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Contents APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
EDITORIAL Editorial Director
John Thatcher Managing Editor
Faye Bartle Editor
Chris Ujma email@example.com
ART Art Director
Kerri Bennett Senior Designer
Hiral Kapadia Illustration
Victoria Thatcher General Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Director
PRODUCTION Production Manager
Tough Act to Follow
As the final season series takes shape, Game of Thrones royalty Emilia Clarke bids farewell to her alter ego
From her London boutique, style pioneer Mary Quant gave the Swinging Sixties a wardrobe full of liberation
In his twenties and without formal training, Simon Porte Jacquemus changed contemporary French fashion
Many believe they have the measure of Marlon Brando; a delve into his private archive proves that theory wrong
Made in Chelsea
Beijing · Dresden · Dubai · Geneva · Hong Kong · Macau · Madrid · Nanjing · Paris · Shanghai · Shenyang · Singapore · Tokyo · Vienna · Xian
APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
In a fascinating set of stills, photographer David Drebin encountered soon-to-be celebrities, pre fame
Skier Alexis Pinturault secured a championship title â€“ with a personalised Richard Mille upon his wrist
The roarsome Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest ever built by the company. How does the blue blur handle?
Wild Coast Lodges sit pretty between jungle, national park and ocean; a curated Sri Lankan escape to nature
Art & Design
RAKFAF enables both local and international artists to showcase their talent; Eddie Ryan typifies its ethos
The founder of kickass French maison Akillis talks about tearing up the high jewellery rulebook
With Massimo Botturaâ€™s latest venture, lazy Italian Riviera summers meet the eclectic fizz of W Dubai
Gastronomy 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.
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NasJet APRIL 2019: ISSUE 95
NasJet is the first private charter company in Saudi Arabia, providing bespoke aviation services for the most discerning clients and institutions in the world since 1999. Currently, the Group operates more than 24 corporate aircraft, making us the largest and most experienced private jet operator in the region with a managed fleet value exceeding USD1.5 billion. NasJet, which is part of NAS Holding, employs over 1,800 industry experts, operating 24/7 from our state-of-the-art flight centre in Riyadh and across the world delivering a superior level of safety, service and value. At NasJet we have the expertise and international experience to operate corporate aircraft worldwide. Every hour of every day, we are moving planes, crews and inventory across continents. We give you peace of mind when it comes to our commercial operations. As a Saudi company we are backed by some of the most prominent shareholders in the world. We are established. On our Air Operator Certificate (AOC), NasJet currently operates:
Welcome Onboard APRIL 2019
• Cessna Citation Excel, which can seat 6 passengers and fly for up to 3 hours non-stop • Embraer Legacy 600, which can seat 13-15 passengers and fly for up to 5 hours non-stop • Gulfstream GIV-SP and G450 Aircraft, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to 8 hours non-stop • Gulfstream GV, which can seat 16 passengers and fly for up to 12 hours non-stop • Airbus 318ACJ, which can seat 19-22 passengers and fly for up to 8 hours non-stop • Boeing Business Jet (B737-900), which can seat 38 passengers and fly for up to 9 hours non-stop • Boeing 767, which can seat up to 44 passengers and fly for up to 14 hours non-stop NasJet is pleased to offer the following services: • Aircraft Purchase and Sales. We have aircraft available for sale and management, or we can manage the purchase or sale of other aircraft. • Aircraft Acquisition, Acceptance, Completion and Delivery. We can find you the new aircraft that suits your needs, customise it to your liking, monitor the build of the aircraft at the manufacturer, and supervise the final delivery process to ensure a smooth and rewarding private aircraft experience. • Aircraft Management, where we are responsible for your aircraft from all aspects to provide you the highest safety standards, the best service and the most economical management solutions. • Block Charter, where we provide you with charter solutions sold in bulk at discounted rates. • Ad-Hoc Charter, where we can serve your charter needs where and when you need us on demand. With the new GACA Rules and Regulations having come into effect, NasJet has established itself as the first to market our Private and Commercial AOC Services. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, and look forward to seeing you aboard one of our private jets.
Captain Mohammed Al Gabbas Senior Vice President Cover: Emilia Clarke. Williams & Hirakawa / AUGUST
Contact Details: nasjet.com.sa / +966 11 261 1199 / email@example.com 13
NasJet APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
A Prestigious Addition NASJET SET TO ACQUIRE A NEW GULFSTREAM G650ER UNDER ITS COMMERCIAL AIR OPERATOR CERTIFICATE (AOC) With the onset of the new GACA Rules and Regulations, NasJet is seeing a push towards aircraft owners looking to make their aircraft available for Commercial Charter Operations. NasJet has been the leader in Aircraft Management and Charter solutions in the Middle East, with a focus in 2019 towards Aircraft Management. The latest addition to the company fleet arrives in the shape of the 14
twin-engined Gulfstream G650ER, considered the fastest and longest range business jet in operation. Its speeds reach a maximum of Mach 0.925 (92.5 percent the speed of sound) and it can fly to a maximum range of 7,500 nautical miles at a long range cruise of Mach 0.85 (85 percent the speed of sound). The range is based on calculations with eight passengers and four crew. “Flying a business jet has become not only a luxury but a convenience, with the ability to arrive at your destination faster than traditional business jets being the new norm,”
explains Yosef F. Hafiz, Chief Commercial Officer at NasJet. “The G650ER has pushed the limits to new extremes in business aviation.” Gulfstream Aerospace Corp confirms that the jet has achieved more than 75 city-pair records, validated by the National Aeronautic Association. One of the trips piqued particular interest in the region when, late last year, the aircraft completed a record-breaking flight en route to the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show in Dubai. The G650ER flew from Teterboro, New Jersey, to Dubai in just 11 hours and
Image: Gulfstream G650ER, courtesy of Gulfstream News
two minutes, covering the distance of 6,142 nautical miles (11,375kms) in a time that shaved an hour and 48 minutes from the previous world record. The flight was completed at an average speed of Mach 0.90. “Even with more than 315 G650ER and G650 aircraft in service around the world, we continue to enhance the utility, flexibility and real-world performance of these already classdefining aircraft,” said Mark Burns, president at Gulfstream. These numbers include more than 30 of the craft in the Middle East alone, as per Engineering.com.
Its flying capability aside, the promise of convenience and comfort tempts guests to opt for the G650ER. The plush, handcrafted cabin welcomes with its wide seats, generous aisle spaces and plenty of light – courtesy of 16 panoramic windows.
Commercial Air Operator Certificate (AOC) – under the NEW GACA Rules & Regulations Part 121 Special Unscheduled Operations – will make it the first business jet in Saudi Arabia of its kind to be offered for Commercial Charter Operations.
An array of cutting-edge tech is on-hand to deliver high-altitude connectivity, while the aircraft ensures occupants will arrived refreshed, too: fresh air is fully replenished every two minutes, with the jet also boasting the lowest cabin altitude in its class.
“NasJet has seen an increased demand for Ultra Long Range business jets, allowing our clients the ability to fly non-stop to their destination almost anywhere in the world,” Hafiz discloses. “We are all very proud of this addition to our fleet, as it will add value to our clients and also help our aircraft owner offset their costs and expenses.”
Having the G650ER on the NasJet
The cultural emirate awaits you
Radar APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
© Before They Were Famous by David Drebin, to be published by teNeues in April 2019, USD136. teneues.com
Photo © 2019 David Drebin. All rights reserved.
Who was Steve Jobs before the iPod, Charlize Theron prior to Oscars acclaim, or John Legend ahead of music Glory? David Drebin’s photo journey Before They Were Famous compiles a fascinating collection of pre-fame contact sheets; rare snaps that the multidisciplinary artist took of now-renowned celebrities and society shapers, back when they were toiling in obscurity, on the cusp of greatness.
Critique APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Film Little Woods Dir: Nia DaCosta In a North Dakota fracking town, two estranged sisters reunite to confront the harsh realities of life – pushed to emotional extremes AT BEST: “Nia DaCosta’s absorbing debut is laced with urgent dread, experienced by characters you care deeply about.” Village Voice AT WORST: “Offers no glamour or pity, only empathy for those trapped in a system that gives them few choices.” The Playlist
Working Woman AIR
Dir: Michal Aviad A mother of three returns to work to help the family. Her rise through the real estate ranks, however, is tainted by a powerful male boss AT BEST: “Forces [you] to confront the subtle and systemic nature of harassment, it’s a necessary conversation starter.” Cinema Axis AT WORST: “A slow burning but ultimately empowering drama that works despite a lack of the bigger, louder, more outwardly emotional moments it could have succumbed to.” Hollywood Reporter
Peterloo Dir: Mike Leigh A portrayal of one of Britain’s bloodiest episodes, where a peaceful crowd of 80,000 are charged at by a government-backed cavalry AT BEST: “This richly intelligent, passionate movie [fights] a brilliant rearguard action on history’s political battlefield.” Guardian
The Public Dir: Emilio Estevez A David vs Goliath standoff between library officials and homeless patrons, when the latter take refuge in the building during a storm AT BEST: “Humorous, impactful and poignant. With a little extra tooling, it would also make a great Broadway play.” NNPA AT WORST: “The dialogue often has a stilted, unnatural ring to it, and it is a tribute to the cast that they manage to bring out the essence of the film, its political heart, so strongly.” Hollywood Reporter 20
Images: NEON; Zeitgeist Films; Amazon Studios; Universal Pictures
AT WORST: “You can feel Leigh’s fury glowering off the screen through the entire last act, but that fury does the film and the filmmaker little service.” indieWire
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INTRODU CING THE NE W
Critique APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Derrick Baskin, Jeremy Pope, Jawan M. Jackson, Ephraim Sykes, and James Harkness in Ain’t Too Proud. Photo by Matthew Murphy
h no, the heart sinks, another jukebox musical on Broadway. So many – Cher, Donna Summer – have been varying degrees of cringe. But after leaving Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, a happy revelation: this jukebox musical not only has life, it also has wit, intelligence, while also looking stunning and full of energy,” praises Tim Teeman in Daily Beast. The biographical show, which runs to 31 December at Imperial Theatre, summarises, “A culture-shaking career graced with heavenly voices and glorious music that worked its way deep into the soul of an era. It all glides by far too quickly, or rather too smoothly... Even with source material as glorious as My Girl, Just My Imagination, [and] Papa Was A Rolling Stone, the result feels less celebratory than ruthlessly efficient, like the treadmill device that’s forever moving the ever-changing Temptations line-up,” mourns Greg Evans in Deadline. For Roma Torre at NY1, “It ranks pretty high as jukebox 22
musicals go. Not only is it vastly entertaining, it reminds us how the best of Motown was able to prove that music could be colourblind – even if the rest of the world wasn’t.” With The O’Casey Cycle, the Irish Repertory Theatre,“Takes a deep dive into the oeuvre of Irish master playwright Sean O’Casey, presenting a trio of the dramatist’s best-known works. Ciarán O’Reilly directs The Shadow of a Gunman, set during Ireland’s War of Independance. Neil Pepe directs Juno and the Paycock, [about] an unhappy couple in a family torn by strife, and finally, Charlotte Moore helms The Plough and the Stars, an Easter Uprising tragedy,” outlines Helen Shaw for Time Out New York. “O’Casey balances deeply comic and tragic elements in an atmosphere of stark realism, with emphasis on characterisation of working- and lower-class Dubliners,” say Irish Central. Shadow of a Gunman, O’Casey’s first produced play, teases the quality of the series, “Showcasing his unquestionable talent for blending
the comic with the tragic... gradually shifting the bright humor of the first act into the deadly violence of the second,” writes Theater Mania. The Bay at Nice, at Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark,“Is a play of ideas: about art, parenthood, love, marriage, genius, loyalty, and above all, the nature of authenticity... Richard Eyre directs, and his dark, intense production feels like about as decent a fist of this play as you could expect whilst taking it on its own terms,” writes Andrzej Lukowski for Time Out London. “Hare’s 1986 play was originally part of a double bill ironically juxtaposing Soviet constraint and American freedom... There are more recklessly ambitious Hare plays but this one... offers the rare pleasure of civilised debate,” says Michael Billington in The Guardian. “At its heart [it] is a meditation on art and the creative process. There are moments of profundity in the long monologues, but this is not primo playwriting from Hare”, say Culture Whisper.
Critique APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
ndonesia-based arts writer Jamie James, “Makes the convincing case that ‘since antiquity, Capri has been a hedonistic dreamland, a place where the rules do not apply: a Mediterranean prototype of Las Vegas,’” writes Kirkus Reviews of Pagan Light: Dreams of Freedom and Beauty in Capri. He “dashes through the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, a period during which a wide range of writers found their ways to Capri and started writing about each other in a kind of literary hall of mirrors.... [It’s] a colourful, captivating literary companion for those visiting the island and a peek into the lives of some figures largely faded from history.” Fellow author Anne Fadiman remarked, “No one writes better than James about the intersection of history, art, literature, and place... After reading this ravishing book, I wasn’t sure whether to head to Capri without delay or to decide a visit would be redundant, because James had already taken me there.” The book is, “A sequence of braided long-form profiles, full of bright digressions, horrors and lives that dead end... [A] roguish, diverting book,” says David Mason at The Wall Street Journal. “What were Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and Joan of Arc thinking and feeling during their hours of deepest crisis and despair?” asks Kirkus Reviews of Midnight: Three Women at the Hour of Reckoning by Victoria Shorr. The author, “Combines sturdy biographical research with some flights of imagination to portray three different women caught in the vises of three very different sets of circumstances... Each faced considerable darkness but persisted until light appeared. Austen found herself growing older with no marriage prospects and “without a penny to her name” – then picked up her pen; Shelley had to deal with the deaths of three of her children and
a husband, leaving Mary widowed at 25; Joan, after winning battles for France, was captured and knew a flaming death at the stake would be her fate.” Publisher’s Weekly writes of how Shorr, “Starts from the intriguing premise of capturing a pivotal moment in the lives of the three famous women – but falls short in her execution... She is best with Joan of Arc, but her work too often does not live up to the potential promised by its fascinating women.” Shorr’s “Remarkable literary voice illuminates [their] lives of three famous women... in these well-researched fictionalisations, their extraordinary lives given immediacy and power and even – despite what we already know – suspense,” writes Julia Kastner for Shelf Awareness. “Her prose is incisive, thoughtful and personal.” Maria Popova, the author of Figuring, “Looks at some of the forgotten heroes of science, art, and culture,” write Kirkus Reviews. “‘There are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives,’ writes the author at the outset. She closes with the realisation that while we individuals may die, the beauty of our lives and work, if meaningful, will endure... [It’s] a lyrical work of intellectual history, one that Popova’s many followers will await eagerly and that deserves to win her many more.” A biography of Popova’s “Intellectual ancestors: it is a map of the intersecting trajectories of brilliant mind... captured through the wide-angle lens of the last halfmillennium and coloured by the deeply human hues of love and rejection, vindication and vilification; the polar forces that guide the search for meaning,” explains Louie Conway for Vanity Fair. “It fascinatingly pieces together human truths and the remarkable details of these lives well-lived into an extraordinary mosaic of human existence... [It] reveals our interconnectedness, and the inevitable, although improbable, intersections of our lives in the vastness of the universe,” say BookTrib. 23
The premier destination for health and wellness has added a tempting new reason to head for the hills, as medi-spa Clinique La Prairie unveils its breathtaking mountain chalet
or 88 years, Clinique La Prairie has established itself as a destination renowned for excellence in health and revitalisation science. Built on four pillars of medical, wellness, nutrition and movement, it has become a true pioneer in the field of longevity. In a sense, the clinic has ‘two souls’ – its role as a medical centre, and also as an award-winning spa, where the ratio of staff to guest is akin to that of a luxury hotel. Over 50 medical specialists and 200 therapists are on-hand, delivering expertise that shapes personalised programmes for each guest – all within five-star accommodation. With Geneva airport just an hour away, upscale international guests journey to the establishment with high expectations, primed to invest valuable time in their equally valuable health. It’s 24
an opportunity to re-energise, relax and recharge, as well as an opportunity to look and feel younger on departure; the overarching allure is the clinic’s promise to ‘unlock the secret of living.’ Clinique La Prairie’s new Private Retreat in Verbier puts a new spin on this assurance: it’s the secret of luxury living – an abode where wellness, health and a warm welcome reside in total comfort. “My thought was about how to take our guest experience to the next level of excellence?” explains Simone Gibertoni, CEO at the iconic clinic. “The answer was to offer the ultimate bespoke experience: Clinique La Prairie at the exclusive service of the guest, in utmost privacy, with no compromise in medical expertise. Every day we enjoy the view of the Alps from the clinic, so a refined chalet in the Swiss mountains was the perfect venue for this bespoke concept,” he enthuses.
AIR X CLINIQUE LA PRAIRIE
The result is a resplendent mountain enclave with four spacious en suite bedrooms, crowned with a penthouse master suite that has both a jacuzzi and a private terrace (which boasts those panoramic vistas of the Swiss Alps). Among the array of amenities are an indoor infinity pool, a massage therapy room, a Spa room (with jacuzzi, sauna and hammam), fully equipped indoor and outdoor fitness spaces, a Canadian cedar wood hot tub and – for moments of evening entertainment – the chalet has a private cinema and billiard table. An on-site personal spa therapist, chef and waiter cater to the whims of every VIP, while a private driver whisks guests to the clinic and back in utmost privacy. To deliver a comprehensive, 360° experience, the clinic has bundled its chalet stay with either the famous Revitalisation programme or Master
Detox, promising an unforgettable week (with lasting benefits). Both programmes include compelling medical screenings and genetic tests, with the outcome being to better the guest’s lifestyle by resetting mind and body, eliminating toxins, and regenerating cells – kickstarting a healthier lifestyle. The Private Retreat is serenity to complement the science – a thoughtfully cultivated space in which to reflect on the clinic’s proposed pathways to a better self, while breathing in invigorating mountain air. In the home of holistic healthcare, there’s a whole new reason to feel at home. The Revitalisation programme or Master Detox with one-week Verbier chalet stay is offered from the end of April to September – package starting from CHF100,000. For further information on these bespoke treatment packages, visit cliniquelaprairie.com
Critique APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Sewing the Sail, 1896, by Joaquín Sorolla. Oil on canvas, 222 × 300 cm. Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’ Pesaro, Venice 2018 © Photo Archive - Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
or an artist who was described in his lifetime as the World’s Greatest Living Painter – that was the billing for his London exhibition in 1908 – it’s interesting the way Joaquín Sorolla has fallen off the radar,” posits Melanie McDonagh in Evening Standard. Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light shows at the National Gallery in London until 7 July. “Insanely popular in his day, to the extent that New Yorkers queued in heavy snow to view his large and florid paintings, he is almost forgotten in ours. Or at least he might be, if not for his virtuoso effects and his singular reputation as the master of Spanish sunlight,” says Laura Cumming, for The Guardian. “It is hardly possible to stand before these enormous canvases, thick with paint, without feeling at least something of their appeal, a combination of the obvious and comfortable relish in their making, and the irreducible beauty of sunlight itself.” He,“ends up being neither rigidly traditional nor particularly forward-thinking, neither exceptional nor awful, and in the process he gets a bit lost. He’s not a great painter, but he is a good one, with some great 26
moments. Hey, we can’t all be Monets. Some of us have to be Sorollas,” quips Eddy Frankel in Time Out London. “Heads up: this is a difficult show,” cautions Time Out’s Chris Waywell of the Don McCullin review, at Tate Britain. “It documents in crisp detail some of the most shameful aspects of humanity over the last 60-odd years... A lot of the images here were commissioned by newspapers and magazines to show their readers those shameful aspects of humanity, and were never meant to be coolly appraised in a big art gallery: they were meant to be spattered with the cornflakes you’d just choked over.” Here “Is the camera that took a bullet instead of its owner.... Here is the American soldier, traumatised, staring back. Here are the villagers, displaced. Here are the living and here are the dead. Here are things I prefer not to describe,” says a torn Adrian Searle in The Guardian. “The veteran photographer’s images of war, poverty and atrocity shines light on the unconscionable. It’s almost overwhelming.” Laura Cumming says it amounts to, “A moral position with regard to the world in which we
live: no human suffering must be ignored, all the horrors must be told.” “Few photographers have obtained the mythic stature of Robert Mapplethorpe,” say Time Out New York of Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now shows at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum until 10 July. “This two-part retrospective that marks the 30th anniversary of his death.” Over time, “Perceptions [of his work] have radically changed,” explains Charlotte Jansen for British Journal of Photography. “Between the 1990s and the mid 2000s, his open themes were deemed “unfashionably sincere”, as Vince Aletti reports in Artforum... The question that hangs over the contemporary audience is to what extent we are now conditioned to self-censor – something that is harder to perceive and dismantle.” He was, “Far too ambitious to pursue a medium that had so little respect in the art world... [Yet] with a camera, he discovered he could shape his world into visions of startling beauty... His photographs are less scandalous now, but still striking,” enthuses The Economist, in its Prospero column.
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Art & Design APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Nation Building Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is a unique platform, enabling creatives like photographer Eddie Ryan to contribute to the UAE’s burgeoning art narrative WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
he ochre-hued hamlet of Al Jazirah Al Hamra has long been a silent guardian, observing the nation’s march toward modernity. For decades, this northern emirate coastal town had settled into its fate as a deserted heritage treasure; its assortment of 16th century coral stone abodes delighting avid historians. Until recently, that is, when Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF). breathed new life into the town by making it an apt home for its seventh edition. From its outset, the intention of the festival has been to showcase local and international artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Those who commit their interpretations, experiences and memories of the UAE to a lasting artform are embraced by the festival, which “Champions the local talent who represent our community and enrich our understanding of the world we live in”, enthuses Suqrat bun Bisher, the Director of RAKFAF. “Art transcends generations, connecting our past and our present.” One of the enticing aspects of RAKFAF is the diversity of its contributors, and among the 70 participating artists is Irish photographer Eddie Ryan, whose piercing photography studies of classic and contemporary UAE architecture are visual signposts of just how the nation has bridged its past with the future.
When he first arrived here six years ago, Ryan was living in Ras Al Khaimah, and wanted to get to know the emirate and its neighbours. “I started off by just driving around, as that’s how I like to work, by getting out into a landscape,” he explains of his desire to dig deeper. “The glitz of the Burj Al Arab and the roar of supercars are a wonderful side to the country, but there are many other layers to peel away.” RAKFAF was instrumental to his photography deep dive. In 2014, Ryan submitted one of his early photographs, taken on Ras Al Khaimah’s corniche – and was duly awarded with the prize for the best photograph that year. Buoyed by the honour, Ryan spent the resulting years building an arresting portfolio that depicts a broad spectrum of UAE scenes: historic places of worship and craggy gateways that frame mountain vistas, right through to sleek, soaring skyscrapers. Even to the most adventurous explorer, his more obscure Instagram uploads can evoke an incredulous ‘That scene is in the UAE?!’ During the week, Ryan runs the Graphic Design programme at Middlesex University in Knowledge Park, while on Fridays he becomes the avid shutterbug, going wherever his camera’s curiosity leads. Within the country’s photography rules, he has found a foothold in which to creatively flourish.
“My style came about by studying the laws governing photography in the UAE – which of course are there to be followed,” he defers. “As a creative person, I developed an aesthetic that is respectful of the culture and the laws, yet is still distinctive.” Well, both the law, and the light. A pivotal moment for Ryan was finding that late afternoon, when the sunlight is less intense with its glare, provides the perfect framing for his captures. “On Friday I tend to go walking through parts of Dubai, for those two or three hours in the afternoon when things are peaceful and quiet,” the weekend wanderer explains, “And one afternoon I saw a particular minaret in Karama, where the sun framed the minaret’s unusual surfaces in just the right amount of light sensitivity, highlighting its Brutalist, minimalistic design,” he recalls. Once Ryan had processed that stark first image, he felt compelled to seek out other minarets at that time of day, “In order to capture the correlation between the softness of the light and the peace of the city during those hours”. It blossomed into the Before Asr series, which is emblematic of his signature black and white concept. So effective were the snaps that it became Ryan’s ‘magic hour’; a prime time to document other architecture. 29
AIR Opening pages: Zayed Grand Mosque, in Abu Dhabi Above: The spiralled Jumeirah 2 ‘Tomorrow’ Bridge is a walkway located along the Dubai Water Canal route. All images courtesy Eddie Ryan / @ryaner99
I developed an aesthetic that is respectful of the culture and the laws, yet is still distinctive “I’ll often walk the streets of Al Satwa,” he explains, “Because there’s a lot of interesting urban development happening there, and that light source is ideal for capturing images of the skyscrapers – where the sun does not bounce so fiercely off the buildings.” The striking Before Asr photography pieces find themselves among the myriad artworks at RAKFAF 2019, which Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi (UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah), describes as “Highlighting our past and present, bringing our traditions, successes and visions to centre stage”. 30
On that note, Ryan admits that despite submitting photographs to the festival for years, it still feels slightly surreal to be featured on the platform, contributing images that help weave an artistic tale that charts UAE history. “In the course of conversation with some who grew up here, they’ve commented that particular images bring back cherished childhood memories,” he says, by way of mission (partly) accomplished. Ryan’s hope is that in an everchanging cityscape, the photos will exist as a testament to how some of the less-visited areas once looked. In an overarching sense, his works attempt
to capture the ordinary, everyday sense of Dubai, which can be overlooked by being preoccupied with life. “I didn’t just come here for the sunshine; I have a genuine interest in the culture and traditions of the Middle East,” he ref lects. “It’s an honour to have my art included in that mix of international and local perspectives because, after all, that diversity is what the country itself is built upon.” Eddie Ryan is among the array of local and international artists whose work is being showcased at Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival 2019. The event’s outdoor exhibition shows through April
Al Jazirat Al Hamra minaret, in Ras Al Khamiah, is a structure that dates back to the 14th century
Photograph of a minaret, taken “In the stillness of a Friday afternoon”, as part of Eddie Ryan’s Before Asr series
The contemporary design of Etihad Museum, which opened to the public in 2017, on Dubai’s Jumeirah St.
Al Yaqoub Tower and surrounding skyscrapers, which flank Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai – opposite Satwa 31
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this monthâ€™s must-haves and collectibles
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
ROGER DU BU IS
E XCALIBUR – HUR ACÁN PERFORMANTE collaboration, and a new, self-winding inhouse calibre (with 60 hour power reserve) was developed for the occasion. Design cues are drawn from the car itself – for instance, on the upper calibre a strut-bar designed bridge recalls those of the Huracán’s V10 engine. It’s high octane haute horology at its best.
Power, performance, precision... The partnership between rockstar watchmakers Roger Dubuis and supercar savants Lamborghini is a partnership where horsepower meets horology. The 45mm timepiece, a limited edition of just 88, is the latest high watchmaking creation from the
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
C H A N E L H I G H J E W E L L E RY
The camellia motif, so dear to the maison, makes a graceful reappearance in a high jewellery suite that is as versatile as it is beautiful. This white gold necklace is transformable, with its detachable 7.61-carat Mozambique ruby camellia able to be worn as
a distinct brooch; once removed, it reveals an openwork flower pattern (comprised of rubies and baguette cut diamonds) in its place. Itâ€™s a concept that harks back to Coco Chanelâ€™s first high jewellery collection, where fluid designs could be worn in a variety of ways. 2
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
A LT U Z A R R A
P L AY
Two years in the making, Altuzarra’s flirtatious Play bag may be the ‘it’ tote of the moment, but it means business in the fashion stakes – perhaps because it embraces a sense of both casual and classy, with the relaxed boho silhouette offset by luxurious, soft
leather. “Women are looking for a bag that can do a lot for them – transition from day to evening and weekday to weekend, and one that’s a little casual but can also look dressy,” its creator, Joseph Altuzarra, told Vogue. “That has been a fun challenge.” 3
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
A S TON M A RT I N
VA LK Y RIE
Aston Martin grabbed headlines at last month’s Geneva Int’l Motor Show, and its limited edition hyrbid electric hypercar is the reason why. Due for release early next year, the otherworldly Valkyrie boasts a V12, a blistering 986bhp and –
given that only 150 will be produced – a USD2.5million pricetag. The outlandish creation is the result of a collaboration with Red Bull Racing, and is deemed as close to a Formula One car can be without being restricted to the track. 4
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
L A COLLECTION MEMENTO N.4
For the fourth edition of its Memento collection, Kenzo has styled an assortment of lifestyle pieces exclusively for its Dubai Mall boutique (the brand’s flagship store for the Middle East region, which opened late January). The lineup summons inspiration
from the creative archives: the tiger logo symbolises the French brand’s strength and power, while the designs celebrate its propensity for prints and graphics (an homage to founder Kenzo Takada’s fun side). It’s limited edition, with unlimited creativity. 6
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
CLEO BY MARLI
Maral Artinan founded her New Yorkbased fine jewellery brand with a desire to create timeless elegance, and there are few more-historic examples of that spirit than the great Cleopatra. As such, the pyramids of diamonds that grace this contemporary
jewelley collection are an homage to the legend of Egyptâ€™s accomplished queen. Speaking of the Middle East, the brand now has a presence in the UAE â€“ having recently unveiled a store at The Dubai Mall. 7
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
Pablo Picasso’s daughter Paloma once detailed, “We had a menagerie in the house, and my father was like St. Francis of Assisi – animals couldn’t resist his aura” – and six lots (up at auction this month) were shaped by the artist’s admiration for
the animal kingdom. The coveted works are inspired by both his beloved owl and goat, with interpretations of birds, bulls and mythological creatures, too. Sotheby’s London hosts its ‘Highlights from Picasso’s Menagerie’ sale on 9 April. 8
Timepieces APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Best of Baselworld
The rest of the design elements have a decidedly vintage feel, which always appeals to my vintage sensibilities. The elegant steel case, the two-step lugs, smooth steel finish, and the vintage-styled calf-skin strap create an overall feel that reminds me strongly of the Calatravas of the 1960s/70s. In my book it’s one of the most desirable (and affordable) Calatravas yet.
he annual Baselworld show has been running for more than a century now, and even with the recent changes in the watchmaking market, it remains the world’s most important horological event. Despite the Swatch Group stepping away from Basel this year, the industry leaders have unfailingly treated us to a smorgasbord of style, precision, and innovation with their new creations. Here are my favourite new reveals.
Tudor – Black Bay Chronograph Steel & Gold Two years ago at Baselworld, Tudor won over a lot of new fans with the release of their first Black Bay Chronograph in steel. Its new S&G release has perhaps made an even bigger splash. Though design links between Rolex and Tudor are always going to be mentioned (even though it is not openly flaunted), the younger brand is steadily carving out its own groove. The new black on gold theme reminds me of the JPS (John Player Special) racing-inspired Daytonas from the 1970s, (always a vintage favourite), but executed here in a fresh and modern way. The gold pushers, bezel, crown and sub-dials are a nice touch to a watch that is already set to become a classic in its own right. Patek Philippe – World Time Ref. 5231J / Calatrava Weekly Calendar For more than 80 years, Patek Philippe, (the undisputed ‘kings of complication’), have presented some of the most intricate and beautiful wristwatches and pocket watches ever seen. From unthinkable super-complications through to the elegant simplicity of the Nautilus,
down to the more refined dress watches, their legacy is one of excellence. This year the brand unveils a new World Time model in a case which is almost identical to the superb 2523, from 1953. The cloisonné enamel detail on the dial, however, is something new. It depicts Europe, Africa, the Americas, with thin gold wires framed by a revolving 24-hour day/night chapter ring. All of this is finished off with the familiar alligator leather strap, with gold folding buckle. Let it not be said, however, that Patek Philippe never stray from tradition. Its Weekly Calendar dial, released this year, has an interesting twist: handwritten text. Thierry Stern, head of the company, explained that the watch design reminded him of his old school calendar, and so the decision was made to go with that instead of a formalised font.
Rolex – GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 / Yacht-Master 42 As one of the oldest and most respected watchmakers, Rolex sidesteps flashy new releases or bold design changes in favour of slow and steady refinement of its timelessness. This year, the pick of the new releases is its updated ‘Batman’ GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 ‘Bleu & Noir’ with jubilee bracelet. The original international traveller’s companion sets the benchmark for GMT watches, and the new ‘Batman’ bezel makes a welcome addition to last year’s updated blue and red ‘Pepsi’ bezel. Also making an appearance at the 2019 show are new updates to the Sea-Dweller in two-tone ‘Rolesor’ steel and yellow gold, the Rolex Day-Date 36 ‘Rainbow’ and the GMT-Master II BLRO with meteorite dial in white gold. There’s also an upsized Yacht-Master 42, which is the archetypal sailing watch, and has always featured a 40mm case. Rolex has introduced a 42mm model, equipped with new-generation calibre 3235 and created from 18ct white gold, fitted on an Oysterflex bracelet. Dubai’s DIFC is home to Momentum, Tariq’s co-founded vintage watch boutique. momentum-dubai.com 33
Timepieces APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Peak Performance Skier Alexis Pinturault came away from the slopes of Sweden with two prized possessions – a momentous World Championship gold medal, and his trusty Richard Mille RM 67-02 WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
rdinarily, when a sportsman’s career goes downhill, it isn’t a cause for celebration. For an elite alpine skier, though, an accomplished descent is the name of the game – and few are as adept at the task as Alexis Pinturault. ‘Pintu’ is a World Cup alpine ski racer, Olympic medallist and, as of February, secured his status as world champion in the Alpine Combined category for the first time, seeing off 50 of his on-slope rivals. The success was long on the cards: the Savoie-born skier was raised in the French Alps region, and started skiing “At the age of two – making my first turns on the slopes just next to Hotel Annapurna [the Pinturault family hotel]”, he says. Now 29, his triumph at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is no small feat for the skier or, indeed, for
his nation; the victory in Åre ended a 37-year wait for a Frenchman to take gold in the discipline (which comprises tests in both downhill and slalom). To hurtle 1,033m in 1min 8secs takes both skill and a snowpile amount of daring: one of his soundbites relays, “If my words are sometimes taken as arrogant, it is that they are misinterpreted. I have goals, and to achieve them you need to have self-confidence.” It is this exact tenacity and unflinching determination that is reflected in the Swiss-made watches of Richard Mille. Pinturault’s partnership as a friend of the brand started at the beginning of the 2014 season, and it describes his focus as ‘an intransigent search for excellence’. Draguignan-born Mille, a compatriot of Pinturault, is a proponent of putting his elite timepieces through the gauntlet, opening horology to active 35
All images: Promotional shots of the World Champion French skier wearing his RM 67-02 Alexis Pinturault, at a ski clinic
collaboration with partners at the pinnacle of their respective disciplines. This made Pintu an ideal addition to the brand’s athlete collective that already includes the likes of tennis hero Rafa Nadal, Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake and heptathlete Nafi Thiam. Richard Mille maintains that these brand friendships (he downplays the word ‘ambassador’) are not reliant on an individual’s success: the brand stands alongside the athlete on their career arc through ups and downs, podium highs and injury melancholy. Still, Pinturault’s triumph in February had Richard Mille beaming with praise, and at every twist and turn on Swedish slopes, the soonto-be champion was sporting his specially-developed ‘RM’ watch. The skier first dipped into the Richard Mille suite of over 70 timepieces by favouring the RM 035 NTPT Ultimate Edition, and for two seasons of the Alpine Ski World Cup he wore a version with a case made of magnesium and aluminium alloy. Then, Richard Mille developed a timepiece with the athlete’s name to it: the RM 6702 Automatic Alexis Pinturault. It is a variant on the 67-01 Extraflat Automatic template – a 50-hour power reserve timepiece which Richard Mille developed to adapt to different sporting arenas, such as for tennis player Alexander Zverev (where a red Quartz TPT version of the 67-02 was primed for his on-court battles), and another variant for five-time World Rally Championship victor Sébastien Ogier to keep time when at the wheel of his Citroën. Pinturault’s is deemed an ‘Extra Flat in a sporty version’, and his own RM 67-02 namesake is decorated in the red, white and blue of the French tricolor. It’s a timepiece perfectly adapted for skiing in extreme temperatures and at high altitude, whilst maintaining perfect ergonomics – as requested 36
by Alexis himself. Suffice to say, it is both accurate and resilient. The self-winding movement, called the CRMA7, is machined out of grade 5 titanium. Richard Mille engineers explain that each aspect of the mechanism was subjected to extreme tests, to ensure optimal strength; indeed, the brand’s relentless research and development testing pushes watch components to the brink, in order for its timepieces to emerge unscathed from the furnace (or icy blast) of competition. The CRMA7 is protected by a strong, ergonomic case which – thanks to cutting-edge composite materials – feels barely there when on the wrist. This is achieved thanks to Quartz TPT, the famed Richard Mille registered trademark material, composed of over 600 layers of parallel filaments obtained from separating silica threads. It ensures exceptional resistance to shocks, belying the slim profile of the crystal/caseband/caseback assembly. Despite the watch’s sizable 47mm presence, the tonneau case is made of this Quartz TPT (in white) and also Carbon TPT, which keeps its overall weight down to a remarkable 32g (indeed, the RM 67-02 is the lightest automatic watch in the Richard Mille collection). There’s ingenuity in every millimetre of this watch – right down to the seamless, non-slip comfort band strap, developed to fit like a second skin, an absolute necessity at the highest levels of sport. Pinturault has dedicated years of focus to conquering the slopes, and is backed by equipment that received equal focus to become the best in the business. “To make a mark on your sport, you have to win everywhere. And to win, you have to ski fast,” Pintu has mused. Richard Mille can’t make time go by any faster, but it has made its mark on the watchmaking discipline by ensuring that its timepieces can prevail, almost anywhere.
a timepiece perfectly adapted for skiing in ‘ It’sextreme temperatures and at high altitude – as requested by Alexis himself ’
Jewellery APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
A Sacred Allure Indicative of its high jewellery prowess, the Guarani collection by Akillis is a gateway to understanding the maison’s avant-garde energy
he Paraíba tourmaline is a cultural gem of South America – a rare and enigmatic Brazilian find – and when Caroline Gaspard was renewing her vows on honeymoon in the region, she also had her heart captured by this particular gift from nature. “We went on a world tour, getting re-married eight times,” the founder of jewellery maison Akillis explains. “I’m fascinated with tribal jewels and I wanted to add an ethnic stone to our high jewellery collection.” The resulting suite – created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Gaspard’s jewellery house, which she formed in 2008 – is the Guarani collection, inspired by the Amazonian art of the Guarani tribe. Its focal point is a supple tribal necklace bejwelled with 180 lagoon blue Paraíba stones that, when mounted on white gold with white diamonds, evoke a ‘floating’ effect. “The suite is the perfect addition to the Akillis family,” explains Gaspard. “Not only is the Paraíba tourmaline known for its beauty, it’s one of the most sought-after gems in the world, due to its rarity. The necklace I created is very pure and you have the impression that every circular row is literally flying in weightlessness on the skin.” For the maison, sources of inspiration can often be historic (even the name itself is influenced
by Greek mythology, and Achilles). Yet at just over a decade old, it is relatively young; Gaspard herself was born in 1981. As the majestic, totem-esque Guarani collection implies with its distinctive colour and cut, this is not your grandmother’s antique-producing company. “High jewellery is becoming more accessible and wearable, and we have steered away from ‘jewellery in a safety box’, only to be worn for special occasions scenario that we used to see so often,” Gaspard enlightens. “Jewellery buyers are younger and are looking for bolder designs, that still represent luxury and beauty. New generations are looking for smaller pieces that you can wear and accumulate every day.” Young, feminine, successful… the brand, then, is somewhat forged in her own image. “As part of this segment myself, I created Akillis because I wanted to provide something that catered to this request, and to my vision of how high jewellery should look,” she adds. Gaspard’s fascination with gems and jewellery was ingrained from a young age. “As a child, I was somewhat surrounded by jewellery. First of all, my mother always had a real passion for precious stones, and a family friend worked in the diamond industry and always brought beautiful stones to our home. It became the perfect game
All images: The Guarani high jewellery collection 39
I wanted to create collections never seen before – I’m not into imitation
for me to imagine how to transform diamonds and gemstones into bracelets, rings or necklaces. When I was just 15 years old, I started to draw and create jewellery for my friends and family. Everyone fell in love with the designs and it brought me such joy, so I decided to continue the adventure.” At decade later, she hit the jewellery world with a bang (or a Bang Bang, to be precise), with bullet shaped pendant pieces. The founder went on to open a boutique in Paris, a workshop in Lyon, and last year unveiled a new home on 354 rue Saint-Honoré, near the famed jewellery quarter of Place Vendôme – though she feels the maison’s mindset sets it apart from its storied neighbours. “When I created Akillis, I noticed that there were only fashion accessories and high jewellery pieces with a classic aesthetic, and I had also experienced a lot of jewellery houses refusing to produce on-demand pieces for my close friends,” she recounts. “I wanted to have my very own brand where anybody could ask what they really wanted, and I could create it. I wanted to create collections never seen before, and I’m not into imitation. I wanted to create unique jewellery for people who are not afraid to display their singularity. As opposed to the strict habits of some high jewellery houses, I consider that each person deserves to have a custom piece of jewellery. This explains why we have many requests for customisation: our clients adhere to our philosophy.” Gaspard confesses that her travel adventures spark spontaneous ideas, which come to her “constantly.” When creating new pieces or a new collection, she projects herself “Through the 40
stones and the final piece, always trying to imagine myself wearing it. If it’s not talking to my heart, I don’t continue with the project. When I see a precious stone, I immediately know what I want to do with it and can envisage how the piece will look.” Still, her concepts have to be achievable, from a production standpoint. For her first high jewellery necklaces, called ‘Capture Me’, “It was hard to find a compromise between flexibility and strength, but I always work with the best workshops in France, so we finally made it through and found the perfect balance for creating new beautiful pieces,” she says. It was a technical achievement, using gold and diamonds and transforming them into a flexible piece without any clasps, giving a sensation of fluidity to the necklace. “It’s always nice to have a lot of crazy ideas for new designs, but sometimes your imagination can step out of the realm of the actual creation process,” Gaspard smiles. She has said previously that Akillis is for, “A woman of our times – a very independent and strong woman. It is not for a weak and angelic woman, it’s for a strong woman. The piece you choose asks what role you want to play today.” As such, the collections she creates are driven by a desire to inject an edgy, rock twist into the jewellery market. “Our philosophy is all about inventing new codes and casting out stereotypes,” the founder urges.“The innovative designs of the brand express lust for life, for love, and the willpower to be different.” It’s another vow that she happens to renew, with every collection.
As the final season of HBO’s medieval saga roars to life, Games of Thrones star Emilia Clarke bids farewell to her empowering, dragon-blooded character – but not to the experience INTERVIEW: PETE CARROLL ADDITIONAL WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
hen Emilia Clarke was first cast to play Daenerys Targaryen in 2011, it was a breakthrough moment for the Londonborn actress. Her powerful character is a protagonist in Game of Thrones, HBO’s made-for-TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel series, which served as a launchpad for Clarke – and the royal role has defined her career for the best part of a decade. For all cast members, not just Clarke, the run will soon come to an end. Her reign spans 73 episodes, but audiences are currently laser-focused on the final six and, by all accounts, the eighth and final season (which premieres on 14 April) promises to be an explosive end to the captivating saga. “Walking into season eight for Daenerys is much the same as everyone else – on eggshells,” she admits. “I feel like every character was left on a bit of a cliff edge, in a precarious situation. So yeah, even for Daenerys it’s that way, there’s a development that happens within the season.”
When Clarke first laid hands on the final season script, she was anxious to see how the narrative was set to finish. (Her character, for the unimitated, is one of the last remaining members of her family ‘house’, and the dragon-rearing ruler is hellbent on reclaiming the Seven Kingdoms). “I was sent the script and I read it in an afternoon, because we get sent all of the episodes,” she reveals. “And then I just left my house with my keys and walked for about three hours around London, aimlessly wandering – because it’s so epic. There’s a lot that happens.” Very tantalising – though of course, she cannot proffer more. What she can share is being a “big fan” of television shows finishing when “you’re still ready for more, because then you’re as engaged with it as you were in the beginning, and I think that’s really important. It [can] go on too long, and you’re doing a disservice to the characters, and to the writing. I think it’s important to have that ‘want for more’.” 43
10 years of anyone’s life is filled to the brim with big moments. And so saying goodbye is kind of just bittersweet
Clarke confesses to feeling the pressure of disappointing the fans with the final season of such a colossal show, though. “Always. Always. Because the fans are the ones who have made the show. You want very much for everyone to be happy, but in the final season of any show there’s going to be disappointed people, there’s going to be upset people, and there’s going to be fights within friendship groups. And this is just the final bit of that.” An ardent fan base – chomping at the bit while waiting for the final season, with time on their hands – has naturally resulted in an avalanche of theories and guesswork about the direction the series will take. All of which Clarke blocks out. “I genuinely never Google myself, and never read anything about the show online. Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. I do not find it helpful for my mental health. It’s just too much, there are a lot of opinions out there. So no, I don’t read any of that stuff. There’s stuff that people say to me like, ‘Do you believe that she’s an alien?’ I do hear a lot of it – but you also come up with your own theories, you come up with your own ideas and then you read the script and go, ‘Oh I was wrong…’” Clarke feels emotional in saying goodbye to her character – “Every single actor on this show will have their own personal story that goes alongside the show, that marks important chapters as to who they are, defining moments in your life,” she adds. “10 years of anyone’s life is filled to the brim with big moments. And so saying goodbye to the show, saying goodbye to Daenerys, for me, is saying goodbye to a lot of those massive moments. And so it’s kind of just bittersweet. It’s the single most defining thing that has
happened to me in my life. It took me from being a child to being an adult. And it’s just magic that that’s happened.” Looking back, what does the Emilia of today say about some of those early scenes – which contained nudity? “Oh heavens, this question,” she smiles. “On a story level, we needed to see the struggles that Daenerys has been through to have any of the empathy, understanding, and liking of her as a human. You had to see it, it couldn’t just be explained. So there’s not one part of the show that I would go back and redo. That I keep getting asked the ‘nudity question’ lately is interesting, and tells me about the society that we’re living in, as opposed to anything. But my short answer is no, I would never change anything.” The role has “Absolutely” changed her as a woman though, she muses. “Lord knows what I’d be without her,” she laughs. “I don’t know where I’d be, I don’t know what I’d be doing. But yeah, I had absolutely no idea what it was that I was walking into. This is something that’s kind of coming up and I’m realising now that I really had no idea about anything when I started the show. Nothing. The industry, acting, TV, society, politics – nothing. I had no idea. I was 22.” Not just for Clarke. D.B Weiss and David Benioff, the show’s creators, told Vanity Fair that her character in the series is a combination of Joan of Arc, Lawrence of Arabia and Napoleon. A character with those attributes is bound to appeal to the public – indeed, female politicians in Spain were even seen sporting t-shirts bearing a Daenerys quote, ‘I’m not a princess – I’m a khaleesi.’ “It’s a show that talks about power, and that puts women in a place of power, 45
and I think that that’s unique,” assesses Clarke. “It’s a political show and also a fantastical show, set in a fantastical time in a fantastical world. But you are putting women in a position of power. So for that to have any resonance for any woman in society – who is in a position of power, or is looking to be in a position of power – then it’s beautiful that the parallel is being drawn.” They are incredibly different worlds, she continues, “But the essentials – the fundamentals of having an idea, believing it in enough to have people back you, and then to believe in that idea and promote yourself as someone who can lead bodies of people – are of course a similar thing. In our fantastical world the gender divide is what it is, in our society it is also what it is. I think there’s some parallels that you can draw, for sure. Though with less fire, less death.” Such a profoundly written character, played out over eight seasons, was bound to seep into Clarke’s own real life persona, too. “To put it one way, it has sort of allowed me to ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. A lot of Daenerys’ scenes have been in front of a lot of people, giving big speeches so just on a very practical level, me as Emilia having to get up and speak to 300 extras in a fake language, really convincing them of something, requires a lot of strength,” she explains. “Daenerys has asked me to do that at each turn. They have asked me to walk through fire, legitimately walk through fire. And I’m definitely one to do as one’s told: as an actor you learn lines and stand on a mark. So when they ask you to walk through fire and you do, there’s a part of you that goes, ‘I just did that! That’s cool. That’s really cool.’” It has been a wild ride – for both Daenerys and Clarke. “I mean there’s been genuinely so many crazy moments, she says, adding with a laugh, “I don’t want to bring it up again, but there was this Brad Pitt thing that happened to me…”. She’s talking about the time Brad Pitt bid (unsuccessfully) to watch Game of Thrones with her, at Sean Penn’s annual charity gala auction in aid of Haiti. “I was literally thinking, ‘This is not even happening, this is some crazy dream’ and I’m going to wake up, 12 years old, saying ‘That was a good dream.’ It [the auction] got up to some high numbers 46
and there was Brad Pitt leaning back in his chair and bidding. It was incredible… So that was one of the more-recent fabulous moments that would have never happened,” says a tickled Clarke. She is not necessarily turning her back on the fantasy genre, though. Her performances thus far have led to silver screen opportunities such as starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys, and playing Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Her approach is to ‘never say never’ to anything, she admits. “As an actor I think it’s important to keep doing as many different things as possible to just find more textures to your life and to your skills, and I think the only way you can do that is by trying everything on for size,” Clarke professes. “So I’m not saying no, I’m just probably not saying it will be my next thing.” But it is worth remembering that there is a woman beneath the wig; Clarke memorably said, around the season three mark, that nobody would recognise her without the wardrobe prop. “I get very guarded about my anonymity. You know, I like going to the butchers and having a chat and it being a normal thing. I like human interaction, I value it, I appreciate it, it’s what makes me feel happy. So when that’s taken in that way, of someone looking at you in a different guise, it can be incredibly difficult – sort of anxiety inducing. And so the recognition has increased, for sure. Obviously there’s no getting away from it, but I think that you can live a life that is free of the trappings of paparazzi and that kind of thing.” And the actor is grateful for the recognition it has bestowed upon her life. “It’s opened a lot of doors that would remain firmly shut to me otherwise. It still is incredibly difficult to make anything, even if you’re Brad Pitt,” she explains. “It’s still difficult to go, ‘Hey I have this idea, give me some money and we can put it into a thing, and people will watch it and it’s sort of the biggest gamble you’ll ever take.’” What it has done, though, “Is allowed me to have some doors opened, and the tagline it comes with when I’m walking into that room is ‘strong, female protagonist’. That gives me goosebumps; it’s mad. I could never have in a million years thought that would be the case. It feels good. It feels very, very good.”
I think there’s some parallels that you can draw between the show and real life. Though with less fire, less death
From her Chelsea-based boutique, Mary Quant became the stylistic heartbeat of the Swinging Sixties â€“ but thereâ€™s more to her influence than debuting the mini-skirt. She emboldened women with an empowering wardrobe, from top to toe
WORDS : CHRIS UJMA
Mary Quant made London the “ centre of street style, and of ‘cool’ ”
uant Afoot, a pair of pixie cut boots produced for Mary Quant’s footwear range in 1967, were both innovative and on-trend. Made from plastic – one of the new materials adopted by trendsetting designers in the 1960s – they resembled the Chelsea boot with square heel and toe worn by the Beatles. Turn them over, and the heels are molded with a daisy motif – the signature Quant brand pattern – causing the wearer to leave a trail of floral footsteps behind her after walking through a puddle. It was a fun and playful detail (values that are quintessentially Quant) and somewhat symbolic, too: at a crucial crossroads for femininity, her fashion enabled women to make their mark on the world. Quant clothed the female half of the Sixties Youthquake by popularising an array of era-defining statements such as the mini skirt, hot pants, skinny rib sweaters and even waterproof mascara. The self-taught designer emerged (just twenty-something years old) in 1955 post-war London; “A drab and austere landscape, where rationing was still in place,” explains Steph Wood, co-curator of the V&A’s Introducing Mary Quant exhibition. “In terms of fashion, options for women at that time were very limited: as a girl, you dressed like a child until it was time to dress like your mother, so there was a real gap in the market in terms of self-expression. Quant harnessed the spirit of that younger generation and offered them something that they can’t find elsewhere,” she adds. In many ways, Quant’s designs were a reaction against the austerity of the time, and the colourfulness of her creations reflect the emerging optimism of that period: growing affluence, social mobility for young people, higher wages and an opportunity for higher education. “ There was a whole scene in Chelsea of actors, artists, philosophers centred around the King’s Road in 1955,” Wood
puts into context, of Quant’s decision to set up her famous Bazaar boutique. “Like those thinkers, she had a vision for contributing to a new, progressive identity for post-war London.” She applied that focus to nonconformist street style, which resonates today. “Every London Fashion Week, there is as much focus on what people coming to the shows are wearing as to what is on the catwalk in the actual collections – and that started with Mary Quant, who made London the centre of street style, and cool,” says Wood. The curator details how Quant used lightweight, stretchy fabric for freedom of movement, so that women could run for buses and go out dancing. “A lot of those we interviewed talk about wearing Quant’s pieces from day to evening; young working women who would go out dancing after work, in versatile clothing. It was about giving women choice, not creating a homogenous look, and Quant created fashion as a tool for expression, for nonconformity, and for women to compete in life.” Including herself. At the time, Quant was young, beautiful (which she still is, at 89) and in a landscape with few businesswoman role models, was someone for women to aspire to. The slender designer had a daring Vidal Sassoon bob and daringly pushed the boundaries, while showing women how to carry it off. She was both the architect and the ambassador. Some of her first collections were incredibly expensive and women had to save up for them, but her followup lines “Took a more egalitarian, affordable approach; ‘fashion for everyone,” shares Wood. “Her collections were high end, emerging from a couture tradition, yet were ready-to-wear and mass produced. The materials and fabrics that she used were high quality, and she had a team of seamstresses who were very skilled. Some of the garments loaned
Opening pages: Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967. © PA Prints 2008 Previous pages: Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. © Ronald Dumont/Stringer/ Getty Images Left: Selecting fabric, 1967 © Rolls Press/ Popperfoto/ Getty Images Opposite: Model holding a Bazaar bag c.1959 © Mary Quant Archive
to the exhibit have been worn by three generations of women in a family, which speaks to how timeless a lot of those designs are, and also how well-made they are. They stand the test of time.” It has been 50 years since the last major retrospective on Mary Quant, and the interlude had a benefit for Wood and her co-curator Jenny Lister: half a century of hidden gems to unearth. Preceding the exhibition, they issued a #WeWantQuant campaign, urging women to get in touch with their memories and photographs of treasured pieces. 1,000 responded. One loan to the exhibit is a beautiful, simple T-shaped top with a bold pattern on it, says Wood. “The owner bought it in 1957 straight out of the Bazaar window – and it is such an early piece that it predates Mary putting her eponymous brand label on the garments. It’s one of the earliest pieces that exists.” Quant also produced publicly available patterns for women to make their own Quant designs at home, for a snip of the price. The V&A obtained a dress created by a lady – an art student at the time – who created one of the Daddy’s Girl designs to wear for her 21st birthday. This again speaks to Quant’s egalitarian ethos approach that even if you couldn’t afford a Mary Quant, you could make your own, from your own choice of fabric. It’s why her iconic silhouettes seemed everywhere in London at the time, and 52
her presence didn’t stop at dresses. “Her diversity – cosmetics, hats, undergarments, home dressmaking patterns, even the toy market with the Daisy Doll – are testament to her vision,” enthuses Wood. “This helped establish her as one of the most varied lifestyle brands in the world by the mid1970s, and the Godmother of accessible and affordable fashion for all.” Quant once said, “One of the things I’ve learned is never to horde ideas, because either they are not so relevant, or they’ve gone stale. Whatever it is, pour it out”– and the breadth of her creativity stayed true to that mindset. She produced her own line of makeup and invented ‘Cry, baby’ waterproof mascara. She’s associated with the jersey mini-dress, and was one of the first designers to promote trousers for women (at a time where women were often banned from wearing them in formal settings like restaurants). There is a misconception that Quant invented the mini skirt, says Wood, though she can be credited with popularising it. “By 1967 it had become a symbol of women’s liberation and London fashion. It was so shocking at the time.” The designer herself even admitted it was “not an invention, but an evolution; women were demanding an ever-shorter style”. It’s testament to how Quant was reactively listening to her audience, and the notion of giving women choice means the apt timing of Introducing
Mary Quant is not lost on Wood: “In the age of #metoo, many women are marginalised and overlooked, which makes it a perfect moment to celebrate a woman who liberated people from convention and dressing like their mother, and gave them opportunities,” she notes, of the exhibition’s pertinence. “Mary could see the ability of fashion to be more than just clothes, and used as an opportunity for liberation, to promote change in women.” When the V&A launched its ticket sales ahead the exhibition, models and staff who worked with the designer during the height of her fame were in attendance, staging a ‘Quant Revival.’ “When I talked to the women who worked with her, I learnt that she gave opportunities to a lot of those women at a time when nobody else would,” says Wood. “A lot of them excelled within her company, starting in junior positions and within a few years were directors – so she was pushing possibilities through her fashion, but also to her network of women around her. She had this vision of a better future for women.” The daisy print on the Quant Afoot heel was a fleeting fashion statement, saying ‘I was here’. But the empowering path that Quant and her fashion firebrands traversed was far more profound – and more indelible, too. Mary Quant, sponsored by King’s Road, shows at the V&A from 6 April 2019 – 16 February 2020. vam.ac.uk/maryquant
When it comes to sneakers, Simon ‘Woody’ Wood has insane obsession with every nuance of the 100-year sports shoe boom; he’s an encyclopedia of every collab, custom, limited edition and retro reissue. It all started with a scheme to get pairs for free WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
How Simon Porte Jacquemus, a 20-something with no formal fashion training, redefined French style WORDS: BETHAN HOLT
he notion of 'French chic' is the stuff of fashion legend – or of cliché. It's a phrase that typically conjures images of a woman in skinny jeans, a half-unbuttoned silk shirt and a sharp blazer; hair is insouciantly mussed-up, eyes smudged with kohl. The effect is elegant, casual and laced with sex and a soupçon of froideur - but it's also a tired stereotype that is just begging to be freshened up. Enter Simon Porte Jacquemus, a smiling 29-year-old in jeans and Timberland boots, from the quiet town of Mallemort, just inland from Marseille. The Jacquemus look is all about sunshine, style and cheer, a jolly world of exuberant sass and sensuality that you want to be part of the moment you discover it. The designer's name crackled away on the fashion landscape for a few years thanks to some bright, playful conceptual collections that 55
made him a promising part of Paris's burgeoning new talent scene. Then there was some completely wantable shirting, which convinced that this was a label whose pieces you could actually, you know, wear. But then last summer – pop! – any It girl worth her sea-salty hair was shaded beneath Jacquemus's enormous (1ft high, 3ft wide) La Bomba straw hat. Rihanna posed in it for Vogue Paris, and Danish model and actress Emma Leth even employed hers as an alternative to a veil for her wedding, styling it with a sheer lace Jacquemus dress. By this point, Jacquemus was already in a class of his own, confounding preconceptions about the 'right' way to go about creating a modern fashion brand. But this was a moment that confirmed the fact he was probably on to something with his talkingpoint accessories and hot summer take on French style – despite having neither formal training nor any backing from a major conglomerate. "It was important to me to remind people that France is not Paris," Jacquemus says when we meet at La Montgolfière, a Parisian members' club in an old hot-air balloon factory, where everyone is drinking flat whites and tapping away at Macs. "You can be from somewhere else and still say something in French. It was important to have a French identity but not Parisian." Jacquemus's aesthetic and ideal come from a blend of being an early adopter of all things digital, and his adoration for his mother, Valérie, who was killed in a car accident when she was 42 and he was 18. "She could be anything. One day, she might do a total look in pink, the next day she would wear a vintage linen "grandmother" dress," Jacquemus remembers. "She was really creative, so our house was full of surprises. I had a wall full of leaves from Cuba – she did art with whatever she had. We are from a farming family, but she was always super inspiring." It's not only Valérie's look that Jacquemus draws on, but her joie de vivre, too. "She was always smiling and having fun. When I started, I wanted to do this childish woman, someone whose age you can't define. I grew up with this woman who was very naive. It 56
It was not always easy to be this kind “ of designer in Paris – to design a happy brand and stay happy within myself ” has become more sophisticated as the label has grown, but you don't ever feel far away from the Jacquemus woman." He admits that for a while he was so obsessed with paying tribute to his mother that he perhaps lost sight of other kinds of women, especially when it came to choosing models. It took his half-sister Maëlle, who is half-French, half-Algerian, to ask why he never cast girls who looked like her for him to realise that he needed to redress the balance – "I'd just got so blocked," he says.
There's a jaunty vivaciousness to Jacquemus's approach; it's tasteful, but it doesn't take itself too seriously – qualities that can be rare on planet fashion. "It was not always easy to be this kind of designer in Paris – to design a happy brand and stay happy within myself," admits Jacquemus, who commissioned the artist Chloe Wise to paint sexychic-camp scenes of the south of France to 'celebrate the beauty and humour in bountifulness' for his spring/summer campaign.
Words: Bethan Holt / The Telegraph / The Interview People. Images: Getty Images
"Some people were embarrassed by me, saying I was too happy. It's because I was so young and didn't know any rules, I just wanted to make it happen." Although he briefly enrolled at the Paris fashion school Esmod, the sudden death of his mother prompted Jacquemus to get on with realising his own label rather than taking a well trodden path. "I passed a woman making curtains in Montmartre; I asked her how much a skirt would be and she said EUR150, I said, how about EUR100? And that's how I did my first collection. It was spontaneous," he says. "A year after arriving in Paris, I was doing fashion. I didn't know any rules but I didn't have any bad rules, which you can learn inside a big system." Jacquemus, who runs his own Instagram account with 800,000 followers, had crafted his idea about what his label could look like through hours spent online, meeting muses such as Jeanne Damas, who is now part of a coterie epitomising a carefree, vintage-referenced French way of dressing (think Jane Birkin in the Serge Gainsbourg years). "For me, the idea of what my website would look like was clear. Every collection would have a title referencing Jean-Luc Godard. I knew I had to tell a story, but on the rest, I was so naive," he reflects. "When I think about that period now, I think, wow. I was only 19. I had no parents who knew about the fashion business." Snootiness doesn't appear in the Jacquemus mindset. The French can be dismissive of Côte d'Azur style – the penchant for white and fake tans – but it's a look Jacquemus has mined and reinvented of late. "I hope it's not vulgaaaaaire," he whispers, confident that he has the power to make it anything but. "I had some hard reactions when I started to publish pictures on Instagram of Kendall Jenner wearing Jacquemus. People said, "It's killed the brand, blah blah..." I think it's because I was posting something less radical. But I was so happy. I just thought, "Wow, Kendall is wearing my hat on a yacht in Saint-Tropez, that's so mega,"" he says, laughing. In the early years of the label, Jacquemus, who now employs 55 people, worked in the Comme des
I didn't know any rules but I didn't have “ any bad rules, which you can learn inside a big system ” Garçons store, where he found a mentor in Adrian Joffe, president of the company (and husband of its visionary creative director, Rei Kawakubo) and of Dover Street Market. "At 21, everyone was looking at me as the cute guy from the south of France; he just looked at me as a designer, which was so important to me. He bought the collection for Dover Street Market, which changed how people saw my brand; it's one of the most beautiful stores in the world." "Simon started gaining our attention with his unusual use of architectural shapes, done in a very couture way but at surprisingly contemporary price," notes Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director at Net-a-Porter, where his alternative tailoring, draped dresses and detailed tops are all
bestsellers. "It's no surprise that he has garnered a cult following," she adds. Of course, there's a 2019 sequel to the La Bomba hat: the Le Grand Baci bag – an enormous frayed-edge raffia tote at least half the size of the models who carried it in his catwalk show (so plenty of room for towels and sunscreen). His strategy with these Insta-catnip accessories has always been to make them completely distinctive. "When I started accessories, I was walking around Le Bon Marché and couldn't say which shoes were which brand. They all looked the same. I created an object – I did round or square shoes with a round or square heel. A bit unwearable, but to this day we haven't stopped selling them. Anything super identifiable goes insane; we sell pieces you can't find anywhere else." 59
LYING FOR A LIVING The late Marlon Brando, born 95 years ago this month, was a true titan of screen. Yet posthumous access to private letters and his personal library revealed a misunderstood depth to the actor, who honed a natural talent for portrayal â€“ and harboured total disdain for fame
WORDS: SUSAN L. MIZRUCHI 61
arlon Brando loved watching people, a habit that supported a genius for impersonation and characterisation. Though it came naturally, he pursued it with an almost scientific zeal. “The face is an extraordinarily subtle instrument,” he noted. “I believe it has 155 muscles in it. The interaction of those muscles can hide a great deal, and people are always concealing emotions. Some people have very non-expressive faces… In such cases I try to read their body posture, the increase in the blink rate of their eyes, their aimless yawning or a failure to complete a yawn—anything that denotes emotions they don’t want to display.” 62
Brando made a lifelong study of emotions and the differences of personality and culture that inhibited their expression, which he managed to exploit in a remarkable variety of film roles. His interest in human faces went beyond their function as measures of diversity. He was also aware of how they revealed, in profit-driven Hollywood, an actor’s marketability, or the lack thereof. The smiles accorded celebrities by the local cognoscenti were calibrated to their earning power. “You can figure which salary bracket a Hollywood actor is in by the kind of smile he gets. When I first came out here I got USD40,000 a picture. The smiles
people gave me showed two teeth. Now, I’m paid around USD125,000 and more, I get both uppers and lowers, but they’re locked together. The smile goes up at the corners, but the teeth are set. I’ll never get the kind of big fat grins that go with USD250,000 a picture. They only pay that kind of money to cowboy stars.” Brando’s sense of what smiles could expose explains why the characters he played were unaccustomed to happiness. But equally important was his understanding of smiles as indices of vulnerability or manipulation. When he does smile in films, it’s usually compromised in some way – it’s a half-smile, or an ironic smile,
or a smile threatening to collapse into something sad or sinister. Consider Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire , covered with automobile grease, shooting an uncharacteristically diffident grin at his wife, Stella, hoping to reassert, against her sister Blanche’s scheming, his masculinity and erotic appeal. The wistful smile of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, as he straightens his nose with a finger to remind Edie of his early profile before the boxing career, before he had compromised himself by betraying her brother. The unctuous smile of the splendidly arrayed Lieutenant Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty , accompanied
by paramours as he meets the unsophisticated captain whom he considers beneath him. The Godfather’s wedding-photograph smile, classic Brando, on the verge of a grimace; Paul’s smirk in Last Tango in Paris, responding to his lover’s exasperated speech: “Do you really think that an American sitting on the floor in an empty flat eating cheese and drinking water is interesting?” Or the desperate at-your-service smile of Max in The Score, barely a step ahead of the mob. Brando carefully controlled his smiles: he knew their price. He knew the commodity status of body parts, none more so than his own. As soon as he achieved fame on Broadway, he saw that an actor, like an athlete, could become a slave to his image. Smiles, he recognised, were never free. His reading of body language was so adept, according to his nephew, that “it was almost supernatural. He would know more about you than you could imagine just by the way you sat down in a chair.” Once, at a social gathering, Brando asked a woman her age, and she demurred. “It doesn’t matter,” he responded, “I can tell from your teeth.” He guessed accurately. He honed these skills with such habits as frequenting the criminal courts in Brooklyn for the human spectacle they provided. Another New York pastime was sitting in the Optima Cigar Store phone booth watching people walk by, and he was “wrecked,” a friend recalled, when his freedom to observe was ruined by the fact that he had become an object of scrutiny. Both the actor and the man were obscured by this public obsession. He created characters so powerfully authentic that audiences refused to believe that these creations were not real. While many considered him a great actor, they missed how denying him distance from his roles qualified that greatness. Even the most astute
analysts overlook the conscious observant mind behind the work. It has been difficult for us to see how much more the actor was than any one part, and how different the man was from all of them. As the actor and idol who made it all right for men to be tongue-tied or incoherent, he became so synonymous with an inarticulate masculinity that it was impossible for audiences to accept that the physique was inseparable from an equally formidable intellect. Brando has been a victim of sexism. Because he was so charming and physically appealing, his equally energetic mind tended to be negated. So dazzled are his most admiring critics that they can’t reconcile his attractiveness with the idea of a man who loved language let alone owned a book collection that outstripped those of most academics. Thus, Daphne Merkin opened a 2004 obituary with her memory of being “struck by libidinal lightning” after first seeing Brando on screen, and pronounced him “an untutored philosophe” who liked to dabble in reading while engaging in what Paglia called “epic womanising.” This is not to deny Brando’s attractiveness or his womanising. One of his friends described Brando as having “the kind of face artists are always interested in... It was as if a klieg light had been shoved up his ass and was shining out his pores.” Though it’s worth emphasising that Brando considered himself only “reasonably attractive,” attributing his magnetism to his energy and strangeness as a Nebraska farm boy in cosmopolitan settings. But our preoccupation with the looks that helped to bring Brando fame and fortune has clouded our appraisal of his contributions as an actor and as a public citizen who took to heart Hannah Arendt’s ideal of independent thinking. The excessive focus on his romantic affairs – what was most common about him – has limited our appreciation of what was most unique and enduring. 63
The worst thing that can happen when someone becomes famous is to believe the myths about himself
Opening pages: Marlon Brando as he appears in A Streetcar Named Desire, for MGM Studios, 1951 Previous pages: Abe Vigoda and Robert Duvall watch Brando and Al Lettieri shake hands in a scene from The Godfather, 1972 Opposite: Brando reads paper in a scene from The Formula, 1980. All images: Getty Images
Among celebrities with iconic status, those whose single name alone conjures an image – Garbo, Marilyn, Sinatra, Olivier – Brando is distinctive for his ambiguity. Garbo in profile, Sinatra crooning, Marilyn above a subway grate in billowing white skirt, Olivier in evening dress. The name Brando invites a question: Is he the charismatic brute in a white tee; the biker in a black leather jacket and gray cap; the Godfather; the father of Superman; or the bald phantom of the Vietnamese jungle in Apocalypse Now? There are many Brandos, early and late. In contrast to most cultural icons, he eludes the prospect of a persona. Brando was more fluid, more wily than others who achieved comparable fame. This is attributable to the diverse identifications of a lead actor who preferred character roles and foiled expectations in choosing film parts. He had a wide-ranging curiosity and was suspicious of absolutes and rigidity of any kind, rejecting the pressure to conform to a single likeness. While some have suggested that Brando’s disdain for the celebrity that transformed his life was motivated by self-hatred, its more obvious roots were his bohemian tendencies and democratic politics. Along with Zapata, whom he played in a movie, Brando believed that the masses were doomed when they projected their own power onto idealised objects of worship. No one was worthy of such idolatry, least of all actors and entertainers. What has been overlooked is the seriousness of his thinking on these subjects, how deeply he lamented the adulation that he considered so misplaced. Partial to Talmudic wisdom, Brando surely would have appreciated the aphorism, 'If you want truth, shun fame.' “The worst thing that can happen when someone becomes famous,”
Brando observed, “is for him to believe the myths about himself –and that, I have the conceit to say, I have never done. Still, I am stung by the realisation that I am covered with the same muck as some of the people I have criticised because fame thrives in the manure of the success of which I allowed myself to become a part.” Celebrity was a dirty business, Brando recognised almost as soon as he achieved it at 23, and he never came to terms with its consequences. The invasion of his privacy, the constant distortions of his views in the press, and the conviction on the part of so many that they knew him – his resentment toward these downsides of celebrity remained surprisingly fresh until he died at the age of 80. As for his acting, during the 2008 presidential campaign, when asked to identify their favourite movies, both John McCain and Barack Obama named Brando films. That the two candidates could not have been more different – from a cultural, class, and generational standpoint – was a tribute to Brando’s iconic longevity as well as his wide-ranging appeal. This was underlined by their choices: McCain cited Viva Zapata!, reflecting that Republicans multiculturalism and personal ethic of self-sacrifice; Obama picked The Godfather, affirming the broad appeal of the film’s patriarchal mythology, that a black boy raised by a single white mother in Hawaii could cherish the same compromised familial ideal as any other American. Their responses illustrate the continuing importance of an actor whose contributions to theatre and film have been widely recognised by other actors, and appreciated by large audiences – but rarely well understood. Abridged excerpt from Brando's Smile: His Life, Thought and Work – by Susan L. Mizruchi, and published by W. W. Norton & Company. Available for purchase from books.wwnorton.com 65
APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Bolt from the Blue The ballistic Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest performance 4x4 that the marque has ever built, boasting both supercharge and sophistication WORDS : CHRIS UJMA
n SUV is not meant to outperform a supercar, but this one did. To put the Range Rover Sport SVR through its paces, the marque took its special edition to the famous, fearsome Tianmen Road, comprising 99 testing corners plotted into the side of a mountain in China. At the hands of Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Ho-Pin Tung, it adeptly negotiated the 11.3km ascent at a record pace of 9min 51s (at an average speed of 68.8km/h) – and in doing so, beat the previous best of 10min 31s set by a Ferrari 458 Italia. Suffice to say, this is no ordinary Range Rover: it’s the fastest ever built. For those not au fait with the nuances of the premium Range Rover family under the Land Rover umbrella, there’s the Range Rover, the Sport, the avant garde Velar and the lowslung roofed Evoque. SVR badging on a Range Rover denotes having been primed by its Special Vehicle Operations arm, defined by the
company as ‘luxury, performance and capability taken to new levels, to create unique Land Rover vehicles’. Among its projects have been the Range Rover Sentinel (the first fullyarmoured vehicle engineered), and an opportunity to showcase its master craftsmanship in the SVAutobiography Long Wheelbase. In short, the division is tasked with taking all things Range Rover to all new levels. For the lavishes of luxury, though, little grabs the attention of the auto world like impressive speed – and this limited edition has been a pure spotlight stealer in that respect. Any time over two tons is shifted from 0-100 km/h in a visceral 4.5 seconds, it’s guaranteed to garner attention, and those are the numbers clocked by the third generation Sport SVR, released this year. Its athletic DNA is no secret, put on display for all to admire. There are pockets of exposed, gloss black carbon fibre across the composite exterior (noticeably on the lacquered
manner of pedal-down rasps ‘a Any satisfyingly throaty growl – and it needn’t be driven at hellish speeds to evoke this aural pleasure ’
bonnet, which creates an optional two-tone hue), with gaping, gulping air intakes on the front bumper and sculpted side cutouts. Swish open the door to be met with an interior leather trim of racing red (in the signature colourway), before sliding into racing-style performance seats that – quaintly – factor in racing harness slots (including the two rear passenger spaces). Will owners put it through its paces on the track – with passengers in tow, no less? Possibly not. But as with its expectedly sublime offroad capabilities, the Sport SVR is ready to do plenty, on the off chance it gets called into action. It will definitely be driven fast. In signature Estoril blue trim, it blisters by in a Sonic the Hedgehog blur – driven by a 5-litre V8 Supercharged Petrol 575hp engine that delivers a powerful 700Nm of torque. Engine tweaks, along with some designbased weight saving gains, enable the 2019 edition to shave a couple
of tenths off the 0-100km/h time of the previous Sport SVR. Put through its paces in the UAE, it gobbled up Dubai terrain with consummate ease – though it was how it did so that was most impressive. Granted, it can be piloted sedately, and the comfortable cabin setting can lull the driver into a laid-back drive that belies the power underfoot. The overall ride is something of a ‘floating on air’ experience, imparted by re-tuned suspension, damping and steering systems. But click across to Dynamic mode and an intense experience awaits; stiffened suspension and steering summon wellbalanced, composed acceleration that – given the car’s size – defies belief. Only the world rushing by the windows at SUV altitude keeps reality in check. Working through the ratios using the tactile paddle shifters and applying intuitive pedal control, these measured inputs bring out the buttery smooth, swift transitions – courtesy of eight-speed auto shifts. It feels less stately than a Range Rover, which is not a bad thing: in keeping with its wholeheartedly sporty persona, there’s a tightness and grip to how the tyres (wrapped around 22in alloys) handle every turn, both in-command and in control (with mindful driving). Any manner of pedal-down rasps a satisfyingly throaty growl out of the quad tailpipes –and it needn’t be driven at hellish speeds to evoke this aural pleasure. That the company parked this model under the hashtag #soundofSVR on social media is unsurprising: the rumble is both distinctive and loud due to the adaptive exhaust, and a press of the exhaust button on the driver’s touchscreen further raises the crackle. It may sound ferocious, but there are genteel elements befitting the class of the marque. A step bar courteously slides from beneath, then retracts once the door is closed. The feature-packed interior boasts two, 10in touchscreens; sensors (such as the Blind Spot and Driver Conditioner monitors) politely warn of encroaching vehicles swaying from their lanes; attentive seats can be heated or cooled, to suit. It’s equal parts daily driver, equal parts daily racer. The hardcore SVR is a bold statement-maker; a 4x4 with plenty of roar. 69
Gastronomy APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
The Good Life The mastermind behind ‘the world’s best restaurant’ returns with Torno Subito – a laid-back experience imbued with la dolce vita from childhood holidays on the sun-kissed Italian Riviera WORDS : CHRIS UJMA
eclined on a handcrafted chair, Massimo Bottura looks every bit the poster child for his new dining concept: with sunglasses affixed, he’s casually dressed (insofar as Italian elegance accomplishes ‘laid back’), savouring bites of creamy gelato on the shaded terrace at W Dubai – The Palm, as gentle music and a balmy breeze dance around. He’s childlike in his level of enthusiasm, too – not surprising, given that Torno Subito taps into his deepest nostalgia. “It’s playful, because I want to share with the world this amazing feeling of when I was a kid in the 1960s, spending the summer in the Italian Riviera – playing soccer and eating good food on seemingly endless days, enjoying the best things in life. Those times as a teen were the best vacations.” To fully understand what a departure this move is for Bottura, one also has to cast their mind to Italy. There, Bottura is the mastermind behind Modena -based Osteria Francescana: a far more serious dining affair that has earned three prestigious Michelin stars, and recently reclaimed the mantle as the World’s Best Restaurant. “In Italy, food is like religion,” he confesses. “It took
15 years to get 3 Michelin stars which, for some people, can take their entire lifetime – and just a few of us are so lucky to be prized by Michelin in this way.” Naturally, then, when the W Hotel first approached Bottura, they floated the idea of him imitating the restaurant outside Italy. “I said ‘No way – it would be so wrong.’ They wanted me on board, though, and were persistent, and I thought of something totally different – a new format. I didn’t want anyone to say I was coming to Dubai to replicate Francescana.” The contemporary, energetic island resort is an ideal place to push the boat out, creatively, and it offered an arena for liberation. Gazing out over a glittering Arabian Gulf that shapes around Palm Jumeriah and laps the hotel sands, he explains the meaning behind the playful name of the venture. “In Italy, we’re used to seeing the sign ‘torno subito’ – ‘I’ll be back soon’ – for when the shop is closed, and the owner has paused to have their espresso.” In Dubai, torno subito will come to mean a convivial restaurant with plenty of charm. A vertigo-spiral striped entryway is dominated by a photo of Bottura, hands on his temples, almost 71
as a reminder that your mind is about to be transported. Step across the threshold and powdery colours enliven a beach club vibe: picture frames dangle from the ceiling, ready to be filled by snaps from an in-restaurant photo booth. Wait staff roam the restaurant and terrace pushing a gelato cart. Pad out onto the terrace, past pastel booths and across the sands to the waves, to find pedalos primed for a leisurely trip across the waters – with pizza and Prosecco in hand. “I wanted a format that reflects ‘the new luxury,’” says Bottura, gesturing to the rainbow assortment of chairs as an example. “These are handmade in Italy, with amazing artisanal work – and the creators have fun with their craft, in terms of the colour scheme and design. The tactile quality transfers happiness and joy.” Bottura surveys the terrace, pleased with how the idea came to fruition. “My mentality is to build the bubble into which you can put your dreams, ideas and emotions – and welcome people into that world.” That concept begins by thinking about the story he wants to communicate, he says: “Something special I wish to share with others.” He recalls that when he first presented the idea, of his picture perfect postcard from The Palm, “I told them, ‘A kid in Rimini is dreaming about having white sand like in the Maldives.’” The hotel said, ‘Why not?’ and imported white sand “Upon which you 72
can have a drink, digging your toes in pure white sands,” he smiles. Then, of course, there is the expertly curated menu: casual dining, sincerely Italian in its essence, with a touch of La Dolce Vita – remixing recipes that would be at home at a beach club from the 1960s. Gelato is one of his favourite things to tuck into “In the middle of the morning or the middle of the afternoon”, he says, gleefully, “So I wanted classic flavours – strawberry, chocolate, lemon – that taste like a dream.” Bottura is a food philosopher, which he explains is because ,“When you live in Italy, you get lost in nostalgia; espresso is just espresso, and pasta is just pasta. It’s not – but you lose sight of the ‘critics’ point of view.” So pizza is just pizza? “No, it’s not!” he proclaims. “You begin to delve into what kind of dough? What kind of flour? What kind of tomatoes are you using? You’re going to melt the mozzarella, or it’s just added at the end? There are so many different elements that are part of the experience and with this particular pizza it is very hard to get – even in Italy. It’s a fine balance; an intuitive science.” His years of revolution in the culinary sphere were required to make this happen. “When you have the technique, the knowledge and the culture, you can really deconstruct it and be playful,” he explains. Bottura and his team have shaped those factors into a whimsical
getaway where even the most staid culinary savant can kick off their loafers and soak up the sense of relaxation. “‘The number one restaurant in the world’ is such a big thing to say, though I never give too much focus to it,” Bottura admits. “I care about if patrons are happy, and leave the table satisfied.” W Dubai – The Palm has made itself the home to a truly unique experience, even for a city that arguably has seen it all. They gave Bottura free rein, and he has plotted a soothing setting that – in the spirit of its name – will tempt every departing guest to ‘be back soon’.
When you have the technique, the knowledge and the culture, you can really deconstruct it and be playful 73
APRIL 2019 : ISSUE 95
Wild Coast Lodge JOURNEYS BY JET
itting serenely beside Yala National Park, where the Indian Ocean meets the jungle, the remote surroundings of Wild Coast Lodge are an assurance that neighbourly intrusion will be kept to a minimum. Well, so far as human interaction is concerned, at least. This pretty Sri Lankan safari resort does share its dwelling with wildlife, and frequent visitors are leopards basking under the sun, elephants drinking from the waters, and an assortment of boar, buffalo, and monkeys, with chirruping birds galore. This unique, east coast haven comprises 28 cocoon-like tents and bamboo buildings, which blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, the set of abodes are thoughtfully arranged to mimic the shape of a leopard’s paw, when seen aerially. Eco-consciousness was a key consideration when this resort was conceptualised, and a number of details implemented to have minimal impact on the surrounding safari land. Still, this is quite a trip back in time, as the living spaces have WiFi, a high quality sound system and airconditioning. The pick of the living quarters is the Cocoon Pool Suite – with its colonial style décor and teak wood floor. The lodge is enriched with a King-sized bed, a terrace with unobstructed views, plus a private pool; this is five-star living,
curated by architects at Nomadic Resorts (a consortium of Dutch, English and Sri Lankan designers). With the entry point to the national park just 10 minutes from the doorstep, a stay here ensures one game drive per night’s stay. Nature-lovers can head out in a Jeep to track down wildlife and explore the rich biodiversity – kept informed by an expert guide. Having worked up an appetite in the wilderness, guests can retreat to the elegant, open air bamboo Dining Pavilion to enjoy hearty, creative gourmet influenced by authentic Sri Lankan flavour profiles and created with local produce. There’s also the option to tailor a sundowner cocktail session or, plan a romantic al fresco picnic in the beach garden, under a blanket of stars that decorate inky black skies. Despite the sands, Wild Coast Lodge is wouldn’t be defined as a beach resort; the rugged stretch of waterfront, peppered by boulders, gets rasped by the waves – hardly ideal for taking a gentle dip. But the Indian Ocean does provide a soothing soundtrack to nature, and – along with the bushland – is a stunning backdrop to watch dusk fall over this island destination treasure. Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport accomodates private jets, and a private car can then be arranged for the transfer to Wild Coast Lodge. resplendentceylon.com/ wildcoastlodge-yala/ 75
What I Know Now APRIL 2019: ISSUE 95
Guy Kawasaki SILICON VALLEY MARKETING ICON / AUTHOR
My personal stories do not depict epic, tragic, or heroic occurrences, because that hasn’t been the trajectory of my life. They do not depict a rapid, meteoric rise, either. One decision. One failure. Hard work. One success. I come from a long line of dreamers, and my goal is only ever to educate, not to awe. Awe-inspiring dreams along the lines of world peace, human rights, and ending poverty weren’t what stoked my ambitions and drove me to succeed. My goals were simple and proletarian but highly motivating nonetheless. Something as materialistic as cars inspired me; what’s important is that you are motivated. My sixth-grade schoolteacher, Trudy Akau, told my parents that I had too much potential to remain in the public school system. She insisted that I apply to private, college-prep schools – specifically, Punahou and ‘Iolani. Punahou is the school that President Barack Obama attended, I went to 76
‘Iolani. It was eight miles from our house in Hawaii and, given my parents’ modest income, the tuition was a large sum of money for them to scrape together. Akau’s advice changed the trajectory of my life. If she had not convinced my parents to send me to ‘Iolani, I would not have gone to Stanford. If I had not gone to Stanford, I would not have met the guy who got me interested in computers and gave me a job at Apple. In 1987, my wife gave me a copy of a book called If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. It empowered me to think freely, creatively, and boldly – and enabled me to write my first book by removing the limitations I placed on myself. Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state for George W. Bush, also inspired me when I interviewed her for my book Hindsights. She told me that you should never consider yourself a victim because then you’ll start acting like a victim. You’ll begin to believe
that you are not in control of your fate and that others are responsible for your welfare. As a result, you develop a dependency on others for your happiness, well-being, and success – thus giving up control of your destiny. When I think of my father’s guidance, I’ve a theory that there are five stages in life: as a child, you believe your parents are always and absolutely right; from high school until your twenties, you think your parents are wrong and clueless; in your thirties, you come to realise that your parents were often right; in your fifties, you become your parents and do the things that drove you nuts as a kid; then, in your sixties, you wish your parents were around so you could tell them they were right. Excerpted from ‘Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life’ by Guy Kawasaki – with permission of Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. © Guy Kawasaki, 2019
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