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IS SU E T W EN T Y NINE | OCTOBER

2013

Marion Cotillard

Produced in International Media Production Zone

France’s leading lady heads up our style issue

DAY OF LIGHT The illuminating early work of an iconic fashion photographer revealed

LIGHTNING BOLT Can a new electric supercar really be worth $250,000?

GIORGIO ARMANI Why age shows no sign of slowing the designer’s drive for perfection

TOMAS MAIER Meet the man who added edge to Bottega Veneta’s understated style


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CONTENTS

Style The

Issue October 2013

Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.

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CONTENTS / FE ATURES

Fifty Four

Giorgio Armani Managing Director Victoria Thatcher

Fashion’s elder statesman on why perfectionism brings meaning to life

Editorial Director John Thatcher

Sixty

Marion Cotillard

Advertisement Director Chris Capstick chris@hotmediapublishing.com

The modern day style icon on the pleasure she takes from leading a simple life

Editor Leah Oatway leah@hotmediapublishing.com Contributing Editor Hazel Plush hazel@hotmediapublishing.com

Senior Designer Adam Sneade Designer Andy Knappett

Sixty Six

Corinne Day

Design Intern Emily Dixon

The engaging early work of the late great fashion photographer

Illustrator Vanessa Arnaud

Seventy Two

Tomas Maier

Production Manager Chalitha Fernando

Bottega Veneta’s creative director on what makes luxury the brand unique

Advertisement Manager Rawan Chehab rawan@hotmediapublishing.com Advertisement Manager Sukaina Hussein sukaina@hotmediapublishing.com

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The most powerful drive: instinct. The New Flying Spur.

Emirates Dubai Tel: 00971 4294 4492 Emirates Abu Dhabi Tel: 00971 2222 2445 Doha Tel: 00974 4411 4411 Bahrain Tel: 00973 1723 8822 Kuwait Tel: 00965 2473 5199 Beirut Tel: 00961 161 3670 Jeddah Tel: 00966 12606 7323 Riyadh Tel: 00966 1121 73838 Al Khobar Tel: 00966 13814 4443 Oman Tel: 00968 2457 3798 New Delhi Tel: 0091 11241 21616 For further enquiries please call 00973 1619 8827 The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © October 2013 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: New Flying Spur.


CONTENTS / REGUL ARS

Forty Three

Jewellery

The world’s biggest white diamond is yours to bid for this month. See it here

Twenty Four

Forty Eight

Seventy Eight

Eighty Eight

Why Rankin’s new book of stunning style snaps is a must for your coffee table

Dubai’s Third Line Gallery gears up for another showing at Frieze London

Meet the man tasked with adding edge - and style - to the electric car

Ingie Chaloub and her life lessons learned from a career in fashion

Forty

Forty Six

Eighty Four

Frederic Watrelot reveals the watches to look for at Christie’s Dubai sale

Sara Cosgrove reports on the winning trends at Maison et Objet, Paris

The most decorated man in food is also the most feared. Should he be? We find out...

Radar

Timepieces

Art & Design

Interiors

Motoring

Gastronomy

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What I Know Now


EMPIRE AVIATION GROUP

October 2013

WELCOME ONBOARD

Welcome to this issue of AIR – Empire Aviation Group’s lifestyle magazine for onboard guests and aircraft owners. This is an exciting time for Empire Aviation Group and our sister branch, Empire Aviation in India, where our team has been actively showcasing our full portfolio of aviation services to aircraft owners and operators. The new operation is now well established and is on track for further development, having implemented the same high standards of operational safety, maintenance control and management, as well as quality control which are at the core of Empire Aviation Group. The key focus for our India branch has been to promote our services with an emphasis on aircraft sales and aircraft management, based on the distinctive asset management benefits we provide for aircraft owners and operators. At the heart of our asset management approach to aircraft management is our SMS (Safety Management System) and CAMO - Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation – which are programmes designed to maintain the technical worthiness of an aircraft and its safe operation. CAMO is also a fundamental element in protecting an aircraft’s future value whilst the SMS concentrates on the training of the various stakeholders to reduce all aspects of operational risks. You can read more on maintenance management systems on page 22. India is still an emerging aviation market and part of our role has been to help them understand the benefits of outsourced professional aircraft management services, in the context of a rapidly changing regulatory framework which will align India more closely with the international standards governing private aviation elsewhere – a development that we warmly welcome. We hope you enjoy the issue.

Steve Hartley Executive Director

Contact details: info@empire.aero empire.aero

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Paras Dhamecha Executive Director


EMPIRE AVIATION GROUP NEWS

EMPIRE AVIATION ON THE RISE IN INDIA Empire Aviation (EA) is a new private aviation specialist branch office of Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group; it has already launched a comprehensive range of business aviation services for private aircraft owners in India. The one-stop shop approach covers aircraft sales, aircraft management and flight operations and charter brokerage. Empire Aviation actively began to implement its plans for India in the summer of 2012, selecting the operational base and building the team that would ultimately deliver the full portfolio of private aviation services designed and delivered by Empire Aviation Group in the Middle East. Empire Aviation took its first business jet under management in India in December 2012 (a 2012 model Bombardier Challenger 300) at its base at HAL Airport in Bangalore. The new branch location has proved to be the ideal base, offering a convenient location for aircraft management and flight operations. With an experienced team and systems and processes in place to ensure integration with EAG, Empire Aviation has been active in India with the operations and management of its first aircraft. The team has also been working closely with owners and operators to help them understand the benefits of specialist outsourced professional aircraft management services. “We see part of our initial role as helping company and individual owners and aircraft operators in India understand the benefits of working with independent and experienced professional aircraft managers,” says

Steve Hartley. “Most private aircraft in India are company owned and managed by an inhouse operations team, which is not always very cost effective. Empire Aviation takes an asset management approach to aircraft ownership and management, which starts with understanding the owner’s needs, and building a business model around this, ensuring access to all the benefits of the aircraft whilst protecting its value through professional operation, management and maintenance to manufacturers’ standards.” The team at Empire Aviation in Bangalore has brought the skills and experience developed in the aviation market of the Middle East to the new Indian operations. Whilst autonomous, the team is fully integrated into the Empire Aviation Group operations and complies with all the appropriate aviation standards, managing aircraft flight operations, crew recruitment and training, and maintenance management systems. The team also provides consultancy services to owners and operators in India. With multiple aircraft already under management, and a growing fleet of aircraft (with more in the pipeline), the management service is poised for strong growth. Paras Dhamecha adds: “The Indian economy is proving robust and with more Indian companies globalizing their operations, we see a healthy future demand for our services, where we can fill the gap for a professional management company, which can simplify the ownership process and experience for owners. This will also help further stimulate the market for business aviation.”

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Nirav Kotak

Head of Operations – Empire Aviation, India Nirav has been flying since he was 16 years-old, which is when he obtained his Private Pilot’s license. After studying commercial aviation management in Canada and a period as a credit analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada, he became a flight instructor at Brampton Flight College. He then joined Empire Aviation Group, as a CoPilot and then Captain. At EAG, in addition to his flying duties, he has also taken on the roles of Deputy Training Manager, and Deputy Chief Pilot. Following a period as Acting Director of Operations for EAG, he was appointed as Head of Operations for Empire Aviation, India, in 2013.


EMPIRE AVIATION GROUP NEWS

SHARING THE SECRETS OF SUCCESS

At the core of any world class aviation operation are the processes and systems that ensure safe and efficient aircraft operations. CAMO – Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) – is one process on which EAG’s asset management approach is based. CAMO is a requirement of the aviation regulators to maintain an aircraft’s technical status, technical profile and programmes. CAMO measures the quality of the safety maintenance processes applied to an

aircraft and is also a significant factor in determining an aircraft’s future value. In addition to CAMO, as part of the asset management approach, EAG has implemented a Safety Management System (SMS) to enhance safety performance aimed at achieving best practice and moving beyond compliance. All EAG staff and flight crew are trained to identify and report safety issues and risk assessment is carried out for all reported issues. Safety data is collected through

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Audits, Flight Data Monitoring, Feedbacks, Safety Surveys and Safety Meetings. Supported by these group standards and processes, Empire Aviation is operating its managed aircraft on behalf of owners in full compliance of the changing regulatory framework in India, and is also making efforts to help owners better understand the implications of these changes for the future operation of their aircraft.


Investing in Abu Dhabi’s future Working at the very heart of the UAE economy, Mubadala is focused on the management of long-term investments that deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits to the local community. Developed by Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI), Al Maryah Island has been modeled on the world’s leading mixed-use, 24-hour Central Business Districts (CBD). Selected for its strategic location and proximity to the emirate’s existing business community and new residential districts, Al Maryah Island is the capital’s first Financial Free Zone. The magnetism of this vibrant, 24-hour commercial, leisure and entertainment hub is attracting unique investment opportunities to the capital. mubadala.com


RADAR

Rankin Top

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Images, from left: Scarlett Johansson; Tom Hardy; Eva Green, all © MORE by Rankin

Rankin is widely regarded as one of the world’s most important fashion and celebrity portrait photographers. If you’re not sure why, a peek at his largest retrospective book to date, MORE, should prove explanation enough. The mighty stylish tome, guaranteed to spruce up any coffee table, features his finest work from the past 20 years, encompassing the worlds of fashion, music and media. These shots are just three of many celebrity portraits within its stylish pages, alongside beauty, fashion and his unique collaboration with Damien Hirst, a contemporary portrayal of ancient mythical monsters.

On his work, Rankin says: “I am aware that my work is often a little bit uncomfortable, a bit strange, a bit challenging. I consider many of my pictures of the more famous people almost as ‘anti-celebrity’ – get them off the pedestal, get them face-to-face, see the real person inside... If you look at that part of my work, it’s levelling.” With this in mind, his aim is to show familiar celebrity faces in unconventional ways. “Some photographers poke and antagonize, some are really silent, some are demanding. I often rely on humour and persistence to get that reaction.” teneues.com

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RADAR > For centuries all fashion designs have originated with a single sketch, a handdrawn illustration that sparks a flurry of ideas and more than a few inspired collections. New book Illustration Now Fashion, takes an indepth look at the historical beauty of fashion sketches, looking back at early etchings from the 17th century and following their development up until today. Alongside the history, you’ll find quotes from the world’s leading couture houses and images of sketches by the acclaimed 18th century French painter François Watteau. There’s also a drawing by Paul Iribe, done for Parisian fashion designer Paul Poiret, and, the work of René Gruau, whose fashion illustration talent attracted collaborations with the likes of Balenciaga, Dior, Givenchy, Lanvin and Schiaperelli. Taschen.com

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RADAR

Pop Snap,

Crackle,

A new photography auction showcases some of the music industry’s most iconic faces...

F

rank Stefanko’s iconic 1978 Corvette Winter shot of Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey is one of more than 300 images up for grabs at a unique photographic auction this month. From shots of Stevie Wonder in action and fly-on-the-wall photos of Joni Mitchell, to the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart’s takes of Bjork and of Lou Reed with Laurie Anderson and Mick Jagger: the auction, organised by Morrison Hotel Gallery and Antiquorum Auctioneers, is sure to delight music fans. The gallery has delved deep into its archives to find images that offer a visual journey through 20th century musical history, taking in everything from American blues and jazz to hip hop and grunge. It takes place on October 8 at Antiquorum Auctioneer’s Madison Avenue base and is the result of a long-standing friendship between Morrison Hotel Gallery co-owner, acclaimed photographer Timothy White, and Antiquorum’s president Evan Zimmerman. The pair, both passionate music and photography fans, had been waiting for the right opportunity to collaborate. Also included in the auction are

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RADAR

Images: Previous page: Corvette Winter © Frank Stefanko; Stevie Wonder © Al Satterwhite; Beatles Umbrellas © Robert Whitaker, all courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery

photos of arguably the world’s first celebrity supermodel Pattie Boyd and intimate shots of Jimi Hendrix, taken behind the scenes at Electric Lady Studios by producer Eddie Kramer. And fans of The Beatles will love a special photographic series by Bill Bernstein during Paul McCartney’s 2002 world tour. Each shot has been

‘It takes in everything from American blues through to hip hop and grunge’ signed by the legendary singer, The fact that there are images taken at every level means that the price points vary dramatically too: at anything from US$1,000 to US$25,000. Bidding is possible not only in person but also online, by absentee bid, and by phone to both collectors and the general public.

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CRITIQUE

Film The Fifth Estate

Captain Philips

Dir: Bill Condon, R.J. Cutler When Julian Assange founded whistle-blowing network WikiLeaks, could he have imagined the truths it would uncover? This trueto-life drama tells the story of its inception. AT BEST: “A well-made and entertaining conspiracy thriller.” The List AT WORST: “Watching people do stuff with computers isn’t just as boring as watching paint dry, it’s a lot more irritating.” This is London

Dir: Paul Greengrass Based on the 2009 hijacking of an American container ship by Somalian pirates, this thriller examines the tense fight for power between the crew and their kidnappers. AT BEST: “An enthralling action-drama driven by an absorbing lead performance from Tom Hanks.” Screen International AT WORST: “Even while proficiently made, the movie fails to go beyond the call of duty.” indieWIRE

A.C.O.D.

Dir: Stuart Zicherman Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce – or so he thinks. When he realises he was the subject of a childhood study, cracks appear in his blissfully straight-forward life. AT BEST: “A wild and woolly family drama that hums along in fast motion.” Entertainment Weekly AT WORST: “Carter’s existential crisis simply isn’t interesting enough to sustain the movie, no matter how likable the leading man.” Variety

Gravity

Dir: Alfonso Cuarón Two astronauts are left stranded when their shuttle is destroyed, leaving them floating, helpless, in space. AT BEST: “A masterclass

in camerawork and special effects.” The Atlantic AT WORST: “Watching Gravity feels like watching a prep reel for Star Tours, without being allowed to board the ride.” AV Club

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CRITIQUE

Art

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has returned to its roots with American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe – a gathering of work by oftoverlooked early-American artists. Critics have long claimed that the gallery has too few national historical works (in contrast, its European collection is internationallyacclaimed), so all eyes were on the show when it opened last month. “The show makes [its] case with a mixture of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs that represent 49 artists, all born from 1870 (John Marin) to 1917 (Jacob Lawrence and Andrew Wyeth),” writes Roberta Smith in The New York Times. “There are wonderful works by Davis, Edward Hopper and Charles Sheeler, who glides effortlessly among the mediums here with a consistent sense of crystalline form and emerges as the show’s quiet hero. Don’t miss O’Keeffe’s classic ‘Farmhouse Window and Door’ and Davis’s 1931 ‘Salt Shaker’.” Jerry Saltz in New York magazine is also ebullient: “MoMA doesn’t often let its early-American roots show, so let’s hope this is a taste of deeper things to come. A swell start. An enticing glimpse of MoMA’s holdings of American art... There are big names like Stuart Davis, lesserknowns like George Ault, and pure visionaries like Florine Stettheimer.” Curators at London’s Royal Academy took on the brave (some may say crazy) task of compiling a retrospective of Antipodean art for the newly-opened Australian show. They limited the exhibition to pieces from the past 200 years, although the diaspora of artists and influences is mind-bogglingly wide. Contemporary films by Shaun Gladwell, abstract paintings by Sidney Nolan, 1800s sketches by Tom Roberts... The catalogue promises to “uncover the social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art”, but can they pull it off? Alastair Sooke of

The Telegraph thinks so. “Think of this as the exhibition equivalent of a grand and informative television documentary series: detailed, comprehensive, omniscient, in places beautiful.” London Evening Standard’s Brian Sewell is left cold, however: “This exhibition is not encyclopaedic and inclusive but a sweeping survey – so sweeping that it denies the undisciplined turmoil of European influences available in Australia through books and reproductions. The Royal Academy’s exhibition, in the end, amounts to nothing but sad Reader’s Digest stuff.” Bob Dylan’s Face Value ricochets into its second month in October, dividing critical opinion and proving that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Dylan has been painting

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and drawing since his twenties, but that’s poor preparation for a major show, finds The Metro’s Steve Pill: “It may seem a little unfair to judge Dylan’s art by the phenomenal standards of his music when these are clearly just the works of a 72-year-old hobby painter. But 72-year-old hobby painters don’t often get given major gallery shows. [He] clearly got this gig on the strength of his ‘voice of a generation’ reputation alone and there is little of interest here for anyone but the most committed Dylanologist.” Fisun Güner of The Arts Desk finds, at least, a little entertainment in the show: “The portraits are of people he’s met, or at least known about. You could spend hours trying to guess who some of them might be, as I’m sure Dylan obsessives will.”


CRITIQUE

Books The private life of Stephen Hawking has always been shrouded in mystery. He may be hailed as one of the greatest cosmologists of all time, but as a sufferer of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, his life has often been defined by the debilitation of motor-neuron illness. Through the autobiographical My Brief History, Hawking aims to put this right. The sheer feat of writing the book is reflective of its author’s dogged perseverance: Hawking was able to ‘type’ by using a muscle movement sensor on his glasses. However, his labour is well concealed, finds Chuck Leddy of The Boston Globe: “In clean, direct prose, Hawking leads us from his birth in Oxford in 1942 to the present. He wields a lighthearted wit to leaven his prose... He comes across as an understated, hard-working, and likable physicist committed to understanding and explaining the cosmos.” For a man that has played such a key role in modern science, Hawking does not revel in the limelight – even after the success of his seminal work, A Brief History of Time. But The Guardian’s Ian Sample sees this memoir as Hawking’s swansong: “The details are sketched, but the brevity makes for a bold picture. Hawking’s intellectual activity soars as his illness takes hold and eventually puts an intolerable burden on his marriages... My Brief History reads like a farewell letter from a man who, faced with the prospect of an early death, made so much of his life.” Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri is renowned for her delicate prose, and her new novel The Lowland has already been tipped for the Man Booker Prize. The story, set in the 1960s, follows two brothers from Calcutta, one an academic who moves to America, the other a rebel of the emerging Naxalite insurgency. When the radical is killed in action, the brothers’

family conspires to protect his widow and unborn son, and relocate them both to America under the protection of the surviving brother. “[This is] a finely pitched meditation on various modes of distance and affinity,” writes The Telegraph’s Bharat Tandon. “Belonging and alienation, place and displacement: these have long been Lahiri’s abiding fictional concerns, but in The Lowland, they are more alive than before, in the very shapes of her sentences.” It’s a catchy premise, but Lahiri’s style is too laboured for Randy Boyagoda of Financial Times: “The story seems too often like an extended occasion for the writer’s artful displays (not that they’re always that artful). Lahiri’s eye is languorous rather than patient, pointillist rather than sharp. The writing in The Lowland is everywhere ostentatiously quiet, extravagantly precise, distractingly ceremonial, at least when it’s not cloyingly precious. Booker or not, The Lowland is awash with Lahirical excess.” Tom Franklin’s new thriller The Tilted World, written with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, puts his readers in the prohibition-era Deep South. Bootlegger Dixie Clay is mourning the loss of her baby to scarlet fever, but when she meets prohibition agents Ingersoll and Ham, the unlikely wards of an orphaned baby, she decides to start a new life. “Franklin comes garlanded with praise,” writes Alison Flood in The Guardian. “This thriller immerses its readers in America’s deep south. It’s for those who like their fiction literary, or literary fiction for those who like their thrills... This is a drowning world of “murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge” Franklin and Fennelly have given us and, as autumn draws in and the rain keeps falling, it’s one to dive into with gleeful foreboding.”

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Theatre

Circa, Australia’s premiere touring acrobatics troupe, is on the road again. In collaboration with French string quartet Quatuor Debussy, the company presents Opus: a fouract circus extravaganza set to live Shostakovich works. In a unique twist, the acrobats interact with the musicians, using them in stunts to show off both parties’ unwavering skills. “It’s a great, daring concept,” writes Matt O’Neill in Australian Stage. “It’s truly stimulating work of cold genius and uncommon brilliance that really demonstrates why Circa exist and why they’re so internationally acclaimed – the ensemble effortlessly massaging circus into something alien, profound, elegant and intimate.” Natalie Bochenski of Brisbane Times was similarly stunned: “There are tumbles, handstands, backf lips, trapeze work, and a whole load of other moves that are almost impossible to describe without resorting to visual metaphors. The Carpet Roller, the Human Needles, the Skipping Rope, the Iron Filings Near A Magnet and the Shot Out of a Cannon were all executed beautifully, and with extraordinary athleticism.” Loosely inspired by the friendship between Muhammad Ali and the actor Stepin Fetchit, Des McAnuff’s Fetch Clay, Make Man opened at New York Theater Workshop last

month. The play is set in 1965, and Ali is preparing for a rematch with Sonny Liston. He turns to Fetchit for advice – in the hope that he was entrusted with the secret of fighter Jack Johnson’s ‘anchor punch’ – but Fetchit has motivations of his own. “When a play throws a knock-out punch you leave the theatre disturbed, awakened, and in the case of Fetch Clay, Make Man, satisfied, writes Nancy Cohen-Koan in Huffington Post. “It is a political play, dealing with many of the themes that make Americans uncomfortable: racism, power and religion.” For The New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood, the production is more

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forced than forceful: “Throughout “Fetch Clay,” you can feel the play’s themes — of authenticity and identity, of the internal and external conflicts faced by prominent AfricanAmericans in a racist culture — will play out in dramatic terms. And yet as the atmosphere grows tense, the confrontations feel forced. The second act consists of a series of shouty headto-head arguments that grow tedious.” Beau Willimon’s debut play Farragut North was the basis of the film The Ides of March, which follows 25-year-old political campaigner Stephen Bellamy as he embarks on his first job as a spin doctor. Now showing at London’s Southwark Playhouse, Farragut North stars Max Irons (son of Jeremy), and has already received rave reviews. “Guy Unsworth’s smartly minimalist production keeps the tension and suspense in full play,” writes The Stage’s Mark Shenton. “It is alive with detail and drama, and deals smartly with larger subjects like the value of loyalty.” Henry Hitchings of London Evening Standard is also full of praise: “Irons is a young actor to watch, and he captures the hubris and subsequent disintegration as others’ Machiavellian ploys take their toll.”


AIR PROMOTION

I

n the fascinating world of watch complications, what truly excites the master-watchmaker, propelling them to produce what was previously considered improbable, often impossible, is the chance to create a striking mechanism. Yet so rare is the skill to perfect this most intricate of complications that only few watchmakers possess it. Within the house of Vacheron Constantin, and its unique Grandes Complication workshop, you’ll find those who have it, hard at work. To graduate to this most coveted of workshops, the watchmaker must have at least 15 years experience gleaned from other workshops, and spend a further two years working under the guidance of a master. Once you marvel at their creations - which involve the use of as many as 1,200 tools, some made solely to perform the smallest of operations - you’ll know why this long road to the pinnacle of their profession is eagerly travelled by watchmakers, particularly at Vacheron Constantin, which, remarkably, has created such marvellous mechanisms for over two centuries. Indeed, the Manufacture made its first minute repeater on a pocket-watch in 1810, before combining striking mechanisms with major complications throughout the following decades, in each case producing exceptional timepieces that were among the most complicated of their era. Two such watches are historic: that developed for King Fouad of Egypt in 1929, and the timepiece created in 1935 for his son, King Farouk. Another, in 1941, saw Vacheron Constantin produce its first wristwatch equipped with a single complication - the minute repeater, housed within an ultra-thin movement: Calibre 4261. And at a time when the quest for slenderness was prevalent, 1992 witnessed the birth of Calibre 1755, a minute repeater measuring just 3.28mm thick - an unprecedented achievement. Today, the latest history-making piece born of Vacheron’s Grandes Complication workshop is the Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731, named in honour of the year the brand’s founder, Jean-Marc Vacheron, was born. It’s a watch unique in today’s market, being the

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 Sophistication, ingenuity and passion in perfect harmony thinnest minute repeater available (8.90mm) and housing the slimmest minute calibre (3.90mm). And while remaining true to the design codes of its predecessors in the Patrimony line, Vacheron has opted for a subtle and engaging quirk on the Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731: a small seconds, offset at 8 o’clock. To the eye, the timepiece looks impeccably styled, to the point that you’d expect its creation to be equally effortless. But beneath its slender façade lies remarkable complexity: it took four years for Vacheron to perfect the new Calibre 1731, and as a result it’s loaded with great feats of ingenuity. Its minute pieces carefully finished one at a time. Minute repeaters make for fascinating timepieces. Devised in the 18th century to provide an audible indication of the time whilst its wearer was in the dark, each watch is a one-off, instilled with the music created by the master-watchmaker. He takes several months to first assemble and then fine-tune this sound, and so precious is it to the overall appeal of the timepiece that each individual chime of every watch is recorded and stored in the Vacheron Constantin archives. This ‘soundprint’ guarantees the ability of the Manufacture to restore the unique sound to the timepiece in the event of its repair, and only adds to the allure of the watch. The extraordinarily technical yet simple of style Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 is as much a work of art as a fine painting. The accomplished expression of a master of his craft, and the result of months of painstaking work. Truly a timepiece to cherish.

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TIMEPIECES

FREDERIC WATRELOT Christie’s watch specialist marks your card ahead of this month’s Dubai watch sale Having spoken at length about watches being sold all around the world at the established salerooms in New York, Hong Kong, Geneva and London, I am delighted to be able to talk about a watch sale in Dubai. Those familiar with Christie’s Dubai may remember that we held very successful watch sales here until 2010. Middle Eastern buyers across our international sales in this category have tripled since 2009 and we hope that by re-launching the Dubai sale this year we can tempt even more collectors in the region. The sale is small, but perfectly formed. Modern and vintage watches are included, from brands including Breguet, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Chopard, Cartier, IWC, Rolex and TAG Heuer, with estimates from $1,500 up to $80,000. 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 ever more sophisticated timepieces. I have picked out some of my favourites in order to show the range and what excellent value they are. If you are interested in complications, we are very fortunate to have a number of high quality tourbillon watches in our sale – developed around 1795 by the French-Swiss watchmaker AbrahamLouis Breguet, a tourbillon aims to counter the effects of gravity by mounting parts of the movement in

a rotating cage, so that the watch is not affected by the position it is in while on the wrist. Originally an attempt to improve accuracy, tourbillons are still included in some expensive modern watches as a novelty and demonstration of watchmaking virtuosity. The mechanism is usually exposed on the watch’s face to show it off. One of most important watches in this field is by Vacheron Constantin, a very fine and rare 18-carat gold watch, made around 2008, estimated to sell for between $50,000 and 80,000 (lot 26 of the sale). It has a cal. 1790 mechanical lever movement and has 27 jewels. From Breguet, the company who originally perfected the movement in the late 19th century, comes a

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chronograph wristwatch. This elegant piece, with an 18-carat gold face, will be offered for $60,000 to $80,000. This example embodies the contemporary evolution of the famous Marine collection by Breguet, offering collectors a chronograph combined with a titanium one-minute tourbillon carriage in a larger case. The manually-wound movement allows a 50 hours power reserve and has a silicium balance spring and escapement wheel. Christie’s Dubai Watch sale, October 29, 8pm.


Grand Tour The much-coveted Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards are handed out in November, honouring the finest timepieces released this year. Prior to then, the 70 shortlisted watches (selected from an initial number of 200) embark on a world tour, taking in collectors, enthusiasts and, for the first time, Dubai. From October 23-24, the watches will be on display for complimentary viewings at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in DIFC. Additionally, workshops hosted by timepiece experts and collectors will also form part of the exhibition, giving you an opportunity to understand and assess the potential value of each piece.

> New from Panerai is this special edition (limited to just 1,000 pieces) Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Power Reserve Automatic Bronzo. It’s striking, robust look stems from its bronze case, the appearance of

which changes over time to mark its ageing - a fact that therefore makes each piece totally unique to its owner. New to the dial is the display of the power reserve, while visible through its back is the Panerai P.9002 calibre. - 41 -


ASPIRE: diamonds in 18K rose gold

THE FINE ART OF DESIRE

jeweller y@hueb.com • www.hueb.com • Hueb Jeweller y


JEWELLERY > Chanel’s high jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion collection is brimming with stylish and elegant accessories guaranteed to draw covetous glances, like this pearl and diamond bracelet. It comprises 58 big cat-inspired jewels, so as to reference both Venice – it’s the emblem of the city Chanel adored – and Leo, her star sign. > If the idea of owning jewellery with a history seems romantic, then do not miss Estuary Auctions’ antique and fine art auctions sale at Dubai’s Mina Al Salam Hotel, November 1-2. Remarkable antique jewellery and amber will feature alongside historic art and decorative home items.

Hide

Seek This unique necklace and matching ring forms part of the new Salvatore Ferragamo Galuchat collection. As the name suggests, the design maison’s collection is inspired by the prestigious leather of the same name: traditionally, shark or rayfish skin,

galuchat is naturally covered with placoid scales, the size of which dictate the age and size of the animal. Ferragamo’s parure combines this highly sought-after hide with rich yellow gold, sparkling diamonds and rutilated quartz, with the aim of creating something that

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Ferragamo describes as “at once regal and oriental”. We agree.


JEWELLERY MIGHTY WHITE Bid for the the world’s greatest diamond Sotheby’s look set to make history this month when it auctions off this 118.28-carat flawless white diamond. The type IIA magnificent oval stone is the largest D colour flawless diamond ever to appear at auction, as well as the largest oval shaped, and is expected to achieve between US$28 million and US$35 million when it goes under the hammer on October 7 at the Hong Kong Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite.

Only four other white diamonds of more than 100 carats have ever been sold at auction, three of which were handled by Sotheby’s. This gem is almost 20 per cent larger than the Mouawad Splendour – the first and, until now, largest at 101.84 carats. “Over the course of the last 25 years, I have had the privilege of selling three perfect D colour stones – this is the most regal and proud diamond of this elite group,” said David Bennett of Sotheby’s.

Eye candy

Dazzle and delight with these brightlycoloured rings…

Pomellato Tabou rings in rose gold and natural gems

> Set with 181.18 carats of carved ruby, 41.40 carats of tourmaline, and featuring 78.72-carat diamonds, this incredible multi-shape diamond necklace from Graff Diamonds is a timeless classic.

Fabergé Emotion ring with diamond, sapphire, emerald, ruby and tsavorite

Versace cocktail ring with amethyst

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Discover Luxury

The largest selection of 19th Century French antiques in the region, 19th Century Antiques specializes in rare furniture, bronzes, paintings, clock sets, and vases of exceptional quality and taste.

JUMEIRAH EMIRATES TOWERS, BOULEVARD | DUBAI, UAE TEL: +971 4 3887000 FAX: +971 4 3887111 | WWW.19CENTURYANTIQUES.COM


INTERIORS

SARA COSGROVE Harrods’ head of interior design explains why the secret to a stylish home lies with comfort This is such an exciting time of the year for the design industry and I’m still reeling from the high profile furniture fairs I attended last month (all of the key industry brands come together at high profile furniture fairs such as Maison et Objet in Paris and 100% Design, Decorex and Focus in London). During my trip to Maison et Objet in Paris, I immersed myself fully and was inspired by all kinds of weird and wonderful things. With so much going on both in the city and out at the fair ground, a particular area that was bubbling with activity was the Left Bank in Paris, with an impressive

presence from Hèrmes Maison, Le Bon Marche and, over the river, at interiors store Merci, where I saw lots of exciting home accessories and lifestyle products. In terms of trends there is a clear lean towards a new modern style of furniture: deco and 40s and 50s influences, but with a real contemporary twist. Les Héritiers’ beautiful lamps and furniture made from mixed materials including polished brass and shagreen, which was combined with rippled sycamore, caught my eye immediately. Frato, a Portuguese interiors brand, also showcased a collection with a bit of a retro vibe: it featured beautiful lacquered sideboards with motherof-pearl inlay and bronze mirror detail. Delightful, a funky lighting brand, had lots of retro-inspired pieces with a modern direction that promise to bring a young fresh feel to any interior. And the American icon Jonathan Adler also showed this kind of whimsical, new-modern flavour, which was translated into beautiful furniture pieces and show stopping sculptures. The colours that have featured heavily this year include coral, mustard, deep yellow and navy blue and you could see these hues running through many different collections

> What’s better than relaxing in a hammock? How about relaxing in a hot and stylish bath that looks and feels like a hammock? Bathtime just got interesting, courtesy of the design gurus at Splinter Works. Vessel is guaranteed to add style to a wet room: suspended from the walls, it doesn’t touch the floor and you can get it made to measure. Bliss. - 46 -

across the fair. Oyuna’s cashmere collection included particularly beautiful mustards and corals, which worked very well together. Herve van der Straeten, who was not at the fair but was showing in the centre of Paris, had incredible lighting and furniture pieces that were sculpture-like. One outstanding piece had been dipped in bronze and finished with a beautiful coral lacquer, which was very effective. And Hermès Maison collaborated with Phillipe Nigro to produce limited editions of pieces including a beautiful side table upholstered in the classic orange Hermès leather with walnut and brushed polished stainless steel. Another interesting trend was the installation of eye-catching details to walls, with panels made from leather, fabric and crystal. Lalique presented layered crystal panels using a repetition of lots of mirrors to create a dramatic wall effect, which was simply stunning. Further softening of the wall was created by using fabric draping to give a more romantic boudoir feel. As ever, Paris didn’t fail to deliver and the shows were a great kick-start to the season. I can’t wait for the next instalment at Maison et Objet in January 2014, which will showcase the next hottest brands in interior design.


> The temptation to become a couch potato just got greater, thanks to Philippe Starck’s My World. The revolutionary lounge system, which he created in collaboration with Cassina and is available in a range of sizes, contains everything one could need for work and play: from tables and cupboards through to an incorporated electrical re-charging station.

> Who needs a great location in order to have a room with a view? Those in the know are simply opting for one of the myriad hand-crafted wallpapers created by luxury design house de Gournay, such as its Monuments of Paris wallpaper with antiqued effect.

> She is one of the world’s most influential and cutting-edge fashion designers, so it’s of little surprise that when she turns her hand to interior design the results don’t disappoint. Vivienne Westwood’s latest offering is Adventure, her woollen tapestry wallhanging for the Rug Company. She once said of her designs, “My aim is to make the poor look rich and the rich look poor” – mission accomplished. - 47 -


ART & DESIGN

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FRIEZE FRAME As one of the world’s most significant art fairs prepares for its 11th event, AIR discovers why one Dubai gallery keeps going back for more…

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t’s one of the most important events on the art world’s calendar and, as Frieze London prepares to see in its second decade at the city’s Regent’s Park, its success shows absolutely no sign of abating. This year’s event, which runs from October 17 to 20, promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a new look that includes bigger public areas and a new gallery layout designed with us discerning art fans in mind. “In its eleventh edition we are excited to raise the bar with this fair,” said co-director of Frieze, Amanda Sharp. To keep pushing the envelope after what was certainly an eventful 2012 is both brave and impressive. Last year, Sharp and fellow co-director Matthew Slotover launched Frieze New York and Frieze Masters in London the latter of which runs parallel to Frieze London and provides a “contemporary perspective on historical art”. They were both resounding hits. “Last year was an incredibly ambitious and successful year for Frieze,” agreed Slotover. “These insights will be brought to Frieze Art

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Images: 1 – Mark Handforth ‘Colour Phone’ (2012), ‘Seal’ (2012) Galerie Eva Presenhuber; 2 – Unnamed works at Frieze London 2012 ; 3 – Frieze London 2012; 4 – Victoria Miro, London. All photos by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze. Text :Leah Oatway

ART & DESIGN

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Fair in London this year and we will introduce some of the biggest changes to the fair since its founding.” Among them, the largest ever Frieze sculpture park to date, featuring the best of contemporary and historical sculpture. “Frieze is unique in being able to show sculpture for the open air in an exceptional, mature parkland,” observed returning curator Claire Lilley. “This year, with the inclusion of works from Frieze Masters, the Sculpture Park has even greater depth and breadth. It has been exciting to witness the enthusiasm of proposing galleries and artists.” Set in the manicured English gardens at Regent’s Park, expect to see everything from an 11th-century stone seated lion and 13th-century gargoyles to 20th-century pieces by Helen Chadwick and Judy Chicago. There will also be new pieces by Oscar Murillo and Alice Channer. Enthusiasm from galleries for participation in this year’s event has been, as always, enormous. Despite increased demand – the fairs usually receive four times as many applicants as they can accommodate – a little over 150 of the world’s most innovative galleries from around the world will feature in the event, representing the work of thousands of incredible artists. Among them, Dubai-based gallery The Third Line, which will be featuring its artists for the fifth consecutive year. “Frieze London is one of the most important art fairs in the world, so it is definitely an honour to be returning there and showing alongside some of the best galleries in the world,” said Saira Ansari, of The Third Line. The gallery’s themed booth wil explore the idea of ‘futurism’. Among the artists expected to participate in The Third Line’s presence this year will be Sophia Al-Maria (one of the most recent additions to the gallery’s artist roster), the wonderful Rana Begum, Ala Ebtekar and Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige. “The booth looks to provide various interpretations of futuristic themes in the practices of artists from the Middle Eastern region and diaspora,” Ansari explained. “This includes concepts of science fiction, space, imagined future timelines as well as sharp, ultramodern usage of the medium.” Going on to explain the work visitors to this year’s Frieze London can expect to see, she said: “The artists featured invite us to suspend our belief as they present a variety of alternate realities, histories or futures in an attempt to

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re-create or rediscover their current reality. Dealing with space, architecture and landscape they explore the futuristic possibilities involved in living in an age of profound and unparalleled landscape change. A future in which the city replaces landscapes, technology takes over humanity and nature and the past is altered to construct a new future.” While The Third Line is one of many returning galleries, there are also new additions, including Rodeo gallery in Istanbul. Frieze London, as an event, prides itself on the way it encourages and nurtures younger galleries to participate alongside older, more experienced peers. There are two events within the fair that are geared solely towards those galleries less

‘Frieze London is one of the most important art fairs in the world’

than 10 years of age: Focus and Frame. In the latter, Frame, UAE gallery Dubai’s Grey Noise will feature: Mehreen Murtaza is one of several artists whose solo presentation proposal proved successful. It’s a great opportunity for Murtaza and other undiscovered artists to steal the limelight at one of the world’s most prestigious art events. Then there’s the Focus section. Introduced last year it enables young galleries to present previously unseen projects conceived solely for the fair. Highlights are expected to include a nonfunctional telecommunications satellite by Trevor Paglen, an artist and explorer represented by Altman Siegal in San Francisco, and “immersive installations” by Daniel Steeman Mangrané at Sao Paulo’s Mendes Wood. Alongside paintings and sculptures there’ll also be a host of new films, which will feature in Frieze Film, the fair’s bold and often audacious artistic film section. Nicola Lees, Frieze Foundation’s curator, said: “Not only does this year’s programme explore a range of approaches to the medium of broadcast, it also looks at the conditions under which artist films are produced.” With so much to pack in to just four days, you’ll need plenty of nourishment to keep you going: luckily, the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli is on hand with a pop-up restaurant.


ART & DESIGN

STREET ART In the roaring 1920s, Paris’ rue Blomet was a hotbed of artistic creativity The French often refer to the roaring twenties as “the crazy years”: a period when the world’s major cities underwent a cultural revolution, sweeping away the rule book and paving the way for a new breed of creativity. On Paris’ rue Blomet, in the city’s 15th arrondissement, a group of innovative and historic thinkers were taking up residence. They were members of the surrealism movement and the street quickly became renowned as a meeting place for some of the greatest artists and thinkers of the century: from Pablo Picasso to Joan Miro, Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein.

‘More than anything else, the rue Blomet was friendship, an exalted exchange’ “The rue Blomet was a decisive place, a decisive moment for me,” Miró, who took up a studio on the street in 1922 adjacent to Andre Masson, would later tell a journalist during an interview in 1977. “It was there that I discovered everything I am, everything I would become… More than anything else, the rue Blomet was friendship, an exalted exchange and discovery of ideas among a marvelous group of friends.” Eighteen months ago, acclaimed gallery owners Nicolas Maclean and Christopher Eykyn (of Eykyn Maclean galleries in London and New York) accidentally stumbled upon the Parisian street when their gallery director Kirsty Bryce found a brief mention to it in a book on Miró. Fascinated, the trio began digging deeper into its illustrious past residents. What they discovered inevitably

drew parallels with the art scene they have come to know and love. “The art world was a much smaller place then, where it was possible for nearly everyone interested in certain ideas to find each other,” said Maclean. “But even though today’s art world is much larger and geographically diverse, I think people with similar interests find a way to know each other.” Maclean and Eykyn were so enamoured with the discoveries they made and the way in which the Surrealist works produced by the artists on rue Blomet carried similarities or influenced each other, that they decided to share their findings with the world. Surrealism and the rue Blomet runs from November 1 until the end of the year at Eykyn Maclean’s New York gallery and features never-seen-before paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and first-edition books by the Parisian street’s most celebrated stars. Among the highlights is Miró’s remarkable Le Cheval de cirque (1927) painting, from his famous dream series, as well as Masson’s Le tour de cartes (1923), in which his rue Blomet friends can be seen relaxing with a game of cards. “This was really the first show that we’ve done where we didn’t have a clear idea in mind of what the final outcome would be,” Maclean said. “It was based on an intuition that something interesting was happening in that place at that time and we were pleased that, in the course of our research we found not only that our initial instincts were correct, but that the rue Blomet was even more interesting than we could have imagined when we started out.”

Surrealism and the rue Blomet is at Eykyn Maclean, New York, Nov 1-Dec 13, 2013. www.eykynmaclean.com

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Image: AndrĂŠ Masson, Dessin Automatique, 1926 Text :Leah Oatway


Giorgio

ARMANI

is not living up to his reputation - he’s late and he’s laughing ahead of a careerspanning show when we meet. But his drive for perfection hasn’t changed Words: Luke Leitch

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an this really be Giorgio Armani? Midway through our conversation, held lightly sandwiched between a PR and a PA on a leather corner sofa by a bar, I’m wondering. To begin with, he was nearly an hour late: yet during the 40 years in which he’s built his fashion house – of which he remains the sole shareholder (Forbes magazine estimates his personal net worth at Dhs31 billion) – Armani had made it his mantra to be the first man into his Milan office. According to his biography, he even becomes edgy (and he has a temper) when his staff dally at the coffee machine for their morning espresso. So Armani doesn’t do late. Except, strangely, for today. He’s been closeted backstage, in this gleaming limestone Mussolini–built, Palladian– proportioned marble Palazzo della

‘The need to always have new goals and achieve them, is a state of mind that brings profound meaning to life’ Civiltà that Roman locals call the ‘square Colosseum’, making lengthy last-minute adjustments to the evening’s, career–spanning ‘One Night Only’ fashion show. This has four movements, well over 100 looks, a frontrow that includes Tina Turner and Milla Jovovich, and is followed by a party for 600 that continues full–tilt until 4am, entirely depleting that bar. The carved white letters that spell Armani’s name on the steps outside are each only marginally smaller than a Stonehenge obelisk, and the spotlit clothes in his “Eccentrico” exhibition downstairs, a physical catalogue of some of Armani’s most whimsically extravagant designs, fill two cavernous

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halls. As well as lateness, Armani–lore dictates that he neither tolerates the ill-prepared nor the inappropriately attired – even as a teenager he was telling his schoolmates what to wear. So my navy Armani jacket is on and my head crammed with esoteric Armani facts. Sadly, however, I don’t speak his language. I open in my A-level French (he is fluent) but gentle shivers afflict the Armani features – as if confronted by a coat cut clumsily by some dubious designer – and he suggests I stick to English (which he understands, but does not feel confident being quoted in), while he answers in Italian (which


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it, so” – he shrugs – “I’ve changed everything.” Armani started late: he was 40 when he founded his business in 1975 – but it grew rapidly. “In the beginning it was down to courageous and slightly mad intuition, rewarded by good luck.” In 1978 Diane Keaton wore one of his deconstructed jackets to accept an Oscar. Two years later, he outfitted the cast of American Gigolo – which was originally set to star John Travolta. “I met him when he came for the fitting; he is very funny and charming. But without taking anything away from him – because he is such a great actor – he wasn’t the one for that role. Richard Gere was spectacular, and Lauren Hutton – so beautiful.” These unplanned coups, and later the impeccably connected management of Armani’s Los Angeles

I sort of understand, and which is being translated). We entree with some pleasantries about Rome – “here there is nightlife, and the food... but in Milan there is nobody on the street after 9pm! It is very snob” – before roaming fashion-wards. After all the shows he has held – from his shoestring start-up days in the 1970s to the high-production spectacles held in his purpose-built Milan theatre today – has Armani developed any rituals? He glances at the bar, and says: “Well before the show I’d always like to have a vodka! But no… the only thing I do is to always wear the same watch” – there is a slim, gold-encased timepiece on his wrist – “it was a present”. (He won’t say from whom). Deploying that biography-based revision, I quote something he said to Eric Clapton in the 1990s: “The more successful I become, the more I want to remain like me, with my defects and insecurities.” Insecurities, Mr Armani? He laughs: “Without insecurities, I think one becomes a little bit of an idiot. Yesterday I had all of the girls in this show with a particular hairstyle. Today I don’t like

representative Wanda McDaniel, made him the first international fashion designer to win star billing in Hollywood. Asked about the red carpet now, though, he says flatly: “It’s a business. Although nowadays wearing something by Armani [on the red carpet] is more prestigious, I think – because with so many other brands you know that it has been paid for. So if you see someone wearing Armani, you know it is the choice of the celebrity. It is honourable.” We discuss his dislike of sound – and fury trends, or “fake revolutions”, which he dismisses ruefully as “marketing”. And on old fashion houses – I mention Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy – that continue under young designers whose aesthetic has the barest scintilla of connection with their retired or dead founders, he says: “It’s more marketing! Marketing is

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not a nice word, but the world is about marketing now.” Certainly, when it comes to the M– word, Armani is no slouch himself; his campaigns stars have included everyone from Cate Blanchett to the Beckhams, and this very event is a carefully constructed coup de theatre. As well as that punctuality, Giorgio Armani has a reputation for being fearsomely controlled, obsessive about detail, and not necessarily a laugh-a-minute guy. So it’s when he starts chuckling as I ask about another biography-gleaned fact – that the wardrobe in his Milan home is so enormous it has 48 doors – that those doppelgänger doubts set in. “Yes, there are doors everywhere, all of them covered in mirrors. I’m not sure I like that too much though – because waking up and seeing your face reflected 48 times can be very difficult!” And then there is just the slightest aside in that biography, suggesting he once got high by accident... “Si, si!” Armani concurs cheerfully: “I’d better tell you the story. It was a long time ago. We were in the office, and we had finished work exhausted. A friend of a friend said ‘hey, take this it will give you energy’, so I thought I’d try it. “I didn’t know what it was. It made me laugh and laugh, like crazy... to the point that my back hurt” – he holds his hips – “like I’d just had a baby.” After Armani made the cover of Time magazine in 1982 – he laughs again as I ask him about Valentino approaching him on the street shortly afterwards, leaning into his ear and saying just “my, my” before walking on – he told an interviewer his first thought was ‘I must do better’. Thirty-one years later, aged 79, does that still apply? “I must always try to do better,” he says: “Because perfectionism, and the need to always have new goals and achieve them, is a state of mind that brings profound meaning to life.” Ah: now that sounds more like Giorgio Armani.

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Preparing for SS91 show, 1991 An Armani customer fitting, 1979 Armani at work, 1982


‘Without insecurities, I think one becomes a little bit of an idiot’’


Made Marion

Beguiling beauty, a lucrative contract with Dior, and an Oscar nod for best actress while still a relative unknown in Hollywood, Marion Cotillard has it all. AIR meets France’s finest export


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he has a reputation for choosing incredible roles, and the accolades to vouch for it, but two years ago Marion Cotillard took on the most significant role of her life: motherhood. It was a part the smouldering Oscar-winner was born to play and the arrival of young Marcel, her son with fellow French actor and director Guillaume Canet, has changed the way the selfconfessed workaholic views her craft. “Before Marcel was born, I was always getting very wrapped up in my work and letting my characters stay with me, even after I had finished filming,” Cotillard explained. “This is impossible now because you need to be totally present for your child and look after his needs and make his world as beautiful as you can.” While juggling motherhood and a career is no mean feat – she was back at work filming The Dark Knight within a month of giving birth – Cotillard insists that becoming a mother has brought her clarity and a greater sense of worklife balance: “It’s made it easier in some ways to separate my life from my work. My son takes up a

‘I am gaining more awareness and a better grasp of how I can be more committed to the people I love and still work as intensely as I would like’ lot of my time as does my home life and I find I’m actually much more relaxed and in equilibrium with myself than I was before. “I’ve learned to take so much pleasure in leading a very simple life, looking after our son, and finding more humour in life. I don’t allow things to bother me as much as I would in the past. In general I take much more time to be with my family than constantly thinking about my next film, although I still enjoy working as much as ever.” And Hollywood certainly enjoys working with her. Having had her first international break in Tim Burton’s Big Fish, in 2007 she went on to become only the second actress to win an Oscar for a non-English speaking performance for her portrayal of legendary French singer Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (the other was Sophia Loren for Two Women). Last year she won the best actress prize at Cannes for Rust & Bone, and her impressive biography includes blockbusters such as Public Enemies, in which she starred alongside Johnny Depp; Christopher Nolan’s

Inception and The Dark Knight Rises; as well as Contagion. While with success come more offers of bigbudget titles, Cotillard remains cautious about the roles she accepts. “I have to be very selective,” she said. “I don’t want to work on certain kinds of big studio films, which make you feel your work is not that important. I like directors who believe in creating very strong characters and think of cinema as a more intimate experience. “I feel very good about the work that I am doing and how my life is evolving. I think of it as a long road where I am gaining more awareness and a better grasp of how I can be more committed to the people I love and still work as intensely as I would like.” It’s an approach that is clearly working wonders: Cotillard’s looks belie the inevitable stress that accompanies balancing worldwide success with raising an energetic two-year-old. While A-list mothers looking fantastic within weeks of giving birth is no new phenomenon,

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Cotillard’s appearance at the 66th Cannes Film Festival this year, having been nominated for Best Actress in The Immigrant (eventually won by Bérénice Bejo for Le Passé), confirmed that her phenomenal beauty (in addition to talent) is as headline-grabbing as ever. The 37-year-old’s red carpet appearances in a variety of jaw-dropping gowns, including a white Christian Dior number (she’s been the face of the fashion house since 2008) and a blue Antonio Berardi mini-dress that revealed more than a hint of her enviable pins, saw her top the bestdressed lists and sent international press into overdrive. It would be easy to let the attention and inevitable scrutiny that accompanies critical acclaim and being one half of European cinema’s golden couple go to your head. But Cotillard avoids reading articles written about herself, whether good or bad ¬– “It’s just not healthy and it can be very distracting”. “I have been very careful about trying to isolate myself from stories and being very protective about my private life,” explained the actress, who lives a quiet life with her family in Paris when she isn’t filming. “I rely on spending time with close friends who are very discrete and with whom I feel I can be myself and not feel that my relationships are distorted by my image.” This pragmatism is perhaps a result of having been born into this unique world: she is the

daughter of successful French actor, playwright and director Jean-Claude Cotillard and Niseema Theillaud, also an actress and an accomplished drama teacher. With such a pedigree, it seems almost inevitable that she would follow in their footsteps. “I was always part of that world,” Cotillard, whose brother is also a director, agreed. “My parents always encouraged me and my brother to pursue our artistic sides and I grew up being inspired by watching my father’s performances. My mother would often bring me to rehearsals and from a very early age I knew that I wanted to be an actress. “My father was also a mime and he taught me many techniques – things like how to eat an apple without an apple and how to be stuck between two walls. My early years were a fantastic process of observing and learning about acting and movies.” That’s not to say she was certain she would realise her ambition. “I dreamed about it, but I never imagined it was possible to find my way into that world. My career is the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy, and when I started working on these big Hollywood films and walking onto these giant sets like on Nine or on Inception, I would [ask] myself every morning on the set, ‘Is this real? I can’t believe I’m really here.’ My dreams had become my reality.”

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Images: Corbis / Arabian Eye Text: Leah Oatway and Jan Janssen

‘I dreamed about acting but I never imagined it was possible to find my way into that world. My career is the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy’


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BEAUTIFUL DAY As an intimate set of images taken by legendary fashion photographer Corinne Day at the start of her career is revealed, AIR sits down with her former agent Susie Babchick…

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Words: Leah Oatway

usie Babchick still remembers the first time she met the late great British fashion photographer Corinne Day. It was the early ‘90s and Babchick was a young and ambitious press officer for prestigious record label Ignition. Day, whose images of a young Kate Moss are credited with catapulting the young waif to fame, had agreed to shoot album covers and press images for one of Ignition’s artists and Babchick was suitably over-awed by the idea. “I knew who she was and was very nervous to meet her,” she told AIR, down a crackling line from London. “I was actually pinching myself. She was so famous by that time. I got in touch and she said, ‘Come on over tomorrow’. She lived off Brewer Street and I remember as I walked up the stairs it being like a hyper real experience. She was a kick ass woman.” The Texan press officer and west London photographer struck up an unlikely friendship that day that grew to encompass a working partnership, Day later entrusting her work’s management and production to Babchick. This month, three years after Day passed away from a brain tumour, Babchick is one of several trusted custodians who helped Day’s husband Mark Szaszy produce May The Circle Remain Unbroken – the first non-commercial piece of Day’s work since Diary, the documentary work she produced of her illness. The edit focuses on Day’s work between 1987 and 1996 and will form both an exhibition and book. It was an emotional process for all entrusted with working on it and documents the

beginning of Day’s career change: from model to acclaimed photographer. It features models and friends, sometimes worse for wear, at the flat Day shared with Szaszy in London’s Soho. “A lot of what you’ll see is her experimenting with the young people that she sees around her, so they aren’t necessarily models – some of them are, and these lines were blurred a lot because Corinne would find people out and about and ask them to model for her and they would become big models.” Kate Moss aside, other big names featuring in the edit include model, nutritionist and Kate Moss’ confidant Rosemary Ferguson, who can be seen baring considerable amounts of flesh in carefree shots that hint at the relaxed relationship Day enjoyed with her subjects. “Rosemary was at McDonalds in Oxford Street in the early ‘90s and Corinne saw this tall, handsome girl; she had long hair at the time and Corinne thought she looked really tomboyish,” recalled Babchick. “Rosemary was just out shopping but since that day her life has gone in an incredible direction. But in these shots you’ll see a young Rosemary just kind of hanging out.” Then there’s a young and slightly-built George Clements, bathed in the warm light of a fading sun at a lake’s edge. “He was over at Tooting Bec Lido, swimming and hanging out with friends,” Babchick recalled of how Day first met him. “Corinne saw him and asked if he would be interested in modelling. She just had this eye for models and he went on to become this big model for DKNY and others, so his career really took off. But you see them just messing around in these shots.”

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Day’s strength was in her ability to keep things natural. “Her favourite thing was to get people doing what young people do,” Babchick said. “They’re very natural photographs and feature designer clothes borrowed for an actual fashion shoot; you won’t know that, though, because she blended it into reality so well.” Day’s self-taught documentary-style approach to photography caught the imagination of the fashion world. Among her most iconic shots was the 1993 Vogue cover of Kate Moss taken in Day’s Soho flat. The story that accompanied it – Moss looking tired, with tights pulled over her underwear – provoked a media frenzy and prompted accusations of promoting everything from eating disorders to drug addiction (none of which actually featured in the shots). But, Babchick insists it was never Day’s intention to court controversy. It was simply reality for her and her friends and she wanted to document it. “When I first went to her flat in Soho it was very basic,” she recalled fondly. “Later, after

‘The odd things people put together and used, she found charming’ 2000, when she and I really got really serious about clients and got a lot of repeat business – like nine seasons at a time with big designers and clients like the Gap – she slowly re-did her place. But when I met her it was all pretty grungy: big leather chairs she had gaffer-taped together. So many people were living in that way – there was a recession.” Day would go from place to place to see what people’s real ‘digs’ were like. “Corinne was quite talented at finding squats,” Babchick said. “I was in Housing Association [property], an old run-down Victorian building, and she thought it was really cool looking, a creative way of living. The odd things people put together and used, functionally or decoratively, she found totally charming. So I think she was saying, ‘Okay you crazy magazines out there showing us [glamorous] interiors and what people live like: well look, who’s taking pictures of this?’” Day’s disinterest with fame and its trappings were possibly a reaction to her upbringing. Born in Ealing, west London, her father was reportedly a bank robber and as her mother was unable to raise her, her grandmother did.

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Images: Opening page: George Clements looking out the window 1995., by Corinne Day. Previous page: George Clements by Corinne Day (date unknown). This page, clockwise from top: Corinne with Nikon in Kowloon, Hong Kong 1987; Borneo (Kate in phone booth) August 1991, by Corinne Day; Borneo (Kate standing on log) August 1991


“She was quite matter of fact about her background,” Babchick said. “Corinne was kind of a punk, a rebel, and to get wrapped up in that fame wasn’t really an authentic way of living. She was into being real and rebellious. It would have been too hammy to go all ‘fabulous’. She liked cool fashion from the Easy Rider days of the 1970s and the earlier photography that was very gritty. You wouldn’t have seen her out shopping on a Saturday, or at the hairdressers, and she rarely wore a lick of makeup. Luckily, she was born very beautiful so she didn’t need it: she was naturally thin and looked great no matter what. “She liked the idea of rolling out of bed, pulling a jumper off the floor and going out the door; but I came to find that one or two of her jumpers were Prada.” As a photographer, Day had a reputation for being a tough taskmaster. When I put this to Babchick she lets out a knowing, warmhearted chuckle. “There were times where I could have killed her and times she could have killed me,” she said. “We fought like sisters sometimes.

came for a shoot it would go very quiet and gentle again. I think she just wanted to keep the vibe very light so the models didn’t tense up and that’s how she got such gentle body postures.” Day was diagnosed with a slow-growing, grade-two brain tumour, called an Oligo Astrocytoma, in November 1996 at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. She underwent brain surgery the following month at Whitechapel Hospital in London and was told she had eight years left to live. “She never talked about her illness, rarely ever mentioned it,” said Babchick. “She never talked about dying and really believed that she would live longer than she did. She and Mark were very private about it and, as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the year – maybe 2005 – she was having chemotherapy and didn’t tell anyone. It was business as usual.” Szaszy, Babchick said, was a “hero”. “Mark is from New Zealand and he’s really into nutrition so he likes cooking really simply. I think he played a big role in keeping her alive for so long.

‘Corinne was into being real and rebellious. It would have been too hammy to go all fabulous’ Yes, she [could be] difficult but she was a model [before she was a photographer] and she was working with big photographers who were mostly men. I think she watched them operate and learnt some of that. She said to me more than once, ‘People can call me difficult but if I was a man I’d be called decisive’”. The biggest tug-of-war was usually between Day and stylists. “They’d put something in the shot and she would not want it there. It was because she was so decisive that you’ll see her work is timeless: she didn’t really appreciate trends and gimmicky clothes.” This said, her demeanour was demure and laid-back once shooting began. “She was so gentle you wouldn’t believe it,” Babchick recalled. “She wanted to let things unfold in front of her. Even for major shoots like Vogue, all the hard work would be done weeks in advance: strenuous long days of researching and not making decisions on casting until every single person had been looked at. She didn’t give up until she knew everything was right. She was hardworking and demanding but when the time

“She lived for 14 years after her diagnosis and worked through most of it. He was heroic. Theirs was a true love. She was really ill for a couple of years toward the end and he was there every minute with her, to the last.” Day passed away on August 27, 2010. She has left an indelible mark on her agent and friend, whose long-term hope is to help establish a permanent retrospective of Day’s work at one of London’s galleries. “She pushed me hard because she was a perfectionist and put her faith in my ability. We got to do what I always wanted to do, which was to have a lot of fun professionally. I wanted to be in a creative profession where I could have friends around and make friends out of the people I worked with. She was an absolute optimist, too. When you thought you probably couldn’t, she would push you a little harder.” May The Circle Remain Unbroken opens at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, on October 16. A book by the same title, published by Aron Morel, is released on the same day.

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How Tomas Maier made Bottega Veneta a luxury-goods powerhouse Words: Harriet Walker

I

talian label Bottega Veneta has something of a split personality. In its home city of Milan, there are two major outposts – one in the shopping mecca and luxury goods Valhalla of Montenapoleone, alongside the likes of Armani and Louis Vuitton, and one on the Piazza del Duomo, home to the vast and bombastic, neo-gothic monolith for which the city is famed. These are the label’s public face, where elite squads of upmarket

shoppers convene to partake of creative director Tomas Maier’s vision. His work has long been critically acclaimed but somehow, in the past four seasons or so, the 57-year-old German designer has ramped up his output by a notch, and given it real edge, marking Bottega Veneta out as one of the luxury-goods brands to sail through the somewhat stormy seasonal projections. The company headquarters are located on a private road on the southern outskirts of the city. This is

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where press and the industry come to watch Maier unveil his collections twice a year, and to understand his message for his followers, fans and those with the wherewithal to be part of his world. On the wall directly as you enter, the label’s motto is emblazoned: ‘When your own initials are enough’. Last year, Maier launched a monogramming service on luggage to make good on that sentiment; in 2011, the label introduced its first fragrance. This year has seen the publication of


‘A luxury product is signified by the material that’s used, its design, the know-how of its artisans’

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a weighty photography book by style imprint Rizzoli, edited and with a foreword by Maier himself as well as contributions on the many facets of the company, alongside fashion industry bigwigs Sarah Mower, Tim Blanks and Joan Juliet Buck. Bottega Veneta is not a luxury label like any other. In accordance with the manifesto on its wall, all that is expensive, luxe and even remotely status-worthy about its products is understated. Impeccable but impassive, and conspicuous only to the cognoscenti. “For me, it was interesting to prove

staying on course, by having a clear vision and moving ahead. A luxury product is signified by the material that’s used, its design, the know-how of its artisans. And obviously, I have an obsession with functionality – a bit of my German background.” Tomas Maier was born in Pforzheim, a well-heeled town on the edge of the Black Forest, into a family of architects, and was brought up and educated according to the progressive Steiner philosophy. That exactitude and schooling in natural materials is evident in collections that make use of fine cotton and linens, raffia

‘We did it by insisting. By staying on course, by having a clear vision and moving ahead.’

2.

that a brand could be successful by the way it’s made, the way it’s conceived,” Maier explains when I meet him in London’s Claridge’s. “It’s an aesthetic that is not that easy to understand in one collection,” he continues. “It’s easier to capture now, after 11 years. There were quite a few hurdles in the beginning – it’s not so easy to convince people. But here we are.” Bottega’s roots lie, as with so many Milanese megabrands, in traditional craftsmanship, and artisanal workshops. A leather goods firm established in nearby Vicenza in 1966, it became known for the high quality of its luggage and accessories, at first discreetly displayed, but as tastes changed and the zeitgeist was duly acknowledged, then more brashly and assertively. It was Maier who, upon joining the company in 2001 (he took over from a briefly tenured Giles Deacon), returned Bottega Veneta to its origins, restoring the Seventies sensibilities and retiring the logo, reviving the notion of stealth wealth long before that concept would grip the fashion sector more broadly. “We did it by insisting,” he says. “By

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and, of course, the finest tooled leather. When he left school, Maier began his fashion training at Paris’s prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, where his passion for precision, perfection and intricacy was first kindled. “It was great training,” he nods, “like becoming a cook. You spend time cleaning the pots before you even start chopping an onion. We would handembroider buttonholes for weeks, until they were perfect. And then as an assistant at a couture house, it was my job to present the fabric rolls, to pass the pins. Everything was so slow, made on the bias.” After cutting his teeth at Guy Laroche, Maier moved into the readyto-wear market at some of Europe’s most respected labels – Sonia Rykiel, where he designed the French brand’s menswear, and Revillon, for eight years as creative director, before creating clothing, leather goods and accessories for one of France’s most high-ranking luxury houses, Hermès, and eventually arriving at Bottega Veneta in 2001. He also maintains a label in his own name, which launched in 1997, soon becoming synonymous


‘There was never a marketing plan or anything like that. We grew very organically and when new categories were added on, it was mostly out of demand’ expand in similarly concentric ripples, from women’s bags to men’s, women’s ready-to-wear to men’s – in bigger and more adventurously assertive collections with every season – to store fittings that became part of the label’s homeware range (and, incredibly, a simple bench that forms part of the window display in the label’s 180 global stores that has become one of the most sought-after pieces the company makes). “When we did the window at the beginning, I didn’t want anything traditional,” Maier explains. “What I’ve always liked is this idea of a gesture, when you come home in your foyer or your entry hall, you take your coat off, you throw it on the bench, you drop your bag, you kick your shoes off – the phone’s ringing at just the wrong time. So that was the idea with the bench, I like that nonchalance.” He pauses. “And then the clients said, ‘I want to buy the bench from the window, I want to take it home’. And that’s how the furniture collection started.” It stands to reason that Maier’s – and Bottega’s – customer would have a foyer or an entrance hall, or some sort of vestibule worthy of a designer bench; they are among some of the most wealthy people in the world. Not, of course, that you’d know it from anything other than the sheer quality of their belongings.

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Celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon have been spotted with the Cabat over one arm, while the label is name-checked by almost every rapper obsessed with the upper-end of the upmarket – which is most of them. That’s saying something in a culture that normally worships rather more obvious opulence. “Something simple is always more complicated,” insists Maier. “Obviously what you buy from Bottega Veneta is not a disposable product. It’s an object you keep and it’s an investment. It’s a bag you carry for a year, and if you don’t carry it any more, it goes into the closet and two or three years later, you see someone else with it and think, ‘Ah, I have that bag’. And it comes out again.” In an industry that has been latterly rebuilt on the indestructibility of the ‘investment buy’, every high-end brand is looking to justify their price-points with this sort of definition – yet this is a philosophy at the heart of Bottega Veneta. But when quality is assured, how do you ensure repeat visits? “The diversity of products is very important,” he continues. “You could buy the boots one year – you love them, you have them for a long time, I don’t need to sell you any more boots. But I could probably make you happy with something else that has an aesthetic that we share.”

Bottega Veneta, Edited by Tomas Maier, is out now, published by Rizzoli New York, rizzoliusa.com

with innovative swimwear, and stores in well-to-do resort towns in Florida and the Hamptons. “A full-time job is not for me – it gets too repetitive, too boring,” he says of all these projects. “I’m very active. I don’t have much time to take care of my own line – I do it on the side and I feel a bit guilty about that. I like variety and my jobs have to have focus – I won’t make something if it has no focus. Products must have a story to tell, a sensibility in material and colour.” Maier is nothing if not an absolutist. His mode of expression is pure quality, be it in knitwear, denim, an evening gown or even homeware. It’s a singular vision which has led to immense growth for the label he heads up – which when he began was still solely a purveyor of bags. “There was never a marketing plan or anything like that,” he insists. “We grew very organically and when new categories were added on, it was mostly out of demand. When they had the bag, women wanted the wallet. With the Cabat [the label’s signature leather tote bag] there was a need for a cosmetics pouch, and so on.” When Maier began his tenure at Bottega Veneta, his designs were shown to the fashion press at small presentations in which models in simple black trousers and knits would carry, and pose with, the accessories and footwear. Soon enough, press and buyers were asking how to get hold of those blank-canvas blacks, cut according to Maier’s exacting methods. With the trousers came a range of belts – Maier is insistent that what he makes should work as a whole collection. “What I dislike so much is when a company is at its origin a leather goods company and everything is obvious. ‘Let’s do everything in leather – bags, belts, a leather jacket.’ And then you go into the store and it looks like a boot shop, very unattractive. So belts only came in when there were pants, and there was a sense of why.” And the label has continued to


This is something Maier has become the master of, producing collection after collection of covetable classics, as well as seasonal ‘must-haves’. “I don’t like it when there’s a product that has to make the money and the rest is all for show,” Maier adds, referring to the countless luxury labels which actually sell few of their catwalk looks. “If we do a show, you have to be able to buy everything that’s in it.”

Maier would never be so déclassé as to mention a price, but he is conscious of keeping his customers satisfied. “That’s why we work,” he smiles. “It’s the most important thing, the reason I design. Having a client, that’s somebody you have to work for. If we create products and nobody wants them, then it’s better to stay at home.” Call it a hangover from his background in bespoke, but Maier’s combination of the commercial and

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the couture-like design – in that even those pieces which are mass-produced relate specifically to a client whose tastes and needs he knows inside out – seems to be what has kept his label at the forefront of luxury. Tomas Maier’s Bottega Veneta doesn’t pander to trends, yet it always feels current. It’s that spilt personality again – and it owes its overall coherence to the singular vision of one man.


MOTORING

g n i n t h g i L ikes r t S

T

o many, electric cars are the future, and much kinder to the environment than traditional forms of transport. Major car brands have tried to produce electric vehicles with maximum appeal, but many appear too quirky, or seriously lacking in performance.

A British company is looking to change that, however, with a superfast, electric-powered super car that it plans to unleash soon, offering the same kind of lure – and price tag – as a high-end petrol model. So can the Lightning Car Company create something different to its competitors with the Lightning GT? The answer will arrive when the first cars go into

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production at the end of this year. Yet Lightning founder Iain Sanderson is already proud of its intended specifications. “It’s rear-wheel-drive, using a twin motor system offering 400bhp,” he says. “It has 300kW of output, and over 4,000Nm of torque. This will take you from 0-60 mph in under five seconds, and has a top speed electronically limited to


The Lightning GT is a new British-made electric sports car, set to cost US$250,000. But with only 20 planned for production, you may have to move like lightning to snap one up

130mph. The weight is centrally low, so it holds the road well, and in every way it’s an impressive car to drive.” Often a concern with electric cars, more than the petrol variety, is their range, and how far they will actually drive on a full charge. Luckily, Iain has some impressive numbers here too. “The average range is about 150 miles, but it depends how you drive,”

he says. “If you think about a BMW M3, hammer it and you’ll get five miles to the gallon, so that’s a range of 55 miles. If you hammer a Lightning GT you’ll get 100 miles. Take it easy and you’ll get 200.” The comparison to something like the BMW M3 is an important one, as it is hoped the Lightning will have the same kind of appeal, attracting a

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driver that appreciates performance and handling, while the asking price is in line with supercars from Ferrari or McLaren. “This is a big performance car, and not a roadster that other electric car brands such as Tesla have come up with,” Iain confirms. “It makes the driver feel special and gives them what they want in a car. The price will be over US$250,000


because it has to be – due to the materials we use, and it’s an expensive car to build in such low numbers. We’re aiming for 20 cars initially, to be built at the end of this year or early next, and that gives fantastic exclusivity.” For Iain to finally be considering a production time must be a huge relief, as the company has been trying to get the car built ever since it was first formed back in 2007. A prototype was featured at the British Motor Show in 2008, and received enough votes to be given the Best Car of Show award – a fantastic start, but then the recession hit, and one of its major investors could no longer afford to be involved. Iain describes the time that followed as “a battle”, where he began to realise how hard it is for a small company to get a project like this started, especially in a tough economic climate. While many countries offer grants to help firms involved in creating electric cars the amounts can vary greatly, with Iain of the opinion that the UK is lacking here. This has meant spending more time to find new investors and raise the necessary funds himself. But the fact that there is a support scheme, albeit on a small scale, has helped put the spotlight on Lightning. “We’ve been working with the UK government’s TSB (Technology Strategy Board) scheme, which features a number of other electric cars,” Iain reveals. “Ours did more miles than the rest put together, and it was also the most reliable. A lot of this is down to the parts we use – for example, Lithium Titanate batteries, sourced from a company in Nevada, which we believe are the best in the world, offering a very fast charge, a greater range and years of reliability. Our new drivetrain is made in Sheffield, the lightweight aluminium, hand-built chassis is from Huntington, and we are able to say that everything except the battery cells are made in the UK.” The time period that Lightning has had to remain dormant does have certain advantages, though,

Text: Chris Anderson

MOTORING

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as attitudes and the infrastructure supporting electric cars have developed. But concerns towards being able to charge the cars remain. “We don’t need millions of charging points everywhere,” Iain comments. “The fact is with an electric car, you can charge it at home, so every time you go to use it, it’s full – it’s a convenience, not an inconvenience. A national infrastructure with a few fast recharge points for support is fine, but we don’t need them on every street corner. Our car will charge in 20 minutes, or in as little as 10 with the right kind of charger.” In the build-up to its production phase, the prototype version of the Lightning GT has been making appearances at various shows in the UK over the summer, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the

‘This is a big performance car, not a roadster. It makes the driver feel special’

London Boat Show & Luxury Product Show. Iain reports a lot of interest and enquiries, so homes could be found for the initial 20 cars quite quickly. “People are starting to realise now that there is a place for electric cars,” he says. “And even the fact that it might lack engine noise does not mean a thing when you have performance. The Lightning GT raises the bar, it’s slightly edgy and of course it’s electric. People buy a car on looks, and this one is sensational.” Iain sounds very confident about the project, to the point that he is also considering the launch of a second electric car brand, Dynamo, which will offer a different type of vehicle – although he remains tight-lipped on what that might be. From what he has planned with Lightning, no doubt his standards will be high. lightningcarcompany.co.uk

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AIR PROMOTION

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Exposure to cold begins a process by which only adipocytes or fat cells are reabsorbed naturally. About seven billion cells are damaged by the cold (between 0 °C and 10 °C) diffused by the system, which are then eliminated physically by the body.

Is it a non-surgical treatment?

activities for about a week as the treated areas may react causing very slight pulling.

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It’s ideal for people of any age and any skin type (apart from those whose skin is already extremely slack) who have slight local bulges. It is not a slimming method, but a true remodelling technique.

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GASTRONOMY

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J

oël Robuchon tore up the fine-dining rule book, has more Michelin stars than any other chef, and terrifies even Gordon Ramsay. Is his bark worse than his bite? In his biography, Humble Pie, Gordon Ramsay writes about the time he spent working for the chef in Paris. It was, he says grimly, like working for the SAS. He also adds that compared with Robuchon, the famously combustible Marco Pierre White was a “pussycat”. As I wait to see Robuchon in the Hotel Metropole in Monaco, these words go around in my head. He’s not the only chef to have a volcanic temper, of course – but he is the only one to have won 28 Michelin stars, nine of them in a single year. His nearest rival, Alain Ducasse, has 19, while Ramsay lags behind on 13. If there is such a thing as the top chef in the world, then Robuchon is assuredly it. One of the things that has kept him at the top for nighon 40 years is his legendary attention to detail. Although Robuchon has many other restaurants dotted around the world, the Metropole is very much his baby – he already has two restaurants there and has recently opened a third. Whenever he descends on one of his periodic tours of inspection, ripples of fear pass down the corridors. According to a maid I spoke to, if a single flower in a floral display looks a bit droopy, Robuchon sees it – and reacts accordingly. And if a light bulb in a chandelier should be the wrong wattage… those same corridors, it is said, run with blood. All this makes me feel rather jittery as I sit in Robuchon’s newly opened Odyssey restaurant. On one wall is an enormous mural by the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, showing toga-clad girls plucking on lyres, while men, in much skimpier togas, hold earthenware jars aloft.

‘Although Ramsay was very talented, his attitude had always been difficult’ What happens next makes me feel even more jittery. Three men in black walk in. The two on either side have shaven heads and faces that look as if they have been carved, none too expertly, from granite. The man in the middle has hair – although not that much, and what there is looks as if each strand has been individually combed into place. He has a fleshy face, pale blue eyes and bears an unsettling resemblance to the Penguin in Batman. The three men sit down on a banquette – not quite in unison, but not far off. The two with shaven heads fold their arms across their chests and stare, unblinkingly, at me. The man in the middle is dressed entirely in black – black tunic and trousers like the others, but also black socks and loafers, even a black-faced watch. The only thing that isn’t

In what’s arguably the most stylish restaurant on the planet (it features an enormous artistic contribution from Karl Lagerfeld), gastronomy’s most decorated star, Joël Robuchon, holds court. AIR meets him in his kingdom... black is the stitching on the left-hand side of his chest. This is bright green and reads “Joël Robuchon”. It’s at this point, after introducing myself, that I do something very unwise – I steam straight in and ask Robuchon if his temper really is as fearsome as it’s cracked up to be. There is a pause during which his eyes widen slightly. And then he says quietly, “I’ve never thought of myself as having that much of a temper. But it’s true that I can’t stand it when things are not done properly. When that happens, I cannot control my reaction.” Didn’t he once throw a plate of food at Gordon Ramsay when he was working for him? Robuchon gives a dry laugh and a little shrug of acknowledgement. “Yes, that’s also true. I

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GASTRONOMY remember it was a dish of langoustine ravioli. He hadn’t made it properly. I told him so and Gordon reacted in a very arrogant manner. Although he was very talented, his attitude had always been… difficult. At the end of every service, he used to fling his pan down on the stove and threaten to resign because I was so demanding. This time, it really got on my nerves and so I threw a plate at him.” He gives a dismissive flick of the wrist to show how. What happened next? “Ah… This time he took his apron off and walked out. But that,” says Robuchon with a note of pride in his voice, “is the only time I’ve ever thrown a plate at anyone.” There’s something very apt about Robuchon putting the fear of God into his staff, as God has played a key role in his life. Brought up in Poitiers by devoutly Roman Catholic working-class parents, as a child his home was always full of priests – also dressed in black, the amateur psychologist might care to note. Often they would stay for supper, and Robuchon remembers being struck by the atmosphere around the dinner table. “That made far more of an impression on me than the food. The sense of community, of sharing. Something I feel we’ve lost today and which I’ve always tried to put back into my restaurants.” He enrolled in the local seminary aged 12. But once there, Robuchon found he was more interested in sitting in the kitchen watching nuns cut up vegetables than he was in his Bible studies. “I’d help them top and tail beans. The nuns were always very nice to me. They were the only women I saw, and there was something very maternal about it. I think I grew up with the idea that there was something comforting about preparing food.” After three years, his parents couldn’t afford to keep him there any longer and he had to leave. Robuchon’s next ambition was to become an architect, but this too was out for financial reasons – and so, aged 15, he took a job as an apprentice chef at a local restaurant. “The first thing that struck me was that it was unbelievably hard work – nothing comforting about it at all. For the first few months I kept thinking I was going to give up, but slowly I saw how creative cooking could be. “I’d always been a very competitive boy – I hated coming second. I also think I’d learnt a lot of discipline in the seminary. So when I decided to concentrate on being a chef, I was determined to be the best.” This was when nouvelle cuisine was in its pomp, when a single shaven carrot would be served on a plate with an air of tremulous solemnity. Robuchon thought this was idiotic. As far as he was concerned, the essence of good cooking lay in the combination of flavours, but not too many – never more than four in a single dish. At 16, he entered his first national cooking competition. He made lièvre farci – stuffed wild hare – and won first prize. By the time he was 28, he had become head chef at Harmony-Lafayette restaurant in Paris. A year later, he

‘You shouldn’t have to have silver cutlery to win a third Michelin star – it’s the quality of the food that counts’ was awarded his first Michelin star. The next year he got another, and the year after a third – something that had never been done before. Onward and upwards he went. In 1989, Robuchon was named chef of the century. In 1994, his Joël Robuchon restaurant in Paris was named best restaurant in the world by the well-respected International Herald Tribune. Along the way he perfected his signature dish – mashed potato. That’s right, mashed potato. Robuchon’s mash had

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just four ingredients: potatoes, butter, salt and milk – but everyone who ate it agreed it was the best mashed potato they’d ever had in their lives. And then in 1996, he did something that made the world of fine dining topple off its banquette in astonishment. He jacked it in. That was it, Robuchon decided. No more restaurants, no more slaving over a hot stove, no more purée de pommes de terre de Joël Robuchon… He was finished. “I was just exhausted. From the age of 15 to 50 I’d hardly stepped out of a kitchen. I just wanted to live a little, to spend time with my wife and children. The first time I saw snow was when I was 50, because I’d never had the time before.” Robuchon didn’t walk away from fine dining completely, though. In 2003, he did something else that had never been done before. He spoke out against the

Guide Michelin, calling it hopelessly old-fashioned and also corrupt. “As far as I was concerned, Michelin were resting on their laurels. They were just out of touch. Everything needed to be more relaxed, to match the spirit of the time. You shouldn’t have to have silver cutlery to win a third Michelin star – it’s the quality of the food that counts.” Where Robuchon led, others followed. Faced with unprecedented stirrings of revolt, Guide Michelin crumbled, booting out their management team and implementing all of Robuchon’s suggestions. But he hadn’t finished yet. After seven years in the wilderness, Robuchon came storming back. The first L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris, which opened in 2007, was a giant “up yours” to fine dining. There were no reservations, no dress code. You could get a two-course lunch for around $30 – unprecedented for two-star Michelin cooking. “The truth is that traditional gastronomic restaurants just don’t have a future,” Robuchon says. “The level of passion you need means it’s impossible to make money. With L’Atelier, you’ve still got the level of expertise, but in a very plain environment. That was the secret.” That said, there is nothing remotely plain or informal about Robuchon’s main restaurant in the Metropole. Monaco’s billionaires – draped in silk, festooned with gold and with barely a wrinkle between them – sit amid antiqued splendour savouring sole meunière with tomato confit and pine nuts at €82 a throw. At the end of dinner, Robuchon passes through the restaurant schmoozing. It’s noticeable that he touches his guests a lot, keeping one hand on their shoulders as he talks – a gesture that is as intimate as it is deferential. These days there are L’Ateliers de Joël Robuchon all over the world, from Singapore to Las Vegas. Although he shows no sign of slowing, at 68, Robuchon insists he’s a calmer, more rounded person than he used to be. He’s even back on friendly terms with Ramsay. Whenever they meet, they chortle happily away about the time Robuchon chucked a plate at him. For his part, Ramsay says, “While we had our difficult moments, he is undoubtedly one of the best chefs of his generation. Who else can retire at 50 and then come back years later and give everyone a run for their money?” So what of the future, I wonder. Not so much the immediate future, but the great infinity that lies beyond. Or to put it another way, does Robuchon, still a religious man, think there will be food in heaven? “Ah… I do have this vision that if I ever get to heaven, someone will sit me down and say, ‘This is our menu for today.’ But I’d be quite happy with a baguette with some fantastic cheese and a glass of wine.” Again, he fixes me with his pale blue eyes and says earnestly, if not altogether convincingly, “I really am a man of simple tastes.”

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LIFE LESSONS

WHAT I KNOW NOW

I started the Etoile Group in 1983, bringing the first Chanel boutique to Kuwait. It was not easy but we grew tremendously and we now have a presence in six countries with more than 70 boutiques.

Ingie Chalhoub

President and managing director of Etoile Group

My mother introduced me to the concept of elegance and has been an example of true style and sophistication. Without the understanding, patience and help of my husband and children I would never have been able to fulfill my dreams.

Success is about the approach you have towards your dreams: you need to have a clear goal, true passion and not be afraid to work hard to get there. Remind yourself that there is always something new to learn every day.

We are often our own worst critics but we need to focus on the positive, as self-belief is a key factor in order to succeed. I think you need to have genuine passion and a strong vision of what you want to achieve, and you have to be a devoted, hard worker. You need to be patient and outgoing in order to keep everything organised and under control. Most importantly however, you need to believe in yourself.

I have a loving family, supportive friends, and of course, I am a very focused and determined woman. I’ve always been creative and when I was young I wanted to study interior design and architecture. My father wanted me to follow a safer career path so encouraged me to study international business. After my studies at ParisSorbonne University I decided to combine the economic skills with my natural flair for creativity, and moved into the fashion world.

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