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Wild Winter Wear. Conversations with Ginane Makki Bacho and Philippe Daher Bauhaus Turns 100. Lebanon's National Awakening in Pictures

no.100 Nov-Dec '19/Jan '20 LL10,000


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BEIRUT 62 Abdel Malek Street Tel.01 99 11 11 Ext. 222 - ANTELIAS Aïshti by the Sea Tel.04 71 77 16 ext. 218

BEIRUT 62 Abdel Malek Street Tel.01 99 11 11 Ext. 222 - ANTELIAS Aïshti by the Sea Tel.04 71 77 16 ext. 218



100 No.

Nov-Dec/2019 Jan/2020


The Centenary Issue


FRONT / 48 Who’s Who / 50 Editor’s Letter The inspiration behind this issue / 52 Contributors A brief selection / 58 Click and Tell The photographers who’ve

contributed to A Mag over the years / 78 In Focus What’s happening around the world

/ 110 Objects of Desire Holiday gift ideas / 118 A Family Affair The Borghese inspire the winter collections / 124 In the Studio with Philippe Daher / FASHION / 132

Cold Comfort Two trends for the festive season / 136 Everlasting Gems Jewelry for

Christmas and forever / 160 Love Story Annabelle Belmondo in a tribute to Yves Saint

Laurent / 178 Belle de Jour That stylish Parisian look / FEATURES / 194 Pulse of the

City Chicago’s trendy Hoxton hotel / 198 A Bauhaus Centenary Bauhaus-inspired icons

across the globe / 206 Love Letter to My Muse What inspires a fashion collection? /

Nov-Dec/2019 Jan/2020

210 Subject In Conversation with Ginane Makki Bacho / 214 Guardian of the Galaxy

Futuristic fashion flair / 236 17 Candles Styles for the younger set / 260 On the Water’s Edge Eating at Aïshti by the Sea / 266 Tell It on the Mountain Al Fundok opens in

Maasser el Shouf / FOLIO / 272 Everything We Ever Did Taking a look back at A Mag highlights, from 2002 until today / PLAYGROUND / 290 Where We’re Eating / 294

On Food Dishes that deserve to make a comeback / 296 Where We’re Detoxing / 300

On Happiness How to live long and prosper / 302 Where We’re Staying / 308 Where

We’re Drinking / 310 On Drink Vintage cocktails that are all the rage / CLOSING / 316 The Awakening Lebanon’s nationalism comes roaring back / 332 The Last Page




Wild Winter Wear. Conversations with Ginane Makki Bacho and Philippe Daher Bauhaus Turns 100. Lebanon's National Awakening in Pictures

no.100 Nov-Dec '19/Jan '20 LL10,000

On the Cover It’s A Mag’s 100th issue, and our cover girl Annabelle Belmondo is dressed in Prada. Shot in Paris by François Rotger / Styling by Amelianna Loiacono

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

Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman

Creative director Mélanie Dagher

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Copy editor Rayane Abou Jaoude

Coordinating editor Sophie Nahas Senior photo editor Fadi Maalouf

Senior graphic designer Anne Marie Tabet Art director Maria Khairallah 48

In-house fashion photographer Raya Farhat Contributing writers Salma Abdelnour

Tracy Lynn Chemaly Tala Habbal

Karim Hussain Niku Kasmai

Robert Landon

Michelle Merheb

Helen Kitti Smith

Fashion photographers Alice Rosati

François Rotger

Feature photographers Mohamad Abdouni Michèle Aoun

Myriam Boulos Tony Elieh Carl Halal

Tarek Moukaddem Roger Moukarzel Marco Pinarelli Aly Saab Stylists

Amelianna Loiacono Charles Nicola

Francesca Parise Illustrator

Marion Garnier

Editorial intern Mohammad Agha Advertising director Melhem Moussallem Advertising manager Rawan Mneimne

Senior marketing coordinator Magaly Mosleh Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

Aïshti by the Sea, Beirut, Lebanon tel. 961.4.717.716,,


A Mag at 100 And just like that, nationalism came roaring back. It’s been a heady few weeks in Lebanon, as cities and towns across the land have experienced an unprecedented national awakening. People of all ages and from every single background have come together in the world’s largest protest movement, fighting for a better Lebanon, and in the process watching their country be reborn. When we set out to create the 100th issue of A Mag, we never dreamed that our work would overlap with this historic moment. We looked back upon 100 issues of art, photography and design, paying tribute to those who contributed to our success over the past 17 years. But at the same time, we were offered a chance to report on this national awakening and provide a window to the future of Lebanon, as we try to imagine what our country will become after the national uprising. As we celebrate Lebanon, Christmas, the New Year and 100 issues of A Mag, we raise our glass to 100 more. Marwan Naaman @marwannaaman




Marwan Naaman Marwan Naaman has been editor-in-chief of A Mag since it was founded in 2002. Along the way, he also launched its sister publication Gossip and oversaw the launch of digital platform Aïshti Blog. He’s written two books – Shop Beirut and IXSIR: The Wine of the Lebanese Mountains – and innumerable features for local, regional and international print and online publications. He makes his home in Beirut, with his dog Dalida and cat Buzz, but tries to travel to the United States and Europe as often as possible. He likes to think of himself as a citizen of the world with roots that stretch across the continents.

Maria Maalouf Since she joined A Mag in 2005, Maria Maalouf has worked as a designer, art director and production director for the publication. She’s supervised everything from simple accessory shoots to more complicated fashion shoots that require large casts and major production work. Currently senior art director of A Mag, she’s busy juggling her career and family, yet still dreams of taking over the world and empowering Lebanon’s underappreciated but incredibly amazing women.

Fadi Maalouf For over 15 years, Fadi Maalouf has been quietly sitting behind his computer, retouching every image that’s published in A Mag and every photograph that’s ever graced the magazine’s cover. As senior photo editor for A Mag, he ensures that each image is flawlessly retouched and expertly color calibrated. During his free time, he enjoys working on his colleagues’ portraits, transforming them into hilariously outrageous and unusual photographs.

Raya Farhat Raya Farhat is A Mag’s resident muse. Always clad in black, she dabbles in art direction and photography, adding her sensually gothic touch to photos and editorial shoots. She’s a visual artist, art director and photographer who works in installation performance, multimedia and print. Creative director and founder of Art in Motion, and possessing two Master’s degrees from Beirut and Florence, she’s been a contributor to A Mag and L’Officiel Levant for over 10 years.


CLICK AND TELL Photography Marco Pinarelli


As A Mag celebrates its 100th issue and nearly two decades in print, we take a look back at the Lebanese and Lebanon-based photographers who have made the strongest mark on our publication. From fashion shoots and photo journeys to portraits and artistic spreads, these nine photographers have infused A Mag with their passion and contributed to giving our beloved magazine its sophisticated youthful edge. We couldn’t have done it without them.


TONY ELIEH Tony Elieh is a musician and self-taught photographer based in Beirut. Working as a professional photographer since 2008, he specializes in architecture, fashion, food and product photography. His work has appeared in a variety of magazines and campaigns, and he regularly collaborates with young local creatives – from artists and architects to design studios and music labels. He still dreams of photographing one person in particular: “Sabah Fakhri, one of the most iconic tarab singers in the Middle East. His music speaks a lot to me.” What’s your greatest achievement? Quitting my job in marketing to become a full-time musician and photographer.

Which person do you admire most and why? Nayla Abi Aad. She’s the person who’s been next to me at all stages. What do you love most about your work? That it’s not a job.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? Hanging myself on a ladder every time we’re shooting the In the Studio section. I guess the fall is near.

What’s your dream travel destination? Central Asia.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Torino Express. Describe yourself in just one word. Bee.


BACHAR SROUR Bachar Srour has shot fashion spreads and portraits for A Mag and its sister publication L’Officiel Levant for over a decade. A graduate from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) with a BA in plastic arts, Srour has been working as a professional photographer in both Lebanon and Dubai since 2007. When asked which person he’d love to photograph most, Srour says: “Ennio Morricone, just because I love him.” What’s your greatest achievement? Staying in Lebanon.

Which person do you admire most and why? I admire patient and disciplined people, but not a certain person. What do you love most about your work? That it’s raw and unsophisticated.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? Our first shoot, with a male model and a sponsored car. It was huge, the shoot came out beautiful and it launched my career as a photographer. What’s your dream travel destination? Japan.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Mansoura, my village in the West Bekaa. Describe yourself in just one word. Boring.


TANYA TRABOULSI Austrian-born but of Lebanese origin, Tanya Traboulsi spent her childhood traveling back and forth between the two countries. While in Austria, she completed high school and graduated from fashion school with a diploma in fashion design. Soon after, she developed a growing interest in photography, around which she now centers her practice. Her work explores highly personal themes of belonging, identity and memory, as well as the sociological stigmas relating to female identity. Traboulsi’s first monograph, entitled Lost Strange Things: On Not Finding Home, was published by Triton in 2014. Her body of work documenting the Lebanese alternative music scene was assembled in the 2010 publication Untitled Tracks: On Alternative Music in Beirut. Traboulsi’s work has been exhibited internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, and her photographs are featured in several print and online publications like Brownbook, Colors Magazine, Phases Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Monocle, The Wire and many others. In 2013, she was awarded The Boghossian Foundation Prize for the series “Seules.” Her most memorable experience with A Mag? “I really enjoyed shooting a series of portraits for A Mag a couple of years back.” 62

What’s your greatest achievement? There are several things that have been on my “to achieve list” that I actually did achieve. Among them are The Boghossian Foundation Prize in 2013, my participation in Beirut Art Center’s “Exposure” in 2014, the release of my book in 2015 and a solo exhibition in Vienna in 2018. Name one person you dream of photographing. Mackenzie Davis: her face and acting inspire me.

Which person do you admire most and why? Romy Schneider, for her inner and outer beauty, her immense talent, sensitivity and strength.

What do you love most about your work? I very much appreciate the variety of new places and people I encounter when on assignment. What’s your dream travel destination? At the moment Puglia in Italy.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Any calm place in nature by the sea – unfortunately very hard to find these days. Describe yourself in just one word. Determined.



MARCO PINARELLI Marco Pinarelli got into photography because his father was an amateur photographer. He recalls that the whole family was annoyed by his dad’s requests to stay still in front of the lens, so he decided it would be a good idea to get behind the camera instead – it was the first photographic thought he had, although it wasn’t until many years later, and far from the mid-sized Italian town in which he grew up, that he would decide to become a professional photographer. A longtime contributor to A Mag, for which he’s shot both portraits and photo-journeys across Lebanon, Pinarelli splits his time between Greece and the Middle East. His dream travel destination? North Korea. What’s your greatest achievement? Getting rid of almost all the information and rules I’ve been fed since I was a child by family, schools and social environments. Name one person you dream of photographing. I haven’t got one really. I am fascinated by strong features and imperfections – noses for instance. Big noses are terribly attractive to me.

Which person do you admire most and why? Again there is no one specific. I admire radical minds that can take radical actions. I am not referring to the common understanding of the word “radical” portrayed by the media, but to a more literal meaning: “a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social change.” In fact, I am quickly going in that direction, and I’m getting more and more uncomfortable with the logic of compromising. What do you love most about your work? Those minutes where someone, possibly a complete stranger, poses for me. That act of generosity is what I love the most about photography.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? I mainly work with A Mag as a portrait photographer, and I am very pleased about the freedom the magazine has always given me. I would say the experiences with A Mag were all equally pleasant, with some peaks because of exceptional locations and characters. Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? The road between Kfardebiane (Faqra) and the Bekaa Valley. Describe yourself in just one word. Awake.



MOHAMAD ABDOUNI Mohamad Abdouni is a 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, the Institute of Islamic Culture in Paris, the Foam Gallery in Amsterdam and in festivals across Europe. He has worked with the likes of Vice UK, Vogue US, Vogue Italia, Burberry, Puma, Gucci, Fendi, Farfetch, MarieClaire, L’Officiel Levant and, of course, A Mag. His personal projects tend to focus on the untold stories of Beirut and the rising queer culture of the city. When asked to describe himself in just one word, he says, “anxious.” What’s your greatest achievement? The people I surround myself with, personally and professionally.

Name one person you dream of photographing. Courtney Love, because the chances of it ever happening are getting slimmer.

Which person do you admire most and why? My mother, for her work ethic and the way she handles people and difficult situations. What do you love most about your work? How unsatisfied I always am with it.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? Hands down the jewelry shoot we did in 2019. A model running around the Aïshti Foundation naked at night in the dark, with nothing on but millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds – that’s hard to beat! What’s your dream travel destination? Italy, because I’ve curiously never been yet. Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Home in Adonis.


ALY SAAB Beirut-based photographer Aly Saab moved back to Lebanon after earning his MFA from the Glasgow School of Art. His work has appeared in numerous local and European publications, including L’Offciel Levant, A Mag, Cold Cuts and Yearbook. While his professional work mostly revolves around mainstream fashion photography, his passion to inspect and deconstruct the human condition has always been a work in progress. Thus “Self-Portrait” will be his first solo exhibition. When asked which person he admires most and why, Saab says, “I admire 14-year-old me, for overcoming so many obstacles and bullying.”


What’s your greatest achievement? My upcoming solo exhibition.

Name one person you dream of photographing. Julianne Moore, and I haven’t photographed her because my intern can’t get in touch with her intern. What do you love most about your work? Not trying too hard.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? My first shoot with A Mag because it’s my first published work. What’s your dream travel destination? Outer space.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? I honestly do not have a favorite spot in Lebanon. I think people make the places and any place I am at with good company will be my favorite spot at that moment. Describe yourself in just one word. Random.




Michèle Aoun was born and raised in Beirut, where a career in film production and distribution led to her love of acting and photography. Her work includes fashion, architecture and street photography. Obsessed with the endless possibilities of the image, she feels especially passionate about mixing fashion with reality. She believes her work can inspire positivity and relaxed vibes, but also melancholy and irony. Aoun has contributed to Grazia, L’Officiel Levant and Sorbet Magazine. The person she admires most is her mother because, in the words of Aoun: “She never gives up.” What’s your greatest achievement? Running the marathon.

Name one person you dream of photographing. Tilda Swinton. We’re still confirming the location. What do you love most about your work? Maturity and sarcasm.

Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? Shooting interesting people in different locations for the opening section for issue 99. What’s your dream travel destination? Japan.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Can’t choose. Describe yourself in just one word. Shameless.



RABEE YOUNES Rabee Younes, who comes from a Lebanese family, was born in Jordan during the Lebanese Civil War. When he emigrated to Canada at age 15, he was drawn to art as a way of expressing his visions, frustrations and inspirations in a constantly evolving world. His yearning to connect with his roots led him to Lebanon, where his path of self-realization expanded. He expresses his personal beliefs through art and a variety of other projects that support human healing and evolution. He currently lives in a borderless world, making a home in each region at different times in his life. His greatest achievement? “Jumping into the unknown and journeying inward.” Name one person you dream of photographing. You’re reading this because we are still to meet.

Which person do you admire most and why? My higher self, because it’s the only relationship there is. All other relationships are a reflection of self. What do you love most about your work? Each shoot is a journey, an experiment of surrender, allowing creativity to flow through all members of the team. Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? All experiences are beautiful in their own right. What’s your dream travel destination? Untouched nature.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? All of it. Describe yourself in just one word. Love.


MYRIAM BOULOS Myriam Boulos was born in Lebanon in 1992, shortly after the end of the Civil War, in what she perceived as a fragmented country in the process of reinventing itself. She grew up in a bubble, far from Beirut’s contradictions, but at age 16 she started to get closer to the city, using her camera to question Beirut, its people and her place among them. Her photo series are a mix of documentary and personal research, and she uses photography to explore, defy and resist society. Boulos earned her Master’s degree in photography from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in 2015. “I admire everyone I choose to photograph,” she says. “For me a picture (almost) always comes from a fascination.”


What’s your greatest achievement? Hesitating between “haven’t done it yet” and “surviving patriarchy.”

Name one person you dream of photographing. Béatrice Dalle. She’s so strong and fragile and beautiful and real. And alive!

What do you love most about your work? Not being afraid anymore, getting closer to people, creating things that surprise even myself and, most importantly, becoming conscious of things instead of being the victim of things. Which A Mag experience do you remember best and why? The Youth issue! What’s your dream travel destination? Forever digging deeper in Lebanon (or Japan I guess).

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? Public spaces where you can meet different social bubbles. Describe yourself in just one word. (So) contradictory.



TAREK MOUKADDEM Tarek Moukaddem is Beirut-based visual artist best known for his photography work. He’s a regular contributor to various local and international magazines including A Mag, L’Officiel Levant, Vogue Arabia, Wallpaper*, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Citizen K and many more. He’s also collaborated with various global brands, such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, Bulgari and L’Oréal, plus local powerhouses like Elie Saab, Nada Debs, Krikor Jabotian and Hussein Bazaza. His work has been featured in over 60 exhibitions across more than 20 countries. He says that the portrait of Lina Mroue at her home that he shot for A Mag was one of his most memorable gigs: “It was one of the first jobs I’d ever taken, and A Mag was one of the first magazines to trust me working with them.” What’s your greatest achievement? Being able to remain based in Beirut.

Name one person you dream of photographing. Probably Fairuz. She’s a living legend, and she hates being photographed. So being able to do so would be a dream. Which person do you admire most and why? My grandmother, for being able to survive everything she did and still be able to keep a smile on all the time – and always put a smile on my face.

What do you love most about your work? The human side, meeting new people I admire every day and telling their stories differently. What’s your dream travel destination? Probably the Amazon before they burn whatever is left of it.

Which is your favorite spot in Lebanon? A hidden spot above the old Chekka tunnel. I used to always go there as a teen to see the sunrise, as one side would still be night and the other morning. Describe yourself in just one word. Unapologetic.


In Focus Brand-New Marc_____ American designer Marc Jacobs has launched an edgy new division. Simply named The Marc Jacobs, the range includes ready-to-wear, bags, shoes, jewelry and accessories that celebrate an eclectic approach to getting dressed. “We wanted to do something that is unlike the collections we are already doing, in that it is more ‘item-y,’” says Jacobs. “These items are things that you could put together in your own way. It’s more about personal styling than about having a full runway look.” Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.

Marc Jacobs


In Focus

Power of Two_____ Moncler continues its inspired collaborations with a new menswear range conceived by Sergio Zambon and Veronica Leoni. For the 2 Moncler 1952 + Valextra collection, Zambon offers clothes in a mix of muted colors with a 1970s feel, with laminated touches and easy, laid-back shapes. Leoni, on the other hand, serves up puffed blousons, parkas and biker jackets, featuring bleached tartans and macro ginkgo prints with padded tailoring. Moncler’s line is timeless and current all at once. Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.


Bridal beauties_____ Mouawad’s new bridal jewelry pieces are as precious as ancient heirlooms. The spectacular new jewelry collections combine petals, hearts and dewdrops with glorious diamonds and timeless gemstones, in a stunning array of designs, ranging from delicately simple sets of high jewelry to masterpieces studded with some of the world’s finest stones. As always, the Lebanese jeweler has created collections that capture every bride’s imagination.

Ancient and Contemporary _____ “On the Spiritual Matter of Art” is a project that investigates the issue of the spiritual through the lens of contemporary art and, at the same time, that of the ancient history of Rome. The exhibition at Rome’s MAXXI museum features the works of 19 artists from different backgrounds and cultures, including John Armleder, Francesco Clemente, Hassan Khan, Shirin Neshat, Michal Rovner, Tomás Saraceno, Sean Scully and Jeremy Shaw. Most of the works were created in the last two years, and they’re displayed alongside 17 extraordinary Etruscan, Roman and local archaeological relics on loan from four of the city’s leading museums: Vatican Museums, The National Roman Museum, The National Etruscan Museum – Villa Giulia and the Capitoline Museums. Until March 8, 2020,

Gladstone Gallery/Shirin Neshat, MoMA, Moncler, Mouawad

MoMA Returns_____ After a four-month closure and major renovations, New York’s iconic Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopened on October 21 with an additional 40,000 feet of exhibition space, allowing the museum to showcase more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. Developed by MoMA with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and in collaboration with Gensler, the reinvented museum is now home to The Studio, a space that features live programming and performances that challenge histories of modern art. There are also new street-level galleries on an expanded ground floor that are free and open to all, further connecting the MoMA to the city and bringing art closer to the streets of Manhattan.

In Focus Stones and Memories _____ This Christmas, choose a gift that will last forever. Lebanese jeweler George Hakim has created a number of stunning pieces that are both classic and contemporary, capturing the essence of 21st-century style while also possessing the type of design that will never go out of fashion. Key pieces include two special rings – one with emeralds and diamonds and the other with sapphires and diamonds. There are also luxurious ruby and diamond earrings, and a uniquely shaped spiral diamond bracelet with flashes of emerald.

George Hakim, RYMCO, Lu Yang/Société, Zegna


Environmentally Chic_____ Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and actor and singer Nicholas Tse are the faces of Zegna’s fall/winter 2019-20 campaign. Both men don items from the new collection, which this season is definitely less street and more chic, yet retains its relaxed and sporty attitude. Key silhouettes include a drop-shoulder military blouson in crisp khaki gabardine with a tailored collar. About 30% of this most eco-friendly of Zegna collections was made from sustainable materials. Available at the Zegna boutique in Downtown Beirut and at Aïshti by Sea.

China in Your Eyes ____ “Micro Era. Media Art from China,” now showing at Berlin’s Kulturforum, explores the relationship between mind, body and technology, with installations and single-channel videos from the 1980s to the present. From documentary film images and the adapted use of classical film language, to the aesthetics of Japanese Anime, the show chronicles the development of media art in China. Artists Cao Fei, Fang Di, Lu Yang and Zhang Peili, the four main pillars of the show, examine how video art is functioning as a democratizing art form across China. Until January 26, 2020,


Half a Century and Counting_____ Lebanon’s Rasamny Younis Motor Co. (RYMCO) and Nissan celebrated their golden jubilee last September by hosting a private seaside dinner at Villa Boustany in Jiyeh, south of Beirut. Guests included Nissan representatives, RYMCO’s family, public figures and members of the media. RYMCO introduced Nissan to Lebanon 50 years ago, when the Rasamny brothers established their own car dealership. They first introduced Datsun, Nissan’s fastest-selling brand in the Lebanese market, and then a few years later, in the 1980s, they opened Nissan’s state-of-the-art showroom, making the brand the star of Lebanon’s roads. In the words of RYMCO CEO Fayez Rasamny: “Over the years we have built a network of very loyal customers, and we look forward to welcoming new customers in the years to come.”

In Focus A Moment in Time_____ The Art Institute of Chicago is examining American art during the height of the Great Depression. “Photography + Folk Art: Looking for America in the 1930s” highlights over 130 objects, including photographs, paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, providing a look at the culture and conditions that would come to shape American visual identity. Items on display include expressive, moving photographs by the likes of Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke-White and Arthur Rothstein. The landmark exhibit captures a pivotal moment in US history. Until January 19, 2020,

Noirmontartproduction, Walker Evans Archive/The Metropolitan Museum of Art


A Voice Like Egypt_____ Two new video works by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat are gracing the halls of Rome’s venerable MAXXI museum. Presented by the Polo Museale della Basilicata and MAXXI, in collaboration with the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation, the two works come from Neshat’s 2017 feature film Looking for Oum Kulthum, which chronicles the life of the legendary Egyptian songstress. In the first work, “Remembrance,” a boy is led by Oum Kulthum’s voice into a sort of space-time labyrinth, while in the second clip, “In Trance,” the focus is on the mystical power of her music, which some say is capable of hypnotizing listeners. A terrific sensory experience from one of Iran’s great living artists. Until January 12, 2020,

The Arabesque Deco collection

NEW STORE - Weygand Street, Downtown Beirut

Tel. +961-1-334879


In Focus I’ll Be Your Shelter _____ Do you know where to hold your next special event? The Shelter in Hazmieh is a spectacular venue that can host any type of event – from exhibitions to conferences to parties – with spaces that range from 300 to 1,000 square meters in size. The great warehouse was once the Chevrolet showroom, but it has since been transformed into one of the hottest destinations for memorable events. Check it out. For more info, tel. 03625070 or email

Burberry, The Shelter



Campaign Spectacular_____ Burberry’s fall/winter 2019-20 campaign is making quite a splash. Conceived by the label’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci and shot by photographers Danko Steiner and Nick Knight, the campaign showcases the refined and the classic alongside the relaxed and free, expressing the collection’s two distinct viewpoints. The large cast includes the likes of Gigi Hadid and Irina Shayk, and the images highlight the current “Tempest” collection, which celebrates the contrasts and contradictions in British culture and weather. Available at the Burberry boutique in Downtown Beirut and at Aïshti by Sea.

In Focus

Art and Wit____ Rachel Harrison’s first full-scale survey is now showing at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan. Since the early 1990s, Harrison has been creating singular works that combine pop culture, politics and art history, resulting in pieces that are multilayered and heavy with humor. Titled “Rachel Harrison Life Hack,” the exhibit brings together about 100 of her works, many of them incorporating eccentric materials like cans of olives, remote controls and various objects that are either made or found. Over 25 years of the artist’s career are examined via sculptures, photographs, drawings and incredible installations. Until January 12, 2020,

Downtown Chic____ Downtown Beirut is now home to Ralph Masri’s flagship boutique. Set on scenic Weygand Street, the new store carries all of the Lebanese jeweler’s collections, including Heliopolis, which was launched in summer 2019. Since founding his eponymous jewelry brand five years, Masri has become a favorite of stars celebrities – the likes of Queen Rania of Jordan, Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry and Meghan Markle have all been spotted wearing his designs. A fabulous new place to discover in Downtown.

Picasso in Beirut _____ It’s a major coup for Lebanon. Beirut’s Sursock Museum is staging a Pablo Picasso exhibit organized with the support of the Musée National Picasso-Paris. “Picasso et la Famille” explores the artist’s relationship to the notion of the family nucleus, encompassing everything from motherhood to children’s games, from the representation of conceptual intimacy to the numerous experiences of a fatherhood spent under the spotlight. The show brings together drawings, etchings, paintings and sculptures spanning 77 years of creation, from 1895 to 1972. Picasso’s “Françoise, Claude, Paloma: La Lecture et Les Jeux” is pictured here. Until January 6, 2020,

Rachel Harrison/Greene Naftali, Ralph Masri RMN-Grand Palais/Succession Picasso 2019




Respecting the Landscape____ For the third installment in its “The Architect’s Studio” series, Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is focusing on the work of Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao. The exhibit is divided into three sections, beginning with a look at the Mexican culture and landscape that form the background of Bilbao’s work. The show then introduces the drawing office’s processual approach and methods, culminating in full-size installations that illustrate the use of geometry, materials and landscape, including the Botanical Garden in Culiacán and a new aquarium and research center in Mazatlán. Bilbao represents a new generation of architects aspiring to infuse their work with social commitment and sustainable solutions. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is located about 40 minutes north of Copenhagen. Until April 5, 2020,

Guerrilla Girls, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Valentino

In Focus 90

Iraq, in Retrospect _____ In an ambitious group exhibit titled “Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011,” New York’s MoMA PS1 explores the impact that the Iraq wars and their aftermath had upon artists living in Iraq and its diasporas, as well as upon those responding to the war from the West. The exhibit features works by over 80 artists, including Afifa Aleiby, Dia al-Azzawi, Thuraya al-Baqsami, Paul Chan, Harun Farocki, Tarek AlGhoussein, Guerrilla Girls, Thomas Hirschhorn, Hanaa Malallah, Monira Al Qadiri, Nuha al-Radi and Ala Younis. The pieces on view reflect the violence, xenophobia, oil dependency and new imperialisms that became characteristic of the era. November 3, 2019-March 1, 2020,


Dancer from the Dance_____ For its fall/winter 2019-20 campaign, Red Valentino tapped photographer Luca Campri to shoot dancers and choreographers in training from Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Danza. As they dance and move in their effortless way, the 22 students wear Red Valentino’s mix of flowing lines and poignant prints, seamless and sturdy tailoring, toughness and grace. Emotions come to the fore through the clothes and through the exquisite movements. Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.

In Focus

First Look _____ The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) presents a new exhibit featuring works donated to the museum by Los Angeles-based collector, scholar and advocate Gordon W. Bailey. “What Carried Us Over: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey” features works in various media and includes a strong representation of artists from the American South. There are two house paint on roofing tin pieces by Sam Doyle, an early 1940s abstract floral on paper by Minnie Evans and a mixed media piece by Sister Gertrude Morgan created in 1970 on the frontispiece of the book God’s Greatest Hits. Said PAMM director Franklin Sirmans: “‘What Carried Us Over’ is the first opportunity to view Mr. Bailey’s donations as a whole.” Until April 19, 2020,

Le Corbusier Revival _____ After an extensive renovation, visitors to Zürich can once again discover the Pavillon Le Corbusier, the architect’s extraordinary final work. Bright in every way, the lakeside pavilion is clad in a joyous patchwork of colored panels, while huge windows import natural light into its central hall. Ironically, the architect’s most playful touch is the massive, 40-ton roof that seems to float above the structure. He designed every detail down to the door handles, all now lovingly restored by architects Silvio Schmed and Arthur Rüegg. Inside, fans will find objects designed or collected by Le Corbusier, and photos documenting his work.

Gordon W. Bailey, Pavillon Le Corbusier, V&A


A Few of My Wonderful Things _____ Fabled photographer Tim Walker takes center stage at London’s V&A Museum. “Tim Walker: Wonderful Things” is the largest exhibition of his work to date, and it includes pieces from the last 25 years plus 10 new photographic projects inspired by objects from the V&A’s collection. Other noteworthy items include Walker’s ambitious fashion stories plus incredible portraits of such people as Margaret Atwood, David Hockney, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Beth Ditto, Daniel Day-Lewis, Claire Foy and Saoirse Ronan. Until March 8, 2020,

In Focus

Remembering West Germany_____ Ludwig Windstosser was the leading industrial photographer in West Germany after World War II. From the 1950s onward, he shot advertising images for various German companies, many of them with oblique perspectives, unusual cropping and tonal contrasts – establishing a style that would come to capture the post-war German zeitgeist. While Windstosser is largely unknown today, his influence upon future generations of German photographers cannot be understated. The Museum of Photography in Berlin is paying tribute to the late photographer with a major show – the first Windstosser solo exhibit ever staged – that features around 200 of his photographs, including artistic, industrial, urban and nature images. “Ludwig Windstosser: Post-War Modern Photography” captures life during the West German economic miracle years. Until February 23, 2020,

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Kunstbibliothek/Ludwig Windstosser


In Focus

A Modernist Icon ____ The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, located about 40 minutes north of Copenhagen in Denmark, is hosting the first major European retrospective of Marsden Hartley’s work in over 60 years. Described as “America’s first great modern painter of the 20th century,” Hartley created works that were regarded as a bridge between European and American modernism. This exhibit “The Earth Is All Know of Wonder,” includes noteworthy examples of Hartley’s oeuvre, encompassing abstract paintings that use military symbols from the horrors of World War I as a point of departure, surreal landscapes from New Mexico and feminized figure paintings of muscular working men. A highlight of the winter season. Until January 19, 2020,

London for the Holidays _____ There’s perhaps no better place to celebrate the holidays than London. England’s capital city puts on its Christmas sheen with Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, a dazzling annual event that offers the United Kingdom’s biggest outdoor ice rink, an ice bar, the Zippos Christmas Circus and the Magical Ice Kingdom. New attractions this year include the world’s largest transportable giant wheel, which stands at 70 meters, and the Paddington On Ice skating performance. A memorable time for the entire family. November 21, 2019-January 5, 2020,

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Julie Mehretu/Carnegie Museum of Art, Weisman Art Museum


A Conversation About Abstraction_____ The first-ever comprehensive survey of EthiopianAmerican artist Julie Mehretu’s work is showing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The mid-career survey is co-organized with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and includes 40 works on paper with 35 paintings dating from 1996 to the present day. The show chronicles over two decades of Mehretu’s artistic evolution, ranging from her early focus on drawing, mapping and iconography to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, sweeps of saturated color and figurative elements. After it closes at the LACMA, the show travels to the Whitney in Manhattan, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. November 3, 2019-March 22, 2020,

In Focus

Women of Persia_________ Iranian artist Shirin Neshat curates a fascinating group exhibit at Manhattan’s High Line Nine gallery. Focusing on postrevolutionary Iranian women artists, the show features painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and video from artists who began working in the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Embracing themes of identity, repression, storytelling and memory, these women – living in Iran and the diaspora – confront the complexities of cultural duality and the nuances of an evolving artistic discourse. “A Bridge Between You and Everything: An Exhibition of Iranian Women Artists” is organized in association with the Center for Human Rights in Iran. November 7-24,

Herno Heat _____ Herno jackets are designed to keep you warm in total style. Conceived in Italy, Herno offers padded down jackets, layered puffers, coats and various other kinds of outerwear, all perfectly tailored for optimum warmth and great durability. Herno was founded in 1948 by Giuseppe Marenzi in the Italian town of Lesa and is now helmed by his son Claudio. Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.

Center for Human Rights in Iran, Haines Gallery, Herno, Christian Mendez


Creative Power of Two_____ Celebrated filmmaker Wes Anderson and his Lebanese wife, writer, illustrator and designer Juman Malouf, have jointly selected 538 artworks and objects from two iconic Vienna museums to stage Fondazione Prada’s latest exhibition. Titled “Il Sarcofago di Spitzmaus e Altri Tesori” (Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures), the show brings together works from 12 collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and from 11 departments of the Naturhistorisches Museum, transposing the pieces from their Vienna setting and presenting them in Fondazione Prada’s ultramodern space in Milan. The works selected – miniatures, timepieces, wooden objects, portraits of noblemen, garden paintings, meteorites – illustrate Anderson and Malouf’s great familiarity with the two Vienna museums, while also revealing unexpected parallels between the pieces included in the show and the two artists’ creative visions. Until January 13, 2020,

Aïshti by The Sea, Aïshti Downtown, Aïshti Verdun

In Focus

Can’t Beat the Feeling __________ Diesel has teamed up with Coca-Cola to create a 12-piece capsule collection for the fall/winter season. The Diesel x Coca-Cola Re(Collection) is made from eco-friendly materials like recycled PET derived from plastic bottles and recycled cotton. Pieces include a unisex denim workwear jacket emblazoned with the iconic Coca-Cola logo, plus sweatshirts and T-shirts available in black, blue, grey and white. Available at the Diesel boutique in Downtown Beirut and at Aïshti by Sea.

Honoring Simone Fattal _____ Following her landmark solo exhibit at MoMA PS1 in Brooklyn (which wrapped up in early September), Lebanese artist Simone Fattal was honored on September 13 at a special dinner organized by Christie’s and held at Aïshti by the Sea’s ART People restaurant in Antelias. The event was hosted by Christie’s chairman for the Middle East Michael Jeha; Leonie Moschner, director of post-war and contemporary art; and Jeremy Morrison, international director and head of design, as well as by Tony and Elham Salamé. Part of the celebration included a final look at Albert Oehlen’s solo exhibit “Trance,” which ended its one-year run at the Aïshti Foundation in September.

Man Against the Machine_____ Romain Kremer, Camper’s former creative director, left the company after five years at the helm. The current fall/winter 2019-20 collection is his final for the Spanish brand, and it’s inspired by motor sports and the precision of those manmade machines. The key menswear styles are black, futuristic and sleek, bringing to mind the roar and power of a postmodern sports vehicle. Available at the Camper boutique in the Beirut Souks and at Aïshti by Sea.

Camper, Diesel, Carl Halal


In Focus Central Park Reborn________ Since 1980, New York’s Central Park has undergone a remarkable transformation from crime-ridden no-go zone into the gorgeous, carefully curated stretch of nature its original designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, intended. In September 2019, the Central Park Conservancy unveiled its last big push in the 40-year campaign – a $150 million project to remake the park’s northeast corner. An ugly 1960s pool will make way for a new swimming complex that folds itself into the green park rather than blocking access to it. The new design restores connections, both visual and physical, into the park’s gorgeous northern reaches, and will be enriched by the reopening of a natural stream, the restoration of the pond-like Harlem Meer and a boardwalk through freshwater marshlands.

AM Bank, Prod Antzoulis, Bulgari, Céline, Central Park Conservancy, Susan T. Rodriguez


Walk the Hood_________ How well do you know Bourj Hammoud? Living Lebanon is offering a tour of Beirut’s Armenian enclave that takes participants through the area’s colorful history. Yerevant Shallagian, who was born and raised in Bourj Hammoud and is Lebanese of Armenian descent, leads “Bourj Hammoud – Walking Tour with Street Food,” which offers guests insights into the neighborhood’s treasures, including jewelry stores, churches and various shoe and bag manufacturers. The walking tour also includes samplings of Armenian specialties – tahinov hatz, lahmajoon and sojok – for an immersive Armenian experience.

Serpent Style _____ Bulgari’s coveted Serpenti Seduttori watch is now available in three stunning new models: stainless steel or stainless steel and rose gold with or without diamonds. Featuring a drop-shaped watch head inspired by the Serpenti Tubogas collection, the new Seduttori case is ultra-thin and crowned in cabochon-cut gemstones. The watches also feature a new flexible bracelet of stylized hexagonal links that reference the Serpenti scale motif. A most unique holiday gift.

For the Ladies_____ Lebanon’s AM Bank aims to create products and services that fill a missing gap in the market. As a bank that is constantly innovating to better serve the changing consumer needs, AM Bank has a decorated history of pioneering the first-ever banking products, such as the first credit card in Lebanon. This time, the bank raised the bar even further to create something truly unique for a special clientele. Women are truly fighters and achievers in their own right, with a determination to succeed. As a result, AM Bank has created a tool founded on the underlying attributes that truly represent women: a social movement recognizing beauty, intelligence, power and ambition. This is the Carte Blanche by AM Bank, a card that gives women access to the finer things in life, with no limits. By invitation only,

Your Own Céline Canvas_____ Hedi Slimane’s new line of luggage and accessories for Céline is both retro and contemporary. Named Triomphe Canvas, the range is crafted in natural cotton weave with a vegetal leather finishing. Bags come in textured shades of black and ocher, and each is embossed with Céline’s monogram (first launched in 1972). The small vertical Cabas in tan coated canvas is particularly delightful. Available at the Céline boutique in Downtown Beirut and at Aïshti by Sea.


Outdoor Flair_____ Get ready for winter by stocking up on Aspesi’s key outerwear and sophisticated basics. This season, the Italian label is offering clothes with functional design, free from embellishments and ideal for outdoor activity. Simply elegant. Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.

The Tailored Athlete_____ Italian menswear label Belvest has launched a new collection inspired by travel. Featuring suits, jackets and pants that combine precise tailoring with athletic style, the range is rich with ecological fabrics, natural dyes, matte finishing in jacquard paisley and vicuña wool with a lived-in feel. Available at Aïshti Downtown and at Aïshti by Sea.

Aspesi, Belvest, Anastasia Nysten

In Focus 104

Sitting Outside _____ Next time you head to Place de l’Etoile in Downtown Beirut, check out the new public bench by FinnishLebanese designer Anastasia Nysten. Unveiled at the end of September and sponsored by the Pharaon Group, the Beacon bench is made of basal stone carved in hexagonal shapes, resulting in alluring seats of different sizes. A touch of contemporary design flair in one of Beirut’s most historic neighborhoods.


225 Foch St., Downtown Beirut, Tel. + 961 1 991111 Ext. 480 1 Aïshti By the Sea, Antelias, Tel. + 961 4 417716 Ext. 234


OBJECTS OF DESIRE Photography Aly Saab




Bag Bulgari ________ Keep your most personal items carefully hidden behind that clasp



Bag Cult Gaia _______ Let everyone see right through you. After all, transparency is always best


Bag Loewe __________ a stylish elephant bag to save all the elephants in africa



Words Niku Kasmai


Italy’s legendary Borghese dynasty inspires the new collections Dolce & Gabbana


The Borghese family is one of Italy’s most illustrious houses, an ancient dynasty that traces its roots back to Siena during the 13th century. The Borghese gained further prominence when Marcantonio, head of the family, moved to Rome in the 16th century and his son Camillo became Pope Paul V. Part of the Black Aristocracy, the Borghese family once had extremely close ties to the Vatican and exerted immense power upon Rome and greater Italy. This season, many fashion houses have paid tribute to the Borghese by creating fall/winter 2019-20 collections inspired by the baroque glamour of this legendary Italian family.

DOLCE & GABBANA The most baroque Italian brand of them all, Dolce & Gabbana presented its own take on the Borghese with a collection named Eleganza and rich with leopard prints, brocades, sequins and women’s tailoring in menswear fabrics. Two looks in particular capture Dolce & Gabbana’s updated interpretation of the Borghese: an oversized women’s shirt matched with ankle-length pants and a loosely worn tie, and a cascading dark beige gown with glorious fur fringes.

BURBERRY Riccardo Tisci’s second collection for Burberry is an ode to “contrasts in British culture and weather.” That said, and while his collection bears his signature streetstyle flair, the designer also gleaned some inspiration from the Borghese, including a black velvet skirt suit with a cream ruffled blouse that’s rife with regal flair. The standout though, is a corseted, off-the-shoulder short black dress with puffed black sleeves and sleek black leather gloves.





FENDI Karl Lagerfeld’s final collection for Fendi is a gorgeous distillation of the years he spent at the historic Italian fashion house, from 1967 until his death in 2019. The Borghese touch is most apparent here in the high Edwardian collars that Lagerfeld himself favored, plus the scissor-sharp tailoring that characterizes a long grey coat paired with extra-long pants in an identical print.

MIU MIU Miuccia Prada highlighted the cape in her fall/ winter 2019-20 collection for Miu Miu – perhaps one of the most obvious nods to ancient Italian nobility like the Borghese. A definite highlight is a black cape with a black-and-white fur collar, worn over a puffy, ultra-short metallic dress and matched with sheer black tights.


Miu Miu

Marc Jacobs

This page: Balenciaga (above), Versace (right) and Gucci (below) Opposite page: Gucci


MARC JACOBS Proportions at Marc Jacobs are ever-growing, much like they were centuries ago for the Borghese. The American designer has created grand coats and capes, voluminous dresses and skirts worn with crinolines to emphasize volume. A vast animal print coat worn with a gigantic black boa, and a shapely retro black dress with a plunging neckline are two definite highlights of the fall/winter range.

BALENCIAGA Demna Gvasalia continues his edgy experiments at Balenciaga. For the cold-weather months, the designer first looked to the Paris street for inspiration. But like other contemporary designers this season, he also gave a wink and a nod to the Borghese’s historic style, with monastic silhouettes, high collars and hoods that partially hide the face – like noble outfits did many centuries ago.

VERSACE While Versace’s fall/winter collection primarily channels the 1990s grunge spirit – in an attempt perhaps to appeal to a younger clientele, since Capri Holdings now owns the Italian label and wants to capture the lucrative youth market – there are still plenty of nods to the brand’s Italian roots and gloriously baroque past. First up, you’ve got a saucy pistachio dress worn with fleur-de-lis, mustard-colored tights that recall Borghese fabrics. Those same tights – this time in green – are paired with a camisole-inspired slinky turquoise mini dress complete with lacy red fringes. Grunge and glamour, all in one.

GUCCI Ever since he took over at Gucci’s helm, Alessandro Michele has been creating collections that are rife with imagination – and this season is no different. Men’s and women’s fashions feature sharp shoulders, nipped waists and pant legs that are full above the ankles and cinched with a cord. There are also Pierrot collars, harking back perhaps to ancient Italy when

the Borghese family controlled Rome. Some of the most noticeable items include an oversized gold cross pendant, a dark beige coat for men with ripped seams that appears unfinished and paired with a ruffled collar shirt, and a special gown with a two-tone metallic top and black velvet skirt – a gown that appears to transport the Borghese into the space age.


Words Tracy Lynn Chemaly Photography Tony Elieh





It might not be blatantly obvious, but Philippe Daher’s work is the result of a deep reverence for Oriental architecture and design. Upon close inspection of his limited-edition furniture pieces, under his studio RayXander, it becomes more pronounced. Symmetrical patterns, geometrical, statement-making shapes, meticulous handcrafted detail and a dedication to raw materials are embedded in the items he has invested five years into developing.

It’s been a passionate side-line project for the Syrian/French architect trained in London – a pursuit he began when opening his studio in Lebanon in 2015. “I’ve always had this fascination with Oriental architecture,” Daher explains. “Iranian Islamic architecture is what really moves me.” He admits that a visit to a mosque in Damascus, where he grew up, is what set him off on the journey to studying architecture. “I remember that I was shocked for like 10 minutes,” he says of walking into that reverent space where the mirrors, lights, perspective and loss thereof had him enraptured. “It was just glorious,” he recalls.

During the most recent war in Syria, when he moved back to London for a while, Daher found himself engrossed in this interest, dedicating hours of his day to researching the architecture, design and philosophies of the

My iPad featuring most of my recent sketches


I’m a huge fan of manga, and these are manga figurines from the movie Spirited Away

An old coin that my dad gave me and that I used to wear when I was a child

The Cartes Célestes book by Kevin J. Brown. It’s a book about constellations and the main inspiration for my work

An antique piece that I took from my grandad

My sketchbooks. I like these type of books


Accessories from the Mukhi Sisters, who are friends of mine

A MĂŠmoires candle. The line was started by a friend of mine. I love the smell A gift for my 30th birthday. This is the work of a Syrian artist who recycles old cans

Orientalists. What he discovered is that not much has evolved in this realm. “Oriental art didn’t go through the same stages as Western art and culture, like from modernism to minimalism,” he states of his personal observation. Daher’s attraction to the deep, spiritual knowledge inherent in ancient Oriental designs set him on a path to investigating how it could be meaningfully and respectfully applied to contemporary culture. His influence in this regard can be seen in Syria, where his work on two nightclubs and some restaurants in Old Damascus typifies his bent toward a modern presentation of Oriental aesthetics. “It’s my very personal way of seeing how such art and design can evolve,” he says, conscious of the fact that it may not be viewed by others in the same way, despite his intensively studied, sensitive approach to the subject. In fact, his philosophies and theories around geometry and heritage patterns are sometimes so complex that it makes it difficult for architectural clients to visualize his ideas.


“That’s what got me to start thinking about furniture,” he explains. “I wanted to experiment with my vision on smaller, three-dimensional pieces where I could introduce interaction on a human scale.” The result? A desk, side table, chair, rocking stool, gentleman’s valet and bar cabinet – the two latter pieces having been recently released during a satellite exhibition of the Beirut Art Fair and Design Fair.

The Gentleman Valet and Sphex Bar are a development of Daher’s evolutionary narrative as he journeys into ideas of mutation. “They veer toward transhumanism,” he explains. “The unity between machine and human.” He demonstrates this by releasing the top two steps of the gentleman’s valet, floating them down to sit flush with the bottom step so that the piece transforms itself into a chair. It caters to an intrigue Daher has always held with “things that become something else.”

the bar, this spine appears to be held together by a thick leather strap. It’s what Daher calls his “nomadic touch,” likening it to the string or belt wrapped around camels to keep all the items they are transporting in place.

“I push every design to try to see it in a wider context,” Daher explains of this indepth investigation of furnituremaking through the mind of an architect. “I’m experimenting with furniture in the hope of getting to a point where I have a very clearly established viewpoint, philosophy, style and visual vocabulary that I can apply to interior design and architecture,” he says. “That’s the end goal for me.”


“Most valets are either too big or end up being used as a chair that people just throw things over – where just any chair would do,” he says. “I wanted to make something flexible enough to be used anywhere, in both ways.”

The Sphex Bar, in turn, pulls open on a sliding rail, revealing a lightfilled mirrored interior. Its side drawer is an additional surprise when released from its inconspicuous position. “I’m fascinated by how we always try to push our abilities,” Daher says. “Why do we need more brain capacity or faster legs?” His new items are a physical interpretation of this idea, seeing how form, material and scale can unite to enhance the performance of a piece while presenting multi-functional systems. “I’m evolving and mutating things that started as a raw idea,” he states of the pieces that he sees as “organisms,” all centered around a metal spine. In

Aïshti By the Sea Antelias Tel 04 717 716 ext 248

Aïshti Downtown Beirut Tel 01 991 111 ext 130




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Alexander Wang



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Aïshti, by the Sea, Antelias 04. 71 77 16




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Model Annabelle Belmondo at IMG Paris Hair Alessandro Rebecchi Makeup Fanny Maurer at Artlist


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She’s in a Balenciaga total look

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Words Marwan Naaman


The Hoxton Chicago epitomizes Fulton Market’s hipster flair

The Hoxton Chicago


Right: The Hoxton’s lobby Below: Cabra Cevicheria Bottom right: Lazy Bird

Chicago’s Fulton Market is a neighborhood in bloom. As recently as 10 years ago, the area was still off the radar, a neglected district that had once been home to meat-packing, warehousing and industrial facilities but that had fallen to the wayside.

Things began the change around 2008, when chef Paul Kahan opened his restaurant Publican, sensing perhaps that Fulton Market’s location on the edge of Downtown Chicago in the easily accessible West Loop, combined with its appealing industrial architectural feel, would soon make it the darling of a Millennial crowd searching for trendy new digs. In 2010, Chicago chef Stephanie Izard followed suit, launching her trailblazing restaurant Girl & the Goat, and setting in motion the transformation of Fulton Market into a hub for hip restaurants, bars, hotels, galleries and boutiques. The Hoxton is one of the most recent arrivals to Fulton Market, opening a stylish 182-room hotel in 2019 smack in the middle of all the action. The



This page: Cira restaurant Opposite page: Cabra Cevicheria

Hoxton is a UK-based hotel chain that’s created open, engaging hotels that capture the feel of the streets around them. There are three Hoxton hotels in London, plus additional properties in Amsterdam, Paris, Williamsburg (New York), Portland (Oregon) and Los Angeles.

In Chicago, The Hoxton quickly became Fulton Market’s destination hotel, complete with a buzzing lobby, happening ground-floor restaurant and iconic rooftop. The place was conceived by Chicagobased GREC Architects, who imbued the 12-story building with a contemporary vibe while retaining its industrial feel. (The place was formerly home to a meat-packing facility.)

You can start your exploration of the hotel on the ground floor, where you won’t immediately spot the check-in desk, which is off to the right. Instead, you enter into a lobby that feels like an open living room, with couches arranged in a circular fashion to encourage gatherings, conversations and socializing. Mid-century furnishings, a profusion of plants and abundant lighting give the place a warm, welcoming feel. In fact, the vibe of the lobby is so appealing that it’s become a magnet for locals as well as visitors, who drop by at any time of day – and especially after work – for coffee, cocktails, meetings and virtually anything else. Right next to the lobby, you’ve got Cira, where chef Chris Pandel has created an inventive menu of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, including such specials as Spanish anchovy toast, brown butter hummus, pistachio ravioli and swordfish puttanesca. Featuring a generously sized bar and communal tables, Cira seems to flow into the lobby yet retains its own distinctive

identity. Up on the rooftop, there’s the latest restaurant from chef Stephanie Izzard. Named Cabra Cevicheria, the ever-popular eatery that seems to be buzzing with people at all hours offers a Peruvian-inspired menu plus a ceviche bar. The Hoxton’s rooftop is also home to an open-air pool that overlooks the city and is open during the warm-weather season.

Continuing your foray into The Hoxton, you hit Lazy Bird, a seductive cocktail lounge with a speakeasy feel located on the lower level. The sexy destination has a 52-cocktail menu (one for each day of the year) and occasional live music gigs. Cocktails include the Clover Club, made with London dry gin, raspberry syrup, lemon and egg white, and the Crusta, prepared with brandy, rainwater Madeira, Cointreau, lemon and Bogart’s Bitters. And as in all Hoxton properties, guests have access to The Apartment. Set on the mezzanine level, The Apartment is a collection of rooms overlooking the lobby and housing an open kitchen. The retro space hosts pop-up stores, talks, performances and all kinds of parties. The building’s industrial feel extends into the guestrooms, which come in three sizes: Snug, Cozy and Roomy. Beds have paneled leather headboards and walls are adorned with local art. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in massive amounts of light and overlook Fulton Market’s history-laden industrial buildings. While Chicago is a dazzling metropolis that’s well worth getting to know, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from The Hoxton and its seductive flair. Visit


Words Helen Kitti Smith

A BAUHAUS CENTENARY Take a look at the Bauhaus legacy on its 100th anniversary


Architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus (meaning “construction house”), an avant-garde design and arts school, in 1919. This post-war moment of rebirth catalyzed his fresh vision to “unify the arts under the wings of great architecture.” The Bauhaus school taught a fusion of craft, art and subsequently architecture. It reconsidered the use of modern materials and geometric shapes, promoted the concept of “art into industry” and heralded necessity over luxury. Yet, the school’s philosophies struggled under the Nazis, who shuttered it 14 years later. Paradoxically, this closure initiated widereaching dispersal: the Bauhaus’ teachers emigrated worldwide, extraordinarily influencing modern architecture and design.

BARCELONA PAVILION Elegant. Serene. Pacifist. All describe German architect/ designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s creation for Germany’s 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition’s Pavilion. This seminal icon of Modernist 20th-century architecture, envisioned to reflect the new prosperous Weimar Republic, was built of glass, steel, marble, onyx and travertine. Mies considered its minimalist design “an ideal zone of tranquility,” with its symmetry, open spaces and a reflecting pool. The Barcelona Pavilion also contains his iconic steel and leather Barcelona chair. That the Barcelona Pavilion was demolished in 1930 did not eradicate its importance. Local efforts to rebuild resulted in an exact replica, reopened in 1986.

CATHEDRAL OF BRASÍLIA The Cathedral of Brasília – Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida – is an ecclesiastic architectural gem, designed by Modernist Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Its unmistakable lightness, sensuous lines and interaction with nature reflect his “form follows beauty” vision. Located in Brazil’s capital Brasília, it is epic Modernist urbanism. The cathedral opened in 1970, decades after Niemeyer’s affiliation with and dedication to Le Corbusier’s architectural tenets. Its circular structure, encased by glass, is supported by 16 curved columns, an appropriate metaphor of two hands praying.

CITÉ RADIEUSE, MARSEILLE Swiss architect Le Corbusier addressed his vision for 20th-century society in what today is known as Modernism. Over 50 years, he succeeded in creating a new architectural language, techniques and buildings. Le Corbusier’s Modernist legacy, recognized in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, lauds 17 works, among which is Cité Radieuse (aka Unité d’Habitation). Cité Radieuse, completed in 1952 and located in Marseille, France, is Le Corbusier’s first large-scale, post-war residential project, and it defines communal living. This self-contained vertical village is a nine-story concrete building that has over 330 brightly colored units with Marseille and Mediterranean views, a rooftop pool and its own Rue des Commerces (street of shops).

The Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (both images)



Bauhaus extraordinarily influenced modern architecture and design

This page: New York’s Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright (both photos) Opposite page: The Cathedral of Brasília by Oscar Niemeyer (top) and the Cité Radieuse in Marseille by Le Corbusier (bottom)


GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK Manhattan’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1959) is one of the 20th century’s most important architectural icons. Both a construction marvel and a cultural masterpiece, it possesses a brilliant and diversified international art collection, among which are works by Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall. Frank Lloyd Wright, the legendary American architect, was sought out to design the Guggenheim collection’s permanent home. Wright’s mentor was American architect Louis Sullivan. His pre-Bauhaus attitude toward design – that “form follows function” – significantly molded Wright’s own design philosophy. Simply consider Wright’s unique cantilevered ramps that encircle both the Guggenheim’s interior and exterior.

ISOKON BUILDING, LONDON The 1934 London opening of Lawn Road Flats – also named the Isokon Building – radicalized architecturally conservative Britain. Designed by Le Corbusierinfluenced architect Wells Coates, this stellar British Modernist building of 36 flats – somewhat resembling an ocean-liner – was the first to both use reinforced concrete and accommodate communal living. Its advertisement stated, “All you have to bring with you is a rug, an armchair and a picture.” Forced to flee Germany, three Bauhaus giants resided at the Isokon: founder Walter Gropius, Modernist furniture designer Marcel Breuer and art teacher László Moholy-Nagy. Later, legendary author Agatha Christie lived and wrote here.

VILLA SAVOYE, POISSY Le Corbusier’s exceptionally innovative direction in modern architectural history extends across four continents. The Savoye family engaged Le Corbusier to create their weekend retreat in Poissy, about an hour northwest of Paris. His Villa Savoye (1929-1931) resulted. It is an icon of the Modernist movement and embodies five modern principles he originated throughout the 1920s. Villa Savoye is lifted and set over piers, freed of structural confusion, separated by a façade from the main structure, built with horizontal windows for equal room lighting and constructed so a roof garden can return space that the building takes up.


VILLA DIRICKZ, SINT-GENESIUS-RODE Architect Marcel Leborgne, contemporary design advocate and pioneer of Belgian Modernism, designed the stunning four-story, all-white Villa Dirickz amid forested acreage for H. Dirickz, who required a modern palatial residence. Construction began on the massive villa in 1929, and was completed in 1933. Located in Sint-Genesius-Rode, 30 minutes outside Brussels in Flanders, Villa Dirickz is considered a masterpiece of Belgian architecture. Leborgne was influenced by Le Corbusier’s attitude toward functionality. Though evocative of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Villa Dirickz is significantly more lavish in size and scale. Its central cube is flanked by a remarkable external spiral staircase of reinforced concrete that unites the garden with the sun terrace.

The Isokon Building in London by Wells Coates (top), Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye outside Paris (above) and Belgium’s Villa Dirickz, designed by Marcel Leborgne (left)


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

Words Niku Kasmai




How fashion icons have inspired the fall and winter collections

the 1990s bondage dress Gianni created and of which Donatella wore a distinctive variant to the 1992 Met Gala. Gianni Versace once claimed that from the time they were children, he perceived Donatella as his female alter ego and that she’d been his muse ever since. GUCCI Singing and acting sensation Harry Styles – once a member of the now defunct all-boy pop band One Direction – has given Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele loads of inspiration this season. In summer 2019, Michele launched Mémoire d’Une Odeur, a new unisex fragrance inspired by Styles, who also starred in the scent’s lush ad campaign. Earlier in 2019, Styles was also featured in a Gucci men’s tailoring campaign. This fall and winter, the Styles effect can be felt in Gucci’s ready-to-wear line, with looks inspired by the dashing young Brit, most notably a V-neck jacquard sweater paired with baggy cream-colored pants and a see-through shirt with puffy sleeves, a lace collar and more than a few Victorian touches.



Where would Jean Paul Gaultier be without Madonna? Could Hubert de Givenchy have reached his great heights of fame without Audrey Hepburn? Then there’s Inès de la Fressange, who inspired Karl Lagerfeld when he was creative director at Chanel, partly due to her uncanny resemblance to Coco Chanel. Muses have long held price of place in the fashion world, providing great designers with inspiration and allowing them to move their creative process forward. For fall/winter 201920, many labels have looked to muses to imagine their collections, channeling legendary or contemporary figures who continue to leave an imprint on fashion.

VERSACE For the first time since it was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace, the company is no longer owned by the Versace family. In early 2019, Versace was sold to Capri Holdings, the umbrella company that also owns Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo. While the company has changed hands, Donatella Versace remains chief creative officer, and for fall/winter 2019-20, she’s released a collection that pays tribute to Gianni and to herself when she was her brother’s muse. Notable highlights include variations on



Saint Laurent

SAINT LAURENT Legendary fashion icon Betty Catroux was an immortal muse for the even more legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent, who referred to her as his twin sister and often claimed that she was his female incarnation. With her ultra-light blond hair, super-skinny figure and boyish, almost androgynous appearance, Catroux remained Saint Laurent’s muse up until his death in 2008. This season, Catroux’s slim silhouette and her sexual ambiguity inspired Anthony Vaccarello’s collection for Saint Laurent. A revised, off-white Le Smoking and a mid-length black leather coat with supersized shoulders – worn with nothing but sheer black hose – were loving nods to Catroux’s platonic love affair with the late Yves.

PRADA A fictional muse took over the fall/winter 2019-20 Prada runway. It was Wednesday Addams herself, transposed from the classic 1960s and ‘70s TV series, who starred in the inspired collection from the Italian fashion house. The emphasis is, of course, on black – Wednesday’s favorite color – with fun-filled looks that include a top with the image of the Bride of Frankenstein, a long black dress adorned with unexpected yellow roses on its front flap and lots of black floral motifs across various items of the collection. A ferociously fashionable fable.


Wednesday Addams starred in Prada’s inspired collection


Prada Loewe

LOEWE Over at Spanish brand Loewe, the muse isn’t a person but rather a cause: the Elephant Crisis that sees over 33,000 African elephants butchered each year for their ivory tusks. Loewe first started raising funds for the Elephant Crisis when it launched its limited edition Elephant Mini Bag in 2018. The brand donated all proceeds from the sale of the bag to the Elephant Crisis Fund, which seeks to protect elephants by ending the demand for ivory. This season, Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson’s collection takes the elephants’ purity as a starting point, with such looks as poet’ssleeve blouses, severe black waisted coats with leather piping and coats with Puritan collars – a dazzling study in ultra-fashionable restraint. As a nod to the elephants that remain at the core of Loewe’s concerns, Anderson had all his models wear elephant hats during the runway show. A simple gesture for a great cause.


Words Marwan Naaman Photography Marco Pinarelli



The artist’s poignant works capture the desperation of our era

War, refugees, mass migration – these topics are torn from current world headlines, seemingly endless man-instigated catastrophes that are tearing apart nations and irrevocably changing the essence of contemporary civilization. These urgent matters are at the very core of Ginane Makki Bacho’s work. The Lebanese artist, who’s been working for over four decades, recently unveiled a heartbreaking exhibit about migration at Agial Art Gallery in Beirut’s Hamra neighborhood. The timeliness and immediacy of her work is undeniable: hundreds of toy-size figures welded out of scrap metal represent families with children as they desperately march toward freedom – or perhaps as they run away

from the hopelessness of their lives. The exhibit, “Interminable Seasons of Migration,” at first appears to represent the current Syrian refugee crisis, but nothing is ever quite as simple in Makki Bacho’s art. “My figurines came as a response to an invasion – the invasion by ISIS [of Syria and Iraq], but it could have been any invasion,” says the artist, explaining how her emotional figurines reflect something global and perhaps even timeless. “First the Palestinians became refugees, then us, the Lebanese,” she says, “and now the Syrians. But you also have refugees from Rwanda in Africa, and the refugees coming to America, like Cubans and Mexicans. So it’s not just about the Syrians – it’s about all people fleeing their homes. It’s something that we as human beings cannot ignore.”

Prior to her most recent show at Agial, Makki Bacho held a solo exhibit in 2016, “Civilization,” at Saleh Barakat Gallery in Clemenceau. “Civilization” was the precursor to “Interminable Seasons of Migration,” and it came about as a very personal response to the horrors perpetrated by ISIS. “First I was in complete denial,” she says. “People in cages, people getting burned, selling off women, the crimes of ISIS. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” So she started sculpting cages. “It became an obsession, I was working like crazy day and night,” Makki Bacho says. “The motorcycles ahead of the convoys, then tanks. I saw beheadings and I replicated them. They needed to be in quantity, in big numbers. Repetition was necessary for me to convey the idea of the war and of the invasion.” To create her sculptures, the artist went to the scrapyards in Ouzai, south of Beirut, where she picked



up discarded metal objects. Back in her studio, which is in the same building as her home in Jnah, she sculpted the disused metal into tanks, migrants floating away on boats, prisoners in orange suits held captive in cages and armed mercenaries driving trucks across the desert, in a dramatic re-enactment of the ISIS invasion of Arab lands in 2014. “I was taking my revenge and taking out my anger,” Makki Bacho says. “It was a catharsis for me, defying the enemy by creating these testaments to war.” As for the title of the exhibit, the intent was sarcastic, but also a reflection of the material used to create the work. “Scraps of civilization. That’s where we’re at,” she says.

Now in her 70s, Makki Bacho devotes much of her life to art. In addition to her Jnah studio, where she creates her sculptures, she has another studio in Corniche el Mazraa where she paints and produces her etchings. She graduated from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in 1982 and has been working as an artist ever since. While she had her first major solo exhibit in 1983 at the university – striking sculptures made out of bombshells – her first foray into the art world was in 1978, when she showed (and sold) her etchings during Hamra’s Makhoul Festival. Reflecting on a lifetime of work, and constant moves from her native Lebanon to France, Kuwait, the United States and then back to Lebanon again, Makki Bacho hopes that she’s been able to communicate one overarching message through her phenomenal artistic output: “Stop the war. All of our lives have been wasted because of war. I’m for peace wherever I go. All for peace.”



The Ferrari Portofino is the new V8 GT, coupé-convertible with a retractable hard top, capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds.

She’s in a Valentino top and Dior heels

This page: She’s wearing Prada sunglasses Opposite page: She’s in a Palm Angels swimsuit and leggings, Kendall + Kylie shoes and Prada sunglasses

This page: She’s in a Proenza Schouler top, Moncler pants and Moncler jacket Opposite page: She’s in a Alexander Wang blazer and skirt, Asics crop top, Saint Laurent bag and Balenciaga sunglasses

This page and opposite page: She’s in a David Koma dress, Alessandra Rich gloves, Saint Laurent earrings and Prada boots

This page and opposite page: She’s in Prada sunglasses

This page: She’s wearing a Moncler jacket, Moncler pants and Proenza Schouler top Opposite page: Moncler jacket

This page and opposite page: She’s wearing a Helmut Lang top, Helmut Lang shorts, Moncler jacket, CÊline shoes and Dior sunglasses. Her bag is by Off-White

This page and opposite page: She’s wearing a New Balance crop top, Rag & Bone jacket, Off-White skirt, Asics leggings and Kendall + Kylie shoes

She’s wearing a New Balance crop top, Rag & Bone jacket, Off-White skirt, Asics leggings and Kendall + Kylie shoes

This page and opposite page: She’s in a Zimmermann dress and Moncler shoes

This page and opposite page: She’s in a KhrisJoy jacket, Helmut Lang pants and Kendall + Kylie shoes Model Judas Mordache Hair Edimar Chawiche at Aïshti Spa Makeup Christian Abouhaidar



This page: She’s in a MaxMara coat Opposite page: She’s wearing vintage earrings

This page: They’re all wearing Loewe Opposite page: She’s wearing a Céline top, Miu Miu pants and Gucci shoes

This page: She’s in a Valentino dress and vintage gloves Opposite page: She’s in a Gucci total look

She’s in a Prada total look

This page: Miu Miu blazer (left), Balenciaga pants and vintage brassiere (middle) and Philosophy top (right) Opposite page: They’re all wearing Loewe

This page: She’s in a Max Mara jacket, Azzedine Alaïa body, LeThis Silla page: shoesShe’s andin Saint a Saint Laurent Laurent earrings coat Opposite Left: page:She’s She’sinwearing a Stella Gucci McCartney sunglasses dress

She’s wearing a Gucci coat

This page: She’s in a MaxMara coat, MaxMara sweater, Hyun Mi Nielsen tights and Zoe Lee shoes She’s in a Balenciaga totalsocks look Opposite page: She’s in a Saint Laurent dress, Saint Laurent heels, vintage gloves and Moncler

This page: She’s wearing an Alessandra Rich jacket, Emilio Pucci top, Vince skirt and vintage stockings Opposite page: Vince sweater and Marc Jacobs top (left) and Alessandra Rich jacket and vintage stockings (right)

This page: Gucci shoes and vintage stockings Opposite page: Proenza Schouler T-shirt, Philosophy top and Prada pants (left) and CĂŠline sweater, Stella McCartney skirt and Dior shoes (right)

She’s in a Céline total look

She’s in a Gucci shirt and brooch, Stella McCartney blazer, Miu Miu pants and Gucci shoes

This page: She’s in a Saint Laurent skirt Opposite page: Vince sweater, Marc Jacobs top and Gucci pants (left) and Alessandra Rich jacket, Marc Jacobs skirt and vintage stockings (right)

This page: She’s in a Saint Laurent skirt Opposite page: Vince sweater, Marc Jacobs top and Gucci pants (left) and Alessandra Rich jacket, Marc Jacobs skirt and vintage stockings (right)

They’re both wearing Saint Laurent skirts

This page: She’s in a Philosophy top Opposite page: She’s in a Gucci total look

Words Marwan Naaman Photography Tony Elieh

ON THE WATER’S EDGE Lebanon’s newest and sexiest restaurant row is at Aïshti by the Sea Have you tried all six of Aïshti by the Sea’s culinary offerings? Now’s the time to visit and experience the various establishments at this Mediterranean haven. And before or after enjoying your meal, be sure to check out the Aïshti Foundation’s latest art exhibit, Urs Fischer’s “The Lyrical and the Prosaic.”

The Dorchester Collection




Americano Americano is the newest restaurant to open at Aïshti by the Sea. Specializing in Latin American cuisine, this engaging eatery serves beloved delights such as enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and, of course, nachos with guacamole and sour cream. The restaurant’s signature cocktail – after which the place is named – is the Americano, an exhilarating mix of Campari, red vermouth and club soda that’s been an international favorite for over 150

years. It was Italian drink maker Gaspare Campari who first invented the cocktail, back in the 1860s. The Americano also became quite popular during the Prohibition era in the United States. The bitterness of Campari, the sweetness of vermouth and the fizziness of club soda combine to create a heady, out-of-thisworld experience. Visit the Americano for sunset drinks and stay to sample its spectacular Latin American dishes. Tel. 04.725.781 and 80.006.670

Sip A shot of coffee hits the spot any time of day. Set on the ground floor, which is the same level on which bags, cosmetics and jewelry are located, Sip specialty coffee offers the usual favorites – espresso, cappuccino, latte – made with regular milk or non-dairy drinks like coconut milk and almond milk. For a coffee alternative, try the matcha latte – it’s just the right balance of creamy and savory. You can also snack on Sip’s banana bread or pistachio chocolate chip cookies. A stylish place to hang during shopping expeditions.

Tel. 04.717.716, ext. 273

ART People Lunching on ART People’s waterfront terrace is a treat for all senses. With the cool Mediterranean breeze blowing, the sound of waves crashing nearby and architect David Adjaye’s red latticework standing majestically in the background, ART People

offers one of Lebanon’s most distinctive restaurant settings. The new menu, recently updated by French chef Franck Paulmier, still features favorites like ART People’s signature burger, beef filet with pepper sauce, club sandwich and lobster linguini, plus chicken paillard with curry sauce and

grouper with squid ink risotto. Desserts are as delightful as ever, and they include iced nougat with chestnuts, vanilla panna cotta with strawberries and coconut rum baba.

Tel. 04.725.725

Zuruni Specializing in local cuisine – both traditional and with a contemporary twist – Zuruni is one of the best Lebanese restaurants in the Antelias area. The sun-filled eatery seats 150 diners indoors, under a skylight and surrounded by greenery. On mild winter days, guests can also choose to lunch or dine on Zuruni’s open-air waterfront terrace, in full view of the Mediterranean. Offerings here include Lebanese mezza favorites such as hummus, moutabbal, hindbeh, balila, sojok and grilled chicken wings, plus grilled meats, kebabs and much more. Dessert lovers can sample atayef, knefeh, mouhallabieh and ashta ice cream.

Tel. 70.771.133



Matto The best Italian restaurant north of the capital, Matto serves pizzas and pastas both in a stylishly designed indoor space and on a particularly lovely seaside terrace. Signature dishes range from panzanella (Italian salad with tomatoes, cheese, olives and more) to cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal chops), with unusual desserts like the Matto Rock, which is a big Ferrero Rocher that comes with a hammer – to be broken down by diners prior to

eating. The Italian theme pervades the entire experience, from the food and drinks to the décor and music. Tel. 71.444.335

B by Elefteriades After dark, head to Aïshti by the Sea’s rooftop and enter the nightlife realm of Michel Elefteriades. His dazzling musical hotspot, B by Elefteriades, hosts a diverse lineup of live performers and DJs, while mixing exquisite cocktails and serving

superlative cuisine. During dinner, you’ll hear live music performed by international artists from such varied places as France, Cuba and America. After midnight, everything changes, and B turns into a lounge with deep house, electronic and dance tunes spun by some of the world’s best-known DJs. Dance all night on Aïshti by the Sea’s rooftop, until the sun rises over the Mediterranean.

Tel. 81.290.029



Words Marwan Naaman



TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN Al Fundok breathes new life into Lebanon’s Shouf region Maasser el Shouf is the last village you’ll hit in Mount Lebanon’s soaring heights before reaching the range’s mountainous peaks and descending into the Bekaa Valley. The sparsely populated town has retained much of its ancient beauty, with traditional Lebanese cream-colored stone houses adorned with arched windows, topped by red-tile roofs and often fronted by gated gardens.

It’s in this idyllic setting that Yola Noujaim and her husband Charles recently opened Al Fundok, a boutique hotel that replaces the former Auberge St. Michel hostel. Al Fundok houses 23 rooms on two floors, with the first level featuring rooms with high ceilings, and the top level rooms offering the slanted ceiling that characterizes many mountain homes. From the window, you look onto the hotel’s lush grounds or upon the village’s scenic beauty.

Al Fundok is housed within an older stone structure, but the interior has been completely renovated. This means that bathrooms are state-of-the-art, walls freshly painted and beds plush, comfortable and new. Furnishings are made of natural wood, while linens are white with colorful embroidery, infusing a mountain feel into each of the guestrooms. But this being the Lebanese mountains – a veritable treasure trove of natural and manmade wonders – you’ll most probably spend very little time inside your lovely room. At Al Fundok, you can head down to Mule, the on-site bar with both indoor and outdoor seating, and order a Maasser Mule, a heady mix of arak and ginger beer with a sprig of rosemary. On cooler nights, you can still linger outside, wrapped in a warm blanket, in front of a roaring fire lit by hotel staff.



You can dine at on-site restaurant Em Boutros, where traditional Lebanese food is prepared using the freshest local ingredients, most grown right here in the Shouf. This is also where you’ll have breakfast, a feast of local specialties that include labneh, white cheese, olives, kaak, manoushe, homemade jam, arishe with honey, keshk and much more. While there is a dining room for those who prefer to eat indoors, it’s best to enjoy your meal out of doors, in the garden where hammocks sway and where tables are set up under the grapevine.

A five-minute walk from the hotel, and right at the entrance of town, you’ll find St. Michael Winery, where Ghassan Noujaim creates red, white and rosé wines (Vin Marie, La Colline Blanche and Scarlett Rose), in addition to his own Arak Baladi. You can either stock up on his products or stay for a homemade dinner in the upstairs restaurant, where you can order meat or fish – or simply a cheese platter – accompanied by St. Michael’s artisan wines.

Maasser el Shouf is also the gateway to the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the largest natural reserve in Lebanon (covering 5% of the country) and home to the splendid Barouk Cedar Forest. From Al Fundok, a 15-minute drive up the mountain takes you to the reserve’s entrance, where you can hike 250 kilometers of clearly marked trails that transport you through cedar forests, golden plains and soaring peaks from which you can view the beauty of Mount Lebanon on

one side, and the brilliantly colorful patches of the Bekaa Valley plus the Anti-Lebanon mountains on the other. Not far from the entrance of the reserve, you can spot the famed Lamartine Cedar and linger under its majestic branches. In winter, activities include snowshoeing across the pristine grounds.

After spending just one night at Al Fundok, you’ll fall in love with Maasser el Shouf and this most untouched and breathtakingly lovely part of Lebanon. Al Fundok is open year-round and plans to introduce a pool and spa for the 2020 warm-weather season. For more info, tel. 05.350.451, @alfundok





In celebration of A Mag’s 100th issue, we chose to offer a tribute to the photographers and stylists who most contributed to the publication’s signature sense of style. Take a look at the men and women behind the lens, who snapped countless images to create one perfect shot, and those who spent days on end selecting clothes and accessories to capture the apex of that season’s top trends. From the first issue, published in August 2002, up until the 100th edition that you now hold in your hands, here’s a love letter to those who helped us imagine A Mag and transform it into the iconic publication that it is today.


GILBERT HAGE Lebanese photographer Gilbert Hage contributed to the first issue of A Mag, back in 2002, and kept on producing fashion images, portraits and covers for the magazine for many years afterward. The Beirut-based artist believes that his time with A Mag was memorable because he was able to “be part of a classmate’s project that became a reality.” He shot the sensuously lovely cover for the “Fashion Lovers” issue (no. 4, February/ March 2003), plus the “Dressed to Kiss” cover shoot in the same edition.



ROGER MOUKARZEL One of Lebanon’s most renowned photographers, Roger Moukarzel contributed to A Mag since its founding in 2002 and up until 2010. During those years, he shot a vast number of covers for the publication, as well as innumerable fashion stories. His most memorable experience with A Mag? “The shoot when Aïshti Seaside was under construction.” The Beirut-based photographer also shot A Mag’s deliciously sensual “Venus” cover (Issue no. 10, February/March 2004) starring Spanish supermodel Esther Cañadas.





Lebanese photographer Carlos Aoun worked with A Mag since its launch in 2002 and up until the late 2000s. He shot various fashion spreads for the publication, including the cover shoot for issue no. 19, “Eden Burning,” August/September 2005, photographed at the lush Laguava resort south of Beirut. He’s still based in Lebanon and remembers his years with A Mag fondly, particularly “working with a great professional team.”

MATTEO LINGUITI Matteo Linguiti’s first project for A Mag was in 2006, for the “Once Is Not Enough” publication (Issue no. 23, April/May 2006). He shot the magazine’s two main editorial spreads, plus the cover, in Catania, Sicily. The Italian photographer, who splits his time between Milan and Sicily, recalls one particularly memorable A Mag shoot from 2007: “We shot an editorial in Via Montenapoleone in Milan, just me and the model, going crazy trough the most beautiful shops. We had a lot of fun. The editorial was ‘A Woman Possessed.’”




Dutch duo Petra Petrovsky and Morena Ramone have been contributing to A Mag since 2006, and they continue to produce spectacular fashion spreads for the publication, as well as lush ad campaigns for Aïshti. “We had only heard of Beirut as an exotic faraway place,” the two say when recalling their first assignment with the magazine. “It was the best experience we ever had. We shot four fashion stories in different locations, including The Cedars. After that we came and shot every year. We fell in love with the place, the land, the food and the people.” They make their home in Amsterdam.



Amsterdam-based Dutch stylist Venus Waterman has been contributing to A Mag since 2006, when she visited Lebanon for the first time. “I worked together with photographers Petrovsky & Ramone on an editorial located up in the mountains,” she says. Over 13 years later, she’s styled innumerable fashion shoots for A Mag, and she appreciates every experience she had with the publication. “There are so many! It’s difficult to name one, they are all fond memories.”




British-Australian photographer Phaedra Brody spent most of her life in France but has been living in London for the past year. She first started working with A Mag in 2008, when she created a collage using Lebanon’s Baalbeck ruins as a backdrop. “It was pretty amazing to create images that could not have really existed. I love working with make-believe,” she says. “It was a privilege to be able to create these images, Baalbeck is so aweinspiringly beautiful.”

DAVID BELLEMÈRE French photographer David Bellemère takes pictures that exude style and sensuality. The 47-year-old artist has been shooting the female form since his early 20s, when he was still attending art school. He’s particularly adept at using natural light to highlight a woman’s rhythmic silhouette and natural elegance. Most recently, he’s worked for ELLE Russia and InStyle Russia, photographing the likes of Poppy Delevingne. In 2019, he also shot model and actress Julie Ordon for the cover of L’Edito Magazine. He worked with A Mag for many years, photographing a smoldering shoot at the Faqra residence of Aïshti’s owner and CEO Tony Salamé (“The Lover,” no. 44, October/November 2009). Two years later, he shot two stunningly lovely spreads for the no. 55, August/September 2011 issue of A Mag: “All Bets Are Off,” set at the Casino du Liban, and “The Last Seduction,” photographed at Lebanon’s iconic Mir Amin Palace Hotel in the Shouf Mountains.




Italian photographer Giorgio Z Gatti hails from Milan, a city in which he still resides although he did also spend many years in Madrid and long stretches of time in New York. He started contributing to A Mag in 2010, when he created a Jane Birkin-inspired shoot for issue no. 50 (“Boy, Oh Boy,” October/November 2010). “I enjoyed all the fashion editorials I shot with A Mag,” he says, “though the three editorials we did in Lebanon stand out because the whole team got to discover the city’s culture and delicious cuisine.”


Amelianna Loiacono is easily the biggest freelance contributor to A Mag. The Italian stylist, who is based in Milan, first came to Beirut in 2008, where she styled an Aïzone campaign and two editorial shoots for A Mag. Her favorite A Mag assignment was a fashion spread shot on a Beirut beach by photographer David Bellemère and inspired by Bo Derek. “And my best memories were in Marrakesh at the Mamounia hotel for the ‘Magnificent Mamounia’ shoot with photographer Alessio Bolzoni and A Mag’s former creative director Malak Beydoun,” she says. That Marrakech shoot was featured in “Desert Mirage,” issue no. 56, October/ November 2011.



Italian photographer and director Alice Rosati lives in Paris, and she first contributed to A Mag in 2013, when she flew to Beirut with stylist Amelianna Loiacono to shoot an editorial spread inside the ancient offices of a Lebanese newspaper. She recalls one shoot in particular – that one wasn’t for A Mag – that left a lasting impression on her: “My craziest experience was a shoot with alligators in Orlando (Florida) styled by Richard Aybar, in which the model entered the water with real crocodiles and played with albino pythons and other dangerous reptiles!”


EMILIO TINI Italian photographer Emilio Tini splits his time between Milan and Paris. His first project for A Mag was back in 2014, when he teamed up with stylist Amelianna Loiacono for a fashion spread. Three years later, in 2017, he shot the cover for “The Now Issue” (no. 88, April/May 2017) and the “Sunday Girl” editorial spread.


CRISTINA CORAL “MY MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE WITH A MAG WAS IN 2017, DURING THE VENICE BIENNAL” Cristina Coral, who hails from Italy and lives in Trieste, first worked for A Mag in 2016, when she shot the “After Everyone’s Gone” shoot that was featured in “The Identity Issue” (no. 84, August/September 2016). But her favorite A Mag moment came a year later, when she was working on the fashion spread for issue no. 89, June/July 2017: “My most memorable experience with A Mag was in 2017, during the Venice Biennale, when I shot the “Viva Arte Viva” fashion spread for ‘The Unity Issue.’”


Distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 273 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11


1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Avenue, Watr at the Rooftop is a corner of paradise. This open-air restaurant, bar and lounge sits atop the super-trendy 1 Hotel in Miami Beach and seems to float in the sky, soaring above expanses of white-sand beach and the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean. The menu here is Japanese, but enhanced with Peruvian influences, featuring such delectable specials as plum sake glazed short ribs, chicken yakisoba noodles and a steak saltado bowl with beef, tomato, red onion and cilantro. There’s also a nice selection of sushi rolls, anticuchos and four types of crudo (corvina, octopus, hamachi and tuna). Be sure to sample one of Watr’s addictive house cocktails, like the pineapple-chipotle caipirinha or the Delia, made with appleton signature blend and coconut water. Whether you’re here for dinner or a cocktail, Watr is one special place to be. – Marwan Naaman





Patriarchou Ioakim 38, Kolonaki, Zurbarán is one of Kolonaki’s most popular haunts. The Athens restaurant and bar is open daily from noon until 3am, serving a restrained menu that includes soft tacos and mini burgers until 1pm, and a more diverse lunch and dinner menu with such offerings as chicken tabbouleh, cool beetroot salad, vegan burger and crayfish risotto. There are distinctive areas in which to enjoy the food and drinks served here, including the sidewalk terrace, the glassed-in dining room in back, the main area in the center of the space and the semi-circular designer bar, where patrons knock back artisan cocktails and a nice selection of Greek wines. The Sunday brunch, served from noon until 6pm and featuring world-class DJs, is particularly happening. Zurbarán is the spot to experience Athens’ contemporary vibe. – Michelle Merheb

1 Hotels, Raya Farhat, Zurbarán

Where We’re Eating

Watr at the Rooftop


Le Trottoir de Paloma

Pasteur Street, Gemmayze, @trottoirdepaloma It’s Gemmayze’s most appealing new destination. Set on Pasteur Street, where Beirut’s edgiest restaurants and cocktail bars seem to be opening, Le Trottoir de Paloma is a joint effort between Carlos Hardane from Double Shake and Charif Doumit of Al Mandaloun Group. Together, they’ve created a place where inventive and superlative cocktails are served alongside first-rate cuisine. The setting includes a sleek interior space with a bar along back and particularly dazzling black-and-white floors, and an outdoor area that spills onto the sidewalk – hence the restaurant’s name. You can start off with the delightfully refreshing Terracotta Spritz (Smirnoff Black vodka, unfiltered sake, prosecco, lemongrass, ginger and passion fruit) or the sultry and sophisticated Vert Le Trottoir (Tanqueray gin, pineapple, coriander, pea and sour mix). Or live dangerously and drink both to experience true bliss. You must, of course, delve into the many culinary delights, which include a variety of dips as starters – avocado guacamole, spicy octopus, tzatziki – plus salads, burgers, pizzas, tartines and more. Le Trottoir de Paloma is open all day, so you can also have breakfast here, coffee in the afternoon and after-work cocktails. Visit once and you’ll instantly become a regular. – Marwan Naaman





Raya Farhat

Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort, Jnah, beirut/kempinski-summerland-hotel-resort Rojo combines exquisite dining with a strong dose of romance. Located on a sandy beach, with a wraparound open-air terrace that allows guests to hear the dreamy sound of the crashing waves, the new restaurant is part of the luxurious Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort in Beirut. The cuisine here is international, featuring such starters as Stilton cheese salad with heirloom tomatoes and shallots, a delicate beef carpaccio topped with wild rocket leaves and truffle mayo, and red mullets served with a particularly refined basil and pine nut salad. As a main dish, you can opt for salmon fillet with fennel or the artichoke risotto. But for a truly decadent affair, choose one of Rojo’s signature meat dishes, which include a juicy, perfectly prepared dry aged beef rack wagyu. Finish off with the fragrant crème brûlée or the sinfully sweet chocolate Oreo tart, and then head to the terrace for a glass of wine under the Mediterranean stars. It doesn’t get much better than this. – Marwan Naaman

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

What We’re Eating

Words Salma Abdelnour

MISS YOUR TASTY KISS Classic dishes that deserve a comeback If everything old is new again, why do certain beloved dishes fade from menus and vanish from our collective memory? True, some food inventions deserve to disappear forever (looking at you, ramen burger), but others have committed no sin, other than their association with a past time or an outdated trend. Rediscovering the culinary pleasures of the past isn’t only about nostalgia: the most extraordinary dishes of bygone eras can add a jolt of surprise and decadence to the most contemporary dinner party menu. Here are five forgotten classics that are overdue for a revival.


TOURNEDOS ROSSINI For a culinary fireworks display guaranteed to thrill any meat lover, there’s nothing like Tournedos Rossini. This over-the-top dish is made of tender filet mignon sautéed in butter, layered on a slice of buttery bread, topped with warm foie gras and showered in black truffles and a Madeira-infused sauce. The explosively flavorful creation first arrived on the scene in France in the 19th century. Opinions vary as to which chef invented it, but its namesake was the Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini. While this dish is not exactly in line with the eatless-meat trends of today, there’s still room for its intensely rich deliciousness. Just maybe not every day. CRAB-STUFFED ORANGE The imperial cuisine of China is the stuff of legends, but tracking down any details about those ancient menus poses a challenge. That’s partly because most of the details about the extravagant meals have disappeared over the centuries, and also because the old recipes that do exist tend to involve rare or endangered meats. But food scholars have found a number of alluring dishes that can be recreated now, like the Crab-Stuffed Orange of the Song Dynasty. The dish starts with a hollowed-out orange, which gets a fragrant splash of chrysanthemum and yellow wine, then a lush topping of fresh sautéed crabmeat and crab roe. The whole package gets wrapped in cellophane and tied up in a ribbon – like a present – and gently steamed to let the orange flavor seep into the crab. The dish is hard to find nowadays, but it recently made an appearance on the menu at a G20 summit. For more Chinese imperial menu inspiration, the 2018 book Delicacies of the Song Dynasty (only available in Chinese) takes a deep dive into the food of the era.

QUENELLES WITH SAUCE NANTUA You’ll see these delicate seafood dumplings make a cameo on French menus now and then, but this retro treasure deserves a full-fledged comeback. To make the cloud-like quenelles, fresh pike or sole fish gets ground into a mousse with egg whites, cream and spices, then bathed in a crayfish béchamel and baked. Local chefs in the French lakeside village of Nantua invented this dish as a perfect vehicle for the fantastic crayfish of the region. But talented chefs with access to excellent seafood anywhere can create magnificent versions of this dish, often using lobster instead.

BEEF WELLINGTON England is home to some of the world’s most exciting restaurants these days, now that local chefs are updating and reimagining the national cuisine. But it’s safe to say this wasn’t always the case. Classic English food has taken its knocks over the years, but certain traditional dishes deserve their place in the canon. One of these is Beef Wellington, a feast-worthy turn-of-the-20th-century creation most likely inspired by the French filet de boeuf en croute. In the English version, puff pastry gets wrapped around a juicy beef filet that’s first topped with pâté, buttery mushroom duxelles and Parma ham. The pastry parcel then gets brushed with an egg wash and baked until golden. The final touch: a drizzle of aromatic beef stock and red wine sauce.

ROASTED STUFFED QUINCE Chefs in the courts of the Ottoman Empire passed down their secret recipes to their apprentices by word of mouth and rarely wrote down the details. Nowadays, reconstructing what the Ottoman sultans ate is a project for dedicated culinary scholars like Priscilla Mary Işin, who last year published the book Bountiful Empire: A History of Ottoman Cuisine. Thanks to Işin and to chefs in Turkey who are trying to recreate the food of the era, we now know a few things about these imperial dishes, like Roasted Stuffed Quince. This creation reportedly caused problems for Ottoman chefs, who had to find a perfect, unblemished quince that would keep its golden color when roasted. Once they did find the elusive fruit, they would stuff it with ground lamb, beef, pine nuts and sweet currants, then roast it until it gave off the signature perfumed quince scent – to make a spectacular, drop-themic party dish that’s definitely due for its second act.


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

Where We’re Detoxing

Words Robert Landon

TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS Ride the century-old Bernina Express across the Swiss Alps


The ride begins in the ancient city of Chur, 100km southwest of Zürich. Four hours later, you’ve twisted and turned your way over two high passes – the Albula (1,800m) and the Bernina (2,200m) – before a final dash down to Tirano, just across the Italian border. Along the way, you cross 196 bridges and 55 tunnels so ingenious that UNESCO has named the train line a World Heritage Site. When I rode the first leg – Chur to Saint Moritz – in 2016, I careened from one side of the car to the other so as not to miss the unfolding scenes of waterfalls, Romanesque bell towers and ice-bound peaks. Upon reaching Saint Moritz, I vowed I would return one day and take the train all the way to Tirano. I was back at Chur station in summer 2019, and once again, I was amazed as our train climbed 400m in just 5km as the crow flies. No problem for a car, but to achieve the same feat by rail, engineers designed

a series of loops that seem to defy logic. At several points, you enter a tunnel and, without realizing it, the train makes a sharp, 180-degree turn in the dark. Just before reaching the town of Preda, you can look down to the rushing Albula River and see all the torturous twists and turns the train has just taken to ascend the vertiginous valley.

As you approach Saint Moritz, the way grows straighter, but the views down the verdant Engadin Valley are no

Bernina Express, Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina

For just over 100 years, Switzerland’s Bernina Express has carried passengers into a wild landscape of sheer ravines and glacial peaks. From its panoramic window, you can’t help but gawk at two things simultaneously – the sublimity of nature, and the fact that, a century ago, engineers were able to construct rail lines through such gorgeously forbidding regions.

and cigar rooms decked out with Old Master paintings. After a day of hiking, the luminous spa, whose enormous windows look out on the heights you’ve just conquered, soothes all aches. However, it is the relentlessly precise yet convivial service that makes this hotel so refined. Even in the age of digital streaming, guests head after dinner from the dining room to the main salon for old-fashioned activities like card-playing and face-to-face conversation.

After a few wonderfully bipolar days of rugged mountain hikes and spa soaking, I left Pontresina station for points south. The route over the Bernina Pass turned out to be just as extraordinary as the first leg of the journey. First, we followed the rushing Bernina River to its source near Piz Bernina, which soars to 4,050m. Eventually we reached the milky blue-green waters of Lago Bianco, the line’s highest point at over 2,200m. To the north and east of the lake, melting ice and snow eventually ends up in the Black Sea. To the south and west, it flows down to the Mediterranean.

less beautiful. The valley’s famous hiking trails make it the ideal stopover, so I made reservations at the historic Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina. Known as the grande dame, the hotel sits just above Pontresina station, my journey’s mid-point, and hotel staff gladly whisked me to and from the nearby station.

Built to amuse Britain’s Victorian upper crust, the Kronenhof still provides aristocratic comforts in its Louis XVI salon, Versailles-like dining room and billiard

Soon thereafter begins the little red train’s precipitous, 1,800-meter descent toward Italy. This entails 12 hairpin turns, culminating in an ingenious spiral viaduct that spins the train 360 degrees in just a few minutes. Along the way you first see pines reappear as you dip below the tree line again. The world grows greener and lusher, until finally apple orchards make way for the palms of Tirano.

Unfortunately, Italian engagements required me to turn my back on the Alps and head even further south, but once again I vowed to return to the Engadin – by train, of course.


Where We’re Detoxing


Bushmans Kloof

A predator- and malaria-free UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bushmans Kloof combines a wilderness retreat with a resort and spa.


The Swan

Market Place, Southwold, Suffolk, A seaside retreat for all seasons, The Swan is a luxury pub with 35 guestrooms in Southwold, and it’s owned and run by the family behind the iconic Adnams brewery and distillery. A recent restoration by Shoreditch-based designers Project Orange has reinvigorated the accommodation, injecting a touch of urban class to this quintessential Suffolk bolthole. The hotel is home to two restaurants, The Still Room, which provides a pared-back, fine-dining experience, and The Tap Room, the hotel’s pub-like space offering a variety of informal dishes in an informal back-bar setting. Southwold’s Market Square provides a contemplative approach to the Christmas shopping experience. This winter, guests will be gifted an illustrated shopping map and discount card pinpointing The Swan’s favorite shopping boutiques, delis and watering holes for a post-shop tipple. After a welcome festive fizz and homemade mince pie, guests will be introduced to their butler who will be on hand over the course of their stay to help guide them to chosen boutiques, collect shopping and gift wrap festive goodies ready to give to friends and family. – Karim Hussain

Bushmans Kloof, Cheval Blanc, The Swan


Clanwilliam, Cederberg, Its healing properties are unique – you can walk with wildlife and learn about nature through the tales of ancient Bushmen. Outdoor activities include nature drives, hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing and swimming in clear rock pools. Guests also have access to bushman paintings and an on-site heritage center, which offers permanent exhibits, photographs and specialist talks. Treatments at the spa are inspired by ancient African traditions and make use of an exclusive line of products drawing on native African plant extracts, such as baobab tree oil, mafura butter, cape aloe and rooibos. The secluded Riverside Gazebo is ideal for couples seeking an alfresco, side-by-side treatment while taking in panoramic views from the outdoor spa gazebo, which is perched alongside the tranquil waters of the Boontjes River. – Karim Hussain


Cheval Blanc Randheli


FEW PLACES IN THE WORLD ARE QUITE AS BREATHTAKING AS CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI IN THE MALDIVES. Noonu Atoll, Set directly atop the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, this 46-villa resort was created to gracefully blend in with the island’s lush vegetation and lagoon views, while offering guests the utmost privacy. This fall and winter season, Cheval Blanc Randheli is launching three bespoke treatments designed to achieve ultimate restoration. The first, the Well-Being Journey, emphasizes mind and body health through wholesome healing activities, while the second, the Detox & Fitness Journey, focuses on de-stressing and healthy eating through a variety of spa, fitness and sport programs. Then there’s the Family Well-Being Journey, which includes active adventures, hands-on spa lessons and group culinary sessions, allowing the whole family to participate. Now you have three great reasons to experience the pristine beauty of the Maldives. – Niku Kasmai

How We’re Detoxing

Words Karim Hussain

FOREVER YOUTHFUL Ways to live long and prosper


Now that A Mag is 100 issues old, we’re thinking about how we too can live to celebrate our own centenaries. We might not be able to turn back time, but can we slow it down? It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but delayed aging is now a reality. Here are some tips for reversing the body clock.

EAT LESS, OFTEN AND IN A WINDOW When we eat, our bodies produce insulin, a hormone that prompts muscles and liver to absorb the glucose from your blood. Too much insulin over time can harm the mitochondria, little powerhouses in our cells that fuel the body and lead to the accumulation of damaged proteins. Eating smaller meals more often is a way to control insulin levels, which increases the rate of aging and triggers disease development. Also consider eating all meals and snacks within an eight- to 10hour window of time each day, a method known as intermittent fasting. Research suggests that this approach may have insulin-sensitizing and anti-aging benefits.

WORK OUT ALMOST EVERY DAY People who did cardio for 30 minutes, five days a week had a biological age that was nearly nine years younger than those who were sedentary – meaning exercise is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth. Working out reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, two factors that age cells. Other research has shown that doing two strength-training workouts a week is also beneficial and improves the body’s insulin response because when we train, our muscles are more effective at absorbing the sugar in our blood, so our bodies require less insulin. Goal: 30 minutes or more of moderate to intense cardio and resistance exercise most days of the week.

STAY ON YOUR FEET While exercise has a huge impact on aging, how much you move throughout the rest of the day is critical too. In a recent study, researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands asked different groups of people to sit for 14

hours a day, sit for 13 hours and exercise for one hour, and sit for eight to nine hours a day and stand or walk for seven to eight hours. After four days, being completely sedentary increased insulin resistance and cholesterol levels and damaged the endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels. When people exercised, they had healthy endothelial cells, but their insulin resistance and cholesterol still rose. When those people stood and walked more, though, they sidestepped the insulin resistance and cholesterol increase but not endothelial damage. The message: both exercise and movement throughout the day are necessary for optimal health. If you have a sedentary job, try to replace two hours a day of sitting time with standing and walking. DEAL WITH TENSION Cumulative lifetime stress accelerates epigenetic aging, a predictor of the rate of biological aging. Mindful approaches to dealing with stress such as meditation or walking or reading might be considered to find the way that you can best protect yourself from this early-aging factor.

SLEEP ON YOUR BACK Lying on your side (or face down) may be aging you in your sleep. That’s because sleeping sideways increases compression and decreases circulation to one side of the face. This repetitive compressive force and prolonged stress on the face, combined with the natural decrease in elasticity of the skin as one ages, will lead to more fine lines and wrinkles. For the same reasons, side-sleeping can lead to breast ptosis, aka saggy boobs. Luckily there’s a simple solution: sleep face up. Not only will sleeping on your back help prevent wrinkles, it will also decrease neck pressure on the spine.

1 Hotel West Hollywood


8490 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, With outposts in Miami and New York, the high-end environmentally friendly luxury hotel recently opened its newest and first West Coast location in Los Angeles this past May. Nestled at the base of the Hollywood Hills and set on famed Sunset Strip, the sprawling hotel boasts sweeping views of Downtown LA in a modern, minimally chic urban oasis. The hotel’s ethos is rooted in cause-driven sustainability. Everything – from the flooring to the keys and the in-room hangers – is made from reclaimed wood. Tiny chalk slates replace bedside notepads and a clever stone inscribed with “Now” on one side and “Not Now” on the other serves as a “Do Not Disturb” sign. The hotel’s remarkably cool app is just another way the 1 Hotel delivers exceptional service, making it super easy to order everything from delicious bites like black truffle risotto to homemade baby food and all-natural pet food. Every inch of the space, from the Juniper Bar in the lobby to the hip roof deck pool, exudes a SoCal chic vibe – so appealing you may never want to leave. – Tala Habbal

1 Hotels, Corte Realdi, Moxy Chelsea

105 West 28th Street, Manhattan, moxy-hotels. Moxy Chelsea, which opened in spring 2019, is a visually lovely and stylish property in Manhattan’s Flower District. Featuring micro rooms with starting rates of just $159 per night, the hotel is geared toward global citizens searching for a trendy yet accessible place to stay while visiting the Big Apple. Guests enter Moxy Chelsea at ground level, via the Putnam & Putnam flower store. The hotel’s Feroce Caffè, inspired by Italy’s pasticcerias, is located on that same floor, and it offers espresso beverages plus delectable pastries throughout the day. The rooms are all under 18 square meters in size (except the one suite on the 32nd floor), encouraging guests to minimize the time they spend indoors and instead explore and rediscover the magic of Manhattan. – Niku Kasmai

Moxy Chelsea

There’s an abundantly lush hotel in New York. NEW YORK

Where We’re Staying 302

Whoever said eco-friendly and glam couldn’t coexist has obviously never stayed at the 1 Hotel.


CORTE REALDI SUITES Casa Mazzanti, Piazza delle Erbe,

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona’s market square, radiates Italian charm. On any given day, you’ll find locals selling their wares, in a historic piazza surrounded by ancient buildings covered in stunning frescoes, many of them painted during the 16th century by Italian artist Alberto Cavalli. It’s inside one these fresco-adorned structures – Casa Mazzanti – that you’ll find Corte Realdi, a glorious collection of suites that offers an alternative to traditional hotels and allows visitors to experience Verona much like a local would. The Corte Realdi concept comes courtesy of Marco Pigozzo, whose mother Leila Sinno is Lebanese, and his wife Elva Dunn. Together, they’ve selected and restored some of the most glorious apartments across Verona, to create a contemporary, 21st-century type of accommodation that is neither a hotel nor an Airbnb apartment. You basically get all the services and amenities you would at a traditional hotel, but without the mass tourism aspect, plus the comfort and intimacy you’d have at a luxury home. Amenities include a hot breakfast delivered to your room every morning and the option to have a private chef prepare your meals, as well as housekeeping services. It’s the best way to experience Italy’s most romantic town. – Marwan Naaman


Where We’re Staying

A CENTURY IN CHICAGO AT THE BLACKSTONE, YOU GET A TASTE OF THE WINDY CITY’S GLAMOROUS PAST The Blackstone mirrors Chicago’s rich history. Set along South Michigan Avenue, across from Millennium Park and the blue shores of Lake Michigan, The Blackstone was originally a private mansion, built in the late 1800s by Timothy Blackstone, president of Union Stock Yards and the Chicago & Alton Railroad. Upon his death in 1900, Blackstone’s widow sold the property, which was demolished in 1908 to make way for a magnificent new structure designed by illustrious Chicago architects Marshall & Fox. In April 1910, the work was completed and The Blackstone hotel was born, with opera star Enrico Caruso performing at the opening ceremony.

It’s been over 100 years since The Blackstone first landed upon the American hotel scene, yet the landmark hotel has managed to maintain its special standing. Across the decades, the hotel was the preferred destination for some of America’s most well-known figures, such as Harry Truman, who stayed in the Suite of Presidents in 1944 (prior to his election as US president in 1945). In 1959, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor sojourned at The Blackstone, as did US president John F. Kennedy in 1962. Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi purchased The Blackstone in 1995 and unsuccessfully tried to convert the hotel into luxury condominiums, resulting

The Blackstone Autograph Collection


Words Marwan Naaman

in its closure in 1999. But it’s hard to keep a great property down, and The Blackstone reopened in 2008 after a two-year, multimillion-dollar renovation, eventually becoming an Autograph Collection property in 2017 and undergoing another, more limited renovation at that point.

Even before you enter The Blackstone, you can feel the weight of its noble history. The red-brick structure features luxurious ornamentations, an arched marble street-level façade and a distinctive sloping Mansard roof, all evidence of its storied past. Inside, a deliciously lovely lobby is furnished with carefully chosen pieces – some vintage, some new – including an ancient typewriter and a standalone bar stocked with liquors and spirits.

The Blackstone is also home of some of Chicago’s most dazzling meeting and event spaces, including the Crystal Ballroom, a stunning 3,400-square-foot extravaganza with oversized windows, cascading chandeliers and blazing blue carpet. Another option, the Art Hall, is an elegant space with sculptural details in which rotating exhibits of Chicago artists are held. The smaller English Room has dark mahogany paneling imported from an 18th-century English manor house plus spectacular stained-glass windows. The fourth and most intriguing space is the Barbershop. Named for its original purpose – where US president Richard Nixon and infamous mobster Al Capone were once regular customers – the plush space is rich with white marble, Greek columns and suspended chandeliers. The rooms and suites are just as engaging as the rest of the property, with the most desirable options



offering sweeping vistas of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park. These Lake View rooms feature the same amenities as the rest – luxurious marble bathrooms, local art pieces and super-comfortable beds – with the added bonus of that breathtaking, panoramic view.

The Blackstone is also home to a state-of-the-art gym, where you can work out while gazing at those same Lake Michigan views. After your fitness break, you can head to the hotel’s Spanish restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, which serves Barcelona-inspired cuisine. Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Elite Members also have access to the 1600 Club, a plush space to unwind and where breakfast is served on weekdays.

There’s so much to discover in Chicago, from the famed Riverwalk and Magnificent Mile, to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum and the city’s splendid architectural landmarks. Chicago is also a restaurant, nightlife and shopping hub, offering some of America’s greatest attractions in an incomparable setting along the shores of Lake Michigan. The Blackstone is your starting point and your gateway to all that magic. Visit

Seaside Road Antelias

Where We’re Drinking


Omètre Badaro’s newest hotspot comes courtesy of owner and chef Chadi Sleiman, who also opened the super-popular Sawani Falfoul next door two years ago. George Catroux Street, Bardaro, Building on the success of his first venture, Sleiman decided to launch Omètre, a bar and restaurant where dishes and drinks are served – as the name suggests – by the meter! You can order a meter-long platter with seven mezza dishes (at LL47,500), and this is a great option for groups of four, or the platter with four mezza dishes (at LL28,000), which is perfect for two people. The delectable, freshly prepared mezza includes such specialties as hummus sprinkled with sesame seeds, pumpkin kebbe, labneh with garlic, chanklish, mouhamara (with a nice kick) and much more. Chef Sleiman explains that there are no main dishes, because Omètre is after all a nightlife destination, complete with carefully chosen Arabic tunes that are blissfully heavy on nostalgia. Omètre also carries a nice selection of locally made arak – served in individual glasses on a meter-long platter. There are also various cocktail and wine options for those who prefer an alternative to arak. Open from the early evening hours until about 1am, Omètre is the most creative new joint to open in Beirut in a long time – and a welcome addition to Badaro. – Marwan Naaman

HotelRaya FAT, VIU,Farhat, Spine MS Roof Garden




A haunt for hip-hop fans and street art lovers, FAT is one of the most popular watering holes in the Marais. 8 Rue de Beauce, 75003, The Paris nightlife destination specializes in trendy, addictive cocktails – including the likes of El Puto, made with tequila, Chambord and tabasco, and Rosa Parks, prepared with vodka, raspberry and litchi purée, lime and rose syrup. FAT also offers a restrained but inventive street food menu, featuring Doggystyle (brioche bread with beef sausage) and Poule Mouillée (waffle sandwich with fried chicken). But what sets this place apart is the explosive street art adorning its walls, created by such artists as Kaldea, Dark Snoopy and Toctoc. Stand-up comics hold the reins every Tuesday night, while popular DJs spin tunes Friday and Saturday nights. An amazing Paris bar. – Michelle Merheb


1 Athinas at Ermou Street, Monastiraki Square, Set in the bohemian neighborhood of Monastiraki, this casual, open-air rooftop bar offers magical views of the Acropolis, particularly at sunset and at night, when the hilltop ruins are magnificently lit. While there is a food menu, most people come here to enjoy signature cocktails while gazing at the view and catching up with old friends. Favorites include Blooming, a refreshing concoction of green apple-infused vodka with elderflower and rosemary, and Guilty Pleasure, a powerful mix of three kinds of rum, banana and cacao cordial, passion fruit juice and lime juice. The upbeat energy and glorious vistas make it that much more difficult to ever leave. – Marwan Naaman

MS Roof Garden



What We’re Drinking

Words Salma Abdelnour

BACK TO THE FUTURE Vintage cocktails making a comeback A good cocktail never goes out of style. Scratch that: certain cocktails do fall out of fashion for one reason or another, but the best drinks manage to find their way back in. Here are six fabulous vintage cocktails that are back in the mix, and better than ever.


MILK PUNCH A 17th-century drink most likely invented by the influential English writer and spy Aphra Behn, Milk Punch won favor from none other than Benjamin Franklin and Queen Victoria. Now it’s back on the scene again, especially on brunch menus, and it’s earning a following from mixologists around the world. It’s easy to see why: this versatile cocktail can handle endless variations on the traditional brandy, milk, vanilla and sugar recipe. Plus, it just looks luscious: when strained into a Collins glass, the milky punch comes out surprisingly clear. Where to drink it? The Punch Room in London makes a lovely version with rum, cider brandy, spices, Batavia Arrack (a sugarcane and fermented red rice liqueur) and a twisted pineapple leaf garnish.

WHITE RUSSIAN It’s impossible to discuss the White Russian without mentioning The Big Lebowski. The drink that the Jeff Bridges character “the Dude” made famous has had more than one comeback since that 1998 cult classic, and now we’re in the midst of another. At groundbreaking chef Grant Achatz’s The Aviary NYC in Manhattan, the White Russian gets a new name, “the Aviary Abides,” an inside joke for Lebowski fans. The vodka-based cocktail also gets a few fancy twists. Instead of Kahlúa, it’s made with Mr. Black coffee liqueur – and instead of a swirl of cream, it comes with a homemade scoop of pistachio and cardamom ice cream. DAIQUIRI Ernest Hemingway didn’t invent the Daiquiri, that delightfully simple mixture of rum, lime and sugar. But he made his mark on it, for all eternity, when he reportedly asked for a Daiquiri that was twice as boozy and half as sweet. Since then the Cuban-born cocktail has seen all kinds of variations. Once upon a time, you could even order a Daiquiri to go at drive-through bars in the southern United States (actually, you still can in New Orleans, believe it or not). But now that the Daiquiri is in the midst of a global renaissance, there are more optimal ways to consume one. At the rum-focused Mabel in Paris, the Blockbuster Daiquiri is made with Chairman’s Reserve rum, grilled lime and popcorn bitters.

COSMOPOLITAN You’ll need to walk in with a little attitude if you’re planning to order a Cosmopolitan at a bar. The bartender might give you a “Really?” look, eyebrows raised. Sure, the Cosmo had its comeback decades ago, two decades to be exact, during the heyday of Sex and the City in the late 1990s. While its current revival is, let’s just say, in the early stages, the Cosmo also never quite went away. Why? Because that pink concoction of vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and triple sec is inarguably, unapologetically delicious: tangy and sweet, elegant and brash, soothing and dazzling. And there’s no better place to order one than at the Odeon in New York, the place that’s often credited with birthing the Cosmo back in the 1980s. At the Odeon, you won’t get any side-eye for ordering a Cosmo. All you’ll get is a killer version of one of the all-time best cocktails.

MANHATTAN Where else would you want to drink a Manhattan but in… well, Paris? At Moonshiner, a speakeasy hidden in the back of Pizzeria Da Vito in the 11th arrondissement, the 19th-century cocktail rears its head again, but with an elegant new twist. At Moonshiner, the drink is made with Dalmore 12 Year Old Whisky and the rhubarb-infused aperitif Rabarbaro from Nardini. If we want to get technical, the Moonshiner’s version is actually a riff on another popular drink called the Paris Manhattan, which is basically a Manhattan with a touch of elderflower liqueur. At Moonshiner, the floral tinge comes from golden Camomilla liqueur, hence the name: Goldie Manhattan. OLD FASHIONED It’s no wonder that Salon Beyrouth makes an excellent Old Fashioned, that marvelous mix of whisky, bitters, sugar and an orange twist. The Hamra restaurant and bar started out as a tribute to whisky, and it still serves more than 120 varieties. Kick back in the 1920s-inspired space and let the Salon’s staff make you an impeccable Old Fashioned. Despite its name, that perfect drink tastes as “now” as ever. And always will.

Seaside Road Antelias

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Tarek Moukaddem


On October 17, 2019, spontaneous protests erupted across Lebanon – a national movement that swept all major cities and towns and lasted for weeks. In a matter of hours, people were out on the streets, joining hands and chanting the Lebanese national anthem, from Beirut, Jal el Dib, Zouk and Jounieh to Tripoli, Akkar, Zahle, Baalbeck, Sidon, Nabatieh and Tyre. A Mag’s contributing photographers captured this national awakening, which saw the Lebanese rise above their sectarian identity for the first time in their history and gather together under the Lebanese flag.

Left: Protesters climbing Downtown Beirut’s war-damaged Dome to plant the Lebanese flag on top


Lebanese people of all ages waving the Lebanese flag

Tarek Moukaddem


Above: Protests as a form of artistic expression Below: Fires that symbolize the protesters’ passion



Roger Moukarzel




Above: A path to victory Below: Downtown Beirut’s Grand Théâtre, still awaiting restoration

Roger Moukarzel




Myriam Boulos



Michèle Aoun




Tony Elieh



Above: After the rain comes the sun

Tony Elieh


Below: Downtown Beirut’s Al-Amin Mosque, as viewed from the Dome’s rooftop



Words Michelle Merheb

THE LAST PAGE MOVIE MAGIC Which was your favorite flick in 2019? Here are four of ours.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD Over the course of a spectacular career, Quentin Tarantino has directed some of Tinseltown’s most outrageous feature films, from breakout gems like Reservoir Dogs to wild adventure capers like Kill Bill. His latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is a mad, Tarantino-esque take on the murders of Sharon Tate and four other people in 1969 by the Manson Family. Starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie combines nostalgia with Tarantino’s penchant for over-the-top violence, yet still manages to have a happy Hollywood ending.

HUSTLERS Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu and Lili Reinhart star in Hustlers, a mischievous, entertaining film about strippers who decide to swindle a group of sleazy Wall Street merchants. Portrayed as power vixens rather than helpless victims, the women of Hustlers are true 21st-century icons, as they go to any means – including drugging their former clients – to ensure they come out on top. A fact-based roller coaster ride of a movie.

MONOS Third time’s a charm for Alejandro Landes. After his documentary debut Cocalero (2007) and his feature film Porfirio (2011), the Colombian-Ecuadorian film director released Monos, a tragic, breathtaking tale set in an unnamed Latin American country and focusing on a group of child soldiers who have escaped into a lush, mysterious forest. Existing somewhere between Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now, the film explores themes of loyalty, fear, sex and alienation while refraining from easy answers and a neat resolution. Unforgettable.

JUDY Renée Zellweger shows some Oscar-worthy acting chops in her portrayal of movie icon Judy Garland. Taking a look at the last year of the legendary performer’s life and released in 2019 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of her death, Judy sheds light on the inner demons that tormented the Wizard of Oz star, while also taking a look at her entourage, most notably her fifth and final husband Mickey Deans (played by Finn Wittrock). Zellweger sings Garland’s songs herself, including “Over the Rainbow” and “I’ll Go My Way by Myself.” A tour de force performance that further immortalizes the great Judy Garland.

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Profile for Aïshti

A Magazine, Issue 100  

A Magazine, Issue 100  

Profile for aishti