Is su e sev en teen | october
Mr . Bond
Produced in International Media Production Zone
On location w ith 007 as the supe r spy return s to the big sc reen
kylie minogue the Abu Dhabi-bound queen of pop on the problem of being Kylie
philippe starck What drives the most successful designer of his generation?
abu dhabi art How the uAe became the epicentre of the regionâ€™s art explosion
sanjeev kapoor Why the original celebrity chef has so much on his plate
NEW ULTRA RING
WHITE GOLD, CERAMIC AND DIAMONDS
DUBAI - BAHRAIN - RIYADH
The ExoTourbillon Chronographe is the first timepiece in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 to unite a tourbillon and a chronograph function. It is the worldâ€™s first tourbillon having a balance, being larger than the cage, that oscillates outside of the cage on a higher plane â€“ thus giving rise to the name ExoTourbillon. An innovation so unique a patent has been applied for. Montblanc manufacture calibre MB M16.60. Monopusher chronograph with regulator-style dial, four-minute tourbillon, 30-minute counter and second time zone with day/night display. 47 mm white gold case. Crafted in the Montblanc Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie in Villeret, Switzerland.
DUBAI: Burjuman | Deira City Centre | Dubai Mall | Emirates Towers | Festival Centre | Grand Hyatt | Ibn Battuta | Jumeirah Beach Hotel Mall of the Emirates | Mirdif City Centre | Wafi | ABU DHABI Abu Dhabi Mall | Etihad Towers | Marina Mall | AL-AIN Al-Ain Mall
Contents / Fe atures
Managing Director Victoria Thatcher Editorial Director John Thatcher Advertisement Director Chris Capstick firstname.lastname@example.org
Back with a Bang
Group Editor Laura Binder email@example.com
Bond is back. AIR catches up with Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes – the stellar team making Skyfall a reality.
Sub Editor Hazel Plush firstname.lastname@example.org
Designer Adam Sneade
He’s photographed the best of the Bonds, and now Terry O’Neill reveals his candid shots – and star-studded tales – of Hollywood’s greats.
Designer / Illustrator Vanessa Arnaud Production Manager Haneef Abdul
Ooh La La
Senior Advertisement Manager Stefanie Morgner email@example.com
Nobody does reinvention quite like Kylie Minogue, but the pop princess explains how a turn on the silver screen has set her free.
Advertisement Manager Sukaina Hussein firstname.lastname@example.org
- 05 -
Contents / regul ars
Motoring Tushek unveils its very first roadster – but can the slick Slovenian newcomer keep pace with the likes of Bugatti and Ferrari?
The global guide to what’s on, where to go, what to buy and what to be seen in.
AIR meets Pascal Mouawad, the man behind the brand’s dazzling celebrity makeover.
Christie’s Dubai-based watch specialist shares his tips for local collectors.
Sanjeev Kapoor, India’s greatest gasto guru, reveals the secrets of his success.
Design stalwart Philippe Stark is unstoppable – AIR meets the man himself.
From luxe leathers to handmade candy, AIR discovers NYC’s original craftsmen.
The power of gold, plus must-have pieces from KENZO and Fendi Casa.
Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi shares his lessons from a life spent in business.
Art & Design
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.
- 07 -
What I Know Now
EmpirE AviAtion Group
Welcome to this issue of AIR, Empire Aviation Group’s lifestyle magazine for onboard guests and aircraft owners. The single theme for this issue is India, where private and business aviation is really beginning to take off. Empire Aviation Group, through our close working relationship with Air Works India Engineering Pvt Ltd (Air Works), India’s leading provider of Aviation Services, is already making significant strides as the market quickly develops. We give you a glimpse inside the progress we are making as we start operations in India – with a new team on the ground and managed aircraft operations commencing at the end of October. The team will be based in new offices and will have the task of replicating EAG’s portfolio of private aviation services that we have successfully developed in the Middle East. We continue the Indian theme with a look at the unique and exciting tie-up we enjoy with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces through the Lifestyle@Empire division. Like Air Works in the aviation sector, Taj is India’s leading luxury hotel operator with a chain of glamorous properties around the world. Together we have put together luxury hotels and private jets into irresistible travel options. Working with the best in their respective sectors is one of the privileges we are enjoying as we move deeper into India. Enjoy the issue.
Steve Hartley Executive Director
Contact details: email@example.com empire.aero
- 09 -
Paras Dhamecha Executive Director
EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws EmpirE takEs off in india Following the announcement of the strategic investment in Empire Aviation Group by Air Works India Engineering Pvt Ltd (Air Works), India’s leading provider of Aviation Services, EAG is already working to build on the company’s launch in India and to increase its footprint in the Subcontinent. EAG aims to provide the same world-class aircraft management to its customers in India and to match the quality of service enjoyed by EAG’s clients in the Middle East. The first steps are already being taken with the planned opening of the new main office in Bangalore, followed with a satellite office in Nagpur. Ensuring consistent standards in every facet of operations, from operational safety to quality of service, is a key focus of the team starting up operations in India and there is an abundance of support from Dubai where the experience of the team is actively being shared. Managers and specialists from Dubai are now spending significant time on recruitment, training and the development of the new team in India. EAG’s initial focus is on aircraft management and there is already the basis of a new Indian managed fleet emerging. The Indian fleet consists of two aircraft so far - a Challenger 605 and Challenger 300 – with several aircraft in the pipeline to join the managed fleet at the end of the year, allowing their owners to experience the benefits of EAG’s distinctive asset management approach to aircraft management.
- 10 -
- 11 -
EmpirE AviAtion Group nEws Jet-away to luxury with empire and Taj
Combine your own executive jet with a glamorous destination and a luxurious hotel, and you probably have the ultimate travel experience. The Empire Aviation Group Jet package by Lifestyle@ Empire is the perfect lifestyle choice for luxury exotic holidays, and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces offers some of the most exclusive properties in India, the Maldives and South Africa; it is one of Asia’s largest and finest groups of hotels, with an international network of luxury hotels within the chain. Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces comprises 92 hotels in 53 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa, Middle East and South Africa. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. Your Lifestyle@Empire jet-away Taj packages:
Taj Cape Town
This luxury five-star hotel is ideally located in the centre of historic Cape Town at the entrance to the famous pedestrian precinct, St George’s Mall, and is perfectly situated for those looking to discover authentic Cape Town and its blend of fascinating history, exotic culture, soulful art, lively entertainment and delectable cuisine.
Rambagh Palace Jaipur
Rambagh Palace is an architectural masterpiece. An amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal architecture with astonishing interiors, the palace was lovingly built by the Maharajas of Jaipur. Standing witness to time, a walk through Rambagh Palace takes you back in history.
Taj Lake Palace Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace is located in the middle of the Lake Pichola and is a 45 minute drive from Udaipur Dabok airport. The
Lake Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, rising out of the turquoise waters of the Pichola like an elegant fantasy in white marble.
Taj Exotica - Maldives
The resort is located on the exotic Emboodhu Finolhu Island, in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. This tropical isle, once known as the ‘Three Coconut Island’, is surrounded by crystal blue waters and covered with lush tropical flora.
Vivanta by Taj Vivanta by Taj
– Coral Reef is a luxurious option for holidaying in the Maldives. Chic and comfortable accommodation coupled with an innovative food and beverage experience and levels of service synonymous with the Taj Group.
- 12 -
dubai mall mall of the emirates radisson blu brioni.com
TO BE ONE OF A KIND
- 14 -
> The Middle East is widely considered to be home to some of the most visually experimental photographers of our time. A wide selection of work from these celebrated snappers is to show at Londonâ€™s V&A from November 13, in what is the cityâ€™s first major exhibition of contemporary photography from and about the Middle East. vam.ac.uk - 15 -
> With the Eid holiday impending, the opportunity to sate your sense of adventure should lead you to a stay at COMO Hotels and Resorts’ new lodging in Bhutan: Uma by COMO, Punakha, an 11-room slice of sophisticated luxury amid the verdant landscape of the Punakha Valley. Here you can hike, whitewater raft or cycle in one of the world’s most spectacular natural settings, an area so secluded as to provide the ultimate escape from the daily grind. Its opening adds to the group’s expanding portfolio of private getaways, which includes their beautiful hideaway in Ubud, Bali (pictured). comohotels.com
> Until November 4 the striking photography of Peter Lindbergh will be on show at Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan. Lindbergh, who started shooting for Italian Vogue in the late ’70s before doing likewise for its stable of sister titles, employed a style to capture his famous subjects that was unique for the time – chiefly no exotic locations, no special props, just pure simplicity, shooting the leading fashion models in the most ordinary of ways. He was also the man responsible for the first cover of Vogue published under the editorship of Anna Wintour. - 16 -
> A new tome from Bottega Veneta delves behind the sublime craftsmanship of the design house in an illustrative voyage that shows what has made it one of today’s most prolific luxury goods houses. Fittingly, this dedicated monograph, the first of its kind, comes in exquisite, slipcased form and with words by creative director Tomas Maier.
JOIN ABU DHABI’S ELITE BUSINESS COMMUNITY STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD CREATE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION ENJOY THE RECOGNITION YOU DESERVE
Leasing enquiries: Matthew Dadd +971 (0) 2 659 4994 firstname.lastname@example.org www.knightfrank.ae General enquiries: +971 (0)2 406 4400 email@example.com www.capitalgate.ae
C A P I TA L G AT E . A E
Man on the Moon
Last month’s passing of astronaut Neil Armstrong brought to mind the most defining moment of the 20th century: his landing on the moon. Here, an excerpt from writer Norman Mailer’s incredible work, Of a Fire on the Moon, describes the moment he watched the live broadcast of Armstrong’s moon walk at mission control, one of a select group of journalists trusted to capture this epoch-making event
NASA/TASCHEN July 20, 1969. Neil Armstong photographs his shadow and the distant LM from the East Crater
Words: Norman Mailer
A few minutes went by. Impatience hung in the air. Then a loud bright cheer as a picture came on the screen. It was a picture upsidedown, blinding in contrast, and incomprehensible, perhaps just such a kaleidoscope of shadow and light as a baby might see in the first instants before silver nitrate goes into its eyes. Then, twists and turns of image followed, a huge black cloud resolved itself into the bulk of Armstrong descending the ladder, a view of confusions of objects, some roughhewn vision of a troglodyte with a huge hump on his back and voices – Armstrong, Aldrin and Capcom – details were being offered of the descent down the ladder. Armstrong
- 19 -
NASA/TASCHEN July 20, 1969. Buzz Aldrin’s boot leaves a sharp imprint in the lunar soil
stepped off the pad. No one quite heard him say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” nor did anyone quite see him take the step – the TV image on the movie screen was beautiful, but still as marvelously abstract as the branches of a tree, or a painting by Franz Kline of black beams on a white background. Nonetheless, a cheer went up, and a ripple of extraordinary awareness. It was as if the audience felt an unexpected empathy with the sepulchral, as if a man were descending step by step, heartbeat by diminishing heartbeat into the reign of the kingdom of death itself and he was reporting, inch by inch, what his senses disclosed. Everybody listened in profound silence. Irritation was now gone as Armstrong described the
fine and powdery substance of the surface: “I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles.” Every disclosure for these first few minutes would be a wonder. If it would have been more extraordinary to hear that the moon had taken no imprint in soft powder, or the powder was phosphorescent, still it was also a wonder that the powder of the moon reacted like powder on earth. A question was at least being answered. If the answer was ordinary, still there was one less question in the lonely spaces of the human mind. Aquarius had an instant when he glimpsed space expanding like the widening pool of an unanswered question. Was that the power behind the force which made technology triumphant in this century? – that technology was at
- 20 -
least a force which attempted to bring back answers from questions which had been considered to be without answers? The image was becoming more decipherable. As Armstrong moved away from the ladder in a hesitant loping gait, not unlike the first staggering steps of a just-born calf, he called back to Mission Control, “No trouble to walk around,” but as if that were too great a liberty to take with the feelings of the moon, he came loping back to the ladder. By Norman Mailer Norman Mailer’s text excerpted from his book MoonFire, published by TASCHEN. Copyright © 1971/2009 Norman Mailer. All Rights Reserved.
Dir. Jim Field Smith A small-town satire set in Iowa, which follows the wife of a reigning buttersculpting champion as she attempts to take on her husband’s title. At best: “There’s a good spoonful of laugh-out-loud gags involving the red tape of local civic talent contests” The Guardian At worst: “[The director] can’t or doesn’t care to distinguish satirical cleverness from mockery” Entertainment Weekly
Killing Them Softly
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Dir. Stephen Chbosky A quirky coming-of-age tale based on Chbosky’s novel, in which Charlie – a gawky Freshman – struggles to find his feet at college and win the heart of his best friend.
Dir. Andrew Dominik When a high-stakes, mobprotected card game is targeted by armed robbers, hitman Jackie Cogan is hired to hunt down the perpetrators. At best: “A deliciously stylish hard-boiled crime drama that revels in its brutal urban landscape” Screen International At worst: “Dominik clots his hardboiled parable with stodgy political soapboxing” Little White Lies
At best: “An artful
film, holding a mirror up to your memories, even if they never existed there at all” Film.com At worst: “Chbosky adapts his bestseller with far more passion than skill” Variety
Dir. Martin McDonagh Struggling writer Marty dreams of finishing his crime-thriller screenplay, but when he goes in search of inspiration with his best friend Billy, the pair find their lives in jeopardy. At best: “There’s way more wit than weight in Martin McDonagh’s second feature, but still much to enjoy” Hollywood Reporter At worst: “The performances live up to the insanity of the screenplay” Little White Lies
- 22 -
Ian McEwan, long-time toast of the British literati, set tongues wagging once again last month as he made his return to the new releases shelf. Sweet Tooth, a 1970s tale told retrospectively by its heroine, follows a young PhD student’s foray into London’s MI5. The novel centres around the spy’s relationship with a corrupt reporter, providing plenty of fodder for metaphorhungry crits – James Lasdun of The Guardian among them: “[McEwan] seems interested in using the relationship between spy and author as a metaphor for the intricate dance of concealment and
trust that goes on between a reader and a writer.” It’s a suspicion that is confirmed in a momentous narrative twist, a classic McEwan move that will no doubt thrill the author’s ardent fan base. For a reviewer from the Irish Independent, however, it’s all too much: “McEwan pulls a trick that you’ll either think a fiendishly clever undermining of all that’s gone before or a callow disregard of the reader’s trust in what has been told on the preceding 200 pages. I incline to the latter.” Another recent big-name comeback came in the form of Winter Journal, an autobiography by the
postmodernist literature luvvie Paul Auster. It’s a book of snippets, of young memories re-examined through older eyes; Auster revisits his youth, his early adulthood, and intersperses each anecdote with signature motifs. “The book is an album,” writes David Hill of The New Zealand Herald. “It all happens in short, vivid episodes, crammed with sensory detail... The Auster of this book is blissfully uxorious, unrepentantly nicotine-addicted, relentlessly observant, spatially dyslexic. He’s a writer who defies gravity and – occasionally – grammar.” It’s an approach that David L. Ulin of Los Angeles Times, however, finds alienating: “The book’s alinear structure keeps us from grabbing onto a particular narrative thread,” he writes. “But even more problematic is the inherent distance of Auster’s writing – or rather, his interiority. Even when evoking his loved ones, he re-creates them as shadows, not quite real in some essential aspect.”
- 24 -
Zadie Smith’s latest depictions of multicultural North London have met with critical acclaim; her newest novel, NW, explores themes of isolation, nostalgia, and ambition in a typically intricate Smith storyline. We learn of two friends growing up in Willesden, and the struggles that characterise life in the capital – maybe not an alluring hook, but one which has captured the imagination of Michiko Kakutani from The New York Times: “Questions about identity, paths not taken and the wages of time are sprinkled over the narrative. Smith’s sharp ear for dialogue, her visceral sense of place and the rhythms of the London streets make for some animated and memorable scenes.” Writing in Financial Times, Emily Stokes is equally enthralled: “[NW is] more light-headed, poetic, like Virginia Woolf... it is a culmination of a long investigation into ‘voice’, a concept that Smith has explored in refreshingly concrete and personal ways.”
Much to the distain of Scotland’s art critics, the Scottish National Gallery’s latest exhibition, Van Gogh To Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape In Europe 1880-1910, contains no Scottish art whatsoever. For many, it’s an embarrassing omission – but then again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity... Thanks to its expert composition, the collection has enough strength to stand alone – and critical opinion has been decidedly rosy, to the astonishment of the reviewers themselves. “Symbolist art, in the main, is pretty ghastly,” writes The Telegraph’s Alastair Smart, “but focus purely on the landscape scenes and you’ve got a surprisingly good exhibition... Forests were a common motif, metaphors for our uncertain journey through life. Prince Eugen’s The Forest is a dark, dense vision of Swedish pines: despite a glimmer of sunlight in the distance, passage through it promises to be treacherous.” Writing in Scotland on Sunday, Moira Jeffrey is also impressed: “There are important paintings here, including work by the Frenchman Puvis de Chevannes, a key influence on the era. But it’s the wild anomalies I like best, such as a monstrous canvas of the classical world under deluge, by the Russian set decorator Leon Bakst.” In London’s Hayward Gallery, Art of Change: New Directions from China is also creating a stir. “This is a most uncommon show of art,” writes Laura Cumming in The Guardian. “What is most enthralling here is also most strange: the warm, dark gallery in which it is possible not only to see but also to hear silkworms, greatly magnified, eating their way through crisp leaves and apparently coughing very quietly every now and again; a beautiful and meditative piece.” Sarah Kent of theartsdesk. com is transfixed by the collection’s human exhibits: “Yingmei Duan sings a plaintive song in a grove of deda
Images: Van Gogh To Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape In Europe 1880-1910, Scottish National Gallery
branches while pyjama clad sleepwalkers wander round the periphery as though searching for somewhere where they feel less marginalised. Occasionally, one of the lost souls latches on to a visitor and stalks them around the exhibition like a secret service agent, or a bad conscience.” Travellers to Baden-Baden, Germany, this month should venture to Léger-Laurens Tête-à-tête at Museum Frieder Burda. The collection of Cubist works by Fernand Léger and Henri Laurens has met with critical acclaim from the world press: “The two men share a similar definition of artistic creation,” writes Philippe Dagen in Le Monde. “There is almost no formal resemblance between the works of the two artists, no evidence of shared experience... Yet the interplay is endlessly renewed, as the canvases and sculptures stir fresh understanding and surprise.” Until November 4.
- 26 -
Images: Cinderella, Mariinsky Ballet
Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella took to the Edinburgh International Festival stage last month, a decade after the choreographer first created the production for the Mariinsky Ballet. The show is sombre, more muted than David Bintley’s and Sir Frederick Ashton’s uplifting creations, but its success has secured it as the Russian company’s pièce de resistance. For The Observer’s Luke Jennings, Diana Vishneva’s lyrical heroine is the overarching highlight: “On stage, the evening is Vishneva’s. Her arms are in perpetual motion, articulating with soft, undersea flow as her legs trace Ratmansky’s oblique, off-classical geometry... She and her dancing are quite heart-stoppingly beautiful.” At The New York Times, however, Roslyn Sulcas isn’t convinced: “[Her] mannered, self-conscious style was new in my experience of watching Ms. Vishneva,” she writes. “It removed any possibility of empathy for her character, and left only a slightly empty admiration for the physical beauty of her dancing... Vishneva and Kolb had almost no rapport, even though they danced perfectly well together.”
of Aboriginal song and dance. The recital features 11 different Aboriginal languages – many of which, creator Alexis Wright had to learn in order to stage the show. The result, however, closes the gap between ‘them’ and ‘us’ – as Michael Dwyer of Sydney Morning Herald experiences: “The strength of Dirtsong is its profound essence of something shared... The utterly devastating thrust of a raised harmony from singers Lou Bennett, Deline Briscoe and Emma Donovan amounts to quivering flesh in anybody’s language.” Jane Canaway of Australian Stage is equally ebullient: “I am totally transfixed as Lou Bennett’s powerful voice, backed by sublime, soul-rending harmonies, sings me back to country... It is a joy to be reminded of the talent this nation holds.” On the other side of the Atlantic, another tale of love and femininity unfurled: Dreamgirls, produced by Harlem Repertory Theater, made its debut last month. The vintage Michael Bennett production has been adapted for the smaller stage, but the performances are still as big, finds Suzy Evans of backstage.com: “A Dreamgirls without the right Effie cannot succeed, [but] Dion Millington delivers a beautifully raw and unaffected performance, rupturing every heart in the house with her piercing renditions.” The scaled-down production won the heart of Anita Gates at The New York Times too: “This sparkly, constantly moving showbiz drama, set in theaters from Harlem to Las Vegas, may seem an unlikely candidate for an intimate setting like the black-boxy walk-up theatre at the 133rd Street Arts Center. Yet, for the most part, the effort is a success, and the audience’s physical closeness (at times, cast members were practically singing into my ear) exposes an extra layer of emotion.” At Melbourne’s Recital Centre, The Black Arm Band Company presents Dirtsong, a performance
- 27 -
Frederic Watrelot Christie’s watch specialist in Dubai on collecting
> New from Hermès is the Arceau Ecuyére ladies’ collection, comprised of six models which offer a choice of metals and adornments. This diamondringed, rose gold model is one of only 100 made, measuring 34mm in diameter. hermes.com - 29 -
I have been involved in the watch business for many years, and it continues to be a fascinating market as personal tastes change and technical innovations result in increasingly sophisticated timepieces. But what are the most committed collectors looking for at the moment? Well, this is the same as it has ever been: complications, rarity and condition. Here, regional preferences can come into play, too, with Middle Eastern buyers preferring platinum, white gold or stainless steel to yellow or even pink gold, which has seen interest lately. Brand name is another key factor because it is a guarantee of quality. Breguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet remain sought-after, while interest in newer names such as F.P. Journe, Richard Mille and Greubel Forsey has grown considerably. But the most popular remain Patek Philippe and Rolex. I’m very interested to see if any new trends emerge following our next major sale (in Geneva and Hong-Kong in November). The watch industry has gone through a huge revolution over the past ten years and we are seeing wonderful innovation and creativity. No wonder there are so many collectors who continue to be fascinated with how they tell the time...
Timepieces All at Sea TAG Heuer’s affiliation with sailing is nearly a century long, and its newest model is launched to service the needs of Team USA at this year’s America’s Cup. As such, the Aquaracer 500M is equipped with all the attributes needed for it to withstand the unique severities of competitive sailing. Water-resistant up to 500 metres, it also has a helium valve at 10 o’clock. Two strictly limited-edition versions are also offered, both of which are identical to the team’s own. > Since 1841 the famed Five-Minute Clock of the Semper Opera House, Dresden, has displayed the time for all in-house patrons to see from wherever they’re sitting. Its ground-breaking design was the work of a local clock maker and mentor to Ferdinand A. Lange, who together created one of the world’s first digital clocks. The same clock later inspired A. Lange & Söhne to produce the Lange 1, the first ever series-production watch to have outsized date indication, and it the remains the striking feature of this, the new Grand Lange 1.
> It was back in the 1950s that scuba diving achieved the status of a sport, a time when the acclaimed watch-making skills of JaegerLeCoultre were sought to provide diving enthusiasts with an instrument capable of working in the most testing of conditions. The Memovox Deep Sea was born from this, and now a modern interpretation of that prized timepiece, the stunning Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph, is available to buy. In homage to the original it bears the same engraved motif on its case back: a frogman surrounded by bubbles. - 30 -
Islamic Financial Solutions
Your achievements have more meaning when driven bY the principles that You value Sometimes, the value of wealth lies in finding the right balance between your ambition and your beliefs. That is why we are committed to building a longstanding relationship with you that is aligned with your values. Drawing on our rich Islamic banking and wealth management expertise, we can offer you a comprehensive range of Shariah compliant financial solutions endorsed by our independent and eminent Shariah Supervisory Committee. Now you can have the best of both worlds. To find out more about our Islamic Financial Solutions, please call +971 4 508 4035 or contact us at privatebank.Islamic@sc.com.
Standard Chartered Private Bank is the private banking division of Standard Chartered Bank.
ART & DESIGN
Abu Dhabi Art returns to the capital next month, but what does the boutique fair hold for investors? Words: Hazel Plush
- 32 -
t may only be in its fourth year, but Abu Dhabi Art already has a legend of its own. Speak to attendees of the 2011 event, and they’ll tell you in hushed tones about how Jeff Koons – whose sculpture Balloon Flower (Magenta) fetched a record $25.7 million at Christie’s London – penned an impromptu drawing on an ardent fan’s notebook while they chatted in one of the gallery booths. It’s encounters like these that have earned the fair a place on every art aficionado’s calendar: no other gathering brings collectors and artists together at such close quarters, and the results are the stuff of magic. “Abu Dhabi Art is a big international fair which displays museum-quality works, but it’s still very much a boutique gathering,” says Michelle Farrell, Exhibitor Relations Manager. “The galleries are selected carefully through committee, and we ensure that their collections appeal specifically to buyers in the region.” This year, attendance is limited to a mere 50 galleries, but among them you’ll find prestigious names from all over the world: Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont and Lisson Gallery among them. “Many of the galleries are returning after taking part in our previous fairs,” explains Farrell. “The UAE is becoming the epicentre of the art world throughout the Middle East, so this is an excellent chance for galleries to showcase the artists that they represent.”
Foundation, so as part of our programme this year, we’re looking to work with cultural heritage,” says Tairone Bastien, Head of Public Programming. “We’re combining the expertise of the artisans in the UAE with the vision of international contemporary designers and artists, and developing projects through that collaboration.” One such project will be a sculptural piece created by celebrated British designer Stuart Haygarth and a team of Emirati weavers and embroiderers; over the course of the event, the installation will take shape before the audience’s eyes. Prominent Emirati artists will grace the exhibitions, too; Hunar Gallery, a returning exhibitor, will present contemporary watercolourist Abdul Qadar Al Rais and Dubai’s pioneering female artist Dr. Najat Makki. As part of the programme of workshops and talks, Hassan Sharif – respected local artist and founder of the Emirates Fine Art Society – will participate in a public conversation about the Middle Eastern art market. The boutique nature of the fair provides unrivalled scope for the public programme listings – the highlight of which for many purchasers will be the Collectors’ Forum, which will bring together leading collectors in conversation. Speakers will include Dr Farhad Farjam of the Farjam Collection, and a representative from the Cleveland Clinic’s corporate collection. “The panel will be talking about the passion for collecting,” says Bastien.
‘If you are investing in an artwork, this kind of opportunity can be priceless’ One such gallery is CDA Projects, an Istanbul-based exhibition space that is renowned for its work with emerging artists. Owner Moiz Zilberman sees the fair as a pivotal point in a fast-growing creative market: “With international projects such as the Guggenheim and Louvre, Abu Dhabi is becoming a central force in shaping and writing the history of the whole region. Abu Dhabi Art is a great opportunity for the best galleries and influential institutions in the world, as well as in the region, to build strong relationships.” CDA Projects will showcase the work of young Turkish artists such as Burçak Bingöl and Zeynep Kayan at the fair, a display that Zilberman hopes will “tighten the relations on artistic and commercial aspects between the Middle Eastern and Turkish artists, galleries and institutions”. Closer to home, the emphasis on new talent is just as strong: work by up-and-coming Emirati artists will form a large part of the exhibition. As part of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority, Abu Dhabi Art has unrivalled access to skilled local artisans who will provide a new avenue for artistic endeavours. “We do a lot of work with the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan
- 33 -
ART & DESIGN
“As well as the market reasons for collecting, it’s all about how it can improve your life and the lives of others around you. Such events allow speakers to share stories about their experiences and knowledge, which always proves very interesting.” Among the galleries, main sponsor Bulgari will display their latest high jewellery creations – they themselves ornate works of art. Showcased in an installation customdesigned by Notanumber Architects, the pieces will echo the fair’s commitment to strident design – a feature that Nicola Bulgari, Vice Chairwoman of the Italian jewellery house, is keen to highlight. “As a platform for modern art and design, Abu Dhabi Art is the perfect occasion to share the impactful creativity of our high jewellery pieces: they have been designed and executed to convey a sense of perfect, unquestionable and timeless beauty, like a work of art.” The fair is setting the precedent for the capital’s artistic ambitions: situated at the UAE Pavilion in the Saadiyat Cultural District, the event is held at the future home of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum
and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The space will group the participating galleries into modern and contemporary sectors, with a hall dedicated to exclusive design-led pieces. The Signature section allows galleries to showcase the work of one of their emerging artists, and Beyond is a dedicated space for large-scale sculptures and installations. In keeping with the fair’s ongoing support of fledgling art, the Bidaya sector will be awarded to one emerging gallery, providing a platform on to the international art scene. The result promises to be an eclectic gathering of worldclass art and design – and proof that Abu Dhabi is well and truly on the international culture radar. “The capital is part of a new market,” explains Farrell. “There is a lot of undiscovered talent, new galleries, and work is shown in a different context. Abu Dhabi itself has much to offer the collector – the fair is a chance to network, to be introduced to like-minded investors, and to meet with the gallerists and artists. We can often organise meetings between collectors and artists to give an insight into the works – if you are investing in a piece, this kind of opportunity can be priceless.” abudhabiartfair.ae
- 34 -
Art & Design
Ahead of the Curve A vision of near-luminous contours, Zaha Hadid’s latest project reinvigorates the Montpellier skyline
She’s known for her signature fusions of acute angles and silky arcs, and Zaha Hadid’s latest venture pierresvives is one of the architect’s most strident designs yet. Opened to the public last month, the building marks an ambitious synthesis of local sporting and cultural legacy: it will be the base of the Montpellier Hérault Sport Club, as well as a multimedia library. Its sporting ambitions come as
no surprise: those go-fast stripes and streamlined forms betray the fast-paced aspirations and modern complexities within. “We really wanted the pierresvives project to be a new landmark,” said the Pritzker Prize-winning architect on the building’s opening. “Today, in the digital 21st century, people’s lives have become flexible and globalised… This requires a new urbanism juxtaposing strata and
- 37 -
porosity.” With its green glass and white concrete façade, the building is crafted from the simplest of materials – and the design is as much about longevity as aesthetic impact: “Each of us was aware of taking part in a human venture that would last through time,” said André Vezinhet, President of the Conseil General de l’Hérault. “pierresvives is built to survive the centuries and it is already a part of our heritage.”
Art & Design
Starck Assessment The pioneering French designer Philippe Starck reveals what it takes to get his creative juices flowing — and why he can’t make a phone call
s soon as I wake up, I make love to my wonderful wife, Jasmine. It’s obligatory. It keeps the creative machine in working order, it’s pleasant and it’s a proof of love. After, I fetch our one-year-old daughter, Justice, and put her in our bed where we play, sing and read with her. We then have breakfast and I have some royal jelly to boost immunity, an Omega 3 capsule for the brain, lemon juice, organic yoghurt, a slice of wholemeal toast and an organic apple because ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. We live in Paris, but have homes on two islands – Formentera, off Ibiza, and Burano, near Venice – and another on Le Cap Ferret, near Bordeaux. They’re mainly huts on the edge of, or in the middle of, water or forests, and they’re filled with my own creations, from the beds and desks to the kitchens. I’m not at all intelligent, but I have amazing intuition. And I have to be somewhere where I feel in the right state to receive the intuitions my subconscious sends to me. It may seem pretentious, but that’s what it is. I turn around the magma, the mud in my brain and, slowly, oysters come out.
Right now I’m working on my idea of ‘democratic ecology’. It includes wind turbines for individuals, and a series of eco-friendly homes. I’m also working on a revolutionary boat which will be finished in December. It takes at least five years, and at most 45 years, for an idea to mature. And when it does, I see it to the point of completion. But of course, everything starts with a drawing and for this I’ve been using the same make of pencil – the Pentel Q1000 – for the past 20 years. In fact, I love it so much I bought enough of them to last me for the next thousand years. I also use tracing paper made especially for me, which is indestructible – if you try and rip it, you can’t. As a rough estimate, it would take me 2½ hours to come up with a complete drawing of a giant yacht, while a hotel never takes more than 2½ days, and a chair never more than seven minutes. Of course, what I do is useless. Design is useless. I know that the really useful jobs in this world are the ones that save lives. At about 1, I do 45 minutes of exercise, then I stop for lunch. I’m a vegetarian and everything’s organic. I also drink sulphite-free wine. After that, I have a siesta and then I make love again. Then it’s back to work.
- 38 -
- 39 -
Art & Design
- 40 -
Generally, my biggest period of creativity is in the summer when I’ll come up with about 150 products, from lamps to electric cars – my latest car is made almost entirely from aluminium, has a fabric roof and no doors. On top of that, I’ve always got other projects, such as hotels, bars and restaurants. Before this period starts, however, I always go to the Buchinger health clinic on Lake Constance in Germany, where I will drink only liquids for 11 days. My period of creativity usually finishes in September, by which time I’m burnt out – I can’t talk and I’ve got tendinitis up my arm. It’s usually back to the health clinic.
‘Design is useless. The useful jobs in this world are the ones that save lives’
Images: Corbis / Arabian Eye; Supplied Text: John Follan
The problem is, my life’s quite schizophrenic because I travel so much. Sometimes, I’ll fly to two or three countries in one day to see clients. Fortunately, we’ve got our own plane, a Swissmade Pilatus cargo, and I often use it to meet them. It sometimes feels more like home than our other homes. Jasmine, who’s the CEO of my company, is my inspiration. She stops me suffering from complete autism; she takes care of my relations with the outside world. To function properly I have to be detached from material things. I’m a kind of Howard Hughes – I’ve been living in a bubble for 40 years. As a child, I didn’t go to school; I just wasn’t interested in it. And to this day, I can’t do multiplications. But other things, too: if you ask me to make a phone call, I’d have a problem. I stop work at 8pm and we’ll go by boat to a nearby harbour for dinner. We’re back by 11 and we read a bit before bedtime – I use ebooks and I’m currently reading Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter, by Herta Muller, and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, by James Frey. If I do dream at night, they are often of parallel worlds where I see all these amazing inventions. If I’m lucky, one or two of them will stay with me.
- 41 -
interiors > ralph Pucci and artist/fashion illustrator ruben Toledo’s latest collaboration is sure to turn heads – as well as depict them. The all-new furniture designs (best perused at Ralph Pucci’s New York showroom) present faces and silhouettes, handpainted onto whitewashed cerused oak. Want to pick up a piece for yourself? The limited edition collection (authenticated and signed by Toledo) encompasses two chairs, console, dining table, bench, coffee table and two side tables. 44 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Sara CoSgrove Ask Harrods head of interiors and she’ll tell you all that glitters certainly is gold – go ahead and lavish your residences in of-themoment metallics... Over the last six months I have seen an increased use of gold tones in modern interior design schemes. Not traditional bright yellow gold, but more muted sophisticated tones such as bronze, antiqued gold and platinum. One brand we’ve been working with at Harrods is the eponymous Christopher Guy. Their stunning feature mirrors have a mix of antiqued and distressed gold framings, while their more delicate furniture pieces (dressing tables and chairs) look stunning in their muted platinum gold. So, how to use it? The key with gold is balance. To give a scheme a more modern look it’s important to use gold as an accent, rather than as the main focus in a room. With cooler colour schemes, for example greens, blues and greys, adding a dash of gold can really bring it to life. I have also recently seen a sneak peek of the brand new Baccarat tap collection, a special edition creation with clear crystal and delicate gold paint work, which is a great way of bringing a modern gold feel to a master bedroom. Another area that gold is really starting to come into its own in is beautiful decorative lighting pieces. A favourite of mine is the magnificent Stellare chandelier by Rubelli Donghia, made of stunning Murano glass, fused with gold flex, bringing
to life this stunning crystal in a really evocative way. It’s also very soft and elegant and very measured in terms of its glamour. Use gold in more industrial-style interiors too, try a hammered and beaten brass effect. Porta Romana has some gorgeous lighting, mirrors and consoles using a range of such
- 42 -
finishes. Their new Nomad collection has many lighting pieces using modern shapes and combinations of gold finishes which look stunning. So, if you are looking for a way to bring shimmering warmth and a level of richness to your home, gold accents is a stellar way to do so. thestudioatharrods.com
Designer Home Those who wear KENZO would do well to look to KENZO Maison too – what better way to immerse yourself entirely in the French fashion brand?
AIR’s eye has been caught by one of the latest accessories from its 2012 collection: the Yoshi pouf. Vibrant, decorative and offbeat, the eyecatching stools serve as the perfect
interior add-on when scattered in living spaces or boudoirs, or as an accessory to sofas (reason enough to put your feet up). Available at Aati, Za’beel Road, Dubai
> The Fendi Casa Piano will bring music to the ears of many – or, for the less musically talented, simply serve as a beautiful way to adorn the home. An electronic half-grand piano, the cream creation comes complete with a seamlesslyconcealed CD player, midi bases and Fendi Casa stool – a very stylish pew from which to tinkle those ivories... AED160,000, Harvey Nichols – Dubai. Through the Keyhole Decorative inspiration is just the turn of a page away with Angelika Taschen’s new tome, Interiors Now, the first volume of which chronicles some of the finest examples of contemporary décor. Even those with the highest standards will struggle to resist a peek inside residences belonging to the famously stylish likes of Fabien Baron (French Vogue’s creative director), his abode being a minimalist country house in Sweden; art collector Christian
Boros’s penthouse or Roberto Cavalli’s Milan apartment – your taste can’t fail to be tempted. taschen.com
- 43 -
Luxury has an address Why Dubai’s BurJuman remains the destination of choice for discerning shoppers
Though Dubai’s rapid growth makes change inevitable, the one constant through it all has been BurJuman’s commitment to provide the most luxurious of shopping experiences for its discerning clientele. In the mall’s decades-long history as an icon of Dubai, BurJuman has laid claim to the title of having one of the greatest concentration of luxury brands under one roof, a fact that established BurJuman as a haven for shoppers of high-end goods from both near and far. And it’s a well-earned reputation that continues to this day. BurJuman is home to a mesmerizing line-up of high-fashion luxury brands
including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre, Versace, Fendi, Emanuel Ungaro, Tod’s, Just Cavalli, and many more. The recently opened Prada and Miu Miu boutiques are yet additional proof of the mall’s magnetism, attracting the biggest names in the industry. The mall’s anchor fashion store, Saks Fifth Avenue, is known to be amongst the Middle East’s favourite luxury department stores, attracting a loyal hardcore of wealthy customers. Split over two levels, Saks Fifth Avenue boasts numerous concessions belonging to some of the biggest names in fashion such as Marc Jacobs, Azzedine Alaia,
- 44 -
Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors and, much to the delight of shoe lovers, Manolo Blahnik. There’s also a princess-worthy ballgown’s collection featuring some of the hottest designs from Marchesa, Zuhair Murad, Carolina Herrera and Kaufman Franco, to name but a few. While shopper’s looking into completing their new wardrobe with some new arm candy, jewellery and accessories are sure to find their new favourite piece within the mall’s elegant line-up of high-end brands, such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Chopard, as well as Omega, Breguet and Blancpain.
‘In the mall’s decades-long history as an icon of Dubai, BurJuman has laid claim to the title of having one of the greatest concentration of luxury brands under one roof ’
- 45 -
Kings of Diamonds
Mouawad’s heritage is a story of family and magnificent jewels: today, its diamond-studded reins are in the hands of a fourth generation – who are breaking records and adorning Hollywood’s sweethearts
t may come as a surprise to many, but Mouawad started small. The year was 1890, the place was Lebanon and the man with gems between his fingertips was Daoud Mouawad. It’s here that today’s achingly-glamorous Mouawad began with just one modest store. Like the men who would succeed him (more of them later), Daoud Mouawad had an entrepreneurial spirit which, in 1860, inspired him to sail a several-week-long, no doubt stomach-churning, journey to the United States and then Mexico. Once there he perfected a hat trick of trades – watchmaker, goldsmith and jeweller – before returning, decades later, to open that first workshop: a hub of watch and jewellery repairs. There the seed for Mouawad was sown, and the Beirut’s wealthiest residents commissioned him to create watches and one-of-a-kind designs. Mouawad bloomed: Daoud’s son Fayez was the next man in the family to create glamorous, diamond-encrusted pieces (he was one of the earliest jewellers to embellish watches with precious stones). But this wasn’t the only way that history repeated itself: Fayez set sail – this time for a booming Saudi Arabia, taking esteemed western watches (Piaget, Patek Philippe and Rolex…) to its shores for the
- 46 -
‘We sell to the richest people in the world, so we always provide unique pieces’
first time. It paid off: Mouawad caught Saudi high society’s eye and Fayez continued his father’s work as a jeweller to aristocrats – and then kings. Success grew. So much so, that the family business filtered down a third generation of sons, with Robert (one of Fayez’s four sons) abandoning his medical studies in Paris to return to Saudi at his father’s request: a fact that diamond-appreciators can be grateful for. As sole president, Robert made waves on the jewellery auction scene in the early ’70s when he offered some of the ‘most astonishing record diamond prices achieved in modern times’. In 1976 he brought the Mouawad Lilac into the family, followed by some of the world’s most impressive diamonds: the Nassak, the Queen of Holland (one the largest cut on the planet), Taylor Burton, Jubilee and Excelsior. At Mouawad’s Dubai office, I met with Robert’s son – an immaculately-suited Pascal Mouawad – today’s fourthgeneration company ‘co-guardian’, a role he shares with his brother Fred. “My father really took Mouawad to what it is today,” he told me. “He took it from two stores to operating in 12 countries and with offices based in Geneva.” Plaudits naturally followed; in 2001 Robert unveiled the largest diamond exhibit in the world in the Natural History Museum, Paris, before being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Which is no doubt why now was the time to pass the Mouawad torch to his sons. Still, I ventured, it must have been some act to follow. “He was a very hard worker, a difficult boss and a difficult father,” Pascal responded with a smile. “So he really was a big influence on our lives.” Like his father, Pascal felt the tug of the Mouawad reins from an early age: “It was a family business, so we were taken on holiday to our factories all over the world, we [Fred and I] would be sorting diamonds as kids, sitting on benches working with craftsman – we grew up knowing that would be our profession.” And can a 120-year-old family company feel like a weight on his well-dressed shoulders? “It can take 100 years to build a reputation and one day to lose it,” Pascal said simply. “We feel very much responsible for taking the company to the next level. The title of ‘co-guardians’ – Fred and I came up with. We consider ourselves to be gate keepers for the family business.” As for how you take a brand from the 19th century into the 21st, Pascal was diplomatic. “Some things we think we can do better we are doing differently, put it this way.” One method that couldn’t fail to go unnoticed is the evolution of Mouawad diamonds gracing royal limbs to those of modern day royalty: A-list celebrities. It’s a move that Pascal is largely responsible for – in trademark Mouawad style, he crossed oceans from the Middle East to New York (he harbours an American twang in his accent today) and then onto the celeb-studded world of L.A. Indeed, when I flicked through Mouawad magazine, its glossy pages were filled with photos of Pascal, an arm
- 47 -
draped over Lindsay Lohan, placing a necklace upon Nicole Scherzinger, socialising with Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara…. the list of diamond-drenched beauties goes on. (Lucky Pascal, I thought.) Upon breaking the celebrity market, a fourth-generationrun Mouawad also broke Guinness World Records. Not least for that diamond Victoria’s Secret bra; famously sported by Heidi Klum, it was the most expensive piece of lingerie ever made at $11million. “I thought, how can I perpetuate the US market, how can I accelerate the process?” said Pascal on the breakthrough. “So, we started getting involved in the Cannes Film Festival and, luckily for us with beautiful yachts, we had parties and met the Victoria’s Secret models, we sponsored an event for a charity organisation. We got involved and saw big results from PR coverage. It was from there we met the Victoria’s Secret executive and I said let’s work together”. The design prompted Heidi Klum to start her own jewellery line with Mouawad (she was followed by Nicole Richie, Seal and Andrea Lieberman) and, in Pascal’s words “things really snowballed into the world of celebrity”. The Very Sexy Fantasy bra wasn’t the only creation to make it into the Guinness World Records. It was followed by The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse – the most valuable handbag in the world at $3.8 million. “We do like to break boundaries,” Pascal told me. “We are always coming up with very unique pieces – we sell to all of the richest people in the world; the royalties and people who are always looking for the biggest, the most expensive, the best – so we always push ourselves to provide unique, important pieces.” A passion for diamonds and exceptional design, then, is a family trait. Though I imagine today’s transportation makes Pascal’s quest for global expansion that bit easier. (When we met, he had come from the United States and was leaving next for Saudi Arabia – thank goodness it’s not all by boat today). Though, like his great grandfather, Pascal says he always has the Middle East in mind: “It is really our home at end of the day, it’s where we originated. Our focus is in this part of the world; once we feel we have that [store presence in the GCC] we will continue our expansion in other parts of the world.” Flick through any glossy magazine (Pascal told me how stars and stylists “pull” Mouawad jewels for all major events, from the Academy Awards to Cannes Film Festival) and you’ll see Middle East-based stars alongside their western counterparts. “We make an effort to work with local celebs, it’s important to us,” says Pascal. “Najwa Karam [a Lebanese singer] wore Mouawad jewellery on Arabs Got Talent and at Cannes Film Festival recently.” In terms of modern-day Mouawad, you may notice a more contemporary style of Mouawad boutique on your
travels – “there’s no iron gate or intimidating bodyguards” – but Pascal insists he and Fred will maintain the early philosophies of quality and innovation. As for the future of Mouawad (annual fashion collections, classic collections and special pieces aside), an unmarried Pascal simply said “time will tell”. “For now the idea is for us to grow into the future, to make Mouawad an institution – that’s our goal.” Judging by the jaw-dropping diamonds of the past 120 years, let’s hope history continues to repeat itself.
- 48 -
Arm Candy These newly-released designs will weigh you down in all the right ways…
Charmeuse Bangle Les Fabuleuses de Fabergé 18 carat yellow gold and silver, 1,948 white diamonds, 17.11 carats
‘It’s not about the number of rubies or how much it’s going to fetch...
...but about creating an heirloom piece that you can hand down over generations’ Bina Goenka, bespoke jeweller to stars and society binagoenka.com
Avenue C Large Harry Winston timepieces 21.6 carats; at The Dubai Mall until December 2012 > As The Great Gatsby is set to hit the big screens, Fabergé has created a fabulous collection in tribute to the fashions of the roaring Twenties. Impérial pearls present an array of pearl and diamond earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces. The Zénaide Pompon pendant
- 49 -
is sure to catch a girl’s eye – its lavish pearl tassels swing from a diamond-encrusted egg centrepiece. There are few more delightful ways to adorn yourself at the kind of lavish soirée depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic high-society tale. faberge.com
Back with a Bang After the critical mauling of Quantum of Solace, Bond is back with Skyfall. AIR discovers how the 007 team are honouring their legacy, while protecting the future of the franchise
t 5pm in EminĂśnĂź Square in the Fatih district in Istanbul, the call to prayer begins; the tannoys on the minarets sending pigeons wheeling in the air and causing even more hustle in the heaving spice market and nearby Grand Bazaar. Amid the bartering for home wares, fruit, Turkish delight, pet birds and even the odds on fortune-telling rabbits, the muezzin of the New Mosque appeals for devotion from the jostling masses, lifting his voice over the scratchy PA system to fill the gaps between the calls of numerous other mosques. The battle for attention in a crowded marketplace is something the James Bond team are all too aware of. On a clear sunny day, with Saturday afternoon shopping chaos surrounding them
- 50 -
- 51 -
as they film Skyfall’s thrilling opening chase sequence in the square (49 years to the day since Sean Connery filmed From Russia With Love in the city), the stakes have never been higher for Eon and Bond. Gone are the days when 007 was the only action man on the block, the only event movie worth waiting for. Like the traders of Eminönü, Bond needs to up his game and his patter in a bazaar of Bournes, Hunts, Bauers and superheroes. And while 2006’s Casino Royale may have invigorated the franchise with a new spy and new grit, 2008’s sophomore effort Quantum Of Solace hardly set the world on fire – described by Total Film as ‘a festival of blaring action set-pieces propping up a scrappy script and undercooked characters’. Then there was that tricky MGM bankruptcy in 2010 which cast doubt on whether there’d ever be any further capers for the gentleman spy, even if a disappointed audience demanded it. “I think it helped,” Daniel Craig muses philosophically of the MGM delay when we nosed round filming at Pinewood on day 94 of the Skyfall schedule. The toing and froing, plus the added woes of the 2007/8 writers’ strike hangover, serendipitously provided the Bond team with an unexpected planning window as they cooled their heels waiting for financing on the project. “The MGM thing was a silver lining situation where, for the first time, we had a lot of time to work on the script. We weren’t publicly allowed to say we were doing anything, but we were secretly meeting. It wasn’t full bore until everything was given the green light, but we were very optimistic it would happen.” No less because this year marks Bond’s 50th year of shaking not stirring, an anniversary worth cashing in on – both in audience goodwill and box-office receipts. “We were hoping we’d have a film in the anniversary era because the fans were certainly looking forward to it,” says producer Barbara Broccoli, whose pa, Cubby, initially guided Bond from page to screen. “It seemed like it would have been very disappointing if we didn’t have one in this year. We just kept our focus and kept working on it. And, fortunately, it all got resolved.” Money worries aside, there was still the nasty taste left by Quantum Of Solace to combat. Craig, having proved doubters wrong with Casino Royale, appeared to express disappointment in the reception to his second mission at the time. “It’s come out like I was bitching about it,” he sighs when reminded of his seemingly negative response to QOS. “I wasn’t, because I’m very proud of the movie. There’s an awful lot of people who spent an awful lot of time making that movie.
I don’t regret it at all, but we were under a lot of pressure, and the wrong kind of pressure that goes against creating the best project.” As leader of the franchise, both figuratively and literally (he’s involved in every aspect of production, from casting to appointing a director), Craig spent his hiatus wisely. He wanted a capable director, a cracking script, a top-notch crew and a return to the grit and dramatic heft that made Casino Royale a success. As well as nods to the half-century legacy of Bond cool... “I just asked Sam [Mendes] if he was interested, and he was. I worked with him before [on Road To Perdition] and knew what kind of director he was and how much of a Bond fan he is... It came to me in a flash. Maybe I was a bit drunk!”
- 52 -
‘I’ve tried as much as possible to do everything in the old-fashioned way. And that includes very, very big stunts indeed’ – Sam Mendes Mendes, perhaps an unlikely choice to fans, wasn’t put off by the behemoth of Bond. “I liked Quantum Of Solace,” the Zen-like director says when caught between days 104 and 105 of filming, in Istanbul. “I thought it had the misfortune of following a fantastic and surprising film that introduced a new Bond and had the benefit of having an original Fleming novel on which it was based. And I think they got very affected by the writers’ strike and the imperative to make another Bond movie. ‘You’ve got to make it now, you’ve
got to make it soon.’ It’s tough to do that under those circumstances.” During their months of secret emailing and phone calls, Mendes and Craig mapped out what they wanted the next Bond to be. “I reread the books, he read the books, we watched the movies, we talked about the Roger Moore movies, the Sean Connery movies, the whole thing,” recalls Craig. “There’s a sort of tone that’s in all those movies that you can’t try to recreate. If you do, then it’s a pastiche. Neither
- 53 -
Sam nor I want to make a pastiche of an older movie. But you have flavours of it.” “He wanted to be surprised by the script when he read it,” Mendes says. “There were elements he felt he wanted to find some more humour in. He wanted to possibly push characters in directions they’ve never been pushed before, go to places he’d never been before emotionally. He wanted to maybe reintroduce some characters...” While writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had what Craig describes as “the meat of a great movie‚” Mendes’s finessing and the addition of John Logan gave the team the Skyfall script – a tale that was so top secret even M herself was amused by the super-spy levels of espionage surrounding the project. “When I got the script it was late summer 2010. I was at home, and we had friends in, all having a
drink in the garden,” recalls Dame Judi Dench. “Suddenly, this man dressed entirely in black, with a script under his arm – he wouldn’t look at us – ran through a gap, threw it in my front door, and ran out again. I said to them, ‘That was the Bond script.’” Script and financing in place, Bond needed a decent baddie – and not one that just wanted to flog water. Craig turned to Javier Bardem. “I asked and he said yes. He’s one of my favourite actors, if not the favourite actor I have. He’s put in an amazing performance and given us all what we want from those Bond characters, and more.” Based on Mendes’s track record, is Skyfall going to be an ‘arthouse’ Bond? “Yeah, my object is to make a movie that nobody wants to see!” Mendes joked in Istanbul. “No, like any movie, you want it to be seen by the maximum number of people.
‘My father always said to me, “If you get in trouble, go back to [Ian] Fleming”. People are always looking for heroes’ – Barbara Broccoli
- 54 -
Images: Supplied Text: Jane Crowther / Total Film, Future Publishing / The Interview People
It’s actually quite reassuring to be working on something, finally, where I don’t have to worry about the artistic content above and beyond everything else!” “It’s not an artistic approach,” Craig assures. “We’re just making a very good movie. It’s just getting together the best talent we can. It’s not a Kieslowski movie, as much as I love Kieslowski. There’s no 20-minute silent scenes of a trip down the Bosphorus...” Indeed not. When I visited the 007 stage in Pinewood, Craig was unloading lead at Bardem in a meticulously recreated underground station set filled with eight inches of black-inked water and, well, blowing stuff up. “I had earplugs in,” Craig smiles when asked about the huge explosion during the scene. “We try to keep everything as physically real as possible.” Mendes, who is not a fan of CGI (“I’ve tried as much as possible to root everything in reality and to do it in what we would call the old-fashioned way. And that includes very, very big stunts indeed”), runs four cameras at once during filming and is certainly taking Bond back to physicality and spectacle. Stunt coordinator Gary Powell had been instructed to make the chase scenes in Istanbul more visceral and less ‘cartoony’. And with 500 extras, 300 crew, 196 fake stalls, 15 Audi A5s (in various states of screwed up) and untold numbers of oranges, fez hats and spice bags being destroyed, making Bond real – and bringing back the thrill – is no small undertaking. Despite laughing and joking with the crew between set-ups of the complex car crash and shoot-out between Bond and baddie Patrice (Ola Rapace) in Eminönü Square, Craig’s focus was unwavering. It’s not only this costly, timeconsuming set-piece that rests on his shoulders but the mood of production, and ultimately, the success of the franchise. “When you work on a set, the atmosphere is always created by the director’s mood and the main actor’s mood,” Javier Bardem attests. “In this case, the atmosphere is creative, fun, enjoyable. It’s about commitment. It’s like, ‘OK, you want to come over here to this set? Work your ass off.’ Maybe you thought it was going to be easy and there would be magic, but magic has to be worked on very hard to happen.” Though Bardem reckons that specific brand of magic is making Skyfall “unlike any Bond movie that’s been before”, Craig, Mendes and Broccoli are keen to assure fans that classic Bond is back. That means sly nods to the past (a vintage DB5, originally seen in Goldfinger, makes
a return), humour (“lots of it,” says Craig), the re-introduction of gadgets and a recalibration to the Bond who saves the world rather than mopes through it. “My father always said to me, ‘If you get in trouble, go back to Fleming’,” Broccoli smiles. “People are always looking for heroes.” “You don’t want to be overconfident because we know the way the business is, that hubris will kill you,” Craig admits jovially during press days at Pinewood. “But we’ve got these great characters and there’s a great story. It’s about taking all those classic elements and making sure it’s a Bond movie, first and foremost, but actually adding all these other elements.” And what of the murmurings that, with a gongwinning director at the tiller, Skyfall could be the first Bond to court Oscar? “I don’t think that’s what the objective is,” Mendes laughs. “I think that it would be lovely to make a movie that’s not just a great Bond movie, but a great movie – that can, like Dr. No, still have resonance in 20, 30 years’ time. And that is the most important thing. I not only want my children to see it, but my grandchildren, and [for them to] think, “Hey, that’s a cool movie...”
- 55 -
Golden Eye There is one man who sees James Bond a little differently: in his new book, photographer Terry O’Neill reveals his candid shots of them all – from Connery to Craig
© Terry O’Neill
t has now been 50 years since the release of the first James Bond film, Dr No. At the time, a young Terry O’Neill had just begun his career in photography, shooting the likes of Sinatra, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. With Dr No a success, O’Neill was sent by The Daily Sketch to take images on the set of its sequel, From Russia With Love, which went into production that same year. “The first photos I took were during the love scene between Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi,” he reveals. It is his images from the sets of various Bond movies that O’Neill soon became known for, assembled in a new book, All About Bond, with a tie-in exhibition at the Proud Chelsea gallery in London. Both feature images of Connery, then move on to George Lazenby and Roger Moore, eventually arriving at Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. He even shot David Niven and Peter Sellers on the set of the ’60s spoof version of Casino Royale. “I just became known as the person who photographs Bond,” he says. “The only one I didn’t shoot was Timothy Dalton, because I was living in the States at the time.”
With their lavish sets, fast cars and beautiful girls, there would have been plenty to take inspiration from, and O’Neill admits that any other film set he visited paled in comparison. “They were just movies after that,” he says. “The Bond films were on such a huge scale. And it was all just very relaxed on set, like old friends getting together each time.” But while he has worked on many Bond films, it seems to be one in particular that sticks in his mind. “When I went to Las Vegas with Sean for Diamonds Are Forever, I managed to lose US$2,000 on the first night, and it took me three weeks to win it back. We would go for lunch with all of the crew and the groupies, and I had to ask everyone to lend me money, as I’d lost all mine.” It sounds like there were some memorable times with Connery, who O’Neill says was always joking around. “It was impossible to ask Sean to pose,” he recalls. “You just let him play up to the camera. And I think he was so happy to have the role all the time, as the amount of people they tested before they found him – even the big names. But Sean seemed to have the right mix.” O’Neill admits that he doesn’t have a favourite Bond actor, and feels they all brought something to the role. When it comes to the Bond girls, however, it seems much easier to decide. “Ursula Andress – she was very natural, very nice and a lot of fun,” he says, recalling his work with her on Casino Royale. “That scene in Dr No when she comes out of the water can’t be beaten, it’s that iconic!”
- 57 -
All About Bond by Terry O’Neill, published by EMB, is available from amazon.com All About Bond: Photographs by Terry O’Neill, runs at Proud Chelsea until November 4. proud.co.uk
‘It was impossible to ask Sean to pose. You just let him play up to the camera’
There is no movie brand more iconic than Bond, and no central character more alluring. So when it comes to dressing 007, it’s little wonder that the world’s foremost tailors battle to be involved
influenced by an article she read on the history and star-pulling status of Italy’s oldest tailoring firm, settled on Brioni, giving debutant Bond Pierce Brosnan the most stylish of welcomes. Brioni, being able to produce luxurious, custom-made suits at the speed required to service a tight filming schedule, clothed Pierce Brosnan for the entire duration of his stint as Bond, taking in Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day, and also dressed Daniel Craig in Casino Royale – he even wore a charcoal grey Brioni suit to the press conference called to announce
‘Brioni handcrafted over 300 pieces for 007’
t the outset, 007’s suits were strictly Savile Row; like Bond, the most English of institutions. Sean Connery’s tailor was the Row’s Anthony Sinclair, the man who also dressed Bond’s creator Ian Fleming. But though Roger Moore also wore Mayfair’s finest cuts – Cyril Castle for one year and Douglas Hayward for four – he was also the first Bond to be fitted overseas, by Rome’s Angelo, a personal favourite of the actor on and off screen. As big brands got wise to the marketing boost a box office hit could provide – particularly one whose central protagonist is known worldwide for his sartorial elegance – the fight for the right to label Bond’s famous tuxedo intensified. Back in 1994 when considering which tailor she’d appoint to create Bond’s myriad suits for 1995’s Golden Eye, Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming had her pick from the likes of Armani, Zegna and Boss – but, reportedly
him as Bond. At the same time, by way of celebrating the brands’ continued association, Brioni released a limited edition, individuallynumbered set of Bond tuxedos. Priced at $5,000, it was a toned-down version of the prototype tux worn in the movie, the latter fitted with all manner of boys’ own stuff: a holster in the left lapel for a pistol, waterproof holders for secret documents, a drawstring around the neck to hold a steel cable, secret pockets in the placket, and a case in the sleeve lining, sealed with velcro, for an easy-access knife. In all, between 1995 and 2006, the longest screen association between Bond and a tailor, Brioni handcrafted over 300 pieces for the 007 films. The undoubted highlight for the brand coming in 2006’s Casino Royale, when all the players at a high-stakes poker game, Bond included, donned Brioni dinner jackets – the kind of publicity no amount of casino winnings could buy. Since the much-maligned Quantum of Solace in 2008 it’s been the task of Tom Ford to cut 007’s suits – he also fashions Bond’s eyewear – a move that gets the thumbs up from Daniel Craig (“they’re great”), even if his treatment of them suggests otherwise: he reportedly ruined over 40 bespoke Tom Ford suits while filming Quantum of Solace. An occupational hazard, we presume.
- 58 -
For Online Only
Christie’s will host an online-only auction of Bond memorabilia until October 8. Items you can bid for include one of those aforementioned Brioni suits, a two-piece charcoal number worn by Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough (estimate £2,000-3,000); a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses sported by Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (est: £2,000-3,000); and, best of all in terms of movie memorabilia, a belt with a golden bullet buckle worn by Christopher Lee as Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun (est: £1,0001,500). christies.com
Ooh la la Soap star, pop princess, French-speaking fly girl in bonkers Cannes hit Holy Motors and now Abu Dhabi-bound. AIR has a tête-à-tête with the irrepressible Kylie Minogue
Words: James Mottram
- 61 -
ylie Minogue is sitting in the shade by the swimming pool at a discreet Cannes hotel, getting philosophical. It’s not what you might expect from the Australian pop sensation and former soapstar, but there you have it. “My persona is ‘Kylie’” she says. “As soon as I step out of my house, I have that projection of me. But that isn’t necessarily who I am. What face do I show?”
world in different moments”. And she should know. From bubbly Charlene in Neighbours to hotpants-wearing Spinning Around sex-kitten, Kylie is second only to Madonna when it comes to self-reinvention. Indie Kylie, dance Kylie, disco Kylie – you name it, she’s been it. Today, dressed in a black crochet top, blue trousers and killer platform heels that serve to elevate that elfin 5ft 2in frame, she’s in down-to-earth Aussie girl mode. On time, she has arrived with no entourage – just her assistant of 12 years, Leanne,
‘My persona is ‘Kylie’... But that isn’t necessarily who I am. What face do I show?’ It’s a salient point, one that’s been prompted by her role in Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, a baffling, brilliant and utterly bonkers comeback for the French director whose last feature was 1999’s Pola X. Where to begin? Denis Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, travelling Paris at night in a white stretch limo, adopting different guises (beggar, banker, band leader and beyond) for a series of bizarre ‘appointments’. Co-starring as Eva Grace, another limo-dwelling shaper-shifter and ex of Oscar, Kylie claims the film is about “how we present ourselves in the
sunbathing in the corner. And, just a few days shy of her 44th birthday, Kylie looks fab – doubtless a huge relief to family, friends and fans following her battle with breast cancer back in 2005. Neither does she seem ill at ease among the crème-de-la-crème of world cinema. “I’ve always loved someone like Barbra Streisand who – preMadonna – was sticking her neck out and being a singer, a writer, an actress, a director and a trailblazer,” she says. “If you’re a performer, you perform! If I couldn’t perform, I would drive my friends nuts.”
- 62 -
With 11 studio albums (all-barone gold or platinum), 68 millionplus sales, sell-out world tours, a bestselling children’s book (The Showgirl Princess) and fragrance (Darling), the OBE-awarded songstress would seem to have little time for acting. Since leaving Neighbours in 1988, a year after her debut single The Loco-Motion spent seven weeks at No.1 in the Australian charts, the Melbourne native has at best dabbled with screen work. If 1989’s romantic-drama The Delinquents was designed to cash in on those still swooning over the KylieJason years, the follow-ups were foulups: the lousy martial arts videogame adaptation Street Fighter, with Jean-Claude Van Damme; the even lousier slacker comedy Bio-Dome; low-budget slasher film Cut with Molly Ringwald... “They’re things that have popped up,” she shrugs. “Numerous ones I should’ve just said ‘No’, but – hey – you live and learn.” Fortunately, in the last decade, she’s chosen better – from being Baz Luhrmann’s Green Fairy in Moulin Rouge! to voicing Florence in the big screen version of The Magic Roundabout. She’s also paid her TV dues, both in the UK and her native Australia. Still, nothing hits the mark like Holy Motors. With a gamine crop channelling Jean Seberg, Kylie drops the popprincess persona to sing to Oscar the
Images: Supplied Text: James Mottram / Total Film, Future Publishing / The Interview People
hauntingly beautiful ‘Who Were We?’ backed by the Berlin Music Ensemble. Rather than pre-record it, then mime it to playback on set, Carax asked her to sing it live. “That was just magic to me,” she says. “I just thought ‘Wow!’ I don’t think that happens very often.” Her signature song Can’t Get You Out Of My Head also plays at a party and features as a girl’s mobile ringtone. Is this still a number she hears wherever she goes? “Thankfully, I do hear it a lot of places, because it’s still a tune!” she chuckles. “When I first heard that, it was a demo, and I didn’t even reach the end of the demo… I was leaping around the office of my A&R guy going ‘Is it mine? Do I have this song? Are you sure?’ I went, ‘Get on the phone now. Get me the song!’” Acting in Holy Motors, she took it all “very seriously”, banning her entourage from coming with her. “I stripped myself of being Kylie and wanted to go back to be as basic as possible and pretty much be a blank canvas for Leos.” The way she sees it, “It’s been a challenge for me to be seen not as Kylie; that’s who I’ve become. It’s actually hard for me, but I think it’s harder for the audience, which means I’ve got to work twice as hard to be believable.” Carax claims he knew nothing about her beyond her duet with Nick Cave, the 1995 murder ballad Where The Wild Roses Grow. It was,
according to the singer, “mutual friend” Claire Denis who introduced them, first suggesting her for a project that Carax was planning to shoot in London. “Kylie is purity itself,” he says. “Shooting with her was the gentlest experience I’ve ever had.” It’s curious to think of Kylie hanging out with unconventional French auteurs Carax and Denis – though given she dated Gallic actor Olivier Martinez, perhaps it’s no surprise. When we talk film, she cites the Maysles Brothers’ seminal 1975
Even so, at the time, she simply hid away – unable to emerge in the public glare as the buoyant, bubbly star we all know. “No one’s shiny and happy all the time,” she says, quietly. It’s why Holy Motors became about more than just an acting gig. “There are other sides of me that an experience like this has allowed me to explore,” she says. In other words, she’s come to realise that she doesn’t need to wear the sunny Kylie mask all the time. Currently recording tracks for her 12th studio album, the followup to 2010’s number one Aphrodite
‘There are other sides of me that an experience like Holy Motors has allowed me to explore’ documentary Grey Gardens, about the eccentric lives of the aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, as one of her favourites. She reveals that during the darkest moments of her illness, she couldn’t even watch a movie. “Lots of friends sent me DVDs and I just said, ‘I can’t concentrate for a whole film.’ A trip to the corner-shop for a drink was a massive excursion.” What she didn’t do was give up. “Possibly because I was diagnosed mid-tour that was my goal: to get back and perform. I just realised that, no, this is what I do, and I want to do it better than before.”
- 63 -
that’s due next year, Kylie’s been given a thirst for further cinematic adventures by Holy Motors. “I would love to think I have the good fortune to be on another film set in the nearfuture,” she says. She’s already shot a small role on teen-drama Jack And Diane, co-starring Juno Temple. So would she consider another French film – a reunion with Carax maybe? “Peut-être...” she purrs, coyly. We should be so lucky. Kylie Minogue will perform on the first night of the Yasalam After-Race Concerts (November 2) at The du Arena. firstname.lastname@example.org
A StAr IS Born
Italy has Ferrari, France has Bugatti, and now Slovenia has Tushek. So what is this new brand offering with its very first roadster?
Words: Chris Anderson
ushek is a sports car brand that very few people have heard of – with good reason. First of all, its debut model, the Renovatio T500, has only just been released. Then there is the fact that it hails from Slovenia, a country hardly recognised for its supercar pedigree – although Ferrari and Ducati produce body panels here, and it’s where Porsche makes ceramic brakes, so the technical expertise is clearly present. And when pulled together under the watchful eye of former Slovenian race champion Aljosa
Tusek, who founded the company, it seems that great things can happen. When he retired from the track, Tusek decided to follow his dream of building his own cars, which began a collaboration with Slovakian company K1, producing special editions of its Attack model. However, he soon found that although he liked the look of the car, he felt the Ford V6 engine was not quite right, and the glass fibre body too heavy. To create something worthy of his driving skills, he would have to begin from scratch. And so the Tushek Renovation T500 was born, and finally unveiled this year.
- 64 -
Price guide: $392,035 0-62 mph: 3.7 secs Top speed: 310kph Power: 450bhp
- 65 -
A roadster with a removable roof and side windows, scissor doors and lots of carbon-fibre, it has visual similarities to the K1 Attack, even retaining the tubular spaceframe chassis, but the bulk of the engineering is by Tushek. The engine and transmission have also been plucked from Audi, with the 4.2-litre V8 normally seen in its R8 model, giving 450bhp, with a 310kph top speed and a 0-100 time of a mere 3.7 seconds. The idea was always to create a vehicle that shares many of the characteristics of a race car, kept flexible enough for use on the road. The body is designed for low air resistance and maximum downforce, with an overall weight around the same as a small hatchback – and then you have all that power. “It is borne out of an almost-obsessive focus on light weight and race specification componentry,” confirms Aljosa Tusek of the car. “The result is a sharper, more direct line of communication between the driver and the road than any other car found on the international scene at the moment.” Bold words, but coupled with the Alcantara- and leather-trimmed interior, plus the personalised identification plaque featuring the build number and owner’s name on the dash, we could be persuaded to agree. “The Renovatio T500 is an ‘emotive’ car,” Tusek concludes, “perfectly engineered in line with the latest technology, yet with a soul. It is light, fast and with minimalistic good looks for both the road and track.” So will it be the car to bring the Tushek name to the forefront of people’s minds? Not likely. An extremely limited edition run of just 30 is planned, although with a price tag just shy of $400k for a name people don’t know, it could be wise to test the market first. But a second model, a rival to the Lamborghini Aventador, is already planned, as is producing a dedicated race car to compete in motorsport. Until then, enjoy being part of an exclusive club that now knows the Tushek name.
Celebrity Chef TV host, author, consultant, brand ambassador, chef – Sanjeev Kapoor is a man with plenty on his plate. AIR meets the man with ‘the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine’ Words: Laura Binder
anjeev Kapoor is a chef with a following: a following of around 500 million in fact. Of course, these hungry fans aren’t all queuing up for a seat in one of his restaurants (can you imagine the reservation list?), but viewers of his TV show Khana Khazana: the longest-running cooking show in Asia (it’s been going just shy of 20 years), it airs in 120 countries and has budding cooks flicking to its channel daily. But Kapoor’s place in the spotlight doesn’t stop there: he’s released over 35 books with sales of over 10 million worldwide; his website appears just as popular, receiving over 20 million hits a month, a 24-hour TV channel keeps his recipes going around the clock and he has seven restaurant brands to his name. Add to that a line of ready-cooked meals,
and it’s a portfolio of projects that has earned Kapoor the title of ‘the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine.’ With TV hosting, book writing and consulting on his agenda, I wondered whether he still considers himself to be, quite simply, ‘a chef’. His answer comes without a moment’s hesitation: “100%. It’s the only thing I consider myself to be.” I meet the celebrated chef at his latest Dubai restaurant – the glamorous, metallic-hued Signature in the Meliá Dubai hotel. An eatery which serves – in Kapoor’s words – “authentic Indian food with sparks of
- 66 -
brilliance”. Thankfully, I am among the 500 million to have seen his TV show: Kapoor takes a positively unstarry approach, strolling straight over to me minus PRs and entourage and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Having not long stepped off a plane and without even having time to check in, Kapoor brushes off any suggestion of tiredness – as well as a chef he’s a consummate professional and amiable from the off. Characteristics that doubtless earned him the admiration of those 500 million. So what is it that makes Kapoor a world-class act with the kind of
following that trumps even the Heston Blumenthals, Gordon Ramsays and Alain Ducasses of the culinary world? For starters, I find he’s a man with serious ambition – his current quest is to make Indian cuisine the world’s number one. And he’s a man with the vision to make it happen, cleverly creating twists on classic Indian cuisine to suit far-flung palettes. “I always find something that is completely authentic to fit the region,” he explains. “If you’re in Hong Kong, let’s say, I would do more steamed dishes.” His eyes glaze over as he thinks up a multitude of dishes off the cuff (“maybe fish in steamed banana leaves from a western part of India…”). In Dubai, though, I imagine his job isn’t quite so easy, thanks to the melting pot of nationalities. Still, Kapoor stays true to his roots. “If I make a butter chicken, a traditional dish with tomatoes, I don’t use tomatoes in it, I use lemon crust or I do something with dhal but using olives, because they’re from the region. The whole approach is not designer, but authentic Indian food with a little bit of madness. It’s a little bit of fun,” he adds with a smile. Clearly, it’s an approach that’s working for the Haryana-born chef. Asked about the plus-points of fame, his answer comes easily: “A bigger house and lots of cars,” he laughs. But, despite his sunny persona, I
detect glimmers of discomfort at being India’s ‘most celebrated face’. “There is lots of pressure,” he admits. “Whatever you do, there’s someone watching you. As soon as you leave your house you cannot let your guard off because there’s someone watching. That becomes…” he pauses. “It’s not easy to handle.” So, does he feel that his television fame has altered him? “It has not changed me, but naturally you don’t have the freedom to do anything wrong,” he muses. “People paint a picture of famous people in their minds and you have to be true to that picture. There is a perception of you from your fans, and at times you start living your life based on how people perceive you – and that can mean that you’re not your normal self always.” Despite his unprecedented success, Kapoor didn’t always want to be a chef, once favouring a career as an architect. However, he abandoned such plans in order to do “something completely different”, “something creative”. “Being a chef at that time in India, for someone educated, academically very good, for that person it was not easy,” he tells me. Kapoor’s parents, though, had confidence in his decision – a fact that goes some way to explain his own unfailing levels of confidence. “They had seen in my childhood that whenever I was doing something
different I was actually becoming outstanding. They knew that if I did this [become a chef], I would always have very good results.” But could he really have predicted his current success? “For me, fortunately, ever since I started working in this industry 30 years ago I have been consistently successful in whatever I have done – hotels, TV shows, whatever. There is a lot of work that goes on behind it all, but now in some sense I can say that I can predict [the recipe for success]; I know the formula. I know how it works.” Despite his brother’s early scepticism at Kapoor’s gruelling hours and low pay (“I told him, ‘I’m sure that it will pay off’. And it did”), it wasn’t long before Kapoor’s self-prophesied plaudits rolled in. “I was the youngest executive chef at Centaur Hotel in Mumbai; at 28 I was managing hotels; I was voted the best executive chef in India [Best Executive Chef of India Award by H & FS].” One thing that I notice is absent from Kapoor’s arm-length list of accomplishments, though, is a Michelin star – not that it bothers Kapoor: “We don’t have Michelin in India, nor in Dubai. We don’t have [a restaurant] in this market. If we open one and believe that’s where we want to go, would we get it? 100%”. It’s an admirable confidence – and one that only a man with Kapoor’s successes
‘Since I started working in this industry, I have been consistently successful... A lot of work goes on, but now I can say that I know the formula [for success]’
- 67 -
Gastronomy can really lay claim to. Question him on his personal relationship with food, though, and he has a very different outlook: “Restaurant food is business,” he says. “I believe that the true soul of food is reflected in home cooking. At home there is no business. Can you buy love? No. It is the same thing. I travel so much and eat in fancy restaurants all the time, but my preference is always for a homecooked meal.” Throughout our meeting, Kapoor’s passion and genuine excitement for food is clear – he constantly uses food to express himself, comparisons falling off the tongue at every opportunity. (On the topic of success: “It’s like cooking, we know that salt will make the taste salty but its role is not just for the palate but to control
the action of yeast and sugar – salt will control mixers and will give it better texture. We know that, we know the result, so the chance of failure is very low”). Clearly, this is a man who sleeps, eats and breathes food, as his wife will testify: “She complains that even in my sleep I am thinking of cooking,” he sighs. I can’t help but ask, then, who it is that cooks at home – can Kapoor ever hang up his apron? “Absolutely. My wife cooks – she cooked for me this morning.” Though one imagines Kapoor could be a tricky man to please, he says otherwise: “Actually, unless I am asked to find a fault I don’t. I believe even in burnt toast you can find something good. When you spend so much time with food, your respect for food and for cooking grows a lot. I’m the easiest person to please with cooking.” So, is his wife exempt from his expert opinion? “I never criticise her cooking,” he laughs. A wise man indeed.
- 68 -
‘The true soul of food is reflected in home cooking... I travel so much and eat in fancy restaurants all the time, but my preference is always for a home-cooked meal’
Rio de Janeiro The Sugar Loaf cable cars, or bondinhos, have trundled their way up Rio’s iconic peak since 1912. A feat of engineering that can carry up to 1,360 passengers per hour, the transport system bestows panoramic views of the entire city, taking in everywhere from the infamous favela shanty towns, to the high-rise glass monoliths of the central business district.
A three-day extravaganza of irrepressible samba rhythms, outlandish costumes and eye-popping dance moves, Rio Carnival is proof (if ever needed) of the city’s love of a good party. The weekend brings together samba schools and over 300 carnival bands from all over the city, making for a glittering, feathery fiesta.
One of the first hotels to adorn Rio’s shores, The Copacabana Palace has a history as glamorous as the city itself: its all-white façade has welcomed everyone from Fred Astaire to Nelson Mandela since its inauguration in 1923. Check in to a Penthouse Suite to sample the Art Deco style for yourself.
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer – a local architect now famous the world over – the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum is a futuristic clifftop vision. Its saucer shape is often likened to a UFO, and it is heralded as one of the greatest modernist buildings in South America.
No trip to Rio would be complete without a trip to Ipanema Beach, a bustling stretch of shoreline. Overlooked by the imposing Two Brothers Mountain, the area is a hub for sports, leisure, and – the Cariocas’ favourite past-time – sun bathing.
Occupying a vast restored building that dates back to the 1900s, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil is the city’s arts hub. It boasts a cinema, two theatres, and an exhibition centre that attracts the likes of Antony Gormley, whose Event Horizon installation earlier this year received rave reviews.
England may have given birth to football, but Brazil nurtured and loved it, creating a bond that continues to this day. Rio’s Maracana Stadium, a bowlful of unbridled passions on match days, is the country’s most historic stadium. In 1950 it hosted World Cup matches – as it will again in 2016 – including the final which Brazil lost to Uruguay.
Images: Corbis / Arabian Eye; Supplied
- 72 -
Declaration of Independence Words: Chris Anderson
- 73 -
In his new book, Jamie McDonald invites readers on an unusual tour of New York, visiting the age-old family businesses that rub shoulders with the global chainstores. The people who run these businesses – often fourthor fifth-generation offspring of the original owners – devote their entire lives to serving their loyal customers. AIR reveals the secret of their staying power…
very visitor to New York will have the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building on their to-do list. What will probably be missing is the traditional bookbinders in Brooklyn, the bar in Queens where the movie Goodfellas was filmed, or the shop in Manhattan selling every kind of accessory you can think of for a dollhouse – right down to miniature iPads. But there is one man on a crusade to bring New York’s hidden gems to the forefront, ensuring that the likes of Paper Dragon Books, Neir’s Tavern & Steakhouse, and the Tiny Doll House get the praises that they deserve. With his new book, New York Originals, and TV series of the same name, Jamie McDonald hopes to draw attention to the quirky family-owned businesses found in each of the city’s
five boroughs. “These are places that have stood the test of time,” McDonald confirms. “Everything from bread shops to manufacturers. We have all these chain stores now, and everything individual is getting wiped out, so it is tougher for these places to stay in business.” Originally from Indianapolis, McDonald first moved to New York 15 years ago to study for his masters degree. Now living in Manhattan, it has always been the outskirts that have interested him most. “When I first started in TV, I was a runner at CBS, and you don’t make much money doing that,” he says. “So at the weekend, I would take the subway to the outer parts of New York and just walk the streets. I was fascinated by these little businesses I found.” The opportunity to turn the spotlight on his discoveries came years later when McDonald devised
- 74 -
Opposite: La Rosa Cubana Cigars, hand-rolled since 1958. Next page: E. Vogel Custom Boots and Shoes, handmade since 1879.
‘At La Rosa Cubana Cigars in the Bronx they make hand-rolled cigars, and they do it right there in front of you. It’s mesmerising watching them do it’
- 75 -
‘At E. Vogel Custom Boots in Manhattan, they buy the leather from France because the farmers don’t use barbed wire there, so it’s much smoother’
- 76 -
a new TV show for public service channel PBS, which he wrote and presented, called New York Originals. “I shot and edited everything myself, and the show won an Emmy Award for Best Business Consumer Series last year. Each episode covers a different business in the city, and we have featured all of those in the book across two seasons.” Despite its connection with the TV show, the book still stands on its own. “The show isn’t available internationally,” says McDonald. “So with the book, we profiled 75 businesses with hundreds of photographs, and there are advantages to doing both at the same time. All of the photos were taken by me, because we used a video camera that can take stills in hi-def. It’s very rare for someone to do everything like this, and it’s only in the last few years that people can. And I can think as I’m shooting, well I know how I want to write this, so there is a synergy. There is no denying that a lot of work was involved, but McDonald clearly hopes this only heightens the appreciation of the venues featured within. “People should read the book because these places may go out of business, so we’re catching them while we can,” he argues. “There is a visual appeal to them that you don’t get at a department or outlet store. They are individual, and you get to see in this day and age what it takes to keep a business going. A lot of them don’t even make money, it’s just that they are fourth generation and nobody wants to see them go. Well, a few are like that, but some do very well also.” When asked to describe his favourites, McDonald is quick to list names, and it becomes clear why so many of these places stand out. “I love Lexington Candy Shop in Manhattan, open since 1925, because you can get a freshly-squeezed lemonade made to your own specification,” he says. “But the guy there also made a good point. He started putting empty Coke bottles up in his shop, and neighbours would then bring them to him from all over the world, just to see them in
his storefront, and he said to me, ‘You can’t do that at Starbucks!’ Now he has hundreds, in windows and on shelves, every type you can think of. “At La Rosa Cubana Cigars in the Bronx they make hand-rolled cigars, and they do it right there in front of you. They use Cuban tobacco seeds, and the outer leaves are grown in Connecticut because the sand content there is really good in the soil. It’s mesmerising watching them do it. “Over in Brooklyn is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in America, Bamonte’s, there before pizza was even popular. They’ve shot The Sopranos here, where a guy gets whacked. It looks like Grandma’s house, and the open window for the kitchen was installed in the ’50s just to show how clean it was. All the old locals go there.” It seems to be the quirkiness and differences from the chainstores that McDonald likes. “C O Bigelow in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, is unlike any modern-day pharmacy you’ve been to,” he reveals. “The owner stocks unusual hard-to-find items from around the world, not because they sell, but because variety is the spice of life, and he has these strange remedies that are really neat. “Then there’s The Lemon Ice King of Corona, which was established in the 1940s. All the stuff sold there is made in-house – just water, sugar and fruit. And it has this texture, and when you buy lemon flavour they squeeze the lemon themselves, and watermelon flavour has bits of watermelon in it, so it’s a different experience. “In the East Village, Manhattan, is Guerra Paint & Pigment. Here you make your own paint, with their pigments and combining agents – Lady Gaga’s concert piano and Oprah Winfrey’s house are painted in this stuff. It’s better quality than what you’d buy in the store, and they will show you how to do it. It’s a fun place to go.” All of the stores have stood the test of time, with some having a more unusual history than others. “The oldest place I covered was a mariner’s bar called the Ear Inn, in Manhattan
- 77 -
since 1817,” says McDonald. “There is so much landfill that it’s now a few blocks from the river, but it’s one of the only federal buildings left. Lots of sinister things used to go on there, and the current owners even found an old gun hidden in the chimney. But in the ’70s and ’80s, they would have poetry readings and art shows, and John Lennon even stopped by.” Learning about so many different businesses has clearly built up McDonald’s knowledge on a wide range of topics. “Oh yeah, I bore people like crazy,” he admits. “There is E. Vogel Custom Boots & Shoes in Downtown Manhattan, they make riding boots, and I know they buy their leather from France because they don’t use barbed wire there, so it’s smoother. Or there is P E Geurin in Greenwich Village, which makes decorative hardware in its own foundry. But they shape and move the metal, and don’t just pour in the brass. Both made me look at high street stores very differently.” As well as knowledge, McDonald has also developed a great admiration for the stores in general, particularly their staying power. “For some of these businesses, the only reason they survive is because they own the building, bought by their grandparents years ago,” he says. “And in one case I know of the building is worth more than the business. But some have evolved thanks to the younger generations, who add things like blogs or online sales.” But whether the businesses have struggled or thrived, the point is that they are here to be appreciated. So does McDonald think he can take his concept to other cities? “I would like to take the show wider, maybe do American Originals,” he says. “And I think London would be a good city to look at too.” This is clearly a man on a mission, and his work is not yet done. New York Originals by Jamie McDonald, published by Rizzoli, is available from amazon.com, priced US$24.95
Image: Everest Skydive Crew, everest-skydive.com
Bucket list No.87 Skydive over Everest
No peak captures the imagination quite like Mount Everest. Towering 8,848 metres above sea level, the king of the Himalayas has long mesmerised the world’s greatest mountaineers and explorers – but during October only, for a select few adventurers, there’s a chance to
venture beyond the summit. Everest Skydive, an ‘elite adventure to the top of the world’, takes thrill-seekers above the peak, to 8,991 metres, for the jump of a lifetime. Equipped with a vital oxygen supply, you’ll take the plunge – either tandem or solo – for a 3,048-metre free-fall, reaching up
- 78 -
to 200km/hr. You’ll hurtle towards the peak-strewn landscape before pulling the parachute ripcord for a 5-minute glide down to earth – or, if you’re still up for a thrill, a hair-raising ride of vertiginous spins... Solo: $25,000; Tandem: $35,000. everest-skydive.com
Get AwAy A round-up of global openings and unique promotions throws up some brilliant ideas for a luxury Eid escape
t’s long been the des res of the A-list for their winter season escape, and yet there’s now further reason for the celeb-set to decamp to The Carlton St Moritz. As of the new ski season, the hotel will boast the grandest and most exclusive penthouse in the alpine village, courtesy of designer Carlo Rampazzi. It’s been designed so that guests can entertain in style – a large open plan area inside and, wrapping the outside, five suitably sized terraces, each affording stunning 360-degree views over the snowy peaks. Bookings are now being taken. tschuggenhotelgroup.ch Another design triumph has just opened in Australia, with the unveiling of QT Sydney. It’s set within two of the city’s most iconic buildings: the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theatre. The façades of both buildings have been painstakingly restored to their former glories, while inside original features are juxtaposed with curated digital art installations and quirky design pieces inspired by the history of the buildings. It’s also the first hotel in the city to offer its concierge service via an in-room iPhone and iPad. designhotels.com Exclusive to the Middle East region is an offer to take over, for seven nights at least, one of Ireland’s most historic properties: Ballyfin Castle. Set in 600 acres of private, lake-dotted land, the castle is the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, filled with Irish art and priceless antiques from around the world. The 15 period-dressed rooms accommodate 29 persons in all, with all meals (set to the music of a live harpist in the evening) and activities (falconry, archery, fishing, boating…) included in the price of $170,160. The offer is for a limited time only. ballyfin.com In the warmer climes of the Indian Ocean, meanwhile, a world-first at NIYAMA Maldives gives guests the opportunity to descend from the resort’s over-water restaurant to a nightspot that’s six metres beneath the sea. Floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of Subsix frames myriad, multi-hued fish floating by for the most spectacular of settings. niyama.peraquum.com
- 79 -
What I KnoW noW
Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi Vice Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons
I had a wonderful introduction to business from my father. When I was at school, my brothers and I worked at his shop because there was nothing else to entertain us. We would help out with everything – to start young is the best way to learn many things. The shop was like a majlis, and the pace of communication was much slower. I miss those days. Today, there is no time to sit and drink tea.
today. We love our business. Patience is very important to all of us; it is part of watches, the luxury of time.
we do it well. If you take care to be excellent at just one thing, then you can become the best in your field.
If you plan carefully and study carefully, you can survive what life throws at you. It has not been an easy journey for us – there will always be ups and downs in business – but you need to be really strong in order to take on the negative times.
I am driven by my family. This is a family business – four generations have made our company what it is
You should always stick to what you do best – many people try to be too diverse. Luxury is what we do, and
It is vital to surround yourself with a network of business leaders. Last week I was talking to a business contact in a different industry and he asked me about the market. I told him that it was a bit slow, and he said that they were facing the same pace that week. It is important to talk to people from different industries in order to understand the various trends in the market.
- 80 -
OFFSHORE COMPANIES, TRUSTS AND BANKING Since 1988 our worldwide network of offices have provided offshore structures for many thousands of discerning clients around the world. If you are investing in property (or anything else for that matter) in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or elsewhere in the world then it is vital to understand the local laws on inheritance and transfer taxes. Let us show you how correctly structuring your investment can dramatically cut your costs and secure the assets for future generations. Getting it wrong can be very expensive. Call us now for an initial chat, free of obligation or charge. Abu Dhabi +971 2 495 2786 Dubai +971 4 448 6010
800 OFFSHORE BHomes@SovereignGroup.com
Offshore & Freezone Specialists since 1987 Abu Dhabi, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Malta, Mauritius, The Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom & Uruguay.
Limelight White gold, diamond set watch Piaget Manufacture
PIAGET BOUTIQUES: Abu Dhabi: Avenue at Etihad Towers, 02 667 0044 Dubai: The Dubai Mall, 04 339 8222 - Wafi New Extension, 04 327 9000 Dubai: Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Atlantis 04 422 0233, Burj Al Arab, 04 348 9000 Burjuman Centre, 04 355 9090, Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 1211