Page 1

Issue seventy four JUly 2017

Art of the In-Between Challenging Convention with Rei Kawakubo

Luxury • Culture • People • Style • Heritage


CALIBER RM 037


A library-quiet cabin. A ride beyond ultra-smooth. Space so expansive, so generous, it offers you more than 30 interior layouts from which to choose. You’ve never experienced anything like it. The new, ultra-long range Falcon 8X. Falcon. The world’s most advanced business jets.


Contents july 2017 : ISSUE 74

Editorial Editorial director

John Thatcher Editor

air

Chris Ujma christopher@hotmediapublishing.com Managing Editor

Faye Bartle

art art director

Kerri Bennett designer

Jamie Pudsey illustrations

Vanessa Arnaud

CoMMErCial Managing director

Victoria Thatcher Group Commercial director

David Wade

david@hotmediapublishing.com Commercial director

Rawan Chehab

rawan@hotmediapublishing.com Sales Manager

Noorain Jehan noorain@hotmediapublishing.com

ProduCtion Production Manager

Muthu Kumar 8

Forty Eight

Fifty Four

Sixty Two

28 Days Later, Inception, The Dark Knight, Dunkirk... Unheralded Cillian Murphy is in fine cinematic form

As the cooperative reaches 70 years, a dig through the Magnum Photos archive produces a visual homage

Explore the style genius of Rei Kawakubo – Comme des Garçons mastermind and empress of juxtaposition

Playing a Blinder

A Toast to Magnum

Space/Invader


Contents

AIR

SEPTEMBER july 20172015 : ISSUE : ISSUE 74 52

Eighteen

Seventy

Rolls-Royce showcases ‘The Great Eight’, where a collection of Phantoms reveal their hidden histories

Motoring’s marriage with the silver screen meant that if you didn’t have the car, you simply weren’t a star

Twenty Eight

Seventy Four

Amrapali channels the best of Jaipur’s fine jewelled reputation, while inspired by history and the ethereal

Awarded its third Michelin star, Restaurant Lasarte wears the crown as the Catalan-capital cuisine king

Thirty Four

Seventy Eight

As HYT continues breaking boundaries, their bespoke process affords the client a seat on the thrill-ride

Book the Grand Dome Penthouse at Hotel Café Royal to savour (in luxury) unrivalled views of London

Radar

Jewellery

Timepieces

Motoring

Gastronomy

Travel

From Thirty Eight

Art & Design

The Guggenheim museum salutes its founding Visionaries; Lalla Essaydi inks her way into art lore

10

Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.


JW MARRIOT T® MARQUIS DUBAI

Stay Longer and Save at the world’s tallest hotel. This summer take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service to The Dubai Mall, or take a trip up the Dubai Water Canal adjacent to the hotel. MARRIOTT REWARDS MEMBERS SAVE 30% ON ACCOMMODATION AND PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS, PLUS A BONUS 30% OFF THEIR NEXT STAY. For reservations or inquiries, please visit jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com or call +971 4 414 0000

‡”•ƒ†…‘†‹–‹‘•ƒ’’Ž›Ǥ’‡…‹ƒŽ‘ơ‡”‹•‡š…Ž—•‹˜‡‘ˆ͙͘ά–ƒš‡•ƒ†͙͘ά•‡”˜‹…‡…Šƒ”‰‡Ǥƒ††‹–‹‘ƒŽ–‘—”‹•–ƒš‘ˆ͚͘’‡””‘‘’‡”‹‰Š–‹•’ƒ›ƒ„Ž‡—’‘ check out. Advanced reservation is required and minimum length stay applies.


THE SCIENCE AND ART OF LONGEVITY

What if your health was your true wealth? Elevate your expectations and give your life the attention and tranquility it deserves. At our holistic retreat you will discover the very best of Swiss innovation in preventative healthcare. Cutting-edge medical services, result-oriented wellness, expert nutritionists and internationally-trained therapists. Our team of doctors is waiting to welcome you to your new path of sustained health and longevity.

Clinique La Prairie - Rue du Lac 142 | 1815 Clarens-Montreux | Switzerland | +41 21 989 34 66 info@laprairie.ch www.laprairie.ch


Empire Aviation Group JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Welcome to this issue of AIR, our aviation lifestyle magazine for aircraft owners and onboard guests. The summer season is when demand for aircraft charter peaks and our team of charter executives goes into overdrive, as they await the enquiries for those important holiday trips. And because business never takes a vacation, those executive trips that help keep the wheels of industry turning through the middle of the year are also active. This hectic period is when we see something of a diversion from the usual worldwide city destinations that are often in demand for business missions; our summer trip routes vary from the perennial favourites of the Indian Ocean islands to the European jet-setters’ paradises of the French Riviera or the mountains of Austria or Swiss Alps, or even those longer-haul destinations that are further afield in the US and Asia.

Welcome Onboard issUe seventY FOUR

This variety of missions means that we keep our fleet of managed business jets busy for both aircraft owners and charter customers. We also have sub-charter demands from direct clients who look to us to source alternative aircraft from recommended operators we work with across the globe. This is where the strength of our international operator network is of great support. Our growing fleet of more than 20 managed aircraft – with several made available for charter – offers a choice of the most advanced, large-cabin executive jets from all the major manufacturers. Different missions need different aircraft depending on the range (local, regional or intercontinental), type of destination, airport access, the number of passengers and volume of luggage to be carried. Today, every traveller expects Wi-Fi access and a full range of onboard services, which should be the standard for VIP charters. Our flight crew and operational support teams work diligently to ensure that we provide the best possible service for every charter trip. It doesn’t end there; once on the ground, we are on hand to assist customers to arrange anything from luxury limousine hire, hotel reservations and general concierge-related services – all available 24/7 through our dedicated charter team. Wherever you chose to holiday this season, enjoy your break – and the read.

Issue seventy four JUly 2017

Art of the In-Between Challenging Convention with Rei Kawakubo

Steve Hartley

Luxury • Culture • People • Style • Heritage

COVER: Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, 18thCentury Punk; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph © Paolo Roversi

Contact Details: info@empire.aero empireaviation.com

Paras Dhamecha


Empire Aviation Group JULY 2017 : ISSUE74

Luxury charter aircraft in demand Empire Aviation’s aircraft have excellent cabin features with high levels of comfort. All have the latest onboard Wi-Fi connectivity options, which is increasingly important. When it comes to charter, EAG’s typical client profile is around 60% Middle Eastern families and business travellers with the balance comprising European, US and Asian customers. Aircraft demand is subject to the trip request, and longer-range aircraft would be the priority for Gulf charter passengers who mostly prefer nonstop flights on longer routes. Within the Middle East, there is a definite preference for the larger and more luxurious charter aircraft, with galleys and cabin configurations to suit all family members, and with more luggage capacity. Of course, private aviation is not just about the flying experience – the service on the ground also makes a vital contribution to the overall passenger experience, whether for business or leisure.

An aircraft to suit The benefits of private aviation are very evident for our charter clients, who can reach multiple destinations 14

or international destinations nonstop, through the efficiency of the selected aircraft for their route. It is a simple fact in private aviation that if you do need to reach a longerrange destination, you need to charter a bigger jet (to carry passengers, crew, luggage and fuel). Empire Aviation has an extensive range of aircraft types to match all criteria. Apart from the benefits of non-stop flights, added features of larger aircraft include spacious cabins (some having private dining/sleeping compartments) for passenger comfort and ample baggage storage space, accessible from inside the plane. Alongside the large cabin benefits,

you also have the washrooms and, depending on the aircraft and configuration, charter clients may even be able to opt for two onboard washrooms. Empire Aviation’s long-range super-midsize fleet includes Embraer with the Legacy 600/650 series, the Dassault Falcon 7X and the Bombardier Global XRS. They all offer generous space to work, relax, dine and sleep, with a very high degree of comfort. The spacious stand-up cabins and galleys are also well equipped for VIP silver service onboard dining. Perfect for those long-haul business or leisure charter flights.


Meet the Fleet A seLectiOn OF LOng-RAnge AiRcRAFt within the empiRe AviAtiOn gROUp pORtFOLiO

Embraer Legacy 650

Dassault Falcon 7X

A spacious and luxurious aircraft based on the successful Legacy 600 series → 13 Seats → Maximum range of 3,900nm → Full service facilities → Onboard entertainment system → Wi-Fi enabled

A three-lounge vessel with a 51,000ft cruising altitude, that is billed as the most technologically advanced business jet in service → 14 seats → Range of 5,950nm → Full service facilities → Onboard entertainment system → Wi-Fi enabled

Bombardier Global XRS

Embraer Legacy 650

An ultra long-range business jet with a luxurious cabin and state-of-the-art technology → 13 seats → Range of 6,150nm → Full service facilities → Onboard entertainment system → Wi-Fi enabled

A jet with exceptional cabin comfort, equipped to suit all business and leisure needs → 13 Seats → Maximum range of 3,900nm → Full service facilities → Onboard entertainment system → Wi-Fi enabled


16


SAVOR EVERY MOMENT A special place gives comfort no matter the task at hand. In your favorite room, you can study the latest business deal, unwind from a day on the go or just indulge in quiet reflection. The cabin experience aboard a Gulfstream aircraft—tailor-made just for you, by you. GULFSTREAM.COM

ALLAN STANTON | +971 50 653 5258 | allan.stanton@gulfstream.com


Radar

AIR

JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Poring over a solitary Rolls-Royce is a delightful experience in itself… So assemble the eight greatest Phantoms from 92 years of motoring excellence, and you’ve a very special pageant indeed. Late this month in London’s Mayfair, an opera of the Phantoms does just that. The event is an opening serenade for the new-generation of the nameplate, but the presence of ‘The Great Eight’ is no sideshow: this is the celebration of a car that has been the conveyance of choice for the world’s most influential, since 1925. The model’s historic lineage will be told through eight unique stories, each Phantom having witnessed a fascinating epoch in history – the ‘Fred Astaire Phantom I’, for example, which still has a Louis Vuitton motoring trunk affixed with his top hat, shoes, and cane inside. Sir Henry Royce’s restless desire was to “take the best that exists and make it better” – here’s an opportunity to lay eyes upon the glorious realisation of that spirit. ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ opens 27 July. rolls-roycemotorcars.com/

18


19


Critique JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Film Atomic Blonde Dir: David Leitch A top-level spy for MI6 is dispatched to Berlin to take down a ruthless espionage ring At Best: “Never less than an absorbing audiovisual experience whenever it lets the pure visceral rush of its assemblage take over.” IndieWire At WoRst: “So much uncut, hardboiled posturing proves exhausting over a nearly two-hour runtime.” Variety

Lady Macbeth AIR

Dir: William Oldroyd Caught in a bitter marriage, Katherine embarks on an affair that will tear her rural English life apart At Best: “This brilliantly feminist British indie film plunges a cold, sharp knife into the back of bonnet dramas.” Time Out At WoRst: “This may be a low-budget affair... but it’s as richly textured as any more-expensively produced period piece.” Observer UK

Okja Dir: Bong Joon-ho Okja is a massive animal and loyal companion to one young girl, who has to save her friend from an evil conglomerate At Best: “Shot in bright, cinematic widescreen… the CG is convincing enough to suspend disbelief.” Variety At WoRst: “The movie zips around like a dropped firehose a bit when it comes to tone – lovable, scary, silly, morbidly depressing, back to silly – but good art can and maybe should do that.” Thrillist

Despicable Me 3 Dir: Kyle Balda & Pierre Coffin Gru, his daughters, and those indecipherable Minions tackle their most formidable foe to-date At Best: “It shoots multiple machine-gun bursts of bubblegum at the audience, asking them to chew and enjoy.” Hollywood Reporter At WoRst: “Unwieldy, but it mostly works, as [its] co-directors never lose sight of the film’s emotional centre.” Variety 20


Aaron Basha Boutique Paris • Dubai

673 Madison Avenue

Hong Kong

Levant Dubai

Kiev

London

Ali Bin Ali Qatar

• •

New York Moscow

212.644.1970

Qatar

Tokyo

Asia Jewellers Bahrain

www.aaronbasha.com

Bahrain

Riyadh

Harrods London

Jeddah


Critique JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Theatre A

fter a run at The Royal Court, the Sam Mendes directed production of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman transfers to the West End, tipped to be a hot hit. Opening on 1 July at Gielgud Theatre, the critics have already salivated over its contents. “A ripping thriller in a big family home, stuffed with eccentricity and black comedy, it swells into an expansive examination of Republican history, politics and identity,” writes Matt Trueman, for Variety. “It’s a tumbling and tumultuous play, one that swerves off into storytelling, song and dance, and debate, without taking its eye off the need for suspense… Butterworth loads his traps patiently, then bides his time.” Says Susannah Clapp in The Guardian, “It could so easily have been corny, this wild parade of Irish characters, dancing, telling stories and recruiting for the IRA. In fact, Butterworth makes skittles out of the near-stereotypes with caustic comedy... He has a long reach… Magic runs through the evening. The cast of more than 20 appear as if conjured out of the set in a trick...” Time Out depicts, “The play is vast – three-and-a-half-hours – but even though lengthy stretches are nothing more than generations bickering at the breakfast table, nothing feels wasted, every strand is respected, Mendes choreographs everything to perfection.” “The advance word on this has been terrible,” warns Dominic Cavendish for The Telegraph of Common, at the National Theatre until 5 August. “Bored, irritated, confused punters leaving at the interval, taking to online forums to complain... A right royal stinker at the National? So D C Moore’s Common indeed proves – though I think it’s a more honourable failure than some of the more irate public reactions suggest.” Explains Paul Taylor for The Independent, “Set in early industrial England, it tells the story of Mary, who returns to the rural village of her birth… to discover that there’s trouble brewing between 22

Laura Donnelly and Genevieve O’Reilly in The Ferryman. © Johan Persson

the peasants/tenant farmers and the local lord who is viciously intent on enclosing the common land if they do not agree to his schemes… [While] I admire Moore’s wit and incisiveness in the smaller-scale plays of his that I have seen, this attempt at a darkly funny epic does not demonstrate the gifts for keeping control of focus or for the creation of mutually illuminating narrative strands that are needed.” Writes Matt Trueman in What’s On Stage, “As for the cast, it’s high praise to say they play this as if it made total sense. It’s easy to sniff at the idea that acting takes courage, but to step out onstage, in front of 1,200 people, in a play this full of potholes is ballsy beyond measure. Anne-Marie Duff deserves the George Cross for the brio she brings to Mary, and Cush Jumbo plays Laura with a committed sincerity.” “The best new theatre experience in town is nowhere close to Broadway,” enthuses Vogue, of Alison S M Kobayashi’s Say Something Bunny! (at the UNDO Project Space, Chelsea,

until 30 July). “[It] is somewhere between a detective story and a monologue, a tragicomedy and onewoman show, drawing on history, illustration, song, and video. And it is a revelation.” Said the artist, when raising funds for the project on Kickstarter, “The performance is based on an amateur audio recording made over sixty years ago. The origin of this audio was a mystery. Two spools of thin steel wire were found tucked inside an obsolete sound device purchased by a collector at an estate sale. There were no labels; no dates, no names, and no context. Through obsessive research and active imagination along with hundreds of times listening through … I reconstruct the scenes of the recording.” Describes Helen Shaw for Time Out New York, “The experience [is] light, sweet, funny and dear. But her deep humanism has a way of moving you, even days later. She sifts through the details of strangers’ lives, a prospector who knows that the sand itself is precious.”


Critique JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Art

AIR

I

t takes a village to raise a genius,” writes Holland Cotter of the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at the MoMA, until September. The New York Times art critic explains, “He died at 82 in 2008, after a career so staggeringly and variously productive that even this huge retrospective (Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends)… can represent it only in generous slivers. At the same time, the show adds something missing in the last survey... It gives clear evidence of the social nature of [his] art, of how much it was shaped and stoked by the company, which was also a family, of colleagues, teachers, assistants, lovers and bar buddies that he gathered around him.” Joseph R Wolin muses in Time Out, “It’s hard to think of much art being made today that hasn’t been touched in some way by Rauschenberg’s protean work of the 1950s and 60s: the heady decades when he restlessly experimented with just about every artistic genre and medium – and invented several new ones in the process. His copious output proved hugely influential, not only for the development of Pop Art but also performance, Conceptual Art and interactivity. His achievements, however, did not occur in a vacuum but were fomented with friends and colleagues, as this engrossing but imbalanced retrospective takes great pains to point out.” Peter Schjeldahl penned in The New Yorker, “[His] integrity, while unimpeachable, never had much to do with high standards of art… He was a performance artist, first and last. You respond to his works not with an absorption in their quality but with a vicarious share in his brainstorming excitement while making them.” To mark the centenary of the death of Auguste Rodin, the Musée Rodin in Paris is asserting its programme more strongly than ever in cooperation with contemporary artists... and has given carte blanche to the artist Anselm Kiefer. Kiefer-Rodin, “Transposes Rodin’s heritage and reveals lesser known pieces, as well as unpublished, 24

Monogram by Robert Rauschenberg. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

powerful and delicate masterpieces… Having studied Rodin’s work, Kiefer presents his most recent pieces as a modern interpretation or even a continuation of the master’s remarkable universe,” outlines Time Out Paris. Gary Brewer weaves into his Art And Cake review that, “The layers of history which overlap in this exhibit, the many brilliant souls who inhabited this building, creating and working, adds an undertow to the currents which we are all moved by, of the forces of history that shape us, the histories that these two artists seek to capture; it is the stain of history memorialised in matter.” Rounds off Lola Levent in the same Time Out piece, “The similarity between the two artists’ work is made wonderfully clear through the exhibition... Kiefer recreates Rodin’s moulds with the same styles of beauty that is uneven, broken and even disturbing. [It] makes you want to give him the archives of another famous master to see what else he could create.” At the Victoria Miro Gallery Mayfair, the Milton Avery exhibition is the

gallery’s “First of works by the 20thcentury artist, whose colourful, flattened, stylised paintings led him to being widely described as ‘the American Matisse’,” Time Out London portrays. “Widely regarded today as one of the pioneers of American Abstract Modernism, Avery’s application of rich, swarthy colours in thick, broad brushstrokes has earned him a reputation as one of the most influential artists of the 20 th century,” explains Culture Whisper of the show, on display until 29 July. “Admired for his poetic lyricism, Avery’s work is a pure delight to behold. Don’t miss the opportunity to see his portraits, landscapes and still-lives grace the walls of one of London’s most prestigious galleries.” Writes The Guardian‘s Laura Cumming, “Avery is a celebrant... He loves Connecticut in spring and Vermont in the autumn; the architecture of spiralling firs; the way stands of trees cluster like sheep, and cows pattern distant fields like scattered pebbles… These paintings have an atmosphere all of their own: heartening, unhurried and beautiful.”


Al Jabal Al Akhdar

30°C

Muscat / Dubai

45°C

#BeatTheHeat THIS SUMMER &RRORIIDWWKHKLJKHVWÄ YHVWDUUHVRUWLQWKH0LGGOH(DVW 2QO\DVKRUWÅ¥KRXUVGULYHIURP'XEDLRU$EX'KDELHQMR\DMRXUQH\SDVW GDWHSODQWDWLRQVDQGGUDPDWLF2PDQLPRXQWDLQUDQJHVWRUHDFKRXUPDMHVWLFKLGHDZD\ &KRRVH\RXULGHDOKDYHQÅ‹DVSDFLRXVURRPZLWKDFDSWLYDWLQJFDQ\RQYLHZDSULYDWHSRRO YLOODZLWKJDUGHQRUFOLIIYLHZV$QDEXQGDQFHRI6SDDQG5HFUHDWLRQDFWLYLWLHV IURPKLNLQJWRVXQULVH\RJD GCC RESIDENTS PACKAGE*

30% RII%HVW)OH[LEOH5DWHIRUDURRPRUYLOOD 20%RII$QDQWDUD6SD 20%RIIIRRG EHYHUDJHLQDOORXWOHWV

'DLO\EXIIHWEUHDNIDVW

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. Visit anantara.com %RRNDWDQDQWDUDFRPDQGJHWUHVRUWFUHGLWRIXSWR$(' 7HUPVDQGFRQGLWLRQVDSSO\ CAMBODIA  CHINA  INDONESIA  MALDIVES  MOZAMBIQUE  OMAN  QATAR  SRI LANKA  THAILAND  UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  VIETNAM  ZAMBIA


Critique JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

AIR

Books

A

s ever, Anthony Horowitz will delight those who love equal doses of complexity and mystery. In her TIME review of Magpie Murders, Sarah Begley writes, “‘Why is it that we have such a need for murder mystery?’ asks Susan Ryeland, the narrator of British author Horowitz’s new novel, ‘and what is it that attracts us – the crime or the solution? Do we have some primal need of bloodshed because our own lives are so safe, so comfortable?’… With its elegant yet playful plotting, [this book] is the thinking mystery fan’s ideal summer thriller.” Admits John O’Connell in The Guardian, “[He] is a superb pasticheur. But in the lengthy novelwithin-a-novel that you need to read to make sense of what follows, he has channelled his talents into producing a bad parody of Agatha Christie... For a chapter or so it’s all very amusing, but the joke quickly wears thinner than Poirot’s moustache.” Mark Sanderson of the Evening Standard muses in his analysis that, 26

“Horowitz has great fun showing how art imitates life and vice versa. The narrative is full of in-jokes, allusions and anagrams (and unmentioned typos). Somehow he manages to make all the inconsistencies and interconnections hang together while providing a cynical yet accurate portrait of modern publishing.” Staying with the spooky, You Should Have Left, by Daniel Kehlmann, “Is a book to keep you up at night,” teethchatters Kirkus Reviews. “This novel is, in many ways, a classic hauntedhouse tale. There are warnings about the house from the people in the village below. There’s a creeping sense of horror… But he also creates a sense of existential dread that transcends the typical ghost story.” Publisher’s Weekly believes Kehlmann, “Makes deft use of horror staples and offers commentary on the distinction between art and life… But the plot of this spare and occasionally thrilling novel is ultimately indistinguishable from a by-the-numbers horror flick.”

Eileen Battersby for the Irish Times opines, “He is an observer with a flair for articulating dysfunctional behaviour. Benjamin’s fluid, savvy translation [of the German author] is alert to the fact that every word has relevance, each hesitation and minor pause adds to the building tension. Welcome to a hall of mirrors.” The affable genius of science luminary Neil DeGrasse Tyson makes its way into print again, in Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. “America’s most approachable astrophysicist distills the past, present, and (theoretical) future of the cosmos,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “In short order, you’ll be conversant in mind-bending trivia about ‘star stuff’ that may fundamentally shift your perspective of our place in the universe,” they add. “For a guy who has spent his career trying to explain the riddle of the cosmos to the rest of us, the director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium does not pretend that his job is an easy one,” assesses Jeffrey Kluher for TIME. “’The universe,’ he likes to say, ‘is under no obligation to make sense to you.’ But Tyson remains determined to help us make sense of it all… [and] the book goes a long way toward becoming [a] conduit [to the cosmos].” Praises Josh Trapani in Washington Independent, “Everything about his book demonstrates why he’s been so successful. The title tacitly acknowledges how learning about science fits into most people’s daily lives, if it fits at all… Einstein is often credited with saying that if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, then you don’t understand it yourself. And while this book doesn’t read like one written for first-graders, it’s clear Tyson understands and is very good at communicating the material... Savour this book in snippets of time as you have them.”


Jewellery JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

AIR

The Jewel of Jaipur From unmistakable origins, Amrapali weaves timehonoured grace into high jewellery collections. Here, proud roots harmonise with contemporary resplendence WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

28


A

gentle peek of honey amber shimmers across Prussian blue, � scattering pretty interplays of marmalade flecks that, eventually, burst into glorious yellow and white gold. And that’s not even depicting a piece of jewellery – it’s purely a daily sunrise, witnessed across Man Sagar Lake from Jal Mahal in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. The northern Indian state of Rajasthan represents the spiritual home of Amrapali Jewels, yet the rays of their creative expertise have reached far and wide – illuminated at a prestigious store in Knightsbridge and at Dover Street Market in Mayfair, while glittering at international jewellery and watch exhibits (the Biennale in Paris), as well as couture weeks in Las Vegas and Basel. Jaipur is where the brand’s workshop is located, and its surrounding region has shaped the company narrative. They draw on cultural mysticism as

a creative muse: chiefly, Amrapali herself. A renowned royal courtesan, she is said to have lived in ancient India, and is one who, “Brings you inspiration, intuition and higher vision through her timeless beauty and grace,” say Rajiv Arora and Rajesh Ajmera, co-founders of the jeweller. “She is mentioned in the old Pali and Buddhist traditions, particularly in conjunction with the Buddha staying at her mango grove,” they detail. “The legend, and its immediate association to feminine beauty, delight. Her importance to India’s heritage make it the ideal association for us.” The founding duo closely observed the designs and motifs of architecture, jewellery and the arts, and this formed a further basis for the brand’s identity. Sameer Lilani, the company’s director for the UK, Europe & Middle East, further colours the story for us. 29


“Jaipur is symbolic of art, culture, and heritage and is renowned for its unique and rare craftsmanship. Bringing in a touch of culture, Amrapali blends traditional styles with modern eclectic twists, thus breathing new life into the centuriesold craft of jewellery making,” he illustrates. “We use techniques like enamelling in our designs, which make our jewellery special. A love for history and nature along with organic, raw, tribal and rustic handicraft makes Amrapali unparalleled.” Their fine pieces are an amalgamation of traditional technique with contemporary design and aesthetic, and the modernism dances through the conceptualisation stage. “We ‘look back to look forward’,” Lilani defines. “It’s best explained by saying that we use traditional techniques in a modern creative way. For example, we use Computer Aided Design (CAD) to outline the look, but the manufacture itself involves specialised and specific techniques such as Kundan, which is a traditional process of stone setting – a 24k gold foil rub that is mastered by hand.” Within their fine collections twirl ideas of carefree lightness, lucid regality and complex darkness. Soul Bazaar draws influence from the ornamental majesty and temple finery of the Mughal period; the Lotus Legacy pieces respect the flower present throughout Hindu scripture; Panna is a green-hued collective of Gemfield gems, comprising large, carved pieces. Dark Maharaja, meanwhile, is visually fortified, influenced by the bejewelled armour, carved shields and vajras of ancient warriors and encrusted in rubies and diamonds, used in this collection. “We have access to a wide array of cuts, colours and styles in precious stones,” Lilani reinforces. “Many Amrapali pieces are created in gold, with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. We try to stay away from sapphires because of the [ethical] stigma attached to them, though replacing those blues with tanzanites,” he details, adding, “Our design definition is bold, while admittedly laced with 30

an Eastern and ethnic DNA. Our designs celebrate culture, heritage, and history by blending colours and different stones. Our bespoke pieces generally include gold and diamonds with intricate designs.” Symbolism drums through the mind of the discerning jewellery lover, and their expectation of luxury is likely to be tuned to a personal, handmade and handcrafted frequency. This naturally leads to one word: bespoke. “Each client has their own cultural influences such as religion, tradition, and language. These factors manifest, and influence the tailored pieces we design,” the director explains. “During the bespoke process, clients highlight symbols that are of influence and are relevant to them – we then craft these singular pieces, keeping such sentiments and influences in mind.” For its very ‘statement’ value, he cites the brand’s Rajasthan collection as being prime inspiration for bespoke ideas – while the original pieces themselves prove popular for a less time-consuming indulgence. He shares, “Our jewellery is bold, colourful and has a modern yet traditional and slightly eccentric style that has greatly appealed to the sensibilities of the Middle Eastern customer. With the rise of requests for bespoke pieces, we’ve noticed a fondness for big diamonds, gold jewellery, enamelling and coloured stones.” Again emphasising the essence of history to the brand, Lilani reveals in our conversation that, “We are opening the Amrapali Museum soon, in order to showcase the jewellery, objects, and artefacts collected by communities across India. Drawing heavily from the everyday life of the people of India – especially its tribes – the museum will showcase the wonder of Indian art, heritage, and culture which represents us as a brand.” For a parcel of that very tradition, antiquity and allure, one need not necessarily make a pilgrimage there, though. Merely drape a bejewelled Amrapali creation around the neck – it’s bestowed with the same historic qualities.


Traditional styles with modern eclectic twists breathe new life into a centuries-old craft

31


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

OBJECTS OF DESIRE

Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this month’s must-haves and collectibles


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

c h o pa r d

RIh a nn a ♥ C hOpa RD

Rihanna may be more accustomed to collaborations of a lyrical leaning, but her declaration of love for Chopard is a union of pure harmony. The singer’s homeland serves as the muse for a truly eyecatching set of Haute Joaillerie, and her cultural rhythm is colourfully injected into two

collections – ‘Gardens of Barbados’ and ‘Carnival’. This necklace is a showstopper from the latter, comprising 18ct rose gold and titanium with rubies, blue, orange and yellow sapphires, spinels and tsavorites of various cuts. Turquoise beads and cabochons total over 45cts. 1


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

STEphEN W EBSTEr

MaGnIphE aSanT pluMaGE E aRSTuDS COllECTIOn Set with a rainbow of marquise-cut precious gemstones, the ‘Magnipheasant’ collection by this London-based jeweller depicts the iridescent plumage of the British Isles game bird. There are rustic, more-everyday pieces in the overarching collection, yet the signature eveningwear

efforts are among the most elegant. In the case of these handcrafted earstuds, 18k white gold has been preened alongside captivating marquise emeralds and 1.34ct white diamond pavé; yet another stunning example of the expert craftsmanship that emerges from the ‘SW’ Mayfair workshop. 2


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

hUBLoT / BErLUTI

Cl aSSIC FuSIOn ChROnOGR aph

Purveyors of taste in their own realms, Swiss horology fusionists Hublot and bespoke shoemasters Berluti joined forces for a unique take on the task of timetelling. There’s plenty of technical superiority housed within this 45mm watch case, but it’s the pushing of watchmaking-material

boundaries where the alliance proved most supple. The watch is enhanced by the patina of Berluti’s finest leather: a tanning technique had to be developed for the delicate process, with all moisture removed from the hide before it could be enclosed within the sapphire crystal. 3


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

4


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

B U G aT T I

ChIROn

The second Bugatti behemoth has caused deserved commotion since its teased announcement, and any car enthusiast requires little motive to spend moments gazing at its beauty. We’ve another timely reason to rekindle the love affair, though – Bugatti recently unveiled its biggest

global showroom, in Dubai. Now guests can configure every detail of their coveted Chiron in a plush, private atmosphere – by appointment only. Limited to just 500 and with a pricetag north of Dhs11million, this car is the epitome of road-based desire; a 0-300km/h-in-13-seconds thrillfest. 5


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

aLEX aNdEr McQUEEN

M I l I Ta R Y J a C K E T

The pre-fall collection from the minds at McQueen pines for days of British yore, from Celtic heritage to the mythical landscape of Cornwall. In this particular piece there’s a diect military salute, with a design number that’s replete with coat-ofarms insignia details on the silver buttons.

The peplum jacket is made from light wool silk, with metal mythical decorated buttons on both the waist and collar, and a concealed button fastening on centre front. Paired with the Miltary Long Skirt from the same collection, it makes for a commanding, high-fashion call to arms. 6


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

MESSIk a

ISaDOR a nECKl aCE This glittering necklace represents over 600 hours of work for the master jewellers and setters at the Messika High Jewellery maison in Paris. A stunning “freedom of expression”, the piece is a reminiscence of the style and grace of majestic American dancer Isadora Duncan. Its white gold

weighs in at 22.5g, while the 139 diamonds combine for 42.66cts; for the piece, Valérie Messika imagined a waterfall of pear-cut diamonds in an intricate, parallel design. She opened her first boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré in 2013, but you can procure her exquisiteness in the UAE and KSA. 7


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

pa N E r a I

l u M I n O R 1 9 5 0 p C Y C R E G aT Ta

Take a deep breath, as the full title of this polished-bezel beauty is the Luminor 1950 PCYC Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio (PAM 652). 47mm sizing is admittedly significant for a watch, but the wrist-based real estate is offset by the material: it’s

crafted from titanium. The ‘652’ has a chronograph hour counter at three o’clock, small seconds at nine, central chrono seconds and minutes hands, a power reserve of three days, and is primed for life on the water: PCYC stands for Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. 8


Timepieces JULY 2017 : iSSUE 74

Emerging from the Shadows TARiQ MALik

T

he history of the Tudor brand has been intertwined with the most recognisable name in watchmaking since day one: Rolex. The two brands share the same founder – Hans Wilsdorf, a Bavarian who made his fortune in London. The strong British influence shines through in the brand name. Wilsdorf wanted to create a rival brother for his first horological brainchild, and set out to create a more affordable, and edgier range. Tudor was always far more than a cheap replica of Rolex, as any serious collector will point out. At first, Tudor designs followed the Rolex lead quite closely, but by the 1960s the brands parted ways, particularly with their diver’s watches. That was also the start of a major slump for Tudor. The Quartz crisis hit and the brand went into something of a hibernation, surviving only because big brother Rolex had such deep pockets. Starting from 2007 all of that began to change, and Tudor finally began to step out of the Rolex shadow – which is a wide one, to be sure. The designs were more adventurous, and appealed to a younger generation. The North Flag MT5621, for example, was the very first in-house manufacture calibre from Tudor, no Rolex parts included. The design bears no resemblance to the conservative Rolex lines. First to appear was the Grantourrange, featuring dials in red and black with a strong motorracing theme. A year (and another chronograph) later, they’d shed the ‘poor man’s Rolex’ tag.

was made for naval commandos, and later the French Navy used it, while the US navy issued the watch to elite combat divers. Those first diving watches inspired the general lines, as well as the domed dial and crystal for the new Black Bay Bronze. The prominent winding crown comes from the famous 7924 reference of 1958, aka the ‘Big Crown’, and the characteristic angular ‘snowflakehands’, mimic those watches used by the French National Navy in the 1970s. in 2013 Tudor launched in the US and the Uk to huge fanfare, and the scene was set for what was to come. Since then we’ve seen some intriguing watches making their appearance, and many of them are throwbacks to the rich Tudor heritage that dates almost as far back as that of Rolex itself. The Tudor Oysterdate ‘Montecarlo’ From 1971, Tudor produced an exceptional range of chronographs. One that stands out is the reference 7169/0, which earned the nickname ‘Monte Carlo.’ The colour scheme, with that striking blue dial and vivid orange accents – together with the resemblance of the dial to a roulette wheel – explains the nickname. A new Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue is based on that original design, and Tudor explains that it, ‘‘perfectly captures the spirit of cool and carefree Mediterranean resort towns in the 1960s and 70s”. Tudor Black Bay Bronze in the 1960s, the Tudor Submariner 33

Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer One of the oldest names in the world of watch retail is Bucherer, based in Lucerne. To celebrate their 130 th birthday they partnered with leading watchmakers to render some of their best watches in blue. Tudor released this aesthetically pleasing version of the Black Bay Bronze, which is otherwise identical. Tudor has taken great strides since their 2013 re-entry. The demographic is probably a little younger than the typical Rolex buyer, but still one who appreciates workmanship, quality and heritage – not to mention technology, speed and adventure. The new Tudors are set for a bright future, while vintage models are experiencing a resurgence as a result, too. So all around, watch enthusiasts and collectors alike are pleased to see Tudor step out of the shadow of Rolex – at long last. Momentum – Tariq’s co-founded vintage watch boutique – is in Dubai’s DIFC; momentum-dubai.com


Timepieces DECEMBER JULY 2017 2016 : ISSUE : ISSUE 74 67

Hydro and Seek If you’ve long been tempted to hunt down a liquid-driven timepiece by HYT, ‘The Hydro Mechanical Horologists’, then their new bespoke expressions will have you declaring ‘ready or not, here I come’

AIR

WORDS : CHRIS UJMA

F

or those unbaptised to this nonconformist brand, HYT mixes liquid and mechanics within each wristwatch. Yes… those two natural enemies, sitting beside one another, in a hybrid marriage of watchmaking and science. There’s no opportunity for peril, though, in having fluid and engineering mere millimetres apart: the intensive R&D poured into these timepieces borders on nanotechnology – and some of the components powering the watches are even NASA-grade (such as the springs). HYT’s timekeeping ethos uses compressed and expanding liquid, with separating meniscus the indication of hour markings. Posits the brand, ‘Two flexible reservoirs have a capillary attached at each end – coloured liquid in one, transparent in the other – and the repulsion force of the molecules in the fluid keeps them apart. The bellows are made of a highly resistant, flexible alloy, and watchmaking is used to activate the system via a piston that drives the bellow on the left. When the 34

active bellow is compressed, the second expands (and vice versa) resulting in the movement of the liquids in the capillary. As the hours go by, the coloured liquid advances.’ Well that’s the dry description. The theatrical version is that they have ‘pulverised all certainties by uniting two worlds that are supposedly diametrically opposed.’ HYT creations such as the Skull edition and the benchmark, sequentially numbered H0 to H4 collections have been on the radar of watchmaking renegades since 2012. Now, clients can push their own boundaries – engaging with the brand for a bespoke watchmaking acquisition. Speaking from HYT HQ in Switzerland, CEO Gregory Dourde shared, “Our bespoke offer ranges from selecting rare and exciting materials to incorporate into an already existing HYT model, right through to completely redesigning a new watch.” There are two paths to venture down. The first is called, aptly, Bespoke One,


35


Timepieces

AIR

JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

36


Opening pages: HYT Skull, Brazil edition Left: HYT H3, Iceberg edition Right: HYT H4, Metropolis version

Each bespoke project is built around a dialogue where there are, “virtually no limits other than the customer’s imagination. This programme has only one goal: to make the customer’s dreams a reality.” The alternative is Bespoke Two, which offers customers the opportunity to personalise the appearance of an existing HYT template by modifying some of the existing components or materials, such as coatings or engraving. Past examples are the production of specially engraved skull pieces, the incorporation of national colours into a timepiece, remoulding special shapes in grey gold for the dial, and HYT has even experimented with suspending special materials in a resin, used in the bezel. Individual tweaks can be colourbased, such as the client’s choice of hue for the liquid, which is pretty basic... isn’t it?! “Even when changing the tint of the fluid, we need to rework all the R&D of our technologies as a whole,” outlines Dourde. “It requires a complete chemical redesign, as a new dye will interfere with more than 10 different materials and we must perform extensive tests to guarantee that the system will continue to work perfectly over time. This takes our team between nine and 15 months to do. Also, if we are to change the shape of the capillary, the movement has to be re-engineered to modify the rate of flow of the liquid in relation to the new shape.”

Of client relationship and rapport building, Dourde explains, “Each bespoke project is built around a dialogue. Intense, exclusive, it must capture the essence of the customer’s expectations and own personality. Creative meetings are held, along with visits to HYT’s laboratories and Preciflex’s R&D Centre – which is HYT’s sister company and expert in microfluidics – to allow the customer to discover in detail the full potential of HYT, a union of creativity and engineering. The customer thus enjoys a truly immersive experience and discovers the whole HYT Ecosystem throughout the development of his or her watch, from the R&D, through the manufacturing process, right up until the moment it is worn.” Dourde is bound by confidentiality, but one only need look at the publicly unveiled Skull Vida – limited to just five in existence – to see how far-out matters can escalate. Parts of the timepiece, which has a mournful take on their signature skull design, were crafted from Siberian mammoth ivory. The material had to undergo a stabilisation phase over the course of several months, before being sculpted and embedded in the Skull Vida thanks to a series of delicate operations carried out by specially trained artisans. Each dial therefore, is obviously completely singular in its texture. “Developing a bespoke project at HYT is not a computerised process. Our goal was to set up new and creative technical avenues to create outstanding, one-of-a-kind timepieces for our most demanding customers,” the CEO shares. “Each watch is a piece of art and all are packed with cutting edge technologies that have pushed our scientists to the limit of their understanding, in fields such as microfluidics, optics, material science, thermodynamics, chemistry and fluid dynamics. HYT is always performing in extreme and unique environments.” Aside from being tempting, the bespoke watchmaking process ensures that in those very environments, the wearer’s handsome hydro horology is as unique as the setting they find themselves in. 37


Art & Design JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

AIR

Portrait and a Dream The six minds behind the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York were artistic visionaries in every sense, and a new exhibition details how these collectors and patrons saved avant-garde for the world to admire

38


Solomon R Guggenheim at the Plaza Hotel, New York, with Rudolf Bauer’s Andante. Photo by Underwood and Underwood Studios, New York, courtesy HvRF Archives


AIR

T

here was tacit subtext when Solomon R Guggenheim and Baroness Hilla Rebay engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to design the nowiconic New York art house in 1943. They could have commissioned any leading architect, after all, but it seems the pair were laying down a gauntlet to this particular American visionary. “Together they were inviting Wright – challenging him, if you will – to create a space that was as avant-garde as Guggenheim’s collection itself, with shapes that were echoed in the very nonobjective art that he was assembling,” explains Megan Fontanella. She’s held the title of Curator, Collections and Provenance at the Guggenheim since 2005 and, of late, has seen an uptick in those looking to mine her wealth of historical knowledge. There’s been an increased focus on the

40

institution for two reasons; the 150th anniversary of Wright’s birth, in June, was cause for brief commemoration. On a grander scale, they’ve a showpiece museum event that runs until early September. Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim is an exhibition that explores the museum’s present-day holdings – beginning in the late 19th century through the mid 20th century. It’s a wander through works by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas and ToulouseLautrec, to Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who were at the forefront of Cubism, to Robert Delaunay, Marc Chagall and Franz Marc, pioneering expressionistic use of colour, to Kandinsky and artists like Mondrian who pared things down to their very essence. But aside from a perusal of the masters, the exhibit is, “The story

of the six pioneering individuals whose collections were either given in part or in whole through donation or purchase to the institution”, says Fontanella. “They are Solomon R Guggenheim, Rebay (the Germanborn artist) Katherine S Dreier, Peggy Guggenheim (Solomon’s niece), and German émigrés art dealers Justin K Thannhauser and Karl Nierendorf.” The curator adds, “The exhibition is organised according to the six collections. A visitor will encounter on each ramp of the Guggenheim’s spiral rotunda a different ‘voice’ – a different viewpoint. Foremost, of course, is the collection of the museum’s founder, Solomon.” Of the sixslingers, Solomon R was the driving force behind the eponymous institution, and his own noble thoughts on the formation of this extensive collection were, “My motive in forming


They purchased the works with this desire – this hope – that they were saving pieces that would otherwise have been destroyed

From far left: Woman with Yellow Hair (Femme aux cheveux jaunes) by Pablo Picasso, © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS); Dancers in Green and Yellow by Degas – Thannhauser Collection, a gift from Justin K Thannhauser in 1978; Little French Girl (The First Step [III]) (La jeune fille française) by Brancusi © 2017 ARS, New York/ ADAGP, Paris. Photo by David Heald

the Foundation was to give the country, if possible, an important collection of nonobjective paintings, gathered mostly from the masters directly and so creating a moment of our own time.” His awakening to the artistic style was like the initial adrenaline rush of a newfound love affair. “The story goes that in 1928 he sat for a portrait with Rebay and was in her studio surrounded by these exponents of non-objectivity that the artist herself was promoting,” Fontanella recounts. “These works were a strand of abstraction devoid of any references or ties to the natural world. There is also a spiritual aim, this sense that it could express the inner truth of the artist – their inner essence. He was just struck by this art, and it was the genesis of the Guggenheim collection.” The museum says that at its core, Visionaries is an exhibition about

relationships – the relationships between these six collectors; between the collectors and the Guggenheim; between these collectors and the artists of their time. Fontanella says, of the historical backdrop, “These collections came into formation in a 20-year span, from 1929 to 1949 (the time of Solomon’s passing). The Great Depression took hold in the 1920s and then, ultimately, in the late 30s was the advent of World War II. And yet we see Guggenheim and the collectors remaining steadfast in their collecting and in their activities. All six collectors were in New York, together, in the 1940s, and they helped to provide a venue through their museums and through their homes for the benefit of the public.” Peggy Guggenheim founded Art of This Century – her museum gallery – in 1943, “To help fund emerging

artists like Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell,” explains Fontanella. “Kandinsky and Paul Klee also fell into the category of ‘degenerate art’, as did Franz Marc and any number of avant garde-ists. In Nazi Germany this was not in step with what the regime envisioned being the art of their culture, and we see Solomon, Hilla Rebay and co. purchasing [nonobjective] work with this desire – this hope – that they were saving pieces that would otherwise have been destroyed.” Like the art itself, the Guggenheim is no stranger to challenging the status quo. The ziggurat – an ancient Mesopotamian temple – served as the inspiration for Wright’s building design, and the challenging aesthetic drew an inevitable backlash from artists and observers. Then-New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, for one, disdainfully remarked at the time that the building looked akin to “an inverted oatmeal dish.” Thanks to these sensational six defenders of art, how culturally nourishing its contents turned out to be. Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim shows at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum until 6 September. guggenheim.org/exhibition 41


Art & Design JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

The Unspoken Truth

By appropriating elaborate fantasy scenes, Lalla Essaydi both empowers women and subverts stereotypes through her lens. From the secrecy of harem quarters to gracing the setting with spent bullets, her work is loaded – in every sense of the word WORDS : CHRIS UJMA

T AIR

he click of a large-format camera takes a split second to capture the woman – and the scene – at which Lalla Essaydi’s lens is aimed. But this flash is the only fleeting part of the process; curating every picture is a painstaking marathon dedicated to detail. Six months of carefully ‘injecting’ henna onto the fabric via syringe, for one example, and a day of rehearsal to acclimatise the models (who will sit for nine gruelling hours on the day of the photoshoot), for another. There is nothing instant about this artist’s medium, and given that her art plays on centuries-old symbolism – of ethereal Orientalist episodes that objectified helpless heroines – the time-consuming refinement proves fitting. There is no helplessness here, though. Essaydi’s take is not rooted in fantasy but in historical, social, and cultural fact, and her works combine painting, calligraphy, interior design, costume design, stage directing and, finally, photography. She uses henna to pen her calligraphic text over every available surface, with the tightly written script adorning everything from the walls and cloth to the very skin of the models. If it can be used as a canvas, Lalla will find a way. Still In Progress, an exhibition at the Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, highlights this New York-based Moroccan artist’s 2003-2013 oeuvre. It encompasses her Converging Territories, Harem, Les Femmes Du Maroc, and Bullets Revisited collections. Against the starkness of the Dubai art space’s walls, the tales of these women echo through the gallery. The kaleidoscopic patchworks of the Harem Revisited series’ vibrantly pop, and there’s true warmth in the photographs through the mix of colours, the jewels and the carefully selected fabrics. The chocolate box tones of Harem and ‘Les Femmes’, meanwhile, urge extra attention, to distinguish visual nuances. The oversizing of every looming image draws you in for closer inspection; of faint markings from flaked-off henna sentences-past; of soles of feet caked in henna longsince dried; of deep, feminine eyes, to detect subtle sorrow or the quiet defiance of unbreakable pride.

42


43


Art & Design JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

AIR

There is much within Essaydi’s art to unpack, and it’s best to begin with the inked script. “Henna is a crucial element in the life of a Moroccan woman. It is associated with the major celebrations in her life. It is first applied to mark her passage into womanhood. When she is a bride it’s used to enhance her charms for the husband. Finally, it’s applied when she has her first child to celebrate fertility,” she says. “The henna/calligraphy can be seen as both a veil and as an expressive statement, Yet the two are not so much in opposition as interwoven,” Essaydi illustrates. “The ‘veil’ of decoration and concealment has not been rejected but instead has been integrated with the expressive intention of calligraphy. Although it is the calligraphy that is usually associated with meaning (as opposed to mere decoration), in the visual medium of my photographs, the ‘veil’ of henna in fact enhances

44

the expressivity of the images. By the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded. The text is the voice of the women.” The women are, “Acquaintances of the family,” she continues to demystify. “I take great pains to fully immerse them with the thinking behind each piece of work and their roles within. I consider them partners in the creation, and only select those who are interested and willing to collaborate. I want the women to maintain a powerful presence.” A particularly eyecatching environ she has used is the harem quarters in Dar al Barsha, a vibrant architectural palace in Marrakesh. The artist designed fabrics for the subjects that mimic the patterns within the palace, picking up on details from the mosaic, stucco, stained glass, and carved wood.

I wish to present myself through multiple lenses... I invite viewers to resist stereotypes

Opening page: Harem #2 (2009), from an edition of five These pages: Bullets Revisited #21 (2013), one of 10; Harem Revisited #32B (2012), one of 10 Overleaf: Two panels from a three-scene Harem #11 (2009), one of 15; Harem Revisited #53b (2013), from an edition of 10 All images © Lalla Essaydi


45


Art & Design

AIR

JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

“The women, then, become literal odalisques [from Turkish, meaning to belong to a place],” she says, adding, “Ironically, it was my exposure to Western art that enabled me to artistically re-enter the spaces of my childhood and to see them in relation to the constructed space imposed by the Western gaze. Now I photograph large, constructed sets, using Western techniques of establishing perspective to achieve my goal.” The fabrics swathe the visuals in their own beauty, concealing the female form while operating as a singsong of richness. In Converging Territories and for part of Les Femmes du Maroc, she wanted to cover the richly colourful walls of the room where she works. “So I used white fabric then hand painted my text. In the Harem series, I photographed the tiles on the wall of Dar Al Basha, and I then printed these tiles on fabric and made traditional costumes for the women to wear. I wanted the women to embody the physical space they inhabit, dissolving into its ornate patterns so that they become the house itself”. Resplendent as the collections are, there’s a dual dose of wonderment – and admiration – that arises from delving into the labyrinth backstory of each setting. “My work is very processoriented,” Essaydi compels. “I believe the time I spend making the work is the defining aspect of being an artist. The process of making generates new perceptions and facilitates personal transformation, which in turn may yield new forms of expression. The arc of the entire process, from start to finish, is very liberating.” In an overarching sense, “I want to present myself through multiple lenses – as an artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite viewers to resist stereotypes,” she urges. “I wish for my work to be as vividly present and yet as elusive as ‘woman’ herself – not simply because she is veiled or turns away, but because she is still in progress.” ‘Still In Progress’ by Lalla Essaydi shows at the Leila Heller Gallery Dubai at Alserkal Avenue until 15 August. Her monograph, ‘Lalla Essaydi: Crossing Boundaries, Bridging Cultures’ is also available to purchase from the venue. leilahellergallery.com 46

The women, then, become literal odalisques, belonging to a place

Mars Desert Research Station #6 Mars Society, San Rafael Swell, Utah, U.S.A, 2008, by Vincent Fournier. Courtesy the artist and La Galerie Paris 1839


47


AIR

UnsUng Be it blinding TV series stints or woven into the fabric of blockbuster plots, Cillian Murphy is just like the characters he plays – unassuming, but cinematically essential WoRds: Krissi Murison

48


49


I

AIR

had been expecting things to be a bit flashier. Cillian Murphy is a big Hollywood name. He was the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. He starred in Inception alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Transcendence with Johnny Depp. This month he appears in another Nolan blockbuster, Dunkirk – a gutsy retelling of the Allied forces’ evacuation from France during World War II. But the first time I meet him, he is eating stew from crew catering in his leading-man ‘trailer’ (a Portakabin in the suburbs of Liverpool). This isn’t a blip in his otherwise glamorous lifestyle. He is the least starry star I have ever met. “I’m sorry it hasn’t been a very exciting day,” he says. “Some days there is shooting and explosions. That’s exciting.” He was filming a series of Peaky Blinders, the BBC’s postWorld War I gangland drama. His character, Thomas Shelby, is the head of a family of working-class hoodlums in sexy tweed suits, who use razor blades concealed in the peaks of their flat caps to blind their rivals – hence the series’ title. Presumably because nobody wanted me to reveal any exciting plot twists, I’d been invited on a day when there are no shootings, explosions or flat-cap blindings. Just one long, seemingly unending scene in which Shelby advises some hoity-toity types about horse worming. I watch Murphy deliver the same few lines about equine care, on and off, for two and a half hours, until not even the tweed suit is enough to distract me. “It takes so long,” he apologises, again, when they finally let him break for lunch. Doesn’t it drive him mad? “I can’t let it, it’s my job!” he laughs. “It’s that old adage: it’s the waiting around they pay you for, the acting’s free. But it’s faster on television than it would be on a big film.” He judges a Hollywood blockbuster by how many novels he reads while he is waiting for his scenes. What’s his record? “Twelve – and I’m not even a fast reader.” During the filming of Transcendence, though, he and Depp put down their books and took themselves off to

50

It’s that old adage: it’s the waiting around they pay you for, the acting’s free Ireland to meet one of their favourite authors in person. “There’s this book that he’s a big fan of called The Ginger Man, by JP Donleavy, and I’m a big fan of it. So we went to visit him in Ireland and we hung out.” There are photos of them going for a Sunday roast in a pub in rural County Westmeath. Depp isn’t part of his usual crowd. Murphy, now 41, migrated from Cork to London, via Dublin, more than 10 years ago, not for the celebrity parties, but so that his wife, Yvonne McGuinness, could study at the Royal College of Art. They now have two sons – Malachy and Aran, and when Murphy does venture out, it’s usually to watch indie bands rather than film premieres. Before he became an actor, he played in a Frank Zappa-inspired band called Sons of Mr Greengenes with his younger brother (he also has two younger sisters). The band were offered a record deal by the once-trendy Acid Jazz label when Murphy was in his first year of university, but turned it down when his parents told them not to. His mother, a French teacher, and his father, a school inspector, were similarly aghast when, a few months later, Murphy dropped out of his law degree at Cork University to be an actor. “It wasn’t a happy moment in our family history,” he smiles. Murphy’s breakthrough role was in 2002, in Danny Boyle’s postapocalyptic nightmare, 28 Days Later, where he played a bicycle courier regaining consciousness after a road accident – only to discover humanity in the grip of zombie Armageddon. “He was a big risk,” Boyle has said. “We knew he’d be fantastic for the start of the film, where he comes round in an abandoned hospital and he’s bewildered and lost. What we didn’t know was if he could do the terrible violence at the end. **** me, could he!”


Absurdly, I tried out for the role of Batman. Nolan said, ‘You’re not quite right,’ and I was, like, ‘I know I’m not!’ 51


52

AIR


Law school was clearly the wrong choice from the very first day Murphy thinks it was probably 28 Days Later that drew him to the attention of the Batman director Christopher Nolan, who was casting for the Dark Knight trilogy. Nolan gave him the part of Dr Jonathan Crane, the deranged psychiatrist who is transformed into the sadistic supervillain the Scarecrow. For someone so angelic-looking, many of Murphy’s parts involve him inflicting physical or psychological brutality on his co-stars. “Absurdly, I tried out for [the role of] Batman,” he grins. “[Nolan] said, ‘You’re not quite right,’ and I was, like, ‘I know I’m not!’ Then he offered me the other part.” He did get to try the batman suit on, though. “I think it was Val Kilmer’s one.” How was it? “A bit big for me.” Murphy is 5ft 8in and not of superhero stature. He does, however, have other charms. Nolan claims that he kept inventing reasons for Murphy to take his glasses off during Dr Crane’s close-ups, because of his “extraordinary eyes”, while busier women than me have lost afternoons to the online fan site **** Yeah Cillian Murphy. For his mobster role in Peaky Blinders, his hair was dyed black and shaved ruggedly up the sides. The combination of blue eyes, inky barnet, pretty features and outlaw pose made him look like a young, celestial Elvis. I met Murphy again a few weeks later in a little Italian restaurant near his north London home. The haircut was the only thing that remained of Thomas Shelby. He was deep into rehearsals for his (then) next project, the play Ballyturk, before it opened in Galway

prior to heading to Dublin, Cork and the National Theatre in London. Written and directed by his long-term theatrical collaborator, Enda Walsh, he described it as a “crazy and theatrical experience”, about “life and what it means to be alive, and just the actual work of existing... how much of a challenge that is”. “It’s not necessarily a comfortable evening at the theatre,” he continued. “It’s pretty intense. There’s a lot of physical comedy. He [Walsh] really, really slams his actors”. Murphy and Walsh go back a long way. His first ever role was in Walsh’s 1996 production of Disco Pigs, when he was 20 years old and had never previously acted. He was given a part close to his heart at the time: a volatile Cork teenager, “a role I could play without having any experience. It was very emotional and driven and not really that technical”. He fell in love with theatre for the same reason he’d wanted to be in a band: “The itinerant travelling vibe. We were touring, staying up late and it was a sell-out show, and I was winning loads of awards and I kind of fell in love with all the people who were in the show. We were this little troupe going around the place, having fun.” The degree didn’t stand a chance. Law school “was so clearly the wrong choice from the very first day. I’d had this idea that college would be an amazing coming together of young minds and sharing ideas, an iconoclastic melting pot, but it wasn’t,” he says. “Everyone wanted to get their exams, get a job and get the hell out of there,” Murphy muses, before adding with a smile, “I failed gloriously – actively, I think.” 53


AIR

Those unfamiliar with the Magnum Photos name will be familiar with their work. This member-owned photography cooperative comprises a roster of history’s most esteemed shutterbugs, who expertly captured global events from the upper echelons of celebrity right down to the frontlines of war and famine. This year marks its 70th anniversary, and among the countless commemorative retracings of

their success is Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum – a documentary by Sophie Bassaler that affords a unique look behind the scenes of Hollywood film in the making. For our own homage, we’ve dug through the immense Magnum archive to pick out a handful of iconic faces, captured from a perspective you may not have seen before; images that represent the visual poetry of the ultimate photography pros.

Right: Salvador Dali was a cameraman’s dream – zany and visually wild. “No analyst could ever take me lying down”, said the Spanish surrealist to this picture’s photographer, Philippe Halsman. © Magnum Photos 54


55


AIR

A picture taken by Eve Arnold of Joan Crawford in 1959. Arnold broke the mould for women behind the lens, becoming the first female Magnum member, back in the 1950s. Š Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos 56


Above: Confidantes, in conversation. A candid backstage moment between Vogue stalwart Anna Wintour and Chanel supremo Karl Lagerfeld is captured by Christopher Anderson. The fashion-industry influencers are caught discussing matters at the Fendi show in Milan, 2008. Anderson was elected as a Full Member in 2010 – ensuring life membership among the Magnum Photos elite. Š Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos

57


Of the thousands of people, celebrated and unknown, who have sat before my camera, I am often asked who was the most difficult subject, or the easiest, or which picture is my favourite. This last question is like asking a mother which child she likes the most

AIR

The late Philippe Halsman, contributing member of Magnum Photos

Right: Tippi Hedren, the main actress in the movie The Birds – with the film’s director Alfred Hitchcock in the background. Latvian born Philippe Halsman injected every portrait with a certain joie de vivre and imagination, and in 1958 his peers voted him among the ‘World’s Ten Greatest Photographers’. © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos

58


59


AIR

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin: the singers are pictured here in 1968 at their apartment in Paris. Photographer Nicolas Tikhomiroff was with Magnum Photos from 1959, reknowned for his pictures of celebrities and soldiers alike –“From the iconic glamour of Brigitte Bardot to De Gaulle’s historic visit to Algeria,” said TIME. “His images bridged the cultural distance between the razzle-dazzle of 1960s film and the growing turbulence of social change.” © Nicolas Tikhomiroff/Magnum Photos 60


The pictures above are among the unseen images featured in Cinema Through The Eye Of Magnum – the untold stories of movies in the making. Top: Marlon Brando during the filming of On The Waterfront, taken by Elliott Erwitt in 1954. © Elliott Erwitt /Magnum Photos Below: Marilyn Monroe in the Nevada desert, going over her lines for a difficult scene she is about to play in the film The Misfits. Taken by Eve Arnold in 1960. © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos 61


AIR

Rei Kawakubo is the empress of juxtaposition, fusing polar opposites in garments that defy classification. As The Met’s Costume Institute attempts to catch her lightning in a bottle, its head curator illustrates how this seminal designer invades space WORDS: Chris Ujma

62


63


AIR

“H

er clothes have often been described as indecipherable. This, for me, stems from the fact that they exist in the space between entities or boundaries, an ‘in-between’ space that establishes an unsettling zone of oscillating visual ambiguity and elusiveness,” utters celebrated art custodian Andrew Bolton. He’s the head curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and the Met man’s mind is the perfect prism through which to interpret the complexity of Rei Kawakubo’s genius. “Through her fashions, Rei breaks down the false walls between these dualisms exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness,” affirms Bolton, who garnered a 2015 Vilcek Prize in Fashion for his curatorial work. “As her clothes demonstrate, in-between spaces are sites not only of meaningful connection and coexistence but also of revolutionary innovation and transformation, offering endless possibilities for creation, re-creation, and hybridity.” Her 44 design years of creation/ recreation provide the spark for an exhibition at the Fifth Avenue art institution, which Bolton spent around a year assembling in tandem with the Japanese designer. Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between examines nine recurring expressions of the ‘inbetweenness’ that pulses through the designer’s collections. The nonuple headings are Absence/Presence; Design/Not Design, Fashion/Antifashion, Modern/Multiple, High/Low, Then/Now, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes.

64

“When we discussed the possibility of an exhibition at The Met, initially, both of us were a little apprehensive,” says Bolton of the preamble to her New York-based reflection. “For Rei, the show was to mark her first official monographic exhibition, while for the museum it was to mark only its second of a living designer [the first being Yves Saint Laurent in 1983]. I think it’s fair to say that her anxieties ran a little deeper than mine. For me, there was no question that Kawakubo fashion belongs in an art museum.” Her disruptive approach first set critical reaction aflame back in 1981, and the inferno of curiosity has raged ever since that first show in Paris. The Costume Institute display is cast as two halves, which correspond to the two ruptures that have defined Rei’s career. “The first occurred in 1979 when she decided to ‘start from zero’ and create more directional fashions; the second was in 2014 when she decided ‘not to make clothes,’ but instead to translate her ideas into pure forms or what she calls ‘objects for the body,” Bolton outlines. The style of the Comme des Garçons mastermind varies, from lumps and bumps to bubblegum ruffles, and ‘invisible’ clothes to sleeveless snowwomen that envision the ‘future of silhouette’. She is a tough muse to emulate – as a recent event proved. Her challenging aesthetic was chosen as the theme for this year’s Met Gala (where her signature, punky ‘bangs and bob’ hairstyle was emulated too). And while there were valiant attempts to ensare her tricky dress codes, none of the red carpet efforts achieved that visual precision – especially when

They’re exquisite avatars onto which we can project our dreams, desires, and fantasies


65


AIR

Opening pages: rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons Previous pages: Blood And Roses, spring 2015; Blue Witch, spring 2016 Right: 18th Century Punk, autumn 2016. all photographs courtesy of Comme des Garçons and The metropolitan museum of art, © Paolo roversi

placed beside actual Comme des Garçons creations (like Rihanna’s see-it-to-believe-it floral ballet). The high-society summit reinforced that her abstract and disruptive architecture can be spectacularly mimicked, yet looks askew when pieced together by a foreign protagonist. Close, but no C-Garç. Kawakubo is an amazing left field starting point for conventional designers, though. “Many aspects of fashion that we now take for granted were either pioneered or promoted by her, including asymmetry, exposed seams, raw, unfinished edges, outsized, overblown silhouettes, and an uncompromising monochromatic colour palette,” expresses Bolton. “She has changed the course of late-20th and early-21st century fashion. If she didn’t already exist, we’d have to invent her.” She has elucidated: “I don’t really know what ‘fantasy’ means. It’s not a word that I’ve ever used. I don’t have much in the way of daydreams or fanciful imagination. To me, things have to be real. We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground.” Counters Bolton, “This has never been my experience of her fashions. To me, they’re exquisite avatars onto which we can project our dreams, desires, and fantasies. They expand our minds and our imaginations by their extraordinary and otherworldly appearances.” 66

Her collections cast the mind to existential dichotomies: Life, marriage and death; youth and adulthood; East and West; form and function; elite and popular culture; good and bad taste – and plenty in-between. “The significance of space to Kawakubo fashions might best be captured by an anecdote,” Bolton recounts. “In her first interview with Rei – conducted in 1996 – the fashion journalist Susannah Frankel asked her to explain her then-current collection, ‘Body Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body’, two examples of which are featured in the open circle introducing the exhibition. Frankel’s description of the response has attained the status of fashion folklore: ‘Rei sat down silently, drew a circle in black ink on a scrap of white paper, then promptly disappeared.’ He adds, “Susannah interpreted Rei’s response as a demonstration of the collection’s indecipherability. But through the symbol of a circle, Rei was actually expressing the essential meaning not just of ‘Body Meets Dress –Dress Meets Body’, but of every collection: emptiness.” The head curator expounds, “In Zen Buddhism, an open circle symbolises the void. It’s characterised by a minimalism born of Japanese aesthetics, and expresses a moment when the mind is

I don’t really know what ‘fantasy’ means. It’s not a word that I’ve ever used… To me, things have to be real. We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground


Rei Kawakubo has changed the course of late 20th and early-21st century fashion. If she didn’t already exist, we’d have to invent her

67


68

AIR


Left: Cubisme, spring 2007. Photograph © Craig mcDean and courtesy of The metropolitan museum of art Right: ‘Clothes / Not Clothes’, Costume institute gallery view. © The metropolitan museum of art

free to let the body create. As a symbol, it not only captures the essence of Rei’s fashions, but it also the overarching narrative of the exhibition.” Architecturally, this open circle concept is repeated throughout – ‘an invitation to visitors to look at the works on display with an open mind,’ the Institute says. The exhibition space is white, to simultaneously highlight the void and laser-focus viewer attention. The lighting – designed by Thierry Dreyfus – plays its part, too, amplifying attention. “We had the opportunity to reassess our normal museum lighting, and push it in a different direction,” Bolton discloses. “Typically, we use spotlights in our exhibitions, which creates the visual effect of distancing and separating visitors from the artworks. By creating a sky-scape of over 300 fluorescent tubes, this effect is diminished and visitors and artworks are lit uniformly. As well as eradicating the traditional hierarchy between museum visitors and museum objects, it also allows closer inspection of the artworks.” Art savants may note an absence of word-based storytelling in this New York compilation – it was a conscious

decision. Information is presented in a booklet that visitors can read, if they so wish, but the museum wanted people to engage with Rei’s fashions on a more personal and intimate level. “While the booklet outlines the suggested pathway, visitors are encouraged to forge their own experience, treating the exhibition as a voyage of discovery,” he says. Though the collection is sans commentary, Bolton does make one qualifier: “Because her clothes embody innovative and challenging concepts, they suggest an ‘art-for-art’s sake’ endgame. But this reading is not only simplistic but also reductive. If anything, her work makes the art versus fashion debate redundant.” So where does Bolton place Kawakubo in the Takamagahara of design? “The history of fashion has yielded only a handful of designers who are not only masters of their métier, but who have also defined and redefined the aesthetics of their time. Rei Kawakubo is one of them,” he believes. “The poetics of Rei’s clothes lie in their paradoxes,” the curator muses. “Her ‘art of the in-between’ advances the aesthetic language of fashion

and introduces new paradigms by challenging traditional orthodoxies. If we’re able to let go of our proprieties and prejudices, the real truth and the essential meaning behind Rei’s fashions emerge and become apparent.” Bolton adds, emphatically, “Through her fashions, she points to the absurdity of the age-old sibling rivalries between art and fashion by promoting an art without obsolete hierarchies and pejorative classifications. Rei’s ‘art’ is magnanimous. It’s defined by candour, criticality, and contemporaneity.” She’s known for concise soundbites, and doesn’t like to explain her work – preferring her clothes to speak for themselves. But be warned of interpreting her ‘voice’ with a quizzically raised eyebrow, as Kawakubo will scythe you down. “Personally, I don’t care about function at all,” the disruptor expresses. “When I hear ‘where could you wear that?’ or ‘it’s not very wearable,’ or ‘who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.” Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between is at The Met’s Costume Institute until 4 September. metmuseum.org/exhibitions 69


70

AIR


Motoring JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Reel Wheels From the Batmobile to James Bond’s Aston Martin, cars have played important roles in movies and TV shows for decades. A new book looks at the most iconic WORDS: ChrIS AndErSon

I

n May came the sad news that British actor Roger Moore had passed away. Best known for playing James Bond in the 1970s and 1980s, he gave a more comedic portrayal than the likes of Sean Connery or Daniel Craig, and was famous for his quips and eyebrow raises. His was also the Bond you never got to see drive an Aston Martin. In 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, the character is presented with a white Lotus Esprit instead, which turns into a submarine after driving off a pier during a high-speed chase. The Lotus, a typical 1970s sports coupe, mid-engined and turbocharged, may not have been an Aston – which began its Bond association with the DB5 in 1964’s Goldfinger, starring Connery – but remains a series highlight among fans. Moore did get to drive an Aston Martin in one of his previous roles, however, with his character in TV’s The Persuaders, crime-fighting playboy Lord Brett Sinclair, owning a deep orange DBS. Perhaps a fast car was always a clause in Moore’s contract – in the 1960s, he drove a white Volvo P1800 coupe for his role as Simon Templar in TV series The Saint. But of course, it was not simply that Moore enjoyed driving, if at all. Time and again, cars are an important ingredient of movies and TV shows, adding to the excitement, and in some cases taking as much of a starring role as the actors themselves. In the same way that Bond usually drives an Aston Martin, Michael J Fox has a time-travelling DeLorean in the Back to the Future movies, while Michael Caine has a trio of red, white and blue Mini Coopers in The Italian Job. The close connection between big Hollywood names and the cars they have driven (both onscreen and off) is explored in more detail in a new book by Jacques Braunstein called Stars & Cars: Mythical Pairings. It brings together images, tech specs and anecdotes, creating a thorough guide to some of the greatest vehicles from popular culture. Braunstein arranges the book into sections, such as Gentlemen Drivers, where Moore features 71


AIR

You could not be a real star without the car heavily; Foot to the Floor, which targets specific movie vehicles, including Mad Max’s 1973 Ford Falcon V8 Interceptor and the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T driven by Vin Diesel in the Fast & The Furious franchise; cars from TV, involving series such as Magnum and Miami Vice; and Famous Duos, looking at cases where the character and car are inseparable, for example Batman and his Batmobile. There is also Actors Who Race, discussing the obsession with motorsport shared by actors Steve McQueen, James Dean and Paul Newman, and Artists at the Wheel, where singers including Elvis Presley famously spent money on cars. It is an intriguing investigation, which Braunstein begins by analysing the history of his subject. “The invention of the car and the birth of cinema took place within five years of each other,” he explains of the deepened association. “Gottlieb Daimler built his petrolpowered quadricycle in 1886 (the first of what we know today as Mercedes cars), while on the other side of the Atlantic, Thomas Edison began showing film projections in 1891,” he outlines. In the early days of Hollywood, as actors and actresses became wealthier and internationally known, Braunstein notes how the car evolved into a status symbol. “The world would see Gary Cooper in a Duesenberg or perhaps a Cadillac V16, Clark Gable in a Packard, and Errol Flynn driving an Auburn,” he says. “You could not be a real star without the car.” Braunstein identifies the golden age of vehicle design from the late 1950s to the early 1960s, with the arrival of the Ferrari 250 California, the Jaguar E-Type and the Porsche 911, as a time when cars became more prominent onscreen. They could be an object of beauty, like the black Triumph TR3 in Italian movie La Dolce Vita, or an important plot point, such as in Bonnie & Clyde, where the two characters meet when Bonnie catches Clyde trying to steal her mother’s car. 72

For many audiences, the car chase was not used to its full potential until the 10-minute version in 1968 movie Bullitt, featuring Steve McQueen driving a Ford Mustang. “It was only 10 minutes onscreen, but filming for the sequence actually took three weeks,” says Braunstein. “The sound recording was exceptionally good, emphasising the difference between the two cars – the higher-pitched Mustang and the more muted growl of the Dodge Charger R/T.” The iconic chase has influenced countless others over the years, and benefitted from McQueen’s own knowledge as a racing enthusiast. Fast cars were always a huge part of his life as an actor – on the set of The Thomas Crown Affair, for example, he ordered a bespoke Manx Dune Buggy with a powerful 230BHP engine for a race scene on the beach, driving it with his co-star Faye Dunaway in the passenger seat. But despite the car remaining important to film and TV, Braunstein believes that Hollywood’s attitude has changed since the 1960s. “The oil price rises in the 1970s, the introduction of more and more speed limits on the


Opening pages: A Triumph Tr3, as seen in La Dolce Vita Clockwise from top left: Sean Connery, © Collection Christophel Alamy Stock Photo; The ‘Magnum P.I.’ Ferrari 308 GTS; A deLorean dMC-12 from Back To The Future; Steve McQueen, © Everett Collection Inc

roads, and a growing uniformity in car production across the world saw this period draw to a close,” he says. “The marriage of film stars and the cars they drove became more about nostalgia: think about the 1966 Ford Thunderbird in Thelma & Louise, or Ryan Gosling’s 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle in Drive.” The highly successful Fast & the Furious movies, which feature classic sports cars as well as souped-up newer models, adds weight to the theory, and

makes it clear that whatever models end up onscreen, the audience’s appetite is not going away anytime soon. Whether it’s a chance to see Steve McQueen racing through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt, or Roger Moore firing missiles from his Lotus Esprit, cars in movies and TV are something we will never tire of. Stars & Cars: Mythical Pairings, by Jacques Braunstein, is available now from Aurum Press 73


Gastronomy

AIR

JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

74


Three’s a Crown Just over ten years ago, Martín Berasategui’s culinary vision for Barcelona took shape in the form of the sublime Restaurant Lasarte. With the hotel eatery recently awarded its third Michelin star, his is a formidable dining destination worth factoring into any summer travel itinerary

D

iscreetly noted at the top of the Restaurant Lasarte tasting menu is the statement, ‘These preparations are designed to be sampled in three or four bites, otherwise they would lose the spirit with which they were created.’ When paying their annual visit, the Michelin Guide inspectors for Spain and Portugal clearly took heed of chef Martín Berasategui’s consumption instruction, and the ‘spirit’ was communicated loud and clear. This year, the establishment was awarded its glorious third Michelin macaron. The restaurant is located within the luxurious confines of the Monument Hotel, in the heart of modern Barcelona and on the main shopping street of iconic Paseo de Gracia. And while Catalonia’s capital has 67 estellas-graded eateries, Lasarte stands alone as the only in its hometown with ‘tres’.

75


AIR

The restaurant is a surefire inclusion when the critics are drawing up their ‘Best in the World’ lists, and while Berasategui is accustomed to accolades he is prompt to explain that every plaudit was gained on merit, through endeavour. “We’ve been working hard at Lasarte since the first day of our opening in January 2006,” he specifies. “It is not what we’ve done in the last 12 months to receive the award, more a build-up of 11 years worth of process and finely tuned method.” Of this plan, the highly regarded Basque chef cites “perseverance” as the key to unlocking success. “That word is without doubt the one that defines our work. It is like a marathon, and you always have to give your best, and pace yourself. Yes, achieving the third star provides immense happiness, but at the same time a great pressure. You cannot deceive for a single second.” Not that he would want to, anyway. Berasategui isn’t coy in sharing his blueprint for prosperity, and the comprehensive approach covers every degree of the dining experience: “Work, strive, feel, listen, talk, taste, observe, thrill, improve, excite, think, imagine, inspire, decorate, pamper, reflect, research – and work contentedly, eagerly, intelligently and intuitively.” No room for deception, and every intention of living up to lofty expectations. The additional star will invigorate the in-house engine room – chef de cuisine Paolo Casagrande, manager Joan Carles Ibáñez, beverage professor Marc Pinto and maître Antonio Coelho (who orchestrates the front of house ambassadors). But even the contemporary setting itself was re-energised of late, with a fresh new interior look. “The ‘new’ Lasarte restaurant is much more modern, more spacious and with a brighter look,” Berasategui enthuses. “The rehabilitation was lead by leading architects Oscar Tusquets, Carles Bassó and Tote Moreno, and interior decoration is a collaboration of Oscar Tusquets and Mercè Borrell. The emphasis on light, as well as textures (with dominance of oak) and the selection of furnishings have been the mainstay of the entire project, to give the restaurant a unique personality.” In the revamp they added two elements that will fill the VVIP with 76

Martín Berasategui and Restaurant Lasarte chef de cuisine Paolo Casagrande

Nature knows best and we follow its rules. Our obsession is to work with the best produce offered by nature, the sea and the seasons glee – a semi-private room in the main dining enclave, and a second private dining space called the Chef’s Table, for up to eight people. The latter is located in a loft over the kitchen with glass walls that “allow our guests to follow the entire ‘theatre’ – the staging and intricate creativity of the dishes,” he says. The menu ethos is driven by the wealth of hearty produce sitting in Barcelona’s lap. “Nature knows best and we follow its rules. Our obsession is to work with the best produce offered by nature, the sea and the seasons, and transform it into a gastronomic experience,” the chef compels. The Red prawn on a seabed of fennel and coral emulsion, as well as the charcoal grilled pigeon (with citrus, capers, black olive and galangalgraced smoked sauce) are absolute star dishes of the Lasarte menu. “Each plate is created with passion, respect and care,” he adds, “and our tasting menu is

composed of our favourite ingredients, encapsulating the essence of our cuisine and our philosophy.” The guide itself notes that, ‘The cooking at Lasarte is elevated to an art form and their dishes are often destined to become classics.’ Says Berasategui, “Each one of our Michelin stars has been a source of great pride – not only the third – but where we really strive to shine is in the restaurant’s dining room. Honestly, there is no better reward for us than seeing our guests with dazzling smiles of pleasure having been asked if they enjoyed their meal. Our main purpose is to create an unforgettable gastronomic experience... comme il faut.” As any guest who has peered down on proceedings from the vantage of the Chef’s Table will attest, this certainly is the definition of fine dining ‘as it should be’.


77


18 journeys by jet

AIR

Hotel CafĂŠ Royal, London

78


T

he time is ripe to immerse in the elegance of Mayfair, and a sophisticated retreat is required for when dipping into summer society offerings of the UK-capital. Rest assured: Hotel Café Royal swoops in to take the breath away with its three-bedroom Dome Penthouse – nestled within a Grade II listed portion of the building. Like the grand old city itself, Café Royal has a rich culture, and those within London’s circle of influence will have fluttered through these hotel doors at some point. The likes of Oscar Wilde, Muhammad Ali and Winston Churchill have all conversed in ‘the living room of London’. The elegant suite itself is perched above Piccadilly Circus, Westminster and Regent Street, and this Whisper Quiet soundproofed space sits under the iconic copper-domed rotunda that is an architectural focal point on Lower Regent Street. Indoor and terrace details vye for equal attention. For instance, the living space (graced with surfaces like fumed English Oak in the bedrooms and Carrara marble in the bathrooms) is shaped for comfort and elaborate entertaining. Watch the cinema-style screen from a curvaceous crescent-shaped sofa, where a Bang & Olufsen sound system with concert speakers and a spectacular LED lighting system – that projects onto the domed ceiling – transforms this suite from serene into party ready. Pad out to one of the spacious terraces, and unrivalled Mary Poppins views await; it’s an outside space perfect for hosting duties... or simply admiring the view of British icons. With a private butler service and assured privacy throughout the stay, Hotel Café Royal affords luxury and peace-of-mind to those irresisitible to the city’s charms. An essential London address. Heathrow, Luton Airport and Biggin Hill all accommodate charter jet landings – thereafter, a Rolls-Royce will whisk you to the hotel. For tailored arrival requests, an attentive concierge team is on hand. hotelcaferoyal.com 79


What I Know Now

AIR

JULY 2017 : ISSUE 74

Jonathan Goldsmith actor

In the TV commericals which brought me fame, I played ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World.’ I could have been billed The Luckiest Man in the World. In the years that would follow, the most common question I was asked was, “Why do you think the commercials were so successful?” After all, the character became a phenomenon, going viral on the Internet the way few campaigns ever have. My answer? I think they made people smile. I got the accolades, but it never would have happened without the incredible young talents who created the brilliant campaign, that won every award in its field. I’ll always be grateful to the many talented people who worked, wrote and designed throughout my run. 80

Finally, after all those years trying to make it in Hollywood, I became a recognisable star – and the popularity of my character offered me some incredible experiences. Once, in an LA restaurant, I noticed a man approaching me, tall and imposing. He hesitantly and respectfully asked, “Could I get a picture with you?” It was Michael Jordan. The same thing happened with Leonardo DiCaprio, and with Jennifer Lawrence, too. She and I talked about Hollywood and how it’s changed – and how it hasn’t. There’s such a shared experience from the rejections and successes to be had (and the wild artistry and the unique business environment), that we were able to connect, though decades apart in age.

I’ve also been able to use my celebrity for good. Among them, as the proud chairperson of Make-A-Wish Vermont, when I see how the joy young people experience can ease their pain and heal their physical maladies, I think maybe we can heal with the mind. Maybe laughter joy, elation, good friends and a few wild adventures can make us better. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my long journey, it’s that life is far too serious to take seriously. I hope it’s something that you, my dear reader, learn as soon as possible.

From ‘Stay Interesting’, by Jonathan Goldsmith. By arrangement with Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company © 2017 Jonathan Goldsmith


Mayo Clinic

Ranked #1 In the USA. In the U.S. News & World Report rankings of top hospitals, Mayo Clinic is the #1 hospital overall, as well as #1 in more specialties than any other hospital in the USA. Our world-class experts work together to provide comprehensive care for patients with even the most complex conditions. Learn more at mayoclinic.org or mayoclinic.org/arabic.

Rochester, Minnesota, USA Based on U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll, 2016-2017. Š 2016 Mayo Clinic.


at Annabel’s London Dubai: Dubai Mall +971 4434 3888 Abu Dhabi: Galleria Mall, Sowwah Square +971 2677 7607 Doha: Porto Arabia, The Pearl +974 4444 8283

Air Magazine - Empire - July'17  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you