A Magazine, Issue 96

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Celestial moments with Raëd Abillama, Nayla Audi and Fernando Jorge Albert Oehlen's dream vision at the Aïshti Foundation

no.96 Nov-Dec '18/Jan '19 LL10,000


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96 No.

Nov-Dec/2018 Jan/2019


The Magic Issue


FRONT / 48 Who’s Who / 50 Editor’s Letter The inspiration behind this issue / 52

Contributors A brief selection / 58 Supernatural Charmers Those creating magic in

Beirut / 74 In Focus What’s on this season / 104 Objects of Desire Winter must-haves / 112 Fairy Tales on the Runway Designer collections are filled with enchantment /

120 No Boundaries Architectural firm Snøhetta / 126 In the Studio with Fernando

Jorge / FASHION / 132 Winter Wonderland Two sexy fashion trends / 136 Pieces of

Me Captivating jewels / 144 Style and Seek Winter accessories / 158 Celestial Fire

Fashion magic in Amsterdam / 182 Barcelona in Strides A Spanish hotel inspired by fashion / 186 Reinventing High Fashion How street style became high style / 192

Turn This Engine On The Audi Q8 all dressed up / FEATURES / 210 Learning Curve

Nov-Dec/2018 Jan/2019

Architect Paul Kaloustian’s Armenia project / 216 Guys, Chairs and Dolls Vitra in

Beirut / 218 Subject In Conversation with Amer Wahoud / PLAYGROUND / 226

Where We’re Eating / 232 On Food Food halls take over the culinary scene / 236 On

Wellness Ancient remedies for better health / 238 Where We’re Detoxing / 242 The

Cyclades, Intimately Lost on a Greek island / 244 Where We’re Staying / 248 On

Drink Imaginary cocktails made real / 250 Where We’re Drinking / THE END / 258

Through Albert Oehlen’s Eyes The Aïshti Foundation’s breathtaking new exhibit / 272 The Last Page Cher channels ABBA




Celestial moments with Raëd Abillama, Nayla Audi and Fernando Jorge Albert Oehlen's dream vision at the Aïshti Foundation

no.96 Nov-Dec '18/Jan '19 LL10,000

On the Cover The holiday season is upon us and with it comes a tale of enchantment, so let yourself fall under A Mag’s spell. Our cover girl Maud wears a Gucci dress and Buccellati earrings. Shot in Amsterdam by Petrovsky & Ramone / Styling by Venus Waterman

People/Style/Culture/Art Publisher Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman

Creative director Mélanie Dagher

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Copy editor Stephanie d’Arc Taylor

Feature photographers

In-house photographer Raya Farhat

Edward Black

Coordinating editor Sophie Nahas Senior photo editor Fadi Maalouf Contributing writers 48

J.A. Getzlaff

Sophy Grimshaw Karim Hussain Valerie Jones

Michael Karam Niku Kasmai

Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Michelle Merheb

Warren Singh-Bartlett J. Michael Welton Hiba Zeino Steyn

Fashion photographers Tony Elieh

Petrovsky & Ramone Aly Saab

Bachar Srour

Mohamad Abdouni Carl Halal

Holger Niehaus Stylists

Jeff Aoun

Venus Waterman Illustrator

Marion Garnier

Editorial intern Alessandra Ziade

Advertising director Melhem Moussallem Advertising manager Stephanie Missirian

Senior marketing coordinators Noor Mereby, Magaly Mosleh Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

Aïshti by the Sea, Beirut, Lebanon tel. 961.4.717.716, aishti.com, aishtiblog.com


Divine Spells The holiday season in Lebanon is always imbued with a sense of magic. We’ve got Christmas decorations across various cities and neighborhoods, Christmas carols playing at many malls and on the street, mountain peaks dusted with snow and holiday desserts filling the shelves of local patisseries. But the real magic comes from all the Lebanese expats coming home to be with their loved ones. Flying in from the United States, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Africa and the Arabian Gulf countries, Lebanon’s émigrés bring festive cheer, as homes, restaurants, hotels and entertainment spots across the country fill up with those who have settled abroad but have never gotten over the heartbreak of exile. When the Lebanese return to their native land, even for a brief sojourn, everything seems possible and the future is filled with great expectations, as if the entire country is under a blissfully divine spell. Marwan Naaman @marwannaaman

© 2018 Chloé, all rights reserved.

TESS in sepia brown calfskin and suede





J.A. Getzlaff Formerly Paris Editor of A Mag, J.A. Getzlaff now lives in Silicon Valley, where she works in the tech industry. Her passion for design, fashion and travel remains, however, so she continues to report from far-flung locales. For this issue, she covers Koufonissi, Greece (see page 242), and the global food hall revolution from cities as diverse as Toronto, Honolulu and Biarritz (see page 232). She has more than 20 years of experience in digital business and marketing. Before joining Guidewire, where she is currently employed, she worked in digital marketing at Dell, as a marketing consultant for Microsoft and for several digital media outlets.

Venus Waterman Venus Waterman is an Amsterdam-based stylist and consultant. Born in Basel into a family of artists, she was introduced to show business and traveling at an early age and developed a love and passion for both. She graduated from the Artez Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands with a BA in fashion design, stumbled upon styling by chance and has never looked back. Waterman has since developed an eclectic and versatile signature and has worked with a diversity of clients as both stylist and consultant, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, L’Officiel, Hypebeast and others. She styled A Mag’s cover shoot, beginning on page 158.

Edward Black Edward Black is a self-taught published fashion and portrait photographer based in London. His love affair with photography started two years ago when he purchased his first camera. Portraits have been something he has always enjoyed shooting, as it allows him to really connect with his subjects and get to know them on a personal level. One of the things that he finds fascinating about portraits is that they’re completely open to interpretation, everyone looks at them and has a unique emotional response. One of his favorite photographers is Steve McCurry, as he tells a story with his photographs, which is something he aspires to do with his own work. Check out his portraits of Fernando Jorge, beginning on page 126.

Alessandra Ziade Alessandra Ziade was born and raised in Lebanon. After completing her school studies at the Lycée Francais, she went on to further her studies in fashion styling and communication at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Florence, Italy. The years she lived in Italy were filled with exciting opportunities, including working with Vogue Italia on various advertising campaigns for Bata. Her responsibilities as creative director helped her develop her interests for the industry and drove her to seek additional work experience in the fashion industry, leading her to Aïshti. She is currently completing an internship at A Mag, which is the perfect place for her to expand her love and appreciation for fashion, art, design and culture.


Spend $200 or more at Aïshti for the chance to win a luxurious Audi RSQ3

SUPERNATURAL CHARMERS Photography Mohamad Abdouni


Beirut has always been a place of wonder. The ancient city has captured the imagination of thousands of travelers, as far back as antiquity, many of them seduced by the tranquil beauty of the Mediterranean town luxuriating at the foot of the soaring peaks of Mount Lebanon. While it’s certainly changed over the centuries, Beirut remains a mysterious, intriguing city, one where everything appears to be impossible yet anything can be accomplished, as if by magic. Here’s a look at various Beirut creatives, each crafting something special, exceptional, imaginative – and infused with enchantment.



HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST Lebanese hair and makeup artist Moe Rida has been wrapped up in the world of beauty since his youngest age, his parents both being hairdressers. Over the years, he’s worked for fashion designers and publications such as Hussein Bazaza, Krikor Jabotian, Rani Zakhem, Creative Space Beirut, Hermès, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and more, creating distinctive hair styles and makeup looks. Rida describes his work as “a niche of effortlessly chic aesthetic,” explaining that he’s “obsessed with hair and makeup looks that seem innate and almost untouched.” What is the most challenging thing about your work? Being innovative. Always evolving. Never boring! What inspires you most? Film noir. What is the most important lesson you ever learned?

When in doubt, freak them out! What is your lifelong dream? To keep doing what I do until the last day I live. It’s the reason I wake up in the morning. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Sir Alfred Hitchcock. He was the epitome of class, style, fetishism and mystery. His perception of beauty would be great to explore – over a dry martini of course. Which is your favorite travel destination? Tokyo. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is the most magical and why? The studio. Watching local talents coming together to create a unique image is my kind of magic. Can you describe yourself in a single word? Delusional!


Beirut-born Nayla Audi first started working in the culinary realm in Los Angeles, California, upon completing her political science degree in the early 1990s. Most notably, she worked at Patina restaurant in LA, where she learned the art of ice cream making. When she returned to Lebanon, she launched her own ice cream company, Oslo, using top-grade fruit and ingredients to create delectable and innovative flavors that include roseloukoum, pistachio-halva, pomegranate, coffee toffee crunch, chocolate chocolate chip, Oreo cookies and many more. In 2007, she crossed the Atlantic once more to launch Milk in LA, specializing in desserts and ice cream treats, including bars, cones and ice cream sandwiches. What was the best thing she ever created? “My two daughters,” Audi says. 60

What’s the most challenging thing about your work? The cold chain. What inspires you most? The light. What’s the most important lesson you ever learned? Stay humble. What’s your lifelong dream? Inclusiveness. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? A young Georges Shehadeh for his beautiful poetry. A young Karim Aga Khan for his work in philanthropy. Wes Anderson for his visual perfection. Madison Cox for his magical gardens. What’s your favorite travel destination? Italy. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is most magical and why? The Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve because you feel closer to God. Can you describe yourself in a single word? Embracing.




Raëd Abillama founded his eponymous architectural firm in 1997, after an educational and professional journey that took him from his native Lebanon to Europe and the United States. He studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and later completed his Master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. He then spent a few years working in the Manhattan offices of Rafael Viñoly Architects before returning to Lebanon and setting out on his own. His extensive international portfolio of projects includes crafted single residences, apartment buildings and commercial commissions such as the award-winning IXSIR winery above Batroun. Abillama says that he finds inspiration in the most unexpected places: “I see or hear something that is seemingly random, and it can trigger a spark of creativity.” What’s the most challenging thing about your work? Architecture incorporates so many different aspects – design and functionality, environment and light, quality of materials and ecological concerns. The challenge is to remain aware of all these things, and in addition, not to forget the very important human element. What’s the best thing you ever created? My next project is always the best thing. I am in constant search for evolution and discovery. What’s the most important lesson you ever learned? With time and experience, I have realized how important listening is, and how much curiosity can be part of good listening, which includes asking the right questions, the important questions. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? It would be amazing to spend some time with Leonardo Da Vinci. Since childhood, I have been mesmerized by his multidisciplinary genius. Specifically, I would love to understand more about Da Vinci, the architect. What’s your favorite travel destination? Japan. A deep respect for nature is an integral part of Japanese DNA. Both the traditional and contemporary cultures are incredibly creative. It is one of the rare places where everything resides in the details. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is most magical and why? I always need a retreat to nature, especially in Beirut. Lebanon, thankfully, still has some pockets of paradise tucked away in the mountains. Can you describe yourself in a single word? Passionate.



Jewelry designer Alia Mouzannar, who’s been an integral part of esteemed Lebanese jewelers Aziz & Walid Mouzannar since 2003, creates spirited pieces with an exceptional sense of proportion, harmony and poetry. Her architectural studies and great interest in contemporary art have been instrumental in shaping her aesthetic, resulting in such iconic pieces as the Folding in Love bracelet, which won the coveted HRD Awards in Shanghai, China in 2011. More recent creations include the Cache Ring, a modular concept that reflects her singular talent at modernizing classical jewelry. When asked to describe herself in a single word, Mouzannar says she’s a “dreamer.”


What’s the most challenging thing about your work? Answering interviews. What’s the best thing you ever created? The modular jewelry and the Cache Ring in particular. What I like most about it is that each ring is unique and a reason to tell a story. What inspires you most? It’s a never-ending process. Working and meeting new people, playing with my kids, cooking, having a walk in nature, traveling. I think life is an inspiring journey. What’s the most important lesson you ever learned? Be true to who you are and never follow trends. What’s your lifelong dream? I’ll tell you about it as soon as I wake up! If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Iris Apfel. She’s a visionary and a fantastic woman. She’s such a free spirit, and I would love to know about her daily life and the experiences that made her who she is. What’s your favorite travel destination? Greece. It’s a place where you have the chance to see such a clean Mediterranean Sea. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is most magical and why? Ain Zhalta in the Shouf is my green shelter. And one of the last wellpreserved places in Lebanon, with its Cedar Nature Reserve.




Abraham and Moe Hamadani – the Hamadani Brothers – specialize in sourcing, restoring and selling 20th-century furniture. Theirs was originally a family business, founded by their father Jamal in Basta, and the brothers later took it over, expanding to a second location in Mar Mikhael, while staying true to their father’s legacy of a not-so-ordinary antique shop with a contemporary twist. The Hamadani Brothers were born and raised in Ontario, Canada and spent a large part of their lives moving between Lebanon and Canada. They foster a company culture that contributes to sustainability and environmental awareness by reusing, reducing and recycling. The brothers describe their professional journey as “a job that doesn’t feel like work, rather a passion.” What inspires you most? AH: The power of ideas and the “why” in everything. MH: Making a house into a home. What’s the most important lesson you ever learned? AH: Balance is key. MH: You miss 100% of the shots you never take. What’s your lifelong dream? AH: My goal is to continuously grow as an individual and contribute to society in any way possible. MH: To foster a loving and caring family. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? AH: Thomas Paine says “the world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.” This sentence has resonated with me since coming across it. I would choose him to absorb his intellect and ideas. MH: Actor James Spader. I’d like to know if in real life he shares common characteristics with his character on the show The Blacklist. What’s your favorite travel destination? AH: I don’t have one. The world is too vast, contradicting and beautiful to visit one destination multiple times. I’d like to see them all. MH: The Far East. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is most magical and why? AH: Definitely Gemmayze, the alleyways, hidden residences, mix of old and new architecture and people gathering from all walks of life. MH: Beirut, a concrete jungle with a rich history and a contemporary twist. Can you describe yourself in a single word? AH: Genuine. MH: Ambitious.



Lebanese fashion designer Hass Idriss had his first runway show in 2009, as part of London Fashion Week. The Central St. Martins graduate prides himself on having shadowed greats like David LaChapelle and Alexander McQueen during his time in London and prior to launching his eponymous brand. Now based in Beirut, Idriss leads a creative army and tailors garments that put the woman forward rather than the garment itself. His gloriously creative gowns combine old school techniques with the state-of-the-art technology and the finest materials, resulting in spectacular looks. He says that fireworks inspire him most: “Nothing touches me more than the ambition of mankind to decorate the skies even for a moment.”


What’s the most challenging thing about your work? The most challenging thing is dealing with the business part of work. I wish it were all pure creation. What’s the best thing you ever created? My best creation was a short controversial video during my foundation year, which I was forced to delete. What’s the most important lesson you ever learned? Not to forget myself at the expense of ambition. What’s your lifelong dream? Immortality. My dream is to inspire many generations long after I’m gone. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Queen Elizabeth I. I love a redhead. What’s your favorite travel destination? My subconscious. In your opinion, which place in Lebanon is most magical and why? The most magical place in Lebanon is Idriss building in Clemenceau because of its history. My grandmother built it, it was my first independent workshop at the age of 13, I accidently set it on fire at the age of 16 and, of course, I moved to it and developed my workshop within its walls. What I also love is the variety of neighbors and scenes that you get to see from each window. However, if I were to choose scenery in Lebanon that is very magical, I would have to say Chouwen. Can you describe yourself in a single word? Excessive.


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In Focus Bucket List _____ Chloé’s Roy bucket bag has a delightfully equestrian vibe. The two-tone must-have features rearing horse embroidery plus a strap and a top handle for ease of use. Roomy and wearable, this is Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s latest variation on the Roy bucket she recently introduced on the Chloé runway. Available at the Chloé boutique in the Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Chloé, Christo, Diane von Furstenberg, Wolfsonian-FIU/Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Collection


A Yellow Winter_____ This season, Diane von Furstenberg is offering up an array of dazzling dresses, including a yellow leopard print, wrapstyle dress cut from silk crepe de Chine crinkle chiffon. With its ruffled open shoulder, flared sleeves, open back and asymmetrical neckline, the dress was designed to be a definite showstopper. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea

Once Upon Biscayne Bay_____ Those who were in Miami in May 1983 may have been lucky enough to witness Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s site-specific installation “Surrounded Islands,” in which the two artists encircled 11 uninhabited islands in Biscayne Bay with 6.5 million square feet of floating, pink, woven polypropylene fabric. This single event marked Miami’s first move to become the international art hub that it is today. Now, 35 years later, the Pérez Art Museum Miami is staging “Christo and JeanneClaude: Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83: A Documentary Exhibition,” which highlights drawings, collages, a large-scale model of the bay and its islands, hundreds of photographs and documents, several photomurals and physical components of the epic project. What an incredible way to remember. Until February 17, 2019, pamm.org


Deco Divine_____ Miami Beach’s Wolfsonian-FIU is hosting its first-ever major exhibition devoted solely to Art Deco, the style that has come to define South Beach and that first made its appearance in Paris before being adopted by American tastemakers. “Deco: Luxury to Mass Market” features over 100 works from the museum’s collection, including glass objects by René Lalique, a writing desk designed by Ken Weber, a 1932 urn created by Umberto Bellotto and much more. “As an institution, we’ve been waiting to present this story,” says Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “Art Deco is such a natural topic for The Wolfsonian. It shapes the architecture of our neighborhood, which attracts sightseers and admirers from across the globe every year.” Until October 27, 2019, wolfsonian.org

In Focus Warholmania_____ Andy Warhol’s oeuvre is being celebrated at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York with a major retrospective featuring over 350 of the Pop artist’s works. Titled “Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again,” the show unites all aspects, media and periods of the artist’s 40-year career. “Warhol is that extremely rare case of an artist whose legacy grows only more potent and lasting,” says Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s deputy director for programs. “His inescapable examples continues to inspire, awe – and even vex – new generations of artists and audiences with each passing year.” This is the largest exhibition devoted to a single artist since the Whitney opened its Downtown museum. November 12, 2018-March 31, 2019, whitney.org

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS)



S Y LV I E S A L I B A , B E I RU T, D OW T OW N , PHONE. +961





In Focus

Magic Candles_____ As it does every year, French fragrance house Diptyque has released a limited edition collection of scented candles for the holiday season. Designed by Pierre Marie, the Legend of the North collection features Diptyque candles with magical powers, with each candle representing one of the spirits in the legend and holding a secret revealed during an invocation rite. The candles come in three special fragrances: Pine Tree of Light, Exquisite Almond and Amber Balm. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea

Shades of Light_____ New York-based Palestinian artist Samia Halaby returns to Ayyam Gallery in Downtown Beirut for a new solo exhibit titled “Opacity and Transparency.” A continuation of Halaby’s 2017 solo show at the Dubai outpost of Ayyam Gallery, this latest exhibit features new additions to the artist’s “Illuminated Space” series, with works that depict a denser, more layered organization. She explores how transparency affects the hard edges of shape and how layers can be used to illustrate degrees of density and softness. A fascinating body of work by one of the Middle East’s most gifted artists. Until November 30, 2018, ayyamgallery.com

Ayyam Gallery/Samia Halaby, Diptyque, Tamara Zantout


Beirut Is a Canvas_____ Tamara Zantout’s gorgeous new book, Drawing Lines, provides an in-depth look at Beirut’s burgeoning street art scene. The 200-page volume includes images of graffiti art in various Beirut areas, highlighting works by the likes of Ashekman, Yazan Halwani, Said Mahmoud and Karim Tamerji, Fish and Benoit Debbane. The photos are accompanied by moving commentary about the Lebanese people’s unending search for identity. By exploring the city’s street art, Zantout offers an entirely new perspective on Beirut and its people.

Black and White Calf Gate Grid Bag, 2018

loewe.com Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias

In Focus Rock Times Two_____ Have you checked out the new Rock World Tour capsule collection by Dsquared2? Designed specifically for the brand’s retail partners, and available only at Aïshti in the Levant, the men’s and women’s collection was launched on October 25 at Aïshti by the Sea in Antelias, with music, drinks and a rollicking good time. The huge party also featured a preview of Dsquared2’s spring/summer 2019 collection, for men and women, complete with a red and black punk rock theme. And for two weeks, the brand took over a window at Aïshti Downtown, transforming it into a Dsquared2 rock ‘n’ roll paradise. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea

Carl Halal




+961 1 983443 - www.nadag.com


Beirut Souks - ABC Dbayeh - ABC Achrafieh - ABC Verdun D Beirut

In Focus

Off-White Loves Aïshti________ Virgil Abloh’s Milan-based label Off-White has created a special range just for Aïshti. The Off-White x Aïshti capsule collection features jackets and tops with an exclusive checkered pattern that’s a reinterpretation of Off-White’s iconic arrow graphics and that’s achieved with a thickened screen print. Available at Aïshti Downtown, Aïzone ABC Verdun and Aïshti by the Sea

Godot Films, Museo Reina Sofía/Jaume Plensa, Off-White


At the Movies_____ Lebanon’s movie industry is on a roll. Every month brings with it new feature films that shed light on traditional and contemporary Lebanese culture. One of the most anticipated films of the year is Khabsa, directed and co-written by Shadi Hanna and scheduled to be released on November 21. Starring Rola Beksmati, Junaid Zeineldine and Matteo El Khodr, Khabsa is a romantic comedy that revolves around a dinner party hosted by young Nayla to introduce Fares, the love of her life, to Silvio, her new fiancé. Don’t miss it.


Feeling Invisible_____ Madrid’s Palacio de Cristal, the splendid glass house located within the Parque del Retiro, is hosting a magnificent installation by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa. Organized by the Museo Reina Sofía and titled “Jaume Plensa: Invisibles,” the exhibit is essentially an intervention consisting of a group of steel mesh sculptures hanging in the air, seeking to draw the incomplete faces of enigmatic figures. The massive sculptures, which are intersected by light and suspended in time, function as a most artistic statement on the human condition and life’s fleeting essence. November 16, 2018-March 3, 2019, museoreinasofia.es

In Focus

Party Girls_____ Alexander Wang’s fall/winter 2018-19 collection is all about having fun. There are body-con silhouettes, little black dresses with a profusion of zippers, ultra-short black leather skirts and lots of other sexy numbers, mainly in black but with dashes of white and fuchsia here and there. A collection highlight? The iconic ivory tweed coat with black buttons along the front. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea

Alexander Wang


In Focus

To The Lighthouse_____ Built in 1957, Beirut’s black and white striped lighthouse, or Manara, used to be a landmark in Lebanon. The Al Manara neighborhood was named after the 27-meter-high lighthouse perched on a hill facing the sea, navigating ships to port until 2003. Now, surrounded by tower blocks, it is barely visible and its replacement built next to a fisherman’s port lacks the luster of the former landmark. This is where Khaled

Stop! In the Name of Pop_____ A new retrospective at Mark Hachem Gallery in Downtown Beirut highlights the work of Lebanese pop artist Marwan Chamaa. The solo exhibit, titled “Marwan Chamaa’s RetroPERspective,” chronicles 30 years of artistic practice, ranging from early works to the artist’s most recent pieces, with an emphasis on current artworks. “All the displayed pieces, past and present, represent my various interpretations of pop culture,” says Chamaa. November 20-December 8, 2018, marwanchamaa.com

Shbaro comes in. With the support of various sponsors, he was able to initiate renovations, giving the lighthouse a new character by painting it with red and white stripes. Shbaro hopes that the refurbished lighthouse will become a tourism and cultural destination, with the aim to eventually have it designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Lighthouses are useful navigation aids, but culturally, they are much more: they are our direct link to the past,” Shbaro says.

Marwan Chamaa, Raya Farhat, Sfeir-Semler Gallery/Mounira Al Solh


New Space, New Show_____ As part of its grand opening, the Jameel Arts Center in Dubai is hosting an exhibit of recent works by Lebanese-Syrian artist Mounira Al Solh. Represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Al Solh has a singular artistic expression that encompasses painting, embroidery, performative gestures, video and video installations. Her powerful work often tackles political issues, examining how political events can have a violent impact on personal lives. “I do feel very proud that Jameel Arts Center is focusing on female artists for the opening exhibition,” says Al Solh. “We are definitely not represented enough in museums around the world in general. In Western museums in particular. So I am very happy the change is taking place as a role model – and guess where? In an Arab country!” November 11, 2018-February 11, 2019, artjameel.org/ centres/jameel-arts-centre-dubai

In Focus

Tomorrow Is Another Jay__________ Saint Laurent’s highly exuberant Jay sneakers have a retro feel and a sleek silhouette. Made from calf leather, the lowtop shoes have dazzling embossed gold stars on the side and on the heel. The sneakers come in four colors – red, green, blue or white – so grab a pair in every hue! Available at the Saint Laurent boutique in the Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Your Beirut Haven_____ Do you know where to go this weekend? Try Riverlane, the sprawling new open-air space set right next to Garden State along the Nahr Corniche, on Beirut’s eastern edge. The place offers a playground for kids, a duck pond and a sculpture on which kids can climb. Adult visitors can check out the Chill Zone on top of the hill, take an outdoor yoga class or go for a jog on the path that surrounds the park. Other amenities include a 150-seat restaurant, a beer garden serving bar nibbles and various stands selling sweet treats as well as organic produce. Riverlane is Beirut’s most creative new destination. facebook.com/riverlanepark

Riverlane, Saint Laurent, Ermenegildo Zegna


Check Out the X Hong Kong singer and actor William Chan and South Korean dancer, singer, actor and model Sehun are the two faces of Ermenegildo Zegna’s latest and hippest XXX collection. Alessandro Sartori, Zegna’s artistic director explains that the XXX collection matches “the identity of society’s boldest and most visionary members. An extension of what I presented at the fashion show, this is a new tribe whose members travel across time-zones, genres and styles.” The collection includes T-shirts, sweaters and sneakers, many of them stylishly adorned with the XXX logo. Available at the Ermenegildo Zegna boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

In Focus 90

Pucci in the Afternoon_____ Pucci introduced its fall/winter 201819 collection last October at We Are The People, on Aïshti’s fourth floor in Downtown Beirut. British GQ style editor Luke Day was on hand to offer full styling and beauty sessions to attending guests. On-site attractions included a nail bar and a turban station where guests learned how to add a delightful Pucci touch to their look. Available at the Pucci boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

Carl Halal, Galerie Jünger/Claudia Schumann

A Woman’s Era_____ A fascinating show in New York explores gender hierarchies and social structures while paying tribute to a seminal moment in women’s rights. Taking place at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Midtown Manhattan, “Women. Now.” is a group art show that focuses on women artists living in Austria and in the United States, including the likes of Claudia Schumann, Ellen Lesperance, Ines Doujak and Betty Tompkins. The year 2018 is particularly significant for women’s rights: first, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Austria. The year also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the feminist avantgarde movement, formed in 1968. The works on display explore the ambiguous and indefinite nature of what constitutes “the feminine” and the role of the modern-day woman. Until February 18, 2019, acfny.org



In Focus 92

Your House in Lebanon_____ Architect Ramzi Abou Fadel officially launched his Lebanese design label, Bayt-lb, this past October. Inspired by the traditional arched Lebanese houses as well as contemporary Lebanese architecture, Bayt-lb features elegant accessories that include the Mir Amin Palace Hotel bread basket and the Beirut City pen holder, in addition to various bookmarks, coasters and cheese platters. Truly unique and made exclusively in Lebanon. bayt-lb.com

Elevated Design_____ The fourth House of Today Biennale is slated for December 2018 and will take place at 3Beirut in Downtown Beirut and Sursock Museum in Ashrafieh. Curated by House of Today founder Cherine Magrabi Tayeb and titled “Elevate: The Quest for Heightened Senses,” the design showcase features products by 22 designers, including Tamara Barrage, david/nicolas, Nadine Hajjar, Charles Kalpakian and Stephanie Moussallem. A collaboration with New York gallery R & Company sees their designers collaborating with Lebanese designers: check out unique pieces by Haas Brothers x Carlo and Mary-Lynn Massoud, Rogan Gregory x Flavie Audi and Katie Stout x Sayar & Garibeh. December 15-28, houseoftoday.com

Culinary Enchantment_____ Foam Museum in Amsterdam is celebrating the eternal allure of food. “Feast for the Eyes – The Story of Food in Photography” details the rich history of food photography throughout the years, while exploring how food has been represented and what its significance can be. The exhibit is particularly relevant today, a time when social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have become rife with pics of restaurants, bars and mouth-watering dishes, as well as shots of people eating, cooking and engaged in all sorts of foodrelated activities. From Roger Fenton’s 19th-century displays of food to 1960s cookbooks, the exhibit is a visual fantasy for gourmets and gourmands alike. December 21, 2018-March 6, 2019, foam.org

Bayt-lb, Dolce & Gabbana, House of Today/Nadine Hajjar, Weegee/International Center of Photography

You Got Me Feeling Devotion_____ All sinners shall be forgiven. Dolce & Gabbana’s Devotion bag flew down from the heavens like a blessed angel, adorned with a sacred heart buckle surrounded by foliage and pearls and with the DG logo at its center. The must-have of the season comes in either smooth calfskin leather or quilted nappa leather, in white, red or black. Three sizes – mini, medium and large – ensure that there’s a Devotion for any occasion. Confession will set you free. Available at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

In Focus Fendi Fable_____ As it does every winter, Fendi has released a number of fabled bags to celebrate the season. Our favorites include the Shopper, made from glazed fabric and featuring the famed Fendi monogram plus “Fendi Roma” in blue and red oversized letters across the bag. Big, bold and beautiful. Available at the Fendi boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea



In Focus

Oh Mickey You’re So Fine_____ Mickey Mouse is back, and he’s more popular than ever. This winter, American brand Rag & Bone is borrowing a page from the Disney book to infuse its collection with cartoon magic. Men’s and women’s sweaters and T-shirts are adorned with a huge Mickey Mouse design, while men’s polo shirts have the celebrity mouse printed in front instead of the brand logo. Rag & Bone is also paying tribute to the beloved Disney character by adding Mickey Mouse prints to its scarves and shirts. A great holiday gift for fashionistas of all ages. Available at Aïshti Downtown and Aïshti by the Sea

Views of Lebanon_____ Kaph Books’ latest release, edited by Clémence Cottard Hachem and Nour Salamé, offers a fresh perspective on Lebanon. Titled On Photography in Lebanon, the book features over 380 photos, dating from the 19th century and all the way up to the present day, by such artists as Nadim Asfar, Myriam Boulos, Ali Cherri, Fouad Elkoury, Gilbert Hage, Joe Kesrouani, Roger Moukarzel, Randa Mirza, Walid Raad, Ieva Saudargaite, Tanya Traboulsi, Akram Zaatari and more. Highlights include the haunting “Jounieh Bay” from 1928 by Mary el Khazen, Ziad Antar’s chilling “Beirut Bereft” from 2007 and the spare “Trees Beside a River” by Roland Sidawi (pictured here).

Omar Nakkash, Rag & Bone, Roland Sidawi Collection/Arab Image Foundation


A Perfect Balance_____ Lebanese designer Omar Nakkash made quite a splash when he unveiled his Trinity table lamp at Beirut Design Fair in September 2018. As a follow-up, the Dubai-based designer is introducing new works at Dubai Design Week, including the Liberty window, which is a piece he created with his father Wajih Nakkash. Then there’s the Tawazun Collection, which features two coffee tables and a console. The name of the collection (which means “balance” in Arabic) refers to the innovative design of the table, which remains perfectly balanced although its base isn’t at the center of the structure. A young designer to watch. November 12-17, dubaidesignweek.ae

etro.com #FaithfulToLoveAndBeauty


In Focus

Rounded Edge_____ Ralph Masri has introduced brand-new styles to his Modernist collection, including rings, earrings, necklaces and cuffs, all of which debuted earlier this year at Paris Fashion Week. The Lebanese jewelry designer is wellknown for his bold yet minimalistic aesthetic inspired by mid-century Modernist architecture. His latest jewelry features softer, rounder shapes, in diamond and sapphire variations, complementing his angular pieces. Ralph Masri jewelry is available worldwide, at such retailers as Harvey Nichols in London and Bloomingdale’s in Dubai, and at the Ralph Masri showroom in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood. His jewelry is available online at Modus Operandi. ralphmasri.com

Tower over Antelias_____ Paul Chedid Development (PCD) recently broke ground on its newest real estate project, Theana Tower in Antelias. Once completed, the sleek, elegantly designed tower will hold 26 offices set over 15 floors, with surfaces ranging from 80 to 305 square meters, in addition to a 130-square-meter surface of private offices covering three floors, plus 210-square-meter private offices spanning five floors and a 450-square-meter showroom. Theana Tower will offer splendid views over Antelias and the Mediterranean Sea. facebook.com/PCDLebanon

Ralph Masri, PCD



1 4 9 S A A D Z A G H LOUL S TR EET, NEXT TO AÏSH TI DO WNTO WN T. 01 99 11 11 EXT. 52 5 A Ï S H TI BY TH E SEA, ANTEL IAS T. 04 71 77 16 EXT. 233

photographed by steven meisel

aishti by the sea antelias

04 717 716 ext 247



OBJECTS OF DESIRE Photography Raya Farhat






Shoes Valentino _______ Frilly and black, these heels are guaranteed showstoppers, whether at a high-gloss affair or an intimate, stately event

Boots Attico ________ Studded and sexy, these black boots are all you need to showcase your inner warrior queen






Words Niku Kasmai


This page: Alberta Ferretti Opposite page: Saint Laurent


When fashion and fantasy collide Winter 2018 is stylishly woven with threads of magic. Designers this season blended sci-fi, fairy tales and a strong dose of the 1980s to create otherworldly, fantastical collections that capture the feel of the year’s most festive period. Here’s a dreamy look at some of winter’s most enchanting collections.

ALBERTA FERRETTI Alberta Ferretti’s fall/winter 2018-19 collection shimmers with the light of a thousand stars. As romantic as ever, the season’s looks were big on sequins and flyaway feathers, as if the Star Trek Enterprise suddenly landed in St. Tropez. Highlights include a metallic lamé Grecian gown and a pantsuit adorned with hundreds of silvery sequins. It’s the most daring Alberta Ferretti collection to date.

SAINT LAURENT The Saint Laurent woman is a warrior princess. She favors black ensembles but is equally as comfortable in shiny silver or black glitter. Two standouts for the winter collection include a shimmery black dress with a plunging neckline enhanced with designs of big red flowers, and an ultra-short dress with long sleeves bursting with purple flowers and glittery green leaves. Rock on, sister.



Alexander Wang

ALEXANDER WANG Live from New York, it’s Alexander Wang. The hot-hothot designer’s collection this season comes straight out of The Matrix, with body-con silhouettes and spiky heels that channel the immortal Trinity. A collection must-have? The silver mini dress embroidered with geometric sequins. Wear it, and you’ll be ready to zoom into the future.

DOLCE & GABBANA While Dolce & Gabbana’s fall/winter 2018-19 collection has overt and plentiful references to Catholicism – velvet tunics, coats and shoes are adorned with angels, earrings have oversized crosses and bags look like gold incense dispensers – the collection also offers more than a few nods to fantasy. There’s a baggy top overrun with silver and red sequins emblazoned with the word “angel,” a bejeweled red crown topped by the word “amore” and a halter top with very sci-fi looking hot pink stones. Do you believe in angels?


The Dolce & Gabbana collection offers more than a few nods to fantasy

This page: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini (above) and Moschino (right) Opposite page: Gucci


PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI The 1980s are alive and well at Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and this time around they come enhanced with gold magic. In addition to his main, Margaux Hemingway-inspired pieces, Serafini offers up a handful of looks shining with the allure of the world’s most precious metal: a pair of oversized gold pants that stop just short of the ankles, and a gold dress with oversized shoulders (an ‘80s signature), ruffled sleeves and a button-up front. A finely formulated Philosophy indeed. MOSCHINO Jeremy Scott’s winter collection for Moschino is the most sci-fi of them all. According to Scott, Jackie Kennedy was an alien, and she is the one responsible for killing US president John F. Kennedy and his saucy mistress Marilyn Monroe. So the designer painted his models’ faces in bright, extraterrestrial colors and came up with a blissfully bright collection that lies somewhere between the 1960s glam of Jackie Kennedy and the same era’s obsession with alien beings. Brilliant purple gowns, geometrically patterned sequin dresses and mod-inspired shiny mini dresses all bear hints of time travel, mid-century nostalgia and UFOs.

GUCCI For Gucci’s winter 2018 collection, Alessandro Michele channels the undead. He named his catwalk show “Cyborg,” and told Vogue that his collection represents the post-human era. This is evident in his dazzling clothes and accessories that span the entire fashion spectrum: folk-inspired dresses, Chinese pajamas, Italian business suits from the 1980s and plenty of Scottish plaid. The whole is doused with shine, shimmer and color, in true Michele magical fashion.


DSQUARED2 Dean and Dan Caten’s winter collection for Dsquared2 is inspired by the Wild West – but the duo also mixed in a bit of magic for their postmodern vision of the American Frontier. For the ladies, a black gown with hints of Pocahontas is paired with silver black leggings and a shiny silver neck scarf, resulting in a dangerously sexy cowgirl that’ll show up astride a spaceship. Same goes for the boys: regular jeans become fashion when worn with a glittery red sequin shirt and a shiny metal bandana. May the force be with you, partner.

KENZO Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s collection for Kenzo is inspired by the magic of the movies. Two cult movies in particular, both from 1994, were instrumental in driving the collection forward: Interview with the Vampire and Chungking Express. The result? Creative powerhouses like a shimmery purple gown, which is paired with wild knee-high boots of the same color and material, and a spaghetti-strap, tunic-like sequin gown in two shades of blue that works best with red kneehigh power boots. Retro and futuristic all at once.


Left: Dsquared2 Above: Kenzo

Words J. Michael Welton




Three new projects by Snøhetta push the limits of what – and where – architects can design

Snøhetta is an architecture firm known for exploring the unexplored. Founded in 1989, with offices in Oslo and New York, its studios are sprinkled strategically around the globe. Over the years, it’s designed some of the most innovative, site-sensitive and peoplefriendly buildings on the planet. Three are underway right now.

BEIRUT’S BANK HEADQUARTERS In Beirut, Snøhetta is building the new Banque Libano-Française (BLF) corporate headquarters in the fashionable Mar Mikhael neighborhood. It’s to be a tall building that ushers in a new era – not just for the neighborhood, but for Beirut and its skyline. “It’s touching on things that are novel in terms of typology for a corporate headquarters, especially the amount of public space,” says Daniel Berlin, architect at the firm. Snøhetta chose not to take the building as high as permitted by code. Instead the architects spread its 13,500 square feet out over 22 floors. “It’s kind of purposefully humble, and that appealed to the neighborhood,” Berlin says. Views – to the sea, the mountains and the city around the limestoneclad headquarters – abound through large and small apertures, and from physical subtractions as tall as four stories. “We carved out an internal atrium that connects all the floors, and zigzags up north to south,” he says. Snøhetta included a large public auditorium, a big public staircase and a public plaza. That means space for art exhibitions, public events and jazz or film festivals. In essence, this is a building that looks beyond its employees.



AN UNDERWATER RESTAURANT In the southern part of Norway, Snøhetta’s designing a hotel’s new restaurant that will be sunk beneath five meters of ocean water, and scheduled to open in May 2019. “It’s a crazy project in a way,” says senior architect Rune Grazdal. “There will be a huge window looking out to the sea – almost like an aquarium, with live fish and nature.” The window will measure 12 by four and-ahalf meters, 30 centimeters thick, and will be contained in a concrete tube that itself is 50 centimeters thick. “Customers will see a forest of seaweed on the right side, and stone that’s a natural place for fish to hide,”

he says. After arriving on site and parking, they’ll travel by foot on a path along a beach and through trees, then reach the restaurant partition. They’ll cross a bridge to the entrance level, and then drop further down to the restaurant area and open kitchen.

“They’ll see how food is treated, with information about conditions in the sea and the environment,” Grazdal says. “It’s a kind of educational to see how important the sea is and the fish are – and learn about avoiding the use of plastic.”

Sensitivity to the surroundings is a touchstone of Snøhetta’s work


A CIRCULAR HOTEL Farther north, in a glacial area of Norway called Black Heights, another Snøhetta team is designing the world’s first energy-positive hotel above the Arctic Circle. It will not only minimize energy use, but send it back to the grid. “We’ve been working on a research-driven collaboration called the Powerhouse,” says senior architect Zenul Kahn. “We collaborate as engineers and architects on materials and uses – we’re dependent on the knowledge and experience of the group itself.” So when the clients – Arctic Adventures of Norway and a real estate company – approached them last year to design a hotel to be built at the foot of a glacier in a national park, they were ready. They designed a circular-shaped hotel that’s 15,000 square meters, on two levels. “The shape of the roof can collect solar, but it also gives you 360-degree views around the hotel,” Kahn says.


The team emphasized embedded energy – the amount used to create the product. Concrete uses a great deal, while timber uses less. “This will be mostly wood – including the pilings and gratings,” he says. The timber will be locally produced, and the building’s design will be a tribute to the traditional architectural vernacular of local fishermen. Because there’s a high tidal difference there – three meters between low and high tides – those who make their living from the sea build homes on stilts. This hotel will follow suit. “Like a traditional fisherman’s house, it will be sheltered from the wind and tides, and you can see all the sea life and the selfharvesting of food all around,” he says. That’s because sensitivity to the surroundings – and educating the public – are touchstones of Snøhetta’s work.

Words Sophy Grimshaw Photography Edward Black





“Jewelry for me was a beautifully accidental passion,” says Fernando Jorge, the buzzed-about and award-winning fine jewelry designer, whose distinctly contemporary, sensual pieces are worn by actors including Julianne Moore and Olivia Wilde. The São Paulo native is speaking to me today from Paris, where he’s been busy with the demands of Fashion Week. But his life could have been very different had he not abruptly abandoned a burgeoning career in engineering and logistics.

Engineering was a path that Jorge’s friends had always found surprising, because from a young age he was a skilled and creative draftsman. So when a German multinational started laying out his prospects – “they were talking about promoting me to high places,” he recalls with a slight shudder – Jorge decided to get out and begin a new career in product design. This soon led him to fine jewelry. “I wanted to give it six months to see if it was right for me,” he says. “It took me half a day to know it was.” After instructive gigs that included technical drawing for manufacturers, and time as the right-hand man to the big-name Brazilian designer Carla Amorim (“I learned so much from her”), Jorge knew his new craft inside out. “I don’t

A small sample from my collection of seashells

Palo Santo incense sticks Driftwood found on a Brazilian beach

Beige gold bracelet from the Parallel collection, which I rarely take off

Tom Dixon golden ruler


A small sample from my collection of beach pebbles. I have a huge collection from every beach I visit Wooden hand model that I have had since I was a child

A sociology book about Brazilian culture and stereotypes, something deeply important for my Master’s degree research and design aesthetic

My pencil case and drawing materials, which I carry with me everywhere


A small sample from my collection of Brazilian crystals and minerals

Jewelry pieces from various collections


actually like to call it an industry, even though it is one,” he says, “because at its heart, making jewelry is also just a means of expression.” It was at this point in his new career that he moved to London to make a name for himself. “I knew I needed to take a risky move while I still had the courage,” he says of applying to study at Central St. Martins to establish his own vision and brand. It paid off: on graduating in 2010, Jorge was invited to show pieces at London Fashion Week. His style soon made waves, wining him awards and nominations from the Las Vegas Couture Show and British Fashion Awards. In 2014 and 2015 he was named by Business of Fashion as one of the 500 key people shaping fashion tastes worldwide.

When it comes to choosing materials, Jorge favors gemstones in their most natural state (“no enhanced colors”) and his collections have ranged from the kaleidoscopic jewels of Bloom to the quieter, diamond-based Brilliant. His newest collection, Surround, utilizes some distinctly Brazilian materials rarely seen in high-end fine jewelry, “such as tagua nut and vegetable ivory,” as well as more spectacular pink opal and nephrite jade.

The results have all the credibility and heft of more classical fine jewelry, but the collection has been executed with a lightness of touch that feels modern and fun. “Surround is a cheeky take on fine jewelry,” says Jorge. “Tagua felt very refreshing on a tennis bracelet, for example. A lot of jewelers rely on repeating signature pieces; I try not to do that. I wasn’t sure what others would make of it. After the response to my previous collections outperformed all our expectations, I thought this one would be less commercial.” Has it been? “No, actually – the initial response has been amazing,” he says, sounding surprised and rather humbled.


“Awards are nice,” he says cautiously. “But the work needs to stand on its own feet. I think my jewelry is effective in adorning women because it doesn’t need to match your clothes. What it matches is the shape of the body, the curve. To me, there’s something very Brazilian about that.” How so? “We have a body culture in Brazil that means you see organic shapes in everything, from our accessories to our architecture. We show a lot more skin. So I have often worked with colors and shapes that reflect the human body.” These days he has an appointment-only HQ in Shoreditch, east London, and he credits moving to the United Kingdom with “allowing me to look at Brazil from a distance, and try to find the truth in the clichés of its sensuality.”

Jorge keeps his head down, works, doesn’t pay attention to fads or trends, but doesn’t follow the rules of the old-school jewelers either. He sounds like he’s the last one to have heard what hot property his jewelry is these days. Maybe that’s been the secret to his success. In Lebanon, Fernando Jorge jewelry is available at the Sylvie Saliba boutique in Ashrafieh.




Shake up your daytime look with a profusion of animal prints, then shine all night with glowing, glittery outfits

5. 3.




7. 2.




Calvin Klein


1. Balenciaga 2. Gucci 3. Balenciaga 4. ChloĂŠ 5. Saint Laurent 6. Dolce & Gabbana 7. Red Valentino 8. MSGM 9. Etro 10. Saint Laurent 11. Saint Laurent 12. Dolce & Gabbana

12. 10.









Dolce & Gabbana

9. 12.



1. Miu Miu 2. Prada 3. Off-White 4. Saint Laurent 5. Miu Miu 6. Saint Laurent 7. MSGM 8. Dolce & Gabbana 9. Saint Laurent 10. Gucci 11. Fendi 12. Gucci




Ralph Masri bracelet and earrings

Georges Hakim earrings

Tabbah bracelet

Nada G ring and bracelet

Colette necklace from Sylvie Saliba

Bulgari necklace and earrings

Cartier bracelet




CĂŠline dress and Saint Laurent earrings


This page: Miu Miu jacket Opposite page: Prada dresses and bag




This page: Gucci slippers and Kaymet tray Opposite page: Marc Jacobs jeans and Gucci bag


This page: Alexandre Vauthier boots and Saint Laurent bag Opposite page: Dolce & Gabbana beanie




This page: Gucci boots, Gucci coat, Fendi bag and Flexform stool Opposite page: Gucci shoes


This page: Dolce & Gabbana clutch Opposite page: CĂŠline shoes, Red Valentino pants, Prada top and Pols Potten cups




This page: Miu Miu boots and Sawaya & Moroni chair Opposite page: CĂŠline blouse and Fanny Laugier cup


This page: She’s in a dress, earrings and bracelet by Saint Laurent. Her boots are by Le Silla Opposite page: She’s in an Azzedine Alaïa body, Max Mara jacket, Le Silla shoes and Saint Laurent earrings

This page: Jimmy Choo pumps Opposite page: She’s in a dress and tights by Gucci

She’s in a Balenciaga total look

This page: She’s in a Prada total look Opposite page: She’s in a Stella McCartney dress and Dior sunglasses

She’s in a Gucci jumpsuit, a Diane von Furstenberg skirt, Falke tights, Balenciaga shoes and CÊline earrings

She wears a skirt, jacket and shoes by Gucci, and a blouse by Dries Van Noten

Above: ChloÊ bag Left: She’s in a dress, earrings and bracelet, all by Saint Laurent. Her boots are by Le Silla

She’s in a Céline total look

This page: She’s in a Max Mara jacket, Azzedine Alaïa body, Le Silla shoes and Saint Laurent earrings Left: She’s in a Stella McCartney dress

This page and opposite page: She wears a top, jacket and pants, all by Proenza Schouler. Her gloves are by MSGM and her shoes are by Stella McCartney

This page: She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana total look Opposite page: She’s in a dress and top, both by Sara She’s in a Gucci jumpsuit, a Sonia Diane Rykiel von Furstenberg skirt, Falke Battaglia. Her shoes are by tights, Balenciaga shoes and Céline earrings

She wears a skirt, jacket and shoes by Gucci, and a blouse by Dries Van Noten

She’s in a Prada total look Model Callie Dixon at Next Models Hair Sirsa Ponciano Makeup Mariko Hirano

She’s in a Gucci jumpsuit, a Diane von Furstenberg skirt, Falke tights, Balenciaga shoes and CÊline earrings

She wears a skirt, jacket and shoes by Gucci, and a blouse by Dries Van Noten

Above: Jimmy Choo pumps Left: She’s in a top, pants and boots, all by MSGM. Her bag is by Jimmy Choo

She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana total look

Le Silla pumps

This page: She wears a Stella McCartney dress and Casadei shoes She’s in apage: Gucci She jumpsuit, von Furstenberg skirt, Falke Opposite wears aa Diane Saint Laurent tights, Balenciaga shoes and CÊline earrings bracelet and Le Silla boots

She wears a skirt, jacket and shoes by Gucci, and a blouse by Dries Van Noten

She’s in a Prada total look Model Callie Dixon at Next Models Hair Sirsa Ponciano Makeup Mariko Hirano

This page: Dior bag Opposite page: She’s in a Max Mara jacket, Azzedine Alaïa body and Saint Laurent earrings

She’s in a Gucci jumpsuit, a Diane von Furstenberg skirt, Falke tights, Balenciaga shoes and CÊline earrings

She wears a skirt, jacket and shoes by Gucci, and a blouse by Dries Van Noten

This page: She’s Dolce in a & Prada Gabbana total pumps look Opposite page: She’s in a Balenciaga total look Model Callie Dixon at Next Models Model Maud at Paparazzi Hair Model Sirsa Management Ponciano Makeup andMakeup hair Kathinka MarikoGernant Hirano

Words Marwan Naaman



BARCELONA IN STRIDES Casa Camper in Barcelona is as delightfully pleasing as the brand’s colorful footwear Camper’s history mirrors that of contemporary Spain. The trendy shoe label was born on the island of Mallorca in 1975, the same year Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco passed away – and the seminal moment the country peacefully transitioned to democratic governance. Much hope was placed in the newly born republic, and four decades later the promises of freedom and economic prosperity have been spectacularly fulfilled, with Spain becoming one of the most visited and beloved countries in the world. Similarly, Camper grew from a niche shoe label into a veritable lifestyle brand, with over 400 points of the sale in more than 40 countries and millions of wearers across the globe. Camper was created by Lorenzo Fluxà, whose grandfather was a Mallorcan cobbler, and the first stand-alone Camper boutique opened in 1981 in Barcelona, the dynamic Spanish seaside city beloved for its spectacular architectural landmarks by Antoni Gaudí and haunting Gothic Quarter. So it seems fitting that for its first hospitality project, Camper once again turned to Barcelona; in 2005 the company unveiled Casa Camper, an ultra-hip hotel in the city’s multicultural and edgy Raval neighborhood.

Casa Camper is unique among Barcelona hotels. First off, the hotel has opted for low-key flair rather than all-out glamour. Here, discretion is key: you


can easily miss the hotel’s main entrance on scenic Carrer d’Elisabets, hidden as it is behind sliding glass doors, which in turn are sheltered behind the ancient building’s grey stone gallery. Once inside, you realize right away that this isn’t your traditional place to stay. The first part of the lobby, encased in glass and featuring a diminutive sitting area, act as a sort of buffer between the street and the actual hotel. To get to the check-in desk, you pass through another sliding door, which is accessible with your room key or by having one of the hotel attendants buzz you in. On this ground-floor level, you’ll find the restaurant where breakfast is served daily – you can have eggs, pancakes or other breakfast favorites prepared on the spot, or you can choose cheese, charcuterie, cereal, bread, cake, yogurt, jam, honey and more from the buffet. This is also where snacks and drinks, including coffee, are available throughout the day. (All food served here, including breakfast, is free for hotel guests.)


The guestrooms at Casa Camper are as casually hip as the brand itself. The regular rooms (there are 30 of them) are split in two: on one side of the hallway you’ve got the bedroom with an extra-wide bed plus a spacious bathroom overlooking a planted green wall. But then you’ve got a bonus room across the hall, with a couch, hammock and balcony overlooking the street: a highly unusual and dreamy addition that’ll have you whiling away entire afternoons, swinging lazily on the comfy hammock. As an alternative, you could opt for one of five corner suites. These spacious havens have a massive bed, sprawling sitting area and huge bathroom with separate toilet. The plentiful balconies and windows offer romantic views over Barcelona’s old city and its charming rooftops.

Additional hotel attractions include an engaging rooftop honesty bar, where patrons write down what they consumed and pay upon check out, a rooftop rest area with sunbeds; an underground gym, the Dos Billares room where guests can play pool while sipping on a cocktail and a business center with printer. Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the property, and the hotel also provides a portable Wi-Fi device free of charge for those wishing to remain connected while exploring Barcelona.

Once you set foot outside Casa Camper, all of Barcelona is yours to discover. And should you wish to experience the brand all over again, you could always head to Berlin, which since 2009 has laid claim to its own Casa Camper hotel. For more info, visit casacamper.com

STEPS FROM CASA CAMPER WHERE TO EAT Dos Palillos Chef Albert Raurich, from the legendary elBulli restaurant, opened this trendy eatery that serves superlative Asian-Spanish fusion cuisine. dospalillos.com Elisabets 1962 This iconic restaurant has been around for decades and continues to serve its homemade, affordable prixfixe menu for lunch. The place is more of a bar come dinnertime, serving wine and a great variety of tapas. elisabets1962.com Tosca del Carme Set across from a playground and offering outdoor seating, Tosca del Carme serves up delectable Spanish tapas and a most deliciously addictive sangría. toscatapas.com/carme WHAT TO SEE MACBA The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) houses its own collection of contemporary artworks and hosts changing exhibits in a stunning building designed by architect Richard Meier. macba.cat Erotic Museum of Barcelona This fun-filled museum explains how erotica evolved from ancient times up to the present day. CCCB The Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona (CCCB) holds exhibits that shed light on the city’s cultural riches. cccb.org



Words Hiba Zeino Steyn

Streetwear is the new luxury


The fashion world is in upheaval. The industry has been reinventing itself for some time now, led by a class of bold and eclectic creative directors at the world’s most iconic luxury fashion houses. Way before luxury brands caught on to the winds of change, the fashion revolution began on the streets and on social media, with everyday millennials and Instagram celebrities redefining modern-day cool. In an era of hyper-sharing, we have to look good on our social media posts even while going about menial everyday tasks. This is a generation that shuns the handon-the-hip statue pose – instead, photos have to capture the moment, relay the thrill of adventure and ultimately reflect a particular persona to thousands of followers scrolling and judging.

A study by management consulting firm Bain & Company and online luxury platform Farfetch estimated that millennials and Generation Z (people born from the mid1990s to the early 2000s) will comprise 45% of the global personal luxury goods market by 2025. It’s only good business then for luxury brands to revisit their design playbooks as they respond to the demands of this influential and growing segment of the global market.

The coming of age of a new luxury consumer has heralded a new set of values and expectations of the

clothes and accessories people choose to wear. Inclusiveness, comfort and self-expression were elevated on the hierarchy of needs. Make no mistake, this is a generation that still wants to share its success and status with the world, but it wants to do so on its own terms. Today’s young shoppers want to customize their looks. The brand may be important, but it is just one piece of the intricate puzzle that is the wearer’s identity. So how have artistic directors responded to this tall order and what trends have emerged from this interaction?

Most recognizably, logos and monograms are back, not in a stern manner that glorifies the fashion house’s heritage, but rather in a playful way that echoes pop culture. Alessandro Michele at Gucci led the way when he dared to pair the brand’s venerable



monogram with cartoonish motifs. Some brands have even ventured into logomania territory, where the logo is stamped all over the fabric in a cynical play against counterfeit products. Think Hailey Baldwin in Versace logo-adorned denim separates or Gigi and Bella Hadid (see images on the left) in matching Fendi monogram jackets and luggage. Logos are also being revisited to make sure they reflect the new brand narrative. Among his first moves as Burberry’s chief creative officer, Riccardo Tisci oversaw a redesign of the Burberry logo, replacing the long-established serif font with a bare sans-serif typeface. Tisci went one step further, creating a second logo and monogram for the brand featuring an interlocking “TB” print that pays homage to the brand’s founder Thomas Burberry. The monogram will run alongside Burberry’s traditional check, creating a dual identity for the British fashion house. But perhaps the most disruptive force to high fashion recently has been the incursion of streetwear. Who would have thought we’d see the day that Louis Vuitton put its monogram canvas on chunky


grunge boots? High-end labels have been incorporating streetwear into their collections to various degrees, and one way to do so has been through trailblazing collaborations that merge street fashion with high fashion in capsule collections. These have included the wildly successful Louis Vuitton x Supreme in 2017 and the Fendi x Fila earlier this year. A Burberry collaboration with Vivienne Westwood is slated for December 2018.

The skill of merging streetwear with high fashion shone bright under the Parisian sun at Virgil Abloh’s debut show for Louis Vuitton Men in June. Abloh, who describes his designs as “normcore” – a term that

This page and opposite page: Gucci

There is a wide spectrum for fashion lovers to curate, customize and have fun




The fashion revolution began on the streets and on social media, with millennials redefining modern-day cool has come to represent unpretentious normal-looking clothing – brought us printed hoodies and sweatshirts, and neutral loose-fitting separates contrasted with neon parkas. He did so without compromising the garments’ tailoring and cut, and the end result looked ordinary and bespoke at the same time. The accessories – sneakers, carry-ons and cross-body bags in a kaleidoscope of rich colors and new materials – almost stole the show. So where does all of this leave today’s luxury shopper? Pretty much anywhere they want to be. It’s a bold new era in which high fashion is co-opting streetwear and in which fear of prints and colors is gone. From logomania to normcore, there is a wide spectrum for fashion lovers to curate, customize and, most importantly, have fun.


She's wearing a Balenciaga top and Ellery pants. Her bag is by Bottega Veneta

She's in an MSGM dress, Heron Preston belt and Fendi boots

This page: She's wearing a LaDoubleJ dress and Loewe belt Opposite page: She's in a Skiim coat

This page: She's in an Yves Salomon coat and Attico boots Opposite page: She's in a Sonia Rykiel coat, Emilio Pucci top and Jessie Western earrings and ring

This page: She's wearing a Balenciaga top, Ellery pants and Valentino boots. Her bag is by Bottega Veneta Opposite page: She's in a LaDoubleJ dress, Loewe belt and Gianvito Rossi boots

This page: She's in a Red Valentino dress, Roberto Cavalli jacket, Etro belt, Attico boots and Dsquared2 earrings Opposite page: She's in a Saint Laurent coat, ChloĂŠ dress and Attico boots

This page: Valentino bag Opposite page: She's in a Red Valentino dress, Roberto Cavalli jacket, Etro belt and Dsquared2 earrings

This page: She's in a Saint Laurent coat and ChloĂŠ dress Opposite page: She's in an Emilio Pucci skirt, Sonia Rykiel white top, Skiim black top and Alexander Wang boots. Her bag is by Fendi

This page: She's wearinga Skiim coat Opposite page: She's in a LaDoubleJ dress and Loewe belt Model Tory from Velvet Management

Words Warren Singh-Bartlett

LEARNING CURVE Lebanese-Armenian architect Paul Kaloustian unveils a breathtaking new project in northern Armenia

One of the problems facing Lebanon’s talented younger architects is that they rarely get commissioned to design anything but private villas and commercial spaces, neither of which really allow them to shine. Take Paul Kaloustian. A postgraduate of the Harvard School of Design, he has worked with Herzog & de Meuron (the duo behind Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, San Francisco’s de Young and locally, Beirut Terraces), and has been working out of Lebanon since 2002, where his most high-profile non-residential space – for there are a string of lovely villas under his belt – is the architecturally subversive restaurant and nightclub, Stereokitchen. With his most recent project, though, a SmartCenter for the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), Kaloustian has finally been given the opportunity to turn the ideas he has played with over the years, particularly his ambitious and ambiguous treatment of space, into reality. And the result is spectacular.

Set deep in the mountains of northern Armenia, in a forested valley not far from the Georgian border, the SmartCenter seems to have fallen from the skies. These timorous days, when most architects have been cowed into being less egotistical and strive to ensure that their projects reflect their surroundings, Kaloustian’s bold design sets the pulse racing. Approach, and what from a distance appears to be a low, white, glass-walled curve, a sinuous ribbon of tomorrow that hugs the undulating ground with a lover’s touch, is revealed to be a more amorphous

and complex beast, its four “fingers” flung out in different directions toward the forested hills and the jagged, snow-splashed mountains behind. “I wanted the building to reflect a relationship with the land,” Kaloustian explains. “I wanted to create a landform, more than a piece of architecture. So I ‘took’ the landscape and made it part of the building, so it feels endless, and yet bounded.”

This is his cleverest trick, for while Kaloustian’s building does not resemble anything anywhere else in Armenia, it feels completely at home in its surroundings, not by referencing some local vernacular, but by obliterating the divide between the built and the natural. Through massive floor-to-ceiling windows and the way it embraces the view, the building invites the landscape inside, and in the process makes it as physical and as vital a presence as the schoolchildren that come here to learn. Paul Kaloustian Studio, Ieva Saudargaite




“I wanted to create a landform, more than a piece of architecture. So I ‘took’ the landscape and made it part of the building, so it feels endless, and yet bounded”



The building’s ambition is a reflection of the project’s. COAF’s SmartCenter is equipped with brand-new computers, ultra-fast Internet and an evolving selection of green technologies. It is the first of what the nonprofit NGO hopes will become 20 centers (one for each of the country’s provinces), with the mission to provide rural children with access to modern technology and teach them everything from ballet, sound recording, English and filmmaking to robotics, computer programming and web skills – everything they’ll need to ensure their futures do not depend on agriculture or industry. COAF hopes to give students a skill set that in our increasingly interconnected world will allow them to stay put rather than be forced to leave in search of work. Perhaps the boldest aspect of it all – and here, there is a lesson for Lebanon – is that COAF’s SmartCenters are free to use, their infrastructure and programming funded by donations from Armenia’s committed diaspora. For Kaloustian, a Lebanese-Armenian who had never

been to Armenia before the project, building the SmartCenter was enlightening. “In Lebanon, we’re more open to international ideas and there, they’re very local and protective. This project was also a personal journey. I had to go through it to understand who I am. Now, I understand that I’m not only Armenian, I’m super Lebanese. I’m from this region, and I’m open to the West. I can be many things at once.”


Words Marwan Naaman

Swiss furniture maker Vitra launches an exhibit featuring items inspired from the past Those who visited the Aïshti Foundation in Antelias between September 13 and October 10 witnessed an unusual exhibit in the foundation’s lobby: seven chairs displayed across the vast space, along with miniature plastic elephants and colorful wooden dolls. This startling exhibit, titled “The Original Comes from Vitra” and slated to travel to such places as Dubai, London, South Korea and Japan, celebrates iconic chairs created by legendary designers for Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra. The chairs on display are new, but they’re faithful reproductions of the original designs, the oldest of which is French designer Jean Prouvé’s Standard chair, created in 1934. Other standouts include two mid-century designs by American husbandand-wife team Charles & Ray Eames: the Lounge Chair and Ottoman (1956) and the Aluminum Chair (1958). Recreated for the modern consumer, these instantly recognizable chairs combine visual appeal with design excellence. “The exhibit is part of a campaign started in 2017 to celebrate authors and longevity in design,” says

Caroline Knight, head of marketing for the Middle East at Vitra International.

While the chairs acted as the centerpiece of the Vitra exhibit, there were other classics to view, including the Eames Elephant (presented in a multitude of colors and originally designed in 1945) and the lovely Wooden Dolls. Representing human and animal figures, the dolls were originally created by American textile and pattern designer Alexander Girard in 1953, who used them as decorative items in his Santa Fe, New Mexico home. Vitra has replicated the dolls to the most minute detail, while ensuring that each piece is still entirely made by hand.

On the show’s opening day, siblings Kori and Aleishall Girard – Alexander’s grandchildren – were both in Lebanon to relate the history of these unique dolls and explain their design significance. “We started reproducing the dolls 10 years ago,” says Kori. “They have since grown in popularity, and they are now the face of Vitra in many ways. They’ve also become a way to relate to the Modernist movement.” Aleishall and Kori are both California-based designers, and in addition to their own design products, they handle the licensing of their illustrious grandfather’s work. For example, in addition to their work with Vitra, they recently collaborated with Swiss label Akris on a capsule collection that adapted Alexander’s work to fashion. As part of its spring/summer 2018 collection, Akris released a number of items (including a coat, dress, skirt and pants) adorned with the same colorful characters personified by Alexander Girard’s dolls. “Akris worked with incredible craftspeople to make high-quality clothing,” says Aleishall. “The dolls actually became clothes.” Attending the launch of the Vitra exhibit was only part of the reason why Kori and Aleishall Girard came to Lebanon on their very first trip to the country. “We’re Lebanese on our mother’s side,” says Kori, “and we’re going back to our roots.”

Pulse Production




Words Marwan Naaman

IN CONVERSATION WITH AMER WAHOUD The young Lebanese entrepreneur talks about becoming a chocolatier and launching a new dessert parlor in Malta


Malta may at first seem like an unlikely place to launch a new culinary venture, but Lebanese entrepreneur Amer Wahoud has chosen the European Union’s southernmost member state as the headquarters for his chocolate and dessert company, Sunday in Scotland. “I chose Valletta because that’s where I live. Our chocolates and desserts are all made here, so it was natural for me to launch Sunday in Scotland in Malta.”

The name of the brand refers to one summer Sunday spent in Scotland, when Wahoud and Campbell Gray discovered they were both frustrated chocolatiers and decided to join forces to launch a new chocolate label. Wahoud spent many months learning about chocolate before he opened his chocolate factory in Malta, and in summer 2018 he launched the first Sunday in Scotland dessert parlor in Malta’s capital city, Valletta.

Sunday in Scotland

Conceived by Wahoud, in partnership with renowned international hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray (creator of Campbell Gray Hotels, including Downtown Beirut’s Le Gray), Sunday in Scotland is a new kind of chocolate brand, one that’s focused on using only the best, most carefully sourced ingredients to produce a variety of artisan chocolates and fine desserts. “Our chocolate is all handmade, artisanal chocolate. We have 12 cocoa bean origins, and our beans are handpicked from such places as Madagascar, Peru and Ghana. Ours are true bean-tobar chocolates, meaning that we process our cocoa beans into chocolate in-house, right here in Malta, rather than melting chocolates from other manufacturers.”

Wahoud is a newcomer to the chocolate realm, but he brings years of experience in the food industry. He has been the creative force behind various restaurants and high-end bars, where he experimented with the latest culinary trends, and he has also been involved in the international arts scene. At Sunday in Scotland, he combines his lifelong love of chocolate with his culinary experience and artistic eye. Sunday in Scotland’s chocolate offerings include coffee with cardamom, marzipan, pistachio cinnamon, honey and praline caramel, all of which come in milk or dark variations. There are also original bars in such flavors as sea salt or almond butter, and bean-to-bar selections from such places as Venezuela, Jamaica and Ecuador, beautifully presented in artistic packaging. In terms of desserts, Sunday in Scotland specialties include a delicate lemon tart topped with meringue, marzipan chocolate cake, vanilla éclair and honey cake, among many other options. The chocolate and dessert choices are all available at the Sunday in Scotland shop and café in Malta. With the Malta locale now operating at full capacity, Wahoud is ambitiously eyeing the international market. “My plan is to transform Sunday in Scotland into a global brand, while highlighting the bespoke essence of the

brand and ensuring that the quality of our chocolates and desserts remains above par,” says Wahoud. But global expansion will never come at the expense of the quality Wahoud has been carefully nurturing. “Sunday in Scotland emphasizes quality above all else,” he says, “and even though we plan on becoming a global brand, we will never be a mass market brand.”

Wahoud hopes to eventually open Sunday in Scotland in his native Lebanon – great news for local chocolate lovers, who may soon have Wahoud’s delectable desserts and artisan chocolates right at their fingertips.



Step inside your comfort zone.

Whether it’s in the busy mind of an office or in the soothing calmness of home, air is the first element of your comfort, naturally linked to your breathing, to your senses. Ultimately, your inner feeling of comfort is the measure.



Aïshti By the Sea, Antelias, T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 272, Aïzone stores and retail sport shops Follow us on instagram @NEWBALANCELEBANON and on facebook New Balance Lebanon


Dos Pebrots

19 Carrer del Dr. Dou, dospebrots.com Dos Pebrots stands in a category of its own. The Barcelona restaurant is helmed by Albert Raurich, former head chef at the world-famous (and now closed) elBulli, and who earned a Michelin star for his first independent restaurant project Dos Palillos, also in Barcelona. Dos Pebrots, opened in 2016, is a casual joint in the Raval neighborhood that bills itself as a tapas bar but really is so much more than that. First off, with every dish that you sample (dishes are served when they’re ready, and they’re made for sharing), your server will explain the history and inspiration behind it, giving you a glimpse into the evolution of Mediterranean culinary traditions. Menu specials change regularly and have included confit pig udders, one-sided pine nut omelet, rabbit kidneys and grilled black onion. A true culinary adventure across the ages by one of Spain’s cooking magicians. – Marwan Naaman




30 West 30th Street, woodpeckerbydb.com David Burke is an American institution. The US chef has a long and noble roster of restaurants to his name, including BLT Prime in Washington, DC and David Burke Kitchen at the St. James Hotel in New York’s Soho neighborhood. One of Burke’s newest projects is Woodpecker, a wood-fired American restaurant that opened in May 2018. Woodpecker’s warm, inviting space – featuring a large communal table in front of the kitchen and a 35-foot bar – provides a fitting backdrop for the comfort food served here. Some menu highlights include roasted garlic chicken, dry aged cheeseburger and hay smoked lamb chops with tomato merguez couscous. As with any David Burke restaurant, desserts are otherworldly, fantastical affairs. Be sure to select the original chocolate-dipped cheesecake lollipops with raspberry wine whipped cream: this is a classic Burke dessert that he’s been serving at his other restaurants and that just seems to get better and better with the passing years. – Niku Kasmai

Dos Pebrots, Woodpecker

Where We’re Eating



Where We’re Eating


Mercat Colón

19 Carrer de Jorge Juan, mercadocolon.es Valencia’s Mercat Colón is a former market that has been transformed into a hub for upscale eateries and watering holes. In a breathtaking 1916 Modernist landmark designed by Spanish architect Francisco Mora, you’ll find four restaurants, seven cafés/bars, a lounge and two stalls serving horchata, Valencia’s signature beverage, made from water, sugar and tiger nuts. While each establishment is special, be sure to try Habitual, featuring creative Mediterranean cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Ricard Camarena. At Habitual, Camarena serves dishes made exclusively from locally sourced fish and meat, and produce gathered from Valencia’s own market gardens. Camarena is also the force behind Central Bar, the lively tapas bar at Mercat Colón. You’ll never want to leave. – Marwan Naaman

Marwan Naaman




Where We’re Eating 230


Independence Street, Ashrafieh, facebook.com/ kitchenconfidentialbeirut Imad Khairallah first opened Kitchen Confidential in 2014, as a small kitchen and takeaway joint near Rizk Hospital in Ashrafieh. Having discovered that he was intolerant of gluten and dairy, he found it extremely difficult to dine out or order ready-made meals in Lebanon, so he decided to launch his own food business, focusing on healthy cuisine and using organic ingredients. The success of his initial venture encouraged him to open a fullfledged restaurant, which he did in April 2018 and where he now offers all-day-service, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon treats. On Kitchen Confidential’s menu, you’ll find a variety of pizzas, salads, three kinds of burger (lamb, beef or veggie), avocado toast, sweet potato fries, house lamb makanek, pumpkin kebbe,

sandwiches, wraps and a wide selection of beverages, including cold pressed detox juices, organic wine and fruit and vegetable shakes. There are vegan, vegetarian, egg-free, dairy-free and nutfree options on the restaurant menu, ensuring that diners will find something they love regardless of their dietary restrictions. At the same time, Khairallah made sure to include comfort food and even desserts on the menu – eating healthy shouldn’t have to mean sacrificing taste or limiting yourself to a salad. The ladies who lunch now know where to go next. – Michelle Merheb

Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential is a new kind of Beirut restaurant, one that serves gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free dishes, as it strives to meet the dietary needs of those with food intolerance and allergies.

Available in all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11

Where We’re Eating

Words J.A. Getzlaff


The latest trend in city dining? Fabulously trendy food halls “Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure.” The Italian poet Francesco Petrarca said that more than 700 years ago, and it remains true today. We crave originality, we eschew the banal – and yet we can’t seem to stop ourselves from contributing to and following trends.

The proof? How many restaurants in your city now serve avocado toast? Don’t get me wrong – I love avocado toast. But does every hip café from Brisbane to Bordeaux need to serve it? Thankfully, one of the most recent foodie trends also delivers variety: food halls. Travel from Barcelona to Chicago to Tokyo these days, and you will find old warehouses, markets and train stations that have been renovated with great care and now feature food vendors selling the best cuisine that each particular locale has to offer. These new gathering places are typically jam-packed with locals and tourists, and the atmosphere is lively, convivial – yet also welcoming to solo, jet-lagged travelers who really need a healthy bowl of açaí or warm Vietnamese pho at 4pm.


The food hall revolution has been so successful that most cities now have at least one. The list below concentrates on the places that really stand out.

BIARRITZ: MARCHÉ AUX HALLES Open every morning, the Marché aux Halles in Biarritz is one of the world’s most charming food markets. Housed in a classic Basque coast half-timbered building with red accents, it is small and almost laughably photographable. Inside, you’ll find some of the region’s top produce, as well as stands offering regional specialties like jambon de Bayonne and the simple but sublime gâteau Basque. The market is open evenings from mid-July to mid-August so summer tourists can linger over glasses of organic regional wine, but the best time to go is morning, when you can shop for the day and treat yourself to an excellent café crème at the charming zinc comptoir of L’Amuse Gueule.

HONOLULU: SHIROKIYA JAPAN VILLAGE WALK Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Honolulu, Hawaii, is a tropical mish-mash of cultures, and it shows in the cuisine. Most tourists, unfortunately, do not discover this because they don’t venture away from the hotel and chain restaurants clustered along Waikiki Beach. But for those looking to discover the true spirit of the city, there are fabulous and authentic Chinese, Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese spots for fine dining and eating on the go. One of the best is Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, located at the Ala Moana Center mall in the basement of the popular Japanese department store. Go for lunch or dinner on a rainy day, and you’ll find half of the city here sampling from a collection of wooden booths selling authentic Japanese ramen, okonomiyaki pancakes, savory katsu curry, incredibly light tempura snacks and delicate green tea mochi for dessert. The place is so fun, cheap and cheerful that you’ll want to return again before you leave the island.

Produced and distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa www.aeronauticamilitare-collezioneprivata.it

www.aeronautica.difesa.it AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 273 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11

LONDON: BOROUGH MARKET In the late 1990s, London transformed its 1,000-year-old Borough Market into a six-day-a-week shopping and dining experience. Friday evenings are particularly celebratory, with hundreds of workers from The City gathering outside for glasses of cava from Tapas Brindisa or pints from The Globe Tavern. On weekend mornings, the handsome brick and iron buildings are bustling with hungry people intent on finding the best organic Bath cheeses, the finest British charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon or buttery shortbread from Cinnamon Three Bakery.


NEW YORK: CHELSEA MARKET In New York, residents and tourists alike are spoiled for choice when it comes to indoor dining halls. But Chelsea Market is still the best. In true New York fashion, it’s open every day until 2am – except Sundays, when it closes at 10pm. Seating is limited, but the vendors are top-notch, serving some of the city’s finest takeout. Try a lobster roll from Lobster Place and delicious halva from Seed + Mill and you’ll know what I mean. At Chelsea Market, you dine fast and well before heading out to see a band, watch a film or dance all night. This is truly the perfect food hall for the city that never sleeps.

PARIS: MARCHÉ DES ENFANTS ROUGES Like in London, Paris’ oldest food hall is still the best. Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, with its hip clientele clustered around rickety garden tables, isn’t so much about shopping or dining as it is about seeing and being seen. Still, it’s irresistible for its festive atmosphere, its flower, fruit and pastry stalls and its vendors of Italian, Caribbean and North African fare. The one downside is that the open-air space is not conducive to dining during the colder months.

TORONTO: ASSEMBLY CHEF’S STALL The first time I visited Toronto in winter, I wondered where everyone was. The frozen streets were empty. Then someone guided me to an escalator in my hotel that headed to what I thought was a basement gym. Wrong! It whisked me to a long corridor, which led to a series of subterranean streets connecting offices and malls and food halls, all teeming with people. This is how I found Assembly Chef’s Hall, a collection of food stands from the city’s most renowned chefs, and I couldn’t have been happier. The ramen I had at Isshin was so good that I came back the next day. The first-floor space is cool too, featuring brick walls, art installations and no shortage of beautiful people.

AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 274 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11 Follow us on instagram: @melissashoeslebanon


Words Karim Hussain


Traditional methods to improve your wellbeing


Hearing that something is “just an old wives’ tale” is usually a suggestion to discount, discard and move on. But many an old wife – some of whom might also have been considered a witch – relied on the bounties of nature and tradition passed down by generations for their learning. Recently, the resurgence in slowing down and considering what’s around us is being applied not only to food and nutrition, but also to health. With many remedies being revisited, and maybe slightly reinterpreted for contemporary tastes, we present some common ailments and their treatments, perhaps once considered the currency of witches or healing doctors, and look to recreate their magic in modern times.

BAD BREATH AND ORAL CARE: OIL PULLING Oil pulling finds its roots in Ayurveda but is significantly gaining in popularity as a standalone detox method. Oil pulling is an oral detoxification method that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. The type of oil used in this method varies, with the most recommended type being coconut oil. Oil pulling helps remove bacteria from your mouth and promotes a clean and healthy environment, preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

ARTHRITIS: COPPER Copper is known to help with arthritis and is used in various processes in the body. It also has antibacterial properties and purifies the water in which it’s immersed. Newly launched brand My Copper Cup takes this and embellishes it with the virtues of crystals and chakras by designing their vessels to incorporate traditional gemstones that are set in positions to align with chakra points on the body.

POOR CIRCULATION: GUA SHA Gua sha is an ancient technique involving the repeated scraping of the skin. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the repeated pressure on the skin will help break up any blocks and promote smooth blood circulation. A similar idea has been practiced inside

the saunas and steam rooms of the Nordic countries, where it’s known as “body brushing.” For sure, rubbing with a textured cloth or brushing dry or wet skin results in feelings of cleanliness and lightness. IMPROVED IMMUNITY: COLD WATER IMMERSION The shock of cold on the body means it releases endorphins, which create a sense of exhilaration. As the body learns to cope with the colder temperatures so it becomes better at handling winter colds and viruses. Some believe it also sppeds up the metabolism and helps the body process sugar more effectively. While the exact benefits of cold-water swimming are still being examined, those who are regular participators agree it makes them feel better both physically and mentally. DIGESTION: WARM WATER WITH LEMON Enjoy the hydration boost of warm water with fresh lemon squeezed in every morning to prepare your body for digestion and detoxification. Probiotics are also essential, whether in supplement form or probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables, tempeh or yoghurt. Peppermint tea is known to relieve indigestion, nausea, gas and cramps.

GENERAL DETOX: HEAT ROOMS This traditional form of detox has origins in cultures the world over: there are the saunas and dachas of the Northern Hemisphere, the hammams of the Ottoman Empire and the sweat-lodges of North and South America. Intense heat in a small space causes one to sweat, which is a great form of detoxification. Sweating in a traditional environment is also believed to alleviate health problems such as hypertension, fatigue and discomfort. The sweat helps remove toxic agents such as lactic acid, sodium and uric acid from the body.

Where We’re Detoxing


Salt of Palmar

On November 1, 2018, this hotel opened as the first of a growing group of boutique destinations called Salt, created by Paul Jones who was previously president of One&Only.


Ocean House

History and local culture are drivers when it comes to destination decisions, and America’s Rhode Island in the fall and winter is a rich backdrop from which to indulge.

1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill, oceanhouseri.com The Ocean House hotel was built in 1869 just after the Civil War, and today is an ocean-side resort with private beach and views of the Atlantic Ocean, Montauk and Block Island. It is also home to the Center for Wine & Culinary Arts, a space designed to resemble a 19th-century tobacco barn that offers a full schedule of complimentary Rhode Island wine and cooking classes. Chef Ryan Beaudoin, food forager and director of culinary education, works with local farms to source ingredients for all Ocean House properties and hosts weekly classes focusing on whatever is in season. Each month the hotel invites a talented chef or winemaker to host an intimate evening showcasing the best in local flavors, unique wines and world-class cuisine, offering a true taste of the hotel’s farm-to-table philosophy. – Karim Hussain

Ocean House, Salt


Palmar, saltresorts.com By introducing guests to local people and their way of life, the hotel takes a humanistic approach to hospitality, curating experiences with a program called Skill Swap. In Mauritius, this could mean taking pottery classes with Janine at her Pamplemousses studio, or early morning fishing with Kishor. Simply by staying, Salt gives a chance to contribute to protecting and empowering local communities, creating opportunity and employment, and preserving the environment via the single-use plastic, bio-farming and zero-waste policy. The hotel will run regular beach cleanups, a farming school and ongoing training sessions for the community. – Valerie Jones

A better way to live

AĂŻshti, Seaside Road Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 711 941

Where We’re Detoxing


Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa THE STORIED REGION OF CHAMPAGNE – ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT WINE REGIONS – NOW HAS A CONTEMPORARY LUXURY HOTEL AND SPA. Rue de Bellevue, Champillon, royalchampagne.com Expect exclusive access to private Champagne houses, harvesting sessions with local wine producers and tastings with Champagne producers, all curated by the in-house concierge team. Situated in the vineyards that stripe the hills of Epernay and the historic villages of Champillon and Hautvillers (of Dom Perignon fame), the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is a reimagined wine-country retreat for all seasons. The wellness center comprises treatment rooms, fitness facilities, a wood-lined yoga studio, eucalyptus-infused sauna and a mosaic tiled hammam. Completing the experience are two temperature-controlled, chaise-lounge-lined swimming pools, from which the views of the surrounding wineries on this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be absorbed. – Karim Hussain

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa


A better way to live

AĂŻshti, Seaside Road Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 711 941

Words J.A. Getzlaff


THE GREEK ISLAND OF KOUFONISSI IS SOMETHING OF A DREAM Last July, I set out on a holiday in search of quiet and relaxation under a warm sun. My only other prerequisites were fresh food and a temperate sea. My destination? The Cyclades Islands. Now, I know what you’re thinking: this writer is an idiot. But before you judge me, finish this article or at least do a Google Images search for Koufonissi.

Koufonissi is actually a pair of islands – Ano (upper) Koufonissi and Kato (lower) Koufonissi – located southeast of Naxos, and part of the Lesser Cyclades chain. Only Ano Koufonissi is developed, but both are blessed with clear, cerulean waters and no crowds due to a lack of hotels, an airport and, until recently, a daily ferry.

Getting here takes a bit of planning. Fly from Athens to Naxos, then hop on a ferry for the hour-long journey to Koufonissi. Or take a high-speed catamaran directly

from Athens (about five hours). The trick is that, if the infamous Meltemi winds are blowing, your ferry may be delayed a day or two, so plan for flexibility.

While Koufonissi has none of the glitz of Santorini or Mykonos, it is not without its comforts – particularly if you opt to stay at the Aeolos Hotel, Oceanides Residence or the Keros Art Hotel in the chora (old town). My rest-and-relaxation-seeking partner and I opted for the charming Oceanides, where we indulged in long breakfasts on our balcony and even longer naps. The owners of Oceanides cut no corners when constructing their whitewashed villas, which feature polished concrete floors, organic Coco-Mat linens and Azzaro toiletries. There is no garden or pool – not yet, anyway – but the Big Blue is just a short walk away.

Once you have settled into your temporary home, you are then free to join the other tourists, mostly Greek

and Italian, in the summertime ritual of doing next to nothing. There are no major sites to see on this island, and the only village is as tiny as it is charming. But Koufonissi is ringed with beaches, and there is reading and floating to do, and perhaps a little snorkeling if you are so inclined. More adventurous types can rise early to hike the rocky isle – it’s less than three square miles – while daredevils can join the expert kite surfers that zip around the choppy waters off Pori beach.

Speaking of Pori beach, this is one of the prettiest on an island of pretty beaches. It is crescent-shaped, with powdery sand that is perfect for lounging early in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun isn’t too strong. Bring your own umbrella, though, as this beach, along with the other beaches on Koufonissi, lacks shade and there are no beach clubs or hotels offering beach loungers. Another option is to bring your own yacht. Anchor offshore, then swim over to Kalofego, an excellent, boho-chic taverna overlooking the beach. Linger over long lunches of inventive Mediterranean cuisine, and perhaps stay longer to toast sundown with a chilled glass of Greek white wine. From Pori beach, you can see the mountainous island of Keros, which lies one nautical mile off of Ano Koufonissi and was once an important center of Cycladic civilization. Archeologists are currently digging there for female figurines and other objects that they believe were used for rituals more than 4,500 years ago. On moonlit, windless nights, gazing at Keros from Pori beach is an activity to remember forever, but it is also tempting to head to the chora for a lively dinner at Armira Kai Pioto, which offers Greek and Mediterranean dishes crafted with care from the freshest ingredients.

At the end of your stay, take a taxi to the busiest spot in town – the port – where the entire island seems to gather for the arrival and departure of the daily ferry.


Get there early, with plenty of time to have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice at the café overlooking the dock, and savor your last moments on an island where there is nothing much to do but be you, surrounded by beauty.

Mahekal Beach Resort


Where We’re Staying

With a coastline that stretches out 920 feet, Mahekal owns the longest beach on Mexico’s Playa del Carmen.

Calle 38, between Avenida 5A and Zona Federal Maritima, mahekalbeachresort.com Its accommodations rake in the superlatives too. A recent renovation yielded 195 chic suites and casitas, bumping it to four-star status. “Two years ago, $18 million was injected into the property,” says Maria Elena Armenta, director of sales and marketing. A modern flair permeates the place. “We knew we had the best site in the area and wanted to attract a higher level of clientele,” says Lamont Meek, co-owner and manager. And they do. In late summer’s peak season, it’s fully occupied by those seeking an authentic Mayan experience – in a place whose name means “magical” in the native tongue. – J. Michael Welton

Hyde Midtown Miami, Mahekal


101 NE 34th Street, sbe.com Midtown Miami continues to be the epicenter of cool, with the opening of a stunning new 60-room hotel. Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, with a lobby, hotel suites and public spaces created by the Rockwell Group, Hyde Midtown Miami is part of Sam Nazarian’s SBE, one the world’s leading hospitality companies. “Our design team’s concept for Hyde Midtown fuses the brand’s distinctive philosophy with Miami’s vibrant art and design scene, as well as the city’s spirited culture,” says Greg Keffer, partner and studio leader at the Rockwell Group. Hotel highlights include a seventh-floor rooftop with an infinity pool, an outdoor bar and restaurant, tennis and bocce courts, a putting green and a glass-walled business center that can be turned into an event space. If you want to hit the beach, the hotel provides transportation to SLS South Beach with VIP access to the sister resort’s beach, pool and day club. An incredible way to experience everything that Miami has to offer. – Marwan Naaman

Hyde Midtown Miami


A better way to live

AĂŻshti, Seaside Road Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 711 941

One&Only Cape Town


Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, oneandonlyresorts.com The One&Only Cape Town, which is set in a natural amphitheater and surrounded by the dramatic cliffs of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, is a luxurious getaway for adventurers, food lovers and fitness buffs alike. If you’re seeking a full day of exploration, you can climb up to the summit of Table Mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, with one of the resort’s personal trainers. Once at the top, enjoy a soothing yoga session overlooking the city. You can also try stand-up paddle boarding within the calm waterways surrounding the resort or simply cycle across Cape Town with a personal trainer and discover a shipwreck, lighthouse, public art installations and even spot whales and dolphins. Gourmets can dine at on-site restaurant Nobu or take cooking classes such as the one offered by the resort’s head pastry chef Kyle Hickman. The One&Only Cape Town is a spectacular resort in one of the world’s most breathtakingly lovely destinations. – Niku Kasmai

The Big Apple’s newest and hippest hotel just opened in Flatiron’s former George Washington Hotel. 23 Lexington Avenue, freehandhotels.com Part of the Sydell Group (which brought you New York’s ultra-trendy NoMad Hotel), Freehand New York offers a delightfully wide choice of rooms, ranging from affordable bunks to sprawling penthouse suites. The hotel boasts extensive public spaces including two restaurants, a cocktail bar, a rooftop bar and a café, plus a retail store with rotating collaborations. Freehand New York has also launched the Freehand Fellowship in partnership with Bard College. This program allows select artists to live, work and exhibit within the hotel. Much like other Freehand properties in LA, Miami and Chicago, Freehand New York worked with local manufacturers and artisans to create custom furniture and decorative elements with a focus on the American craftsman aesthetic. The guestrooms are outfitted with colorful textiles, custom light fixtures and case goods, and there are also original murals by Bard artists, in keeping with the hotel’s mission to promote local art. A cool new place to discover. – Niku Kasmai

Freehand, One&Only

Freehand New York


Where We’re Staying 246

It’s one of the most coveted resorts in South Africa.

What We’re Drinking

Words Michael Karam

Imaginary Cocktails Made-up drinks that have gained a cult following

Cage magnificently downed a whole bottle in the shower in Leaving Las Vegas, while only last year we enjoyed Charlize Theron drinking senior measures of it after a restorative Berlin ice bath, during the last days of the Cold War in Atomic Blonde.

Gin has become the darling of hipsters from Shoreditch to Soho, but it wasn’t always so. In the 18th century, social commentators warned of the effects of “mother’s ruin” on the family unit, while George Orwell, in his dystopian novel 1984, gave us the decidedly un-botanical Victory Gin, a vile tipple, distributed by the state to loyal party members and described by the hero Winston Smith as having “the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club.”


There is a scene in the World War II drama In Which We Serve when Noel Coward, as the unflappable Captain Kinross of the Royal Navy, is at home on leave. His wife, played by the equally wonderful Celia Johnson, makes her “darling” a Kinross Special, the couple’s own Cointreau-based invention. They toast each other in the unspoken understanding that the world is in flux: war rages and Great Britain has its back to the wall. Mrs. Kinross won’t see her husband for at least a year – indeed she may never see her husband again if the German U-Boats have their way – but for a moment at least they can lose themselves under the spell of booze.

The Kinross Special is a minor deity in the pantheon of booze. It may be a stiff drink but it faces stiff competition, not least from the heroically named Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the drink made famous in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. The decades-old drink is a favorite of frat boys and pot heads, many of whom have made their own versions of the brew that makes the drinker feel like “having

their brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.” The book warns that one should never drink more than two PGGBs unless they are a “30-ton mega-elephant with bronchial pneumonia.” No chance of that, but then again I’ve always preferred my poison in a dinner jacket than in a space suit, so it’s no surprise that I lean toward more terrestrial literary references, like the liver-mauling Vesper, from Casino Royale, the first bond book and named after Vesper Lynd, the first Bond Girl. Three measures of gin, one of vodka, half a measure of the now-hard-to-find Kina Lillet, a vermouth-like quinine liqueur made of Peruvian cinchona bark.

Speaking of vodka, it has had a meteoric rise in the last decade, but back in the mid-1990s, outside of the former Soviet Republics, it was the down-market cousin of gin. Still, there were dark corners of the cultural disco where Stolichnaya, then the gold standard of vodka, ruled the optics. Ab Fab’s Patsy drank “Stoli-Bolli,” Nicolas

The greatest booze film? I’m going with Charlie Wilson’s War, the political drama set in the 1980s in which the eponymous hero, a US Congressman, secures government backing to fund the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviet invaders. It is a secret war fueled by large, ice-filled tumblers of scotch. Wilson, played by a barnstorming Tom Hanks, drinks for breakfast, shares boozy hot tubs with starlets, is eavesdropped on by the CIA via a bugged bottle of malt, asks for a morning “sharpener” at a meeting with Pakistani president Zia ul Haq in Islamabad and loads up on airline whisky miniatures. Great stuff!



Where We’re Drinking

It’s set between Madrid’s lively Chueca and Malasaña neighborhoods.

61 Calle Fuencarral, merimeegastrobar.com Mérimée, a two-level restaurant and bar, serves delectable cocktails along with tasty nibbles and bar food. The ground floor area, with its floor-to-ceiling glass doors that remain wide open during summer and its blond wood accents, is particularly appealing. Try the ham croquettes, crunchy honey chicken, tuna empanadas and white truffle ravioli, and wash it all down with a pitcher of white sangria, redolent with the heady flavors of white grapes and pineapple. You’ll stop by for a quick drink and end up staying for hours. – Marwan Naaman


Merimée, Quinto La Huella


788 Brickell Plaza, Brickell City Centre, east-miami. com/quintolahuella The place quickly became one of Miami’s hippest and most popular restaurants. More than an eatery though, Quinto La Huella is a stylish lounge, where locals and visitors congregate to enjoy tasty bar food and incredibly delicious cocktails. So which are the ones you simply must try? Start off with the Caipi Mediterranea, a blend of vodka, fresh lime, cane sugar, strawberries, grapes and basil, and then move on to the New Age Negroni, made with gin, Aperol and sweet vermouth. Or you could go all out and order a pitcher of sangria, prepared with red wine, triple sec, vodka, green apples, red apples and strawberries. After all, you’re in Miami, at Quinto La Huella, so why not indulge yourself? – Marwan Naaman

Quinto La Huella

Quinto La Huella opened at the newly built Brickell City Centre in 2016.


Fast Building, 344 Pasteur Street, Gemmayze, Lebanon T. +961 1 562 777 F. +961 1 449 000


Armenia Street, Mar Mikhael, facebook.com/ameliabeirut

Amelia is perhaps the most gorgeous nightspot in Mar Mikhael. The roofless bar and lounge, with its stunning exposed sandstone walls, usually lets in sultry breezes, but if it’s cold or rainy, the retractable roof slides shut, ensuring all-night revelry no matter the climate. In addition to artisan cocktails that are stylishly presented, Amelia serves up a variety of bar foods inspired by fusion cuisine, including ceviche, shrimp halloumi rolls, calamari, goat cheese crackers, mini burgers and edamame. There’s a DJ playing the hottest tunes, adding to the dynamic, lively ambiance. A great new addition to the Beirut nightlife scene. – Michelle Merheb


Where We’re Drinking 252


AÏSHTI Aïshti Home Solutions Seaside Road, Antelias T. 04 717 716 ext 403 athome@aishti.com



7fo ra l l ma nki nd.c o m

CAMPER Beirut souks, Souk El Tawileh Street, Beirut central district, T. 01 99 11 11 ext. 568 Aïshti by the Sea, B1 Level , Antelias, T.04 71 77 16 ext.271

Words Marwan Naaman Photography Carl Halal and Holger Niehaus

THROUGH ALBERT OEHLEN’S EYES The German artist takes over the Aïshti Foundation


Albert Oehlen is an enigmatic figure. The reclusive German artist, considered by many to be the best of his generation, seldom gives interviews and generally shies away from the limelight. During his recent trip to Beirut, he was asked why he preferred to avoid the media, to which Oehlen replied that that wasn’t the case. “I just keep getting asked the same questions,” he said. “And I don’t like to repeat myself.”


But away from the cameras, Oehlen presents a different persona. He’s reserved, certainly, but not once you touch upon topics that fascinate him, most notably speed metal music, which he says has fed his work, and whose sounds translate into the bold, colorful strokes that characterize some of his art pieces.

Oehlen was in Beirut to curate the Aïshti Foundation’s “Trance” exhibit, which opened on October 21 and runs for a year. “This is the first time that I invite an artist to curate a show,” says Tony Salamé, Aïshti’s owner and CEO. “Curators have clear ideas when they’re working on a show, but there are no surprises. With an artist, you don’t know what to expect. It’s unusual and exciting.” Salamé adds that he gave Oehlen carte blanche for the exhibit. “Oehlen respects me as a friend and collector and cares about my opinion, but he’s doing the show alone. I try not to have an input.”

For Salamé, “Trance” is something of a dream come true, an idea that took more than a decade to come to fruition. “Oehlen is one of my favorite artists,” he says. “For over 10 years, since 2007 to be specific, I’ve been trying, with help from his gallerist Max Hetzler, to exhibit Oehlen’s unseen works in Lebanon. He has a reputation for being inaccessible, so I tried everything to meet him. I visited all of his exhibits around the world. Finally, he came to the Aïshti Foundation last July and fell in love with the space. And he then told me he would exhibit his works in Lebanon.” “Trance” is a multilayered artistic showcase, where Oehlen is the artist, curator and collector all at once. The exhibit begins on the Aïshti Foundation’s first floor, where the focus is on the artist’s own work. Different stages of his production are presented in conversation with each other, eschewing a strict chronology and offering the viewer the opportunity to enjoy Oehlen’s diverse and complex artistic process.

This page: Oslo’s Made in Heaven desserts, in Mar Mikhael and Verdun Opposite page: Des Choux et Des Idées’ sweets, on Abdel Wahab el Inglizi Street in Ashrafieh

This solo show includes 25 pieces, many of them monumental (up to 40 square meters in size) and some that have never been exhibited before now.

The other three floors have a mix of works from Oehlen’s private collection and from Elham and Tony Salamé’s collection, in an artistic dialogue overseen by Oehlen himself. The artist’s eye and the collector’s eye are combined to create a novel experience, with two different approaches to art, one subjective and the other objective. Featured artists from Oehlen’s private collection include Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter and Gary Hume, who are in turn placed within an artistic dialogue with artists whose works form part of Elham and Tony Salamé’s collection, including the likes of Richard Prince, Wade Guyton, Christopher Wool, Etel Adnan, Fouad Elkoury, Brigitte Megerle, Michael Williams, Thomas Arnolds, Franz West, Jana Schröder, David Ostrowski, Heimo Zobernig and Markus Oehlen, Albert’s own artist brother.


Photos above: Untitled by Albert Oehlen Right: “Corrupted Data More Intense II” by Andreas Breunig (left) and “Choir Girl” by George Condo (right)


Top photo: Untitled by Albert Oehlen Bottom photo: “Strip” by Gerhard Richter (left), Untitled by Albert Oehlen (back), “Ekaterina” by Pawel Althamer (center) and Untitled by Markus Oehlen (right)




A “Trance” highlight is undoubtedly Oehlen’s very personal take on the Rothko Chapel, the nondenominational place of worship in Houston, Texas, adorned with paintings by late artist Mark Rothko. Within the Aïshti Foundation’s walls, Oehlen has installed some of his huge, brilliantly colored, rectangular collages to create his own seaside chapel. Under soft, dim lighting and via his spectacular works, Oehlen invites guests to reflect on our era’s consumerist society and our powerlessness when faced with an increasingly powerful global media machine. Oehlen works on display include his more geometric “Tree Paintings,” a series that he started over 30 years ago, and his effusive “Elevator Paintings.” In true Oehlen fashion, the artist preferred to stay mum about his Aïshti Foundation exhibit, pushing viewers to come to their own understanding of the pieces on display. “I have nothing to say about my work,” he said. Then, with a smile: “Just write that I’m the best living artist.”


Prior to “Trance,” Oehlen was the subject of a major retrospective at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi. Unveiled in April and titled “Cows by the Water,” the exhibit features about 85 works from François Pinault’s private collection as well as from major collections and international museums, offering a breathtaking vista of Oehlen’s work from the 1980s to the present. “Cows by the Water” is on view until January 6, 2019, so for a few months it’ll run in parallel with “Trance,” in a trans-Mediterranean arch that celebrates one of the world’s most influential contemporary artists. “Trance” is on view at the Aïshti Foundation until October 2019.



This page: “The Playground” by Gary Hume (top left), Untitled by Günther Forg (top right) and Untitled by Albert Oehlen (bottom) Opposite page: Untitled by Albert Oehlen (top) and “The Beatles” and “Blondie” by Merlin Carpenter (bottom)

This page: “Trance” opening, with Albert Oehlen, Elham Salamé and Tony Salamé (above), gallerist Jeffrey Deitch (right) and other guests (bottom) Opposite page: Untitled by Julian Schnabel (top left), Untitled by Nicole Eisenman (top center), “Yew Brought It Up” by Christina Quarles (top right) and a series of photographs by Fouad Elkoury (bottom)




This page: “Strip” by Gerhard Richter (left) and Untitled by Albert Oehlen (two in back) Opposite page: “Paravent 3” by Albert Oehlen (top), “Unpack” by David Salle (middle left), “Kaldites” by Jana Schroder (middle right), Untitled by Michael Krebber (bottom two works on the left) and “Venetia Cuninghame Left (After John D Green)” by Richard Phillips (bottom right)



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Words Michelle Merheb

THE LAST PAGE ABBAESQUE A Mag 15 years ago and Cher today ABBA never seems to go out of style. The Swedish pop band dominated the global music charts from 1974 to 1982, but even after the band was dissolved in 1982, ABBA songs kept being played on radios, TVs and now online, sparking various revivals and endless covers, by the likes of Erasure and Madonna. The latest to revisit ABBA’s musical legacy is pop icon Cher, who on September 28 released an entire album of ABBA covers. Titled Dancing Queen, the 10-track album is Cher’s first in five years, and it features “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo” and the title track, all sung with Cher’s trademark passion. The album also includes “Fernando,” which the pop diva performed for the 2018 musical flick Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, in which she also had a starring role. Other movies that heavily featured ABBA songs have included Muriel’s Wedding (1994), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994) and the original Mamma Mia! (2008), based on the hit Broadway musical. Here at A Mag, nearly 15 years ago, we also celebrated ABBA by dedicating an entire magazine to the Swedish pop group (check out issue no. 11, April/May 2004) and highlighting similarities between Beirut and various ABBA songs. Can you hear the drums Fernando?

Dala Eido, Carl Halal


Working on the most perfect stairs competitor.