from Phoenix, for example, with temperature and humidity,” he says. “It’s desert, but there’s a corrosiveness from the salt in the ocean.” His response is a material palette that will endure – stone that’s both local and from Italy, along with glass, steel and concrete. “Most of these are very long-term, durable buildings with 50- to 100-year life spans,” he says. The materials at LAX, though, are mostly glass and steel, and for good reason. This region’s all about flash, glamour, glitter, Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, the world of entertainment and high-maintenance film stars. “It’s a much more fashion-conscious place,” he says. And now it has an international airport terminal to reflects that, in all its glory. Visit fentressarchitects.com

This page Fentress Architects emphasized the spacious interior with high ceilings and glass curtainwalls Opposite page The ocean served as inspiration for the newly modernized terminal at LAX

231 A

A design _ decor

On a roll By J. Michael Welton

Handprinted wallpaper is all the rage

Porter Teleo (top left), Adrienne Neff (bottom left, middle) and Calico (top right) are just three brands changing the wallpaper scene

“I do a lot of traveling,” says Adrienne Neff, who’s a former interior designer with a trained eye sharpened by a graduatelevel survey of decorative arts from Sotheby’s. “In Paris I go to the Louvre, in London I go to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and in New York I go to the Metropolitan Museum.” She carefully studies ceramic arts in each – French Art Deco in the Louvre, putty-colored, cream and oatmeal glazes at the Victoria and Albert, and Latin American and Japanese ceramics at the Met. Her lines of wallpaper are influenced by all she sees. “I used to make Raku [Japanese pottery], so glazes are important to me,” she says. She started experimenting with A 232

wallpaper in 2009, recruiting artisans to carve her patterns into blocks of rubber, about 27 by 20 inches. They coat them with paint, and print them onto panels of paper that are three, four or five feet in length. “It’s very labor intensive. The process needs the right artisans who are comfortable working with the blocks,” she says. “The work ebbs and flows – I have several artists in the workshop, three to four people running around, at a given point.” Others have discovered the art form, too. But Rachel and Nick Cope in the Red Hook community of Brooklyn got started in a very different way. Rachel’s an artist trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and Nick owns a design/build firm that’s worked with Paul Smith, Farrow & Ball and Opening Ceremony, among others. All that came to a screeching halt in 2012. “We were both put out of work after Hurricane Sandy,” Nick says.

Thus was born Calico, their hand-printed wallpaper firm that specializes in residential and commercial projects. “Rachel’s working with a lot of restaurants here,” he says. Their designs all start with handmade artwork, which is converted into a superhigh resolution file and printed with a high-tech method. Unlike traditional wallpapers, Calico’s designs are not sold by the roll. Instead, the pair creates a custom, non-repeating design for each of their clients, so their patterns function as one-of-a-kind murals.

negatives, followed by a silkscreen printing process on rolls of Japanese paper made of rice fiber or mulberry pulp. It’s stronger than wood pulp and contains no acid.

At Porter Teleo, Kelly Porter is an artist while Bridgett Cochran is an interior designer. They’re co-owners of a firm that produces both hand-painted and handprinted wallpaper. “They want to merge fine art and interior design,” says Tracy Cheng, the brand’s marketing director. The pair collaborates on hand drawings in pen and ink for their designs. From their drawings, they make

Isn’t that what wallpaper’s meant to do? Neff thinks so. “It’s a great way to enliven a space with color, fabric and texture,” she says. “You can get a radically different look just by changing the paper.” Especially if it’s the hand-printed variety.

Their color palette is bright, with bursts of chartreuse, oranges and metallics. For every pattern, they offer three to four colors, and though the drawing may remain the same, the backgrounds will differ. “They’re pretty abstract, but usually they’re flowers and ornamentation,” Cheng says. “They really make a statement.”

Visit adrienneneff.com, calicowallpaper.com, porterteleo. com

© Calico, Adrienne Neff, Porter Teleo

Hand-printed wallpaper is the newest trend in home decor, and its makers are often artisans and designers with backgrounds in the decorative arts.

Baxter flagship store, Saifi - Al Arz street - Beirut - Lebanon - Tel: +961 1 563 111 - Fax: +961 1 563 119

p. Paola Naone - ph.Andrea Ferrari

Vivre, Antelias-Dbaye internal road at Congress Center bridge - Tel: +961 4 520 111 | vivre.com.lb

A design _ museum

Downtown train

© Nic Lehoux, Ed Lederman, Timothy Schenck

By Robert Landon

A 234

This page An aerial view of the musem, designed by architect Renzo Piano Opposite page The new Whitney Museum occupies a prime position next to the Hudson River

The Whitney home, Marcel Breuer’s marvelous but moves to the High former bunker-like Brutalist building on Madison Avenue, felt like an inner sanctum for those Line select few who had already abandoned For several years now, I have watched with trepidation as the new Whitney Museum of American Art took awkward shape at the tail end of Manhattan’s High Line. Its architect, Renzo Piano, has become the pre-eminent choice of America’s museum boards. His special powers include Italian-inflected sweet talk, an ability to deliver complex projects on budget and a willingness to sublimate his own aesthetic ambitions in favor of curatorial desires for certain kinds of space and light. The last of these talents is the noblest, and the new Whitney – the nation’s preeminent museum American art – brings downtown Manhattan 5,000 square meters of expertly engineered galleries, spread over six stories. Many have compared the new Whitney, which sits just off the Hudson, to a ship. The nautical metaphor is apt. The Whitney’s

outmoded notions of beauty.

By contrast, the new Whitney welcomes you aboard a pleasure cruise into, or at least past, high culture. Some say this trend has degraded the experience of visiting certain museums, most notably the expanded Museum of Modern Art, which every New Yorker loves to lament. On the other hand, it is bringing many more thousands of people into contact with its great collection, even if the quality of that contact could be debated. Certainly, the new Whitney furthers the trend. When I visited, most people seemed less interested in Klein or de Kooning than the pleasure of shuffling from one of the museum’s bright vistas to the next. And the pleasures are formidable. Piano punctures the building with glass, letting in natural light and providing unexpected and lovely 235 A

A design _ museum

This page The museum’s striking design includes interior stairways that add to the sense of discovery

The one truly elegant aspect of Piano’s design, in my eyes, comes at ground level. Sheathed in glass, the museum’s lobby blends seamlessly with the street, the sidewalk and a small, simple but lovely piazza that runs from the entrance to, literally, the shadow of the High Line. From the lobby, huge elevators whisk visitors up to a top-floor gallery that, like all the others, is designed for maximum curatorial flexibility – essentially all of them white cubes divided by temporary white walls. In terms of both materials and execution, the galleries are, if not wildly exciting, certainly unimpeachable as machines for displaying art. The warmth of recycled wood floors, rescued from old factories, provides subtle, textural interest as well as a warming contrast to concrete and steel. A 236

It remains to be seen if the connection between museums floors is a subtle piece of genius or simply a very strange oversight. There are multiple paths down through the building, which adds a sense of discovery. At the same time, they all felt like strangely awkward add-ons – and I had to poke around to figure them out. My own downward progress encompassed hidden hallways, claustrophobic interior stairways, a light-filled but enclosed stairwell with vast river views, and several flights of what look like New York’s classic open-air fire escapes. I will say that, once outside again, I looked with more affectionate eyes at the oddly awkard exterior form of the building, with its utilitarian shapes punctuated by ungainly mechanical elements. Certainly the new Whitney is an odd, welcoming, highly functional building that I am sure to visit, and puzzle over, many times in the years to come. 99 Gansevoort St., New York, tel. 1.212.570.3600, whitney.org

© Nic Lehoux, Ed Lederman, Timothy Schenck

vistas onto the city and the adjacent Hudson River. Stray-looking hallways suddenly lead you out onto the museum’s series of outdoor terraces that jut from its eastfacing facade, extending relatively modest-sized gallery spaces out into the infinity of New York City.


A design _ storyteller

The chair as narrative By J. Michael Welton

Thoughtful seating from Mohamad Kanaan Armed with an undergraduate degree from the American University in Beirut, an MFA from The Art Institute of Chicago and a potent set of memories, 25-yearold Mohamad Kanaan is making reflective art with a functional bent. He creates minimalist chairs out of walnut, maple and mirrors, all of them leavened with a liberal dash of nostalgia. “Basically, they’re a series of self-reflections,” he says. “I was going back to my memories as a kind of fantasy about the spaces of my childhood. Each piece has a story about a person, place or object. I want to give it a new life through design.”

We played house A house full of secrets We were children Of the age of innocence It was a lie Hide and seek Break and leave Dreams of tomorrow But only one can live today We are the children Of one another Let’s go to yesterday

His designs push the limits of what a chair can be, with an aesthetic that’s more about questions than it is about answers. “Growing up in Lebanon, I found that there are a lot of expectations about what something has to be, and has to look like, and how it functions,” says Kanaan, the son of a Lebanese engineer and interior designer. “I wanted to break away from that.”

They are poems that embody a personal narrative for the Beirut-born artist, but are also open to interpretation to anyone else experiencing his work.

He’s done that with mirrors. Each of his crisp wooden chairs features a reflective piece of glass that doubles as metaphor. He incorporates the mirrors to skew

A 238

© Charbel Saadé

They all come with a poem, like this one for House, 2014:

the user’s expectations, as reflective planes swivel and rotate in different dimensions, vertically and horizontally – the same way that memory can shift and distort events from the past. “The perception of the chair becomes different, because you see yourself, and the back gets lost,” he says. “When the mirror is under the chair, the chair looks like it’s floating. It’s a distortion of the visual perception of what we are used to.” With a chair he calls Youth, the back inclines, depending on how much pressure is applied. “It becomes unstable, so you’re interacting with something that you’re not used to,” he says. Trained as an architect – he interned at the New York architecture firm Archipelagos – his focus shifted as he developed his thesis at The Art Institute. For that, he designed a theoretical merger between art and architecture, in the form of a new residence for an urban art collector. “It was a home where art was experienced

and spatialized, and not just exhibited on walls,” he says. “I designed everything, from A to Z.” When he returned home to Beirut, that merger became a reality as he began to blend art and architecture in his own design aesthetic – a minimalist, geometric approach that he applied to furniture design. “The thing is, with furniture, you can experiment,” he says. “At some point I realized that with architecture there’s a responsibility to those you’re building for. An overwhelming responsibility. But with furniture, architecture can be spatialized into an object.” He’s in talks now to exhibit his chairs in galleries in New York and Beirut. Five of them – all custom-designed – have already found homes in both cities, as well as in Dubai. That could only be interpreted as a positive reflection on his work. Visit mkanaan.com

This page The designer’s work challenges preconceived notions Opposite page The designer, Mohamad Kanaan

239 A

A design _ hotelier

Booked up By J. Michael Welton

© Timothy Hursley, Oberto Gili

Schrager’s Works dazzles on every level

A 240

This page Works details the dazzling array of projects that Schrager has worked on since he rose to fame in the ‘70s (left) for Studio 54 (right) Opposite page Real estate developer and showman Ian Schrager (top) is famed for his ability to attract society’s most fashionable to nightclubs like Palladium (bottom)

To borrow a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald, nobody was at Studio 54 back in the late ‘70s – except Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Bella Abzug, Rudolph Nureyev, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, George Burns, Diana Vreeland, Truman Capote, Jackie Onassis, Elton John, Rod Stewart, John Belushi, Calvin Klein, Christy Brinkley, Brooks Shields, Michael Jackson, Martha Graham, Halston, Divine and Cher. Now there’s new proof of that – in a fourpage, fold-out, black-and-white spread of snapshots – in the opening pages of hotelier and real estate developer Ian Schrager’s new book from Rizzoli, Works. It’s a hefty tome, weighing in at 10 pounds. Fourteen inches tall, 12 inches wide and two inches thick, its 407 pages cover every inch of Schrager’s kaleidoscopic career as showman, impresario and designer. Or, as Schrager himself likes to say, producer. “I make it happen – I’m a coach,” he says. “I execute on a vision, whatever that is.” The introduction to Works is by Paul Goldberger, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former architecture critic from The New Yorker. The book is divided into sections on the groundbreaking clubs Schrager started in Manhattan – Studio 54 and Palladium –

and then moves into two dozen or so elegant homes and boutique hotels, a hospitality category that he’s responsible for creating. It’s a dizzying, dazzling, luxurious trip through time and space. “Every project I’ve ever done is in it – some homes, some hotels,” Schrager says. “It starts from 1977 with my first project, up to the current time.” That first project, Studio 54, put him and his partner, Steve Rubell, at the center of the international celebrity map the moment it opened in 1977. Alas, it was raided shortly after Rubell was quoted in New York newspapers in December 1978, saying that Studio 54 had made $7 million in its first year and that “only the Mafia made more money.” The pair was arrested for skimming

$2.5 million, and would serve 13 months in prison for tax evasion. Though Schrager would rise above it all like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes, it’s been tough to talk about those days. But now he can. “All the forces of the universe came together for that. It was like holding onto a lightning bolt, and it was bittersweet,” he says. “Now I’ve let go of all the bad memories and hold onto only the good ones.” He documents them all in Works. There’s Morgans, his first hotel. For it, he hired French designer Andree Putnam, who’d never done a hotel before. She was a fashion designer who lived 3,000 miles away. “It was treacherous, actually,” he 241 A

A design _ hotelier

This page Schrager’s flair for design has produced Palladium’s dramatic dancefloor, (left), the lobby of the Gramercy Park Hotel, (right) and the lobby of San Francisco’s iconic Clift hotel (bottom)

writes. “... But we saw the lack of experience and the distance as virtues. It meant she would work on the project, have no preconceived ideas, and be open to new things.”

It would be followed by a collection of hotels almost as lengthy as the guest list at Studio 54, including The Delano in Miami Beach and The Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan. There are 27 projects in Works, each of them a shining jewel, sprung fully formed from Schrager’s head. “It’s an instinct,” he says. “I have a good eye – I see things other people don’t see. And that resonates with other people as well.” Even Jay Gatsby would blush at the size and scale of it all. A 242

© Nikolas Koenig, Timothy Hursley

Et voila! The boutique hotel was born, one that Ada Louise Huxtable would call in The Wall Street Journal “a people-place of enduring delight through the sheer magic of design.”

The New Mercedes-Benz Credit Card Driving you further

Carefully designed to bring the luxurious “Mercedes-Benz” brand into your wallet. Make the right lifestyle choice with the “Mercedes-Benz” Visa Credit Card and enjoy many benefits. This card is loaded with exciting perks such as: - Automatic 5% discount on services and parts - Free safety check-ups for your car once a year - Priority in appointments at T.Gargour & Fils service centers* - Free unlimited access to more than 500 VIP Airport Lounges around the world* - Preferential rates on luxury hotel collection* - Exclusive concierge service ready to cater to your needs round the clock* - Premium insurance programs* - Easy Pay feature that allows you to transfer your car maintenance or service expenses to your card - Invitation to private sales & promotions Cardholders are also automatically enrolled in the “Stars” reward program that allows them to accumulate points and redeem them for an instant discount on the invoice whenever they are buying a new car, car accessories, paying for their car maintenance and services or buying items from the “Mercedes-Benz” gift collection catalog. *Terms & Conditions apply.

A design _ clubhouse

Behind closed doors By Roman St. Clair

© Soho House Istanbul

Soho House Istanbul’s hush-hush opening

A 244

© Soho House Istanbul

This page The club blends custom-made furniture with its trademark aesthetic Opposite page Soho House Istanbul occupies the former American embassy

If you haven’t heard of Soho House Istanbul, that’s precisely what the company wants to hear. The private members club, founded as a place of comfort for a community of creative types earlier this year, prides itself, like all good clubs, on selectivity and exclusivity. When presenting myself for an interview with x manager Umut Sengun, a receptionist looked me up and down and said that only “cool people” would be admitted. Luckily, Sengun soon rescued me from this scrutiny and whisked me past the velvet rope. Until very recently, the company’s houses have been located solely in the West; there are six in the UK, four in the US and one in Berlin. With their newest property in Istanbul – the city where two continents collide – it seems the Soho House brand is expanding its geographical focus. Location is the primary concern of the Soho House group and each building is carefully selected, explains Sengun. The Corpi Building of Soho House Istanbul, the former American Embassy in Istanbul, is nothing short of majestic. Constructed in the late 19th century by a Genovese shipbroker in Istanbul’s Italianate Beyoğlu district, the building emulates the style of a Venetian palazzo with a white marble, neoclassical facade and Corinthian pilasters. Spacious, highceilinged rooms complete with original wall and ceiling frescoes, parquet flooring and marble stairways create a palatial feel. Attention to detail is apparent in each of the club’s rooms. The furniture and design of the interior, despite its Turkish-Venetian setting, is in keeping with the aesthetic of the international Soho 245 A

A design _ clubhouse

House style, retaining an identity that gives members a sense of familiarity, whether they’re in Berlin or on Sunset Boulevard. Chesterfield sofas and long, marked rectangular meeting tables, available in the evenings for a game of ping pong, are a Soho House hallmark. However, Sengun stresses the efforts of the team to imbue the property with a particular sense of place. Custom furniture made by the international design team sits alongside locally sourced pieces while curator Francesca Gavin handpicked over 350 artworks for this house, including the work of 90 Turkish artists. At the top of the first broad marble stairway is the primary drawing room, dominated by ‘60s Italian chandeliers and formal dining rooms. Up a second flight of stairs is the main bar. High-backed, oxblood bar stools sit in front of the deep blue, marble-topped bar in a room of worn frescoes and striking original wooden floors adorned with an eight-pointed star motif. Past the chefs is the Mandolin Terrace, a restaurant offering up Aegean food accompanied by breathtaking views over the old city and up the Golden Horn.

Happily, Soho House Istanbul diverges from its parent company in one important way: non-members have access to all its amenities with a room booking. Just remember to wear clothes that claim your right to be there. Evliya Çelebi Mahallesi Meşrutiyet, tel. 90.212.377.7100, sohohouseistanbul.com A 246

© Soho House Istanbul

This page The rooftop pool is the perfect place for a dip (top) while the Mandolin Terrace offers views across Istanbul’s old city (bottom)

One more set of stairs brings guests to another Soho House signature: the rooftop pool. While not as expansive as those at the brand’s other boltholes, the “cocktail pool,” as Sengun describes it, is just big enough to cool off from the hot Turkish sun with one of the bar’s signature cocktails, a ginger and rum concoction garnished with homemade candied ginger. Cheerful yellow-and-white striped beach towels cover the reclining beds as a waiter waits to deliver a cool glass of water (or another cocktail).



Available at Aïzone Stores 01 99 11 11

A high art _ exhibitions

' æ W RX UV + DV DUGV 0 RQ V L HX U+ HLQ ] P DQ Q Berlin-based artist Thilo Heinzmann’s new exhibition treads a fine line between the chaotic and the calculated. Admire the explosions of powdered pigment sweeping unchartered across blank white canvases, or check out the sharp cuts and geometric lines of his three-dimensional polystyrene and twisted aluminum creations. On view until October 17 at Galerie Perrotin, 76 Rue de Turenne, Paris, tel., perrotin.com

A 252

© Galerie Perrotin, André Morin / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Philippe Servent / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube, Ivo Faber / White Cube, Marc Quinn Studio / White Cube

On view

© Galerie Perrotin, André Morin / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Philippe Servent / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube, Ivo Faber / White Cube, Marc Quinn Studio / White Cube

$ J J UHV V L Y H% HDX W \ Yan Pei-Ming is instantly recognizable by his vigorous brushstrokes and monochromatic color scheme, occasionally interrupted by an outburst of lustful red. The Franco-Chinese painter’s latest exhibition is no exception. Images of brutal, animalistic power are juxtaposed with bleak portraits of religious figures and oppressive still lifes to create a compelling examination of power. On view until August 26 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 2 Mirabellplatz, Salzburg, tel. 43.662.881.3930, ropac.net

$ 8 ' 0 &5 6 3 6 . 6 8 % * A pioneer of musical archaeology, Cory Arcangel’s solo exhibition is a homage to the music of his adolescence. Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 hit “Since U Been Gone” may seem like unlikely inspiration but you’ll be surprised – Arcangel takes the forgotten and twists it into a modern commentary on the nature of change. On view until September 26 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69 Avenue du General Leclerc, Paris Pantin, tel., ropac.net

253 A

( W HO$ GQ DQ Lebanese artist Etel Adnan’s belief that colors exist as “metaphysical beings” manifests itself in striking, small-scale compositions of bold geometric shapes. Adnan may be 90 years old now, but her world of abstract sunsets and dreamy landscapes still demands an afternoon of escapism from Hong Kong’s tropical heat. On view until August 29 at White Cube, 50 Connaught Central, Hong Kong, tel. 852.2592.2000, whitecube.com

A 254

© Galerie Perrotin, André Morin / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Philippe Servent / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube, Ivo Faber / White Cube, Marc Quinn Studio / White Cube

A high art _ exhibitions

© Galerie Perrotin, André Morin / Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Philippe Servent / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube, Ivo Faber / White Cube, Marc Quinn Studio / White Cube

,P L . Q RHEHO Can the purely abstract carry meaning? The irregular shapes and clashing color schemes of Imi Knoebel’s rigorously abstract works may appear nonsensical, but take a step back and look again. Bringing contrasts into harmony, the artist’s paintings and sculptures examine the power of color, the fluidity of shape and space itself. On view until September 13 at White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey St., London, tel. 44.207.930.5373, whitecube.com 7 KH7 R[ L F 6 X EO L PH Exploring the erosive nature of the world around us, Marc Quinn’s latest exhibition is a provocative necessity for any contemporary art lover. Sculptures inspired by the tidal effect on seashells portray simultaneous destruction and transformation, while defaced sunset scenes highlight mankind’s strained relationship with the environment. On view until September 13 at White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey St., London, tel. 44.207.930.5373, whitecube. com

255 A

A high art _ collector

Artist acquisitions By Laura van Straaten

The art world’s collecting habits The new book Artists Living with Art offers an unprecedented look into the homes of 30 of America’s most important painters, sculptors and photographers, as well as interviews with the artists about their collections. The idea for the book, by arts booster and former curator Stacey Goergen and writer Amanda Benchley, came to Goergen when she picked up her son from a children’s play date at the home of painters John Currin and Rachel Feinstein, who reside near Goergen and her husband in New York’s SoHo.

The only surprise for the authors, Goegen said, was “the extent to which our thesis turned out to be true.” For example, artist Laurie Simmons, in showing the collection in the home she shares with her husband, artist Carroll Dunham, got emotional when talking about a photo by her late friend Sarah Charlesworth (now the subject of a survey at A 256

© Oberto Gili

In an interview amidst the galleries of Chelsea, Goergen explained that as Currin gave her a tour, “We were looking at a late Picabia and an old Master drawing, and I was struck by why he and Rachel own what they own.” She added, “I wanted to explore as a thesis how what artists collect connects to their own practices and reveals their relationships with other artists.”

This page Helen Marden’s “Eagles Mere” sits poised above the English fireplace in her home with Brice Marden (top) while artworks fill the Manhattan duplex of Ellen Phelan and Joel Shapiro (below) Opposite page The cover of Artists Living with Art, an insider’s peek into the homes and collections of America’s most important living artists

artist, art historian and curator Robert Storr stresses the risk artists take in surrounding themselves with artwork by others. He likens that risk to “dealing with an assertive guest in the house: one with whom it is impossible to avoid conversation, even argument; one who whispers, mutters, interrupts other conversations, even harangues.” While researching and reporting, Goergen said that artist Helen Marden’s name kept coming up as someone “known for having exquisite taste” and that the home she shares with her husband, artist Brice Marden, “is a manifestation of that.” Their home mixes objects collected on their travels, particularly in Asia, with works by Rauschenberg (for whom Mr. Marden was studio assistant for four years), Jasper Johns, Diebenkorn, Francesco Clemente, Kiki Smith and Cecily Brown. New York’s New Museum, through September 20.) Surprising to this reader was that while the artists featured are on the rosters of the world’s top galleries and tend to own work by their peers, most also seem to love “foraging and exploring sources like flea markets, eBay or nature, pursuing an interest in objects as varied as textiles, clocks, minerals and fossils,” writes Goergen in her introduction The ten women, ten men and five couples featured all live in and around New York City: in industrial-style lofts in Lower Manhattan, in charming townhomes in storied Greenwich Village or Brooklyn, in a restored manse in the Hudson River Valley and even in a former Baptist church in Harlem. (A sequel based in Los Angeles may be forthcoming.) In his thoughtful forward to the book, the esteemed

Meanwhile, painter Ellen Phelan and sculptor Joel Shapiro’s collection stands out for its blue-chip drawings and paintings by Degas, Matisse, Gorky, Soutine, Johns and Alex Katz, all mixed in with sculptures from Asia and the Americas. Some of the other artists featured include Francesco Clemente, Chuck Close, Rashid Johnson, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Marilyn Minter, Roxy Paine, Ugo Rondinone, Cindy Sherman, Pat Steir and Ursula Von Rydingsvard. The one constant in every home, writes Goergen, was “emphasis on form and shape, and a highly deliberate positioning of objects,” which is testament to a refined aesthetic that simultaneously derives from, feeds and demands a commitment to building a life around art. Artists Living with Art by Stacey Goergen and Amanda Benchley, with photographs by Oberto Gili, is published by Abrams and out September 22, 2015. 257 A

A high art _ icon

My fair lady © Reserved, Howell Conant / Jours de France

By Pip Usher

A 258

This page Hepburn as Holly Golightly on the cover of (Jours de France) Opposite page Photographer Antony Beauchamp captures Hepburn’s inimitable gaze

not going to let anyone put me in a cage,” Audrey Hepburn announces with The many faces of “I’m defiance in her infamous role as socialite Holly Golightly. From a Audrey Hepburn world-weary childhood spent under the Nazi regime to

internationally acclaimed actor, Hepburn captivated audiences with her complexity. Now the subject of a photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery that charts her spectacular rise to fame, those heavy brows look set to inspire a whole new generation of ardent Audrey admirers.

Decades after her fame reached its pinnacle with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a whimsical adaptation of the novella by New York’s literary darling Truman Capote, she remains a beacon of girlish charm amidst the sexpots and strumpets of Hollywood. Despite her death from colon cancer in 1993, her image – those artfully arched brows, the slanting, feline eyes – remains plastered across T-shirts, posters and kitsch coffee cups today. She is as much a part of popular culture as fellow star Marilyn Monroe, albeit with a very different appeal. 259 A

But why the enduring fascination? After all, Hepburn retired from acting in the late ’60s, devoting time instead to motherhood and her role as ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). During her last decade, she lived quietly in Switzerland with Dutch actor Robert Wolders in what she described as the happiest years of her life. But her face – one of the most photographed in the world – has become iconic, despite, or perhaps because, of her elusiveness. As her elder son, Sean Ferrer, recounted in an interview with The Telegraph, “she could be silly and frivolous, but she had a strong sense of personal A 260

boundaries, and people just knew not to take advantage of her graciousness.”

the ravages of war, violence and hunger and gave me the urge to do something.”

Born to a Dutch baroness and a businessman of English-Austrian descent, Hepburn was educated at private schools in England before returning to the Netherlands in 1939. It proved to be a disastrous decision. Under the Nazi occupation, she and her mother struggled to survive a famine that devastated the country. The effects of the occupation would stay with her long after the war had ended: in an interview in 1989, she said, “my childhood made me more receptive to

After dalliances with ballet and modeling, the 1953 release of Roman Holiday projected Hepburn into the big time. A sweetly romantic film in which Hepburn, a European princess playing hooky from her royal duties, falls in love with an American reporter (played by the dashing Gregory Peck), it proved she was a different kind of movie star. Both regal and relatable, her doe-eyed gaze suggested deep wells of goodness underscored by moments of mischievousness. And it wasn’t just

© Philipe Halsman/Magnum Photos, The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s, Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland

A high art _ icon

This page Hepburn captured in Rome by Cecil Beaton (top); the actor, photographed in Givenchy, was renowned for her close friendship with the designer (bottom) Opposite Page Hepburn dazzles in LIFE magazine during the early years of her career

the public that was entranced: Hepburn scooped an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. Four more nominations would follow throughout her career, along with a hefty helping of Baftas, Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes and Tonys. By the time Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released in 1961, it was official: Hepburn was a superstar. Her subsequent retirement from showbiz in the late ‘60s, while at the peak of her career, immortalized her. Like Monroe, she has remained forever young, with that carefully coiffed hair and the cigarette holder perched with assurance between her lips. In a world of shallow celebrity, this latest exhibition only serves to highlight the timelessness of her legacy. “She would be honored to have an exhibition dedicated to her at the National Portrait Gallery,” her younger son, Luca Dotti says, “And glad to be back home.” On view until October 18 at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, tel. 44.20.7306.0055 261 A

A high art _ renaissance

A modern makeover

By Stephanie dÍ Arc Taylor

Santral Istanbul Located in a converted power plant constructed by the Ottomans in the early 20th century to provide Istanbul’s first burst of electricity, the Santral Gallery retains much of its gritty heritage. Visitors can check out the plant’s original turbines before moving to the permanent collection of contemporary Turkish drawing, painting and photography, then sneak into a lecture at the Bilgi University, which occupies much of the cavernous old plant. Visit santralistanbul.org A 262

© Santral, Atolye, Iwan Baan, Rıdvan Barakoglu / The Galerist

Times are changing in the city of two continents. Long the meeting point of a wide variety of artistic disciplines and craftsmanship methods from Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Istanbul’s art scene has undergone a renaissance over the past few years. Sparked by the Gezi movement in 2013, and fanned by the surge of creatives flocking to the city, Istanbul’s artistic flame is crackling happily away. Here are four contemporary spaces that redefine galleries’ more traditional parameters.

© Santral, Atolye, Iwan Baan, Rıdvan Barakoglu / The Galerist

Atš lye Derived from the French atelier, Atölye is a space designed to create art, not just display it. Set near Taksim Square, ground zero for the Gezi protests, the space reflects the multimedia, collaborative nature of the movement; it’s neither a coworking space, nor a gallery, nor a production house. Check out 3D printed jewelry for sale or watch craftsmen print canvas using traditional methods from the Black Sea region. Visit atolyegrup.com Salt With two branches in Istanbul and one newly opened in Ankara, the Salt brand’s quick growth reflects its consistent quality. The Beyoğlu outpost features a walk-in Cinema and a space for spontaneous performances or exhibitions by filmmakers, dancers or any creative (and brave) member of the public. If performance art isn’t for you, there are three floors of rotating exhibition space, as well as an edible garden on the fourthstorey roof terrace. Visit saltonline.org

263 A

Galerist Ideal for the weekend visitor, Galerist occupies the same building as a restaurant and rooftop nightclub, all in a stunningly restored 19th-century apartment block in Beyoğlu. This summer’s exhibition – featuring well-known local and international multimedia artists like Jeremy Blake, Oğuz Karakütük, and Arslan Sükan – “plots a fragmented trajectory through a toxic territory.” Counteract the intensity with a cocktail overlooking the ferries on the Bosphorus afterwards, and congratulate yourself on an Istanbul afternoon well spent. Visit galerist.com.tr

A 264

© Santral, Atolye, Iwan Baan, Rıdvan Barakoglu / The Galerist

A high art _ renaissance


available at aïzone stores +961 1 99 11 11

A lifestyle _ treat

Manousheh on the streets of Manhattan

By Robert Landon

It all began because of a hankering for manousheh that just wouldn’t leave Ziyad Hermez alone. He was craving the kind he remembered eating in the streets of Beirut, but no one in New York City, his adoptive home, was getting it right. So he decided to make a batch in his own kitchen. The results of his first efforts were lamentable, he admits. But he kept trying. And trying. And trying. And finally, he got it right. Now, that relentless search has flowered into Manousheh, a stylish new bakery in the West Village focused exclusively on one product – you guessed it, manousheh. Though it opened just a few months again, Manousheh

A 268

is as much a hit with native New Yorkers as Arab expats. The bakery has won a rare fivestar rating on Yelp, with one user writing, “After tasting one bite while walking out of Manousheh, I had to turn around and shake the owner’s hand. This is phenomenal food.” Hermez’s pursuit of the perfect manousheh eventually took him back to Beirut, where he worked alongside master baker Fares Isaac, of Mouajaneit Gardenia in Hazmiyeh, to learn the trade. Once he’d returned to the States, he set about tracking down the kind of authentic ingredients Isaac used. Some 5,000 miles from Lebanon, it was a challenge, but eventually he found reliable

© Ruby Yeh / Thepassion.co

Daily bread

This page Lovingly prepared, Hermez’s manoushes have proved to be a hit with both native New Yorkers and Arab expats Opposite page Ziyad Hermez outside his bakery in Manhattan

importers of za’atar, sumac and halawa— plus fresh, thick labneh and wonderfully briny akkawi from a Lebanese-run company located in California. After several years on the pop-up food circuit, including a seasonal stand at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg food market, his first permanent location promises to become a lunchtime institution. Hermez never expected he would end up a baker. The son of Lebanese parents, he grew up in Kuwait then went on to earn his masters in information technology from Washington D.C.’s American University. But as his passion for manousheh grew, he found the work satisfied him in ways that he couldn’t have imagined—certainly far more than any IT job he ever pursued. “I love the process of experimentation,” Hermez says. “This work engages all my senses, not just my brain.” For Hermez, his mission does not stop simply at producing flawless, Lebanese-style mahousheh. During his time in Beirut, he witnessed firsthand how much the pleasure of manousheh depends on the care and attention bakers like Isaac offer to each customer. They don’t just provide physical sustenance or fleeting gustatory pleasure. They treat each customer as members of a kind of extended family.

humanity, or generosity of spirit, or love. In New York’s hyper-competitive, profitmaximizing culture, his joint offers a muchneeded oasis of calm and civility. And even hardened New Yorkers have taken notice.

And so, back in New York, Hermez added a new ingredient to his secret sauce: call it

193 Bleecker St., Greenwich Village, tel. 347.971.5778, manousheh.com

“There’s a palpable sense of hospitality and desire to share a culture,” writes New York Magazine, “ingredients as essential and soulful as any at Hermez’s disposal.”

269 A

A lifestyle _ getaway

Location, location, location Pack your bags for Lebanon’s seaside towns Tripoli

From the crumbling clock tower in the heart of the old town to the twisting alleyways of its ancient souk, Tripoli is a pulsing Ottoman medina with a rich and colorful character. A steady sea breeze keeps the city a few degrees cooler than Beirut – a godsend in the baking heat of summer.

A 270

© Shutterstock, James Haines-Young, Beit el Nessim, Beit al Batroun, Marc-Antoine Kikano/Pierre & Friends, Roland Ragi/Colonel, Dar Alma, Cloud 59

By James Haines-Young

Baytna Restaurant Sit on a terrace under tented awnings at Baytna Restaurant, an ideal spot to enjoy a warm summer’s night. The restaurant hosts live music, dervish performances and other traditional dancing. Be sure to book ahead. Visit alibak.com

Mira’s Guided Tours For a culture vulture on the prowl, Tripoli is a pantheon of historical delights. Not yet an expert on Mamluk architecture? Call up Mira, a native Tripolitan. Running a number of guided walking tours around the city, she shows off the best of its complex urban sprawl. Visit facebook.com/Miras-guided-tours

Beit el Nessim Over the last eight years, owner Nabil Najjar has painstakingly restored a grand house in the heart of Al Mina’s labyrinth of streets and turned it into a spectacular guesthouse. Traditional character is etched into the centuries-old building while Najjar’s eye for detail gives each bedroom its own identity. Visit beitelnessim.com

271 A

A lifestyle _ getaway

Batroun Beloved by Lebanon’s sun-seekers, Batroun’s aquamarine water, pebble beaches and relaxed vibe serve up a slice of the Mediterranean dream. Water sports enthusiasts can wind surf at White Beach, while the more sloth-like savor a life-affirming moment watching the fiery sun sink below the horizon.

A 272

© Shutterstock, James Haines-Young, Beit el Nessim, Beit al Batroun, Marc-Antoine Kikano/Pierre & Friends, Roland Ragi/Colonel, Dar Alma, Cloud 59

By Pip Usher

Colonel The newest addition to Lebanon’s growing microbrewery scene, Colonel’s quality craft beer is housed in a rustic wood and glass barn with an attached beer garden. Once you’ve ordered a pint, claim a picnic table for an afternoon of daytime drinking. Regular movie nights and live concerts cater to a young crowd seeking an alternative to Beirut’s bars. Visit colonelbeer.com

Beit al Batroun The moment you’re greeted by Kloe, Beit al Batroun’s resident French bulldog, this elegant bed and breakfast feels like home. With a garden dotted with quiet nooks perfect for curling up with a book and a daintily sized pool on the terrace, it offers all the creature comforts of home and then some. In the morning, a feast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and an assortment of cheeses await. Visit beitalbatroun.com

Pierre & Friends A popular beachside joint, Pierre & Friends offers sun loungers by day and stiff drinks at night. Mellow beats and fresh seafood set the mood for a chic crowd determined to unwind after a hard day of tanning. Order a plate of grilled calamari and join in. Visit facebook.com/Pierre-Friends 273 A


By Pip Usher Once a wealthy hub of the Phoenician empire, modernday Tyre is a city of contrasts. Families relax in the ruins of the Roman hippodrome as dusk falls, the mosques’ call to prayer echoing across the bustling fisherman’s port – but the city’s real attraction is its huge swathe of white sand beach and crystal-clear waters. A 274

© Shutterstock, James Haines-Young, Beit el Nessim, Beit al Batroun, Marc-Antoine Kikano/Pierre & Friends, Roland Ragi/Colonel, Dar Alma, Cloud 59

A lifestyle _ getaway

Dar Alma Dar Alma, a converted 19thcentury Lebanese house, occupies a prime spot in the heart of the picturesque Christian Quarter. Rooms are tastefully decorated in shades of pale wood and white, with traditional tiles providing a reminder of the hotel’s heritage. Private beach access for hotel guests and a communal lounging area complete the seaside experience. Visit facebook.com/Dar-Alma

Fishing Harbor The city’s small harbor promises charming pictures of brightly colored boats and expansive views across the sea. From here, get lost in the Christian Quarter’s narrow maze of residential alleys. Equally vibrant, the historic homes provide a glimpse into the slow-paced allure of yesteryear.

Cloud 59 Beachgoers in the know head straight to Cloud 59, a bar and restaurant with fresh fish and an unrivalled atmosphere located at the end of a row of kiosks. Stake a spot on the sand, moments from the sea, and order the bar’s knockout mojitos to amp up that summery feeling. Visit facebook.com/Cloud59

275 A

A lifestyle _ retreat

Moroccan nights

By Jasper Toms

El Fenn’s contemporary take on bohemian glamour

El Fenn’s interiors are as labyrinthine as the walled streets through which you reach it. Made up of seven traditional riads, there are multiple staircases and leafy courtyards among which guests can lazily lose themselves. Cult hotel site Mr. and Mrs. Smith awarded it the Best Dressed Hotel accolade last year (voted for by 20,000 members of the public) and on top of that they’re now re-designing the restaurant and opening new rooms. This update marks the final stage of the three-year refurbishment being overseen by general manager Willem Smit, and will upgrade an already special destination to a stunning example of a world-class hotel. A 276

© David Loftus, Joanna Vestey, Terry Munson

At a moment when so many Arabic cities are battling destruction in the name of political extremism or insensitive modernization, the historic spirit of Marrakech bubbles through its streets and souks. Morocco gained its international street cred half a century ago as the likes of William S. Burroughs, Jimi Hendrix and Yves Saint Laurent were drawn to its louche lifestyle. With royal palaces and red-walled houses, glamorous Marrakech became an iconic destination for jetset bohemians. When Marrakech Biennale founder Vanessa Branson opened El Fenn in 2004, she created a hotel where people could come and dream of those heady days while being immersed in the very center of the authentic old medina.

This and previous page El Fenn’s interior is a masterclass in contemporary Orientalism, with rich colors and an emphasis on decorative detail

El Fenn’s celebrated ambience is a lesson in contemporary Orientalism. Eclectic and colorful, its style appeals to the Western traveller’s idea of Marrakech. Its characterful mix is a world away from the somber glamour of the city’s famous fivestar hotels La Mamounia and The Royal Mansour, whose pomp and grandeur is beautiful but can be alienating. Where there every wall is inlaid with mother of pearl or carved intricately in dark wood, at El Fenn such decorative detail comes served with a lighter touch; offset by rustic kilims and contemporary furniture, every room displays the passion that can only be created by a personal touch. Branson says she chose most pieces herself, adding that it was important to her to make the hotel a showcase for local art, for which she has a longstanding passion. French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui likes to meet friends for dinner or drinks on El Fenn’s roof, and will be exhibiting her work there later this year. Speaking about the role that Branson has played in her hometown, she explains, “Vanessa has created something with a great energy that is also one of the most fashionable places to hang out in Marrakech. A lot of the artworks in the hotel’s collection are by local artists and she really believes in the power of this city as the creative heart of Morocco, which is why she founded the biennial here.” While some of those having drinks on the terrace may be local filmmakers and magazine editors, the majority of visitors are stylish travellers looking for the best side of Marrakech. Through combining local authenticity with international standards, El Fenn delivers just that. 277 A

A lifestyle _ retreat

Thanks to the Branson connection, today’s Western jet-set love to stay here, and the hotel makes sure their expectations of luxury are met with a friendly ease and welcoming service. After an intense day shopping in the heaving souks or visiting the city’s beautiful gardens in the scorching heat, guests retreat to El Fenn’s leafy courtyards and luxurious bathtubs, to enjoy a bottle of iced rosé or dip into one of the two pools. The traditional breakfast – served on the shaded terrace – is outstanding, as are the espresso martinis, best taken in the emerald-green Jacuzzi. As the sun sets over terracotta rooftops and the call to prayer rings out from Koutoubia Mosque, the sustaining fantasy of exotic Marrakech is seductively fulfilled. Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, Bab el Ksour, Marrakech, tel. 212.524.44.1210, el-fenn.com A 278

© David Loftus, Joanna Vestey, Terry Munson

This page Marrakech Biennale founder Vanessa Branson opened the hotel with the aim of recreating the heady bohemianism of Morocco’s past

A lifestyle _ kitchen

A delectable legacy By Laura van Straaten

First-time author Maureen Abood was thrilled when The New York Times lauded her new cookbook Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh and Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen, based on her blog of the same name. “One of my hopes for the book is that it serves as a bridge and outreach for Lebanese all over the world and anyone who loves the cuisine,” Abood said by telephone from the home she shares with her husband in Michigan, where she grew up. Abood hadn’t visited Lebanon until a few years ago, when she made the pilgrimage to visit her family in Deir Mimas, in the south. She writes that Lebanon “had loomed so large in my imagination all of my life” and that it pained her never to have visited, worrying that it might make her “Lebanese-ness” less authentic. But Abood learned of Lebanon from her family’s kitchen and table. She describes how her sitto, her father’s mother, would “tsk” her into toughening her girlish hands “to pull charred eggplant for baba ghannouj from the oven bare.” I, on the other hand, only discovered Lebanese baba ghannouj, kibbeh and the pink turnip pickles known as lift from dining out: first while living in Washington, DC, at Lebanese Taverna, then in New York, Los A 280

Angeles, Paris, London and quite recently in the UAE. Some establishments were formal and elegant, others modest cafés with “home-style” offerings. But I’d never had Lebanese food in a home, and certainly not in my own.

of Lebanese cuisine, especially when raw.) I had to check my ambitions at the kitchen door when it came to her sweets recipes; though some were not intimidating, others illustrated that Abood studied candy-making before graduating culinary school.

Luckily, Abood’s hardcover tome tries to demystify some ingredients that may be especially foreign or intimidating, like mahlab, the kernel in the pit of the specially cultivated Mahaleb cherry. She also explains how to source grape leaves, from both a store and from the wild, and then how to roll them. And I’ve been blithely making hummus for years, without ever resenting the presence of chickpeas’ skins, which Abood stresses must be removed. “You don’t want it grainy,” she insisted to me, “With the skins off the chickpea it’s like butter cream, very voluptuous and smooth.”

Abood also offers new, contemporary-styled dishes simply “inspired by” traditional Lebanese cooking methods and ingredients, but her focus is the traditional Lebanese recipes “our parents and grandparents cooked for us,” she writes, “but that often were never written down, or got lost in the shuffle of life.” Mindful that the Lebanese diaspora and those who simply love the country’s cuisine are found the world over, she thoughtfully includes both metric and non-metric measurements throughout.

Following Abood’s recipes and boosted by her long-distance enthusiasm, I made dinner for a friend. My menu included Abood’s fried cauliflower with tahini; crunchy fennel salad with za’atar roasted tomatoes and a lemony yogurt dressing; eggplant with labneh and pomegranate molasses; and, to my great pride, a cinnamon-y baked kibbeh saniyeh. (Abood calls kibbeh, the mixture of ground lamb and bulgur, one of the “defining dishes”

“At all the book events,” she confided to me, “people of Lebanese descent are buying multiple copies as gifts not just to nonLebanese friends who love to cook, but for their children and grandchildren in hopes that they will keep these traditions and recipes alive.” Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh and Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen, by Maureen Abood, is published by Goodman Books and is out now on Running Press

© Harald Gottschalk / Assouline

A LebaneseAmerican chef canonizes her grandmother’s home-cooking

Mahogany Eggplant with Labneh and Pomegranate Purple is the color of royalty, and the Lebanese bow down to eggplant accordingly, making it the crowned prince of many succulent dishes. Though it always tastes wonderful, cooked eggplant often becomes something far less than royal in its looks. But thickly sliced eggplant brushed with a glossy pomegranate olive oil coating and broiled brings out an alluring, mouthwatering shade of mahogany. Top that deep golden brown with snow-white labneh and ruby-red pomegranate seeds, and we’re back on the throne again, both in looks and taste. Choose firm, heavy eggplant without a hint of give when squeezed. Makes 4 Servings 1 ⁄4 cup / 60 mL extra-virgin olive oil 1 ⁄4 cup / 60 mL pomegranate molasses 1 large (8 x 5-inch / 20 x 12-cm) eggplant Fine sea salt 3⁄4 cup / 170 g labneh (see bottom), or substitute Greek yogurt Handful of pomegranate seeds, for garnish Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Place an oven rack on the second shelf from the top, for broiling. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and pomegranate molasses to fully blend and emulsify the mixture. Cut off the stem and bottom of the eggplant, leaving the skin on. Cut the eggplant in half crosswise. Turn the eggplant halves flat-side down, and slice them lengthwise into 2-inch- / 5-cm-thick wedges, about eight in total. For the end slices that are mostly skin, trim away most of the skin. Place the eggplant slices on the prepared sheet pan, tucking them close together if needed. Coat both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil-pomegranate molasses mixture. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt. Broil the eggplant under a high broiler until the slices are deep mahogany brown, using a spatula to gently flip the now-fragile eggplant, about 8 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the other side (some moisture will be released as the eggplant cooks). Cool the eggplant to room temperature. Whisk the labneh with a pinch of salt in a small bowl until it is smooth and creamy. Arrange the eggplant slices on a serving platter and top the center of each slice with a small dollop of labneh, about a tablespoon each. Sprinkle the eggplant and the labneh with the pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately.

281 A

© Harald Gottschalk / Assouline

A lifestyle _ kitchen

A 282

Muhammara (Roasted Red Bell Pepper-Walnut Dip) The more you make this wonderful dip, the more you will adjust the spices to your own liking. A jar of roasted red bell peppers will work just as well as roasting your own. This is delicious as a dip with fresh pita or pita chips, or as a sauce, spooned atop chicken, grilled meats or fish. Muhammara will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for about a week. Makes about 2 ½ cups 2 red bell peppers, trimmed, roasted, and peeled 1 cup / 120 g walnut pieces, toasted 2⁄3 cup / 40 g fresh breadcrumbs or panko, toasted 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses 2 garlic cloves Pinch of red pepper flakes Juice of 1⁄2 lemon 1 teaspoon paprika 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional) 1 teaspoon kosher salt Few grinds of black pepper 1⁄4 cup / 60 mL extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving Combine the peppers and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add the breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, paprika, cumin (if using), salt and pepper, processing to combine.

Reprinted with permission from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms © 2015 by Maureen Abood, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

With the processor running, add the olive oil slowly and blend until the oil is completely incorporated. Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as you go. Serve the muhammara drizzled with olive oil in a small bowl, chilled or at room temperature. Labneh (Thick Yogurt) Makes about 3 cups / 690 g 8 cups / 2 kg yogurt (laban), or 1 recipe of homemade yogurt (see bottom) 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt Place a large colander in the sink or over a bowl to catch the dripping whey, and line the colander with a large sheer hankie, fine cheesecloth, a specialty draining bag or an ink-free paper towel (a single layer). Pour the yogurt into the lined colander. To encourage and speed up the draining process, gravity is your friend. If you’re using a large hankie or cheesecloth, tie together the opposite corners of the cloth, hobo-style, and hang it from the faucet (be sure you can do without running the water for several hours, ideally overnight) with the colander underneath to catch the bundle if it falls. Or hang the bundle from a long-handled wooden spoon suspended over a deep bowl or pot. If you’re using paper towels, cover the top of the yogurt with another towel; keep the colander in the sink, or place it over a deep bowl (double boiler-style) to catch the whey. The whey can then be discarded. Drain the yogurt at least 4 to 6 hours, preferably overnight. It does not need to be refrigerated while draining. When the labneh is thickened, scrape it from the lining of the colander with a rubber spatula or, if it pulls away cleanly as it tends to do when drained in paper towel, simply turn the labneh out into a bowl. Add the salt and whisk the labneh well to smooth out any lumps. Aunt Hilda was so devoted to smoothing her labneh that she used to whip it in the stand mixer for a smoothness that would meet her exacting standards. A paper towel can be tucked in over the top of the labneh in an airtight container to absorb the excess whey. Cover and chill the labneh, ideally overnight, before serving. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. 283 A

A lifestyle _ neighborhood

Saifi streets

By Stephanie dÍ Arc Taylor

Saifi Village has long been a destination for Beirut’s trendiest shoppers and ladies who lunch. Balima, the French café that picturesquely spills onto Saifi Square, is perennially packed with locals with shopping bags, and, until a few years ago, Khaleeji tourists looking to spend their petrodollars on souvenirs from Lebanon’s famous fashion scene. Sipping a glass of rosé under jacaranda trees, in the shadow of artfully distressed French mandate apartment buildings, it’s easy to forget the gridlocked traffic just a few blocks away. Political tensions of the past few years led to a hiccup in the development of the scene, but that hasn’t stopped the launch of several new hot spots in the past year. “I think the new shops have given Saifi a much needed jolt,” says Tala Hajjar, co-founder of the Starch Foundation, whose boutique can be found on Saifi’s cobblestoned streets. “Add just a few more gourmet and fitness spots and you’ve got a vibrant and groovy reborn Saifi Village.” A 284

© Exhale, Harry›s Bar, Trunk

A Beirut corner buzzes again

Harry’s Bar (right) “Have a Bellini – you’re in Harry’s Bar!” insists general manager Jamil Jurdak when I stopped by for a visit. The classic Prosecco-and-peach juice cocktail was famously devised at the original Harry’s Bar in Venice, a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Ava Gardner and Alfred Hitchcock, among many other midcentury notables. The Beirut branch features a bar lined with gorgeous Italian green marble, as well as custom-made tables with specially ordered hinges from the US and legs from Italy (not to mention custom designed silver ashtrays and ice buckets). This care extends to the food as well: after a rocky start with another chef, Michelin-starred Chef Orazio Ganci has taken the helm, having designed a new menu rooted in Italian tradition but skewed to the particulars of the Lebanese palate. “We had a group of ladies all requesting saumon fumé,” Jurdak laughs, “so we’ll be adding it to the menu next week.” Gouraud St., Saifi Village, tel. 01.996.600, harrysbarbeirut.com

Exhale (left) Exhale couldn’t have timed the opening of its Saifi branch better. The spinning and personal training gym’s launch almost perfectly coincided with the closure of Saifi’s beloved yoga studio Nok Yoga Shala at the end of April, providing a new sweat spot for Saifi’s ladies looking to work off lunch. And work they will: these classes are no walk in the park. The hour-long session I attended might not have been possible without manager Hania Bissat shouting encouragement during the toughest “tracks”, as sets are called in spinning lingo. Next to Balima, Saifi Village, tel. 01.985.798, exhalebeirut.com

Trunk Concept Store (right) Launched late last year, this high-end menswear boutique seems ideally suited to some post-meal retail therapy (it’s just around the corner from another recent addition to the area, popular lunchtime spot Meat the Fish). The shop is all dark wood and angular tables, atop which rest clothing, footwear and accessories from trendy Paris, London, New York and Milan labels – including Maison Martin Margiela for Converse sneakers, covered with special Blanc de Meudon white paint that’s designed to flake off over time revealing a mystery color underneath. Once a month the space plays host to events, partnering with other Saifi spots to offer special promotions supplemented with fresh juice cocktails, DJs and fitness classes – a worthy celebration of Beirut’s newly reenergized Saifi Village. Mkhallsiyeh St., Bloc C, Saifi Village, tel. 01.973.347, trunkconceptstore.com 285 A

© © Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preservee, Joe Danehy, Kristi Johnson Musta

A lifestyle _ ranch

The heart of the West

By Millie Walton

A 286

This and following pages Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve offers visitors a taste of America’s Wild West Opposite Page Traditional Native American tipis provide unusual accommodation

Nevada’s wild horses and vast landscapes

My tipi glows golden orange in the early morning sunlight. It’s the kind of hour that’s dreaded in the city, but treasured in the wild. A translucent haze hangs over the range and the earth hisses as the sun laps up last night’s rain. I join the small group of guests on the terrace of Madeleine Pickens’s home. Pickens is the owner of Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve and she shares the mood, glamorous in jeans and a checkered shirt. “Are you ready to feed the horses?” she purrs, and I nod enthusiastically. “Good. We’ll leave in a few minutes.” Here that could mean a few minutes or an hour. The days are long and giving; timekeeping is made redundant. When we do leave, it’s by 4x4 down the road, then a track and onto a horse-drawn wagon into the vast openness. Pickens owns over 900 square miles, further than the eye can see, and we’re in search of wild horses. The farm dogs run alongside and we spot the outline of a coyote frozen on the horizon. It’s America’s version of a safari. Ahead we spot the herd, hundreds of faces 287 A

lifted and ears pointed in anticipation. The mustangs are wild, rescued from the cruel fate of slaughter by Madeline’s charitable organization, Saving America’s Mustang, and brought to the preserve here in Wells, Nevada. All profits generated by the resort are invested back into the colossal project, which aims to reinstate the romantic and historic heart of the Western lands with no fat skimmed off the top, putting an altruistic spin on the allure of indulgence. Driving the wagon into the mist, Clay, the ranch’s number one cowboy (we’re talking leather chaps, denim shirt and straw-chewing), starts shaking out hay in a circle around us, tempting the animals inwards. We sit still as they tentatively close in. The sky is a startling blue, scattered with puffs of white cloud, the grass green and the mountains behind it sprinkled with snow. A foal suddenly scatters, galloping in circles in a desperate attempt to find its mother. The herd, however, remains unperturbed and the foal soon quiets alongside a bay mare, rubbing its head against her flanks in relief. It’s a scene so cinematic it would feel imagined if it weren’t for the stomping of restless hooves, neighing and smell of hot horse hair. A 288

Later, fuelled by oatmeal, eggs and smoothies, we saddle up, Western style, and scramble up Spruce Mountain. The terrain is jagged, steep and in some places a little ropey, but these horses are sure-footed enough to guide the most nervous of riders, and with a pack instinct deeply ingrained, they never stray far from the tail in front. The staggering views also provide distraction from any nerves. For more confident riders, there’s the opportunity to push forward at pace as we do for the final 100 meters, arriving panting and giddy at the picnic spot. Elegant rugs and deck chairs are laid out near the cliff ’s edge, which drops into the rolling valley below. We sit silenced by the view for some moments, experiencing a sense of natural peace that’s hard to find. That night, we learn to lasso against a peach sky. We eat hungrily in the dining tipi, packed cozily around a single candlelit table, and sip cocktails in the saloon. Then we huddle in thick fur blankets by the campfire, listening to a cowboy strumming his guitar. Visit Steppes Travel, tel. 0843.778.9926, steppestravel. com

© Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preservee, Joe Danehy, Kristi Johnson

A lifestyle _ ranch

A lifestyle _ meal

Eat sunshine

Beirut’s newest health-conscious restaurant A 290

© Raya Farhat

By Christina Tkacik

This and previous page Eat Sunshine’s wholesome approach to food is reflected in dishes like the beetroot tapenade (bottom), spiralized “noodles” (opposite, bottom left) and turmeric latte (opposite, bottom right)

Haddad wasn’t always passionate about healthy food. As a child she spent summers in Europe, eating fast food every day. She later took up smoking, had ongoing problems with her skin, and was fatigued, she says, for most of her life. Reflecting on her former administrative role for banking giant J.P. Morgan, Haddad says, “I wasn’t happy in my soul.” A few years back, she married local restaurateur Mario Haddad Jr. and quit her job. After two years spent doing “nothing – literally nothing,” she began to take up cooking as a hobby. Her interest in healthy food came when she was looking for recipes that might help clear her skin. Interest quickly turned to obsession. “I needed to fill that hunger inside of me,” she says. As her diet improved, so did her overall health. She quit smoking. Her skin cleared up. (“I haven’t worn makeup in years,” reveals the gorgeous Haddad.) Studying by correspondence, she pursued a degree in nutrition and began working one-on-one with clients to improve their own eating habits.

Dalia Taher Haddad estimates she’s read over 100 diet books. All can be distilled down to the same mandate: eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. This research led to the name for her new restaurant in Beirut, Eat Sunshine, which uses plants as the staple of each dish. “I thought, these plants eat sunshine, and we eat them – so why not eat sunshine?” The menu includes a bright assortment of superfoods, deliciously prepared. There’s a yellowish-orange turmeric latte made from root and coconut milk, bright purple beetroot tapenade and “noodles” made from spiralized squash in a green pesto sauce crafted from walnuts instead of cheese. (The restaurant serves free-range meats and fish, but avoids dairy and soft drinks). The recipes are simple and most dishes can be prepared in around 20 minutes. “If you’re sitting here and saying ‘Wow this is amazing,’ it’s not because we’ve produced it in any fancy-schmancy way,” Haddad says. Instead, the emphasis is on the ingredients. “I can tell you where each and every single item comes from,” she says. And 90 percent of what’s on the menu is from local organic farms, like Jlal at-Tormos in South Lebanon.

In May, she opened Eat Sunshine, a bright and airy café in Monot, determined to share her love of wholesome food with the general public. Her husband cautioned her about the challenges of the cutthroat restaurant business, but Haddad was determined. “I said, ‘If I can’t do this, I don’t know who can.’” Involved in every aspect of the café’s creation, she designed the interior herself. Pots lined up on one wall were acquired during a recent trip to Marrakech. The striking palm tree wallpaper is the same “Martinique” design seen in the Beverly Hills Hotel in LA. Haddad hopes that her café will become a center for healthy eating in Beirut, not only serving delicious food to customers but also informing locals about places they can buy organic food. There are even plans to host seminars on healthy cooking, as well as yoga classes in the adjacent garden. She’s certainly a persuasive spokesperson for the cause. A junk food connoisseur, I was a reformed character after sampling Eat Sunshine’s offerings. It will take time for my body to repair, though – and that’s just fine, according to Haddad. Keep adding healthy food to your diet, and eventually the body will prevail. “Over time, your body becomes stronger than your mind.” Monot St., tel. 01. 325.980 291 A

A lifestyle _ farm

By Robert Landon

© Robert Landon

Rustic pleasures

A 292

This page Rustic chic reigns supreme Opposite Page A view of Brimi Setter, an organic farm in Norway

A Norwegian welcome at Brimi Seter

Brimi Seter is a farm, a factory, an inn, an idea. It occupies a world every Brooklyn hispter longs to reproduce, where everything is organic and handcrafted and deliberate and aestheticized. It is, in short, one of the strangest, most beautiful places I have ever visited. Sitting near the geographical heart of Norway, Brimi Seter is first and foremost a “summer farm.” Since Viking times, Norwegian farmers moved their livestock from lower elevations to the country’s interior uplands, which during Norway’s brief summer grow lush with emerald grasses. Brimi Seter happens also to be the ancestral home of Arne Brimi, Norway’s most celebrated chef. Now, Brimi’s son Hans, together with Hans’s husband Ola, has transformed the farm into a strange amalgam of art, nature and hospitality for which English lacks the proper word.

perfect combination of midcentury modernism and rustic chic. All the products – butter, cheeses, jams, charcuterie, pottery – are packaged and presented with extreme restraint and good taste. After a gander at their retail offerings, Ola and Hans then lead us up upstairs to the oddest – and among the best – restaurants I have ever patronized.

I arrive at Brimi Seter with a group of friends after 8pm – later than we planned, nighttime in most of the world. But this being Norway in June, a bright yellow sun still rakes the landscape, which is at once desolate (no trees) and vivid with new grasses. In the midst of this strange scene, we come upon a cluster of buildings clad in clapboards silvered by the years and capped by turf roofs blooming with wild flowers. With shy Nordic warmth, Hans and Ola welcome us into the largest of the buildings – their barn/shop/factory/inn. It seems we have arrived at the end of the world, or perhaps the fertile side of the moon. Anyway, it is not like anything any of us has experienced before.

The restaurant consists of a single long, narrow, rustic table that runs down the middle of a long, narrow, rustic room. But this strange room serves as more than a restaurant. Its walls are lined with tiny alcoves where farmhands once slept; several of the choicer ones are now fitted up for overnight guests. What the arrangement lacks in privacy it makes up for in country realness. For below the weathered, raw-wood floors lie the cow’s stables. We can almost hear them mooing as Ola and Hans serve us raclette of cheese made from their milk. They also serve us organic greens with reindeer salami, a vegetable soup sprinkled with wild flowers (perhaps culled from the turf roofs?), and recycled bottles filled with local pilsner, cloudy, flowery and artisanal. The whole experience, from the melting cheese to the nighttime sun to the veiled alcoves, retains a dream-like quality in my memory.

We pause first in the neat little shop, an almost too-

After our leisurely meal, Hans and Ola take us for a tour 293 A

A lifestyle _ farm

This page Brimi Setter produces butter, cheese and jams, amongst other things (top) on-site at the “summer farm” (bottom)

of the grounds. We see the cow stables, the turf roofs, the great wheels of cheese, the sparkling steel contraptions that produce them. Off in the distance twinkles an upland lake, still as dawn, and beyond it snow-capped mountains. The peaks look dramatic, though in fact, they don’t reach much higher than our current elevation (900km). It’s getting on toward 11pm, the sun every bit has bright as when we arrived. It is time to go. The sun doesn’t want to go down. And I don’t want to leave.

© Robert Landon

Visit brimi-seter.no

A 294

A lifestyle _ city

Made in Sicily By Pip Usher

© Hotel Signum, Casa Cuseni, Shutterstock

Island life, international flair

A 296

This page The ruins of Taormina’s ancient Greek theater Opposite page Village life in the Aeolian Islands (top) and Taormina’s idyllic town center (bottom)

The stone kicked by Italy’s Cuban-heeled boot, Sicily has had a rocky time of it. Ravaged by the Mafia for centuries, it’s an island with a legacy of violence and criminal activity amidst its fragrant groves of blood orange trees. But to dismiss Sicily because of its checkered past would be a mistake. A sophisticated destination for discerning clientele, it boasts cultural activities and gastronomic gatherings that rival that of more established European destinations. Numerous invasions have resulted in Greek and Roman ruins sitting alongside honey-colored Islamic architecture and the ornate grandeur of the Baroque period. Better yet, its balmy Mediterranean climate guarantees long, lazy days dappled in sunlight from April until October. Adored by celebrities, the town of Taormina and its cobbled streets are perched above a curved swathe of pristine coastline. Truman Capote used to summer with his lover here; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton played out the dramas of their relationship under the looming hulk of Mount Etna, the island’s famed volcano. Renowned as the playground of aristocrats and literati throughout the 20th century, Oscar Wilde was one of its many flamboyant visitors – and as legend goes, the first gay adoption in the world occurred in Casa Cuseni, a stately home. These days, crowds of well-heeled tourists descend upon Taormina instead, intent on enjoying the pleasures of its swanky hotels and captivating panoramas.

Salina, part of the Aeolian Islands archipelago north of Sicily, has more cacti than cars lining its coastline. Battered Piaggio trucks climb the steep hills with determination – apart from a thriving tourism trade in the summer months, islanders depend on mining, agriculture and fishing for their livelihood. Their geographical isolation (the Aeolian Islands can only be reached by ferry) and rustic pace of life has led to a personality distinct from mainland Sicily; as one lifelong resident explains, “We get claustrophobic if we can’t see the sea.” Hire scooters and explore the island’s wild beauty, stopping for lunch at the legendary Da Alfredo’s café in Lingua for an openfaced sandwich heaped with sundried tomatoes, capers, olives, mozzarella and tuna. Social media addicts beware: haphazard Internet connection means gloating Facebook statuses will have to wait until you’re back on the mainland. It would be a travesty to write of Sicily without acknowledging the gorgeousness of its cuisine. After all, this is an island with an annual food festival dedicated to the caper – small, salty and added with impunity to pizzas, salads and pasta. If they’re not to your taste, sample locally grown artichokes or the delicate sponginess of freshly made ricotta. Wash it all down with a glass of Marsala, Sicily’s tawny dessert wine, and stop by Capofaro Malvasia & Resort for an extensive wine tasting later. 297 A

A lifestyle _ city

Hotel Signum Check into one of Hotel Signum’s elegant, airy rooms to disconnect from life. Its renowned spa offers volcanic treatments for those that need pampering. Via Scalo 15, Malfa Salina, tel., hotelsignum.it


Alberta Ferreti

Casa Cuseni Ancient artifacts fill Casa Cuseni, the historic home of painter Robert Kitson. The five rooms are comfortable, but it’s the villa’s wisteria-draped gardens that are truly spectacular. Via Leonardo da Vinci 5, tel., casacuseni.com

© Hotel Signum, Casa Cuseni, Shutterstock

Tiramisu La Trattoria Locals rave about this establishment, packed to the rafters with Italian families enjoying hearty pizzas and seafood pasta. For dessert, a huge froth of tiramisu is practically mandatory. Via Apollo Arcageta 9, tel., tiramisutaormina.it

A 298

A last _ word

About time

Clé de Cartier timepiece A 300

© Cartier

White gold, leather and diamonds are a girl's best friend


Ballon Bleu de Cartier

New 33 mm collection, automatic movement

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.