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Tropical Steamy summer style Fashion Bring the heat Music Festival season in full swing Beauty Sunkissed color Art The new art capital Food Fresh summer fare Design Fashion x architecture Travel Snow melts in Moscow

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Inside No. 78 JUN/JUL 2015


46 Beirut From cocktails to Asian cuisine 48 London Get that culture fix 50 Paris Old-school glamour 52 Milan City style, charismatic chefs 54 New York Cheese and beer 56 Event Heartbeat Gala Dinner


62 Mixed media Tala Hajjar 64 Book Summer reading list 66 Conversation Bill Bragin 68 Festival Summer’s soundtrack


78 News Basketball courts and beaches 80 Collection Tory Burch 84 Debate Footwear’s first impression 86 Fundamental Denim dudes 88 Matrimony Mad about you 92 Couture Fashion’s cracking up 96 Staple The T-shirt’s makeover 98 Tradition Savile Row 102 Boutique Le66 104 Jeweler Diamonds are forever 110 Hot stuff Summer trends 120 Accessories Drawn in 130 Bird of paradise Brazilian heat 144 Gallery girl Art versus fashion 156 The castaway Seaside style


170 Counter Here comes the sun 172 Trend Work it 174 Tactic Shape up 176 Color spectrum Summer shade


182 Update Global reach 186 Trend Stylish, sexy, speedy 188 Podcast Listen up 190 History Virtual reality 194 Fashion Architecture meets fashion 198 Collaboration Fashion’s influence 202 Development Lebanon’s coastal gem 206 Breakthrough Multitasking furniture 208 Transformation A cabin in the woods

High Art

214 Exhibitions What’s on view 218 Band Artists-turned-musicians 220 Heatwave Indian summer 224 Capital Fondazione Prada

Inside Lifestyle

232 Menu A taste of summer 238 Voyage Newport news 242 Atmosphere Incensed 244 Inspiration Feeding off Instagram 246 Culinary quest A food revolution 250 City Moscow

Last Word

260 Handbag Exotic desires

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Tropical fever Steamy summer style

Fashion Bring the heat Music Festival season in full swing Beauty Sunkissed color Art The new art capital Food Fresh summer fare Design Fashion x architecture Travel Snow melts in Moscow

Cover She’s wearing a Moschino top and skirt Photographer Marco Laconte. Stylist Amelianna Loiacono. Hair and makeup Xavier Perez. Model Ania Kisiel from The Fashion Model Directory

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5/27/15 12:30 PM


Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

Art directors

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


Associate editor Pip Usher Assistant editor Celine Omeira Italy editor Renata Fontanelli UK editor Grace Elena Banks US editor Robert Landon


Stephanie d’Arc Taylor, James Haines-Young, Daniel Hilton, Nadine Khalil, John Ovans, Venetia Rainey, M. Astella Saw Natalie Shooter, Christina Tkacik, Jasper Toms, Laura van Straaten, Millie Walton, J. Michael Welton


Fashion photographers Arved Colvin-Smith, Marco Laconte, Petrovksy & Ramone Contributing photographers Seren Dal, Tony Elieh, Nabil Ismail, Bachar Srour


Joe Arida, Magdalena Bryk, Vanessa Geldbach, Amelianna Loiacono

Illustrator Raphaelle Macaron

Raphaelle Macaron Lebanese illustrator and comic book artist Raphaelle Macaron has had her work featured in Executive and F/I/M/P, among others. Now living in Montreal, she is working on a new book.

James Haines-Young A British photojournalist, James Haines-Young covers everything from lifestyle and fashion to social issues across the Middle East. He is based in Beirut.


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,,

paradise found Just when it seemed that rainy days would stretch on for eternity, one sunny afternoon ushered in summer. Bronzed skin, breezy dresses, tropical getaways – we’re relishing everything the season brings with it. In this issue, we jaunt off to Brazilian gardens and the shores of Nice, reveal bikini body secrets and divulge the newest beauty must-haves. If you crave culture to balance a coastal spell, there are enough festivals, restaurants and exhibitions to hold your attention until fall. We’ve been swept away with that summer feeling. I hope you are, too. MacKenzie Lewis Kassab


A cityscape

Just in Beirut

Stairway (left)

We’ve found a stairway to heaven amidst the mayhem of Mar Mikhael. On the first floor of a historic building, Stairway offers fresh cocktails and tasty summer bites for those seeking a post-work tête-à-tête. Armenia St., Mar Mikhael, tel. 76.777.091

Repossi (above)

There’s nothing random about “White Noise,” Sylvie Saliba’s latest collection of minimalist jewelry. Inspired by the Purist and Brutalist architectural movements, curved lines dance across the body in cuffs, contemporary chokers and earrings. Available at Sylvie Saliba, Charles Malek Ave., Quantum Tower Bldg., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.330.500, Sexy salads. Artisanal sandwiches. Eating healthy is easy when you’re at Karnaval, a new café that crafts meals for the well intentioned. Colorful paintings and pieces of pottery decorate the cheerful interior. Downtown Beirut, Assurex Bldg. 1336, tel. 01.989.223

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Obi (right)

Sushi gets an urban makeover at Obi, a restaurant that brings modern décor to the traditional art of Japanese cuisine. Located in the city’s newest hotspot, Badaro, it promises to be packed faster than you can say “konnichiwa.” Main St., Badaro, tel. 76.007.599,

© Camper, Elie Bekhazi, Linda Farrow, Mitsu-Ya, Obi, Saint Laurent, Stairway, Sylvie Saliba

Karnaval (below)

Saint Laurent (right)

Notes of jasmine, orange blossom and ylang ylang seduce in Saint Laurent’s Oriental Collection limited-edition perfume. The Middle East is most alluring in fragrance form. Available exclusively at Aïshti

Camper (above)

We’re stepping back to the future with Camper’s spring/summer 2015 collection, an ode to the brand’s early days. With minimalist design and new technologies, it’s easy to find a shoe that fits. Available at Aïzone

Mitsu-Ya (below)

Watch the chef slice through velvety slabs of salmon at Mitsu-Ya, serving up delectable sushi and hot food. Those that dare should also sample shōchū, a strong Japanese liqueur. Gouraud St., Georges Abou Nader Bldg., Gemmayzeh, tel. 01.561.110

Linda Farrow (above)

Flip-flops, beach ball, paper fan: Linda Farrow rounds up summer’s essentials in a classic tote bag. Better yet, one in ten lucky winners will scoop a bag holding a pair of super-luxe sunglasses. Available at Aïshti 47 A

A cityscape

Just in London

Babylon at The Roof Gardens (below)

You’ll think you’re in a tropical paradise at Babylon Terrace, a leafy Kensington hideout. The re-opening of Babylon Restaurant makes it a summer must-see. 99 Kensington High St., tel. 44.20.7368.3993,

Netil360 (above)

This East London rooftop draws the city’s cool kids with music, cocktails and the occasional game of lawn Twister. The space is also home to Netil House, a creative lab for freelancers and startups. 1 Westgate St., Hackney, tel. 44.20.3095.9749,

This retrospective of the prolific British artist Barbara Hepworth is essential viewing, featuring small-scale abstract pieces and her legendary grand sculptures. Runs until October 24 at Tate Britain, tel. 44.20.7887.8888,

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain (left)

Beauty is pain, as fashionable footwear proves. This survey of the shoe spans from ancient Egypt to Marie Antoinette’s closet and beyond, proving style doesn’t always come in comfortable packaging. Runs until January 31, 2015 at The Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd., tel. 44.20.7942.2000,

Brixton Village (above)

Small independent businesses have transformed a decaying ’30s shopping arcade into a cosmopolitan hot spot of restaurants and cafes. Head down for everything from champagne to dumplings. Brixton Village, Granville Arcade, A 48

© Brixton Village, The National Portrait Gallery, Netil House, The Roof Gardens, Tate Britain, The Victoria and Albert Museum

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World (below)

m a r c j ac o b s s to r e s w o r l d w i d e

w w w. m a r c j ac o b s . c o m

A cityscape

Just in Milan Ottica Bergomi (below)

Have your sights set on a new look? With over two floors filled with hundreds of eyewear brands, this shop in the new Porta Garibaldi district has everything from this season’s must-haves to trendsetting and hard-to-find styles. Piazza Gae Aulenti 8, tel. 39.02.6269.4970,

Dry Cocktails & Pizza (below)

In the heart of the artistic Brera district, this pizzeria serves up an authentic Neapolitan pie. But don’t call it oldfashioned – the menu also includes some of the most creative cocktails in town. Via Solferino 33, tel. 20.02.6379.3414,

Filippo La Mantia Oste e Cuoco (above)

With a reputation as one of the best and most charismatic chefs in Italy, Filippo La Mantia knows how to combine ingredients to unique – and delicious – effect. Dishes often come with a side of small talk from the chef himself, making dinner quite the experience. Piazza Risorgimento Angolo Via Poerio 27, tel. 39.02.7000.5309

Armani/Silos (below)

King Giorgio celebrated Armani’s 40th anniversary by opening a striking museum space, a former ’50s cereal warehouse that now houses a retrospective of over 600 of the designer’s garments, illustrations and digital archives. Via Bergognone 40, tel. 39.02.9163.0010,

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This recently renovated space welcomes guests with a spectacular raw bar and cuisine by chef Denis Pedron, its menu featuring intriguing land options like escargots, pata negra and a selection of cured meats. Via Privata Bobbio 2, tel. 39.02.5810.7802,

© Gianmarco Chieregato, Davide Lovatti, Dry Cocktails & Pizza, Langosteria 10 Bistrot & Bottega, Ottica Bergomi

Langosteria 10 Bistrot & Bottega (below)

A cityscape

Just in New York Sacred Space NY (below)

If your spirit is running on empty, Sacred Space NY will restore your nerves with what it calls “luxe” healing, including massage, meditation and yoga by some the best practitioners in New York City. 5 East 57th St., tel. 212.245.8235,

This sophisticated cocktail-cum-snacks bar is an airy, relaxed version of a Manhattan cocktail lounge with a down-home, Deep South twist. Louisiana-born chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois cooks up small-plate delights like boiled-peanut hummus and jalapeño cornbread. 271 11th Ave., tel. 212.981.6188,

Santina (above)

The High Line, New York’s favorite elevated park, has now opened its own restaurant. Santina occupies a bright, glass-enclosed structure designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Beyer Blinder Belle, with an interior by Thomas Schlesser and Design Bureaux. 820 Washington St., tel. 212.254.3000,

Astoria Bier and Cheese (above)

That’s right, cheese and beer. Not wine. This up-and-comer in Astoria Queens proffers some 80 different cheeses and 300 craft beers, including 10 or so on tap. Passionate staff will happily help you pair the two. 35-11 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, tel. 718.255.6982, A 54

© Astoria Bier and Cheese, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Porchlight, Sacred Space NY, Santina

Porchlight (below)

A cityscape

Ten years of galas, including this performance in 2012, culiminated in this year’s blowout event

A decade to remember By Stephanie d’Arc Taylor

The most charitable members of Lebanese society gathered on May 22 in Biel to celebrate ten years of fighting congenital heart disease in children, at the annual Heartbeat Gala Dinner. Over dinner, 1,000 attendees took in a concert of the best English and French songs from Heartbeat’s ten years of galas, performed by a volunteer cast comprised mainly of doctors, medical students, residents and nurses, says Dr. Victor Jebara, the vice president of Heartbeat and professor of surgery at Beirut’s Hôtel-Dieu hospital. The performers practiced twice a week for five months prior to the gala, Jebara says, indicating A 56

their “total dedication to the cause.” Attendees also had the chance to win a series of prizes, either through a silent auction or a tombola raffle. The luckiest among the winners went home with a Céline Mini Luggage multicolor bag in elephant calfskin, a Balenciaga Padlock Work bag from the Holiday Capsule 2015 collection in calfskin, a Chloé Drew bicolor saddle bag in small grain leather and lambskin and a Marc Jacobs Textured Incognito bag in calf leather, all donated by Aïshti. “The Heartbeat Gala Dinners constitute the main source of fundraising for our association,” Jebara continued. “Over the past ten years, [the funds] have enabled us to treat over 2,000 newborns and children with heart problems.” Operations have ramped up; “in 2014, we treated around 300 kids total.” Treatments the Heartbeat events have made possible extend beyond hospital care,

Jebara says. “Two years ago, we discovered that children who had been cured were not leading normal lives in their families and their environments… Parents still considered their kids ‘sick’ and often did not send them to school or allow them to play with their friends.” Based on this observation, Heartbeat (in collaboration with BLC Bank) developed a new social antenna, to follow up with families of kids who have been treated in the hospital under Heartbeat’s auspices. This year, part of the proceeds will go toward a pre-natal diagnosis unit, which, Jebara says, will help detect cardiac abnormalities in the fetus “so as to improve treatment and decrease fetal mortalities.” Our love for luxury goods and society affairs has never felt so good. Visit

© Nabil Ismail

Heartbeat celebrates ten years saving lives

© 2015 TUMI, INC.

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LEBANON 225 Foch St., Downtown Beirut Tel. + 961 1 991111 Ext. 480

A playground _ mixed media

Alone on a desert islandƒ

By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

Tala Hajjar, co-founder and director of Starch Foundation When it’s time for a well-deserved holiday from her day job – running Starch Foundation, an NGO that supports emerging Lebanese designers, in collaboration with Solidere – Tala Hajjar has been known to escape to exotic locales. That does not, however, mean that she welcomes the thought of being marooned on a tropical island. “I wouldn’t be ecstatic,” she says. “More like really freaked out.” Easing into the tranquility of her surroundings, she’d play Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis, and Bob Marley’s Songs of Freedom. “They both give me that fuzzy feeling inside,” Hajjar explains. With the sun, sea and classic tunes to set the mood, all that’s missing is a hammock. Hajjar would also take one of her favorite cookbooks, Ferran Adrià’s The Family Meal, with her. She’s drawn to its nostalgic layout, but mouthwatering recipes like Mexican-style chicken with rice and Santiago cake might be difficult to reproduce in the wild. If homesickness were to set in, the 1970 Disney film The Aristocats is the only antidote. “It has a fantastic soundtrack,” says Hajjar, “and it always makes me smile.” With space in her suitcase for one more DVD, Hajjar is still considering her final pick, though she’s narrowed down the subject. “I would have to find one about how to survive on a desert island!”

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A playground _ book

Going places From left to right Japanese Gardens by Gunter Nitschke; Living in Bahia by Monica Lima; To India with Love by Waris Ahluwalia; In the Spirit of St. Barths by Pamela Fiori; NYT 36 Hours USA & Canada, Southwest & Rocky Mountains by Barbara Ireland; New York: Portrait Of A City by Reuel Golden

Š Tony Elieh

Escape between the pages of classic coffee table titles

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A playground _ conversation

Dinner with Bill Bragin By Laura van Straaten

This page Bill Bragin in The Arts Center Opposite page An NYUAD student production titled “Organs, Tissues and Candy Games”

Anyone in the region who cares about the arts already knows that when Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s $27 billion planned cultural district, is complete, it will include branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums. But few know that New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, which opened last September also on the island, is making a big play in the cultural space too. Or that NYUAD made headlines in The New York Times when it announced towards the end of 2014 that is was hiring away from New York City’s Lincoln Center the cultural curator and quasi-impresario Bill Bragin to lead A 66

cultural programming and head NYUAD’s multi-stage, Rafael Viñoly-designed performing arts complex. Bragin, 47, has a full plate that reflects the diversity of the UAE and of NYU’s student body, which hails from 107 countries and speaks more than 100 languages. Gracing the stages will be musicians, dancers, performance artists, theater troupes and multimedia artists. Then there’s the film program. Drawing on the strength of his long career in music, the lifelong New Yorker has lined up a pioneering band from West Africa; a Korean multimedia electronic music ensemble; and a group that fuses jazz with Arabic and South Asian traditions. Most will be performing in the UAE for the first time. In March, after almost four months on the job, Bragin sat down for dinner on Saadiyat overlooking the Gulf to speak with A magazine about his plans for NYUAD.

© Clint McLean, Koh Teral

Getting to know NYU Abu Dhabi’s cultural curator

I was attracted to Abu Dhabi’s emphasis on culture as the heart of it its multiyear “2030 plan” for its future economy and identity. To be at the start of this new wave of cultural players on Saadiyat and help define this world-class cultural center – that’s a big contrast to huge institutions in New York where I’ve had impact but which already existed and were saturated when I arrived. I have a checklist of what’s important to me: things like multidisciplinary programming, a broad curatorial canvas, international perspective, the opportunity for radical learning and impact on the larger culture. We want to make cultural engagement part of the fabric of people’s lives. Now, Abu Dhabi isn’t really building a continuous community. There are episodic events

or festivals, but you don’t have ongoing offerings where people can subscribe to and support an arts organization on a regular basis, like they do in New York with theater or opera. Music superstars like Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake come for a night or two. People here see performance as an end product. As the cultural sector becomes more important for the economy, people need to understand what it means to work in and support the arts, and what goes into creating culture, beyond what ends up onstage and on the wall. We want to increase access to the process of art-making. That will play out through our commissions and by establishing

residencies that last a week or several, so artists can develop new work or perform works in progress. So, I’m asking artists to do more than public performances on campus: master classes, educational workshops, lectures, added performances for schools and other cultural centers, plus community meals with people in allied fields. We will customize each program to have the greatest impact. As to the challenges, our goal is to find work that can be meaningful and that is culturally sensitive to all the different backgrounds here. Yes, there will be sensitivity to costuming. If dancers cannot be wearing tight leotards, okay. Guests should respect that. But you probably won’t know that you’ve gone too far until you’ve gone too far. - As told to Laura van Straaten

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A fashion _ news

Fashion fragments From the basketball court to the beach and beyond

White hot

With just four days of exhibitions, Pitti Uomo, fashion’s biggest menswear event, sets the trends you’ll see on next year’s streets. Moschino’s Jeremy Scott is this session’s guest designer. Runs June 16 - 19 in Florence,

True Religion x Russell Westbrook

As America’s NBA players court attention for their style, True Religion introduced Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook as creative director of the brand’s spring/summer 2015 ad campaign. Visit A 78

Bathing beauty

Don’t miss an opportunity to turn the boardwalk into a catwalk with OYE Swimwear’s runway-ready swimsuits. Visit

© Cartier, Jimmy Choo, OYE Swimwear, Pitti Immagine, Temperley London, True Religion

Clothes make the man

Pair summer whites with metallic statement pieces for maximum impact. From left to right: Jimmy Choo bridal collection clutch, Temperley London look, Clé de Cartier watch


In focus

By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

A saturated spring at Tory Burch

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Š Norman Jean Roy / Trunk Archive, Tory Burch, Gordon Hull, Noa Griffel, Taylor Jewell, Dan Lecca

A fashion _ collection

“I see the world in color,” Tory Burch declares in her first publishing pursuit, the aptly named Tory Burch: In Color. Over 240 pages of hypnotic imagery and personal anecdotes, the New York-based designer paints a vivid picture of a small fashion label’s transformation into a multi-billion-dollar business. Tory Burch launched her namesake brand just over a decade ago, reviving ’60s Palm Springs with her retro American aesthetic. Her success was instantaneous – her first shop nearly sold out the day it opened – and the designer toyed with the idea of penning a book about entrepreneurship. But while she mulled over the details, Lean In, Girl Boss and their precursors climbed bestseller lists as they flooded the market. Burch turned her attention instead to the brand’s blog, Tory Daily, a virtual mood board of style, travel and culture. It became the jumping-off point for Tory Burch: In Color.

This and opposite page Like her collections, Tory Burch’s memories, experiences and inspiration are heavily influenced by color

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A fashion _ collection

With a traditional chapter book in mind, Burch and her team began gathering potential content. “It was really organic,” she explains. “We put together pictures that we loved and created lists of poetry, artists we admire – things just started taking shape from there.” One afternoon, in an effort to organize their thoughts and an overwhelming stack of material, they spread the images out on the floor. Hundreds of photos tiled the room. Someone proposed sorting everything by color and from there, “it all came together so naturally,” says Burch. She writes, “This book is a kaleidoscope of my greatest influences and experiences, told through images and stories of the people, places, things and ideas that inspire me.” Stripes on the rainbow represent moments in time, both past and present. In the context of Burch’s scrapbook-like pages, each hue takes on another dimension. Orange plays a particularly prominent role. As a child, the designer pleaded with her mother to let her paint her bedroom a bright mandarin hue, but the more conservative Mrs. Burch wouldn’t budge. Decades later, there was a moment of triumph when the original Tory Burch boutique opened on New York City’s Elizabeth Street: colossal orange lacquer doors greeted her first customers. A glass jar of vibrant California apricots sits on her cluttered desk to this day, reminding her of “David Hicks’s graphic interiors and the cover of [her] favorite album, Harvest, by Neil Young.” Hues from blue and black to gold each tell their own distinctive tale: a scarlet runner tracing the stairs of her A 82

© Mimi Ritzen Crawford, Gordon Hull, Tory Burch, Taylor Jewell, Dan Lecca, Noa Griffel, Damien Hirst / Science Ltd. / Other Criteria

This and opposite page When sorting through hundreds of images for the book (next page middle), everything seemed to fall into place according to hue, like Burch’s cherished picture of her mother in a Pucci swimsuit (next page right)

childhood home; a saffron Pucci swimsuit that appears in glamorous poolside shots of her mother from the ’70s. Every swatch was cataloged and stored away until Burch would need it. Spring/summer 2015 is one particularly impressive example of her archive of memories being put to use. Conceptualized as “raw and refined,” the collection appears segmented into blocks of color, much the way the book is. A palette of brown and white gives way to metallic details and pops of mustard, crimson and navy. The designer says inspiration came from the decade artist Françoise Gilot spent with Picasso in the seaside town of Vallauris, France. After reading Tory Burch: In Color, it’s hard not to also see references to her mother’s blue and white china, or the lush, green view from the top of Machu Picchu, which Burch hiked with her sons. But that was always the designer’s intention. “I hope the book sheds light on the way I see, work and live in color,” Burch says. “It all stems from the way my parents raised me and my brothers: to embrace differences in people and ideas, and to be open and adventurous.” Tory Burch: In Color, by Tory Burch and edited by Nandini D’Souza Wolfe, is published by Abrams and is out now

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A fashion _ debate

Yes or no Do the shoes make the man?

YES When a good-looking man walks into the room, I’m the first to size him up. I’m not looking for six-pack abs or a megawatt smile; like a seasoned fortune teller, I’m discretely fishing for character clues. Often lumped in with “accessories,” fashionable footwear is easily dismissed as superfluous. But shoes aren’t a style addendum – they anchor a look and send a message. Hand-stitched Italian brogues signal an appreciation for quality and tradition. Bonus points if they’re broken in; no mere peacock, their wearer isn’t interested in a trendy game of one-upmanship. Anyone who lives in sneakers is clearly running from something, and I’d place my bet on adulthood. And cozy Crocs – the footwear equivalent of stained sweatpants – suggest a willingness to accept convenience at any cost, even if it’s dignity. “A man who cares about his shoes puts thought into the details, from his clothing to romance to the bedroom,” a friend once told me. She has a point. If lacing up a pair of oxfords requires too much effort, then what else would a guy in search of comfort let fall by the wayside? I wouldn’t know. But I can still recall what my husband was wearing on his feet the first night we met, and it was love at first sight. by MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

NO Years ago, I had a rule: always judge a man by his shoes. With one downward glance, I imagined a whole world of information was revealed. I could spot an appreciation for fashion or lack thereof, his career, hobbies, aspirations towards hipster status and so much more. Admittedly, it was shallow. I dismissed men based on a functional element of dress that most give little thought to. But in the complex world of dating, it was a simplistic way to separate the well-heeled from the shabbily shod. And I thought my system worked.

Four years later, the hiking boots are still around. Now, their ungainliness has come to suggest something different: an ease in one’s skin that is steady and unwavering. Such quiet, innate confidence may not ooze the amped-up sophistication of fancier footwear, but it will last far longer than any pair of shoes. by Pip Usher A 84

© Gucci, Corneliani

Then I met someone who refused to conform to my golden rule – someone who favored scuffed hiking boots when he was far from a mountain. Grey, clunky apparatus designed solely for practicality, he wore them without a hint of irony. When I suggested buying another pair of shoes to wear around town, he looked confused. “Why?” he asked. “These fit fine.”

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A fashion _ fundamental

Denim dudes By John Ovans

A durable twill that’s been through the mill

Ubiquitous, utilitarian and iconic, denim is a fabric with ever-evolving references. First invented in the 19th century in a French town called Nîmes, it later became the workwear of choice for American laborers and mine workers in the ’20s, due to the fact that it was a hardy and durable twill that could withstand tough conditions, shifting into pop culture via cowboys. It was in the ’50s that it became a symbol of rebellion, thanks to the likes of James Dean, Marlon Brando and, of course, Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll (and double denim). So macho it was that denim became as homoerotic as leather, cropping up regularly in the fetishistic drawings of artist Tom of Finland. But it wasn’t until Marilyn Monroe shimmied into a pair of Levi’s in the film The Misfits that it begun to shed its hypermasculine connotations and was absorbed into women’s wardrobes too. Now, according to the book Denim Dudes, more than 50 percent of the world’s population is wearing jeans at any given time. A 86

Burberry Prorsum

© Burberry Prorsum, Prada, Saint Laurent

Did you know that denim was invented by somebody who was trying to replicate corduroy? Think about how many pairs of jeans you’ve had over the years. Now compare that to the number of items you’ve ever owned made from corduroy. Denim, glorious denim, has come a long way – the same, happily, cannot be said for corduroy, consigned to the sartorial scrapheap by everybody but the most fervent of fusty librarians.



While we can trace the history of denim, designers, as ever, are looking to its future, currently negotiating a tricky time when sportswear is emerging as a decade-defining trend. Rather than abandoning it – because seriously, who could imagine a world without denim? – they’re finding ways to reinterpret it, using it to create a new impact in our wardrobes. Burberry Prorsum has sought to harness the qualities of denim for something more sophisticated, incorporating it as a key fabric for spring/summer 2015. Fitted lightweight denim jackets replaced shirts, and the classic Burberry trench was reimagined in – you guessed it – denim. Prada, too, took denim as the fabric of choice for unusual outerwear, with a selection of deconstructed jackets as part of a relaxed, ’70s-style collection. Saint Laurent looked to the same decade, with pale, lithe punk boys strutting out in cut-off denim shirts and jackets, their spindly legs squeezed in skinny jeans. Indeed, fashion critics called this season’s denim “haute,” high fashion conveyed through a fabric famous for a lack of pretension.

Saint Laurent

The re-emergence of denim as a trend to be reckoned with makes a lot of sense, in a way – it represents the other end of the spectrum in a futuristic world of wearable tech and newfangled fabrics we don’t quite understand. Denim is authentic; denim is friendly. And unlike poor old corduroy, it will never go out of style. 87 A

A fashion _ matrimony

Mad about you By Nadine Khalil

Local designers push bridal boundaries

Despite how unconventional you may think you are when it comes to fashion, on your wedding day, if you are like most, you’ll probably opt for that quintessential white dress. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Take Lara Khoury’s “Sow,” a debut bridal collection of four gowns and four men’s suits. “This collection is for those who are looking for something unusual, fun and comfortable,” she says. From the tiny pleats on her bodices, with the tulle underneath lending generous volume but not exaggerating the fall of the fabric, to the different lengths she plays with in the same dress (and shorter suit lengths)

© Tarek Moukaddem / Krikor Jabotian, Lara Khoury, Something Blue

When you’re a celebrity, it’s easier to be daring – think back to 1969, when Audrey Hepburn wore a pink mini dress for her wedding. Today’s stars and celebrities run the bridal gamut, from white jumpsuits to crop tops and colorful prints. Even if you

aren’t ready to completely disregard ritual, the good news is that there are options for alternative bridal wear in Lebanon.

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This page The Lara Khoury client isn’t afraid to do things a little differently on her wedding day Opposite page Krikor Jabotian gives bridal gowns a new dimension

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A fashion _ matrimony

A feathered Elizabeth Fillmore gown (left) and a lace and tulle crop top, worn with an organza skirt, both from Something Blue’s capsule collection (right)

and the lightness of the material – off-white silk and organza – her collection stands out for its monochrome elegance. Not to mention its functionality. “You may not be able to see it here,” she quips, “but I’ve integrated pockets into the women’s dresses. The bride needs to put her mobile phone somewhere – she might want to Instagram.” Then there’s Krikor Jabotian’s spring/ summer 2015 collection (both Jabotian and Khoury were part of the first generation of Starch designers, going on to establish their own labels). It’s true that Krikor doesn’t actually designate his bridalwear as such, but the majority of his work sells as wedding dresses. A master with lace, he demonstrates how details become more visible when their backdrop diverges from white. “The problem with white is that it’s two-dimensional, which is why I like to incorporate different shades,” he explains. His off-white, champagne or ecru designs have clean, geometric cuts, some ankle-

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There’s also Cynthia Nakhlé, who founded Something Blue, the now two-year-old bridal boutique, after noticing the gap in the market for mid-range designer gown options. All of the designers that Something Blue carries are New York-based and range from boho chic to the more conservative. “As alternative as a girl might be,” she says, “it’s funny how tame she will get on her wedding day. I think fabric looks better, or more premium, in a color like ivory, and although the dresses we have for show are mostly off-white, they all come in a colored version too.” There’s the dramatic Hayley Paige dress with a halter high-neck alabaster-and-crystal bodice, a flounce skirt in full horse hair and the more understated lace and tulle crop top, with buttons lining the back and skirt. The latter is part of a Something Blue capsule collection created in collaboration with Azzi & Osta. Nakhlé’s personal favorite is a strapless ostrich feather dress by Elizabeth Fillmore, all laser-cut. It goes to show that semi-traditional can still be sensational, especially when it’s balanced with modernity – and a little bit of fearlessness. Visit,,

© Tarek Moukaddem / Krikor Jabotian, Lara Khoury, Something Blue

length, others with capes, resembling ’50s frocks rather than your typical wedding dress. “White is only good on a small scale, otherwise you drown in it,” he continues. “Of course, some clients want the Cinderella wedding dress, which I can do. I just don’t find it challenging.”

Daniel Gordon Portrait with Gatsby Tote, in Red and Blue - #zagliani #zaglianilovesdanielgordon

A誰shti, 71 El-Moutrane Street. | T- 01.991111 - A誰shti Seaside, Jal el Dib. | T- 04.717716

A fashion _ couture

Couture crack-up By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

The boldest looks of the season

The Margiela mask It’s hard to find a common thread in Galliano’s first collection for Maison Margiela, other than impeccable tailoring and the designer’s trademark sense of humor. Nowhere was his cheek more evident than a gorgeous, embellished gown, paired with an abstract mask that presumably escaped from a childhood nightmare.

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© Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giambattista Valli, Maison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf

Some of couture’s most beautiful spring/summer 2015 collections offer the most unusual details.

The Gaultier veil Jean Paul Gaultier’s aptly named “61 Ways to Say Yes” collection featured a swarm of brides dressed in everything from pantsuits to a show girl getup. One jaw-dropping veil combined two wedding-day highlights – the pampering and the cake – into a hot-roller headpiece, topped with a mini bride and groom.

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The Giambattista Valli cape Giambattista Valli is working under the impression that a woman can never be too rich, too thin or too covered in tulle. We won’t disagree. The designer may have created a global fabric shortage, but his light-as-air capes offered a whimsical finish to tailored, retro looks.

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Š Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giambattista Valli, Maison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf

A fashion _ couture

The Viktor & Rolf headpiece Go big or go home, Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf told their floral-clad models, who wore voluminous dresses in 3-D prints. The show took a surreal turn with extravagant headpieces, blades of wheat and blooms that could easily have been plucked from a Van Gogh painting.

The Chanel monobrow Tweeds and gold details, Cara and Kendall: this season, Chanel effortlessly bridged the past and present. One place the theme was most evident? The house’s beauty looks. Chanel moved on from the heavy Delevingne brow to an even heavier Frida Kahlo brow, which triumphantly expanded its reach from the forehead to the eyelid.

The Dior skirt-dress An unlikely starting point for couture or Dior, David Bowie was Raf Simons’s biggest inspiration for spring. Simons was drawn to the music legend’s chameleonlike character, a quality he applied to one streamlined silhouette: what looked to be a full-length circle skirt, adjusted to sit above the model’s bust. 95 A

A fashion _ staple

Down to a tee By Grace Elena Banks

The low-key, high-profile T-shirt

Invented in 1913 for U.S. marines to wear as undergarments, the mass-appeal of such a basic piece was unpredictably accelerated by two world wars. “The low price of the T-shirt led to it becoming the uniform of the working class after the war,” says Kristian Volsing, fashion curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. “After becoming mainstream, it was made popular by James Dean in Rebel without a Cause and began to be associated with iconoclastic characters.” This rebellion is what the fashion industry craves season after season, and spring/summer 2015 is no exception. The last couple of years have seen the T-shirt become a certified statement piece, but it’s the spring/summer 2015 catwalks that have catapulted it to trophy status. At Saint Laurent, a humble, striped T-shirt was a highlight, while Burberry and Marc by Marc Jacobs rejected the minimalism of previous seasons with youthful slogans and slouchy cuts. “The slogan A 96

Saint Laurent

© Balenciaga, Burberry, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marni, Michael Kors, Saint Laurent

Most millennials recall Dior’s “J’Adore Dior” T-shirts. Tight, bright and with a diamanté logo emblazoned across the front, in 2006 they were J-Lo’s weekend wear and Paris Hilton’s go-to get-up on The Simple Life. If your fashion T-shirt references hark all the way back to 2000, you’ll remember Madonna’s customized promotional top for Guy Ritchie’s gangster flick Snatch, with its cleavage-baring slash. And even more recently, Givenchy’s multimedia cartoon collage tee had fashion editors ordering their flat whites while decked out in Disney doppelgängers. How did the T-shirt get here?


Burberry Prorsum

Michael Kors

T-shirt has the ability to present facets of the wearer’s personality,” says Volsing. “Fashion houses began to take note of this in the early ’70s, with Calvin Klein producing the first T-shirts featuring a designer’s logo, giving mass-produced clothing a prestige that had previously depended on an item’s intrinsic properties.”

Marc by Marc Jacobs


For all their urban status, T-shirts can be a practical staple for the more formal occasions. Take Christopher Kane’s silk and lace tees, which channel his casual East London roots and can be paired effortlessly with jeans and trousers alike. But despite its alluring comfort factor, this is not a sports-luxe trend – perhaps Marni’s flickering florals say that best. It’s a throw-on shirt, sure, but done in a print seen across Marni’s entire spring/summer 2015 collection, it becomes a top for every class and creed. Each season sees an increasingly egalitarian mood ushered into fashion, and T-shirts are the ultimate signifier of this new order. J-Lo may have declared “J’Adore Dior,” but you’d be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t love a good T-shirt. 97 A

A fashion _ tradition

The cult of the dandy

By James Haines-Young

This page Edward Sexton helps an apprentice stitch the panel of a jacket Opposite page A Huntsman bespoke suit jacket made for American actor Gregory Peck in the 60’s hangs in the Huntsman showrooms today

There’s quite simply nowhere else like it. Looking at the unassuming central London street on a grey winter morning, it’s far from obvious that this is home to some of the world’s best suit makers. A small collection of tailors have been leading the way in bespoke tailoring for nearly 200 years, not only shaping today’s suit industry but more or less creating it. A lot has changed since the street’s first inhabitants set up shop, but business on Savile Row is booming. “The cult of Savile Row, the history – there’s a mystique about it,” explains Johnny Allen of Huntsman. The shop opened in 1849, making it one of the oldest Savile Row tailors.

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“As much as the Italian suits are considered great, they still aspire to be associated with Savile Row,” he goes on. Colin Heywood of Anderson and Sheppard, another of Savile Row’s biggest old names, says that there are several things that make Savile Row so special. As well as the finest fabrics – many of which are made in northern England especially for the Row – and the best tailors, they also have a personal relationship with their customers. Each suit is made for the man who wears it and each customer has his own brown-paper suit pattern, which becomes the visual part of the lifelong relationship between cutter and customer.

© James Haines-Young

200 years of tailoring on London’s Savile Row

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Each house has its distinct style. Anderson and Sheppard sit firmly at one end of the spectrum, making a soft-fitting suit. “We have minimal shoulder padding, a full chest, not-too-slim cut and a lapel that’s proportionate for the chest size. It’s timeless,” says Heywood. This in contrast to Huntsman, whose military background has led to a more structured coat, with a firm shoulder, single button and a drape cut that casts an elegant silhouette. Times were not always so good. Towards the end of the 20th century, the suit was worn not for love but for work, which led to a slump in demand for fine Savile Row designs. But out of this time a new movement emerged to shake up the industry. The likes of Edward Sexton, while classically trained on Savile Row, left much of the traditional rigidity behind by adding a modern flare. Sexton’s suits are identified by iconic big lapels, unexpected fabrics and bold colors, and his client list includes Mick Jagger, Bono and supermodel Naomi Campbell. But despite doing a lot to modernize the suit, Sexton plays down his reformer image. “It’s modern, but it’s also been done 100 times,” he says, pointing to a jacket adorning the bust beside him. It’s clear that his roots are still firmly in the traditions of Savile Row tailoring. Today, demand for the Savile Row suits is bigger than ever. Anyone can walk in off the street to book a fitting, but they have to be prepared to wait – bespoke takes time. It also takes big budgets: a classic Huntsman suit made of a house fabric starts, in dollars, at close to five figures, and with the endless choices of fabrics and linings this amount can increase dramatically. But looking at the famous suited customers that line the walls of Huntsman, for something classic and timeless that’s part of a 200-year tradition and made especially for you, it really doesn’t seem so much.

Top One of Huntsman’s tailors stitches a jacket in the workrooms behind the shopfront Bottom The iconic window of Huntsman’s shop at 11 Savile Row

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© James Haines-Young


A fashion _ boutique

Paris by way of Beirut By Stephanie dÍ Arc Taylor

Concept store Le66 opens downtown

Le66, the cavernous 1,000-square-meter concept store occupying 66 ChampsÉlysées, Paris, is dipping its dainty toe into Mediterranean waters for the first time. As part of an ongoing worldwide expansion – stores are planned for Bangkok, Riyadh and more cities – Le66 Beirut opened with an arty cocktail party called Disturbing Phenomena in May.

“For me,” Stanislas says over the phone from her Paris office, “Beirut is a very interesting city because it’s a mix between old and new; this is what I like about it. What I wanted to make at Le66 is a shop that’s the signature of past and future.” Previously, the

© Bernard Khalil

None of the stores, says Karim Tabet, who owns the Beirut branch with his brother Cherif, are “meant to look alike, either on an architectural level or in terms of the selections available in the store.” To create

an in-store feeling that would embody Le66’s edgy, artistic aesthetic (characterized by brands like Jonathan Simkhai, Costume National, Faith Connexion and Corto Moltedo), as well as capture the spirit of Beirut, the Le66 team selected architect Isabelle Stanislas to design the store’s interior.

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This and opposite page Before opening in Beirut in May, Le66 was a staple in the French fashion scene

French architect has done interior design for Hermès and Cartier stores, as well as a private home in Ibiza, a castle in Bordeaux and apartments in Paris and New York. The building’s interior, she says, was already very inspiring and in line with the Le66 concept. For the most part, she kept the building how it was, including the concrete floors. One concession to the store’s Levantine setting are the gorgeous old olive trees in big pots in the windows, twisted and gnarled like blown-up bonsais. Also, the store’s address itself –Foch Street in downtown Beirut – is a nod to the past: the remodeled buildings are designed to look like gently distressed French mandate-era architecture. “The fashion makes the shop,” she insists, “not the architecture. I don’t want to distract from the clothes.” On the other hand, “the presentation can make the clothes seem stronger than they would without decoration.” It’s a fine line between too much and too little, it would seem.

One element that seems paramount to the brand across its shops is the idea that stepping into a Le66 store shouldn’t necessarily be about shopping. “You go to pass a moment,” says Stanislas, who herself frequents the Paris Le66 shop, “not necessarily to buy. It’s to play, to create your own style.” To help bring this vision of a fashion destination, rather than a shopping errand, the stores also feature temporary art exhibitions and music events, giving their wares a “story,” as the branding strategy would have it. This, for Stanislas, a frequent visitor to Beirut, is what will make Le66 stand out in a sea of other designer stores downtown. “Le66 is the first place in Beirut that mixes luxury brands and high street, as well as art and design.” In a sea of luxury, perhaps, Le66 will provide the Beirut shopper some context. 151 Foch St., Downtown Beirut, tel. 01.985.470, 103 A

A fashion _ jeweler

Diamonds are forever Tabbah’s couture approach to jewelry design The cornerstone to many an engagement, the diamond has assumed a central role in romances ever since Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 with a ring set with thin pieces of diamond. Fast forward half a millennia and an anonymous aristocrat’s 20th wedding anniversary was looming. A tradition cemented on his wedding day, he’d always surprised his wife with a bouquet of white roses surrounded by red roses. After two decades together, he was ready to reproduce A 104

the intimacy of the tradition in a diamond necklace that she could keep forever. “We help people express their emotions in jewelry,” explains Nagib Tabbah, C.E.O., designer and heir to House of Tabbah, the fine jewelry business that crafted the masterpiece. “Offering the bouquet in diamonds instead of flowers – it meant something to him and to her.” House of Tabbah has accompanied its elite clique of clients through highly charged moments since its inception in 1862. “It’s not rational, it’s not mathematical. It’s more of an emotional journey,” says Tabbah, who collaborates closely with clients for months to ensure the perfect result. Comparing the process to that of designing a yacht,

© Tabbah

By Rowan Clare

it’s clear that the celebrities, royalty and politicians purchasing such pieces are not fettered by financial constraint. Instead, they select Tabbah for its reputation as purveyor of beautiful stones and the highest standard of craftsmanship. In an age of copycat designs, Tabbah is differentiated by its approach to jewelry. The majority of its pieces are bespoke, conceived in a similar manner to haute couture, and created around the exacting specifications of the world’s wealthiest and well-connected. As a child, Nagib Tabbah spent countless hours in his family’s workshop. After studying precious stones in New York, he returned to the family business in Beirut.

Now, he represents the house’s storied history, traveling frequently to Japan, the United States and Switzerland armed only with his sketchbook and pen. Many of his royal clients have been with the house for generations; assuming the traditional role of family jeweler, Tabbah is valued for its loyalty and discretion. While he may craft some of the world’s most exquisite jewels, Tabbah is relaxed when it comes to the etiquette behind wearing them. “It’s really about you and your allure,” he explains. “Be yourself, and they will look beautiful.” Allenby St., Downtown Beirut, tel. 01.975.777,

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Barbara Casasola

Charlotte Olympia


miu miu


Charlotte Olympia

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Stella McCartney


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Le Silla

Barbara Casasola


Agent Provocateur


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Sonia Rykiel




Sonia Rykiel


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Valentino Garavani

Agent Provocateur




A fashion _ accessories

Drawn in Photographer Tony Elieh Stylist Joe Arida

This page Dior bag, LL6,405,000 Opposite page Céline jumpsuit, LL4, 725, 000; Prada shoes, LL1,005,000; Chloé bag, LL3,562,500; Marni bracelet, LL592,500

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A fashion _ accessories

This page Dries van Noten dress, LL1,537,500; Le Silla shoes, LL1,477,500; CĂŠline bag, LL7,755,000; Balenciaga bracelet (thick), LL1,087,500; Balenciaga bracelet (thin), LL1,042,500 Opposite page Marni pants, LL1,147,500; Charlotte Olympia shoes, LL2,152,500; Stella McCartney bag, LL1,147,500; Valentino Garavani bracelet, LL1,342,500

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This page Valentino jumpsuit, LL6,105,000 and clutch, LL3,892,500 Opposite page Fendi bag, LL2,962,500 and shoes, LL2,370,000

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A fashion _ accessories

Left Stella McCartney top, LL2,392,500 and skirt, LL1,492,500; CĂŠline shoes, LL1,537,500; Prada bag, LL1,290,000; Valentino Garavani bracelet, LL1,342,500 Right CĂŠline dress, LL3,345,000; Prada shoes, LL1,747,500; Fendi bag, LL3,795,000 and bracelet, LL892,500; Marni necklace, LL712,500

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A fashion _ accessories

This page Saint Laurent bag, LL3,022,500; Fendi sunglasses, LL795,000; Dior sunglasses, LL510,000; Marni earrings (left), LL525,000; Marni earrings (right), LL547,500 Opposite page Prada skirt, LL3,847,500; Stella McCartney shoes, LL1,237,500; Fendi bag, LL5,130,000

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Bird of paradise Photographer Marco Laconte Location Art Jungle, Brazil

Stylist Amelianna Loiacono

She’s wearing a Marni dress and Gucci shoes

This page She’s in a Roberto Cavalli dress and MSGM sandals Opposite page She’s wearing a look by Gucci. Her sandals are by Valentino Garavani

She’s in a Vionnet swimsuit. Her sandals are by Valentino Garavani and her earrings are by Etro

She’s wearing a Valentino dress

This page She’s in a Fendi kaftan Opposite page She’s wearing a look by Dolce & Gabbana

She’s wearing a Moschino top and skirt

This and opposite page She’s in a Dsquared2 kaftan and her sandals are by Michael Kors. Her earrings are by Etro Hair and makeup Xavier Perez Model Ania Kisiel from The Fashion Model Directory

Gallery girl Photographers Petrovsky & Ramone Stylist Vanessa Geldbach Location Beirut Exhibition Center

This page She’s wearing a Dolce & Gabbana jacket and pants. Her shoes and bag are by Valentino Garavani Opposite page She’s in a Moschino skirt and jacket

She’s in a look by Stella McCartney

This page She’s wearing a miu miu dress. Her bag is by Dolce & Gabbana and her bracelet is by Dsquared 2 Opposite page She’s in a miu miu shirt and Prada pants

This page She’s in a P.A.R.O.S.H. jacket. Her heels are by Casadei

This page She’s in a Saint Laurent dress. Her shoes are by Azzedine Alaïa Opposite page She’s wearing an Altuzarra shirt, a Moschino skirt and Saint Laurent boots. Her bag is by Dolce & Gabbana

This page She’s in a Roberto Cavalli jacket and pants and Alexander McQueen shoes. Her ring is by Chloé Opposite page She’s wearing a Stella McCartney jacket and pants, Balenciaga bracelets and Marni shoes. Available at Aïshti stores Hair and makeup Anita Jolles from Eric Elenbaas Agency Hair colorist Sam Sawyers Model Anouk Sanders from Paparazzi Model Management

The castaway Photographer Arved Colvin-Smith Stylist Magdalena Bryk Location Nice, France

She’s wearing a Roberto Cavalli dress and Stella McCartney shoes

This page Her dress is by Valentino Opposite page She’s wearing a look by Prada

This page She’s in an Agent Provocateur bra, Céline skirt and miu miu sunglasses Opposite page She’s wearing a Roberto Cavalli jumpsuit

This page Her dress is by Gucci Opposite page She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana look

This page Her dress and boots are by Dior and her sunglasses are by Fendi Opposite page She’s in a Michael Kors look Production Tamara Giorko at Tamara’s Style Hair Roku Roppongi from Saint Luke Artists Makeup Joanna Banach Models Alice Cornish from Elite Model Management



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A beauty _ counter

Here comes the sun

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Philip Kingsley Tricho 7 Volumizing Treatment The sun and environmental pollution can do as much damage to hair as they can to skin. Protect your tresses with a soothing, antioxidant-rich hair and scalp treatment. Visit

Armani Fluid Sheer A multipurpose highlighter, blush and corrector can work the same magic as a weekend in Saint Tropez. Use this lightweight formula alone or blend it with your favorite foundation to brighten your look. Visit

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Clarins Lip Comfort Oil Never mind sticky glosses – this light blend of mirabelle and organic jojoba oils leaves lips with a kiss of shine and the sweet taste of honey. Visit

© Chanel, Clarins, Armani Beauty, Philip Kingsley

Summer’s most essential products

A beauty _ trend

Work it

By Pip Usher

Rihanna blares as I slide with some trepidation around a static pole. Shoulders hunched, I’ve reverted to the self-conscious stance of a teenager – particularly when the warm-up begins and I’m asked to body wave against the pole, shoulders rippling and hips following in a movement that feels far too seductive for a Wednesday morning. I avoid the incriminating gaze of a wall-towall mirror, brutal in its judgment. “Try the fireman spin,” prompts Laura Ayoub, my instructor, as she hooks her leg around the pole and twirls gracefully to the ground. I follow with a clunk. Pole dancing, or pole fitness as it’s referred to these days, has left the sweaty-palmed sleaze of strip clubs and entered the mainstream. Gone are the days of diamante thongs and Perspex heels; the performance sport, a combination of acrobatics, gymnastics and erotic dance moves, has rebranded A 172

itself as a high-intensity fitness regime that requires strength and poise. Its disciples follow a grueling regimen of weight lifting, conditioning and stretching that transforms their bodies into sculpted physiques capable of jaw-dropping feats of athleticism. Soon, they hope, it will feature in the Olympics. Ayoub is used to leers when people learn how she stays in shape. But a little research reveals that pole dancing’s associations with adult entertainment are a Western invention. Chinese Pole, dating back to the 12th century, is a vigorous show of strength and skill as performers, wearing full body suits, flip and jump up and down a pole together. Pole Mallakhamb, an Indian tradition, is translated into “wrestler of the pole.” The art form’s signature move – a running flip onto the pole – sets the tone for a jaw-dropping assortment of acrobatics. Even the sensual elements of modern-day pole dancing can be traced back to the debauched can-can of Moulin Rouge courtesans, titillating in corsets, feathers and the gleam of jewels, and the undulating sway of the Middle East’s belly dancers.

Gliding around a pole looks easy, but I soon discover the difficulties that come with the job: chafed inner thighs and searing muscle cramps. With practice, my shoulders loosen up. Glancing at the mirror, I add an experimental body wave of my own to the end of a spin. But I grind to a halt at the fireman climb, an upward clamber that relies on flexed feet, tightly clenched knees and a heavy reliance on the biceps. Gravity triumphs. “Pole dancing is for everyone, no matter the size or sex,” Ayoub stresses. A restaurateur by profession – she owns bistro Goûtons Voir, as well as the Italian pizzeria Nonna next door – she stumbled across her first class while at a bachelorette party in Cannes 10 months ago. What began as a casual interest has morphed into a money-spinner on the side: in May, she started teaching weekly classes at Athletes Anonymous, a new gym in Ashrafieh. “I never thought I would learn something about myself at 26,” she says. “It’s changed my life.” Athletes Anonymous, Armenia St., tel. 71.121.333

© Shutterstock

From strip joint to fitness studio



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A beauty _ tactic

Shape up

By Pip Usher

Look good, feel great section to monitor each day’s workout, it’s a cohesive guide to getting fit without fad diets. Ditch those desperate ideas of maple syrup cleanses – this app requires determination, hard work and a long-term commitment to placing healthy living at the top of your “To Do” list. But the results are worth it. “I’m happier, more confident, satisfied, “ Nassar says with a small, proud smile. “I feel really good inside.” Start Living Right is free to download on any smartphone Iyashi Dome Treatment While toxins are a hot topic of debate these days – do they really exist? – both the naysayers and the evangelicals seem to be in agreement on one thing: being a sweaty mess is good for you.

Start Living Right Self-confessed former chubby girl Maya Nassar never thought there’d be a day she’d enjoy exercise. But when she tried to pull on her pair of “fat” jeans and they wouldn’t squeeze past her knees, she decided to stop A 174

making excuses and become responsible for her lifestyle. These days, she’s found gracing magazine covers as an advocate for healthy eating and female bodybuilding, her body transformed into a powerful mass of welldefined muscle. If there’s one thing Nassar understands, it’s how daunting exercise can be, especially if the inside of a gym is an unfamiliar sight. “It came from feeling fed-up with being insecure,” Nassar remembers as she recalls her transformation. Keen to share her success, she created an app, Start Living Right, which acts as a personal trainer for those looking to kick-start their lifestyle. With a fat loss calculator, calorie counter, animated workout programs and a log

Research online tells me that one session in the dome produces the same amount of sweat as a 20km run, except that I’m naked and able to nap my way through most of it. It also declares that I’ve shed 600 calories during my 30-minute session. Aerobics? Why bother. I can sleep my way to a slim figure. Dermapro, Georges Haddad Ave., Saifi Village, Downtown Beirut, tel. 01.975.533,

© Shutterstock

With a flirtatious gust of wind, summer has breezed into Lebanon. Hemlines shorten; the beach beckons – it’s only a distaste for those pillowy, post-winter rolls that stop us from stripping completely and screaming, “Sunshine, take me now.” Whether you’re a quick-fix junkie or a firm believer in the slow and steady approach, these tried-and-tested methods will kick-start your metabolism into bikini season.

And so it is that I find myself perspiring profusely in a casket-shaped device in the creamy depths of Dermapro’s anti-ageing clinic. Heralded as the next revolution on the path to eternal beauty, the Iyashi Dome is a Japanese invention – and if one nation knows the secret to staying youthful forever, it’s the brains behind green tea and tofu. The experience is peaceful, like a long day of sunbathing but without sand in your mouth. Toxins make their escape under the dome’s infrared, 40-degree rays, and with each stream of sweat, I bid them adieu.




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A beauty _ color spectrum

Summer shade Photographer Tony Elieh Location O Monot Hotel

From top Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain Pop Water in Misty Pink, No. 206; Chanel Rouge Coco in Ina, No. 450; Dior Nail Polish in Sundown, No. 464; Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Splash Collection in Rose Splash, No. 65; Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain Pop Water in Naughty Mauve, No. 107; Dior Top Coat Tie Dye, No. 869; Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Plaisir, No. 779; Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Maharajah Collection, No. 511; Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, No. 09; Essie Nail Polish in Flowerista, No. 901; Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer Mahajarah Collection, No. 604; Lanc么me Blush Subtil Cr猫me in Brise Rosee, No. 02

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From top Yves Saint Laurent Full Metal Shadow in Taupe Drop, No. 03; Dior Nail Polish in Sunwashed, No. 319; Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Saharienne No. 02; Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Water in Mocha Garconne, No. 12; Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Saharienne; Yves Saint Laurent 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Mauresque, No. 12; Dior Nail Polish in Sunkissed, No. 239; Dior 5 Couleurs in Variation Nude, No. 539; Giorgio Armani Sun Fabric Sheer Bronzer, No. 400

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A beauty _ color spectrum

From top Dior Diorskin Nude Tan, The Dye Edition No. 002; Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Coral Incandescent, No.13; Lancôme Blush Subtil Crème in Rouge Mistral, No. 03; Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Plaisir, No. 779; Lancôme Vernis in Love in Peach Appeal, No. 362B and in Lovered, No. 171B; Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Splash Collection in Rouge Wet, No. 63; Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Sheer in Corail Alize, No. 500; Lancôme Blush Subtil Crème in Corail Alize, No. 01; Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain Pop Water in Rouge Splash, No. 202

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From top Yves Saint Laurent Full Metal Shadow in Wet Blue, No. 10; Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in Paradisio, No. 645; Essie Nail Polish in Blossom Dandy, No. 902; Lancôme Poudre Belle de Teint; Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Plaisir; Lancôme Vernis in Love in Bleu Lasure, No. 431; Lancôme Ombre Hypnose Stylo in Azur Mediterranée, No. 13; Lancôme Hypnose Drama Eyes in Bain de Minuit, No. DR1; Essie Nail Polish in Garden Variety, No.904

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A design _ update

Global reach

By J. Michael Welton

Basel (above)

Design Miami is kicking off its 10th anniversary in Basel, with an anticipated satellite show featuring rare modernist pieces, limitedA 182

edition works by contemporary designers and exhibitions from 45 leading galleries in between. Runs June 16 - 21 in Basel, Switzerland,

Š 5+design, Akarch, Design Miami, Klopf Architecture, Richard Meier, Roch Bobois

Good design knows no boundaries

New York (left)

At the 60-story-tall One Madison in Manhattan, architect Andre Kikoski was commissioned to redesign a 1,500 square-foot apartment on the 32nd floor. His client, an international art collector, sought a museum-like space to maximize lighting, while framing artwork and views. He got it. Visit

Chengdu (right)

Krystal Laputa, a 150,000 square meter residential project, is made up of three high-rise towers and a mid-rise too. Its architects, 5+design, want to evoke a sense of floating in the sky, over a lake that’s connected by marinas, waterways and bridges. The firm’s Hollywood roots are showing. Visit 183 A

A design _ update

Paris (left)

The Parcours sofa, designed by Sacha Lakicis, is built of modular components with central graphic bands to connect each seat and offer creative combinations. The central strip weaves together the design in fabrics by Missoni Home, Christian Lacroix and Amalpura. Visit

Silicon Valley (right)

Tokyo (left)

The twin Harumi Towers in Tokyo are Pritzker-winning architect Richard Meier’s first residential project in Japan. The first, at 49 stories and 883 apartments, is now complete. Its mate, at an equal height of 170 meters, is slated to open in 2016 with 861 more units. Surprise: they’re both white! Visit A 184

© 5+design, Akarch, Design Miami, Klopf Architecture, Richard Meier, Roch Bobois

Klopf Architecture updated a classic, mid-century modern Eichler home, taking to heart its indoor-outdoor soul. The architects expanded on the original glass walls, then connected all the living spaces of the house and transformed them into a wide-open pavilion, for a breath of fresh air. Visit

aVaiLabLe at a誰sHti stores 01 99 11 11 New York






HoNg koNg


A design _ trend

Stylish, sexy and speedy

By J. Michael Welton

Small to large, business jets are beautiful

Citation Latitude (left)

Falcon 8X (above)

Dassault Aviation says this Falcon’s got the greatest range and the longest cabin ever, not to mention an extensive set of interior configurations. And it’s awesomely fast: Mach .80 for 6,450 nautical miles. Visit A 186

Airbus ACJ319 (above)

For a new client purchasing this 15-passenger jet, Sylvain Mariat, head of ACJC Creative Design Studio, custom-designed an office, lounge, dining area and bedroom/bath, all in three separate areas. Visit

© Airbus / ACJC Creative Design Studio, HondaJet, Cessna, Dassault Aviation, Gulfstream

It’s fast, roomy and goes the distance. Cessna’s newest entry to the Citation line has standing room for nine people – with six feet of cabin height and a flight range of 2,700 nautical miles. Visit

HondaJet (left)

With its over-the-wing engine mount, this new bizjet opens up cabin and cargo areas while silencing cabin noise. Due in late 2015, its price is right: a seven-seat model runs $4.5 million. Visit

Embraer Legacy 500 (right)

At $20 million, this super mid-size aircraft runs $7 to 9 million less than its competitors without cutting corners. It can accommodate 11 passengers while cruising non-stop, Dubai to Zurich, at 45,000 feet. Visit

Gulfstream G600 and G500 (left)

Never to be outdone, Gulfstream introduced these two new models in 2014. Carrying up to 19 passengers each, the G500 has three living areas; the G600 has up to four. Maximum speed: a scorching Mach 0.925. Visit 187 A

A design _ podcast

Listen up

By J. Michael Welton

Design professionals embrace the podcast

The Accidental Creative For 10 years, author Todd Henry has explored the nature of creativity by interviewing experts like Seth Godin, attracting 20,000 listeners every week to his 10- to 20-minute podcasts. “I think it’s the beginning of a golden age of audience entertainment,” he says. “We’re at the very beginning of the curve here.” Visit

North Carolina Modernist Houses Launching a new podcast every two weeks, George Smart is addressing preservation issues for mid-century modern design, in 30- to 40-minute segments with a light touch. “We want to have fun,” he says. “My partner is a standup comic with 35 years on the road. I’m the straight man.” Visit

Adventures in Design Mark Brickey’s website exists solely to support his podcasts on the culture of design. In 90 to 120 minutes, he offers rotating guest hosts Monday through Thursday, then a “shop talk” discussion on Friday. “I wish I’d known someone who’d tell me all this when I was 18,” the 40-year-old says. Visit

AIA Podnet Since 2007, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been podcasting to its members in 10- to 60-minute segments, piling up mountains of practical advice for day-to-day operations. “Architects are focused on their craft, so we help them run their businesses,” says AIA’s Matthew Tinder. Visit

Archispeak Every two weeks for the past two years, Evan Troxel, Neal Pann and Cormac Phalen have podcast a one-hour conversation on architecture’s rarely discussed topics. “One of my favorites is the missing 32 percent – the women in architecture,” Troxel says. “Another is the gender equity gap in the profession.” Visit

Architecture Happy Hour Two designers from Dallas-based HPD Architecture created the Architecture Happy Hour in 2009. With 48,000 subscribers, it’s a 25-minute, monthly affair that’s free and known for its off-the-cuff approach. “We talk about our mistakes and keep it real and casual, so people can relate to us,” Davis says. Visit

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© Raphaelle Macaron

Today, podcasts are weaving architects and designers into global communities. Here’s how six do it.

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A design _ history

Virtual reality

Š GM Architects

By Daniel Hilton

Beirut’s Museum of Civilizations

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Every now and then an idea comes along that captures the imagination, and then snowballs into something far more than it ever intended to be. If Galal Mahmoud has his way, this is exactly what will happen. Invited to submit an exhibit to the 2014 Venice Biennale, Mahmoud’s firm, GM Architects, thought twice about showing the designs for one of the luxury hotels they’re known for. “I thought, Okay, it will be at the Biennale and I want to show what Lebanon has to offer, to show the history of Lebanon, because this for me is our biggest asset,” reveals Mahmoud. Asked to consider the identity of cities facing globalization and the architectural influences of style and signature, GM Architects replied with Beirut’s Museum of Civilizations. “Lebanon, as a country, and Beirut, has been globalized for 6,000 years. And regardless of this globalization there is a Lebanese identity, which is most probably the result of all these influences,” Mahmoud says.


pausing at each stratum where evidence of the successive civilizations can be seen. At the bottom is a pool, reflecting the importance of the Mediterranean Sea, and at one end is a monolith rising back up to earth.

The word “museum” is somewhat misleading. Rather than a building that houses rooms of artifacts and exhibits, Mahmoud’s museum is part promenade, part archaeological dig. “Beirut’s substructure has layers of civilizations, one on top of the other. And there are certain areas of Downtown Beirut where you can actually see them stacked on top of each other. It’s like a cake; you can cut through them.”

“The project doesn’t have a style. We tried to stay away from stylistic signatures and really thought about the functionality and how to respond to the concept of making archaeology accessible to the public,” Mahmoud explains. An idea was all that the museum was ever meant to be. But the design’s success at the Biennale attracted attention from the Lebanese and architectural media and suddenly the dream seemed possible. GM Architects’ creation quickly garnered serious support.

Dramatic and understated, the idea is to have a metal grid sunken into the ground, with interconnected platforms

Yet as a recent month-long exhibition about the project at Ashrafieh’s Metropolitan Art Society showed, there’s a fine


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A design _ history

This page It was meant to be an idea, but the project may eventually be a reality Previous pages An exhibition at MAS Beirut introduced the public to the museum following its unveiling at the 2014 Venice Biennale

For one thing, it’s difficult to predict what might be found under the surface. For instance, if the Roman settlement of Berytus’ famed law school were to be unearthed, it would likely impact the project’s design and perhaps even its concept, so any financial or stylistic planning can only go so far. As for timescale, Mahmoud can’t predict how long excavations and the museum’s construction might take. “If this thing happens, it’s a lifetime project for me.” Even the location is uncertain. The museum was originally slated to be in the center of Martyrs’ Square, where the 15-year civil war and former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri’s ill-advised attempt to create a ChampsÉlysées of Beirut have left a once bustling, palm treeA 192

lined piazza a glorified parking lot. However, the government already had plans for a museum designed by Pritzker-prize winning Italian architect Renzo Piano, just a stone’s throw away by a semi-excavated site known as the archaeological tell. Now, after consultations with the Ministry of Culture, it seems the two museums might come together, complementing one another yet each telling its own story. For Mahmoud, whatever shape The Museum of Civilizations takes, most important is that it would be a living part of the city and beneficial to all Lebanese. “They need to know their history,” he says. “When you find out that your history is over 6,000 years old, it’s no longer about whether you’re Sunni or Shia or Christian. It goes beyond that. It’s much more important.” Visit

© GM Architects

line between art and reality. Mahmoud says he needs to tread carefully, and nothing about the project is certain.

open FRoM Tuesday To sunday 11 aM-7 pM MeTRopoliTan aRT socieTy, TRabaud sT., ashRaFieh, beiRuT, inFo@MasbeiRuT.coM, T: 70.366.969

A design _ fashion

Fashion x architecture

By Jasper Toms

Two disciplines merge for stylish set design A 194

© Hélène Binet, Steve Benisty, Selfridges

Fon Prima by Zaha Hadid (top), Parhelia by Asif Khan (bottom right) and Mangue Groove by Guilherme Torres (bottom left), all for Swarovski Crystal Palace

Agender, designed by Faye Toogood, at Selfridges

Cross-pollination between the visual arts comes and goes in waves, but rarely has there been such a fluid discourse between architecture and fashion as in today’s contemporary design field. Besides its fundamental aesthetic influence, the architecture world now regularly lends some of its most exciting names to the sartorial realm. Between them, leading lights like Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier and Ron Arad have turned their hands to shoes, knitwear and jeans with striking results, but architects’ real offering to fashion is their inherent understanding for spatial play and their keen eye for retail theater. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.” Top department stores from New York to Shanghai have made use of this to great success over the past decade, commissioning architects and designers to go beyond traditional window dressing and create conceptual

installations for their storefronts, while still integrating each season’s clothes. Luxury brands like Hermès and Calvin Klein followed suit at their flagship boutiques, and Prada upped the game recently with conceptual “window corners” designed by Martino Gamper. These architectural installations have ultra-high visibility in the world’s busiest shopping streets. Like a commercially framed form of set design, they allow fashion to play the central role while shaping and enhancing the cultural and emotive associations people have to brands and stores. More recently, they’ve spread from windows to appear in various locations throughout retail environments. Wandering through destination stores, shoppers can find miniature exhibition spaces, pop-up boutiques and mood-enhancing experiences. Selfridges has opened a 195 A

A design _ fashion

Snarkitecture for COS at Salone del Mobile 2015 (left) and “Alchemy: Material Obsessions” at Vivienne Westwood (right)

Design fairs are often the testing ground for these architectural clothing sets, and Toogood previously exhibited at Milan’s Salone del Mobile. Smart fashion brands have started commissioning innovative designers and emerging architects to create temporary installations, marking themselves out as creative leaders whose design investment extends from the dresspattern to the blueprint. Danish retailer COS invited Snarkitecture to interpret its summer collection for this year’s Salone. The duo, Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen, reflected the looks’ translucency and color palette in a luminescent cave constructed in thousands of strips of pale, layered fabrics hanging from the ceiling to the floor. A 196

Swarovski, the crystal company that gives high fashion its sparkly details, has been a leader in this thinking for years. Sponsoring a pavilion at every Design Miami/Basel, the brand curates a seminal piece from young architects who go on to become influential, including Asif Khan, Fredrikson Stallard, Tokujin Yoshioka and Guilherme Torres. These works often address critical themes, from environmentalism to minimalism. Last year Swarovski collaborated with Rem Koolhaas on the entrance to his headline exhibition, “Monditalia,” at the Venice Biennale he curated; Italy’s status as a design mecca makes it the most frequent host to such collaborations between fashion and architecture. At Salone this year, Vivienne Westwood took the opportunity to exhibit works from London Metropolitan University’s CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design at her Milan flagship store. The exhibition, called “Alchemy: Material Obsessions,” explored craftsmanship and maker-culture through an installation of mirrors, ceramics and furniture. Despite her penchant for radical politics, Westwood is a businesswoman before all: her commercial sense was proven once again as she chose the shop window as the location for the show.

© Snarkitecture, Vivienne Westwood

new space-within-a-space called Agender. Faye Toogood created not only bespoke furniture but a full concept, from architectural racks and rails to promotional graphics and music. Toogood is one of London’s most exciting multi-disciplinary designers whose work has spanned furniture, fashion, residential interiors and retail. The aim of Agender is to construct a space of character and depth that expresses the broader cultural resonance of the clothes it contains.

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A design _ collaboration

Two of a kind

This page Some of the brand’s most exciting collaborations include pieces from Alexander McQueen (below), Jonathan Saunders (left) and Kelly Wearstler (bottom right) Opposite page A rug designed by Kelly Wearstler transforms an already impressive space

By MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

The Rug Company leads the way with designer partnerships

Established in 1997 by Christopher and Suzanne Sharp, The Rug Company started out as a London-based brand that sold traditional Persian and Turkish carpets, a passion fueled by the couple’s stint in the Middle East. Eventually, it expanded to include original pieces that Suzanne designs with their team in-house. Craving fresh A 198

© The Rug Company

It’s easy to assume that all designer collaborations start with a flurry of phone calls between each party’s PR squad. But The Rug Company, one of the most successful examples of a home brand collaborating with designers in recent history, is doing things a bit differently.

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A design _ collaboration

The parameters were simple. Each designer was tasked with creating “the perfect rug for the perfect client.” “We ended up with ten points of view and ten fantastic rugs,” says Christopher. Several of those designs have survived the 15 years since, becoming a part of the brand’s core offering, while new pieces have been added steadily through the years. After the initial Designer Collection, partnerships organically fell into place – 40 to date. A collaboration with Marni came about through Lucinda Chambers, fashion director of British Vogue, who also happens to be a friend. Christopher recalls seeing the first samples from the Marni partnership, stopping to catch his breath after all this time. “That was the moment we knew we were onto something special,” he says. He describes what came next as a fever, with press, clients and what felt like the whole of London buzzing over the brand. A 200

Soon after, Christopher and Suzanne were shopping for shirts in Paul Smith’s boutique when the designer introduced himself. Another friend of a friend mentioned Giles Deacon had some ideas he wanted to run by the pair and passed along his number. And just like that, two new partnerships were born. “It’s all been very friendly,” Suzanne explains. “Not at all corporate.” If The Rug Company takes an unorthodox approach to courting talent, its business strategy would make a traditional CEO shudder. “There’s never been a master plan,” admits Christopher of their go-with-the-flow attitude. Even the creative process varies with each collaborator. Some arrive at their studio with endless ideas; others invite designers from The Rug Company into their archives and give them free rein to search for inspiration. Of all their partnerships, Christopher and Suzanne agree that fashion designers are the easiest to work with. “For product designers, every piece is a part of their heritage – they think into the future. Fashion designers are used to doing a collection and wiping out pieces along the way. They’re used to being criticized.” Case in point: Paul Smith.

© The Rug Company

inspiration by 2000, there was a light bulb moment: Why not invite some creative friends to try their hand at rug design? Ten names, including interior designers Nina Campbell and Nicky Haslam and fashion designer Cath Kidston, kicked off the brand’s Designer Collection.

This page Paul Smith never has a shortage of ideas Opposite page An architect and designer like David Rockwell typically takes an altogether different approach from fashion brands to designing rugs

“He has endless ideas,” Christopher says. “When you hesitate or say you’re not sure about something, he’ll toss it straight into the bin. He’s got so much material, for him it’s like, ‘So what?’” Unsurprisingly, there are no strict deadlines, seasons or collection quotas for The Rug Company. Its acclaimed debut collection with Alexander McQueen took three years, from initial conversation to production. A collection with Vivienne Westwood is in the works after a five-year hiatus, as are new partnerships with New Yorkbased menswear designer Thom Browne and Beirut’s hometown hero, Elie Saab. All are near-guaranteed homeruns for the brand when they launch. So when will that be? Christopher turns, teacup in hand and grin on his face: “Whenever they’re ready.” Hermitage Building, Shehadeh St., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.322.090, DESIGNER DÉCOR Artists and architects join designers in seeing homewear from a new perspective. Marina Abramović for Bernardaud The Serbian performance artist recently launched Misfits for the Table, a line of mismatched plates inspired by her life in the former Yugoslavia. Visit

Zaha Hadid Gallery With a capsule collection of pieces referencing her architectural projects, Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s gaze has turned indoors since she made her homewear debut last fall. Visit 201 A

With its easy seaside charm, it’s hard to believe Batroun is just a short drive from the urban chaos of Beirut

Tortuga promises luxury steeped in history Hills that tumble down to the sparkling Mediterranean. Cruising the seaside road in a classic soft-top convertible. The whole world aglow with warm amber and brilliant turquoise, like a film made in ’50s Technicolor. We all have that image somewhere; a shining Amalfi Coast or the cliffside Cinque Terre defined in our collective memory. Here in Lebanon, there’s no need for the Italian coast cliché. We have our own idyllic paradise: the coasts of Northern Lebanon. Bordered by the sapphire sea, its mountainous landscapes are dotted with villages untouched by time. And at the center, the bustling town of Batroun anchors the picture – all at a stone’s throw from Beirut. The city of Batroun is overflowing with

enough ancient ruins, sculpted churches and bustling souks within its jasminescented limestone streets to make any Italian village blush. It’s where the ancient Phoenician sea wall stands, where fishmongers ply their trade behind wooden tables in arched doorways, and where shaded citrus groves circle the town, providing residents and visitors with the region’s famed fresh lemonade. But not all of Batroun is rustic idyll. Colonel Brewery – the eco-microbrewery home of one of Lebanon’s most popular craft beers – has a spectacular terrace from which to while away an afternoon. And there’s a reason locals call it the “Tuscany of Lebanon,” as no Tuscan landscape would be complete without a vineyard of superior quality. From the celebrated Ixsir winery to the Bittar family’s Coteaux de Botrys, Batroun’s wines produce a glass fit for any discerning table. It can be hard to imagine prising yourself away from the dream, and there’s simply no need to. There’s always the choice to put down local roots and take up la dolce 203 A

A design _ development

vita. The jewel in the coast’s crown is Tortuga, a new waterfront village in Batroun, by leading developers Jamil Saab & Co and designed by Galal Mahmoud, the man behind Lebanon’s prominent GM Architects. Calling Tortuga home is equivalent to owning a slice of the Mediterranean Sea. With seemingly endless views of the shore, the 16,300-square-meter village is nestled seamlessly into the landscape with just 36 mansions, villas, duplexes and simplexes. Staggered up the hills, each property overlooks a stunning piece of the Mediterranean, framed by its own infinity pool. A health club and beautifully landscaped common areas complete the luxuriously intimate, small-town feel. Over 80 percent of the site is landscaped green space, and the coast has been left as beautiful as A 204

nature intended. Tortuga isn’t so much built into its surroundings as it’s built with them, so uninterrupted lines run from tranquil hilltop to crashing ocean waves. Preserving the natural landscape was a requirement for the project’s architect, who took inspiration from the area’s traditional fishing villages. The result is an exclusive, contemporary community in a rich historical setting. With Batroun’s heritage at hand, and bustling Beirut close by, it’s the perfect base to sit back and live the beautiful life. Tel. 01.333.544,

© Fares Jammal, GM Architects, Heinz Hövel / Wikipedia

Tortuga (top and bottom right) takes inspiration from the area’s rich cultural heritage, like 60-year-old sculptures by the Basbous brothers (below)

Available at A誰zone stores +961 1 99 11 11

A design _ breakthrough

Multitasking furniture

Product designers get creative with traditional designs

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Š Sakura Adachi, Resource Furniture

By J. Michael Welton

This page Sakura Adachi’s Cave offers a private reading space between books (top) and the Resource Furniture Kali is a discrete sofa/bed hybrid (bottom) Opposite page Resource Furniture’s Tango Murphy bed does double duty as a bed and couch

Let’s say you’re a family of five, on your way to Nantucket for a weekend by the water. You book a room at a local resort, with two double beds that sleep four comfortably. But where to put the unlucky fifth person? The traditional solution is usually a sleep sofa, a rollaway or a foldout bed. None are popular. “Somebody always gets the booby prize,” says Gwenn Snider, owner of the Nantucket Hotel and the Winnetu Ocean Resort on Martha’s Vineyard. At her high-end resorts, that’s not the case. About seven years ago, while browsing online, she discovered Resource Furniture’s multifunctional beds. She drove down to New York and purchased a perky little single bed that doubles as a bookshelf during the day. It came with the brightest of monikers: The Poppi.

wall beds with a second function, like a sofa attached to the front so that during day it looks like living room furniture,” Blecker says. At the Milan Furniture Fair last year, Resource Furniture introduced two new lines. “One is the most beautiful sofa that happens to have a wall bed behind it,” she says. Then there’s a twin bed designed with interchangeable components: it can be a single bed, a bunk bed, a sofa, or even offer a desk on its front. For her graduate thesis at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Sakura Adachi developed a concept she called the Cave. After graduation, she took it to a Danish manufacturer that readily snapped it up.

“It’s a bookcase with a cutout in the middle,” Adachi says. “It’s used in public libraries and school, as a divider, or a place to sit in a public place.” She’s also designed a petite sideboard called Home-work, one that doubles as writing desk and chair. “You can work in the kitchen while you’re eating breakfast,” she says. Bright and colorful, her designs are as hip and cool as Snider’s Nantucket Poppis. “They’re fun – a surprise,” Snider says of her bookshelves that do double duty. “People would never know that there’s a bed in there. There’s an aura of playfulness to it.” Which, for a pragmatic solution, is quite the accomplishment. Visit and

Now Snider owns 100 of the stylish, Italiandesigned pieces. That’s one for every suite in Nantucket, and 40 more on Martha’s Vineyard. And it’s not just the comfort of the bedding or its good look that appeals to her. Economics drove this decision too. “It pays for itself, since they can monetize it,” says Lisa Blecker, director of marketing for Resource Furniture. “It’s not like putting in a new set of curtains – it brings in revenue.” It’s also the result of a collaboration between two innovative companies, one American and another Italian. Now in its 15th year, Resource Furniture was founded by Ron Barth and Steve Spett. In 2007, they discovered Clei, an Italian manufacturer specializing in high-end furniture with a second use. The firm distinguished itself by transforming the pedestrian Murphy bed into beautiful, multi-functional furniture for residential and commercial use. “They’re mostly

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A design _ transformation

Evolutionary architecture By J. Michael Welton

Jim Olson’s ongoing affair with nature

Seattle architect Jim Olson’s weekend retreat is a powerful, 50-year testament to the ways buildings and people can shape and serve one another. In 1959, it was just 14 square feet, a low-cost cabin with million-dollar views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Over time, the little building would undergo five renovations, four of them major. It was to grow with the architect and his family, changing with their needs. “It started out as a bunkhouse for teenagers, then for a young couple and then for a couple with small children,” the principal at Olson Kundig Architects says. “Then it was for a middle-aged couple, and now it’s for an older couple with grown children and grandchildren.”

There was no grand plan at the beginning. It was more like a Thoreau-inspired desire to co-exist with the forest – a tiny structure set out on posts in the woods, conceived A 208

© Kevin Scott

Olson worked on the house during four key junctures of his life – at ages 18, 41, 61 and 74. Over time, it grew into a 1,200-square-foot second home. Most recently, the architect added another 1,200-square-foot master suite with guest rooms.

This and previous page The architect (bottom left) stands within his passion project in 1959; the house has adapted to his lifestyle ever since

to be gentle with nature. “I just wanted to sit on the deck and listen to the birds and watch the squirrels with that wonderful feeling you get in the woods,” he says. “To me, it was the biggest thing I could imagine at the time. When you’re 18, you can’t ever imagine being 74.” The house evolved with the architect himself. Initially built of framing lumber with cedar board-and-batten siding, wood-planked floors and recycled windows, it now stands as a highly sophisticated paean to an unusually gifted architect. “Over time I switched to plywood, then to certified plywood from a sustainable forest,” he says. “In the 2004 version, the plywood was broken into four foot panels, and I introduced a little metal into it.”

He’s gone to extraordinary lengths to bring nature into his built environment too, designing windows with hidden edges for a no-glass effect. At one threedimensional juncture where the window turns a corner, he’s installed a speaker wired to a microphone in the trees, enabling him to hear the birds without stepping outside. “I’ve been working on it for years,” he says. “It’s my own thing – I’d probably have a difficult time persuading clients to listen to the birds.”

Those plank floors have now given way to concrete with hot-water heat running through them. By 2014, he started breaking up the size of the plywood paneling for a more nuanced look. “In the bedroom it’s almost a weaving of different sizes,” he says. “ It’s more about artistic poetry than a rational grid, because of the changes in technology and in my own thinking.”

He worked through that no-glass solution in 1990 for a client in Seattle, then installed it in the cabin. Its interior circulation pattern was developed in a similar manner. “The colonnade that gives it circulation also ties the rooms together. It’s circulation space that’s also about something else,” he says. “For clients, it’s about art; with us, it’s books, so there are bookcases. You do learn a lot from clients.” More likely is that they’ve learned a lot from him too – and from the design of his cabin in the woods.

Then there are the cantilevers: ambitious and graceful, they swing the building way out into the surrounding forest. “You can go so much further with a thin piece of steel than a thick piece of wood,” he says.

Visit 209 A

A誰SHTI SEASIDE BLDG. Jal el Dib, Lebanon Tel./Fax +961.4.717 716




made in italy

A high art _ exhibitions

Michael Armitage Born in Kenya, Michael Armitage weaves richly colored tales from East Africa into the oil paintings of his solo exhibition. Drawing upon personal memories, news sources and local legends, he quietly depicts the realities of A 214

life in his homeland – grinding poverty, colonialist legacy and deeply entrenched misogyny – in visceral paint strokes. On view until July 5 at White Cube, 144 - 152 Bermondsey St., London, tel. 44.207.930.5373,

© Claire Dorn / Galerie Perrotin, Doug Aitken / Galerie Eva Presenhuber Zurich, Rachel Harrison / Regen Projects Los Angeles, Charles Duprat / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube

On view

© Claire Dorn / Galerie Perrotin, Doug Aitken / Galerie Eva Presenhuber Zurich, Rachel Harrison / Regen Projects Los Angeles, Charles Duprat / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube

Second Body Investigate the human body and its relation to space in Antony Gormley’s latest exhibition, “Second Body.” The acclaimed, Turner Prize-winning sculptor disorientates viewers with largescale modernist installations intended to produce confusion, delirium and, ultimately, contemplation. On view until July 18 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc, Paris Pantin, tel., Lean In Love it or loath it, the selfie stick has become so ubiquitous that New York-based artist Rachel Harrison has created an entire exhibition around it. Known for her witty stance on popular culture, “Lean In” promises to spark conversation about art – and the role of the individual – today. On view until July 18 at Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, tel. 1.310.276.7430, regenprojects. com

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Doug Aitken Emitting light that brightens upon a viewer’s approach, the “Twilight” installation at Doug Aitken’s latest exhibition is just one of a series that explores man’s relationship with his environment. His wide array of artistic approaches – from film installations to light boxes – must be seen to be appreciated. On view until July 18 at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, 270 Limmatstr., Zurich, tel. 41.44.515.7850, presenhuber. com Ecriture Korean artist Park Seo-Bo bridges the gap between East and West with his minimalist works in taupe, inky grey and textured shades of café au lait. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity – each piece takes up to a year to complete, its pared-down aesthetic mirroring his quest for spiritual enlightenment. On view until July 3 at Galerie Perrotin, 909 Madison Ave., New York, tel. 1.212.812.2902,

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© Claire Dorn / Galerie Perrotin, Doug Aitken / Galerie Eva Presenhuber Zurich, Rachel Harrison / Regen Projects Los Angeles, Charles Duprat / Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, George Darrell / White Cube

A high art _ exhibitions

A high art _ band

By Laura van Straaten

Artists become musicians at the Venice Biennale

When Franck Gautherot was part of the curatorial team for the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001, little did he dream that 14 years later he’d return with a gaggle of musicians in tow.

The center, along with Gautherot’s partner Seungduk Kim, co-produced an inaugural series of concerts the first three nights of the Venice Biennale, which opened the first week in May.

But those musicians also happen to be serious artists.

Two bands played each night at the 225seat Teatrino in magnate François Pinault’s arts complex, Palazzo Grassi. On billboards throughout Venice, posters touting the series, titled “The Venetian Blinds,” were stamped “SOLD OUT!” – though in fact, the concerts were by invitation only.

“We came up with the idea of a festival of rock bands run by visual artists,” says Gautherot, who was co-founder in the ’70s of Dijon’s contemporary art center, Le Consortium. A 218

This page The Rodney Graham Band plays a blend of country rock, folk and psychedelia Opposite page Artists-turned-musicians Emily Sundblad and Matt Sweeney

© Matteo de Fina

Opening: The Venetian Blinds

The other producing partner is Le Silencio, David Lynch’s velvet-rope club in Paris, which since its founding in 2011 has commissioned and exhibited work by international contemporary artists including Ai Wei Wei, Doug Gordon, Christian Boltanski and Adel Abdessemed. Opening on May 7 was the Swedish-born, New York-based artist Emily Sundblad and her bandmate Matt Sweeney, who has worked with musicians Cat Power and Neil Diamond. Sundblad is a painter who is also known as a force behind the fictional New York art scene “It Girl,” Reena Spaulings, who – though not a real person – was part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial and has shown at the Tate Modern. Members of the audience, most wielding the ubiquitous Biennale canvas tote bag and looking arted-out, sunk into the sumptuous seats to soak in Sundblad’s serene singing. The play list was heavy on ballads and her lilting voice as sonorous as the church-bells that toll time throughout Venice. Rodney Graham, who represented Canada in

Venice in 1997, then took the stage with his eponymous band. They rocked the Teatrino’s spacious stage and roused the audience, using a large video screen behind them to add a visual component. The program notes that “Graham has always kept the question open: ‘Am I a musician trapped in an artist’s mind or an artist trapped in a musician’s body?’” Whatever the answer, his band’s comfort on the stage was a contrast to the apparent discomfort of Sundblad and Sweeney, who stood nearly still and engaged little with the audience, other than to admonish that the patter of a rowdy bunch was “distracting.” During the course of the week, painter John Miller, with recent simultaneous solo shows at the Mary Boone and Metro Pictures galleries in his hometown of New York City, led The Cornichons on guitar through covers of old country hits, French chansons and original compositions by various members of the band, which describes itself as “global country” with “a taste of Nico and Serge

Gainsbourg,” though they sound a little too like Portishead meets the Cowboy Junkies. Artist Servane Mary played tambourine and cowbell, singing along with Miller’s wife, painter Aura Rosenberg, during her cover of the Patsy Cline hit “I Fall to Pieces.” Artist Jon Kessler played drums. Also performing were New York painter Steve DiBenedetto, with an act that just formed this past winter; a band named after its leader, the Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed; and a group called I Apologize, fronted by the heavily tattooed French artist Jean-Luc Verna, whose works are in the collections of MoMA and the Pompidou Centre. Gautherot says the producers’ vision of a touring series of live concerts by artists-cummusicians will next be realized “possibly next in London at the time of Frieze, and then in Paris and Hong Kong” during the annual art fairs and festivals there. An album is also in the works. Visit

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Š Victoria and Albert Museum London, British Library, NS Harsha / Victoria Miro London

A high art _ heat wave

Indian summer

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By Millie Walton

This page Detail from a wall hanging in cotton appliqué, Gujarat, 20th century (top) and “Gold Embroiderers” by Shivashanker Narayen, circa 1873 (bottom), both part of “The Fabric of India,” a show supported by Good Earth Opposite page NS Harsha’s “Path showers were/are/will be there”

New exhibitions bring Indian color to London The climate began to change at Victoria Miro’s Mayfair gallery space this spring. Pastel canvases streaked with gold, fantastical figures and yellow monkeys dance across the walls. This is the work of Mysore-based NS Harsha, kicking off several India-inspired exhibitions in London. Down the road, Albemarle Gallery recently welcomed Pakistan’s best-known contemporary artist, Jamil Naqsh, for a month-long solo exhibition, featuring powerful and complex paintings that reflect on the culture of the entire Indian subcontinent as he returns, significantly, to the image of a dove as a universal symbol of peace and purity. Then there’s the India Festival at the Victoria and Albert Museum, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Nehru Galley, a space dedicated to South Asian art and historic objects, including Tipu Sultan’s life-sized, ferocious wooden carved tiger. Alongside the usual displays, two major exhibitions will adorn the museum’s walls with intricate hand-woven textiles and jewels, as well as early shots taken by pioneering British photographer Captain Linnaeus Tripe. Together, they offer insight into one of the globe’s most seductive points: a country that tantalizes the imagination with mysterious mythologies, vibrant hues and bewitching chaos. “We need the tonic of wildness,” writes Henry David Thoreau in his transcendentalist book, Walden. With very little true and accessible wilderness remaining, art is that tonic, providing individual landscapes that confuse, intrigue and provoke the viewer as much as they delight. When infused with the sights, smells and textures of India, it makes for a very potent tonic indeed. For India, despite its growing technological empire and materialistic wealth, offers a door to a past when tradition flourished and fingers were used for artisanal creation, not just scrolling the web.

Significantly, footprints are stamped across many of Harsha’s paintings, invoking a sense of bareness and connection to the earth. The footprint, of course, is saturated with symbolism: the notion of a journey or progression being the most obvious, and a subtler layer referencing the journey of the 221 A

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“Feathered Friends,” (left), “Miniatures Plate 6” (right) and “Miniatures Plate 5” (bottom) by Jamil Naqsh

inner self. It may echo the spirituality-infused dialogue of the ‘60s, when celebrities such as The Beatles brought the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to pop culture, but there’s an undeniable resurgence of that counter culture, from a focus on healthy eating and yoga to the increased use of meditation to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Allowing the viewer to indulge with childish delight in bright patterns and exotic characters, this is escapism at its best – without the tinge of sadness that inaccessibility can bring. Indian art offers not a separate world, but a realistic alternative where chaos and order, the modern and ancient, coexist and flourish. “Jamil Naqsh: The Muse, Messengers & Miniatures” runs June 11 - July 11 at accredited LAPADA member Albemarle Gallery, “Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1854-1860” runs June 24 - October 11 at Victoria and Albert Museum, A 222

© Jamil Naqsh / Albermarle Gallery

The India Festival at the V&A, which launches with “Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1854-1860” runs through the fall and invites the public to explore that same rich heritage, encouraging the appreciation of contemporary and traditional art forms. Divia Patel, co-curator of one of the museum’s two major forthcoming exhibitions, “Fabric of India,” explains the possible fascination and appeal of these layered works. “Indian art offers a different perspective, an alternative way of appreciating the visual world. From ancient sculpture to 17th-century textiles to contemporary painting, there is a great variety of styles and techniques,” he says. “Indian art is vibrant, graceful, animated, colorful and technically masterful. Objects are often the products of intercultural exchange and are rich with historical and cultural narratives.”


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Bigger than bags By Jasper Toms

Fondazione Prada raises the bar

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The European art world is awash with excitement over Italy’s major new art center, Fondazione Prada. Its scenestealing architecture, multi-faceted programming and beautifully executed exhibitions have raised the bar for the arts in Italy. They also help the new cultural destination compete for praise with its comparable counterpart in Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton. Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli have been major players in art and architecture for two decades but this new complex stamps their signature firmly on the map of defining art organizations, a landscape being increasingly dominated by luxury groups from LVMH to Kering, and brands from Galeries Lafayette to Cartier and Chanel. Ms. Prada’s passion for the arty crowd is often visible on her catwalks. No matter how luxurious the products may be, Prada’s collections always feature a quirky touch and artistic mood that have garnered her a reputation as fashion’s most intellectual designer. Fondazione Prada has previously supported over 30 exhibitions as well as

© Bas Princen / Fondazione Prada

A high art _ capital

This and opposite page Fondazione Prada, designed by Rem Koolhaas’s architectural firm, OMA

numerous conferences, publications, symposia and film screenings. Her new foundation, however, cements her credibility not only as a tastemaker but as a heavyweight culture-shaper whose influence spans genres, mediums and audiences. Located in Largo Isarco, on the industrial outskirts of Milan, the new conglomerate of buildings is an understated but playfully postmodern adaptation of a former distillery, designed by Prada favorite, Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA. The first headline exhibition, “Serial Classic,” challenges the centuries-old presumption that ancient Rome revered the originality of artworks similarly to how we do now by revealing Roman art’s basis on existing iconic Greek works. For the Venice Biennale, Fondazione Prada’s Venetian palazzo headquarters (launched four years ago) has opened its doors to exhibit a partner to this called “Portable Classic” – a hit during opening week that explores the relationship between classicism and neoclassicism,

focusing especially on the role of miniature reproductions in the transmission of style across the centuries. Proving its muscle as perpetually on-trend, Prada’s foundation mixes those strains of art traditionally considered “serious” – painting, sculpture, conceptualism – with the accessible attitude people now want from museums, where art is essentially about entertainment. Hipsters are already flocking to Fondazione Prada’s Bar Luce, designed by cult filmmaker Wes Anderson, which looks like one of his stylized, candy-colored movie sets. Another creative Fondazione offering is its Accademia dei Bambini, masterminded by a neuropediatrician. The department adapts to various projects and purposes, re-envisioning the educational departments usually found in museums. This mix of innovation, fun and style with more historical programming amounts to Prada’s own fine-tuning of culture’s present mood; it’s also echoed throughout 225 A

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© Attilio Maranzano / Fondazione Prada

This and opposite page “Portable Classic,” co-curated by Salvatore Settis and Davide Gasparotto, runs until September

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Koolhaas’s design, in which new and old rub shoulders, as do serene minimalism and captivating detail. As the foundation doesn’t have a permanent curator, it’s safe to say Mrs. Prada and her husband are leading their appointed “thought council” (made up of Shumon Basar, Nicholas Cullinan and Cédric Libert) themselves. Judging by their record across architectural commissioning, art collecting and fashion domination, the killer complex may be the first to benefit from the absence of professional curation, instead being guided by a personal vision. As that vision comes through a pair of Prada eyes, it may be difficult to find fault with it.

What to do at Fondazione Prada • Experience three highlighted works by Eva Hesse, Damien Hirst and Pino Pascali in intimate conditions in the Trittico exhibition space in three vertical Cisterna structures • Visit “The Haunted House” to see how works by Robert Gober relate to those by Louise Bourgeois • Find the “Processo Grottesco (Grotesque Process)” installation, which computerizes the grotesque tradition, by the artist Demand • Play pinball on The Life Aquatic-themed machines at Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce • Time your visit to include one of the film screenings curated by Roman Polanski until July 25, 2015 Visit 227 A

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A lifestyle _ restaurant

Aïshti’s People Restaurant serves up a colorful seasonal menu at the hands of chef Franck Paulmier A 232

© Tony Elieh

A taste of summer

This page Royal bream carpaccio with lemon juice and olive oil; green asparagus salad with crab and avocado; organic salmon tartar with Japanese sauce Opposite page A grilled vegetable tart

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This page Roasted grouper with zucchini in rock fish sauce; risotto with almond and lemon Opposite page Curry shrimp and green vegetables with basmati rice and almonds

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Top Chantilly mascarpone in strawberry lemon cream; tiramisu; matcha panna cotta with lychee and raspberry Middle Chocolate ĂŠclair; passion fruit ĂŠclair Bottom Vanilla mille-feuille

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A lifestyle _ voyage

Newport news

A rich history of America

Until recently, I knew Newport only as the home of the Breakers, the Vanderbilt’s colossal summer “cottage.” I thought the Rhode Island town was at best an intriguing white elephant – the opulent leftover of a long-defunct past. With an invitation to visit friends, I figured I would check the Breakers off my list of a traveler’s must-sees, and that would be that. But then they convinced me to stay for a long weekend, and we ended up having what I can only describe as three lovely, and completely distinct, mini-vacations over the course of three sunny days. Day 1: Gilded Age Splendor Of course, we devote our first day to the Breakers, the Vanderbilt’s 70-room, Italianate riot of limestone. But to build

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the suspense, we decide to work our way gradually up the social ladder. We start at Chateau sur Mer. Outside, this stiff-looking stone villa built in the 1850s seems a poor man’s version of the Breakers. Or rather, merely a very rich man’s. But quickly we discover that its interior is a lush masterpiece of Victorian design. Each room seems a distinctive creation, from a Gothic-inflected dining room to a ballroom worthy of Versailles. While remarkable, Chateau sur Mer could not prepare us for the opulence at our next stop, Marble House. Built by Cornelius Vanderbilt’s brother William, it is inspired by no less than Louis XIV’s Grand Trianon Palace and required 500,000 cubic feet of marble to complete. Finishing touches include pink Numidian marble pilasters

© John Corbett / The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island Tourism Division, Michael Melford, Onne van der Wal

By Robert Landon

This page The Newport Coastline featuring Cliff Walk and The Breakers Mansion Opposite page Vienna’s Marble House Gold Room (left), the Castle Hill Lighthouse (right) and the Touro Synagogue are just a few of the sites to take in

and 18th-century ceiling fresco extracted from a Venetian palace and installed above Mrs. Vanderbilt’s lavender-silk bedstead. Finally we head to the granddaddy of them all: the Breakers. It immediately overwhelms with its sheer scale. The great hall, a perfect cube that soars 15 meters, is outdone only by the Louis XIV-style dining room, with its rose alabaster columns and gold-encrusted cornice. You can see visiting British aristocrats tittering at its pretensions. But you can also imagine they might have been just a little jealous. Day 2: Colonial Core All of the Gilded Age splendor is impressive, but the next day we discover Newport’s best-kept secret: one of America’s best-preserved colonial towns. Next to 17th century cabins built by

Puritan settlers sit the mansions of 19thcentury whaling merchants. Perhaps most impressive are the neo-classical government buildings constructed by the colony’s 18th-century British overlords. But Newport’s churches have the most interesting story to tell. They are a reminder that the colony long provided refuge for religious minorities. The town is home to the country’s oldest Quaker and Baptist meeting houses (built in 1699 and 1730, respectively), as well as the beautiful, Palladian-style Touro Synagogue – completed in 1763 and now America’s oldest Jewish house of worship. Day 3: From the Sea On our third day, we head out onto the open waters aboard the Columbia, winner of the 1958 America’s Cup. We are guests of

12 Meter Charters, and our crew consists of professional sailors with their own racing prizes to boast of. As the sails fill with a strong, steady Atlantic breeze, we can see why America’s ruling class made Newport their summer home. Heading toward the mouth of the Narragansett Bay, we pass Hammersmith, the rambling mansion where Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent her girlhood, and Rough Point, the Tudor-style behemoth where heiress Doris Duke spent her final decades. Finally, we round Newport’s southern tip, and before us we hold a series of sand beaches that, we vow, we will visit the next time we visit these privileged shores. Visit and 239 A

A lifestyle _ voyage

Newport Jazz Festival Like all things Newport, its annual jazz festival has a high-class pedigree. Finding Newport “terribly boring,” socialite Elaine Lorillard organized a series of concerts in 1954 featuring the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Billie Holiday. The jazz festival has been a highlight of the Newport “season” ever since. A 240

At this year’s festival, you can sit next to the lapping water of Newport Harbor as Cassandra Wilson pays loving tribute to Billie Holiday. Other highlights include Jamie Cullum, Bill Evans and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Runs from July 31 until August 2 at Fort Adams State Park, Newport, tel. 401.848.5055,

© Onne van der Wal, Douglas Mason

Harbor boats frame Trinity Church, the oldest Episcopal parish in the state

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A lifestyle _ atmosphere

Incensed By Christina Tkacik

For days I woke up with the same thought, and that thought was “dammit.” The air in my house was stale, stagnant. I knew something – something physical – had to change.

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Some preliminary Googling on feng shui told me help was close at hand. All I needed to do was open the window for 20 minutes a day, clear the shoes from my doorway and burn some incense every now and then. Et voilà, I would be allowing fresh energy to enter my space. I did as instructed, and – chalk it up to time, or fresh air – my malaise began to lift.

It was somewhere along my quest to cleanse my space that I met Maya Abou Chedid, who is bringing incense from near and far to Beirut with her brand, Ascent. She currently enlivens Souk el Tayeb’s stalls at Beirut Souks, where she sells sage bundles as well as a Peruvian holy wood known as palo santo. Used in shamanic ceremonies for centuries, it’s now gaining traction among New Age practitioners for its cleansing and healing properties. Abou Chedid first discovered palo santo while on a spiritual journey in Northern Peru – someone had left a stick on her bed. It smelled citrusy. Earthy. One sniff and she was hooked.

There’s good news for those of us looking to clear the air in our living spaces. Incense is undergoing a virtual renaissance, with brands like Nicole Miller’s Blackbird getting on board with luxury versions of the patchouliscented sticks that have become a staple in hippie shops.

Back in Lebanon, she soon left her job as a clinical researcher overseeing pharmaceutical trials in hospitals. She worked instead as a yoga instructor and massage therapist, and burned the woods for friends and clients. “People started feeling the effects,” she said. “It helps us to be present,

© Christina Tkacik, Astier de Villate, Blackbird, Fornasetti

Something’s in the air

This page Fornasetti (top left), Blackbird (below) and Astier de Villate (bottom left) give incense a luxe makeover Opposite page Ascent brings palo santo from Peru to Beirut

it allows us to come back.” Her friends eventually encouraged her to sell the sticks to the public. In 2011, Abou Chedid opened Ascent, a play on words combining the smell of incense with a word for a spiritual journey. At Souk el Tayeb on a recent Saturday, Abou Chedid was burning a piece of palo santo wood while she discussed its benefits with customers. The aroma is a bit like a Rorschach test; some people are instantly drawn to it, buying some immediately, while others can listen to Abou Chedid talk it up for half an hour and remain unconvinced. I bought a bundle of palo santo from Abou Chedid a few months ago and burn it regularly. Pranic healers use it to cleanse auras, and it can also be used to ward off mosquitos. For my money, it’s fabulous at getting rid of the smell of a Labrador retriever.

For those seeking to clear the air in their homes or add a new fragrance, luxury retailers have a wide assortment of offerings. French perfumer Frederic Malle produces “rubber incense,” a no-matchesrequired version of the classical lavender sachet. For incense with an attitude, Italian brand Fornasetti offers gorgeous wooden incense boxes that double as art pieces. Astier de Villatte sells world-inspired incense blends with names like Delhi, Stockholm and Hollywood. And for those interested in trying out palo santo – for spiritual cleansings and mosquitos alike – Maya Abou Chedid’s Ascent can be found at Souk El Tayeb nearly every Saturday morning. Visit Facebook: ascentmedicine,,, 243 A

A lifestyle _ inspiration

Feeding off Instagram

By Grace Elena Banks

Turning the foodobsessed into stars A 244

Š Local Milk, Topped with Cinnamon, Vickiee_Yo

Elizabeth Kirby of Local Milk (top), a mouthwatering Topped with Cinnamon post (bottom right) and Vickie Liu’s cheery confections (below)

A Local Milk menu elevates a typical dinner party (top), while Izy Hossack poses after another successful morning in the kitchen

For all its vintage filters and foolproof functionality, there’s no denying that Instagram presents a pretty slick business model. Since the app landed on phones in 2010, we’ve been able to create neat, curated portals into our picture-perfect lives with a steady stream of photographs edited to look brighter, sharper and altogether better. As a result, a new crop of social media celebrities has popped up, including tech-savvy women who are rising to the forefront of food culture. Izy Hossack, director and founder of the blog and Instagram account Topped With Cinnamon, started her food empire by sharing her cooking triumphs and mishaps. “I love trying out recipes and testing things,” she says. “Instagram seemed like the perfect place to share those experiments.” The 19 year old’s account now has 143,000 followers and counting. Still a student in London, Hossack is regularly approached by global brands that want her to work her stylized magic with their food products. “It’s like I have a day job and then this!” she says. Despite her age, this cook’s commercial success means that she now runs her Instagram account like a small independent business. “I always make sure I post regularly,” she says, “though it’s so much fun that I rarely forget. I see my account as a rolling feed of ideas, and it’s an incredibly satisfying creative outlet.” It took about three days for Vickie Liu, founder of the Vickiee_Yo Instagram, to become a success. After casually posting pictures of her pastel hued, cartoon-shaped confections, the Australia-based baking addict racked up a following of 10,000 nearly overnight. With an Instagram bio describing her as an “amateur baker and professional eater,” Liu has earned herself a book deal and become the go-to for imaginative cake ideas. Her creations range from cartoon donuts with ears to pretzels made from cookies and quirky expressions spelled out in cake. Instagram is the perfect platform for young creatives to define a new aesthetic in lifestyle and food. Beth Kirby, creator of the Instagram account Local Milk, was one of the first to develop a narrative in her Instagram feed. Kirby hosts intimate dinners, sharing beautifully rustic, bird’s-eye view photographs with her followers. Kirby pioneered the Instagram trend for shooting wooden farm tables and fresh ingredients from above, and has helped develop Kinfolk Magazine’s strong visual identity. That’s the lure with Instagram feeds: as much as we might love posting our own culinary work, getting a sneak peek into someone else’s kitchen can be far more inspiring. 245 A

A lifestyle _ culinary quest

The artist in the kitchen By Venetia Rainey

Kemal Demirasal, the eccentric chef behind a quiet revolution happening on the Turkish food scene, has a confession to make: he hates chopping. “It will sound weird, but the thing I least enjoy is the cooking,” he says with a shrug. “The reason why I wanted to be a chef is because I like design... the process of creating something new.” This is just one of a number of quirks that characterize Demirasal’s story. An energetic man who wears orangeA 246

rimmed glasses that accentuate the ginger in his beard and hair and make him look more like a Scandinavian hipster than a Turkish chef, his route into the industry is utterly unique. After 15 years as a professional surfer, he decided to study economics. It wasn’t his first choice; he wanted to study design, but it didn’t work out. So instead he looked to the world of food to provide the creative outlet he was searching for, putting himself through the grueling training that all wannabe master chefs must undergo. “But it was not my vision to be a proper chef,” he says, adjusting his distinctive glasses. “I was always thinking, ‘Are you going to be chopping onions for the rest of your life?’” He was not. Instead, he started traveling, making it his

© Seren Dal

In Turkey, chef Kemal Demirasal opens Alancha

This page Demirasal’s attention to design is evident across the menu Opposite page Colorful dishes are best enjoyed in Alancha Istanbul’s thoughtful but unassuming space

food,” he explains. “The way they approach food is so different from other cultures. So simple yet so diverse, and also so complicated.”

mission to visit the 50 best restaurants on the planet. So what did he find most inspiring during that trip, where he tried everything from molecular gastronomy to foraged food? For food and taste, it’s San Sebastián in Spain’s Basque region, hands down. His eyes glaze over for a second before he continues. “There is this fish restaurant by the sea called Elkano. Not fine dining, not fancy,” he smiles. “They grilled this turbot and before they served it they let it rest in its own juice. And the gelatin from the fish melts and they whipped it until it turned into a cream somehow. That’s what I would choose as my last meal on earth.” When it comes to creating a unique culinary experience, however, Demirasal aspires to something totally different: the Nordic style. “I like the way they design

These influences are evident in his cooking, whether at Barbun, a back-to-basics seafood restaurant he runs in the quaint Aegean town of Alaçati, or at Alancha, which offers a more avant-garde culinary experience at a restaurant just along the coast in Çesme. The popularity of Alancha in particular, with its 20-course tasting menu, has propelled Demirasal to stardom in Turkey, and after two years of requests, he finally opened an Istanbul branch of Alancha this March. What does a typical dish look like? There isn’t one, nor is there a gastronomic box that you could put the food into. He has purposefully mashed together cuisines from Asia to the Balkans into what he calls the Great Migration Menu. One cross-country example: a typical Greek salad, but grilled the Turkish way (Demirasal likes to grill everything, without exception) and presented on a plate with the flag of Greece. This is a man for whom food should know no borders. He doesn’t talk about Turkey, 247 A

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but about Anatolia, which loosely refers to the expansive Asian bulk of the country.

He may be a chef that doesn’t enjoy cooking, but he certainly has a vision. And it’s one that may well turn out to make his restaurant one of the top 50 in the world. 9 Şehit Mehmet Sokak, Maçka, tel., A 248

© Seren Dal

One look at the chef’s work, from drinks to desserts, and the appeal of his 20-course tasting menu is evident

“You cannot simplify Turkish food into one region. Anatolia as a region is multinational and multiple civilizations have passed through it. We have the Phoenician influence, Mesopotamia, the ancient Greeks, the Ottomans, Moroccans, Cretans. So it’s not about being Turkish. It’s about being on the land of Anatolia.”


A lifestyle _ city

Art attack

Culture and cuisine in Moscow

Citizens of Moscow spend a large portion of the year cocooned in Prada and Valentino coats crafted from luxurious pelts dyed burgundy and tangerine. In the fall, winter and spring months, the city throbs with traffic, pedestrians and, well, snow. In the summer, it’s an entirely different story. In stark contrast to mink capes and cozy bars, the streets of Moscow come alive with the heat, in what city dwellers view as the most hedonistic time of year. This summer, Moscow is the perfect city to satisfy a craving for contemporary art and fine dining. The best thing to do in Moscow is walk. Summer in the city is a time when once snow-laden boulevards are illuminated. They’re also the perfect place to see the best contemporary art from Russia and Azerbaijan. Start your tour with a drop-in on conceptual art spaces Aidan

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Gallery and Triumph Gallery. Moscow is emerging from an unusual position in contemporary art, where schools are still developing their post-Soviet era curriculums. Contemporary art was absent from education in the Soviet Union, and Moscow’s artists are responding to a cultural shift with bold, cutting edge work, employing methods like digital and post-internet collage. Aidan Gallery is the perfect place to see dystopian works by Farid Rasulov and Anya Acorn, as well as classic pieces by Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed. Armed with the spirit of rebellion, head to one of the many chic Moscow eateries that take an artistic approach to cuisine. The city may be known for heavy meat-and-potato stews, but new spots such as Sixty and White Rabbit usher in a new wave of artsy eats, with curated dishes that rival gallery offerings. The

highest restaurant in Europe – a staggering 62 floors in the sky – Sixty serves up Italian and fusion dishes in an ultramodern setting among the clouds. If you’re a fan of conceptual dining, White Rabbit offers European plates in a stunning dining room with a domed-glass ceiling. Its tasting menu offers a delectable, wellrounded assortment of flavors, featuring sturgeon caviar and baked marrow on a crispy vol-auvent and molecular apple pudding. Moscow’s artists have formed their own cultural clique, and evenings are a great place to catch them in their element. Events at Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art – set in seven 19th-cenutry industrial buildings, including a former brewery – draw a who’s who of the scene. Take in the art and then let the in-crowd lead the way to more rooftop revelry.

© Alice & Olivia, Bottega Veneta, Shutterstock, City Space Bar, O2 Lounge

By Grace Elena Banks

Drinking with the stars

O2 Lounge Sharp modern lines and a panoramic view make this the cocktail bar of dreams. tel. 7.495.225.8888,

Bottega Veneta

Alice & Olivia

City Space Bar Forget Manhattan, Moscow is the capital of high-rise rooftops. Head to SwissHotel for martinis and a view. tel. 7.495.221.5357,

37th Moscow International Film Festival International festivals are fast becoming the leading venue for contemporary film, and the Moscow Film Festival is your definitive education on the new wave of Russian cinema. Runs from June 19 to 26, tel. 7.495.995.2916,

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Exotic desires

Gucci special edition Icon bag A 252

Š Bachar Srour

Python, bamboo and glass beadwork fulfill summer’s wildest fantasies

A Magazine, Issue 78  

The June/July issue has been hit with tropical fever - and it's infectious. From glamorous photoshoots in Brazil to beauty treatments for th...

A Magazine, Issue 78  

The June/July issue has been hit with tropical fever - and it's infectious. From glamorous photoshoots in Brazil to beauty treatments for th...