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Is su e t w en t y sIx | July

2013

Matt Damon

Produced in International Media Production Zone

Hollywood’s most bankable star on playing the nice guy

henry royce the story of the modest ‘mechanic’ who formed the luxury car brand

heidi klum How the supermodel went from catwalk queen to media mogul

hwee who dares the experimental chef whose creations drive Hakkasan’s empire

london calling why Bahrain’s creative talents are set to make a splash in england


Find out why. Scan the code. Or visit falconjet.com/dna

DNA. It Matters. Examine each and every aspect of a Falcon and you’ll find genius at work. But what makes a Falcon a Falcon is in its genes. Lightweight strength and maneuverability, battle-tested in Mirage and Rafale jet fighters. Unrivalled credentials for engineering excellence and technological innovation. And generation after generation of business aircraft that consistently prove best in class for performance and efficiency. And for pure genius.


Give your aspiration more drive The Audi Corporate Programme. Exclusive privileges for individual people. The Audi Corporate Programme tailors to the demanding mobility needs of diplomats, government oďŹƒcials, corporate executives and opinion leaders. Living the Audi culture and ethos, you will have the chance to become a member of the Audi community with exclusive benefits and everything you need to drive your success. For more information about this programme, please contact your local Audi dealer.


Contents / Fe atures

Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director John Thatcher Advertisement Director Chris Capstick chris@hotmediapublishing.com Editor Leah Oatway leah@hotmediapublishing.com Contributing Editor Hazel Plush hazel@hotmediapublishing.com Writer Grace Hyne grace@hotmediapublishing.com Senior Designer Adam Sneade Designer Andy Knappett

Forty Four

Matt Damon

Illustrator Vanessa Arnaud

He’s the box office’s biggest draw, so how does Matt Damon keep his feet so firmly on the ground?

Production Manager Haneef Abdul

Fifty

Senior Advertisement Manager Stefanie Morgner stefanie@hotmediapublishing.com

Heidi Klum Meet the supermodel turned super mogul who still finds time to be the perfect parent

Advertisement Manager Sukaina Hussein sukaina@hotmediapublishing.com

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CABIN ALTITUDE: 1,189 M* PASSENGERS: 14-18 SIGNATURE OVAL WINDOWS: 14

W

ORk AT EASE

Welcome to the next level of success. The Gulfstream G550 offers every aspect of exquisite interior design to maximize the comfort of ultra-long-range travel. flexible interior layouts with crew rest areas and stateroom privacy, numerous wireless options and an ultra-quiet cabin mean you can handle business even as the G550 cruises at Mach 0.80.

ALLAN STANTON | +971 50 653 5258 | allan.stanton@gulfstream.com *At the typical initial cruise altitude of 12,497 M

GULfSTREAMG550.com


Contents / regul ars Fourteen

Thirty Four

Sixty Six

Bag a slice of fashion history or snag a New York home in the clouds...

Bahrain’s brightest talents will descend on Britain this month. We find out why

On the hunt for somewhere special for an Eid escape? Look here for the answer...

Twenty Three

Forty Two

Seventy Two

Laurence Nicolas, President of Dior Timpieces, on her brand’s timeless appeal

Why textured surfaces are all important when planning perfect lighting

Pierre Corthay, founder of Maison Corthay, on the life lessons he has learned

Twenty Eight

Sixty Two

Why the family way makes the best business practice for Carlo Adler

Hakkasan has taken the culinary world by storm. We meet its driving force

Radar

Art & Design

Timepieces

Interiors

Jewellery

Travel

What I Know Now

Gastronomy

Fifty Six

Motoring Remembering the man behind the world’s most luxurious car brand

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.

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INDULGE

Avenue at Etihad Towers is dedicated to exclusive luxur y and home to the world’s most desirable brands. Immerse yourself in Abu Dhabi’s most sophisticated boutique retail destination and indulge in the joy of living and shopping. w w w.AvenueAtEtihadTowers.ae A . L A N G E & S Ö H N E • BA L LY • B o S S H U G o B o S S • B R E G U E T • BV L G A R I • B U R B E R RY • CA N A L I • CA R T I E R • C H L o é • D E G R I S o G o N o E R M E N E G I L D o Z E G N A • FAU C H o N L E CA F é • G I U S E P P E Z A N o T T I • G I V E N C H Y • H E R M È S • H E RV E L E G E R • I W C s C h A f f h AU s E N JA E G E R - L E Co U LT R E • J . M . W E S To N • K I To N • L A N V I N • M A N o L o B L A H N I K • M o N T B L A N C • o F F I C I N E PA N E R A I • P I AG E T • P o R S C H E D E S I G N Ro G E R D U BU I S • Ro L E X • SA LVATo R E F E R R AGA M o • S T E FA N o R I CCI • S T E P H A N E Ro L L A N D • To M F o R D • VA N CL E E F & A R P E L S • VE R SACE • VE R T U


EmpirE AviAtion Group

July 2013

Welcome onboard

Welcome to this edition of AIR – our private aviation lifestyle magazine for onboard guests and aircraft owners. In this issue of the magazine, we cover some of the fundamentals of private aviation investment – including the option of buying a new or pre-owned business jet; and the critical decision around aircraft range, which has a major influence on the overall purchase for a prospective owner. We have over the years helped many of our customers go through the complicated process of purchasing an aircraft. Our industry expertise has helped grow our company to become one of the leading aircraft sales and aircraft management companies in the region. A vital component in this growth has been our success in acquiring the right aircraft to match the buyers’ ‘aircraft specific’ requirements and budget. Our consultancy service provides a step by step process in which the customer is made fully aware of the acquisition process and options. This includes analysing the customer’s requirements, taking into consideration seat factors, travel routes and specific cabin comforts, which ultimately determine the size and type of aircraft we would seek to acquire. There is no doubt that this can be a complex decision for prospective owners; the decisions are ultimately the buyers but asking the right questions and understanding their implications is essential and this is where our substantial experience as a business jet manager/operator is of real value. We wanted to share some of this experience with you and we hope you find it interesting and useful.

Steve Hartley Executive Director

Contact details: info@empire.aero empire.aero

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Paras Dhamecha Executive Director


EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws

Why is range so important?

How far can your business jet take you? ...Regional, international or intercontinental? The journey from Dubai to Tokyo is around 4,935 nautical miles; and from London to New York is approximately 3,200nm Aircraft range is one of the fundamental questions facing any prospective business jet owner; in most cases, the buyer will have a very clear idea of what type of missions his /her aircraft will be flying and very often these are regular routine missions interspersed with those ad hoc demands. In an age of increasing economic globalisation, business is being done further afield and often with an emphasis on developing markets in Asia and Africa, as well as the traditional business centres of the US and Europe. A nonstop route may always be the

desirable first choice but is subject to many factors including weather conditions on the day of travel and airport runway capabilities – and this can demand certain aircraft characteristics that override the range consideration. There is no getting away from the fact that longer range means a bigger jet (to carry fuel and payload). The benefits of larger aircraft are direct nonstop options, larger baggage holds and more spacious cabins for passengers. Most aircraft in the large, long range category offer ample space to work, relax, dine and sleep, with a high degree of comfort. All the major executive jet manufacturers offer choice in this category but this comes at a price.

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The range of a typical mission for a buyer has a major influence on the aircraft selection – and ultimately the price of the selected aircraft. There can be a significant price difference running into tens of millions of dollars between aircraft with different range capabilities. The calculation of range is not necessarily straightforward either – all the manufacturers publish their statistics on range depending on speed and altitude, passengers and baggage. But these days – especially given the congestion at some airports – we must also consider any air traffic delays and restrictions, as well as the prevailing headwinds that may reduce range on a particular route. And if the preference is for long range, then all the cabin interior comforts are needed to go with it; wide, stand-up cabins are available, as well as galleys to serve freshly prepared meals onboard; depending on the configuration, the buyer can even opt for two washrooms. Longer range usually leads to demand for extra storage requirements and these baggage compartments are generally accessible from the cabin – important on those long flights. Cabin layouts on the larger, longer range business jets vary but the standard is a three-zone layout with club seating forward, central zone for work and dining in the mid cabin section, and a quiet, private sleep area in the rear.


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EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws

How do you buy a business jet? Old or new? EAG can source any type of new and pre-owned aircraft from all over the world and find the right aircraft to suit the client’s business model and precise needs. Critically, unlike many other forms of expensive technology, aircraft can hold their values very well and clients can often recoup their original investment, when selling or trading the aircraft after several years of use. The decision to buy comes through a process of careful analysis of the business/individual travel needs. The budget is also a major factor when you consider the price of new business jets (anything from USD5 million to USD50 million and even more) compared to what might be available in the pre-owned market. When assessing the value of a pre-owned aircraft, a tremendous amount of importance is attached to its

maintenance history and where it has been maintained. Is it up to international standards and does it comply with the aviation authority requirements? Of course, when buying new, a wide range of options are available to customise the aircraft to meet the owner’s specifications. However, even on a pre-owned aircraft, there may still be the option to reconfigure and upgrade the cabin – although work of this nature must always be undertaken by certified specialists and the finished work must be in-line with international standards. Then there is the timing of the purchase; recent years have been lean for manufacturers and the global stock of pre-owned business jets has also swelled as the global economy has dipped; this has opened up the market with some good deals for buyers.

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Mayfair is the heart of London. Brown’s is in the heart of Mayfair.

Brown’s Hotel personifies modern British luxury, with outstanding personal service, elegant rooms and suites, award-winning afternoon tea and a relaxing spa. The Donovan Bar and HIX Mayfair celebrate British art and cuisine, offering the perfect London experience. Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BP Tel: 020 7493 6020 Fax: 020 7493 9381 E-Mail: reservations.browns@roccofortehotels.com www.roccofortehotels.com Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Berlin, Brussels, Edinburgh, Florence, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg, Sicily. Future Openings: Cairo, Jeddah, Luxor, Marrakech


> Dior’s Raf Simons is rightly regarded as fashion’s most exciting designer. This new, large-format book, curated by Terry Jones, brings together – through beautiful photography – the best bits of Simons’ career to date, including his much lauded time at Jil Sander and first two collections for Dior. Buy it and your coffee table will look all the more stylish. taschen.com - 14 -

Image: Photography Daniele + Iango, styling Charlotte Stockdale, model Kate Moss, i-D, The Alphabetical Issue,No. 323, Pre-Spring 2013.

RadaR


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RadaR > When complete in 2015, 432 Park Avenue will grace New York’s skyline and – at 1,396 feet – stand as the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere. Everyone wants a slice of it; so far sales have exceeded over $1 billion. With views like this from your bathroom, you can see why.

Image: © by Zoe Hitchen for SHOWstudio.

> For those who would love to raid a renowned fashionista’s wardrobe, here’s your chance. From 11-22 July, iconic fashion journalist – and industry adored – Suzy Menkes will open up her unique designer closet for you to buy via an online auction organised by Christie’s. IN MY FASHION: The Suzy Menkes Collection, is made up of more than 80 items, and includes her personalised Chanel clutch bag from the 1980s (pictured), valued at £1,000-3,000.

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Let us arrange a personalised tour of the Grand Mosque.

AbadiMTStd_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-= [] \;’,./≠ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢ §¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤ ÷≠ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € $‚Ǩ¬£¬•‚Ç©‡∏ø—Ä—É–± AbadiMTStd-Italic_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-= [] \;’,./≠ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢ §¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤ ÷≠ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € $‚Ǩ¬£¬•‚Ç©‡∏ø—Ä—É–±

Let us offer your family a private villa with a personal butler. Let us offer you a choice of eight authentic restaurants every night. Let us leave you with sparkling memories of your beautiful stay.

Weekend Villa Offer – The ideal package to create fond memories for the entire family. Retreat to your private villa overlooking lush gardens for a leisurely weekend break and let a dedicated butler take care of your every need. Starting from AED 1250++. T: +9712 818 8181 W: ritzcarlton.com/AbuDhabi

Offer is valid on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only. Rates and room types are subject to availability. Rate is per room per night, based on double occupancy, exclusive of taxes, gratuities, fees and other charges; does not apply to groups; cannot be combined with any other offer and is not applicable for Rewards redemption. Complimentary early check-in and late check-out are subject to availability. Advanced reservations are required. No refund or credit for unused portion. Void where prohibited. ©2013 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.


Critique

Film The Hunt

The Look of Love

Dir: Thomas Vinterberg After losing his job and his marriage, life for Lucas is one long battle – but when he is the subject of a devastating lie, he must fight for his life, too. At best: “An unsettling drama built around a harrowing performance.” Hollywood Reporter At worst: “Mads Mikkelsen is perfectly cast... but there is something cold and clinical about it” Crikey

Dir: Michael Winterbottom A modern-day King Midas, businessman Paul Raymond becomes one of the richest men in Britain – at the cost of losing those closest to him. At best: “Steve Coogan delivers a knock-out performance – at once admirable, deplorable and pitiable.” What Culture At worst: “A disappointingly crude and shallow biography.” Observer

The Way, Way Back

Austenland

Dir: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash 14-year-old Duncan finds an unlikely friend in the gregarious manager of a water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship, he finally begins to come of age. At best: “A funny and wonderfullytold tale about the beginning of one teen’s autonomy.” Film School Rejects At worst: “No more exciting, though no less pleasant, than an hour in the wave pool.” Slant Magazine

Dir: Jerusha Hess A 30-something woman with a lifelong obsession with all-things Jane Austen ventures to an eccentric theme park based on the author’s writings. At best: “A clever romp for Jane Austen fans and for those who see Jane Austen mania as a punchline.” Screen International At worst: “As light and airy as a cream puff, and as entirely unfulfilling. ” Film.com

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Tate Britain’s decision to simultaneously exhibit two retrospectives by Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume has caused ripples in London’s art scene. Their vibrancy and playful take on everyday scenes are obvious connections, but 50 years separates the artists’ careers. “Patrick Caulfield was linked with pop art in the early Sixties but his work is not a study in consumerism,” writes Ben Luke in London Evening Standard. “Instead it filters great pre-war European painters through the lens of life in the Sixties and beyond, in a style that was completely Caulfield’s own.” Positioned against Hume’s more contemporary Britart daubings, Caulfield’s work comes into its own, finds Luke: “Hume’s selection of 24 paintings appears random and baggy, with paintings from different eras lumped in together for no clear reason, revealing only a lack of progression in his work.” But Gary Hume is a real pioneer of the modern aesthetic – and the exhibitions provide an insight into the contemporary art scene, finds Charles Darwent of The Independent: “There is no compulsion to see these two shows as one, and if you love Caulfield and hate Hume or vice versa, then you can skip to suit. I wouldn’t, though… For both men, painting – what painting means, what it means to be a painter – matters deeply. Seeing them together is twice as revealing as seeing them separately.” Middle Eastern gallery hoppers venturing to Europe this season will feel right at home in Copenhagen’s Parkmuseerne. The Museum is showing Flora Islamica, a temporary exhibition of selected Arab cultural pieces gathered from the vast David Collection. From a 7thcentury Quran sample to a 19th-century Kashmiri shawl, the exhibition features many cornerstones of Middle Eastern history. “The exhibits are separated into eight categories,” writes The National’s Si Hawkins; “the most interesting of which are the Abstraction, Arabesque and Fantasy sections. These showcase the elaborate lengths to

Images: Patrick Caulfield, Tate Britain

Art

which Islamic artists went to represent the natural world while remaining faithful to the conviction that only the Prophet can fashion living things. It was a conflict that bred creativity.” Julie Mehretu’s first major solo exhibition Liminal Squared opened at the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York last month. Known for her exploration of Middle Eastern motifs, Mehretu employs everything from acrylics to architectural drawings, and has created a truly eclectic body of work. “[She has] a unique language that ruminates, in a mimetic way, on the swarming, morphing cosmology that is our historical moment,” writes Karen Rosenberg in the New York Times. Ben Luke of London Evening Standard is also a fan: “Mehretu creates extraordinarily detailed images which combine hundreds of overlapping, meticulously drawn buildings with colourful geometric forms and flurries, dashes and smudges of paint. The marks become the warm trace of human or bodily experience – some gestures resemble Arabic handwriting and others are like footprints, while traces of fabric used to smudge or dab the paint suggest the movement of bodies… Beautiful.”

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Critique

Books

When college kid Devin Jones takes a job on a North Carolina amusement park over the summer of 1973, it’s his chance to rediscover his careless youth – dressing up as a mascot, working the Ferris wheel, and learning ‘carny’ slang as his romance with a local girl blossoms. This is no coming-of-age tale, though: this is Stephen King’s new Americana horror tome Joyland – and the outlook isn’t rosy for long. ‘Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?’ cries the coverline – an irresistible challenge for King’s millions of fans worldwide. A story of shady characters and horror house murders unfurls, but is it enough to sate the critics’ appetites for gore? “For its wistfulness, Joyland isn’t quite a horror book,” writes Tom Cox in the Express. “It sits somewhere between horror, crime, and the kind of straightforward coming-of-age starter novel… Nothing about its final pages is predictable, but nothing gives you the sense that King is discovering anything new about himself as a writer.” USA Today’s Brian Truitt feels equally disillusioned: “There is a villain with a serial-killing thirst — King does have that rep to

uphold, after all. Yet it’s the comingof-age storytelling and a young man’s roller-coaster of a summer that make Joyland a prize worth all your tokens and skeeball tickets.”

At first glance, Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist looks like it’s another novel riding on the coat tails of The Great Gatsy’s success, but it’s 1920s setting is the only common ground. An intricately-woven venture into the Noir genre, Rindell’s novel places humdrum typist Rose Baker at centre stage: she has lived a charmless life, growing up in an orphanage and struggling on a meagre salary in a dead-end job. When the hypnotic Odalie joins the office, however, Rose falls under her spell – becoming entangled in a life of raucous parties, speakeasies, and swanky hotels. But all is not as it seems: Rose is writing the narrative from a asylum, under the watchful eye of a wily psychiatrist.

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“The Other Typist is clever, addictive entertainment,” writes The Guardian’s John O’Connell. “Plotted with panache, it alludes playfully to genre bedfellows such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Notes on a Scandal without being obvious.” Samantha Nelson of The AV Club is also enthralled: “Rindell’s grasp on how to weave genre, characters, narration, and setting into a compelling tale on her first time out makes her an author worth watching closely.” Four Italian writers – Roberto Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, Federico Guglielmi and Riccardo Pedrini – collaborate under the pen name Wu Ming. Their style? A mix of “jazz improvisation, role-play games and 1970s Dutch total football”. Their latest novel? Altai, a dark tale of spies and fugitives based in the 1500s, and recently translated by Shaun Whiteside. It’s not a particular high-brow premise, and Wu Ming’s novels have often been overshadowed by their anarchist cries, but Stephen Abell is hooked: “Before we dismiss such needless pranking as the sort of Eurotrash post-modernism that gives contemporary fiction a bad name, there is the small matter of the novel itself. And Altai is a triumph of swashbuckling storytelling.” The narrative follows Venetian gentlemanturned-spy Emanuele de Zante on the run through Europe, in a rollicking historical fiction. “The pace is relentless,” writes Ian Sansom in The Guardian. “What matters throughout is not so much the quality as the sheer quantity of historical data and description: it’s a book distinguished by its density and its momentum.”


Author Audrey Niffenegger – creator of bestselling fiction novel The Time Traveler’s Wife – is no one-trick pony. She is also an acclaimed graphic novelist, artist, and now creative advisor to London’s Royal Ballet production Raven Girl at Covent Garden Theatre. The ballet, which is based on Niffenegger’s graphic novel of the same name, has a curious story of love between a postman and a raven at its heart. Their child – halfhuman, half raven – struggles to make her way in a conformist world, but is given wings by a fascinated doctor. “[Choreographer] Wayne McGregor fashions some extraordinary moments,” writes The Telegraph’s Sarah Crompton. “Abandoning his typical, super-flexible, twisting style, he creates distinctive steps for each protagonist.” But for Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times, the result is underwhelming. “No company takes dance drama more seriously than the Royal Ballet, and the performers, all excellent, do their utmost. But Raven Girl never emerges as a character with whom we can identify in the quest for her true self. All ballet myths need a central truth. Raven Girl, distracted by too much story, never really finds that center.”

Sydney Theatre Company presents The Maids this season, a thriller written by Jean Genet – based on a real-life crime case. It stars Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Hupert as maids who plot the murder of their overbearing mistress, played by Elizabeth Debicki. “Blanchett gives an acting masterclass with her performance,” writes Ashley Walker in Australian Stage. “Blanchett’s diction is strong and melodic. She has quite the vocal range, which is only fully appreciated on stage.” Sydney Morning Herald’s Jason Blake is equally ebullient: “The surprise package here is Debicki, who carves up the stage in a performance encapsulating the callousness of the haves towards the have-nots and the invincible tyranny of youth.” World-famous children’s tale Around the World in 80 Days is currently enjoying a revival at New York’s The New Theater, directed by Rachel Klein. The theatre is

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a shabby-chic setting, well-suited to this comic tale of a round-the world race in the late nineteenth century. The energetic cast more than lives up to expectation, finds Frank Scheck of the New York Post. “The fiveperson ensemble — who play dozens of characters each — juggle accents, costumes and props with a virtuosic, winking dexterity.” Klein’s ingenuity has earned her respect from even the harshest Broadway crits – Neil Genzlinger among them. “It flashes with inspiration,” he writes. “An elephant is delightfully brought to life with a dryer hose and other tidbits. A pivotal train ride is recreated using parasols for wheels. These shoestring touches materialize somewhat incongruously on a fairly elaborate set by Robert Andrew Kovach that seems to fill the theater. This high- and lowtech mix isn’t bad, necessarily; just unusual. In any case, the projected map that traces the journey as it’s happening is a nice touch.” Images: Around the World in 80 Days, The New Theater. The Maids, Sydney Theatre Company

Theatre


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Timepieces

Frederic Watrelot Christie’s watch specialist tells the story of a unique discovery A pocket watch by Patek Philippe, which was sold for $2.2 million at Christie’s in New York last month, has caused quite a stir. Never seen before in public, The Stephen S. Palmer Patek Philippe Grand Complication No. 9791, will send scholars back to the reference books to rewrite the history of Grand Complications – the most covetable of all timepieces. Until the appearance of the Palmer watch, it was broadly accepted that Patek Philippe did not make its first Grand Complication until 1910. However, documentation now shows that this model, estimated before the sale at $1-1.5million, was manufactured in 1898. The 18-carat pink gold chronograph clockwatch, with grande and petite sonnerie and moon phases, was purchased in October 3, 1900, for an impressive SFr. 6,500 by Stephen S. Palmer. A prominent US industrialist, Stephen S. Palmer made his fortune during the Gilded Age when America’s economy was expanding into manufacturing. His money was made in railways, mining and applied technology. But Mr. Palmer is also remembered as a great philanthropist, creating the Mutual Relief Association which offered financial assistance to employees of the New Jersey Zinc Company of which he was president. He also helped to build schools, and

encouraged the continued education of his employees. Already a distinguished collector and client of Patek’s, Mr. Palmer travelled to Geneva in 1900 to see the factory and at the same time acquired the Grand Complication and two other important timepieces. The pocket watch was then returned to America and sat in Mr. Palmer’s vault, virtually unused in its

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presentation box and with all the original paperwork. By anticipating all other Grand Complications by ten years, it remains the best preserved and most complete of the Grand Complications known. And its discovery is a spectacular addition to scholarship surrounding Patek Philippe and Grand Complications in general.


Timepieces

Laurence Nicolas, President of Dior Timepieces, talks creativity, unique complications and the enduring influence of Monsieur Dior...

l

râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s o i d

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p ea p sa s e l e m i t


functional oscillating weight on top of the dial, allowed all sorts of daring creative features, including openwork, settings, marquetry and feather fans. In three years, we have registered five different patents. Because of Dior’s heritage it is easier to dream up inventive designs because this house has always been very creative, probably due to the personality of Monsieur Dior. Don’t forget that he used to be a very openminded gallerist, and was surrounded by the best artists of his generation. Our timepieces are manufactured in the Swiss cradle of watchmaking in our own workshop, and have been for over a decade. Dior is not only a fashion house but a haute couture house, meaning it accentuates timeless elegance, refined craftsmanship & femininity, which makes a huge difference. Image: Dior VIII Grand Bal Résille Model

What really differentiates us from the other Swiss timepiece brands is that the complications we incorporate into our creations serve, first and foremost, an artistic and creative purpose. Thus, in 2008, the Tourbillon Calibre was compiled with the desire for a movement as sophisticated and airy-light as lace. In 2009 and 2010, the mysterious movements by the Quinting manufacture and the Dior 8 Fuseaux Horaires Calibre, developed with Orny & Girardin, allowed us to create kinetic effects, recalling Christian Dior’s first profession as an art gallery director. Since 2011, the Dior Inversé Calibre, developed in collaboration with the Soprod manufacture, with its

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I pay particular attention to the quality of the stones we use; to details, to settings and to craftsmanship. The unique gemological vocabulary used since 2000 in our fine jewellery collections is also increasingly used in our timepiece collections. Creativity takes time. Timepieces, as well as fine jewellery pieces, take a long time to develop, sometimes up to two years. All the creation comes from our Avenue Montaigne studios. Les Ateliers Horlogers Dior then study the technical feasibility of the artistic vision and then find the most qualified experts to make that vision a reality. The development of the Dior Inversé Calibres took two years each, and for the Dior VIII Grand plumes it took one year to create the rotor with feathers. Architecture has been the biggest design inspiration because The House of Dior has its roots in a quote by Christian Dior, who said: “I dreamt of being an architect; as a couturier, I have to respect the principles of architecture.” The pyramidal structure of Dior’s Bar jacket (with fitted shoulders, a cinched waist and full hips) was the starting point of everything, and the pyramidal structure of our Dior VIII bracelet is inspired by this construction. Women are no longer interested only in the gorgeous aspect of a watch, but are more and more demanding on refined techniques and innovations too. As a feminine brand per nature, we have always created watches that were created for women but with the most qualitative movements and refined craftsmanship.


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JEWELLERY

The

Family Jewel As the third generation to lead Adler jewellery, Carlo Adler is a firm believer in mixing family and business…

C

arlo Adler is a man of many successes: an entrepreneur, a loving family man, and a shrewd business figure – and yet he remains humble. Inheriting a business is no easy feat but Adler jewellery continues to grow, and succeed, where other companies do not; Carlo puts it down to family. It all began when Adler’s grandfather was sent by his father from Istanbul to Vienna to be an apprentice in a jewellery factory. After six years he returned and opened a small jewellery shop in 1886 with the hope of creating Oriental-style accessories with the Western techniques he learnt in Vienna. “It was an instant success,” said Carlo. The business expanded very quickly and soon they had their own workshop with a handful of employees. When Carlo’s own father took over, he took a risk and opened a shop inside Istanbul’s Hilton hotel, bringing the brand to an audience of international travellers. It paid off, and handsomely so. As the third generation of Adler, Carlo knew he would one day inherit a successful and thriving company, yet the idea was more exciting than daunting. “I lived in that atmosphere all my childhood,” he explained. “We used to have school until Saturday lunchtime and then in the afternoon I’d spend time in the workshop with my father polishing and looking at what the jewellers were doing. They’d teach me a thing or two,” he reminisces fondly. “I loved being in the workshop, it was recreational.” Fresh out of university in 1972, Carlo and his brother: took the reins as the company made plans to expand into

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Western Europe, and shifted headquarters from Turkey to Geneva. When asked how he felt, he answers honestly. “Scared,” he says, smiling, “but those years were great. I can’t claim the success was any of my personal doing, as it was easy to expand – people were hungry for jewellery in those days.” At the beginning, he assumed every role in the company, from managing director to post boy. “I was basically alone,

‘People from the UAE inspire me’ I did everything – even the accounting. Was it stressful? Wow, you can’t imagine!” he exclaimed. Carlo had no need to be stressed, however, as he has taken the company from strength to strength, expanding across the world, from Switzerland and Japan to Dubai and the UK. And while he knows he must uphold the brand’s original DNA, to succeed he understands he has to innovate, and improve: “That’s the idea – going from generation to generation, we have to expand and improve, and we have improved.” He cites his company as one of the first to use titanium a decade ago, enabling jewellers to design large, but light, pieces that do not weigh down their owner. And these past few years Adler has experimented with carbon fibre. Carlo attributes the family’s success not only to great jewellery but also their insistence on impeccable customer service. “We have a way of relating to the customers – we have third generation customers, whose grandfather were customers of my grandfather, who were customers of my father, who are now customers of mine. That tells you something about the company,” he says. Another advantage of having a family business, Carlo notes, is the ability to react quickly to an ever-changing industry. “We don’t need the decision or advice of five directors to make a call and take action and execute it; this is probably the only reason we’ve survived amongst giant companies – we act faster,” Carlo explains. And while the recession was a challenge, he looked for the positive. “I saw it as a cleansing thing – when companies don’t have a real brand, aren’t people of the trade and don’t know about jewellery, they will eventually disappear,” he

remarked, “but the good companies, the real brands, will remain.” Adler jewellery remained strong and came out on top. The reason? Family. “My brother and I are totally interchangeable– I can sign things for him, he can sign things for me,” Carlo says. “We’ve been sharing the same room with two desks for about 45 years. We shout at each other a lot, but that’s normal– we’re family! We can scream at each other and no one gets hurt.” Despite living and breathing jewellery, Carlo remains passionate about it. “I love anything that’s new or a challenge. I remember when I was younger and more stupid I used to go all the way to the mines in Thailand to look at the rough stones, despite people near the Burmese border being very trigger happy,” he describes. “Stones are fascinating crystals, and that’s what I enjoy the most: finding the stones, matching the stones, re-cutting and creating with them around an idea.” His latest collection, My Fair Lady (on display at Dubai’s Istana Jewellers), was inspired by Audrey Hepburn. A fan of many of her movies, and her humanitarian work, Carlo decided to create pieces that reflect her personality to mark the 20th anniversary of her death. He finds inspiration in other people, especially here in the Middle East. “People from the UAE inspire me – they’re traders, open-minded and they know a lot about jewellery as it’s been part of the Middle Eastern culture for hundreds of years,” he says. It’s not just people, but also architecture: tiles that line the Blue Mosque in Turkey are painted with tulips and carnations and have featured in many Adler items, while a broach in the form of a fan was inspired by New York’s Chrysler building. An even more important source of inspiration are Adler’s customers, he explained, as they often approach the maison with ideas and requests. While Adler is looking to expand further into places like Makaw and New York, and is priming his nephew to take over the business, for now it’s about enjoying life, and his family. “The greatest thing in my life is family,” he says, smiling. “Family is much better than work.” Luckily, for him, the two are one and the same.

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Words by: Grace Hyne

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Art & Design

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Art & Design

Image: Untitiled, Mohammed Al Mahdi

W

hen Bahraini art enthusiast Latifa Al Khalifa first arrived in London in 2010 to study, she was struck by the dearth of contemporary art from her home country. Since graduating last year, she has made it her mission to introduce the best of Bahrain’s creative talent to the British art scene, starting this month with In The Open: Contemporary Art from Bahrain, the first major display of Bahraini art in England’s capital. Al Khalifa has teamed up with independent London-based arts initiative Edge of Arabia and the bi-annual art festival Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture for the display, which she curated herself. “Bahrain has always been at the forefront of art and culture in the Gulf region, being the first to inaugurate newspaper publications, magazines and even the region’s first museum,” she told AIR.

“There was so much talent that seemed to escape the spotlight. And with this exhibition I hope to highlight the multi-faceted talent Bahrain has to offer.” Looking at the work on display, it’s unlikely Al Khalifa will fail in her quest. The work she has selected to present to London’s art aficionados this month provides a fascinating insight into Bahrain’s history, culture and politics. Among the many highlights on show will be an interactive sound sculpture by Hasan Hujairi. “It is based on a series of algorithms he has developed to reflect field recordings collected in Bahrain over the past several years,” Al Khalifa explained. “The audience is therefore able to interact with the installation through several sensors that Hasan will be installing into the space, bringing to London sounds, music, noise and silences from a far away island Kingdom.” In The Open, she added, refers to “bringing into the open the artists’ distinctive and intimate

interpretations of contemporary life in such a diverse and complex society”. The art world has developed a thirst for work produced in the Middle East – something Al Khalifa traces back to the first edition of Art Dubai in 2006. Since then, the creation of other Islamic art hubs such as Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, as well as the eagerly anticipated opening of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi have served to fuel creative energy in the region. “There is one platform after another blossoming to nurture and promote art from the Middle East, which in no doubt affects the artist and their work,” she said. “Mostly, Bahrain has not been represented enough; it has fallen under the shadow of it’s Gulf neighbours. I think it’s time art aficionados discover the gems it has to offer.”

In The Open runs until July 27 at Edge of Arabia, 40 Elcho Street, London SW11 4AU edgeofarabia.com

The Art of

INTRODUCTION The first major display of contemporary Bahrain art in London takes place this month…

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Art & Design

AIR catches up with one of Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most influential design talents as he unveils his latest creations

ART of GlAss - 36 -


N

igel Coates’ biography makes for thoroughly impressive reading. Part of the Cool Britannia movement of the 1990s, and the British New Labour Party’s architect of choice, the Englishman has been responsible for some of the world’s most exciting design projects, from Tokyo’s eccentric Caffè Bongo to the Body Zone at London’s Millennium Dome. Today, as the designer unveils Handblown, works in glass by Nigel Coates, some of his most influential design feats can be found with the greats at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York. Not bad going for a lad who hailed from the sleepy spa town of Malvern, in Worcestershire, England. “As an ambitious and hungry young man I wanted to be part of the epicentre and moved to London,” recalled Coates. “Malvern is

‘The important thing is to exploit the inherent qualities of a material’ quintessentially rural, passionate and, for England, quite rugged – it set a romantic undercurrent to all my work that combines nature and culture. [But when I left Malvern] I never looked back.” Coates’ earliest recollection of designing something takes him back to his student years at the University of Nottingham. “When I was studying architecture, which is also design of a kind, I made a shelving unit out of the wood from an old packing case that I found on the street. It had no real joints but it had quite an ingenious system of support that made the books on it appear to hover.” After graduating, Coates taught at “the best architectural school in the world”, London’s Architectural Association, before a commission from a young fashion designer to design his five-storey home opened new doors: “I stripped it back to basics and made something very elegant, very pared down. It was a great place from which to begin.” His first big break, though, came in the shape of a restaurant commission in Tokyo. “My client came to London to pick me up and before I knew it I was off to Tokyo,” he recalled. “He wanted

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Art & Design

something authentically European and asked me to design a restaurant that felt like an English gentleman’s club. “We went overboard with all the references, with sweeping staircase, library, artist’s studio and voluptuous theatrical curtain. We commissioned at least half a dozen artists and designed all the furniture. We’d created the complete package and did it with a style that went down a storm in Tokyo.” His natural creativity and “maximalist”, theatrical, approach was a huge success and that client became Coates’ agent. Together, they went on to design more than 20 interiors and three new buildings in Japan during the late 80s and early 90s. Among them, the Penrose Institute of Contemporary Art, in Tokyo, and Caffè Bongo. Located on one of Tokyo’s busiest crossroads, Caffè Bongo – Coates’ “pop-classical collage” – remains an arresting sight to this day. An aeroplane wing protrudes out of the window and into the street, while broken Romanesque columns sprout from within the plane’s twisted metal remains.

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‘The Middle East continues to enjoy a design renaissance’

By the time the “economic bubble burst” in Japan, UK commissions for the architect and designer were coming in thick and fast. First came directional shop design for major fashion brands such as Katharine Hamnett and Jigsaw, then public buildings and museums, interlaced with some spectacular private residences. His golden year, though, was 1998. Not only did the new, horseshoe-shaped wing that he designed for the Geffrye Museum, in London’s Shoreditch, open, but so too did the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield – a project that Coates says “is in the annals of late 20th century architecture and the subject of an entire research collection at the FRAC museum of architecture in Orleans, France”. It was also in 1998 that the Powerhouse:uk exhibition he designed and curated opened on Horse Guards. “That was another high,” he said. “The project coincided with the 1998 Asian European Summit, the first under Tony Blair’s leadership. There were 25 heads of state at the opening, including the likes of the Sultan of Brunei and Jacques Chirac.”

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Two years later, visitors passed in and out of the Body Zone at London’s Millennium Dome, Coates’ 25 times scale model of a human body. While the majority of Coates’ most memorable work has been created in Japan and the UK, he is no stranger to the Middle East. “The most amazing project I have done in the Middle East is the interior of a private jet,” he said. “The natural flow in my design work seems to adapt really well to in-flight style, plus airports and aircraft have always inspired me. Even in the Tokyo days they provided the backbone of my design imagination. “The Middle East continues to enjoy a design renaissance. People there seem to want real class and quality at the highest level. That is a dream for a designer.” A prolific lighting and furniture designer too, today Coates garners as much pleasure out of creating a beautiful chair or “an exquisite light” as he does from designing a building. Over the years he has worked with leading Italian design houses Alessi, Frag and Fratelli Boffi, among many others. His latest creations are a beautiful threecollection series of handblown glass: Carry Artids, which explores the potential of borosilicate glass; Tulipini, where lead crystal is blown to exploit colour and spiral movement; and Fiasconi, also in lead crystal, which plays on simple, over-sized shapes adorned with lithographs of Coates’ drawings. Each piece is a magnificent feat of design and creativity. “I always had a very broad, rather storytelling approach to architecture, so it was natural to extend that sensibility to design,” he said. “I have spent a lot of my adult life in Italy where architecture and design are interchangeable. “Glass is a favourite material but I can get equally excited about beautiful woods, marbles, stainless steel, textiles... The important thing is to exploit the inherent qualities of the material and make it work hard.”


Art & Design

The Light

FANTAsTIC A new exhibition by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum, in New York, has transformed the identity of its famous interior space

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Image: James Turrell, Rendering for Aten Reign, 2013, Daylight and LED light, Site-specific installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas Tjeldflaat, 2012 © SRGF

F

or the next three months one of the world’s most

prestigious and recognisable buildings, New York’s Guggenheim Museum, will appear as never before. Eminent American artist James Turrell has transformed the famous central void of the museum’s rotunda, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, into a brilliant light installation. The site-specific work, called Aten Reign (2013), is part of the James Turrell exhibition and is described by the Guggenheim Museum as “one of the most dramatic transformations of the museum ever conceived”. Turrell has reinterpreted the space as one of his glowing Skyspaces, filling it with natural and artificial light, as well as modulating colour. The effect, the Museum says, creates “a dynamic perpetual experience that exposes the materiality of light”. Turrell’s explorative use of light, colour and geometry has been wowing audiences since the late 1960s. Typical of his eagerness to create works that are both reflective and introspective, Aten Reign took six years to realise and is one of the largest installations he has ever mounted. It works by drawing attention towards the interior space and, Turrell says, creating “an architecture of space created with light”. Visitors are forced to look upwards at the colours that expand and extract overhead. “Light is a powerful substance,” he explains. “We have a primal connection to it. But, for something so powerful, situations for its felt presence are fragile… I like to work with it so that you feel it physically, so you feel the presence of light inhabiting a space.” Aten Reign bears similarities to some spaces at Roden’s Crater Project, the work Turrell is most famous for. The

project involves the construction of two dozen installations at an extinct volcano in the desert outside Flagstaff, Arizona, and has been ongoing since 1979. Turrell claims the project takes inspiration from the design of ancient observatories: ancient ziggurats inspired the design of the Guggenheim building. Alongside Aten Reign is also a selection of Turrell’s earlier works, which help draw comparisons between his new work and those produced in the 1960s and 1970s. Among the most significant is Afrum I (White), 1967, which was one of the artist’s earliest installations and involves a glowing cube floating in the corner of a room – a vision created purely through use of light. “My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see it,” said Turrell. “It becomes your experience.”

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INTERIORS

Sara CoSgrove Harrods’ head of interior design on how light used well can easily transform any space in your home

As a regular angle for my column, I like to discuss the different sensory elements of design, encouraging debate about how they can affect a design scheme or influence the overall experience of an interior. One overwhelmingly crucial element that I’d like to draw attention to is lighting. Light is a key consideration when improving the use of a space and can really make or break a successful scheme. It is hugely important that your lighting design and layouts achieve the right balance of tone and temperature and that the focus is on an indirect rather than direct lighting approach. A critical factor when designing the lighting of a space is to use the right combination of textured surfaces to bounce the light around the room, using the walls to create shadows and

Regular readers will be aware of my love affair with crystal and more and more we are seeing luxury crystal brands developing panels which can be incorporated with mirrors and worked into a scheme as part of a feature wall. Moser has recently launched a beautiful rose-tinted mirror which can be used singularly or in multiple pieces to create paneling for a one-off installation. The use of mirror and crystal brings light to a space in an exciting way and is perfect for high-drama. For example, strips of tiny LED lights can even be integrated into crystal or glass for a magical feature in an entrance hall. For more simple mirrored elements you could try British brand Porta Romana who constantly introduces beautifully designed mirrors to

‘Use the right combination of textured surfaces...to create shadows and reflections to intensify the mood’

reflections to intensify the mood. One of the most effective ways of achieving an accomplished design is by selecting reflective wall coverings and mirrored finishes that work with the lighting, creating a beautiful glow that enhances the room. Some of my favourite wall finishes are from American design house Maya Romanoff, who produce innovative textures using materials such as timber veneers, leather and mother of pearl to create beautiful, unusual finishes – my favourites include the Ajiro Chevron and the Anniversary Half Plaid in silver mocha. The Beadazzled flexible glass beaded wallpaper is also a classic choice – we recently used it with stunning results in the bespoke dressing room of one of our glamorous projects: the tiny beads refract the light from the wall lamps and create an almost glitterlike quality.

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complement their eponymous lighting collection. I particularly like their new Santos mirror in a bronze finish, which is deco-inspired and perfect to bring depth to a contemporary interior. Porta Romana’s popular range of decorative lighting includes wall lights, table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling lights which, when worked into a scheme together, create a layered effect with pools of light at different levels. To maximise mood enhancement, I would always recommend you install a control panel to set different scenes for relaxing or entertaining or, at the very least, you should invest in a dimmer switch. While this is a huge topic to cover, hopefully these tips will give you some ideas when considering the lighting elements of your next interior redesign project.


> Since 2011, Hermes has been creating typically elegant homeware and furnishings that showcase the fashion house’s carefully crafted skills and attention to detail. Its latest tableware collections, including Rallye 24, perfectly embody Hermes’ renowned flair and creativity while incorporating key aspects

of its long and illustrious French history - Rallye 24 subtly channels a horseracing theme. The chaine d’arcre link that features heavily in this collection actually transforms into a racetrack and the dishes bear signature race colours: yellow, red, grey, green, blue and black. Genuine conversation pieces. hermes.com

> For collectors seeking a quick, mobile and hassle-free way to access the very best lots from the world’s leading auction houses, a new website seems to hold the key. Barnebys, designed for both seasoned collectors and first time buyers, collates salesroom and online sales from more than 30 UK auction houses, including Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams.

Already a huge success in the UK and Sweden, the free site lists more than 70,000 new auction lots each week and features everything from watches and jewellery through to art and homeware. And for those with busy, jet-set lifestyles, a real-time auction calendar and personalised email alerts mean buyers won’t miss a chance to bid on a coveted piece. barnebys.co.uk - 43 -


the

2.5bn

DOLLAR

MAN Words: Emma Jones

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Against all odds, Hollywood’s nice guy wowed audiences worldwide as action hero Jason Bourne. Now he’s set to do it again, this time in sci-fi epic Elysium. Matt Damon tells Emma Jones why he’d still rather be nice and why he’s moving cities to be closer to Ben Affleck

H

e is the two-and-a-half billion-dollar man. That is the total box office Matt Damon has produced for a grateful Hollywood since his career began with Good Will Hunting back in 1997. Franchises like Bourne and Ocean’s Eleven, as well as critical and commercial hits The Talented Mr Ripley, Saving Private Ryan and The Departed meant that as of 2007, Forbes magazine estimated that Damon was the most dependable star in the industry, producing US$29 of clear profit for every dollar the studios paid him. Meeting him in Berlin, it’s not hard to picture Damon quietly and affably working away for the good of others. Famously baby-faced for a 42-year-old, his light-up-the-room smile makes him seem even younger. He is easy to talk to, but, Jason Bourne aside, Damon would make an ideal spy in real life – his words, his appearance, don’t linger in the mind. He’s like an everyman who just happens to have stumbled upon moviestar status. This conclusion though, would be an insult to Damon’s obvious ability, on display again next month in Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi film Elysium. Damon stars as Max, a Mr Ordinary with a chance of saving the planet. Ordinary, of course, is what he does best, but the real compliment may be that his character in the film is just 29 years old. “People forget that Ben and I have been kicking around for 15 years now,” he smiles.

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“Apparently when Ben was shooting The Town back in Boston, he pointed out our old place to the cast, and Blake Lively says, ‘You know Jason Bourne?’ We’re so old now that the first part of our history has been forgotten.” We certainly haven’t forgotten though and writing remains the skill for which Damon has been most highly rewarded in Hollywood; 15 years ago he and Ben Affleck won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting – two Boston boys hitting the big time after touting their script around town for years. Yet he is still slow to write. “I need a writing partner,” he confesses, “Or I can’t do it. I was an English major at college (Damon attended Harvard, but dropped out before graduating) and I hated the solitude of just staring at the computer screen, it drove me nuts. Creative writing is different of course from essay writing. It’s more active – and when you have a partner to do it with, there’s scope for improvisation and a lot more laughter. Although you sometimes have to force yourself into a cubicle and tell yourself ‘I am doing this right now’. Often better writing happens by osmosis when two people hang out. Ben Affleck and I always had a blast when we wrote.” Ben Affleck, the man who shares Damon’s writing Oscar – and for many years, back in their broke days in Boston, his bank account – is still his best friend. After Affleck’s success with Argo, Damon may have to join the queue of writers wanting to work with him, but he says that the pair will reunite on a script in the near future. “My family and I are moving to LA from New York this summer, which is a really big event for us,” he says. “We’ve actually bought a house just down the street from Ben. We own a production company together, and we’re going to rent some offices, and so yes, hopefully we’ll be cooking things up together soon.” Affleck and Damon were neighbours too as children; they grew up two blocks away from each other in Cambridge, Massachussetts. Damon lived with his university-professor mother after his parents divorced. Both classmates wanted to be in the movie industry; Damon’s first break came with a single line opposite Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza in 1989, and he left Harvard a few credits short of his degree to pursue acting. Both actors then spent years trying to get their script about a maths


genius made. Good Will Hunting, Damon said modestly, “was a high-stake film and it worked out as best as it can in this business.” After its release in 1997, Damon’s career went from strength to strength; Affleck sank to the depths with ‘Bennifer’, his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, resulting in 2003’s disastrous collaboration, Gigli. Now however, Affleck is the man of the moment, and there is joy on Damon’s face as he speaks about his friend’s spin back to the top of the Hollywood wheel. “I am really, really happy for him. He has taken everything on the chin over the years. Ten years ago I remember I spoke to him and he was in such a rough spot. He said to me, ‘I sell magazines but not movie tickets, I am in the worst possible situation.’ He really had to take himself out of the scene and I’m proud of him for turning it all around. His life has been so interesting, it’s a rollercoaster.” It’s hard to imagine Damon sharing the same ride. Other than a famous guest spot in a Sarah Silverman video on the Jimmy Kimmel show in 2008, his marriage has been as solid and dependable as his career. He met Argentinian Luciana Barroso in a bar in Miami in 2003 (she was the bartender) and married her in 2005; the couple have three young daughters and Barroso has another, Alexia, born from a previous relationship. Fatherhood, says Damon, “is something I’ve always wanted to do. Although the sleeplessness is the toughest part. Sometimes you’re looking at the clock in the middle of the night and it’s the time the Navy SEALS are usually sent to kill you. That’s hard.” He relishes the ordinariness of domestic life, adding, “If anyone wanted to take secret photos of my life, they would be bored within a day. A few hours of me doing research or learning my lines – I can tell you the press would soon go home.” Self-deprecation is clearly Damon’s style. He once quipped that his scripts were “the cast-offs from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio”. And who else would have coped so stoically with Team America’s Matt Damon puppet passing into popular culture as a synonym for something stupid and slow?

Niceness, argues Damon, “is not something I set out to achieve by holding myself to a certain standard of behaviour. I don’t know why people like me. I’m glad they do and I’m glad they still go and see my movies.” There was a hint of controversy over a recent film however. Promised Land, co-written by Damon, was singled out for criticism for its portrayal of fracking, unsurprisingly by supporters of the method, but also by a group of farmers living near the real-life film set in Pennsylvania. They set up a Facebook group to accuse the film-makers of having “a condescending view of farmers”. When the film was released in the US in December 2012, the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition was sufficiently perturbed to buy an onscreen advert to be shown in cinemas alongside the movie. “I don’t think it deserves this kind of withering attack,” says Damon. “There isn’t a scene in the movie that I would change or do differently, but it didn’t get the reception I hoped for. Sometimes people find movies later on, and I personally love it. I really don’t understand the criticism that I’ve been hearing back.” The film explored something which was particularly on the actor’s mind, namely “the American identity, and what will be left behind for future generations? It’s a heart-breaking situation in rural America at the moment. You think a recession hits a city hard? Go to the countryside. “These small family farms are really struggling and it’s very hard to see. So something like fracking comes along and offers a small farm a potential financial lifeline, but there are risks involved to their environment and which could threaten their whole way of life. I wanted to start a discussion on that, not make a judgment.” A committed Democrat – he once called Sarah Palin “a bad Disney movie” – Damon laughs off suggestions that he might run for office one day. His concerns are that “people are actually going hungry. I would rather the public listened to politicians instead of celebrities. But sometimes politicians don’t talk about these things.”

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Images: Getty Images Text: Emma Jones, The Interview People, The Independent

‘Niceness is not something I set out to achieve by holding myself to a certain standard of behaviour’


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The

MODEL turned

MOGUL

Heidi Klum has a $70 million business empire and a TV career – not bad for the ‘curvy’ model who‘s just turned 40 Words: Tim Teeman

I

t used to be that Heidi Klum was best known for her body. And it’s true to say that the 40-yearold, who first came to international attention with a busty front cover for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, and as a lingerie model for Victoria’s Secret, still has a body that sells clothes. But she’s also known for having one of the best business brains in the industry. She’s the Emmy-nominated face of three top television shows, Project Runway (on which she’s both presenter and executive producer and gets an estimated $2.5 million cut of the revenue every year), America’s Got Talent and Germany’s Next Top Model. On Project Runway she has her own catchphrase, directed at rejected fashion designer contestants, that sounds, ingeniously, both cruel and sympathetic: “One day you’re in, the next you’re out.” There have been deals with the likes of McDonald’s and H&M. Now she has her own fashion labels, including a top-selling children’s range – Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum – with Babies R Us, her own jewellery collection sold on QVC and a range of perfumes (which she makes sure to plug on Project Runway). Today she has already shot the latest campaign for her fitness range for New Balance. Now she’s modelling for a cover shoot. “I’m working the diapers,” Klum shouts as she

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hitches up the black and white Dolce & Gabbana shorts, profane rap music pounding all around. The din is headhammeringly murderous. “Heidi likes it loud,” I am told. The Los Angeles boxing gym has been transformed. The dog-eared bout posters and punching bags have been displaced by racks of dresses and stray Louboutins. Klum briskly approves the photographs taken by her friend, the English celebrity photographer Rankin. Everything runs the Klum way – with big smiles and brisk changes. “This is great. FUN!” Her accent is Germanic, with a soft “like totally” Californian undertow. “Modelling is the fun part,” she says. “Work for me now is strategising and looking at the numbers… and the markets we’re aiming for.” Klum’s fortune was estimated at $50-70 million by the business magazine Forbes at the start of 2012. Last year, she made $20 million, way more than best-known supermodel, Kate Moss, who earned approximately $9 million, according to Forbes. On lists of the world’s richest models, Klum is commonly cited as the second highestearning after Gisele Bündchen. Forbes has taken her off their rankings of models, not because she isn’t wealthy but because now, in the same vein as Tyra Banks, she is more mogul. She has always been strategic. Friends liken her to a great pool player: as she lines up one shot, she’s making sure she’s set up for the next. Like Bündchen, early in her career Klum realised that modelling had a short shelf life (she was just 20 when she set up a perfume business with her father). Also like Bündchen – and seven of the world’s ten richest models – she found early success modelling for Victoria’s Secret. Far from the size-zero stars of the catwalk, Victoria’s Secret women are athletic, full-figured, healthy-looking, confident. The customer base is resolutely and proudly middle-market, whose lucrative potential Klum, who started out modelling for catalogues, has always instinctively understood. “I wasn’t thin enough, tall enough, edgy enough,” she says. “I was always the commercial girl. I did hair campaigns. There were big-name models like Claudia [Schiffer] and Naomi [Campbell] and I understood that if I wanted to do cooler, more creative things I had to find my own path.” The Victoria’s Secret gig lasted for 13 years. Tyra Banks advised her to get an entertainment lawyer and showed her how to apply fake eyelashes correctly; Stephanie Seymour showed her how to strut. “I felt like a basketball player on the sidelines, learning from the others.” Over her career she’s appeared on more than 150 magazine covers. The photographer, Rankin, says, “She’s my favourite model. You’d be surprised how many models don’t like posing. She does.” The next morning Klum and I are ensconced in a plush booth, slumped on huge cushions at the Bel-Air Hotel

near Klum’s home, where she lives with her new partner, former family bodyguard Martin Kristen, and her children, Leni, 8, Henry, 7, Johan, 6, and Lou, 3. She is fresh-faced, barely made-up. She’s wearing an all-black ensemble of an oversized cardigan, with a glittery spider on the back, and trousers and boots. Her hair is scraped back, revealing a pair of diamond earrings. She had always wanted to be a dancer and didn’t know that it was possible to make a living from modelling until on a whim she entered a televised modelling contest at 18 and won it, beating 30,000 contestants. (It’s one of the reasons why her producers say that she makes such a good judge on Project Runway – she knows what’s at stake.) The prize was a $300,000 modelling contract. Klum grew up in Bergisch Gladbach, a town near Cologne. She describes her family as “very normal”. Her mother, Erna, was a hairdresser, her father, Günther, a cosmetics company executive. “When I was young my mum would make all my Barbie’s clothes and with the scraps make hair scrunchies.” Her father would strike her if she did something wrong. “He was pretty strict, like, ‘As long as your feet are under my table, you have to listen to what I say.’ I was scared of him. That’s what the hitting was for.” Does she smack her own children? “That doesn’t work in my family. I figure things out by speaking to them. If they ran out into the street or did something really bad, I might give them a smack to give the message they can never do it again.” Infractions are punished by having iPad or Wii time restricted. “I listen to their opinion.” She laughs. “You always have to hear what their little minds are thinking about.” Nevertheless, life in the Klum household sounds exhaustingly regimented. A wall chart tracks good behaviour (for boys, listening; for girls, doing chores) with a series of crosses against each child’s name: “If Johan gets 20 crosses he can go to [fast food outlet] Chuck E. Cheese’s with friends. Leni is working towards 100 crosses for a puppy.” She sounds like a disciplinarian. “I have four kids. I have to be, otherwise they rule you because there are more of them. They stick together.” Although she has a nanny, Klum is up at 6am making pancakes and healthy smoothies; if the children drink theirs they each receive $1, which is deposited in a piggybank. The money is saved to buy toys. “Some parents may think that’s wrong, but at least I know they’ve eaten something healthy. Their lunchboxes [with carrot sticks, turkey sandwiches, yoghurts and Nutella bread] come back empty, so I don’t really know what they’ve eaten. It feels like they earned their money.” Klum drives the children to school at 8am and picks them up at 3.30pm. Any New York filming is done around the school holidays. Sports are “super-important, so they feel part of a team”. She has taught them to knit. In the car she encourages them to look out of the windows. “We do not allow movies in the car,” she says – so sternly that I nod

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‘I’d rather look and feel my age than try to be something I’m not’

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‘Size zero? I don’t understand how anything can be a zero. Zero is not a good number’

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Images: Getty Images

vigorous assent. “It is hard in our society to make sure that you get them on the right path. All I can do is give them the right tools.” In 2012 Klum’s marriage to the singer Seal, biological father of three of her four children, broke up after almost seven years. For a long time it seemed she was one of the few models to pull off having a career and a family. “But you deal with it,” she says. “You have to make sure that your kids never suffer, but to a certain extent I’m sure they might do, unknowingly.” When they ask about the breakup she is honest and direct: “Seal was always travelling, so while it is different there’s not much difference. I always say I’m a Gemini – there’s two of me. I don’t know how it works; it just does.” Does she love her boyfriend, the former bodyguard? “Yes, I do. I think love is very important. It’s beautiful to be in love,” she replies. The couple have been photographed wearing matching Tiffany bands. Will she marry again? “I don’t think so. It’s not that important to me anymore. I’ve been married before. When I got married the first time [to first husband Ric Pipino in 1997] I was 23 and it was always this dream to get married and wear this white dress. I was married for six years and it didn’t work out. I see a lot of girls now, 30 years old, looking for a man. They want to get married, they want this big ring, and I love that and I love that they feel that way. It’s the fairytale dream that 70 per cent of girls have. But I have been there, worn the dress, dreamt that dream. I’m happy now that I don’t have to have that again.” Her father told her she was too young to marry Pipino. “I thought I was old enough and knew what I was doing, but definitely I was too young. Rick was 14 years older and we grew apart. But everything is an experience. I don’t say: ‘This was terrible.’” So divorce wasn’t devastating? Klum grimaces. “It’s not great. It’s not what I wanted. I always got married because of love. I tried and tried and it didn’t work out and we drifted apart.” Klum sighs. “Then I had this beautiful family with Seal.” They got together in 2004 after the break-up of her relationship with Italian businessman (and Leni’s father) Flavio Briatore. Seal officially adopted Leni in 2009 and Klum and Seal held annual wedding ceremonies during their marriage. “I loved getting married every year. I also thought that was something that would hold us together, the glue. I thought it was good for us, good for the children.” Klum and Seal experienced racism from both sides. “For me, I don’t see colour; I look at people for who they are. But there are white racists and black racists.” What was it like? “Anyone who gets a finger pointed at them, regardless of whether it’s about the size of their body or colour, it’s never a great position to be in. It’s even harder when they do it to your children.” What does she tell them? “To not listen. To not get bullied. To understand there are nice people and some angry people and to stay clear of that.”

There’s “a whole long list of things” behind why Klum’s marriage to Seal failed, which she declines to itemise. “We are OK with each other. Obviously we are not the best of friends or we would still be together.” Klum laughs. “But it’s manageable.” Seal is now based in Australia. Have two divorces put her off marrying again? “It’s the whole constitution of it; I don’t feel an urgency, the anxiety, to have a husband or me having to be a wife.” What if her boyfriend asked her? “I don’t think he will. He’s been with my family for five years. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a great guy. I just met him recently in a completely different way.” Was it challenging or odd, the professional relationship becoming personal? “No, it transformed naturally,” says Klum. “He’s a very loving person, a normal guy. He’s not complicated; nothing is a problem for him. He’s a great man.” Does she want to have children with him? “I don’t really want to have more children. Four is a lot of children and I feel complete. I feel like when I look around the dinner table we are complete. This is our family. He’s very good with the kids. They love him.” At her early castings Klum was told she was too big for sample sizes, but this didn’t lead to an eating disorder. “I just learnt that I couldn’t eat muffins and spaghetti bolognese every day. I had to have great hair, great nails. I had to stop picking my pimples. I had to have enough sleep and be on time. The size-zero debate frustrates her. “I don’t understand how anything can be a zero. Zero is not a good number. If I was a fashion label I would not go that thin. I would promote girls who are a little more feminine, with curves. They don’t necessarily have to be a plus size, just healthy young women.” Klum turned 40 last month. “It’s the way it is,” she shrugs. “Ageing is part of life, although in this industry everyone worries so much about it. I never saw my modelling career as having an end date.” She dyes her hair blonde every three weeks; being a natural brunette, “the roots grow really fast”. She runs and swims. She says she hasn’t had cosmetic surgery. “I’d rather look and feel my age than try to be something I’m not. I’m not going to do this [she pulls her face back]. It isn’t me.” Can she envision having it in the future? “Maybe. I don’t know how I’ll feel in five years. I’ve nothing against it. Everyone has to feel good about themselves.” Her ego seems remarkably in check. Klum knows her worth, yet – rare for a celebrity – does not whinge about fame, but simply makes the most of opportunities she has created for herself. The paparazzi follow her and the children to the park, “and that disturbs the other families, which upsets me, but what can I do? We can’t just stay in the house.” Klum laughs, looks at her watch. “It is 10.45,” she says. “Martin will be outside. I must go.” Nothing gets in the way of the Klum schedule, or – you sense – in the way of Heidi Klum.

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Motoring

Regarding Henry Sir Henry Royce was one of the founders of luxury car brand Rolls-Royce. This year marks 80 years since his death, and is a chance to reflect on his legacy

A

t the BMW Welt facility in Munich, Germany, as part of its recentlyopened Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Exhibition, there is an inspirational quote written in large silver letters across one wall. It reads, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.” These are the words of one of the company’s original founders, Sir Henry Royce, whose influence is still apparent after more than 100 years of building luxury cars. And it is no coincidence that the exhibition has been launched in 2013 – marking 150 years since his birth, and the 80th anniversary of his death. It seems that Royce was something of a larger-than-life figure. He worked hard, many have called him a genius, and when not reeling off motivational chat was helping to forge the reputation of a company not only building memorable cars, but also brilliant aircraft engines. “Sir Henry was a modest genius who referred to himself simply as a ‘mechanic’,” says Andrew Ball, Rolls-Royce corporate communications manager. “He had a simple engineering philosophy – the pursuit of excellence – and one that the whole team at RollsRoyce strives for every day.” Sir Frederick Henry Royce was born on March 27, 1863, in Alwalton, near Peterborough in the UK, as the youngest of five children. The family moved to London, and when his father

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MOTORING

died in 1872, Royce took his first job at age nine, delivering newspapers and telegrams. At age 15, he started an apprenticeship with Great Northern Railways, and at 18 worked for a tool-making company in Leeds, eventually returning to London to work for the Electric Light & Power Co. Moving to its Liverpool office in 1882, he worked on street and theatre lighting. By 1884, Royce had saved enough money to start a business with his friend, Ernest Claremont. The two set up a factory in Manchester building electrical fittings, and later dynamos and cranes, first under the name F H Royce & Co, but later Royce Ltd. In 1893, Royce married Minnie Hunt, and they lived near the factory before moving to Knutsford in Cheshire.

‘I have only one regret, that I have not worked harder’ Eventually, Royce looked to motor cars as another source of income. At first his idea was to improve vehicles already on the market, but on concluding that there was nothing to meet his high standards decided to build his own – which he did in the corner of his factory. In total, Royce built three cars, which he called the Royce 10. He sold one to a director of his company, Henry Edmunds, who was friends with a car dealer from London called Charles Rolls.

Impressed by the Royce 10, Rolls asked if he could meet the man behind it, so Edmunds introduced the two at the Midlands Hotel in Manchester in 1904. Rolls offered to sell every car that Royce could make at his London showroom, and the models would be badged ‘Rolls-Royce’. There were four models initially, each with a different engine size. The partnership was so successful that RollsRoyce Ltd was officially announced as a company in 1906, and Ernest Claremont appointed its chairman – neither Rolls or Royce were ever chairman, and Royce’s title was chief engineer. That same year also saw the opening of a larger factory in Derby, and the debut of the company’s most powerful car yet, the 40/50, later to be called the Silver Ghost and subsequently named ‘best car in the world’ by Autocar magazine. But Rolls-Royce was about to lose one of the men behind it. Equally as fascinated by aircraft as he was cars, Charles Rolls had bought himself a Wright Flyer, which he used to become the first man to fly both ways across the English Channel non-stop in June 1910. Unfortunately, a month later, he was killed during an exhibition flight in the same craft over Bournemouth. Perhaps it was the death of Rolls that proved the final straw for Royce. Always accused of working too hard and not eating well, he had many health problems, and fell ill again soon after. His marriage ended, and at one point he was given just months to live by doctors and told to stay away from his factory. Ever the perfectionist, he insisted that his engineers came out to see him to approve their

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Images: Supplied Text: Chris Anderson

> Unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show - and from last month on show in the Middle East - the Wraith from Rolls-Royce will go on sale this autumn. Following Sir Henry Royce’s desire for the brand to always build the best it possibly can, this will be

plans, but he never worked at Derby full time again, spending his winters in France and eventually moving to West Wittering, West Sussex in 1917. Rolls-Royce’s move into aviation came as a result of the First World War, accepting an offer from the government to build aircraft engines. The company made the most powerful on offer, fitted to half of the Allies’ fleet. An armoured version of the Silver Ghost was used in battle too, with Royce awarded an OBE after the war for his company’s participation. More aviation success followed, with two Rolls-Royce engines used in the first aircraft to fly non-stop across the Atlantic in 1919, while the ‘R’ engine sketched by Royce in the sand on the beach at West Wittering in front of his staff would go on to set an air speed record and win the prestigious Schneider Trophy. He completed designs for a more durable version called the PV12, but would die before he saw it tested – or used in the Second World War. While aircraft engines represented the majority of

the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever, with a 624bhp V12 engine and a 0-60 time of just 4.4 seconds. Twotone paintwork, a sloping roofline, light wood panelling inside and an asking price of around US$320,000 complete the package.

Rolls-Royce’s business by the late 1920s, its car production continued. The Phantom range was introduced in 1925, and in 1931 the company bought rivals Bentley. One of its cars was modified by Rolls-Royce engineers and taken to West Wittering for approval from Royce. He observed that such a fast, powerful car should be able to vary the stiffness of its suspension, and the night before he died gave a sketch to his nurse to be delivered to the factory – it was the first adjustable shock absorber. Sir Henry Royce passed away at his home on April 22, 1933, aged 70. The effect he had on his company and those around him will never be forgotten – there is a window dedicated to his memory at Westminster Abbey in London, and he is featured in the new exhibition organised by BMW, the owners of Rolls-Royce for the past 10 years. As he lay on his death bed, Royce apparently whispered, “I have only one regret, that I have not worked harder.” But the company’s continued success and unmistakeable reputation is surely proof that he did.

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Air Promotion 15 Years of success Sponsored Feature

How to achieve harmonious curves

Darrell Jacobs, Managing Director of the Clinic Lémanic in Lausanne, Mr Jacobs, shares the secrets of this year’s slimming trend

What is the latest aesthetic technique being used by people to achieve a harmonious figure?

The slimming laser – it’s a new non-invasive technique that does not require injections or anaesthesia, providing immediate loss of centimetres which increases over the next few weeks. You lose inches permanently and in the right places. It’s ideal for busy people and cuddly men, like me. I’ve tried it myself with great results, so I really do know what I’m talking about.

How does it work?

A better, balanced diet and exercise are the prerequisites for a slim figure. Unfortunately, these are not always sufficient to remove fat in certain areas and for treating the diet resisting zones. This slimming laser technique stimulates local fat metabolism, which is directly drained and removed. On the following day, one simply drinks more water than usual to ensure optimal body drainage. The slimming laser is a sophisticated technology for a natural and risk-free treatment.

Who is suitable for this slimming laser? It is ideal for both men and women, with excess localised fat deposits (thighs, waist, buttocks, arms and knees), whatever their age or skin type. It is not a slimming technique – this treatment really does resculpt your figure.

What other solutions do you offer?

I would also recommend Clinic Lémanic’s specially developed slimming programme, a completely personalised plan under medical supervision which for the first time ever offers slimming and tissue toning at the same time, finally putting an end to the crucial problem of slack skin following a slimming regime. The results are spectacular, fast and targeted just where you want them.

“Clinic Lémanic is the winner of several international awards. And for the past fifteen years we have worked to create a clinic that offers a unique environemt, being both discretely elegant and intimate. It’s a clinic which has risen to international fame, uniting under one roof a department of dermatology, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, a laser centre and clinical research centre, as well as a medical aesthetics department dedicated to beauty, prevention of ageing and slimming. Clinic Lémanic specialises in efficient, fast and durable aesthetic procedures without visible consequences, performed in the utmost discretion. Our absolute priority remains to achieve excellence in our medical and aesthetic treatments, which have made our reputation in Switzerland and abroad.” Véronique Emmenegger Medical Director and cofounder of Clinic Lémanic

Clinic Lémanic 2, Avenue de la Gare 1003 Lausanne Switzerland +41 21 321 20 82 info@cliniclemanic.ch cliniclemanic.ch

Are there any side effects?

None. This laser treatment is completely painless, without any side effects and you can continue your normal and sporting activities immediately after treatment.

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GASTRONOMY

WOK STAR

AIR chows down with the multi awardwinning, Michelin-starred chef responsible for the exquisite menus at Hakkasan…

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hef Tong Chee Hwee’s gastronomic prowess secured top restaurant chain Hakkasan its first Michelin star in 2003. So it’s only natural that when the world-renowned eatery launched HKK, its latest concept, it would want its global executive chef to design the menu. Fast-forward seven months and HKK’s fine dining Chinese banqueting is already a firm favourite among London’s foodies. Not that that’s enough for Hwee, who has high hopes for the restaurant’s future. “I want to make HKK as successful as Hakkasan,” he said. “Hakkasan has been a huge success – which of course is due to the support of everyone in the company – but for me, as a chef, there’s still a long way to go. And that’s the reason we started the HKK project last year.” The Singaporean’s talent for preparing Cantonese dishes with cutting-edge flair has led those in the know to refer to him as the Heston Blumenthal of the East. And while his role overseeing the menu of Hakkasan restaurants worldwide means lots of time spent travelling,

Hwee still finds time to do what he loves best – experiment in the kitchen. “I used to experiment with new dishes, flavours and ingredients at home before HKK opened, but now I have HKK I will continue to use it as my research lab for all the new dishes to come,” he said. “The HKK kitchen occupies more than 50 per cent of the whole restaurant area and it is big enough to fit in all kinds of equipment that I need for various kinds of cooking. “When the Hakkasan restaurants and Yauatcha also need new dishes I go to the restaurants to meet their chef de cuisine and discuss the new menus: usually I get the chance to cook on these occasions too.” Unlike many Michelin-starred chefs, Hwee did not undergo formal restaurant training. “My career started at the Happy Valley restaurant [in Singapore], where I began as a commis chef,” he recalled. “I learned every basic skill of Chinese cooking here, especially the control of wok.” The experience, while rewarding, was also challenging. “It was a very difficult time, because as a commis chef I had to follow the orders of every

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GASTRONOMY

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‘I wanted to be a chef so that I could cook for my mother and grandmother as they did for me’

other senior colleague there. I was made to do a lot of things, including preparing for service, cleaning after service… I remember I used to work more than 12 hours a day, arriving at the kitchen before anyone else and always being the last to leave. During those times working as a chef was a very tough career choice.” From there, Hwee moved to the Ritz-Carlton in 1995 and it was here in 2000 that he first met Alan Yau, owner of Hakkasan: the meeting changed his life forever. “Alan Yau came to my restaurant in Singapore for a food tasting,” Hwee recalled. “He told me about his plan to open Hakkasan in London and asked if I was interested in the project. After seven months I came to London to work for him.” Despite having to up sticks and move to the other side of the world, the decision, Hwee said, was not difficult to make. “It didn’t feel scary. Leaving Singapore for London was another challenge I set myself. It was originally meant to be for only two or three years – I saw it as an opportunity to test myself.” Hwee passed with flying colours, earning the restaurant a Michelin star within its first year of opening. “We didn’t do anything in particular to obtain the Michelin star,” he said modestly. “We just tried our best to maintain the high standards of service and of course the quality of our food. That’s the one thing I constantly said to my team; always keep the standard and quality high no matter what. I’m glad and thankful for my team who stuck with this, and which at the end of the year saw us achieve a Michelin-star.” It is difficult to imagine such a successful chef ever feeling the stress and strain most chefs complain about. But Hwee insists it is an inevitable byproduct of the career path he has

chosen. “Every chef wants their cooking and dishes to be praised, appreciated and enjoyed by their customers,” he said. “When guests don’t like the food, that’s where the stress usually comes from. It happens, and the best way to approach this is to keep calm and analyse the problem, and try and try again. You eventually get there and get the results.” Hwee’s passion for cooking began at home as a child. “My choice to become a chef was mainly inspired by my mother and grandmother,” he explained. “When I was seven our family was very poor. We used wood fire for cooking at home and used to go to the mountains for this firewood every day. My grandmother used to cook very delicious food in this way and such talent passed to my mother as well. When I look back at that difficult time for my family, I just felt that I wanted to be a chef in the future so that I could cook for my mother and grandmother as they did for me. “Many years have passed and although they’re no longer with me anymore, I still feel gratitude to them for the success I have achieved. Moreover, they have not only influenced me but also my four siblings ... now three of us (myself included) are working as chefs.” Hwee continues to take inspiration for dishes from nature, “delicate chinaware” and even new technology and products. How does he come up with award-winning dishes and flavours? “It’s just trying and trying again. Maybe the first outcome won’t be satisfying, but as long as I keep adjusting the ingredients and seasoning it gets better and better every time and finally turns out to be something good.” hkklondon.com, hakkasan.com

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TRAVEL

Home for the Holidays Celebrate Eid at one of these exclusive villas…

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n the outskirts of central Paris, amid 15 hectares of private natural parkland and framed by three levels of perfectly manicured gardens, sits the achingly beautiful Château Bouffémont (chateaubouffemont.com). This 19th-century abode is the perfect retreat for privacy-seeking families or those wishing to get away with close friends, with ten stylish suites able to host up to 34 people. Inside, its incredible features – including dramatic chandeliers, the elegant use of marble and astonishing fireplaces – are all respectfully in-keeping with the property’s heritage and tradition: many royals have stayed within the grand halls of the landmark building, owing to its former owners being the Marquise de Preignes and Baron Empain. That’s not to say guests should expect to forego the sort of modern luxuries in keeping with a five-star stay. Having

been completely renovated following its reacquisition in 2006, the chateau is now decked out in the latest state-ofthe-art technology and has an elevator, a flat screen TV, WiFi coverage and all other expected mod cons. When you’re not popping into Paris, there’s plenty to occupy in the surrounding area too. Take advantage of priority access to the neighbouring 18-hole golf club, swimming pool, tennis courts and spa; or hike or bike the trails of the two lakes in Montmorency Forest. Water sports are available within 25 minutes too, by car, at CergyPontoise Recreation Park. For a more Mediterranean experience, the beautiful hideaway villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade (trecontrade. com) in Sicily, Italy, takes some beating. Built in the 1850s, the former summer residence has been painstakingly renovated: if the cool, clean, modern interior lines don’t get you then the sea and mountain views or the scent of the lemon grove that frames its facade certainly will. Unwind in the comfort of deep linen sofas and plush

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL Of course, there are times when everyone wants to recharge and relax and Thailand’s beautiful beaches and gentle culture rarely fail to fit the bill. In November 2008, in the desirable Surin Beach enclave on Phuket’s west coast, work was completed on a high-end luxury villa called Chan Grajang (villachangrajang.com). With views of the spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean, as well as the incredible coast, this modern retreat fuses the best of Asian and western influences. Villa Chan Grajang is actually made up of two properties – the main house and a guest villa. Both have private pools (one being a vast infinity pool) and a plethora of places to relax every day. Sit and read under the awnings or soak up the sunshine poolside before retreating to the cool comfort of the villa for a siesta. Enjoy Thai and western meals served up by an on-site cook at the 12-seater Balinese outdoor wooden table or looking out to sea from the dining room. The games room and entertainment rooms are packed full of means to keep

1-3. Chateau Bouffemont 4-5. Rocca delle Tre Contrade 6-7. Villa Chan Grajang 8-9. Villa Nocetta 10-11. The Beach House armchairs and admire the reclaimed original furniture and local artwork that surrounds you. Those seeking rejuvenation may find a dip in the garden’s 25-metre, L-shaped infinity pool satisfying, or take a cool drink on one of the property’s many terraces. It’s easy to hide here, and do so you may, but then you’d miss out on the Unesco-protected towns, tourist-free villages and beautiful, often empty, beaches that are just a short drive away. Explore your new surrounds before heading back for an authentic Sicilian feast, prepared to your wishes by the house cook. If you’re interested in learning the secret to making such delicious food, personalised cooking classes

are also available in the comfort of your own villa. If an Italian city stay is more your thing, however, then there are few cities more beautiful and with more to offer its visitors than Rome. And there are few city pads more luxurious or seemingly so far removed from the hectic pace of metropolitan life than Villa Nocetta (villanocettarome.com). Located in one of the greenest (and quietest) areas of Rome, with a vast garden and private pool, reserve this five-suite property to ensure a pampered and ultra private stay that doesn’t compromise on location. Inside, contemporary Italian furnishings exude Roman elegance whilst retaining a homely and comfortable quality that beckons to families: a marble spiral staircase, with iron handrail, leads guests from the open-plan living area to the luxurious suites above and the incredible panoramic views they boast. It would be a shame to go all that way and not enjoy Rome’s myriad charms. Allow the property’s two dedicated butlers to arrange VIP cultural tours of the city: take a guided tour in a vintage Italian car and discover where the likes of Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita were filmed; tour three of the city’s most exclusive palaces; or cycle Rome’s beautiful streets while an expert reveals its many lesserknown haunts. After a busy day exploring, return home for a relaxing massage courtesy of Villa Nocetta’s personal concierge service or take a quick workout in the on-site gym before relaxing in front of the fire in your complementary silk slippers while your butler prepares dinner.

family members active, whatever their age – from a threequarter size snooker table to a 50-inch plasma television. There’s even a chipping and putting area on the lawn. For those seeking a true desert island getaway, there is Mustique (mustique-island.com). This private island sanctuary, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, was created for travellers looking to escape the rat race and take comfort amidst natural beauty. And it doesn’t disappoint. The 74 villas that exist on this private piece of paradise are ultra exclusive but there is nothing flashy to be found here – guests are far too classy for that. Here, elegance and simplicity reign supreme. An AIR favourite is The Beach House. This fivebedroomed property manages to offer everything one would expect of a high-end luxury stay while retaining its rustic charm. The trees that surround its elevated location above Gelliceaux Bay grant seclusion and the use of bamboo is in-keeping with its breathtaking tropical surrounds – you can even explore the island on a bamboo bicycle if you so wish. What and when you eat is entirely your choice – place shopping orders before your arrival or simply call upon the services of your six villa staff, on hand to make your stay as easy as possible. Enjoy breakfast overlooking the Caribbean Sea before reclining on a sun lounger on your private beach deck. A personal driver is on hand should you wish to explore the rest of the island – though it is difficult to imagine why you’d want to leave the sanctuary of this beachside retreat for even a moment.

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Images: Supplied

‘There are few city pads more luxurious than Rome’s Villa Nocetta’


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Life Lessons

What I KnoW noW

Pierre Corthay

Founder of Maison Corthay The best advice I have ever received came from an old shoemaker I met when I was young. He told me to ‘be patient’. Becoming a world-renowned shoemaker takes passion, of course, along with patience. My initial interest in shoes came from observing how the wood lasts. They are like abstract sculptures. Also, I enjoy the diversity of the work – I design, stitch and carve. My experience training at John Lobb has been very valuable in terms of [setting] standards for the quality of work. The old men who were working there at the time were an inspiration and I still follow their advice. [Leaving Berluti and branching out independently] was not easy. I started alone in 1990 and the first three years were like a test. After this phase, one by one important customers came to the workshop and our reputation grew. When my brother Christopher joined me in 1995, I was elated. For me, working with family is a great thing as we understand each other in a second and so don’t spend too much time talking. Training apprentices is very important. It’s a major preoccupation to transmit our know-how to young people. We always have two apprentices in our workshop. I have made shoes for Raphael Nadal, Clive Owen, and Jean Reno, among many others. Making shoes for a personality is always a great experience and a challenge, too.

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