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Cara Delevingne. Yazan Halwani. Maddie Kulicka. Rym Beydoun. Lily-Rose Depp. Rayanne Tabet. Ayla Hibri This copy is not for sale

no.83 May/June/July 2016 LBP 10,000




CURATED BOUTIQUE AISHTI BY THE SEA ANTELIAS +961 4 717 716 - 01 99 11 11 ext.592



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fakhry bey street, beirut souks aïshti by the sea, antelias



137 el-moutrane street downtown beirut

a誰shti by the sea antelias


BEIRUT • 62 ABDEL MALEK STREET 01 99 11 11 EXT. 222 • ANTELIAS • AÏSHTI BY THE SEA 04 71 77 16 EXT. 264







83 No.

May/June/July 2016


The Youth Issue


FRONT /44 Who’s Who / 46 Editorial Introduction The inspiration behind this

issue / 48 Contributors A brief selection/ 54 The Youth of Today Lebanon’s young

creatives / 72 The Edit What’s making our pulses jump this summer / 94. The Scene Aïshti by the Sea / 96 Objects of Desire Shoes, belts, bags and more / 114 In The

Studio with Rym Beydoun / 120 Trends Looks, ideas, accesories / 126 Dossier I The new young designers at the big old houses / 132 Muse Clothes inspired by movies of

teenage rebellion / 142 Dossier II All about Starch, Beirut’s fashion development hub, and this year’s new recruits / 148 Dossier III Sons and daughters of... the celebrity kids as famous as their parents / 152 Subject Five minutes with Tahar Rahim / 158 Dossier IV Matthew Williamson does furniture / FASHION / 168 Kooky, Moi? Maddie Kulicka by Rokas Darulis styled by Magdalena Bryk (cover shoot) / 178 Age of Innocence New Beirut faces by Oliver Hadlee Pearch styled by Emilie Kareh / 192 Summer Dress Photography by Tarek Moukaddem styling by Joe Arida / 200 Into the Wild Photography by Alexander Neumann, styling by Helene Fonton / 218 Irina and

May/June/July 2016

Anine Irina Liss & Annie Van Velzen by Spela Kasal styled by Noelia Terron-Laya/ 234

Long Beach, Long Summer Photography by Bachar Srour, styling by Melanie Dagher / 250 Just Say Yes Photography by Jeremy Zaessinger, styling by Amin Jreisaty / 262

In Light of Things Sharon Timmer by Jesse Laitinen styled by Magdalena Bryk / 276.

Bending The Rules Zena Farhat by Tony Elieh styled by Joe Arida / BEAUTY / 292

#Instabeauty Perfumes and make up by Raya Farhat / 300 Enter the Urban Retreat London’s luxury day spa arrives in Beirut / FEATURES / 306 Cara Delevingne by Giles Hattersley / 310 Raw Concrete Brutalism unbound / 316 Madame An artistic vision by Ayla Hibri / 330 Queen of the Curve A tribute to Zaha Hadid / 336 How to do Rio the Right Way Be like a carioca / 342 The Hostage’s Daughter Sulome Anderson / 344 Five Distant Memories Rayanne Tabet / 348 Youth Laid Waste A reflection by Melissa Bull 350 / All About Mona Mona Hatoum at Tate Modern / 354 Less is More Lebanon’s 42

new trend for low key weddings / OPINIONS / 359 On Food Dalia Dogmoch Soubra on fatteh / 362 Where We’re Dining / 364 On Drink Michael Karam on whisky/ 366 Where We’re Drinking / 368 On Happiness Lucille Howe on day raves / THE END / 370 Youth Grown Up Lebanon’s old(er) creatives / 378 Souvenir Alessandro Monaco

On the Cover Innocence, intelligence,

enthusiasm, passion, mischief, strength, drive, beauty — our cover model had to embody all the elements we love

about being young. And Polish-born,

London-living rising star Maddie Kulicka (@NextModelsLondon) did all that

and more. Shot in a London studio by

renowned fashion photographer Rokas Darulis, the pair created a beautiful

rapport together giving us a stunning shoot and the perfect cover. Maddie’s look is by Proenza Schouler / Styling

by Magdalena Bryk / Hair by Yoshitaka

Miyazaki / Make up by Joanna Banach / Bag tags by Anya Hindmarch

A DAZZLING BEAUTY A glamorous necklace composed of masterfully crafted, pear-shaped, white diamonds.

Downtown • Sassine • Aishti By The Sea | 01 981 555

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4/6/16 5:45 PM

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

Editorial Director Ramsay Short

Creative Director Mélanie Dagher

Senior Art and Production Director Maria Maalouf Art Director Josée Nakhlé

Associate Editor Alexei Perry Cox

Coordinating Editor Stéphanie Nakhlé Assistant Editor Léa Christine Rahme Digital Editor Raseel Hadjian 44

In House Fashion Photographer Raya Farhat Senior Photographic Editor Fadi Maalouf Contributing Writers

Feature Photographers

Fifi Abou Dib

Lord Ashbury

Grace Banks Melissa Bull

Talib Choudry

Dalia Dogmoch Soubra Felix El Hage

Giles Hattersley Lucille Howe

Michael Karam

MacKenzie Lewis Kassab Pip Usher

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Fashion Photographers Rokas Darulis Tony Elieh

Oliver Hadlee Pearch Marcel Hartmann Spela Kasal

Jesse Laitinen

Tarek Moukaddem

Alexander Neumann Bachar Srour

Jeremy Zaessinger

Myriam Boulos Ayla Hibri

Terry Richardson

Guillaume Ziccarelli Stylists

Joe Arida

Rich Aybar

Magdalena Bryk Helene Fonton Amin Jreisaty

Amelianna Loiacono Marco Manni

Noelia Terrón-Laya

Advertising Director Melhem Moussallem Advertising Manager Stephanie Missirian

Chief Marketing Director Karine Abou Arraj Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible Director Nasser Bitar

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


Editorial Introduction

I’m British. I am Lebanese. I am a child of the 80s and an adolescent of the 90s and a boy of the city. I was fortunate to grow up in London – a town where youth movements are born and anything goes – and to travel to Beirut post-war where a beautiful but tormented chaos ruled. Freedoms for us lucky young sophisticates were expected and they were taken. Music and words were my passion. Pre-Internet and mobile phone, magazines were my window to the world and I devoured them at every available instance. In print I found kindred spirits, I learned that I could be more than what I was, I gained knowledge, swallowed up style, and got political. My first protest march I was still in my teens when we rose in our thousands against the poll tax imposed by Margaret Thatcher. Despite being beaten down by the police, so impassioned were we, the detested poll tax law was revoked. I listened to the Clash and N.W.A. and Prince (how I will miss you dear purple one) and Oum Kulthoum. I understood gender was fluid and people were people in spite of AND because of their colour/sex/creed and I grew angry when I learned of society’s ills. And now, today, if I notice anything about Lebanon’s youth, in Beirut my forever second home, it is that they are exactly the same as I was then. Thirsty for knowledge, full of talent and promise, ready to protest at injustice and corruption, to express themselves in music and art and business and fashion and individuality and love. This, our summer relaunched and redesigned issue of A Mag, celebrates them, celebrates youth, not just here but around the world. For if fashion is anything, it is (or at least it should be), individual. From our cover to our photo shoots to our interviews and stories we explore possibilities and meanings on what it is to be young, looking outwards from this complicated city. It is my hope that you will spend time with this book, switch off from the world of instant gratification we live in, your phones and laptops and relax and read and regard with pleasure, perhaps even learn but most of all enjoy. Just as I used to read print magazines as a kid and just as I still do today. Our youth are our future. And our future is now. Ramsay Short @ramsayshort



Ayla Hibri Photographer Lebanese photographer and visual artist Ayla has spent the last decade jumping from city to city although she always returns to Beirut. A graduate of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts with a BFA in Interior Architecture and the Art Institute of Chicago with a postgraduate degree in photography, her work explores what it means to be a stranger in another place, and tackles the meaning and complexity of belonging. She regularly exhibits and publishes photo books and is a contributor to many different publications worldwide.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie Writer Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is arguably the foremost journalist and critics on art in the Middle East working in the English language today. A contributing editor for Bidoun her work is regularly published in Artforum, Bookforum and Frieze as well as many international newspapers, magazines, and journals. A graduate of Columbia University she has contributed essays to numerous anthologies, monographs, and catalogues and lives and works in Beirut, where she also teaches criticism in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut.

Hélene Fonton Stylist Paris born and raised, Hélene worked as a fitting model for Carven, Isabel Marant, and APC, where she first discovered her love of styling. She built up her experience assisting top stylists part time at Condé Nast before branching out on her own. Today she works with numerous international clients as stylist as well as creative director. Hélene divides her time between Paris and New York.

Tarek Moukkadem Photographer Beirut-based fashion photographer and graduate of ALBA in the same city regularly works with leading designers such as Krikor Jabotian, Ashi Studio, Nicolas Jebran, Basile Soda, Azzi & Osta among others. His work has been exhibited in 12 countries, including France and the UK and he’s also been featured on CNN and the BBC.

Melissa Bull Writer Melissa Bull curates and translates the column “Writing from Quebec” for Maisonneuve Magazine. Her translation of Nelly Arcan’s Burqa de chair was published in 2014 by Anvil Press. Her collection of poetry, Rue, also by Anvil, was recently shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her translation Pascale Rafie’s play La recette de baklawas, a story of two women’s immigration from Lebanon to Quebec, will be performed in May 2016 with the Montreal Playwrights’ Workshop. Melissa lives in Montreal.



“The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for life,” wrote American author Donald Barthelme in his 1964 short story, Me and Miss Mandible. Individual egos, crazy for life... For Beirut’s young creatives living in a capital of radical contrasts, youth is a time of unique intensity. Finding your place as a designer, stylist, musician, architect, director or producer, male or female, is tough, and climbing the ladder is even tougher. Can you work and create, rebel and be free, force change and even lead in this place, right now, today? The up and coming stars on these pages don’t have all the answers but they won’t let that stop them trying. Meet Beirut’s new generation of young creatives, shot up close and personal by one of their own brightest new talents, 23-year-old photographer Myriam Boulos. Individual egos, crazy for life... the world is calling. Portraits by Myriam Boulos

Words and interviews by Alexei Perry Cox


Gerges, 28, is a musician in the indie-pop band Mashrou’ Leila, currently in the middle of a world tour. He’s also a passionate architect. When the band started nearly eight years ago, no one could predict how events would unfold. “Quite naturally we started singing about sensitive subjects like gender, social taboos and unconventional love stories,” he says, which may have contributed to them gaining recognition as “the voice of the generation.” It is a flattering title that “motivates the band to remain socially and politically engaged.” He continues: “Communicating with a vast and varied audience and seeing that the youth respond, relate and react to the lyrics and music is what pushes us to come back to Beirut, to our roots, seeking inspiration and new stories to tell.” What does it mean to be young? “Youth is the appetite for adventure experimentation and discovery, it’s the naivety to believe that everything is possible. It is what makes me fearless today. It makes me push my boundaries and pursue my childhood dream of making music.”




“Constantly adapting to new approaches and different perspectives, that’s what youth means,” says Ellaik, “which ironically comes with age.” The 29-year-old Mar Mikhael resident should know – his debut album Dream Kids Never Sleep has just been released. “You know in the music field, it’s often about experience – and not just creative experience – but experience dealing with the industry in general. As you grow older you learn to manage expectations and to take a few blows. That’s why it might seem harder when you’re young: your enthusiasm will bite you.” As to whether he represents his generation, Ellaik is circumspect. “I never thought about it that way. I represent myself first and foremost, but maybe the fact that I belong to a generation makes me represent it automatically.” Where do the kids of Beirut hang out these days? “I can’t really say. I have a couple of bars I go to and that’s about it. Damn. I sound old already.”


Director/singer-songwriter Hardworking and innovative young TV and freelance video director, Bawab, first made a name for herself with soulful appearances on The Voice and today the 27-year-old is close to launching a brand new album. Growing up she wishes, “I would have known not to worry so much about trying to look older – after all one day you will actually be old.” The way she stays young is, “by doing whatever I feel like doing. When you’re young you never have to say “No” to anything because it is the time for experimentation. If I could, I would love to stay young forever.” Bawab can’t say what’s influencing Beirut’s new up-and-comers because, “truthfully, I’m part of only one clique.” She can say this though: “The young people of Beirut are crazy.” On the spirit of Beirut’s youth: “Revolutionary in every sense. No one here is accepting or settling for what they have. Everyone is striving for more.” @ingridbawab




Singer/songwriter and producer “I love asking questions,” says the 23-year-old Mexican-Lebanese Fiefer who’s making some of the most innovative Hip-Hop, Trap and Alternative Pop coming out of Beirut today. Of her new single and video, Jukebox, she says, “It’s a commentary about what people expect from you locally – to be a jukebox. That if you pay the right amount of money you will do what’s asked of you. That it’s not about what you want to offer but what is wanted from you.” It’s an issue she cares about deeply, “…You can do things differently than that. I’m proud of what I’ve done. To be able to say I made this because this was my vision, that’s real for me. I wrote this, I produced this, I directed this. And it stinks of me.”

On living in Beirut? “I’m trying to see things as part of a larger picture in order to see the smaller picture. I ask, ‘How can I one day contribute to the country where my mom loves to live?’ And I wonder whether I can do that from here. I’m asking.”




The first thing Tala Mortada would tell her child self if she could go back in time would be not to be too tough on yourself. “It’s hard to be inexperienced but the more you are the master of your trade, the easier it is to get your message across. Some people were taking advantage of my age to get me to work on big projects for free for “exposure,” but you learn how to deal with these situations.” At 28, with regular gigs across Beirut and forthcoming musical collaborations with the likes of Etyen, that’s all changed. Coming of age in a place like Beirut isn’t easy but “personally, I guess it means working out how to find happiness and serenity in a loud messed up place.” How do you stay young? “I know 50 year olds who are younger than me. It’s all about how you perceive life and how you live it daily.”


JIMMY FRANCIS Creative Director

If you’ve ever been to one of Beirut’s legendary Cotton Candy pop-up club nights you’ll have definitely seen Francis (not his real name). The 34-yearold creative director is a founding member of the Cotton Candy events team, as well as a partner at creative agency Interesting Times where he directs advertising concepts designed to appeal to Beirut’s youth. That, of course, means living the dream. “I was always one of those kids who just couldn’t wait to grow up. I would tell myself something like: Chill dude, you’re never gonna grow up. I am Peter Pan.” He wishes he was a writer and foresees himself running a psychedelic retreat somewhere, “a sort of retirement home for young people.” What does it mean to be young and successful in advertising? “In this field, you have to reinvent yourself on a daily basis. You have to stay young, or get old trying.” On kids today? “In one word, it would have to be ‘wasted.’ You know sometimes words have two meanings.”

YAZAN HALWANI Muralist/street artist


22-year-old Halwani is a muralist and street artist known for his innovative use of Arabic calligraphy and abstract portraiture. He is seen here before his largest-scale mural of the late Lebanese singer, Sabah, in the heart of Hamra. “It is nearly impossible to represent the voice of a whole generation simply because of the heterogeneity that exists within a whole generation,” he says, deliberating on what messages he provides through his work. “This is true of my generation or any other.” Yet his murals, both regionally and internationally, make enormous impact on those who witness them. “All I can do is represent my views and perspectives and hope they will echo someone else’s views and perspectives.” His approach to art and to life? “Don’t hesitate. When you have a plan or a sketch, work until the work is done. Then take a step back to look at things from afar and keep working from there.” @yazanhalwani


CYNTHIA MERHEJ Illustrator/Visual Artist

At just 26, Badaro-dwelling Merhej has quickly made a name for herself, her work appearing in numerous books and independent publications across Beirut, and is currently working on a new project in the world of fashion. Is it tough to be creative and successful in this city? “I see a lot of incredible creativity around me, but sadly there is a rarity of institutions both governmental and otherwise that appreciate this talent and look to nurture it. Lebanon is driving our talent away or forcing people to be more conservative to survive in our society instead of giving them the means to push new boundaries.” Does that include being discriminated against for being young? “Yes, a lot. People nowadays are not used to someone being so accomplished at such a young age – for the more conservative older generation, it’s something they are afraid of. But the fact is I could be half your age and know more than you, and someone could be half my age and know more than me.” Any words of wisdom? “Sometimes things seem much worse in your head than in reality.”



GHAITH & JAD Architects/Designers

Business partners Ghaith Abi Ghanem and Jad Melki, 26 and 27, got their start with the Starch Foundation before setting up their eponymous practice – how does their work represent this generation? “Generations crystallize in hindsight; for now we conceive of our work outside of a specific year or moment, but rather as part of an unfolding process that issues from our collaboration.” So what do they think it is that interests the young of Beirut then? “Young people here are mainly interested in experiencing the city around them. We constantly try to discover new areas and infuse life into them whether it is of cultural nature or entertainment. This mélange of both creates an energetic dynamic that attracts the people to interact and get inspired from one another.” What is youth? “Youth to us is exploration, experimentation and even mistakes. It is an eye-opening opportunity that offers a personal understanding about your individuality and strength for you to build on it.”



Stylist and Creative Director When Nasr, 24, came back to Beirut last summer it was the revolutionary spirit of the city that caught her eye. “When I was younger, I always said that nothing would make me come back to live here. I waited for the time to be proven wrong and – deep down I guess I was hoping to be proven wrong – and then I was. I met all these new people and I couldn’t believe that such a good scene had been growing – it is such an exciting time to be here today. And the garbage crisis was happening and everyone was like, “You decided to stay in Beirut while the garbage crisis was happening?” And I said, “Maybe it’s exciting. Maybe I feel like this place is finally alive in a different way.” And it’s that spirit but in a nostalgic way she incorporates into her work. “I look at the 60s and 70s – where there was a revolution in a different way – a sexual revolution and an ideological one. And I dramatize that.” What advice would you give your younger self? “To ask more. To be more curious. To not be afraid of needing that. Not to feel fulfilled by what you think you know.”


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500 costumes, one Jean Paul Gaultier ________ The enfant terrible of haute couture, Jean Paul Gaultier, gets the show of his life this September as designer and costumer for the world famous Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin’s 2016 grand revue, THE ONE Grand Show. Gaultier will design over 500 extravagant and lavish costumes for a performance featuring over 100 players from a total of 26 countries on the largest stage in the world. “I dreamed of working on a revue ever since I was a little boy and I saw the opening night of Les Folies Bergère on my grandmother’s TV,” says Gaultier. “The next day I got in trouble at school because I was sketching the girls in feathers and fishnets…” From September at Friedrichstadt-Palast, Friedrichstraße 107, Berlin,

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Beirut Design Week 2016_________ (above) Arguably the biggest event in Lebanon’s design calendar this year is Beirut Design Week (20-29 May), its theme ‘Growing Sustainability’ – which in the light of the nation’s current waste management crisis couldn’t be more apt. The organisers have converted a former metalworks factory – the KED building – in Karantina as their base, abandoned since the Civil War revamping it to host international exhibitions from Finland, the Netherlands and Germany as well as a pop-up store, sound and light installation and live shows. Look out for their Sustainability Talks and their Disrupt!/Design! three-day workshop (26-28 May) exploring how young startup companies are engaged in sustainable thinking and practice.

Angelina Beirut __________(left) Famed Parisian restaurant Angelina – of Rue de Rivoli in the French capital with its stunning tearoom designed by Belle Époque architect Edouard-Jean Niermans – opened in downtown Beirut this April and has been winning rave reviews. We know because it’s just across from the A Mag offices and we can’t stop eating there. The décor inside is reminiscent of its Parisian sister and wait till you sample their L’Africain hot chocolate and iconic Mont Blanc dessert. Simply sumptuous. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Quartier Foch, Saad Zaghloul Street, Beirut. Reservations: +961 (0)1 990992

Youth, Sexuality and Poetry __________(above) Volunteer-based non-profit Beirut-based publishing house Samandal isn’t afraid to shy away from complex and often polarizing subjects, and their new edition due out in November is no different. As Samandal cofounder and artist Lena Merhaj explains: “Sexuality is yet to be explored in Lebanese comics – a hot subject but also a scary or embarrassing one that we tend to avoid, undermine or ignore. How far can we go without talking about our sexualities? This new issue is a series of comics that explores sexuality buffered by youth on the one hand, as beginning, discovery and learning, and by poetry on the other, as artistic deployment and rhetoric unfolding.” That’s what we like to hear. We can’t wait to read it. “Youth, Sexuality and Poetry” is out in November,

Brand new De Grisogono _______ (left) “I think in volumes, I imagine in colours, I design in lights,” says Fawaz Gruosi, the creative force behind Geneva-based jeweler and watchmaker de GRISOGONO. His much in-demand creations are spectacular and beautiful, at once unexpected, original and novel infused with a wealth of stone cuts and colours – which is why we think every discerning lady will be wearing them this summer. Our favourite? The Allegra collection – style unbound. Available in Lebanon at Sylvie Saliba (Avenue Charles Malek, Beirut,



Welcome to Jaguar as you’ve never seen it before. Now you can enjoy the dramatic drive and beauty Jaguar is renowned for, with added practicality. Inspired by the F-TYPE, its powerful, muscular looks gives the All-New F-PACE a head-turning road presence. It also delivers the connected steering feel and sharp responsive handling of a sports car, thanks to its aluminium double wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension. A master of sporting performance and everyday practicality, Jaguar’s first performance SUV raises the game. SAAD & TRAD S.A.L. Beirut Tel: 01 613670


4/21/16 5:59 PM

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Dining with the Baron __________(left) … or rather at the Baron, an exceptional new concept restaurant in Beirut’s bustling Mar Mikhael neighbourhood. Concept because the bar overlooking the open kitchen allows you to sip some seriously good aperitifs as you watch your food being prepared. The menu is seasonal, vegetable- and fresh-produce-led, driven by what’s available at the markets and the majority of hot dishes are oven-baked or grilled in the specialist oven. The décor is clean and cool, the atmosphere lively and the attention to detail spot on. Better yet, Baron (to give it its proper name) serves over 40 different wines by the glass – so you can sample a different vintage with each course without having to buy a bottle. Pharaon Street, Mar Mikhael, Beirut. Reservations: +961 (0)1 565199

Not one but two… Karen Chekerdjian hits Paris __________(left, right) We’re nothing but excited about Lebanon’s very own furniture, jewelry and objects designer Karen Cherkerdjian being invited to show in Paris at two prestigious galleries at the same time. And this after she’s just been to Design Miami. Her works, which include a modern take on traditional Lebanese craftsmanship in collaboration with traditional local artisans, can be seen at the Dutko Gallery from 11 May to 11 June and, under the title ‘Respiration,’ over three floors at the Institut du Monde Arabe from 31 May to 27 August. See it!,,

Why we love… George Hakim __________(right) Few Lebanese jewellers have managed to reach the heights of George Hakim but since the man himself began his business in the Ottoman gold souks in 1875 the firm has grown exponentially catering to a sophisticated international clientele. From haute joaillerie to Swissmade Alain Philippe timepieces, George Hakim delivers. We love the Young Spirit collection (this is our youth issue after all) with its versatile wedding rings, butterfly and dragonfly pendants and earrings. Find them all at Hakim’s new outlet at Aishti by the Sea. What are you waiting for? George Hakim available at Aishti by the Sea. Bucolik, a digital marketplace for emerging designers, Lebanon __________(left) “We search the globe for designers with a story to tell,” says Nour Khoury, co-founder and managing partner of the new e-commerce website founded in Beirut connecting international consumers with new and emerging designers directly at their ateliers. On the site you can not only read in-depth information about individual designers and their products but purchase items directly. Bucolik then instructs the designers, who take care of shipment and packaging themselves. Khoury’s inspiration came when she noticed how her personal style blog promoted designers she’d written about. Now alongside co-founder, Rudy Seikaly, Khoury’s constantly on the look out for small labels in far-flung places to add to the site’s roster. Bucolik has also developed a workshop in Lebanon’s Beit Hebbak region, to train women in garment construction and sewing. Proceeds of all sales from the site go to funding the workshop’s mandate to provide a workshop environment that is both an empowering and stimulating place to create. What’s not to love?

A誰shti By the Sea Antelias

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Rabih Kayrouz X Ensav La Cambre X ALBA______ This is for all the young fashion-fascinated dreamers/ wannabe/ minds/ in Lebanon who aspire to have a career in fashion. Lebanon’s very own Maison Rabih Kayrouz has joined forces with the Académie Libanaise des BeauxArts (ALBA) and the prominent department of Fashion Design at ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels directed by Tony Delcampe (YSL’s new creative director Anthony Vaccarello is an alumni), to form the ALBA School of Fashion in Lebanon. Under the direction of Emilie Duval, herself a graduate of ENSAV La Cambre who has worked with Maison Martin Margiela, Balenciaga, and Dior, the brand new school, which opens in September, offers a Bachelor’s Degree in

Fashion Design, adapted to the European BMD system, recognized worldwide. The exciting program aims to instill cultural, social, aesthetic, and technical skills as well as analytical and communication skills, to hone pupils’s innovation as well as interpretation. Theoretical courses will be enhanced by regular guest lectures from internationally recognized experts including Rabih Kayrouz himself and Tony Delcampe, students will be able to take two internships at different ateliers and will have the opportunity to showcase their work at La Cambre’s prestigious annual catwalk show in Brussels in front of a who’s who of the fashion world. Finally Lebanon has the fashion school it deserves. ALBA, Sin El Fil, Beirut,

Slow Factory, Brooklyn, New York _________ Independent design and fashion label Slow Factory launches its first storefront in Brooklyn with a new, and personal, collection We Are Home. Lebanese-born label founder Celine Semaan Vernon, who fled Lebanon during the 1975-90 civil war, centres the new line around NASA satellite images printed on high-quality Italian silk scarves. We Are Home focuses on the escalating refugee crisis in the region, using the collection to highlight Syrian and Palestinian stories of exile. Pictured here is Slow Factory’s white gold key necklace, handmade in Lebanon, a nod to the refugee tradition of keeping one’s house key in the hope of one day returning. Part of the proceeds from We Are Home will go to NGOs in the region. We’ll be certainly be buying. Slow Factory, 188 Woodpoint Rd, NYC,


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Brand New Bridal, Elie Saab _______ (left) Lebanon’s most well known designer is back this summer with his brand new bridal line and it’s pretty special. As always with Saab we get the brilliant and unexpected with a contemporary and modern twist, following the evolution of his readyto-wear collections over the last few seasons. At once daring and feminine, the 25 gowns fitted or grand, are adorned with guipure, dotted tulle and silk chiffon with a carefree play of lace offering subtle exposure of shoulders, legs and waistlines. Look out for the iconic jumpsuit reinterpreted with floral motif embroidery, and in graphic cuts with a layered, split skirt. Available now at Elie Saab boutiques in Beirut, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and worldwide from October,


Jean-Michel Jarre is BACK!__________(below) Never a festival to sit on its laurels Barcelona’s Sónar 2016 has secured one of the coups of the year – legendary French producer Jean-Michel Jarre’s new record will receive its worldwide premiere at the festival on 17 June. The long awaited Electronica Vol. 1 & 2 features an impressive list of 30 collaborators including The Pet Shop Boys, The Orb and Laurie Anderson as well as perhaps the most interesting element – a song with CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden whom he met and interviewed in exile in Russia. “Edward Snowden became a modern hero, not by saying ‘stop’, but to be careful regarding the (ab)use of technology. Our future needs brave people like him,” says Jarre. We couldn’t agree more and we can’t wait for what should be, knowing Jarre, a spectacular show. 17 June, Barcelona,

© Cmashinskiy

Tabbah At Aishti by the Sea _______________ (above) Last year Tabbah celebrated 30 years of its most iconic ring – Beret. This year the jeweller is proud to open a brand new luxury boutique at Aishti by the Sea. As well as selling the stunning Beret line, you’ll find exclusive Tabbah pieces from the Biker, Angel, Lace, Stardust and numerous other collections. Available now at Aishti by the Sea,

Unparalleled performance, for all of life’s roads. Bentayga.

Introducing the extraordinary SUV. Visit or call +961 1 613670. Bentayga fuel consumption – EU Drive Cycle in mpg (l/100 km)*: Urban 14.7 (19.2); Extra Urban 31.0 (9.1); Combined 22.1 (12.8). CO2 Emissions 292 g/km. *Fuel consumption figures subject to Type Approval. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2015 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Bentayga.

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Marc Jacobs rules _______ (left) Yes he does. Look out for MJ’s upcoming Aishti collaboration (shhh… we can’t say more just yet, it’s a secret) but meanwhile let’s talk about his incredible SS16 show in New York, which simply blew us away. “When I look around New York City in all its revelry,” Jacobs says of his inspiration, “I do not lament the past but always consider the people, places and things as they were in their moment. It is this city that never sleeps or stops rousing, giving and taking away, razing and rising, inspiring and conspiring. Let us take back the night but embrace tonight and the presence of present tense. Let us celebrate the beauty of pride in equality and all things in their natural integrity.” And what a whistle-stop tour of Americana the collection produced: red, white and blue varsity jackets and cloud-splotched denims paired with madras skirts entirely overlaid with liquid sequins, upending nostalgia and proving NYC to be thriving and full of life. An exquisite articulation of his new American Dream is the new Gotham City group of handbags. Representing the heavy music influence seen throughout the five boroughs, each pebbled leather bag is as functional as it is bold. Yep, Marc Jacobs most definitely rules.

Bourdain Market, Pier 57, New York ____(left) What? The international city that is New York has no indoor year-round public food market serving up street food from across the world? NYC? Seriously? Hard to believe but it’s true: there is no such place, a fact that astonished globetrotting chef, author and promoter of eating like a local in the world’s great food destinations, Anthony Bourdain, too. Which is why 2017 will see the opening of his new, huge $60m 155,000 square-foot food market at Manhattan’s Pier 57, an abandoned Hudson River marine terminal just west of the city’s glamorous Meatpacking and West Chelsea districts. That’s about the size of three football fields. “We’re carefully assembling a dream list of chefs, operators, street food and hawker


legends from around the world in one New York City space,” Bourdain says. “This is going to be a public market. And like the great public markets of Europe and Asia ¬– and the New York of the past – it will be designed to be useful and hopefully loved by its neighbours, an essential feature of a community,” he recently told news site The Daily Beast. Indeed, with the likes of Mexico’s tostada expert Sabine Bandera, Sydney’s historic butcher shop Victor Churchill and New York’s very own restaurateurs de jour April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig already signed up we can’t see the locals complaining. Our tastebuds are fizzing in anticipation.

Sit on this! __________(right) It’s the couch we all want this year – the new Vincenzo de Cotiis-Baxter designed Fold butter soft leather sofa. Why? Just look at it – if a sofa could have a personality this is it. The technical precision of the folds, intentionally meant to be seamless, and relaxed colour just ooze style. It’s time to get comfortable. Available at Vivre’s flagship Baxter Beirut store in the heart of Beirut on Al-Arz street in Saifi,

Hasko Hasko @ Art on 56th, Beirut ___(left) Inevitably the ongoing tragedy of the conflict in Syria and the international focus upon it draws attention to the nation’s artists. Damascene painter Hasko Hasko recognizes that fact. “Before,” he says, “[Syrian artists] were considered crazy… Now, we’re becoming like poets and directors.” The themes in his acrylic and mixed media paintings focus more essentially on nature, animals, and mythical figures inspired from Mesopotamian cultures. In his new solo show, Visitors in the Presence of Neutralism at Beirut gallery Art on 56th, Hasko gives consideration to smaller creatures, treated in defined brushstrokes in compositional clusters. He considers that his “attempt to show the greatest possible beauty [in his work] is in itself a form of resistance against the hideousness of the past five years.” Pictured left: Yellow Key2, (Acrylic on canvas-100x120cm-Denmark 2016). Visitors in the Presence of Neutralism is Art on 56th to May 23.



the edit

“Good Dreams, Bad Dreams: American Mythologies” Aïshti Foundation, Beirut __________ New York-based Artistic Director of the New Museum, Massimiliano Gioni, brings together work from over 60 artists and more than 200 pieces selected from the Tony and Elham Salamé Collection for the second major exhibition at the Aïshti Foundation. Borrowing its title from an installation by conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg, the show unites the work of a multigenerational group of artists involved in complex analysis of American popular culture, interested in debunking the founding myths of the American dream. Look

out for works by pioneering conceptual artists, such as John Baldessari, presented in dialogue with contributions from later generations. Pieces by Richard Prince and Raymond Pettibon will situate the exhibition in vitriolic ideological debate, while works by Amanda Ross-Ho, Rachel Harrison, Lutz Bacher and Klara Lidén add further barbed commentary. Elucidating the mistruths of our fantasies – as all the artists in the show propose to do through their critical works – provides the opportunity to re-dream our futures anew. It is a worthwhile chance to take. Opens 22 June, 10am-10pm, foundation/collection

© Richard Prince


the edit 86

It happened at Metropolitan Art Society in March hosted by Aïshti CEO Tony Salame. The great and the good of Beirut gathered for an intimate private view of famed French jewellery house Cartier’s newest creations in two of its most famous lines: the Panther and Essential Diamond collections.

In one of the capital’s most elegant 19th century palaces, made distinctive by its Florentine and Ottoman architecture as well its natural light and surrounding gardens, Cartier’s glittering creations stood out among paintings by Lebanese artist Etel Adnan and sculptures by Anish Kapoor. Housed

in crystalline glass box displays across two beautiful rooms, getting up close to the diamond bracelets, necklaces, rings and watches took the breath away. In the Essential Diamond room a timeline chronicled the history of the collection while the Panther room featured an immense sculpture of the animal emanating an air of indefatigable prowess and poise.

But why the panther? Ancient Greek myth holds that Dionysus, mischievous god of wine and nature, rode on a majestic panther. Cartier’s panther has been on the prowl since 1914 when the first panther-spot motif first appeared on a wristwatch. Simultaneously the black and white abstract onyx and diamond paving inaugurated the use of flecking in jewellery and pioneered the contrasts of the future Art Déco style. The story goes that while Jeanne Toussaint, the trend-setting director of Cartier’s luxury department store in the late 1930s, and Louis Cartier were in Africa they spotted a panther and she exclaimed, “onyx, diamonds, emeralds – a brooch!” and the brand’s kinetic emblem of

© Patrick Sawaya

When Cartier met the Metropolitan Arts Society ____________________ Across the centuries jewellery has been deployed as a statement ˗̶ of power, of desire, of beauty, of skill, of sentiment and of status. As statements go, Cartier’s recent exhibition of new pieces in its legendary Panther and Diamond ranges at the Metropolitan Art Society in Beirut was no different. Power, desire, skill, sentiment, status... all were on dazzling display


the edit 88

Diamonds have durability. The stones and their stories are ones to be passed down through generations. Cartier’s Essential Diamond collection shows how the diamond transcends genres, eras and styles – through nothing but its sheer dimensions. The Paris Nouvelle Vague bracelet and ring reveal

the strength and vivacity of their design, multiplying all our illusions and perspectives. The play of visual style, transparency and light in these pieces show how, through ever changing ages, diamonds become timeless due to the absolute discipline of their design and the execution of it. Back in the early 1900s the poet Jean Cocteau said of his friend Louis Cartier that he was a “subtle magician, who dangles slivers of the moon on a thread of sun.” At the house of Cartier today that magic continues and at the Metropolitan Art Society last March it was evident for all to see, an eternal statement of power, of desire, of beauty, of skill, of sentiment and of status.,

© Patrick Sawaya

feline essence was truly set free. Nearly a century on, the panther continues to beguile us. The indomitable beast flexes its jaws in fierce and geometric expression in the new Panthère Graphic ring. A tassel of white gold beading dangles below a sculptural pendant, its head incisive and with fixed gaze, in the Charleston necklace. Between geometry and movement, classicism and extravagance, the panthers of the collection reveal the strength of the jeweller’s expertise and its muse.

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French photographer Guillaume Ziccarelli’s architectural work captures the formidable relationship at play between man, nature and building, using light and perspective to transport the viewer directly to the location of his images. This remarkable aerial shot of the recently opened terrace and promenade space of the David Adjaye-designed Aïshti by the Sea and Aïshti Foundation in Antelias, Beirut is the perfect example. The image is imbued with the massive weight of the building’s concrete and industrial metal yet succeeds in portraying the delicacy of its seafront location. The photograph valorizes the scene’s grandeur by bringing us closer to nature. And it reminds us to meditate on a good building, from all angles, the next time we see one.



Bag Balenciaga __________ It is sometimes said that a whisper speaks louder than words, that the strongest statement is the understatement but we like bold better. This sharp new offering from Balenciaga provides high contrast in alternating strips of black and white monochrome leather. The ‘Stripes Cabas’ bag resembles stacked belts and it’s chic enough to keep us in line and well-behaved






Sunglasses Linda Farrow _______ Unlike many of its peers in fashion accessories these days, luxury eyewear brand Linda Farrow avoids committing assault on our senses. A finer point is made. The luxe details, including 18-karat gold-plate finishing and over-sized lenses, show a risktaking without going over the top

p. Paola Naone - ph.Andrea Ferrari

Baxter flagship store Al Arz street, Saifi Beirut Lebanon +961 1 563 111 Vivre Dbayeh internal rd & Congress Center bridge inters Antelias +961 4 520 111


Candle Diptyque __________ Quoting Aldo Leopold: “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.� La Proveresse Scented Candle takes its name from a path that Diptyque founder Yves Coueslant would take through the French countryside, a path lined with fig and cypress trees. Find your wilderness oasis in these new fragrances, contained in marbled vessels made from porcelain clay and cut grass. Each sojourn is unique


Heels Proenza Schouler __________ Well it’s one for the money, Two for the show, Three to get ready, Now go, cat, go. But don’t you dare step on these poppy red and periwinkle suede shoes. NewYork-based Proenza Schouler brings a slingback pump in suede to heat up the summer sizzle


Bracelet Fausto Puglisi ________ Not exactly a hidden gem, this ArtDeco celestial explosion in silver-tone and gold-tone zamak by Fausto Puglisi allows us the temptation of screaming like sun warriors. Summertime is here

Lita CabeLLut Fairy Flowers 3 - 18 June 2016

Foch 94, Foch Avenue Beirut Central District T. + 961 1 971471 -

Fairy Flowers 2, 2016 - Mixed media on canvas - 215 x 145 cm



A誰shti by the Sea, Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 251




Shoes Dior __________ No one outdoes Dior. These patent calfskin stilettos are the epitome of elegance – in any colour. Striking a pose here in ochre and cognac – they are the essence behind the new Dior, a reinterpretation of the fashion house’s classic heel of Spring 1959

LEBANON 225 Foch St., Downtown Beirut Te l . + 9 6 1 1 9 9 1 1 1 1 E x t . 4 8 0 A誰shti By the Sea, Antelias Te l . + 9 6 1 4 4 1 7 7 1 6 E x t . 2 3 4

Words by Alexei Perry Cox Photography by Tony Elieh



Dressed in stiff toile canary yellow pants and a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of her brand Super Yaya, Rym Beydoun is poised with a fixed stare, sights set on our futures



This is personal stuff – my personal photographs mostly – very nostalgia-related– when I’m needing to be inspired by a feeling or whatever

These are my pencils – I love designing with colour since I use a lot of prints and fabrics. I can’t see straight if things are all flat


Tons of hard drives. I have tons! Each with a label of everything that’s inside

This is my music – playing from my computer all the time. It has to be African music always. It can be very bad but I still like it

This is my inventory of fabrics. Every textile is customizable

This is a baby blue fur that I got from Bourj Hammoud. I want to use it in my collection somehow

This is just my notebooks. I’m a freak – like a real freak – so everything is very very organized. I’m very OCD

I’m very inspired by archives. Especially my grandparents’ archives. We are three generations from West Africa. I look at their album photos a lot. One here is of my great grandfather in his textile shop. Where it all started. This whole thing

Christian candles of course – I’m obsessed with Christianity. It’s not like I represent Christianity in Super Yaya – it’s more like it’s part of Ivorian culture – that’s why it’s represented. More or less. But I’m very extreme – I also do a lot of work related to Muslims. For me, I love translating religions visually – I think it’s very powerful

Designs – I design on tracing paper a lot. If I like a specific cut or whatever I just keep tracing until I get it right

This is my calendar – the every day everything I have to do


“I wasn’t interested in fashion at all really. It’s a growing interest,” Rym Beydoun says as she gives a tour through her atelier. “Fashion used to make me suicidal. In fact, I hated it until last year.” It’s an unusual welcome to a studio visit.

“I actually got into fashion because I’m a competitive person,” she adds. Though relatively new on the international fashion scene, Beydoun is certainly getting noticed. Until last year the Ivorian-Lebanese designer had largely been making headlines for her futuristic, sport-chic hijab line, when she introduced Super Yaya her even bolder Afro-modern pop line of customizable fashions. Now she is known for using bright bazin fabrics and textiles hand-picked from the markets of Abidjan and cut into angular modern skirts, shorts, tops and dresses that borderline on Brutalist construction– if Brutalism was in hot pinks and canary yellow and jade. 118

The studio however is very clean. Immaculate in fact – a white oasis bordered by the rest of her living quarters. “I’m very OCD in here,” she says. Indeed the space is orderly to the point of compulsion. Her patterns are vacuum-sealed into silver bags using the same foil we know from chip bags and space travel. They are hung soberly in line and ready to be whizzed off overseas at her clients’ command. If many studios testify to the process of making works, or gather the literal and metaphorical tools used for the creation of works, Beydoun’s shows a glimpse into what her vision of the future, her utopic world, might be. A shifting, modifiable, and sterile affair that is tailored for all by all. She is “most interested in the future,” – steadfastly so. She has “no nostalgia.” While she has an allegiance to the place of her origins, the Ivory Coast is not a place of her past – she is drawn there continuously to source new ideas and new ways of doing things. It might be a place of her childhood but it is moreover an insight into what’s ahead. She has adopted the custom-tailoring markettrading traditions with a futuristic twist by bringing her alterations to the tech-savvy and shipping in the most innovative fashion.


Beydoun says she’s now “bearing the fashion world” because she has found a way to incorporate her most personal self into her work, to link it to her emotions in a way that is not superficial – and the evidence of this in her workspace is clear. Besides the West African textiles of her origins, a constant YouTube stream of Ivory Coast music plays – good or bad she still listens. A delicate collection of photos that trace three generations of her family in textile shops are at her fingertips. African Modernism, a book she calls her bible, features such large format photos of Africa’s avant-garde architecture boom, you feel as if transported there. In addition, the Central Saint Martin’s graduate has found a way to address her sense of spirituality in her work – even though a lot has changed since her final degree collection, in which she examined the veil through both feminist and practical lenses. Now a cluttering of Christian candles finds home on her desk. Equally there’s space for “Allah” in Arabic calligraphy and motifs of the Virgin Mary in the prints she chooses. Beydoun explains her love for how people on the streets of the Ivory Coast and in Lebanon display their personal – spiritual and political – beliefs so prominently in what they wear. It is a personal mandate to liberate these distinctions by flaunting them in new ways – to give religion a renovation. An artist’s studio often comes with it’s own mythology: it is seen, somewhat romantically, as a place exclusive to divine inspiration and creation, but for this couturier of the future, it is also very much grounded in the rest of her real life. Situated inside the heart of her home, this is the space where Beydoun lives and breathes what she does, sleeps and eats it too.

Prior to her conservative line for Islamic partygirls and the spaceage brand of Super Yaya, Beydoun had been painting, drawing and exhibiting from the age of six and had very seriously intended to pursue her career further into fine arts. A lot changed. A mischievous grin indicates she used to be a tamer sort. Reflecting on those more innocent days of her childhood, she considers the advice she would give her former self. “My younger self?” she says, eyes widening then narrowing. “I feel like I get younger and younger. I was so much older a few years ago. I wish my younger self would give advice to my older self.”

Beydoun might think she’s been regressing – or at least transgressing – but her future looks increasingly bright.






2. 1. Prada 2. Jimmy Choo



1. 1. Céline 2. Prada 3.Emilio Pucci








3. 1. Roberto Cavalli 2. Miu Miu 3. CĂŠline

in love












1. Alexander Wang 2. Gianvito Rossi 3. Inverni 4. Jimmy Choo 5. Proenza Schouler 6. Rag & Bone

A誰shti, Downtown Beirut 01.99 11 11

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Words by Pip Usher

Allesandro Michele


How young designers who dare are shaking up the established fashion houses

Gucci Spring/Summer 2016

Š Gucci, BFA-Matteo Prandoni




Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant of Coperni Femme debuted their new vision for the label earlier this year: stylish, simple, futuristic.

According to Robbie Sinclair, womenswear editor at WGSN, this new collective of creative talent reflects a seismic shift occurring within the industry. “The choice of young, avant-garde designers makes a bold statement and shows huge progression with the fashion industry in terms of experimentation,” he says. For heritage brands fighting to prove their relevance in a digitalized, youth-obsessed world, fear of the unknown has been replaced with fervor to find out what’s next. Take Demna Gvasalia. The Georgian designer quickly built a formidable reputation with his progressive label Vetements, a design collective that looks to urban culture to craft modern clothes. Launched in 2014, the label quickly caught the attention of the fashion industry and was shortlisted for LVMH’s Fashion Designer Prize just a year later. By the time Kanye West and Rihanna were spotted in Vetements’ signature oversized hoodie, it was official: Gvasalia had arrived.

“I am confident that [Gvasalia] will succeed in embracing Balenciaga’s core values and developing them in harmony with today’s global changes,” stated Isabelle Guichot, president and CEO of Balenciaga as she announced Gvasalia as artistic director in October 2015. Sinclair echoes her enthusiasm. “I’m most excited to see what Demna Gvasalia does for Balenciaga,” he says. “The aesthetic of Vetements combined with the ideals of Balenciaga are a match made in heaven, and reach out to a different kind of audience without alienating Balenciaga’s existing fans.”

“If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten,” warns an old saying. In recent years, the world’s most illustrious fashion houses have heeded that advice, appointing a slew of creative directors that challenge the status quo with their youth and their avant-garde ideas.

In 2013, Spanish label Loewe (founded in 1846) established London fashion darling JW Anderson at its helm, a gamble echoed two years later when Balenciaga announced Demna Gvasalia as Alexander Wang’s replacement. Over at Hermès, virtual unknown Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski was welcomed as creative director in 2014. Last summer in New York, following Donna Karan’s shock departure from her eponymous label, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, a civic-minded label producing all its output in NYC’s garment district, took over at DKNY. 2015 also saw a virtual unknown, Alessandro Michele, appointed creative director at Gucci, whose urban set-inspiration for the fall women’s collection that year came from the striking, red painted corridor in the Oscar-winning movie Birdman, a far cry from the controlled understatement of his predecessor Frida Giannini. And at Courrèges, where late founder and modernist André made waves back in the 60s with his clean shapes, boxy jackets and mod-minis, French design duo

Loewe walks a similar tightrope with JW Anderson. Lauded as the most exciting designer of his generation, the British designer’s eponymous label has sent one provocative design after the next down the catwalk since its inception in 2008. As a child of the ‘90s, Anderson believes it is essential for his contemporaries to exert influence in the fashion industry if it is to remain relevant. “We need new viewpoints,” he said in an interview with i-D. “The world has changed. The way people communicate has changed. Fashion is about communication, and the next generation who are about

© Loewe, Mark Abrahams


JW Anderson

A film by Sean Baker

A誰shti by the seA, AnteliAs

to start spending money communicate very differently to the generation before them.”

Since arriving at Loewe, Anderson has been true to his word, breathing new life into the label. His first year was spent overhauling it, from a redesigned logo to the relocation of design headquarters from Madrid to Paris. By the time his beautifully executed spring/summer 2015 collection came along, the unlikely pairing between fashion daredevil and historic house looked set to bloom into a beautiful friendship. “When classic brands take on a new designer to steer the ship there is always a backlash from some loyal consumers, but there is also excitement,” says Sinclair. “Because we live in an ever-changing world we are no longer satisfied with sticking to what we know. As consumers we want to be surprised because we expect newness.”

“The old-meets-new ideal is coming at the perfect time,” says Sinclair. “Fashion is changing, and as the new generation of fashion lovers become more aware of young

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2016

At Yves Saint Laurent new creative director Anthony Vaccarello is a “vivid and young force whose unique style will greatly express the maison’s creative signature and fashion authority” talent, thanks to social media and a hunger to discover the next cool thing, we see a more socially and style aware wave of consumers.”

Anthony Vaccarello

Finally there is the most recent change at Yves Saint Laurent, where Anthony Vaccarello (formerly creative director at Versus Versace) has succeeded Hedi Slimane. In the words of

YSL parent company Kering CEO and Chairman François-Henri Pinault, Vaccarello is “a vivid and young force whose unique style will greatly express the maison’s creative signature and fashion authority.” His 2017 spring-summer collection will show in October proving that in 2016 it’s the rebooting of iconic brands that’s setting the pace. Long may it continue.

© Saint Laurent


But what if the new designer is a virtual unknown? When Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski was announced creative director of Hermès, many were left scratching their heads and asking ‘who?’ Not that her résumé was shabby: most recently design director at The Row – the Olsen twins’ super-lux label where a crocodile-skin backpack was once famously priced at more than $32,000 – VanheeCybulski also cut her teeth at Maison Martin Margiela and Céline. But her reclusiveness sat at odds with the stardom of previous creative directors Jean-Paul Gaultier and Margiela himself, signifying a new direction for the luxury heavyweight label.

LESILLA.COM A誰shti, Downtown Beirut Tel.: 01.991111 - A誰shti by the Sea, Antelias Tel.: 04.717716


Words by Alexei Perry Cox



In the Hunger Games, fashions must be functional enough to really move around in. The laser-cut leathers, mesh textiles, metallic yarns and uni-sex patterns fit the characters in a mixture of future and fantasy from head to toe. The arena jumpsuits and official uniforms aren’t your typical utilitarian attire – flexible, movable, breathable, sure – but sexier than the task at hand. 1. Balenciaga 2. Alexander McQueen 3. Céline 4. Moschino 5. Proenza Schouler 6. Alexander McQueen 7. Maison Margiela 8. Bottega Veneta 9. Céline 10. Alexander Wang 11. Céline 12. Azzedine Alaïa. 13. MSGM 14. Buccellati 15. Stella McCartney



6. 4. 1.









13. 12.




Like a Turkish version of Virgin Suicides, the director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s first film recounts the story of five teenage sisters brought up by their grandmother in a remote village. Their relative freedom is too much for the conservative neighborhood and their fashions are subject for spreading gossip. Their floral prints and jean shorts and swim tops eventually get quelled by long-sleeved full-length dresses. But the girls still manage to draw attention.

1. Céline 2. Alexander McQueen 3. Marc Jacobs 4. Fendi 5. Oscar de la Renta. 6. Dolce & Gabbana 7. Victoria Beckham 8. Gucci 9. 7 For All Mankind 10. Red Valentino 11. Buccellati 12. Miu Miu 13. Alexander McQueen 14. Miu Miu 15. Céline 16. Chloé

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Set in ‘70s San Francisco, the sun-soaked retro costumes that tailor 15 year old Minnie Goetz’s sudden transition from awkward teenagehood to a highspeed affair with her mother’s boyfriend lend us a muse – minus the drama – for new fashions. Nostalgic for bell bottoms and aviator shades and rainbow print fabrics? Don’t worry: they’re back. And, thankfully, not in polyester this time around. 1 & 2. Dolce & Gabbana 3. Bottega Veneta 4. Chloé 5. Etro 6. Céline 7. Chloé 8. 7 For All Mankind 9. Burberry 10. Marc Jacobs 11. Loewe 12. Dolce & Gabbana 13. Buccellati 14. Fendi 15. Dolce & Gabbana 16. Gucci 17. Rag & Bone


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13. 12. 15. 17. 14.



Steven Chobsky’s flick takes Emma Watson and friends back to high school, in everything from varsity jackets to platforms and little shift dresses. The casualcool wardrobe gives us inspiration from our teenage memories for this year’s trendiest seasonal pieces.

1. Alexander McQueen 2. Gucci 3. Anya Hindmarch 4. Marc Jacobs 5. Chloé 6. Miu Miu 7. Bottega Veneta 8. Alice + Olivia 9. Stella McCartney 10. Miu Miu 11. Victoria Beckham 12. Gucci 13. Balenciaga 14. Fendi 15 & 16. Céline




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Words by MacKenzie Lewis Kassab Photography by Tony Elieh





From a low key start eight years ago as a small fashion hub for emerging talent, Starch today commands global attention Last February, Starch co-founder Tala Hajjar stood waiting for the International Fashion Showcase award winners to be announced. She and nine Starch graduates had traveled to London’s Somerset House to present their entry, “Blueprint Beirut,” an installation dedicated to their Lebanese heritage. They spent hours answering questions from a jury that included 17 experts, among them representatives from The Victoria and Albert Museum, British Fashion Council, Women’s Wear Daily and I-D magazine. “This wasn’t an exhibition where people would walk in, pat you on the back and say, ‘Well done!’” she says of the panel. “The process really began when we had to apply to be accepted.” Starch was up against 23 countries for the British Council’s prestigious competition, so Hajjar oscillated between optimism and realism as she braced for the winning country’s name. The final category? Best Curation. The room erupted in cheers before “Lebanon” finished rolling off the presenter’s tongue. Hajjar’s voice still cracks when she recalls that moment, though with everything that’s happened since, it could have been a lifetime ago. There’s been a flurry of international press and collaboration interest from global brands with household names. “We’ve been put on the map,” she explains. “People are noticing Starch.” When Hajjar teamed up with Lebanese fashion patriarch Rabih Kayrouz to launch Starch in 2008, their mission was, loosely, to support emerging designers. “We simply sat down and said, ‘Ok, how do we help these guys?’” she recalls. Kayrouz explains that the concept hinged on letting young talent be themselves: “We’re not imposing anything. We’re just here to support their choices.” In collaboration with Solidere, they launched the NGO with four fashion designers.

With each year, the foundation’s structure evolved, and they began accepting talent in other disciplines: jewelry, handbags, accessories. “It’s not like we push a button and the concept unrolls. It’s really

taking shape over the years,” Hajjar says. The current year’s designers showcase their collections at the Starch boutique in Beirut, and when it needed a makeover, an architect was welcomed into the program. Starch receives more applicants than they can count. There’s no checklist for choosing who joins the group, but talent, drive, professionalism and character – especially character – all factor into the decision. Hajjar calls the time-consuming selection process the most difficult, but also the most crucial. “It’s not about our taste, because everyone has different taste,” Kayrouz explains. “There’s no politics or personal agenda when it comes to choosing designers. It’s something very simple, something very intuitive.” Hajjar continues, “Something has to stand out, and it’s something that I can’t put into words.” With their method relying heavily on instinct, Hajjar admits there have been a few slip-ups. “It’s like a very delicate recipe,” she says, pointing out that one ill-suited member can affect the rest of the team’s experience. Fortunately, the Starch formula has been fine-tuned over the years, and missteps are few and far between.

In fact, it’s the designers that Hajjar credits with the foundation’s success – they give it credibility. She gushes about Starch alumni like a proud parent, amazed but not surprised by their accomplishments. Womenswear designer Timi Hayek now owns a boutique in Lebanon’s upscale Monot neighborhood. Rayya Morcos was awarded the Woolmark Regional Prize in 2014 for her label, Bird on a Wire. Krikor Jabotian was recently given Hollywood’s seal of approval: American Crime actress Regina King wore his label on three recent red carpets, including this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Of the program’s 33 graduates, most have gone on to “carve a spot in the industry,” Hajjar says. This year promises to be one of Starch’s most exciting. True to their word and the evolution of the program, Kayrouz and Hajjar welcomed applications across categories. This time around, the only criterion was that they must be pushing the boundaries of design. The 2016 lineup debuted at Fashion Forward Dubai in April: a fashion designer and an interior architect, but also a team of product designers, a “design documenter” and a “storyteller.”

As Hajjar reflects on eight years of Starch, she contemplates the highs and lows, the challenges and the achievements. What advice would she give herself at the program’s launch, if she could travel back in time? “I wouldn’t change a single thing,” she says, after a thoughtful pause. “I would just wink at myself and say, ‘It’s going to be amazing, just you wait and see.’” Visit the Starch boutique in Saifi Village, Beirut,


145 2. 1.

4. 3.

1. Sayar & Gharibeh, product designers and interior architects Product design duo Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Gharibeh push simple pieces forward with new materials, forms and humor. They are creating several objects exclusively for Starch, including a sculptural floor lamp and a Lebanese kibbeh plate, which features a motif their mothers carve into the traditional dish with kitchen knives.

2. Lobnan Mahfouz, fashion designer Don’t even attempt to confine Lobnan Mahfouz’s work to one category. The founder of Perverse Label designs unisex and aseasonal pieces intended to transcend gender, culture and even personality. Playing with texture and familiar silhouettes, his work appears to adapt to its individual wearer.

3. Vladimir Kurumilian, interior architect Vladimir Kurumilian’s work is at the intersection of visual art and music. An interior architect, multidisciplinary artist and composer, his mesmerizing video projections and installations often unfold to an original piano soundtrack. Kurumilian was selected by the Starch Foundation to reimagine this year’s Beirut boutique.

4. Sana Asseh, design documenter Sana Asseh’s unusual background in documenting design and manufacturing processes has translated into a minimalist collection of notebooks and picture frames for Starch. Each object explores a different binding or framing technique, altering the way it is used and its contents perceived.



5. Salim Azzam, storyteller and illustrator When local craftswomen tell their stories, Salim Azzam listens – and then recounts them in an illustration. The same women interpret his sketches on the designer’s shirts and dresses using traditional embroidery techniques. Together, they pass on wearable tales from Lebanese villages and communities.

6. Tala Hajjar, Starch co-founder “I wouldn’t change a single thing about Starch. I would just wink at myself and say, ‘It’s going to be amazing, just you wait and see.’”


Words by Sophie Rosemont


Their parents are wealthy, famous and wellconnected giving them automatic entry into the glittering world of fashion, film and privilege. In 2016 it’s all about celebrity offspring


Lily-Rose Depp, Dylan Penn, Iris Law, Anais Gallagher, Alice Attal, Thylane Blondeau, Nine and Violette d’Urso, Kaia Gerber, Willow and Jaden Smith… you may recognize the last names but not necessarily the first. Or maybe you will. For these sons and daughters of stars in the world of entertainment seem to be everywhere. There are no more taboos when it comes to celebrity offspring. In the 2010s it’s as if, like royals, the children of the rich and famous are destined through privilege and opportunity to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Nowhere is this more true than in republican France, where a recent book has lifted the lid on this ‘new aristocracy’ revealing the way in which prominent roles in politics, business and culture are passed from members of the ruling elite to their children.

The journalists Aurore Gorius and Anne-Noémie Dorion argue in their book, Sons and Daughters of . . . Investigation into the New French Aristocracy, that the practice has undermined social mobility and fuelled public discontent with an ever more entrenched ruling caste based in Paris.

Lily-Rose Depp

The result is the creation of the equivalent of a royal court in which “the sons and daughters are the future princes and princesses”, the authors write. The children of artists, politicians, bosses and sportsmen benefit fully from the notoriety and success of their parents. And they are getting younger and younger.

© Shutterstock, Getty images

Fils et filles de — sons and daughters of — has passed into French language as shorthand for the pampered children who are parachuted into plum civil service posts or star cinema roles thanks to their parentage.

rare and FFDs such as Julie Depardieu and Charlotte Gainsbourg are the toast of the César awards and the Cannes festival. And while some are talented, others are less so. The point is that celebrity children have the right to a second, third, sixth, even seventh chance, whereas if it doesn’t work out the first time for an unknown then you’re done. Then there’s the anointing, a modern day version of a debutantes’ ball. Arguably one of the new stars with talent is Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Jonny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, now model and actor at just 16. Her first appearance came during Chanel’s Métiers d’Art in March last year in New York.

Georgia May Jagger

But the rise in celebrity offspring is also spurred by commercial considerations and the industries and brands for whom celebrity endorsement is key. Fashion brands adore them as do movie agents, modeling agents and music agents. They embody a trans-generational crossover, sustainability and a certain cachet mixed with a newness, a sense of the here and now.

“Her mother left her the spotlight during the photocall,” remembers Dorion. “On the catwalk Lily-Rose Depp was an aristocratic vision of fashion inspired by the Austrian court and in the crowd watching there were many more children of stars (Tali Lennox, Lily Collins, Dylan Penn, Dakota Johnson, the daughters of Andie MacDowell). It’s today’s version of an aristocratic rite of passage. From one day to another, Lily-Rose’s followers on Instagram multiplied exponentially.”

Today, she has 1.5 million, an impressive number for her young age. She’s already appeared in two of her father’s movies and is co-starring with Natalie Portman in Rebecca Zlotowski’s forthcoming film Planetarium. Last summer she modeled in the Perles de Chanel campaign wowing the fashion crowd and on the cover of the recent issue of the magazine Love, she appears magnetic: mouth underlined with fuchsia, eyes covered in turquoise and yellow…


“This phenomenon occurs in many different spheres: economical, political… and cultural in the broad sense, along with fashion,” says Gorius. “Looking for fame is more and more important; the [celebrity’s] name has become a heritage, transmitted from generation to generation. And we are in the midst of a Warhol moment – everyone wants to be famous. Especially, and including, the children of stars, who want to be as famous as their parents and even more so. And it can be very easy. Why would you resist?”

Nowhere are the FFDs more visible than in cinema. French actors without a relative in the business are

“Great couturiers such as Karl Lagerfeld love having young faces in order to appropriate the aura of the father or the mother. The advantage with Lily-Rose, is that there are both,” says Gorius.

Across the pond in the US, the likes of Willow and Jaden Smith, the children of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, are obvious examples. They were almost born mini-stars and have always acted like them, easily flitting between acting, fashion and music without a problem. The rise


Kaia Gerber

Dylan Penn

and rise of social media has helped – Jaden is an actor with 2.5million Instagram followers known as much among his youthful fans for his former relationship with model Kylie Jenner while his sister, a singer, has 1million. They are fashion (and any other) brands’ dreams – in fact they are brands in their own right. Perhaps the difference with child stars of the past and other famous offspring like Chiara Mastroianni and Romane Bohringer is that the latter tend to keep an extremely low profile, embarrassed almost by the fame of their parents. In 2016 that’s completely disappeared and everything is acceptable, again in no small part due to social media. Networks like Instagram allow the sons and daughters of celebrities to post their pedigrees for all to see, and use them to their advantage.

15-year-old Iris Law posts pictures of her parents Sadie Frost and Jude Law when they were still married to her 14 000 Instagram followers. 18-year-old Lottie Moss, posts pics of her more famous step-sister Kate to her 47, 000 followers, while fellow 18-year-old Immy Waterhouse,

does not hide her chumminess with older sister Suki and youngest Charlie to her 61 000 followers, keen as she is to follow in the footsteps of her siblings. Anais Gallagher, 15, doesn’t hesitate to share with her 60 000 followers pictures of daddy Noel Gallagher and mum Meg Mathews. We see that she has chosen (for now) the model’s career path rather than the musician’s. Fashion it appears is the most easily accessible of playgrounds for FFDs without yet a discernible talent.

“When we do not have a well-defined talent yet, especially at this age, posing or [going down the] catwalk is easier, this requires less know-how than being an actor,” says Gorius. Though it doesn’t mean you can’t change your path later. Dylan Penn (24, 18k followers) after studying in New York modeled in an ad for Gap before acting in two movies. Other celeb offspring remain in fashion like Georgia May Jagger or Ireland Baldwin who, at 20 has already posed for a September issue of the American Elle.

Utlimately, according to Gorius and Dorion, “The [famous] name has become like an entry ticket allowing people to jump queues, start a career – regardless of whether or not there is talent.” And “with the industrialization of culture,” says Dorion, “the name has become a brand.” And it’s here to stay.

© Shutterstock, Getty images


Words by Fifi Abou Dib



A Mag sits down with the French-Algerian actor in Paris to talk upbringing, acting and how at 35 he’s already an old soul PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCEL HARTMANN

This page: Blazer by Brunello Cucinelli, T-shirt by Hedi Slimane for Yves Saint Laurent Opposite page: Shirt by Moncler, trousers by Corneliani





“I am fascinated by characters who have given up the hope of being good, who have become lawless,” he says. “I want to explore this condition, to express myself in a world I do not know, to love a character you do not like.”



Previous page: Coat by Gucci, trousers by Pal Zileri This page: Jumper from Dior Homme, trousers from Ermenegildo Zegna Opposite page: Shirt by Hedi Slimane for Yves Saint Laurent


Though impeccably manicured and elegant, Tahar Rahim’s polite façade masks a man who seems more familiar with the dark. After all, his defining film roles – from a petty criminal rising through the ranks of prison society in A Prophet to a dry-cleaner with dubious family troubles in The Past – all suggest an inclination towards iniquity.

“I am fascinated by characters who have given up the hope of being good, who have become lawless,” he says. “I want to explore this condition, to express myself in a world I do not know, to love a character you do not like.”

Rahim’s French-Algerian heritage meant a childhood in Belfort, a city in northeastern France, and vacations to his parents’ homeland in North Africa. He describes himself as being bored in Belfort, although this restless period was a formative one. “This is where my love for this world offered me an opening, forced me to dream,” he says. He began staging short plays with his childhood companions, revealing, “I could pretend very well that I was mute... or epileptic by creating a lather of aspirin in my mouth.” These thespian tendencies were honed by acting classes and film school in Montpellier; “one does not become an actor overnight,” he says. Eventually, he moved to Paris. Although he has played Arab heroes in Free Men and in Black Gold – as an Algerian-immigrant-turned-French-

resistance-fighter and a desert warrior, respectively – he is wary of being defined as a role model for Maghrebi communities in France. First and foremost, he is an actor – regardless of ethnic background. “Algeria is half of my culture,” he says when asked what the country means to him. “Just like Belfort – it is where I discovered my first emotions.” At just 35 the actor already describes himself as an old soul. “I was much more youthful six years ago,” he confesses. In the world of film, where one is made younger and older, lighter and darker by the demands of each role, Rahim remains undeniably himself. Tahar Rahim will next be seen in Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest, La Femme de la Plaque Argentique costarring Mathieu Amalric; and Katell Quillévéré’s Réparer Les Vivants in which he co-stars with Emmanuelle Seigner.

Words by Talib Choudhry

CAN A FASHION DESIGNER DO FURNITURE? MATTHEW WILLIAMSON CAN From boho-beaded gowns, he has shifted his gaze to interiors. So say hello to marbled sofas and parrots on the wall

Š Simon Bevan/Telegraph Media Group 2016/The Interview People


It is a grey February day but, inside Matthew Williamson’s north London apartment, the decor – and the mood – are bright. I am invited to take a seat on a capacious velvet sofa while the Mancunian designer finishes a meeting with his team around the dining table. It’s over in a flash, and a gaggle of girls in embellished jackets heads for the door as Williamson swoops over, all apologies and air kisses. At this time of year he would usually be consumed by fashion week preparation, but as he isn’t showing this season, the sense of relief is palpable. For the past few months Williamson has been taking stock both literally and figuratively – the autumn/winter 2015 collection was the last that the label shipped to global stockists and its swish Mayfair flagship closed in July. ‘There’s nothing more exciting than putting on a show but I’m less stressed without that biannual slog and the constant fashion cycle, which I’ve been doing for the past 20 years,” Williamson says, his languid northern inflection at odds with his sharp, otherworldly features. “A lot of fashion reporters have referred to the changes in the business as a downsize but actually it’s the opposite of that. We have taken a big pivot from saying “let’s make clothes” to “let’s stretch and do something more”.’ That ‘something more’ is an attempt to transform his eponymous label from a purveyor of pretty, boho-glam clothes into a fully fledged lifestyle brand, with a new furniture collection for sofa-manufacturer Duresta, joining the fabric and wallpaper ranges he already produces for Osborne & Little. Set to launch later this month at London’s Harrods, the boldly upholstered seating and ornate tables will also be for sale on Williamson’s newly revamped website.

“We’re still making clothes and we’re still a crazily busy team but I wanted to introduce new passions that I’ve had as I’ve aged, one of which is interiors,” Williamson explains. “It feels like the right time to immerse my customer in this world. I’m assuming that if she buys a £1,000 dress, she’ll probably want a butterfly marbled armchair to sit on and some parrots on her wall... Who knows?” Williamson is hoping that his clients will make the leap from fashion to home with him. He clearly knows his customer and has long had the ability to attract a harem of high-profile supporters; Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger modelled bias-cut dresses in jewel colours for his first collection in 1997. The show lasted only seven minutes and featured 14 looks but the supermodel stamp of approval helped to catapult the label to commercial success. The brand’s colourful, optimistic, bohemian style has changed little since – something fashion cognoscenti have sniffed at – but as the label matures and diversifies Williamson has used this to his advantage. “We’ve never been a trend-led brand and I’m not tempted to curveball any more and try to do something that’s supposedly really cool and happening,” says Williamson. “I would call our look ‘organised bohemia’. It draws on louche, laidback glamour. It’s ‘done’ but there’s an effortless quality to it. People laugh at me because I have all these vintage pieces and knick-knacks at home but my cushions have to be in the right order. They’re currently not and that’s driving me crazy.” Williamson has spent the past two years contemplating cushions and upholstery fabrics while developing the Duresta collection. In keeping with his personal style,


the furniture is eye-catching and eclectic; shapes inspired by diverse eras (rococo, Victorian, 1950s) are covered in kaleidoscopic colours and prints, including Williamson’s signature butterfly motifs and abstracted feathers. “I really enjoyed the design process, and I think the Duresta team were surprised at how much I cared,” he says. “I didn’t just want to go, ‘Here’s my name; bring something out.’ I really got my teeth into it. Like with my clothes, you can’t be a shrinking violet to buy them.” For the less adventurous there are also plain velvets and tweeds, and although you could have a matching three-piece suite in jade-green marbled fabric, Williamson envisages people using the furniture as he would – as bold statement pieces mixed with existing furnishings.

‘I don’t know what the rules are in interior design,’ he says. ‘Kelly Hoppen is a good friend and she has millions of rules about what you should put where but I don’t like to be prescriptive. I don’t like to be symmetrical. I absolutely want people to be able to dip in and out of the collection. I’ve learnt that the eclecticism of my style is a strength.’ For more info see,



show me yours




Shirt and skirt Marc Jacobs



Dress Proenza Schouler, socks Miu Miu





Top Miu Miu, jeans Stella McCartney



Dress Celine, jacket Yves Saint Laurent


Stella McCartney


Jumper and shorts Christian Dior, earring Celine


Shirt and skirt Marc Jacobs, shoes Dior


Jumper Marc Jacobs, skirt Miu Miu, shoes Dior


Jumper Marc Jacobs Hair by Yoshitaka Miyazaki Make up by Joanna Banach Model Maddie Kulicka @Next



A Mag did a street cast for new faces among the kids of Beirut. Photographer Oliver Hadlee Pearch and stylist Emilie Kareh gave us their inimitable vision. Meet Andréa, Mayssa, Léa, Sarah and Alexia PHOTOGRAPHY BY OLIVER HADLEE PEARCH

Andréa wears DVF and Gucci shoes





She’s wearing an Emilio Pucci top


Léa wears Chloé


LĂŠa wears Proenza Schouler with Prada shoes


Léa wears Alexander McQueen


LĂŠa wears Altuzarra


Sarah wears Miu Miu with Prada bag


AndrĂŠa wears Miu Miu top and Marni skirt with Nancy Gonzalez bag


LĂŠa wears Sonia Rykiel with Miu Miu shoes


She’s wearing Mayssa wears an MiuEmilio Miu pants Pucciwith top a Sonia Rykiel top


Alexia wears Sonia Rykiel



Mayssa wears Chloé shoes & skirt and a Rag & Bone top, Andréa wears Alexander McQueen

Summer 192






She wears a Gucci dress, Olympia Le Tan clutch and Fausto Puglisi earrings


She’s in a Stella McCartney jumpsuit and Loewe earrings


She wears a Fausto Puglisi dress and Gucci rings


Gucci pants and shoes, Rosetta Getty top and Fausto Puglisi earrings


She wears a Proenza Schouler dress and Gucci earrings


She wears a Gucci dress, MiuMiu earrings and Mykita glasses


She’s in a white dress and a denim dress, both Stella McCartney, Gucci shoes, Ca&Lou earrings Hair by Ivan Kuz Make up by Ivanna Salameh Model Agne Konciute @Wilhelmina


Top Emilio Pucci

“Rebellion without youth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert,” wrote Khalil Gibran. Alexander Neumann brings radical summer fashions to life against the ochre shades of the Peruvian wilderness PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEXANDER NEUMANN






Total look CĂŠline


Jacket Kenzo. Shoes CĂŠline


Knit and Skirt Prada



Coat Ellery. Shoes CĂŠline


Suit Dries Van Noten


Top Dior


Dress Marni



Jacket and Pants Altuzarra


Jacket Ellery


Jacket Ellery


Top Dior


Top and Skirt Balenciaga


Knit and Skirt Prada Hair by Shynia nakagawa @artlist Make up by Eduardo Arens Model Ros Georgiou @ the society







Irina wears a dress by Proenza Schouler and Balenciaga earrings


Irina wears a Christian Dior top, dress and choker


Anine is in blue top, white top and bermuda trousers, choker, shoes and bag all by Christian Dior


Anine wears pinstripe shirt and knickers, pinstripe light cotton coat and ballet flats, all by Miu Miu


Irina is in Marni dress, t-shirt, earrings, bangles and shoes


Irina wears Sonia Rykiel shirt, trousers and fur stole and Repossi earrings


Anine is in summer printe top and trousers, bag and shoes, all by Sonia Rykiel


Irina is in ChloĂŠ dress and AurĂŠlie Bidermann necklace


Anine wears black and white silk and lace slip dress, earrings and red shoes, all by CĂŠline


Irina wears CĂŠline top, trousers and earrings with Repossi rings


Loewe top, trousers and shoes and a ring by Balenciaga


Irina wears a total look by Miu Miu


Yves Saint Laurent dress and tiara


Anine is in graphic top and skirt, black and white shoes, round earrings and veil, all by Prada


Irina is in Prada jacket, veil and earrings Anine’s hair by Anthony Preel @Airport Irina’s hair by Tomoko Ohama @Caliste Anine’s make up by Chiao Chenet @Airport Irina’s make up by Tiina Roivainen @Airport Models Anine Van Velzen @IMG Irina Liss @Supreme




Jacket Marni, Skirt Prada, Shoes Prada



Swimsuit Alexandre Vauthier, Shoes MiuMiu



Jumpsuit Shakuhashi, Shoes Alexander McQueen, Bag Balenciaga

Swimsuit Issa, Scarf Loewe


Crop Proenza Schouler



Swimsuit Marysia, Skirt MiuMiu, Shoes Celine, Hat Inverni

Skirt and Shoes Prada



Swimsuit Lisa Marie Fernandez, Shoes Alexander McQueen, Bag Prada

Swimsuit Alexandre Vauthier



Jacket Sonia Rykiel, Swimsuit Ermano Scervino, Accessories Marni


Sleeveless white top MiuMiu, Yellow top Sonia Rykiel, Bag Prada, Shoes Alexander McQueen

Pants Adam Lippes, Swimsuit Marysia, Shoes Celine, Sunglasses Nikita



Skirt MiuMiu, Shoes Celine


White sleevless MiuMiu, Yellow top Sonia Rykiel

Crop Marni, Shorts Sonia Rykiel, Towel Dsquared2



Crop and Skirt Lisa Marie Fernandez, Jacket Alaia, Shoes Valentino, Sunglasses Fendi Hair by Ivan Kuz Make up by Ivanna Salameh Model Maria Zubtsova @Velvet Management

Playful, seductive, beautiful, timeless. To be a bride in 2016 is to have the world at your feet with outfits from Dior, Zimmerman, Prada, Margiela as well as the brand new bridal range from quintessential designer Elie Saab. Witness anew Saab’s signature embroideries and more in this exclusive shoot for A Mag on location in the equally timless Aley in Mount Lebanon






Elie Saab dress and veil, Maison Margiela jacket, Cartier necklace


Zimmermann dress, Tabbah earrings


Eli Saab dress, Tabbah earrings and necklaces


Giambattista Valli jacket


Elie Saab dress, Cartier earrings


Christian Dior dress, Cartier necklace, Elie Saab veil


Cushnie Et Ochs jumpsuit, Bulgari necklace and earrings


Zimmermann dress, Tabbah earrings, Alaia shoes


Prada dress, Giambattista Valli jacket


Maison Margiela dress, Georges Hakim earrings, Gianvito Rossi shoes


Bora Aksu dress, Bulgari earrings Hair by Ivan Kuz, Make up by Ivanna Salameh, Model Agne Konciute @Wilhelmina


The contrast made by the sun and shade,each soIN separate and LIGHT distinct, gives our OF THINGS ingénue the chance to experience light and dark in equal measure PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSE LAITINEN




She wears a tiger brocade high-collared dress by Gucci


Featured here: a dress by Valentino and Prada necklace


She wears a coat and blouse by Pucci and Prada earrings


Here, lounging in a Prada coat, roll-neck by Dior


It was, then, the way I like it best: Made, as I was, by the weather, so aware By the contrast of the sun and shade, Each so separate on my skin

She is wearing a top by Dior and a choker by Prada


She is wearing a Valentino dress


Reclined, in a silk robe by Gucci


She appears in a floral shirt and patterned coat by Pucci, with Prada earrings


Top and shorts both by Dolce & Gabbana, and a Prada choker


She wears a striped top by Prada, a Dior camisole and leather trousers, as well as Dior boots


She wears a dress by Gucci Hair by Hiroshi Matsushita Make up by Joanna Banach Model Sharon Timmer @Select

Camper Beirut souks, Souk El Tawileh Street, Beirut central district • Aïshti by the Sea, B1 Level, Antelias • Beirut City Center, Level 1, Hazmieh

She is wearing a dress and necklace, both by Céline







She’s in a dress by Céline. Her earrings are Dior


Dress and shoes are CĂŠline. She wears a silver bracelet by Balenciaga and one in yellow and green by CĂŠline. Earrings by Dior Right: She holds a Loewe bag


She’s wearing a dress by Stella McCartney. Her bracelets are Céline and Balenciaga, with Céline earrings. And she’s carrying a Stella McCartney bag




The dress is CĂŠline The backpack is Miu Miu

She is in a dress by Stella McCartney, bracelet by CĂŠline and Balenciaga earrings, holding a bag by Saint Laurent



She wears a Rosetta Getty top and Stella McCartney skirt and Balenciaga heels, the earrings, in green, are Oscar de La Renta Top The pineapple earrings are Dsquared



Seen here in a bathing suit by Lisa Marie Fernandez, shoes by Alexander McQueen and a Prada bag

The purse and keychain, both CĂŠline


She wears pants by Stella McCartney. The boots are Saint Laurent


She’s wearing an Yves Saint Laurent dress with a Dior necklace and Balenciaga earrings



She is wearing a top by Alexander Wang and skirt by CĂŠline, with Dior heels


Seen here in a Balenciaga top and CĂŠline skirt. Her shoes are by Alexander McQueen

Photography by Raya Farhat

#INSTABEAUTY Yves Saint Laurent No. 70 Peace Green Nail Polish


Instawhat? Remember those bygone summers of youth spent cutting and chopping through magazines to collage together dreams and identities? We take old gossip papers, add our most wanted and new summer 2016 desires and instagram the hell out of them, innit! Press like now

All images sourced from previous issues in our Gossip paper archives


Armani PrivĂŠ Vert Malachite Eau de Parfum

Spring from Lancôme with Love Blush

Yves Saint Laurent, No 70 Peace Green, No 69 Love Pink Nail Polish


Chanel Illusion d’Ombre, No. 126 Eyeshadow Griffith Green

Giorgio Armani, Luxe is More Nude Eyeshadows and Contouring Face Palette



Armani PrivĂŠ Rouge Malachite Eau de Parfum

Lanc么me My Parisian All-Over Illuminating Powder Cubes


Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour, Hot Rose


Roberto Cavalli Paradiso Azzurro Eau de Parfum


Words by Lucille Howe


The world’s most exclusive day spa is coming to Lebanon. More precisely it’s coming to Aïshti by the Sea. Prepare to welcome the oasis of calm and exclusivity that is Urban Retreat


Created by entrepreneur and fashion and beauty guru, George Hammer, as the world’s

first super-salon concept when it opened in Harrods in 2002 – Urban Retreat’s guiding principle is quality and luxury all round. One of his innovations was the creation of a Haute Parfumerie featuring a special collection of the most coveted scents from top perfume houses providing guests with personal perfume consultations.

Alongside the first such parfumerie in Beirut, the glamour squad that will be at shoppers’ disposal includes 250 employees, working over 25,000 square feet of not only beautifully designed but perfectly considered space. There are 12 beauty therapy rooms, a tattoo removal expert, a dedicated MediSpa room using the latest laser technology, a Trichology

© Courtesy Urban Retreat

It says a lot that London’s most exclusive, and best, urban day spa is opening its first international branch at Aïshti by the Sea. Although in truth there really is no better fit and no better location. Urban Retreat, on the fifth floor of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, is London’s go-to health and beauty super-salon for those in the know. The difference with Urban Retreat at Aïshti by the Sea is that it will host a membersonly gym, rooftop pool and café-restaurant creating a destination to work out in and enjoy stunning sea views, and access the world’s finest brands and what will be the best treatments across Beirut.

URBAN RETREAT WILL HOUSE A MEMBERS ONLY GYM, CAFE AND ROOFTOP POOL AS WELL AS THE LUXURY DAY SPA and Hair Medica Centre, a luxury hair salon with 14 styling stations, as well as manicures and pedicures delivered in line with the most current trends, by fully qualified technicians. A special retail emporium is also on site offering exclusive products including smaller independent luxury brands that cannot be found anywhere else in Beirut. Add to this star visits from the likes of international make-up guru, Ruby Hammer, and hair stylist, Andrew Barton, as well as leading doctors in cosmetic treatments and what you find is the ultimate hair and beauty destination.

As exciting as the wealth of expertise, service and treatments that Urban Retreat is bringing to Aïshti by the Sea, equally trend setting is the private members gym and pool, which has more in common with world-renowned global members club Soho House than a dropin day spa and salon. The philosophy is simple: an add-on member’s club allows cardholders to experience quality dining, pampering and – inevitably – networking, amid luxurious and fashionable design and architecture. At Urban Retreat, members will have access to a spectacular rooftop pool and terrace with views of the ocean, as well as gym facilities where you can expect, and demand, privacy. The Urban Retreat Café is bringing the same quality of food, drink and service to be found in Harrods to Aishti – multi-award-winning chef Pete Taylor’s menu which includes a rare tuna niçoise salad and a stunning Cornish crab linguini provide a luxury dining experience on a par with the world’s best. So if your idea of heaven is clinching that designer dress or suit, having people make you look fabulous, and finally showing that off to your influential peers... then welcome to what you’ve been waiting for.

Pamper and Champers

Pair a VIP treatment with a de-stressing cocktail, then take your Zen to the exquisite café or up on the Urban Retreat roof terrace for some summer rays… The hands have it First, enjoy an Artpro manicure where your nails are soaked and shaped, and your cuticles tidied up. Your technician will personalise a hand massage for you, and apply white gel colour, ready for your Artpro design. Using the latest inkjet technology, this fabulous machine can print any image, pattern or logo onto your nails, from a photo of your prize pooch to your most liked selfie #MakeYourFriendsJealous Finish with a Cucumber and Mint Martini Ingredients: 2 inch piece of cucumber, 50 ml vodka, 25ml apple juice, 6.25ml gomme syrup, cubed ice to shake. Men matter The signature men’s facial begins with a steam and exfoliation using a specially formulated cleansing brush. Now you’re prepped for any extractions and high frequency will be used to reduce any redness, leaving the skin in an antibacterial state. Next, a gentle vacuum is applied to encourage lymphatic drainage, before a face and eye mask works its magic and you enjoy a foot massage. Finish with a Pressed Carrot Juice Bloody Mary. Ingredients: 50ml Bloody Mary spice mix (tabasco, worcester sauce, garlic, celery salt, black pepper, lemon juice, English mustard, Oxo cube), 50ml vodka, 125ml fresh carrot juice, cubed ice. Whatever the weather-colour The James Read Tanning Studio will give you the kind of honey-hued tans you’d see on Californian skateboarders in the 70s. Choose from a one-night wash off tan, to an upper or lower body blast, or a full body, single or double application. For the best results, pay careful attention to the pre-tan checklist: 1/ Exfoliate your skin the night before, especially dry areas. 2/ Avoid waxing or shaving in the run up to your treatment. 3/ Wear dark, loose clothing to your appointment. Finish with a Blueberry Mimosa. Ingredients: 50ml blueberry purée, champagne. Made up With a host of celebrities sharing perfectly-poised selfies on a daily basis, it’s your turn to play around with makeup with the help of industry professionals. Drawing from a booty of brands, from Airbase to Surrat, you’ll learn how to match colour with your skin type, contour and enhance your features. Perfect prep for any event, whether you’re a bride or barfly. Finish with a Granny’s Apple and Ginger Cooler. Ingredients: Fresh apple juice (approximately three small Granny Smith apples per glass), ginger juice, 25ml Crème de Gingembre, 25ml gin, cubed ice.




A誰shti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 274 and all A誰zone stores T. 01 99 11 11

Words by Giles Hattersley


The world’s top model on a successful Hollywood career, steady girlfriend and even talk of babies

© Terry Richardson / The Interview People


I meet Cara Delevingne in LA, where she is spending a few months in exile from the British paparazzi before decamping to Paris to shoot the new Luc Besson film. Style has taken over bungalow three at the Chateau Marmont (the one John Belushi overdosed in... best not dwell) for an epic all-day shoot with the world’s most famous pair of eyebrows. Delevingne is down by the pool when I arrive, looking spookily beautiful in floor-length evening wear while being photographed by Ellen von Unwerth. Obviously, “beautiful” isn’t her chosen vibe, so before long she’s clambering onto a lilo and paddling towards the middle of the pool. A clutch of passing tourists start giggling as she attempts to stand on the flimsy inflatable device in 4in Louboutins, with predictable results. Splash!

“I’m such an attention-seeker,” she winces later as she towels off. Fair play that Delevingne fancied a shower after her fashion dip, but she has dressed for our one-on-one on the sofa in a towel the size of a J-cloth. She’s 23, but still sees it as her moral duty to break rules with the verve of a teenager. Which I’m guessing is why she talks up her role as the current face of YSL Beauté while simultaneously taking it off. Well, I say “talks up”. What’s your best make-up tip, Cara? “I don’t wear make-up.” Not even lipstick? “I can’t, because I’ve got eyebrows the size of Texas,” she says, her visage morphing into that of a comedy Joker as she goes at it with a face wipe. “Lipstick and eyebrows don’t really work unless you have a lot of eyes on, in my opinion. I’ll wear f****** tracksuits every day and not really care.” She concedes that she occasionally enjoys glamming up for work. “To look in the mirror and be, like, ‘Oh, that’s what I can look like...’” The rest of the bungalow is humming with the crazy circus that follows Delevingne everywhere. A French modelling agent, her Hollywood manager and personal publicist are all lurking, to say nothing of a new designer puppy and her rock-star girlfriend, Annie Clark, better known by her stage name, St Vincent (who Cara may or may not have proposed to at the top of the Eiffel Tower earlier this year). The pair have been debating whether to head to Vegas tonight, but they can’t seem to make a decision. “We’ll talk about it after. I love you!” Delevingne cries, blowing her a kiss as Clark heads off. Meanwhile the dog – a huskyish crossbreed called Leo that fashion fans might recognise from when he accompanied his mistress to the Chanel show in February – does laps of the room while her retinue try to grab him. Cara is indisposed, having a manicure. It all feels quite starry. In fact, after five minutes with her, I start to wonder if she might be in the midst of that unsettling phenomenon known as peak fame. The most successful – certainly the most talked-about – model of her generation, last year she did the near impossible and segued to film stardom with the lead role in the YA sleeper hit Paper Towns. With two industries now rabidly fawning over her – and with 30m followers online – her life appears to be a weird combination of mass exposure and nervy hiding. One minute she’s tweeting photos direct from her bed, the next she’s scurrying out of restaurants with a coat over her head.

Today, her mind-set appears to be somewhere between the two. She’s friendly, if also a bit too cool. Naturally, she’s thrilled by her film career. “I think people are going to have a problem with seeing me as an actress

DO YOU FEEL OK WITH THE TERM ROLE MODEL, I ASK. “I HOPE I’M NOT AN ANTI ROLE MODEL,” SHE SNAPS BACK. “IF PEOPLE LOOK UP TO ME, THAT’S THEIR CHOICE” for a while,” she shrugs, still wiping away at her face. “People love putting people in boxes, and I will be a model-turned-actress for a bit. Whatever. I’ve always wanted to do other things, but the bigger you become in modelling, the harder that seems to do. I can’t believe I’m working and meeting all these directors who I’ve looked up to for so long.”

Actually, she has real screen charisma – even if it’s the opposite kind to her godmother Joan Collins’s sort. On camera, as in person, she fizzes with cool-girl vulnerability and is racking up potential blockbusters. This summer sees the release of the comic-book opus Suicide Squad, with co-stars Will Smith and Jared Leto, and she is currently filming next year’s highly anticipated space odyssey, Valerian. I suspect there are only so many times you can attempt to make a trench coat look cool and sexy for Mario Testino before you’re ready for a change, so good on her. Though I bet she still earns more for a few days’ advertising YSL than she has for most of her film work thus far. Not that she seems to be about the money. In fact, though acting and modelling are the conduit, the most fascinating thing about Delevingne is her extraordinary relationship with her fans. Kids may obsess over Kendall and Gigi for “living the dream”, with their pricy wardrobes and boyband boyfriends, but something about Cara cuts deeper. Is it her love life that her increasingly gender-nebulous generation thrill to? She has dated all sorts, from the action megababe Michelle Rodriguez to British workingclass arty types such as Jake Bugg and Jack O’Connell. She has also been upfront about her rougher times, including coping with learning difficulties, stress-induced psoriasis at the peak of her modelling fame, a mother who struggles with drug addiction, and a time – in her mid-teens – when she was suicidal to the point of requiring antidepressants. Do you feel OK with the term role model, I ask. “I hope I’m not an anti role model,” she snaps back. “If people look up to me, that’s their choice. I don’t strive for that, but I do want to give a positive message about what I believe in.” Recently this has included a sustained slagging-off of Donald Trump on Instagram. Doubtless, he would think a quirky British yoof model is beneath contempt, but a shot of her posing on a visit to the White House, with a caption calling him out for not believing in climate change, got 1.2m likes. “The youth of today – especially the kids growing up now – have so much power to change things that are wrong



with our society,” she says. “It’s important that they have somebody to look up to, whether it’s me or someone else.”

She worries about kids online – especially after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that a “dislike” button is coming to Facebook. “If you can go around disliking someone’s pictures, that is going to set off a whole new wave of bullying,” she cautions. “These companies are making so much money, they just want the new thing. If it’s something that is going to cause people harm, I really think we should steer against that. ‘Like’ away — but if you have a bad thought about someone, keep it to yourself.” It’s this sort of attitude that has turned Delevingne into a lightning rod for millions of girls (and boys). “They’re wonderful. Loyal, crazy, individual, honest,” she says of her army of followers. What is it about you that they respond to? “I think they just appreciate that I strive to work hard and be the opposite of perfect, try to be as vulnerable and real as I possibly can be when I’m not all dolled up and stuff.” She pulls a goofy face, the make-up nearly gone now. “You know, I’m just like everybody else,” she says. Obviously, I don’t buy that, but they do identify with her take on life. Do you get fan feedback about mentalhealth issues or sexuality? “Uh-huh.” What are the themes? “I get really lovely letters, saying about how I’ve helped people realise stuff that they’re going through,” she says. Such as? “How to be able to be honest with someone — or relationship or family stuff.”

Vogue reported last year that her own family thought her bisexuality was “a phase”, but fans clearly see her quietly getting on with any sort of relationship she fancies as pretty inspirational. “They’re always very thankful to me, and it’s crazy because I feel like they help me just as much.”

Things seem fine on the home front now. Her dad, Charles, a property developer, and her mother, Pandora, queen bee of personal shopping at Selfridges, raised their three girls in Chelsea and Battersea, and are, by all accounts, fabulously social. Delevingne was scouted at the school gates, aged 5, as her friend from primary school’s mum was

Sarah Doukas (Kate Moss’s agent). Because of her mother’s issues with drugs, when Cara was photographed dropping a baggie of some sort of powder outside their front door in 2013, people jumped to conclusions. But that’s quietened down now.

Do you hike? “I do.” Do you juice? “Who doesn’t juice? I love that LA life of being healthy.” This includes your new dog, supposedly. Did you want one for ages? “Er, no, actually. I wanted a baby for a while.” A baby? She starts laughing and shrugs. “But I thought, well...” she trails off, letting the various obstacles hang in the air. Recent tabloid reports claim that she’s proposed to her girlfriend, broken up with her, or that they’ve secretly been engaged for months, so who knows what’s going on there? When I ask if she has seen her parents much lately, she replies: “It’s been a while. I miss them so much.” But a few weeks later, she, Annie, mum, dad, Poppy and Chloe, pop up on her Instagram, hugging and beaming, so I guess things are fine. Clearly all talk of “phases” has passed. Though for a girl who lives so publicly online, there are still plenty of secrets. “I think everybody’s social media is never going to be completely honest,” she says. “Imagine if they were. ‘Hey, I just took a shit.’ That would be great,” she says, snorting with laughter. The trouble is, when you tap your phone, 30m people see what you’re up to. Does that feel powerful? “It does,” she says, thoughtfully. Then adds: “It is frickin’ weird, though.” Cara Delevingne is the face of YSL Beauté Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks, available at Aïshti

available in all a誰zone stores, t: //



It’s been mocked and misunderstood. But Brutalism has produced some of the most sublime, aweinspiring buildings on the planet. Graphic designer Peter Chadwick fell in love with the movement at an early age and documents brutalism on Twitter @brutalhouse and in a new book from Phaidon published this May. Here at A Mag we don’t need an excuse to feature stunning images of buildings we love – but it’s always nice to have one. This Brutal World is both an homage to Brutalism and a visual manifesto celebrating the most compelling of 20th century architectural styles – recently seen on the big screen in the movie version of J.G.Ballard’s dark novel High Rise. Moreover the book, packed with quotations from the great and the good, demonstrates the international reach of Brutalism and its ongoing influence today, including projects from the late Zaha Hadid in Montpellier to Lebanon’s very own Khalil Khoury with his InterDesign building in Beirut. Need we say more... Opposite: Trans World Airlines (TWA) Terminal, JFK Airport, New York, 1962 by Eero Saarinen and Associates



Grand Central Water Tower, Midrand, South Africa, 1996 by GAPP Architects and Urban Designers. Courtesy GAPP Architects


Above: Centro de Exposiç�es do Centro Administrativo da Bahia, Bahia, Brazil, 1974 by João Filgueiras Lima, (Lelé). Courtesy Fran Parente Below: Casar de Cáceres Bus Station, Cáceres, Spain, 2003 by Justo Garciá Rubio. Courtesy Justo Garciá Rubio



Above: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico, 2011 by Bunker Arquitectura. Courtesy Bunker Arquitectura Below: Pierresvives, Montpellier, France, 2012 by Zaha Hadid Architects


Av a i l a b l e a t A 誰 z o n e s t o r e s + 961 1 9 9 11 11

joh nva r

Words and photography by Ayla Hibri


In the first of an exclusive series of artist visions for A Mag, Ayla Hibri documents what it means to become a woman of a certain age in Lebanon

Youth is a fleeting phenomenon, one we can see from the outside until it is gone. When we are young time is irrelevant. We are careless and free, curious and wild, impulsive and immature. We are in the moment, high on life, and plotting plans for when “we grow up.” And then one day, from nowhere, it’s over and we’re grown. We are now the people we’ve been preparing to be without time to hide behind. We must accept who we are and just be. We are aware of our mortality and determined to live the life we have left in the most magnificent way possible. With this project, I reflect on youth through the life experiences of six older women. I listened to their stories, sought their advice, and learned from them. Learned that there is no one right strategy on how to be the best we can be. Learned that we are all products of our time, our history, our experiences, our complexes, our social and economic backgrounds and, as some believe, even our past lives. Learned that one thing is certain: youth is not finite... it is a state of mind.


Madame Vasilis

Madame Vasilis, age not given, was determined to be an architect at a time when the American University of Beirut did not accept women. She fought her way into gaining admittance and eventually met her husband at that same school of architecture. She was the first woman to graduate from the department. Originally Greek and born in Ethiopia, she chose to live her life as Lebanese. On staying young I didn’t have children by choice so I’ve had the same sort of lifestyle all my life. I am curious and interested in everything. I travel, I go to concerts, museums, and theatre. I am a cinephile: I watch all the new movies. I am interested in fashion and I have a lot of friends of all ages – young ones consult with me about their life choices and I still hang out with the men from my university days. 318

On learning With age you gain wisdom, the wisdom to be choosy about the people you spend time with and the projects you chose to work on. On happiness At this point, anything can make me happy. A beautiful painting, a nice concert, a good movie, talking to you right now.

On love The biggest highlight of my life was my husband my husband and my husband. He was an exceptional man and he made me the happiest woman on earth. However, there’s no secret to choosing the right man. In my case it was good luck, good timing, and good judgment. I never bored of him and we spent every minute together. We even went to the dentist together. Mind you, we didn’t agree on everything – that would be boring. We had disagreements, particularly in our work sometimes, and that kept things interesting. On technology It’s important to keep up-to-date with technology. Don’t you see my laptop on my desk? I use it for everything from creating architectural plans to writing my supermarket lists. WhatsApp [mobile social messaging app] also changed my work life and made it so much easier. The only thing I refuse to use is Facebook. On femininity I was a tomboy! I never used my femininity to seduce or to get things I wanted. I was also never a

mother so I don’t know that sort of femininity and I’m completely okay with that. No regrets.

On motherhood For many women being a mother is the most important thing and I respect that – but it wasn’t for me. I have a lot of love to give and I do give it to the people around me in my own way. My friend would tell me to think of my old age and I always found that so weird: how can you know how your children will turn out? Having children so that they can take care of you when you’re old is so wrong.

On being alone It is the first time in my life I live alone. That’s a new experience for me. I’m not a big fan of the silence. I am very active though. I work, I receive people, and I recently started going to the Greek club in Beirut for dinner and dancing. On religion I am a complete atheist. Sometimes I have wished I could believe in something or have a God to pray to – especially when my husband was sick. But I only believe in science and physics. On aging I just can’t wear high heels like I used to.


Madame Sana


THERE ARE YOUNG PEOPLE WITH OLD SPIRITS AND OLD PEOPLE WITH YOUNG SPIRITS. YOUTH IS ENTHUSIASM, POSITIVITY, CURIOSITY, AND EXPLORATION Madame Sana, 72, married at 18 and had two girls by 22. She didn’t go to university but she refused to live without purpose. In wartime, she studied painting, sculpture and poetry in Paris and eventually returned to Lebanon where she, and fellow artists, resisted the war through their work. For a decade, she ran summer camps that introduced children to museums and theatre and art. When her own children were grown, she began organizing adventures abroad with trips to India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Yemen, Uzbekistan and Burma. On eternal youth Some people have it, others don’t. There are young people with old spirits and old people with young spirits. Youth is enthusiasm, positivity, curiosity, and exploration.

On happiness Happiness is gratefulness and being thankful and having faith. I get my happiness through my kids and grandkids as well. When they are happy, I am happy. On gaining wisdom You realize how privileged you are and you want to give back, so you start helping others.

On breaking rules I used to skip school and go to the beach. I wasn’t allowed to wear bathing suits but I would hide one in my bag and wear it when I got to the beach.

On nostalgia I miss my mother and how Beirut used to be. But I am very much in the present. I don’t want to live in the past. I am always thinking about tomorrow, ready to turn the next page. I have a thousand things still to do. I take care of my garden in Batroun, I take care of widows at an NGO, I go to exhibitions. On living the dream I used to joke with my husband, saying, “I want a house with a mulberry tree, a fig tree and a pool” … and now I have a house with a mulberry tree, a fig tree and a pool.

On technology I wasn’t interested in it until recently. On one trip to India, we were celebrating a fiftieth wedding

anniversary and I was speaking to the extremely successful 80-year-old patriarch. I asked him the secret to success. He said, “Throw that book away. The secret to success is staying up to date. Start using a computer!” I came back to Beirut, bought a laptop, found myself a teacher and some training and I learned how to used it. On living successfully It is to be fulfilled and to have inner stability. You start gathering this from when you’re a child. If you are comfortable with yourself, the people who love you are also comfortable with you. Success is also about being innovative, doing things no one has ever done before – like my summer camps and trips to India. Remember to say yes to everything. One day a friend who really enjoys collecting antiques suggested we travel and bring back a container of goods to Lebanon. I said yes!. When we returned we found an outdoor space and started the first flea market, Souk el Barghout, in Beirut. On equality Things are not always fair. For example, with inheritance, a woman doesn’t get what the man gets, and I found that really unjust.

On motherhood I encourage every girl to experience motherhood. It’s beautiful. There are many different stages in the life of a girl and one of them is motherhood. One of my daughters hasn’t married but I always encourage her to find a way to get pregnant. The happiest days of my life are when each of my kids came.


Madame Mayssa

Madame Mayssa, 70, ran three shops for over forty years until she decided to put business aside to focus on more important goals. She has since built five schools in the Bekaa Valley for Syrian refugees to attend. This year 90 % of the students passed their official exams and she felt she was achieving her greatest accomplishment. When she had a heart attack this year, her first thought was, “I’m not ready. I’m just not done with these kids!”


On staying young I feel my age. I feel that I am 70-yearsold. Perhaps that is because I lived each stage of my life to the fullest. On happiness Back in the day a fun night out used to make me happy. Or a good book and traveling. Right now though, all of my happiness comes from my kids and their kids.

On aging There are things that change with age but our emotions remain as they are. The more you grow, the deeper you get with your thoughts. On breaking rules It was not common for women to work when I started.


On nostalgia I am rarely nostalgic but I am for Aleppo, the city I am from.

On archiving life Everyday before I go to sleep, I write a journal. I write for myself and for my daughter and one day, when I pass away, she will know what I was feeling while I was pregnant with her. On technology I can send emails and texts. I know the basics… and I just learned how to use WhatsApp. On living forever No no no.

On family values When I was living in Saudi Arabia, between the ages of 27 and 40, it was so nice and intimate. That time was all about family. We were indoors, always cooking together, spending time together. We had a community life that doesn’t exist here now. Here everyone is running around doing their thing and obsessing over themselves.

On love I met my husband in the most traditional way. It was arranged between our families. I had just arrived to Lebanon from Syria and our family didn’t know anyone here. At that time, the only way to leave the house was through marriage. I was 22 and that was considered very late to not be married. Back then, everyone was married by 18. Since it was so normal and since there was no other way, no other alternative, I wasn’t really sad about it. I wasn’t questioning. I was just happy with the fact that he was respectful to me and had great manners and, thankfully, our relationship passed the test of time. I didn’t like him right away, but now I do!


Madame Nadia

Madame Nadia, age not given, left Egypt, in 1976, when she married her husband. After four years in Syria, they came to Lebanon. She graduated from university and raised two children across three countries. Given the opportunity she would have been a fashion designer. She’s an avid reader.

On love I met my husband in Cairo at a conference the year I was graduating from my studies in simultaneous and consecutive translation. He was Lebanese and in town for work. We liked each other immediately and wanted to get married but my family wasn’t very pleased because he wasn’t Egyptian. After two long years, we eventually convinced them and sealed the deal. It was very bold for me to take such a decision. I respected and admired my husband for behaving in a very refined manner as he was going through a lot of obstacles with my family – it convinced me even more that he was the right one for me.

On religion I believe in god, the creator of this world. I believe in values, principles, good manners and that is my religion. I was raised in a relatively open environment with an emphasis on having good principles. 324

On youth Youth is about ambition and fulfilling one’s desires and wishes. As you age, this becomes less practical.

One’s aspirations have to cope with the physical changes of our bodies. There is a cycle to life and we can’t change that.

On happiness It is very difficult to attain constant happiness. You have moments of happiness and moments of distress. Unfortunately, unhappy moments put their mark on you and the happy moments elude you. My own happiest moments are with my granddaughters, watching them change and grow makes me happy. But it also makes me worry. We are living in countries where our happiness is not always stable, there is always worry on the horizon. On gaining wisdom I understand human nature better now. I can find excuses for other people’s mistakes.

On parenting A mother is the most important role in the life of a woman. To raise a good future generation is our responsibility. The mother is a school. All the problems in our world stem from a lack of education. We are ruled by ignorance. It is our job to fight that.

On risk taking Even going to university back then caused a stir in the family. At the time, Egypt was very isolated from the rest of the Middle East. I broke the rules by marrying someone who was not from the same country. Making that choice and revolting against my tradition was one of my proudest accomplishments. On nostalgia I am thinking more about the future than about the past, even though I am towards the end of my life. From the past, I love Oum Kalthoum’s music. Her voice is a form of therapy. And I am attached to family photos.

On aging I am so afraid of Alzheimer’s and losing my memory. If my life had to be sustained by life support, I would rather not stay alive. When Jacqueline Kennedy fell ill, she chose to be at home with her family and live her final days with dignity. I would want the same. On technology Technology is a huge glimpse of hope in the dark world we are living in.

On femininity It is intelligence. An intelligent woman is a feminine woman. Remain coquettish like inventor Madame Curie. Be equal to the man intellectually but not in all actions. We wouldn’t want to see a woman driving a tank or a man doing the laundry. It is about balance. Life is not only about appearances. Ask yourself questions, look into your interests and stay elegant while you do so. This is the emancipated woman.


Madame Marta



Madame Marta will be 82 in two months and that’s precisely how she feels inside. She came to Lebanon at the age of eight, sent by her impoverished parents to make money to help her brothers and the rest of the family. She has been working here ever since.

On happiness Seeing everyone around me happy gives me happiness. And having faith – faith in justice, faith in yourself, faith in others, faith in the good, in this wall, in this house, in everything! On working I care for the house. I cook. Last night I made ftayir from scratch. I found myself in this very house when I first arrived to Lebanon and they took me in. They became my parents and I was cared for as part of the family. They considered me a daughter. I owe them everything. I have dedicated my life to everyone in this house.

On good times We travelled to Bahrain, we used to go to the cinema and I watched plays, and I went to Baalbek and Beiteddine and to the beach and to see snow and I danced at weddings. On breaking rules Never.

On falling in love No never.

On nostalgia I miss the calm. Now there’s so much noise and so many problems.

On memory All I remember is my mother’s voice the day I left. She said, “Take care of yourself and be obedient.” I have forgot her face, but I still remember her voice when she said that to me. I still have a cross my mother gave me. When she passed away, she said, “This is for Marta,” and then eventually it was given to me and I have kept it. It’s all I have from her.


Madame Zahra

Madame Zahra, age not given, opened the antique gallery “Tradition” in date, and it became the first gallery in Lebanon to be run by a woman. She listens to Strauss and never gets bored. She wonders how anyone gets bored when there’s a thousand things to do.


On youth and maturity: Youth is in your character. If you love life, and you love people, and you love nature, these different things create in you a sense of inner satisfaction. You accept life as it is with joy. I see a beautiful sight and I’m made happy. A beautiful tree, a sunset, the moment where night meets day and day meets night. These are the things that bring me joy. I am old now but I am happier than I used to be because now I know more. I got married very early, but the good thing about early marriage is that you mature fast.


On gaining wisdom I know the value of life and of time, which is something we all take for granted when we are young.

On technology and therapy Technology has made our life easier in terms of advancements in medicine and scientific discoveries, but it also made it more difficult. All these new apps on your phone take up your time and it makes you move less. Everyone is glued to their phone. Movement is crucial to life. Technology makes you sit. You drive your car, you take the elevator. No one walks. There is also no more communication. Growing up we didn’t need therapists because we communicated. We spoke to our friends and we helped each other through hard times. Your sister, your mother, your neighbour, they were all your doctors! Now all you get is an answering machine. I use WhatsApp though, I like WhatsApp. On taking photos or journal writing No I don’t, why would I? It never occurred to me.

On living successfully My kids gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. I married and gave birth soon after. When they reached the age of nine, I started having more time on my hands and that was when I decided to open an antique gallery. I called it “Tradition” and it was the first gallery run by a woman. I used to go to Paris and buy beautiful old pieces and exhibit them.

On rule breaking Women didn’t work back then and certainly not in my environment. My parents weren’t happy when I opened the antique gallery. They tried to stop me but I didn’t listen and I’m glad I didn’t. I was productive. On advice Go back to nature. Believe in something, believe in a God. Be positive. Be ambitious. Eat healthy – a healthy mind makes a healthy body. Walk. Be moderate with everything in life. Have your own convictions and belief system. Don’t be afraid of difficult times, they will happen anyway and you will always learn from them. As long as the sun shines the next day, there is no reason to give up. Everything happens for a reason.



Image Mary McCartney courtesy ZHA


A Mag pays tribute to one of the world’s greatest architects and Aïshti friend, Dame Zaha Hadid, who died suddenly in March, aged just 65

A rendering of the new ZHA Beirut North Souks department store building, set to be the new downtown headquarters of Aïshti when it opens in 2018

“I don’t really feel I’m part of the establishment. I am not outside, I’m on the kind of edge, I’m dangling there. I quite like it… I’m not against the establishment per se. I just do what I do and that’s it.”

No one described Zaha Hadid better than Hadid herself, speaking during one of her last interviews given to BBC Radio 4 in February before her death from a heart attack during a visit to Miami. The Iraqi-born British architect did what she did and what she did was groundbreaking, often controversial yet always ahead of the game. Her tragic and untimely passing has reminded us all of the unparalleled impact a singular genius can have on their field. Widely considered the greatest contemporary female architect of the 21st century, Hadid leaves behind a globally influential body of work including furniture, footwear and cars as well as buildings that astound and delight people everywhere.

Curator Owen Hopkins, in his accompanying book for London’s recent Royal Academy exhibition Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture, describes Hadid’s work as being “like a performance — haunting, intense and utterly unreproducible, ‘frozen music’, of which she is composer, conductor and performer”.

Her first major build commission to earn international recognition was the Vitra fire station in Weil am Rhein, Germany (1993), a complex construction of tilted and clashing planes that remains a point of pilgrimage for aspiring architects today. Prior to that she gained a reputation the world over for groundbreaking theoretical works including the Peak in Hong Kong (1983), Kurfürstendamm 70 in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay opera house in Wales (1994). After Vitra came her more organic and undulating later works, the ones that would earn her the ‘queen of the curve’ moniker. Of those works most famous, and hailed as architecture that transformed ideas of the future, include the Rosenthal Centre of Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003), the Maxxi: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the Guangzhou opera house in China (2010) the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) with its breathtaking undulating rooftop, the Heydar Aliyev centre in Baku (2013) and a stadium for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. Then there are her works in Beirut, a city she loved and home of her alma mater. At the American University of Beirut she studied the mathematics that would form a crucial and integral part of her future architectural



practice, before moving to London to first work at the Architectural Association and then establish Zaha Hadid Architects in 1979. And it is at the AUB her first completed local project stands, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (2014). Yet it is the second, the Beirut North Souks Department store in the city centre due for completion by 2018 and the new home to Aïshti in downtown, that may be Hadid’s lasting legacy in the Lebanese capital. “Zaha was not only a brilliant architect, she was also a great friend, a woman with a huge heart,” says Aïshti CEO Tony Salame, for whom the collaboration with Hadid was a long held dream. When they first met in 2006 the pair bonded over their unflinching commitment to overcome all obstacles in their way. Despite the summer 2006 IsraelLebanon war Salame, alongside Solidere (the development company responsible for the regeneration of downtown Beirut), was determined to continue the North Souks project in the face of potential post-war ruin, something that appealed to Hadid and cemented their friendship. Today her recognizable curves and contours – designed using the computer-based organic language

and complex mathematical algorithms for which Hadid is known – can be seen taking shape in what, when finished, will become one of Beirut’s instantly iconic buildings.

Hadid’s great success, against so many odds – she was an Arab-Muslim ‘foreign’ woman in a western male-dominated field who despite her clear and obvious talent struggled to win commissions in her adopted Britain for many years – reinforces the feeling that it is architecture’s originals, the visionaries, who transform the discipline. In her architecture Hadid broke conventions to articulate a particular freedom that she couldn’t find elsewhere in the world, creating gravity-defying compositions that liberated architectural geometry, a new expression of identity that spoke to a younger generation’s worldview, one interested in formal fluidity. She was a maverick who bucked orthodoxies and in so doing transformed the profession and extended architecture’s range of possibilities. And eventually the establishment, whose feathers she so ruffled, recognized her. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker architecture prize and twice won the

© Hufton+Crow, Christian Richters, Iwan Baan. Images courtesy ZHA

Above: Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan Below: Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany Opposite: MAXXI Museum of XXI Century Art, Rome, Italy


Right: Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London , UK Below: Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China

In his citation for that award at the time, fellow architect Sir Peter Cook wrote: “In our current culture of ticking every box, surely Zaha Hadid succeeds, since, to quote the royal gold medal criteria, she is someone who ‘has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of architecture… for a substantial body of work rather than for work which is currently fashionable’.

“For three decades now she has ventured where few would dare… Such self-confidence

is easily accepted in filmmakers and football managers, but causes some architects to feel uncomfortable. Maybe they’re secretly jealous of her unquestionable talent. Let’s face it, we might have awarded the medal to a worthy comfortable character. We didn’t. We awarded it to Zaha: larger than life, bold as brass and certainly on the case.” Zaha Hadid, 1950-2016

Hadid’s work is “like a performance. Haunting, intense and utterly unreproducible, frozen music...” © Luke Hayes, Virgile Simon Bertrand. Images courtesy ZHA


UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling prize. Other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Japan’s Praemium Imperiale. Finally in 2016 she received the RIBA’s royal gold medal, the first woman to be awarded the honour in her own right.


Words By Felix El Hage


© Shutterstock


Cariocas (Rio natives) enjoy a game of futevolley on Ipanema Beach


It’s hosted the World Cup, it’s about to host the Olympics, but to experience Brazil’s most famous city properly there’s only one proper way to do it: like a Carioca

Cariocas hanging off one of the celebrated yellow trams, symbolic of the picturesque Santa Teresa neighborhood. Located on top of the hill close to downtown Rio, Santa Teresa is famous for its winding, narrow streets and community of artists

Carioca. It means Rio native, and though it comes from the name the indigenous people gave the first white settlers it embraces all. Cariocas immerse themselves in the city, become part of it, take the shortest road to the beach, dance, celebrate, laugh, throw off their clothes. That’s what it means to be from Rio. To experience the city properly is to embrace it top to tail, which is exactly what I am going to do. And I’ve got a list. Beach. Jesus. Boogie. Shop. Eat. Carnival. Tram. Surf. Pamper. Football. For cariocas these things are what life’s all about. Well except maybe the tram. The tram takes you places. So let’s start there. And let’s go to Santa Teresa.

What about Jesus? There’s no escaping Christ the Redeemer in Rio, wherever you are he’s watching over you. To get the view from where he’s standing – and it’s some view, one cariocas regularly visit – go in the early morning and take the Corcovado Train. There’s no doubt that this 32-metre high Christo Redentor is a wonder of the world – it is in fact one of the official Seven New Wonders of the World and there’s no way you come to Rio and miss it. But enough about our saviour. I mentioned the beach and the beach is where true cariocas spend most of their time. And why not? Sun is shining, weather is sweet. The first thing you notice is the clothes. Or lack of them. Ladies don their skimpiest bikinis, us men in our sungas – that’s the tiny tight trunks all Brazilian boys and girls adore. I end up at Posto 9, the lifeguard lookout in Ipanema and the spot for everything beautiful. My drink is an agua de coco from the barraca I rent my lounger and parasol from, and I move from my spot only for a dip in the ocean – and a little game of futevolley (no hands beach volleyball) with a gang of kids playing nearby. It is blissful. As the sun sets behind the mountains Rio’s oh so sexy people lie kissing in the surf in true carioca style. I should be so lucky. Still there’s always the party scene. The top nightlife areas in Zona Sul (South Rio) are here in Ipanema, and Leblon, followed by Gávea and around Jardim Botânico. And then there’s Lapa. Previously a forgotten, derelict and rough neighbourhood, today a sultry nightspot where every type of person comes to enjoy the chorinho, forró and most definitely the samba until the sun comes up. Favourite clubs are Rio Scenarium (, a Moulin-Rouge style fairytale scene of wonders packed with antiques, chandeliers and serious samba kids. Though it’s not all Latin, there’s plenty of dance music, house and R&B too. Alternatively head to the

Copa Lounge at Copacabana Palace hotel (copacabanapalace. As well as being somewhere you should stay for at least a couple of nights, it’s that special, the vibe here is super chic, super sexy and comes with super cocktails.

All that dancing means plenty of pampering to recover. If there’s one thing the carioca loves more than anything it’s his or her body – not surprising considering the fact that when you spend most of your time half-naked in public you’ll want to look the part. Us mere mortals are put to shame. In Rio it’s all about yoga, fitness, working out on the beach, swimming, running or biking at Lagoa, a freshwater lagoon circled by a 7.5km cycle path. Beauty parlours are packed so be like the locals and after a jog in Lagoa why not go indulge in some hands and feet restoration and come out looking and feeling decades younger.

© Shutterstock


Jump on the Bonde, the yellow tram from Lapa that takes you to this old residential neighbourhood on the top of the hill close to the city centre. Here old cariocas used to live in grand mansions, but now the area (surrounded as it is by seven rundown favelas) has become a hub for artists, musicians and intellectuals. You can pay for a seat on the tram – just a few pence – but hang onto the outside like a true native and you won’t pay a penny. The thrill is worth it. Best place to eat in Santa Teresa is Aprazível ( with its tree houses overlooking the city and Guanabara Bay, and live DJ on Sunday afternoons. It’s unbeatable. And to stay here, there’s only one place: the delightful Santa Teresa boutique hotel itself ( – a spot the international jet set love, but don’t let that put you off. The rooms are exquisite and the pool overlooking Rio and the sea beyond is simply a must.



Course you could always surf. A carioca is nowhere at home if not in or on the water and starting the day catching an early-morning wave is as thrilling as it is invigorating. The stunning little bay at Prainha is perfect for pro-surfers while for beginners Praia de Pepe beach in Barra da Tijuca is more suitable. If you’re hungry make sure to eat at Prainha’s Peixe de Sol fish restaurant on the rock at the edge.

Apart from fish on the beach at Peixe de Sol and arroz carioca at Aprazivel in the tree houses, there are a few other spots in-the-know cariocas always go to fill their bellies. One is Café du Lage, hidden away in a mansion that doubles as an art school, next to the simply stunning Jardim Botanico. This place is magnificent from its setting to its food. For Sunday

Rio's School of Visual Arts is housed within this Italianate-style mansion on the edge of the Jardim Botanico. The stunning The Café de Lage is also inside and open to the public. Below: It's carnival time.

it’s a place to eat late into the night or early into the morning. A third, where the stylish in-crowd fancy themselves and go to see and be seen is Via Sete Grill ( in Rio’s smartest shopping street in Zona Sul.


breakfasts there is nowhere better and if you follow that with a stroll in the Jardim you’ll spend the day happy. Created two centuries ago for King John VI, the botanical garden is as beautiful as Brazilians with more than 6,200 plant and tree species – the avenue of towering palms alone is breathtaking, iconic even. A second eatery is the old school Nova Capella (Av. Mem de Sá, 96) in the centre of Rio, where jacketed waiters will serve you wild boar, lamb and goat with rice and broccoli amidst photos of saints before or after a night out –

Finally there’s every carioca's other religion. Football. And the place they worship in is the Maracaná stadium. It can hold 100,000 fans especially for the one game everyone wants to see: the Fla-Flu or Flamingo-Fluminese derby (Rio’s two rival teams). In the stands here it’s like being somewhere altogether otherworldly, this is more than a simple soccer match, there is music everywhere, samba drums beating, smoke grenades steaming and noise and dancing and cheering. It’s an unmatchable experience and if your team wins, the bragging rights are sweet and the party lasts late into the night. Like I said. There’s only one true way to do Rio. Like a carioca.

© Shutterstock

Shopping, naturally, is a favourite pastime. Rua Visconde de Piraja is Ipanema’s main shopping street – check out independent stores around Praça NS da Paz like Animale, Osklen, Forum and Farm. There are many small malls off Visconde, which are kind of a thing, and on a weekend cariocas visit them in groups as an outing. A fun little store in the Forum de Ipanema on Visconde is the Parceria Carioca selling handmade accessories. For something a bit more special visit Rio’s markets. The best occurs on the first Saturday of every month in Lapa, the Feira da Rua Do Lavradio – it’s an antiques market with added food and drink stalls and a party-like atmosphere. For that Carnival flavour – alongside beach life and soccer, carnival is what makes cariocas tick – even out of season head to Saara, a labyrinth of tiny streets in Rio's heart where you can get any party outfit you like.

Secure 3D 24x32cm Aishti MC E.indd 1

4/22/16 1:08 PM

Words by Alexei Perry Cox Photography by Lord Ashbury



Sulome Anderson’s father was the most famous American journalist to be kidnapped in Lebanon during the Civil War. Three decades later, his daughter has written a new memoir about her family’s experiences

Opposite: A photograph on the wall of her New York apartment shows Sulome Anderson holding the hand of her father Terry on his release from capitivity in Beirut in 1991 Right: The journalist wears a t-shirt reminding us of the risks conflict reporters take; and at home reading

How do you write objectively about something that has happened to you? For the last three years, American-Lebanese reporter Sulome Anderson has been battling with this as she worked on her memoir, The Hostage’s Daughter: A Story of Family, Madness, and the Middle East (Dey Street, Harper Collins), due out later this year. An account of her experience as the daughter of Terry Anderson, the Associated Press bureau chief kidnapped in Lebanon and held in captivity for seven years, Anderson’s initial intention was to write “completely objectively” about it. But early on, she called her own bluff. “This is bullshit: I am not objective about this,” she recalls.


Instead, she wrote something that sat between memoir and reportage, framing the tale by Then and Now sections. Then provided the space for Sulome to give a sketch, a first-hand account, of those questions at the center of her identity through flashbacks and personal narration. In contrast, the Now sections “balanced out the subjective stuff that could come off as self-centered” and allowed Anderson the emotional distance needed from a topic so personal.

But why would the daughter of the longest-held hostage in Lebanese history return there to work as a journalist? She, more than many, knew the potential dangers to members of the press in the Middle East. One reason might be that it is the place of her ancestry, the roots of her mother and so – regardless of her troubled past here – remains just as much her home as New York.

“I think probably it is because of my history,” she says when asked why she pursued journalism. As the subject of false reporting, her own childhood experiences compelled her to try to present stories in a more nuanced light. “Growing up in the news, I knew that the story that the world was getting was not the story that was actually happening. My family was going through a lot of pain trying to mend ourselves when my father was released. It was not the ‘happy ending’ that made the headlines. So I think that gave me the drive to tell people the actual truth about a situation as opposed to a truth that is the most convenient for the news and the readership and the viewership [sic].” And, while she tried to deny it at first, another reason was indeed her dad. “When I was asked that, I found it condescending but when I took a moment to really think about it, I thought, ‘wait, you know it’s true,’” she says. “I wanted to become closer to my father and I think part of me really wanted to make him proud of me.”

Does Anderson foresee children in her own future? “It’s an important question,” she says. “I’m about to get married. I’m never going to stop doing journalism, but I do want to have children.” Yet the implications of her father’s kidnapping upon her own childhood remain present in her decisions today. “I won’t do to my children what my father did to our family,” she says. “Not that he did it on purpose. I think he did what he did because of a great responsibility that he felt about the job. I feel that responsibility too but it is going to make me think about the choices I make more carefully.” At 30-years-old, most of Anderson’s career has been devoted to reporting the stories of others. The Hostage’s Daughter acts as a vehicle for her voice to shine through. While it may not be possible to report on one’s own life objectively, it can’t be denied that Anderson knows her story better than anyone else.

Words by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Five Distant Memories


How Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet uses sculpture to recapture his youth

Ten years ago, the artist Rayyane Tabet made a series of sculptures based on the earliest memory he could recall from his childhood. It was the summer of 2006, and Tabet was 23 years old. He was halfway through architecture school at Cooper Union in New York, and he was making his debut as an artist in his hometown, Beirut. Tabet remembered that as a kid growing up during the later stages of Lebanon’s long and gruesome civil war, he had always kept a packed bag next to his bed, just in case he and his family ever had to leave the country, the city, or their apartment quickly. That summer, he dipped a whole set of suitcases in concrete and displayed them in the front foyer of the Sfeir-Semler Gallery, as part of an exhibition called “Moving Home(s)” that opened on 6 July. The work, titled Fossils, was a poignant reflection on art and war, weight and weightlessness, the immateriality of memory and the physicality of sculpture. It was also a mystery. Was there really anything inside of those suitcases, or was that just a rumor? Would you destroy the work to find out? What would that mean for its status as art? If a collection of objects in a gallery can be said to have a direction, then this one was definitely looking back; it was an installation about the past, with the length of a young artist’s lifetime in mind. Six days later, however, Tabet’s piece was yanked into the present, where it posed uncomfortable questions about the future. Another war broke out in Lebanon on 12 July. Israel pummeled the country for more than a month in a dispute with Hezbollah. The meaning of Fossils changed, not only for those viewers who had already seen it or would later encounter it, but also for Tabet himself. That summer, ten years ago, he reconfigured Fossils and made it the first in a long, slow, deliberate series titled “Five Distant Memories: The Suitcase, the Room, the Toys, the Boat, and Maradona.” Shown alone, the five works are titled Fossils, 1989, Architecture Lesson, Cyprus, and La Mano de Dios. Tabet is now completing the last chapter to be shown this summer in an exhibition at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence.

Taken together, “Five Distant Memories” relates to a search for the physical, sculptural forms that are able – in a radically clear and streamlined language – to convey specific moments in Tabet’s upbringing and with them, a mess of complex

emotions, circumstantial conditions, and sociopolitical phenomena about state violence, collective trauma, and the persistence of art and thought in such harrowing contexts. The installation 1989 (“The Room”), for example, is tied to a nightmare Tabet often had of waking up to find that his bedroom had disappeared, whether shelled or bombed or otherwise ripped out of existence. Architecture Lesson (“The Toys”) is about the wooden blocks he used to play with, which first sparked his interest in architecture. Cyprus (“The Boat”) is about a totally crazy plan hatched by his father to row the family to Cyprus, out of sheer, hyperbolic determination to keep his wife and children safe. (They made it 30 minutes off the coast before turning back.) Le Mano de Dios (“Maradona”) is about the Argentinean footballer’s infamous “Hand of God” in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City. In a quarterfinal match against England, Maradona basically bumped in a goal with left fist while the ref wasn’t looking. This fact reached Tabet by radio, the work of a well-known broadcaster who was meant to be telling his listeners about

Opposite and this page: Architecture Lesson (“The Toys”), 2012. Wooden block toys cast in concrete totalling 34,000 pieces with 27 original wood toys. Installation view at the Pinchuk Art Center. Photo courtesy of Sergey Illin



sniper and militia activity in their areas but was also irrepressibly obsessed with football, and with Maradona in particular.

Of course, the show at Marino Marini, which honors the late Italian sculptor of the same name and occupies the site of a medieval church, isn’t just the end of Tabet’s series. It’s a reflection on his formation as an artist. At the same time it gives him the means to break away from biography, geography, and memoir. Tabet’s other major, ongoing works – a long-term project on the pipeline that once brought oil from Saudi Arabia to the South of Lebanon; an inquiry into the life and work of Max Von Oppenheim, a German diplomat and archeologist who led the excavations of Tell Halaf in Syria in the late nineteenth century – require a broader reach into history and current events. They also demand a smaller, more precise, and intricate vocabulary of forms. The final installment of “Five Distant Memories,” which plays on shadow and light, is in many ways the last expression of a certain way of working. It’s a turning point that brings Tabet back to the promise of that summer ten years ago, tempered a decade later by the sad, inevitable knowledge that somewhere outside the exhibition venue, there will almost always be a war to contend with. Tabet’s “La Mano de Dios,” opens at the Museo Marino Marini in Florence in June. 346

Above: Cyprus (“The Boat”), 2015, Wooden boat, steel anchor, rope, pulleys and hardware. Photo Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation Below: Fossils (“The Suitcases”), 2006. Suitcases encased in concrete, courtesy of Rayanne Tabet/Sfeir-Semler Gallery

Home at last.

A誰SHTI BY THE SEA level 3, Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 133

GROUNDPIECE SECTIONAL SOFA design by Antonio Citterio


A reflection by Melissa Bull


“Very early in my life it was too late.” - Marguerite Duras, The Lover When I was a teenager I skipped school so much I’d occasionally get taken aside by my teachers and told I’d missed the most school of anyone in the history of our little Montreal-West-public-for-smart-kids-prep-school. I brushed them off and kept writing myself doctor notes and answering my phone in French when the school secretary called, pretending I was my mother, saying, “Yes, Melissa has another terrible tonsillitis, depression, stigmata, mononucleosis, but she should be back on her feet in a week.” I was still in band, on the school paper, got decent grades in enriched biology. But, having been raised by artist wolves, I was oftentimes overwhelmed by the normalcy of my peers’ day-to-day. Teenagers seemed like children to me, their mothers still bought them clothes and made sure they got haircuts and gave them curfews, sometimes their parents still cut up their apples into quarters to make it easier for them to eat with their braces. They went to camp, they knew how to play softball. I had no idea how to relate. So I’d stay home and carve out some time for myself.

When I was in my mid-teens, after a series of unfortunate episodes including one in which my stepmother tore up the side of my face with her thumb, muttering, “I hate you!” I decided to move into my mother’s place full-time. Although my mother had no permanent position, she made a living

teaching art at both elementary schools all over the island and at a few universities in and around Montreal. She was out of the house in the fives each morning. I’d wait till she left – sleeping past dawn was obviously not too difficult a task for a teen. And then I’d run myself a bath. I’d put on my mother’s blue and white Japanese kimono, feeling bohemian and nearly womanly. I’d reheat coffee from the morning’s pot. Eat a couple of teaspoonfuls of lemon curd from the jar. Play my mother’s “The Best of Barbra Streisand” record. Give a couple cursory glances to her ‘70s women’s erotica – aka My Secret Garden – then leaf through her stash of ‘70s craft magazines for outfit ideas. And then I’d head to the front of the apartment and flip on the computer – one of those Macs from the early ‘90s, square and friendly as a miniature Westfalia – and start writing. I’d sit there totally blissed out from writing, a big cup of reheated filter coffee, my poorly self-cut, hennaed mess of orangey hair smelling strangely of herbs. Happy happy happy.

I wrote novels. A Judy Blume-inspired teenaged love story: The Shrimp. A horror novel – something gothic where a character went through a mirror and ended up in the water. And my masterpiece – my human lady loves mermen novel in three parts, Of the Sea. But even if I skipped school a lot I never got into any real trouble. I only ever got one detention in all of high school, and it was for wearing a mock turtleneck. (My geography teacher dragged me by the ear to the office

and informed me that our agenda specified in the uniform regulations that only turtlenecks that folded over completely were permitted.)I was introverted and secretive and ultimately a bit of a goody-two-shoes. (Shortly after I graduated, I dated a guy from high school and he said his memory of me then was of me sitting on the floor by my locker reading fat books or giving speeches at assemblies.) Those days I skipped school, stealing hours for myself, I was teaching myself to write. To look out the window of our apartment on Claremont at the tiny square of Mount-Royal we’d see from our front window and to keep on typing. So it was a good habit. I learned to write.

It was a bad habit. I became a days-long daydreamer. A daydreaming addict. A lover of mind drift.

I took that dreaminess well into my 20s. What did I do with my 20s? I took a really long time getting a BA. I went to university part-time and paid my way through by working as a florist, nanny, advertising exec, translator, shwanky sweater folder to jazz soundtracks, ad hoc theatre helper, circus stage manager, furniture salesperson and occasional interior designer. My writing goals were that maybe I’d publish some children’s literature at some point. And that maybe I could work part-time in a library or natural food store. I took weaving classes at a women’s craft centre and only learned years later that the centre was for women with serious learning disabilities. No wonder they thought I had talent. I took flute lessons and oboe lessons and harp lessons and kept typing up bad novels on old typewriters. I smoked Captain Blacks and shopped for Virginia Woolf books at the Salvation Army, picking the Penguins from the Judith Krantz dregs (there is a copy of Scruples in every single charity shop). I rented foreign VHS cassettes and watched Royal Shakespeare adaptations of plays and learned about Ingmar Bergman and spent afternoons at the rep house in bizarrely concocted outfits that made me look homeless. I was a bougie little ragamuffin. Highbrow interests, low-fi duds.

And then in my late 20s I had a breakup that led to several years of me wanting to be romantically unattached. I travelled a little. On a trip, someone asked me, in passing, why I hadn’t published much until then. I didn’t have a good enough answer. So I started to publish. And a year and some change later I was suddenly I was an Editor-in-Chief of a bunch of publications, and I found myself on a business trip in the Caribbean. I couldn’t believe my writing had gotten me to an all-expenses-island-sunset. The more hustling became habit, the less I could account for all those dreamy hours of my youth. It wasn’t just the time I couldn’t get a handle on, but also that broad-spectrum aimlessness masked as curiosity, that lack of agency, that treading water. My youth. It’s funny that it’s over.

For a while I didn’t have to do anything to look young. I was a similar agelessness for about fifteen years. And then all that overtime and catching up, all that newfound agency compacted across my face. My face has now hit some kind of midlife crest. Shall I wear my trousers rolled? Shall my laugh lines get injectables

Marguerite Duras says, in The Lover, “My face hasn’t collapsed. It’s kept the same contours, but its substance has been laid waste. I have a face laid waste.”

I saw it happen to a friend of mine when she was 27. Her face just fell, suddenly. You never know when your middle-aged face will strike. Mine showed up a couple of months ago. I’m surprised to find that I mind.

I tried to perform my youth well in my late 20s, post-waking-from-mydaydreaminess. I made myself wear bikinis. I decked myself out in Salvation Army getups – if it made me laugh it was a great idea to wear. I drank with the guys until the lights came back on after last call. I forgot to eat and got scurvy. I squeaked home tipsy on my 10-dollar bike, staring at the star-filled sky, happy happy happy, propping myself with make-sureyou-live-it-up reminders. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t.

I fight my daydreamy nature every day. The busier I am the easier it is. And my dream has changed; it’s normy, now. Mostly because I’m still trying to catch up on normy (groceries, vitamins, matching clothes). But I miss the sound of a quietly ticking clock. The promise of public radio breaking up the day. Light casting itself in beams that move from one end of my crooked tiles to another. Adding more hot water to the bath. Letting all the thoughts drift in and out, unattached, unrecorded. Blurring. These days my partner lives away from our home, and as a result so much of my life spent in my head, or with my cat. Or walking while still in my head. Being a humanity tourist. Watching people and all that they do. It’s so lively out there. Although I work full-time at an office and am finishing up a Master’s degree and write and publish regularly, now, books, and articles and one-offs, in a sense, there are, once more, few distinct markers to my days. Being alone a lot does that. Which is bad, and good.

But the main difference between this nearly forty time and my earlytwenties time is my impatience. If I’m not resting from writing or writing or earning a living or resting from earning a living then I feel, very urgently, that I’m wasting time. There’s a channelling of energy, a hunkering down, a focus, a terrifying panic that drives me now. A concrete realization of time running out. Partly fuelled by the big, big worry and shame that I fucked up my 20s. That I lollygagged. I’m scared more than anything of not living up to my potential – I know that I’m not. I’m scared of wasting more time. I’m scared I won’t notice how much I’ve wasted. Melissa Bull is the editor of Montreal art quarterly Maisonneuve magazine’s “Writing from Quebec” column. Her poetry collection, Rue, and her translation of Nelly Arcan’s Burqa de chair are both forthcoming from Anvil Press. She lives in Montreal. She contributed this piece exclusively for A Mag.


Words by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie


Beirut-born installation artist Mona Hatoum’s first major retrospective at Tate Modern this summer allows us to see her art anew

Š Brock Elbank


Opposite: Light Sentence, 1992. Galvanised wire mesh lockers, electric motor and light bulb. Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Photo Philippe Migeat This page: Measures of Distance,1988. Video, colour and sound. Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Tate

Mona Hatoum’s fifteen-minute video Measures of Distance (1988) layers together a number of different things. First, there are old, grainy photographs that Hatoum took of her mother, on some afternoon earlier in the 1980s, when Hatoum was home, visiting from London, and both women were standing naked in the bathroom of the family’s apartment in Beirut, laughing and talking but also taking pictures and recording sounds. They appear in the background – broad washes of color and occasional flashes of an abundant body shown so close-up that it appears almost abstract. Then, there are the letters that Hatoum’s mother wrote to her, in Arabic, for a period of time after. Then, there is the sound of her mother’s voice as she was speaking that afternoon, and Hatoum’s voice breaking in softly with a question or comment. And then, there is the voiceover narration, pulling everything together and setting the pace, with Hatoum reading her mother’s letters in English translation, pausing every so often, to great dramatic effect, as the other materials come in and out of play. For an artist who began her career, in her twenties, creating bold public performances (walking barefoot through Brixton with police boots tied to her ankles; smearing herself in clay and writhing naked in a glass vitrine to a soundtrack of protest songs) and

eventually moved into an ambitious mode of object-making that hinges on conflicts and contradictions, Measures of Distance remains one of Hatoum’s most enduring works, and arguably her most anomalous. It is in many ways unlike anything else in her oeuvre – deeply intimate and dependent on narrative – and at the same time it lays out more explicitly than in any other piece all of the themes she has been pursuing in her artwork for nearly 40 years: longing, belonging, displacement, dispossession, exile, gender, power, patriarchy, feminism, femininity, sexuality, surveillance, secrecy, the fragility of the body, the brutality of war, and the dizzying complexity of identity, memory, and one’s (often discomfited) place in the world. Although it was made almost 30 years ago, and reconfigured the elements of a performance that was even earlier, Measures of Distance is still a jolt. It rewards multiple viewings. Return to it often and you will still find something new – in a daughter’s excavation of her childhood and her relationship with her mother, in the experience of becoming a woman and entering a world of politics and history, and in the acts of writing and making art.


What’s curious about Measures of Distance is that we see (and hear) only the letters of her mother, never Hatoum herself. We know, from the contents of the video, that she was making “tapes” and “pictures” at the time, and obviously her performances, too. But one of the great revelations of Hatoum’s most recent museum-sized exhibition – a major mid-career survey that opened last year at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and travels to Tate Modern in London this spring – is the


Left: Keffieh 1993-9, hair on cotton fabric.. Courtesy collection agnès b. Photo Hugo Glendinning, courtesy White Cube Below: Performance Still, 1985/1995. Gelatin silver print on paper mounted on aluminium. Tate. Photo Edward Woodman, courtesy White Cube


unearthing of early drawings and works on paper (some made by hand, others burned) from the 1970s, dating from Hatoum’s days as an accidental art-school student who had found herself stranded in London when the civil war in Lebanon began and the airport in Beirut was suddenly shuttered and remained closed for months. It’s a small addition to the larger arc of Hatoum’s output, but it establishes a starting point for the works of extreme delicacy that thread throughout the intervening decades, as she’s made cutouts of tissue paper and barely perceptible grids of human hair, collected bars of soap from Jerusalem, commissioned ceramics in Amman, worked with a sign-maker in Cairo, and gathered embroidery from women living in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon.

Surprisingly, the show at Tate Modern is Hatoum’s first museum survey in the UK, where she has now lived for most of her life (she also has a studio in Berlin). Born and raised in Beirut, Hatoum attended French and Italian schools, studied graphic design at an American university, and worked in advertising and PR in the years before the war. She really was on vacation and got stuck when the war started. The dislocation must have been terrifying, but it proved liberating as well. Hatoum finished art school in 1981. She has since been feted as one of the most important artists of her generation. She has been included in the Venice Biennale twice, Documenta once, and has won a slew of awards and honors (plus a nomination for the Turner Prize). And yet throughout all of that,

what her latest exhibition makes clear, still lingering in the work is the audacious young woman in Measures of Distance, to whom her mother writes: “I’ve been enjoying your letters enormously and I enjoy answering your questions, although they are sometimes weird and too probing for my liking. Still, they make me think about myself in a way I hadn’t looked at before.” Hatoum’s work still has that effect on her viewers as well. Mona Hatoum is at Tate Modern in London from 4 May – 21 August. She will be giving an artist’s talk on 10 May at 6.30pm.

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Words by Pip Usher


Why a new generation of young Lebanese are ditching the big traditional weddings for more intimate and low key events

Š Nour and Nasri Atallah wedding, Shutterstock, The Crashers



On a muggy day last September, two newlyweds celebrated their union at the bride’s home in the mountains of Jezzine, southern Lebanon. A boozy garden party affair, the guests wore cocktail attire, the vows were casual and – most unusual of all – attendees were limited to close friends and family. “I mean it was still 150 people, which is big by Northern European standards,” says Nasri Atallah, writer, media entrepreneur and one half of the couple. “But we’re Mediterranean, so family alone was about half of that.” In 2014, Al-Monitor placed the average cost of a wedding in Lebanon between $30,000 - $50,000. With the average income under $15,000 per year, the financial burden on newlyweds and their families is significant. For many young Lebanese, they are faced with the choice between starting married life laden with debt, and foregoing societal expectation in favor of something that fits their own personalities – and pocketbooks – better.

“The traditional Lebanese weddings had more to do with social duties and obligations, long lists of invitations, big statements and lavish setups with long, never-ending buffets,” explains Nabil Hayek, owner and managing partner at MoodLab, and partner of The Crashers, a mobile bar concept for weddings and events. “One might say that these weddings were not focused on what a couple really dreamed of, but rather what society, the family and others expected of them.” Instead, Hayek advises a more realistic approach, urging couples to

consider what they value most on the big day. “Is the dream another cliché wedding that keeps up to par with societal expectations while draining a young couple’s bank account? Or should it be about sharing the special day with those that matter most?”

Atallah, who rose to prominence in 2011 for Our Man In Beirut, echoes this sentiment. “Real life is a challenge, and starting a life with someone you love is hard work, so going into that having just spent a ton on a few hours of inebriation isn’t the best way to set the course,” he says. It’s advice that young couples are heeding, with many looking to craft a more intimate celebration that redefines the decadence long associated with Lebanese nuptials. This doesn’t mean that timehonored rituals are given the boot; rather, they are adapted to reflect a couple’s background. An easy way to do this is with food, according to Firas Sugi, a communications executive for Tawlet, the “farmer’s kitchen” that showcases traditional Lebanese cuisine at its three much lauded restaurants. “For those who feel a bit detached from their parents’ or grandparents’ villages, the easy way to do that is through food,” he says. He suggests enhancing this nod to one’s cultural heritage by holding the wedding “in the middle of the village olive grove during harvest season.”

There are other ways to add a personal touch. For Nour El Hage, creative director of her own eponymous label and Atallah’s wife, her wedding dress acted as a vehicle for individuality. Looking to Tim Burton’s The

Corpse Bride for inspiration, she designed an oyster-grey gown draped in lace. It took three days to stitch and cost less than $400, which made it “easier to dance, drink and lay on the grass with everyone else.”

“Perhaps the decadence of Lebanese weddings led to too many divorces,” says Sugi as he reflects on the growing popularity of smaller ceremonies. After all, with big budgets and lengthy guest lists comes the pressure to keep hundreds of people happy – an experience that El Hage was eager to avoid. “Make sure that no one expects something great,” she warns. “The higher the expectations, the more stress you’ll get.” When Atallah remembers his own wedding, the informal atmosphere meant it felt like a “day in the park.” He recalls that “the people we loved were there, their kids were there, and their pets were there.” For El Hage, she remembers the “immense, beautiful, warm hugs” from guests, adding, and “I guess the whole wedding is an amazing memory.”

10 DOS AND DON’TS FOR THE BIG DAY DO 1. Ditch the behemoth buffet 2. Cull long-lost friends and belligerent family members from the guest list 3. Meld the traditional (a village-inspired menu) with the modern (customized cocktail bar) 4. Craft the ultimate playlist 5. Write your own vows DON’T 1. Spend all your savings. 2. Buy fireworks. We know you’re married without all that noise. 3. Wear clothes you can’t dance in 4. Ask anyone’s opinion on anything 5. Drink till you drop. It’s not cool.

© Stéphanie Comaty, Shutterstock


Modernize by all means – but Stephanie Comaty, one half of the partyplanning team Djey and Steph Events, refuses to let changing attitudes override a national love for a wild night. “Lebanese weddings are awesome,” she exclaims. “Let’s keep them that way.”










Art People photographed by Guillaume Ziccarelli

ON FOOD Syrian-German food personality, writer and blogger Dalia Dogmoch Soubra celebrates the dish she loved as a child, one her mother used to make If there is one dish that symbolizes my mother’s cooking it would have to be any sort of fatteh. I have vivid memories as a child of her preparing several types of this glorious yoghurt meal; from chickpea to aubergine and chicken. I love them all, but the one she made the most at home was the Fatteh’d Jaj. The chicken was always so tender and gorgeously infused with flavours of cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon and other spices. I have vivid memories of the chicken simmering away in the spiced water, the cutting up of the Arabic bread into small squares, which would later be fried in a little butter in a pan, or the whisking of the yoghurt.

I still hear my mom telling me to stop munching on the crispy little breads while she was cooking them in batches. I would steal more than a few during the process, and she would always get upset and tell me to wait, since she needed them to top the fatteh at the end. And making that glorious yoghurt with mom was always as fun as it was delicious. There was something therapeutic about stirring the beautiful laban with garlic, tahini and spices. It also didn’t require any cooking, so she would let young, little me do it all by myself

Food, Love and Life from Dalia’s Kitchen (CPI Publishing, 2013) is available in Beirut at Virgin, Librairie Antoine and Papercup and at various bookstores worldwide, as well as Amazon.

DALIA’S CHICKEN FATTEH RECIPE serves 4-6 * prep time: 20 minutes * cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes 2 medium chickens (about 2.5lbs each), cut into pieces with bone and skin, 6-8 cups water, 1 tbsp. cardamom, 1 tbsp. salt, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves. For the yoghurt sauce: 6 cups low fat yoghurt, ¼ cup water, 2 tbsp. tahini (sesame paste), 2-3 garlic cloves, using garlic press, salt and pepper to taste, 1 large Arabic flat bread, ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, ¼ cup toasted almonds, ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

1 Place the chicken and water in a large stockpot on a high heat, making sure that there is enough water to just cover the chicken. Add the cardamom seeds, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and bring to the boil. 2 Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the chicken is tender, approximately 45-60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and take the chicken meat off the bone. 3 Take 1 cup of the chicken broth, pass through a sieve and simmer in a small saucepan over high heat until reduced by half. Set aside. 4 While the chicken is cooking whisk the yoghurt with the water to loosen it up a little. Add the sesame paste, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and whisk well. Set aside. 5 Cut the Arabic bread into squares, and either sauté them in a pan with a little oil, or toast them in the oven and set aside. 6 Assemble the dish by layering a serving dish with a little of the yogurt mixture, place the chicken on top, drizzle some reduced stock, add more yoghurt and top with the toasted bread, nuts and parsley. Enjoy.

© Dalia Dogmoch Soubra/Food, Love and Life


My mom still does Fatteh the exact same way today, and I still steal the crispy, fried bread before they make it to the top of the dish. Once it’s ready there’s her classic, frantic yelling for everyone to come to the table – so we all eat it while it’s hot. All these details about my mother’s fatteh and the way she serves it, have today been passed on to my own young family. Oddly enough, my husband and kids also steal the crispy bread. Although, perhaps that’s not odd at all. I have learned from the best to make sure to prepare an extra large portion so there will be enough to sprinkle on my fatteh at the end.


Where We’re Eating

BEIRUT Art People

Open daily from 10am to 7pm, Ground Floor, Aïshti by the Sea In the fourth century B.C., Ch’u Yuan wrote about his reasons for loving sweets in a poem called “Li Sao,” translated as “Getting into Trouble.” As the popular saying goes, “a stolen apple always tastes better.” There is something similar to the experience of enjoying desserts mid-day. It feels like a naughty indulgence and made all the better for it. Eating the coco rum baba with passion fruit jelly and light vanilla cream offered at the newly opened Art People, on their afternoon terrace, is one such guilty pleasure. Sitting in the sun, while the sea ebbs and gently drowns out the sound of the busy Beirut workday happening about you, it is a space of quietude and delight. Whether breaking from department store shopping or catching a bite to eat after seeing the latest Aïshti Foundation exhibit, it’s a gastronomic oasis. It would be positively criminal not to mention that this indulgence followed a more savoury lunch indoors, surrounded by the artworks of Richard Prince and Doug Aitken, including his most noteworthy chocolate ART fountain. Inside, indulgences included beef carpaccio and lobster linguini with crushed tomatoes (and ample Prosecco en plus) – all equally gratifying in their own right. – Alexei Perry Cox

LONDON Hoppers

Open daily 12am-2.45pm and 5.30pm-10.45pm, 49 Frith St,


PARIS Champeaux

Open daily, 12 passage de la Canopée, Forum des Halles, It just opened in April, it’s located in the redeveloped Les Halles in front of the Jardin Nelson Mandela opposite Saint Eustache church and its chef is no other than French legend Alain Ducasse. Champeaux is the brasserie of the moment in Paris and there’s much to love about it. Sitting in the sun on the terrace, people watching and eating some of the finest brasserie fare in the capital couldn’t get more perfect. The interior design by Cigüe is all pure lines and raw materials, the strongest element being a huge display panel of metal slats, like those used in airports, showing information on the menu and dishes while you eat. Then there’s the food: contemporary brasserie yet typically earthy in the market-brasserie tradition – the name Champeaux is a reference to the large market that stood on the site back in the 12th century under Louis VI. The signature dishes are the snails, oysters, boudins (black and white puddings) and tartars but served with lighter sauces and more flavourful condiments. All in all, the perfect addition to the neighbourhood. – Felix El Hage

This Sri Lankan-Tamil Nadu cuisine-inspired Soho spot is currently one of the toughest places to get a table in London, which may be something to do with the fact that you can’t book and the food is well, mouthwatering. To get in there simply requires punctuality – arrive as it opens for both the lunch and evening sittings and you won’t be disappointed. Especially when the queues form outside and the food arrives. From the eponymous hoppers – that’s crunchy, rice-pancake bowls with coconut and deliciously rich black pork kari (duck and lamb are available too) – to the hot butter devilled shrimps with one of the hottest sauces this side of the Indian ocean island itself, you’ll sit contented, hunger-sated and ready for a digestif. The Sri Lankan Lion stout is worth a pop, or if you fancy ending your meal as you mean to continue the night – as I did – go for one of their cocktails: the Kandy Gunpowder concocted of Amrut Single Malt, passion fruit, green peppercorns and Fino sherry does the trick. – Ramsay Short

ON DRINK Lebanese-British wine writer Michael Karam remembers the whisky that ruled his youthful days and explains why single malts are not (necessarily) to Lebanese tastes


I had to move to Lebanon from Britain the year the civil war ended to finally develop a taste for whisky. On reflection, it was an entirely fitting union: whisky by all accounts had kept both combatants and civilians going during the country’s 15-year conflict while I needed a new passion for what would be a 23-year-exile. We’ve been good friends, sometimes too good, ever since.

This was an age before we Lebanese got all up ourselves over the esoterica of malt whisky and before the bling Blue of Label. Back then, Chivas Regal led the pecking order, followed closely by Johnnie Walker Black Label, or ‘Black’ to give it its Lebanese nom de guerre. Chivas was out of reach and “Black” was wheeled out on special occasions. For day-to-day imbibing we turned to Dewars White Label, J&B or Johnnie Walker Red Label and at the end of the month, when money was tight, VAT 69 came off the bench.

But no other whisky captures how we roll like Black Label. It symbolizes our aspirations, our love of life and our obsession with being seen to be getting it right (even if more often than not we get it totally wrong.) It’s also very handy for us globetrotting Lebanese. The late polemicist Christopher Hitchens drank it because it was the one drop he knew he could find almost anywhere on earth and we Levantines also know the benefits of sticking to the same brand.

Yes, in recent years, we have also discovered the single malt and yes like good Lebanese, we want to finesse our international credentials, but the single malt is not your typical Lebanese hooch. Peaty, in many cases eye-wateringly strong, and often made with all those weird and wonderful flavors found in old sherry barrels, it’s too powerful for a nation that likes to cane it all year round. We have simpler tastes; we like our whisky in a tumbler filled with fistsized ice cubes, more than a dash of water,

and a bowl of nuts, something you can’t strictly do to a hairy-backed single malt. But what do I know?

Michael Karam is the author of Wines of Lebanon. He tweets @lebanesewineman WHAT MICHAEL’S DRINKING THIS ISSUE

The Famous Grouse Fabulous everyday whisky. Smooth, flavorsome. Great value.

Johnny Walker Black Label Heavier and smokier but equally smooth. It is no accident that this is arguably the most famous whisky on the planet.

Glenmorangie A beginner’s malt. Extra smooth with a panoply of flavors from fruit to honey to flowers.

Laphroaig Approach with caution. A mighty whisky defined by peaty medicinal flavors washed with the Atlantic spray that hits the tiny island of Islay. A誰shti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 273 and all A誰zone stores T. 01 99 11 11 Produced and distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa

Where We’re Drinking LONDON The Gibson

Open daily till late, 44 Old Street, London’s new bar The Gibson calls itself an Edwardian time machine, and the experience certainly lives up to the description. Basing the design loosely around the aesthetic of the Gibson Cocktail, first created in Britain in 1907, the bar and the cocktails are like travelling back in time to Edwardian London. In addition to The Gibson — equal parts Tannery Gin and Mancino Secco served with a pickled onion — there are other turn-of-the-century London drinks on offer, like the Bourbon Baked Tea, made with Woodford Reserve, Mandarin baked tea, strawberry beer, cherry sorbet and Tofu, which surprisingly makes a killer cocktail ingredient. The Gibson’s menu is decorated with historical literary tidbits about drinking and joviality, such as Hemingway’s ‘I drink to make other people more interesting’ and facts about the bar’s namesake, a particularly memorable one being a conversation between an Edwardian steward who invites a young woman for an afterwork drink: ’How about a Gibson?’ he says, the rest of London seems to agree. – Grace Banks


Open daily from 4pm to 2am, happy hour 4pm-8pm. Baroudi Street, @ brassbeirut


NEW YORK Kobrick Coffee

Serves all day and night. 24 Ninth Ave, Just a stones throw away from The Whitney’s recent 2015 refurbishment, Kobrick Coffee has become the spot that art lovers, curators and the who’s-who of the art world flock to. The bar embodies New York’s new drinking mood where laid-back coffee house chill replaces the pomp of other uptown locations. As their name suggests, Kobrick is a coffee house, but with mellow baristas trained in the art of mixology. You wont find an expresso martini or creamy coffee cocktail on the menu here. Instead, homemade coffeeinfused syrups and frothy Campari based short drinks are concocted using an old Italian espresso-making machine. Undoubtedly, the star of the show is their Three Hour Kyoto Negroni, which fuses Kobrick’s cold brew Kenyan coffee with Campari, vermouth and a splash of gin. Art world favourites are Loving Cup, a heady mix of El Dorado 12 year rum mixed with 102 proof bourbon and sticky tiger stripe espresso sugar, but for the lighter hearted, The Loca Mocha made of Jameson whiskey, cold brew, bitters and Kobrick’s homemade chocolate milk will please the masses. – Grace Banks

The devil’s in the detail – that’s the mantra of the barmen at new Achrafieh neighbourhood bar Brass. Or to put it another way, that which is sinfully exquisite must be done with care. The perfect vodka martini must be made with just the right twist. And At Brass it is. The signature cocktails are yet more precise. Their Girovita, mixes together Aperol, mint, cucumber and tonic to usher in our summer taste buds. Their Porn Star martini, indulges our most devilish passions using fresh passion fruit and lemon. The wine list is extensive and well chosen, and includes a decent selection of imports as well as some prominent local vintages – drunk alongside the English roast beef tartine on sourdough, drowning in melting Comté, your every sense is awakened. If the devil is in the décor too then the owners of Brass have being paying attention: the concrete-cured (not poured) artisanal tiles from Blatt Chaya and the perforated brass candleholders by Cyrille Najjar don’t go unnoticed and add a touch of quiet sophistication. A beautiful place to drink – Alexei Perry Cox




1:39 PM

ON HAPPINESS London actor, author, fitness fanatic (and happiness expert), Lucille Howe, reports on the clubs that draw their crowds before breakfast, aka Day Raves… and she can’t stop grinning


Morning Gloryville are the founders of the original day rave and dancing your socks off before 9am seems to be gaining momentum. While you and I are usually putting the kettle on for a morning tea, there will be somebody busting out a ‘running man’ or caterpillar, nearby, and sober too. Morning Gloryville run events from Denver to LA, Tokyo to Toronto and their manifesto is this: ‘We are the pioneers of sober morning raving – responsible for bringing conscious clubbing to the world stage.’

I may be sober, but I am definitely not fully conscious as I make my way to one of their London events, wearing leopard print leggings and a green visor, while an underground carriage of Polish cleaners and builders give me uncertain stares.

Morning Gloryville starts at 6.30am and finishes at 10.30am, which is definitely not the way I did it when I danced at Manchester’s famous Hacienda club in my early 20’s.

I head straight to the organic coffee and down a latte before warming up on the sidelines with a pot of granola. Free hugs are an offer from a bunch of well meaning clubbers wearing headdresses and covered in glitter. I have an important meeting at 11am and not sure glitter will convey the right message so I head to the inversion frame to get tipped upside

down for a bit of ‘rebalancing’ and hope the granola stays put.

As the DJ starts to build his set with euphoric house tunes from back in the day, a conga line of shoulder massages loops across the dancefloor. A man in a sequin catsuit riding a toy unicorn invites me to graffiti some uplifting words in crayon on the wall, and live drumming works the crowd into a cheering frenzy. Besides the contagious positivity there is another plus to this early morning danceathon. By the time 10.30am comes around I’ve burned more calories than a gym session and I’m not carrying my heels in my hand with mascara smudged across my face – happy daze. For more info on day raves see

© Morninggloryville

If you want to go raving with the hardcore dance crowd then you’re more likely to leave your house and go out at 6am, not get back in.




1:33 PM



You may know these people. The creatives of post-war Lebanon. If you don’t, now you will. They are the ones who did, for whom no is not an option. They are singular, one of a kind. What unites them is a refusal to be confined, a perspective on life as a permit to go anywhere and explore anything. To invent. To open up what politer society and manners repress. To stage a kind of upthrust of that which is normally kept under control. To reach for a kind of sublime. To attempt to understand that which is beyond common understanding. To have a spirit of daring. To endeavour to see things differently and, in their work, to express those differences. They are distinct. And we respect them for it. We love them for it. We opened this, our relaunch issue of A Mag, with the new creatives. We close it with the established ones, heroes worth aspiring to as they playfully reflect on childhood, past memories and their beloved Beirut photographed in studio by rising star Tarek Moukaddem. Portraits by Tarek Moukaddem

Words and interviews by Alexei Perry Cox


RABIH KAYROUZ Lebanese-born fashion designer Rabih Kayrouz has divvied his time between Beirut and Paris. At 16, he migrated to the French capital to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. He returned to the booming energy of Beirut to establish his fashion house Maison Rabih Kayrouz ( in 1998, making his name creating gowns for the nation’s most discerning women. A decade later he returned to Paris to open his design studio, Boulevard Raspail, on site of the old Petit Theatre de Babylone. In 2013, Kayrouz was nominated Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and this year he takes up a teaching post imparting his expertise and knowledge to the next generation at ALBA’s Ecole de Mode. Earliest Beirut memory... In 1992, I returned from Paris for the summer holidays to discover Beirut City Center in Martyrs’ Square completely destroyed. It was a very romantic scene: trees growing in the buildings, abandoned cars and dogs everywhere. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... I thank God the country is still alive. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... I still haven’t made my choice. I change my mind every season, like in fashion. For next winter I would love the Habroyan factory in Bourj Hammoud. Did you collect anything a child? What do you collect now? Nothing. I get bored after collections. Best piece of advice you’ve been given... Be yourself. What advice would you give your younger self... Enjoy. Let go.


EMILIE KAREH Beirut-born stylist Emilie Kareh ( grew up in Paris and London before studying costume and set design at Central Saint Martins. She joined Vogue Paris straight out of school staying four years, first assisting fashion editors Ludivine Poiblanc and later editor-at-large Julia von Boehm in NYC. Since moving to the U.S. her work’s been published in Pop, I.D, Purple, Double, Dazed & Confused, Intermission, Interview Germany, Interview U.S and Vogue along with campaigns for Edun, Lucky Brand, Topshop and CK Calvin Klein Accessories and kids. This issue she styled our Beirut streetcast shoot (see page 178). Earliest Beirut memory... I have so many... electricity cutoff times, playing hide and seek with my brother and my dad in his big apartment. We’d get really scared and excited. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... Go to to ATCL (Automobile et Touring Club du Liban) [to swim], do my laps, tan and have tabbouleh. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... Probably the restaurant Jammal. Best piece of advice you have been given... Never leave someone without saying goodbye. You never know when you will see them next. What advice would you give your younger self... Be honest.


BERNARD KHOURY Bernard Khoury ( a Lebanese architect of world renown. He started an independent practice in 1993 after his graduate studies at Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University. Over the past 15 years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects both locally and abroad. He first came to critical attention with the completion of BO18 music club and continued with projects such as the Centrale bar and restaurant, the BLC Bank, the Black Box and Yabani. He is the co-founder of the Arab Centre for Architecture. He describes himself as an aeronautic engineer, a ship-building mechanic, an electrician of pleasure. Earliest Beirut memory... My first spectacular accident behind the wheel of my red pedal car formula 1 rolling down Emir Omar street in Beirut. In an unreasonable attempt to convert the busy street into a racetrack, my older brother had stopped the vehicular traffic for a few minutes. The neighbours and the passers-by were terrified. Cab drivers and other busy motorists were pissed off. It ended in a crash, my pedal car Ferrari replica was destroyed. I got out of it alright. It was my fifth birthday. The date was August 19, 1973. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... I never do the same thing. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... A building that was taken away from us [my family], the Interdesign Showroom building designed and conceived by my father to showcase the furniture he produced. What did you collect as a child? What do you collect now... I collected Matchbox cars. Now I collect real ones. Best piece of advice you have been given... I try not to remember the advice I have been given. What advice would you give your younger self... It’s a good thing my younger self did not get any advice from my older self. Sometimes I wonder if I knew better back then.


NADA DEBS Nada Debs was brought up in Japan though she is of Lebanese origin. She studied Interior Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and started her own design company ( in the UK. Returning to her roots in Lebanon after an absence of 40 years, Nada Debs found designs for modern Middle Eastern furniture almost non-existent. This made her determined to use her multi-cultural background to create furniture that would appeal to a global market. In 2000, Nada created her company ‘East and East’ which concentrates on designing, manufacturing and selling her furniture and home accessory lines, with retail outlets throughout Beirut. Globally, Nada Debs is represented in New York, Dubai, Geneva, Cairo and Amman. Her work is a celebration of contemporary Eastern craft – the hand-made and the heart-made. Earliest Beirut memory... My grandmother’s home. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... I go to the sea to look at the horizon. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... The Interdesign building in Hamra designed by Khalil Khoury. What did you collect as a child? What do you collect now? I used to collect colour pens, colour pencils, colour paints, everything to do with colouring. Now I collect objects that inspire me from wherever I travel. Usually they are handcrafted objects but with a twist – Japanese ceramics, carved or turned wood, vintage pieces, resin vases, straw bowls, furniture made of experimental material, even tiny handmade felt baby slippers. Best piece of advice you have been given... Follow your passion. What advice would you give your younger self... Don’t worry… everything will be all right. Even pain is a blessing in disguise.


ZIAD ANTAR Born in Saida, Lebanon, Ziad Antar ( is a Lebanese video artist and photographer. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the American University of Beirut before turning to video and arts, with a residency at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and received a post-diploma from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Antar’s work is held by several public collections, including the Centre George Pompidou in France, the British Museum in the United Kingdom and the LVMH collection. Most recently he collaborated with Hans Ulrich Obrist for his show, After Images, at the Beirut Exhibition Centre. Earliest Beirut memory... I remember the garage under our building in Afif Al Tibi – it was the common space where we used to spend our afternoons after school. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... I head to see the untouchable sea. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... The Murr Tower. What did you collect as a child? What do you collect now? As a child I can’t remember what I collected but, as a teenager, it was video cameras... Now it’s photography cameras. Best piece of advice you have been given... Advice doesn’t work. I don’t give an impression that I should be advised. What advice would you give your younger self... Nothing. I’m still learning.



Maria Hibri and Huda Baroudi call themselves curators of chaos. The successful duo behind the globally renowned Beirut design lab, Bokja (, opened their studio in 2000 in Beirut utilizing textiles to create tactile and personable objects, from furniture items to installations. Bokja pieces appear in art spaces the world over, including the IMA in Paris, and the pair’s innovative approach offers an expansive dialogue on how craft and decorative art practices can be translated into endless new possibilities. Earliest Beirut memory... Maria: The slide at the longbeach , the smell of coppertone sunscreen and watching khalli balak min zouzou in Rivoli. Huda: Hamra street, especially near the Piccadilly Theater with Ziad Rahbani. First thing you do upon returning to Beirut after a time away... Huda: In spring I look for the smell of the blossom orange. Autumn, I love the mountains. Winter is the Corniche. Maria: Eat zaatar and thank the heavens. If you could buy any building in Lebanon which would it be... Huda: The vintage 1939 apartment I live in. Maria: A splendid Ottoman/Art Deco jewel in Basta. It lies there sadly waiting for its fate to be sealed. Best piece of advice you have been given... Maria: Look ahead and keep walking. Huda: You are what you do What advice would you give your younger self... Huda: Give time to time and remember how important nature is. Maria: Look around you from time to time, smell the roses. It’s ok to wonder off the track.


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Youth... Summer... Fashion... We gave top London-based Italian fashion illustrator Alessandro Monaco a free hand to close out this issue of A Mag with the looks of the summer, and he gave us some of his most beautiful work yet. These intricate pencil drawings in his trademark style capture the season’s trends with a youthful twist. Will you be wearing them in 2016?

Š Alessandro Monaco


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Š Alessandro Monaco




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A Magazine, Issue 83  

Our summer issue of A Mag, relaunched and redesigned, celebrates youth, not just here but around the world. For if fashion is anything, it i...

A Magazine, Issue 83  

Our summer issue of A Mag, relaunched and redesigned, celebrates youth, not just here but around the world. For if fashion is anything, it i...

Profile for aishti