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Show them how well you know them Customize your gift with any product From C & F

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very one of us has a unique beauty regime and we each have our own special ways of indulging ourselves. That gloriously rich cream that makes our skin feel radiant; that deepest red lipstick; that sweet smelling body scrub followed by an exquisite new body oil. Those of us who understand what it is to really treat ourselves right have two or three products that we love to use together and that we buy for ourselves whenever we get the chance.

With this very personal nature of beauty care in mind, C&F has created the hand picked gift box so you can offer your loved ones something you know they will truly appreciate. The special people in your life – your friends, family and partner – can experience the excitement of opening a box that has been composed especially for them. Whether you know their favourite brands already, or whether you feel like matching their style with products from around the store, you can be sure you’ll get a smile when they discover the treats that await them in your tailored set of festive beauty indulgence, especially designed with only them in mind.

The Hand Picked Gift box


C&F is more than just a beauty retail store, this destination for all things beauty-related gives you a wide array of fragrances, skincare, make-up, hair care and body care products so you can show yourself and the people around you how special they are every single day.

To meet today’s changing beauty needs C&F brings you all the latest essentials and special treats for the modern man and woman to bring out their most beautiful sides as we head into the winter season.

As our busy lives demand more and more of our time, people are seeking those little moments of beauty care that give a sense of calm and well-being and restore the radiance of the body and complexion.

In addition to shopping for an outstanding selection of beauty products shoppers can visit institutes to pamper themselves.

For Your Loved Ones Zalka Highway I Metro Superstore - Ghazir I Hamra - Main Street I Beirut Souks - DT I Saida Mall I TSC Superstore - Jnah


www.georgeschakra.com

Ready to Wear Fall / Winter 2013-2014


E di tor's Let t er

Editor’s Letter Selections team and myself wish you a glittering New Year. We feel like celebrating the season with lots of uplifting sparkle and brilliance so we have filled the coming pages with jewels to put a twinkle in your eye. Diamonds are in the air with new records at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, along with the momentous new Cartier exhibition, in Paris, reminding us how jewellery brings a sense of occasion to our lives.

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With illumination in mind, we look at the visionary Op Art of Julio Le Parc and the luminous design work of Michael Anastassiades, Andy Martin and Guillerme Torres, the last being this year’s architecture commission for Swarovski Crystal Palace, displayed recently at Design Miami. You’ll find crystals, metallics, colours and prints in our Accessories Focus, which is brimming with bags, shoes and details for both women and men. We couldn’t leave out fashion completely of course, so we had fun imagining the dream style of every star sign woman, as a nod to what the zodiac may have in store for the year ahead. Selections is happy to be expanding in 2014. We will increase from four to six issues per year and I am pleased to announce our presence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We are now available online, with the Selections app for iPad and Android tablets, plus every issue is now readable in full on the City News Publishing website. I would like to thank our followers and supporters as without you we wouldn’t be able to grow. A big thank you also goes to my team for bringing their energy and passion to Selections. May 2014 be full of brilliance, growth and positivity for all of us. Happy New Year


C ont e nts

55 ac c e sso r i e s f o c us luxury lifestyle

LIFESTYLE NEWS

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Damien Hirst & Miuccia Prada

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Recycling with Hermès

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Record breaking diamonds

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Dazzling winter jewellery

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10 Top tech gadgets

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The history of FabergĂŠ

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Beauty maestro Serge Lutens

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10

fa s h i o n

38 1 0 to p tech ga d g ets

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FASHION NEWS

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Giambattista Valli's new book

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Accessories Focus

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Men's Accessories Trends

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Superb shoes at Roger Vivier

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Starsign style


ABU DHABI

COURCHEVEL

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LONDON •

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139 world

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COVER IMAGE:

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WORLD NEWS

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Snowy escapes

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Edition Hotels by Ian Schrager

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Leila Alaoui's guide to Marrakech

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Stargazing hotspots

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Hand Picked

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Oh so Tokyo

Magnificent Oval Diamond, image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Publisher City News Privilege info@citynewsme.net

art & design

Editor in Chief Rima Nasser +961 3 852 899 rima@citynewsme.net Editor Kasia Maciejowska Managing Editor Helen Assaf Responsible Editor Diala Koteich Pictures Editor Rowina Bou Harb Additional photo editing George Zouein Advertising & PR Rima Najjar +961 3 852 899 sales@citynewsme.net Distribution Messagerie du Moyen Orient de la Presse et du Livre s.a.l. +961 487 999 Contributors Avril Groom, Rich Thornton, Lucy Knight, India Stoughton, Thomas Rees, Owen Adams, Peter Firth, Leonore Dicker, Stephanie Plentl In-house Illustrator Yasmina Nysten www.yasminanysten.com

ART & DESIGN NEWS

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ART BEAT

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Julio Le Parc

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Swarovski Crystal Palace

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Andy Martin Design

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Michael Anastassiades

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V&A Jameel Prize

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Curated by Richard Koh

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is now enriched with Layar, which links you to digital content via your smartphone.

With special thanks to Richard Koh

How to experience Layar for Selections

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Big Bang Fluo. Chronograph adorned with 430 black diamonds, totaling 2.3 carats, and 36 pink sapphires. Fluorescent pink indexes. Black rubber and python strap. Limited edition of 250 pieces.

HUBLOT BOUTIQUE Beirut Souks, Gold Souks Sector Downtown Beirut - Lebanon. Phone: +961 (1) 999 891 Fax: +961 (1) 999 892 Mobile: +961 (78) 843 853 www.hublot.com •

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lu xu ry l ifest yl e 

luxury lifestyle

news

{ Qatar Leads in Luxury } With 57,000 millionaires and 4,000 with fortunes worth more than $10million it is hardly surprising to learn that Qatar has become the world’s fastest growing luxury market. The facts have been stated in a new report Global Luxury Hotspots from the market research firm Ledbury Research. Qatar owns the luxury London store Harrods and has majority stakes in Valentino among many other things; there are even rumours that the country will soon be launching it’s own luxury brand and boutiques around the world. Last year it was Thailand taking all the glory for spending while this year in second and third place respectively were the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It seems nothing quite says luxury like an oil rich nation.

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{ Limited Edition National Geographic Prints } Even if you don’t fancy reading National Geographic’s lengthy articles on cowboys in the mid-west or tribeswomen in the Brazilian jungle, you can always be wooed by the magazine’s fantastic photos. Some of those iconic images have gone on sale through an onlineonly auction at Christie’s. Timeless: National Geographic as Celebrated by TASCHEN put up 125 images in an edition called National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years. The limited edition prints were going for upwards of $500. Also available at the auction was the fifth copy of the limited edition TASCHEN book containing all the images, signed by 43 of the featured photographers, estimated to go for up to $15,000.

{ Patek Philippe Record Sale } At a Christie’s auction of watches where the presale estimate was $15million, the total ended up at a whopping $43.9million within 24 hours. The record auction of watches in Geneva put up one particular auction item that boosted the total significantly - a 1957 Patek Philippe pink gold watch which sold for £2.2million to an anonymous bidder. The watch adjusts for leap years and is one of only six of its kind known to exist. Christie’s also sold a 1947 version of another Patek Philippe model known as a Duke Ellington for $1.6million. There are going to be some very well dressed wrists strutting their stuff this festive season.


{ Dress like Diana } { Computer game hotel } To wear a dress only three times might seem a little restrained to most commoners but for a princess it should come as no surprise. Three is the total number of times that Diana, the late Princess of Wales, apparently wore her fairytale gown that was just auctioned in London. The dress, made by David and Elizabeth Emanuel (the pair were also responsible for her wedding dress) was part of their 1986 Diahgilev-themed collection and went under the hammer at Kerry Taylor Auctions. This rather special frock is now worth over £50,000. The auction coincides with the worldwide release of Diana the movie, a portrait of the Princess of Wales, starring Naomi Watts.

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Microsoft France has transformed the Hôtel O in Paris into the Xbox One Hotel to coincide with their new product release. To mark the launch of a latest games console the hotel is offering guests an immersive experience in the world of the Xbox. Rooms are dedicated to particular games and the bar, which is open to the public, is offering cocktails inspired by games like Abyssum-Ryse with Guignolet kirsch and cumin liqueur. This innovative experiment in online-offline experiential hospitality won’t be a permanent fixture so diehard gamers in Paris before January should pop in.

{ Another book for Elie } It seems that one book in one year isn’t enough for the prolific haute couture designer as after his first book Elie Saab: Memory of Fashion was released earlier this year, Saab has collaborated on an Assouline publication, this time with Le Figaro journalist Janie Samet. Moving on from the previous book this will look into the development of the Saab brand from its genesis in a war torn early 1980s Beirut to the contemporary status of his readyto-wear collections which are now stocked worldwide. The book will also include 200 archive images from the photographer Laziz Hamani and is available to order now.

{ GirardPerregaux’s new blood } Girard-Perregaux is the oldest Haute Horlogerie Maison in Switzerland and since being founded in 1791 it has nurtured young talent and trained up some of the world’s finest watchmakers. The brand recently held its Young Masters travel programme to highlight the industry’s freshest faces and has taken craftsmen and women all over the world this year as part of its New Faces of Tradition tour. The watchmakers stopped off in New York, Paris, Beijing, Miami, Le Glacier d’Aletsch in the Alps, Sydney, and Shanghai. To learn more about the work of the next generation of watchmakers being produced by this famous brand visit thenewfaceoftradition.com.


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W ords : L e o n o r e D i c k e r

Damien Hirst and Miuccia Prada collaborate for charity in the Qatari desert


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atar’s recent thirst for Hirst shows no sign of abating. To accompany Relics, the largest collection ever assembled of the British artist’s 25-year creative career, displayed at Doha’s Al Riwaq Exhibition space until 22nd January, Damien Hirst has moulded yet another astonishing idea. The provocative creator teamed up with the visionary Miuccia Prada, in collaboration

with her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to bring a two-day pop-up juice bar to the desert. Set beside a Bedouin tent, the tavern was a revival of Hirst’s 1992 original restaurant and installation called Pharmacy in Notting Hill Gate, which closed its doors a decade ago. The eatery was re-envisioned as a dreamy juice bar, tucked away in the middle of the desert with two skeletons as regulars propping up the bar. This rehydrating mirage of

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art, fruit and fashion also housed a Prada Oasis shop installed in a traditional bayat shaar tent, made of sheep‘s wool and furnished with Prada’s signature green velvet sofas. Miuccia Prada’s Italian flare and fashion brilliance, coupled with Hirst’s morbid fascination for death, resulted in 20 fabulous little bug-themed bags that were displayed at the store. Made

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from real insects trapped inside Plexiglas and adorned with sequins, feathers and crystal embroideries of various species. Frustratingly for anyone hoping to snap one up these limited-edition entomological purses sold out at a silent auction held last November in aid of Reach Out to Asia, an organization dedicated to improving children’s education in Asia and the Middle East.


Words: Avril Groom

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The clever people at Hermès transform waste material into kooky crafted objects


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f you ever look at Hermès’ wonderful windows or instore displays, you may have noticed the occasional quirky object such as a fanciful animal shape in patchwork silk or leather. These, and many smaller objects, are part of the clever and useful Petit h project, which was set up in 2010 under Pascale Mussard, a member of the sixth generation of the Hermès founding family, to make use of small offcuts and

imperfect pieces of all the very expensive and high-quality materials that the company uses, with the slogan “Don’t throw anything away - we always make use of it”. This is not just thrifty and responsible but creative, as Mussard’s design team roam the carefully restored rows of boxes, matching up materials to make something new. So scarf silk and bag buckles become jewellery, leather turns into everything from sofas to

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cup holders, while silver spoons, crystal glasses and porcelain plates make lamps and vases. All are made to the same exacting standards and by the same experienced craftspeople as the main products. Designer imaginations have free rein, as long as all items are functional, and perfect in their new guise, and the craftsmen work out how to make them.

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Petit h items are sold at regular pop-ups, the latest at the London Bond Street store, and there is now a permanent area for them in the Paris Rue de Sèvres flagship. For a further explanation the brand has made five captivating little movies showing the varied processes at close quarters, which you can now see on YouTube.


Geneva • Beirut • Amman • Jeddah • Riyadh • Al Khobar • Dubai • Abu Dhabi • Kuwait City • Doha • Muscat • Kuala Lumpur • Singapore • Los Angeles


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not just for girls W ords : A v r i l G r o o m

L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace 2013 by Mouawad

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Diamonds are breaking records at auction as these sparkling stones become portable investment pieces

Inset image: Garland tiara with central pear-shaped diamond. Collection Cartier. Photo: V. Wulwerick. © Cartier

Pink Star Diamond, image

The Orange Diamond, image

Magnificent Oval Diamond,

courtesy of Sotheby’s Geneva

courtesy of Christie’s

image courtesy of Sotheby’s

T

he sale of a pink diamond at Sotheby’s in Geneva in November for a mindboggling $83 million casts a whole new spotlight on the current record prices for precious stones, and for coloured diamonds in particular. Never has Coco Chanel’s assertion that

“Dense as they are, they represent the greatest worth in the smallest volume”

Coco Chanel

diamonds represent “The greatest worth in the smallest volume” (just one of the many reasons why she loved them) been so accurate. In the same Sotheby’s sale a 118 carat oval white diamond also broke records by going for over $30 million. Even yellow or brown diamonds can no longer be seen as poor relations as now the best and biggest examples of these also fetch enormous prices. Such is the demand that some colours are virtually out of the reckoning because of their rarity. The Pink Star is huge at 59.6 carats and its price works out at over $1.2 million per carat. That pales into insignificance however when

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Above: Grace Kelly’s engagement ring with an emerald-cut diamond of 10.47 carats, Collection Cartier. Photo: V. Wulwerick. © Cartier

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compared with the $1.8 million per carat paid for a mere 5.30 carat deep blue diamond, mounted in a Bulgari ring, at Bonhams in London. Blues are even rarer than pinks and on top of that real connoisseurs want the most unique pieces of course. As for reds - the rarest colour of all - London jeweller Moussaieff is rumoured to own a large, deep red diamond which is technically for sale but as it is virtually priceless it remains in their hands. The reasons for these sums are a mix of ancient history and contemporary conditions. Diamonds have been prized since Medieval times; they were then the preserve of kings and thought to protect against injury in battle. Many times have they been the spoils of war - the world’s most famous blue

diamond, the Hope, was looted from the French crown jewels during the French Revolution in 1792 as Marie Antoinette was awaiting the guillotine – it was later bought by Harry Winston. Diamonds have always been a form of portable wealth - every conflict has its myths of refugees smuggling them across borders sewn into clothes. Sometimes transporting them is a large-scale organisation - after Cartier and Boucheron became the Western jewellers of choice for Indian potentates, maharajahs arrived in Paris with crates of diamonds from the old Indian Golconda mines that they wanted to be reset. Then, as it is today, the gap between the super-wealthy and the everybody else was enormous but the difference now is Below: Hair ornament with rose cut diamonds in millegrain setting, 1902 Collection Cartier. Photo: N. Welsh. © Cartier


below: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor; she wears a Flamingo brooch of brilliant-cut diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emerlands, commissioned from Cartier by her husband. ©Superstock/Leemage.

right: Princess Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962) wearing garland-style diamonds from her wedding basket. © Archives Cartier

that there are more wealthy people who are creating more demand - and the earth is not offering up any more diamonds. Today a mainstream audience around the world has come to know about big diamonds. The fabulous exhibition about the story of Cartier recently opened in Paris showing the outstanding stones and craftsmanship of the jewellery house, with classic photographs of the film stars and royalty who give life to Cartier’s sparkling work. Media events like the Victoria’s Secret fashion show feature gem-covered fantasy lingerie with stones supplied by the Beirut firm and collector Mouawad, broadcast just recently on 9th December. The Mouawad family has its own museum for one of the biggest private collections of stones, including the 245.35 carat Jubilee, the world’s sixth largest of its kind.

Below: Kokoshnik tiara with 15 pear-shaped diamonds adding up to 19 carats in a mugeut setting, 1908, Collection Cartier. Photo: V. Wulwerick. © Cartier

One reason that pink diamond values have rocketed is that mines such as the Argyle in Australia have announced a limited future lifespan, meaning the value placed on other colours has also risen in their wake. Big stones of any kind are increasingly rare and sought after by new collectors in areas like the Far East. On top of being the sparkling status symbols and glinting objects of wonder they always were, they are increasingly appreciated as a failsafe investment. With world politics getting no nearer to a stable state, who can blame anyone who thinks a diamond may be the safest place to keep their money? Cartier: Style and History is at the Grand Palais, Paris, until 16th February 2014.

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KARAGULLA BUILDING GRAND HOTELS DISTRICT +961 1 99 30 60. TOMFORD.COM


lu xu ry l ifest yl e 

Dazzling jewellery to brighten the winter season

E ditorial : K a s i a M a c i e j o w s k a I maging : G e o r g e Z o u e i n

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Diamond and aquamarine earrings from The Art of Inlay collection by Boghart

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Orient-inspired earrings in white gold with aquamarines and brown diamonds from L’OdysÊe du Cartier - Parcours un style, by Cartier

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Étoile de Nord broach in white gold with diamonds, pearls and opals from the Contrastes collection by Chanel

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Cher Dior Majestueuse diamond pastel ring by Dior

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Sunset diamond necklace by Harry Winston

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Orchid ring with central tourmaline by AndrĂŠ Marcha

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10 TOP TECH TOYS

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Technology writer Peter Firth talks you through the year’s best gadgets

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n the world of technology you can count on a few things to remain constant from year-to-year. The gadgets get thinner, the screens get wider, and everything gets faster. Although 2013 wasn’t exactly a nonstarter for technology, it didn’t bring about the cataclysmic changes that we thought it would back in January. There was no sign of an iWatch from Apple, Samsung didn’t wow us with a market-ready flexible screen, and Google’s biggest headline during the year wasn’t about its Glass project, but about Android’s partnership with wafer chocolate bar KitKat. If 2013 didn’t live up to all expectations, it sowed the seeds for 2014, which will bloom into a new swathe of tech toys that will help you get fitter, make information more palatable, and indulge your inner child. This selection of tantalizing new lifestyle tech will take you into the coming year.

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leap motion

Early this year saw the commercial launch of the Leap Motion interface. This is the most accurate gesture interface on the market. You plug it in, place the controller in front of the screen, and it picks up your hand movements with pinpoint accuracy. It will make you feel like Tom Cruise fighting Pre-crime in Minority Report, and it’s yours for a very affordable price.

nimbus personal dashboard 2

Twenty years ago, people dealt with as much information as if they had read 40 newspapers every day, according to the University of Southern California. Now, we are bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day. Needless to say, we’re all feeling a bit overwhelmed. Nimbus is a simple solution to this problem, which makes all that information easier to take in. The dashboard synchs with your devices, bringing you anything from weather to stock prices.

lego mindstorms 3

Synonymous with creativity, play and childhood, everyone has fond memories of the humble Lego brick. Now the Danish toymaker has supercharged its building sets for the information age with Lego Mindstorms EV3. Using a programmable

brick you can pre-programme the toy to react to specific scenarios like shooting a projectile, when it tracks something in its line of fire.

nike fuelband (se) 4

Nike’s FuelBand took the fitness tech market by storm when it launched in 2012. Now Nike’s Second Edition (SE) FuelBand has hit stores updated with a more accurate algorithm to track your movement better, a longer lasting battery, and best of all, it comes as part of Nike’s Metaluxe Collection in a rose gold hue.

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cube

The first industrial revolution began with a cotton spinning wheel, the second began with a PC computer, now you can be part of the third industrial revolution with the Cube 3D printer by 3D Systems. The updated model of the world’s most affordable 3D printer will ‘turn your ideas into real objects’ allowing you to 3D print products from the comfort of your own home.

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sonos play:1

Tired of changing records? Or listening to music from your laptop speakers? It’s time you bought one of these. Sonos Play:1 is a music system that connects to your home’s WiFi, then lets you stream music from Rdio, Spotify or Pandora using the Sonos app on your computer tablet or smartphone. The best thing? These are the

lego of the speaker world, you can add as many wireless speakers as you want building up a stereo stack, or spreading them through your home.

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coin

It will be a few years before we’re paying for everything with smartphones. Until then, Coin allows you to consolidate your credit and debit cards into a single sleek device, and swipe or tap just like a normal card. It launched in November after reaching its Kickstarter goal in under 40 minutes. Use it and you’ll coin it away.

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pebble watch

Another breakthrough in wearable tech for 2013, the highly anticipated Pebble Watch synchs with your smartphone, bringing you the must-see updates from the smartphone in your pocket. It is supercustomizable and you can set it to notify you when your favourite sports team scores a goal, have it track your workouts, or even just tell the time.

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fairphone

Provenance and transparency are becoming watchwords for the lifestyle industries, changing how we think about food, fashion and our own rate of consumption. Tech has been lagging behind in responding to this with many manufacturers concealing what goes into their devices. Now the Dutch firm Fairphone has created the first smartphone with traceable rare earth minerals. Swipe, tap, talk and chat with an utterly clear conscience.

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skully helmet

This motorcycle helmet will make you feel like a cross between Tony Stark and Steve McQueen. The Skully Helmet gives you a head-up display with weather data, voice calls, a rear view mirror, and directions to where you’re going. You’ll never want to take it off.

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Words: Lucy Knight

From St. Petersburg basements and the high court of the Tsar, into exile out of Russia and all the way back again - the FabergĂŠ name maintains its historic allure

I mperial P elican E aster E gg , 1 8 9 7 . I mage courtesy of V irginia M useum of F ine A rts

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I

n 2004 the Russian billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg bought the largest private collection of Fabergé pieces at an auction at Sotheby’s. For a reported $100 million he became the proud owner of nine Fabergé eggs as part of his new collection. Held until now under lock and key, this eye-popping collection of finely crafted objects is now to go on show at Vekselberg’s new Fabergé Museum, which opened to the public this December in St. Petersburg. The new museum is the first of it’s kind in Russia and the glamourous opening was attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the country’s elite.

below: Catherine the

above: The Fabergé

Great egg, 1914. Image

workshop in 1903

courtesy of the Hillwood Museum, Washington DC

Fabergé’s history is coloured by White Russians, Tsarist wealth, the upheaval of revolution and the loss of brand-name rights. Such dramatic ingredients mean the Fabergé name still conjures in people’s minds that strange bejewelled object first crafted for Russia’s last and most extravagant royalty – the Fabergé egg. It all began with Gustav Fabergé, a master goldsmith who was born in what is now Estonia and travelled to St. Petersburg to learn his craft. Initially his last name didn’t carry an acute accent on the final e, but when he opened his first shop in 1842 the savvy Gustav felt that such an adornment would appeal to the Francophile tendencies of the Russian Imperial Court.

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left: Fabergé Lilies of

above: Contemporary egg

the Valley 1898. Image

pendants with coloured

courtesy of the Forbes

gemstones, by Fabergé

Collection, New York

Fabergé’s big break came when Peter Carl, Gustav’s son, was running the company. While exhibiting at the Pan-Russian Exhibition in Moscow their work was seen by Tsar Alexander III, who took note of it and gave them the royal seal, making them jewellers ‘by official appointment of the Imperial Court’. In 1885 the Tsar commissioned the House of Fabergé to make a gift for his wife. This commission would become the first of the iconic Imperial Easter Eggs. The initial egg was simply named the Hen Egg and, much like Russian

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Fabergé at the Shuvalov Palace

is now open in St. Petersburg and The Virginia Museum of Fine

Arts collection of Fabergé pieces is

currently on tour, next showing at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,

Montreal, Quebec from 26th May

until 19th October 2014. A collection

of the original eggs and jewellery can also be seen at The Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany.

dolls that stack up one inside the other, it opened up to reveal a gold yolk, which in turn would reveal a little gold chicken; that opened up to display a replica of the Imperial Crown, from which a mini ruby egg was daintily suspended. The Russian Revolution brought an end to such opulence, meaning the eggs became highly sought after as timepieces of a long-lost era that came to define the modern history of Russia. Usually held in private by collectors around the world, the new museum in St. Petersburg houses the eggs in the impressive setting of the Shuvalov Palace, returning the pieces to a context that perfectly suits them. Today Fabergé’s jewellery mimics some of the extreme decoration of the original eggs, and the collection features a series of egg pendants that are a cute echo of the original stunning pieces. Tapping into the romance and theatre of highlights from Russian literature and history, the company now channels its captivating past into creating a tale of Russian heritage to inspire customers a century after the end of Tsarist Russia. The brand uses exceptional and – highly commendably - ethically sourced gemstones, and with the launch of two Middle Eastern stores it recently introduced a limited edition UAE pendant in the colours of the UAE flag to commemorate National Day. Find Faberge in Qatar at Alfardan Jewellery in the Alfardan Centre and in Dubai at the Burj Al Arab and in Dubai Mall.


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W ords : K a s i a M a c i e j o w s k a

From creating Christian Dior Cosmetics to founding his own fragrance house, Serge Lutens has made crafting feminine identity his life’s defining work

“E right: Serge Lutens by Patrice Nagel

facing page: Serge Lutens for Christian Dior, 1978

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verything I have done can be seen as the story of my life.” To feel such a way as you approach your seventy second year must give a satisfying sense of continuity when looking back. Yet Serge Lutens, art director and cosmetics creator who was hailed as “the greatest make-up artist in the world” following his debut with Christian Dior, comments, “What some call ‘style’ was simply but my life. It is a destiny that I couldn’t have escaped.” Such poetic tendencies are a Serge Lutens signature. He writes a short story to accompany every perfume that he makes under his own label, with each giving a hint at what Lutens was conjuring as he developed the scent. Yet it remains only a glint as these evocative little pieces of literature are as elusive and opaque as the man himself. When asked if the perfume or the text comes first, he says neither, because, “There is no


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facing page: Serge Lutens

above left: Fille de Berlin

above right: Vierge de Fer

for Shiseido, 1996

parfum by Serge Lutens

parfum by Serge Lutens

difference between them.” He captures the perpetual romance of fragrance because he understands its suggestive potential. “A perfume is what remains of a book, a film, or a person after they have disappeared. Perfume is not a product but a memory”. Lutens asserts that he is not an aesthete and it is true that sensuality and expression pervade the visual perfection in the imagery he made at Dior and Shiseido. His iconography, however, does repeatedly represent the feminine through a pared-back symbolism that echoes traditional Far Eastern graphics merged with classic stars from the

“Perfume is not a product but a memory”

silver screen. This image of woman as a strong but stylised apparition comes to Lutens from within: “All my work comes from the femininity within me. I am its servant; it takes me higher; it is religious.” In the past he has stated, “Everything creative is female.” Having never gone to art school, Lutens is self-taught and a self-described amateur. In the 1950s he began as a hair salon apprentice in Lille and made a name for himself experimenting with make-up. In 1962 he moved to Paris and started creating beauty shoots for French Vogue, collaborating with leading photographers Irving Penn, Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon. Picked up by Christian Dior, which was then under the creative direction of Marc Bohan, he launched the brand’s new cosmetics line in 1968. Subsequently Diana Vreeland put him on the cover of American Vogue with the headline, “Serge Lutens: Revolution of

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“All my work comes from the femininity within me. I am its servant. It takes me higher”

facing page: Poudrier Lacqué by Serge Lutens, 2013

this page: Laine de Verre parfum by Serge Lutens 2013

Make-Up!” and the Guggenheim Museum, New York, exhibited his photographic Serge Lutens projects. In 1980 he went on to work with Shiseido and established the company’s international presence. Throughout all this he invented the ideals of female beauty that dominated the 1970s and 1980s, such as the smokey eye and the strong, sculptural face. These ideals were made popular via the advertisements visualised by Lutens. “I was always somehow very fashionable.” Having established Les Salons du Palais Royal, in 2000 he founded Serge Lutens perfumes in collaboration with the respected nose Christopher Sheldrake, and in 2007 he was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government. Although much has happened since, 1968 was a pivotal year in Lutens’ artistic evolution. Not only was he recruited by Christian Dior, he also visited Marrakech for the first time, embarking on a lifelong romance with the city that he later made his home. “Marrakech awoke my fifth sense that had previously been uncultivated and asleep. Before that perfume never shook my interest. It is

certain that my perfume creations would never have existed without that city.” Whether in Marrakech, at the enclosed riad that he passionately restored, or in Paris, in the enveloped colonnades of the Palais Royal, where his theatrical perfume boutique is located, Lutens seems to seek out the shadows of relative obscurity – albeit rather glamorous shadows. “I recall, from my earliest memories, that I have always felt at a distance. I hate the exhibitionism of our days, it turns the woman, in particular, into a product. I like secrecy, I like separation, and I like the way the Arabic house surrounds you like embracing arms - it is a place where you can always feel protected.”

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{ BALENCIAGA STORES REBRANDED } November saw the opening of Balenciaga’s brand new store in SoHo, New York, after their previous West Chelsea branch suffered damage by Hurricane Sandy. The new store is the first of the brand’s global stores to be given a new image in keeping with the label’s recently appointed creative director Alexander Wang. The spacious Big Apple store is full of green-marble with skylight ceilings and was co-designed by Ryan Korban, who also sketched out Alexander Wang’s own-label boutiques. As one of Wang’s trusted insiders, Korban is known for his decorative genius. The SoHo opening marks the beginning of a series of complete boutique makeovers that will add Wang’s signature street-style edge to the brand’s established identity.

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{ JOSEPH OPENS BEIRUT BOUTIQUE } November saw the opening of Joseph womenswear’s first store in Downtown Beirut. The label had already acquired a steady local following, with stands found in luxury retail stores around town. This shop launch shows just how far the internationally renowned brand has come since its original shopmeets-hairdressing salon in London, founded by Casablanca-born Joseph Ettedgui. To celebrate 25 years of dressing cool, confident women in contemporary-chic garments, the fashion store will take part in February’s London Fashion Week for the very first time. The label has asked 25 friends of Mr Ettedgui to share what they think of Joseph the brand. On top of that, Balmain, Jil Sander and others have agreed to design an exclusive item each, which will be up for sale on the anniversary.

{ VICTORIA { VIVENNE BECKHAM’S WEDDING WESTWOOD CROWN ON SALE } TO WRITE AUTOBIOGRAPHY } Giving all ladies a chance to recreate a fairy-tale nuptial, fashion icon Victoria Beckham’s wedding crown was auctioned on 5th December at Bonhams, in London. Designed by famous jeweller Slim Barrett, the 18-carat tiara is framed in gold, features diamond beads and is called East of Paris. The grandiose head wear was valued at between £18,000 and £25,000 but failed to sell as bidding stopped at £14,00 First worn by VB - aka Posh Spice for her “royal” themed wedding to footballer David Beckham on 4th July 1999 in Ireland, the diadem has since been exhibited at both the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Diamond Museum in Antwerp. Perhaps surprisingly the famous couple had only borrowed it for the occasion – perhaps fulfilling the wedding proverb ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.

Fashion empress Vivienne Westwood is set to co-write her autobiography with friend, actor and Hermione Granger’s father in Harry Potter the author Ian Kelly. The memoir will showcase the ins and outs of Westwood’s life from her innocuous primary school teacher years, via her early days as a fashion designer on the artsy Portobello market, through to rewriting the industry altogether by introducing the punkchic movement. The hardcover is likely to be a spicy read as raunchy anecdotes will be contributed by Westwood’s friends including Prince Charles, Jerry Hall and Wikileaks’ notoriously big-mouthed Julian Assange. Alas, its release isn’t expected before October 2014.


{ ISABELLA BLOW AT { STEPHEN JONES SOMERSET HOUSE } DESIGNS FOR BARBIE } From her position as editor of Vogue, Tatler and Sunday Times Style magazine, to her role as model scout, talent spotter and artistic muse, Isabella Blow led the dazzling life of a colourful aristocratic chameleon. To commemorate her influential thirty-year career, Somerset House, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, is presenting Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! The exhibition will feature over one hundred pieces from the late icon’s astonishing wardrobe, including items by designers discovered by her such as Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy. Daphne Guinness now owns Blow’s unique fashion collection; she describes the show as a “bittersweet event that will inspire generations of designers to come”. This is a one-off chance to see such an exquisite private collection – the exhibition continues until March 2014.

The super dapper British hat maker Stephen Jones has given his “most fabulous private client”, as he called her, none other than Barbie doll herself, a Christmas makeover this year. Jones has designed five festive looks for the petite blonde mini model including a mistletoe cocktail dress, a velvet Santa mini-dress and an amusing reindeer number using real fur and micro antlers. Priced at £250 each, the garments were launched at Selfridges London’s Toy Shop on 15th November, where the doll had a whole section exclusively opened for her last year. We suspect that this might not be a one-off collaboration as Jones states that he strongly admires Barbie for sharing his “design vision and loving tradition while having an eye for the future.” Jones is not alone in his infatuation - other labels that have previously designed wardrobe pieces for the figurine include Burberry, Chanel and Prada.

{ NICOLAS GHESQUIERE CONFIRMED AT LOUIS VUITTON } After months of speculation Marc Jacobs’ successor was finally revealed by the ultimate luxury goods house Louis Vuitton in November. The former Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière will step into Jacobs’ well-worn shoes. Ghesquière is said to have fallen out with his former employers at Balenciaga due to artistic differences after their 15-year collaboration. Described by Louis Vuitton as a man with “a modern creative vision who builds on the values of refinement, savoir faire and extreme quality”, the maison’s top newbie is expected to turn things around for the label after recent sales in emerging markets weren’t as successful as expected. Suffering from “logo fatigue”, Marc Jacobs already tried to shake up the Louis Vuitton brand but to little avail. Ghesquière’s own grand-plan will be revealed in March, when he is set to present his first collection for the house.

{ VALENTINO SHOWS A SHANGHAI SPECIAL } Italian couturier Valentino has gone all out for his Chinese customers by creating an exclusive collection specifically targeted to the Shanghai market. Inspired by Chinese culture, the 81-look, all-red collection includes haute couture, ready-towear and accessories. It was shown with a special catwalk show in November at the brand’s flagship store in Shanghai. Co-creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli say they don’t necessarily plan to repeat this strategy as the pair already has enough on their plates with the standing six shows a year. This was more like a limited-edition lucky number seven. The designs will also be available in New York, Paris and Rome – in-store from April.

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LIGHT AS A FEATHER, COOL AS A WAVE Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture creations are impossibly romantic yet impeccably modern – as his beautiful new monograph shows

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t both of his recent book launches in Paris and London the handsome Italian couturier Giambattista Valli was surrounded by cool young socialites, influential fashion editors and ethereal models as he signed copies of his new hardback. And no wonder, as Valli credits these women as the inspiration and encouragement behind his celebrated career. Fellow designers, including Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, also joined in to support

Valli, who says this book is not only for those who love fashion but also for young designers and enthusiasts who want to know more about the creative process. The monograph gives a fresh view of Haute Couture that perfectly mimics Valli’s talent for combining high craftsmanship with feminine flair. The impeccable 400-page tome gives a peek into the designer’s world with alluring photographs of his frothy dresses and fluid gowns, alongside design sketches

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in Valli’s cartoonish style. Soft-focus catwalk shots are mixed with close-ups showing backstage preparations and intimate portraits of Valli working with models in his design studio. A special touch is added by personal writings from his key collaborators, including Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia, and Diane Kruger, the German actress. Giambattista Valli by Giambattista Valli is published by Rizzoli

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Accessori es Foc us

TWINKLE TOES Accessories to have fun with!

E ditorial : K a s i a M a c i e j o w s k a I ll u strations : Y a s m i n a N y s t e n

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Accessori es Fo cus

Paul Smith lips and pearl necklace

Roger Vivier silver Prismick pouch clutch

Lanvin bee jewellery

Chanel transparent plexiglass perfume bottle handbag

Burberry heart print sneakers

Hoss Intropia red & fushcia clutch

Diorific manicure duo in Gold & Crystal Pearl

Roger Vivier green Virgule court shoe

Dolce&Gabbana red crystals purse

White Resin and Crystal Fusion Crystalactite Cuff, Atelier Swarovski by Maison Martin Margiela

Charlotte Olympia gold Croissant clutch

White Resin and Crystal Fusion Crystalactite Clip, Atelier Swarovski by Maison Martin Margiela

Jimmy Choo black lace court shoe

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Ballerina by Chantal at Feminin Pluriel

Celine black and white bag with fur polka dots

Vanina Sage Nuit necklace

Salvatore Farragamo silver spike bracelet

Celine beige ankle boot

Versace Barocco pink earrings

Salvatore Ferragamo silver chain ring

Kenzo eye print toeless ankle boot

Prada silver platform sandal

Paule Ka gold lips clutch

Dior embroidered pumps

GIRARD-PERREGAUX,1966 collection. Full Calendar watch.Available at CHRONORA

Nada G Safety Pin Necklaces

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Accessori es Fo cus

Paule Ka surreal face nacklace

Lanvin Cone Heel shoe

Lanvin Happy necklace

Versace strappy sandals with white fur

Tory Burch beetle print iPhone cover

Dolce&Gabbana mosaic handbag

Etro gold and black bracelet

Diorific illuminating powder compact

Nada G Lamis cage bracelet

Vanina grey glitter lace-ups

Patent zip sneakers by Guglielmo Rotta at Feminin Pluriel

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Accessori es Fo cus

Dolce&Gabbana mosaic court shoe

Hoss Intropia beaded & ribbon necklace

Vanina Sage necklace in Riverstone Red

Marni little human earrings

Versace Fluo Apollo and Daphne watch

Stella McCartney marbled box clutch

Dolce&Gabbana crown headpiece

Lanvin Love necklace

Paul Smith men’s polka dot bow ties

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Accessori es Focus

Trend spotter Thomas Rees gives us a tour through gentlemen’s accessories for Winter 2014

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HELLO ROMEO bottega veneta

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One of the key trends for this season is for nostalgic dressing but this time it’s manly sophistication with twist. Classic suits are worn with bow ties but we’re seeing more playfulness in print and texture. The fabrics for this look have a deluxe quality to them - think silks and velvets in deep indulgent tones of midnight blue, blood red and orange. Dinner jackets unexpectedly appear in houndstooth tweeds, while others have exotic details that hint of the Far East. On closer inspection we see that hand-embroidered jackets and bags are covered in graphic cartoons, some with a humorous Halloween edge from the Chapman Brothers at Louis Vuitton. Classic velvet slippers are given a modern edge, with bleeding teddy bears, looking as if they have just suffered an operation by Frankenstein himself. Other versions of the look are more subtle but just as fun and play with tone-ontone and textures that add discreet layers.


hermes

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van noten Rachel Boston

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ACTION MAN This winter designers have looked to mountaineers and explorers for inspiration from another classic menswear source but this time it has both old-fashioned and outdoorsy touches. Accessories boast about their functionality with obvious straps, ropes and silver rock-climbing clips adorning bags and shoes. Thick mountaineering ropes replace belts and add shape to fur-lined parker coats. Shoes are robust, fit for purpose and reference traditional hiking gear. Jewellery appears amid all this sportswear like shining trophies from the climb, with animal teeth and rings with entomological details, while bags look rustic in sheepskin and leather.

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Accessori es Focus

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CLEAN SPORTS This look suggests the high-speed life of the truly modern man and gives a sense of movement between one situation and the next. We’re talking more about urban functionality than actually breaking a sweat at the gym. Tailoring is given a sharp edge with clean in-flight-style belts, while the trainer-shoe hybrid makes a comeback as the footwear design suitable for a myriad of different social encounters. The hyper-bold trainer pops up here too in all its multicoloured glory with pearlised and cellophane finishes. High-end fabrics like Duchess silk are used with casual styling and in functional pieces like rucksacks, while bomber jackets are worn around the waist or street-style with gold accessories. The key to this look is its sensational colour palette with blocks of maroon and acid green alongside charcoals, grays and blacks.


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WILD THING Only for the brave hearted, this trend has taken on animal print and given it a new macho post-Punk edge with bold furs and kitsch prints. Safari furs can be found adorning chic weekend bags and smartphone covers while jewellery adds bite by referencing scary details like scorpion stings. Wild prints in electric and surgical blues appear in surprise flashes of colour on ties, adding a dash of excitement to the traditional suit. Bags and shoes in black fur give a sense of fun and fetish - but be warned – my advice is to pick one key accessory to liven up your look. Rocking all this at once could be a recipe for fashion extinction!

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Accessorie s Foc us

W ords : A v r i l G r o o m

Crazy shoe designs are having a moment and it was Roger Vivier who invented some of the key shapes that are now being revived

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All images: Roger Vivier AW 13/14

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nyone who imagines that today’s towering heels and fantastical decoration make shoes now the most extreme they have ever been should consider the original work of Parisian shoe designer Roger Vivier. His brand is now known as a global, high-end label with stores in most leading world cities, including Beirut, as part of the Tod’s luxury group, but the man himself set the design pace in the 1950s, particularly with his work for Christian Dior and his design for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation shoes. The coffers of Tod’s enabled the recent very comprehensive exhibition of his work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris but Vivier’s own talent made him a hot name during Dior’s couture heyday. The exhibition showed how closely to art objects shoes are now regarded - its well-known curator Olivier Saillard grouped the shoes loosely under

themes to which he gave suitably artistic names like Gallery of the Post-Impressionists (all about print) or Italian and Spanish Sculptures (about heel and shoe shape) but did not add dates for each model. So the game at the opening night in October was to wander round guessing at dates or referring to the booklet of the exhibition. Apart from the changing logos inside the surprise it was surprisingly hard to guess the vintages. Vivier invented heel shapes which still shock - the undercurved Virgule, or comma, after which the exhibition was named, the earliest “needle” stiletto, the Etrave, like a Surrealist hour glass, which is narrow in the middle and then elongated under the foot at the base, and the inverted pyramid Tibet - all launched in the 1950s or 1960s and applied to shoes embroidered, beaded or appliquéd with silk flowers as richly as any modern fantasy. He also designed thigh-high embroidered boots and the “stocking shoe” with thigh-high stocking attached. Vivier died in 1998 but the brand’s designer since 2002, Bruni Frisoni, is not only an amazing guardian of Vivier’s legacy who continuously works with house codes, like the iconic heel shapes or the famous buckled pump designed for Catherine Deneuve to wear in Belle in Jour, but extends them and adds in new angles for the modern age, yet always mindful of Vivier’s spirit. The faceted heels and bag sides, reminiscent of precious stones, of the Prismick range, derive from original Vivier sketches, while favourite Vivier themes - tribal and feather effects (originally designed for Yves Saint Laurent in 1967) or the decorated buckle are now reworked in line with current trends - the latter in Swarovski crystal. As brand revivals go, this is an exceptionally good one.


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Art Retreat Passion

- Magnus Winter/Bransch

Experience art around the world

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Styles and moods for the signs of the zodiac, Winter 2014

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Aries Fashion by Givenchy, bracelets by Versace, Nazareth candle by Cire Trudon

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Taurus Fashion by Burberry, tan bag by Victoria Beckham, gold lapis-lazuli and pearl jug made in Georgia dated 1941 from Galerie Claude Bernard at BRAFA 2014

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Gemini Fashion by Emporio Armani, Ortensia scented candle by Fornasetti Profumi, platform sandals by Dolce&Gabanna, shimmer blush by Chanel

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Cancer Fashion by CĂŠline, Cancer Pandora clutch by Charlotte Olympia, gold crown by Dolce&Gabanna, jade snuff bottle made in China dated 1750-1850 from Galerie Bertrand de Laverne at BRAFA 2014

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Leo Fashion by Ralph Lauren, Gold Cammei incense and candle by Fornasetti Profumi, Mitza lion’s paw ring by Dior, mosaic bag by Dolce&Gabanna, Vanitas watch by Versace

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Virgo Fashion by Dolce&Gabanna, My Dior bracelet and rings by Dior, lipstick and nail polish by Chanel

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Libra Fashion by Louis Vuitton, Fulchrum lamps by Lee Broom, diamond earrings by Boghart, Candy stars clutch by Jimmy Choo

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Scorpio Fashion by Versace, geometric clutch by Roger Vivier, holiday collection scented candles by Diptyque

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Sagittarius Fashion by Paul Smith, gold hand from the Archetype Collection by Karen Chekerdjian, Carla pendant light by Kolorz, Sagittarius Pandora clutch by Charlotte Olympia

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Capricorn Fashion by Dior, Eliferia clutch by Nathalie Trad, lipstick by Chanel, Coppa dell’Etica by Michelle de Lucchi for Baccarat and Sévres dated 2011 from Sévres - Cité de la Céramique at BRAFA 2014

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Aquarius Fashion by Lanvin, Sole di Capri room fragrance by Fornasetti Profumi, necklace by Versace with Perles d’Éclat ring by Boucheron, snakeskin clutch by Stella McCartney

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Pisces Fashion by Kenzo, Sage choker by Vanina, Signature bag by Versace, silver gilt salt cellars made in Augsberg dated 1630 from D’Arschot & Cie at BRAFA 2014

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{ Louis Vuitton’s Red Square mega-trunk }

{ Corso Como in { Leonardo DiCaprio gives $3 the Far East } million to tigers }

Almost 100 years after the communists kicked the wealthy elite out of Moscow’s famous Red Square, Louis Vuitton are turning the tables and tempting them to return. In order to inaugurate the brand’s new exhibition L’Âme du Voyage (or The Soul of Travel) dedicated to legendary adventurers and travellers, the brand has installed a building-sized LV trunk right outside St. Basils, making it impossible to miss. This giant trunk is an exact replica of the monogrammed luggage owned by Russian Prince Vladimir Orlov and hints at the series of objects that will be displayed in the exhibition held from 2nd December 2013 until 19th January 2014. Erected only weeks after a political activist was arrested in the square for disturbing the peace, Vuitton’s monogrammed monolith was highly controversial because of Red Square’s communist history, and had to be removed.

In contrast to his recent role as an uncharitable slave-owner in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, American film star Leonardo DiCaprio has earned his charity stripes by donating $3 million to the World Wildlife Foundation’s Save the Tiger campaign. Tigers have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years as poachers and urbanisation have chipped away at their natural habitat. DiCaprio’s pledge will help the WWF to enforce antipoaching patrols and to protect and restore the areas where tigers breed in Nepal. The DiCaprio Foundation raised much of the $3m through an art auction at Christie’s in New York earlier this year.

As far as cult stores go, London has Liberty, Paris has Colette and Milan has Corso Como … and now Shanghai has Corso Como too! The legendary luxury lifestyle boutique opened in Milan at the dawn of the millennium and offers a fiercely chic and unapologetically modern shopping experience. Now Shanghai shopaholics can get a taste of Corso Como without having to cross the oceans. With an interior designed by American artist Kris Ruhs and curation by founder Carla Sozzani, the store follows the multi-sensory shopping trend by providing consumers with a visual feast for the eyes alongside a restaurant for the tongue. Travel fashionistas can add a new item to their shopping list.


{ Dubai’s Giant { Zaha Hadid stadium revealed } Frame } Top architect Zaha Hadid finally revealed her design for the Al Wakrah sports stadium, to be built especially for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Hadid’s architecture is famous for its undulating shapes and flowing curves. Al Wakrah’s design lives up to the expectation by capturing the organic spirit of ‘the beautiful game’; the shapes mimic a football net shaking after goal has been scored. The design has received various critical comments relating to its absorbent femininity and soft slopes, as well as support from others who welcome the refreshingly un-masculine approach to such sizeable constructions, which so often take the shape of monolithic towers.

After various delays to construction and questions over its exact site, the Dubai Frame finally has a footprint. The long awaited sculpture-cum-viewing bridge will be situated adjacent to the Stargate theme park in Zabeel Park. Much like The Palm and other grand Dubai projects before it, The Frame appears exactly as the name would suggest – a 150-foot high goldcoloured picture frame that looks like it has been plucked straight from the galleries of the Louvre. The Frame is to be built in a strategic position which commands majestic views over both the old city and the new – for once, you won’t be looking into a frame but looking out from one.

{ Earliest Buddhist Temple Unearthed } Buddhism is famous for its quiet search for Enlightenment, but now archaeologists have given the meditative monks something new – or rather very old - to get excited about. An ancient shrine to Buddha has been unearthed which is thought to be older than any previously found. This discovery will help scientists to determine when the religious icon was actually born. The 3rd century BC temple was excavated at UNESCO world heritage site the gardens of Lumbini. The holy temple was left open for meditation and prayer during the entire dig, perhaps challenging even the most dedicated of meditators.

{ Cosmic Scientists Make Gold Dust } The world’s most famous precious metal may just have become a little less precious as a group of cosmic scientists have discovered how gold is actually created. Don’t go throwing your treasured jewellery into the fire just yet however – the only way gold can be made is through neutron starbursts, which is an explosive deep space event so rare that it is unlikely the beautiful metal will ever be replenished on Earth. In a way, this makes gold more precious as the amount of gold on our planet is confirmed as totally finite.

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Words: Rich Thornton

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NATURAL SPARKLE Waking up to a wonderland scene of snow and ice never loses its magic, no matter where you are in the world itting the slopes season after season has its charm but more and more people are looking for something unusual in their snowy escapes. A growing range of wintery adventures can now be found around the world, ranging from natural escapes to snow-steeped luxury. Whether you love highadrenaline sports or peaceful moments in the calm of nature – or a mixture of both – these off-the-beaten-track locations provide postcard-perfect scenery and those one-off experiences that can freshen up your winter holiday routine.

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Himalayan Heights For something more extreme, go heli-skiing in the Himalayas. Expensive yes, but boarding the helicopter in the Annapurna region of Nepal, to then fly over Mount Everest, only to jump out – skis attached – and hit miles of fresh powder for an uninterrupted three-hour descent will exceed even the most seasoned skiers’ highest expectations.

A s ian Sp ec ial If you’re searching for something snowy outside the regular resorts of Europe and the US, try Japan’s charming range of boutique skiing spots. The village of Nozawa has naturally-heated hot spring baths where you can you’re your aching muscles at the end of each day.

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Colorado Catch To connect with nature in an extreme environment book an ice-fishing holiday with Three Forks Lodge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Local guides will help you cut the half-metre-thick ice and give you tips on how to tempt the fish out of the depths of the frozen lake - all in time to bring home your catch and tell your tales in front of the cabin’s roaring log fire.

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Nordic F l at l ands If the idea of sliding down any kind of hill gives you the shivers then cross-country skiing is the winter sport for you. Executed with especially designed bindings that allow your foot to lift away from the ski, cross-country skiing slows down the pace, is a thorough work-out, and allows long stretches of meditative time in which to soak up the snow-scape. Svalbard, the Norwegian island that sits between the mainland and the North Pole, is one of the only places on Earth where you can cross-country ski in a landscape so remote that your only company are the wandering polar bears. It is also a duty-free tax haven, which means it’s great for buying gold, silver and the regional speciality, fur.


French Classic From Lebanon to Liechtenstein, almost every country with a mountain range has a ski resort nowadays but if you’re looking for one of the best, Courchevel is your answer. Nestled high in the French Alps, with four separate resorts ranging from 1300 to 1850 metres-above-sea-level, Courchevel offers both near-vertical couloirs for the expert and gentle Green slopes for first-timers.

Arct i c A dve n t u re

One of the fantastic species to be witnessed in the artic is of course reindeer. The best way to see them is to visit the Sami people of northern Sweden in the wilds of Lapland. The tour company Rokka can guide you to the reindeer marking ceremony, a traditional yearly-event in which each herdsman marks his newborn reindeer calves.

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Words: Kasia Maciejowska

Ian Schrager’s latest project is a reminder of why he’s still the world’s coolest hotelier

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he man behind Studio 54, history’s best known nightclub, is back on the scene. After winning the hearts of Seventies stars from Bianca Jagger to Andy Warhol, Schrager spent the following three decades hosting the next generation of celebrity clientele including Kate Moss and Jade Jagger above: Bianca Jagger riding into Studio 54 for her 30th birthday party in 1977. Photo: Rose Hartman. Image courtesy of Gladys Marcus

“ I am committed to the idea that the future will always be better than the past” Ian Schrager

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Library Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

at his growing number of cult hotels such as the Gramercy, New York, and the Delano, Miami. Understanding the power of sensational design to uplift a crowd, the upbeat New Yorker, who commented, “ I am committed to the idea that the future will always be better than the past”, dragged


Above and below: The London Edition Hotel

hospitality away from dull formality and restored hotels to being the socialising hot spots they had formerly been. It was Schrager who rebooted the status lobby using fantastic centrepieces and seductive bar culture, and who reintroduced the inhouse night club, the contemporary answer to the historic hotel ballroom. The expansive host has re-appeared refreshed in 2013 with the launch of his new project, Edition Hotels. The hotel line, now open in London and Istanbul, with plans for branches in Miami in 2014 followed by New York, Abu Dhabi, India, China and Bangkok, employs Schrager’s trusted formula of status dining plus top notch spa treatments and fantastic design

with a party atmosphere. In London this means restored architectural features, iconic art by Donald Judd and Salvador Dali in the rooms, and an invitation-only basement night club. In Istanbul guests will find a Cipriani restaurant, ESPA health spa and club called Billionaire. Credited with driving the boutique hotel concept, each of Schrager’s hotels is designed to be different from the others and to reflect its individual style and location. “People do not want something derivative. They want the real thing and this is the whole idea behind Edition,” says Schrager. The surprise partner in all this is Marriott, the hotel chain responsible

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below: Video stills of Franca

above: The Istanbul

Sozzani and Tracy Emin filmed

Edition Hotel

by Nowness for Edition Hotels

for managing each Edition. In case his impressive razzmatazz isn’t enough to overshadow this somewhat downbeat half of the relationship, Schrager has enlisted Nowness, the influential online platform for art, fashion and design, to create a sequence of editorial videos to accompany the launch of Edition. Between them, Nowness and Schrager have opened their contact books to interview a handful of outstanding names from art, fashion and contemporary music. The resulting series of short films depict discussions about pairs of collaborative partnerships between collaborators including the editor of Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani and fashion photographer Miles

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Aldridge, artist Tracy Emin and artist Harland Miller, singer Solange Knowles and artist Toyin Odutola, and Lagerfeld muse Amanda Harlech and young fashion designer Jonathan Anderson. The concept, it seems, is to reflect on the collaboration behind the Edition project, between Marriott and Schrager. The past 40 years of Schrager’s career have been a lesson in how to sell luxury sleepovers upstairs off the back of high octane parties in the basement. With the powerhouse of Marriott beneath Schrager’s creative direction, Edition is bound to set a new standard that will have guests expecting a boutique-style experience from every branch of a chain hotel .


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Marrakech 

LEILA ALAOUI.

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PHOTO: OTHMAN ZINE


My City with PHOTOGRAPHER

LEILA ALAOUI

Leila with Yves Saint Laurent, Adolfo de Velasco and his daughter at a family lunch

What are the best and worst things about Marrakech?

When I say I grew up in Marrakech people tend to think of an exotic Arabesque city, and it’s true. I have incredible memories of growing up in a place that can be so magical and warm – I think this is why it has attracted so many artists and jetsetters from all over the world. Although Moroccan culture and traditions are deeply present in Marrakech, I like that it is also a very open-minded and international place where everyone can feel comfortable. However, personally I feel that Marrakech has lost some of its charm and soul over the past decade. For example the city central market has been destroyed despite it being the heart of the city where everyone used to meet and mingle. Now it is becoming another banal shopping centre.

What’s the ‘real’ Marrakech?

The real Marrakech is the one I grew up in as a child and a teenager in the 1980s and 1990s. Marrakech was a small town, disconnected from the rest of the world, but it attracted many fascinating and sophisticated people who all fell in love with the city and decided to make it their second home. I didn’t realise then how lucky I was to have parents who fell in with the creative communities of artists

A good body scrub at the best traditional Moroccan hamam Les Bains de Marrakech. Can you describe your perfect day in Marrakech?

Waking up early for a bicycle tour in the palmeraie before having a healthy lunch at Le Jardin with friends. Then spending the afternoon discovering cool shops in the old city, with a stop at Gallery 127, which is the only photography gallery in Morocco and has a sharp selection of Moroccan and international photographers. End the day with drinks at sunset on the roof of Vanessa Branson’s beautiful Riad El Fenn. Which is your favorite gallery or shop?

I love Riad Yima in the old city. This gallery, boutique and tearoom is owned by the artist Hassan Hajjaj and gives an insight into his world. He sells his fashion and furniture pieces here and it’s very colourful. It feels like a creative studio and is super Moroccan yet very personal. A great place for a traditional mint tea.

Can you share some of the city’s best-kept secrets?

Al Maquam is an artists’ residency project in the Berber village of Tahanaout, 20 minutes’ drive away from Marrakech. It is still little known even though it’s open for all. This beautiful project was created by Mourabiti, a Moroccan painter who built a self-sustainable retreat around his house, with an ecorestaurant, a bookstore, a small gallery, and bedrooms for visitors and artists. The architecture is simple but very cosy, charming and earthy and set in a natural environment. Everything is constructed to be in harmony with the village. It is my favorite place for lunch in the countryside, to reconnect with the artistic community and friends in Marrakech. Well-known Moroccan artists are also involved in Al Maquam, such as Mahi Bine Bine, who has his own studio there.

What do you miss when you’re away?

Which 5 keywords best express the mood of Marrakech?

Tamsloht from The Moroccans series, Leila Alaoui Photography, 2011

that later became legendary. I remember walking with my parents in the busy streets of the old city to arrive at lunches and dinners in incredible secret houses, where we would meet people like Yves Saint Laurent, Bernado Bertolucci, Quincy Jones, Serge Lutens and Naomi Campbell. This glamour is hidden behind closed doors in the city, which is part of its romance.

Colourful, sensual, dry, tranquil and mysterious. If Marrakech were an outfit, what would it be?

Something between contemporary fashion and traditional Moroccan dress, like one of the creations by Amine Bendriouich, a designer who is originally from Marrakech and who collaborates with London-based Moroccan contemporary pop artist Hassan Hajjaj.

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Words: Owen Adams

STARGAZING

SPOTS 01

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What’s the concept? Snuggle down beneath the duvet while swooning under the celestial canopy. Geodesic dome hotel rooms feature detachable roof-hatches where crystal-clear skies can be viewed in their element. Or opt for the panoramic views from observatory cabins.

What’s the concept? Apart from in summertime, Icelandic days are short and the nights long – but the longer the night, the more chance there is of seeing the bewitchingly beautiful northern lights, or Aurora Borealis. Hotel staff at Rangá wake guests when the lights start dancing so you can sleep easy while knowing you’ll still catch this once-in-alifetime experience.

Hotel Elqui Domos, Chile

Hotel Rangá, Iceland

Who goes there? The green-carpeted Elqui Valley, in the secluded north of Chile, with its clear skies and barren mountains, has attracted poets and mystics since the 1960s. The Domos has special deals for honeymooning couples but just as many come looking for spiritual growth as it offers an ideal place to meditate and for Reiki healing. How much? $155, May to November; $190, December to April What makes it special? The serenity and the mild dry climate. The tranquil valley, with no urban intrusions or pollution, makes this a perfect place to get close to the stars while sleeping in comfort and enjoying gourmet cuisine. www.elquidomos.cl

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Who goes there? Young hipsters, nature-lovers and relaxed couples rub shoulders here. South Iceland is full of spectacular sights, from volcanoes to hot springs, and appeals particularly to rugged adventurers. The hotel also arranges wedding ceremonies, both indoors or nearby at a waterfalls. How much? Sign up to The Age of the Aurora deals by staying for four nights between September and April for 724 Euros for two people in a standard room, 952 Euros for a deluxe rooms, with 500 and 750 Euro upgrades for junior and master suites – which are themed around each of the seven continents. What makes it special? Aurora Borealis is an amazing phenomenon carried by solar winds through space to light up the Arctic night sky in greens, yellows, reds or purples. The chances of witnessing northern lights are best in 2014 and 2015 as we come in to a ‘solar maximum’ phase of a 24-year cycle. www.hotelranga.is


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What’s the concept? This pristine lake, framed by the snow-capped Southern Alps, is already stunning by day and at night between April and September it also becomes the best place to see the Southern Lights. South-facing Mount John Observatory, above the lake, is the ideal place to view this symphony of colour, and marvel on any night at how different the stars and constellations look from Down Under.

What’s the concept? In February 2014 the Lions By Day & Leo By Night package brings together the great spectacle of millions of wildebeest and zebra racing across the Tanzanian plain chasing the rains, with lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and jackals in hot pursuit, and high-altitude vistas of the Milky Way, with almost double the number of constellations visible here than in the Northern Hemisphere.

Who goes there? Outdoorsy types who love trout-fishing, walking, skiing, mountaineering, bathing in hot pools and visiting the geological marvel of the suspended stone flour from glaciers which gives the lake its distinctive milky turquoise hue.

Who goes there? This safari combines enough luxury in its camping facilities to attract those who fancy a taste of adventure but still want their comforts. Youngsters and beginners at astronomy and naturewatching mix with those who are more experienced.

How much? Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort, located in a small town, has studios and units for between $195 and $235 (NZ dollars).

How much? The seven-day safari (with accommodation, meals, drinks and guides) costs between £2500 and £3300, not including flights, tips or visa.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Stargazing Safari, Tanzania

What makes it special? Witnessing the Southern Lights is something else and on top of that you get to see the night sky from another perspective. New Zealand’s South Island is the largest International Dark Sky Reserve in the world. You can ski, fish and climb mountains by day and stargaze by night. www.laketekapo.com

What makes it special? There’s not only big game to see from 4x4 Land Cruisers, but also rare bird species and the dramatic flora of the high savannah in northern Tanzania, as well as the striking culture of the Maasai peoples. From the African highlands the dark nebulae of the Milky Way looks more impressive, especially from the Ngorongoro Crater, which is almost 9,000ft high. www.leobynight.com

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What’s the concept? Positioned exactly where the mighty Sahara Desert begins, at the foot of the first range of dunes, this hotel was built specifically for the purpose of gazing at the billions of stars, nebulae and galaxies from a Star Terrace. Equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes available for guests this is a casual and comfortable way to watch the skies.

What’s the concept? This canyon in remote southeast Utah was designated the first International Dark Sky Park in 2007. Natural bridges, made from rock that was created thousands of years ago when a river changed course, frame the Milky Way. Beneath Owachomo Bridge is the optimum site for stargazing.

Kasbah Hotel Sahara Sky, Morocco

Who goes there? Families who want to relax and explorative types wishing to trace the classic Caravan route from Marrakech to Timbuktu as the area around the Atlas mountains and southern Morocco is steeped in Berber culture. Temperatures are bearable from October to June.

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, USA

Who goes there? Families, couples and walking groups. Natural Bridges can be explored in a day and a night with a 8.6-mile loop walking and cycling trail suitable for all ages, taking in all three bridges. Less active types can ride by car. The weather varies enormously throughout the year and the best times to visit are April, May, September and October.

How much? Rooms range from 290 to 540 Moroccan Dirhams. What makes it special? For anyone following the caravan route to Timbuktu the Sahara Sky is perhaps the last comfort break before a 65day journey by camel across the desert. Surrounded by achingly beautiful vistas the hotel has a basic spa for a laid back, rustic experience. Guests have the option of riding a camel into the desert and sleeping with nomads for a night. www.hotel-sahara.com

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How much? Camping costs $10 per night and a three day visitor’s pass costs $3. The nearest hotel accommodation is 38 miles east in Blanding. What makes it special? The remoteness of the site means it takes extra effort to get here – 400 miles from Las Vegas and it couldn’t be more of a contrast from those bright lights – but for anyone in the USA in search of the ultimate place to see the stars this is worth the trip as it’s the darkest sky ever assessed in the USA. www.nps.gov


Words: Miriam Dunn

Selections takes you around the world from rooftops to mountain tops via a remote island escape and a new design hotel

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Historic bistro Borchardt, Berlin This well-known eaterie has been a society spot since the late nineteenth century. Over 100 years later the building was reconstructed after the Second World War and began to thrive once again following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Borchardt remains an important dining destination in this most fashionable and artistic of German cities. Recent visitors have included Barack Obama, Mick Jagger and Karl Lagerfeld no less. The brasserie takes its name from a Huguenot wine merchant. Its elegant colour scheme, marble columns and simple white-table cloths recall some of the lost Central European elegance of times gone by. Be sure to sample executive chef Markus Herbicht’s wafer-thin breaded Wiener Schnitzels or the buttery oysters sourced from Brittany. This cultural meeting point is now so thoroughly contemporary that it has a blog showing how the fantastic food is made. www.borchardt-restaurant.de

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The chicest beach Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives The phrase arriving in style takes on new meaning at this newly opened luxury resort on the unspoiled Noonu atoll, which is 40 minutes north of MalÊ. Here holidaymakers make the final leg of their journey in a nine-seater, custom-made private seaplane. Marking the second hotel venture from the luxury goods giant LVMH, Cheval Blanc Randheli is everything you’d expect from the high-end French company. The choice of accommodation includes stilted villas with stunning, cathedral-style ceilings, set beside a private beach or in tropical gardens, each with their own infinity pool. Sign up for a day’s reef snorkelling or unwind at the Cheval Blanc spa before jumping aboard a sunset cruise. www.chevalblanc.com

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Sass in the city The Smallville, Beirut Whether you’re jetting in to Beirut for a business meeting or have a weekend set aside for shopping and socialising, this fun young hotel, located in the relaxed neighbourhood of Badaro, will put a smile on your face. Don’t take the name too literally – The Smallville’s rooms are extremely spacious and more like apartments with lounge areas and mini kitchens. The hotel has a casual, urban feel and features designs from Beirut’s design talent, including Rana Salam, while rooms display photography by local artists. From the laid back lounge-style lobby and bar to the chill-out area by the rooftop pool, this is a space for socialising and having fun. Knowing that you’re close to the business district, shops, National Museum and nightlife should also give you time to sample some of the food at one of Smallville’s restaurants, or work up a sweat in the fully-equipped gym. www.thesmallville.com

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Escapist haven Fogo Island, Newfoundland It’s difficult to imagine surroundings more suited to de-stressing than the remote, rugged northern landscape of Newfoundland. Standing proudly amongst the ancient rocks of the Back Western Shore, overlooking the Labrador Current, the Fogo Island Inn is many things to many people. Some view the solitary building as a welcome refuge, where doing very little sounds like a plan, while others will be keen to get hiking along the island’s rugged coastal trails or embark on a spot of traditional cod fishing. The food at Fogo Island is undoubtedly a special treat. Homegrown and foraged ingredients, which are in plentiful supply thanks to the island’s climate of seven seasons, dominate the menus. Check out the crustaceans and wildlife that line the shore, as well as the sharp architecture and art installations that dot the island. www.fogoislandinn.ca

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High comfort Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland As much a craftsmanship showcase as a luxury hotel, the Alpina Gstaad has been lovingly created with the help of master artisans using traditional materials such as wood from centuries-old fir trees and adding contemporary finishes to antique woods. Having taken in the delightful Swiss village scenery you can marvel at the hotel’s perfect marriage of modern Alpine comfort and authentic charm. Kick back in your room and take in the spectacular mountain views before heading down for dinner. Dining options are plentiful and include MEGU, which serves Japanese cuisine, alongside the Swiss ‘Stübli’ restaurant. Thrill-seekers will want to check out the abundance of Alpine activities, while the Six Senses Spa and pools offer relaxing alternatives – as do this chic resort’s many designer boutiques. www.thealpinagstaad.ch

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Room with a (sea) view Alila Villas, Uluwatu Few destinations can match Bali for exotic scenery in a tranquil setting, which is probably why the Alila Villas were designed to ensure that guests get to enjoy their views to the max. Aside from optimum vistas the luxury villas have been built in a way that allows the gentle sea breeze to flow in freely, bringing with it a reminder of the Indian Ocean that lies beyond the pristine white beaches and limestone cliffs outside. Start your day with a yoga class or enjoy a dip in your private pool. Afterwards cool off with an indoor or outdoor rain shower before curling up for a siesta under the resort’s luxurious Ploh bed linens. Bali offers great beaches for surfing while the spectacular Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is a must for sightseers and spiritualists alike. www.alilahotels.com

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Not your regular Italian Bocca di Lupo, London This award-winning restaurant, located in the heart of London’s West End, might describe itself as a small and humble trattoria at heart but its menu is anything but low key. it brims with dishes like “fried squid, prawns and orange with white polenta” and “1/2 lobster with breadcrumbs, Parmesan and thyme”, and wine that has been handpicked from the 20 regions that make up Italy. Translating as ‘the mouth of the wolf’, Bocca di Lupo’s delicious and uncomplicated food has made it one of the hottest tables in town. Many things including pasta, pickles and bread are made fresh on site. Innovatively, diners can also choose the size of their portion – perfect for couples and families. The menu changes almost daily but look out for its regular talking points which include the kitchen’s own sausage (cotechino) and do end the evening with a sweet treat in the form of homemade ice cream. www.boccadilupo.com

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Meditative mountaineering Shakti, Himalaya One look at the majestic mountains and pretty foothills of the remote Himalayan region, which is home to a scattering of villages untouched by time, and ringing phones, traffic jams and full inboxes slip easily into oblivion. Founded by Jamshyd Sethna, a travel professional and self-confessed mountain lover, Shakti offers holidaymakers a getaway with a difference or, as its creator puts it, an opportunity to ‘simply be’. Staying in delightfully comfortable village houses, visitors are given the chance to immerse themselves in rural life, taking in the local culture and exploring the region’s natural beauty and serenity. Mountain walks, market browsing and river rafting, followed by a nap under super soft pashmina blankets will soon banish all thoughts of your regular routine. www.shaktihimalaya.com

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Diversity for dinner Sevva, Hong Kong Years of travelling and sampling the culinary delights that the world has to offer convinced the multitalented entrepreneur Bonnae Gokson to share her love of all things gastronomic by opening a restaurant in Hong Kong. The menu at Sevva, which has been designed to reflect the cultural tapestry of the region, offers a delicious and diverse range of dishes from across Asia and Europe. You will be treated to fresh, simple food made using the finest ingredients, many of which are bought at local markets. Throughout December Sevva is serving a Lanvin-themed fashion tea in collaboration with the Parisian design house. Soak up the great atmosphere, which is brought to life by creative decor and great jazz music, and marvel at Sevva’s party piece - a giant, vintage Venini chandelier. www.sevva.hk

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The in crowd Hotel Amour, Paris If super stylish Parisian cool is what you’re looking for on a trip to the world’s most romantic city then Hotel Amour ticks the box. Blending perfectly into the charming South Pigalle neighbourhood with its debauched history, this boutique hotel has earned itself a reputation for its creative crowd and upbeat atmosphere. Bedrooms and hallways bear the stamps of some of France’s hottest designers, who have ensured that no two rooms are the same, with colour schemes ranging from bright pistachio or monochrome, to deep dark navy blue. Racy photography adorns the walls and each room has playful details. Soak up the chatty fashionable atmosphere during lunch in the courtyard (covered in winter) and at dinner in the bustling brasserie where the party gets started before guests move on to Le Baron, the go-to Paris nightclub founded by André Saraiva, who also owns Hotel Amour. www.hotelamourparis.fr

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Words: Stephanie Plentl

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Temples and tower blocks, karaoke and kimonos – the Japanese capital is like nowhere else on earth

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SEE TSUKIJI MARKET The biggest food market in the world, Tsukiji is famous for its 5.30am tuna auction (closed to tourists). Meander through the fish market and feast on the freshest sushi imaginable for breakfast at one of the small counters. www.tsukiji-market.or.jp

MEIJI SHRINE Next to the bustle of the Harajuku district, with its street fashion and youth culture, this forested oasis of serenity contains a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya www.meijijingi.or.jp Tel: +813 3379 5511

SENSO JI TEMPLE Completed in 645, Senso-ji is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist Temple. Filled with crowds and trinket sellers by day, the famous red lanterns look particularly magical by night when calm descends. 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito www.senso-ji.jp Tel: +813 3842 0181

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THE GUIDE okyo is a city that can afford to play hard to get to. A vast sea of futuristic skyscrapers, illuminated billboards and 13 million residents, it can be an intoxicating experience for the uninitiated yet deeply fascinating for the adventurous. One

of the most densely populated cities on earth, Japan’s capital is also a beguiling city of contrasts: a place of salarymen crowds and Shinto shrines, tower blocks and temples, karaoke and kimonos. Tokyo is a place where cutting-edge technology jostles alongside deeply rooted tradition and here old-world etiquette is an essential part of every day life despite the city’s hyper-modern veneer.

It’s highly recommended to have a guide or fixer in Japan, not only for translation purposes but also for organizing exceptional experiences. Nemo Glassman at Plus Alpha is an American fluent in both Japanese language and customs. His tailor-made itineraries offer an intelligent insight into the depth of Japan’s culture. Nemo Glassman www.plus-alpha.jp Tel: +81 90 9875 1696

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SHOP OMOTESANDO STREET Tokyo’s equivalent of the ChampsÉlysées, this elegant tree-lined avenue is home to all the best designer brands. The splendid architecture of some of the boutiques – Prada and Louis Vuitton among them - is attraction enough. Jingumae, Shibuya

TAKASHIMAYA The food hall of this enormous department store is the perfect place to buy wagashi, the colourful confectionary that is a highly appreciated gift among the Japanese. 2-4-1 Nihonbashi www.takashimaya.co.jp Tel: +813 3211 411

SHIBUYA 109 The epicentre of Tokyo youth culture, this famous cylindrical department store stocks all the latest trends for fashion conscious teens and twenty year olds. 2-29-1 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya-ku Tel: +813 3477 5111

ANTIQUE MALL GINZA Renowned for its range of antiques and collectables from Japan and beyond, this vast mall stocks vintage kimono, ceramics, scrolls and jewellery. Daiwa Bldg, 1-13-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku www.antiques-jp.com Tel: +813 3535 2115

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Originally a small fishing village called Edo that was ruled by a series of shoguns, Emperor Meiji established Tokyo in 1869 when Imperial rule began once more. Feudal Japan had isolated itself from the world and its traditions were very tightly held. When the country dramatically opened itself up to the West during the Meiji

Period, it revealed a complex social etiquette that remains fundamental to Japanese identity today. This is most tangible in the dignified bows, gift-giving and bathing rituals, and the insistent removal of shoes when indoors and this adherence to Japanese customs is very much part of the country’s unique allure.


EAT IMAHAN A restaurant of tatami mat private rooms with sliding doors, the speciality here is sukiyaki – a Wagyu beef hot pot that is beautifully prepared at the table by a kimono-clad waitress. 2-9-12 Ningyocho, Nihonbashi www.imahan.com Tel: +813 3666 7006

NODAIWA Established in 1850, Mr Kanemoto is the fifth generation owner of this specialist unagi (freshwater eel) restaurant. Basted, grilled and served with rice in a lacquer box, eel has stamina-giving properties that are beneficial in the heat of summer. 1-5-4 Higashi-Azabu, Minato-ku Tel: +813 3583 7852

DRINK VILLA FOCH Nestled away behind an inconspicuous door, this decadent members’ bar acts as an ambassador in Tokyo for over 30 brands of Champagne. Sultry and sophisticated, the ambience here perfectly matches the offering. 1-4-40 Shino Bldg. 2F, Nishi-Azabu www.villa-foch.com Tel: +813 5474 6833

In 2013, Tokyo’s restaurants were awarded more Michelin stars than in any other city in the world. By creating highly innovative dishes that often take inspiration from Japan’s landscape and distinct seasons, meticulous Tokyo chefs have earned the city the title of global gourmet capital. Beyond the intricate haute cuisine however, Tokyo has a multitude of delicious delicacies that range from ramen and soba noodles to teppanyaki and tempura. Sushi was invented in Tokyo and is ubiquitous throughout the city but the atmosphere of eating these elegant morsels at the early morning Tsukiji Fish Marketis hard to beat. For another typical Tokyo experience, don’t miss the shabby-chic backstreets of Omoide Yokocho, which are stuffed with tiny yakitori bars that have been grilling chicken, salamander and loach for decades.

SUSHIKO HONTEN One of the best sushi bars in Tokyo, Mamoru Sugiyama is the fourth generation owner and a famed sushi wizard. All the expert chefs here deftly prepare and serve sushi piece by piece over a counter to just 11 customers. 6-3-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tel: +813 3571 1968

KUSHINOBO With chic interiors and a sleek cocktail bar, this restaurant serves up crispy kushikatsu: delicious deep-fried nuggets of meat, seafood and vegetables on skewers with dipping sauces. 6-10-1 Roppongi Minato-ku Tel: +813 5771 0094

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SLEEP PARK HYATT Perched on the top 14 floors of a tower in Shinjuku, the hotel famous for starring in Sophia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation is deserving of its celebrity: refined rooms, impressive public spaces, impeccable dining and a jaw-dropping skyline confirm its top-notch status. 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, www.park.hyatt.com Tel: +813 5322 1234

MANDARIN ORIENTAL The ultimate in modern masculine chic, this renowned hotel oozes refinement. In addition to its coterie of excellent restaurants (two with Michelin stars) and buzzing central location, the relaxation pool gives the blissful sensation of floating over Tokyo. 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku www.mandarinoriental.com Tel: +813 3270 8800

SHANGRI LA With its profusion of elegant crystals, flowers and stunning art works, the Shangri La is seductive and feminine in style. The 28th floor lobby lounge offers terrific panoramic city views that are best admired over afternoon tea. 1-8-3 Marunochi, Chiyoda-ku www.shangri-la.com Tel: +813 67397889

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The highly efficient and Englishsigned metro system is the easiest way to explore the city. Shibuya is packed with shops, bustling traffic and the busiest crosswalk in the world. Nearby, in the Harajuku district, young fashionistas showcase their kaleidoscopic styles at the weekends: prim ‘Lolitas’, cute ‘fairies’ and tough goths parade down Takeshita Street hoping to be photographed. Although

Tokyo was heavily bombed and rebuilt after World War II, you can still catch occasional glimpses of the old city in the tiny lanes and traditional wooden houses where a wizened old man might be selling handmade chopsticks. And whenever Tokyo feels too frantic, the serene oases of The Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine and temple gardens remind you about the grand history of this captivating city.

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art&design

news

{ Space is the Place for Digital Collaboration } Two of the world’s most respected artists Ai Wei Wei and Olafur Eliasson have joined up to offer any internet user the chance to be part of a collaborative global online art piece. Unforgettably titled Moon Moon Moon Moon, the piece is simply a website where a computer-generated ‘moon’ acts as a canvas for any internet-user wishing to make their mark on a digital version of the lunar globe that lights our skies. Clicking on the moon allows you to zoom in on its surface where one can see drawings, words and shapes made by other people and then provides you with the online tools you need to add your own.

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{ Intercontinental { Carwan Gallery space opens Residencies in Beirut } and Discussions in Amman } HIWAR Conversations in Amman is a new art-residency-like program organised by Darat al Funun that seeks to go beyond the usual residency format of asking artists to simply live somewhere new and make new work. With a focus on non-Euro-American artists the program brought 14 artists to Amman from the Arab world, Africa, Asia and Latin America this autumn. On top of encouraging artists to use the city as inspiration, Darat al Funun hopes that the mixing of minds from different continents will be the real stimulus for invention and creative dialogue. Usually such artists only meet fleetingly at biennials and art fairs but HIWAR seeks to offer the chance to get intercontinental ideas flowing in a more relaxed setting and a more generous time frame.

Having made their name on the international design scene with a strong mix of impressive exhibitions and interrogative talks, Carwan Gallery has now opened a permanent space in Beirut. Pascale Wakim and Nicolas Lecompte set up Carwan in 2011 in a bid to stimulate the relationship between craftsmanship and high-end design by commissioning original new works. Since then Carwan has made a splash at design fairs and pop-ups with works by outstanding names from the Beirut design scene, most notably Karen Chekerdjian and Bernard Khoury. The first exhibition at the new space L’Ebeniste, at the Gefinor Center in Clemenceau, brings together designers from around the world and includes a pair of striking wall-hangings by Taher Asad-Bakhtiari and the sublime minimalist works of Michael Anastassiades. India Mahdavi’s Landscape Series is also on show and the designer was signing copies of her new publication Home on the gallery’s opening night.


{ Eungie Joo { Tate Britain commissions Miles to curate Sharjah 2015 } Aldridge }

{ Department Store gets new Art Department }

{ Home within a home within a home }

Fashion photographers may like to think of themselves as serious artists who just happen to be into clothes and products, but rarely do they get asked to actually make work that directly relates in a famous piece of 20th century art. To commemorate the opening of Tate Britain’s twoyear-long renovation, fashion snapper Miles Aldridge chose to use the frozen horror of Mark Gertler’s A-Merry-Go-Round as inspiration for his pastiche shoot. Dropping some of Gertler’s early-20th-century fears of totalitarianism and human futility and adding his own androgynous glamour seems apt for his signature style; Aldridge floods the page with electric glow that communicates a sort of plastic boredom - a ploy by the Tate to draw in an edgier crowd?

Galeries Lafayette, Paris’s most famous department store, is about to embark on its first foray into the art world. Scheduled to open in 2016, the foundation will be housed in a 19th-century building in Le Marais – Paris’s perpetually alluring creative café-culture district. Guillaume Houzé, Lafayette’s director of sponsorship, says he is keen to ensure the space becomes “a meeting place for visual arts, design, and lively discourse” and not just “a jewellery box to display our collection of paintings”. Who knew the Lafayette estate owned such a large collection of expensive European art? How fantastic that it is planning to share it with the public.

Korean sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh has taken the concept of to-scale representation to a whole new level with his new Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul. The art piece is two full scale houses made of fabric in which one house sits inside the other. The piece addresses migration and spatial living; Do Ho Suh’s traditional Korean home sits inside the apartment building that he took a room in when he first arrived in Rhode Island, USA. In order to create the installation in all its detail the artist used a 3D scanning machine on both buildings. Viewers can explore the inside and the outside of the installation in person.

Sharjah Biennial 12, set to open in March 2015, has appointed Eungie Joo, the Director of Art and Cultural programmes at Instituto Inhotim, as its curator. Joo has noted that the show will be centred on “how artists’ positions help us consider new possibilities for social organisation and ways to transcend cultural and political boundaries”. Using the expertise she developed through her important role as Curator of Education and Public Programmes at New York’s influential New Museum, Joo hopes to extend the boundaries of the Sharjah Biennial to encourage wider engagement, commenting, “Sharjah is a very special place that calls you back again and again. I am truly excited to work with Sheikha Hoor and the Sharjah Art Foundation to develop a meaningful conversation with artists, cultural practitioners and Sharjah through both the March Meeting and the Biennial.”

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Selections picks out some of the best art events not to miss in the coming months

Lalla Essaydi: Beyond Time and Beauty

Isa Genzken: Retrospective

14th Nov 2013 – 14th Jan 2014 The Baku Museum of Modern Art, Baku, Azerbaijan Following her retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in 2012-13, Essaydi enjoys her first ever show in Azerbaijan at this remarkable museum. Hosted in collaboration with the not-forprofit organisation YARAT, the exhibition features several series: Harem, Bullets, Converging Territories and Les Femmes du Maroc, which present the exoticisation of the Middle Eastern woman through photography and calligraphy.

23rd Nov 2013 – 10th March 2014 Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA Cool with a capital K, Berlin-based Isa Genzken is considered one of the most influential female artists of the past 30 years. MoMA presents her largest retrospective to date, complete with older photography, paintings and collage from throughout her career to give context and perspective to her more recent famous three-dimensional assemblages.

Gavin Kenyon 11th Jan 2014 – 15th Feb 2014 Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, USA Kenyon is known for his ‘fatalistic’ approach to art; he pours wet plaster into bags of fur, which are then strangled in rope to create the spontaneous effects that generate his bulbous, bodily sculptures. This new show brings his multi-medium sculptures to the American West Coast following his success at New York’s Ramiken Crucible last year.

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Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900 26th Oct 2013 – 19th Jan 2014 V & A Museum, London, UK Somewhat neglected by the EuroAmerican-focused art world, the history of Chinese art gets a detailed spotlight for the first time in the UK since 1935. From small-scale intimate works by monks and literati through to scroll paintings that are over 14 metres long, the exhibition introduces a compelling narrative of breath-taking East Asian art.


Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal

Paul Klee: Making Visible

11th Octo 2013 – 9th March 2014 Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA This Nairobi-born, Brooklyn-based collage artist scrutinises globalization by combining found materials, magazine cut-outs, sculpture, and painted imagery. Mutu is best known for depicting female figures—part human, animal, plant, and machine—in fantastical landscapes that serve as an interrogation into how the black female body often gets presented.

1st Feb 2014 – 6th May 2014 Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan Hinting at the Warholian paradox that is art-about-transience that made him live forever, 15 Minutes Eternal makes its final stop on its Asian tour in Tokyo, where the Mori Museum will enhance the already comprehensive Warhol retrospective with a series of inventive (but secret) twists to mark their 10th anniversary and rise to the top of East Asia’s contemporary art scene.

16th Oct2013 – 9th March 2014 Tate Modern, London, UK Twentieth-century art giant Paul Klee enjoys a retrospective of his Cubismmeets-Bauhaus paintings this winter in a show that gives deserved space to Klee’s watercolours and drawings as well as to his more famous blocky, colour-infested oils for the first time since Klee himself exhibited them.

Sasha Waltz: Installations Objects Performances

Gretchen Bender: Image Redux

Jonathan Gent: Gentle

10th Nov 2013 – 20th Dec 2013 Bunker 259, Brooklyn, USA Following her much-hyped exhibition Tracking the Thrill show at The Kitchen this autumn, gallerist Matthew Day Jackson brings screen-and-sound based artist Gretchen Bender to his newest, hippest boutique Brooklyn space. If the Kitchen show is anything to go by, expect scaffolds of screens, hypnotic repetitions of appropriated television footage, and aggressive sound. It sounds intense!

10th Dec 2013 – 31st Jan 2014 XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE Characterised by the still spaces that exist on the city limits of Dubai, British painter Jonathan Gent seeks solace in the isolation that sits somewhere in the consciousness between desert, skyscraper and sky. Often misread as simplistic, Gent’s paintings - exclusively on wooden boards - are considered ‘visual poems that offer a uniquely wry insight into human complexity’.

28th Sep 2013 – 2nd Feb 2014 ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany To celebrate her fiftieth birthday and tireless career as dance-theatre maker, Sasha Waltz returns to her home town of Karlsruhe in south-west Germany to present her choreographed dance pieces in the gallery rather than on stage. Using the context of ZKM’s multimedia art atmosphere, viewers have a chance to consider Waltz’s work for its visual dimension instead of its primarily theatrical one.

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Continuel Lumière Cylindre, 1962-1966

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W o r ds : L u c y K n i g h t

Three retrospectives honour the experiential Op-Art of Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc


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he Palais de Tokyo, Paris’s influential contemporary art museum, dedicated 2,000 square metres to a solo exhibition of pieces by the 84-year-old Julio Le Parc in 2013. The works by this Argentinian expat, who made his home Paris in the 1950s, is getting a good deal of attention as the artist comes to be seen as a godfather to kinetic and installation art as we now know it.

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Endeavouring to create artwork that truly engages its audience, Le Parc has spent the past six decades committed to an immersive art that interacts with the spectator. “I have tried to elicit a different type of behaviour from the viewer”, he explains. With experiential art now so incredibly fashionable, Le Parc is being acknowledged – and some may go as far as to say that Op Art is being rehabilitated through him – with not only the aforementioned Soleil Froid but also a retrospective at Galerie Nara Roesler in Sao Paolo (Nara Roesler showed only Le

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“I have tried to elicit a different type of behaviour from the viewer” Julio Le Parc

Parc’s work at Frieze Masters 2013) and now another monographic exhibition at the Casa Daros in Rio de Janeiro. It was a scholarship to study in Paris in 1958 that took Le Parc from Argentina, which he believed fostered a narrow view of art, and plunged him into a world of inspirational images by Mondrian, the Constructivists and Vasarely, an early Op Artist. Under this influence he produced his first geometrical abstract paintings based on predetermined visual systems. Continuing one of Modern Art’s grand projects, to replace the static canvas with


movement, Le Parc created his optical illusions called Surface, a series of paintings that draw the spectator into the work. In 1960 Le Parc began to play with light and founded the Groupe de Rechèrche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), a collective of optic kinetic artists that included Horacio Garcia Rossi, Francisco Sobrino, and François Morellet, with the objective being to encourage interactions between the public and art. They would often host art in the streets and Le Parc would leave questionnaires for

His works are experiments in spontaneous response through light and motion

visitors, eager to know their thoughts and opinions of the work. In 1960 he created the first of his Continuals Mobils using pulsating, moving and projected lights. The experience of witnessing these kaleidoscopic works was so impressive that Le Parc was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale in 1966. Le Parc’s installations were essentially a series of experiments in spontaneous response through light and motion. In using moveable objects and light, no two people’s viewing of a Perspex mobile will be the same, which was his intention. Le Parc sees the gallery as akin to a social laboratory of interactive or immersive art in which unpredictable situations can be created. To a degree this attitude was politically motivated. His 1968 text Guerrilla Culturelle states, “I attempted to create practical actions to contravene existing values… to create situations…[which counter] every tendency towards the stable, and the durable, and the definitive.”

Above: Formes en Contorsion, 1971

Right: Cellule à Pénétrer, 1963-2012

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Above: Sphère

All photos: Everton

Bleue, 2001-2013

Ballardin. All images courtesy of Galeria

right: La Cloison à Lames

Nara Roesler

Réfléchissantes, 1966-2005

The shape-shifting, uplifting and playful nature of Le Parc’s pieces can be a great source of pleasure and provoke feelings of transience and childlike wonder. In doing so they allow for fresh perspectives on art and experience to arise. A coherent body of luminous kinetic art that transports you from the everyday is Le Parc’s brilliant legacy that is rightly being celebrated from Paris to Sao Paolo. Le Parc Lumière - Kinetic works by Julio Le Parc is showing at Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, until 23rd February 2014.

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Words: Kasia Maciejowska

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A glowing recreation of the Amazonian mangroves by Guilherme Torres is the latest Swarovski Crystal Palace commission to light up Design Miami – and to spotlight an environmental issue

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angue Groove, the most recent pavilion from Swarovski Crystal Palace, is the Brazilian architect Guilherme Torres’ take on his country’s ancient mangroves. The high profile design commission looks as prehistoric as it does high-tech, and takes its shape from the Voronoi diagram, which shows the connections between science and nature.

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All images: Mangue Groove, Guillerme Torres, 2013

Glowing in golden amber, its weblike structure, built from synthetic tubes with embedded crystals, is set against a simulated molten sky and stands in shallow pools of water to reach over reclaimed wooden walkways, like those you find in both the wetlands of Miami and at the edge of the Amazonian swamps that host the pavilion’s namesake trees. In addition to inspiring the awe and admiration that such a light show always brings, the piece is intended to highlight the issue of water conservation. The


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subject of the commission was inspired by the Swarovski Waterschool, an outreach initiative that teaches children about saving water, which will expand into Brazil in 2014. The mangrove tree plays a central role in preserving the aquatic ecosystems of Brazil, the reason why Torres chose it as the subject of his piece. Every year Swarovski commissions a rising-star architect to design a pavilion that uses its glinting crystals and their effect on space to interpret a given theme. The resulting miniature “crystal palace” is exhibited annually at Design Miami as

Top: Mangue Groove, Guillerme Torres, 2013

Left: Parhelia, Asif Khan 2012

center: Falling Lights, Troika, 2010

Right: Iris, Fredrickson Stallard, 2011

facing page: Carbon Crystal Sails, Greg Lynn, 2009

part of the brand’s sponsorship of the fair, ongoing since 2008. Previous pavilions in the series have included works by Asif Khan, Troika, Fredrikson Stallard, Greg Lynn and Zaha Hadid. Each used crystal from Swarovski to generate light effects within their structures, drawing attention to the qualities the material can bring to design work – primarily sparkle but also a supernatural appearance that has continually featured at Crystal Palace year in year out.

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Words: Kasia Maciejowska

Andy Martin’s California Sunshine blocks are the latest example of the interior architect’s slick, innovative pieces

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mid the cacophony of products launched at London Design Festival this autumn sat three small pieces of furniture whose mesmeric glossy appearance was hard to ignore. Glinting in rich jewel tones, The Blocks, entitled humbly A, B and C, these geometric structures were loosely intended to function as a side table, a coffee table and a stool. They are the first three pieces from a 26-piece collection called California Sunshine that is currently in the works and each block is only being produced as an edition of ten. The glinting resin blocks look light and luminous thanks to their transparency, in contrast to their actual solidity and weight. Their prismatic quality distorts the light’s rays as they shine through, generating a gently hallucinatory effect


that is emphasised by the richness of their deep liquid-like colours. “The pieces were experimental”, Martin says, “To be watched, stared at and resolved somehow differently by each individual viewer.” The designer, who hails from Australia but moved to Paris in 1997 to work with Marc Newson, makes such playful smaller pieces from his sideproject workshop, while the majority of his work is through AMA, his own-name architecture firm best known for London restaurants Barrafina, Isola and Mash. AMA previously designed the home of pop musician Noel Gallagher and more recently of the hotelier Olga Polizzi and the writer William Shawcross. The latest London restaurants to launch

featuring AMA interiors include a new branch of the smart bakery Peyton & Byrne in Covent Garden, Olivogelo ice cream shop in Belgravia, and Chotto Matte, in Soho. This latter project brought contemporary Tokyo to London and combined natural materials such as lava stone and burnt cedar with graffiti-style pop art inspired by the Japanese capital. On the international scene AMA is currently in the early stages of two restaurant projects in Saudi Arabia, one of which, Bahreez, plays with the concept of Egyptian street food, and the other, called Pan Jan, offers a warm contemporary take on pan-Asian iconography. Besides the California Sunshine blocks, two noteworthy designs to come

out of his product design studio, which employs a multi-disciplinary team of architects, craftspeople, product designers and furniture makers, are the Thonet Bike and his solid wood Weinerberger Chaise. The PPP tables, with their transparent lightness and colourful acrylic celebration of plasticity, bear a similar style to the California Sunshine blocks – such lucid designs and strong colours will never lose their appeal.

Andy Martin will be showing the Blocks at Design Days Dubai in March 2014.

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Words: Kasia Maciejowska

Michael Anastassiades is the Cypriot designer based in London with an eye for light and a taste for humour

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coffin for hiding in, shaped after Goya’s muse Maja, and a neon red mushroom cloud from an atom bomb that you can cuddle – both highly imaginative pieces can be found in Designs for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times, a collection by Michael Anastassiades that won more than a few laughs when the designer discussed it at his Beirut Design Week talk in June 2013. The wit and whimsy of these bizarre creations can

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“Design shouldn’t limit itself to being a quick fix or a witty product”

pass few by, no least MoMA, New York, which holds the Huggable Atomic Mushroom in its permanent collection. Although their humour is both brilliant and universal, for a piece to be held by an institution such as the MoMA it must communicate a sort of comment that makes it pertinent to contemporary culture and the ongoing dialogue of critical product design. Designs for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times speak of our era and our weaknesses, which is what makes them touching as well as funny. They were codesigned with Antony Dunne and Fiona Raby, whose collaborative hand can be seen at the wilder end of Anastassiades work. Speaking frankly about what drives him and how he stays passionate about his work, Anastassiades explains that he thinks design is fundamentally about people. “Design shouldn’t limit itself to being a quick fix or a witty product. Design


Alignment installation, 2007, from Do You Want To Replace the Existing Normal?

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Hide Away Floor Furniture type 2, 2005, from Designs for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times

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is about being human and about life, and it should communicate that.� Such a feeling about the importance of design feeds into a highly personal approach to the creative process. Anastassiades emphasises that he built up his brand name by staying true to his own instincts and advises young designers to hone an individual style that stands away from the fluctuations of fashion and commerciality.

Above: String Lights for Flos exhibited at Euroluce, Milan 2013, nominated for an Elle Decoration International Design Award

Left: Huggable Atomic Mushroom, 2005, from Designs For Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times

Focusing mainly on lighting, and becoming known for his artistic and refined light pieces, Anastassiades applies similar steadfast wisdom to his design aesthetic as well. Balanced and precise but with poetic details and luxury finishes, the creations that come out of his studio are contemporary reconsiderations of modernist restraint.

Top left: Black Patinated Mobile Chandelier, 2009

Above left: Get Set, 2013

The understatement, discipline and elegance of his lighting products suggest the sentiments of a committed aesthete and functionalist, two strains in design usually associated with the anti-human. When you see the far-out results of Anastassiades’ expressive response to the human condition however, you realise that design products can have many different sides, just like people.

Michael Anastassiades is exhibiting at the Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Cyprus, from 31st January until 26th April 2014.

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Words: India Stoughton

The V&A’s Jameel Prize shows Arabic craft practices that are both classic and fresh

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aqas Khan’s meticulous artistic practice is almost a form of meditation. The Pakistani artist, who trained in painting miniatures, creates incredibly detailed abstract ink-on-paper drawings, working without a magnifying glass and spending a month or more on a single piece. He holds his breath as he applies each tiny dot and stroke of ink to the paper. Inspired by the myths and tales of South Asia, Khan’s work is imbued with

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Waqas Khan holds his breath as he applies each tiny dot and stroke of ink to the paper


elements of Sufi practice and the artist has recently been selected as one of ten shortlisted for this year’s Jameel Prize at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. First awarded in 2009, the biannual Jameel Prize was established after the inauguration of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art in 2006 and aims to recognise artists and designers whose contemporary practice constitutes a fresh approach towards tradition Islamic art. This year almost 270 artists and designers were nominated by gallerists, curators and cultural figures from around the world. The work of the ten shortlisted artists will be exhibited at the V&A from December 2013 until April 2014.

Among this year’s finalists is Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, whose playful, handmade carpets are inspired by traditional designs, reinterpreted for the modern world. In Pixelate Tradition the artist weaves half of an ancient geometric design, transforming the second half of the rug into a mass of blurry squares, as though the carpet is a photograph that has loaded incorrectly on a computer screen. Lebanese furniture and product designer Nada Debs, meanwhile, teamed up with Lebanese typographer Pascal Zoghbi to create a carpet made up of

facing page: FormingSpaces, Waqas Khan

top: Pixelate Tradition, Faig Ahmed

above left: Concrete Carpet Detail, Nada Debs

above right: Hagi Sophia, Dice Kayek

28 panels of lightweight concrete, each embossed with a letter of the Arabic alphabet. Also pushing the boundaries of contemporary design is Turkish fashion label Dice Kayek, whose stunning series of dresses inspired by Istanbul’s architectural heritage won the prize recently. The breadth of work selected for this year’s prize, which also includes video installation, Arabic calligraphy, jewellery design and weaving, demonstrates that the richness of Islamic art has a prominent role to play in contemporary artistic practice.

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C U R AT E D BY RIC HA RD KO H

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Curated by Richard Koh

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wanted to show a selection of works that speak to me personally for Selections. So, although most of the artists that I have curated for the following pages are showing at the first edition of the Singapore Art Fair in 2014, I have pulled out artworks that I am particularly touched by and which have meaning for me. Each piece communicates certain feelings – either many or one – and does so with exceptional execution and individual expressivity. They are all visual pieces as I feel that

paintings, drawings and prints can still be very powerful despite all the noise surrounding digital media and installation art. Artworks that hang on the wall can be more contained and discreet yet still communicate so much, tell stories and transport the viewer. The artists whose work is in the pages that follow hail from Thailand, China and Malaysia, three countries that have very different national identities within Asia yet all with rising art markets and an increasingly rich array of contemporary artists whose work is making waves in the art world.

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LONG LIVE FOOD! (2012) Poodien (Malaysia)

digital collage mural, c-print on diasec

This piece was commissioned for a food court in

Kuala Lumpur but was later banned and removed

because the visual was considered non-halal due to its depiction of pigs. The print was later selected

for the 2013 Singapore Biennale. It is the artist’s depiction of the food ecosystem and of how the experiments of industrial food production have created all sorts of distorted foods that are far

removed from what nature gave us. The work asks to what extent these foods are real ingredients. Now we are already sampling burgers that are

not made from natural cows but from beef cells that are grown in the laboratory. When we buy food today, what we see is not what we get.

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DIVINE STATE (2011-2012) Jia Aili (China) oil on canvas

Jia Aili is one of China’s fastest rising stars in the contemporary art world. The enormous size of this work envelopes the viewer with

its strong brush work is set against life-sized

burning floating figures, rendered here to invoke the artist’s inner frustrations through the anger

communicated by the bold background strokes. Most of Aili’s works have singular figures and are almost floating - in a way reflecting the youth of today in the current environment.

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INSOMNIA (2011) Natee Utarit

(Thailand)

oil on canvas

Natee Utarit is one of those rare artists who

always manages to translate the complex content

of his paintings into something that one can enjoy looking at and that you would actually hang in

your house even though the subject matter is often dark and depressing. His paintings convey his

acute observations of what is happening around

him, of people’s aspiration and needs, yet he always manages to show the beautiful side of those things in life that are morbid and mundane. The title

reveals how this piece is based on his observations of what people go through just to stay awake only for the sake of staying awake itself, and can easily end up having sleepless nights over nothing.

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BROKEN ALMANAC (2011) Kedsuda Loogthong (Thailand) painting, set of 8 works

This young artist from Southern Thailand

paints her day-to-day experiences and the

emotions that she comes across in the everyday challenges presented by her new life in the

city of Bangkok. She renders these beautiful

versions of old fashion calendars to an almost

digital-quality finish. Each date reminds her of something simple and happy or sometimes of

a sad encounter in the city. She opts for a naĂŻve approach to daily memories that so often get

lost in today’s culture of the World Wide Web.

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FORGOTTEN PARADISE (2013) Justin Lim (Malaysia) oil on canvas

This work is from his ongoing series There

Is No Other Paradise. This presents a simple swing which evokes the sort of pleasure we

experienced before Legoland came to town.

As children we always want to go higher and

higher, to see the other side (of course the grass is always greener on the other side). But adults are the same - the other side is always better, but paradise is exactly where we are already.

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NULL AND VOID (2013) Nadiah Bamadhaj (Malaysia)

detail of charcoal on paper, collage

Nadjah Bamadhaj’s work revolves around the Malaysian and Indonesian environment in

which she lives. Working in charcoal and paper she re-inteprets the old technique of charcoal

drawing through her collage process. Bamadhaj is always noticing how societies and their way of life is constantly changing. The old adage,

“Out with the old, in with the new” is so normal in this part of the world that no one takes the time anymore to appreciate things that have

been around for longer than a season, like in

the fashion world. The brilliance of this work

lies in its detail, for example in the portrait of an old lady with its amazing eyes that convey an almost empty gaze, staring into nothing.

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THE SOUND OF THE OCEAN (2009) He Jian (China)

Chinese ink on paper

Looking at this picture you can almost

feel the waves and the breeze. It is so calm and peaceful. Very few contemporary

works these days put the viewer into the picture but in my view this one does.

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Selections # 24  
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