IS Su e t W en t y one | Februa ry
th style e issue
Produced in International Media Production Zone
Star Valentin r ing : o, M Te stino ar io a Holly w nd ood Glamou r
style icons Why the fashions from Hollywood’s golden age still resonate today
mario testino The man who makes models super on why he’s still at the top
liu wen What does China’s first catwalk queen mean for fashion’s future?
michelin man Gallic great Guy Savoy on his mission to champion Doha’s fine dining scene
“CAMéLIA” RING WHITE GOLD AND DIAMONDS
DUBAI MALL, +971 4 382 7100/06
Available at Damas Les Exclusive boutiques: Burj Al Arab: 04 3484816, Dubai Mall: 04 3398535.
Contents / Fe atures
The Style Issue
Why one of the last greats of haute couture is as busy in retirement as he was when dressing the world’s most elegant women
As the first supermodel to emerge from China, is Liu Wen the embodiment of fashion’s future? Laura Weir investigates
Celebrating the stars of Hollywood’s golden age and their enduring effect on modern fashion
Daisy Garnett meets the man whose way of seeing fashion has set the tone for the past two decades
- 05 -
Elegance is an attitude
The Longines Master Collection
Contents / regul ars
Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director John Thatcher Advertisement Director Chris Capstick firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Leah Oatway email@example.com Contributing Editor Hazel Plush firstname.lastname@example.org
David Bowie’s retrospective and the style guide every man needs on his bookshelf
The Michelin-starred Guy Savoy brings his French flair to Doha’s diners
Introducing the striking addition to Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec Collection
Jamie Merrill feels the wind in his hair at the wheel of the new Morgan
Dubai’s XVA gets set to challenge our perception of how paper is used for art
From Kuwait to Courcheval, we check in at the world’s most fashionable hotels
This season’s must-have statement piece from Boca Do Lobo is a true gem
Designer of bespoke accessories, Otis Batterbee, on what’s he’s learnt
Designer Adam Sneade Designer / Illustrator Vanessa Arnaud Production Manager Haneef Abdul Senior Advertisement Manager Stefanie Morgner email@example.com Advertisement Manager Sukaina Hussein firstname.lastname@example.org Advertisement Manager Silviya Komanova email@example.com
Art & Design
Thirty Six 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. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.
Jewellery The diamonds guaranteed to be a girl’s best friend this Valentine’s Day
- 07 -
What I Know Now
Vehicle depicted is for representation purpose only.
THE NEW LS FROM HERE, PERFECTION IS SUDDENLY IN SIGHT
Redefined in its styling, luxury and performance, the new 2013 Lexus LS boldly moves forward in its journey to perfection with the 4.6 litre 382 HP engine or the 5 litre 438 HP Hybrid variant. The new LS showcases 3 world-first features â€“ Advanced Interior Illumination, Climate Concierge and Advanced Pre-Collision Safety system. 5 Drive Mode options allow you the luxury to choose the way you want to drive. F-SPORT package available for the first time.
tel: 800 LEXUS (53987) lexus.ae
EmpirE AviAtion Group
Welcome to this issue of AIR, our monthly magazine for aircraft owners and onboard guests. In February, the focus of private aviation is firmly on India, for the Aero India 2013 exhibition in Bengalaru, where we will be formally launching our sister company Empire Aviation’s comprehensive range of private aviation services for Indian aircraft owners. With a team of specialists on the ground at our new offices at HAL airport in Bangalore, and one aircraft already under management on behalf of an Indian owner, we have made a very fast and encouraging start to building our new business in India. Our aim is to replicate the one-stop shop approach to private aviation services that we have developed in the Middle East since we formed Empire Aviation Group in Dubai, in 2007. It’s a formula that has proved to be successful across our three main areas of operation – aircraft management, sales and charter. The Indian market for private aviation remains very attractive and is growing strongly, whilst still facing some barriers in terms of tariffs and infrastructure development. However, we believe the market will mature quickly and the prospects are very exciting. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Empire Aviation Group has taken a second Embraer Legacy 650 under management, operating from our base at Dubai International Airport. We were delighted to make this announcement during the Middle East Business Aviation show in December 2012, and so we have started 2013 very strongly in both of our major markets which bodes well for the rest of the year. Enjoy the issue.
Steve Hartley Executive Director
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org empire.aero
- 09 -
Paras Dhamecha Executive Director
EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws
New busiNess aviatioN services for iNdia The private aviation market in India has received a boost with the launch of our new services that will help stimulate and support the market. Empire Aviation (EA) officially announced the launch of our comprehensive range of business aviation services for private aircraft owners in India at the Aero India 2013 show, held in Bengalaru. We are bringing to India the ‘onestop shop’ approach we developed in the Middle East, covering aircraft sales, aircraft management, flight operations and charter, for the benefit of Indian aircraft owners and operators. The first business jet is already under EA’s management in India, with a 2012 model Bombardier Challenger 300 based at HAL Airport in Bangalore, where we recently opened our first office in the country and where there is already a team of six aviation specialists on the ground.
We have plans to add further managed aircraft and are currently in negotiations for a further three aircraft, with the aim of having a total of five aircraft under management in India by mid 2013. The EA team will also double in size over this period. The Indian economy is proving robust, and with more Indian companies globalizing their operations we see a healthy future demand for our services, where we can fill the gap for a professional management company that can simplify the ownership process and experience for owners. This will also help further stimulate the market for business aviation. There are still some challenges facing the development of private aviation in India, with tough regulations on aircraft importation and ownership having a dampening effect on market development, while airports in India are becoming busier and running close to capacity.
- 10 -
However, we remain very optimistic about the prospects for this growing market and plan to use all our experience and expertise in supporting the development of private aviation in India. We see part of our initial role as helping company and individual owners and aircraft operators there understand the benefits of working with independent and experienced professional aircraft managers. Most private aircraft in India are company owned and managed by an in-house operations team, which is not always very cost effective. We take an asset management approach to aircraft ownership and management, which starts with understanding the owner’s needs, and building a business model around this, ensuring access to all the benefits of the aircraft whilst protecting its value through professional operation, management and maintenance to manufacturers’ standards. So, it’s a very new and distinctive approach and we need to take the time to explain this fully. Having initially established operations in Bangalore, we have plans to extend our services to Indian aircraft owners through a growing network, including additional offices in north and central India. We have made good progress in rapidly establishing Empire Aviation in India, and the initial response from owners and operators has been very encouraging. We are now moving on to the next phase which is to focus on private operators who require the full management spectrum, including induction of their aircraft in India.
- 11 -
EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws
Second Embraer Legacy 650 executive jet joins the Dubai-based fleet A second Embraer Legacy 650 executive jet has been added to our Dubai-based fleet – joining two super midsize Legacy 600 executive jets already operated from Dubai on behalf of owners. Larger business jets are especially popular amongst owners in the Middle East, offering the cabin space, luggage capacity and range that can take groups to longer haul destinations non- stop or with very few stops. Launched in 2009, the large Legacy 650 is an extended-range derivative of the successful super midsize Legacy 600. It can fly up to 3,900 nautical miles (7,223 kilometers) non stop with four passengers, or 3,840 nautical miles (7,112 kilometers) with eight. The new aircraft allows us to fly up to 14 passengers, non-stop, connecting
Dubai to major business destinations, including London (UK), Singapore, and Johannesburg (South Africa) in a comfortable, functional and elegant interior with three distinct cabin zones, as well as the largest in-flight accessible baggage compartment of its category. The Legacy 650 extended-range aircraft is one of the largest executive jets permitted to operate in restricted airports, such as London City (LCY). Empire Aviation Group will manage and operate the new aircraft under our full management service for the owner, which helps to optimize their investment and protect the long term value of the aircraft, covering all aspects of its operation, the option of charter, and maintenance. “Our aircraft management services are the
- 12 -
core of our regional business and it is gratifying that we continue to attract new aircraft owners to bring their aircraft under our management. In fact, we were the first operator in the Middle East to manage a Legacy 650 and we are delighted to add a second to our managed fleet, and to expand our long-haul capabilities,” said Steve Hartley. Empire Aviation Group operates the Middle East’s largest managed fleet of private jets, with around 20 jets under management on behalf of owners, several of which are available for charter. Our team offers private jet charter, charter brokerage services anywhere in the world, and medical evacuation/assist when required.
Aaron Basha Boutique • 685 Madison Avenue • New York • 212.935.1960 • w w w.aaronbasha.com Athens
Harrods London • Levant Dubai
Ali Bin Ali Qatar • Asia Jewellers Bahrain
The Nissan Patrol 2013 TAKE US ON A BORING JOURNEY, BECAUSE WE’VE NEVER BEEN ON ONE. NISSAN
PATROL PATROL 3 Individual Screens NISSAN
Unlimited Music Choices 3 Individual Screens Pre-cooled Interior Unlimited Music Choices
Nissan Patrol’s Multi-screen DVD Entertainment System allows your family to watch their favourite movies or play games independently while you enjoy your song selection from the Music Box. Test drive at your nearest Nissan showroom.
Nissan Patrol. The Hero of All Terrain. Nissan. Innovation that excites.
Nissan Patrol Challenge
• Saudi Arabia: Alhamrani United Co., Jeddah, Tel: +966 2 6696690 • Dubai & Northern Emirates: Arabian Automobiles, Tel: +971 4 2952222 • Abu Dhabi & Al Ain: Al Masaood Automobiles, Tel: +971 2 6811118 • Kuwait: Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al Babtain Co., Tel: +965 1804888 • Oman: Suhail Bahwan Automobiles, Tel: +968 24560111
Multi-screen DVD Entertainment System
9.3GB Hard Disk Music Storage System
Now available with Remote Engine Starter
Nissanpatrol-me.com • Qatar: Saleh Alhamad Almana Co., Tel: +974 4 4283333 • Bahrain: Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons BSC(C), Tel: +973 1 7732732 • Lebanon: Rasamny – Younis Motor Co. S.A.L. – RYMCO, Beirut, Tel:+9611 273333 • Jordan: Bustami & Saheb Trading Co.L.T.D., Amman, Tel: +962 6 5532456
- 16 -
> Long before Lady Gaga sported the crown of music’s most eccentric dresser, David Bowie’s outlandish style was a reference point in the world of fashion. His uniqueness is celebrated next month (from March 23) as London’s V&A hosts Bowie’s inaugural and much anticipated retrospective. “David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever”, says the V&A’s Martin Roth.
- 17 -
RadaR book features the best bits from mrporter.com, including numerous excerpts from its onsite magazine The Journal, which dispenses advice on everything from the banal to the brilliant. But overall it acts as a very handy go-to style compendium for those in need of a sense of fashion direction this season. mrporter.com
> â€˜A shoppable magazineâ€™ is how Net-A-Porter chief Natalie Massenet describes the luxury e-tailer thatâ€™s devoted to female fashion, a site that has revolutionised shopping for fashion and since its launch has given rise to a male counterpart, Mr. Porter. This newly released, beautifully crafted and photo heavy paperback
> Often imitated yet rarely bettered, German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton is responsible for some of the finest photography ever published in fashion magazines. He first achieved international fame in the 1970s while working principally for French Vogue, and his celebrity and influence grew over the decades. This book, World Without Men, is comprised of fashion editorials shot by Newton between the mid 1960s and the mid 1980s, and makes for a fascinating record of changing tastes and styles. taschen.com - 18 -
Aaron Basha Boutique • 685 Madison Avenue • New York • 212.935.1960 • w w w.aaronbasha.com Athens
Harrods London • Levant Dubai
Ali Bin Ali Qatar • Asia Jewellers Bahrain
Haute to trot A new book released this month chronicles Paris’ love affair with high fashion and in particular haute couture clothing. Here its co-author Anne Zazzo talks of the city, the birth of couture and the magnificent pieces she uncovered during her research for the tome Words: Anne Zazzo
ince the seventeenth century, the European courtly system upheld this notion of France’s superiority in the fashion world. It is highly likely that other European capitals surrendered to this belief partly because they already found themselves under French influence in terms of art and literature. When it came to elegance, Paris had already
acquired international renown – the remarkable ‘savoir-faire’ of its craftsmen was widely recognised. Rose Bertin, Marie Antoinette’s dressmaker, later became an international celebrity. When CharlesFrederick Worth – having founded his fashion house in 1858 – became the official supplier to the courts of France and Sweden in 1864, he ensured his notoriety (he was referred to as the ‘father of haute couture’),
- 20 -
reinforcing the generally-accepted notion of Paris as the city of fashion. The advantage of Paris at the time of couture’s birth – officially in 1870 – was its industrial power: the fashion houses themselves offer clients the decor of a luxury ‘salon’, but behind this lavish façade they rely on actual factories. Fashion houses delegate tasks to numerous Parisian ateliers which exploit cheap labour, enabling the hefty profit margins which
allow the fashion houses to prosper. Moreover, Paris is at the centre of an impressive commercial network whose activities are supported by political power: the example I have in mind is the silk factories of Lyon. Napoleon III asked his wife the Empress to wear ‘political dresses’ made from damask Lyon fabric which she didn’t care for, in order to revive fashion in the court, and therefore to stimulate orders to fashion businesses in Lyon. Worth himself was a connoisseur of Lyon suppliers given that his first job, which he kept for more than 25 years, was as a fabric buyer in London, then for Gagelin in Paris.
It mustn’t be forgotten, though, that most of the time Worth would buy drawings of clothes from professional drawing agencies, and would then sign them with his own name. Ushering in the golden age of couture in the twentieth-century, the houses of Lucile and Paul Poiret invented the fashion house ‘brand image’ in the modern sense of the term – theatrical fashion shows, celebrity designers, product design, perfume, packaging, accessories, logos, communication…
preserved in historical collections, to inspire future creative efforts. Parisian fashion houses are conscious of this; in fifteen years, not one of them has failed to show interest in keeping or buying back their old pieces to put into archives. This is useful in the interests of branding: today, fashion houses witness a succession of artistic directors, each and every one of whom aspires to perpetuate and evolve the style of a designer who is no longer alive. There is a sort of on-going competition for memories.
In the 1930s, couture declared itself in perpetual crisis, but survived up until the 1950s. At the beginning of the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent inherited the couture tradition, but was also the one to introduce androgynous elements into his clients’ wardrobes – work clothes, the black jacket… Here began a period where couture, loaded with history, made its post-modern mark, evolving into a sparkling image, a fantasy of elegance, artistic craft, luxury, refinement, creative flamboyance, and this was very profitable for the surviving labels, since couture now serves a more democratic market, reaching out to the perfume buyer as much as the luxury clothes purchaser.
In my research for the book I uncovered dresses by fashion houses that have now drifted into obscurity, but which produced some true masterpieces back in their day: Ara, Philippe & Gaston, Jérôme… In terms of stories, I found that writers who enjoyed telling tales of couture in their day have produced some little gems – and we have given voice to them in the pages of our book. For example, Princess Bibesco and her masterful ‘Noblesse de robe’.
The history of couture can be put into three major periods: the origins, which we can locate at the end of the eighteenth-century, the golden age, spanning from the 1910s to the 1950s, and the post-modern period, which we are still immersed in today. Before couture officially existed, when the corporations were dissolved in 1791, fashion-related occupations became more diverse. Between 1804 and 1822 Hippolyte Leroy, the forefather of couture, created the original model for the fashion house, taking orders from prestigious clients and boasting a large network of manufacturers and relations with the press. In the 1860s, Worth, like his competitors, made propositions to clients – an act which was retained in collective memory as groundbreaking due to the fact that it raised the fashion designer to the status of artist.
From the point of view of a museum curator like myself, the future of haute couture lies in my own collections – for that matter, so does the future of all objects in the fields of art and society. It is up to these treasures,
- 21 -
1. 2. 3. 4.
Fath, evening gown, 1951. © Katerina Jebb Worth, evening cape, c.1898– 1900. © Katerina Jebb Bruyère, wedding gown, 1944. © Katerina Jebb Balenciaga, evening ensemble, 1967. © Katerina Jebb
Paris haute couture, edited by Olivier Saillard and Anne Zazzo, is published this month by Rizzoli. rizzolibookstore.com
Bag ladies Following the release of Bugari’s Isabella Rossellini bag, AIR looks at the other women who have inspired designers to immortalise them in fine leather...
Dior ‘Lady Dior’
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
- 22 -
- 23 -
Dir. Pablo Larrain This true tale of dictator Augusto Pinochet’s call for a referendum on his presidency provides a colourful snapshot of 1980s Chile. At best: “Bernal’s rousing performance turns a potentially dry subject into something uproariously funny and massively involving.” What Culture At worst: “An uncomfortable cinematic viewing experience.” Screen International
Dir. Bruno Dumont Mumia AbuJamal was a successful journalist, until he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death 30 years ago. In this documentary, Dumont explores the intellectual’s life behind bars, and the shifting concepts of guilt and betrayal. At best:
“Mesmerising, beatific, disturbing.” Time Out At worst:
“It is hard to be certain who the characters are, where they come from and how they know each other.” The Sun Online
Stand Up Guys
Dir. Fisher Stevens After 28 years in prison, an aging gangster is reunited with his criminal friends – but, back together, will they slip into old habits? At best: “The men play off one another and invest their characters with more depth than any filmmaker could expect.” New York Times At worst: “This moronically unfunny gangster comedy offers evidence that the best days are behind its cast members.” Time Out
Dir. Sheldon Candis In this gritty coming-of age tale, a lonely schoolboy gets a poignant crash-course in manhood when he spends the day with his unruly uncle. At best: “Candis generally displays
solid skills, and clearly works well with actors.” Hollywood Reporter At worst:
“Candis’s narrative starts to lose steam halfway through, causing the performances to lose their footing” Film School Rejects
- 24 -
Few modern American writers command as much awe and giddy controversy as Hunter S. Thompson, and the furore of his suicide in 2005 lives on still. But while his infamous novels are devoured in all their forms, little coverage is devoted to the ever-popular essays and reports he penned for music magazine Rolling Stone. In her latest release, Jenn De Wenner attempts to do just that, gathering forgotten drafts, letters and articles from the editorial archives. “People loved to read his work – and didn’t Rolling Stone know it,” writes The Guardian’s Ben East. “The book reveals Thompson’s correspondence with the editorial team, and one letter bears a list of exciting commissions and generous deadlines. ‘None of these assignments came to fruition,’ is written in italics underneath. Thompson was probably on the hunt for cactus. But Rolling Stone still went back for more.” Writing in The Book Reporter, Harvey Freedenberg is also enthralled: “These impassioned pieces reveal Thompson’s singular conception of journalism. He was coldly dismissive of ‘objective journalism...[but] while most of the players whose careers he chronicled
have gone to their eternal reward or punishment, they will live forever in Thompson’s vivid prose.” The psychotic, tramp-like murderer at the centre of Warren Ellis’s Gun Machine harbours not only his own secrets, but those of his fellow killers. In his dingy New York apartment he hides hundreds of guns that have been used in the city’s murders – but the NYPD net is closing in fast. “Gun Machine hints at the inherent violence of humanity,” writes Brian Truitt in USA today, “yet the novel gives us a protagonist to root for – an average cop with nothing special other than enough fortitude, loyalty and a sense of right to make a hunter the hunted.” It’s the novel’s blurring of guilt and blame that catches the attention of The New York Times’s Charles McGrath, however: “The book’s real achievement is to create a world that is so bleakly and comically out of whack that the hunter has half a point, taking refuge in a fantasy land where civilization has yet to intrude.” The decline of the American automobile industry has left the industrial city Detroit in ruins. In his photographic tome The Last Days of Detroit, Mark Binelli charts
- 25 -
its descent into rubble – providing a glimpse of a looming reality. “His account is mesmerising in its detail and there is a subtext with unsettling resonances for us all,” writes Peter Carty in The Independent. “Detroit’s fate is an ominous harbinger of what could be in store for many Western metropolises, as manufacture and finance shift over to the superpowers of Asia.” Thought-provoking stuff.
The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette: “The collection shows him dumping a huge bag of tricks out on the table in the ’60s and continuing to play with them, examine them, and follow them ever further to new solutions, for the rest of his life.” For Holland Cotter of the New York Times, the exhibition highlights Lichtenstein’s enduring appeal: “His work looks like no one else’s, and some of it still feels fresh and audacious. He encapsulates, at least in his early work, the spirit of an era. He is embedded in the culture now, and unlikely to be dislodged.” Paris’s Pompidou Centre attracts the kind of devoted fans who will happily camp in line all night for the first glimpse of a major new show – so watch your step if you’re heading to the 4th arrondissement this month. Dalí, a celebration of the great Surrealist’s prolific life work, has already attracted great acclaim from critics – among
them, The Independent’s Charles Derwent: “If two things emerge from the Pompidou’s admirably po-faced show, they are Dalí’s inventiveness and talent for evasion. It is easy to forget that the forms on those posters which were Blu-tacked to our teenage bedrooms – the eggs and ovoids, the rocks that morph into flesh and back into rocks again – were all his own work: familiarity with them has bred contempt. Framed on a gallery wall, his capacity for seeing double feels like something akin to genius.” Where others only see urban sprawl and grey, shapeless forms, Australian artist Jeffrey Smart sees beauty. His latest exhibition, Master of Stillness, is halfway through its run at the Samstag Museum of Art – tracking the changing face of Australia during the past 60 years. Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Stephens is enthralled: “Smart’s distinct style creates an air
- 26 -
of the mysterious... Architectural fragments, modern urban wastelands, brooding skyscapes, empty roads and, often, a lonely and inscrutable human figure amid it all - these elements in a Smart painting entice us, make us frown with curiosity, and lead us down diverging paths.”
Images: Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, National Gallery of Art
The mark of Roy Lichtenstein is unmistakeable: cartoonish structures, painstakingly-painted pixel dots, and a preoccupation with popular culture that was verging on ridicule. Delve a little deeper into the father of pop art’s repertoire, however, and you’ll find a trove of artistic meanderings – from still life sketches to Picassoesque Impressionist daubings – the highlights of which are currently on show at Washington’s National Gallery of Art. Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is the first major survey of the artist’s work since his death in 1997, and it’s fascinating viewing, finds
Image: Kooza, Cirque du Soleil
The ultimate test for the Cirque du Soleil team isn’t a razor tightrope or human pyramid – it’s the acerbic tastes of the British entertainment press, and their unabashed aversion to ‘clowning around’. When the circus rolled in to London with their latest production Kooza last month, critics were quick to recoil: “It was with considerable reluctance that I trudged to the Albert Hall,” writes The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer, “and sure enough there is a great deal of footling clowning and it proves every bit as grim as usual.” However, the Brits’ cynicism is no match for the thrill of the show, as Spencer begrudgingly notes: “The performers range from the excellent to the downright incredible... You watch with your heart in your mouth because there isn’t a safety wire in sight, and the act sets the whole house on a roar of delicious excitement and dread.” Lyn Gardner of The Guardian also sets aside her initial gripes (“The clowns [are] so deeply irritating that they are no laughing matter”), succumbing, instead, to awe: “The main thrill is the wheel of death, performed with nonchalance by two men who hurl themselves around and over the fast rotating wheels... Definitely not the sort of thing you should try at home.” A modern retelling of J. M. Barrie’s classic tale Peter Pan took to the stage this month in Bristol’s Old Vic, proving beguiling fodder for children and adults alike. “This is a piece of ensemble theatre with clever stagecraft at its heart,” coos The Independent’s Elizabeth Davis. “Throughout, [director] Sally Cookson makes no attempt to disguise the show’s workings: she has no time for fairy dust. This Peter flies with ropes and harnesses – and that’s all part of the fun.” It’s a hit with The Stage’s Jeremy Brien, too: “Her full-on version of the tale offers an approach the like of which you have never seen before... Not all the innovations work,
but propelled by the quick-witted score, there are enough entertaining ideas here for ten versions of the Barrie classic.” Sulayman Al-Bassam’s In The Eruptive Mode met with mixed reviews in Sydney earlier this month. The play focuses on the personal crises caused by the Arab Spring uprisings, with monologues from six individuals caught up in the violence. “It’s like we are zooming in on the lives of people
- 27 -
across the Middle East using Google Earth... Its thrilling to see such a fresh production, [although] it is too early to pass final judgement on the piece, just as it is too soon to draw conclusions about the effects of the Arab Spring on the Middle East.” A reviewer for Time Out misses the point, however: “The fragmented text itself lacks coherence, musicality and a dramatic arc... it will leave you baffled about both the Arab Spring and the choice to program it.”
Frederic Watrelot On the growing interest in pocket watches From their first arrival in China around 1700, lavishly decorated watches manufactured for the Far East could rival the most sumptuous timepieces ever made. In fact, among modern day investors or collectors on the hunt for an alternative to wristwatches, the purchase of decorative pocket watches is an emerging trend. By the late 18th century these highly coveted treasures featured finely decorated movements and complications including repeating, music or automatons. The cases had to be finely enamelled with motifs representing nature or classical scenes, set with pearls and precious stones. Often lost over the centuries, and in particular during tumultuous times in China, the appearance of even a single ‘survivor’ is always greeted enthusiastically by the connoisseurs. A sale at Christie’s in Geneva last year revealed a remarkable group acquired by the collector and her late husband on journeys to the Orient between the late 1950s and 1970s. This extraordinary collection sold for $2.4 million, exceeding presale expectations five times – an indication of their rarity. Among the group of eight watches were examples from the most celebrated names, notably Piguet & Meylan, Vaucher, Bovet, Ilbery and Clerc. The highest price in the sale was made by an exceptional gold and enamel openface centre seconds duplex watch with enamel by Jean-
François-Victor Dupont, made for the Chinese market by William Ilbery of London around 1815, which sold for US$687,000. Lavishly decorated with an exquisite miniature entitled Love Seducing Innocence, the richly enamelled case was surrounded by tiny pearls. There were also two pairs of duplex watches from around 1830, distinguished by the mirror-inverted enamel motifs and the remarkably rare element of identical numbers. The pair, signed Bovet Fleurier, sold for $110,942 and came in their original box, which was stamped with Bovet’s Chinese signature. The collection also included a
- 28 -
group of letters written by the illustrious watch-maker Louis Bovet between 1837-1855 describing his experiences travelling around China as he learnt more about his new market. They provided fascinating details of events he witnessed during the first Opium War and described the many hardships he endured along the way. A genuinely sensational discovery, this exceptional collection represented one of the exceedingly rare opportunities to add true horological treasures to any discerning collection. Best keep your eye out for another.
> The newest addition to the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Collection – and one that caught an admiring glance or two at Geneva’s SIHH recently – boasts the attractive quirk of its hour numerals changing colour depending on the time of day or night - the numerals are pale blue during night time hours and black during the day, a function made possible by the new manufacture calibre MB R220. A platinum version of this striking timepiece is available and limited to only 28 pieces, each affixed to a grey-alligator strap.
> By way of celebrating the recent 60th anniversary of its feted Navitimer chronograph, Breitling has produced a limited edition (to 500 pieces) Navitimer Blue Sky timepiece. The Navitimer has been in continuous production since
its launch in 1952, making this aircraft owner’s favourite the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production. As the name of this celebration model suggests, the sky is its design inspiration, with its dial an exclusive shade of blue.
- 29 -
Gandhi pocket watch
Zenith’s historical masterpiece Nearly a full century ago, Zenith had already embarked on its first steps towards globalization of the brand. Its alarm pocket watch was shipped to India where its most famous owner was Mahatma Gandhi; a sterling silver version of the watch that was gifted to him by the then future Prime Minister of India. So attached was Gandhi to his pocket watch that it accompanied him on his innumerable travels across the country, only to be stolen on one such journey to Kampur but returned to him once the culprit had learnt of Gandhi’s sadness. It would stay within the Gandhi family for decades thereafter, being bequeathed to his granddaughter, but later fell into the hands of private collectors and finally sold as part of a collection of Gandhi’s personal effects (including his famous round spectacles) for the record sum of $1.8 million. The design of this model is intended to be authentic, with its alarm function as essential to technology-swamped travellers today as it was at the time of its original launch.
Opening soon in Al Wahda Mall – New Extension, Abu Dhabi Kingdom of Bahrain: Al Aali Mall Tel: +973 1758 2588 • Seef Mall Tel: +973 1758 3399 • Bahrain City Centre Tel: +973 1717 9898 UAE: Mall of the Emirates Tel: +971 4 3410917 • Dubai Mall Tel: +971 4 4343113, Tel: +971 4 4341251 • Mirdif City Centre Tel: +971 4 2840123 www.devjiaurum.com
art & design EmpirE StatE of mind
East and West collide in a thought-provoking pop art spectacle at London’s SCREAM gallery this month…
elebrities and politicians sporting Mickey Mouse ears, Batman masks and Warhol fright wigs, and a ‘paper’ aeroplane made of aluminium: it is not difficult to see why Pakpoom Silaphan’s inimitable style of neo-pop art draws an enthusiastic crowd. The 40-year-old Thai artist’s first two solo exhibitions at London’s Scream gallery were sell outs and his third, Empire State, looks likely to do the same.
Silaphan’s fascination with globalisation, mass consumerism and the vast reach of cultural icons is prompted by personal experience. Having lived in two very different cultures - Thailand and London – he found a common language within popular culture. In Empire State he continues to explore this in new and interesting ways. For his Everybody project, scores of small portrait images of recognisable faces, from celebrities to politicians, fill a large grid. Each
- 31 -
face is painted over with another iconic global reference – such as Warhol’s fright wig. Silaphan had reportedly seen Warhol’s image in Thailand but had not known who he was – mistaking him for a mad professor because of his hair. With the 1960s icon now one of his heros, this work aims to illustrate some of the challenges of globalisation: meaning getting lost in translation. Metal signs and crates collected by the Chelsea College of Art and Design graduate during his time in Thailand continue to be reworked, using a combination of collage and paint, to feature cultural icons, past and present. Rust and discolouring nod to time passed. And then there’s the not-so-small matter of Silaphan’s two-metre high aluminium ‘paper’ aeroplane, designed to look as though it has been made from the iconic 1963 ‘Whaam!’ by revered American artist Roy Lichenstein. “We have the canon of art history literally repositioned on obsolete advertising signs,” commented art historian and critic Jean Wainwright, “provoking the double recognition of brand on brand, the shared global language and the currency of art”. screamlondon.com
art & design
PaPer dreams A new exhibition at DIFC’s XVA Gallery aims to challenge the way we perceive art on the ageold medium of paper…
he relationship between an artist and paper is so obvious, organic and diverse that it is rarely singled out for particular recognition. So, the notion of hosting an art exhibition dedicated solely to exploring this relationship seems at once brilliant in its simplicity and absolutely bonkers in the breadth of the medium. Where would you start? Well, if you were Meagan Kelly Horsman, director of DIFC’s XVA Gallery, the answer is simple: by collating the inspiring work of five very different artists from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. Paper, on show from February 4 to March 13, showcases the diverse talents of internationally renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor, Pakistani contemporary visual artist Imran Channa, Kurdish-Iraqi painter Walid Siti, financial analyst turned acclaimed artist Debjani Bhardwaj and Iran’s Mohsen Ahmadvand. “Paper is such a traditional art form, yet many contemporary artists use it as a medium to express their concerns, with excellent results,” explained Ms Horsman. “At [this exhibition], visitors can expect to see very different pieces; from playful illustrations by Ahmadvand and intricate paper cuts by Debjani Bhardwaj; to Kapoor’s renowned pigment works.” Paper, while diverse in the range of artists it has chosen, is steadfast in its quality. Kapoor, for instance, became a
Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et de Lettres in 2011, while Siti’s work has been represented in galleries worldwide. And Channa has received a host of awards, including the Sovereign Art Prize 2010. With this in mind, it is difficult, Ms Horsman said, to choose a favourite among the 16 works on display. “Perhaps I would select Kapoor’s 1990, Untitled, which is a pigment on paper work,” she said. “This was such an important time for the artist and his experimentation with pigments led to some outstanding works. The use of material and medium here, as well as the use of colour, is quite masterful.” The exhibit is filled with the wonderfully unusual. Among them, Imran Channa’s memory series - which takes a particular moment in time and stretches it to create a very flat and abstract reality. The work explores “the idea of memory and how it can be distorted and altered”, Ms Horsman explained. The XVA Gallery hopes that Paper will challenge visitors’ perceptions of artists’ work with the medium and inspire a new generation of creators. “When one imagines a work on paper they usually imagine something in a traditional format, perhaps a print or a drawing,” Ms Horsman said. “The exhibition will show how contemporary artists are using this medium in new and exciting ways, or to express contemporary concerns. For instance, Walid Siti’s solitary landscapes invoke feelings of home and of isolation, and his precise brushstrokes are startlingly vivid.” xvagallery.com
- 32 -
- 33 -
Images: Supplied Text: Leah Oatway
Sara CoSgrove A trip to the fashion shows of Paris saw evidence of an old favourite back in style Having hot-footed it back to London from Paris from my annual inspirational research trip, it is indisputable that both homewares and fashion have been influenced by a distinctive trend and the welcome return of that all-time classic - Monochrome. In the fashion collectionsfrom Lanvin, Moschino, Kate Spade or Kenzo we see the trend
being implemented in a celebration of large black and white stripes, checks, knits, prints, details and blocking. The result is a clean, yet eclectic silhouette and a design direction that easily translates into the palette of the modern home. There is an increasing fusion between the creative worlds of interior design, fashion apparel and accessories and as seen at Maison et Objet - the infamous Paris furniture trade fair, a wide variety of brands picked up on this direction and executed it beautifully. Lladro Atelier launched a collection of whimsical porcelain pieces by Jaime Hayon, with black and white stripe motifs mixed with classical shapes and forms. Their entire stand was in fact homage to this trend picking up on the classic Art Deco feel of the black and white chevronstripe. Christian Lacroix ceramics introduced colour to a back drop of black and white geometric patterns, creating a fun and vibrant collection to dress your table with.
His timeless yet groundbreaking patterns translate well to his home offer. In terms of furnishings, Dedar fabrics took it to the next level by combining monochrome fabrics with rich jewel-like colours such as ruby, cerise and sapphire blue. Rouge Du Rhin, who make wonderful soft furnishings, also showed a strong use of the trend with an eclectic selection of pieces. While in relation to furniture, the monochrome look also played a huge part in many collections. Ligne Roset took the traditional hounds tooth pattern and super-sized it to a fantastical scale, to give a very modern look to their classic Togo armchair, which could be used to create real wow factor within an interior. This look also flowed through to wall coveringswith Porada using the sharp lines of black and white wallpaper to set of their soft organic walnuts and plush blue upholstery. Sometimes the simplicity of black and white makes the most stunning statement of all.
> Film and music afficionados fighting a losing battle against space to store their ever-growing collections should investigate Archimediaâ€™s essential home solutions. They include a new range of servers which store copies of your discs and stream them across your household ethernet system to the various players located around the home. This 3U server can hold up to 5,400 DVDs or 900 Blu Ray discs, but if your collection demands more storage space, multiple servers can work together to form a single collection. archimedia-me.com
> With emerald green one of interior designâ€™s hottest colours this year, and geometric shapes continuing to win favour among interiors followers, this Diamond sideboard from Boca do Lobo is bang on trend and seriously stunning. Handcrafted by a team in Portugal, this limited
edition jewel-like sideboard presents a base made from mahogany lined with bronze mirrors. Not only is it beautiful, with its high gloss finish and mesmerising colour, but it is practical too. Behind its three doors, a gold leaf interior hosts shelving and two drawers. bocadolobo.com
- 34 -
MuSiCal ChairS An unlikely collaboration between a New York fashion artist and one of the world’s most elegant furniture houses has resulted in five note worthy works of art…
- 35 -
Internationally renowned for its timeless, classic style, McGuire’s furniture has undergone a radical rock and roll makeover courtesy of New York fashion artist Jordan Betten. Betten, whose luxury leather label “Lost Art” counts Lenny Kravitz, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crow among its fans, has transformed five of the 60-yearold company’s most iconic chairs into one-of-a-kind art pieces using alligator and snake skins, feathers and crystals, brass and leather. “Jordan’s work is incredibly creative, and he has envisioned some of our classic chairs in an entirely new way,” said McGuire President Kendra Reichenau. The collaboration marks a departure from both brands’ usual style: Lost Art’s creations include motorcycles, and guitar cases, while McGuire is renowned for its classic pieces in natural materials. However, the design houses found common ground in their use of trained artisans who hand craft all of their products. “Our shared sensibilities of paying attention to detail and the respect for the materials created an organic connection,” said Betten. Prices start at $7,000 mcguirefurniture.com
> If you’re going to say it with flowers this spring, then say it with Piaget. With winter behind us and love in the air, never has there been a better time to be adorned with something fabulous from the jeweller’s Petal Perfect Rose collection. Inspired by Yves Piaget’s 30-year love affair with the flower, this exquisite Limelight Garden Party necklace in 18 carat white gold is set with 404 brilliant-cut diamonds, 37 pearcut diamonds and white chalcedony: guaranteed to turn heads at any event.
- 36 -
> The way to a woman’s heart is often lined with sparkling diamonds and opulent jewels. Mouawad’s latest Rosette Collection is filled with perfect Valentine’s gifts, such as this ruby and diamond encrusted pendant. Inspired by the rosette jewellery favoured by Europeans in the 14th to 18th centuries, this decadent collection features earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings handcrafted in 18 carat white gold and laced with a variety of white and black diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
PRECIOUS PETALS Flowers may wither but these gems will stand the test of time
Piaget 18 carat white gold; 126, 2.28 carat diamonds
Mahallati White gold; pear shaped 3.27 carat diamonds
> With its delicate strands of pink tournaline beads, fastened by an 18 carat gold clasp and colourless diamonds, designer Roberto Coin offers a simple yet seductive alternative to the dazzling array of diamond delights on offer from this month.
> For flora to fawn over this Valentine’s, try this eye-catching Mouawad ring. Part of the Flower of Eternity collection, which celebrates love and romance, look closely and you’ll notice each flower is composed of three hearts, representing the past, the present, and the future and signifying a promise of eternity.
- 37 -
Bina Goenka 18 carat gold, 4.67 carat diamonds; fresh water pearls
Dubai Mall | Dubai Marina Mall | Mall of the Emirates | Wafi | Gold Souk
The king of CouTure Words: Colin McDowell
Amid A grAnd retrospective of his work, vAlentino grAnts colin mcdowell A rAre Audience
he first time I met Valentino Garavani was in Rome many years ago, when I was just starting as a reporter and was pretty green. When he languidly said, “I know everything about fashion,” my modest English soul was shocked at his boldness. Now I realise that he was absolutely right in his claim, extravagant as it seemed at the time. Valentino is the last of the hautecouture grandees, the great designers such as Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent who defined the final years of high fashion in the late 20th century. Of course he knows everything. Now 80, he is the grand old man of the catwalk and the only world-class couturier that Italy has ever produced. Valentino was born in Voghera in northern Italy, but, fired by the ambition that has driven him all his life, he left as soon as he could to become part of the great world beyond. By the time he was 17 he was in Paris, where he worked for Jean Dessès, a couturier from whom he learnt the skills that have made him one of the most accomplished of all fashion designers. His great talent, now as then, is in the speed and accuracy of his drawing, and even today he says, “I start everything with a drawing, it is the way I think, long before I touch a pattern or cut into a fabric. All my ideas come from the pencil.” Everyone with even the vaguest interest in fashion knows the name of Valentino, if for no other reason
- 41 -
than the famous red evening dresses that have ended his couture shows for many years. When he was still a young designer in Paris, he went to Barcelona and saw an opera in which all the costumes were red. As he says: “It was at that moment I realised that, after black and white, there is no colour more beautiful or flattering to women than red.” For many years now, the wardrobe of any well-dressed international woman has contained a “Valentino red”, which is added to at least once a year. These are the kind of fashion fans who felt that life had come to an end when he retired four years ago: women such as Jackie Kennedy, who wore a dress by him for her wedding to Aristotle Onassis and who once cried, “Valentino, live for ever!” Or Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, who also wore a Valentino wedding dress with, as he says, “just to amuse myself, a veil with 10 different qualities of lace.
similarities between them. Together with their six dogs — all pugs — they seem to be the perfect family unit. “I love animals,” he told me, while stroking Mary, the youngest and his favourite. “She is my little princess and always sleeps with me.” Valentino lives the complex life of the super rich as he travels between his homes, each one of which is different. His favourite is his base in London, because he loves the British attitude. The drawing room is elegantly belle époque in feel, with lots of french-polished wood and quite a few tassels, adding up to a restrained feeling of opulence complimented by huge contemporary modern pictures. He and Giammetti have always been collectors, known to dealers for their discerning eye. It is exactly the kind of room in which one would expect to find a grand couturier. “I love being in London,” he says. “I love the way of life and always feel
‘I am perhaps a little spoilt, but I am not a snob’ It took a table of 10 girls a month to make.” And the list goes on, from Princess Margaret and Elizabeth Taylor to Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow and virtually every wealthy and stylish woman across the globe. From the start, Valentino’s talent was matched by his luck. When he returned to Italy from Paris and set up his headquarters in Rome, he met another ambitious young Italian, an architectural student called Giancarlo Giammetti, on the Via Veneto — in the late 1950s, the hottest place in Italy for social contacts and a very Valentino area. They hit it off immediately and Giammetti became Valentino’s friend, companion and business adviser, as he remains to this day. They seem the perfect couple, very formal, very chic and very shrewd. When I met them recently at their London home in Holland Park, I was struck by the
totally comfortable here. I admire the tradition.” He pauses and then adds, “And the Queen. The most important woman in the world.” Would he like to dress her? “Absolutely,” he says. “I know exactly what she should wear and, with my touch, I would create marvellous clothes for her.” He modestly lowers his eyes and adds, “I would be so honoured to be asked.” One of the other attractions of London for Valentino is the shops. “London is a very dangerous place for me,” he says, “because I love shopping and there is so much temptation here. I always come home with some small thing to wear: a crocodile belt or a cashmere sweater. And I tour the galleries. All the dealers know us.” He itemises what each of his other homes gives him. “New York, I love. The theatres and the movies and, of course, I have many former customers
- 42 -
and dear friends there who have parties and dinners for me. Although I am not crazy to go out every night, even in New York.” His chateau in the countryside outside Paris is all about gardening and “looking after the trees”. He has set up a museum there to display and conserve the huge archive of his life in fashion: “There are thousands of documents, letters and pictures of all the people I have met all over the world. I have had a marvellous life. I have met everyone and I have always received love from people, and that is everything to me. I am perhaps a little spoilt, but I am not a snob.” The Valentino property portfolio also includes a home in Rome and a chalet in Gstaad, where he normally spends a month skiing. It is clear that time does not hang heavily in Valentino’s world.
‘Valentino is the last of the haute-couture grandees’
Since his retirement he has had one retrospective and is currently the subject of another at Somerset House, England, that includes more than 130 dresses, most not previously shown. He designed costumes for the 2010 Vienna New Year’s Day concert and a gala for the New York City Ballet that was received with curtain calls. He has also launched a ground-breaking virtual museum, with 5,000 pictures documenting his entire career. And, of course, there was the popular and highly praised documentary The Last Emperor, a film that he at first found embarrassing, but now rather enjoys. And that is suitable, as life for Valentino Garavani seems to be entirely agreeable. He has made the best of all possible worlds for himself. Knows everything about fashion? You bet he does — and the rest.
Valentino: Master of Couture runs at Somerset House, London, till March 3.
- 45 -
Future of Fashion
As China’s most successful model, Liu Wen is the natural face of the future. So what can we expect from fashion in the next 10 years?
hina is at the heart of fashion’s future and Liu Wen is its beautiful pulse. As the country’s most successful model ever, she has singlehandedly taken oriental beauty onto the international stage. With the help of a 5ft 10½in frame and a deeply dimpled, kittenish face, she has challenged the fixation with white, fair-haired western beauty. Hailing from Yongzhou, a city with a population of nearly 5.8m, Liu has 3.3m followers on Weibo (the Chinese Twitter), and prefers to conduct interviews via email — she has taught herself English, and writes articulately in her second language. “International brands are expanding their markets in Asia, so it’s logical to use Asian faces,” she says. “Our culture is becoming more prevalent worldwide and people are becoming more familiar with Asian beauty.” Liu, 24, is the first Chinese model to be signed by Estée Lauder as a face and spokeswoman, and the first Asian on the catwalk of Victoria’s Secret, that bastion of the all-American body beautiful.
- 46 -
Words: Laura Weir - 47 -
- 48 -
She is the cover girl for what is an exciting, if unpredictable, phase of global commerce — fashion’s entrée into the lucrative Chinese market, which Boston Consulting estimates will triple in size, to over $200 billion, by 2020. How has her experience of the industry’s interest in her been? “Magical,” she says. “I have greater responsibilities now.” China is where luxury brands are pinning their hopes for future profits, but concerns remain over a potential “hard landing” for this brave new land of milk, honey and shopaholics. Last year, Burberry announced a profit warning based on a slowdown in China’s growth, promptly wiping millions off its share price. The middle class is expanding more slowly than predicted, and the effects of the global downturn are lapping at China’s shores. Johan Rupert, the head of Richemont, the luxury-goods firm, describes trading there as “like I’m having a black-tie party on the top of a volcano. The volcano is China. The food’s better, and the wine’s better, and
‘In 10 years’ time, artisan will be the new luxury’y the weather is great, but let’s not kid ourselves. There is a volcano somewhere — whether it’s this year, in 10 years’ time, or in 20 years’ time”. Nobody knows if and when the country might blow. Yet it is still the most exciting place in the world to be trading and gives us the greatest insight into the future of fashion. Or does it? With such potential for profits and so many luxury-hungry consumers, it’s a no-brainer that, when it came to deciding where to open the biggest, most technologically advanced shop in its 156-year history, Burberry would choose China, right? Wrong. The British label opened its 44,000 sq ft flagship store on Regent Street during London Fashion Week, and it’s like stepping into a space-age cinema in the Roaring Twenties. The art deco-style building has been “future-proofed” by Christopher Bailey and his team, with the layout of the new shop mirroring the navigation of the Burberry website. Each member of staff is armed with an iPad that stores your purchase history and preferences. Some of the clothing has been tagged with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip; stand in front of a “magic mirror” and it becomes a screen, relaying information about the item you’re trying on, or how it looked when displayed on the catwalk.
- 49 -
As if that’s not Jetsons enough, Burberry is rumoured to be working on an app whereby you can upload your wish list online, then visit the store, where you’ll find your dream pieces waiting in a changing room for you. It may sound like 2020, but this is 2012. Imagine what the next eight years will bring. You’re looking for something to wear to an event, and there’s a piece of “smart” clothing in your wardrobe that has a code sewn into it. A hand-held scanner will tell you when and where you last wore that dress, side-stepping any fashion faux pas. You will also have your own avatar, a digital representation of you and your body shape, eliminating the need to try on clothes. Never again will you have to dance around a fitting room with your head stuck in a top that’s two sizes too small. What if you’re still unsure what the clothes look like on the digital version of you? The “changing room” will take a picture of your avatar and send it to a friend, who will then pop up on your screen to give you advice, while the shop assistant checks her tablet computer for similar items in your size. And the best bit? No more queuing. The clothes will be sold to you remotely and shipped to your home direct. Rewind 20 years and you come to a time when there was no Google; go back 10, and Net-aporter, the site that revolutionised the way we shop for luxury clothing, was a little-known website celebrating its second birthday from a flat in Chelsea. “Technology makes the world our oyster,” says Alison Loehnis, the managing director of Net-a-porter. “Nobody knows how sophisticated it will get.” This year, the site will feature a bag designed by Richard Nicoll that has a built-in wireless phone charger. Meanwhile, at New York Fashion Week last year, Diane von Furstenberg collaborated with Google on a pair of spectacles that film everything in the wearer’s eye line — taking reality TV to a whole new level. Loehnis cites the sports-luxe trend and our love of digital prints over recent seasons as signs that excitement is building around technological advances in fashion. She sees the future as a place where “everyone is basically an advert. The world will become a store where you can shop off each other, and immediately buy what you see someone else wearing”. Linda Hewson, the head of creative at Selfridges, believes the future of fashion isn’t only about purchasing. She predicts that our shopping experience will be transformed, with more of an educational slant to our trips down the high street. “It will be about a seamless use of technology, as it becomes more invisible,” she
â€˜Everyone is basically an advert. The world will become a store where you can shop off each other, and immediately buy what you see someone else wearingâ€™
- 50 -
Images: Corbis / Arabian Eye
says. “Multichannel will evolve into omnichannel — whether it’s your phone, the internet, social media or coming into store, it’s about engaging simultaneously. Body scanners and avatars feel too sci-fi and inhuman. It’s more about the physical environment and appealing to all the senses. People will want more from the experience, to learn something. You might go into a store to learn and engage with people, then go home and buy the product online and get it delivered.” With this in mind, Selfridges has looked back rather than forward, to 1909 to resurrect the Silence Room. Originally a relaxation area, the space will offer shoppers “an escape from the hecticness of the high street”. So we’ll be blissed-out shopping whiz-kids, but what will we be buying? Our love affair with
big brands such as Apple and Coca-Cola will no doubt plateau at some point, and our lives will be influenced by labels and products that have yet to be conceived, but our tastes will also change. “The real key for the discerning shopper will be artisan,” says Dan Holliday, managing directory of the creative agency Not Actual Size, whose clients include Nike and Ray-Ban. “We have artisan food and even artisan clothing lines to an extent. In 10 years’ time, artisan will be the new luxury.” The high street of the future will deliver a more relaxing experience, then; a place we’ll go to engage with our neighbours and to buy local produce. “I think there will be a lot more nostalgia,” Liu says. “Traditional styles will be revived and modified for a new age.” Sound familiar?
- 51 -
Words: Leah Oatway
rom the platinum locks of Jean Harlow to the elfin charms of Audrey Hepburn, the sultry Lauren Bacall to the smouldering Marlon Brando: the stars of Hollywood’s golden age have had an indelible effect on fashion and style. By the end of the 1930s, with some 500 films released annually and tens of millions of cinema tickets being sold weekly in the States, Tinseltown’s influence on fashion had become immeasurable.
The first lady of the era, Bette Davis, with her striking looks, fearless fashion and tireless work ethic set the benchmark. And Katharine Hepburn’s then unconventional love of trousers is credited with influencing women’s ready-to-wear collections. Like many style stars of the 1930s and 1940s, their wardrobes relied on the creative talent of prolific costume designers such as Edith Head, Gilbert Adrian and Orry-Kelly. Forays into film by haute couture designers were few and far between, despite expensive efforts by film
AIR looks back at the style, charisma and talent, that has made these stars of Hollywood’s golden era trailblazers for future generations….
studio directors such as Samuel Goldwyn to lure them in. It was Audrey Hepburn’s relationship with Hubert de Givenchy that marked the turning point. Her Oscar-winning performance in Roman Holiday not only made belted men’s shirts, capri pants and flats covetable, but led to the introduction in 1953, on the set of Sabrina. Her pared-down style and gamine beauty intrigued the ascending designer and the pair struck up a friendship that would last until her death from Cancer in 1993. While de Givenchy was not responsible for creating the little black dress, those he later designed for Hepburn –most memorably long and satin, with a hint of leg, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – would see the garment
- 52 -
become synonymous with the star. “He is far more than a couturier,” Hepburn once famously said of the designer, “He is a creator of personality.” If Hepburn’s signature garment was the little black dress, then men can thank Marlon Brando for making the biker look cool. His smouldering good looks and iconic portrayal of Johnny Strabler in The Wild Ones (1953) left men wanting to be him (Johnny’s hair alone led to a sideburns craze) and women desperate to tame him. As the 60s rolled around, a potent cocktail of talent and good looks, mixed with a healthy dose of alpha male swag and a side of anti-hero persona, saw Steve McQueen become the highest paid film star of his time and the first male cover star of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. The Great Escape actor rocked denim as effortlessly as he carried off slimfitting tailored suits. Indeed, so well could McQueen scrub up that Rolex named their Explorer watch after him, the McQueen Rolex, and high demand for the Tag Heuer watch that he wore in Le Mans (1971) saw it re-released in the 1990s. With Brad Pitt the first male face of Chanel No 5, the power of such star endorsements is now well understood. Yet, no matter who the stars of tomorrow may be, those of Hollywood’s golden age show no sign of fading. Last year’s autumn/winter collections, for example, were flooded with tributes to Marlene Dietrich’s “smouldering femininity and masculine garb”. And when it comes to red carpet events, ascending screen stars draw inspiration from their lofty predecessors: Blake Lively, herself a Chanel muse, often channels the glossy side-swept curls, red lips and feline eyes of siren Rita Hayworth.
- 54 -
- 55 -
- 58 -
Daisy Garnett meets Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, the go-to man for fashionâ€™s most striking images - 60 -
ay what you like about the fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino, but no one creates intimate images of stars the way he does. Demi Moore, in happier days, painting Ashton Kutcher’s mouth with lipstick; a bronzed Gisele Bündchen in the photographer’s arms; Diana, Princess of Wales, lolling about on a sofa wearing a ballgown, her shoes kicked off, signature jewels abandoned; Kate Moss sitting on a sink in the ladies’ room at a nightclub, touching up her make-up. And most of these are Testino snapshots, taken in off-duty moments when he isn’t, apparently, working. Is Mario Testino ever not working? Even a cursory look through recent glossy magazines reveals pages and pages of photographs by him, as well as advertising campaigns for, among others, Faberge, Burberry, Etro, Stuart Weitzman, Chanel beauty and Lancôme. But the shoots, for which Testino is famous, are just part of his enormous regular output. I’ve interviewed him several times over the years, and I recall once spending a morning in his London office while he tackled questions about project after project. In between phone calls, during which he switched languages effortlessly (Testino, who is Peruvian, speaks Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese fluently), he would reel off a word-perfect introduction to a book (in this case about Lima, his city of birth), or make decisions about which pieces of work would be included in a show he was curating at the time in a New York art gallery. In fact, when I speak to Testino today, he is on holiday in Ibiza (so he does have the odd break), but there’s no doubt he’ll return home with enough material for another book should he wish. So far, he has 11 to his name, with subjects as diverse as royalty, Rio de Janeiro, fashion’s front row, the art scene in Lima and celebrities off duty. Testino’s latest big project, and perhaps the one closest to his heart, is the foundation he has set up and funded in Lima, Peru. Called MATE,
- 61 -
Asociación Mario Testino, the not-for-profit exhibition space and cultural centre opened last July with Todo o Nada, an exhibition of 54 of his fashion shots. Although the foundation will house the largest collection of Testino’s photographs in the world, the photographer is keen to emphasise that the space is not just about him and his work. “I decided to set up the foundation after my Portraits exhibition at the Museum of Art of Lima two years ago,” he says. “The queues to see the show made me realise that my work should live in my country. Also, I wanted to help other artists in Peru.” Testino’s interests are extensive. He collects art, for example, but rather than buying only established names, makes it his business to discover new talent. He goes to degree shows and visits artists’ studios wherever he is, trusting his
‘I feel like a doctor who goes to the operating theatre with 30 years of experience’ own instincts as well as listening to people whose eye he admires. He has always gone to fashion shows and is well known in the industry for discovering young models; Gisele Bündchen and Carolyn Murphy were both Testino finds, and Kate Moss credits him as the first photographer to see her not as a waif, but as a timeless beauty ripe with grown-up sexuality. Testino arrived in London in 1976 from Lima, aged 22, and started studying photography. Although he has always earned his living as a photographer, it took him 20 years to find fame. “When I came to England,” he remembers, “I tried to emulate the English because I was so impressed by their work and their style, but it wasn’t really me.” Still, it did well enough: from his early days, he shot fashion spreads
‘That’s what’s made me stay in the fashion business: the fact that it is always moving’
- 62 -
a large team of assistants - all of whom are extraordinarily good-looking - on set wherever he happens to be and back in his London headquarters. “There is no Photoshop on that body,” he says. “It’s all hers. All real.” It is this knack of combining sex with glamour and a sort of naturalness - as if the sitter had been born with these - that makes Testino so popular with his subjects, whether they are Hollywood movie stars or British princesses. “These days,” he says, “I feel like a doctor who goes to the operating theatre with 30 years of experience. Now I feel that I can use all the instruments of the past to get the most interesting photograph.” It is this ability to keep moving, his range as a photographer ever expanding, that keeps Testino at the top of his field. “Fashion is about change,” he says when I ask him if he ever gets bored with shooting girls in frocks. “That’s what’s made me stay in the fashion business: the fact that it is always moving. I’m open to everything.”
Inages: Supplied by the MFA Boston which hosts Mario Testino’s ‘In Your Face’ exhibition until February 3
for Tatler and Harpers & Queen. But it was in the mid-Nineties that Testino really found his voice. It happened, he is quick to explain, when the fashion editor and former editor of French Vogue Carine Roitfeld asked him why, instead of emulating the English photographers he was clearly in awe of, he didn’t photograph models in the same way that he snapped his friends. With that, the Testino woman - a combination of innate glamour and unapologetic sex appeal was born. And she is still very much alive. Exhibit A: a sizzling Lopez wearing what might be sprayedon swimwear, all brown skin and cutaway Lycra but, and here’s the trick, looking sophisticated rather than tacky. “Oh, she’s incredible,” Testino says, drawing out the syllables in his trademark manner. Incredible, I’m sure, I say, but surely that amazing curve of her bum has been digitally helped along. Certainly, Testino need only click his fingers for this to happen, for he works with
- 63 -
Itâ€™s a Guy thInG Words: Chris Anderson
Michelin French chef Guy Savoy, a mentor to Gordon Ramsay, has just opened his first restaurant in the Middle East â€“ so what can we expect, and why base it in Doha?
- 64 -
he attitude of renowned French chef Guy Savoy towards cooking is infectious. When asked to recount his earliest food memory, his descriptions are so vivid, they border on mouth-watering. “I was five or six, and my mother let me make some ‘langue de chat’ biscuits,” he recalls. “Imitating her, I shaped the little rolls of mixture, laid them on the baking tray, then watched as they suddenly spread themselves out in the oven, turning golden around the edges. After a few minutes, removing the tray, the biscuits were crisp and crunchy, tasting of butter.” Savoy’s mother ran the local café in a small town in the Savoie region where he grew up. Food was always destined to be an important part of his life, and he recalls fondly the sight and smell of his mother’s roasted chicken, served with gratin dauphinois. Savoy began an apprenticeship with the Troisgrois brothers at their restaurant in Roanne, which introduced him to new ingredients and techniques, and he then moved to Paris to work at the famous La Barrière de Clichy in 1977. But clearly there was a desire to run things his own way, and he opened his first eatery, Restaurant Guy Savoy, in the French capital just three years later. These days the Savoy success story is a lengthy one. His original restaurant has accumulated three Michelin stars, the most recent being in 2002, and he now has four others in Paris. There have been more accolades and recipe books, the small matter of receiving the Legion d’Honneur medal – one of the highest distinctions in France – and being a mentor to Gordon Ramsay, who called Savoy in his autobiography, Humble Pie, “the most amazing chef I’ve ever worked with.” Then there is the branch of Restaurant Guy Savoy that opened at the Caesar’s Palace hotel, Las Vegas, in 2006 – which itself has won two
‘It could well be that Qatar becomes famous for its gastronomy and dining scene’
- 65 -
Michelin stars – the Singapore version in 2010, and just recently his first venture in the Middle East, Quisine by Guy Savoy, in Doha at the PearlQatar. It is a chance for those in the region to experience the food of Guy Savoy for the first time, so what should they expect? “My Doha restaurant provides diners with the exact same experience as they would get in any of my other outlets, in Paris, Singapore and Las Vegas,” he reveals. “The menu includes all of my signature dishes, such as the artichoke and black truffle soup, the crispy sea bass, and the line-caught whiting with caviar. All of the methods of cooking are the same, and a number of the staff have even worked with me in Paris.” To hear that the Middle East now has a restaurant similar to those in Paris or Las Vegas is no bad thing,
‘Every member of my team has been trained in Paris’ especially considering the awards those particular outlets have received. But when elaborating on the menu, it seems that the Doha venture does have a few regional touches. “In keeping with the surroundings, we have also incorporated hints of local flavours into the cuisine,” he says. “I like the way that Middle Eastern culture recognises the importance of sitting down to eat as a family. So there are a number of dishes that have a distinctly Middle Eastern influence – they are the confit of lamb and vegetables, with halloumi cheese, zaatar, lamb juice and mint oil, and the quail roll with spinach and hazelnut hummus, confit quail
- 66 -
legs with quinoa, mint tabbouleh, and steamed ravioli with quail stuffing.” The dishes sound amazing, and it is difficult not to try and picture them as Savoy reels off his descriptions. Doha is very lucky to be blessed with this kind of food, but there is also the question of why set up here rather than Dubai or Abu Dhabi? “The project with Qatar Luxury Group was without doubt the most attractive of all the Middle East opportunities,” he says. “Doha has a big interest in sport, health, art and gastronomy, and so for all of these reasons I felt it was important to be there. Look around – Gordon Ramsay is there, so is Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alain
Ducasse has just opened… It could well be that Qatar becomes famous for its gastronomy and dining scene.” Perhaps there are parallels that can be drawn between the restaurant in Doha and the outlet in Las Vegas. After all, would his previous experience of a venue in another desert environment help at all when it comes to sourcing produce? Luckily, Savoy has everything covered. “A number of the products come from Europe, but many are sourced locally in Doha,” he reveals. “The chef, Wilfried Lambert, goes to the market himself twice a week to pick out the best on offer.” While he will not be physically running the new restaurant himself, the presence of Guy Savoy will still be felt in Doha, as he checks in with his team regularly. “Each of my restaurants is managed by an independent director, who has the same training and spirit as me, which means professionalism and passion,” he says. “Every member of my team has been trained in Paris, I talk to them every day, and I visit each restaurant several times a year.” Perhaps there is a chance of Guy Savoy’s Doha restaurant receiving as much praise as his other establishments, although the chef is adamant that the awards are not what keeps him going – the driving force is his enduring love of food. “With or without any awards, we are lucky enough to live and breathe wonderful experiences, both in the kitchen with the transformation of the products, and in the restaurant with our guests,” he says. “Cooking is about transforming – the art of changing food from the merely edible to the realm of pleasure, in a matter of moments.” And once again, that infectious philosophy towards food makes itself known. But it has gotten him this far, with fantastic restaurants and memorable dishes the world over. Having achieved so much, he must have advice for those wishing to do the same. “Ah,” he smiles, “the one piece of advice I would give to anyone is to be yourself.”
- 67 -
Blast from the Past - 68 -
Jamie Merrill finds that the new Morgan is driving by the seat of your pants
- 69 -
you’ll quickly become unstuck. The steering is easily distracted by bumps in the road and if you put your foot down at the wrong place the back end will give up the grip, fight with the road and slide sideways. This is all part of the fun and exactly why you’d spend well over $100k on a Plus 8. Squirting along narrow lanes the engine blips and fires as you shift down and you soon know you’re driving a car, without traction control or any fancy onboard computers, that demands to be driven, not just guided along the road. Nothing but your skill and judgement keeps you on the road. Morgan is yet another British motoring success story at the moment, with exports expected to rise by a third this year (thanks, as usual, to booming Chinese demand), but the Plus 8 isn’t perfect. Far from it. It’s expensive for something that should be seen as a ‘new’ classic car rather than as an everyday performance
‘You soon know you’re driving a car, without traction control or any fancy onboard computers’ motor. And the interior, while wonderfully heated and coated in leather, feels a little cheap and slapdash in places. The ride is fidgety to the point of distraction, too, and will make you suffer on long journeys. It’s also best not to mention fuel economy or the long waiting list to actually get hold of one. For all this the Plus 8 is still a magical thing. Yes, it’s totally bonkers but that’s not the point. The Plus 8 is something special that needs to be driven, and driven properly with the top down all-year round. That probably makes Morgan owners brave but certifiable, but you can’t help but admire them for that.
- 70 -
Images: Supplied Text: Jamie Merrill / The Independent / The Interview People
ulling up at its factory in Great Malvern, it is clear that the Morgan Motor Company isn’t your average sports car manufacturer. The site is small and men in brown coats are wheeling around shells of the sort of ‘motor car’ that Cousin Matthew might choose for his run home to Downton Abbey from the hospital. While inside, there isn’t a robotic arm or automated paint shop in sight. This is car manufacturing as it has been at Morgan for more than 100 years. Of course, some techniques have changed but the new Morgan Plus 8 I’m here to test looks much the same as the first model did nearly 45 years ago. At first it’s not even obvious what is new, but it’s actually a rather modern beast (with a BMW engine) in an old-fashioned body. Parked outside the workshop it looks like it’s come straight out of the pages of a 1930s spy thriller or Second World War tale of bravery. If you squint and imagine it in black and white, it’s not hard to see Biggles zipping around in one while on leave from his Spitfire squadrom. This is a car that oozes charm, plucky British grit – part of its body frame is still made from wood for goodness sake – and class. The roof down, my companion wrapped up in all the glamorous (fake) fur she owns and with the outside temperature dropping close to zero, I make myself comfortable for a winter afternoon squirt into the Welsh borders. The first thing you notice is how difficult it is (at first) to place the Plus 8 with precision. It’s light and visibility is good but the steering is fairly vague and the whole experience (and noise) is just so radically different from anything else on the road today. Let yourself warm to it though, find an open stretch of road, and you become aware of just how wonderfully bonkers the Plus 8 is. The BMW V8 engine is staggeringly quick and responsive, but if you’re not careful
- 71 -
The world’s most stylish hotels
iscreet, dramatic and decadent, Blakes Hotel, London is one of the world’s first luxury boutique hotels and remains one of the best. From its exclusive South Kensington address to its exquisite décor, owner and interior designer Anouska Hempel has stopped at nothing to ensure every inch of this bohemian-chic abode exceeds the expectations of its A-list clientele. The perfect place to lose a weekend, here the beauty lies in the detail of each uniquely decorated room – be it an antique swan bed or a fan that has been fashioned from the feathers of exotic birds. For a room with a view, few measure up to the penthouse apartment at the LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc Maison. Set within the fashionable Jardin Alpin area of the French Alps, the two-storey, four-suite abode boasts a private lift directly opening onto a dedicated ski room – perfect for enjoying exclusive ski resort Courchevel 1850. A favourite of the fashion industry, everything at this majestic ski in and ski out hotel oozes
sophistication – from the imposing glass stallion that greets guests on their arrival to its designer boutiques and the three Michelin-starred chef running its restaurant. In our considerably warmer climes of the GCC, AIR challenges anyone not to leave a stay at the Hotel Missoni Kuwait feeling uplifted. The famous Missoni stripes, geometrics and florals
‘There is no more enchanting a getaway than Villa Le Rose’ add an inviting and playful element to this colourful Middle Eastern jewel. After a dip in the striped pool, enjoy soothing views across the ocean from the Suite d’Oro on the 17th floor while wrapped up in the fashion house’s sought-after robe and slippers. Bliss. Giorgio Armani chose a fittingly impressive location for his first hotel venture - Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The Italian designer wants guests at his Armani Hotel Dubai to feel as though they are staying at his own home. He accomplishes this with clean lines and sumptuous fabrics in neutral shades
- 72 -
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Suite at Cheval Blanc Maison Restaurant at Cheval Blanc Maison Corfu Suite at Blakes Tortuga Bay Bulgari Resort Bali Tortuga Bay Missoni Kuwait Restaurant at Villa Le Rose Tcherassi Hotel and Spa
that compliment the rich mahogany furnishings, creating a warm and hospitable ambience in which to sit back with a cappuccino and drink in the incredible city views. When it comes to eye-grabbing Italian glamour, no one does it quite as fabulously as Versace, and its Palazzo Versace Australia (what was the world’s first fashion-branded hotel) is no exception. From its antique Italian chandeliers, to the use of marble and mosaic and the vaulted ceilings with tasteful gold touches, the palazzo exudes old-school European grandeur. If you can bear to leave its opulent walls, the Gold Coast location is equally appealing. The true style of the breathtaking Bulgari Resort Bali lies in its sympathetic treatment of the land and its surroundings: from the volcanic stone walls to the antique ‘Joglo’ house transported piece by piece from central Java to form the reception area of its spa and the rich room fabrics, designed and woven locally. Even the window and door frames feature bangkiray, a Javanese mahogany. Built on a former Balinese royal hunting ground, this exquisite resort’s understated majesty is deserving of any king or queen. There could be no more enchanting a getaway than the magical Villa Le
- 75 -
Rose. Situated on the southern hills of Florence, Italy, the restoration of this romantic 15th century Medici villa was a clear labour of love for Leonardo Ferragamo, son of the late great shoe designer Salvatore, and his wife Beatrice. And it shows. Every room is a soul-uplifting treasure trove, taking those who enter into a bygone era. Dance under the vast chandelier that hangs from the vaulted ceiling of the ballroom or admire the splendor of the frescos that adorn the walls as you dine by candlelight. In the heart of the old city of Colombia’s Cartagena de Indias lies one of the region’s most fashionable abodes - the Tcherassi Hotel and Spa. Silvia Tcherassi’s first foray into hotel design may be small in stature, with just seven rooms, but it is certainly not short on style – and it has a string of awards to prove it. The converted 250 year-old colonial mansion is a private oasis for those lucky enough to reserve a room. Only Oscar de la Renta can make beauty and elegance seem so effortless. The Dominicanborn designer’s Tortuga Bay is all sunshine yellow villas with luxurious furnishings, while their setting - on a huge swathe of powder-soft beach – makes for a perfectly stylish slice of paradise.
What I KnoW noW
Founder and Managing Director of Otis Batterbee London
I was lucky enough to have spent an enormous amount time with my great grandparents. They were lovers who escaped persecution during WII and arrived in England with practically nothing and created a big family. My great grandfather was an artist and fashion designer so he was a great source of inspiration. Along with their snippets of wisdom they taught me that history is so important and the thing that defines us, whether it be the history of art or political history. They encouraged all of us as a family to study so we can establish our own self and feel anchored as a human being. One of my favourite design books is Sir Paul Smith’s You Can Find Inspiration In Everything. I try to adopt this mantra in my day-to-day life. Sometimes it’s so good to just stop and observe your surroundings, be it at a crowded airport or a market on holiday, you will find something beautiful. In design I have always been driven to design the best possible product that I
can and to continue improving it until I have made a classic. This philosophy means that I never stop analysing to see if there are ways to improve form and function. One thing I enjoy doing is walking into a bookshop with no clear objective or idea of the kind of book I want to buy. Go in with an open mind and you never know what you might come out with. Some of the most beautiful books I have read have been discovered this way. The Journey Is The Destination by the
- 76 -
photojournalist Dan Eldon was a recent find. It features a wide selection from his journals and is a breathtaking visual diary. ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ might sound like a cliché but I think it’s so important to try and weave this way of thinking into your life. Some of the most talented people I know have worked in bars or restaurants in the past and I always believe that the person bringing your drink to the table could be the most gifted sculptor or the next acclaimed author.
THE ESSENCE OF MALDIVES. THE OF OF SERENITY. THE SOUL ESSENCE MALDIVES. THE SOUL OF SERENITY.
Lagoon Villas at Jumeirah Vittaveli
Beach Villas at Jumeirah Vittaveli
Ocean Revives at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
Lagoon Villas at Jumeirah Vittaveli
Beach Villas at Jumeirah Vittaveli
Ocean Revives at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
Be spoiled for choice with two exceptional island resorts in the Indian Ocean. Escape to the enchantingly sublime Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, a secret hideaway on the southern end of the rich Maldivian landscape. Be for choice with two exceptional island resorts theanIndian Ocean. Escape the enchantingly Or spoiled stimulate your senses at Jumeirah Vittaveli, perfectinfor indulgent stay with to family and friends. sublime Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, a secretwill hideaway on the of the rich Maldivian landscape. Whichever you choose, the experience be unique andsouthern magicallyend unforgettable. Or stimulate your senses at Jumeirah Vittaveli, perfect for an indulgent stay with family and friends. Whichever you choose, the experience be unique and magically unforgettable. Book our special summer packageswill starting from just USD 875.
For more information, please visit Jumeirah.com/Maldives or contact your local travel agent. Book our special summer packages starting from just USD 875. For more information, please visit Jumeirah.com/Maldives or contact your local travel agent.