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no. 69 Dec 2013/jan 2014 LL10,000

Holidays gone wild

Savage style and ferocious fashion Trends Lush gowns and fabulous furs for the ladies, colorful jackets for the gents Gifts Luxury items for your loved ones Spotlight California in winter Art “Squat Beirut� at Metropolitan Art Society Celebrities Tamara Mellon, Leila Kanaan and Stevie Nicks Destinations Venice, Hawaii and Austria - 01 99 11 11 ext.592



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© 2013 chloe. All RIGhTS ReSeRVeD.



Inside No. 69 DEC 2013/JAN 2014


44 Beirut Food at Liza, drinks at Bar ThreeSixty 52 London View Paul Klee’s arresting art 54 Paris Christmas by Christian Lacroix 56 Milan Dsquared2 introduces Ceresio 7 58 Berlin Sculpture by Marc Quinn 60 Istanbul Sleep at the new Vault hotel 62 New York Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit 64 Los Angeles All about Tom of Finland 66 San Francisco Bulgari’s spectacular jewels 68 Toronto Momofuko Milk Bar arrives 70 Caribbean A winter stay at Carlisle Bay 72 Dubai Fleurs, Dubai’s new nightlife icon 74 Aïshti The season’s grand fashion event 76 MAS Into “Squat Beirut”


96 Movies Winter’s most anticipated flicks 98 Music Space age tunes 100 Books The gift of reading


102 Sexy dresses When it’s time to party 104 Fur Luxury picks for the ladies 108 Jackets Winter styles for men 110 Fashion math Hot women’s trends 112 Colors Three hues to suit the guys 114 Brooks Brothers Classic and modern 116 Evening gowns In red and black 122 Gifts Fashionable ideas for the holidays 134 Heartbreaker A hypnotic Cartier ring 136 Every shade of art Style for two 148 Red heat A woman and her wildcat 162 Winter green Winter fashion for her


184 Makeup Ready for a celebration 186 Breacial R&R for the boobs 188 Skincare Prized creams 190 Must-haves Follow Chanel’s lead


192 Leila Kanaan A future in film 194 Raya Farhat Taking over Paris with a click 198 Tamara Mellon Life after Jimmy Choo 200 Stevie Nicks Still wild at heart 202 Wael Lazkani Reinventing Asian cuisine 204 AN Soubiran New Gen Canadian artist


210 Souheil Al-Awar Explosive interiors 212 Carwan A new space for design in Beirut 216 Grand Central Manhattan’s icon at 100 218 Kimbell Art Museum Renzo Piano’s touch 220 Diesel From denim to successful living 224 New Ravenna A world of mosaics 226 Design trend It takes a carpet 228 Design update The latest global news

Ethereal Emeralds Striking, luxurious and dramatic, the emerald falls like a cold winter raindrop from an elegant cluster of diamonds, shimmering with a lyrical natural beauty.

33 Weygand Street, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon.

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Inside High Art

232 Anh Duong Erotica on a canvas 236 Elio Marchegiani Experimental art 238 Shirazeh Houshiary An Iranian in London 240 Eastern vistas Zaatari and Azzam 242 Os Gemeos Graffiti masters 246 Sebastião Salgado Master photographer 248 From Lebanon Three promising artists 252 Isabella Blow Her life in fashion 256 Art galleries What to catch this winter


264 Restaurants New York and Beirut 266 Vegetarian Gourmet eats in three cities 270 Turkish sweets The favorites 272 Tea At Lebanon’s Théa


274 How to be a bitch Learn from the best 276 Shopping Offbeat international boutiques 280 Nightlife Beirut’s Mar Mikhael 282 Airport lounges British Airways’ best

no. 69 Dec 2013/jan 2014 LL10,000


284 Hawaii Kauai’s natural magic 288 Las Vegas A kitsch vacation in Sin City 294 The Roger Madison Avenue jewel 296 Venice An insider’s perspective 300 Budapest Ancient European grandeur 304 Salzburg one Austria’s coveted treasure 306 Salzburg two Relive The Sound of Music 308 The Mandala Berlin’s design beauty 310 La Paz The Bolivian capital’s charms 312 Bouyouti A Lebanese hideaway 314 Hasbaya Hiking Lebanon’s south

Spotlight: California

316 Los Angeles The city on two wheels 320 Petersen Rejuvenating LA’s car museum 322 Monterey The town’s dazzling aquarium 324 The Clift San Francisco’s dramatic hotel 326 Valencia Street The Bay Area’s food central

Last Word

328 San Francisco The return trip

Holidays gone wild

Savage style and ferocious fashion Trends Lush gowns and fabulous furs for the ladies, colorful jackets for the gents Gifts Luxury items for your loved ones Spotlight California in winter Art “Squat Beirut” at Metropolitan Art Society Celebrities Tamara Mellon, Leila Kanaan and Stevie Nicks Destinations Venice, Hawaii and Austria

Cover She’s in a Fendi fur jacket, The Kooples scarf, Céline bodysuit, Bulgari watch and Cartier earrings. Photographer Marco Pietracupa. Stylist Amelianna Loiacono. Hair and makeup Roman Gasser from WM Management. Model Dagna Klepaczka from Why Not. Location Barouk, Shouf mountains, Lebanon.


Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman

Creative director Malak Beydoun


Associate editor MacKenzie Lewis Assistant editor Celine Omeira Contributing editors May Farah, Julie Ann Getzlaff, Leslie Jirsa, Serena Makofsky, Warren Singh-Bartlett Canada editor Melanie Reffes France editor Brent Gregston Italy editor Renata Fontanelli UK editor Grace Banks US editor Robert Landon Beauty editor Charlotte Colquhoun

Art directors

Art and production director Maria Maalouf Guest art director Raya Farhat Junior art director Charline Brechotte


Salma Abdelnour, Stephanie Epiro, Elgy Gillespie, Gail Goldberg, Sophy Grimshaw, Tala Habbal, Anthony Klatt Marie Le Fort, Sabina Llewellyn-Davies, Rose Mark, Shirine Saad, Katherine Siciliano Grigelis Rich Thornton, Dorothy Weiner, J. Michael Welton, Marianne Wisenthal


Fashion photographers Marco Pietracupa, Joe Kesrouani, Bachar Srour Contributing photographers Catherine Barry, Paul Clemence, Mark Downey, Tony Elieh, Nabil Ismail Ieva Saudargaite, George Sokhn


Joy Kaddoura, Amelianna Loiacono, Jessy Moussallem

Illustrator Mélanie Dagher

Tala Habbal A magazine’s former junior editor Tala Habbal was born in the United States but spent the latter part of her life in Lebanon. She studied fashion at New York’s Parsons the New School for Design, worked as a buyer for ABC in Beirut and earned a post-graduate degree at London College of Fashion. She’s currently traveling the world and developing her freelance writing career.

Bachar Srour Beirut-based photographer Bachar Srour is a plastic arts graduate from the Lebanese University of Fine Arts. After graduation, he shifted into the photography field, eventually focusing on fashion spreads for numerous designers and magazines. His personal and professional works have been exhibited online and featured in print publications.

Catherine Barry Catherine Barry is a California-based photographer and designer who’s worked in photography and publishing since the ‘80s, when she started out her career in aerial and editorial photography. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, she worked in London and Sydney before moving to San Francisco, where she contributes to the world of travel guides and publications.

Elgy Gillespie Elgy Gillespie is originally from London and Dublin, but now lives on top of Bernal Heights in San Francisco’s Mission. She teaches at City College in San Francisco, and her students come from all over the world. In her free time, she hikes around the hilly city or in the many wildernesses of Northern California, reviews movies for a local website and writes diaries for her old newspaper in Dublin, Ireland.

Fadi Maalouf A magazine’s senior photo producer Fadi Maalouf has been with the publication since 2004. In this capacity, he’s responsible for the enticing, spectacular colors you see throughout this magazine and the flawless beauty of the male and female models. His duties include color correction and photo retouching. He also handles production at the time of printing.

Rich Thornton A British writer living in Beirut, Rich Thornton writes plays, music and sometimes things he shouldn’t. After trying out the professions of accountancy, advertising, publishing, drama teaching and table waiting, he’s found that writing is the only thing flexible enough to bend around his everchanging ideas and desire to learn as much as he can about everything. He also very much enjoys writing in the third person.


Melhem Moussallem, Karine Abou Arraj, Stephanie Missirian

Production and printing

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

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

140 El Moutrane St., Fourth Floor, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, tel. 961.1.974.444,,

For the Prince oF words: a watch that leaves you sPeechless.

Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual

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Didn’t age in 70 years: The Little Prince

IWC Boutique, Beirut Souks-Downtown, ext: 212, ABC Dbayeh, ext: 201 / ABC Ashrafieh, ext: 205, Beirut, Dora Highway, Tel: 01 25 66 55

ll I want for Christmas It’s hard to believe that A magazine celebrates its 12th Christmas this year. Yes, we’ve been around since 2002, radiating beams of style from Lebanon to the four corners of the fashion globe. This winter season is no different, with dramatic fashion spreads shot in Beirut’s breathtaking Metropolitan Art Society and in the majestic Barouk cedar forest, high in the Lebanese mountains. We also explore distinctly Lebanese themes, like Carwan design space, Bouyouti bed and breakfast, Théa tea salon and the “Squat Beirut” art show, and chat with fascinating Lebanese people like director Leila Kanaan, chef Wael Lazkani and architect Souheil Al-Awar. And, of course, we offer a million gift ideas for the most festive time of the year. Happy holidays! Marwan Naaman

A cityscape

Just in Beirut

Gucci (left)

A highlight of the current winter collection, Gucci’s Bamboo bag has already attained cult status. The bag is available in a variety of colors and materials, and always features the striking bamboo handle. Available at Gucci and Aïshti stores.

Burberry (right)

No wardrobe is complete without at least one Burberry scarf. This red beauty for women is a definite highlight from the current winter collection. Available at Burberry and Aïshti stores.

Liza (above)

Mellow (left)

The original Liza in Paris is something of a legend, so it makes perfect sense for owners Liza and Ziad Asseilly to open a branch of the Lebanese restaurant in their native country. Specialties include kafta, makanek, balila, djej bel friké and more. Metropolitan Club, Trabaud St., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.208.108,

Beirut brunch (right)

The North American brunch tradition seems to finally be taking hold in Beirut. Les Fenêtres in Mar Mikhael (right) is now offering an à la carte brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and La Posta in Ashrafieh (left) has an Italian buffet brunch on Saturday. Les Fenêtres, tel. 01.577.578; La Posta, tel. 01.209.909. A 44

Vertu (above)

Luxury mobile manufacturer Vertu launched the Constellation smartphone in November. Swathed in leather, the device comes in various colors (orange, mocha, raspberry etc.) and offers all modern technologies, like a cam, Wi-Fi and more. Allenby St., tel. 03.726.726,

©Burberry, Gucci, La Posta, Les Fenêtres, Liza, Mellow, Vertu

Charming new store Mellow carries organic handmade towels as well as soaps in a wide variety of colors. The towels are absorbent, fast drying and eco-friendly. Mar Mikhael, tel. 71.494.950,


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A cityscape

Just in Beirut

Guillaume (below)

Chanel (left)

Nancy Gabriel has teamed up with French interior designer Guillaume Excoffier to create Guillaume, a pop-up store carrying a stylish mix of antique and contemporary pieces presented in a live interior setting. Open until December 30 at The Gathering, Pasteur St., Gemmayze, guillaumebeirut

A Christmas special, Chanel’s limited edition gift set includes a bottle spray of No. 5 Eau Première, a refillable purse spray and three refills. Available at Aïshti stores.

Jimmy Choo (below)

Give yourself the boot with Jimmy Choo’s winter selection of suede footwear. What to choose? Grab True, a high-heeled, seductive little number. Available at Jimmy Choo and Aïshti stores.

' L R U (above) It’s perhaps BMW’s most striking car to date. The BMW i8 offers a sleek design, lightweight construction and dynamic performance that allows it to accelerate like a sports car, but consume less fuel and emit zero emissions. Visit

The luxurious Chiffre Rouge men’s watch from Dior is available in either silver on a slate gray strap or in black with a black strap (as shown here). Each model comes in a limited edition of 200 pieces. Cadrans, Karagulla Bldg., 24 Park Ave., Downtown Beirut, tel. 01.975.333,

& DI ¾ ' L H P


A stylish, casually elegant bistro, Café Diem offers top-of-the-line coffee concoctions in addition to food items like salads, bruschettas, open-faced sandwiches and decadent desserts. Sodeco, tel. 01.333.607. A 46

©BMW, Café Diem, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Guillaume

BMW (below)

A誰shti Downtown Beirut 01. 99 II II

A cityscape

Just in Beirut

Diptyque (below)

This holiday season, Diptyque and Tsé & Tsé teamed up to create three new candles. Orange Chaya exudes the scents of orange and cardamom; Ecorce de Pin emits the aroma of snow-covered pines; and Encens des Indes radiates incense and myrrh. Available at Aïshti stores.

Magnolia Bakery (above)

Inspired by the womenswear collection, the fall/winter 2013-14 Dolce & Gabbana children’s line features tops and skirts adorned with luxuriant florals. Available at Aïshti Minis.

Bar ThreeSixty (below)

Le Gray’s iconic rooftop venue, Bar ThreeSixty, reopened in October. The lounge still offers some of the most spectacular views in Lebanon, in addition to an elaborate menu of artisan cocktails. Martyrs Square, Downtown Beirut, tel. 01.962.888,

Galler (left)

Belgian chocolatier Galler is scheduled to open a luxurious three-level boutique in December. “I am very proud to be an ambassador of Belgian chocolate in Lebanon, with a flagship hub for the region,” says company founder and chairman Jean Galler. Jal el Dib Highway, tel. 01.378.542,

Shamballa (above)

Brothers Mads and Mikkel Kornerup founded Shamballa Jewels in Denmark. Their iconic design remains the Shamballa Bracelet, featuring studded gold beads strung together by the macramé technique. The line also includes rings, necklaces and more. Available at Sylvie Saliba, Quantum Tower, Charles Malek Ave., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.330.500, A 48

©Dolce & Gabbana, Diptyque, Galler, Le Gray, Magnolia Bakery, Shamballa

Dolce & Gabbana (above)

New York’s famed Magnolia Bakery opened a new outlet at ABC Ashrafieh in November. The stylish new locale offers the famed cupcakes as well as cakes, pies, muffins, cookies and even sandwiches and salads. ABC Ashrafieh,


SYLVIE SALIBA - Quantum Tower Achrafieh - Beirut - Lebanon - Tel 01 330 500

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A cityscape

Just in Beirut

Melissa (above)

This is a winter favorite: Melissa’s stylish Ultragirl now comes with Swarovski crystals, in a design created by makeup artist J. Maskrey. Get it in pink, red or white. Available at Aïzone stores.

Something Blue (above)

Bridal boutique Something Blue is set in an enchanting old Lebanese home. Owner Cynthia Nakhle, who personally attends each bride-to-be, chooses one-of-a-kind gowns by the likes of Rafael Cennamo, Elizabeth Fillmore, Anne Barge and others. Chaoul Bldg., Second Floor, Gouraud St., Gemmayze, tel. 01.562.066,

Staybridge Suites (below)

Samsung (above)

Tech lovers take note: the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone is fast and larger than life, presenting a bigger, clearer screen for a prime viewing experience and better multitasking features. The sleek S Pen is included, of course. Visit

Prune (above)

Beirut’s most engaging new bistro offers favorites, including mussels with fries, oysters and foie gras, as well as creative cuisine like chicken with plums. Mar Mikhael, tel. 01.569.939.

Win with Australia Luxe (left)

Australia Luxe is offering a taste of the A-list lifestyle with its Luxe VIP competition. Fill out the entry card tucked inside each Australia Luxe box by answering a series of questions (and be sure to name Aïzone as your favorite store) for a chance to win a shopping spree and a luxury hotel stay. The competition ends on January 31. For details, visit competition A 50

©Australia Luxe, Melissa, Prune, Samsung, Something Blue, Staybridge Suites

Ideal for extended stays in the Lebanese capital, newly opened Staybridge Suites offers plush studios as well as one- and twobedroom suites complete with kitchenettes, workspace and high-speed Wi-Fi. Alfred Nobel St., Verdun, tel. 01.426.801,

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25.11.13 09:43

A cityscape

Just in London

Skate at Somerset House (left)

Take ice-skating to another level this Christmas: pirouette during the day and enjoy club nights in the evenings. There’s even a rink-side Tiffany’s cake parlor to boot. Open until January 5 at Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, tel. 44.084.4847.1520,

Linda Farrow Gallery (right)

Situated in Mayfair, Linda Farrow’s stylish new flagship boutique is a haven of oversized shades, cat-eye frames and classic vintage sunglasses. 91 Mount St., WC1, tel. 44.020.7499.6336,

Gin Joint (above)

Londoners love their gin. New bar Gin Joint, nestled within the Barbican, specializes in classic London brands and bespoke cocktails. Barbican Center, Silk St., tel. 44.020.7588.3008, EC2,

As the youngest executive female chef in the United Kingdom, Sophie Michell updates British classics at new seafood restaurant Pont St. 20 Chesham Place, SW1, tel. 44.020.3189.4850, hotels/london/belgraves

Paul Klee (above)

“Paul Klee – Making Visible” is a major retrospective focusing on the artist’s time at the hub of modernist design, the Bauhaus. Internationally famed canvases are exhibited next to smaller, rarely seen pieces. On view until March 9 at Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, tel. 44.020.7887.8888, A 52

Ace Hotel (above)

New York’s iconic Ace Hotel is opening a sister property in London. Expect cuisine from Bistroteque and rooms graffitied by underground legends. 100 Shoreditch High St., E1, tel. 44.020.7613.9800,

©Ace Hotel, Gin Joint, Linda Farrow, Paul Klee, Pont St, Somerset House

Pont St (below)

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A cityscape

Just in Paris

/ D ] D U H(above)

Recently opened by chef Eric Fréchon inside Paris’ St. Lazare train station, Lazare is a contemporary take on the traditional French brasserie. The place is organized around a free flowing copper bar, with volumes designed by Karine Lewkowicz. Parvis de la Gare St. Lazare, Rue Interieure, eighth arrondissement, tel. 33.1.4490.8080,


D € D (above)

The sumptuous Azzedine Alaïa retrospective, simply titled “Alaïa,” was designed for the reopening of the legendary Palais Galliera, which was closed for four years of renovations. The exhibit pays homage to the great couturier. On view until January 26 at Palais Galliera, 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 16th arrondissement, tel. 33.1.5652.8600,

* U D Q G + ¾ W HO GX 3 D O D LV 5 R\ D O (below) Set next to Paris’ landmark Palais Royal, the new Grand Hôtel is the work of awardwinning interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. The ultra-luxurious hotel includes a restaurant, lounge bar and spa. 4 Rue de Valois, first arrondissement, tel. 33.1.4296.1535,

3 X F F L(right)

Dazzling Italian label Pucci just opened a new Paris boutique. Double height ceilings, a giant façade and vast spaces impart luxury to the shopping experience. The ground-floor Silk Bar offers a lovely assortment of scarves. 46-48 Avenue Montaigne, eighth arrondissement, tel. 33.1.4720.0445,

Christian Lacroix teamed up with Portuguese porcelain and crystal manufacturer Vista Alegre to create a special collection of Christmas ornaments. 2-4 Place St. Sulpice, sixth arrondissement, tel. 33.1.4633.4895,

0 RQ F O HU (left)

Moncler’s spectacular new flagship store explodes with black marble. All collections are here, from Moncler Gamme Rouge to Moncler Gamme Bleu as well as the sunglasses line designed by Pharrell Williams. 7 Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, eighth arrondissement, tel. 33.1.5305.9215, A 54

©Patrick Demarchelier, Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal, Christian Lacroix, Lazare, Moncler, Pucci, Paolo Roversi

& K U LV W LD Q / D F U RL[ (left)


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A cityscape

Just in Milan

Jimmy Choo (right)

Gypsy glamour from the ‘70s inspired Jimmy Choo’s spring/summer 2014 collection. Suede, python, fringes and tassels triumph in footwear, in a nod to ‘70s icons like the incomparable Marisa Berenson. 1a Via Sant’Andrea, tel. 39.02.4548.1770,

Bottega Veneta (right)

Gucci (left)

Ethereal eveningwear, consisting of tunics, pants and black chiffon, channels Art Nouveau fashion in Gucci’s spring/ summer 2014 collection. “I took activewear essentials as a starting point and set out to create a feminine take on technical outfitting,” says Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini. 5-7 Via Montenapoleone, tel. 39.02.771.271,

Paola Grande (below)

Fourth-generation jewelry designer Paola Grande makes one-of-a-kind pieces as well as stunning collections like Eventail, inspired by the delicacy of the fan; Nastri, featuring gold, silver and bronze combined with precious stones; and Entropia, with a geometric, 3D edge. 18 Via Statuto, tel. 39.02.6556.0308,

Ceresio 7 (left)

The twin designers of Dsquared2, Dean and Dan Caten, have renovated their Milan-based offices to make room for an exclusive rooftop restaurant featuring an American cocktail bar, cigar room and two pools overlooking the Milan skyline. The food is created by Elio Sironi, formerly of Bulgari Hotel. 7 Via Ceresio, tel. 39.02. 3103.9221, A 56

©Bottega Veneta, Ceresio 7, Jimmy Choo, Paola Grande, Gucci

Set across two floors of a stunning 18thcentury building, Bottega Veneta’s first maison is a beautifully designed lifestyle boutique. Menswear, womenswear, accessories and fragrances fill the downstairs, while upstairs is dedicated to furniture and fine jewelry. 15 Via Sant’Andrea,

ETS.H.ATAMIAN - Dora Highway - Tel: 01 2566 55 Boutique TAGHeuer - Beirut Souks, Downtown - Ext: 213 - Sold at appointed retailers

A cityscape

Just in Berlin

Body Pressure (left)

Group exhibit “Body Pressure: Sculpture Since the ‘60s” examines the many different approaches to the human figure in contemporary sculpture. On display are works by the likes of Paul McCarthy, Marina Abramovic, Urs Fischer, Marc Quinn and more. On view until January 12 at Hamburger Bahnof, 50 Invaliden Strasse, tel. 49.30.3978.3411,

“Women – Bulls – Old Masters” showcases the oldest collection of Picasso’s prints and is divided into three themes, as reflected in the exhibit’s title. The show features a total of 180 artworks. On view until January 12 at the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings), Matthäikirchplatz, tel. 49.30.2664.24242,

Prada (below)

A film noir mood and an aura of mystery surround many of this winter’s Prada outfits, perhaps reflecting designer Miuccia Prada’s own dark obsessions and secret desires. 186 Kurfürstendamm, tel. 49.30.8871.0840,

New YearÇ s Eve (below)

New Year’s Eve in Berlin is legendary, with over one million visitors congregating in the area between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column to ring in 2014, to the sound of live music and hip DJs. Join the biggest party of the year on December 31, 2013.

Steigenberger Hotel (above)

Set to open in fall 2014, the new Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt is a luxury property currently being built between Central Station and Government District. It will house 339 rooms and suites, spa services, a bar and a restaurant. 5 Ella Trebe Strasse, A 58

©Picasso/Kupferstichkabinett, Prada, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Nationalgalerie/Thomas Bruns, Steinberger Hotel

Picasso (above)

A cityscape

Just in Istanbul

Dior (below)

Echoes of Andy Warhol pervade Raf Simons’ fall/winter 2013-14 womenswear collection for Dior. Highlights include artistic silk shifts and dresses adorned with colorful embroidered fragments. Istinye Park Pinar Mah., Istinye Bayiri Caddesi,

FerahFeza (above)

Designed by Turkish firm i-am, FerahFeza overlooks both the neighborhood of Karaköy and the Golden Horn from its fifth-floor terrace. The restaurant features oak paneling and wooden plank floors, as well as brown and gray upholstered chairs and banquettes. 31 Kemankes Caddesi, Karaköy, Beyoglu, tel.

The Vault, which opened in November, is the House Hotel group’s latest venture. Set inside the restored, historic Sümerbank building, originally built in 1867, the new hotel has 58 rooms, five suites and magnificent views of Topkapi Palace. Karaköy, tel., A 60

Set on the top floor of the Marmara Hotel in Taksim, with stunning views over the whole city, Raika restaurant serves a great variety of Anatolia’s regional and ethnic dishes with an innovative, contemporary touch. Marmara Hotel, Taksim, tel.,

Aheste (above)

Aheste restaurant is chef Sara Tabrizi’s new slow food venture. Organic, local and seasonal ingredients are used to create modern fusion cuisine that combines Turkish, Iranian, Ottoman, Armenian and Greek influences. Serdar-1 Ekrem Sokak, Dogan Apt. 30A, Galata, Beyoglu, tel.

©Aheste, Dior, FerahFeza, House Hotel, Raika

The Vault (above)

Raika (below)

A cityscape

Just in New York

Designed by Selldorf Architects in collaboration with Gagosian Gallery, the new Gagosian Shop sells artists’ prints, design products by the likes of Takashi Murakami, Anselm Reyle, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman, as well as Gagosian publications. 976 Madison Ave., tel. 1.212.796.1224,

The Shadows Took Shape (right)

Intriguing exhibit “The Shadows Took Shape” features over 60 works by 29 artists who examine Afrofuturism from a global perspective. Artists include Cristina de Middel. On view until March 9 at the Studio Museum of Harlem, 144 W. 125th St., tel. 1.212.864.4500,

Jean Paul Gaultier (above)

Tory Burch (below)

This winter, Tory Burch’s must-have bags come in shades of blue, teal and green, with some models sporting dragonflies and scarabs as stylish adornments. Three locations: 38-40 Little W. 12th St., 797 Madison Ave. and 257 Elizabeth St.,

Marc Jacobs (above)

If you’re looking for understated elegance with a dash of punk, then check out Marc Jacobs’ fall/winter 2013-14 collection for men. Highlights include fur-collared coats and smart suits in bright colors and prints. 163 Mercer St., tel. 1.212.343.1490, A 62

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” is an exhibit dedicated to the French couturier. Gaultier’s superbly crafted garments are inspired by the beauty and diversity of global cultures. On view until February 23 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, tel. 1.718.638.5000,

MarcoÇ s (above)

Newly opened Italian restaurant Marco’s features a marble bar, brass fixtures and vintage Paul McCobb chairs. Menu highlights include wood-grilled lamb chops and scallops with juniper grapes and capers. 295 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, tel. 1.718.230.0427,

©Tory Burch, Cristina de Middel, Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation/Harry Ransom Center, Gagosian Shop, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Marco’s, Marlton Hotel, The Refinery, Tao, Topping Rose House, Christopher Wool

Gagosian Shop (left)

Christopher Wool (below)

Tao (left)

The Christopher Wool retrospective showcases a vast selection of paintings, photos and works on paper, forming the most comprehensive examination to date of the artist’s career. On view until January 22 at the Guggenheim, 1071 Fifth Ave., tel. 1.212.423.3500,

New York’s iconic Asian restaurant Tao just opened a gorgeous branch Downtown. Enjoy the glazed salmon with sesame eggplant, curry leaf lobster or crispy Thai pork. Have the Thai coffee custard with mandarin sorbet for dessert. 92 Ninth Ave., tel. 1.212.888.2724,

Topping Rose House (below)

Topping Rose House, which opened in summer 2013, is located in Bridgehampton, two hours’ drive from Manhattan. The property houses a restaurant from chef Tom Colicchio, 22 guestrooms, wellness facilities and an outdoor pool. One Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor Turnpike, tel. 1.631.537.0870,

Norman Bel Geddes (below)

“Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future” is the first major exploration of the US designer’s groundbreaking work. Bel Geddes played a significant role in the ‘20s and ‘30s, shaping America’s image of itself as leader of the future. On view until February 10 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1200 Fifth Ave., tel. 1.212.534.1672,

Hotel Week NYC (above)

New York lovers rejoice! Hotel Week NYC is back, with discounted rates at nearly 30 Manhattan hotels. Rates of $100, $200 and $300 per night are available at various properties, including Gansevoort Park, The Library and The Refinery (pictured here). January 3-12,

The Marlton Hotel (above)

Hotelier Sean MacPherson’s latest project, The Marlton Hotel, opened last September. The stylish boutique property’s decor is inspired by postwar Paris as well as its Greenwich Village location. 5 W. 8th St., tel. 1.212.321.0100, 63 A

A cityscape

Just in Los Angeles

GoldieÇ s (right)

A bastion of modern California cuisine, Goldie’s serves delectable specials like grouper with crispy scales in brown butter and diver scallops with wild herbs. For dessert, try the chocolate chip cookie with mint ice cream. 8422 W. Third St., tel. 1.323.677.2470, New Italian restaurant Bucato is all about pasta. Tapas-like dishes of pappardelle with lamb ragu and tagliatelle with pancetta are ideal for sharing. The restaurant also serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday. 3280 Helms Ave., Culver City, tel. 1.310.876.0286,

Ermenegildo Zegna (below)

Italian menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna opened a luxury flagship in Beverly Hills. Offerings include the Couture collection by new head of design Stefano Pilati. 337 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, tel. 1.310.247.8827,

JG by Tacita Dean (below)

JG is a sequel to FILM, artist Tacita Dean’s 2011 project for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The new film, screening at the Hammer Museum, is inspired by her correspondence with British author JG Ballard. On view from December 21-January 26 at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., tel. 1.310.443.7000,

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland (left) “Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland” is the first American museum exhibit devoted to the two most recognizable figures of 20thcentury erotic art, both forefathers of postwar gay culture. On view until January 26 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, tel. 1.310.657.0800,

David Hockney (right)

British artist David Hockney introduces the exhibit “Seven Yorkshire Landscape Videos,” in which 18 cameras, fixed to his car, record drives through Yorkshire’s landscape. On view until January 26 at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., tel. 1.323.857.6000, A 64

©Bucato, Tacita Dean/Frith Street Gallery/Marian Goodman Gallery, Goldie’s, David Hockney, Tom of Finland Foundation, Ermenegildo Zegna

Bucato (left)



A cityscape

Just in San Francisco

“Matisse from SFMOMA” traces four decades of the artist’s career – from his early, Cézanne-inspired still lifes to his brightly colored figural paintings made in the ‘20s and ‘30s. On view until September 7 at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 100 34th Ave., tel. 1.415.750.3600,

The Art of Bulgari (above)

“The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950-1990” presents about 150 pieces by the Italian jeweler, designed between the ‘50s and the ‘80s, along with sketches and other materials from the Bulgari archives. On view until February 17 at the de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park, tel. 1.415.750.3600,

Alice + Olivia (below)

Stacey Bendet created a whole slew of red and black outfits for Alice + Olivia’s fall/ winter 2013-14 collection. Check out her mini dresses and her flowing, New Year’s Eveinspired gowns. 2259 Fillmore St., tel. 1.415.813.2805,

Chita Rivera (below)

Bay Area Cabaret celebrates its 10th anniversary season with two special performances by two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera. The legendary Broadway star performs songs from West Side Story, Chicago and more. February 23 at 3pm and 7:30pm, The Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., tel. 1.415. 927.4636,

& D I¾ & O D X G H (above)

San Francisco’s celebrated downtown restaurant Café Claude just opened a branch in the Marina. This sister outpost serves traditional bistro-style cooking and features a new Gallic-inspired menu and a low-alcohol aperitif cocktail list. 2120 Greenwich St., tel .1.415.375.9550, A 66

©The Abbots’ Cellar, Alice + Olivia, Antonio Barrella/Studio Orizzonte, Burberry, Café Claude, Camper, Cartoon Art Museum, de Young Museum/Pritzker Fund for Photography, Laura Marie Duncan, Bonjwing Lee, Succession H. Matisse/ARS

Matisse from SFMOMA (left)

The Bay Bridge (left)

Staged to coincide with the completion of the new eastern span of the bridge, “The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, 19331936” presents a group of photos by Peter Stackpole, documenting the landmark’s original construction in the ‘30s. On view from February 1-June 8 at the de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park, tel. 1.415.750.3600,

Burberry (left)

A must-have accessory for winter: Burberry’s leather Little Crush bag, in animal print, with hearts or embellished with hand-applied, polished metal eyelets. 225 Post St., tel. 1.415.392.2200,

Saison (right)

Saison is San Francisco’s most expensive restaurant – and also one of its best. Recipient of two Michelin stars, Saison operates under the helm of executive chef Joshua Skenes, who crafts food that allows diners to experience the essence of each ingredient. 178 Townsend St., tel. 1.415.828.7990,

Sandman (above)

The AbbotÇ s Cellar (left)

Trendy restaurant The Abbot’s Cellar specializes in food and beverage pairings. The changing menu has included pork loin with roasted pumpkin and halibut with shell beans. 742 Valencia St., tel. 1.415.626.8700,

A retrospective exhibit, “Grains of Sand: 25 Years of the Sandman” contains more than 75 pieces of original artwork from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series. On view until March 16 at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., tel. 1.415.227.8666,

Camper (right)

Casual yet stylish, Camper’s Beetle shoe for men comes in black with a red sole and red lining. Start walking. 39 Grant Ave., tel. 1.415.296.1005, 67 A

A cityscape

Just in Toronto

Momofuko Milk Bar (left)

The first international outpost of Momofuko Milk Bar has opened in Toronto. Situated on the second floor of Momofuko restaurant (beside the Shangri-La Hotel), the refrigerated room carries rainbow-sprinkled B’day Truffles and buttery Crack Pies. 190 University Ave., tel. 1.855.333.6455,

Prologue Lifestyle (below)

Bay Streeters are flocking to Prologue Lifestyle for waterless foot treatments, organic facials and post-board meeting massages. The attention to detail is impeccable: iPads in lieu of magazines, leather club chairs, and a wine bar stocked with Niagara vintages. 322 King St. E., tel. 1.416.815.9888,

Mulberry (above)

Formerly a 1902 textile factory in gritty Chinatown, Hotel Ocho is now a chic hotel with 12 cozy rooms designed by local interior firm Dialogue 38. 195 Spadina Ave., tel. 1.416.593.0885,

The Cronenberg Project (right) Drake One Fifty (above)

A bit of hip in the Financial District, Drake One Fifty is a restaurant/bar/art space with a cork ceiling, covered patio and a performance stage. 150 York St., tel. 1.416.363.6150, A 68

“The Cronenberg Project” allows visitors to experience David Cronenberg’s work through a series of multi-platform exhibits including a film retrospective, props, costumes and art that have influenced the film director. On view until January 19 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tel. 1.416.934.3200,

©Drake One Fifty, Hotel Ocho, Mulberry, Prologue Lifestyle, Gabriele Stabile, TIFF Film Reference Library

Hotel Ocho (above)

Mulberry has opened two swish new boutiques in Toronto, perfect for showcasing the luxury brand’s classic leather goods. Designed by Universal Design Studio, the stores feature natural elements like limestone and oak. 3401 Dufferin St., Yorkdale, tel. 1.416.785.9206, and 131 Bloor St. W., Yorkville, tel. 1.416.944.8251,

A cityscape

Just in Caribbean

Hyatt Regency Aruba (right)

For the first three months of 2014, the Hyatt Regency Aruba is offering a 20 percent discount and complimentary breakfast when you book seven nights in advance at the resort. 85 JE Irausquin Blvd., Palm Beach, Aruba, tel. 297.586.1234,

Carlisle Bay (left)

From January 5 to April 26, Gordon Campbell Gray’s Carlisle Bay in Antigua is offering the fully inclusive Super Chill package, which includes accommodation in a beach balcony suite and all meals and drinks for $1,255 per couple per night. Old Rd., St. Mary’s, Antigua, tel. 1.268.484.0000,

The BodyHoliday (left)

Do you want to get in shape before Christmas? If so, St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday has a Pre-Christmas Restorative Break, from December 1 to 21, that includes beach workouts and nutrition and yoga seminars. St. Lucia, tel. 1.758.457.7800,

Copamarina (below)

Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Rico is offering a Romance Package for two until December 21. Starting at $421 per person per night, the package includes accommodation, breakfast, a sunset cruise and more. Guánica, Puerto Rico, tel. 1.800.468.4553,

Puerto Rico’s El Convento is ideal for a family getaway. The hotel’s Old San Juan Vacation Package, at $225 per room per night, includes accommodation, breakfast and lunch for two kids, admission to the beach club and more. 100 Cristo St., Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, tel. 1.787.723.9020,

Gansevoort Turks & Caicos (left)

This winter, the luxurious Gansevoort Turks & Caicos allows guests to stay for seven nights when they pay for only five nights. This special offer includes breakfast for two, with rates beginning at $550 per night. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, tel. 1.649.941.7555, A 70

©The BodyHoliday, Carlisle Bay, Copamarina, El Convento, Gansevoort Hotel Group, Hyatt

El Convento (right)

A cityscape

Just in Dubai

Fleurs (left)

Not simply a new nightclub, but instead a clubbing concept complete with live music and performers, Fleurs offers a blend of dance and R&B with Arabic and Mediterranean influences. Radisson Royal, Sheikh Zayed Rd.,

Messika (below)

Valerie Messika’s feminine and graceful jewelry designs strike a delicate balance between fashion and classic conservatism. Now part of the Ahmed Seddiqi fine jewelry portfolio in Dubai. Visit

Frying Pan Adventures (below)

Area Ahmed’s foodie tours of Old Dubai serve up authentic street fare with steaming shawarmas, Moroccan pastry pies, wood-fired Iraqi fish and Iranian rosewater desserts. Visit

Michael Sailstorfer (above)

Roberto Cavalli Junior (right)

Roberto Cavalli himself was in Dubai for the official launch of his eponymous children’s clothing boutique. Dubai Mall,

Christian Louboutin (left)

Every girl loves a nude heel. Christian Louboutin’s latest techie innovation allows one to color match skin-tone to shoe, from a palette of five hues incorporating fair blush to rich chestnut, in five of their iconic styles. Two locations: Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall, A 72

©Roberto Cavalli, Fleurs, Frying Pan Adventures, Christian Louboutin, Messika, Michael Sailstorfer/Carbon 12

Michael Sailstorfer’s solo show, “Try to Reach the Goal Without Touching the Walls,” explores space and motion, and how we function in the world. On view until January 7 at Carbon 12, Alserkal Ave., tel. 971.4.340.6016,

HUBLOT BOUTIQUE Beirut Souks, Gold Souks Sector Downtown Beirut Lebanon. Phone: +961 ( 1) 999 891 Fax: Mobile: +961 ( 78) 843 853 •

Hublot_Aishti_GoldShiny_230x300.indd 1



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Big B ang S hiny. A ladies’ c hronograph w atch i nf ul polished 1 8K r ed g old w ith a b adorned with 114 diamonds totaling 1.2 carats. Mirror-finish black dial s with 8 diamonds. Strap made of black leather sewn onto rubber.

19.11.13 15:34

A cityscape

Fashion on a Levantine night By MacKenzie Lewis

The fashion event of the season took place last November, on the cobblestone streets of Downtown Beirut. Key trends for fall and winter came together at the exclusive MasterCard Aïshti Fashion Experience Beirut 2013. The annual runway show is Lebanon’s definitive fashion event, and 2013 saw A-list guests, including singers Myriam Fares and Elissa, designer Rami Kadi and TV presenter Hilda Khalife, take up seats in the front row

before Aïshti’s magnificent flagship boutique on El Moutrane Street. Set within the glimmering city skyline, the open-air show featured 14 male and female models flaunting the latest looks from Paris, New York, London and Milan down a 40-meter runway. Texture was the buzzword of the evening, with beading, delicate lace, lustrous silk and tweed appearing across collections.

©Nabil Ismail

Glide down the catwalk to style heaven

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Complexity in cuts gave women’s looks a contemporary spirit, while menswear basics – the blazer, in particular – came into the moment with relaxed pairings, like V-neck T-shirts and wooly turtleneck sweaters. Over 45 looks summarized the season, including pieces from Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Saint Laurent, Céline, Chloé, Prada, Etro, Agent Provocateur, Burberry and Bottega Veneta. An Alessandra Rich dress gave the catwalk show a breathtaking finale. The beauty looks were understated. On the girls, loose, straight tresses complimented soft and radiant makeup by Giorgio Armani. In line with the trend toward mid-century grooming, the boys sported slick, subtly styled hair.

©Nabil Ismail

After the last model had walked the catwalk, Aïshti owner and CEO Tony Salamé announced winners of raffle prizes from Aïshti, MasterCard, Bank Audi and Global Blue. All guests were entered into a drawing for two Aïshti shopping vouchers worth $2,500 (provided by Global Blue and MasterCard), two Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phones and two Samsung Gear watches. Additional gifts included two $2,500 Aïshti vouchers, exclusive to MasterCard and Bank Audi Aïshti cardholders.

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A cityscape

A Beirut mise-en-scâ ne

By Marwan Naaman

Marc Quinn’s seashell bronze sculpture

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When it opened at the end of November, “Squat Beirut” introduced Lebanese audiences to a new concept: a temporary show that blends art and design in a historic, visually breathtaking setting. Set at Metropolitan Art Society (MAS) in Ashrafieh, “Squat Beirut” features an edgy, intriguing mix of contemporary art and design furniture pieces. The show is curated by Nina Yashar, founder of Milan’s prestigious Nilufar Gallery, which is widely recognized as one of Italy’s most important purveyors of historic design pieces and antique Oriental carpets and furnishings. Daniele Balice, owner of the famed Balice Hertling art gallery in Paris, co-curated the show. “Nina had the idea of occupying an empty space and creating a mise-en-scène

that mixes historic and contemporary design,” explained Balice, who flew to Beirut for the show. Balice and Yashar created the first “Squat” show in Paris in 2012, and then the second show, titled “Spot,” also in Paris, in an 18thcentury palace in the fifth arrondissement. For the third edition of their show, they set their sights on Ashrafieh’s beautifully restored Metropolitan Club, which now houses MAS. “Beirut chose us,” said Yashar, who also came to Beirut for the show. “Tony Salamé offered us this magnificent space, and we knew that the Lebanese, being very cosmopolitan, would make the perfect audience.” “Squat Beirut” takes over every nook and cranny of MAS, with each room featuring

©Tony Elieh, Nabil Ismail

Art and design comingle at “Squat Beirut”

Nina Yashar, curator of “Squat Beirut” and owner of Milan’s Nilufar Gallery (top left), Daniele Balice, cocurator of “Squat Beirut” and owner of Balice Hertling art gallery in Paris (top right), “On Defining A” by Alexander May (left) and one of the rooms created at the Metropolitan Art Society as part of “Squat Beirut” (above)

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A cityscape

©Nabil Ismail

This page “Squat Beirut” at Metropolitan Art Society (top and above) and “Homonymes II” by Isabelle Cornaro (right) Opposite page Opening night of “Squat Beirut”

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a distinct mise-en-scène, complete with furniture, design objects, light fixtures, artworks and spectacular rugs. All artworks on display come from Balice Hertling, and they include impressive contemporary pieces by eight artists: Kerstin Braetsch, Nikolas Gambaroff, Sam Falls, Reto Pulfer, Isabelle Cornaro, Alexander May, Greg Parma Smith and Neil Beloufa. “We focused on young, up-and-coming artists,” noted Balice, “All of them love the idea of showing their work in this type of environment.” He added that he was particularly excited about Alexander May’s large canvases, which feature deconstructed sentences and reflect the artist’s obsession with text, and Sam Falls’ stretched fabrics, which echo the artist’s concern with the natural environment. The furniture pieces, which come from Nilufar Gallery, include both vintage and contemporary elements. The

vintage pieces are by Gio Ponti, Renou & Genisset, Michel Boyer, Paul Evans and others, while the contemporary items come courtesy of Zaha Hadid, Karen Chekerdjian, Giacomo Ravagli and more. “I’m the only one who displays carpets [in this type of environment],” said Yashar, pointing to a particularly striking royal blue Chromosome rug by Caturegli and Formica that she placed in one of MAS’s high-ceilinged rooms. “A room without a carpet is impossible,” she added. “A carpet connects all the pieces.” One project that Yashar cherishes is Nilufar Unlimited. Under this label, she works with designers to create pieces that can be assembled over the span of many years. For example, a customer can purchase the Nilufar Unlimited conical bronze chandelier now on display at MAS. Next year, the same customer can buy a second piece and enlarge the same chandelier or change its shape. A third piece will transform the bronze chandelier yet again, allowing the

customer to customize the piece to his or her liking, creating a unique and highly personal design. The artworks and design pieces on display at “Squat Beirut” are available for purchase and fit virtually all budgets. MAS’s mission is to encourage cultural exchange between Western and local artists. The gallery is designed to host temporary exhibits curated by renowned international art dealers and gallerists, with the aim of placing international art squarely within Lebanese culture. MAS’s inaugural show, “East of Eden,” which opened last June and ran until fall, was curated by Massimo de Carlo, owner of MDC art gallery in Milan, and proved to be a great success. “Squat Beirut” is now on view at Metropolitan Art Society, Trabaud St., Ashrafieh, Beirut, tel. 70.366.969. The gallery’s opening hours are WednesdaySunday, 11am-7pm. 79 A

A cityscape

©Nabil Ismail

“Squat Beirut” at Metropolitan Art Society (right and bottom) and an untitled work by Sam Falls (below), also showing as part of “Squat Beirut”

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A playground _ movies

Silver screen gems By Leslie Jirsa

Movies to catch this winter

The year 2013 has been perplexing and scandalous all over the globe – outrageous government antics, agitated international bickering, dismal finance management and questionable personal conduct by some of the world’s most high-profile figures. What better way to toast the end of it all than by reliving the year’s themes on the silver screen? While these winter flicks won’t help you forget the headlines, they’ll at least give you access to pretty people in great clothes who might have it worse.

American Hustle

It’s hard to get past Bradley Cooper’s perm here, but the cast’s low slung pants and hot ‘70s-style comb-overs lead us to con man Irving Rosenfeld and his sexy partner-in-crime, Sydney Prosser. FBI meets mafia, meets con, meets political powerbrokers meets – yes – New Jersey. It’s a skeezy underground party and a great ride. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Cooper.

August: Osage County

Julia Roberts has blown her hair straight for the duration of this film, which is riveting. But perhaps Meryl Streep, playing a dysfunctional bitch with mouth cancer and a brood of tough, now adult daughters, warrants some attention too. Husbands, partners and children join the ensemble, yielding the contemporary, edgy, angry side of Steel Magnolias. August: Osage County is a haughty ramble through deep family dysfunction and what it means to care for family. Starring Streep, Roberts and Ewan McGregor.


Joaquin Phoenix is a lonely writer who falls in love with his computerized operating system. The OS is played by a breathy Scarlett Johansson and indulges everything from big life talk to phone sex. The story is set slightly into the future, enough for us to imagine even more personalized technology than the dirty texts swirling around the news. Starring Phoenix and Johansson. A 96

The Past

This is not a pretty homecoming film, but it touches the soul of international love. Ahmad, an Iranian man, has finally come back to Paris to end his marriage to a French woman after four years gone. New relationships, old pain, children and love all stand in the balance of this French film. Starring Bérénice Bejo.

One Chance

It seems that all humanity will not soon tire of the “Got Talent” theme; perhaps we all want to believe that we can be “it” for a bit in some parallel universe. And in fact, this true story of Paul Potts, a British amateur opera singer with a heart of gold and a heartbreaking life, captures his remarkable road from obscurity to winning Britain’s Got Talent. The story is as heartwarming as it gets. Starring Jemima Rooper, James Corden and Julie Walters.

The Invisible Woman

So many naughty secret lovers this year for so many international leaders! End up risking your political career by sending dirty texts or soliciting a little hotel love? Enjoy this classic throwback affair, then – that of Charles Dickens and the young lass who became his secret lover. Starring Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes and Michelle Fairley.

Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is not a new tale, but it’s a nicely done “how-to” for turning a staycation into a wild escapade. Walter Mitty, an average man living a humdrum life, manages to conjure wild adventures, in which he is the intrepid hero, during a boring trip to town. The tale is writer James Thurber’s most successful short story, and this film is a remake from the 1947 version starring Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty. Starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. 97 A

A playground _ music

Shine Your Light by Gap Dream These are some chilled out grooves with attitude. For his second release, Gabe Fulvimar emailed songs to Bobby Harlow (Conspiracy of Owls), roughening, tightening and darkening the sound. “Shine Your Love,” the lead track, has the fuzzy, lo-fi glow of a psychedelic Beatles song.

Music for the space age What Makes Us Glow by Psapp

Snoring, writhing worms and bone-marima beats are layered with instrumentation on strings and keys to create uplifting, catchy songs that some have called toytronica. Psapp play with the themes of attachment and detachment on their “whirl of an album.”

Some Things Never Stay The Same by Heidecker & Wood

“This is the self-indulgent sophomore album,” say the comedian/musician duo about their new release. What better music to spoof than the ‘70s “studio rats” such as Boz Scaggs, Randy Newman and Pink Floyd? “Cocaine keeps me awake” is the prophetic opening lyric, and it just gets better from there.

Fellow Travelers by Shearwater

Frontman Jonathan Melburg has a confession to make: this album was meant to be at most an EP, a homemade thing, but momentum hit, and it grew and became his favorite release. “Fucked Up Life,” with its poetic lyrics, is a taste of this Austin band’s indie rock style that can veer orchestral, anthemic or old timey.

Back To Land by Wooden Shjips Purgatory/Paradise by Throwing Muses

A decade has passed since the last Throwing Muses album, and the band is back with a bang. Ace musician Kristin Hersh and drummer Dave Narcizo offer up tunes such as “Sunray Venus,” pure scruffy indie rock, with roughedged vocals and jangly guitar. A 98

Woozy and surreal, this Oregon (by way of San Francisco) group’s sound has recently edited its space jams and tightened up. Fans still get the fuzzy feedback and noodling, but wrapped in a more pop-friendly package. “These Shadows” has a dreamy pull, while “Ghouls” goes the psychedelia/fried guitars route.

F E ATU R I N G C H LO E H AY WA R D A B C D B AY É M A L L , G RO U N D F LO O R , L E B A N O N , T. + 9 6 1 4 4 1 7 2 1 7 AG E N T P RO V O C AT E U R .C O M /C O N T RO LYO U R S E L F

A playground _ books

Art Cities of the Future

Phaidon’s new release identifies Beirut as of 12 global cities to watch for exciting contemporary art. Titled Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century AvantGardes, the book devotes an entire section to the Lebanese capital, which, according to local writer and art critic Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, has risen to artistic prominence thanks to such established luminaries as Etel Adnan and Salwa Raouda Choucair, and newer talents like Akram Zaatari, Ziad Antar and Rayyane Tabet. Available across Lebanon.

Take a page

Bulgari Serpenti Collection

Bulgari Serpenti Collection is a decadent, delightful Assouline book dedicated solely to one jewelry line. Jewelry historian Marion Fasel explores the Serpenti collection’s rich heritage and its status as one of Bulgari’s contemporary icons. Available at Aïshti stores.

Fashion Designers

A limited edition Taschen book bound with fabric selected by Miuccia Prada, Fashion Designers showcases the entire collection of clothes held by Manhattan’s Museum at FIT. Peruse designs by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Lacroix and dozens more. Available at Aïshti stores.

Elie Saab

Lebanon’s most illustrious fashion designer, Elie Saab creates spectacular gowns that have made him the darling of international stars and celebrities, including Marion Cotillard, Halle Berry, Queen Rania of Jordan and many more. New Assouline book Elie Saab takes a look at Saab’s background and beautifully details his glorious designs. Available at Aïshti stores.


Director of photography Stéphane Cojot-Goldberg spent over two years, from 2008 to 2010, traveling around the world and capturing every moment of his journey on camera. Mapless, a limited edition book published in October, is a breathtaking photo chronicle of the 30 countries he visited. Available by email order at A 100

Bérénice Vila Baudry’s new Assouline book, French Style, highlights France’s innovations, from universal human rights to the bikini, and from gastronomic delights to Nouvelle Vague cinema, all with lavish photographs and informative text. Available at Aïshti stores.

©Assouline, Stéphane Cojot-Goldberg, Phaidon, Taschen

French Style

A fashion _ party gowns

Let the good times show By Grace Banks

Dolce & Gabbana

There’s something about the holiday season: the endless party invites, reflective textures just about everywhere and cold weather that encourages you to wear lush, warm fabrics. The most wonderful time of the year also demands the most wonderful party gowns of the season. Thankfully, winter’s trophy dresses are looks we can seriously commit to – here’s a look at the highlights.


Christopher Kane Dior

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White’s timeless mood is perfect for Christmas celebrations, as Dior lets the shade blaze into life for night. Delicately injected with surreal Andy Warhol illustrations, the gown’s sculpted folds wouldn’t be out of place at a Mia Farrow soiree circa 1960. Dolce & Gabbana’s lace dress hinted toward white’s sensual side, more at home frolicking in the Trevi fountain, La Dolce Vita style, than an Upper East Side rooftop. Be it a monochrome funnel neck at Roberto Cavalli, or Jenny Packham’s densely beaded Renaissance regality, the message is clear: one sensational dress is all you need.

©Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Erdem, Christopher Kane, Lanvin, Jenny Packham, Saint Laurent

Grab a sexy celebration frock

Roberto Cavalli

Lanvin Jenny Packham

Erdem offers the chance to experiment with the couture features of floral beaded embroidery. The designer fused fierce ruby and sapphire buds onto his black cocktail dress, offering a fresh way to play with sleeves and formalwear. If glitzy flowers don’t make the grade, Lanvin’s moody black roses add a sense of playful drama to the label’s fuchsia prom dress. Christopher Kane’s use of metallics, blue and, quite simply, fluffiness, adheres to the dress code of the woman who wants to wear the most amusing outfit she can possibly find. With its intended tinsel effect and Mary Jane shoe accessorizing, this is evening dressing filtered through a Sofia Coppola lens. At legendary French maison Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane threw the rule book out the window and teamed everything with a plaid shirt: tie yours around the waist if you dare.

Saint Laurent

Oscar de la Renta

Are you yearning for a Christmas season with a historical bent? Channel Russian literary heroines in Oscar de la Renta’s green and brown print dress. To spend the evening in a mass of intentionally quirky textures, dramatic lines and jewelry box colors is to take part in the drama of evening dressing and the frivolity of the holiday season. We’ll take one in each size. 103 A

A fashion _ fur

Furry extravagance

Saint Laurent

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Winter furs are more dazzling than ever

Over-the-top imagination and dramatic decadence were winter’s fur messages, as designers showed a new fascination for the ultra-luxurious material. Shedding its bourgeois and boring image of decades past, fur now has an edgy look thanks to new construction techniques and treatments. Vibrant hues, ultra shaggy textures, intricate patchwork and seductive shearing emerged as trends among the innovative renditions of precious pelts on catwalks across Milan, New York and Paris.

Roberto Cavalli

Prabal Gurung

ŠRoberto Cavalli, Prabal Gurung, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Saint Laurent, Jason Wu

By Stephanie Epiro


Marc Jacobs

Jason Wu

Topping the ultra-creative – and brilliantly colorful – furs, were Karl Lagerfeld’s designs for Fendi. Equipped with a fur atelier since the Roman fashion brand opened its doors in 1925, Fendi’s fur artisans have adapted their workmanship to Lagerfeld’s newfangled ideas, even dipping some pelts in 24-karat gold. And for Fendi’s winter wardrobe, fur covers everything, the bags, bangles, booties and sunglasses topped with a fur Mohawk for hair. The real statementmakers are Fendi’s spectacular coats. One

roomy collarless knee-length piece in beige features vertical inlaid lines of crimson and cobalt fur, recalling a fashionable take on a barcode. And another hot pink and black showstopper fronts a shaggy double fringe of fur. This is the sort of outerwear that will get you noticed in a snowstorm. Shaggy furs are also the look at Roberto Cavalli, who engineered them in glossy black fox sprouting tufts of indigo, red or white fur to top his dark seductresses. 105 A

A fashion _ fur



The showgirls and songstresses who dress in Dsquared 2 to turn heads will covet the brand’s floaty fur coat, embellished with real feathers so it looks like an exotic bird. Wild stripes – achieved through intricate patchwork techniques – decorate the long and short fox chubbies at Altuzurra and Balenciaga, melding extravagance with elegance for fashionable uptown ladies.

and Marc Jacobs. Plush fox coats and shrugs designed by Marc Jacobs would make any silhouette smolder, but the designer kept the clothes underneath in the same vein, with curve-skimming pencil skirts and liquid satin dresses. Marni morphed fabrics into furs, with brushed out, fuzzy mohair on a boxy coat and skirt.

For those who like their furs to endure a few winters, designers honed a new staple coat. In sumptuous shades of beige, champagne and optic white, the cuts are longer silhouettes with lapel collars. Jason Wu’s standout fur coat is pure white, but it looks more seductive than angelic with its high shoulders, cinched waist and sculptured shaving. Ladylike furs, best paired with red lipstick and silk dresses, are found at Marni A 106

Saint Laurent’s oversized, strongshouldered fur coats resembled valuable vintage finds by ‘90s grunge fashionistas, while hot designer Prabal Gurung relished the dichotomy of fur’s new inventiveness and its classic appeal in his winter collection. His lavishly soft fox fur collars can loop around any coat for an instant touch of opulence, and a strikingly modern scarlet and black patchwork coat is made for killer entrances.


©Altuzarra, Balenciaga, Dsquared2, Fendi


A fashion _ jackets

Zip up, button down

By Robert Landon

Look to Italy for superstylish winter jackets Upon receiving an invitation to an aperô soigné, an old friend lamented the fact she was born a woman. She hates playing dressup, but she was going to have to parade before a bunch of sleek French dignitaries. So she knew the fashion knives were going to be out. And that meant running out to get something very much cette saison – or pay the price.



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But if she were a man, she told me, she would only need to throw a half-decent blazer on top of last year’s shirt, jeans and shoes, and everyone would think she (or should I say “he?”) looked positively dashing. And she has a point. The right blazer can, by itself, make a fellow look natty. And in these days when business casual is the new black tie, a jacket is all a guy needs to go from casual lunch to aperô soigné. Still, my friend makes it all sound so easy. She just doesn’t understand the sheer volume, variety and velocity with which men’s jackets are being launched this season.

©Bottega Veneta, Canali, Corneliani, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna

Bottega Veneta

Dolce & Gabbana Ermenegildo Zegna



First of all, there are the fabrics. Prada is introducing a series of blazer-like leather jackets in wonderfully crinkly textures and rich monotones, from yellow kid and fire-engine red to shiny black. By contrast, Ermenegildo Zegna has given the classic windbreaker an enticingly textural twist by rigging it up with a fabric halfway between velvet and fake fur. Fendi offers its own sleek variation on the blazer, with a chocolate-brown jacket lined with fur and sporting just the right hint of plaid. Corneliani also makes a bold statement, with two different tones of gray placed in a bold geometrical rhythm on an English-style blazer – plus a sharp line to emphasize the narrow-cut waist.



At the fancy-pants end of the spectrum, Dolce & Gabbana raises the stakes on the smoking jacket with rich floral embroidery, a feminine touch belied by the strong, classical cut. Etro goes yet one step further with their wide-cut gold

blazer. It doesn’t get swisher than this, with every golden shade, from butter to copper, as well as stylized floral motifs. Bottega Veneta is, of course, all about exquisite materials married with master craftsmanship, and this year their jackets have the usual subtle richesse. The label sticks mostly to rich tones of gray and black, with an occasional color pop thrown into a half-hidden lining. However, it is the sleek black blazer and vest, festooned with a shining black piping along the lapel, which had me turning my head. Speaking of color pops, Gucci does not disappoint with its rich variation on tomato red, including a fur-lined suede number that I would happily sell off capital to acquire. Or you can go even brighter with Canali, who is launching a fiery woolen jacket that looks like a modified pea coat. A chocolaty brown fur actually manages to make the red of the fabric seem even more saturated. So you see, the idea of the men’s jacket is simple. But this year, the choices are hard indeed! A 109

A fashion _ women’s trends

The fashion smorgasbord By Grace Banks

Assembling the ultimate winter wardrobe is pure fashion math Interpret the new season as the perfect chance to cherry pick the trends you’ll be wearing. Whether you’re tempted by the drama of Marc Jacobs’ historical nods or are more inclined to reinvent yourself through Prabal Gurung’s kilts and knitwear, mix your trends together to ensure a most stylish winter.

History class

From curvaceous baroque temptresses to Vermeer’s austere kitchen maids, this is a season in which fashion salutes the past. The embroidery on Prabal Gurung’s silk monochrome dress is like something from an 18thcentury Fabergé egg, and the perfect way to channel a sense of history. If you’re feeling a little more daring, look to Marc Jacobs’ flowing Ophelia dresses, and get carried away by the fantasy of it all.

miu miu


Never has the hardwearing old overcoat had so much relevance, from brightly colored and fluffy to belted and off the shoulder, the oversized thick “chubby” is the season’s double-take piece. What do miu miu’s burnt orange puffa, Céline’s tactile fuzzy pink jacket and Prada’s chestnut pelts have in common? You can wear them all as an outfit in themselves.

Prabal Gurung

Marc Jacobs

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©Céline, Gucci, Prabal Gurung, Marc Jacobs, Marni, miu miu, Prada

Chubby coats

Modern kilts

Look anywhere this season and you’ll see a kilt. The imaginations of Marni and Prabal Gurung have taken this piece way beyond its Scottish connotations: all you need to look out for is fabric and texture. Gurung’s micro-kilt in grungy green is elevated to another realm when worn with a voluminous knit and knee-high boots, while Marni’s ash design features thigh-baring slits along each of the pleats.

Prabal Gurung


Top tartan



Tartan is the season’s inescapable pattern. At Céline, Phoebe Philo’s primary-colored checks adorn jumpers, pencil skirts and trainers – and will be your most hardworking daywear pieces. Gucci’s dogtooth-print dress is the definition of how to wear a pattern in the evening. 111 A

A fashion _ men’s trends

Maison Martin Margiela



To go from power lunch to cocktail hour in style, opt for dapper uniforms in the season’s hottest colors, spotted all over the winter runways. We have the memo on the best pieces from Prada, Dior Homme, Burberry and more.

shirt, gray pants or as a total look, playing with prints and textures. Etro’s velvet burgundy jacket is just chic enough for a laidback meeting or an early dinner – and very trendy when paired with a similarly colored and slightly oversized turtleneck sweater. Burberry’s shiny leather trench is for a more outgoing man – an elegant piece that can be worn with a shirt for day or even a sweater at night. Too much? Invest in an elegant tomato red cashmere jacket that’ll keep you warm and fashionable: Maison Martin Margiela’s tone-on-tone red and burgundy looks are the perfect fit for a creative man – an architect, perhaps – a true classic with just enough

A colorful gent Three shades of winter

Red, red wine

Call it maroon, claret, oxblood or burgundy, this is pretty much the color of wine. Shiny, matte, velvety, textured or printed, it lends old world sophistication to any outfit without making an over-the-top statement – like orange or mustard, two other trendy colors for winter. Wear this rich hue with a white A 112

©Burberry, Canali, Dior Homme, Gucci, Maison Martin Margiela, Prada

By Shirine Saad


Dior Homme


shine for sex appeal. Seeking a more classical cut? Opt for Canali’s plush velvet sports coat.

it looks trendy and just edgy enough. The belted look also carries on a Dior Homme, albeit in more sober colors. A full gray suit, vest and tie, as seen on the Bottega Veneta runway, is the summit of masculine elegance. Diesel’s sportswear-inspired suits are luxurious and cool for those who have the style (and figure) to pull them off. Of course, every man needs a gray winter jacket; Gucci’s version, in fur and offering an impeccable cut, is a great choice.

add sparkle to winter outfits, especially when it comes in satin or velvet. Tonalities vary from periwinkle to electric blue and sapphire. At Canali, choices in blue include a stylish striped blue suit and a fitted royal blue velvet jacket. Prada’s blue blazers, on the other hand, are best worn with a mustard sweater and gray pants – a fresh twist on the dandy look. Dior Homme’s minimalist, military-inspired blue coats can work for day or night and even for the weekend. Or go for Roberto Cavalli’s slightly outrageous look, pairing a dark blue animal-print blazer with open-toe sandals.

Touch of gray

A true basic, gray is replacing black as the go-to neutral of the season – and it’s best worn as a total look. From lighter tones to charcoals, and from wool and cotton to velvet and tweed, you can pick the color and texture that best suits your style and skin tone – and then play with contrasts. Paired with a colorful striped sweater or a print shirt at Prada, a light gray suit exudes a youthful, relaxed vibe. Belted and worn with a graphic, white and red shirt at Iceberg,

A life aquatic

While it’s harder to pull off a bright blue than a safer navy, blue is a lovely way to

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A fashion _ brand

A stitch in history By MacKenzie Lewis

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When Henry Sands Brooks founded H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. in 1818, his intention was to make and sell the country’s finest quality clothing. It was a lofty goal for a Manhattan corner shop, but if history is any indication, Brooks and his sons (the famed Brooks Brothers) have succeeded. Evidence of the Brooks family’s craftsmanship fills the pages of history books, if you know where to look. James Madison, fourth president of the United States, favored the brand, as did Ulysses S. Grant, who ordered Brooks Brothers uniforms for Union officers during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln wore a made-to-

©Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers, America’s famed menswear label, garners 21stcentury fans

measure Brooks Brothers coat to his second inauguration; that same coat accompanied him on his fateful trip to the theater, the day he was assassinated.

Bryant, Mad Men’s award-winning costume designer, designed a limited edition Mad Men Edition suit for Brooks Brothers customers in the United States.

After the JFK presidency – and another two years of Brooks Brothers in the White House – the man in the gray flannel suit ushered in hippies and grunge rockers; suits and brogues forfeited closet space to jeans and sneakers. But over the last decade, young men, bored with the dress-down uniform, started raiding their dapper grandfathers’ closets. Style blogs like The Sartorialist and Art Comes First amassed followers with close-up shots of pocket squares as Humphrey Bogart and Paul Newman (both fans of Brooks Brothers) replaced Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain as style icons.

Jay Gatsby may have been fiction, but his real-life creator, F. Scott Fitzgerald, could easily have worn Brooks Brothers while churning out pages of The Great Gatsby; he mentioned the brand in two of his books. It was only logical then that the male cast of Baz Luhrman’s Gatsby film adaptation, out last May, be dressed in the author’s favorite brand (requiring 1,700 pieces in total). The movie’s sartorial subplot sparked the launch of The Great Gatsby collection, available in Brooks Brothers stores for a short time earlier this year.

Rather than sit back and wait for the street style set to discover Brooks Brothers, the brand courted partners that would tap into its history while appealing to a new client. Brooks Brothers began dressing main characters on Mad Men, working with the show’s wardrobe team to create historically accurate menswear looks. Of the collaboration, Luca Gastaldi, Brooks Brothers CEO EMEA, says, “[Mad Men] has taken the public on a nostalgic trip back to the early ‘60s. It gives a smart lesson on American fashion history, and therefore on Brooks Brothers as an important milestone of American history, let alone of its fashion.” The ‘60s was a time, he says, “where women and men knew how to dress for all occasions, and look sharp, understated and impeccable.” The buzz around the show became as much about the costumes as the plot, so Janie

Brooks Brothers certainly isn’t the only classic brand to explore new partnerships, but what differs is its approach. There are no graffitied-attaches or neon trousers; the brand never faltered on its identity, but instead looked to its archives for new inspiration. One of Brooks Brothers’ most recently buzzed-about suits is the Fitzgerald, an ever-so-slightly updated version of the suit JFK stepped out in back in 1961. Pieces from The Great Gatsby collection, including several sold-out bowties, could just as well have come from Mr. Brooks’ earliest designs. That authenticity, that history, is what attracts fans, from US president Barack Obama to Ben Affleck, Channing Tatum and the baby-faced cast of Glee. “Fashion trends come and go,” says Gastaldi of what is now the oldest menswear store in America, “but we’ve proven that a desire for fine quality and good taste endures.” 115 A

A fashion _ eveningwear

The red and the black: glorious gowns Photographer Bachar Srour Stylist Joy Kaddoura

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Left: Stella McCartney dress, LL7,612,500; Jimmy Choo shoes, LL1,140,000 Right: Balenciaga dress, LL5,992,500

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A fashion _ eveningwear

Left: Jenny Packham dress, LL15,502,500 Right: Roberto Cavalli dress, LL22,717,500; Saint Laurent shoes, LL1,755,000

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Left: Persy dress, LL1,815,000 Right: Dolce & Gabbana dress, LL8,662,500; Saint Laurent shoes, LL1,312,500

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A fashion _ eveningwear

Left: Jenny Pachkam dress, LL15,945,000 Right: Stella McCartney dress, LL3,802,500

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Left: Jason Wu dress, LL10,245,000 Right: Saint Laurent dress, LL8,542,500; Saint Laurent shoes LL1,312,500. Available at A誰shti stores.

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A fashion _ gifts

Give it all to me Photographer Tony Elieh Stylist Jessy Moussallem

Dior shoes, LL1,155,000; Prada gloves, LL585,000; Bottega Veneta wallet, LL810,000; Albanu bracelet from Sylvie Saliba, LL1,260,000; Cartier watch, LL13,111,500; Zegna belt, LL375,000; Bulgari key chain, LL338,000

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A fashion _ gifts

Dolce & Gabbana bag, LL3,795,000

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Saint Laurent fur jacket, LL19,665,000

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A fashion _ gifts

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Gucci belt, LL1,185,000; Gucci gloves, LL1,065,000; Gucci boots, LL2,962,500; Marc Jacobs sunglasses, LL540,000; Juicy Couture iPhone case, LL60,000; Dsquared2 earrings, LL1,072,500; Gucci heels, LL1,642,500; Roberto Cavalli clutch, LL3,112,500

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A fashion _ gifts

This page, beginning from the left with the polka dot tie Zegna, LL330,000; Zegna, LL255,000; Corneliani, LL210,000; Faรงonnable, LL195,000; Zegna, LL330,000; Zegna, LL330,000 Opposite page Prada suitcase, LL2,880,000

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Dior bag, LL8,092,500; Gianvito Rossi heels, LL1,050,000; Marc Jacobs pochette, LL217,500; CĂŠline wallet, LL960,000; Fendi clutch, LL4,672,500; H.Stern ring from Sylvia Saliba, LL13,200,000; Maison Martin Margiela necklace, LL1,297,500; Maison Martin Margiela bracelet, LL1,410,000; Marc Jacobs iPhone case, LL825,000

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A fashion _ gifts

This page, clockwise from the left pair of gloves Prada, LL1,132,500; Etro, LL622,500; Gucci, LL1,042,500; Dior, LL1,702,000; The Kooples, LL247,500 Opposite page, beginning with the wallet on the right Saint Laurent in red, LL870,000; Dolce & Gabbana in red, LL930,000; Balenciaga in red, LL930,000; Dolce & Gabbana in red, LL817,500; Gucci in orange, 945,000; Prada in orange, 862,500; Stella McCartney in yellow, LL562,000; Céline in yellow, LL975,000; Chloé in yellow, LL817,500. Available at Aïshti stores unless otherwise indicated.

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A fashion _ heartbreaker

Wild orchid ©Cartier

Cartier has captured the elegance of the world’s most beautiful flower with its Caresse d’Orchidées ring. This luxurious, heart-stopping piece is made from white gold, black lacquer and precious diamonds. Price available upon request. Available at Cartier in Downtown Beirut.

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Every shade of art Red heat Winter green

Every shade of art Photographer Marco Pietracupa Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Location Metropolitan Art Society, Ashrafieh, Beirut

She’s in a top, LL3,892,500; skirt, LL3,667,500; sunglasses, LL525,000; ring, LL1,380,000; and heels, LL1,582,500, all by Dior. Dior. Her bag is by Charlotte Olympia, Olympia, LL2,910,000. He’s wearing Zegna pants, LL1,155,000; a Prada sweater, LL1,320,000; and Moreschi shoes, LL1,020,000 Art: Kaari Upson’s “Identical Twins (Jouissance)”

This page She’s wearing a miu miu top, LL1,522,500; miu miu pants,LL1,140,000; Jimmy Choo shoes, LL1,192,500; and Marni earrings, LL405,000. Her bag is by Jimmy Choo, Choo, LL1,320,000 Art: Ryan McGinnes’ “The Need to Know” Opposite page She’s wearing a Stella McCartney jumpsuit, LL1,912,500; Prada shoes, LL1,320,000; and an Etro necklace, LL1,140,000. Her bag is by Prada Prada,, LL2,565,000 Art: Rob Pruitt’s “Blonde Lifeguard.” Pruitt teamed up with Jimmy Choo to create a capsule collection of bags and footwear, launched in early 2013.

This page He’s wearing a Dior top, LL2,205,000 Art: Piotr Uklanski’s “Untitled (Equinox)” Opposite page She’s wearing a Stella McCartney dress, LL3,682,500; and she’s carrying a Mawi clutch, LL1,387,500. He’s wearing a Prada shirt, LL742,500; Dolce & Gabbana suit, LL2,865,000; and Moreschi shoes, LL1,020,000

This page She’s wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress, LL4,417,500; and Fendi shoes, LL2,040,000; and she’s carrying a Roberto Cavalli clutch, LL,3,112,500 Art: Thomas Houseago’s “Monument (Tujunga Night)” Opposite page She’s wearing a Céline skirt, LL2,610,000; Céline top, LL3,037,500; Prada shoes, LL1,320,000; and Delfina Delettrez necklace, LL2,028,000. Her bag is by Diane von Furstenberg, Furstenberg, LL652,500. He’s wearing a Prada polo shirt, LL1,290,000; Zegna pants, LL795,000; and Zegna shoes, LL1,275,000

This page She’s wearing an Altuzarra skirt, LL1,852,500; Etro shirt, LL1,035,000; and Marni earrings, LL495,000 Art: Yan Pei Ming’s “Flowers from the East, Flowers from the West” Opposite page She’s wearing a Saint Laurent top, LL3,195,000; Paul & Joe pants, LL1,432,500; Balenciaga bracelet, LL532,500; and Le Silla shoes, LL1,065,000. Her bag is by Saint Laurent, LL3,502,500 Art: Untitled by John Armleder

She’s wearingThis page She’s in a Pucci jumpsuit, LL2,955,000; and she’s carrying a Céline bag, LL3,375,000 Art: Piotr Uklanski’s “Untitled (Electro Exotic)” Opposite page He’s wearing a Prada blazer, LL2,295,000; Prada pants, LL855,000; Fendi shirt, LL840,000; and Dior tie, LL270,000 Art: Marc Quinn’s “Color Flower Painting” Hair and makeup Roman Gasser from WM Management Models Petra Hegedus and Stef Callebout from Why Not

Red heat Photographer Marco Pietracupa Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Car Jaguar F-Type convertible 2014

She’s wearing a Balenciaga top, LL772,500; Pucci hat, LL592,500; La Morenita necklace LL277,500; and Persy earrings LL592,500

She’s in an Alexandre Vauthier dress, LL2,542,500; and Lara Bohinc ring, LL720,000. Her clutch is by Sara Battaglia, LL1,815,000

She’s wearing Gianvito Rossi heels, LL1,080,000; and a Lara Bohinc ring, LL720,000. Her clutch is by Sara Battaglia, LL1,815,000

She’s in a Maison Martin Margiela dress, LL2,820,000; and Delfina Delettrez bracelet, LL528,000. Her clutch is by Jimmy Choo, LL1,597,500

She’s in Gianvito Rossi heels, LL1,987,500

She’s in a Giambattista Valli jumpsuit, LL4,387,500; and Alexis Bittar bracelet, LL592,500. Her bag is by Zagliani, LL2,662,500

She’s in a Giambattista Valli jumpsuit, LL4,387,500; Casadei shoes, LL19,800,000; Burberry belt, LL997,500; and Alexis Bittar bracelet LL592,500. Her bag is by Zagliani, LL2,662,500

She’s carrying a Saint Laurent clutch, LL1,942,500; and wearing a Delfina Delettrez ring, LL1,932,000

She’s wearing a Balenciaga top, LL1,402,500; Alexander McQueen sunglasses, LL750,000; and Maison Martin Margiela necklace, LL1,297,500. Her clutch is by Le Silla, LL3,292,500

She’s in Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, LL1,747,500

She’s in a Dior jacket,LL4,012,500; and Jitrois skirt, LL2,422,500. Her bag is by Balenciaga, LL2,227,500

She’s carrying a Jimmy Choo clutch, LL2,640,000

She’s in a Marc Jacobs dress, LL9,442,500; Casadei shoes, LL1,980,000; Persy ring, LL1,027,500; and Dsquared2 bracelet LL382,500. Her clutch is by Jimmy Choo, LL11,597,500. Available at Aïshti stores. Hair and makeup Roman Gasser from WM Management Model Dagna Klepaczka from Why Not

Winter green Photographer Marco Pietracupa Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Location Barouk, Shouf mountains, Lebanon

She’s wearing a Fendi fur, LL16,680,000; The Kooples scarf, LL247,500; Céline bodysuit, LL742,500; and Prada boots, LL2,377,500

This page She’s in a Céline bodysuit, LL742,500; Marni fur, LL5,902,500; Prada boots, LL2,377,500; and Roberto Cavalli earrings, LL1,035,000 Opposite page She’s wearing a Céline bodysuit, LL742,500; Prada boots, LL2,377,500; and Maison Martin Margiela cape, LL847,500

She’s wearing a Céline vest, LL3,037,500; Céline bodysuit, LL742,500; Prada boots, LL2,377,500; Prada hat, LL3,810,000; Tory Burch necklace, LL742,500; and Belstaff shorts, LL2,175,000. Her bag is by Barbara Bonner, LL1,755,000

She’s wearing an Inès & Maréchal cape, LL10,987,500; Céline pants, LL4,387,500; Fendi bodysuit, LL2,880,000; and Marc by Marc Jacobs boots, LL1,035,000

This page She’s in a Pucci cape, LL8,917,500; Pucci dress, LL4,327,500; and Marc by Marc Jacobs boots, LL1,035,000 Opposite page She’s in a Balenciaga top, LL1,867,500

She’s wearing a Gucci top, LL7,822,500; Blancha vest, LL2,122,500; and Alexis shorts LL570,000. Available at Aïshti stores. Hair and makeup Roman Gasser from WM Management Model Dagna Klepaczka from Why Not

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Available at A誰zone stores 01 99 11 11

A beauty _ makeup

Party perfect Makeup for every festive occasion

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According to the great sage of elegance, Coco Chanel, “It is always better to be slightly underdressed.” On a similar, yet contradictory note, Oscar Wilde (perhaps not quite Chanel’s equal in the style stakes, but a glamorous figure nonetheless) declared: “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” At the crux is the eternal dilemma of appearing appropriate for the occasion, in which the ideal scenario is, of course, getting it just right. Whether one is considering attire or makeup, the conundrum is the same, but this season, seek inspiration from the big beauty houses for party perfection.

Eye-catching at Chanel There is a button on the Chanel website labeled “Buy the Entire Collection.” This could seem ridiculous, but it’s actually a darn good idea. A capsule collection of just 11 limited edition products, the line includes a few real stars that lift it from merely evening makeup to gala-gorgeousness: the shimmering bronze precision eye-liner; the loose powder in Moonlight with wonderful photo-reflective pigments for an air-brushed finish; and the spectacularly sparkling top coat Mascara Gel Irisé, to add real impact when applied over your everyday black mascara.

©Chanel, Dior, Lancôme

By Charlotte Colquhoun

Devastating in Dior Something in-between black-tie formality and casual soiree? Dior’s Golden Winter holiday offering could be just the ticket. Gold, in fact, defines this throng, which is inspired by the allure of Versailles on a winter night, glistening with gilt and pearls and the drama of a historic location. The Diorific Perfumed Illuminating Powder, with a hint of the much loved scent J’Adore, stands out from the crowd, as does the magnificent Diorific Duo Nails caviar manicure set for brilliantly embellished nails. 3 U H F LR X V V LOY H U I U R P / DQ F ¾ P H Someone at Lancôme said “silver,” and boy did they run with that theme. This is the ultimate look for a laid-back evening that still calls for some festive flair. These days, we demand almost as much from the packaging as from the product to announce its luxury credentials. Here the former practically dominates with Swarovski crystal-embedded lipstick sleeves. We defy any warm-blooded female not to feel a little lust for these glitzy numbers. The shades scream “stare at me” in super-bright red Caprice or orange-red Rouge Étincelle (a vintage hue first created in 1955).

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A beauty _ breacial

Ready to bare it all By Katherine Siciliano Grigelis

Get a Breacial and show off your décolleté

In a previous issue of A magazine, we revealed LA’s hottest skincare trend, the Vajacial, which is a one-of-a-kind treatment for your private parts, i.e. your vagina (see “Skincare down there,” Apr/May 2013, p.160). It’s only natural, then, for us to explore the blissful sister treatment to the Vajacial, the Breacial. You guessed it, this skincare regimen is designed to beautify and rejuvenate your breasts, while foregoing all cosmetic and surgical procedures. The revolutionary Breacial (or breast facial) is offered at New York’s Juvenex Spa in Midtown Manhattan, and it’s so popular that it’ll probably be only a matter of time before this treatment is available at spas across the globe.

The treatment begins with a mild cleanser, which is applied to the skin and then swiftly wiped away. The next step is a gentle exfoliating scrub that is softly massaged and left to do its own sloughing and beautifying of the skin. After rinsing the exfoliant, a mud and essential oil mask is applied to the breast area, causing a pleasant tingle as the mask penetrates the skin. The finishing touch is a tender but vigorous massage with a marine-inspired lotion across the entire chest area, stimulating the senses and promoting lymphatic drainage. The rich lotion disappears into a warm glow and leaves you with skin that is soft, smooth and ready to bare at the beach or in that little black dress with the plunging neckline. A 186


The Breacial buffs the normally overlooked skin that is modestly hidden under a towel during the usual massages and scrubs. It’s essentially an uplifting facial for the breast skin that utilizes a blend of marine algae, combined with fango, botanicals and essential oils, to tone and firm the delicate breast skin and décolleté. The Breacial is highly recommended for general lymphatic drainage, skin tightening and circulation, and it’s especially beneficial after weight loss, pregnancy or illness.

A beauty _ skincare

Beauty after the party

By Charlotte Colquhoun

Party season sure is fun, but your skin isn’t likely to think so with the ravages of overindulging, merrymaking into the small hours and donning more makeup. These key active ingredients work to combat the damages brought on by late-night debauchery. Sea kelp and blue algae Uniting some of Crème de la Mer’s key players, the Ageless Collection combines classic Crème de la Mer, The Regenerating Serum, The Eye Concentrate and The Lifting Intensifier. This lineup is intended to renew, rejuvenate and revitalize, fueled by the Miracle Broth, which has been fermented from nourishing sea kelp. Repairing the ruins of revelry is a task best matched to The Lifting Intensifier; dotted onto problem areas it instantly tightens the skin’s surface and promotes production of collagen and elastin, to rebuild facial support. Camellia and blue ginger Designed to address rehydration, Chanel’s

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Hydra Beauty offering couldn’t be better suited to the festive season. The latest additions, Hydra Beauty Essence Mist and Hydra Beauty Gel Yeux, are perhaps the most fitting new recruits for post-party facial rehab. Utilizing the moisturizing properties of Camellia Alba PFA (an ultrarefined extract of the camellia flower) and an ultra-pure active ingredient from blue ginger, the facial mist enriches with Vitamin C and E and skin-boosting Hyaluronic acid. Spritz over makeup to refresh before heading out. Pat on the eye gel at the end of a long evening to combat the telltale signs of late-night celebrations. Royal jelly and honey Two star releases from Guerlain offer the promise of youth in a bottle. An expansion of their hugely successful Abeille Royale range, this wrinkle correcting, firming and lifting collection welcomes a wonderful Face Treatment Oil rich in amino acids from Ouessant honey, produced in the protected, pesticide-free environment of Ouessant Island off the coast of Brittany. With a grease-free feel, this melts into the skin, supporting contours and renewing elasticity. Rather more patience is required, but even more impressive results are promised, from the One-Month Youth Treatment. The historically revered antiaging assets of royal jelly are encapsulated in Guerlain’s golden caviar. At home the Royal Jelly Concentrate is poured into the activating cream, creating a fresh treatment to last one month. Significantly greater radiance and luminosity are on the cards.

©Chanel, Guerlain, La Mer

Skin savior

A beauty _ must-haves

Time to dazzle Chanel’s makeup look captures the festive holiday spirit 4.

3. 2. 1.

7. 6.

1. Chanel Le Vernis, Nail Color No. 677, Rouge Rubis

3. Dior Diorshow Mono, Wet & Dry Backstage Eyeshadow No. 623

/ DQ F ¾ P H Artliner, Gentle Felt Eyeliner Intense Line No. 1

2. Chanel Joues Contraste, Powder Blush No. 86, Discrétion

4. Giorgio Armani Fluid Master Primer

6. Chanel Rouge Allure, Luminous Intense Lip Color No. 217, Radieuse

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7. Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill, Silk Eyeshadow No. 11 8. Saint Laurent Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect No. 1, Baby Doll

©Chanel, Raya Farhat


A誰shti, Downtown Beirut 01. 99 11 11

ŠJoe Kesrouani

A celebrity _ director

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Lights, camera, life By May Farah

Lebanese filmmaker Leila Kanaan reveals her next move After years of directing hugely successful music videos with some of the biggest names in Lebanon, Leila Kanaan is taking a break – both temporary and permanent. The former from directing (and creating); the latter from music videos. If Kanaan’s plans hold true, her final music video direction was in 2012, with Nancy Ajram’s clip of children’s music. “I don’t think there’s anything left I can say or do,” says Kanaan at her home in Broummana. “In the past few years, I’ve told the stories I can tell.” She recognizes that these music videos, many of which were with household names – Haifa and Ajram, among others – and enormous budgets, have given her a following, and cemented her reputation among able directors, but, as she says, “How many times can you frame the same lyrics about love and loss in a new and creative way?” Besides, Kanaan was trained as a filmmaker – she studied cinema at Lebanon’s IESAV – and making movies is her passion. Filmmaking, she hopes, is the next step, her future. “When you graduate in Lebanon, the only way to begin, to demonstrate your abilities, is through music videos or ads; otherwise

there are no means to show your style, your credibility,” she tells me, connecting the lack of opportunity with the general lack of appreciation for culture in Lebanon. What Kanaan has injected in her music videos and what she’s known for are contradictions – the popular versus the sophisticated, modern versus retro. She believes these characteristics are a natural outgrowth of her upbringing in Sidon. Raised by a father from a modest background and a mother whose family was well off, Kanaan could easily navigate both worlds – going to the souks and eating falafel from a sidewalk vendor one day, displaying proper etiquette another. “People say that in my videos I treat the popular in a classy way.” She found ways to bring the two worlds together. Whether these same qualities will translate to the films she hopes to make is yet uncertain and will remain so until she is actually behind the camera again, when she returns to work from her temporary break. For now, during her time off from virtually everything – she’s still making ads here and there – Kanaan has been busy tending to a more personal production: her baby girl, Sofia Lili. She wants to devote all her time to her daughter now, during the first crucial years of her life. “I want to be with her, to show her new things, to breastfeed her, to change her, no one else,” she says, referring to the growing number of mothers in Lebanon who relinquish all baby duties to live-in help.

When Sofia is sleeping, and when Kanaan isn’t catching up on her own sleep, she tries to steal hours here and there to devote to writing, not any one story, but potentially different parts to different stories: sequences, ideas, dialogue. She doesn’t have full scripts, but four synopses for films she’d like to make: historical fresco, social/thriller, musical comedy and sketches. And she’s working on these four very different ideas in parallel. “I have so many ideas, so much material in my head,” explains the 32-year-old director, who admits that the social/ thriller speaks to her most. “It’s about the experiences that Lebanese of my generation are facing today. Not the civil war, but everyday war – unemployment, travel restrictions, lack of government support, lack of opportunity.” However, which one gets made first will depend on two key factors: money (in other words, interest from producers) and timing (which is more relevant to the present context). Kanaan is certain that her films, while focusing on problems and issues that Lebanese face daily, will have universal appeal, like those of Japanese director Won Kai Wai, one of her greatest influences, whose films speak about fear, jealousy, identity and hope. “They are filled with warm people who experience extremes,” she says, hinting with a meaningful smile at her own familiarity with these experiences. 193 A

A celebrity _ photographer

Tales from the dark room By Rich Thornton

Lebanese photographer Raya Farhat talks to A Magazine about sins, censorship and chiaroscuro When you ask a photographer what they’re inspired by, they don’t often say the Renaissance. Immortalizing the moment, seeking the truth or capturing the perfect light are more common responses to the question – and although Lebanese photographer Raya Farhat also finds these challenges intriguing, her closest references lie further in the past.

But such limitations only make Farhat stronger: her interactive audio exhibition in Florence last year and her recent November show at Paris’ Art’IN gallery, which featured her prize-winning photographs, are just A 194

two examples of her ability to respond to constricting circumstances. In fact, Farhat seems to feel rather at home in Europe. Her childhood was filled with trips to the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, privately guided by her Papal Nuncio uncle, and by visits to the Louvre in Paris with her father, so she feels more inspired by the

paintings of Caravaggio and Titian than any work the photographers of the last century have produced. One of the most striking similarities between Farhat’s work and that of the great 16thcentury Italians is the use of chiaroscuro – the dramatic contrast between light and dark. “Black is all the colors, and white is all

©Raya Farhat

With a portfolio that stretches from secretly taken images of a dilapidated Beirut synagogue, to choreographed narratives that follow a woman’s demise through the seven deadly sins, Farhat has a penchant for mischief and a history of ruffling feathers. “Everything I do is censored” she cries – more in jest than in serious anger – and explains that she’s always struggled to present her work in Lebanon because of religious and other types of censorship.

Maghen Abraham Synagogue prior to its restoration, in Downtown Beirut’s Wadi Abou Jamil neighborhood, as captured by Raya Farhat

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A celebrity _ photographer

“The Decay of Purity – Greed” (above), a shot of Downtown Beirut’s Maghen Abraham Synagogue (top right) and “The Secret” (immediate right)

This attraction to darkness perhaps explains Farhat’s seminal work, “The Decay of Purity,” a series of seven A 196

photographs – one for each deadly sin. Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” the selection plays with the mythology of the number seven, while the allegorical mirror that appears in each photo acts a mood-setter. Considering her appetite for despair, it’s not that surprising that Farhat actually destroys a lot of her own work before it even leaves the studio. This phenomenon

is no quest for perfection, Farhat says, but instead it characterizes her state of being “happily unsatisfied” – a term a close friend used to describe her, which she now embodies with gratitude. “Satisfaction is the end of everything,” she says – a rather depressing mantra, but one which will ensure that Farhat continues to push her art into deeper, darker and more exciting places.

©Raya Farhat

the colors,” she explains, pointing out the emotional divide between the exterior light and interior shadow of her international prize-winning “Peace and Tolerance” photos of Beirut’s bombed out buildings. “Colors irritate me,” she continues. “I’m only calm when all is dark.”

AvAilAble At A誰shti stores tel. +961 1 99 11 11

A celebrity _ entrepreneur

Fashion conglomerate By Grace Banks

landscape.” Instead of coats arriving in store around July, they’ll hit shop floors in September when shoppers really need them. In the same way that Jimmy Choo celebrated the outrageous glamour of $600 shoes, her lifestyle brand is tailored to modern working women who want to shop dynamic capsule wardrobe pieces in one quick swoop. The collection offers an insight into Mellon’s very own “modern, clean and sensual” style, and in many ways reflects her life as it’s changed from society page regular, to half of one of the most powerful couples in the world, to single mother. Red and leopard print are channeled heavily into the clothes – purely because they’re Mellon’s favorites. Crimson jumpsuits and scarlet cigarette trousers form the more classic part of this collection, while soft leopard prints lend themselves to the range’s handbags. It makes sense that this label has something of the statement about it. Arm in arm with friend and business partner Choo, Mellon launched Jimmy Choo after leaving her role at Vogue, and in a decade that saw women earning more than ever before, almost by accident she monopolized the world’s desire for truly fabulous shoes. Jimmy Choos quickly became the thinking woman’s stiletto, spirited and daring, and it wasn’t long before people were simply exclaiming: nice Choos!

Tamara Mellon has a Midas touch: whether she’s editing the accessories that went into the pages of late ‘90s Vogue, founding and steering cult shoe label Jimmy Choo or, most recently, acting as company director at cosmetics giant Revlon, her dazzling success follows her everywhere she goes. One thing’s clear: Mellon isn’t a fashion girl, she’s a businesswoman. Part of her expanding conglomerate sees Mellon adding a lifestyle label to Tamara LLC, her newly established umbrella business. Mellon’s latest initiative, an eponymous fashion collection, paves the way for clothes to be in the shop exactly when you’ll want them. “I hope to break the traditional fashion

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Mellon has never fallen short of being overly ambitious; modernity is what defines her, and this truly ready-to-wear aesthetic promises to be just as successful as Jimmy Choo. After all, this is the woman who put luxury shoes on the fashion map.

©Getty Images

Tamara Mellon’s future plans are even bigger than Jimmy Choo

The new fashion line harks back to the drive of Mellon’s early Jimmy Choo days. Confirming its status as a true lifestyle collection, the range was unveiled at New York’s Jay-Z-endorsed PACE Gallery in midNovember and features work by artist and close friend Richard Misrac, whose paintings appear on the label’s more casual pieces. The collection is available exclusively at Mellon’s London and New York stores, but she has higher hopes and plans on expanding to 90 outlets worldwide by late 2014.

LEB_3878_4er_Launch_Aishti_23x30cm.indd 1

10/23/13 9:38 AM

A celebrity _ rock star

Still Stevie The return of the gold dust woman As Fleetwood Mac’s long-standing hippy rock goddess, Stevie Nicks has certainly carved out her spot in music history. A strong and prolific songwriter, she has always combined her distinctive, sorrowful vocals with lyrical candor and a theatrical stage presence that her fans relish. With Fleetwood Mac now on another world tour, and a new solo album and documentary made in collaboration with Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart (both called In Your Dreams), today Nicks is very much back in the spotlight. And at 65, she remains as eccentric and enchanting as ever. Speaking at the British premiere of her documentary, Nicks reflected on a life in music, and revealed that when she gets bored at home in Los Angeles she likes to dress up in shawls and a witch’s hat; just as you’d hope, really. On Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, her former lover and partner. “Lindsey and I sat down and had a talk in October 2011, and I’m just sorry we didn’t have that talk 20 years ago. Because I think sometimes that men – and believe me, I love men – but men sometimes just don’t get it. It’s not their fault. I sat down with Lindsey and I said, ‘Do you remember who we were when we first joined Fleetwood Mac? How cute we were, how sweet we were? How funny we A 200

were? And how we could walk into a room and be so charming and be our own power couple? Lindsey we have to go back to being those two people, or we should never do this again.’ He was very quiet. He looked at me and nodded his head, and he went home. And he listened to me. I think men will always listen to you if you sit down in a good situation and tell them, without yelling at them, how you’re feeling and why. I think he did listen. And that conversation we had means that now on stage, every night, he is a different person, and when we walk out on stage together hand in hand, he is listening.” On the new generation of Fleetwood Mac fans. “When we did The Dance [in 1997] we’d been apart for a long time, and most of the audience was our age, which really scared Lindsey. We were looking out at a sea of gray hair every night. I said to him, ‘Those people are the people who started out with us and our age, and those people have kids who are growing up listening to Fleetwood Mac, and those kids will start showing up to Fleetwood Mac shows.’ And sure enough they have.” On making her solo record and documentary, In Your Dreams, at her home. “I’m so glad we stuck to our guns and made the record we wanted to make, not the record the record company wanted us to make. The documentary includes crazy music videos for the songs. Dave [Stewart, her co-writer and film director] made it all magical. His two little girls play the little

vampire children in one of the videos, and we had an amazing tame tawny owl that was in my house for about 12 hours. One day I said ‘I wish we had a beautiful white horse’ [for the album cover photo]. Well don’t ever suggest anything to Dave Stewart, because it will happen. I get up one morning, and I’m looking out at the fir trees and sycamores, and there’s the most beautiful white horse you’ve ever seen just standing there. The sunlight is streaming through the trees and sparkling on its mane.”

On discovering new artists. “Right now my favorite song is ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. I’m so proud of her and think that’s such a great girl power song, and I’m so happy that she’s sending out messages to ex-husbands through music, without a harsh word. I like Lady Gaga’s song ‘Applause,’ and I like that sad, suicidal song by Lana Del Rey, ‘Summertime Sadness.’ I wish people would make me tapes because I would love to be part of today’s music, but I’m always busy.”

On her lifestyle while recording the album. “I would wake up about 11am and sit and drink coffee, then jump in the bath, throw on some makeup, get dressed, take the rollers out my hair and run downstairs just in time to open the door to Dave [Stewart]. In the evenings, after he had left to go home to his family, the girls [her backing singers] and I would work on our vocals until 3am. And if we all got bored at any point, I’d just go upstairs and take down all the scarves and witches hats – I always have Halloween stuff – and I’d just make everybody put on something.”

On being inspired by a Twilight movie. “I saw New Moon and started crying in the movie theater because it was my story. When the love of her life walks away from her. I was Bella. That happened to me and inspired my new song ‘Starlight.’ You should know, that happened to Stevie Nicks, the love of her life walked away and she survived it.” The documentary Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams is available on DVD, and the album In Your Dreams and the four-CD box set Fleetwood Mac: 25 Years – The Chain are out now.

©Kristin Burns

By Sophy Grimshaw



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10/21/13 3:14 PM

A celebrity _ chef

Beirut flavors of Asia

By Tala Habbal

In Lebanon, a country where restaurants seem to outnumber citizens, it takes a great deal to impress the average Lebanese diner. Jaï, set on Mexico Street in Clemenceau, is one foodie destination taking the dining experience to a whole new level, by offering inventive Asian cuisine in a unique setting. Jaï’s owner and chef, Wael Lazkani, has a passion for cooking and food discovery that’s much more than just a hobby. The 35-year-old Lebanese-Canadian has strong culinary experience under his belt. After studying cooking in Geneva for a year at the Hôtel du Rhône’s restaurant Le Neptune, Lazkani continued to learn, A 202

working as a chef at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, most notably Le Toque in Montreal and the Mandarin Oriental’s Park in London.

and wanted to explore it. Once I felt that I had sufficiently exposed myself to Asia and its food, I decided to settle in Beirut and open my own place.”

After his stint in the British capital, Lazkani spent six years sailing the Mediterranean as a chef on private yachts, until 2012, when he decided to go back to dry land and open his own business. “The private yachts gig was very helpful, since it allowed me the time and money to spend the winter months on traveling and eating,” he says.

Jaï, a barely noticeable hole-inthe-wall near Trad Hospital, was envisioned as an authentic concept, mirroring typical Asian street restaurants, with only an open kitchen and sparse seating.

By then, Lazkani had traveled extensively throughout Asia, exploring the culinary traditions of such places as India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Singapore. When he moved back to Lebanon, he gave free rein to his passion for Asian food by opening Jaï, a small but muchbuzzed about Asian kitchen. “I discovered Asian cuisine while working at London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. I found I was extremely drawn to the cuisine

Lazkani originally wanted his place to just be a street kitchen and delivery outlet, but customer demand encouraged him to create a space for those who wanted to enjoy his cuisine on the premises: he placed one large table in the center of the room, facing the open kitchen, and here diners can watch their order being prepared by Lazkani himself before digging in. The menu reflects some of Lazkani’s favorite dishes from across the Asian continent. In fact, the chef ’s love of Asian cuisine comes through in his tantalizing dishes, which include a fragrant Tom ka Gai coconut milk and lemongrass soup,

traditional Pad Thai and butter chicken served in a rich Indian stew with yogurt and tomatoes. “I spent three years working on the recipes to break them down properly and be able to use local produce,” says Lazkani. “I also worked with local suppliers, helping them import the right items to supply me with the right ingredients. What I can’t find here, I source from Thailand, India and the UAE. Once we have a sufficient volume, I will work with local farmers to grow things locally.” If you want to dine at Jaï, be sure to book at least a week in advance. Remember, there’s only one table, so reservations fill up days ahead. And if you’re craving Lazkani’s Singapore noodles or General Tsao chicken, just pick up the phone and place your order. No need to wait for a table when you can have your favorite dishes delivered right to your doorstep. For reservations or for delivery, tel. 01.341.940.

©Wael Lazkani

Jaï’s chef Wael Lazkani gives new meaning to personal dining




11:21 AM

A celebrity _ artist

Picturing the self

By Melanie Reffes

Born in Montreal and now living the urban life in the heart of its downtown, Alexandre-Nicolas Soubiran, or simply AN, is a cutting-edge writer, performer, fiber artist and photographer. Avant-garde in his approach, he collaborates with fellow artist Dana Dal Bo and together they formed Anadama: The 12 Positions of the Family, an artistic union that incorporates a combination of both their names and focuses on relationships and family. As a creative twosome, they craft evocative characters and environments that draw inspiration from fairy tales, literature and mythology as well as from their personal and uncanny histories. “Most of our work takes about four months of research, so there’s continual conversation and editing about each piece,” Soubiran explains. “Once this comes to fruition, we then find the best people to collaborate with, like hairdressers, makeup artists, photographers, special effect makeup artists, glass blowers, lighting geniuses and assistants.”

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Dal Bo hails from Ontario and although Soubiran’s father is from France and his mother from Quebec, they’re kindred souls, sharing the exact same birthday, not only with each other, but also with Soubiran’s twin brother, Philippe. A biochemist in Geneva, Switzerland, Philippe inspired an Anadama piece that is a gigantic petri dish the size of a stepping stone on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Soubiran’s current project is a series of visually spectacular self-portraits that he has named “Apartment Therapy.” A provocative portfolio of faces and objects that he photographs with his iPhone camera, the series is a vehicle for this out-of-the-box thinker, with self-portraits that were documented during May 2012 in various rooms of his apartment. “I would style, paint and construct over my body combinations of random things laying around my house,” he says. “This follows my investigation of architectural notions of the façade, the location of the body in a position and also body manipulation.”

©Marianne Larochelle

AN Soubiran is reinventing Canadian art

Les Caves de Taillevent presents

Led by General Manager and Oenologist, Paul Choueiry, L’Académie at Les Caves de Taillevent offers wine lovers an in-depth educational experience dedicated to the world of wine. L’Académie will launch with a series of classes and seminars focusing on wine, winemaking techniques, wine tasting experiences and wine appreciation; as well as some spirit brand awareness sessions held by professional international brand ambassadors. L’Académie can also play host to a wide variety of other events and occasions. The spacious area, with its large central table, is perfect for both corporate and private affairs and functions and is well-equipped to host a variety of conferences.

L’Académie will cover subjects such as: · · · ·

Initiation à la dégustation Découverte des appellations L’art de la dégustation Le mythe Bordelais

· · · ·

Mars et Venus, Rhône et Loire Complexité de la Bourgogne Le Raffinement de la champagne Accord mets et vins

At the heart of Ashrafieh, Le Bar at Les Caves de Taillevent is a calm and cozy haven away from the commotion of the city. With its warm wooden and velvet interiors, it’s the perfect setting for an after-work drink or a meal with family and friends. Open from 10am till midnight, Le Bar treats its guests to an intimate experience, with a choice of ordering wine by the glass from the bar menu or choosing any bottle from the Boutique’s range to enjoy. Guests can also complement their wine choices with Le Bar’s menu of fine cheeses and charcuterie. Every week, Le Bar holds its complimentary tasting session, “Discovery Thursdays”, inviting guests to taste different and distinctive wines in a laid-back and relaxing ambiance. Le Bar’s Sommelier Service offers the right guidance for your special events, advising you in choosing your wines and Champagne, based on Les Caves de Taillevent’s motto “Accord Mets & Vins”, as well as providing you with a more personal service during your event, whether at home or any location of your choice. The service also includes the option of renting an exclusive selection of glasses and decanters to complement your wine choices. Le Bar is also available for private events.

For reservations, call 01 217883 Les Jardins de Tabaris, Ashrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon - Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am to midnight Open exceptionally during the holiday period on Sundays from 6pm to midnight

A design _ architect

Birth of the cool By J. Michael Welton

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Beirut native Souheil Al-Awar left Lebanon with his family in 1977, two years after the beginning of the civil war. Since then, his life has turned into something of a latter-day odyssey – one that’s led him first to an education in Dubai, then to architecture school in North Carolina, followed by travels to South America, Europe and Canada. He now splits his time between Montreal and Raleigh, North Carolina, where he’s the owner of the newest cutting-edge restaurant and bar in the upand-coming capital city. Clockwork, as he calls his place, is a stunning, word-of-mouth success. It has to be, since he does little advertising and its only exterior signage is a slim

neon arrow pointing down to its door. Finding its off-the beaten-path location requires a position on the town’s inside track. “I like to do places that aren’t blaring at you,” he says about the establishment he opened in early 2013. “If you know, you know.” And if you don’t, you don’t. But if you happen to walk by its storefront downtown, chances are you’ll notice its garage door – wide open, beckoning and merging inside with out. “I’ve always felt that if I do something design-wise, people will come,” the 1990 graduate of NC State University’s College of Design says. “People have choices, and if I can get them into the door with food or

drink or music that they love, they’ll keep coming back.” They might do that for Clockwork’s ‘70s Moorish interiors alone. Al-Awar grew up in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Beirut, so he’s drawing heavily on memories here. He’s also reaching back to James Bond’s Dr. No and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. All the while, his palette reaches into the deepest and richest of colors: magentas, fuchsias, purples and muted golds. “When we go out, we want to feel something different – we want to be visually and mentally stimulated by all of our senses, including food, drink and music,” he says. “You have to make them all come together. Here the design

©Souheil Al-Awar

Lebanese architect Souheil Al-Awar is changing the culture of Raleigh, North Carolina

is a major element, but not the only element.” Indeed. Like Gerald Murphy mingling “the juice of a few flowers” on the Riviera in the ‘20s, Al-Awar is not averse to making up a cocktail or two, like the South American/Lebanese drink he calls “Bliss, Oh Bliss.” It’s Caribbean rum with Lebanese mazaher (orange blossom water). Clockwork’s menu is equally divergent, serving dishes based on his travels to Lebanon, Italy, Venezuela and Mexico. “The cuisine is schizophrenic,” he says. “It’s different things from different places.” He may not advertise any of it too much, but then again, maybe he doesn’t need to. “We want to

bring you in here and keep you here,” he says. “We want to make you feel like you want to come in.” He has experience at that, having established one of Raleigh’s first dance clubs, Mosquito, in 2006 in the city’s yet-to-be-discovered warehouse district. He decked out its interior with granite and marble from his own tile and stone business, then opened its doors. “I got all these people coming in,” he says. “Then I sold it in 2009, and it closed.” His architectural expertise is in demand in Lebanon now, as his father works to restore and expand the family home in the mountains near Kornayel. “He’s adding a fourth story, and he wants to add a terra cotta

roof, so he calls and asks for advice,” he says about the home his parents built in the early ‘60s. “I’ll go back there in the summers, because it’s so cool.” That’s an element with which he’s more than a little familiar. 211 A

A design _ gallery

New design landscapes By Shirine Saad


Carwan opens its first permanent space in Beirut

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This page The Fragmented Clock by Nada Debs (left), Ikebana III dressing mirror by Karen Chekerdjian (right) and Ziggurat containers by Oeuffice (bottom) Opposite page India Mahdavi’s Bishop stool in gold (left), a portrait of Carwan founders Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Pascale Wakim (right) and the multi-purpose Living Space III by Karen Chekerdjian (bottom)

It was the first Lebanese design platform to combine local traditions with new ideas. Carwan, founded in 2010 by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Pascale Wakim, started out as a pop-up gallery, commissioning and exhibiting limited edition home accessories at fairs and galleries around the world and working with Middle East-based talent to develop unique collections. And now, the company has opened its first gallery in Beirut. Bellavance-Lecompte and Wakim, who both studied architecture, met when Bellavance-Lecompte visited Beirut on a whim – and fell in love with the city. “I went to Beirut to discover the Near East,” says the architect, who now lives between Milan and Beirut. “The city was a revelation for me: a mix between cities I’ve lived in such as Berlin, Montreal and Milan, with an amazing mix of cultures, gorgeous weather, delicious food and charming people. The chaotic, eclectic makeup of the city is always inspiring.” The duo founded Carwan pop-up gallery and began to travel – to London, Doha, Dubai,

New York and Basel – bringing cuttingedge international and Middle Eastern designs to art fairs, museums and galleries. They also developed a network of Turkish and Lebanese artisans, pairing them with designers to reinvent ancient traditions. Last January, Carwan invited the internationally renowned Italian creative collective Fabrica (of Benetton) to create a series of objects with Middle Eastern artisans as part of their project, “Contemporary Perspectives in Middle Eastern Crafts.” They’re also working with prominent designers for the series, including Karen Chekerdjian, Nada Debs, Karim Chaya and Taher Asad-Bahtiari. “The idea was to match each designer with a Middle Eastern craftsman,” explains Bellavance-Lecompte. Each piece is specifically commissioned to create a cultural exchange that could open new perspectives on both sides. “The craftsmen develop new techniques that align with their skills, and the designers explore and reinterpret the world of our local crafts,” he adds. A 213

A design _ gallery

Last summer, Carwan’s Design Parade took over the Villa Noailles in the southern French town of Hyères, with Ottomaninspired Landscape tables and vases by star designer India Mahdavi and the Ziggurat Container collection by Oeuffice, a Milan-based design duo. The Landscapes collection, launched with Mahdavi, is particularly striking: it’s produced in Turkey and Lebanon with the Iznik foundation, Turkey’s most important A 214

ceramics manufacturer. The Paris-based designer used colorful tiles – in turquoise, yellow, red and green – to create abstract patterns on handcrafted tables and vases, in a blunt reinterpretation of 16th-century Ottoman craft traditions. In November, Carwan opened its first permanent space in Beirut’s Gefinor center, a major milestone that anchors its status in the region and allow the two founders to work more closely

with collectors and galleries. The inaugural exhibition, “Commissions,” is a retrospective of Carwan’s designs. In December, the gallery launches the aforementioned collection created with Fabrica at Beirut’s National Museum. And for 2014, major designers such as Mahdavi and Michael Anastassiades will come to the gallery, adding an international vibe to the local design scene. We can’t wait to see what Carwan will be doing next.


The Rainbow Table by Karen Chekerdjian (directly below) and three pieces from Marc Baroud’s Tessera series: ottoman (left), lounge chair (center) and table (right)




A design _ landmark

All aboard By Robert Landon

is a past that is at once wildly imaginary and, thanks to 100,000 tons of Tennessee marble, sublimely real. At least since Roman times, aesthetes have differentiated beauty (balance, harmony, clarity, pleasure, reason) from sublimity (awe, fearful pleasure, dissolution of the ego, greatness beyond calculation). When you first enter Grand Central’s Main Concourse, there’s no doubt into which territory you’ve crossed. Yes, the hall possesses classical symmetry and stony solidity, but the space is so vast that its frescoed ceiling contains the sky itself –

©Paul Clemence

Grand Central turns 100

It may be dwarfed by its towering neighbors, but Grand Central Terminal still straddles Park Avenue like a Gilded Age colossus. Approaching its southern façade, the skyscrapers of Midtown fade away, and the 100-year-old station – a mere 10 stories tall – rears up and wholly occupies the imagination. With its fluted columns, keystone arches and soaring marble Mercury, it deliberately recalls imperial Rome. And as you draw closer, you wonder for a moment if you’re unearthing some long-hidden strata of history, when Caesars (rather than Vanderbilts) ruled Manhattan. It

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or at least a convincing replica thereof. For mysterious reasons, these man-made heavens were painted backward – a mirror image of the actual night sky. But rather than a mistake, the Vanderbilt family, who built and owned the station, joked that it reflected God’s (i.e. their) view of the universe. Despite its marble heights, the Main Concourse is really just a vestibule for even vaster, inner workings. After a century, Grand Central remains the largest station in the world measured in number of platforms (44) – a trick achieved, for the first time in history, by stacking tracks one on top of other. But travel is just the beginning of the station’s uses. From the Main Concourse, passageways lead in every direction toward a dizzying number of secondary realities. Besides contemplating the night sky or catching a train, you can slurp oysters, hail a cab, lift weights, dye your hair, stroll through a museum, resole your shoes, repair your laptop, get pad Thai to go, buy a week’s worth of organic produce, pick up a bottle of Château Pape Clément or get drunk

inside the perfect replica of a 13th-century Florentine palace. And yet you could do all these things and still know only a fraction of Grand Central Terminal. For beyond the swarming public spaces lies the station’s deep, titanic soul – a maze of tracks and equipment that reaches down 10 stories into the Manhattan bedrock. If the tracks were laid end to end, they would extend for 52 kilometers. To create this subterranean world, engineers first had to demolish 180 buildings, then remove no less than three million cubic yards of earth, before building even began. This dark labyrinth is off limits to the public, which is probably for the best. But you can still experience the station’s sublimity without ever leaving the Main Concourse. Just step into chaotic dance of departure and arrival as you merge with the half-million souls who, 100 years after its completion, still pass each day through America’s largest de facto ballroom.

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A design _ museum

A new Texas masterpiece

Renzo Piano designs a new pavilion for Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum A 218

ŠKimbell Art Museum, Robert Polidori

By J. Michael Welton

This page Renzo Piano’s new addition to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth Opposite page The main building of the Kimbell Art Museum, designed by Louis Kahn in the late ‘60s

defers to the Kahn building, yet it’s a strong building in and of itself.”

Oh, the architectural irony: the centerpiece for Renzo Piano’s new addition to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth drew its inspiration from the vista outside museum director Eric Lee’s below-grade office. It’s a view of a poured-in-place concrete wall a few feet away from his desk. “I always say I have the most beautiful view in all of Fort Worth,” a slightly facetious Lee says. That’s because he’s looking into a light well strategically placed by architect Louis Kahn in the late ‘60s, as he designed what some call America’s finest building. “The view is so beautiful because of the way the light plays on that wall during the day,” Lee says. “It’s constantly in play.”

Kahn once said that light is the theme of the Kimbell. Sure enough, Lee’s well of sunshine not only brightens his office, but reflects light back up into the building’s portico too. None of that was lost on Piano. The architect created his own 300-footlong light well, more than 40 feet tall, and aligned it as a backdrop for the new building’s lobby and 100-foot-wide auditorium. It’s not only longer and deeper than Kahn’s light well, but adds canted walls to harvest more light. It’s a gesture that looks to – but certainly does not emulate – what’s come before it. “There’s a magic to it,” Lee says. “Piano has designed a building that understands and complements and

The new 82,000-square-foot pavilion takes more than a few cues from Kahn’s 120,000-square-foot, barrel-vaulted masterpiece. The length of his façade is split into three parts, like Kahn’s. Columns are the same dimension as those supporting porticoes in its predecessor. “There are lots of nods to the Kahn building, lots of little echoes that are subtle and not obvious,” Lee says. “There’s a conversation going on.” The new pavilion’s exterior is a crisp, poured concrete that’s almost alabaster in color, with extensive glass walls and a grass berm that rises to overtake a section at its rear. Much of the new structure is underground so that, in deference, it looks much smaller than it is. As he was being interviewed for A magazine, Lee peered out his office window, where workers were power-washing his Kahn-designed light well. It was a brief and noisy interruption, from the most inspiring view in town. A 219

A design _ interiors

Every aspect of your life By Anthony Klatt

ŠDiesel, Foscarini, Moroso

Diesel’s home collection offers a new way to live

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This page Diesel and Moroso’s Longwave chairs Opposite page Light fixtures by Foscarini and Diesel: Cage in bronze (left), Rock in gold (bottom) and Glassdrop (right)

Diesel’s global leadership in casual fashion is undisputed. Since its founding in 1978, the Italian clothing brand has come to define hip, cutting-edge style, and Diesel jeans now set the standard for denim fans. Most recently, Diesel has entered the furniture and home accessories market, collaborating with well-known Italian firms to create items like light fixtures, chairs and even kitchens. Named Diesel for Successful Living, this dazzling home collection combines avant-garde, ultramodern designs with Diesel’s trademark casual, punk-infused flair. “We decided to enter the design world to offer our consumers the possibility to express themselves not just through clothes, but also personalizing their home with products that they feel are close to their taste,” says Andrea Rosso, creative director of Diesel Licenses. The latest range was launched during Milan’s Salone de Mobile in April and has just become available in Europe and the United States. Foscarini Diesel and Foscarini teamed up to create dramatic suspension lamps, including

Glassdrop, which comes in a chromed aluminum surface finish and has a decorative mirror effect. The surprise here? Once the lamp is switched on, the mirror effect vanishes, revealing a soft warm light. There’s also the Rock light fixture in gold, which looks like volcanic rock, and the Cage in bronze, inspired by old, traditional lanterns. Visit Moroso The chairs introduced by Diesel and Moroso are striking and sculptural – veritable works of art. The Longwave high-back chair, for example, has flowing lines and was designed for a wide spectrum of uses, like reading or just relaxing. Then there’s My Moon My Mirror, which is an image of the moon printed on a mirrored surface that can either be placed on a wall or transformed into a table. Visit Scavolini To reinvent the kitchen experience, Diesel joined forces with Scavolini, and together the two Italian brands came up with A 221

A design _ interiors

The Diesel Social Kitchen designed with Scavolini (top) and the Wrinkled Stripe duvet cover set by Diesel and Zucchi (bottom)

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Zucchi Diesel and Zucchi, the esteemed textile provider, have been working together since 2008 to create eye-catching fabrics. Some of the coolest new releases include duvet cover sets like Wrinkled Stripe, which features a black and white design with irregular, moving stripes, and Flora Ripped, a creative patchwork for floral and abstract geometries. There’s also the youthful, hip Sound System, which explodes with a patchwork of keyboards, amplifiers and turntables. Visit

ŠDiesel, Scavolini, Zucchi

Diesel Social Kitchen. These new kitchens, designed with urban homes in mind, where space is usually restrained, come in natural, simple materials, including wood, steel and glass, aged with vintage treatments. There are oak or glass doors available, and the oversized metal handles have a retro feel. The concept is that of a kitchen with an industrial feel and livedin atmosphere. Visit

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A design _ mosaics

Resurging mosaics By J. Michael Welton

Breathing new life into an ancient art form

New Ravenna Mosaics, represents mosaic collections designed by her as well as other designers. “When I launched New Ravenna, decorative tile was not only rarely utilized, it was also generally very traditional,” she says. “There was an occasional demand for, say, hand-painted Portuguese tile, Dutch delft tile or maybe traditional Mexican tile, but generally hard surfaces were not being used as a medium for creative expression.”

In a relatively short time, the mosaics market shifted dramatically.

Now Baldwin imports her raw materials – limestone, quartzite, marble and granite – from places like India, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. The stone arrives in 12-inch squares and is cut into tiny pieces for 500 different patterns destined for borders, medallions and murals.

Baldwin now employs 120 people in a manufacturing center not far from her home. She works with architects and designers to develop mosaics for floors, walls, baths and kitchens. Her company, A 224

Baldwin’s newest Talya line of mosaics is based on Moorish design, with Islamic, Ottoman and Arabic influences. “I spent a lot of time in the Middle East, so there’s this geometry of patterns that I developed in that tradition,” she says. One of New Ravenna’s newest collaborators is Paul Schatz, an interior designer from California. He specializes in gracious Mediterranean villas and luxurious interiors throughout the United States and Mexico. The new Miraflores Collection was inspired by his travels through Spain, Portugal and Mexico, and it reflects his deep passion for Morocco and Islamic geometric art. Whether the mosaics are inspired by traditional or international influences, they represent an art form that’s on the upswing.

©New Ravenna

When Sara Baldwin embarked upon her career in decorative tile and glass mosaics over two decades ago, their use in interior design was anything but commonplace. Baldwin, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, had discovered ancient Roman mosaics on a trip to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early ‘90s. She went home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and began to experiment with the art form – and never looked back.

A design _ trend

Magic carpets

By Marie Le Fort

Choose an artsy rug for your interior space The Rug Company (left)

Dinosaur Designs (left)

Australian creative directors and cofounders of Dinosaur Designs, Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, recently unveiled a new collection of rugs featuring six different motifs. “We wanted to play with big planes of color with this series and work from a really warm palette to a very cool blue palette,” says Olsen. This new collection was created for Australian company Designer Rugs. Visit A 226

The Carpetalogue (above)

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Parisian studio M/M, London-based Gallery Libby Sellers commissioned a series of rugs for last year’s exhibition, “The Carpetalogue.” The hand-knotted wool carpets, produced by Abhishek Poddar in Varanasi, India, are sold as limited editions through the gallery. “The carpets express M/M’s distinctive graphic approach,” says Libby Sellers. Visit

©Sabine de Gunzburg, Dinosaur Designs, Form Us With Love, Gallery Libby Sellers, Other Criteria, The Rug Company

Three years in the making, Alexander McQueen’s rug collection for The Rug Company takes craftsmanship to couture levels, encapsulating both labels’ combined commitment to unique design, unequalled quality and skilled craftsmanship. The new rugs are called Monarch Smoke, Monarch Fire (pictured here) and Poppy Day, and their motifs are bold, rich and contemporary. The Rug Company, Hermitage Bldg., Shehadeh St., Tabaris, Ashrafieh, Beirut, tel. 01.322.090.

Other Criteria (left)

Artist Damien Hirst has created four limited edition handmade rugs for Other Criteria. Available exclusively at Other Criteria’s London store, the four colorful wool rugs are each based on one of the artist’s iconic “Spin” paintings. Sporting eccentric names like “Beautiful Saucy Spit Roast It’ll All End in Tears Rug” and “Beautiful Abstract Landscape Pretentious Art Nonsense Rug,” the rugs are hand-knotted and range from two to three meters in diameter. Only three to seven pieces of each model are available for purchase. Visit

Form Us With Love (right)

Swedish design studio Form Us With Love teamed up with JoV, the Belgian experts in hand tufting, to create the Hidden Stockholm Carpets, three hand tufted artisan pieces made of fine New Zealand wool and tufted in a small factory in Porto, Portugal. Inspired by Sweden’s capital city, the graphic rugs come in royal blue, pale green and industrial gray. Visit

Sabine de Gunzburg (left)

Sabine de Gunzburg was recently profiled in Elle Décor. The magazine featured a spread highlighting De Gunzburg’s breathtaking Paris apartment, which was designed, according to De Gunzburg, “à la Chanel.” It’s from this very same apartment that De Gunzburg creates her splendid rugs, inspired by the works of artists like the late Francis Picabia. Her carpets are handcrafted in Nepal, Kashmir and India. Visit

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A design _ update

A year’s luminaries Vanishing beauties (left)

Design highlights from 2013

Delicious to view (left)

Specializing in bespoke home accessories, Bodo Sperlein creates unique tableware for some of the world’s most sought-after restaurants and luxury hotels. Following a recent collaboration with Dior on the gold-embedded Sallus porcelain collection, the English brand recently unveiled Macaroon, stylish gift items in a delicate array of soft hues. Visit

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Higher learning (above)

In July 2013, the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University, designed by Snøhetta in collaboration with local architect Clark Nexsen, received the 2013 Library Building Award from the American Institute of Architects, in recognition of design excellence. According to the jury: “While clearly a contemporary structure within a traditional context, the Hunt Library provides a forwardthinking platform for influencing its surroundings.” Visit

©Aqua Shard, Bodo Sperlein, Chakib Richani, Park Hyatt, Snøhetta, Studio Markunpoika

Studio Markunpoika’s chair and cabinet dazzle the eye, looking as if they’re about to vanish at any second. Named Engineering Temporality, the collection is inspired by the disintegrating memories of the designer’s grandmother, who struggled with Alzheimer’s disease. To create the two stunning pieces, the Amsterdam-based design practice used steel rings molded around the furniture, before they were burnt away, leaving only disintegrated material. Visit

A Lebanese eye (right)

Lebanese architect Chakib Richani has long been soughtafter for his architectural and interior design projects, but he has also recently gained international acclaim for his sleek home accessories collection. In addition to light fixtures, vases, candleholders and ashtrays, his new creations include smooth, sharp-looking tables like the Elephant table (pictured here) and the Tectonic dining table. Visit

Top of the world (left)

Located on the 31st floor of The Shard, London’s tallest building, Aqua Shard restaurant showcases interiors inspired by gin and tea, both symbols of British culture. One area refers to memories of the tea trade of the East India Company, with dark green and brown leather, black marble and a dark oak floor, while the gin wing recalls the smoky atmosphere of a gin distillery, with peacock motifs applied to the windows. The Shard, 31st floor, 31 St. Thomas St., London SE1, tel. 44.20.7478.0540,

Cambodian jewel (right)

Following a 14-month renovation, Cambodia’s Hotel de la Paix reopened in August as the Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Hyatt’s first hotel in the country. The 108 rooms feature dome-shaped ceilings, modeled after those of nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat. The hotel also houses a restaurant, a lounge, a gym, six spa treatment rooms and two swimming pools surrounded by lush greenery. Sivutha Blvd., Siem Reap, Cambodia, tel. 855.6321.1234, 229 A

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ŠAnh Duong

A high art _ painter

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Spiritual diaries

By Shirine Saad

Anh Duong’s work is steeped in divine erotica

New York painter, model, actress and muse Anh Duong has repetitively painted selfportraits for the past 20 years, exploring the pain, loneliness, violent sexuality and vulnerability of being a woman, with harsh brushstrokes and sometimes lurid tones. Now her upcoming series, with its quiet lines and warm hues, marks a new chapter in the artist’s life. Born in Bordeaux, Duong is the daughter of a Spanish woman and a Vietnamese man who met after they had immigrated to France for political reasons. “They both had complicated life stories,” says Duong, “being exiled from their countries and cultures. Maybe that’s

why they connected.” As a child she was introverted and vulnerable; she found refuge in art, dance and theater. “Being mixed, I felt comfortable everywhere and nowhere,” she says. “I believe that art is created from a need, from a fracture. Through art I found moments of sanity.” Soon Duong moved to Paris, where she studied architecture and then became a model. She constantly drew human figures and self-portraits, and developed a strong interest in psychology. Disillusioned with modeling, Duong moved to New York, where she met artist Julian Schnabel. He encouraged her to pursue art as a career. She painted self-portraits 233 A

A high art _ painter

relentlessly, sometimes nude or in lingerie, exaggerating the size of her eyes, which at various times expressed melancholy, erotic tension or fear. Schnabel said to her: “You paint like a drunk 60-year-old male artist.” Duong agreed. “My work has that intensity,” says the impossibly tall, graceful painter in her light-drenched West Village studio. “My work is the expression of an ongoing personal narrative, the record of a psychological journey. The paintings arise from interior emotions and autobiographical moments, but the images do not represent literal memories. Instead it is a dialectical game with the mirror image, creating a space where emotions can be analyzed and processed in paint.”

Duong is often referred to as a “woman artist” and compared to Frida Kahlo and Anais Nin for the intimacy of her work, but she would rather avoid categories. Feminism, to her, is a lifetime project. It’s her own feminine journey, not the rigid standards and categories and society, that drives her. For an upcoming show, Duong has painted herself next to a dashing man, glowing in an intricate lace couture dress from Dolce & Gabbana. “When I was a kid I’d wear a princess dress that my mother made me, and I instantly felt magic. I felt that everything was going to be possible.” A 234

©Anh Duong

While her work quickly drew attention in the art spheres, Duong was often criticized for her lifestyle and sartorial choices. “When I started painting I got a huge reaction,” she says, “because I was 29, and I still looked like a model and dressed in couture. It was the early ‘90s, and I did not get a good reaction because artists weren’t respected when they wore high fashion. But I thought, ‘I’m not going to dress like Jackson Pollock.’ I didn’t relate to the myth of the drunk male artist covered in paint.”

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A high art _ profile

A life lived in art

ŠElio Marchegiani

By Renata Fontanelli

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Now in his 80s, Elio Marchegiani continues to reinvent his approach to art Even though he’s 84, Italian artist Elio Marchegiani still has the verve and enthusiasm of a young boy. During a solo exhibit titled “Culture Is Energy” at Milan’s Allegra Ravizza Art Project in 2012, he entertained the public with tales of himself and glimpses of his personal philosophy. “It’s important to be around young people, and for this reason I chose a gallery owner (Allegra Ravizza) who could be my granddaughter. Young people are the trampoline toward eternity.” Marchegiani’s career has been long and productive. Throughout the years, he’s explored technology, mathematics and color, experimenting with techniques and materials that had never been used in art before. He earned a law degree to please his father, a financial adviser who wanted him to become a lawyer, but he says that could never have curved his creative bent. “For my

father, art was a waste of time, a trade that would never result in earning good money.” After a stint with the US army, where he worked on illustrating an in-house magazine, Marchegiani was hired by frozen food chain Findus, where he quickly rose to become a top company manager. But the artist in him was still screaming to get out. “A friend told me that I had to choose to either be a manager or an artist,” Marchegiani recalls. “It’s not possible to do both.” So he decided to devote himself to art. The era was the ‘60s, and the Pop Art movement was all the rage. Marchegiani surrounded himself by some of the great artistic luminaries of the decade, like Marcel Duchamp and Lucio Fontana. He devoted himself to “color grammar,” researching art backgrounds,

whether they were composed of plaster, chalkboard, leather or parchment. The objective was to experiment with color. “Color grammar is a reflection on painting from a conceptual point of view,” says Allegra Ravizza, the gallery owner. “On whatever material they’re distilled, in a sequence of vertical beams, the colors of the great Italian fresco tradition, and in particular those of Piero della Francesca and Masaccio, can be replicated in millions of numeric combinations.” Over the years, Marchegiani has taken part in three Venice Art Biennials and has racked up over 100 solo exhibits. He lives in his residence-workshop in the hills surrounding Bologna and teaches painting at Urbino’s Accademia di Belle Arti, which he directed from 1983 to 1988. Works like “Rubber” and his Gods of Olympus series, which includes

“Venus” and “Minerva,” are “printed” and boxed up so that only shadows can be seen through a translucent Plexiglas, along with a sequence of psychedelic colors synchronized to music by John Cage, which the musician himself chose for his work. The artist showcases a masterful use of color, making it iridescent simply by filtering it through little glass sheets. “I’ve always been fascinated by rainbows and by colors in general,” says Marchegiani, “and I apply them to a wide variety of materials, like glass or mirrors.” Despite his age, the recognition he’s received and his fame, Marchegiani – one of the major exponents of Italian 20thcentury art and culture – remains a simple, interesting and also very friendly man. He always has something fascinating to tell. Without ever repeating himself. 237 A

A high art _ interview

Skin to skin By Grace Banks

Breath has heritage for Shirazeh Houshiary. Through diverse mediums – a church window in London’s St. Martin in the Fields, a nine-minute film at the 2013 Venice Biennial – the abilities and limits of humanity expressed through how we breathe is one of the key ideas the artist pursues. In Shirazeh’s new show, “The Eye Fell in Love with the Ear” at New York’s Lehmann Maupin Gallery, a study of this theme is offered through large canvasses, sculpture and installation video. “As people we are constantly trying to define ourselves, but breath is a clear signifier of how we really feel,” the artist says. Shirazeh’s new work is intentionally deceptive. The canvas “Dark Senses” initially appears as inviting cloud-like puffs of air, but upon closer inspection these

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clouds are the phrases “I am” and “I am not” in Arabic. “The words are crushing up on each other, like a vibration. I want it to feel as though a friend is standing behind you and breathing on your neck.” The artist spends no less than four months on each canvas, painting them upright then laying them flat on the floor and adding what she refers to as the skin of the piece. “Through skins I create a feeling of human touch. From afar the painting looks light, but when you get close it’s very different. The viewer has to encounter this kind of relationship in the world we live in – it’s our dark senses, the ones that don’t rely on the eyes.” In the artist’s first ever diptych, “Echo,” this idea is explored to a greater extent.

©Shirazeh Houshiary/Lehmann Maupin

Shirazeh Houshiary explores the human experience

What looks like a landscape with clear boundaries is actually a series of fine lines rendered with military precision. Was this intentional? Absolutely. “I want people to think the line in ‘Echo’ is a boundary, but it isn’t. It’s just a zone of darkness that connects the two colors.” On top of these paintings, there’s a dusting of the artist’s own fingerprints in white. The effect is unnerving and changes the narrative of the work completely, transforming the viewer into a key part of the piece. “Dust,” a seven-minute video installation, invites the viewer into a soprano chant reminiscent of a sermon. Again the concept of tempo is strong. “The vibration of speech changes as we talk, as we sing and move.” In the same way that the artist’s 2013 Venice Biennial film Breathe was a

testament to the metaphysical properties of speech, “Dust” explores the human condition through words. In contrast to the openness of Shirazeh’s paintings, three sculptures testify to her interest in the austere abilities of digital art. “Eddy” is a real-life incarnation of a digital double helix graphic pushed to its utmost form in anodized aluminum. Part of a series, these pieces stand out with their simplicity. Through them Shirazeh explores the body as the locus of our experience, and how we use it to connect with the vast world we live in. Shirazeh Houshiary’s “The Eye Fell in Love with the Ear” runs until December 28 at Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie St., New York, tel., 239 A

A high art _ middle east

A documented reality

ŠTammam Azzam/Ayyam, Akram Zaatari/Thomas Dane Gallery

By Grace Banks

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This page A glimpse of “28 Nights and a Poem,” an installation by Akram Zaatari Opposite page Tammam Azzam’s “Freedom Graffiti”

Two London shows by Middle Eastern artists explore the nature of identity The image of a war-torn Damascus house attempting to travel the world fueled by the helium of party balloons is undoubtedly a compelling one. If the deconstructionists went a long way to illustrate the impossibility of physically recording identity, the work in Tammam Azzam’s current show “I, The Syrian,” at London’s Ayyam Gallery, makes a convincing case to prove them wrong. As the house bumps into national monuments from The Louvre to the Statue of Liberty, Azzam’s message fights against the situation in his home country by recording the strife of Syrians across the world. It’s a discourse that Lebanese artist Akram Zataari understands. Famed for his work as both a photographer and archivist, as he debuts two new installations based on his decade-long forensic examination of

the Studio Scheherazade, he examines the concept of identity in the Middle East of the 20th century. For Azzam, the exhibit is a result of being jolted into creativity after having had to leave his Damascus home in 2011. “Since I left I’ve felt like a different person,” he says. “Everything has changed since that moment.” The series of digital prints that form this show are a reaction to the artist’s loss of self as well as a deep desire to cure and help. In a series of light boxes entitled “United Russia,” “United Nations” and “United States,” the artist rearranges the colors of the Syrian flag to form a new cultural identity. This was an intentional move. “Before I was creating art for art, just for the sake of it,” he explains. “Now I realize there has to be a purpose, it has to help.” One of the key players on Beirut’s contemporary art scene, Zataari has spent decades documenting life in the Middle East and North Africa, constantly asserting the importance of photography in the formation of identity. In his show at the Thomas Dane Gallery, Zataari’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Studio Scheherazade archive forms a statement on identity. In the installation “28 Nights and a Poem,” the Scheherazade

photographs are reimagined as a visual assault in which LCD screens, video clips, recorded sound, old photographs and super 8 film are utilized with great empathy to convey the importance of documenting the past. Zataari’s mixed media works aim to record the lives of the unrepresented. “Behind these pictures there are so many stories to tell, so much to be found there that you cannot create with a single new image,” says Zaatari. Azzam is hesitant to claim the political meaning of his work. “It’s not for me to decide,” he says. “People can make their own message.” This has become the trademark of the artist who caused a stir in 2012, when the piece he posted on Facebook, “Freedom Graffiti,” his recreation of Klimt’s “The Kiss” on a bullet ridden wall in downtown Damascus, was reposted by The Saatchi Gallery. The image was one of a series entitled “Syrian Museum” in which Goya, Van Gogh and Warhol were all in the mix. “I hadn’t anticipated the reaction I got,” Zaatari says. “Akram Zataari: On Photography, People and Modern Times” runs until February 1 at Thomas Dane Gallery,, and “I, the Syrian” by Tammam Azzam runs from December 10-January 13 at Ayyam Gallery, Both shows are in London. 241 A

A high art _ graffiti

Art crimes?

By Robert Landon

Os Gemeos elevate graffiti into an explosive art form

I admit I am one of those retrograde souls who believes you should gain permission before spray-painting public spaces. I guess I’m trapped, mentally speaking, in 1974, the year Miss Rone taught me never-ever-ever to touch pencil to desktop. In the meantime, the world has moved past such quaint taboos. The process was already under way by the early ‘80s, when the documentary film Style Wars won widespread reconsideration of graffiti’s expressive power. By the end of the ‘80s, Keith Haring and his cohorts had imbued street art with a searing moral urgency. Ironically, my own serious reconsideration of street art began inside a decorous, whitecube gallery at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. It happened in late 2012, when I attended the first US show devoted to the works of São Paulo-based street artists Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, better known as “Os Gemeos” (Portuguese for “the twins,” which they are).

©Paul Clemence

I was standing in front of a smallish, untitled

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panel painting of two cartoon-like characters in a New York subway train. Inside the train car, space and reality seemed to have been stretched and distorted, nightmarishly so. Each detail was painstakingly observed, but any reality was squeezed, twisted and crunched out of it. At the same time, the painting reduced fullfleshed human beings to glorified stick figures, albeit with carefully observed details like the creased fabric of their clothes. And yet two figures in a background photo appeared much more “real” than the pair of “live” young men in front of them, thanks to realist techniques like foreshortening and chiaroscuro. Complicating the ontological situation further, lettered signs floated in a dimensionless no-man’s land amid these different representation modes. Forbidding spitting, radio-playing and other forms of unsavory fun, the signs were at once the most unambiguous, sharply focused element of the work and also the most consciously

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artificial. Finally, at the opposite end of the realness gradient, came the graffiti that coated the train’s walls. Though grungy and apparently artless, these freeform tags were the most tangible element in the painting. They possessed an almost three-dimensional realness within this otherwise topsy-turvy dream space. Under the spell of this sly concoction, my friend and I headed outdoors to look for the hulking mural the twins had recently bestowed on downtown Boston. A 244

If ever the Os Gemeos were arrested and I were their judge, I’d spring them on the same principle that convinced a French magistrate to free Jean Genet: genius trumps petty crime. In the meantime, cranks like Miss Rone and I will keep railing against graffiti, even as enlightened folk champion it as a liberatory force. And out of this friction will come a new generation of renegades. They, too, will try to reorder the world from the outside – at least until they are invited into a nice, warm gallery space. May they all be as good as Os Gemeos.

©Paul Clemence

It wasn’t hard to find. Completely covering a multi-story expanse of brick above nearby Dewey Square, the mural depicts an enormous, pajama-clad young man whose body filled virtually the entire space. I say “mural” deliberately, because you really can’t call something graffiti when, like this work, it has been approved by a complex hive of administrative and regulatory offices. Yes, virtually every element of the mural is inspired by graffiti – trompe l’oeil playfulness, a bursting exuberance of color and pattern, a heroically large figure masked against both prying eyes and paint fumes. However, the anarchic spirit of street art has, like the mural’s subject, been crammed completely, if uncomfortably, into an institutional frame.

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A high art _ photographer

Love Letter to the planet

©Sebastião Salgado

By Brent Gregston

Legendary photojournalist Sebastião Salgado has been on a nine-year mission to capture the last wild places on earth

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Sebastião Salgado calls his new collection of pictures Genesis. It has been published as a book (Taschen), and an exhibition of Genesis photographs is touring the world – it’s showing at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris until January 5. The German director Wim Wenders is making a documentary about the project titled Shade and Light. This “homage to our planet in its natural state” is entirely monochrome. Salgado insists that he doesn’t know how to photograph in color, which he says leaves nothing to the imagination. He prefers “the chiaroscuro palette of black-and-white images.” The 245 photos in the Paris exhibition are divided, like the book, into five sections: Planet South, Sanctuaries of Nature, Africa, the Great North, and Amazonia and Pantanàl. Each and every image reflects Salgado’s fascination with the natural world. “I didn’t take images as a photojournalist or zoologist. I did it for myself, to explore this planet with its minerals, vegetation and animal life. I came to the realization that we owe it immense respect.” Salgado’s inspiration is not Biblical. For him, Genesis, “the beginning of everything,” is a world untouched by industrialization. That is where he could photograph “the air, water

and fire that gave birth to life.” Places like the Galapagos Islands, the icy Kamchatka peninsula or the rolling sand dunes south of Djanet in Algeria. And the Antarctic. “The place,” said Salgado at the inauguration, quoting a Brazilian proverb, “where the wind goes to come back.” He recalled the whales lunging for his camera like “playful dogs, because they are so curious.” It is there he encountered, on tiny Zavodovski Island, a million penguins. “In the past, the only animal I photographed was us,” he said.

In Genesis, Salgado introduces us to indigenous peoples who, he says, have “real links to nature”: The nomadic Nenets in Siberia, the San people of Botswana and the Kuikuro of Amazon. Salgado invited their tribal leader, Afukaka, to Paris for the inauguration of Genesis. Speaking to the assembled journalists, Afukaka said his people might disappear because of dam building and the scarcity of fish. He cursed soybeans – Brazil is now the world’s largest producer – because soybean production has created air pollution in the Pantanàl.

More perhaps than any other photographer of our time, Salgado has provided a window on the world of the poor. Workers is the story of manual laborers in 26 countries that took seven years to complete, while Migrations, a six-year project, documents the displacement of people in 35 different countries – by wars, famine, environmental degradation and overpopulation – and the rise of megacities like São Paulo and Mumbai. His most famous pictures are of Brazil’s Serra Pelada gold mine, a human anthill formed by thousands of workers moving ore by hand. “For a long time I was very concerned with the distribution of wealth on the planet,” said Salgado, “and I come from a Third World country so I photographed this. Today I’m very concerned about the environment.”

Salgado says that Genesis was a personal voyage of discovery inspired by his childhood spent in a forest in Brazil, where he grew up with his seven sisters and cattle rancher father. When he inherited the farm many years later, it was a wasteland. He and his wife planted an estimated two million trees and slowly the native birds and animals began to return. Today, his land is a nature reserve. The experience inspired him to explore the earth’s unspoiled corners. He was surprised by what he found. Our earthly paradise is in danger but not yet lost: “Fortyfive percent of our planet is still what it was at the beginning…I am also much more hopeful about the future of the planet after this project than I was at the start.” 247 A

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Capturing the future

By Sabina Llewellyn-Davies

ŠDaniele Chikhani, George Zouein

Up-and-coming Lebanese photographers

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This page Daniele Chickhani’s sculptural photographs Opposite page George’s Zouein’s untitled photograph, inspired by religious iconography

New book Art Cities of the Future, published earlier this year by Phaidon, names Beirut one of the 12 great artistic capitals of the coming years. Here are three homegrown photographers to watch; all of them exhibited their work at Artheum’s Beirut Photo Fair last September. George Zouein Since his first solo show entitled “Triad,” in 2010 in Beirut, George Zouein’s work has matured, with his photography taking on increasing beauty. Inspired by religious iconography, painterly tableaux, epic literature and ancient mythology, he recently produced a series of striking portraits, setting nudes in bizarre surroundings like a dilapidated factory or a lush forest swamp, inviting observers on a magical trip into his wondrous mind. The 27-year old cites Nick Knight as an inspiration, “because of the way he plays with technology to push the boundaries of photography, while still maintaining incredible aesthetics. I also like Gregory Crewdson’s meticulously crafted compositions.” Zouein is currently exploring mixed media and is also playing with the idea of an installation. “Because my work depicts a particular vision or aesthetic that comes from within me, traveling doesn’t really change the nature or concepts of my work, but it can offer different locations.” His next solo show takes places this winter in Beirut. * K DOH E & DE E DE ¾ A trained architect, Ghaleb Cabbabé believes that his profession has had a real impact on the composition and balance of his photos. “However, I feel it could also be constraining sometimes, as

it somehow limits creativity: unlike a house, a photo will not necessarily collapse if it is not perfectly built. I have been learning when to cross that nice barrier if needed. Even for a short while.” The 35-year-old Cabbabé, who exhibited his photography for the first time in 2012, studied photography at the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, and this stint in the Czech capital had a great impact on his outlook. “It was a challenge, and I can say that my approach toward photography definitely changed during my stay there.” During his Czech sojourn, he produced 249 A

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Two photographs from Ghaleb Cabbabé’s “Red Line” series

Daniele Chikhani “I am a curious person. Wherever I am, even if my camera is not in my bag, I like to watch, appreciate, learn, share and feel spaces, people, nature, animals, movements, atmospheres, emotions, whatever. And, all of this, without any judgment. It just makes me happy,” says Daniele Chikhani. This about sums up the essence of Chikhani’s photography, which is focused on capturing the good life. She worked as an architect for over 20 years in France and moved to Beirut in 2006. Since then, she’s exhibited extensively in the Middle East. As an architect, she took many photos of building projects. “I appreciate lines and shapes a lot. A photo has to be balanced like a house or a building. It has a base, corners, proportions, content and form. A photo is exactly what you see, but with no pollution around it. It helps you dream about your own emotions.” Inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, the great French photographer who loved watching and catching people in the street, her photos capture the diverse folk and scenery witnessed on her extensive travels around the world. Her next exhibition is scheduled for spring 2014 in Florence, Italy. A 250

©Ghaleb Cabbabé

a series of blunt images of concrete apartment blocks and stark public spaces, which are abundant in Prague’s suburbs. After his display at the Beirut Art Fair in 2013, he received the Byblos Bank Award for photography. This winter, he’s showing his latest work at the Velryba Gallery in Prague.

ŠDavid La Chapelle Studio, Nick Knight, Mario Testino, Diego Uchitel

A high art _ fashion

Blow galore

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By Sabina Llewellyn-Davies

A major London exhibit pays tribute to the late, great Isabella Blow The brilliantly eccentric Isabella Blow lived fashion like no one else. “Tip: Always accentuate the head and the feet,” Blow once said. And, true to her word, she was rarely seen without a headturning Philip Treacy hat and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Born into British aristocracy, Blow began her 30-year career in fashion in the early ‘80s as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue. In 1986 she returned to the United Kingdom to work at Tatler, and then moved on to British Vogue. In the ‘90s she became fashion director of Sunday Times Style, prior to a triumphant return to Tatler as fashion director. While her work required a regular presence at the major fashion shows, Blow wasn’t all that interested in couture. She preferred to scout talent in Paris and London and push 253 A

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the boundaries of convention with her provocative fashion spreads, in collaboration with photographers Steven Meisel, David LaChapelle and Sean Ellis. She is credited with launching the careers of Brit designers like Alexander McQueen and discovering models Stella Tennant and Sophie Dahl. As her influence on fashion diminished over time, Blow fell into a deep depression and eventually took her own life in 2007 by ingesting weed-killer.

“Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!” runs until March 2
at Somerset House, Embankment Galleries, Strand, London WC2, tel. 44.20.7845.4600, A 254

©Donald McPherson

To celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary woman, the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins have teamed to stage “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!” The show is curated by Alistair O’Neill and Shonagh Marshall and designed by award-winning architectural firm Carmody Groarke, with installations by set designer Shona Heath. Set in London’s Somerset House, the show features over 100 pieces from Blow’s extraordinary collection, which includes garments, hats and shoes from designer talents she discovered and launched, like McQueen, Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald. The exhibit also features La Dame Bleue, the spring/summer 2008 collection created by McQueen and Treacy to honor Blow after her death and evoke her legacy: a remarkable life lived through fashion.

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A high art _ exhibits

Through a prism of desire Held by Desire “Held by Desire” is an exhibition of new works by British artist Marc Quinn. In the show, Quinn explores how desire shapes our universe and affects man’s relationship with nature. Investigating the boundaries between art, nature and the “man-made,” Quinn asks the viewer to re-examine the surrounding world by taking a closer look at its raw and seemingly mystical elements. On view until January 4 at White Cube, 50 Connaught Rd., Central, Hong Kong, tel. 852.2592, 2000,

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©Yasmine Eid Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré, Takeshi Murata, Marc Quinn

International art shows to adorn the holiday season

Empire State “Empire State: New York Art Now” explores the constantly shifting realities and mythologies of New York City. This ambitious intergenerational survey presents the work of 25 renowned and emerging New York City artists – each in depth and with important new work being shown – and suggests how they might reimagine the relationship between their community and the life of the city. Featured artists include Jeff Koons, Rob Pruitt, Julian Schnabel, Moyra Davey, Takeshi Murata and Joyce Pensato. On view until February 15 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc, Pantin, Paris, tel. 33.1.5589.0110, Exposure 2013 Beirut Art Center (BAC) is staging the fifth edition of its annual group show “Exposure,” dedicated to emerging artists in and from Lebanon. Although working with different media, Camila Salame, Christine Kettaneh, Helene Kazan, Inaya Hodeib and Maha Kays express particular impressions of memory and home, while a personal story is the starting point in the works of Yasmine Eid Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré, Lara Tabet, Pedro Barakat and Yasmina Haddad. On view until January 11 at Beirut Art Center, Jisr al Wati, tel. 01.397.018,

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©Lari Pittman/Regen Projects

From a Late Western Impaerium LA-based artist Lari Pittman’s solo exhibit features three monumental paintings, two large canvases and multiple series of drawings. Titled “From a Late Western Impaerium,” the show constructs a loose narrative of nationhood that travels between the present and the distant past. Through it all, Pittman poses the question of what a contemporary “history painting” might be today. On view until December 21 at Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, tel. 1.310.276.5424,

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Paradise Lost Opulent scenes of beastly anthropomorphic figures amid fantastical worlds of idyllic skies and classical ruins fill artist Raqib Shaw’s “Paradise Lost” exhibit, which encompasses all three venues of Chelsea’s Pace Gallery. At 508 W. 25th Street, three painted bronzes are on show, while at 510 W. 25th Street, Shaw’s most monumental work to date, “Paradise Lost,” started in 2001 and finished in 2013, covers 12 massive panels. And at 534 W. 25th Street, series of paintings and drawings by Shaw are shown, including “St. Sebastian of the Poppies.” On view until January 11 at Chelsea’s Pace Galleries, New York, tel. 1.212.989.4258, A 260

©Raqib Shaw/Pace Gallery, Akram Zaatari/Sfeir-Semler Gallery

This Day at 10 Akram Zaatari’s work is featured in a solo Beirut exhibit titled “This Day at 10,” running during the holiday season and beyond. The celebrated Lebanese artist recently represented his country at the Venice Biennial with the film “Letter to a Refusing Pilot.” His work is also currently featured at London’s Thomas Dane Gallery. On view from December 6-March 22 at Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Tannous Bldg., Karantina, Beirut, tel. 01.566.550,


A high art _ exhibits

©Dieter Roth Estate/Hauser & Wirth

Islands The landmark exhibit “Islands” brings together over 50 works by Dieter Roth, a key figure on the international art scene of the past 50 years. It is being put on with the collaboration of his son, Björn. The imposing installations are given the opportunity to interact with the former industrial space of HangarBicocca. The public is taken on a journey through thematic “islands” in the multidisciplinary creative universe of the artist, whose work has revolutionized the way art is made and seen. On view until February 9 at HangarBicocca, 2 Via Privata Chiese, Milan, tel. 39.02.6611.1573,

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A gourmet _ restaurants

A feast in two cities By Salma Abdelnour

The first time I walked into Il Buco in New York, I had a sudden, intense Beirut flashback. It’s hard to say what exactly triggered this: the restaurant, just a few steps west of the Bowery, isn’t Lebanese; it’s Italian – very Italian, serving all kinds of obscure pasta dishes and regional preparations from every corner of Italy. I didn’t overhear anyone speaking Arabic or even French in the restaurant. And even though this was back in the days when smoking was allowed in New York dining rooms and bars, only a few scattered people were holding lit cigarettes, gesturing with them and blowing wisps of smoke as they chatted and laughed, ate and sipped their wine. Many of the tables at Il Buco are communal, so if you’re a party of two, you might find yourselves sharing a big table with a group of four. You don’t have to talk to the strangers at the table – often you may not want to – but the point is, you can do so if everyone feels inclined to turn the night into a mini dinner party with a potentially intriguing, possibly dull, could-be fascinating cluster of unknowns who might

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become friends for life. The food at Il Buco is served mostly on small plates meant for sharing, and it’s consistently a revelation: fragrant, beautifully prepared, often unexpected dishes that one doesn’t always find in the hundreds, thousands of Italian restaurants that crowd the city. I’ve been to Il Buco on nights when the couples there on dates, or the groups of friends who arrived together, stuck together and didn’t interact with others at the table if they happened to be seated communally. (Il Buco has many regular tables too – private ones that offer no chance of mingling with strangers.) And I’ve also been there on nights when the strangers dipped into each others’ plates, discovering new flavors and favorites that they hadn’t thought to order themselves. However you play the night, at Il Buco it always feels like an adventure, which is a rare experience at most restaurants in these jaded days. So what was it about Il Buco that kept bringing me back to Beirut, unexpectedly, on that cold New York night when I first walked in with an old friend? It wasn’t the

©Il Buco, Tawlet

Beirut flashbacks in a New York restaurant – and vice versa

This page Lebanese restaurant Tawlet in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael Opposite page Il Buco, a classic Italian restaurant in New York

small-plates-style dining that reminds me of mezza. Nor was it the stylishly dressed crowd, the just-right, dim lighting, the open bottles of wine everywhere or the wafting cigarette smoke. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was something much less obvious: a certain feeling in the air, a vibe that so many New York restaurateurs attempt to give their dining rooms but often fail to. It’s that sense of occasion, of hey-everyonewe’re-out-tonight-let’s-see-what-happens, let’s have a big night. Beirutis know how to do this, and they seek it out and make it happen. New Yorkers do too when they want to, but usually – and I know I’ll offend some people with this, and maybe even start a fight – they’re not as good at it. As much as New Yorkers in general love going out to restaurants, if they’re not planning a particularly festive event like a birthday or farewell toast or wedding proposal, they don’t tend to infuse the evening with the same sense of importance. A group of friends out to dinner rarely grows bigger or more unwieldy as the night goes on, the way it tends to in Beirut.

Not every night is like this at Il Buco – some nights are more low-key – but I’ve had flashes of Beirut often enough to keep me going back, more often than I’ve returned to most New York restaurants. I miss Beirut constantly when I’m in New York – isn’t this the plight of so many displaced Lebanese? – but then of course when I’m in Beirut, I miss New York. And in Beirut, too, there’s a restaurant that reminds me of New York. What’s ironic, though, is that this particular place not only does not serve “American” food (whatever that is); it serves what’s arguably the most fiercely Lebanon-proud cuisine of any restaurant in Beirut. I’m thinking of Mar Mikhael’s Tawlet, where almost every time I go for lunch, I discover an obscure Lebanese regional dish that I’ve never had before – for instance, kibbet batata bi awarma w’labne. So what’s New York about Tawlet? Everything about it besides the menu. The restaurant taps into the most current trends in New York food culture: the obsession with locally sourced ingredients, the commitment to giving small farms credit

for growing high-quality produce, the focus on seasonally driven cooking and the commitment to rediscovering forgotten recipes and bringing them to a larger audience. Just about every ambitious, ofthe-moment chef in New York is doing some or all of the above right now, and making a big deal about it. Tawlet’s owner Kamal Mouzawak is no stranger to New York, and I’d venture to say he was influenced to some degree by what’s happening in the food scene there – but his vision for Tawlet remains distinctly Lebanese. I go to Tawlet whenever I’m in Beirut, mainly to eat Lebanese food, and specifically his restaurant’s unparalleled version of it. But also to be transported, in a small way, back to New York. Oh, and Tawlet has communal tables too, just like Il Buco – and more so. I’ve had some of my best meals at Tawlet when I’ve chatted with strangers sitting near me at the table. And I’ve had some of my best meals alone too, or with friends or relatives, when we’ve focused only on each other – and on the glorious, transporting food on our plates. 265 A

A gourmet _ vegetarian

Hold the beef By Gail Goldberg and Marwan Naaman

Think vegetarian cuisine is boring? Think again. From Europe to the United States, skilled chefs have transformed your average carrot, tomato and eggplant into sophisticated dinner fare replete with unusual flavors. Greens in San Francisco The City by the Bay is one of the top foodie destinations on the planet. Naturally, that makes for heavenly and endless gastronomic experiences for residents and visitors alike. But life isn’t as predictable for the thousands of restaurants inhabiting the hills, hidden alleys and hoods – as only the fittest (or delicious-est) survive. At age 35, Greens vegetarian restaurant has more than proven it has staying power and serious culinary chops. A trailblazer in the world of organic vegetarian cuisine, Greens is an urban

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oasis and longtime favorite of locals, including many a fawning carnivore. Set in historic Fort Mason Center on the marina, with picture-postcard views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge, the casually chic cavernous space serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and also has a popular to-go counter. It’s known for its use of highquality sustainable ingredients from small local farmers, as well as its own garden located in Marin County. Helmed by renowned executive chef Annie Somerville, the cuisine is inspired by the flavors and traditions of Mexico, the Mediterranean and the American Southwest. The menu changes regularly, but on any given day, patrons can expect creative and colorful dishes rich in textures and simple in presentation. Whet your appetite with changing offerings like grilled Frog Hollow Warren pear with watercress and fire-

©Teresa Carles, Greens

Restaurants that take vegetarian cuisine to lofty, refined heights

This page Barcelona’s Teresa Carles restaurant and one of its delectable vegetarian dishes Opposite page The 35-year-old classic restaurant Greens in San Francisco

roasted Poblano chili with butternut squash, quinoa, grilled onions, pumpkin seeds and Redwood Hill goat cheese. An impressive wine program and desserts that make you go “yum” accompany an always-delightful dining experience. For reservations, tel. 1.415.771.6222, Teresa Carles in Barcelona At first, it’s difficult to tell that Teresa Carles is a vegetarian restaurant. This family owned establishment has been preparing delectable, tasty vegetarian fare since it opened in March 2011, and its menu is so diverse, so well put together, that even die-hard meat lovers will appreciate lunch, brunch or dinner within its charming brick walls. Even though the restaurant’s opening on Carrer Jovellanos, in Barcelona’s historic Raval neighborhood, is recent, Carles has been at the forefront of Spain’s vegetarian

movement since 1979. She opened her first restaurant, Paradis, in Lleida, in Spain’s western Catalonia region. At her eponymous Barcelona restaurant, Carles gives you the opportunity to design your own salad, using ingredients such as leafy greens, cashew nuts, fennel, sundried tomatoes, dried figs, tofu and alfalfa sprouts. She also offers starters such as pumpkin balls, vegetable tempura, an assortment of vegetable patés, stuffed mushrooms and zucchini cream soup. For the main course, choices may include pear and gorgonzola pasta, carbonara spaghettini with black truffle, eggplant millefeuille and a changing selection of quiches. The desserts at Teresa Carles are delightful: think apple crumble, Catalan cheesecake, tiramisu and avocado cake. For a beverage, you can select from a rich menu of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable concoctions. No matter what you choose to have, though, you’ll be 267 A

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pleasantly surprised at the inventive dishes Carles has managed to create, in which meat, fish and poultry are entirely absent. For reservations, tel. 93.317.1829,

broccoli and smoked tofu, served with peas, ginger, lemongrass, sesame and coriander. You can even opt for the hommos, creatively presented with tomato chutney and homemade bread.

David Bann in Edinburgh David Bann is Scotland’s most celebrated vegetarian chef. Attesting to his continued popularity, his eponymous, contemporary restaurant, located just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, is always buzzing with local and international diners intent on sampling Bann’s creative cuisine.

As a main course, select the Latin Americaninspired chili pancake made with red lentils and stuffed with potato, zucchini and chocolate sauce. Or go for the highly unusual (and tasty) beetroot, apple and Dunsyre blue cheese pudding.

The menu at David Bann is a mix of Mediterranean, Asian and Latin American fare, with vegetarianism as the only common trait. Recommended starters include the delicate tartlet of blue cheese and slow dried tomato, cooked with garlic and basil, and the Thai fritter of spiced A 268

Dessert is not to be missed. Try the hot pear and passion fruit tart served with homemade chocolate ice cream or the whiskey panna cotta with cardamom plums and meringue. And there’s a nice and changing selection of sorbets if you’re in the mood for a light finish. For reservations, tel. 44.131.556.5888,

©David Bann

David Bann in Edinburgh serves inventive vegetarian fare

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A gourmet _ sweets

By Rose Mark

Turkey’s addictive dessert confections

I bit into the baklava. My mouth flooded with sensations. Buttery layers of crisp filo leaves, a crunch of pistachio nuts, more buttery layers drenched with an ambrosial syrup. I was seduced by my first sweet encounter in Istanbul. Everywhere I traveled there seemed to be a sweet shop specializing in baklava, Turkish delight/loukoum candies, ice creams and puddings, each offering goodies that would tempt the holiest of saints to sin. Layered and rolled baklava as well as katayef, the elaborate coils and nests of shredded filo leaves filled with choices of almond, walnut,

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Walking into Hazer Baba confectionery shop, outside of the Spice Bazaar, my eyes popped and my mouth watered at the array of different loukoum candies being offered. Bite-sized, delicately sweet, gel-like squares of fruit and rosewater-scented pieces came in a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, textures and shapes. One version made with nougat had a delicious chewy marshmallow texture: I couldn’t decide between the hazelnut, coconut or pistachio filling. Others with gum mastic had a taffy-like chew. Unable to choose between ruby-red pomegranate

with pistachio or hazelnut studded nougat, I tried them both. Small logs rolled and layered, filled and sprinkled with combinations of nuts, chocolates and fruit flavors enticed me next. The most unusual candy looked like a long sausage on a rope. Dondurma ice cream, made from goat’s milk and sahlab powder from orchid roots, was purported to be an aphrodisiac, so I was eager to try it. Verdict: creamy, chewy and slow to melt in my mouth. Sutlac, a rose-water flavored rice pudding with a caramelized topping, was addictively light and soothing, while rich and hearty asure, made from grains, dried fruits, nuts and spices, filled me with satisfaction. On my last night in Istanbul a tray of coiled tulumba (a sort of Turkish doughnut), dripping with syrup, caught my eye as I hurried to the airport. How could I resist? I left Turkey hoping to return soon for more sweet encounters.


Ottoman treats

pistachio or hazelnut, tempted me at every corner. At Karaköy Güllüoglu, I dabbed a spoonful of kaymak, a clotted cream made from buffalo milk, onto my burma katayef and swooned over this combination. At Taksim Square I tried one shaped like green rose petals. Filled with finely ground pistachios, it was delicate and delectable. So many choices and too few days, would I be able to satisfy my lust for experiencing it all?

A gourmet _ tea

‘Tis the season for tea By MacKenzie Lewis

Put down the Red Bull and cancel that juice cleanse: this season’s secret weapon is far less extreme. “People are so health conscious now,” says Claude Chaccal, owner of Jal el Dib teahouse Théa, “that tea has become trendy because of its benefits.” The charming tearoom/shop offers a growing assortment of tea to relieve the ailments that rear their groggy, stressed out heads at the end of each year. Théa introduced Detox Ma Silhouette tea to help clients combat the effects of holiday over-indulging. The detoxifying blend is made from Chinese green tea, which is said to boost the body’s metabolism. Antioxidantrich rooibos combines with mint, fennel and licorice root, known digestion aids, for a pleasantly complex cup. When late nights wreak havoc on skin,

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All this attention to the body, but what about the mind? Théa’s best stress antidote comes in the form of two new holiday teas. On a blustery winter day, Let it Snow, a warm cinnamon- and vanilla-infused African rooibos blend, boosts brain function and relieves headaches. (And while we’re on the topic of natural relaxation, vanilla is widely considered an aphrodisiac.) The Guirlandes de Noël blend, on the other hand, has a much simpler way of reducing seasonal anxiety. Infused with the magical flavors of gingerbread, green fir and pink peppercorn, it manages to encapsulate the holiday spirit in a porcelain teapot. One sip, and every day feels like Christmas morning. Théa is on the Jal el Dib Highway, tel. 04.711.783,

©George Sokhn

Jal el Dib’s Théa offers delectable holiday brews

raise your pinky for a cup of Bonne Mine. The green tea is flavored with calming lemongrass, and lemon peel provides a refreshing top note. A delicate essence of pineapple is also detectable. It works overtime to flush excess water from the body, particularly in cellulite trouble spots. The key beauty-boosting ingredient, however, may be ginger: the root helps to prevent complexionravaging hangovers.


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A lifestyle _ attitude

Aspire to bitchdom By Leslie Jirsa

ŠMÊlanie Dagher

How to channel your inner bitch

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Aspire to bitchdom? Millions do, but sadly, while most of us can deliver the occasional catty swipe at a co-worker or ex-boyfriend, very few reach Pure Bitch status. And that’s because it’s not easy to be a real bitch in real life. For one thing very few of us out there are purely evil. In the real world, we are complex; most of us do have at least some shred of a conscience, however latent. And further, even those actually capable of artistic nastiness are surrounded by pesky moral codes and social rules of polite conduct. Thus, we allow ourselves to slide lethargically into mediocrity; we become petty gossips and passive aggressive bimbos instead. We chuck our potential and become Repressed Bitches. Here are some ways to escape the purgatory of the latter and to finally reach the thrilling status of the former. Embrace. Thrive on confrontation This may sound difficult, but it’s merely a quick change of mindset. When you tell your most hated, recently promoted co-worker that her thick, manly mustache is the reason she lives alone, you must be ready to absorb her anger. If it doesn’t come, be ready for the anger of someone else in the room. Confrontation should never sneak up and smack the Pure Bitch; she should cradle it gently with loving arms. To live life as this kind of a bitch, you are always on the offense. The proper outlook? It’s not your fault you didn’t get promoted, and it’s not your fault she looks like Tom Selleck; you’re just stating the obvious and bringing her down a notch, which she probably deserves. Be the center of attention The Pure Bitch needs her audience – she

knows that without them, there is no one to vouch for, discuss later or appreciate her nastiness. The Pure Bitch needs applause, and therefore has to command the attention of as many people as possible. If you just announced to a roomful of women that you slept with three of their spouses, 15 of them will scrutinize, hate and discuss you for days, and you need them to. But if this initially feels unnerving, think about the five single people in the crowd who were smirking. You’re a hero. Savor it! Dress the part If people are going to be staring, give them something to look at. If you’re training to become a Pure Bitch, it’s not just a makeover of attitude. Hit the gym hard, and break out the credit cards. Looking glamorous and in control gives you leverage, power and confidence. Don’t be afraid of wild styles and bright colors either – the Pure Bitch is outrageous inside and out. Spread vindictive rumors It’s going to be hard for the overly manly, sports-obsessed loser who rejected you to broadcast that you were bad in bed if you’ve already told everyone he’s gay. Again, you’re on the offense. This doesn’t take a lot of creativity, but it does take some basic marketing skills. Who will spread your rumor the fastest? Who will “promise not to tell a soul” and then start a phone tree? It’s critical to remember that being a Pure Bitch has almost nothing to do with “protecting yourself ” (pathetic defensive strategy). Rather, it’s about reducing others to whimpering remnants before it even occurs to them to strike you. Roll solo There is no team in “bitch,” so the Pure Bitch rarely has any friends. Actual

confidants with real information about your “real” feelings or persons in possession of embarrassing information about you compromise your ability to be in constant power. If you have a best friend from grade school who knows you used to have tiny breasts, braces or were so hyperactive your mom made you wear a helmet, kill her. Then, over drinks, coax such information out of others. Spreading such information is power, and can yield the kind of “watch out for her” reputation you need more than anything else. Leave carcasses If the mangled skeletons of previous victims are strategically draped around, they will serve as a powerful warning to others to treat you with the fearful reverence you need. For instance, pointing out a dejectedlooking old “friend” at a café who couldn’t handle her husband (forcing you last year to bed him and divulge to everyone how frigid she is) to the newbie in the neighborhood can begin to mold new minds around your image. A new generation of slightly afraid fans can bolster you in unimaginable ways. Invent Finally, don’t be afraid to use your natural creative gifts: some well-conceived lies can do wonders for your status as Pure Bitch. You have sought an elite position not many can sustain or handle, which means you were born with unique talents. Perhaps you have specific tricks up your sleeve – a searing look, a signature cackle – or perhaps you have a patented ethos that seems to drag dark secrets out of your most hated enemies. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to try. You learn as you go – all crafts take practice. If you’re feeling you’ve burned too many bridges, you’re right where you want to be. 275 A

A lifestyle _ boutiques

Off the shopping path By Tala Habbal

Veer into the unusual this holiday season If local run-of-the-mill boutiques don’t awaken your holiday shopping spirit, look to these five offbeat but enticing stores for unique gift ideas.

Inspired by Paris’ legendary Colette boutique, Prague’s Simple brings highlights of French fashion to the Czech Republic. Located on one of the city’s most glamorous shopping avenues, Simple stocks high-end women’s and menswear labels like Balenciaga, Givenchy, Saint Laurent and Lanvin, in addition to a unique selection of books, cosmetics, fragrances and candles. A cool champagne bar makes the shopping experience all the more fabulous. 20 Parizská, tel. 420.221.771.677, A 276

©Musae Collection, Park, San Carlo, Simple

Simple in Prague

©Musae Collection, Park, San Carlo, Simple

San Carlo dal 1973 in Turin

Touted as one of the first concept stores in Italy, San Carlo dal 1973 is a unique Turinbased fashion company that operates two impressive multi-brand outlets, both for established labels and emerging design talent. Designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, the San Carlo Palazzo Villa space sprawls over three levels and features a living room-like courtyard area where customers can mingle and host events. The store boasts a varied assortment of local and international women’s fashion labels like Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Jil Sander and Fendi, in addition to a wide selection of music, cosmetics, books, home furnishings and art. 169 Piazza San Carlo, tel. 39.011.511.4111,

Musae Collection in Cannes

The beautiful and eclectic Musae Collection boutique, set on the Côte d’Azur, is an exquisite treasure trove of unique home décor items carefully handpicked from around the world. The boutique aims to provide customers with the latest in global interior design trends, ranging from tableware and furniture to candles, towels, rugs, light fixtures and other distinctive trinkets. 11 Rue Notre Dame, tel. 33.4.9369.2723,

Park in Vienna

Founded by contemporary design enthusiasts Markus Strasser and Helmuth Ruthner, Vienna’s hip Park combines fashion, art and industrial design elements in a minimalist space. Park boasts everything from designer womenswear and menswear labels like Maison Martin Margiela and Raf Simons, to accessories, books and magazines, in addition to carefully curated furniture pieces like original Eames chairs. The multi-purpose space also hosts up-and-coming designers, exhibitions and events. 20 Mondscheingasse, tel. 43.1.526.4414, 277 A

A lifestyle _ boutiques

The Oddfish in Beirut

Odd is the perfect word to describe The Oddfish, a quirky Beirut-based concept store that stocks unique items, ranging from streetwear to accessories to home décor, from some of the greatest independent designers around the globe. With everything from cool one-off light fixtures to limited edition toys, Oddfish aims to provide customers with unique and new merchandise every time they stop by. Bohsali Bldg., Port St., tel. 01.566.302.

The Corner Berlin

Located in one of the city’s grandest squares, The Corner Berlin has carved a niche for itself on the Berlin shopping circuit. In addition to being a popular venue for fashion events, the contemporary space is home to some of the hottest men’s and women’s designer labels like Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin and Saint Laurent, to name a few. The remarkable space is also notorious for its exclusive selection of artwork and unique furniture pieces by designers such as Alain Richardson and Arne Jacobsen. 40 Französische Strasse, tel. 49.30.2067.0940,

Stocking some of the trendiest fashion and accessory labels, like American Vintage, Mara Hoffman, Winter Kate and Paul & Joe, 6:05 by Depeche Mode is one of the most unusual stores for women, men and tweens in Beirut. With its very own happy hour every day at, you guessed it, 6:05pm, the high-end, multi-brand boutique also stocks a wide array of cool gadgets, books, cosmetics and homeware items in its two-story loft-like space. This is a hip place to shop, gather and enjoy specialty cocktails. Palladium Bldg., Minet el Hosn, Beirut, tel. 01.974.199, A 278

©6:05, The Corner Berlin, The Oddfish

6:05 in Beirut

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A lifestyle _ nightlife

Mar Mikhael, with a twist By MacKenzie Lewis

Beirut’s top nightlife hub is ready for the holiday crowds

The Happy Prince

With the modesty of a French bistro, The Happy Prince is the unlikely king of the Mar Mikhael cocktail. There are no less than 15 artisanal recipes on its menu, their ingredients shining A 280

©Ieva Saudargaite

Monot, Hamra and Gemmayze have all worn the “party street” crown, but back in 2009, Beirut’s Mar Mikhael began quietly competing for the title. With the recent opening of more than a dozen new bars in the area, the slow shift from residential neighborhood to nightlife hub is finally complete. We’ve rounded up our six picks for an artisanal cocktail or a local beer, but we’re just scratching the surface. Epicery, a casual bar-restaurant from the Behind the Green Door set, and Floyd [the Dog], the latest project from The Mansion team, are set to open before the end of 2013 – and undoubtedly won’t be the last to hit the ‘hood.

This page Internazionale (left), Happy Prince (bottom left) and Cargo (below) Opposite page Vyvyan’s (top right), Radio Beirut (bottom right) and M-Kay (left)

VyvyanÇ s beside the classic standbys. The bistro-bar specializes in infused spirits, adding flavors like cardamom vodka and chipotle tequila to its signature drinks. Fresh herbs, which do double duty as décor and cocktail ingredients, breathe life into the understated décor.


Internazionale’s minimalist interior lends ambiguity to time and place. Mid-century modern décor is punctuated by a DJ booth set in the center of the room, while an airplane full of men, photographed mid-air in the ‘60s, smile down approvingly from the wall. The only hint that this bar is in Mar Mikhael is the view – a picture window overlooks the street, where the ever-hip regulars make an impromptu patio when the weather allows.


A coffee shop by day and a pub by night,

M-Kay sits a few crucial blocks from the rowdy cluster of Mar Mikhael watering holes. That distance, partnered with a bright, airy interior and a covered patio, lets this coffee shop slip quietly into pub mode when the sun goes down. Regulars often set up shop in the afternoon and stick around for the evening, so preface a glass of wine with a cup of coffee for the full experience.

Radio Beirut

If it weren’t for the conspicuous “On Air” sign blazing in the window, you could easily pass Radio Beirut without a second glance. What sets this bar apart isn’t the décor or even the cocktail list (there isn’t one), but the music. In addition to hosting live shows, Radio Beirut broadcasts its online radio station from the bar. Patrons can order a drink, pull up a chair by the broadcasting booth and take in the latest funk, trip hop, jazz and everything in between.

In a way, Vyvyan’s is playing hard to get. The industrial-rustic interior flaunts cracked paint, rusty gears hanging from the wall, a few stools and not much else – and that appears to be the point. On any given night, this too-cool-to-care pub is packed to the door with Beirut’s artsy in-crowd. They spill out onto the sidewalk, where a few tables dot the city pavement.


If you can squeeze past the mob that fills Mar Mikhael’s newest addition, make your way to the back. The tunnel-like wood and steel bar opens onto a secluded terrace, where patrons and the bar’s owners flit between tables, creating an intimate, house-party vibe. The lack of pretention extends to the details; cocktail specialties change on a whim, but small potted herbs that hang from the bar are frequent ingredients, and underground music trumps commercial sounds heard in stuffier clubs. 281 A

A lifestyle _ airport lounges

Lounging about Add glamour to your travel experience

As you probably already know, British Airways now has regular flights from Beirut to London and, from there, to almost any destination in the world. We examined the British Airways Club World travel experience in detail in a previous issue of A magazine (see “Flying with the Brits,” Aug/Sep 2013, p.286). Now, we take a pictorial look at four of British Airways’ most engaging international lounges: Terminals 1 and 5 in London Heathrow, New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport and Newark’s Liberty Airport.

©British Airways

The British Airways business class lounges in London Heathrow Terminal 1 (far left), London Heathrow Terminal 5 (immediate left) and Newark’s Liberty Airport (bottom left), plus the Concorde Room at JFK Airport in New York (below)

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A journey _ hawaii

Rugged paradise

ŠMark Downey

By Julie Ann Getzlaff

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Get to know the pristine island of Kauai

As a longtime visitor to the Hawaiian Islands, people often ask me, “Which island should I visit?” My answer is always the same: “It depends on what you want to do.” All of the islands feature gorgeous scenery, tropical temperatures and unspoiled beaches. Oahu has fabulous restaurants and big waves; the Big Island has an active, lava-spewing volcano and the calmest waters for diving; Maui is both family-friendly and great for windsurfing; Lanai is remote and quiet, known for golf and horseback riding.

But what sort of island is Kauai? Lush. Rugged. Mellow. Profound. It is the oldest island in the archipelago, more than five million years old, and isolated. Dive off of its northern shores and swim due north (not recommended): the next stop is Alaska and the Bering Sea, 4,828 kilometers away. And what sort of traveler is attracted to Kauai? People who love and appreciate Mother Nature and can afford the plane ticket. This surprisingly eclectic group includes hippies, hikers, honeymooners, retirees – even golfers. What do they come for?

To be astounded by Na Pali, 609-meter-high, emerald green cliffs that rise straight out of an aquamarine sea. To perch on the rim of Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and stare into its 16-kilometerlong, 900-meter gorge. To stand on the sandbar at sunny Poipu Beach, feeling the warm waters of the South Pacific washing over their toes. To tee off to birdsong at dawn on one of the island’s championship golf courses. And to do nothing at all. Out of all of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the place a visitor is most likely to have a beach all to herself on a Monday afternoon. A good book, a bottle of cold water, a bright towel laid out under a waving palm, the lulling sound of gentle surf – that is all this writer needs to unwind completely. Of course, if your idea of sunbathing involves a plush sun bed and poolside service, this island will not disappoint. Kauai may be rugged, but it’s not without luxury. Check yourself into one of the five-star hotels, and you are assured a deliciously pampered existence for however long you choose to stay: the softest sheets, fourhanded massages, secluded gardens, valets who know you by name and poolside service that could make you forget there are places to explore outside your hotel’s perimeter. There is one thing, however, that you should not come to Kauai for: nightlife. Sundown on Kauai is best celebrated over a relaxed meal at one of the island’s excellent Hawaiian fusion restaurants – Roy’s or Red Salt – where you can sample some of the freshest seafood 285 A

A journey _ hawaii

my life on Kauai, when I signed up for a sea kayak tour along the Na Pali coast. Our group left early from unspoiled Ke’e Beach, the literal “end of the road” on the island’s North Shore. From Ke’e all the way to Polihale Beach on the other side of the Na Pali range, there was just one place to rest.

You’ll wake up refreshed and possibly ready for adventure, which is a good thing on an island that offers the chance to hike secluded trails to hidden waterfalls and swim in a protected lava pool on the ocean’s edge that was once reserved for Hawaiian royalty.

Like anything worth doing in life, it was difficult, but rewarding. As we paddled steadily in rolling waves, the morning sun in our eyes, I squinted up at the verdant cliffs that rose straight up from the ocean floor into the sky. My guide, a sun-burnished man born and raised on the island, saw my awestruck look and smiled. These cliffs have mana,”

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he said. Mana – a Hawaiian word for spiritual power. Maybe you had to be there, but I had no doubt that he was correct. Such rugged beauty can only come from one source, the most profound source of all, and when you reconnect with it you are suddenly healed, at peace – even in a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from home. Perhaps that is the real reason people come to Kauai. A bit of Kauai info Top hotels Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Kauai Marriott Resort at Kalapaki Beach lihhi-kauai-marriott-resort Koa Kea Hotel and Resort Kauai on film For a glimpse of Kauai before you go watch The Descendants with George Clooney or old favorites like Raiders of the Lost Arc, Jurassic Park and Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii. Kauai in books An excellent book that touches on Hawaii and Kauai is Paul Theroux’s The Happy Isles of Oceania. The best guidebook to Kauai is The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook.

©Mark Downey

you will ever taste. Try local favorites like poke: cubes of ahi tuna sashimi marinated with sea salt and tossed with sesame oil, wakame seaweed and chili pepper. Pair the dish with a glass of sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, and you won’t mind going to bed early to the sound of rolling waves.


C H I C Available at A誰zone stores. 01 99 11 11

A journey _ las vegas

So what« s new in Las Vegas? By Elgy Gillespie

Sin City is as kitschy as ever

The glitzy Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, takes a solemn oath to keep wannabe stars and their secrets under wraps. Or to put it the hotel’s way, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” hinting at their chance to be the wrong amount of wrong, even outright wicked. But you can’t take anything too seriously in Sin City. Casino profits are way down, the mayor locked up the Mafia inside a new museum and what happens in the Capital of Wicked comes straight from that celluloid A 288

smash hit The Hangover. This is the movie where bachelor partygoers wake up to a live tiger in their bathtub and a baby in the bed. That hasn’t happened to me – no tigers. But snaggle-toothed tiger sharks are the hot new must-see. Never doubt the Vegas knack for reinventing itself in tougher times. Its latest move is revamping Old Vegas to lure locals – and adding yet more sharks. First came Mandalay Shark Reef, where you enjoy hands-on schmoozing with 41 sharks from eight species, diving in a 1.3 million-gallon shark tank and harvesting shark teeth – perfect souvenir gifts? Human-mammal encounters like this breathe new thrills into aquariums, seemingly. And if you don’t have $650 and a wetsuit certificate, you can watch a komodo dragon getting its nails done instead.

©Catherine Barry, Neon Museum

“Just the right amount of wrong!” is what the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas promises this fallen world. The rest of Las Vegas Strip, with its ever-spitting Fountains of Bellagio, exploding Mirage Volcano, Circus Circus pirate shipwreck and daring men on flying trapezes, is kitschy. Not ritzy.

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A journey _ las vegas

This page and previous page Vistas of Las Vegas and its dazzling, distinctive Neon Museum

As part of the va-va-voom renaissance of Old Downtown, revamped Golden Nugget Casino also offers a serious wow of a shark tank, boasting a clear plastic tube you swim through amid the man-eaters, three-story waterslide and private cabanas, all part of the take-no-prisoners relaunch of Old Vegas. Since Prohibition, Vegas has offered all the illegal liquor you could drink, courtesy of the Mafia. Nevada’s A 290

related eagerness to marry or divorce gripped the public imagination too. By the late ‘20s Vegas began partying in earnest, all under the thumb of organized crime. During the ‘40s the desert mecca was awash in sin and neon. Bugsy Siegel was quick off the draw. Fond of extravagance, he spent millions beautifying the desert with a riot of Flamingo neon. Now Downtown 3rd glows again, thanks to gin-loving mayor Oscar Goodman’s remake of the courthouse as museum, and the Neon Museum. Siegel’s Flamingo, the Golden Nugget, Four Queens and Pair of Dice are jostling galleries, bistros and bars again. Fifth Street Gaming is remodeling Lady Luck

©Catherine Barry, Neon Museum

Director Jack Jewell concedes shark diving is a “niche inside a niche, for divers seeking diversion in the diversion capital of the West.” The genial Jewell fears it may fool some divers into feeling so cuddly they forget risk and try inter-species romance instead. “But if we can reach kids, we can make a difference.”

©2013 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

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Impossibly plush, yet incredibly stable. It does exist and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. this is the science of soft. this is #runnovation.

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A journey _ las vegas

Hotel and Casino as Downtown Grand Casino Hotel with the first-ever Vegas pedestrian mall, an indoor Friday Farmers Market, Triple George Grill and Mob Bar. So, pitying the usual teenagers sporting fake drinking IDs at security –“No officer, I swear I never saw that drunk kid before!” – I cabbed it expensively to the disreputable heart of Old Vegas, where the Mob Museum enshrines decades of crime. It’s hilarious. You walk into a faux police line-up for mug shots between Bugsy and Studs. Cuffs snap. Next, you’re taken up to the courtroom where mobsters trooped in to face the law and take oaths.

The museum takes you from the dock to jail and up to Old Sparky in one of the most inventive accounts of organized crime and sin yet seen. It’s worth taking half the day! A 292

Various exhibits at the Mob Museum: the Kefauver Hearings (top), a vintage barber chair (bottom left) and Bugsy Siegel’s jewelry box (bottom right)

©Studio J

The mob’s baddest-of-the-bad, from Al Capone to Lucky Luciano, stood in the dock, and so can you. Flashbulbs dazzle as you trace the Caputi mafia family via video with quotes like Capone’s “You can get farther with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.”

Dream your way to something big

After a perfect night’s rest in lie-flat comfort you’ll find a range of inspirations in our Business Class. Laugh through the latest comedies or savour gourmet cuisine; your biggest concern may only be bedhead. Welcome to the business of living. Enjoy a world of rewards and privileges at For more information contact your local travel agent or Emirates on Tel: 01 734500 or visit

A journey _ new york hotel

On a Manhattan holiday By Marwan Naaman

The Roger is your gracious gateway to Madison Avenue

I was a fan of The Roger long before I stayed there. A few years back, when the hotel was still named The Roger Williams, I stumbled upon it after a day of shopping with my good friend Niku. We were both exhausted, having spent the day exploring every boutique on Madison Avenue, and were looking for a place to have a drink, so we went into the hotel, and up the flight of stairs to the bar. I enjoyed the place so much that I turned my visits into a sort of tradition, stopping in for an artisanal cocktail on every one of my New York trips. But it wasn’t until June 2013 that I got to spend an extended period of time at the hotel.

The most noticeable transformation at The Roger is the moving of the bar where I spent so many New York evenings. The area that once served as the bar is now the Parlour Bistro, where a breakfast buffet (smoked salmon from Petrossian, fresh croissants from Balthazar and bespoke granola from Sarabeth’s) is served every morning. The Parlour Bar, which still offers some of Manhattan’s best cocktails, including addictive concoctions like the Ginger Citrus Mojito and the Murray Hill Mai Tai (with rum, guava and almond syrup), is now located on street level, offering a glimpse of the action on Madison Avenue. There’s the circular bar itself, covered in black leather and occupying the right corner of the space, and then the lounging area, where plush,

©The Roger

As luck would have it, The Roger had been completely redesigned in 2012 (hence the name change), so I experienced what was

essentially a new property, but one housed in a historic Manhattan building.

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blue velvet sofas invite guests to linger for hours on end. The hotel has 194 modern rooms, including the coveted Terrace rooms, with their own landscaped outdoor space. Whether staying in a Terrace room, or in the equally charming Deluxe or Premier rooms, guests at The Roger enjoy luxury amenities, including plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, a gourmet mini bar selection, microfiber robes and CO Bigelow bath products. The general color palette is black and gray, with tasteful touches of red.

break at Nespresso, sample a chocolate-laced coffee drink, spray yourself with a whiff of perfume at Bond No. 9, and then move on to New York’s most appealing department store, Barneys. All this without ever leaving Madison Avenue. For reservations, tel. 1.888.448.7788,

As with any luxury hotel, The Roger also offers 24-hour room service, a sophisticated meeting space, a full-service concierge, complimentary overnight shoeshine and a 24-hour fitness center to help you stay in shape while you travel. And shoppers will be thrilled to know that all of the glam boutiques on Madison Avenue are literally at the hotel’s doorstep, making The Roger an ideal base from which to visit your favorite stores. You can start with Burberry Brit and Burberry London at 444 Madison Avenue, and continue on, after a few minutes’ walk, to Cartier, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Tory Burch, Theory, Gucci, Damiani, Prada and Roberto Cavalli. Take a

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A journey _ venice

Beyond the Grand Canal By Robert Landon

ŠPamela Berry

Uncover Venice’s ancient secrets

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Donata Grimani, coowner of Venice Etc, takes travelers on intimate, custom-designed tours of this most glorious of European cities

Venice has always been a city of secrets. Its founders – ancient Romans fleeing marauding Huns – first occupied this muddy archipelago exactly because of its invisibility from the mainland. With no land to till in their watery new world, the Venetians were forced to survive on the mysteries of commerce, an activity that thrives on asymmetrical knowledge. And Venice grew very rich. But unlike other medieval cities, Venice required nothing so obvious as walls to guard its treasures. Hidden below the placid surface of the lagoon, shifting shoals provided a far more effective defense. The same principle applied to internal affairs. Order was maintained less by armed police than by closed-door committees and domestic spies. That drenching sense of secrecy still defines

the experience of travelers today – and sums up its millennial allure. It has won over both the world’s most refined sensibilities (Henry James, Thomas Mann) and the Webjet masses. And every visitor, whoever he or she may be, asks the same questions: how are these marble domes made to float on the waves? What form of beauty lies around that inaccessible bend in the canal? And who are the living, breathing people who actually get to live in this chimera of a city? During a recent visit to Venice, I had the good luck to meet Donata Grimani and Pamela Berry, and for a few lovely spring days, these two locals lifted the curtain to reveal an insider’s view of the watery city. Grimani, whose ancient name is embedded deep in Venetian history, plays an active role

in the city’s cultural life, working on behalf of the storied Teatro La Fenice as well as organizing literary events. Berry, the former art director of Travel + Leisure magazine, combines the sharp eye of a designer with the unique insights of a non-native – plus more than a decade living in La Serenissima, as Venice is known. Together, the women have created Venice Etc. They call it an “atelier” travel firm, an apt descriptor, since its small scale and artful approach enable them to craft made-tomeasure stays in Venice and the surrounding countryside. Their idea is simple. “We want our guests to live in Venice as we do,” says Grimani. But that doesn’t just mean walking the same streets or eating at the same restaurants. They invite you into their friends’ 297 A

A journey _ venice

The former art director of Travel + Leisure magazine, Pamela Berry now introduces her own private Venice to visitors

It is rare to find a travel firm that can, and is willing to, provide this level of access – especially in a city that has for so long held itself aloof from the rest of the world. To this, Berry and Grimani add yet another rare ingredient: the ability to truly listen. The fact is, they do not offer any set itineraries, because each trip is tailored to the unique preferences of their clients. Even before you’ve left home, your journey begins in conversation with these deeply knowledgeable locals. Based on the exchange, they will arrange ideal accommodations. They will recommend restaurants to best suit your palate. And they help you explore the aspects of La Serenissima that most fascinate you. If A 298

They even help organize intimate celebrations. Berry remembers with particular fondness a couple commemorating their 15th anniversary. “We took them to a private house on the island of Torcello with a group of friends from England and America,” says Berry. “Children were running in the garden and swimming in the pool, while a group of locals prepared a buffet lunch – including wine from the premises, made from the island’s ancient vines.” However you decide to spend your time, Berry and Grimani endeavor to make you feel at home. “That is why, in the end, our guests become our friends,” says Grimani. For more info, visit

©Pamela Berry

homes – often very grand ones. They take you by private boat through obscure and beautiful canals. They row you to remote islands for al fresco picnics.

you want to dive deeply into the art of Tintoretto or Tiepolo, they will hire just the right art historian. If you want to fashion your own carnival mask, they will connect you with a master craftsman. If you want to taste all the shellfish the lagoon has to offer, they will take you to the osteria only locals know. And if your nerves need soothing, they will organize a stay at a friend’s rambling villa in the countryside.

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A journey _ hungary

Into a vanished empire By Dorothy Weiner

Budapest retains its glories of old, while acquiring modern charms

I’d heard so much about Budapest being the Paris of the east that expectations were high. The city had lain dormant under four decades of Soviet domination, but its breathtaking architecture and churches revealed a cultural vitality that was just begging to be rediscovered. With nameplates like Sofitel and The Four Seasons locating properties here, Budapest will soon move beyond the stage of shabby chic – all the more reason to put it on your get-there-soon list. The glories of the Hapsburg Empire may remain, but the vestiges of communism won’t. A great walking city, Budapest also offers great public transportation – as long as you realize most people on the street will not be able to help you. Languages besides Hungarian are not common here outside the hotel community, but you can get around quite well with a good city map and verbal directions from your concierge. We made the most of our three days, stopping first on the Buda side (the city gets its name from Buda and Pest, cities on opposite sides of the A 300

Danube), at the quirky structure known as Cave Church. Built into the hillside, this series of catacombs is filled with mysterious religious lore and folksy icons. The atmospheric cave was a fitting introduction to a nation known not only for Liszt and Bartok, but also gypsies and klezmer music. Proceeding up the (very steep) hill from there, we found the Citadella, a fortification built by the Austrians after they quashed the Hungarian uprising of 1848. At the top stands Liberation Monument, a female statue holding the palm leaf of triumph. Sarcastically dubbed “the bottle opener” by locals, it was erected after World War II to celebrate liberation from the Nazis by Soviet troops. The irony is that it took another 45 years for Hungary to liberate itself from the Soviets. Next it was on to more uplifting sights: the stunning, riverside Parliament – the largest building in Hungary. Constructed in 1885, the neo-Gothic façade has dramatic spires, arches and turrets, as well as more

This page Liberation Monument (above), Széchenyi Chain Bridge (top center), Dohany Street Synagogue (bottom center), Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts (top right) and the Palace of Arts concert hall (bottom right) Opposite page The ceiling of the Budapest Opera House (right), Buda Castle at night (top left) and Cave Church grotto chapel (bottom left)

than 200 statues of famous Hungarians. Seeing it reminds you that Hungary was at one time the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, among locals it is sometimes called “the big house of little liberty,” because prior to 1989, only a single democratic government had convened there.

our hotel, Corinthia Grand, centrally located near Andrassy Square. Elaborate spreads of smoked fish, cheeses, eggs, sausage, pastries and more were served in a beautiful indoor courtyard. The spacious rooms had modern bathrooms and a stunning lobby, with a staircase leading to a Baroque grand ballroom.

Walking into the nearby Great Market Hall, I felt like I’d stepped onto the set of Hugo. The massive indoor market has stalls upstairs and down displaying everything from cheeses and sausages to paprika and porcelain. Its wrought iron construction, with high ceilings and gigantic curved windows, exudes charm, yet when it was built in 1897 to replace Hungary’s unsanitary outdoor markets, it was the height of modernity, with indoor lighting and refrigeration.

We saved our final day for two sobering historical sites: the Dohany Street Synagogue and The House of Terror. The story of Hungary’s Jewry stands out: the large population of about 450,000 became decimated very late in the war, starting in mid-1944. The stunning synagogue, the largest in Europe, seats 3,000 and was constructed in 1859. With elements like gilded pulpits, three aisles and an organ in the loft, it was more typical of Christian basilicas. It sits at the border of what was Budapest’s Jewish ghetto during the war and, sadly, was the site of Jewish executions and burials, defying the Jewish taboo against interment near a house of worship.

Dinner in Budapest can be anything from home-style to high-style, the latter being what we indulged at the Four Seasons’ elegant Gresham Restaurant. The food in this magnificent Art Nouveau structure was impeccable, starting with the goulash and ending with the Mangalica pork chop. Also memorable were the breakfasts at

The House of Terror, now a museum at 60 Andrassy, depicts the darkest periods of the city’s history in multi-story exhibits that include video testimonials 301 A

A journey _ hungary

Budapest’s two top properties: The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace (immediately below) and The Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal (bottom)

by victims of Nazi and Soviet occupation, and Nazi and Arrow Cross uniforms, automobiles, tanks and more. Especially chilling are the basement cells where prisoners were interrogated and worse. This building is the actual site where both the Arrow Cross (the Hungarian Nazi party) and the communist secret police (AVH) set up their headquarters. Nearby Heroes Square was our last stop, and one no tourist should miss. Centered by a 120-foot-high column with the angel Gabriel on top are 20 monumental statues of Hungarian heroes. Among them are Arpad, the Magyar tribal leader; Stephen, the first Christian king; King Matthias Corvinus, of Buda’s golden 15th-century; and others, each with very distinctive features and personality. Kind of like Budapest itself. Eating and staying in Budapest We had a charming meal at Bagolyvar, which means Owl Castle. It’s described as home-style Hungarian, serving dishes like duck leg with cabbage and potatoes. For dessert, don’t pass on the palacsinta, Hungarian crepes. For a memorable and very special meal, splurge at The Four Seasons’ Gresham Restaurant, overlooking the Danube. The trout comes from a farm near Budapest, the Pike from A 302

nearby Lake Balaton, and the Mangalica pork, too, is native to the area. The dishes are anchored in Hungarian tradition, but with a continental flair – think sheep cheese crepes with beetroot or hot and cold foie gras with vanilla brioche and prune syrup. Also highly recommended are Dio, Kogart Gallery and Restaurant Andrassy. We stayed at the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, an elegantly remodeled property with a grand ballroom, stunning lobby and contemporary, comfortable rooms. The beds were firm and the bathrooms opulent. Breakfast, included in the price of the room, was positively decadent, offering everything from custom omelets to smoked meats and fishes. You can also opt for the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace.


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A journey _ austria

A Salzburg stroll By Dorothy Weiner

Mozart’s birthplace is a treasure of a town Ask people what comes to mind when Salzburg is mentioned, and they’ll probably say beer. But once you’ve been there, you’ll know the answer is music. This ancient Austrian city is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the site of the Mozarteum conservatory and the renowned Salzburg Festival (co-founded by Richard Strauss). It was also the home of 20th-century conductor Herbert von Karajan and the setting for the movie The Sound of Music. You can see the hill Maria von Trapp ran down and the fountain she passed in a horse-drawn carriage, singing “Do-Re-Mi” with the kids. The Von Trapps aside, Salzburg has all the charm you’d expect of a Baroque city, especially its old town, with the winding Getreidegasse that empties into monumentfilled squares from a series of secretive passages. The city well predates the Baroque period (1600 to 1750), and many structures remain from earlier times. But fires and subsequent reconstructions over the centuries have resulted in an elegant, bright, whitewashed town. You can look up at almost any point in the old town area and see names and dates written under the eaves of the colorful townhomes, which are four stories tall and house different families on each level. The dates there reveal when the structure was built and by whom. Mozart’s “geburtshaus,” or birth house, now a museum, occupies part of the top floor of such a building on Getreidegasse. There you can see the three A 304

rooms in which he lived with his father Leopold and sister Nannerl (Anna Marie). Not to be missed is the cathedral, consecrated in its current form in 1628. It is considered a paragon of Renaissance architecture, with its marble façade and twin symmetrical towers. The interior is ornately adorned with frescoes and Italian-made altarpieces. Its entrance is flanked by enormous marble statues of St. Peter with keys and St. Paul with a sword, symbolizing the sacred and the secular. Nearby in Residenzplatz is a remarkable fountain of horses spouting water, patterned after the Bernini fountain in Rome. It’s a stone’s throw from the Residenz, the home of Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, the city’s Prince Bishop from 1587 to 1612. Forward-thinking (albeit notoriously power hungry), he was the first to separate horse stables from human residences and move the cemetery away from the center of town. The youngest bishop, at 26, he presided over many innovations, but ended his career in prison after he was deposed for overreaching. In addition to his official residence, Dietrich constructed the lovely Mirabelle palace and gardens for his mistress, Salome Alt. Today a vision of golden pansies and pointed lily tulips, it contains remarkable Italian statuary, including one patterned after the famous “Susannah Bathing,” but with the face and body of Alt.

Salzburg is a marvelous walking city, with Baroque buildings lining its charming Saleh River. A wealthy place throughout history, Salzburg enjoyed a prime location on the river and rich deposits of salt that ensured power and affluence. Interestingly, there are 24 churches in and around the old town, a result of the two monasteries – Capuchin and Benedictine – that located there in the 1600s to stem the tide of Protestantism. So even if you’re not into music, there will still be plenty to see and do. High on a hill – Salzburg is set amid an Alpine backdrop – is a castle and a fortress, accessible by funicular. And situated near the river is the historic Bristol Hotel, site of the first psychoanalytic conference – presided over, of course, by Sigmund Freud. It was also the first place to have electricity, which earned it the nickname “the electric hotel.” There is no lack of museums, churches, concert halls and monuments to see here, including a small westward-facing lion in Residenzplatz holding the Austrian coat of arms and sticking its tongue out, legend has it, at Germany. And, of course, you’ll want plenty of time to sample all those Austrian brews. Music notwithstanding, Austria is indeed No. 2 in beer consumption, just behind the Czech Republic. Salzburg at a glance Eat The outdoor cafés are charming for breakfast and lunch. Don’t miss a signature treat from nearby Linz, the Linzertorte: almonds butter and red currant jelly with a lattice crust. Salzburg is known for Mozartkugel, round, chocolate-covered marzipan and pistachio confections invented in 1890 by master confectioner Paul Furst. You will see them sold everywhere, but the authentic

ones are wrapped in silver and available only at CaféKonditorei Furst. Stay A few doors from Mozart’s birthplace, Goldener Hirsch is elegant, composed of three medieval townhouses joined together. Altstadt ASA Radisson is actually a 14th-century inn that retains its charm, but has been updated with modern conveniences. It overlooks the river and has an acclaimed dining room, Restaurant Symphonie. Play Salzburg is a walking city extraordinaire. Have fun exploring the winding, mysterious passageways that intersect Getreidegasse. Duck into the shops and cafés. Browse the earthy Green Markt, held in front of Collegiate Church and offering everything from fruits and sausages to cheese and pastry. Tour Festspielhaus, where the Salzburg Festival has been immortalized. The hall was built in 1607 and was originally the court stables! Shop The little stores in the old city are filled with dirndl skirts, lederhosen and traditional Austrian coats and blazers. Beautiful wooden toys can also be found, especially charming Pinocchio dolls. There are also porcelain and Austrian jewelry of silver with garnet, as well as painted boxes and cross-stitched samplers. 305 A

A journey _ austria

The hills are alive By May Farah

Salzburg is a favored summer destination for classical music lovers, mainly thanks to the Salzburg Festival. But the beautiful, Baroque Austrian town is also a year-round attraction for The Sound of the Music fans. Starring Julie Andrews, the 1965 musical smash film – which was based on a 1959 Broadway musical, which in turn was based on a 1949 memoir by Maria von Trapp, A 306

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers – immortalized the Von Trapp family’s history, and, in the process, gave travelers a great reason to visit Salzburg. Indeed, it’s difficult to visit Salzburg and not come across some connection to The Sound of Music, intentionally or not. After all, who among us hasn’t seen the film, at least once, if not a handful of times? The film was shot on location in Salzburg, as well as in nearby Bavaria, Germany. There are at least 12 major locations in Salzburg that film aficionados won’t want to miss, and all are generally reachable on

©Rue des Archives

Salzburg still sways to The Sound of Music

This page Salzkammergut, which stretches from Salzburg to the Austrian Alps (right), Schloss Leopoldskron, the setting for The Sound of Music (below) and a still from the classic film (bottom right) Opposite page A nighttime view of Salzburg’s old town

your own (although there are, of course, numerous walking, biking and bus tours to all the sights). Chief among these is the Schloss Leopoldskron (Palace Leopold), an 18thcentury rococo chateau, and the movie home of the Von Trapp family. The façade of the palace faces a small picturesque lake, and that setting on the palace’s terraces, with the lake in the backdrop, is visible in many of the film’s scenes.

Another memorable setting is the palace’s first floor Venetian Room, which was completely restored and refurbished – with magnificent handcrafted gold wall panels and mirrors – for the ballroom scenes in the film. Among the most famous of the film’s romantic locations is the white pavilion, where Leisl and Rolf sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” Although at the time it was located in the palace’s gardens, the

pavilion has since been moved to another location in town because of the massive increase in tourist traffic and congestion to the palace’s grounds. Today, Schloss Leopoldskron, which is a national historic monument in Austria, also operates as a high-end hotel, which means you can truly experience The Sound of Music, pose for photos in actual scenes and unabashedly sing along to “I Have Confidence,” “So Long, Farewell” and “My Favorite Things.” 307 A

A journey _ berlin hotel

A Berlin retreat

By May Farah

The Mandala Hotel offers designer relaxation in Germany’s capital

Just steps from Potsdamer Platz, the reconstructed city center with its glass towers, upscale hotels, parts of the former wall that until 1989 had separated east and west Berlin and a host of fashionable boutiques, cafés and restaurants, The Mandala is the ultimate location for both first-time visitors to Berlin, and people already familiar with the cosmopolitan German capital. From here, it’s walking distance to the Reichstag building (the seat of the federal government with its spectacular glass dome offering visitors a bird’s eye view of the surrounding bustling streets), Tiergarten Park (an urban park that is also home to the start of the Berlin Marathon, and daily joggers, strollers and nature lovers), the Brandenburg Gate (the grandest of the city’s former gates built in 1791) and Unter den Linden (a wide tree-lined avenue where Berlin’s glamorous stroll and promenade).

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©Christian Gahl, Lukas Roth

The Mandala might be in Berlin’s busiest and most visited neighborhood, yet once you’re inside, the hotel is all about relaxing spaces and soothing rooms and suites. But don’t confuse calm with boring. The Mandala is subtly hip (attracting an eclectic clientele, including musicians, artists and stars), elegantly chic (it recently underwent a complete and stylish facelift) and well situated (near the city center, major sites and with easy access to everywhere else in the German capital).

There are many aahs and wows to be emitted while exploring the rest of the city, and even more back at The Mandala. Our suite, the iLife SPA Suite (there are 158 spacious studios and suites in the hotel), was located on the 11th floor, the top floor of hotel, and right next to the ONO Spa, 600 square meters devoted to holistic well-being treatments, with four saunas, a fitness lounge and a number of private cosmetic and massage suites. Here, guests indulge in hours of pampering and panoramic views of the city. In fact, our suite also boasted a spa message bed for in-room relaxation and re-energizing. After the pampering, we enjoyed even more indoor downtime in the Mandala’s first-floor QIU lounge hideaway, an inspiring space with plush Donghia mohair sofas and water cascading down a Bisazza glass mosaic wall. It’s the ideal spot for a leisurely lunch, afternoon tea or pre-dinner drinks. There is also the FACIL restaurant, hidden away on the fifth-floor courtyard, with its glass ceiling that retracts over tables that extend into a

garden surrounded by bamboo, and offers an extravagant buffet breakfast and fine dining for lunch and dinner. German architecture firm Lauber & Wohr, which has a number of other high-end projects in the Potsdamer Platz area, and interior designer Lutz Hesse have gone to great pains to design spaces that are modern and luxurious in their sleekness and simplicity. The warm cherry wood floors and pear tree wood furnishings by Donghia, commissioned exclusively for the hotel, are accented by soft raw silk curtains, solid dark handcrafted tables and signed black-andwhite photographs by Ellen Auerbach. The Mandala Hotel, like Berlin itself, is a place you’re certain to visit more than once. For reservations, tel. 49.30.5900.50000, 309 A

A journey _ bolivia

City of dreamers

La Paz exudes bohemian romance Claus Meyer knows when he’s on to something. After spending three years jetting between his hometown of Copenhagen and the Bolivian capital of La Paz, he founded his first and only restaurant since Noma, the world’s best eatery: Gustu. Meyer wasn’t merely replicating the success of his first venture. His Bolivian kitchen is all about the earth of La Paz, the regional food and the local atmosphere that make this sprawling metropolis so vivacious. The city’s unique energy is conjured though a mix of roots, modernity and attitude. Its dwellers believe in Bolivia’s folkloric heritage like no other, with witches’ markets, hand-woven textile stalls and some of the world’s edgiest restaurants adding dazzle to the cultural landscape. Meyer’s move to La Paz highlights the city’s agricultural prowess. “There are so many ingredients in La Paz that A 310

you just cannot get anywhere else. I wanted to shine a light on how much you can do with local produce.” It is a town steeped in the ethos of living off the land, and Meyer has shone a light on this spirit. The restaurant’s bestselling dish is its potato board, which combines sweet and perfumed flavors topped off with handchurned butter. There is a subtle touch of the Danish in his cuisine; his idea was to combine the healthy mantra of the Nordic palate with Bolivia’s premium ingredients. It seems he’s contributed to something of a movement. Moments down the road from Gustu’s downtown location lies El Consulado, a Danish and Bolivian fusion restaurant and an essential dining spot for tourists and locals looking for a hit of glamour with their alpaca. El Consulado’s owner Juan Carlos is a key player in the swagger of the city. “I created the restaurant to open people’s eyes to what culture in La Paz is all about, from food, to parties and music.” The restaurant’s duck salad with quinoa is the perfect combination of local and modern flavors, and the rose garden has played host to celebrity dates and political liaisons alike. Just down

©Steve Allen, John Coletti, Getty Images, Aldo Pavan, Juergen Ritterbach

By Grace Banks

the road is La Terraza, where the best coffee in town is served alongside a panoramic view of one of the grandest examples of colonial architecture, the Prado. Since Inca rule, markets have played an essential part in La Paz’s bohemian culture. The weaving unique to the city is unlike any throughout the country, and an afternoon is easily whiled away picking up one-of-a-kind pieces in street fairs. Needlework is essential to maintaining the spirituality of the local Ixhil culture and is seen as the ultimate representation of worship and piety. The alleys of the Sagarna district are alive with arts and crafts, as local cholitas fashion bags and knitwear. Traditionally, it is men who embroider the intricate local scenes of parrots and palm trees onto the shirts the cholitas wear. Swing by Sagarna on Saturdays to witness their work while sipping local drink api. You’ll find antiques like no others in South America here. Ask the right people, and you could easily be in the possession of pearl earrings from the 17th century. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, long silver beaded necklaces and ivory handled spoons from the same era do the job. Those in the know head to Beatriz Canado Patino’s boutique to shop for their alpaca knitwear. This is where the traditional craft meets couture techniques, with handmade ball gowns, pom-pom scarves and bolero jackets all expertly crafted. Canedo is a local legend “I love the history of alpaca our country has,” she says, “and I wanted to show how it could become designer and luxury but still have that original feel.” Those looking for an insight into this heritage shouldn’t miss the National Folklore Museum, with a permanent exhibition of typical La Paz tribe masks.

For a glimpse into the city’s spiritual heritage, the witches’ market is an enthralling deviation. Located next to the historic San Francisco cathedral, these lanes are a testament to La Paz’s belief in witchcraft and healing. Here you’ll find ancient homemade remedies to cure love alongside baby lamb skulls and coca leaf potions. When it’s time to rest in La Paz, only the most glamorous bed will do. The Stannum is the place. The brainchild of entrepreneur Bernardo Nelkenbaum, the city’s first ever boutique hotel is a dynamic concept. “We want to show people how modern La Paz is now,” says Nelkenbaum, whose hotel is a testament to the modern city. Bedrooms are fitted with Morado wood from the Bolivian forests and antique Italian tiles, food is Bolivian meets French and the mattresses are the same ones used at the W hotels. The Stannum bar boasts the best Bolivian wine list in the country, originating from the region of Tarija, an emerging contender for South America’s best new vineyard. In uptown La Paz, the Diesel bar is the top location for after-hour cocktails. The place is an example of what makes La Paz so distinguished. Despite its sophistication, this drinking hole still captures the mood of the city: cocktails are made using coca leaf, bar snacks are local and the clientele is stylish. Diesel channels that salt-ofthe-earth spirit and cements La Paz’s status as a place for bohemians and romantics. 311 A

A journey _ lebanese mountains

Your little Bouyouti By Warren Singh-Bartlett

Lose yourself in the Shouf ’s mountains most charming hideaway

A tendril of honeysuckle bobbed gently in the breeze as Hafez opened the door and handed me the key. Absent-mindedly reaching out to touch the hand-shaped doorknocker, as I walked into my overnight hideaway, I felt immediately as if I were at home. Not my home, mind you, I generally tend to plump for a more minimalist approach to life, but a home, nonetheless. I was at Bouyouti, the latest bed and breakfast to open in Lebanon’s Shouf mountains.

reminder that I should call him if I needed anything, Hafez left me to decide what I’d do first.

From the naïf paintings and crochet bedspread, to the profusion of pillows and metal arabesque lamp-stands, I felt as though I had walked straight into a country reverie. Through the window, I could see my personal patch of garden, complete with trellis groaning under the weight of big bunches of juicy, jet black grapes, wooden breakfast table and what looked like the perfect, cushiony place to stretch out with a good book and, if not read, at least nap a bit in the breeze.

As I made my way to the path that led down into the valley, I realized how close we were to Beiteddine. The palace itself was hidden just over the hills, behind its screen of trees, but the outskirts of the town were within spitting distance. The path down to the orchards lay at the bottom of the garden of the main house, which belongs, like the rest of Bouyouti, to the Bazerji family and has done so for three generations. While I’d been told, both by the Bazerjis and by the concierge, Hafez, that I should wander anywhere I wanted, it did feel a little strange walking through what was obviously a family garden, but no one


It felt, abruptly, like a weight I didn’t even know I’d been carrying had been lifted off my shoulders. Closing the door, with a

It was a difficult choice. Truth be told, I was feeling sleepy, and the bed looked very inviting, but I steeled myself with a stern reminder that I wasn’t here to relax. I decided I’d poke around the orchards cascading down to the bottom of the wadi and then reward myself with a lazy afternoon.

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I passed seemed in the least bit fazed, so after a bit, I didn’t give it a second thought. Entering through a small garden gate, I found myself walking down a flight of steps beneath another heavily burdened grape trellis and flanked, on either side, by fruit trees, olive trees and vegetable patches. I admit, I was unable to resist and after helping myself to a couple of handfuls of deliciously sweet grapes, I noticed that I wasn’t far from a fig tree. Most had fallen to the ground, but there were a few still left on the tree, sticky and delicious, too. By the time I left the following morning, I’d helped myself to a couple of apples (crisp, juicy), an apricot (firm, fragrant) and an armful of grapes. I’d probably have helped myself to some of the cucumbers and the tomatoes too, but I knew I’d be getting some of those for breakfast, so I tried to be disciplined.

apart from a few ruined walls, but there was just enough to imagine how much fun they might be to rebuild. Hiking along the other side of the wadi, with the Moussa Castle looming above, I was able to enjoy panoramic views of Bouyouti, its neighbor, the new Audi house and, finally, one corner of Fakhreddine’s old palace. Of course, I was by now covered in burrs and, as I’d cleverly decided to come in shorts and sandals, had managed to scratch myself a couple of times, too. Deciding to call it a day, I headed back up and to the B&B, missing,

in the process, the little grotto Bazerji père discovered a few years earlier and the little stone chapel dedicated to St. Charbel, just above the family home. No matter, both were shown to me later that evening once Hafez found out I hadn’t yet seen them. Quiet, intimate, private and full of nooks and little gardens in which to hide yourself away, it’s easy to feel like the entire place actually belongs to you. Beitun, beitak. Welcome home. For reservations, tel. 03.310.200.

At the bottom of the staircase were a couple of the larger houses that make up the B&B – there are eight in all, ranging from one bedroom to three, each with its own small kitchenette, originally built for a family member before being put to more public use – and to the left, a rather well-preserved old stone bridge, which spans what in winter becomes a powerful little river. Just above the riverbed and outside of the Bazerjis’ land, I came across the remains of several old farmhouses, stones scattered across what must once have been terraced fields. Little remained

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A journey _ lebanon

A southern hike By Sabina Llewellyn-Davies

Walk Lebanon’s south, from Hasbaya to Marjayoun

That morning there was a cool breeze in the garden, and after the sating breakfast it was so tempting to just spend the day A 314

lazing around. But the trails beckoned and a strong sun was expected, so an early start for our walk from Hasbaya to the village of Marjayoun was recommended. We followed the couple’s charismatic 27-yearold son Wael, who led the way toward Hasbaya’s village square, a half hour’s walk away, with a bounce in his step. The village of Hasbaya features a large citadel that dates back to the Crusader period. Built on three levels, the structure is grand and thought to be on an ancient Roman site. After a guided tour from Wael, we headed out of the village and began a steep descent along a

dirt track, passing huge olive trees. “Some of these are 400 years old,” he said, pointing out the trees and naming the wildflowers along the way. We were taken in by the incredible view of the green plain below, and we picked up our pace to reach it. Soon we got to the bank of the Hasbani River and realized that the only way across is over a narrow stone bridge. Wael was there to lend a helping hand and take us safely over. After a walk through an orange and apple orchard, we took a break under the towering pines trees that surround the ancient ruins of the Souk al Khan. Centuries ago, this marketplace

was frequented by travelers on the Silk Road, and caravans stopped here en route. Trading traditions are still alive, and once a week, on Tuesdays, traders set up stands here to sell food and clothes. Impressed by the ancient site, we moved on to start the ascent on a rocky path, passing the dense forest of the protected area of Ebl es Saqi. Marjayoun was still kilometers away, and our chatter was soon replaced by silence, to preserve energy and to focus on the scenery. I stopped to drink a sip of water and take in the majestic sight of Mount Hermon in the distance behind me. “Isn’t it beautiful?” Wael asked. Yes, it certainly is.

©Sabina Llewellyn-Davies

The wake up call came early that morning. And it wasn’t from an alarm clock, but rather the racket of frogs. Their croaking in the river outside our lodging in Hasbaya, in Southern Lebanon, lulled us to sleep at night and woke us at the crack of dawn. Wafaa, owner of the guesthouse, was already up and had laid out a spread of yogurt, cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and homemade fig jam with walnuts on a table in the garden. I helped myself to breakfast, washed it down with a cup of tea and relaxed under the morning sun. Wafaa and her husband Ghassan have a small guesthouse and a wooden tree hut, both of which can sleep up to 12 guests, and welcome visitors year round with traditional Lebanese hospitality.

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A spotlight _ california

Two wheels good

By Elgy Gillespie

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Get on the Strand, and explore Los Angeles by bike

The beaches of Los Angeles are a livable high. Endless summer has no sweeter home than its coastline, or is that the other way round? Mile upon mile of surfers, sun, sand and Pacific sunsets whiz past in a crazy kaleidoscope. Angelinos do not live eternally upon their beaches or dream about those endless waves, of course. All too often they’re stuck on freeways. But life’s a beach, and you can sample that lifestyle. It’s the Los Angeles cure: two wheels good, four wheels bad. Whenever possible, Angelinos skip freeways in favor of surfing or bikes or skateboards or public transport if they can find it: anything to avoid Highway 405. The City of Angels is the City of Endless Suburbs and Freeway Jams, as well as angels and endless summers. But its beaches still offer a great

escape for happy-go-lucky Angelinos at play. So the Strand works. Just look at it! The Strand is the cherry on the icing of this sandy cake. It’s a 22-mile bike path running down the coast and linking LA’s seaside towns. Best of all, you can’t drive it! You skate, bike, stroller-jog, hang glide or pedal the entire ribbon of cement hugging the shoreline from north Palisades at Will Rogers Park and Santa Monica’s popular public pier, all the way south to Redondo, where muscle men high on steroids or sports drinks work out in micro-Speedos, ending up at swanky Manhattan Beach and low-key Torrance. For every sinuous mile along the cement path, sprawling cityscapes morph into a blurry ribbon of bikini-clad cyclists,

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A spotlight _ california

All human and pet life is there on the path winding between the skinny, dancing palms beside the ocean, from Pacific Palisades all the way south to Redondo and back. From time to time a humble fish shack lures you for a grilled taco and blended margarita at a reasonable price. It’s a flash from a far humbler past. Your Strand kickoff is centuryold Santa Monica Pier, with its concerts, crab joints and bike A 318

As well as eating and shopping at the upstairs food court at Santa Monica Place, the rambling shopping center next door to the Strand, you have architectural gems, art galleries, designer threads like Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana, and eateries as good as the Blue Plate Oysterette. Weirdly, the best panorama in the city is here at the top of the Erwin Hotel. At its rooftop cocktail bar High (try the “Venice Vixen”), banquettes overhang the beach. There’s also the Ferris Wheel for panoramas, or the carousel for old-timey fun. Southward is Venice, with serpentine parks, joggers, basketball and skateboarders

hot-dogging through the air. Oceanfront millionaire homes vary from Cubist blocks in Mondrian-esque reds and yellows to crumbling Spanish colonial. Sidewalk cafés buzz near pop-up stalls of kitsch local art and jewelry. Dodge the twin-stroller joggers to catch a musician or a magician any time of day. Past Venice, Marina del Rey is a bobbing resort of yachts and apartments 30 minutes from Downtown LA. Then lovely Hermosa Beach follows, flaunting the only hotel right on the beach, the boutique Beach House – a dream of a destination, with everywhere that’s memorable in LA at hand, from the concert hall to the Getty Center. Via palaces of tacky culture and folksy bistros and ocean sunsets, it’s hard to imagine not being happy as a beach bum in LA – just stay away from the car.

©Mark Downey

skateboarders and surfers. You’ll spot every kind of bike, from the no-brakes model you foot-skid to a stop, to the tandem or tridem, plus more silliness in pets than you could dream, from diamondstudded borzois to chained schnauzers trotting next to homeless guys.

rentals. Santa Monica is the most livable ’hood in the city, claim locals. Without being glamorous or sophisticated, it averages a breezy 75 degrees Fahrenheit and is beloved by all.

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A spotlight _ california

Style and speed

ŠKohn Perdersen Fox

By J. Michael Welton

A 320

A new look for LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum In an apparent attempt to out-do Frank Gehry on his home turf, Gene Kohn of New York’s Kohn Pedersen Fox has designed his first Los Angeles building. It is, appropriately enough, for the Petersen Automotive Museum, in that car-loving city. Kohn’s design will wrap undulating ribbons of stainless steel around the sides and top of the museum’s existing building, a department store designed in 1962 by architect Welton Becket. “Underneath the steel will be a corrugated layer painted hot-rod red,” says Terry Karges, executive director at the museum. “It’ll be backlit so light will bounce off the red.” The building is part of Museum Row on Miracle Mile, near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the George C. Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits, and the Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, designed by Renzo Piano and scheduled to open in 2016. The new building by Kohn (an 80-yearold, self-described “car guy”) will add 15,000 square feet to the museum’s existing 300,000 square feet by knocking out some of the department store walls. New features

will include state-of-the-art digital lighting displays, interactive learning stations and a technology gallery. “There will be a biography gallery to tell stories of the people who’ve made automotive history, including Ford, the Duesenberg Brothers and Enzo Ferrari,” Karges says. Also on display will be classic vehicles like hot rods, groundbreaking racecars and motorcycles, as well as vehicles with the latest in alternative fuel technology. “We’ll have Italian, French, British, American and Japanese automobiles,” Karges says. “There’s a Chinese ambassador’s car and a Dutch version of a Rolls Royce – it’s a fantastic collection.” The museum currently holds 300 automobiles in its collection, with about 150 on display at any given time. The rest are stored in below-ground vaults, recently opened up for tours. Still, loans for specific exhibits are common. “Not all the cars on display are ours by any stretch of the imagination,” Karges says. “Showing in one of our galleries now is ‘Fins: Form without Function,’ and to have a wide array of vehicles for it, we had to borrow.” About 250,000 visitors come through the museum every year, but Karges anticipates a substantial uptick once the new building opens in 2017. “Today it’s a box that’s boring and ugly,” he says. “People drive by and don’t care.” If Kohn has his way, that’s about to change. 321 A

ŠMonterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder

A spotlight _ california

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Binoculars with your abalone By Elgy Gillespie

Plunge into Monterey’s world-class aquarium Outside Cindy’s Waterfront windows at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a school of dolphins was leaping beyond the breakers. Like synchronized bathers, they skipped across our plates of spicy cod tacos with limecumin vinaigrette. You can’t beat this for a California high. Or so our enthusiastic, marine mammal-loving waitress assured us. Oh, and Mexico-bound blue and gray whales were spouting in counterpoint earlier. Those leviathans of the Pacific head for Baja California in winter to calve and breed. Yes, Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets are a bit pricey. Meeting hammerhead sharks and squid nose to nose doesn’t come cheap, although sipping local wines from Carmel Valley, as you slurp oysters at Cindy’s Waterfront, combines well with binoculars. And I’m smiling as broadly as the waitress; my happiness is complete. I have no complaints. My glass is full. I’m in the world’s finest, most innovative, state-of-the-art aquarium and

having the meal of my life and time of my life. Ocean views fill the horizon over locally caught calamari tossed with heirloom tomatoes, beet and salsa as spicy as it was pretty. Locally farmed abalone appetizers and bowls of traditional chowder and a linecaught Albacore sandwich with pickled ginger also go down deliciously. My companion has a Hunan-grilled chicken curry salad of golden raisins and spicy mayo. Ingredients are local and on the safe list. Next: fish and chips. And this isn’t any old fish and chips, this beats anything I ever chowed as a kid, and it’s the crème de la crème of California, best on offer: halibut is golden-amber, and inside snow-white and flaky. Fries are crisped, served with a trinity of aiolis (peppery, curryish, citric-mayonnaise). Just off the deck, elephant seals and harbor sea lions lounge around on the rocks, ripe subjects for the binoculars on every table. Out on the deck, white- and yellow-crowned brown pelicans and cormorants are doing the one-leg-on-a-rock thing. Again and again we’re drawn back to the seahorses, so intimate and tender in their lovemaking as we watch the females impregnating the

males and the males giving birth (yes, it’s really possible!) that it’s almost embarrassing. Some are sea dragons trailing leafy fins or “weedy” fins. The giant Ocean Sunfish presses its huge face and bulbous eyes against the glass to see children who stare back in awe. In the waves and also in the huge cylindrical column outside the café, sea otters nurse babies or crack clams on their stomachs – and all a mere couple of hours south of San Francisco, down Highway One. Cindy’s Waterfront is a jewel in the crown of Cindy Pawlcyn, California’s celebrity chef whose four Napa Valley bistros – Mustards Grill, Go Fish, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill – put her firmly in the starriest of foodie leagues back in the ‘80s and made her the queen of ingredient-driven, local, regional and sustainable menus. Her newest just-opened showcase at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a perfect addition to its ever-popular giant squid and its million-gallon Open Seas exhibit, with its tuna, hammerheads, barracuda and more. Pawlcyn poured over her newest menu to make it as tasty, seasonal and farm-totable as possible.

The single most amazing fact about the Monterey Bay Aquarium is that it’s halfstaffed by volunteers. Teenage schoolgirls playing with otters are volunteers; so are wonderful keepers of the giant squid, demonstrating how it flushes pinky-red when it sees a beloved visitor. The other truly brilliant feature is the architecture of the exhibits. In the multistory million-gallon tanks, the columns with magnifying glass inserts and the cleverly shaped indoor-outdoor tide-pools full of suede-skinned bat stingrays and horse-shoe crabs, waves crash overhead, giving us the sense we’re in the bay itself. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a model for aquariums and exhibit architecture. Designed by Charles Davis, it was first funded by local philanthropist David Packard. When it opened nearly 30 years ago in a fishing cannery immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck, whose best friend “Doc” Ricketts studied the bay wildlife, the people of Monterey immediately pitched in to volunteer. Two million plus visitors clocked in the first year, helped rescue oil-slicked sea birds and nursed baby sea otters. They’re all still here. 323 A

A spotlight _ california

Days and nights of wonder

By Marwan Naaman

Stepping into San Francisco’s Clift Hotel is like entering Alice’s Wonderland. The elegant, sober exterior of the landmark Union Square building doesn’t in any way prepare you for what pulsates inside: an unexpected explosion of styles and colors, with over-the-top, visually stunning extravagance. Primary access into the hotel is through a flashy, purple entryway, a transition of sorts between the urban feel of Geary Street (on which the hotel is located) and the magic of the Clift’s iconic lobby. A Philippe Starck tour de force, the lobby contains a spectacular collection of furniture pieces,

A 324

including the Elk Gentlemen’s Chair by Crystal Farm, and Michel Haillard’s Horn Sofa, as well as Ray and Charles Eames chairs scattered throughout. But it’s Starck’s own Big Arm Chair, a giant chair that sits in the center of the lobby, that draws the most attention. Virtually every visitor finds it necessary to climb onto that chair to have their picture taken – it’s so big that whoever sits in it appears tiny, in a real life nod to Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. There’s also a massive fireplace with a bronze chimney to keep you warm during San Francisco’s glacial, foggy nights. Just off the lobby to the right is the Living Room. Dark, cozy and

©The Clift

The Clift in San Francisco still sets the city’s hotel standard

This page The Velvet Room (below), the Clift’s lobby (right) and the Red Room (bottom right) Opposite page Philippe Starck’s Big Arm Chair (top left) and the Spanish Suite (bottom)

filled with an air of mystery, this space has the feel of a private library. The velvet sofas are delightful to sink into, and the leather wing chairs invite a long, quiet afternoon read. JeanBaptiste’s Mondino photos of plastic toy animals add a touch of whimsy to the surroundings. But the Clift’s most legendary spot, the place that still has revelers lining up outside in a sometimes vain attempt to get in, is the Redwood Room. Open since the ‘30s, this iconic bar has long been attracting San Francisco’s upper crust, and in its newest incarnation, it’s also a favorite haunt for the City by the Bay’s young movers and shakers, be they tech geniuses working in

Silicon Valley, star restaurateurs from food-friendly Valencia Street or hotshot bankers at Wells Fargo. The place is busy both in the early evening, with the after-work crowd sipping on blackberry margaritas, and late at night, when beautiful people from all over the Bay Area are here to sample the Moscow Mule and possibly find love. In a pleasing contrast to the brilliant lobby, the rooms and suites are covered in soft tones of lavender, gray and ivory. The Studio, which has king or queen sleigh beds in an alcove and a separate sitting area, complete with a state-of-the-art entertainment center and work space, is one the most pleasing

options. Or you could choose the sumptuous Deluxe Suite, which has a separate bedroom, as well as a living room and dining room. The Clift also has its own gym, allowing you to stay in shape during your San Francisco sojourn. But since this is California, and life here is always best out of doors, the hotel provides complimentary bikes so you can navigate the city’s hills and valleys, take in the magnificent Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate views and get to know first-hand what makes San Francisco so very special. For reservations, tel. 1.415.775.4700, A 325

A spotlight _ california

Eating by the bay

By Elgy Gillespie

San Francisco’s hip, hopping and happening destination is the Mission

Well before the Gold Rush, this was the Latino corner of town: a good-times rinconcito, another kind of North Beach. Now another kind of Gold Rush – the latest high-tech boom – is infusing a healthy dose of cool into the hot heart of the Mission, where tech-heads soooo like to live. Stomping Valencia past the ever-hopping Radio Havana Cuban art and music bar at 22nd Street, down to the sketchier 16th Street, I checked out the latest tech boom invasion to hit the hood. Competition is ferocious these days – famous chefs come and go – and one noticeable A 326

Venerable Puerto Alegre’s noisy revelers compete with higher-end Mexican spots – chipotle tuna tostadas, cactus paddle soup at Tacolicious; fried artichokes done Romanstyle in the tiled Italian oyster bar at Locanda Osteria; Southeast Asian lemongrass porkbelly rice at the affordable and fun Mau; pesto gnocchi in La Farina, or cheddar gougères at Craftsman and Wolves. Sixteen restaurants opened recently around Puerto Alegre, near 16th Street. This hallowed Mexican fiesta joint dishes out solid Mexican fare and margaritas: jugs brimful of copious, industrial-strength tequila. It’s a recipe that’s worked for 20 years. Shockingly good bistros Delfina

©Catherine Barry

Last Saturday night I descended my San Francisco hill to dance all night in the Mission, still the pulse of the immigrant community and a flashpoint for ethnic cultures some 250 years after the Spanish first arrived.

thing about Valencia Street dining now (as distinct from the ‘80s and ‘90s) is how it seduces our youthful booze hounds – imaginative cocktails, boutique beers, prices sky high. Bistros run the gamut. Diversity is striking: Laotian, Thai, Roman or Florentine, Provencal or Tuscan cuisine.

A journey _ las vegas

So what« s new in Las Vegas? By Elgy Gillespie

Sin City is as kitschy as ever

The glitzy Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, takes a solemn oath to keep wannabe stars and their secrets under wraps. Or to put it the hotel’s way, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” hinting at their chance to be the wrong amount of wrong, even outright wicked. But you can’t take anything too seriously in Sin City. Casino profits are way down, the mayor locked up the Mafia inside a new museum and what happens in the Capital of Wicked comes straight from that celluloid A 288

smash hit The Hangover. This is the movie where bachelor partygoers wake up to a live tiger in their bathtub and a baby in the bed. That hasn’t happened to me – no tigers. But snaggle-toothed tiger sharks are the hot new must-see. Never doubt the Vegas knack for reinventing itself in tougher times. Its latest move is revamping Old Vegas to lure locals – and adding yet more sharks. First came Mandalay Shark Reef, where you enjoy hands-on schmoozing with 41 sharks from eight species, diving in a 1.3 million-gallon shark tank and harvesting shark teeth – perfect souvenir gifts? Human-mammal encounters like this breathe new thrills into aquariums, seemingly. And if you don’t have $650 and a wetsuit certificate, you can watch a komodo dragon getting its nails done instead.

©Catherine Barry, Neon Museum

“Just the right amount of wrong!” is what the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas promises this fallen world. The rest of Las Vegas Strip, with its ever-spitting Fountains of Bellagio, exploding Mirage Volcano, Circus Circus pirate shipwreck and daring men on flying trapezes, is kitschy. Not ritzy.

A last _ word

San Francisco days By Marwan Naaman

San Francisco has long held a special place in my heart. I first moved there when I was 20 and spent the ‘90s living in what is, in my opinion, the most magnificent city in the world. San Francisco is where I got my first writing job, where I learned to be independent, where I grew to appreciate architecture and design, and where I first fell in love.

The Internet boom created endless opportunities for young writers like myself, and I spent the better part of the decade writing about San Francisco and the rest of California. I fell in love with a San Francisco native and grew to appreciate the city and the entire state through the eyes of a local: the Victorian homes lining the upscale streets of Pacific Heights; the trendy restaurants and bars in historic Haight-Ashbury, where the Summer of Love happened in 1967; the designer homes surrounding lush Buena Vista Park; the magical views from soaring Twin Peaks; the deserted, fog-shrouded beaches of Half Moon Bay; Napa Valley’s endless vineyards; the sweeping Palm Springs desert; the seductive LA glitz; and anything and everything that makes California so very exceptional. A 328

I still don’t know why I decided to return to Beirut in 2000. I first left Lebanon when I was three, and my attachment to the country was almost nonexistent. My parents’ romantic stories of Lebanon’s mythical Golden Age were perhaps the single most influential factor in my decision to abandon the Golden State. My San Francisco pilgrimage last September was somewhat emotionally harrowing. In the 13 years I’d spent away, the city had grown tremendously, without losing any of its charm. Most of my friends and former colleagues had become millionaires, cashing in on the new Internet Gold Rush. With companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google now headquartered in Northern California, the region has become, quite literally, the virtual center of the world, offering the best employment and lifestyle opportunities on earth. San Francisco’s established areas, like the Marina, Russian Hill, Presidio Heights and others, were as spectacularly manicured as ever, while formerly middle- and lowerincome neighborhoods, like Noe Valley, the

Mission and the Castro, were now supertrendy and super-expensive. San Francisco’s dizzying energy should have filled me with happiness, so why was I having all these contradictory feelings? Was it because on some level I understood that my time there was over and that the 10 glorious years I spent in the Bay Area were gone for good? Or was it because I couldn’t help comparing San Francisco’s meteoric rise with Lebanon’s downward spiral? Upon my return to Beirut, the city I now call home, my spirits lifted, in an unexpected epiphany. In its own way, Beirut is very much the San Francisco of the Middle East: the waterside setting, sun-drenched lifestyle, congenial climate, tolerant population, forward-looking community, seductive beat and, of course, the passion for new technology, are all things that both cities have in common. Regional instability notwithstanding, we might still have a chance to build our own City by the Bay, right here on the Mediterranean.

©Mélanie Dagher

I lived in San Francisco when the city was rediscovering itself after the devastating AIDS epidemic of the ‘80s had all but wiped out its population. Suddenly, in the ‘90s, people started falling in love with the city again, as the dot-com boom in nearby Silicon Valley infused unprecedented wealth into the oceanside metropolis. Newly wealthy dot-comers worked in dreary Silicon Valley, but they wanted to live and play in stunning San Francisco.

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11/19/13 10:39 AM

A Magazine, Issue 69  

Fashion gets ferocious in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of A magazine, with lush gowns and fabulous furs, a spotlight on California i...

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