A Magazine, Issue 95

Page 1


Sabine Getty and other Lebanese citizens of the world

no.95 Aug/Sep/Oct '18 LL10,000

Une femme est une femme © 1961 STUDIOCANAL - Euro International Films S.p.A. All Rights Reserved. D I O R . C O M - 0 1 9 9 1 1 1 1 E X T. 5 9 2

© 2018 Chloé, all rights reserved.






95 No.

Aug/Sep/Oct 2018


The Outsiders Issue


FRONT / 36 Who’s Who / 42 Editor’s Letter The inspiration behind this issue /

44 Contributors A brief selection / 50 Another City, Not My Own Lebanese expats

talk about Beirut / 66 In Focus What’s on this season / 90 Objects of Desire A fall

fashion preview / 100 The Divine Catwalk How Catholicism and fashion intermingle

/ 106 Picture Perfect Architectural photographer Nic Lehoux / 112 Neither Here

Nor There Music star Eliz Murad / 114 Fall is in the Air Two new fashion trends /

118 Style Stories Must-have accessories / FASHION / 128 A Thousand Suns George

Hakim’s spectacular jewelry / 144 Beirut on My Mind Fall and winter fashions with a Beirut backdrop / 156 Swing Time Celebrity jeweler Sabine Getty in our cover story / FEATURES / 174 Big Black Bomb Dark and beautiful / 180 In the Studio with Nice

Nice Prints / 186 Beirut Recycles The city goes green / 188 Subject In Conversation

with Cherine Magrabi Tayeb / 190 A Legacy in Stones Pascal Mouawad talks jewelry / 192 In the Raw Filmmaker Danielle Arbid and her vision of Beirut / 198 Wild and

Free Beirut as pictured by Gogy Esparza / PLAYGROUND / 210 Where We’re Eating

Aug/Sep/Oct 2018

/ 214 On Food Greek cuisine takes on a refined flair / 216 On Wellness Plant your way to pleasure / 218 On Happiness Lush promotes environmental awareness in Lebanon /

220 Where We’re Detoxing / 224 Mexican Escapade At play in Tulum / 228 Where We’re Staying / 232 On Drink Lebanon’s arak is hip again / 234 Where We’re

Drinking / THE END / 240 Solid Gold Men Lebanese jeweler Nada G’s latest collection / 248 The Last Page Gritty Beirut fashion


On the Cover Swiss-born jewelry designer Sabine Getty, whose father is Lebanese, represents the citizen of the world, a person who feels at home in every city yet seldom belongs to any specific place. Insider and outsider, like so many Lebanese people across the globe. Sabine Getty wears a Sonia Rykiel total look, Jimmy Choo heels and Sabine Getty zigzag choker. Shot in London by Jacques Burga / Styling by Ogun Gortan

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

Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman

Creative director Mélanie Dagher

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Associate editor Rayane Abou Jaoude Copy editor Stephanie d’Arc Taylor

Coordinating editor Sophie Nahas Junior digital editor Nour Saliba 40

Senior photo editor Fadi Maalouf Contributing writers

Feature photographers

Sophy Grimshaw

Mena Assad

Tala Habbal

Karim Hussain Niku Kasmai

Michael Karam

Michelle Merheb Shirine Saad

J. Michael Welton Folio artist

Gogy Esparza

Fashion photographers Mohamad Abdouni Jacques Burga Sol Sanchez

Bachar Srour

Edward Black Dana Boulos BTD

Tony Elieh

Maria Khairallah

Tarek Moukaddem Nousha Salimi Stylists

Ogun Gortan

Amelianna Loiacono Illustrator

Marion Garnier

Advertising director Melhem Moussallem Advertising manager Stephanie Missirian

Chief marketing director Karine Abou Arraj Account coordinator Pierre Moussallem Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

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

© 2018 Chloé, all rights reserved.

TESS in sepia brown calfskin and suede




Expat Beirut The Lebanese have always had their eye on the horizon, seeking fame and fortune far beyond their restrictive borders. We’re born in the tiny Mediterranean country and sometimes we even grow up in Beirut or in its environs, but at one point or another, many of us end up leaving Lebanon, often never to return. At last count, there are nearly 14 million Lebanese living outside the country – as opposed to the fewer than 5 million who choose to stay. This latest issue of A Mag is dedicated to the Lebanese diaspora, those incredible people who now live in New York, London, Cairo, Berlin, Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles and elsewhere, and who have fought hard to project a positive, glorious image of their home country. Insiders and outsiders, they remain a source of pride for all other Lebanese – and perhaps their ultimate beacon of hope. Marwan Naaman @marwannaaman



Rayane Abou Jaoude Rayane Abou Jaoude is the associate editor at A Mag. She has been working as a journalist and editor for the last eight years, covering a wide range of stories from lifestyle, culture, the arts and food to politics, security and refugees. After graduating from the American University of Beirut with a degree in English Literature, she began working as a freelance journalist and eventually landed a job at Beirut’s English-language newspaper, The Daily Star. She has since worked as a writer and editor for several platforms. When she’s not writing, she’s prowling the city’s bookstores or putting together ridiculous playlists on iTunes.

Mohamad Abdouni Mohamad Abdouni is a multidisciplinary visual artist, photographer, filmmaker and curator based in Beirut. He is also editor-in-chief and creative director of Cold Cuts magazine, the photo journal exploring queer culture and the Middle East. His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and in festivals around Europe such as IQMF and the Leeds Queer Film Festival. He has worked with the likes of Vice UK, Gucci and Fendi. His personal projects tend to focus on the untold stories of Beirut and the rising queer culture of the city through several documentaries and photo stories. See his George Hakim jewelry shoot on page 128.

Jacques Burga A fashion and portrait photographer and digital entrepreneur, Jacques Burga was born in Lima, Peru and is currently based between New York, Paris, London and Peru. His work has been published in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and others, and he’s collaborated with major fashion houses like Chanel and Dior. At only 22, he founded Lima Social Diary & Latin America, Peru’s first digital magazine focused on fashion, culture, people and lifestyle. He then founded Paris Social Diary and began working with LVMH, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Palais Galliera, to name a few. He is currently focused on launching the UK and American versions of Social Diary, as well as in Asia and the Middle East. See his cover shoot for A Mag on page 156.

Sophy Grimshaw Sophy Grimshaw is a British arts and lifestyle journalist whose work has been published in titles including The Guardian, The Independent, Elle and Condé Nast Traveller. She’s the Editor of MO Magazine, for the Mandarin Oriental hotel group, and Contributing Editor of British Airways’ High Life magazine, and a guest speaker in branded content journalism for City University, London. Specializing in profile pieces, she’s interviewed many musicians (Debbie Harry, Suzanne Vega, Dolly Parton) and actors (Liv Tyler, Sir Ian McKellen, Damian Lewis) as well as artists, designers and politicians. She lives in London with her partner and two young sons. Read her interview with Sabine Getty on page 156.

ANOTHER CITY, NOT MY OWN Words Rayane Abou Jaoude


There’s no doubt that Beirut has always been a center of art, music, design and culture. It’s a haven for creatives, a canvas on which to experiment, telling endless stories that serve as inspiration. But that’s all been covered countless times. This issue, A Mag is turning the tables and looking at other major cities from the perspectives of Beirutis living abroad. This issue, we ask what it means to be Beiruti in another city, and examine how cities often shape who you are.


MAYA HANNOUCHE, MONTREAL AND BEIRUT MAKEUP AND MICROBLADING ARTIST PHOTOGRAPHY TONY ELIEH Obsessed with brows and the way they can change a person’s face, Maya Hannouche specialized as a certified PhiBrows microblading artist following a fine arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal and a stint as a makeup artist at the Annie Young Institute. Currently based between her hometown Beirut and Montreal, Hannouche approaches makeup from a fine arts perspective. “Skin is my canvas, brows are my frame, contouring and color-correcting my palette,” she says. She doesn’t believe in covering or changing, but instead focuses on enhancing and balancing. With microblading, her aim is to steer women toward a more natural-looking option. In fact, the most challenging thing about her job is “convincing my Lebanese clients to tone it down a bit and encouraging my Canadian clients to dial it up when it comes to makeup.”

What’s your favorite thing about Montreal? Being able to walk practically everywhere. That and the fall season in Montreal. Nothing beats the fall leaves, the crisp October air and the pumpkins at the Jean-Talon farmer’s market. Who’s your favorite Lebanese celebrity and why? Amal Clooney. She is such a strong and admirable woman. Intelligent, outspoken, educated, committed to righting the world’s injustices, all while looking drop-dead gorgeous! My kind of woman. What do you miss most about Beirut? The spontaneity! When I wake up in the morning, I have no idea where I’m going to be by the end of the day. There are always a ton of things going on in Beirut. Never a dull moment. What’s your favorite spot in Beirut? Café Younes in Hamra; an authentic landmark, a timeless backdrop for the exchange of ideas. I love the mix of AUB students, foreigners and jeddos playing tawlé. And the original tiles are just so charming. Would you ever move back to Beirut? Why? I’m grateful to be able to go back and forth between Montreal and Beirut but can’t really see myself in either place full-time. Beirut is free from the punishing cold, but the pace, fun as it is, can get pretty intense, and I find myself needing a break from time to time.



Ziyad Hermez was always a picky eater, so it wasn’t very fitting that he would end up specializing in food. But then he moved to the United States in 2002 to go to college and began craving a few things he had always enjoyed, including the manousheh. After he graduated with a degree in information systems technology, he realized that what he had been waiting for over the last 10 years – someone feeding him said manousheh – was never going to happen, unless he tried to bake it himself. He began to learn how to do just that, realizing that the science behind baking was in fact fascinating. He worked with two bakeries in Lebanon, Mouajenet Gardenia and Firin Abou Dawoud, and soon enough opened his own bakery, Manousheh, in Manhattan. His favorite Beirut spot? Sea Sweet, of course. What’s the most challenging thing about your job? Having to explain to people why they’re paying $5 for a manousheh. Just kidding, that’s actually super easy to explain, and the real answer is human resources. What’s your favorite thing about New York? Diversity and acceptance. There are so many people here from so many backgrounds that all come together and share the most amazing things about their cultures. Who’s your favorite Lebanese celebrity and why? Tough question, there are so many doing really great things in the world. Though I have to say, one of the most influential in the past 20 years has to be Tony Fadell for creating the iPod. Oh, and Shannon Elizabeth, for obvious reasons. What do you miss most about Beirut? Family, beach, mountains, food. In that order. Would you ever move back to Beirut? Why? It’s complicated. Being born and raised in Kuwait, I’ve never actually lived there. I will always visit Lebanon as much as I can because it’s my favorite place, but I don’t think I could live there until people stop talking in the cinema! So probably never.




Nur Jaber grew up playing drums and bass guitar in Beirut, moving to Berlin in 2010 and finding her way into the city’s famed house and techno clubs. It’s those cultural experiences that shaped her work and enriched her music, and after studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, she began moving toward electronic and dance music. Much of her exposure was as a result of her residency at STAUB parties, and in 2018 she released her debut album, “If Only – A State of Peace,” played at Berlin’s Berghain club and a Boiler Room session, and debuted at Amsterdam’s Reaktor events. She also plays some shows with live vocals over her DJ sets. Her favorite thing about her adopted city? “Berlin is filled with all kinds of art and music, endless options of amazing third-wave coffee shops and long walks in nature.” What’s the most challenging thing about your job? I’d have to say that the biggest challenge for me, now that I’m traveling more, was realizing that not all gigs and performances will be good. I had to face the fact that there will be bad and tough-to-get-through gigs, and there will be memorable ones, and those are the ones you will write about. Who’s your favorite Lebanese celebrity and why? Khalil Gibran. I’ve been feeling really connected to his writings. I’m inspired by the way he expressed himself with such love and truth, reaching most of the world. Fairuz is another great inspiration, an artist who sang about what makes Beirut sad and beautiful. What do you miss most about Beirut? The food, sea and sun and my family. I miss long lunches with family and friends, laughing and talking over arak, fattoush and hummus. What’s your favorite spot in Beirut? Kalei cafe. Really good coffee in a serene and green surrounding. Would you ever move back to Beirut? Why? I don’t see myself moving back there anytime soon. I’ve still got a lot of strength to build and wounds to heal that I’m working on in parallel to achieving my dreams as an artist.





Giovanina Atieh is the woman behind Maison Pyramide, a house of international consultants and creatives. The Holding includes Maison Pyramide The Factory, Maison Pyramide The Showroom and Maison Pyramide The Shop. She received a degree in advertising and fashion communication in Milan and has worked with Vivienne Westwood’s PR and styling teams. She also worked with leading retail groups before setting up house in Cairo in 2014. Would she ever move back to Beirut? “My love and life are now in Cairo, but my heart will always belong to Beirut. And with the new expansion plan and The Showroom headquarters in Beirut, hopefully I’ll be bridging my two lives. It’s only a 50-minute flight, so I’ll hopefully be going back and forth a lot.” What’s the most challenging thing about your job? Challenges arise all the time, and having your own company means that it’s no longer about work challenges, rather an overall feeling of responsibility. But we definitely face daily challenges that need on-the-spot solutions, so problem-solving skills is what our team is all about. What’s your favorite thing about Cairo? The vast opportunity that still exists in this city. It is chaotic, which is something I love, because it’s from this chaos that I was lucky to find our anchors that are the foundation of Maison Pyramide. Who’s your favorite Lebanese celebrity and why? Nadine Labaki. I admire her passion and work that I find truly empowering. I also admire the fact that she’s not out there trying to fit in, but is rather more focused on keeping her aesthetic. What do you miss most about Beirut? I miss the leisure part of everything in Beirut: the nightlife, the food and the service. I also miss the fact that everything is more or less walkable. What’s your favorite spot in Beirut? I love Mar Mikhael. It’s always wonderful walking around there. You can basically find everything, and it’s always nicely busy. For me, it’s the heart of Beirut.




Born and raised in London, Nadim Naaman was recently appointed an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, training in musical theater. This summer he will be playing Khalil Gibran in the West End premiere of his novel Broken Wings at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket. He also penned the book for this new musical adaptation. He recently played Bertie Wooster in the musical By Jeeves and Viscount Raoul de Chagny in The Phantom of the Opera, and he has starred in many others. Naaman has also performed at the Royal Albert Hall on numerous occasions, been a guest soloist with a number of orchestras, and his studio album Sides topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart. His favorite Lebanese celebrity? Salma Hayek. “Like me, she has a mixed heritage, but is totally in tune with her Lebanese side. Her humanitarian work is inspirational, and she has found a way of using her celebrity to help those who need it the most.” What’s the most challenging thing about your job? The irregularity and inconsistency of job type and job length. One minute you’re in a West End show, the next you’re traveling the world singing in concerts. And then maybe nothing for a month or two. What’s your favorite thing about London? London offers everything. The combination of history and modernity, things to do, every imaginable type of person to meet. Whatever you want to do, you can find what you’re looking for in London. What do you miss most about Beirut? Virtually all of my father’s side of the family live in Beirut. Leaving is always a little sad, as I’m not sure how long it will be before I next see them. But I do my best to visit once or twice every year. What’s your favorite spot in Beirut? I love going for a morning run along the Corniche. And I feel very at home among the hustle and bustle of Hamra. Would you ever move to Beirut? I have two young daughters, and my wife and I are very settled in London at present, so I don’t think we’d make such a big switch in the near future. We have flights booked to visit in October and can’t wait.





Born in France and raised in Beirut, Karim Saleh moved to London to study acting but, as luck would have it, managed to get kicked out three years later, shy of a diploma. It wasn’t all bad though; as a result, he landed his first role in Andrew Litvack’s Merci Docteur Rey. His first lead role was in the Emmy-nominated film The Hamburg Cell, whose critical acclaim led him to several big-budget movies in the United States. He’s worked on nearly 40 productions around the world since, alternating between television and cinema, blockbuster and indie. He’s been living in Los Angeles since 2009, with recent appearances in the TV series Counterpart and Transparent. Besides working with the greats like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott, Saleh has worked with mostly women directors and hopes to work with more in the future. What he misses most about Beirut is “the wonderful contradiction between [its] sensuality and its conservatism. Beirut is a fetishist’s paradise.” What’s the most challenging thing about your job? Having to maintain discipline and motivation in the face of rejection. What’s your favorite thing about Los Angeles? Its lack of a consistent identity; it’s polymorphous, and the vastness, the spaciousness contributes to its neutrality. Who’s your favorite Lebanese celebrity and why? At the moment it’s Amal Clooney, because for a long time Lebanese women have been glamorized and objectified. Her career and activism make it about her values and intellect, and her unique vantage point in the media affords her a sought-after strategic position as a spokesperson. What’s your favorite spot in Beirut? I used to love a gym called Olympic near Gemmayze, I think it’s closed now. I also like Tawlet and my grandmother’s house in her village. Would you ever move back to Beirut? Why? I think I wouldn’t, but who knows. I think I’d feel oppressed by politics and religion.


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In Focus Amazing Alaïa_____ The world lost one of its greatest designers last year, but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate his work. London’s Design Museum is showcasing “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” an exhibition conceived and co-curated with Alaïa himself prior to his death. It showcases over 60 of his iconic garments from the 1980s to the present such as the zipped dress, the bandage dress, the corset belt and the stretch body, alongside a series of commissioned pieces by other brilliant designers. Alaïa personally constructed each garment by hand, dressing stars and celebrities like Greta Garbo, Grace Jones and Rihanna. It’s a riveting experience. Until October 7, designmuseum.org

Sante D’Orazio



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





In Focus Soft Coating_____ In the 1980s, Milan-based Max Mara made a name for itself by creating its now classic camel coat. Fast forward a few decades, and Max Mara has been able to retain that iconic coat, while updating it to fit the style and needs of the 21st century woman. Two standout pieces this winter are the off-white, cream-colored, oversized camel coat, which wraps around a woman’s body with elegant ease, and the grey camel coat that is soft, flattering and infinitely chic. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

Oussama Baalbaki/Agial, The Chainsmokers, Max Mara, Albert Oehlen


Bangin’ Byblos_____ We cover the Byblos International Festival year after year, and the reason is simple: we can never get enough. The 2018 lineup is absolutely legendary (no surprise there), beginning with international pop duo The Chainsmokers; Finnish soprano and former lead singer of Nightwish Tarja Turunen; Caracalla’s brilliant show Finiqia, the Legend Lives On as a tribute to Byblos; Greek songstress Nana Mouskouri; and Lebanese oud player Charbel Rouhana, who is collaborating with 25 musicians to praise Egyptian singer and composer Sayyed Darwish. August 1-24, byblosfestival.org

Beirut and the Arts_____ The 2018 edition of the Beirut Art Fair is reinforcing the presence of leading galleries in contemporary and modern art, as it reflects the rapidly changing times in the country. Exhibiting works from new countries like Germany, Belgium, Armenia and Ivory Coast, it is now bigger, better and much more selective, with the focus exhibition being on photography collector Tarek Nahas’ collection, “Across Boundaries.” Says founder and director Laure d’Hauteville: “Art allows us to maintain our hopes and strive for an ideal, initiates a dialogue between cultures and carries a message of peace.” September 20-23, beirut-art-fair.com


You Put Me in a Trance_____ German artist Albert Oehlen is the focus of the upcoming exhibit at the Aïshti Foundation in Antelias. For its fourth major exhibition, the seaside art space is hosting “Trance,” a solo showcase of Oehlen’s work, plus a group show curated by Oehlen and drawn from both the Aïshti Foundation’s collection and from the artist’s personal collection. The exhibit opens on October 21 and runs for a year. See you there! aishtifoundation.com

In Focus

A Stroke of Genius_____ Remo Ruffini, chairman, CEO and co-owner of luxe Italian brand Moncler, is widely credited with having turned the company’s fortunes around. This year, he relaunched Moncler with something he’s named the Genius Group. In a nod to the Instagram generation, Moncler is releasing eight unique collections, each rolled out on a monthly basis and designed by big names like Pierpaolo Piccioli, Craig Green and Simona Rocha – aka the Genius Group. Each of the eight collections is targeted toward a different consumer. Which one best fits your style? Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

Baalbeck is Back_____ There’s nothing we like more than watching a good show among the ruins of the Bacchus Temple, and we’re not the only ones. The Baalbeck International Festival has, since 1956, featured some of the greatest local and international musical artists, and this year’s lineup is no different. Expect the best for the month of August with French singer-songwriter Matthieu Chedid and a special appearance by Ibrahim Maalouf; the musical play Illa Iza… by the great Georges Khabbaz; From Tarab to Jazz by duo Jahida Wehbe and Elie Maalouf; and international sensation Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. Off to Baalbeck we go! Until August 18, baalbeck.org.lb

Wild Side_____ Stella McCartney has always had a soft spot for the animal kingdom. This winter, she answers the call of the wild by creating a series of pieces inspired by majestic beasts. Tops and skirts come in colorful animal prints, while sweaters showcase larger-than-life depictions of roaring lions and watercolor cheetahs. It’s eco- and animal-friendly wear, typical Stella. Available at the Stella McCartney boutique in Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Balenciaga, Gavin Conaty, Stanley Kubrick, Stella McCartney, Moncler

Triangular Flair_____ Balenciaga’s playful Triangle Duffle S shoulder bag is inspired by ski boots. This winter must-have has top handles, a top zip fastening, an internal zipped pocket and a printed logo on the front. Made from royal blue leather, it’s sure to turn heads anywhere you go. Available at the Balenciaga boutique in Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea



Eyes Wide Shut_____ “Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs” explores the famed film director’s formative years as a photographer for Look magazine between 1945 and 1950. On view at the Museum of the City of New York, the show includes over 130 photographs, many never-beforeseen and all set in New York: the grit and glamour of the city, nightclubs, street scenes and sporting events are reimagined through Kubrick’s lens. With a maturity well beyond his years and a distinctive artistic flair, Kubrick captured the anguish of daily life in the city. Until October 28, mcny.org

In Focus

Sensing Switzerland_____ Photographer Paul Clemence, who trained as an architect, is currently exhibiting his latest body of work at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York. Clemence’s images are exclusively of Swiss museums, specifically ones designed by great architects such as Mario Botta, Renzo Piano and Christ & Gantenbein. The focus of his work is on the seamless threads that connect architecture to its environment, emphasizing the beauty of buildings that are designed to be part of their natural settings. Until January 7, 2019, paulclemence.com

Up in the Mountains_____ There’s a new destination in Faqra for food and fashion lovers. La Piazza, which opened in time for the summer season, houses a selection of restaurants, bars and dessert parlors, including Meat the Fish, Brgr.Co, Bar du Port, The Malt Gallery, Casper & Gambini’s, Néo Gourmet, Dunkin’ Donuts and Häagen-Dazs. Before and after your meal, you can shop at Aïzone and Fracshion boutiques. All the more reason to head up to Faqra.

Paul Clemence, La Piazza


Mini Gate Bags in Calf and Matte Python, 2018

loewe.com Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias

In Focus Nordic Know-How_____ This summer, the best of Nordic art is on display during the Chart Art Fair’s sixth edition in Copenhagen. Set at Chartlottenborg Palace in the Danish capital, the fair brings together 31 contemporary art galleries from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, and includes an expanded design section, site-specific architectural installations and exhibitions showcasing emerging artists and designers. “Chart comprises Copenhagen’s ingenuity, combining the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. I look forward to continuing to work to maintain Chart’s position as a relevant and inspiring platform for contemporary art, highlighting what the Nordic cultural scene can contribute to society,” says newly appointed director Nanna Hjortenberg. August 31-September 2, chartartfair.com


Annaellegallery, The Kooples

Grunge and Baroque_____ Can you believe that The Kooples turns 10 this year? The edgy French label is celebrating its decade in fashion by releasing five mini collections, over the course of five months, all of them subtly balancing grunge and baroque. The women’s fall collection features renewed volumes that favor comfort and freedom, as well as faux fur coats, velvet tops, down jackets and parkas. Floral print tops add a touch of summer to this winter wardrobe. Available at The Kooples boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

In Focus

Outdoor Attitude_____ It you’re planning a mountain escape this winter, grab yourself an outfit from Sportmax. The dynamic Italian label’s urban-inflected looks are inspired by outdoor sports gear and updated with tech details for winter. A collection highlight? The “Off-Limit” scarf that perfectly captures the Sportmax vibe. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

Prized Pieces_____ Buccellati just released two new handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces – earrings and a bracelet – both featuring the Italian jeweler’s signature honeycomb technique. The delicate white and yellow gold objects recall the elegant lace ruff (large round collar) worn by European nobility during the 16th and 17th centuries. Available at Aïshti by the Sea

Buccellati, ICA, Sportmax, Timo Ohler


People on a Bench_____ Last December, Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) unveiled its brandnew building in the city’s stylish Design District. The inaugural program featured a number of fascinating exhibits, both inside, in the sleek new space, and in the outdoor sculpture garden. One of the highlights is undoubtedly George Segal’s instantly recognizable 1979 sculpture, “Three Figures and Four Benches.” The Pop artist’s moving, figurative piece is made of steel and plaster, and it explores the human figure as it relates to the surrounding environment. Until November 1, 2020, icamiami.org


No Heroes Here_____ It’s the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, and it spans five locations around the city. Excited yet? Titled “We Don’t Need Another Hero” (a reference to Tina Turner’s 1985 hit), this year’s biennale rejects the idea of a savior and explores the political potential of the act of self-preservation. Led by curator Gabi Ngcobo and exhibiting the works of 46 artists, the biennale is a conversation with the contributors who think and act beyond art. Expect a groundbreaking exposition. Until September 9, berlinbiennale.de

In Focus

Sonnie Boy_____ Chloé’s creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi has launched delightfully hip new shoes for fall. The Sonnie sneaker, with its sloped silhouette, split bi-color sole and cross strap detailing is available either as a high-top or classic running style. The Sonnie looks just as good with casual denim as it does with a tailored blazer and sleek pants. Available at the Chloé boutique in Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chloé, Fabio Sguazzin


The Digital Age_____ The Internet has – quite literally – changed our lives forever, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago has chosen to document that period, from 1998 to the present, through its show, “I Was Raised on the Internet.” Exhibiting almost 100 works spanning photography, painting, sculpture, film and video, including interactive computer works and virtual reality, the museum explores the idea of the “millennial,” what it means to be present online today and how the world wide web has influenced us. Extremely pertinent to the times and certainly captivating, the exhibit is not to be missed. Until October 14, mcachicago.org


Dreams and Darkness_____ JoAnn Locktov’s third book on Venice, Dream of Venice in Black and White, is a consciousness-raiser. She sees a city threatened by tourism and cruise ships encroaching on infrastructure and culture. “Venice is in deep, deep trouble,” she says. “There are mass tourism and sea monsters taking over the lagoon.” Award-winning author and Venice native Tiziano Scarpa penned its introduction. “We are dying out,” he writes. “The city prefers to be inhabited by someone else: not so much by other categories of human beings but by another way of being in the world.” This is a book whose warnings may sound dire, but whose photographs are exquisite. Visit bellafigurapublications.com/dream-venice-black-white

In Focus

Precious Serenade_____ Lebanese jeweler George Hakim’s Floating Lullaby collection features flawless, delicately sculpted pieces in a variety of settings and styles. Choose from a white or pink gold base, with dramatic diamonds and a mix of either cut rubies or sapphires. A real floating wonder. georgehakim.com

Time to Play_____ Aïshti by the Sea in Antelias is now home to a brandnew playground just for kids. C2C by the Sea opened at the end of June and it offers a toddler area, painting area, games, a bicycle track, a ball pit and many other attractions. Daily activities, including edutainment workshops, ensure that your kids remain entertained for the long term.

C2C, George Hakim, Sonia Rykiel, David Wojnarowicz


A Paris Revolution_____ The Pavé bag is the emblem of a cultural revolution. It was first spotted in 1968, in the hands of Parisian Left Bank students revolting against outdated mores and ideas. To celebrate the bag’s 50th anniversary, French brand Sonia Rykiel is launching its own Pavé Parisien, designed by Julie de Libran. Shaped like a cube and totally edgy, the bag is available in eight subtle shades of leather. A modern bag that celebrates the past but is created for the future. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea


Falling Buffalo_____ Artist David Wojnarowicz was a New York mainstay from the late 1970s until his death in 1992, a former street kid and hustler who quickly became a star of the East Village art scene. The Whitney Museum of American Art is hosting the first major retrospective of the artist, with an exhibit titled “History Keeps Me Awake at Night.” The show takes a look at Wojnarowicz’s extraordinary body of work, including paintings, photographs, films, installations, sculptures and writing, many attesting to his personal life as a gay man living in a homophobic world. A contemporary of Nan Goldin, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, the artist was also an advocate for people with AIDS – the virus that eventually killed him at 37. The Whitney exhibit examines Wojnarowicz’s life and art, while striving to unravel their complexity. Until September 30, whitney.org

In Focus

Wrist Romance_____ Repossi’s stylish new Antifer bracelet evolved from the Italian jewelry house’s iconic Antifer ring. Inspired by the purity of architectural lines and by contemporary art, the bracelet comes in various models: in rose or white gold, unadorned or with single or double rows of diamonds. The statement piece is available at the Sylvie Saliba boutique in Ashrafieh. sylviesaliba.com

Design and the City_____ For four days in September, Beirut celebrates the next generation of Lebanese designers and creators. Now in its second edition, the Beirut Design Fair was devised to promote Lebanon’s budding designers, with a special focus on craftsmanship and collaborative works. This year, the event also include conferences and workshops related to design. Beirut Design Fair takes place at the Seaside Arena in Downtown Beirut. September 20-23

IXSIR, Mawsam, Repossi


Wine and Memories_____ Lebanese winery IXSIR, located in Basbina in the lush hills above Batroun, is now open for dinner, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The on-site restaurant, Nicolas Audi à la Maison d’IXSIR, has been open for lunch for quite some time, offering Lebanese cuisine prepared with a contemporary twist by the famed chef. Guests can enjoy Audi’s creative dishes, paired with IXSIR’s superlative wines, either in the historic vaulted dining room or outside under the mulberry trees, for both lunch and dinner. A memorable way to spend a day or an evening. Visit ixsir.com

SOLID GOLD MEN Beirut Souks - ABC Dbayeh - ABC Achrafieh - ABC Verdun +961 1 983443 - www.nadag.com



In Focus

Art in the Garden_____ Le Bristol, Paris’ iconic hotel, is once again offering art as part of its hospitality experience. After Daniel Buren and Ugo Rondinone, Le Bristol is now hosting three sculptures by late British artist Lynn Chadwick. One of the great postWorld War II artists, Chadwick created distinctive semiabstract sculptures in bronze or steel. This summer guests can admire “Monitor” (1965), “Dancers” (1967) and “Teddy Boy & Girl” (1979), three coveted Chadwick pieces set in Le Bristol’s perfectly manicured garden. The works are available from Galerie Blain|Southern. Until October 31, oetkercollection.com/destinations/lebristol-paris/

Technicolor Beirut_____ Colorful buildings, rich graffiti, cartoons and murals are now a big, lively part of Ouzai’s urban fabric. Businessman Ayad Nasser, who himself hails from that part of Beirut, has changed the face of the neighborhood, bringing life and vibrancy to an otherwise poor and neglected area now known as Ouzville. Ouzville has become an open-air gallery and an artistic destination all its own. The project is also encouraging recycling, urban farming and the use of solar panels, with the hopes of doing the same in other neglected areas across Lebanon. “We need to start giving back to our country and fixing it,” says Nasser. facebook.com/ouzville

Le Bristol, Maria Khairallah, Ayad Nasser


Toy Story_____ Lebanon’s toy emporium JouéClub just opened a new boutique at Aïshti by the Sea in Antelias. The new children’s paradise carries high-end toys, educational games, gadgets and much more. JouéClub is also organizing kids’ activities every weekend at Aïshti by the Sea. Bring your family and join the fun.


photographed by steven meisel

aishti by the sea antelias

04 717 716 ext 247



OBJECTS OF DESIRE Photography Bachar Srour Shot at Blat Chaaya





Slippers Balenciaga _______ You can wear them to the beach, to the store or inside your own home. Demna Gvasalia’s stylish slippers are designed to last – and to catch every eye



Shoes Valentino __________ They may not be ruby slippers but they’ll certainly fly you to Oz. Click these heels and you’ll instantly be transported to the heart of contemporary fashion

Aïshti By the Sea, Antelias Tel 04 717 716 ext 248

Aïshti Downtown Beirut Tel 01 991 111 ext 130

Shoes Dior ________ Look at these little Diorlings, sparkly and velvety all at once. Style has seldom been so comfortable






etro.com #FaithfulToLoveAndBeauty



Words Niku Kasmai

Dolce & Gabbana


Religion has long exerted a powerful influence on fashion


It was a religious experience. If you watched Dolce & Gabbana’s fall/winter 2018-19 runway show, you couldn’t have missed the overt references to Catholicism and the obvious influences that the church exerted upon their collection.

While the Roman Catholic Church has been a recurrent theme in Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s designs for many years, never before had it been featured so prominently in the Italian duo’s collections. Velvet tunics, coats and shoes were adorned with angels, while oversized crosses dangled from models’ ears and gold incense dispensers were transformed into bags. The label’s classic pantsuit appeared on the runway in the rich brocades from Venice and Rome that are also used to make habits for Italian priests. On the humorous side, T-shirts and tops were emblazoned with religiously inspired sayings like “Fashion Sinner.”

The two men have never hidden their attraction to Italy’s dominant religion. In fact, Gabbana has even stated that he visits Milan’s San Babila church every Sunday. But the two Italians are certainly not the only fashion designers to have looked to a higher power for fashion inspiration. Back in 1998, Alexander McQueen based his winter runway show on Catholic martyr Joan of Arc, and in 2007 for his couture show, Jean Paul Gaultier dressed his models in gowns that looked like stained glass, while adding halos to their hairdos.


In a nod to the continuing pull that the Roman Catholic Church seems to exert upon fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its sister institution the Met Cloisters, both in New York, are now hosting a magnificent exhibit that highlights this most intriguing of relationships. Running until October 8 and titled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the show plays out as a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from the Met’s collection, while exploring fashion’s connection with Catholic traditions. Massive in scale, the show covers nearly 60,000 square feet of exhibition space and is the largest exhibit the Met’s Costume Institute has ever staged. “The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects and customs continues the everevolving relationship between art and religion,” says Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met. “The museum’s collection of Byzantine and western medieval art, in combination with the architecture and galleries that house these collections at The Met, provide the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.”

“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring one another”

On the historical side, the exhibit features 40 ecclesiastical masterpieces from the Sistine Chapel, some in their first foray outside of the Vatican. They include papal vestments – actual papal robes – and accessories, such as tiaras and rings, dating back from the 18th century all the way up to the present day. In addition, there are various pieces from the Met’s private collection, including a reliquary cross from the 14th century and a fragment of a floor mosaic with a personification of Ktisis (a figure that symbolizes generous donation). But the most dazzling part of the show is the fashion. There are over 150 outfits from 50 designers on view, generally womenswear, all of them attesting to the close bond between fashion and the Catholic imagination. Standouts include a gold brocaded gown by John Galliano from Dior’s 2000-2001 collection, a statuary

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Traveling further back in time, legendary couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga identified the robes worn by priests as a primary influence on his work.


“Fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects and customs continues the relationship between art and religion”

vestment from Yves Saint Laurent for the Virgin of El Rocío from 1985 and a Valentino evening dress from 2014 with an intricate illustration of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There are also exquisite, holierthan-thou ensembles by the likes of Chanel, Versace, Christian Lacroix, Viktor & Rolf, Azzedine Alaïa, Elsa Schiaparelli, Dolce & Gabbana and many, many more. At a time when religion is yet again at the forefront of human thought, Dolce & Gabbana’s divine winter collection and the Met’s inspired exhibit function as a glorious and contemporary celebration of the beauty that was once engendered under the auspices of religious institutions.

“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” says Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu curator in charge of the Met’s Costume Institute. “Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”

Dolce & Gabbana, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


p. Paola Naone - ph.Andrea Ferrari

Baxter flagship store Al Arz street, Saifi Beirut Lebanon +961 1 563 111 baxter@vivre.com.lb Vivre Dbayeh internal rd & Congress Center bridge inters Antelias +961 4 520 111 inside@vivre.com.lb vivre.com.lb

Words J. Michael Welton


Architecture photographer Nic Lehoux blends conscience, talent and skill




“I’m mixing in the slow-food approach to photography. I’m very discreet when I shoot – I see action quickly, compose rigorously and then shoot”


Nic Lehoux is an architectural photographer with a social conscience. Ask him about his influencers, and he’ll name some of the great photographers who over the past 50 years have chronicled buildings, people and life itself: Ezra Stoller, Sebastião Salgado, James Nachtwey, Josef Koudelka and Gordon Parks. But he’ll also bring up some of the original thinkers of our time: Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela – even Muhammad Ali. They all feed into his philosophy of documenting for the greater good through photography. “These are people who think outside the box – the great sociological thinkers who are trying to redefine what living in the 21st century is about,” he says. “You soak that in, and when you’re on the street in an urban environment, it comes out.”


Lehoux’s been shooting for 22 years now. He was trained first as an architect, then ventured into photojournalism and later, social documentaries. Eventually all those interests merged into photographing buildings. Museums are a favorite – he estimates he’s shot 150 of them. He’s documented architecture designed by the best: Renzo Piano, David Adjaye, Thomas Mayne, Jeanne Gang, Bjarke Engels and Henning Larsen, among others. His talent takes him across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. “The only places I haven’t worked are Oceania and Antarctica,” he says. He prefers digital images in a medium-range format, rather than the 35mm that’s common today. “It slows me down a little, but it makes the imagery much more polished,” he says. His photos are well-lit, dramatic and often abstract. Some focus on form, others on detail – and still others on both. His shooting style is not the typical “run and gun” approach with hundreds of shots in a day. Instead, Lehoux is methodical. “I’m mixing in the slow-food approach to photography,” he says. “I’m very discreet when I shoot – I see action quickly, compose rigorously and then shoot.”

He’s known for setting up a shot and allowing people to enter naturally and be photographed. “I like shooting public spaces more than private residences,” he says. “That’s because the impact is on how people move around the space, how engrossed they are in it and what’s going on in the building.” Take, for example, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. There, he sought to give the viewer as much information as possible about what goes on inside the Adjaye-designed spaces – especially the people immersed in its galleries. “I was trying to incite in the viewer what a beautiful, celebratory, meditative and incredible addition to the city it is, and how people walk through it and get into the flow,” he says.


His relationships with clients – almost always perfectionist architects – are fairly open. They look to him for feedback about their designs after sending him renderings, drawings and concepts. “They leave it up to me,” he says. “I’ll spend two to three days on a building an architect has spent five to seven years on, so the scale of time documenting the thing is a crescendo, but it’s so short. They’ll say: ‘You run with it now.’” His training in architectural design has paid off in spades. And he’s got a recognizable style that’s hard to replicate. “It’s easy to identify my images,” he says. “It comes from a background with 4x5 camera composition, lighting and then mixing in a real street

sense – it’s easy to do a couple of shots of a project, but a lot more’s involved to tell a full story.”

If he gets very little client direction for his work, there’s a reason for that. “They know I’ll come back with a story they haven’t seen before,” he says. “One very famous architect said: ‘We send everybody else, and then we send Nic in.’” At the end of his career, he believes he’ll own a body of work that carries true gravitas. “When I call it quits, maybe a Yale or a Harvard Graduate School of Design will have a reference to what this era is about,” he says. “I’ve shot some of the most interesting buildings of the last 100 years.” And he’s brought a new perspective to each.

Words Shirine Saad



NEITHER HERE NOR THERE Torn between French culture and her Lebanese roots, Eliz Murad turned to music to explore her emotional quest Growing up in Champagne, Eliz Murad loved the tunes of Umm Kulthum, Fairuz and Asmahan played by her mother in the kitchen while she prepared the family’s tabbouleh and hummus. Every summer, she visited Lebanon. She learned to play the organ at age 10, then turned to bass guitar as a teenager, accompanying her older brother who played the guitar. Together they listened to rock classics by Jimmy Hendrix, Nirvana and Leonard Cohen. Murad fell for the songs of Tina Turner, Billie Holiday and the divas of pop music and jazz.

Years later, studies in art and odd jobs in music stores and on movie productions led Murad to music again. When she was 26, she met electric guitarist Arno Vincendeau, and together they launched music band Teleferik, with Murad on vocals and bass guitar, and Vincendeau on lead guitar. “I realized I wanted to spread messages through music,” she says. “The music I was hearing from the Middle East lacked an element of fusion. I wanted to hear really well-produced, groovy rock music with Arabic tones, and I wanted to channel the power of female divas. I wanted something grittier than what I was hearing, something more punk. To make simple, catchy Arabic tunes with an element of urgency, of spontaneity. We started improvising, and that’s how our first songs were born.”

The duo started playing in bars and clubs across Paris. They released two indie EPs and an album, Lune Electric, in 2015. Tours took them to Korea and the United States. They have since worked with Lawrence Clais (Phoenix, M and De La Soul), and Imari Kokubo, who was the band’s drummer from 2011 to 2013 and who recorded on their second EP Louve Garou, released in 2013. Joe Babiak (Michael Angelo, Kill Hannah and Cage9) played with Teleferik during their US tour in 2014 and Korea tour in 2016. Olivier Hurtu (Jesus Volt) has been with the band since 2014. On Blood Orange Syrup, their second full album, they collaborated with Rizan Said, the keyboard player and composer who has worked with Omar Suleyman. Azzedine Jelil, producer

of Rita Mitsouko, produced the new album, which was paid for by a successful crowdfunding campaign and was released this year.

Now 34, Murad sings in English, French and Arabic, moving fluidly between various aspects of her identity. On Blood Orange Syrup, some songs begin with an oud solo and tackle issues of communication, in Arabic, while others are bluesier in tone, addressing womanhood, self-expression, freedom and love. The song “Aloulé,” for example, talks about the narrowness of Lebanese mentalities, and the inability to communicate. “Khalina Nshouf” is lighter, about fun and love. Throughout these adventures, encounters and challenges, the singer has fully embraced the complexity of her upbringing, and now celebrates it. “I realized growing up in France that I wasn’t fully French,” she says. “The most liberating thing for me has been to embrace wholly the complexity of my identity. I realized that I’m rich.”



Whether it’s the seductive shine of sequins or the casual allure of oversized clothing, here are two autumn trends to get you warmed up for the cool-weather season




2. 5.







Dolce & Gabbana

10. 11. 12.

1. Jimmy Choo 2. Balmain 3. Gucci 4. Valentino 5. Miu Miu 6. MSGM 7. MSGM 8. Marc Jacobs 9. Gucci 10. Marc Jacobs 11. Balenciaga 12. Jimmy Choo


3. 5.


6. 2.




10. 9.

Stella McCartney


10. 1. Marc Jacobs 2. Céline 3. Balenciaga 4. Balenciaga 5. Chloé 6. Gucci 7. Loewe 8. Balenciaga 9. Gucci 10. Balenciaga 11. Off-White 12. Gucci 13. Saint Laurent

11. 13.

Aïshti, Downtown Beirut 01.991111 Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias 04.717716




Prada bag and Rag & Bone T-shirt


This page: Balenciaga bag Opposite page: Gucci shoe



Chloé bag


Valentino bag


This page: Prada shoe Opposite page: Fendi bag and Marella jumpsuit



Gucci slippers

Lebanon: Aïshti Downtown Beirut, Aïshti By the Sea Antelias, Aïshti Verdun


She wears an Alessandra Rich dress, George Hakim pear- and oval-shaped diamond earrings, bracelets and ring


She wears an Alberta Ferretti dress, and necklace and earrings with exceptional sapphires and diamonds by George Hakim

She’s in an Alberta Ferretti dress and George Hakim pear- and oval-shaped diamond earrings, bracelets and ring

Alain Philippe 18-karat pink gold and white diamond watch from George Hakim

She‘s in an Alberta Ferretti dress and bracelet with pear-shaped and round diamonds on rose gold by George Hakim

This page and opposite: She is in a dress by Cushnie et Ochs, and a pure white diamond necklace and earrings by George Hakim

She’s in an Alberta Ferretti dress, bracelet with pear-shaped and round diamonds on rose gold by George Hakim

She wears a Self-Portrait dress, with a fancy yellow and white diamond necklace and earrings by George Hakim

She wears a dress by David Koma, and a yellow diamond and blue sapphire ring by George Hakim

She wears a Stella McCartney dress, and an emerald and diamond ring and earrings by George Hakim

She wears a Roberto Cavalli suit, a white diamond necklace and rings by George Hakim

She wears an Alberta Ferretti dress, and necklace and earrings with exceptional sapphires and diamonds by George Hakim

This page and opposite: She’s in a Dion Lee dress with an emerald and diamond necklace and earrings by George Hakim

Model Kris at Runway Management Makeup Christian Abouhaidar at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa Hair Rashad at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa



She’s in an Etro total look

She’s in a Gucci total look

This page: She’s in a Marni total look Opposite page: She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana top

This page: She’s in an Attico bodysuit, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini top and vintage stockings Opposite page: She’s in a Fendi cape

This page: She wears a dress by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and shoes by Charlotte Olympia Opposite page: She’s in a Prada total look

She wears a Moschino dress

She’s in an Alberta Ferretti dress Model Margaux Lenot at Fashion Model Management Makeup Frédérique van Espen Hair Kazuko Katiako

Words Sophy Grimshaw

SWING TIME Sabine Getty channels old Hollywood glamour Photography Jacques Burga

Styling Ogun Gortan


This page: Sabine wears an Osman coat, Wolford bodysuit, Gerbe tights, Jimmy Choo heels, Stephen Jones hat and Sabine Getty chokers and earrings Opposite page: Sabine is in an Osman dress, Ribbon belt and Sabine Getty zigzag necklace, feathered ear cuff earrings and disc ring



This page: Sabine wears a Mary Katrantzou jacket, Philip Treacy hat and Sabine Getty hoop earrings Opposite page: Sabine wears a Sonia Rykiel total look, Jimmy Choo heels and Sabine Getty zigzag choker

“I can’t believe that just happened,” says Sabine Getty with a laugh. “This is not the kind of stuff that happens to me at all.” She’s just stepped out of a black cab onto a West London street close to her home, and a stranger has approached her to ask her out, saying “I know this is kind of random, but you look cute.” She smiles and flashes her wedding ring at him, by way of thanks but no thanks. In 2012, the Swiss-born jewelry designer wed financier Joseph Getty – of the famed oil wealth dynasty – at the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome. She wore a custom-made hooded Schiaparelli gown that was embroidered with 500,000 sequins. Her brand, previously Sabine G (her maiden name was Ghanem, her father was Lebanese), from then on went by Sabine Getty. It’s fine jewelry, with prices in the low thousands, but the overall feel is contemporary, vibrant and internet-friendly: pieces can be purchased through Getty’s own website, as well as within a handful of high-end stores globally, such as Browns in London. Rihanna, Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman are among the women who’ve been seen sporting Sabine Getty pieces.

“What I like about making jewelry is that it’s very precise and technical, and has as a proper craft that you have to learn,” says Getty, who graduated from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, in California. “I used to study media and communications, and I found it too vague. What I liked about jewelry is that it had materials to it, with a weight. But more than that, for me, jewelry is a medium to tell a story. So the end result is not just an object, but a whole world.” The newest Sabine Getty collection, BIG, has its unlikely origins in the wooden play-blocks of Getty’s toddler daughter, Gene. “I had just had my baby girl, and I was taking a break, totally immersed in that world of baby love,” she says. “But one day, as we were playing with her geometric blocks, I lifted two up near her face and suddenly thought, ‘these would make incredible earrings.’ I immediately started to draw pieces of jewelry. I refined the forms a little and eventually

created the collection with pink, yellow, green and blue sapphires. They are really bright, vibrant stones.” Has motherhood been good for Getty creatively? “Completely. Parenthood makes you look at things again: my daughter is in awe of so many things that I don’t even pay attention to. It makes you rediscover the world, but on a smaller scale – even just within your own home. It’s good to feel a sense of wonder.”

The name BIG itself is an homage to the classic Tom Hanks movie. “The film is the story of a boy who makes a wish at a fair and becomes a grown up. He’s a child in an adult body, who has to behave like a grown-up. Well that’s exactly how I feel!” says Getty. “It’s so nice to reconnect with that part of ourselves and to wear jewelry in a playful and fun way, rather than everything being so serious.” Films and the language of cinema often feature in her creative process. “I grew up loving old movies as a wonderful world of escapism. I love Technicolor movies from the 1960s because they’re so happy. Movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, or the films of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. I always try to bring the joy and magic that I find in movies into my work.”


She recently took the decision to move production of her pieces from Italy to Lebanon, her father’s home country, where she herself lived as a teenager. “I have very fond memories of my years in Beirut. I lived in Lebanon from the ages of 12 to 17 and was at the French Lycée. I had such a big group of extrovert friends, and we were so creative, everything felt possible. Beirut was so exciting, and it was so easy to go to the mountains and have a picnic or go to the beach without going too far away. It’s a cliché but it’s an incredible city that has everything. There’s nowhere like it in the world.”

This page: Sabine is in a David Koma dress, Stephen Jones headpiece, Cornelia James gloves, Gerbe tights, Jimmy Choo heels and Sabine Getty rings Opposite page: Sabine wears an Emilia Wickstead dress

Her Egyptian mother was an interior decorator from whom she inherited her eye for detail. “My mom had fabulous friends in Beirut – super inspiring women,” Getty says. “There’s also such a strong French culture and strong connection to the French-speaking world, and Beirut is also the place where I really fell in love with France.”

These days, London and life with her husband is very much where Getty feels at home, after a life that has been spent as a sometime resident of New York, Paris and Los Angeles, as well as her formative years in Switzerland and Lebanon. When the couple want to holiday, their options include a voyage on the Getty family’s super-yacht, Talitha – named for the 1960s it-girl and wife of John Paul Getty Jr. As for the future, Getty wants her brand to feel as approachable as is reasonably possible for authentic fine jewelry. “I love that I see my pieces worn by women of different generations, and I see it worn by up-and-coming actors Previous page: Coat by Gucci, trousers by Pal Zileri as well as established names,” she says. “I want the best This page: Jumper from Dior Homme, trousers from Ermenegildo Zegna jewelry to feel accessible.” Opposite page: Shirt by Hedi Slimane for Yves Saint Laurent



“Beirut was so exciting, and it was so easy to go to the mountains and have a picnic or go to the beach without going too far away. It’s a cliché but it’s an incredible city that has everything. There’s nowhere like it in the world.”


Sabine wears an Osman dress, Ribbon belt and Sabine Getty zigzag necklace, feathered ear cuff earrings and disc ring



This page: Sabine wears a Mary Katrantzou jacket and pants, Philip Treacy hat and Sabine Getty hoop earrings Opposite page: Sabine is in a Halpern jumpsuit and Sabine Getty drop zigzag necklace and hoop earrings



Sabine wears a Marni coat, Ribbon belt, Gerbe tights, Marni shoes, Mulberry hat, Cornelia James gloves and Sabine Getty rings



This page: Sabine wears a Fendi dress, Fendi heels and Sabine Getty disc necklace and yellow disc ring Opposite page: Sabine wears a Sonia Rykiel blazer and top and Sabine Getty zigzag choker



This page: Sabine wears an Osman dress, Ribbon belt and Sabine Getty zigzag necklace and feathered ear cuff earrings Opposite page: Sabine wears a Fendi dress, and Sabine Getty disc necklace and yellow disc ring


Sabine wears an Erdem jacket and skirt, Ribbon belt, Erdem socks, Erdem veil as a headpiece and Sabine Getty drop earrings and multiple rings

Words Niku Kasmai



This page and opposite page: Saint Laurent

Winter is coming, and fashion designers are painting it all black




While black is a color that never really goes out of style, it made a forceful and noticeable comeback on the fall/ winter 2018-19 runways. Some of the world’s biggest labels, most notably Saint Laurent, celebrated black in a multitude of materials that ranged from leather and cotton to velvet and wool, resulting in collections that were dramatic, elegant, playful and inventive all at once. Here are some of A Mag’s favorite black looks for winter. Which one is yours?

SAINT LAURENT Saint Laurent’s rock ‘n’ roll renaissance, initiated by Hedi Slimane, finds its apex this season in Anthony Vaccarello’s spectacularly black collection. First off, check out the tops: you have a dazzling selection of shirts for both genders in tailored black leather and velvet, richly adorned with embroidery, tassels and fringed trimmings. Then you’ve got black micro shorts and miniskirts in a variety of materials, all designed to show legs, legs and more legs. The big surprise this year? Incredible footwear including black ankle boots and fur-cuffed suede stiletto knee boots. Black has never looked this good. DSQUARED2 The Dsquared2 gents will grow up to be cowboys. But then so will their ladies. For the cold-weather season, Dean and Dan Caten presented a collection inspired by the Wild West – a bold, brazen, blacker-than-ever American frontier. For men, there are buffalo-check Western jackets, shirts with rhinestones, belt buckles with the Dsquared2 logo and beaded pants and jeans. Women are just as adventurous, with high-heeled sandals reminiscent of cowboy boots, beaded tops worn over combat pants and wide-skirted gowns that belong in a Wild West saloon. Howdy partner?

Alberta Ferretti

BALENCIAGA While you couldn’t escape the flounces of color that violently erupted on the Balenciaga runway, Demna Gvasalia’s fall/winter line for Balenciaga also honed in on black. What sets this collection apart is Gvasalia’s insistence on creating looks that are tailored to fit both men and women – a sort of bridging of the genders to invent a single unified sexual identity. The designer also takes the winter theme quite literally, offering an abundance of layered looks. You have the huge black parka (worn by both men and women) and then under it you’ve got jackets, fleeces, flannel shirts and more, resulting is seven layers of clothing. It’s a big black bomb for the cyber generation. ALBERTA FERRETTI Italian designer Alberta Ferretti’s collection is black and beautiful. Her silver-studded black denim jumpsuit, feathered black top, black leather skirts, black denim jackets and sheer black gowns all bear more than a few 1980s influences. Other standouts include a Zorroinspired black cape adorned with golden motifs. The oversized shoulders and ultra-high waists are the most obvious nods to the punk and hard rock decade, as is of course the abundant use of denim throughout the collection. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are kicking and screaming once again.

“Sarah Burton’s designs for Alexander McQueen function as a sort of shield for the postmodern woman”


Alexander McQueen

Alberta Ferretti




“Not your father’s Zegna, this is a collection with a fearless black twist”


ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Sarah Burton’s designs for Alexander McQueen function as a sort of shield for the postmodern woman. The emphasis is on black, although you’ll also find that darkest of hue combined with bursts of colors for dazzling effect. This season, you have an all-black tuxedo with a playful, peekaboo red lining and tailored black jackets paired with red skirts for elegantly offbeat office wear. At the same time, Burton channels BDSM – with the woman holding the whip – in a series of eccentric looks: there’s a black leather top with a cinched belt worn with an ethereal, ankle-length red and black skirt, and a red leather top paired with an ultra-sheer black skirt. Black leather boots complement both outfits, of course. Better show some respect!

ZEGNA Even Zegna has added unexpected accents to its usually classical looks. Alessandro Sartori sought inspiration from the Oasi Zegna nature park located in Italy’s Piedmont region and created by company founder Ermenegildo Zegna, adorning his designs with hints of alpine trees and bird footprints in the snow. Some of the collection highlights include shaved black shearling blousons, a black sweater adorned with the oversized triple-X logo of Zegna couture and a black wool jacket with leather sleeves. Not your father’s Zegna, this is a collection with a fearless black twist.


Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Photography by Tony Elieh



Salim Samara and Farah Fayyad in front of their screenprinting studio in Beirut



A Pantone booklet that we use to match someone’s identity, if they use a specific color. We try to match it as closely as possible

This is our packaging

Our business cards


The Sci-Fi Trilogy, a project by Dar El-Nimer that we silkscreened because the paper was impossible to print in any other way, and we used the finest mesh there is to get the most detail

This plant is a gift from Dania, who runs Grey Gardens

Screen hinges that we put on a table’s end, and you use them to keep a screen in place

Farah’s favorite sticker that she found in Berlin, it used to be pasted everywhere The Ararat cigarette packaging, stolen from Marlboro

A photo from one of the first printmaking workshops Farah gave for kids

This jar for candied walnuts is one of the projects from Farah’s students in Armenia. It’s super cute, an illustration of a walnut 183

A baby calendar, also a gift

These spoons are for mixing ink

The screen that we use for printing, with a font Farah designed. You expose your image on it using light, and it acts as a stencil to pass ink from the top to the object you’re printing

Print Isn’t Dead is a movement by People of Print in the UK. They follow us on Instagram and asked us to make the balloons on a machine that Salim bought to give out with their next issue

It’s difficult to miss Nice Nice Prints in Monot. Despite the studio’s miniature size, it’s the yellow door that does it, leading you down a few steps right into silkscreen paradise. Large printers fill up one corner, while limited edition graphic T-shirts and tote bags hanging on racks fill up another. There are dozens of brightly colored posters in metal bins set on the ground, large salt, pepper, tea and coffee jars resting on white shelves, and packaged balloons stored in hanging metal crates. The studio is entirely minimalist, space-efficient and appealing all at once. “We wanted the products to be the focus,” Fayyad says, sitting near Samara on the tiny stairs as the neighborhood residents fill up the street outside, discussing the morning’s happenings.


Fayyad and Samara have known each other for some time, having developed a unique mentor/pupil relationship over the last few years. Samara has been working in the field for over 30 years himself and owns his own screen-printing master studio. When they were first introduced, Fayyad had been working with design firm Studio Safar, and it was her first time meeting an actual printer. She had taken a basic silkscreen course in college and loved it, and she was interested in learning more about the process. After being asked to give a printmaking workshop at learning center Tumo in Armenia, she began visiting Samara once or twice a week to learn the right skills. “Basically, Salim taught me everything I know,” Fayyad says, smiling. “We started creating a sort of exchange. I started to develop a better understanding of how printing happens, and I helped Salim with Photoshop and Illustrator and computer skills. That’s how our mentor/tutor relationship began.”

and photographers who don’t really have an outlet other than their portfolio or website. They’ve already received inquiries about collaborations from abroad after posting a ton of process videos on Samara’s Instagram page. “What we wanted to do was have the production be in-house so that when someone comes in, they can see how things are actually printed. You usually buy products but you have no idea how they’re made. With silkscreen, the first time anyone sees it being printed, it’s like magic. We wanted to give people insight into the process itself,” Fayyad adds.

They also choose the fabric themselves, so the entire procedure is hand-selected. Between Samara’s network and technical knowledge and Fayyad’s design network, putting the studio together was surprisingly smooth. It helps that they’re also both incredibly passionate about printmaking. “I love everything about my job, there’s always something new,” Samara says. “The idea is not just to print for the sake of printing. We do new things every day.”


Samara would always tell her to let him know when she was ready to launch their own space. One evening this past January, while having dinner at Little China next door, Fayyad noticed the space’s “for rent” sign. She told Samara that she had found a place for their studio, and within five months, Nice Nice Prints – whose name came very spontaneously as well – came to life. “As a concept, it’s super basic, honestly. We wanted in-house printing and there are lots of very talented designers and illustrators in Beirut, so I began sending out emails to my friends and people I know,” Fayyad says. “A lot of people like silkscreen, so they became very excited, and we ended up with almost 25 collaborators. I think a nice thing we did is that we didn’t limit it to a theme or anything to unify the entire network. Each person did whatever they wanted. It was really completely free.” The point behind their studio is for it to be a platform for illustrators

on-one workshops to encourage designers to make and sell their own products. They also want to keep their collections fresh and are hoping to refrain from re-printing. All their products are numbered as well, which makes them more personal. “If you don’t like this field, you can’t really achieve anything,” Samara says. “It’s very complex, new things come out every day, so we are always following up on the machines and the work itself.” Looks like there’s much to look forward to from Nice Nice Prints.




Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Illustrations Marion Garnier

The Lebanese capital is opting to go greener and cleaner


Beirut is ushering in a new era. Following Lebanon’s garbage crisis in 2015, which saw protesters take to the streets after the closure of a major landfill with no contingency plan in place, many in the country were forced to take matters into their own hands. Three years later, it’s become more than just about recycling – it’s about adopting an entirely new lifestyle. “For the last three years I’ve been working on maximizing the use of plastic and introducing new materials to accompany plastic in my designs,” says product designer Jean Paul Fares. “Recently, in my new collection, I used concrete, and it turned out to work well with plastic.” Fares uses plastic waste in his pieces to send out a very specific message: to consider our social responsibility and ecological awareness through our work, even as artists. In fact, many in the art and design community have been taking steps toward sustainability, like architect and designer Guillaume Credoz and his project Ghouyoum, which specializes in recycled material, and architecture lab The Other Dada, which practices sustainability in designing new habitats. Lighting store Pipe Brothers works on handmade collections using upcycling methods and brother/sister duo Carl and Christelle Bardawil created Wabu, a company that sources abandoned wood to make furniture. Waste Studio, which back in 2006 reused advertising banners to produce everyday bags, is prioritizing reused and recycled material as part of its creative process. The brand designs urban and classic bags, accessories and furniture.

“Plastic waste is something that is suffocating nature and causing a lot of harm to the environment,” Fares says. “By recycling plastic waste, we have a chance to save mother earth.” But working with such material can be both challenging and limiting, so one better get creative. In fact, his proudest design – which was also his most challenging one – was a desk made from plastic and wood. “A lot of plastic went into it, and it took a lot of trial and error before I was able to perfect it,” he explains.

Famed club The Grand Factory, which has already been taking environmental and recycling initiatives over the last four years, went one step further and decided to end its use of straws, which are not recyclable, at all its venues, including Reunion, Soul Kitchen and D Beirut. It then launched a competition for the best environmental and creative solutions to deal with the 12,000 straws it had in stock. They were turned into art installations, and the last straw was sold to the highest bidder, with the collected money distributed to the Lebanese Red Cross. “The main challenge is to have people pay attention to these fundamental issues within the context of a nightclub,” says Tala Mortada, chief creative and co-founder of Clap Clap and The Grand Factory. There are now a bevy of nonprofits and companies that are collecting and sorting waste. Local community Live Love Beirut launched a new recycling app, Live Love Recycle, this past spring, through which

users can order an e-bike to pick up their bags. Recycle Beirut, another company, collects recycled waste, takes it back to its factory and sorts it. Operating around the capital, as well as in Baabda, Metn and parts of the Chouf, with the hopes of covering all of Lebanon in the future, there’s much it’s been trying to do since its inception four years ago. Co-founder Kassem Kazak said the idea came about while brainstorming social and environmental initiatives, which eventually led to the waste management project.

“We’re working on the idea of raising awareness about the trash problems and the solution, which is the most important thing,” Kazak says. “The solution is there, and it’s in our hands. But you need to take initiative to solve the problem. No one will come to your house and sort out your trash. Even the government is not responsible for what’s happening in your house.”


Words Marwan Naaman Photography Sandra Chidiac


IN CONVERSATION WITH CHERINE MAGRABI TAYEB One woman has pushed contemporary Lebanese design to the forefront of the global scene When she founded House of Today six years ago, Cherine Magrabi Tayeb was responding to a cry for help from Lebanon’s budding design community. She was one of the first to identify the country’s untapped design talent, and she understood that in order for that talent to flourish, some sort of support would be necessary. “Lebanese designers had a sense of insecurity because they couldn’t see a future or opportunities,” she says. “They didn’t feel appreciated, and they couldn’t find clients who valued their work.” Tayeb’s foray into the design world came about by chance. She moved to Beirut in 2002 when her family

business, regional eyewear company Magrabi Optical, was just entering the Lebanese market. Her father asked her to handle the region. “I started at the bottom,” Tayeb explains. While working in the store, she considered updating the Magrabi concept, and as she looked for local designers to take on this project, she started to discover young designers, unknown but incredibly talented. “I worked with Pascal Tarabay, who was new on the scene,” she says. Through that project and others, she found that she enjoyed working with designers and learning from them. Prior to Lebanon, Tayeb had lived in Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. She went to college in London, got married, had three

kids and worked, first as an interior architect and later making and selling gingerbread cookies from her home. Creativity, entrepreneurship and a love for design have been there right from the start.

In 2012, Tayeb decided to organize an exhibit that would highlight craft and design from Lebanon. “I wanted to shed light on the pool of talent we have in Lebanon and on our creativity,” she says. “Things happened organically,” she says. “I didn’t sit behind a desk and come up with a business plan.” For that first installment of House of Today, she had to convince designers to participate. “I was going to the designers and telling them I was going to have an exhibition. I had never curated a show before.”

Since Lebanese society wasn’t as responsive to design as it was to other fields, Tayeb decided to include other types of creatives in her show. The first House of Today, titled “Confessions,” was held at the magnificent Villa Zein in Downtown Beirut. “I had a corner with fashion artisans, Lebanese products like spices and incense and oil and blown glass,” says Tayeb. And, of course, there were design objects by the likes of Karen Chekerdjian, Carlo

designers,” adding that she chose design, with an aim not just to exhibit the work of emerging designers, but to also educate, mentor and provide them with greater exposure. The second and third installments of House of Today, in 2014 and 2016, which were both held at Le Yacht Club in Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay, cemented the organization’s role as a primary design platform for the region. While the 2014 show (titled “Naked”) was still a bit mixed – it included jewelry and handbags – the 2016 exhibit, “Jungle Protocol,” was focused purely on design, and it shone the spotlight on new works by up-and-comers like Anastasia Nysten, Flavie Audi and Tessa and Tara Sakhi, alongside designs by more established names, such as Nada Zeineh, Ranya Sarakbi and Snøhetta.

While House of Today is a biennial show, Tayeb organized a special exhibit in South Florida as part of Design Miami in December 2017. It was the first time her organization staged an exhibit on that side of the Atlantic. “We felt that we wanted to tap into a different market,” she says, “and Miami made a lot of sense.” Titled “Construction Deconstruction,” the Miami show included works by Khaled El Mays, Rami Dalle and Sayar & Garibeh, who each offered their own take on themes of struggle and identity, themes that have come to define the Lebanese way of life. House of Today’s support for emerging Lebanese designers has already borne fruit. El Mays now has pieces that are exclusive to Milan’s prestigious Nilufar Gallery, Dalle created windows for Hermès, Massoud had an installation displayed at New York’s Armory Show and Kamal Aoun created end-of-year gifts for Medco. At the time of this interview, Tayeb was busy preparing the fourth edition of House of Today, scheduled to take place this year from December 12 to 28. The upcoming show will feature the works of 17 designers, including three collaborations between local and international designers. As with every House of Today event, some designers will be making their debut this year, while others are already well-known on the design stage. There will also be speakers from all over the world, as the biennial show continues to gain in importance and scope. “Design in Lebanon has now become very sexy,” says Tayeb, “and we played a big role in that change. It humbles me to say this.”

Massoud, Marc Dibeh, Bokja and more. “Established and emerging designers were on the same platform, equally as important.”

The success of that initial show encouraged Tayeb to put a strategy in place to further develop her organization. “That’s when I registered House of Today as a nonprofit.” At that point, Tayeb also had to decide where to place the bulk of her effort. “I had to choose between artisans and



Words Rayane Abou Jaoude

A LEGACY IN STONES Pascal Mouawad talks to A Mag about his illustrious jewelry house When David Mouawad left his home country in 1890, he headed to New York and Mexico to learn jewelry and watchmaking. He returned to Lebanon years later and opened his workshop in 1908, creating commissioned clocks and jewelry for exclusive clientele. Fast forward to over a century later, and jewelry house Mouawad has taken the world by storm, creating timeless and elegant collections adored by celebrities and icons, as well as manufacturing the famed Victoria’s Secret fantasy bras.

He has since 2010 run the company with brothers Alain and Fred, all of whom are co-guardians with unique roles. Introduced to the world of jewelry at a very young age and raised in Geneva, he moved to Los Angeles to continue his studies, then later to New York, putting together his vision for the jewelry house. He relocated to Los Angeles in 2006, expanding Mouawad’s relations with the biggest names in Hollywood. “I learned the business from the ground up, and this taught me to value sheer hard work,” Pascal says. “As the fourth generation, my brothers and I have embraced the spirit of evolution, constantly pushing new boundaries and entering new markets.” Besides studying at the Gemological Institute of America, as well as at Harvard Business School, the University of California, Los Angeles and Pepperdine University, he also learned a lot from his father Robert, who took the brand to an international level and established relationships with important clients, including creating beautiful jewelry for them. “I have always said that he taught me to be discreet, diplomatic, down to earth but also proud of my roots, and to have an appreciation for true art and for the exquisite,” Pascal says.

One of Robert’s great accomplishments is the establishment of the Mouawad Private Museum in Beirut. According to Pascal, his father was inspired by “the need to preserve a legacy for future generations”

as he “believed in sharing the values of craftsmanship, heritage and culture with the world.” Robert acquired the property in the early 1990s, a beautiful Italianate villa with Ottoman-style interiors once owned by politician, businessman and art collector Henri Pharaon. Much of the collection of antiques was acquired with the residence, while others were acquired by Robert himself. The collections also included books and manuscripts and, of course, jewelry, beloved by the Lebanese. “Beirut has such an interesting and diverse jewelry market,” Pascal says. “The most popular jewelry collections are usually high jewelry suites featuring fiery white diamond, created especially for weddings.” Beirutis also love The Timeless collection, which, as the name suggests, consists of an array of diamond and gemstone classics that exude an air of agelessness and elegance. The house, constantly growing and expanding, recently opened a new boutique on Foch Street in Downtown Beirut, as well as a boutique on Geneva’s Rue du Rhône, and there are others on the way. There are also new Mouawad Masterpieces set to be released in the near future.



“Since my great-grandfather David Mouawad founded the business in 1890, the reins of our brand have been passed on from one spearhead to another, each bringing his unique business acumen and creativity to it,” says Pascal Mouawad, co-guardian and chief executive of the retail group.

Words Shirine Saad


Incisive and sensual, Danielle Arbid’s movies channel the unspoken fears and hopes of a lost generation

Danielle Arbid



Danielle Arbid’s radical sensibility runs through her movies, revealing the depths of teenage angst, the joy of a stolen kiss, the torturous darkness of war shelters and the hardship of exile. From Beirut to Paris and back, equally rooted in collective experiences and abstract poetry, Arbid’s stories are those of a lost postwar generation without a voice, speaking to collective emotions and truths. “I tell stories,” says Arbid. “I am neither a man nor a woman, neither Lebanese nor French. Cinema has no gender or nationality. It’s universal, and that’s why I chose it.”

Arbid, who moved to Paris at age 17, accidentally fell into cinema after a stint in journalism. She was 27. She began to craft stories about the Lebanese Civil War and coming of age, family feuds and broken dreams, immigration and the search for freedom. She has filmed documentaries (Seule avec la Guerre, Aux Frontières),


fictions (Etrangère, In the Battlefields), short fictions (Raddem, Le Passeur), TV features (Beirut Hotel) and remakes. Blurring the boundaries between genres, fearless, she addresses questions such as female sexuality, family dramas and addiction. And while she has shown her films at festivals worldwide and won prestigious awards, she continues to struggle with rejection in her homeland. For that reason, she has chosen Paris as a home, distancing herself to find a sense of peace. Arbid’s main feature trilogy mirrors her own path from a fearful childhood to determined adulthood, through the darkest and most joyful moments of existence. Lina, the aimless, lonely child trapped in a toxic Lebanese household in Arbid’s first feature In the Battlefields (2004) seeks out ephemeral thrills through her friend’s lustful adventures. Thomas, a

French photographer traveling the world in A Lost Man (2007) is obsessed with gritty bars, prostitutes and capturing the erotic moments of intimacy. In the third installment of the trilogy, Peur de Rien (2016), an adult Lina travels to Paris alone and broke to find relief in classrooms, museums and the beds of various French lovers. There is an equal desire to discover and escape, a primal need to push beyond the boundaries of the extreme to feel the intensity of new emotions; an urgent sense of sadness and exhilaration. Through cinema Arbid has found all those moments, and she shares them without holding back.

“I like to mix different genres, moments, identities,” says the 48-year-old filmmaker. Arbid returns to Lebanon sporadically for projects, though she feels disconnected from it, particularly after the controversy that followed the production of the short film Beirut Hotel, a noir sensual romance set in the aftermath of former prime minister Rafic Hariri’s assassination. “I push all sorts of boundaries,” she says. “I allow female characters to live the lives that men usually have, which is particularly true in the Middle East. What I love about cinema is the possibility to live parallel lives through filmed stories.” Now the filmmaker has closed a major chapter and left more personal narratives behind. She is taking on new projects that will feed her insatiable curiosity and lust for adventure, include the remake of a historical movie set in Lebanon. “In the trilogy I explored my own life, though of course it was never biographical,” she says. “My movies are very personal, but they’re not about me. They are about telling stories, living stories and controlling the world, a bit like God. This is what cinema is about.”



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



For this issue’s exclusive series of artistic visions, A Mag features the work of executive producer Jey Perie and photographer/creative director Gogy Esparza. Having spent three weeks exploring the streets of Beirut, the duo captured the spirit of Lebanon’s street culture through its youth – raw, honest and carefree. 199


“I studied history and geopolitics during my university years and I’ve always been fascinated with Beirut’s complexity. How can a town slightly bigger than Marseille be at the same time the capital of nightlife and entertainment in the Middle East, but also home to several conservative religious groups and such a center of geopolitical interest? How do all of these elements coexist in such a small territory? Through the eyes of young Beirutis, I wanted to know how people move, enjoy life in the city and share their cultures, express their faith within their community, but also outside of it. I worked with Gogy because I’ve always been a big fan of his work. He has an amazing eye for urban culture, and I really like his aesthetic. I wanted to work with someone who understands the rawness of humanity and could maneuver within the urban chaos of a city like Beirut. I also liked the fact that Gogy didn’t know much about the Middle East before our trip, so I could have a fresh perspective on the situation. Choosing to dive into Beirut culture through the prism of youth was a natural decision. We love the universality of youth across the planet: I believe that 16-year-olds can relate to each other way more organically than adults can.”






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3 Arts Club Café

Open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. 1300 North Dearborn Parkway, 3artsclubcafe.com American home furnishing company Restoration Hardware’s Chicago store is particularly lovely. Set inside a landmark building that once was a club for women, the store also provides the setting for the 3 Arts Club Café, a restaurant, café and wine bar that’s perhaps one of the city’s most popular destinations. The menu includes such treats as artisanal prosciutto, burrata, burgers and slow-roasted chicken, as well as cold pressed juices and a variety of coffee and tea beverages. Wines hail from France, Greece, Portugal, Italy and, of course, California. What’s most appealing about 3 Arts Club Café is that it blurs the lines between retail, cuisine, art and fine wines, offering a completely new visual and sensory experience. The Windy City’s best place to be. – Niku Kasmai



Open Monday-Saturday 6-11:30pm. The Marmara Pera, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 15, Beyoglu, miklarestaurant.com Mikla was recently named one of the world’s 50 best restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler. The Istanbul restaurant, set atop the Marmara Pera hotel and offering dazzling wraparound views of the city, certainly deserves the accolade. The experimental cuisine prepared here is described as “New Anatolian Kitchen,” and it’s a labor of love for Mehmet Gürs, Turkey’s most famous chef and a man credited with having revived the country’s culinary heritage while reinterpreting it for the modern palate. The prix-fixe three-course menu has various options, including starters like red mullet with wheat, capers and walnut salsa. Main courses range from whole wheat manti (vegetarian or lamb) with smoked buffalo yogurt to monkfish with broad beans, fresh almonds and olives. You’ll be tempted by all dessert offerings but be sure to choose the decadent sour cherries topped with Lor cheese ice cream. The cherries are sweet and tart at the same time, and when combined with the ice cream, which tastes like a sweetened and chilled blue cheese, they provide untold pleasures to the senses. A veritable Anatolian dream. – Marwan Naaman

3 Arts Club Café, Mikla

Where We’re Eating 210



The Rose Canteen

Where We’re Eating Open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-6pm. Off Armenia Street, Mar Mikhael, @therosecanteen Zalfa Naufal’s new Beirut restaurant is completely vegan. “We don’t even have honey,” Naufal says with a laugh. A 21st century ode to plants, natural ingredients and healthy eating, the 15-seat Rose Canteen in Mar Mikhael is a great place for brunch, lunch and afternoon dessert, serving up mostly raw food plus smoothies, cold-pressed juices and nut and seed milks. Brunch bowls include vanilla chia pudding, topped with berries, coconut flakes, cacao nibs and maple syrup. There’s also a nice selection of salads (try the lentil with beetroot and raisins), dips (avocado, chickpea and red lentil) and raw desserts, including a delectable non-dairy chocolate cheesecake. A nice new addition to Mar Mikhael’s trendy restaurant scene. – Michelle Merheb

The Rose Canteen




What We’re Eating

Words Marwan Naaman



GREEK GODDESS New York’s Ousia restaurant elevates Greek cuisine to an otherworldly level

In Greek, the word “ousia” means “substance,” or “essence.” It’s a most fitting way to describe the restaurant set inside the glorious Via 57 West residential building on Manhattan’s West Side. Part of the family-owned Livanos Restaurant Group, Ousia has taken traditional Greek recipes and infused them with modernity, applying never-before-seen creative flair to age-old dishes.

The Mediterranean-inspired menu, as imagined by executive chef Carlos Carreto and chef de cuisine Vasiliki Vourliotaki, includes various spreads, flatbreads, medium plates and larger mains, encouraging sharing and family-style dining. You may want to start with a three-spread sampler, choosing edamame pistachio dip (a wonder for the taste buds), melitzanosalata, made with roasted eggplant, lemon and garlic, and htipiti, which combines roasted red peppers with feta. The dips are most fun to savor when spread on the accompanying grilled pita bread.

Most of the medium and larger dishes on the menu have roots in traditional Greek cuisine, but they’ve taken on new life thanks to the wondrous touch of Carreto and Vourliotaki. On the medium front, there’s a light but luscious grilled endive and asparagus dish served with avocado mousse and marinated beets, and delicately prepared octopus accompanied by cauliflower tabbouleh. The larger dishes are small masterpieces. They include beef ravioli with thyme butter and sautéed kale, pan-seared scallops with green apple, tomato and artichoke purée, and a whole grilled dorade with citrus tartar sauce. Ousia’s dishes are best enjoyed with a glass of wine, and the restaurant’s Greek-centric wine list provides perfect pairings to suit every taste. There are vintages from Thessaly, Crete, Santorini, Meteora and Florina, as well as options from Spain and Burgundy. Guests can also select one of Ousia’s bespoke cocktails, like the Ousia mule (cardamom-infused vodka, Aperol, lime and ginger beer) or the PPP (pisco, pomegranate, pineapple and pink peppercorn).

For dessert, there’s halva mousse with almond and honey, baklava with mixed nuts and honey-vanilla ice cream, and shredded phyllo tart with semolina custard, mastiha, walnut and pistachio. One

of the most popular options is the donut pikilia, a decadent affair that features three different types of donuts. Be sure to try at least two desserts – the flavors are so delightfully complex that you’re certain to be left wanting for more. The Via 57 West building housing Ousia resembles a futuristic glass pyramid. In keeping with the structure’s sleek aesthetic, the restaurant sports contemporary décor, complete with cypress wood on the walls, an expansive central bar with a marble and stone top and encaustic cement tiles on the floor. The most striking element is a massive mural painted by Greek artist Kyveli Zoi – a brilliantly colorful backdrop to a most memorable culinary experience. Visit ousianyc.com


How We’re Detoxing

Words Karim Hussain


Planting a patch of green can do wonders for your wellbeing

Wherever you are in the world and whatever your heritage, when stress gets too much, the prescription is always the same: rest, eat well and spend time in nature. With the United Kingdom’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) promoting gardens dedicated to health and wellbeing at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show (arguably the most prestigious horticultural exhibition in the world, and a platform where garden designs are presented alongside best-in-show plants and flowers), I’m thinking that the most direct route to looking inside yourself might just be to step outside, into the garden.

“The RHS Feel Good Garden was designed to illustrate ways that people at home can implement elements to help improve health and wellbeing,” says one of the top RHS designers Matt Keightley about his 2018 garden. “For example, there’s no straight lines, and it’s all very organic in form, as we don’t wish visitors to feel ‘forced’ through the garden.” He placed seating areas in the space, but none as the focal point; the idea being that you discover the seats as you move around the garden ensuring the space is a calming environment. “With the planting we’ve created a cooling palette; light colors, whites, blues, purples, pinks, and that immediately creates a tranquil feel,” he says. “The trees are crucial, to create a sanctuary not only for people, but also for the wildlife. It’s crucial to increase biodiversity because if you can see the birds playing in the trees, and the bees and butterflies among the perennials, you feel good.”

Of course not everyone has a garden that fits seats and trees. Tony Woods’ Urban Flow Garden would be better suited to the Beirut apartment balcony. He explained: “The garden proposes an outdoor kitchen where family can come together and eat, and interact, and improve the family atmosphere.” He planted the garden so there could be interaction of wildlife as well as humans, and introduced a running water feature whose splashing sound drowns out the urban noise of airplanes and traffic. As for color: “The palette in the garden is very soft. There’s a lot of green in the garden and evergreen. There’s an edible living wall, pots where people can grow their own food. I think it’s important that we show people how good gardening is for you: physically it’s exercise, mentally it’s very relaxing. It’s refreshing to grow and produce something and see it change through the seasons, so gardening forms a really important part of health and happiness.” With his Lemon Tree Trust Garden, Tom Massey showed how gardens can become places where memories are nurtured and heritage cherished, even in the hardest of circumstances: “The garden is set in a refugee camp in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, called Domiz, where I had spent time. Its inhabitants have lost everything, potentially, yet they still have the presence of mind when they arrive at the camp to start gardening. Gardening has the power to ground people and route them and give them something to do. When you speak to people, you hear how important it is to them. For example Syrians love roses, particularly Damascene roses. It’s the color, the form, the scent of the rose that really does lift spirits. Running water really does calm you.” Summing it up succinctly, Massey said: “Gardens help people feel better.” Visit rhs.org.uk

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018


With this in mind, I discovered a design trend where the environment is being proposed as a retreat from your “everyday,” where insect-attracting flowers and plants are selected to create your own personal sustainable ecosystem and where some daily exercise is required just to keep everything alive.

FEEL GOOD GARDEN TIPS -Short of space? Plant a garden vertically up a wall. -Always include something you can eat. -Plant flowers and plants that attract bees and butterflies. TOP DE-STRESS PLANTS -Aloe: the gel can soothe burns, detox the body and monitor air pollution. -Ivy: the number-one air-filtering house plant. -Peace Lily: detoxes the air. -Rubber Plant: absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. -Bamboo Palm: clears out air toxins.


Words Rayane Abou Jaoude

ECO-FRIENDLY WELLNESS A Mag catches up with Lush co-founder Rowena Bird in Beirut


She’s in Lebanon to promote ethical beauty and create partnerships with local organizations, and part of her trip included a visit to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon’s Butterfly Garden in the West Bekaa, Soils Lebanon’s Afeer project in Saydoun and the Olive Groves of organic provider Bioland in Batroun. The brand’s SLush fund invests in groups and individuals working toward a better world, which includes the aforementioned projects. All things green are an important part of the work, and everything at Lush is made using either vegetarian or vegan recipes. “It’s really important, and it was never a marketing ploy, it was really how we felt as people,” Bird explains. “Plus, we’re using really beautiful ingredients that have been tried and tested for centuries.” Make no mistake, being an environmentally friendly brand comes with its fair share of difficulties. Going green is hard work and expensive. Lush is currently

selling knot-wraps based on the Japanese tradition of furoshiki. The wraps are made from either organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles and can be used for wrapping presents or as a scarf, tote or accessory. They encourage re-use and less reliance on paper. Challenges are always seen as opportunities for invention and innovation. “If it’s worth doing, do it well, and do it wholeheartedly. Without the passion in the brand, it doesn’t come through,” Bird explains. “This is how we want it to be, we want to be environmentally friendly, we want to care about the planet, we want to put more back in than we take out.”

Their perfumers are artists, and Lush’s fragrances describe experiences, memories and people. They carry individual stories using pure and essential oils. The future includes a new makeup range to be launched early next year. “It doesn’t stop. That’s what I love about Lush, we can always think of something else to do and to support and to build up on, and the bigger you get, the more you can do.”


Lush co-founder Rowena Bird is both soft-spoken and energetic, sporting light pink hair, pink lipstick and a large smile at all times. I catch her at the Lush store in Beirut Souks early on a Tuesday, unsure of how to begin our conversation. The brand she co-founded is after all a pioneer in beauty products, renowned for its organic ingredients, spectacular scents and cruelty-free testing.

www.aeronautica.difesa.it - www.aeronauticamilitare-collezioneprivata.it AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 273 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11 Produced and distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa

Where We’re Detoxing


Atlantis by Giardino

It’s one of Zurich’s major modernist landmarks.


Sunset Tower Since opening its doors in 1931, LA’s Sunset Tower has been an exclusive hub for the Hollywood elite. 8358 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, sunsettowerhotel.com The likes of Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and more took up residency there. John Wayne, whose former apartment is now the hotel’s gym, kept his pet cow on the balcony so that guests could have fresh milk with their coffee. This summer an updated design reveals timeless interiors inspired by the iconic building, a beautifully conceived Terrace Bar, an outdoor terrace and swimming pool plus a fitness area and spa. Led by owner Jeff Klein, the renovation stays true to the Art Deco spirit of the building, while still making it sharp, modern and clean, thus creating a lasting effect that feels inherent to the hotel. Muted pinks, creams and salmon-colored paint are found throughout the hotel, with chevron detail on the windows. The classic American brasserie Tower Bar and Restaurant (former quarters of Bugsy Siegel) has been left completely untouched. – Karim Hussain

Atlantis by Giardino, Sunset Tower


Döltschiweg 234, atlantisbygiardino.ch Atlantis by Giardino is a mid-century structure formerly known as Hotel Atlantis, set below the majestic Üetliberg mountain. During its heyday, the hotel was favored by such stars as Shirley MacLaine, Freddie Mercury and Steven McQueen, who sought rest and relaxation in the invigorating Swiss mountain air. Three years ago, the property underwent a massive renovation courtesy of London-based The Gallery HBA, reopening in winter 2015. The reinvented 95-room hotel boasts furnishings and fabrics by the likes of Molteni, Pierre Frey, Altfield and Zimmer + Rohde, with marble and wood throughout the space. One of Atlantis by Giardino’s highlights is the luxurious Dipiù Spa, which offers bespoke massages, facials and body treatments, as well as Ayurvedic therapies. The outdoor pool – Zurich’s largest – overlooks a magnificent forest. Atlantis by Giardino is certainly one of the best places to recharge in Switzerland – and all of Europe. – Niku Kasmai

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


Where We’re Detoxing


B By The Pool Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias, facebook.com/ bbyelefteriades B By The Pool, the resort atop Aïshti by the Sea that’s part of the B by Eléftériadès experience, is a rooftop haven for those seeking to disconnect from the everyday. To the tune of Lebanon’s best music mixes, you can enjoy a specialty cocktail and nibbles from the on-site bar, while relaxing on a plush sunbed and taking in views of the Mediterranean blue and the Beirut skyline. If you feel the need to cool down, just plunge into the blissful waters and let yourself go. B By The Pool is your very own urban escape. – Marwan Naaman




Monsaraz, barrocal.pt São Lourenço do Barrocal is a recently restored 19thcentury farmhouse hotel, winery and spa located on a historic family estate in Portugal’s unspoiled Alentejo region. The 780-hectare estate has remained within the same family for over 200 years, but it fell into ruin following Portugal’s political turmoil in the 1970s. Working with a local team, eighth-generation owner José António Uva spent 14 years transforming the estate into a hotel that boasts an understated yet luxurious design, set amid ancient holm oaks, olive groves and vineyards. The hotel offers 40 guestrooms and cottages housed within the original farm buildings along a central cobbled street. The interiors draw inspiration from the local farm villages, with whitewashed walls complemented by soaring vaulted ceilings. A spa offers indulgent treatments tailored to the needs of the individual, using Susanne Kaufmann’s line of botanically inspired organic products. – Karim Hussain

B by Eléftériadès, São Lourenço de Barrocal

São Lourenço do Barrocal


Travel away, as no place will ever feel the same. Rediscover a world full of exclusive rewards and luxurious privileges. With SGBL World Mastercard cards, you will be holding a key to wonders in your hand, and any destination will feel like an entirely different world offering itself to you.


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Words Tala Habbal



Once known solely as the spring break destination of choice for rowdy Americans, Mexico is ditching its reputation as a party destination and proving that it has much more to offer than tequila shots and pool parties. Those in the know are heading to Tulum, a beautiful low-key yoga town 90 minutes south of Cancun, which has been garnering quite a reputation among celebrities, bloggers and selective travelers alike – and for good reason.

This Mexican gem seamlessly blends traditional Mayan influence with a very of-the-moment chicness. Jungle-shrouded restaurants, gorgeous white sand beaches and a focus on health and wellness have made it the hottest spot on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The once-sleepy town boasts a trendy, new age, neo-hippie vibe, and although the atmosphere is bohemian, the high-end boutique hotels, lavish restaurants and unique shops are luxurious in every sense of the word. In stark contrast to its more boisterous counterparts like Cancun and Los Cabos, Tulum’s allure stems

from its understated and extremely relaxed vibe – a spiritual oasis favored by the fashion industry and affluent New Yorkers. Beautifully tanned and toned vacationers sunbathe along untouched beaches in between yoga classes, sound healing sessions and bike rides around town. After sunset, Tulum’s streets are lit only by strings of fairy lights and candles, making for a whimsical evening stroll through the bevy of tempting outdoor restaurants and cafés. In addition to its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Tulum also offers stupendous archeological sites. It’s the only Mayan city built on a coast, and the only one protected by a wall. The ruins in Tulum are also the only ones situated on steep cliffs overlooking the ocean, making them the perfect backdrop for a Tulum Insta post. WHERE TO STAY Owned by Argentinean designer and architect Sebastian Sas, the beachfront Nomade Hotel stretches

The beachfront Nomade Hotel

You can also try Wild, a Mediterranean-inspired spot that pays tribute to Mexico’s diverse habitats of tropical rainforests, lagoons and mangroves. The open-air restaurant sits in the middle of a jungle and lends its support to everything local, buying fresh ingredients from local farmers, producers and fisherman. In addition to dishes like hibiscus- and sumac-glazed octopus and marinated crab in orange vinaigrette, the trendy spot favored by Tulum’s elite visitors also features a diverse range of cocktails with eclectic ingredients, like chipotle, lemongrass and rosemary. wildtulum.com No trip to Mexico would be complete without a proper dose of authentic, no fuss tacos. The tacos al pastor from Antojitos la Chiapaneca, a popular street-side joint, are hands down the best in town. The unassuming spot features a short menu of tacos in addition to a few other inexpensive Yucatan snacks. WHERE TO DRINK Mexico meets New York at Gitano, a trendy jungleenclosed cocktail bar. Although the vibe is relaxed, with live music on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the weekend sees this Mezcaleria turn into quite the party destination. The busy spot is also a perfect place to feast on fresh fish and traditional Mexican fare. gitanotulum.com

along the Riviera Maya and touts itself as a humancentered hotel for those looking to refresh, rejuvenate and reboot. Boho-chic cabanas sprawl along the grounds in between lush palm-trees, hammocks and ocean views. The lobby is more like a Moroccan Bedouin tent than a traditional hotel lobby, boasting Berber rugs and cushions with classic Mexican touches. The Nomade may be unpretentious but it is without a doubt one of Tulum’s trendiest daytime spots. nomadetulum.com WHERE TO EAT Ask anyone who has ever been to Tulum for restaurant recommendations, and Hartwood is sure to be their first suggestion. The brainchild of two former New Yorkers, this al fresco spot serves up vibrantly colored dishes made from fresh local ingredients, with a menu that changes daily. Think jicama salad with mint crema, tuna ceviche with ruby red tiger’s milk marinade and empanadas de lechón. hartwoodtulum.com



WHERE TO VIEW ART The Tulum Art Club encapsulates the vibrant art scene in the Yucatan region. This exhibition space, which blends contemporary art and Mexican culture, features emerging Mexican and international artists and also boasts a cafĂŠ and multimedia space. tulumartclub.com


Antojitos la Chiapaneca


Tulum Art Club Gitano

A better way to live

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

Hôtel du Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées


Esprit de France

5 Rue Cambon, 75001, paris-maison-armance.com Maison Armance is named after one of Stendhal’s beloved novels. In fact, the Paris building in which the hotel is located was once the French author’s home. Steps from Chanel’s iconic boutique on Rue Cambon, and near the Jardins des Tuileries and Place Vendôme, the intimate hotel holds a mere 20 rooms and suites, ensuring complete privacy and comfort for all guests. The interior design comes courtesy of Agence Double G, who turned to haute couture for inspiration to create a living space that feels like a cozy Parisian apartment. Atypical features include a top-floor lobby, offering guests scenic views over Paris while they check in, and a main entrance that’s invisible from the street and accessible only via a secluded courtyard. A most appealing place to stay. – Marwan Naaman

Maison Armance

10 Rue de Ponthieu, 75008, paris-hotel-rondpointchampselysees.com July 2018 saw the opening of the luxurious Hôtel du Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, a 36-room boutique property rising over eight floors. First acquired by the Esprit de France family in January 2017, the historic 19th-century Paris building has undergone a massive renovation resulting in a contemporary décor inspired by 1920s and ‘30s Art Deco elements. A five-minute walk from the Champs-Elysées, the hotel also houses Daphné bar, named after Daphné du Maurier (author of Rebecca), who engaged in forbidden trysts in this very same building. There’s also a library where guests are encouraged to linger and a Turkish hammam for ultimate relaxation. – Marwan Naaman


Where We’re Staying 228

Esprit de France, the bijou collection of French residences, chateaux and hotels, added two Paris hotels to its portfolio this year

A better way to live

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

The Mandrake Hotel


20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG, themandrake.com Fustok spent his early years immersed in London’s street culture scene – particularly graffiti. As well as rich-hued furnishings, it’s peppered with antiquities and artworks collected by Fustok during his travels. For the interiors, he has indulged in opulent purples, reds and blues, as well as gold finishes, sumptuous velvet and ornate chandeliers. In addition, there’s the restaurant Serge et Le Phoque, an outpost of the modern French, Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. Enjoy cocktails in Waeska, the slick bar that opens onto the hotel’s highly Instagrammable central courtyard, complete with hanging gardens of jasmine and passion flower. Here, it’s all about making your way through the list of botanicalinspired cocktails. Next, you can organize a private dinner in the lofty greenhouse, which is full of exotic plants. – Karim Hussain

Few places in Lebanon are as charming as Zena Bridi’s guesthouse in Abdelli, set in the hills above Batroun.

Beit Bridi, The Mandrake

Beit Bridi

Abdelli, abdelliterraces.net/beit-bridi Opened in summer 2017, the two-story home is fronted by a sprawling deck that overlooks green valleys and rolling hills in the distance. Beit Bridi offers six rooms and one suite, plus a standalone villa located below and accessible via a staircase. The common area, set at the center of the house on the ground level, holds a bar and a library, and is ideal for rest and relaxation. In fact, Beit Bridi is so serene and blissfully quiet that it offers a true retreat from the Beirut bustle. While Beit Bridi is for adults only, its sister property Les Terrasses de Abdelli, located just up the road, is geared toward families. Guests at Beit Bridi are offered breakfast every morning and also have access to Les Terrasses de Abdelli’s restaurant and pool. One of Lebanon’s special hideaways. – Michelle Merheb


Where We’re Staying 230

The Mandrake is the first hotel venture from Beirut-born Londoner Rami Fustok.

A better way to live

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

What We’re Drinking 232

Words Michael Karam

Arak My World Lebanon’s most illustrious spirit is the darling of the new generation

There was a time, back in the early 1990s, after the Civil War ended and the Lebanese were dusting themselves down from conflict, when the done thing at any meal was to plonk a bottle of whisky in the middle of the table and get stuck in. None of this “white with the starter, red with the main, followed by a dessert wine and lashing of port” nonsense. You just crammed your glass with ice and filled it to the top with Scotland’s finest. No one had heard of single malts, and wine was still way off on the horizon, as were vodka and gin for that matter. The war had conditioned those with a liking for the hard stuff to calm their shattered nerves with bottles of Scotch. Quite literally, it got us through the night. But there was another reason for the huge amount of whisky that was being knocked back. We Lebanese, for all our generosity and warmth, are insufferable snobs. I say this because right under our noses we had arak, the first, and therefore arguably, the greatest spirit on earth, and yet we opted for the foreign brew.

Arak was seen as the peasants’ drink, the product of an old man with a huge moustache sitting next to his bubbling pot outside a mountain house. We forget that arak is the granddaddy of the all the famous aniseed-based eaux de vie of the Mediterranean basin. Ouzo? Raki? They would never have happened without arak, and while the jury is still out on who first perfected the distillation process, it is the Arabs, in or around the 9th century, who first spoke of using it to make alcohol. That word is derived from the Arabic al khol – itself coming from the eponymous black makeup beloved of doe-eyed Arab women and purified by the same process. The fact that aniseed-based drinks can be found around the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe is no coincidence.

The less versatile sake has made more of an international impact on the back of sushi, so why hasn’t arak made a similar impression on foreign diners who love Lebanese cuisine? Maybe it’s because arak is a spirit, and a strong one to boot. So while the Lebanese are happy to get slowly shitfaced on their local grog, Londoners, New Yorkers, Parisians and Berliners are simply not used to it, even if they can’t get enough of it when they come to Lebanon. Another reason is that many hidebound Lebanese have limited its versatility by insisting on only drinking it with food, when in fact it’s great when drunk by itself or in a cocktail.

Which is why international barmen are finally getting to grips with arak. James Walters, owner of Arabica in London’s Borough Market, and who has been to Lebanon on many occasions, has created the Bekaa Butterfly, made with arak, gin, elderflower, basil mint and lemon, while in New York in November 2016, at Holiday Spirits Bazaar, during a cocktail mixathon at Astor Wines in the middle of Manhattan, mixologist Kelvin Uffre made “Arak My World” (get it?), a cocktail made with arak, sherry, vermouth, besk, kummel, lemon juice, cardamom, vanilla and citrus peel.

Back in Lebanon, the good news is that arak is enjoying something of a revival. (In recent years the mighty Arak Brun, now made by the talented Faouzi Issa at Domaine des Tourelles, has emphatically re-established itself as the nation’s favorite.) In Mar Mikhael there is Anise, a bar dedicated to the spirit of arak. There is also a new generation of drinkers, who have quite rightly eschewed the annoying habits and outlook of my generation. They seek authenticity and arak – like Lebanese wine, Lebanese music and film and even the dabke – is very much on their radar. It’s about time.

ARTS Beirut


Open Tuesday-Sunday, 8pm-1:30am. G1 Building, Naccache Seaside, artsbeirut.com The oversized bar is set along the back wall, with the tables placed right in front, ensuring that all customers can enjoy the wraparound views via floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The inventive cocktail menu offers such specialties as 1924, made with Ketel One vodka, coriander, white wine, lemongrass oil and black pepper, and Strange Loop, prepared with cognac, citric vanilla foam and Tonka beans. Bar-inspired dishes accompany the drinks, and they include beef tataki with Ponzu sauce and truffle potato chips with Parmesan. On the sweeter side, ARTS Beirut’s dessert options include chocolate raspberry sticks and triple chocolate texture feuillantine. You’ll be so enthralled with the whole experience that you won’t want to leave. – Marwan Naaman

Rani al Rajji’s pub is off the beaten path and that’s all the more alluring.

ARTS Beirut, Rana Massaad


Open Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday 5pm-1am; FridaySaturday 5pm-2am. Jisr al Wati, facebook.com/ brazzaville96 The young man is one of Brazzaville’s six co-owners, and he also came up with the concept and design of the place, seeking inspiration from the long stretches of time he spent in Berlin and the Netherlands. Set on an abandoned lot in the Jisr el Wati industrial area, steps from the Beirut River, Brazzaville is a casual watering hole where businessmen, students, artists and people from various walks of life feel equally at ease. Drop by after work and stay well past midnight. – Michelle Merheb


Where We’re Drinking 234

ARTS Beirut, Gregory Gatserelia’s latest design project, is a visual fantasy set along the Mediterranean Sea.

Coya Monte-Carlo


Where We’re Drinking

Coya’s latest European outpost opened in May on the French Riviera.

Tonica Open Monday-Saturday, noon-11pm; Sunday noon-6pm. 55-57 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QL, tonica.london Tonica by The Distillery is a stylish gin bar that just opened in car-free Exmouth Market. This new London hotspot specializes in inventive gin concoctions, including Nginious! Summer Gin, made with strawberry vermouth, bitters, pink peppercorn tonic, basil and fresh strawberries, and the Portobello Road Gin 171, prepared with pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit marmalade and Nordic Mist Blue tonic water. The extensive drinks menu also includes various non-gin cocktails and a wide variety of wines. If you have the nibbles, Tonica offers a nice selection of bar bites, such as fried calamari, truffle risotto, house smoked duck and more. A trendy yet romantic spot. Don’t miss it. – Michelle Merheb

SBM, Tonica



Open daily until October 31 from 6pm onward. 26 Avenue Princess Grace, coyarestaurant.com Building on the success of the two Coya outposts in London and their sister establishments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the new space includes a restaurant and a lounge, both set inside the Sporting Monte-Carlo, right above Jimmy’z and steps from the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. In terms of cuisine, chef Sanjay Dwivedi has created a menu that combines Peruvian specialties with European techniques and Asian influences, resulting in naturally light and healthy dishes. The Pisco Bar & Lounge serves artisan cocktails on a seafront terrace with expansive views of the Mediterranean, to the tune of music by world-class guest DJs. – Marwan Naaman


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

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

Home at last.

GROUNDPIECE SECTIONAL SOFA design by Antonio Citterio FLEXFORM www.flexform.it

SOLID GOLD MEN A new men’s collection, signed Nada G Fine Jewelry


Elias Gannage, CEO of Gannage Holding, wears a Prada blazer. His 18-karat gold pin, bangles and rings are by Nada G Fine Jewelry

Actor Elie Choufani wears an Off-White jacket. His 18-karat gold bangles and rings are by Nada G Fine Jewelry

Visual artist Tarek Moukaddem wears a Gucci jacket. His 18-karat gold necklaces, bangles and rings are by Nada G Fine Jewelry

Ziad Harb, CEO of Builtec, wears a Prada shirt. His 18-karat gold necklaces, bracelets and rings are by Nada G Fine Jewelry

Fashion designer and stylist Amine Jreissati wears a Dior shirt. His 18-karat gold bangles and rings are by Nada G Fine Jewelry

Words Marwan Naaman

THE LAST PAGE BEIRUT FASHION GRIT A new breed of Lebanese designers capture the capital city’s rough edges with their latest collections

Dala Eido traveled back to the past to dream up her designs. “My collection started out with a selection of childhood drawings I analyzed to create original and personal shapes, prints and motifs,” she says. “I looked at what my brain decided to absorb prior to being polluted by the abundance of visual communication humans are exposed to as they grow older.” Taking it one step further, she delved into her own and Beirut’s collective memory: “I also tried to look deeper into the baggage I brought with me at birth from past lives through meditation and stimulations that trigger memory. Memory being a central theme in my collection, I wanted to look at the environment I grew up in: Beirut, Lebanon, a rich and diverse city with a lingering feeling of violence, mixed with an abundant feeling of joie de vivre.” And she came up with a unisex collection that in many way mirrors Beirut: soft and aggressive, scarred and elegant, bound and free.

Genny Haddad marks a Lebanese first by releasing a fashion collection, which she says “revolves around seeing the positive aspect of mental illnesses.” While she was inspired by artists Jackson Pollock and Yayoi Kusama, both of whom battled mental illness, she also undertook her own research. “I started off by visiting a mental institution in Lebanon where I attended several art therapy sessions and got to know several patients. In awe at their expression and liberation through drawing, I decided to further motivate them by showing them that even their simplest illustration can turn into a bigger creation, like a print or a whole garment idea.” The result is an edgy collection – complete with razor blades – that sheds light on a dark subject matter.

Dala Eido, Carl Halal



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