DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT BY BY BY BY DESIGN. BY DESIGN. BY DESIGN. BY DESIGN. DESIGN. DESIGN. DESIGN. DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE DISRUPTIVE BY BY BY BY CHOICE. BY CHOICE. BY CHOICE. BY CHOICE. CHOICE. CHOICE. CHOICE. Unprecedented Unprecedented Unprecedented Unprecedented Unprecedented Unprecedented Unprecedented performance. performance. performance. performance. performance. performance. Industry-leading performance. Industry-leading Industry-leading Industry-leading Industry-leading Industry-leading Industry-leading technology. technology. technology. technology. technology. Exceptional technology. Exceptional technology. Exceptional Exceptional Exceptional comfort. Exceptional comfort. Exceptional comfort. comfort. comfort. comfort. comfort. Introducing Introducing Introducing Introducing Introducing the Introducing the new Introducing the new the midsize new the midsize new the midsize new the midsize Praetor new midsize Praetor new midsize Praetor midsize 500 Praetor 500 Praetor 500 Praetor 500 Praetor 500 500 500 andand the and the and super-midsize the and super-midsize the and super-midsize the and super-midsize the super-midsize the super-midsize Praetor super-midsize Praetor Praetor 600 Praetor 600 Praetor –600 Praetor the –600 Praetor the –world’s 600 the –600 world’s the world’s –600 the –world’s the –world’s the world’s world’s most most most disruptive most disruptive disruptive most most disruptive most and disruptive disruptive and technologically and disruptive technologically and technologically and technologically and technologically and technologically advanced technologically advanced advanced advanced advanced advanced advanced business business business business jets. business jets. business jets. business jets. jets. jets. jets. A record-breaking A record-breaking A record-breaking A record-breaking A record-breaking A record-breaking A record-breaking best-in-class best-in-class best-in-class best-in-class best-in-class best-in-class range. best-in-class range. range. range. range. range. range. Enviable Enviable Enviable Enviable performance Enviable performance Enviable performance Enviable performance performance performance in challenging performance in in challenging challenging in challenging in in challenging airports. challenging inairports. challenging airports. airports. airports. airports. airports. FullFull fly-by-wire Full fly-by-wire Full fly-by-wire Full fly-by-wire Full fly-by-wire with Full fly-by-wire with fly-by-wire active with active with active with turbulence active with turbulence active with turbulence active turbulence active turbulence reduction. turbulence reduction. turbulence reduction. reduction. reduction. reduction. reduction. Unparalleled Unparalleled Unparalleled Unparalleled Unparalleled Unparalleled comfort Unparalleled comfort comfort comfort in comfort ainsix-foot-tall, comfort in a six-foot-tall, comfort ainsix-foot-tall, ainsix-foot-tall, in a six-foot-tall, ainflat-floor six-foot-tall, aflat-floor six-foot-tall, flat-floor flat-floor flat-floor flat-floor flat-floor cabin. cabin. cabin. Ka-band cabin. Ka-band cabin. Ka-band cabin. Ka-band home-like cabin. Ka-band home-like Ka-band home-like Ka-band home-like connectivity. home-like home-like connectivity. connectivity. home-like connectivity. connectivity. connectivity. connectivity. Power Power Power the Power the future. Power the Power future. the future. Power the Take future. the Take future. the Take command. future. Take command. future. command. Take Take command. Take command. Lead command. Lead command. Lead theLead the way. the Lead way. Lead the way. Lead the way. the way. the way. way. Learn Learn Learn more Learn more Learn more atLearn more executive.embraer.com. atLearn at more executive.embraer.com. more executive.embraer.com. at more executive.embraer.com. at at executive.embraer.com. executive.embraer.com. at executive.embraer.com.
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Bombardier, Global 7500 and Exceptional by design are registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. All information above is true at the time of publication. © 2021 Bombardier Inc.
Global 7500 The Industry Flagship Longest Longest range range || Largest Largest cabin cabin || Smoothest Smoothest ride ride
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
FEATURES Thirty Six
Lady Gaga talks getting to the heart of the ‘Black Widow’ for her role in House of Gucci and the evil of privilage.
Claudia Schiffer rifled through her Nineties snaps during lockdown. What she found tells the story of her ‘crazy’ decade.
As Dior’s acclaimed exhibition lands in the Middle East, its curator Olivier Gabet talks recreating the Dior dream.
How does an Italian suit-maker cope when a pandemic changes our formal dress codes? John Arlidge meets Gildo Zegna.
A Woman Scorned
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Objects of Desire Eighteen
Art & Design Twenty Four
Timepieces Sixty Two
Chief Creative Officer
John Thatcher email@example.com
Journeys by Jet
ART Art Director
What I Know Now
COMMERCIAL Managing Director
Victoria Thatcher General Manager
PRODUCTION Digital Media Manager
Muthu Kumar Thirty
Jewellery A campaign with Beyoncé and Jay Z, a new collection and reinvented blue boxes, courtesy of Daniel Arsham, are causing a buzz at Tiffany. Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media is strictly prohibited. HOT Media does not accept liability for any omissions or errors in AIR.
CALIBER RM 67-01
RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUE DUBAI | ABU DHABI | RIYADH | KUWAIT | DOHA | ISTANBUL | MOSCOW
DC Aviation Al-Futtaim DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Welcome Onboard DECEMBER 2021
Cover: Lady Gaga by Art Streibe
As a premium service provider in the Middle East serving the private and business jets of the region and beyond, we are truly committed to the standards of the DC Aviation Group of companies. We are striving to deliver the highest level of quality in all areas, driven by the know-how of our people and their dedication to the business. Be it for an aircraft owner, charter passenger, or even the flight and cabin crew, private and business jet travel revolves around time saving and maximum comfort. If you are travelling to and from Dubai, DC Aviation Al-Futtaim is your perfect choice. From our exclusive FBO and hangar facility at Al Maktoum International Airport, we are able to save you time and offer you a luxurious ambience, whether you’re departing or arriving in your aircraft. We operate the only integrated private and business jet facility within the Dubai World Central (DWC) district where slot and parking restrictions are a matter of the past. With Dubai International Airport becoming the world’s busiest airport, private and business jet flights are severely restricted. However, that is not the case at Dubai’s new hub for executive aviation. We welcome you onboard, and trust you’ll enjoy your flight experience – as well as our 100 percent satisfaction promise.
Holger Ostheimer Managing Director, DC Aviation Al-Futtaim
Contact Details: dc-aviation.ae T. +971 (0) 4 870 1800 9
DC Aviation Al-Futtaim DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 122
DC Aviation purchases a Falcon 2000LXS to meet increased charter demand The long-range aircraft is readily available for charter
DC Aviation is pleased to announce that a Falcon 2000LXS has been added to its fleet. The aircraft was purchased by DC Aviation to meet the increased charter demand. The Falcon 2000LXS is a long-range aircraft unrivaled for its efficiency and the ability to access short and challenging runways. Its range of 4,000 nm (7408 km) makes it possible to fly non-stop from Berlin to New York, or from London to Dubai. Its uniquely quiet cabin, with a standing height of 1.88 m, offers unmatched comfort for up to 10 passengers. For night-time flights, the luxury leather seats can be transformed into two single beds and one double bed. The Falcon 2000LXS is equipped with the latest entertainment and communication systems and features large 22’’ monitors, two in-seat monitors, Blue Ray, Air Show, SatCom telephones, the Falcon Cabin HD+ Management System, and Internet SBB. Michael Kuhn, CEO of the DC 10
Aviation Group, says: “With the purchase of the Falcon 2000LXS we have directly responded to the increased charter demand that has been observed over the last few months. We are very happy that with the Falcon 2000LXS we have an aircraft fully available for charter
that combines high performance and reliability with maximum comfort for the passengers.” The diversified fleet of the DC Aviation Group now comprises seven ultra-long-range and twelve longrange jets, as well as seven mediumrange jets and two helicopters.
DC AVIATION AL-FUTTAIM UNITES QUALITY MADE IN GERMANY AND ARABIC HOSPITALITY In everything we do, our goal is not only to meet your expectations but to surpass them. Our unrivalled FBO and VIP hangar facilities located at Dubai South guarantee your utmost discretion, comfort and convenience every time you fly. Reach out to the team today to experience our passion for excellence.
T: +971 (0)4 870 1800 | www.dc-aviation.ae | An Al-Futtaim Joint Venture Al Maktoum International Airport | DWC | Aviation District | Dubai, UAE
DC Aviation Al-Futtaim DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
DC Aviation Al-Futtaim signs partnership agreement with Click Aviation Network Agreement sees DCAF extend multiple benefits to Click Aviation clients
DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF), the leading business aviation company with its stand-alone VVIP lounges and hangar facility, has announced it has entered into a partnership with Click Aviation Network. As part of the agreement, Click Aviation Network customers will enjoy a dedicated Click Aviation lounge, 24 hours on-site customs and immigration, ground support, conference room facility, business services, crew lounges and passenger shower facility at DCAF’s fully integrated facility at Dubai South. In addition, the VVIP lounge offers the highest levels of comfort and privacy and due to its unique location at Al Maktoum International Airport, guests 12
enjoy seamless access to their aircraft which is parked in front of DCAF’s lounge facilities, making passenger boarding and deboarding extremely convenient. Also, as the facility is located close to the runway taxi times are kept to a minimum. The agreement will also see DCAF offer line maintenance services, passenger and crew transportation, as well as arranging catering, hotel accommodation and local transport for Click Aviation customers' aircraft. At DCAF we are continuously looking for ways to improve our service levels to meet the ever-growing demands of our customers. These agreements reflect the increasing popularity of our services and expertise and we
are extremely pleased to bring on board Click Aviation. We look forward to providing their clients with the highest levels of service,” said Holger Ostheimer, Managing Director of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim. “Click Aviation’s vision of a global network can only be achieved when parties collaborate and help one another. Our partnership with DC Aviation Al-Futtaim, a premier FBO with luxury facilities at its FBO, will be another leading step for Click. We are honored to partner with them and we look forward to a long and successful partnership,” said Samer Mansour, Managing Director of Click Aviation Network.
Radar DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Credit: © Salvatore Ferragamo with Joan Crawford © Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo counted Hollywood’s finest among a slew of star clients — Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, and Joan Crawford (pictured) chief among them. Tracing his humble origins in the south of Italy to his triumphant return to the country with the founding of the Ferragamo brand, Salvatore Ferragamo: Shoemaker Of Dreams, features myriad anecdotes from his time in America, alongside illustrations of his finest creations. rizzoli. com
Salvatore Ferragamo: Shoemaker of Dreams, Rizzoli 15
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this month’s must-haves and collectibles
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
CH AU M E T
HORTENSIA ÉDEN UAE LIMITED EDITION To celebrate the UAE’s big birthday this month, Chaumet has unveiled a limitededition Hortensia Éden jewellery watch in the colours of the UAE flag, created via diamond, black spinel, emerald and ruby indexes. The round rose gold bezel is illuminated with hand-set diamonds
and features precious, asymmetrical flowers, while on the caseback are the Arabic inscriptions ‘Our union, our strength’ and ‘1971’. Mirroring the age of the federation, 50 pieces of the watch are available exclusively in the Middle East. 1
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
ALEX ANDER MCQUEEN
Alexander McQueen looked to the skies for inspiration when drawing up designs for the Bundle Bag — its robust look a modern interpretation of the MA1 flight jacket. Fashioned from lightweight unlined poly faille and finished with leather and metal detailing, the Bundle Bag also 2
features an embroidered Alexander McQueen logo, drawstring closure, and an adjustable leather strap, which allows for it to be hand-held. In addition to this black version, seasonal colours are bountiful, including rose gold, optic white and red.
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
DIOR X SAC A I
CHELSEA BOOT Teaming up with cult Japanese label Sacai and its founder Chitose Abe, Kim Jones’ latest men’s capsule for Dior is a fine fusion of the codes that set each house apart. With black and white lto the fore — particularly striking on these two-tone Chelsea boots —
the looks combine Dior’s exquisite tailoring and savoir-faire with the Japanese brand’s sportswear style and technicality, and extend from workwear cuts and berets, to bags and bomber jackets, each reinventions of pieces from the brands’ cherished catalogues. 3
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
H A R RY W I N S T O N
WINS TON CANDY The festive season is a time for sheer indulgence, and what better way to indulge than with a handful of candy? Particularly when that candy has been created by Harry Winston. The spectacular Winston Candy collection
is certainly sweet on the eye, one-ofa-kind cocktail rings festooned with brightly hued centre stones and ringed with a striking combination of diamonds and vibrant gems in complementing shades. 4
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
HUBLOT X BERLUTI
BIG BANG UNICO BERLUTI ALUMINIO Limited to a run of 100 pieces, this new interpretation of the Big Bang Unico was five years in the making, as Hublot and Berluti worked to create a timepiece fully indicative of both celebrated houses. Berluti’s emblematic Venezia leather, in
signature Aluminio patina, is at the heart of the polished titanium bezel, as well as on the dial. It’s held between two pieces of sapphire glass, whose cut reveals the gears of the Unico movement, a feat of true technical prowess. 5
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
The latest addition to the brand’s OneOff series, the absolute bespoke BR20 is a two-seater V12 coupé developed on the GTC4Lusso platform. It plays on Ferrari’s heritage to marry timeless elegance to muscular sportiness, incorporating styling themes typical of some of the most 6
iconic 12-cylinders in Ferrari history, including the 410 SA and 500 Superfast. Designed for a longstanding client who was deeply involved in every step of its creation, the Ferrari BR20 represents a true interpretation of the traditional coachbuilder’s art.
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
PR A DA
H O L I D AY 2 0 2 1 It was all things merry and bright as Prada unveiled its women’s Holiday 2021 collection, with sparkling crystals and sequins in abundance. You’ll find the former used to embellish the straps of these highheeled (90mm) satin sandals, and
in the engraved motif decorating the metallic heel. And while they evoke thoughts of a frozen terrain and winter’s chill, their sparkle adds warmth to a look, particularly if paired with a sequin-embroidered tulle crop top from the same collection. 8
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Critique DECEMBER 2021 : ISSUE 123
Film Encounter Dir. Michael Pearce A Sci-Fi thriller in which a decorated US marine embarks on a daring rescue mission to save his sons from a mysterious threat. AT BEST: “Strong performances elevate this twisty sci-fi chase thriller.” — Stephen Dalton, The Film Verdict AT WORST: “Has no sense of reality or purpose.” — Dwight Brown, National Newspaper Publishers Association
The Tender Bar Dir. George Clooney AIR
Based on the best-selling memoir of the same name, The Tender Bar tells of a fatherless boy growing up in the shadow of his uncle’s bar. AT BEST: “It’s alive with messy, loving clashes and bursts of joy.” — Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter AT WORST: “An uninspiring middlebrow effort.” — Kevin Maher, The Times
Cyrano Dir. Joe Wright Award-winning director Joe Wright re-imagines the timeless tale of a love triangle laced with heartbreak. AT BEST: “I think it is Wright’s best film, even though it has some problematic elements.” — Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter AT WORST: “If it were a meal, it would look delicious, taste disappointing, and give you indigestion.” — Michael J. Casey, Michael J. Cinema
The Lost Daughter Dir. Maggie Gyllenhaal Unnerved by their compelling relationship, a woman becomes consumed with a young mother and daughter as she watches them on the beach. AT BEST: “Nuanced, thoughtful, and deeply effective.” — Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant AT WORST: “Gyllenhaal bites off more than she can chew as a screenwriter.” — Joey Magidson, Awards Radar 18
Critique DECEMBER 2021 : ISSUE 123
proper attention paid to small things.” In Gus Lee’s China Boy, Kai Ting is the only American-born son of a Shanghai family that fled China during Mao’s revolution. Not willing to embrace either the Chinese nor the American way of life, Ting must navigate through broken family relationships and the perils of growing up. “What a knockout. An incredibly rich and new voice or American literature. It grabs the reader’s heart and won’t let go… A wonder of a story,” hails award-winning author, Amy Tan. “It would be hard to find a more all-American story than the delightful China Boy. Lee is a natural storyteller,” reckons TIME. While The New York Times Book Review calls it “A robust, startling book…hilariously poignant…a fascinating, evocative portrait of the Chinese community in California in the 1950s, caught between two complex, demanding cultures.” The Correspondents, by Judith Mackrell, follows six remarkable women, a contingent of female journalists on the front lines of the
Second World War, who were forced to fight entranced prejudice and bureaucratic restrictions just to do their dangerous, courageous work. “A vivid portrait of the women whose clear-eyed reporting brought home the tragedy and heroism of one of history’s most pivotal conflicts. We owe these journalists a great debt,” states bestselling author Liza Mundy. “A powerful narrative of WWII news, journalistic ethics, and women’s achievements in the face of daunting odds…This is an important book,” echoes the New York Journal of Books. “[An] immersive and revealing group biography…sparkling quotations from the reportage are woven throughout, and colourful biographical details shed light on the correspondents’ defiance of conventions…A rousing portrait of women who not only reported on history, but made it themselves,” heralds Publishers Weekly in its starred review.
Credit: Penguin Random House
he Liar’s Dictionary tells of a nineteenth century lexicographer who begins to insert unauthorized, fictitious entries into the dictionary. A century later, this fact is uncovered by a young intern, who begins to learn the reasons why. “You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, Eley Williams’s hilarious new book is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama,” says The New York Times Book Review. “Delightful,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “Underneath this novel’s extremely bookish mystery is the idea that our identities are as improvisatory as the words we affix to them, and that even the dictionary, the most seemingly staid and impartial arbiter of truth, is an unreliable narrator.’” The New Yorker is also a fan. “A playful paean to lexicology…Although the book abounds in dramatic incident, its main focus, like the characters’, is not actions but words, and the transformative power of
Art & Design
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Space Age The performance artist Marina Abramovic talks ageing, laughter, and why she wants a one-way ticket into space WORDS: RACHEL CAMPBELL-JOHNSTON
ou might think that performance artists would be the last to relaunch themselves into our nervy post-lockdown society. But that’s not the case when it comes to Marina Abramovic, the 74-year-old Belgrade-born doyenne of the genre. Abramovic threw herself on to a sceptical art world in the early Seventies with a nerve-racking — not to mention blood-splattering — piece that involved stabbing sharp knives between her splayed fingers. “Once you enter into the performance state you can push your body to do things you absolutely could never normally do,” she said. She went on to more than prove it. A career that has spanned close to 50 years has involved, among other things, almost killing herself when she leapt into flames, ingesting medications that sent her muscles into spasms, spending four days scrubbing
blood from a heap of cow bones, placing a loaded gun on a table — and inviting people to shoot her — and walking half the length of the Great Wall of China with the sole purpose of breaking up with her lover in the middle. It’s hardly surprising then to discover that a mere pandemic has done little to abate her practice. When I catch up with her by telephone in Paris (she is working there, although her home is New York), she immediately asks me which of her several new projects I would like to talk about. Actually, it is her hugely popular year-long collaboration with the file-sharing platform WePresent (the ‘content platform’ of WeTransfer). As the first guest curator for WePresent, Abramovic looked at ways in which performance art could improve daily life. She propagated her home-grown philosophy — the Abramovic Method — which, as she explains it,
Art & Design NOVEMBER 2021: ISSUE 122
Helen was always daring. Anything could spark her imagination. It was wonderful
child, to always surprise yourself and, most importantly, to have a good sense of humour. “Laughter is one of the great things about getting old. When I was young everything was so dramatic, so serious. I cried so much back then. But I am over that. Now I love laughter and jokes — dirty jokes. Depression is a luxury I can’t afford.” She gives a long, throaty laugh as if to prove her theory. “I am an optimist,” she says, citing the case of an old woman in France (her conversation is littered with references to stories she has heard, books she has read, facts she has stumbled across). “This woman lived to 120,” she tells me. “She remembered Napoleon. Her husband had died. All her children had died. The doctors examined her. There was nothing physically special. She had lived so long because she never remembered all the bad events of her life, only the positive ones.” Abramovic still enjoys her good looks. She is far from unaware of their power: of the magnetic pull of that pale face,
lit by dark flashing eyes, which has put her on dozens of fashion magazine front covers; of that signature rope of dark hair. But it is her mental strength that she most values now. “The mind is our biggest enemy,” she says. “It has taken me all my life to learn this.” Her landmark performance, The Artist Is Present, staged at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010, was a silent, static piece more than 700 hours long. Over the course of almost three months, for eight hours a day, she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium while a long queue of visitors took their turn to sit opposite her, locking on to her gaze. “I could never have done something like that when I was 23. I could do it only when I was 63.” It’s the wisdom that comes with age that she treasures, that wisdom that we in the west too easily overlook. “In the west, and especially in America, being old is like being dirty. That’s totally wrong. We should learn from the old,” she says. With her own age she has learnt humility,
Credit: Rachel Campbell-Johnston/The Times/News Licensing
encourages us to become “present in both time and space” by participating in meditative tasks that focus “on breath, motion, stillness and concentration”. More than 80 million people logged on to join in over this past pandemic year. She has certainly grown more peaceable in her old age. When she was young, she explains, she saw herself as a warrior. She was battling to establish performance in the face of fierce criticism. “It was hell. I was fighting everybody and everything.” But a clear path has now been bulldozed. “Performance is an established art form and I can enjoy it,” she says. No longer feeling the need to be painfully extreme, she laughs off rumours that in a forthcoming 2023 Royal Academy show in London (she will be the first female artist to take over the grandest galleries of this august institution) she will charge herself with one million volts of electricity. “That is totally wrong,” she says. “I will do a performance, but I can’t tell what it is because I am superstitious.” Her aim now, she says, is to stay strong and healthy. Her grandmother, the only source of love and affection in a family in which her parents (“national heroes” with positions in the postwar Yugoslavian government) exerted a military-style control over her, lived to the age of 103. “When you hit 70, it’s just the beginning,” her grandmother told her. “I would love to reach the same age, or more,” Abramovic says. “But only with my health. The worst thing is to become old, but with a sick body.” That explains her fierce discipline. She gets up early every day to do yoga, goes on regular ayurvedic retreats in India, and she has never drunk, taken drugs or smoked. Twice a year she reboots her system by spending five days without eating, talking or reading. She describes it as “cleaning the house”. It’s a measure she propagates in her Abramovic Method. And then there’s her boyfriend, Todd Eckert. He’s 21 years younger than her and they had been doing their morning yoga together, she tells me, when I called. “I had been alone for seven years before we met. I was thinking there will never be any love coming to me. But then it happened. And I want to tell women that this is wonderful. It is like good food. It makes me happy.” The key to longevity, Abramovic believes, is to have the curiosity of a
Opening pages: Marina Abramovic, 2012 These pages, clockwise from left: The Artist is Present, 2010; The Abramovic Method, 2016; The Cleaner, 2019
Depression is a luxury I can’t afford
she tells me. “We are only little specks of dust in the universe.” She takes herself far less seriously. She has discovered the importance of simplicity. And she has finally learnt forgiveness, she says. Ulay (the German performance artist Frank Uwe Laysiepen) her erstwhile lover and collaborator, died of lymphatic cancer just one day into lockdown in March last year. The pair, after several tumultuous years, their unhappinesses caused all too frequently by his infidelity, had finally parted company in a 1988 performance that involved them walking the Great Wall of China from opposite ends to meet in the middle and say the single word “goodbye”. Ulay subsequently
sued her over royalties for their shared works. “You know, it’s very easy to say you can forgive, but when you really do it [and it took her at least 20 years, she admits with a long laugh] it’s an incredible release of negativity. Three years before he died, we really became friends again. It was really important to me.” Abramovic is adamant that she doesn’t want to live for ever. Death doesn’t frighten her, she insists. All that is important is to face death the right way, to die consciously, without fear and without anger, she says. “I believe that when you die you don’t go to darkness, you go to light. Your physical body dies,
but not your energy. People when they die are 21g lighter because that is the energy that leaves the body. And energy is indestructible. It can be transformed into so many things.” Abramovic hopes that this continuing energy will be her legacy. She says she recently met Richard Branson and asked him if he would give her a one-way ticket into space. Would she have been happy there, all alone, I wonder? She gives another of her long, throaty laughs. “Oh yes. I’m 74. I could die any minute. But to have that chance of understanding for a moment, of seeing the bigger picture. I would love to do that. I would be very, very happy indeed.” 23
Reach For The Sky How Breitling hit the heights by celebrating its rich aviation history
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
ver respectful of its proud heritage, Breitling has turned back the clock for its latest series of beautifully crafted timepieces, five unique versions that form the Super AVI collection and pay homage to the brand’s original 1953 ‘Co-Pilot’ Ref. 765 AVI aviator’s watch and four legendary planes. “This collection embodies that sense of nostalgia for the early days of aviation, when pilots relied on their watches as onboard tools,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “But you don’t have to be a pilot or vintage-aircraft buff to appreciate the exceptional craftsmanship and rugged design.” Indeed, you do not — each piece exceptional and worthy of honouring the legacy of the Ref. 765, a first-ofits-kind watch that was so beloved by aviators when it debuted in 1953 they christened it ‘Co-Pilot’. Yet it’s not just that legendary timepiece that Breitling celebrates with its Super AVI
collection but four cherished aircraft too. The P-51 Mustang, a single-seat fighter, was built in only 120 days and its low-drag wings and engine-cooling system were considered experimental when it first took flight in 1940. Naval aircraft Vought F4U Corsair was the first single-engine fighter to crack the 400 mph (640 km/h) mark; the shark-mouthed Curtiss P-40 Warhawk earned its reputation as a rebel by pulling daring airborne twists, turns and drops; while the ‘Wooden Wonder’ Mosquito shattered conventional wisdom by outperforming its metal-formed contemporaries — it was one of the fastest planes built between 1940 and 1950. The pioneering spirit and characteristics of those individual aircraft are reborn in four, thoroughly modern pieces: Super AVI P-51 Mustang, Super AVI Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair, Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk, and Super AVI Mosquito.
Distinct of design, each 46mm piece is powered by a COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04 movement, and features large Arabic numerals on the dial and bezel, an oversized crown at 3 o’clock, and knurled bezels to provide optimal grip. As a nod to the seams common to vintage leather flight gear, the calfskin straps have been top-stitched. The 24-hour marking on the inner bezel and the red-tipped GMT allow for a second time zone to be tracked, while the silhouettes of each aircraft are depicted on the sapphire case backs of their respective pieces. “We can’t forget that Breitling pioneered aviation tool watches like the Ref. 765 AVI. That heritage is so strong, we had to not only keep it intact, but rewrite it for the 21st century,” says Breitling Creative Director Sylvain Berneron. It’s a story that never gets old, only better.
The Super AVI Mosquito features a combination polished and satinbrushed black ceramic bezel and a black dial with white contrasting chronograph counters. Its red and orange elements recall the roundels and markings found on the ‘Wooden Wonder’.
The Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk, with its military-green dial, white contrasting chronograph counters, and red accents, plays on its namesake’s famous shark-mouth nose art that gave the plane its unmistakable identity
The Super AVI P-51 Mustang pays homage to the best all-around fighter plane of its era in two distinct versions: a stainless-steel case with a black dial and gold-brown leather strap, and an 18k red gold version with an anthracite dial and a black leather strap exclusive to Breitling boutiques and breitling.com
The Super AVI Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair features a blue dial, tone-on-tone chronograph counters, and a black leather strap that take their design cues from the characteristic livery of the record-breaking naval aircraft
DECEMBER 2021 : ISSUE 123
Tying The Knot A campaign with Beyoncé and Jay Z, a new collection, and reinvented blue boxes courtesy of Daniel Arsham are causing a buzz at Tiffany WORDS: ANNABEL DAVIDSON
all and lean in shades of peach, brown and black, Alexandre Arnault, 29, looks every inch the young Parisian as he folds himself on to a sofa upstairs in Tiffany & Co's London flagship. The executive vice president of product and communications at the company, Arnault's accent is still quite French, but as he chats with the artist Daniel Arsham about New York City, you get the feeling that Arnault is, despite everything, a New Yorker now. "We wanted to re-anchor Tiffany & Co in New York," Arnault says of the inspiration behind the brand's newest launch, Tiffany Knot, which arrives in the Middle East in early 2022. Based on the chain-linked fences that sprout all over the city, the collection ranges from a simple gold ring to a doublerow gold choker, half of it pavé-set with diamonds. The word 'knot' may evoke pictures of the house's iconic blue box with contrasting white ribbon, but this knot is a little more jagged, a little sharper. It's reminiscent of barbed wire, only harmless, pretty and precious in 18ct gold and diamonds. Arsham, 41, was raised in Miami but has called New York home for decades, and creates works which often reference ideas of destruction and decay. He was commissioned by Arnault to create a limited-edition artwork around the new collection. "When Alex came to me earlier this year, I was given a pretty open book," Arsham says. He has worked with Arnault on projects before, namely creating an eroded suitcase sculpture for luxury luggage brand Rimowa, of which Arnault was CEO for four years. (The bell-ringing name has provenance: the young Arnault is, of course, the son of Bernard, chairman of LVMH, the world's biggest luxury company, which bought Tiffany & Co for US$15.8 billion last year.) "The idea was to create something with Daniel as a stand-alone New York artist," Arnault explains. "To bring Tiffany back into the conversation in New York." "I started thinking about Tiffany jewellery first, of course,"Arsham says of how the piece came about. "But then we went to the archives in New Jersey and I really noticed the boxes. 32
the ‘ideaI justthatloved a box, a
colour, could have this generative quality to it
They had these awesome old custom cases they would create, handmade from wood and velvet for different types of jewellery. And I loved the idea that the box itself was as iconic as the piece that was housed in it." Another item in the archives that caught Arsham's eye was a vintage ad campaign, showing an empty Tiffany box, with the tagline underneath stating 'Mission Accomplished'. "It was really cool. And I just loved the idea that a box, a colour, could have this generative quality to it," Arsham says. The result of Arsham's research was not, of course, jewellery, but a box. In a limited edition of 49, the cast-bronze sculpture has an aged and decaying patina in that distinct Tiffany blue. Polished bronze shards protrude from various points, looking like crystals growing and embedding themselves within, and a solid metal bow appears to flop and fold like fabric. Inside is another box, in buttery blue leather, inside of which is a Tiffany Knot bangle decked out in leaf-green tsavorites and diamonds. "They all sold," says Arnault of the bracelet within a box within a sculpture. "Within minutes." I wonder if the buyers are Arsham fans, Tiffany
fans, or a particular cross section of both? "A bit of both — it's a $40,000 purchase!" Arnault says. "For that kind of money you need to like the sculpture and wear the bracelet. Actually, I'm excited to see Daniel wearing it. It fits a man really well." And there, peeping out from his yellow puffer, Arsham shows off his own Tiffany Knot. "It's not one of the 49," he stresses. "It's one of the APs." (An artist's proof, and a perk of being the designer of the sculpture that houses it.) Are more artist collaborations in the pipeline for Tiffany under Arnault? "The one thing I don't want is overexposure [with artist collaborations]," he says. "As long as it makes sense, as long as it's authentic, and as long as it brings something to the customer, for sure. But you'll never see us do something that just ticks the box. Like, 'Oh, there's this artist that's famous with 16-20-year-olds in China' — that's not something we'll be doing." And as for that re-anchoring of New York City for future Tiffany & Co collections? "You know, the New York store was a destination for every single person coming to New York," Arnault says of that most iconic of buildings, star of movies in its own right and a major tourist attraction. "The store reopening is a big part of that re-anchoring. It has been closed for two years now. And it's going to be another year before it opens. There is a store next door that is doing well but it's not the real deal, you know? But yes, we're definitely going to focus more on the city, whether it's in the advertising or the products. It's about how you tell that story." I ask one last question, about how the logo on the New York Yankees cap was originally designed by Tiffany & Co, how Jay-Z famously rapped "I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can", and now Jay-Z is in a Tiffany campaign with his wife, Beyoncé. It feels like a really beautiful conjunction. "It is just a coincidence, of course," Arnault says, laughing. "But it just goes to show what a cultural anchor New York City is, for so many. There are so many cultural elements that tie into it. And Tiffany is one of them."
Credit: © Annabel Davidson / Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021
Opening pages. from left to right: Tiffany x Arsham Studio Bronze Eroded Tiffany Blue Box® with Blue Box; Tiffany Knot by David Arsham These pages, clockwise from left: Daniel Arsham; Tiffany Knot
H E N RY T H E F I R S T With its innovative and elegant Clic-Clac case, crafted from precious materials to hold interchangeable solid perfume capsules, Henry Jacques has designed the ultimate travel accessory ART DIRECTOR: KERRI BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER: SABRINA RYNAS AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS NEO
Henry Jacques GCC Boutiques Abu Dhabi Boutique The Galleria Unit 165, Level L1 Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi, UAE firstname.lastname@example.org Dubai Boutique The Dubai Mall Second Floor Perfumery & Co, Fashion Avenue Dubai, UAE email@example.com Doha Boutique Galeries Lafayette Doha 21 High St, Katara Cultural Village Doha, Qatar firstname.lastname@example.org
STYLIST: CIA VIJAYAN MODEL: KHEIR
Clothing: Overshirt: ‘Brent’ Overshirt Sweater: ‘Fade’ Turtleneck Pants: ‘City Two Pinces’ Pants Shoes: ‘360 LP Flexy Walk’ All clothing courtesy of Loro Piana
Lady Gaga on getting to the heart of the ‘Black Widow’ for House of Gucci WORDS: ANNA MURPHY
he story told in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is infamous in fashion circles, a story that struck the heart of the industry and swept the world, as details emerged that the person responsible for the murder of Maurizio Gucci, heir to the house, was none other than his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani, who had paid a hitman $365,000 to assassinate Maurizio on the steps of his office building. Once dubbed ‘Lady Gucci’, the subsequent trial — at which she was sentenced to 29 years behind bars — saw the press label Reggiani the ‘Black Widow’. She would ultimately spend 16 years in prison, where she maintained her innocence, telling jurors at the trial that her best friend had set her up. Beneath the headlines, however, is the heart of the story, something that Lady Gaga, who portrays Reggiani in the movie, was keen to reach. “Patrizia Reggiani is somebody that I didn’t know until I read the script,” she confesses. “And I really
went into a romance with the character as well as the script itself. And the truth is, I admired her strength, I also admired her weaknesses. Playing a murderer is hard because I inherently don’t believe in the evil in which she colluded. Maurizio fell in love with her strength and I do believe in this film you watch the story of a woman, a woman unravelling. And it’s a story that only women really can understand, in a way, when it comes to her. But what’s wonderful is that Ridley [Scott, director] has created something that is actually about a family, an Italian family business, and what happens when a woman tries to infiltrate this business and the men shut her down.” It was shortly after her star turn in 2018’s A Star Is Born that Gaga received the script for House of Gucci, and in the intervening years she has lived and breathed Reggiani, going full on method by speaking with an Italian accent and dying her hair to match her character’s brunette. “I did a lot of research about Patrizia
and found out that when she got married to Maurizio, he didn’t have the money that everybody thought he did. He was not a part of the Gucci inheritance yet. And then I also found out that after he was murdered, they were divorced. So really, this idea that she was a gold digger was a fable. So I started to dig like a journalist, deeper and deeper, like a detective, and go inside the world of the Guccis, the world of Patrizia. There was not a lot about her before 1995 when Maurizio was murdered. But once I delved, I realised this woman was in love, this woman was hurt, this woman was oppressed by a patriarchal Italian system that’s systemic and painful. And we all are, as women. We don’t always commit murder when these things happen — but she did.” Does Gaga believe that Patrizia was essentially hurting? “She was deeply hurting, and I think she lost her mind. That’s something that I’m interested to see what people think about the
I would stop at nothing to helm my character
Below: Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci
Above: Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci
I believe that privilege is inherently evil
and someone was about to die.” Some critics have said that films such as House of Gucci glamorise crime. What are your thoughts on that? I don’t believe in the glorification of murder. I do believe in the empowerment of women. I do believe that in this role it was important to me that I understood why this could have happened, what would have turned for Patrizia. And also, for what it’s worth, this movie is so fun. It’s a drama but it has a dark comedic aspect. There’s a bit of a satirical quality as well.” The movie sees Gaga under the direction of the legendary Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise) for the first time. What did she learn from working with him? “The
movie was an experience that I’ll never forget. Every day that I walked on set, Ridley said: ‘OK what do you think this scene is about?’ And it wasn’t because he didn’t know, it was because he was interested to know what I had to say. And I feel that I am a woman in a man’s world, and having a man say, ‘What do you think?’ is something that empowers me, and I feel loved. In a movie that has themes of wealth and patriarchy, this made us fly.” And what did she learn about herself from the process? “I really learned that even when I have limits, I can push beyond them. But I think that that’s what it means to understand a woman that was pushed to her limits and beyond.”
Credit:Vicky Dearden / The Interview People
whole thing when they see the film.” It’s not the first time Gaga has delved deep into a character, famously meeting the first-day challenge of her A Star Is Born co-star Bradley Cooper to go off-script and push beyond her rehearsed lines and into her character, Ally. “I don’t like to lie about my work and my process, so what I will say is this — I’m a romantic when it comes to art. I had a romantic relationship with my character Patrizia, I had a romantic relationship with the script, and I dived headfirst into this world. Patrizia is nothing like me — an inherently wideeyed person that is looking to transgress society financially is something that I don’t identify with. So I spent a lot of time living my life, looking for where money and value lie. Then there’s the accent, then there’s the ability to talk as myself, meaning as Stefani, with the accent, so that I knew that I could speak from a place that was visceral, that was true. Then there’s the script, which you have to analyse until you are, you know, dead behind the eyes. For me, I would stop at nothing to helm my character.” Of course, fashion plays a leading role in House of Gucci, the excess and ostentation of the Eighties brought back to life. No stranger to daring designs, how did Gaga feel about donning Patrizia’s wardrobe? “You know, my relationship with Janty [the film’s costume designer] is really deep and emotional. When we were working on building Patrizia, we talked a lot about the character and not a lot about fashion, meaning that I didn’t want the clothing to overpower the character. And also, she was so much of an outsider, so when you see the film you will notice that she is never quite as shiny as the Guccis, she’s never quite as upper class, she never quite gets it. She is always a little bit off, if not embarrassing. There’s something about her that feels uncomfortable, something about her that feels like it’s trying. But I think that this, in a lot of ways, was not only the reality but a comment on society. I believe that privilege is inherently evil, and I also believe that when a lot of men are arguing about money and what they are owed, they might have missed the real disaster, which is not that they were losing money but that she [Patrizia] was a disaster
Claudia Schiffer rifled through her Nineties snaps during lockdown. What she found tells the story of her ‘crazy’ decade WORDS: ALASTAIR SOOKE
In Schiffer’s words: “Bruce Weber seized on the idea of a supermodel sisterhood, framing Cindy Crawford and me with tousled hair wearing leather jeans and white T-shirts in this campaign image for Revlon. Fundamentally, there has to be rapport between the model and photographer. As a model, you needed to study a photographer’s work, a designer’s work and learn how to translate that vision in front of the lens.” Bruce Weber - ‘Seventh on Sale’: Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford, New York, 1992 for Revlon © Bruce Weber. 43
It was insane… like being a rock star. ‘ You couldn’t get to your car unless a path was carved for you ’
In 1987, a shy 17-year-old called Claudia Schiffer was at Checker’s nightclub in Düsseldorf, when a stranger approached her and asked if she wanted to be a model. “I thought it was a joke,” recalls Schiffer, now 51, who at the time was still selfconscious about her height (5ft 11in). But the man, who worked for a French modelling agency, was insistent — and, a few days later, accompanied by her mother, Schiffer found herself in Paris. Within weeks, she was living in the French capital, hanging around with her new friend, the up-and-coming German photographer Ellen von Unwerth — “and the rest,” Schiffer says, “is history”. By the following decade, she had established herself, alongside Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, among the ‘Big Six’ supermodels who revolutionised the fashion industry. Recently, Schiffer — who lives in England with her husband, English film director Matthew Vaughn, and their three children — has been thinking a lot about those early days. Invited by the director of Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast museum to curate Captivate!, a show of fashion photography from the 1990s, she spent 44
lockdown sifting through thousands of digital images, as well as her own “library” of fashion magazines and “shoeboxes of memorabilia”. An accompanying book, featuring 150 photographs, including backstage snaps from Schiffer’s personal archive, is out now. Part of the volume’s fascination is, simply, the insight it provides into an extraordinary life. Here we see Schiffer’s first test shot as a schoolgirl posing in a baggy baseball jacket. Crimped blonde hair covers one of her eyes, suggesting, perhaps, her introverted disposition. Any diffidence, though, soon disappeared. Two years later, Schiffer was modelling for the black-and-white Guess Jeans campaign that would make her famous: feeling at ease with Von Unwerth, who shot it in Italy, she danced about in a black lace corset and stonewashed denim, part carefree cowgirl, part Brigitte Bardot. “It often just felt like two friends mucking around,” Schiffer tells me now. “And that’s your perfect shoot, where the chemistry between photographer and model happens.” Yet it was the German designer Karl Lagerfeld who, she says, “came into my
life and changed it forever”. Impressed by the German teenager’s first cover for British Vogue, shot by Herb Ritts in 1989, Lagerfeld invited her to see him in Paris. “I entered his studio on the Rue Cambon full of nerves,” she recalls, “but within hours I was being fitted for his new collection.” Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, was, she explains, always “incisive” — and, after their meeting, he made Schiffer the face of Chanel. Really, though, Captivate! is less a portrait of one person than of an entire art form. As Schiffer points out, fashion photography is “an intricate jigsaw of experts from all fields”: art directors, stylists, hair and make-up artists, editors — and, of course, the “superstar” photographers, among them Richard Avedon and the colourblind Helmut Newton, some of whom became, she says, her “mentors”. Whereas the industry in the 1980s was, she says, obsessed with “perfectionist high glamour”, the 1990s ushered in an age of “fearless creativity”. A new aesthetic mixed high with low — pairing a Chanel jacket with vintage Levi’s — and a younger generation of provocative photographers,
Left: Claudia Schiffer working on the book. Image Lucie McCullin © 2021 Cloudy Film Limited Inset: Arthur Elgort - Beverly Peele and Tyra Banks, 1993 for Vogue UK. Image © Arthur Elgort
In Schiffer’s words: “A high-energy, classic 90s Versace moment – we went straight from the catwalk to shoot for Italian Vogue in Versace’s palazzo and on to a party together in the same aqua-toned dresses. Group compositions are complex, and the skill is in directing everyone to work together. Michel Comte was a master at making ensemble pictures look spontaneous. “And it was a dream working with Gianni Versace. He had such a big heart. He turned his runway into a live show with choreography, great lighting effects and theatrical staging. I remember walking in one of his shows to a Prince track, only to see Prince himself sitting in the front row alongside celebrities from the music and film world; the atmosphere was electric.”
including Corinne Day and Juergen Teller, pioneered “dirty realism” by, for instance, shooting models without make-up. “As a result,” says Schiffer, “the language of modelling changed. The clichéd poses were replaced by idiosyncratic gestures, with photography focusing on ‘off-guard’ moments.” The still point in these shifting tides was the “sexy glamour” of the supermodels, who, Schiffer believes, kept fashion’s “optimism” alive during the recession of the early 1990s, “when the designer market was in steep decline”. The “supers” became icons of “self-made success” and “female ambition”: the analogue prototype, if you like, for today’s digital influencers. “Now,” says Schiffer, “the idea that a personality or individual can transcend the brands they work with is accepted — but back then it was very new.” As a result, she adds, “careers started to last longer”, and these days models are “working well into their 40s and beyond.” Not, though, Linda Evangelista, another member of the ‘Big Six’, who recently revealed on Instagram that she had been “permanently deformed” by cosmetic surgery, after which she 46
withdrew from public view. “I feel deeply for Linda,” says Schiffer, “and admire her strength for speaking out about the pain she has endured.” Life as a supermodel was, Schiffer tells me, rarely easy. “It was insane… like being a rock star. You couldn’t get to your car unless a path was carved for you. People would cut holes in the fashion tents and try to take pictures of us.” By the mid1990s, she was so famous that at her fashion shows security guards were hired specifically to “guard my underwear, which was constantly disappearing when I was out on the runway”. If that sounds creepy, Schiffer assures me that, throughout her career, she “always felt safeguarded… My mother was my chaperone in my early years as a model and protected me from the seedy side of the business.” But she recognises that “my experience was not everyone’s”. Eventually, though, Schiffer’s memory often returns to that crucial chance encounter at Checker’s nightclub. “Over 30 years later, I look back,” she says, “and can see how magical that moment was.” Captivate! Fashion Photography from the ’90s (Prestel), edited by Claudia Schiffer, is out now
Credit: © Alastair Sooke / Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021
Doug Ordway - ‘Golden Girls’: Emma Sjöberg, Nadja Auermann, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Ève Salvail, Shalom Harlow, Carla Bruni, Olga Pantushenkova, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Clauda Schiffer, Yasmeen Ghauri, Amber Valletta, Tricia Helfer, Helena Christensen, backstage at Versace RTW Fall 1994. Image © Doug Ordway
As Dior’s acclaimed exhibition lands in the Middle East, its curator Olivier Gabet talks of bridging cultures and a unique sense of style
WORDS: JOHN THATCHER
hristian Dior was 42 the first time he put pencil to paper to sketch the now iconic silhouettes under his own name, debuting the finished looks for an audience who, although unaware at the time, had been waiting for someone just like him to come along. The New Look, as his 1947 collection was termed by the press, was revolutionary — to fashion, to women, to Paris, the light that expunged the darkness of war. If the New Look saw Dior enter the pantheon of revered couturiers, his eponymous brand cemented his legacy, a rich heritage that is honoured in a thrillingly visual way at Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which last month landed in Doha. The Middle East is the fifth stop off point for the blockbuster exhibition, arriving here via critically acclaimed showings in Paris, London, Shanghai and New York. It is the first time Dior has exhibited in the Middle East, the first time the region has staged such a retrospective dedicated to a designer, and it’s a source of great pride for the show’s curator, Olivier Gabet. “In my opinion, this is a major achievement for everyone involved in this adventure. It is always exciting to do something so ambitious, that also happens to be a first. Each exhibition is a challenge. The most complex task was to carry out a project of this scale from a distance — a collective tour de force from the Paris and Doha teams. To create such a project during a pandemic was an added challenge. We had so many exchanges and meetings, yet we were always optimistic.” As was the case in all of those previous cities, Gabet tasked himself with creating an exhibition that not only told the story of the house and its enduring influence, but one that also had relevance to its host location. “We asked ourselves the question: in today’s world, should an exhibition be designed specifically for a place? The answer is complex,” concedes Gabet. “In a world that is both global and local, should we erase differences or, on the contrary, underline them? The idea was that this exhibition in Doha should be of equal quality and audacity to any other exhibition, such as those in London, New York, Paris or Shanghai.
Right: Christian Dior All other images: sceneography from Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams in Doha. © Nelson Garrido; © Daniel Sims
We can talk all we ‘want about glamour,
elegance, chic, allure, but I believe that the Dior style above all embodies freedom
I think it’s always an interesting exercise to think about an exhibition that has already been presented in another place. You have to make other choices, make changes due to the nature and conservation of the collections. To be in Doha is to be in the heart of a civilization, a culture that enthralled Christian Dior, who was a lover of Islamic art, as were many members of the cultural elite of his time. “Two things strike me as particularly important from the Doha show: the incredible wall of Islamic motifs and objects, like the plates drawn and engraved by Collinot and Beaumont, nineteenth-century artists who helped make Islamic art better known and well-loved throughout Europe, and the never-before-seen loan of outfits from Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser.” Additionally, several pieces from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs are unveiled exclusively in this exhibition. Which, in particular, does Gabet feel are the most emblematic? “Dior is an inexhaustible story,” he begins. “One that is actively being written since 1947, a very rare occurrence in the history of fashion. So, yes, we had to once again surprise, and one of the choices we made was to restore little-known, even previously unseen pieces from our fashion collection — one of the most important in the world alongside those of London’s V&A and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Doha, veritable treasures on show include the first dress known to be designed by Christian Dior for Robert Piguet, in 1939, which already hinted
To be in Doha is to be in a culture that enthralled Christian Dior
at his future stylistic vocabulary. I am also thinking of a ballgown from the spring-summer 1952 collection worn by Patricia López-Willshaw, one of the most elegant women of her time, for a reception given by her husband Arturo in their mythical Neuilly mansion — a true ode to the 18th century — as well as the quintessentially modern Grand Dîner dress from Monsieur Dior’s spring-summer 1957 collection. There are also more recent works — again, rarely shown — which were not exhibited first time around.” Another significant addition to the original exhibition is a room dedicated to the Dior Lady Art project. “We did not do it originally due to lack of space, but I felt it was important to give it real visibility here,” says Gabet. “Firstly, because time is getting denser, and the strength of this project lies in its durability and continuity, which are remarkable and exciting in the world of contemporary fashion. Since 1995, this bag, given to Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, by Bernadette Chirac, then First Lady of France, has become legendary. The Lady Dior has undergone a unique evolution: this classic has been able to write its history while revolutionising it, by going into increasingly bold artistic terrain, thanks to young artists, women artists, artists from all over the world, providing a universal approach, and offering yet another form of dialogue between cultures.” This dialogue between cultures is of particular relevance to Dior. “Dior is unique: its founder knew the history of civilizations and geography, and was himself a great traveller, always hungry for new knowledge. From the 52
very beginning, the house has been nourished by this spirit of curiosity and generosity. And now that we are revisiting the question of universalism, all of this seems to have an intact modernity, a vibrant relevance. So, with each new journey in the exhibition, as with each new collection — I’m thinking of the cruise collections in particular — the Dior dream is reinvented, with brio and a rare sense of coherence, because everything remains linked to its history, and is not an opportunistic reinterpretation dictated by trends. That makes a big difference.” The baton of creative director at Dior has been passed on down the decades, first from Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent, and latterly from Raf Simons to Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first woman to helm the house. Their interpretations of Dior’s codes are a fascinating feature of the exhibition. How would Gabet define the Dior style? “I would simply say that Christian Dior, with the New Look, wanted to give women beauty and happiness again. Those simple, yet essential words, naturally lead to a third: freedom. We can talk all we want about glamour, elegance, chic, allure, but I believe that the Dior style above all embodies freedom, which does not only refer to minimalism or simplicity, but can also be expressed in the audacity of forms, whether radical or ornate. In 2021, the word freedom is even more accurate to define the Dior spirit, especially when you look at the work of Maria Grazia Chiuri.” Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is at M72 in Msheireb Downtown Doha, until March 31, 2022
How does an Italian suit-maker cope when a pandemic changes our formal dress codes? By embracing luxury leisurewear. John Arlidge meets Gildo Zegna WORDS: JOHN ARLIDGE
hen did you last wear a suit? It’s not a question you ask the man who has created a $3.2 billion global empire selling suits — unless he has turned up for work not wearing one, just like men all over the world who are dumping formalwear faster than you can say WFH. It’s 4pm at the headquarters of Ermenegildo Zegna in Milan and Gildo Zegna, the firm’s CEO and grandson of the tailoring giant’s founder, walks into the white-on-white boardroom wearing a blue overshirt jacket, a white shirt, five-pocket jeans and blue sneakers, without socks. His answer to my first question is as revealing as his outfit. “Good question. I have to … you know … er, I think it was …” He gives up trying to recall exactly. Zegna — the man and the brand — is racing to chuck out the checks and put away the pinstripes in favour of “modern, casual luxury”. It started before Covid when the label’s artistic director, Alessandro Sartori, began “mixing the sartorial with the utilitarian’’ as men’s formal dress codes began to unravel. His collections showcased suits and jackets mixed with activewear, sportswear, knitwear, track pants, boots and messenger bags. Covid has accelerated the brand’s dressing down because “men will carry on wearing to the office what we wore on video calls over the past 18 months”, Gildo (pronounced Jildo) acknowledges. “We need to offer a full modern luxury wardrobe for the times we live in. More casual but still looking good.” He gazes down at his own outfit. “I look properly dressed.” He’s so convinced “luxury leisurewear” is the future that he is extending Zegna’s famed bespoke and customisation services from suiting and shoes to casualwear. “Knitwear, outerwear, leatherwear, sneakers, trousers, jeans can now all be made to order,” he says. The 66-year-old gets a lot of advice on how modern men live and work from his son, Edoardo, who works for the firm as head of marketing, digital and sustainability and lives in London. “He’s very forward thinking,” Gildo says, as the 35-year-old joins us, sporting long swept-back hair and a wispy beard, dressed in black jeans and a check shirt. Edo, as he is known, is keen to show off 56
the label’s latest softer-edged new logo. Father and son may be unbuttoned, but it has been less easy to convince others in the firm to loosen their collar, notably the in-store sales staff. “They thought they would lose something or we would miss the golden egg. I told them, ‘We will miss the golden egg if we don’t move because we will remain stuck like many of our competitors.’” Which ones? Gildo pleads the fifth. He thinks leisurewear will be more in keeping with the post-Covid era for reasons bigger than the emergence of sweat pants as work attire. When many consumers are hard-pressed, those lucky enough still to be able to buy luxury goods will aim for less ostentatious brands. “We live in times of low-statement quality consumption, not loud frivolous consumption.” If you want to see what he means, watch Billions or Succession. Bobby Axelrod and the Roy family are walking advertisements for the $4,000 cashmere gilet that confirms you are a 0.1 per-center. Even though his own office uniform has changed, it’s too early to read the last rites of the suit, Gildo insists. “It will still be worn but at different times and places. You will see more suits in the evening than in the day. As soon as we return to any big social occasion, even a cocktail party, I think we will be wearing a proper suit. It gives you an attitude, a personality, and shows you have made the effort.” If you can’t stretch to a full suit “maybe it’s a deconstructed suit. Maybe you put it together with a jersey or a turtleneck.” Covid has changed Zegna and menswear in more ways than just revving up dressing down. After enjoying clean air and clean lungs under lockdown, many consumers are prioritising green businesses. Gildo emphasises that as a “vertically integrated” company — Zegna has its own sheep farms and mills — “sustainability can be a focus at all times”. He points out that any surplus or waste material at its mills is rewoven into new fabrics. He adds that all his clothes are designed to last a lifetime. “I wear overcoats and jackets that belonged to my grandfather. That’s true sustainability.” Even though demand is now returning, Gildo concedes that the early
All pages: Ermenegildo Zegna, Winter 21
I wear overcoats and jackets that belonged to my grandfather. That’s true sustainability days of the pandemic, when shops and factories worldwide were shuttered, were “awful, miserable”. Revenues at Zegna dropped 23 per cent to €1 billion last year from the year before, while it swung to a net loss of €45 million from a profit of €38 million in 2019. The slump in demand caused by lockdown is forcing some smaller Italian brands to consolidate. Etro has sold a majority stake to LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate that includes Louis Vuitton, Dior and Fendi. Diesel founder Renzo Rosso earlier snapped up Marni. The moves have prompted some to propose stitching together an Italian version of LVMH or fellow French conglomerate Kering, owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. The Agnelli family, owners of Ferrari, are said to be interested in buying mighty Giorgio Armani and building a luxury Italian empire. “It’s too late,” Gildo says sharply. “That opportunity is gone. The French are too far ahead of us.” He argues the future of Italian fashion remains with independent brands with strong family influence. “What keeps Italy going is family roots. It’s about respect for what has been 58
created in the past, and the ability to embrace the future.” He includes Zegna in this but also singles out Moncler, Max Mara and Prada. “What Prada is doing is fantastic. They’re evolving strongly. They’re avantgarde and modern, while preserving their heritage.” (You can practically hear him thinking: note to self.) Competing with LVMH and Kering will be expensive. Gildo will be investing more in China to keep up with the luxury behemoths as they move from mall to mall and city to city, chasing newly wealthy Chinese consumers. China is Zegna’s biggest market. If a big anchor brand such as Louis Vuitton leaves a mall in China, it can kill it for every other retailer. “Whenever the big boys of French luxury move, you have to go with them,” he says. He also wants to improve Zegna’s ecommerce, which he concedes lags behind its rivals, especially in the US. To cope with rising demand — and preserve his label’s ‘Made in Italy’ cachet — he has snapped up several top-tier Italian fabric manufacturers, such as Dondi for jerseywear, Tessitura Ubertino for tweed and jacquard, and Filati Biagioli for cashmere.
Credit: Style Magazine / News Licensing
All pages: Ermenegildo Zegna, Winter 21
We will miss the ‘ golden egg if we don’t move because we will remain stuck like many of our competitors
Funding all these moves won’t be a problem. He is to take the Zegna Group public this month by combining with a US special purpose acquisition company, giving the menswear group an enterprise value of $3.2 billion. He is at pains to point out that the firm will remain family controlled, with a two-thirds ownership stake. The fresh capital will also help to fund new acquisitions. In 2018 Zegna acquired an 85 per cent stake in the American label Thom Browne at a valuation of $500 million. Under Zegna’s control Thom Browne’s revenues have doubled. When it’s time to leave Gildo’s boardroom, I decide to go on a sunny luxury ‘walk out’, taking in the flagship stores of all the main Italian brands on Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga. In Zegna there are no suits on the ground floor, none on the first, nor the second. It’s all knitwear, jeans, sportswear, sneakers and accessories. The suits have been relegated to the top floor. It feels more like stepping into Italy’s answer to Hermès than Zegna — which is probably exactly what Gildo wants. 60
Motoring DECEMBER 2021 : ISSUE 123
Switching Lanes After Formula 1, what do retired drivers get up to? In Jenson Button’s case, he revived Radford,, an old British coachbuilding firm, and unleashed a retro Lotus replica
WORDS: CHRIS ANDERSON
These pages: Mark Stubbs, Ant Anstead, Jenson Button
enson Button had a 16-year career in Formula 1. His first race came in 2000, aged 20, and over the years he drove for Williams, Benetton (Renault), and British American Racing, which became Honda, then Brawn, with the Englishman crowned World Driver’s Champion at the latter in 2009. He received an MBE and spent time at McLaren alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton, before announcing his retirement in 2016. But there was more racing to come, such as a spell in Super GT for Team Kunimitsu, and a one-off return to Formula 1 at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. These days, Button lives in Los Angeles with his fiancée and two children, works as a Sky Sports pundit and commentator, is a senior advisor for Williams, and heads up an Extreme E racing team for Lotus. You might think that he could not possibly take on any more, but then you would be wrong. Earlier this year, the racing star’s name cropped up as one of four helping to revive a much-loved British coachbuilding brand, Radford, alongside TV presenter and motoring specialist Ant Anstead, designer Mark Stubbs, and business adviser and lawyer Roger Behle. In a time when everyone from Jaguar to Aston Martin is offering modern recreations of vintage models, Radford is throwing its own hat into the ring, working with other major brands to help them bring back the classics. At one time, Radford was a big deal. Originally founded in 1948 by Harold Radford, the company specialised in bespoke Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, and in the early 1960s created the fibreglass bodywork for the Ford GT40 prototype — the car that would eventually beat Ferrari at Le Mans. It also turned its attention to the Mini, with luxury examples owned by all four Beatles, Peter Sellers, Twiggy, and even Enzo Ferrari. But none of this could stop Radford from entering voluntary liquidation in 1966. This new iteration is actually being set up in the US, with Button also serving as track developer, using the company’s own race circuit in Phoenix, Arizona, dubbed the Radford Racing School. And perhaps some of the star’s motoring contacts came in handy, as Radford’s first car is a collaboration with
The chassis exhibits all of the ‘hallmarks of a beautifully-set-up race car for the road ’
Lotus, the car brand actively involved, with its name and badges officially applied. Both British companies, Radford and Lotus were founded in 1948, with the connection cemented even further by Radford appointing former Lotus commercial director Dan Burge as its new CEO this summer. So this is the car in question: the Radford Type 62-2, a mid-engine twoseater coupé, based on the Lotus Type 62 racer from the late 1960s, and intended for the road and track. It carries a retro vibe, but incorporates modern technology, as Button himself explains: “Back in the day, Radford never built its own complete car, but we’ve gone a different route, because we can. We’ve got 3D printing and modern materials, so it’s a lot easier to design and build something yourself these days.” The Radford Type 62-2 is available in three versions: the ‘basic’ 430hp Classic; the mid-range 500hp Golf Leaf, with the iconic red, white and gold livery that featured on Lotus Formula 1 cars during the late-1960s and early-1970s, plus a boosted spec; and the 600hp JPS, which has the most extreme set-up, as well as black-and-gold John Player Special livery, as used by Lotus from the 1970s until 1986, and even featured on a car driven by Ayrton Senna. Just 62 Type 62-2s will be built, including 12 Gold Leaf and 12 JPS models. Button sums up what we can expect.
“Creating a car that is simultaneously luxurious and comfortable, and great to drive, is a tough challenge, but the first Radford of the modern era delivers,” he says. “The chassis exhibits all of the hallmarks of a beautifully-set-up race car for the road, offering supreme confidence and maximum enjoyment.” Lotus has donated parts. The platform is a modern Exige, with the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine taken from the new Emira. Radford has created the bonded and riveted aluminium chassis, with panels made from a carbon composite. It is all very lightweight, and there are some interesting design touches, such as the GT40-esque door cut-outs in the roof — a nod to Radford’s work on the prototype during the 1960s. The options list is long in terms of wheel sizes, transmission and so on, and the Gold Leaf models upwards get the twin ducktail spoilers for added downforce. Modern touches include wing mirrors replaced with cameras, feeding tiny screens on the A pillars, LED lights and Bluetooth connectivity. Prices start at US$400,000, which includes a track-day lesson with Button himself, but pinning him down may be tricky, as he is already busy testing Radford’s upcoming second model. Not a sports car and another British brand are the only two clues he will offer — start guessing what they might be planning now.
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Not content with opening two new restaurants, Mauro Colagreco wants to change the fishing industry WORDS: JOHN THATCHER
hile politics’ big hitters gathered under Glasgow’s brooding skies to debate their (predictably disappointing) response to the planet’s climate crisis at COP26, one of the biggest names in the culinary world was doing his bit to advance the need for sustainable fishing in the far more agreeable climes of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the South of France. Here, built on a rocky peninsula high above the town, is The Maybourne Riviera, the newly opened, new recruit to the Maybourne Hotel Group’s stable of luxury London abodes — Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Berkeley. It required someone of significant standing to lead the culinary charge at the group’s first address outside of London, and no one comes with a reputation as fine as Mauro Colagreco, the first Latin American chef to earn a restaurant (Mirazur) three Michelin stars. At the Riviera, Colagreco has devised not one but two restaurants: “Ceto is on the hotel’s top floor,” says Colagreco. “We’re working to give a high-quality experience to explore the Mediterranean Sea. Riviera Restaurant (on the hotel’s ground floor) is more casual, but it wasn’t an option to offer burgers, Caesar salads or club sandwiches. I wanted to offer the guests the chance to discover the region through my cuisine; culinary specialities from Genova in Italy to Saint Tropez in France.” It’s on the top floor where Colagreco gets truly creative, with a menu big on ingredients like seaweed, sea herbs, samphire, sea fennel, sea cucumber and snails, and dishes that play on texture, flavour and cooking processes. An interest in the latter gave rise to a maturation chamber, housed inside the restaurant for the purpose of research and development. “The maturation chamber allows us to deepen our methods of preserving fish and prolong the maturation by allowing all the flavour and texture to develop in the meat,” enthuses Colagreco. “We have around 10 to 15 different kinds of fish ageing in the chamber. We’ve been working for over a year on the research and development to get the best of the product by using the right maturation timings. For example, we go further with the red tuna that we
keep for 45 days in the maturation chamber. Red tuna is a product everyone thinks they know, but the taste is completely different after 45 days of maturation in our ageing room.” Each species will be studied individually, and the entire fish used whenever possible (skin, fins, bones and eyes). From where does this passion for fish and the sea originate? “I used to go to the seaside with my family in my childhood,” remembers Colagreco. “I’ve always been fascinated by nature, from mountains, land to sea. For 15 years, I have lived in Menton (where Mirazur is based); I have the sea in front of me every day. I always wanted to have a space where I could deepen my understanding of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s an amazing source of inspiration to create new dishes, but it has also inspired us a lot for the restaurant design and the tableware.” To that end, Colagreco hired architect-designer Marcelo Joulia (“I know him well and trust that his vision aligns with mine.”) and sourced pieces created exclusively by local artists and artisan producers, making the region as central to the restaurant’s look and feel as much as its food. But it’s to fish once more that our conversation turns. Put simply, Colagreco wants to rewrite the rulebook when it comes to fishing. “I want to shake up preconceived ideas and challenge traditional methods: the distance and depth of fishing, seasonality, the use of our maturation chamber, anti-waste,” he passionately declares. “We’ve done some important research about the right distance and depth to fish, depending on the product and the season. By working closely with local fishermen, we can also impact and start to change the system. We can discuss our knowledge, our vision and work in the same direction. We have shared our research with them to improve the fishing practices. And in their way, they know that we’re not ordering a fixed list of products, but rather the daily delivery will depend on the catch of the day. In a way, they’re driving our creativity, our kitchen.” Also driving Colagreco creatively was the time afforded by the pandemic. “For sure, the pandemic has had a big impact; it gave us time to think, rethink and reconnect with the essentials. I had the opportunity to step back and think
Regardless of ‘where the pandemic came from, it’s important to be aware that it is urgent to change our production and consumption for the planet’s preservation
about our role in society as human beings, as chefs and restaurateurs. “Regardless of where the pandemic came from, it’s important to be aware that it is urgent to change our production and consumption for the planet’s preservation. The solution is truly in the food system: at restaurants, at home, we can positively impact the ecology and the environment. Chefs are in the middle between production and consumption. That means by our choices, we can decide in the world we want to leave behind. As chefs, as restaurateurs, more when you’ve visibility, you have to be a role model for society, for the next generation.” It’s to the benefit of globetrotting gourmands that Colagreco is in the South of France, but when he speaks like this, you can’t help but think it would have been to the benefit of us all if he had been with the bigwigs in Glasgow.
Opening pages, from left to right: crudo de gamberoni at Riviera Restaurant; Ceto tapas at Ceto These pages, clockwise from far left: Maybourne Riviera; Mauro Colagreco; Riviera Restaurant; Saint Pierre alla liguria; Ceto. All images ©Matteo Carassale
JOURNEYS BY JET
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre Dubai, UAE
Travel DECEMBER 2021 : ISSUE 123
n the heart of Dubai’s bustling financial district, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre takes top billing. Top-hatted doormen provide a warm welcome to this rarefied expression of modern luxury, an award-winning hotel that boasts the best of both corporate and leisure facilities — and arguably the city’s finest art collection. Spacious rooms comprise Art Deco-style furnishings, Arabic accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows, but it’s the suites that standout, each offering entry to the exclusive Club Lounge, where continuous complimentary culinary and beverage options are offered throughout the day, and thoughtful touches provide a true sense of place - guests can enjoy an array of camel milk smoothies, the highly nutritious milk a bedrock of Emirati culture for millennia. The Royal Suite — all 2,368sqft of it — grants its occupants separate living and dining rooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a separate entrance to ensure privacy. DIFC is renowned as a culinary hotspot, and the restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre fully contribute to that billing. Highlights here include Café Belge, which evokes the glamour and spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Art Deco design meets traditional Belgian cuisine — the likes of moules mariniere served with those famous frites; crispy seabass, enlivened with a zesty lemon butter, and the always decadent (yet necessary) chocolate-draped waffles — while a dedicated beer sommelier is your guide to sampling the crafted
brews for which Belgium is renowned. Brunch here is a must-do. Creativity is the prevailing feature at Flair 5, evident in both the décor (plant-strewn garden) and drinks (the team of mixologists focuses on plant-based tipples), while the beautiful Sunken Garden offers serenity amid the bustle of the big city, and a menu that fuses Middle Eastern staples with an outstanding raw bar. If an evening under the stars in the Sunken Garden stirs further thoughts of tranquillity, The Ritz-Carlton Spa comes calling next morning. It takes an holistic approach to treatments, from tailored massages and body scrubs through to reflexology and facials. Make time to experience the Morocco-inspired ‘Sahara Luxury Journey’, or the Dubai-influenced ‘Desert Reviver’. In fact, you’ll feel so at home here that you may well wish to move in. In that case, you can do so. The hotel’s Executive Residences range in size from one to four bedrooms and offer residents the same five-star service for which The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre is renowned, including a private entrance, lobby, dedicated front desk, in-room dining service, housekeeping service, and access to the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness centre and stunning rooftop pool. A fitting way to enjoy being at a hotel that’s the height of modern luxury. You can land your jet at Dubai International Airport, from where a pre-arranged private transfer will take you to the hotel. ritzcarlton.com 71
What I Know Now
DECEMBER 2021: ISSUE 123
Wallace Chan JEWELLERY ARTIST Bruce Lee once said: “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend.” One time I had problems with the ‘Wallace Cut’. The stones got too hot when I worked on them. Bruce Lee provided me with a solution. If you cannot change the stones, and if you cannot change the tools, change your mindset and your approaches. Be like water, my friend. And use water, my friend. So that was what I did.
one thing I must spend time on. But it won’t affect me so much if I don’t shave. By not shaving, I will have saved at least three years in my life. I did the math. And I have kept this beard for about 20 years now.
I think sleeping is a waste of time. But if I don’t sleep, I can’t survive. So that is
To me, life itself is inspiration. We must allow life to inspire us, and that is not
The one term that I hear most often is ‘impossible.’ Each creation, each innovation, is achieved through these many impossibilities. I feel that it is never about whether something is possible, but whether your heart is in it. As long as we put our heart into it, impossibility does not exist, and realising that is a personal success. One must believe in the power of creativity.
difficult at all, so long as we keep our eyes, our minds and our hearts open – not only to new thoughts, but also old ideas; not only to new excitement, but also old existence. It is not in our nature to treasure things that come too fast or easily. We will not remember something we googled, but we will remember something we have practiced and learnt, through blood, sweat and tears. We hold on to these things because they carry the reflections of our very own existence – the evidence that we live. As a creator, I am always greedy, always thirsty. The more materials I can master, the freer I become. I would still very much like to push for innovations.
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