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JUNE 2018

BENICIO DEL TORO


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Contents JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

EDITORIAL Editorial Director

John Thatcher AIR

Managing Editor

Faye Bartle Editor

Chris Ujma christopher@hotmediapublishing.com Assistant Editor

Elena Andra Stoica

ART Art Director

Kerri Bennett Designer

Jamie Pudsey Illustration

Leona Beth Forty Two

Fifty Six

Need a gritty on-screen persona to enrapture an audience? Benicio Del Toro is on Hollywood speed-dial

Ever the outlaw, Johnny Cash played a series of concerts to inspire the inmates at Folsom Prison

Victoria Thatcher

Fifty

Sixty Two

Commercial Director

Just 29 men have scored in a FIFA World Cup Final; Michael Donald spent a decade tracking them down

Anthony Vaccarello took the reins at Saint Laurent and imparted his own identity – while honouring Yves’ spirit

Raging Bull

Jailhouse Rock

COMMERCIAL Managing Director

World-beaters

The Saint

Group Commercial Director

David Wade

david@hotmediapublishing.com

Rawan Chehab

rawan@hotmediapublishing.com

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PRODUCTION Production Manager

Muthu Kumar


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Contents

AIR

JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Sixteen

Sixty Eight

A sublime new film takes an inspired look at the life of late design legend Alexander McQueen

Renault’s resurrection of a racing icon makes the Alpine A110 one of the year’s most anticipated releases

Twenty Four

Seventy Two

How, fifty years on, the four-leaf clover Alhambra remains a source of good luck for Van Cleef & Arpels

Konstantin Filippou’s Vienna venture was no sure thing, but vindication was served in the form of Michelin honours

From Twenty Nine

From Seventy Six

Jaeger-LeCoultre rings in a classic, while Chanel showcases its haute horlogerie credentials

Velaa Private Island Maldives unveils its bespoke wellness retreat; a brush with history awaits at Monastero in Italy

Radar

Jewellery

Timepieces

Motoring

Gastronomy

Travel

Thirty Eight

Art & Design The unconventional art origins of Maria Kreyn fuel her ability to build an original dialogue; a remix of past and present. Here’s how 8

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. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.


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Welcome Onboard JUNE 2018

Welcome to AIR, your personal guide to Al Bateen Executive Airport, its people, partners, developments, and the latest news about the only dedicated business aviation airport in the Middle East and North Africa. We wish you a safe journey wherever you are going, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Al Bateen Executive Airport to experience our unparallelled commitment to excellence in general, private and business aviation.

Al Bateen Executive Airport Contact Details: albateeninfo@adac.ae albateenairport.com

Cover: Benicio Del Toro. Joe Pugliese / AUGUST

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Al Bateen

AIR

JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Welcome to World-Class

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From humble beginnings in the 1960s when it served as Abu Dhabi’s first main airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport (ABEA) is now the only exclusive business aviation airport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – a world-class luxury aviation service facility aiming to meet and exceed the expectations

of business travellers from all around the world. With the 1982 opening of Abu Dhabi International Airport just 32km outside the city centre, ABEA underwent its transformation into a military air base the following year. Military operations continued until 2008, when Abu Dhabi Airports took


www.albateenairport.ae


Al Bateen JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

over its operation and developed it into a world-class executive airport. Over a 50-year timespan, ABEA’s wealth of experience, under both civilian and military management, facilitated its smooth transition to what European Business Air News (EBAN) named the Second Best Executive Airport in the World in 2013. The award – and the many accolades since then – mark a remarkable ascent for the airport, which enjoys a strategic position within reach of major businesses and leisure facilities at the heart of Abu Dhabi city. With a stand capacity for up to 50 private jets served by efficient 14

turnarounds, ABEA upholds its excellence in air traffic and ground management operations through its partnership with Munawala, a proprietary fixed-base operations (FBO) service provider. This unique offering provides a single point of contact for all requirements and a full range of competitively priced FBO services. ABEA maintains an unwavering commitment to delivering a worldclass passenger experience. As the region’s only exclusive business aviation airport, it always welcomes travellers from across the globe to its unrivalled location with warm Emirati hospitality.


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AIR


Radar JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Image: McQueen, photographed by Ann Ray, courtesy of Bleecker Street

An elegant new cinematic documentary explores the mind of Alexander McQueen, and its directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui have crafted ‘an authentic celebration and a thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary’ – all set to a high-drama score. “You can get insular with fashion,” McQueen once said, and for the curious, the film affords unparallelled insight into the creative sanctum of the late style genius. The McQueen documentary screens in select theatres; bleeckerstreetmedia.com/mcqueen

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Critique JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Film Loving Pablo Dir: Fernando León de Aranoa Chronicles the love affair of the notorious Pablo Escobar and journalist Virginia Vallejo AT BEST: “Like flipping through the pages of a pulpy best-seller, this has its moments of guilty pleasure, but leaves an empty feeling when you reach the end.” Hollywood Reporter AT WORST: “Bardem and Cruz are powerful in front of the camera, but the histrionics can and do fail the film.” Fotogramas

Mary Shelley AIR

Dir: Haifaa Al-Mansour Renowned author Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin embarks on a tempestuous relationship with a romantic poet AT BEST: “A welcome showcase for the considerable talents of Elle Fanning, who deftly shades the trials and tribulations of the young writer.” Village Voice AT WORST: “For a film that chronicles the rise of a creator obsessed with reanimating the dead, it is utterly lifeless.” indieWire

Under the Silver Lake Dir: David Robert Mitchell A disenchanted 33-year-old embarks on a surreal quest across the City of Angels, to find a missing woman he met AT BEST: “Ambitious and fascinating. It’s the first Mitchell film that... felt to me like the work of a potentially major artist.” Variety AT WORST: “It’s a lot to process – I think it may be a modern masterpiece? The parrot has the answers, but good luck making out what it’s trying to say.” Film Inquiry

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist Dame Vivienne Westwood has redefined fashion for four decades; this film deftly tells the story of a true punk-style icon AT BEST: “Its main source of life is the irascible, earnest and meandering personality of the dame herself.” Sunday Times UK AT WORST: “The life of this visionary entrepreneur is far bigger than a single film, but director Tucker does a decent job of compacting Westwood’s iconoclastic legacy.” Little White Lies 18

Images: Universal Pictures; IFC; A24; Dogwoof

Dir: Lorna Tucker


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Critique JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Art

Tacita Dean working on The Montafon Letter. Artwork, courtesy the artist; Glenstone Museum; Frith Street Gallery; Marian Goodman Gallery

“C

louds and stones and clods of light. Mountains in Austria and an ant on a rock in Mexico. Best of all, a long, slow eclipse. The final exhibition in Tacita Dean’s threepart meditation on the portrait, the still life and now landscape (in three rooms of the new galleries at the Royal Academy in Mayfair), provides a summation of interrelated themes,” writes Adrian Searle in The Guardian of Tacita Dean: Landscape, showing until 12 August. Says Matthew Collings in The Evening Standard, “The new show is playful, often beautiful, and has a certain amount of pretentiousness that might embarrass or infuriate some. You’re asked to consider all sorts of phenomena as ‘landscape’. Things that certainly aren’t... mingle with stuff that is – such as a picture of cumulus clouds by the British painter Paul Nash.” Eddy Frankel at Time Out London believes that, “Lots of the art is gorgeous... imposing, dominating works that are rippled through with fragility and history... The real star is the final piece, a 56-minute video work made of dual films shown at the same time... It treats the act of creating

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art as a landscape; it treats life as a landscape... It’s confusing, awkward, very long and at points a bit silly, but it’s a very beautiful and stunningly shot work of art.” “In the spring of 1956, the artist Patrick Heron left London and moved to the far west of Cornwall. As a career move, it didn’t make obvious sense... Yet the clues to why he quit town are there in the paintings he produced after his move,” notes Michael Bird for The Telegraph of Patrick Heron, at Tate St. Ives until 30 September. “It’s the colour that strikes you first of all, with a clarity and intensity utterly different from the khaki greens and sandbag browns that so many British painters went on using throughout the austerity years.” Rachel Cooke explained in The Guardian that the show’s curators, “Have taken a nonchronological approach, gathering Heron’s work into four wilfully vague and hard to understand themed groups: unity; the edge; explicit scale; asymmetry and re-complication... They also hope that by hanging paintings that were completed decades apart next to one another,

visitors will be able to ‘experience’ Heron’s work in a ‘non-didactic’ way... The giant abstracts could make you swoon – if the thematic organisation of this show weren’t so infuriating.” “Thunder cracks, kites are frozen in the wind overhead, giant drawings of birds line the walls and videos show performers dancing in forests,” states Eddy Frankel (in Time Out) of Joan Jonas, at Tate Modern until 5 August. “This is her world: a thriving maelstrom of sound, movement and vision, cut through with myth that’s indistinguishable from reality. Since the 1960s, the American artist has been pioneering performance and installation art, influencing countless artists in the process.” Writes Sarah Kent for The Arts Desk, “A pioneer of performance art who disguises her presence... her installations are kaleidoscopic accumulations whose lightness of being is a form of dissembling. Reflecting centuries of women’s silence, she speaks in voices that are disparate and disconnected. Utterances in the form of drawings, videos and performances are made obliquely; agency is concealed.”


Critique JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Books “P

repare to be wined, dined, and entertained by quantum mechanics, group theory, topology, the infinitesimal, the infinitely small, and the string theory generation,” writes Kirkus Reviews of Jim Holt’s When Einstein Walked with Gödel. “Holt... gathers two decades of essays that represent the ‘most thrilling (and humbling) intellectual achievements I’ve encountered in my life.’ They are mostly personality-driven, filled with brilliant, strange, and eccentric men and women in the sciences.” The book is inspired “by the unlikely friendship of gregarious physicist Albert Einstein and gloomy logician Kurt Gödel, who met at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in 1943,” summarises Publishers Weekly. “Holt fills the book with stories about eccentric geniuses and groundbreaking ideas at the intersection of science and philosophy,” Deborah Mason at Book Page posits, “Let’s be clear: Jim Holt is not afraid of tackling the big questions. His 2012 book, Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, made that fact certain... This book does not dawdle. Holt is a complex and rigorous writer examining complex and rigorous subjects... As his subtitle suggests, Holt is pushing us to explore the ideas that have revolutionised how we see the world, the universe and truth itself. They are messy, complicated affairs, but his intellectual clarity and lucid writing illuminate them.” In The Guardian, Anthony Quinn sets the scene for Lance Richardson’s House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row saying, “When 25-year-old Tommy Nutter launched his self-named shop at 35a Savile Row in February 1969 he was the first new tailor to set up there in more than a century. ‘The Row’ had never seen the like before, whether in the dramatic cut of the clothes (‘Neo-Edwardian dandyism’), the bold style of

the shopfront (huge plate-glass windows) or the louche clientele of pop stars, models, West End impresarios and East End gangsters who flocked to the showroom... The Beatles would soon put the Nutter brand on the map by wearing his clobber on the cover of Abbey Road.” Writes Jeffrey Felner for New York Journal of Books, “It is so much more than just the story of the trajectory of Nutter. This is a story, a journey, a chronicle of growing up in the postwar era of London and its environs and how one man and his family survived while some even thrived during difficult times.” Richardson’s descriptions of Tommy’s designs “are eloquent and vivid, accompanied by 170 photographs that capture the fashion spirit of the age,” say Publishers Weekly. “The author’s affection for his subjects is touching and establishes a tone of admiration, and while this results in occasionally glossing over the Nutters’ faults, his enthusiasm is contagious.” “A hauntingly beautiful compilation,” is how Katie Asher at Foreword Reviews describes Murmurings, the newest collection of poems by Howard Giskin. “It includes poems, musings on the author’s past, thoughts on ancient history, evocative pictures from Giskin’s travels, and daily observations. His writing is intelligent, and his poems have a natural flow and cadence.” Giskin, “A retired specialist in world literature delivers poetry that concentrates on small, impactful moments scattered across various corners of the world. Many of the sections in the collection reflect the loose sense of geography and wandering that tie the poems together,” say Kirkus Reviews. “The poet also subtly explores failing memory to properly re-create moments... in elegant, subdued poems that offer a calm reflection on memory. 21


Critique JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Theatre

AIR

“I

n 1999, Time magazine proclaimed Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel the best musical of the 20 th century,” explains Sara Holdren for Vulture. “Critics... have raved about the sweeping adaptation of Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár’s turn-of-thecentury tragi-romance ever since the musical first hit Broadway in 1945. Superlatives follow it around – revelation, masterpiece – and, though it’s had fewer revivals than other big Rodgers and Hammerstein hits... it keeps popping up in ‘Best Of’ debates.” This revival, at Imperial Theater in Midtown West through December, “[Has] actors as accomplished as Margaret Colin, Alexander Gemignani and John Douglas Thompson in small roles is further indication of how meticulously curated this superlative production is, from top to bottom,” opines David Rooney for Hollywood Reporter. “Carousel embraces darkness and brutality while balancing sorrow with jubilation, tragedy with redemption in a show whose emotional complexity is equaled by its ravishing score; a magnificently sung revival that breathes pulsing new life into this shimmering masterwork.” Says Adam Feldman in Time Out, “A beautiful bad boy can be hard to resist. The moony, quietly nonconformist Julie Jordan is drawn, moth to flame, to the wellbuilt, charismatic carnival barker Billy Bigelow. She marries the rageful brute, and both pay a price they can’t afford... [and] this sumptuous effort plows steadily through the show’s darker currents.” “The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic,” believes Time Out’s Feldman. “Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s worldshaking kid-lit heptalogy, the twopart epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show 22

Carousel at Imperial Theater. Photo by Julieta Cervantes

looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported USD68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. The experience is transporting.” Marilyn Stasio defines in Variety that, “It’s clear that director Tiffany and his wizard designers have answered the big question: What can the theatre do for the story of Harry Potter that the books and movie treatments haven’t done? In a word, the theatre has brought its own brand of wizardry to the material. Visually and aurally, the show presents a panorama of dazzling effects that draw audible gasps from the audience.” It is not just extending the canon, says Kayti Burt at Den of Geek, “it is challenging and experimenting with all that has come before. This willingness to take chances could have been [its] downfall, but it is lovingly and meticulously done.” In London, Red, at Wyndham’s Theatre, “Finally bagged itself a West End transfer a hefty nine years after its hit run at the Donmar Warehouse, and Michael Grandage’s production of John Logan’s play has lost none of its power over the decade,” reviews

Andrzej Lukowski for Time Out London. “The subject is art, and an artist: abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. We meet him 1957 as the last man standing of his peers... pop artists are snapping at his heels. But there is always work to be done and in this case, the work is a megapaying commission to paint a mural for the fancy new Four Seasons hotel in New York.” Natasha Tripney reflects in The Stage about the “talk about the idea of male genius of late and the way it has historically been used to excuse all manner of bad behaviour: arrogance, violence and worse. Logan’s 2009 two-hander explores this and more. Is a capacity for “titanic self-absorption” part of what makes a great artist? Must one generation of artists always crush what came before them, or are these just the narratives we have come to accept?” Sarah Crompton derived her conclusion, saying in What’s On Stage, “It is all interesting, as far as it goes, but it never really goes very far. I felt I didn’t know much more about Rothko when I left than when I walked in; he becomes a series of attitudes rather than a real man.”


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Jewellery JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

The Best of Luck

AIR

Through its classic Alhambra motif, Van Cleef & Arpels graces the fortuitous four-leaf clover with a touch of savoir faire

T

he Van Cleef & Arpels name itself is testament to the power of fate. In the 19th century, a young girl named Estelle Arpels – the daughter of a dealer in precious stones – met a boy named Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stonecutter. It was ‘the beginning of a love story like no other, a great adventure beyond expectation,’ explains the maison, while for the fine jewellery domain, it was a touch of kismet; a fortuitous meeting. “To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,” believed Jacques Arpels, the nephew of Estelle. And for discerning clients who have chosen to believe in Van Cleef & Arpels, the maison has imbued the Alhambra fine jewellery motif with its propensity for good fortune. The four-leaf clover is the foundation of this design, and while the Alhambra was first imagined in the 1960s, the appearance of the clover dates back even further in the VC&A archive. Four-leaf clovers made their first brand appearance in the 1920s, and it was Jacques himself, a born 24

Alhambra captured the spirit of the age, and introduced new ways of wearing jewels in everyday life collector, who gathered four-leaf clovers in the garden of his house in Germigny-l’Évêque, ‘presenting them to his staff, accompanied by the American poem Don’t Quit – an encouragement to never give up hope,’ according to the maison’s history. Alhambra was introduced to the Paris La Boutique range in 1968, and offered easy-to-wear pieces that were more accessible than High Jewellery. Day jewellery was in tune with the developments in fashion and wearing habits, where long necklaces in yellow gold, malachite or lapis lazuli were accompanied by chain bracelets and large pendants. Stacked and accumulated on the fingers or round

the neck or wrist, the maison’s creations accompanied the fluid silhouettes of the era day after day, in combinations of vivid or sun-like colours. Alhambra has proven to be an enduring and versatile design touchstone, and the ingenuity of Van Cleef & Arpels has seen the motif reimagined time and again – always desirable, and ever unique. Nicolas Bos, current President and CEO of the maison, remarks that, “In keeping with its tradition of excellence and savoir-faire, the Alhambra long necklace captured the spirit of the age in which it was created and introduced new ways of wearing jewels in everyday life. Fifty years later, it stands as a reference that has profoundly influenced the history of jewellery.” Such is its impact, the Alhambra doubles as a cultural reference too, having been photographed upon a number of inspiring women over the years. ‘Numerous feminine personalities adopted this icon, which blended timeless elegance with a contemporary


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AIR

feel,” explains the maison, and perhaps its most notable advocate was Princess Grace of Monaco. ‘The Alhambra long necklace took on a multitude of guises in her collection. Alternately in yellow gold, coral, lapis lazuli or malachite, this emblematic creation accompanied the elegant Princess throughout the 1970s in various public and private occasions.’ So enchanted was Princess Grace with the signature creations of the maison, that Van Cleef & Arpels was named ‘Official Supplier to the Principality of Monaco’ – and in a touch of symmetry, H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco was respected with a limited edition ‘Princess Charlene Magic Alhambra’ set a few years ago, where designs evoked the shores of the Principality and were sold exclusively at the Van Cleef & Arpels Boutique in Monaco. That the Alhambra could beguile over the reigns of both monarchs speaks to its versatility and timelessness; and so too outside the royal realm. In the 1974 film Le Mouton Enragé, actress Romy Schneider appeared on screen draped in this exact motif by VC&A, and opted for the maison on many a glamorous, real world occasion thereafter. French singer Françoise Hardy, meanwhile, also adored the fourleaf clover design, most memorably layering the long necklaces in a 1973 photoshoot by Catherine Rotulo. Again, fast-forward three decades, and one can find Reese Witherspoon, Kelly Rutherford and Blake Lively weaving the Alhambra into their own elegant ensembles. This year, the maison presents a fresh interpretation of the Alhambra, on the occasion of its anniversary, with pieces ‘that showcase the fluidity and elegance of the design.’ A fresh touch of charm can be attributed to the precious stones that Van Cleef & Arpels has chosen to adorn the classic motif. Iridescent grey mother-of-pearl is complemented by the sparkle of diamonds and the gentle glow of pink gold, while deep black of onyx combines with white gold and diamonds. Two exceptional models are adorned with lapis lazuli and two others with rock crystal – homage to the beauty of the stones that have embellished the collection throughout its history. 26

This emblematic creation accompanied the elegant Princess in various public and private occasions


Opening pages: Françoise Hardy wearing Alhambra, photographed by Catherine Rotulo Opposite: Princess Grace of Monaco Clockwise from right: Applying grey mother-ofpearl in the workshop; The Place Vendôme boutique in 1967; An early sketch of the four-leaf clover motif

The varied skills of lapidaries, jewellers, stone-setters and polishers come together to create each piece. ‘Ever inspired by nature, the maison has sought out the most beautiful materials she has to offer,’ it explains. These carefully chosen stones are then meticulously cut, before being polished to reveal all their nuances and sheen. Gold is then melted to give form to the beaded setting, which is afterwards hand-finished by the jewellers. ‘The openwork honeycomb structure accentuates the brilliance of the piece, and a final polish brings out the luminous beauty of the ensemble.

In all, no fewer than 15 successive steps of selection, crafting and quality control are required to create an iconic jewel that will stand the test of time,’ the maison enthuses. An unearthed advertisement from 1977 reads, “At La Boutique Van Cleef & Arpels, 22 Place Vendôme, you will find sensitive jewels, tender jewels, meaningful jewels. And faithful jewels that will never leave you.” The Alhambra is a faithful symbol of lasting fortune and, by setting in motion this meaningful motif fifty years ago, the poetic maison has made its own luck. 27


OBJECTS OF DESIRE

Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this month’s must-haves and collectibles


OB JECTS OF DESIRE OB JECTS OF DESIRE

RICHARD MILLE

R M 67- 0 2 A L E X A N D E R Z V E R E V E D I T I O N Richard Mille unveiled the RM 6702 as the lightest automatic watch in its collection, weighing in at just 32 grammes. Its rotor, made of Carbon TPT and white gold, ensures a featherlike feel and smooth winding while Grade 5 titanium (the material of choice for

aircraft components), is used to make the base plates and bridges. The company builds its watches to withstand the harshest conditions – in this case, it has served up a watch to withstand the accelerated movements performed by tennis champion Alexander Zverev. 1


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

BILLIONAIRE

SS18 COLLECTION Billionaire quenches sartorial tastes with a touch of extravagance; its designs are created for an expression of individuality and to add a touch of visual pizzazz to the mature gentleman’s daywear look. its summer season collection ‘The Print that Makes the Man”, has been unveiled, and

among the lineup is this ‘Ray’ blazer – both restrained and distinctive, with royal blue polka dots meticulously placed against an elegant black backdrop. The brand says its offerings are for the man “who doesn’t want to look like his Swiss accountant” – but they will, asurredly, still look monied. 2


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

GIORGE T TI

MOVE

Giorgetti’s expert furnishings are an amalgamation of ancient craftsmanship secrets (honed since 1898) and innovative technology, married to create comtemporary furniture pieces. These art forms are made from natural raw materials and inspired by the ideas of renowned

architects such as Massimo Scolari, Leon Krier, Chi Wing Lo, and Antonello Mosca. This piece, named Move, is a take on the rocking chair, with a wooden framework consisting of 30 pieces of solid ash, available in three elegant finishes. Available at Obegi Home Dubai and Beirut 3


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

R I M AC

C _T WO Croatian hypercar-builder Rimac claims its C_Two, exhibited at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show, can blitz to 96.5km/h in just 1.85 seconds. This allelectric smart car also aims to enhance the driver experience with innovative built-in technologies that range from unlocking

through personalised facial recognition, to reponse-monitoring software which can change character based on the driver’s mood (or the capricious weather). Based on the success of its predecessor the Concept One, all 150 examples of this electrifying car will swiftly find an owner. 4


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

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OB JECTS OF DESIRE

CARLO BARBERIS

FINE JE WELLERY Built on tradition, experience and a devotion to roots that date back to 1929, the imaginative works of Carlo Barberis are a hidden gem of the fine jewellery world. This Italian family-run business is synonymous with jewellery that bursts into life thanks to colourful, embedded

gemstones, in statement pieces where the smallest details are paid crucial attention – which is where their harmony, balance and elegance is stored. These one-of-akind pieces use spectacular gemstones as a centrepiece, such as tanzanite, Malaya garnet, or light purple kunzite, as seen here. 6


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

ROL E X

D AT E J U S T 31 Elegant and delicate, the Datejust 31’s dial delights, with pearly smooth ripples denoting an ability to resist depth pressures of 100m. Equally impressive is a newly developed 2236 calibre, ensuring swifter internal movements. Meanwhile its 46 diamonds are each analysed by

specialised in-house gemologists, before being selected for the 18kt white gold bezel. Brand ambassador Roger Federer was a surprise guest at the recent opening of a grand new Rolex boutique, located at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue and set across three elaborate levels. 7


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

B O T T E G A V E N E TA

WHEN YO U R OWN INITIAL S ARE ENO U GH Bottega Veneta’s style is deeply rooted in the Italian Renaissance, while treasured artisanal secrets are loyally kept intact. This time honoured quality is evident within the intricate, woven caiman leather designs of this duffle bag, from the brand’s ‘When Your Own Initials

Are Enough’ men’s collection. Bottega believes in discretion, and resists the urge to stamp its own initials on luxury offerings, instead reserving that space for an added personal touch – in this case, the owner’s monogram upon the bag’s double suede cover. 8


Timepieces JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

One Previous Owner TARIQ MALIK

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lot can be said about the motives for buying a watch. It might be an investment, to serve as an heirloom or it might purely be a decision made on a whim. Many people, and not only the serious collectors, are discovering the joys of buying first-owner watches. Just like buying a pre-owned car there’s always a risk when buying a pre-owned watch – and there are many rewards too. These rewards usually outweigh the risks when the item you’re acquiring has that prized title: only one previous owner. It’s important to remember that when you buy a vintage watch, you’re buying a little piece of history, where the watch has been part of someone’s life, likely worn on the wrist every day as a trusted companion. Mechanical watches are delicate works of micro-engineered art, and unlike digital gadgets that are built to last a year or two, these watches are meant to outlive their first owners. With the proper care, they might just outlast the second owner, too. Rolex Day-Date ref 1803 One of my favourite vintage Rolex pieces is a great example. It could be bought brand new back in the 1970s for under USD2,000. Today, it can be fetch between USD10,000 and USD45,000, depending on a multiple factors – and, most importantly, the paperwork. For newer watches, the ‘single-owner’ tag is not so important, unless it was owned by someone famous. For older watches, it’s a different story. The investment value is far higher, and it’s even better if the watch was serviced regularly, either by Rolex, or by an accredited and knowledgeable dealer.

A rule of thumb: the older the watch, the more important the service history. Unfortunately, people discard the original box, and the records of the services over the years. A lot can happen in 30 years. If no invoice exists for the service, you can assume it wasn’t done – and it is wise to factor in that cost.

usually pamper their watches, and if they retained all the documents it cuts out most of that risk completely. You can trace any changes to the watch, if there were any, and find out what was replaced. The details are important, and they make all the difference with firstowner watches.

Omega Speedmaster The moment you drive a new car off the lot, it depreciates in value, and the same can be said for taking a brand new watch out of the box. On the other hand you can get a superb pre-owned Speedmaster for a fraction of its new cost – and it will still be an exceptional watch. It’s still possible to find collectibles. The downside is that many pre-owned watches can contain non-standard replacement parts, and unless you have a passion for horology, like using a loupe, and know what to look for, you might get a nasty surprise. First-owners

Rolex Submariner 5513 Every watch has a unique story, and each one has been a part of a unique kind of life. Either the time was spent on someone’s sun-tanned wrist, while exploring under the oceans, or it was carefully kept in a safe. The Rolex Submariner 5513 above could have lived an interesting life. It doesn’t look heavily worn, though so it’s impossible to say – and that’s the deciding factor. Dubai’s DIFC is home to Momentum, Tariq’s co-founded vintage watch boutique. momentum-dubai.com 29


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Premier League With substance to accompany its style, the Premier BOY Skeleton Calibre 3 by Chanel cements its arrival as a high watchmaking presence

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s with any Chanel story, one must begin by appreciating its history in order to savour the details of its prestigious present. In its well-regarded couture, the maison has simultaneously pushed boundaries, while staying true to the codes of its visionary founder Coco. But while a trendsetting pioneer in the fashion stakes, in the watchmaking world, Chanel has admittedly played catch-up to Swiss stalwarts. The established order was that couture houses stuck to couture, and Swiss watchmakers stuck to fine watchmaking, and never the twain would meet. Those straying into the realm of high watchmaking would be prepared for intense scrutiny – watch aficionados are notoriously hard to impress by new wrist offerings; looks count, but with watches, what’s inside also matters. With its first in-house movement in 2016, Chanel looked handsome under the spotlight. Its monochromatic Monsieur debuted two years ago, with a black grand feu enamel-dialed variant released a year later, and the elegant men’s dress watch was met with praise from discerning horology quarters. 31


All images: Premier BOY Skeleton Calibre 3, by Chanel

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The aesthetic and technical qualities embody our vision of haute horlogerie That piece was an opportunity for fashion savants to at last savour high watchmaking imbued with the prestige of a high fashion brand. Chanel produced a timepiece that was judged on its merits: “I believe our pursuit of quality, exclusivity and innovation has led us to take ranks with other traditional watchmaking brands in a short time,” confirms Nicolas Beau, International Business Development Watch-Fine Jewllery Director. The direction was to appeal to “those who value the effort of combining modern aesthetics with traditional aspects of watchmaking,” he enthuses. Following suit, the maison is back with the Premier BOY Skeleton Calibre 3. This newest timepiece “is the perfect illustration of the art, so dear to Gabrielle Chanel, of twisting elements from the masculine wardrobe into feminine staples,” Beau explains. “Everything is a question of allure, balance, proportion and details. This is a watch for a woman who does not follow the trend, but makes her own.” The aficionado will see how this mission statement is distilled into a timepiece that has the poise to fulfil the poetry. 32

After successes with its previous movements (the Première Camellia and the Calibre 2), the skeletonised Calibre 3 is the headline of this release. A movement made in-house is significant because, for Chanel, it means the soul of this watch was shaped by Chanel, not for it, enabling it to harmonise the watch’s heartbeat with an overarching identity. “No (bridge) screws are visible from the dial side,” details Beau of its specifics. “The rounds give the appearance of floating, because there is no lateral support; the fabrication of the bottom plate and bridges are conceived like ‘lace’; the gear train is made up of full wheels, a technical risk taken to reconcile esthetics, torque and power reserve.” This octagonal watch is Chanel showcasing its creative clout. Beau discloses, “We not only work with some of the best craftspeople, but also collaborate with Métiers d’Art houses in order to graft Chanel’s pre-existing signature design elements onto watchmaking.” “We also apply some of the most respected know-how, such as Grand Feu enameling, glyptic, engraving,

gold and mother-of-pearl sculpting and snow setting. These aesthetic and technical qualities embody our vision of haute horlogerie, making it a total work of art.” The Premier BOY harbours a manualwinding mechanical movement, (displaying hours, minutes and seconds), boasts a power reserve of 55 hours, and maintains accuracy with an anti-shock system for the balance and a variable inertia balance. Meanwhile, “all of the components are decorated to be as beautiful from the front as the back of the watch,” Beau reinforces. “The bottom plate and bridges are made of brass, while the gears are in beryllium copper – an alloy, known for its high strength and resistance…” He proceeds to reel off a list of credentials, each confirming the careful treatment of every component. Chanel has banished the well-dressed elephant from the room; it’s time to stop viewing its high watchmaking through a purely fashion-centric prism. The exceptional Premier BOY Skeleton Calibre 3 continues a new standard, and the maison has earned the right for its offerings to be considered exceptional timepieces. Period.


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Polaris Star

The spirit of a new collection from Jaeger-LeCoultre is inspired by one of its most iconic pieces; a leading light of the horology universe

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aeger-LeCoultre is a watchmaker with time on its side. Founded in 1833, the established Grande Maison has been responsible for innovating thousands of calibres throughout its storied reign. The result of this horological epoch is a rich portfolio of heritage to draw upon, from its art deco Reverso to the Master Control Date, and this year marks a landmark occasion for one of its truest icons: the 50th anniversary of the Polaris Memovox. The Memovox surfaced in an era of muscular dive watches with bulky profiles, and stood apart as refreshingly refined. With the dominant watch genres being ‘sports’ and ‘dress’, the Memovox deftly anchored itself in both, with ‘JLC’ deeming the timepiece a leader in the ‘sport elegant’ segment for men. The 1968 timepiece also carried the distinction of being the world’s first luxury dive instrument to incorporate a mechanical alarm complication; the purpose of its chime being to remind the diver it was time to resurface. Save for a couple of one-off releases, the half-century anniversary marks Jaeger-LeCoultre’s first real plunge into reviving the Polaris Memovox and, simply put, the Swiss brand had to tread especially carefully in order to respect a beloved watchmaking sovereign. This year’s edition of Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) served as the showcase for five new pieces that form the updated Polaris collection – the Polaris Date and Polaris Automatic are flanked by the Polaris Chronograph World Timer in titanium, pink gold or steel. Each is inspired by the original, yet respectively contains a “useful, everyday complication for the man in motion”. The 1968 original contained only the Memovox movement, but variants introduced to the 2018 range carry a chronograph, an automatic movement, or a world time chronograph. Lionel Favre, Director of Product Design at Jaeger LeCoultre, says that to remain grounded throughout these changes, the most important aspect of the revival was to “conserve the character” of the original. 36

The most important aspect of the Polaris revival was to conserve the character of the original Consider it mission accomplished. Across this constellation are a host of design cues that hark back to the 1968 original, and the halo piece of this constellation is the aforementioned, limited edition Memovox Polaris. It exemplifies the recognisable design traits from the original, such as an inner bezel (that rotates at the simple turn of one of its crowns), its unique font, and the disctinctive trapezoidal-shaped indexes, coated in vanilla hued SuperLumiNova (for visibility in darkness). Just 1,000 pieces of this 200m water resistant, 42mm-timepiece will be produced, and the steel cased-number is driven by 44 hours of power reserve and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Calibre 956, which is concealed behind a medallion back that is embossed with a diver’s helmet motif. This caseback is true to the original rendition, though a certain sect will be disappointed at not being able to peer at the inner workings of the 268-piece

movement – a direct descendant of a 1950s automatic alarm watch movement. Aside from its decorative purpose, the domed caseback conceals a resonance chamber that serves as a space for the brass gong to ‘echo’, ensuring its chime can reverberate with clarity underwater. Its third crown (the other watches in the collection have less) is dedicated to operating the alarm function. The Memovox oozes vintage cool and character, a simply stunning watch to gaze at in person, due to a sleek finish on the innermost dial (achieved by a ‘sunburst’ effect), a grained finish on the hour track, and opaline on the other. Thanks to these varied finishes across concentric planes, the result is a dial of stunning visual depth. Jaeger-LeCoultre has taken a watch with fine pedigree, and reimagined it for the modern day. The 1,000 piece production count may be limited, but its appeal certainly is not.


Opening pages: The 2018 Polaris Memovox, by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Opposite: Polaris Chronograph, on a new steel strap; the movement of the Polaris Chronograph Below: Polaris Chronograph in pink gold

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Art & Design JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Art Reimagined Artists are rarely, if ever, conventional beings and, despite her relative youth, Maria Kreyn has followed an artistic path even less conformist than most AIR

WORDS: CLAIRE MALCOLM

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n old master in a millennials body, the Russian bornBrooklyn based figurative artist’s previously peripatetic existence was instrumental in shaping her distinctive style, which reflects contemporary life using old world techniques and tropes. Born in Russia, in 1987, to a family of unusual thinkers and polymaths, rigorous training in classical drawing preceded a decision to study mathematics and philosophy at the University of Chicago. But, aged just 20, she cut short her academic studies and decamped to Europe, swapping advanced algebra and Aristotle for cultural immersion on the continent. Kreyn’s nomadic wanderings took her to Norway and initiation into the art world in the form of an old-school apprenticeship, which saw the eager novitiate live and work alongside a master painter for a thorough schooling in centuries-old technique. In a move that could be the plot for a Scandi noir thriller meets Ingmar

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Bergman-directed film, her mentor sent Kreyn to the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, to hole up in a grand 19th-century former public library building, with the brief to paint, paint, and paint some more. She recalls the unrelenting winter cold and driving out in the early dawn to capture the fleeting hours of light. Paris was the next stop on her formative journey and home was a château outside Paris, being renovated by her mentor. Living alone (bar the odd builder) in this draughty, crumbling pile allowed Kreyn to wholly focus on her craft, with the stillness and silence informing the psychologically charged works that are her signature. “I’m trying to build an original language through collaging imagination and citation, a sort of remix of past and present,” she says, in what could be described as a celebration of the timeless spirit of baroque and renaissance art reimagined in the context of the modern world.


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When I paint women, I ask, how vulnerable can you be and still remain strong? I’m reframing old techniques to tell a contemporary human story 40


Underpinned by essential old-world techniques, her works cover a wealth of subject matter, from portraits and selfportraits to landscapes and allegorical scenes of humans and animals. Heavy layers of paint and glazes are used to create chiaroscuro effects reminiscent of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, with large-scale compositions that depict intensely personal instances of intimacy and humanity yet leave the viewer with a sense of emotional mystery. “I feel like the chaos of our time actually throws in relief the type of intimacy and human connection I’m painting for and about,” she says. Currently a resident of Brooklyn, New York, where self-imposed isolation has been exchanged for a thriving social network and public acceptance in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, Kreyn is increasingly in demand both at home and on the international art scene. Participation in group and solo shows around the world, as well as at museums in the US and China, and small screen presence with the 2016 ABC series The Catch featuring her painting Alone Together, are gilding her star at the tender age of 30. Mashael Al Rushaid, founder of London gallery Heist, worked with

Kreyn on the recent Polyphony exhibition, where a narrative was specifically created to resonate with her work. Polyphony, which refers to the flow of musical voices that are at times contradictory, yet ultimately always harmoniously resolved, saw audio elements also feature in the production, with the aim of conveying a sense of Kreyn’s meditative state while painting, as she became lost in her work. Says Al Rushaid: “Maria is an extraordinary artist, so we wanted to create a magical counter-world in which people could engage with her and her work.” That magic is a fluid and evolving concept for Kreyn, as she explains: “When I was younger, I used to think I needed to paint like a man. Later, I wondered what it meant to paint like a woman. Now I try to paint beyond that binary, like a human being. “When I paint women, I ask, how vulnerable can you be and still remain strong? I’m reframing old techniques to tell a contemporary human story. I’m investigating a particular set of human emotions, attempting to give them a voice they didn’t necessarily have in the history of painting, particularly as they relate to women.”

Opening pages: Maria Kreyn Above: Alone Together Right: The Solipsist

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THE HOLLYWOOD

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Be it risking the wrath of almighty gods for The Avengers or assisting the CIA in a bloody gang war, when the film script gets tough, Benicio Del Toro is the man to call INTERVIEW: FABIĂ N W. WAINTAL ADDITIONAL WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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don’t really like watching myself on the big screen. But I’ll tell you, it’s nice to know that there’s still people out there who do.” Benicio Del Toro is being extremely humble when he utters this quote; the people who enjoy his work are in the majority – a point that will doubtless be reconfirmed with the release of Sicario: Day of the Soldado, this month. We had our interview in Las Vegas, when he received the Male Star of the Year Award from Cinemacon – a private and exclusive convention open only to the most important movie theatre owners around the world. There, he also presented the very first stills from the second chapter of his movie – and he has come full circle since he released the first version of Sicario, three years earlier, at Cannes Film Festival. This time around he was even offered the challenge of becoming the President of the Jury for the artistic ‘Un Certain Regards’ selections at Cannes. “I really appreciate an award from the theatre owners, people who work hard to keep that dreamscape alive for a whole new generation,” he said of receiving the acting honour, and it is sincere acceptance – for the movie theatre played a significant role in the life of a young Del Toro. “I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the mid 1970s where the temperature is 3o°c all year long and humid, so some of my earliest memories as a kid were going to the movie theatre with my family,” the actor explains.

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“I remember watching all kinds of films like my first James Bond movie, Live and Let Die. I also remember seeing the Mexican movies of Blue Demon and El Santo, and I rooted for the underdog in Rocky and One on One. I waited for days, in line for hours. I waited forever to see movies like Jaws and Star Wars blockbusters, and then I waited for hours again to watch them again. I couldn’t sit still when I watched musicals like Grease or Car Wash. Little did my family and I know that I’d be making a life on the big screen inside movie theatres. And when I look back at my life, I realise that environment was the incubator for the dream of what I now do, which is making movies.” At home, in the beach city of Miramar, they used to call him ‘Beno’ – but he needed at least two lines in his passport to print the long original name of Benicio Monserrate Rafael Del Toro Sanchez when his birth was registered on 19 February 1967. At the age of nine, he suffered the loss of his mother who died of hepatitis, and Del Toro was already 15 when he moved to

Little did my family and I know that I’d be making a life on the big screen... Looking back on those cinema trips I realise that environment was the incubator for the dream of what I now do

Pennsylvania with his father, before enrolling in the University of California to take his first drama class. From there, he decided against any kind of career in business, to take more acting classes with Stella Adler and Arthur Mendoza in Hollywood. His first roles were in the TV series Miami Vice and the Madonna music video for La Isla Bonita, at the same time when he appeared as the bad guy, Dario, in the James Bond movie License To Kill. He has appeared alongside Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects, but nothing beats the Academy Award he won for playing the US border officer Javier Rodriguez in the movie Traffic, at a time where Latino actors were totally ignored at the Oscar ceremony (long before Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz won their own gongs). Del Toro was nominated once again for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the movie 21 Grams, gaining recognition by outshining costars Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Cannes has proven to be a ripe environment for Del Toro; in 2008 he received the Best Actor Award for playing Che Guevara. He has crafted a career out of gritty and intense roles – not necessarily all in this galaxy. Last month, cinemagoers might have seen through the makeup to recognise Del Toro as The Collector, (squirming under the boot of universeconquering Thanos) in The Avengers: Infinity War. But he is firmly back down to earth in his latest outing, adding to his résumé with the second chapter of Sicario.


Below: Courtesy of Sony Studios and Cinemacon

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Del Toro reprises Alejandro Gillick, a character who does the dirty business the CIA can’t legally do. The first release was a tightly wound thriller, where an Arizona-based raid on a suspected Mexican cartel safehouse leads to the CIA forming a task force (joined by US marshals, DEA agents and an Army Delta Force unit), which travels to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in order to extradite Guillermo Diaz – lieutenant of a cartel. Del Toro plays a sicario – an assassin for hire – who assists the US in its operation. “I did not really think about returning as Gillick in a second movie, back when filming the first,” he admits. “I never could have dreamed I was going to do a second one. And when the producers and my manager told me, ‘There is a new script…’ I didn´t believe it could be as good as the first one, until I read it and I loved it. This movie has its own story, although it’s a new chapter, but we’ve never seen my character as we see it in the new movie.” That’s because his character is caught in a moral dilemma, between the CIA war he took part in creating, and protecting a young girl he is trying to shield from the conflict. “That is what makes the character different or unexpected for me, because the Alejandro that the audience knew now has different levels of humanity to him that weren’t in the previous film. That was exciting.” Art imitates life in that regard. Explains Del Toro, “It exists. There are people working for the CIA. Although our story is not real, there are real sicarios. They are called ‘cover operations’. Not only in the United States, other countries too. Everyone has their own little tricks.” But made-for-film intervention is not the answer to a real conundrum,

he says. “As for the country going into Mexico to end the war? I don’t think that is a solution. I don’t think it would work at all.” The movie highlights how, for better or worse, the USA has a part to play in the narrative of so many nations in the region. There’s been talk, for example, of Del Toro’s native Puerto Rico having its own currency instead of the US dollar, as it has now. “I don’t believe there is enough evidence to see that as a solution,” he posits. “There are more Puerto Ricans in the United States than inside Puerto Rico. The problem is that our island is losing good workers.They are going to Orlando, to Atlanta where they have more opportunities. They are free to go wherever they want in the United States, because they are also American citizens. That’s a problem there.” Another example is the fragile situation at the USA’s southern border, with Donald Trump’s wall discussed against the viability of free border for Mexico, as Puerto Rico has. “It’s a good question, but Puerto Rico is part of the United States. I don’t know if Mexico would want to be part of the United States. I don’t think that

No matter how fast the world moves, the movie theatre is the only place that time stops. And that’s a good thing

the United States could tell Mexico that they should be part of the United States. It’s all more complicated than opening the borders. I think that the people who had trouble coming through the borders and were sent back to Mexico should be treated with dignity. You can’t treat them like animals. The border politics is a little more complicated than a movie; I don’t really know enough to give a solid opinion.” Does Del Toro consider himself a sicario in Hollywood, where they pay him to kill... at the box office? He laughs; “Sure. They have to pay me good money for the work that I do or I won’t work at all. Give me ten pesos and we’ll kill it with this interview.” In a sense, though, he is at the receiving end of the barrel, as movie enterprises like Netflix seek to erase the live experience of a movie theatre. Del Toro stands resolute. “I realise the world is moving fast, faster than ever. We scroll through our phones, watch TV, listen to music while having a conversation, all at the same time. There are screens in our cars, in our phones, on our wrists, where we work, where we live,” he muses. “Multitasking is the norm, but in a movie theatre, it’s entirely different. No matter how fast the world moves, the movie theatre is the only place that time stops. And that’s a good thing. It’s the only place where we can sit together without judgment, without distinction, without cynicism – unless you’re a film critic. It’s the only place where we truly can simultaneously lose ourselves and find ourselves at the same time. It is unique.” In Del Toro, Hollywood has one of the best in the business with regards to crafting a complex character that can enrapture an audience – commanding attention in any environment. 47


A measure of success With an extended length, exclusive details and a handcrafted cabin, the new Mercedes-Maybach S 650 sets the benchmark

ART DIRECTOR: KERRI BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER: GREG ADAMSKI, MMG ARTIST


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Greg can you please get rid of skin on the chauffeur feet/shoe smooth out creases on trousers is there anything we can do to make it look like it fits him better its abit lose....jacket and trousers

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yuk spoty neck please remove


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remove stickers on wind screen

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Pages 2-3 Suit: Hackett Shirt: Zegna Shoes: Santoni Watch: IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Briefcase: Coach Pages 4-5 Suit: Hugo Boss Shirt: Etro Shoes: Santoni Watch: IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’ Models Aydin and Alex MMG Models Stylist Gemma Jones MMG Artist Hair and Make-up Katharina Brennan MMG Artist Location One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai


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Only 29 living people have ever scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final, dating back to 1950. Photographer Michael Donald tracked down this elite club of national heroes, to document the moment that changed their lives forever WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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or the best sense of how it feels to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final, one need only watch footage of Marco Tardelli thumping home Italy’s second goal in the 1982 match with West Germany. The strike itself is scrappy, but the celebration is what endures as one of football’s most iconic snapshots. Tardelli, knocked to the ground by the force of his shot, leaps up and sprints towards the Italian coaching staff on the sidelines, consumed by the enormity of the moment – shaking his head, roaring at the top of his lungs, pumping his fists. As the reality sinks in, his face is a picture of unbridled ecstasy; shock, awe, joy and vindication. He’s absorbed into a huddle of jubliant teammates. It is the rarest of feelings to experience; and few actually have – or ever will. 50

This month, the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia, and at the outset of qualifying two years ago, 209 nations were vying to be among the 32 that would progress to the month-long showpiece tournament. Only two of those elite 32 countries will contest the final, and perhaps only one or two players on the field will experience Tardellian emotion. Those whose names are already etched into finals lore caught the eye Michael Donald, and it formed the basis of a remarkable side-project. When reading up on football history, the photographer noticed just how few men have accomplished the feat of scoring on football’s grandest stage. Since 1950, FIFA’s World Cup tournament has been held every four years, “and if you ask a football

aficionado,” Donald says, “they could calculate that the final occurs every four years, and only one or two people score each time. But when I’ve asked the average layperson on the street, ‘How many players do you think have scored a goal in the World Cup Final?’, most guess between 200-300. The fact is, only 58 people have ever done it, and only 29 of them are still alive today.” Donald’s coffee table tome, Goal! – the FIFA-endorsed book of the tournament – is the result of a decade-long mission to track down the goalscorers, photograph them, and document their story. The book’s narrative begins with Alcedes Ghiggia, who scored the winner for Uruguay in 1950 against Brazil (in Brazil), and neatly ends with Mario Götze, who sealed victory for Germany


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against Argentina four years ago in the very same Rio de Janeiro stadium. But the emotional response, such as Tardelli’s, was not Donald’s focus for the story. His line of enquiry “was not to ask what it was like to score a goal – obviously they are going to say that it feels amazing. I was far more interested in the surrounding details; which roommate they were paired with in the team hotel; what they ate for breakfast the morning of the final; what music they listened to on the way to the stadium; did they have any superstitions; did they remember any conversations they had leading up to the game?” Sir Geoff Hurst, knighted for his three-goal contribution to England’s solitary World Cup triumph in 1966, is an example of why it was the right approach. “Hurst conducts after-dinner speaking, and I’ve seen him deliver his ‘World Cup story’ that is concise, polished and which he can lift off the shelf whenever he’s asked about the moment; it’s entertaining and his audience is happy – but everyone has heard it before,” Donald explains. “As part of his photoshoot we took him back to Hendon Hall, which was the England team hotel, and to the room he stayed in before the final. He hadn’t been back since 1966, and he really enjoyed

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it, giving us much more time than we anticipated – because for the first time in years, he had to dig back into his memory to answer those questions, rather than reverting to a memorised script.” As such, the book is an opportunity for many stories to be aired for the first time. Ghiggia, for example “had not conducted any press interviews at all; we went to a café in Montevideo and nobody knew who he was,” reveals a still-astonished Donald of his time with the national hero. “Only three people have silenced the Maracanã – the Pope, Frank Sinatra and me,” said Ghiggia, of quieting 200,000 home fans with a seismic winner against a heavily favoured Brazil. Local newspapers had already printed special editions proclaiming the 1950 hosts ‘Champions of the World.’ Brazil has won the trophy a record five times since (in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), yet the Ghiggia-led upset haunts. “The Uruguayan delegation were so sure that their team would lose that they’d flown home the night before,” details Donald. “The team realised that the finance guy had also left, and they had no money to celebrate. They couldn’t afford to eat in a restaurant, so toasted one of sport’s greatest triumphs in their hotel room with sandwiches.”

Opening pages: Jairzinho, (scored for Brazil in the 4-1 World Cup Final win over Italy, 1970) Below: Alcides Ghiggia, (Uruguay 2-1 Brazil, 1950) Opposite: Marco Materazzi (Italy 1-1 France, 2006)

The meeting that had the deepest effect on the photographer was that of Tata Brown, who scored for Argentina in 1986. “He cried whenever he talked about what it meant, and he just gave credit to everyone except himself,” he explains. Brown was due, though. “In the final he’d dislocated his arm towards the end of the match and didn’t want to be substituted, so he bit a hole in his shirt and put his thumb through it as a makeshift sling,” Donald describes. “He was the epitome of old guard humility; of it ‘having been a privilege to be part of such a momentous moment’.” Some were less outwardly emotional. “One of the first people we spoke to was Dick Nanninga, who scored for the Netherlands in the 1978 final. Since then he’s owned a flower shop, a bar, and when we met him he was a bathroom salesman. He took enormous pride in showing us around his showroom, and we were scratching our heads thinking, ‘We’re here to talk about the World Cup and he’s showing off the latest soft-close toilet seats’,” Donald recounts with a laugh.


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The crew of six then joined an amiable Nanninga for lunch at his local pub, where he knew all of the locals. “The landlady asked me, ‘Oh, what are you all doing here?’ and we of course said we were there because of Dick. ‘Why?!’ she asked. It turns out he’d be going to that pub for 20 years and never once mentioned that he’d scored a goal in a World Cup final – they didn’t know that he’d ever played football, and thought he was just a bathroom salesman.” Humble Dick considered it “something from a previous lifetime, and he’d simply moved on,” points out Donald. “It wasn’t faux humility. His genuine mindset was, ‘That was then, this is now… Do you want to buy a bathroom?’” Times have changed. The modern game generates billions of dollars, and the best players are so well-compensated they seemingly have their own GDP; Brazil’s Neymar Jr. the world’s most expensive footballer (who has not yet played in the final), moved clubs to Paris St. Germain in 2017 for a record USD261 million. “Now, even a squad player travelling to the World Cup is basically assured financial security for life,” admits Donald. “Pre-1990, though, each has had to work for a living post-football, which gives their stories that certain grounding.” So when he met with the two most recent scorers, from the 2010 and 54

Above: Sir Geoff Hurst (England 4-2 West Germany, 1966) Left: Pelé (Brazil 5-2 Sweden, 1958 and Brazil 4-1 Italy, 1970) Opposite: Gérson, Brazil 4-1 Italy, 1970. All images courtesy of Michael Donald / Goal!


They all talk about their lives in two halves – before and after scoring in the final 2014 finals, Donald found it was diva tantrums and self-entitlement? Not so. “For all the criticism thrown at the 20-year-old multi-millionaires who now play the game, the two most recent scorers, Götze [in 2014] and Andres Iniesta [a quiet genius of modern football, who netted the winner for Spain in 2010, against the Netherlands in Johannesburg], were both absolutely delightful and humble, with no swagger or pretences. They were swift to attribute the goal to the team,” he shares. Götze – who entered the game as a late German substitute and struck in the 113th minute of extra time, for a 1-0 win – was especially moved. “When we went

to see him, I gave him a signed portrait of Ghiggia, who by then had sadly passed away, before the project’s completion. Götze ‘got’ it; they had both scored the winner in the Maracanã, 64 years apart. He was on the verge on tears.” The purity of this type of goal means that, across generations, the feat never loses its lustre. Donald says the goalscorers, irrespective of age, “all expressed a feeling that it had been visited upon them – they were glad to have made the most of their chance. They thought about their family in that moment and, without exception, it has had a hugely spiritual, lifelong lasting impact on every single one of them.”

Come 15 July in Moscow, fate will have chosen another player to seize the opportunity, sending their nation into rapture. And in time, they will relate to those already on the list, who “talk about their lives almost in two halves – before and after scoring in the final.” So too for Donald, in a manner. “When you’ve heard an individual’s story and learnt of the memories surrounding the moment, you never quite watch that goal in the same way again.” Four complete sets of original exhibition portraits, signed by the players themselves, are exclusively available for sale. For enquiries, contact rick@agentfoxmedia.com 55


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When Johnny Cash announced that he would perform at two of America’s most notorious prisons in the late 1960s, nobody predicted how it would revitalise his career WORDS: CHRIS ANDERSON

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ohnny Cash always presented himself as something of a rebel – a singer-songwriter refusing to conform. Early on in his career, he earned the nickname ‘The Undertaker’, due to his habit of always wearing black (he said it was because the clothes were easier to keep clean on tour). And like any outlaw, he’d had his brushes with the authorities – nothing major, just a scuffle here, a misdemeanour there, and being charged with starting a forest fire on a fishing trip, but never anything worth more than a night in jail. However, this rebellious streak became part of Cash’s legacy, backed by a willingness to speak out against the establishment. His first major hit in 1955, which he usually opened his shows with, was Folsom Prison Blues, written while serving in the US Air Force in Germany and inspired by a 1951 noir crime drama, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, which depicted the mistreatment of convicts. “He had a passion for standing up for these people who were locked up and treated so poorly,” Tara Cash Schwoebel, Cash’s youngest daughter, once revealed in an interview. Cash was so moved that he decided to take his show to the prisoners. In 1957, he played to inmates at Huntsville State Prison in Texas, and followed that with several New Year’s Day concerts at San Quentin – the oldest prison in California, featuring the state’s only death row. The events proved popular, resulting in their own success stories, with several inmates feeling inspired enough to become musicians themselves. But the early prison concerts paled in comparison to those of the late 1960s, which spawned successful live albums and jump-started Cash’s career at a time when he found himself rather lost. “The record company weren’t overly-excited about the idea,” says Dave Brolan, head of music at Reel Art Press, which is releasing a new book, Johnny Cash at Folsom & San Quentin, featuring behindthe-scenes images of the events. “As far as they were concerned, Cash had peaked. We’re going into 1968 here, the craze was for heavier rock, the whole hippy movement, it was a different world. Cash asking to go into a prison, perform a concert 58

and record a live album, you can see why they weren’t thrilled.” Years without a major hit, his record sales on the slide and his first marriage to Vivian Liberto a distant memory, Cash’s professional and personal lives were impacting each other – to the extent that he was not turning up to his own concerts, or he would perform so badly that people would leave before the end. “One of the things he liked about playing prisons: if he did something the audience didn’t like, they couldn’t leave,” WS ‘Fluke’ Holland, Cash’s drummer at the time, had joked. Luckily, change was on the horizon, and after convincing his record company, Cash stepped onto a makeshift stage in Dining Room Two of Folsom State Prison on 13 January,

1968 – just over 50 years ago. His first choice was San Quentin, but calls to the prison went unreturned, so Cash told his management to try Folsom instead. He performed two concerts that day, opening both with a rendition of Folsom Prison Blues, and then cherry-picked the recordings for the live release. All but two came from the first session. The resulting album, At Folsom, was a huge success – reaching No.1 in the country album charts and the top 15 of the national charts, with its live rendition of Folsom Prison Blues becoming Cash’s first top 40 single in four years. “The prison audience offered a different level of intensity that matched Cash’s own, so the atmosphere was electric,” explains Brolan. “Arguably, it’s one of the

The prison audience offered a different level of intensity that matched Cash’s own


Opposite: The Statlers anxiously await the start of the show Above: Cash and his wife-to-be June Carter, postperformance 59


greatest live albums ever, not only technically, but just the performance, the spontaneity of it all. It really brought Cash back to the forefront of music.” Documenting Folsom, and also the San Quentin concert that followed a year later, in an attempt to replicate the first album’s success, was music photographer Jim Marshall, who Cash had requested personally. “They had first met at a folk music festival in 1964, and Johnny was just a huge fan of his work,” says Brolan, who worked closely with Marshall in the music press before curating his work for the new book. “You could always rely on Jim to get the perfect shot, and his technical ability was amazing. In the book, you see he documented everything, from their arrival to the concerts themselves.” Cash’s newfound success was reflected in his personal life – marrying long60

term partner and fellow musician June Carter, who had performed with him at Folsom, on 1 March that year. His follow-up album, At San Quentin, recorded on 24 February, 1969, sold even more copies, topping the country album and national charts simultaneously. A TV documentary crew accompanied Cash in addition to Marshall, with the concert differing from the first by debuting new songs – San Quentin (performed and included on the album twice); A Boy Named Sue (which reached No 2 in the singles charts); and Wanted Man, which Cash revealed he had written with Bob Dylan just a week earlier. The concerts and live albums had turned Cash’s career around. While he would face other challenges through the decades that followed, until his death in 2003, for now at least his return to

music was secured, and he never forgot the prisoners that helped him. In 1972, he testified at a US Senate subcommittee on prison reform, asking for minors to be kept out of jail and for an increased focus on the rehabilitation process. And the prisons themselves never forgot Cash. Tales abound of inmates who have since passed through Folsom and San Quentin, inspired by Cash to take up music or performance. Folsom even opened a small museum, which sits just behind the main gate, where the artist posed for a photo all those years ago. He may have been a rebel, but it seems that Cash managed to give a small corner of society something to strive for. Johnny Cash at Folsom & San Quentin, by Jim Marshall, is published by Reel Art Press. For more info visit reelartpress.com

Photo credits: © Jim Marshall Photography LLC / Reel Art Press

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Below: Cash at the prison gates Opposite: The band bow to a very appreciative crowd of prisoners


He had a passion for standing up for these people who were locked up and treated so poorly

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Anthony Vaccarello was barely known outside fashion circles – until he landed one of the industry’s most coveted jobs. He talks to Claudia Croft

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Opening pages: Charlotte Gainsbourg; model in Saint Laurent FW18; Zoë Kravitz Below: Kaia Gerber Opposite: Model in FW18 Overleaf: Saint Laurent FW18, poses and portraits

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ome jobs in fashion come with such history and high expectations that it’s a wonder anyone has the nerve to take them on. Creative director at Saint Laurent is one such role. In the 1960s and 1970s, Yves, the shy, neurotic, bespectacled founder, reshaped fashion and defined glamour, sexuality and excess for generations to come. It was he who created Bianca Jagger’s white wedding suit, and swathed Jerry Hall in gold lamé for the controversial Opium perfume ads. He popularised designer ready-to-wear and made “Le smoking” tux for women. And the curvaceous lines of his YSL logo transmit an idea of French chic that resonates to this day. Like an actor taking on Hamlet, stepping into Saint Laurent’s shoes means assuming one of the great roles in modern fashion. It takes guts. The latest man to be cast in the role is the quiet but determined dark-haired Belgian-Italian, Anthony Vaccarello. His body-conscious leather tailoring drew a cult following at his own label, but he was little known outside fashion circles. When he got the YSL job in 2016, he didn’t just have the colossal reputation of the founder to contend with, he also replaced Hedi Slimane, one of the most divisive designers of our time. Slimane saw the label through the grungy prism of the adolescent groupie, a look that was panned by critics as derivative but which enjoyed huge sales success. The brand has just opened its largest (and most spectacular) store globally in The Dubai Mall’s expanded Fashion Avenue. One dark Paris evening, I make my way up the sweeping stone staircase of the 17 th century Hôtel de Sénecterre to Vaccarello’s suite of offices in the imposing Left Bank headquarters. The lights are low, a leather Perfecto jacket hangs on the back of a door and we settle into a sleek, black leather sofa to talk. Born in Brussels, Vaccarello is an only child. His father was a waiter and his mother worked in an office. He studied law before switching to fashion. He won the Hyères fashion prize for his graduation collection, which was inspired by the Italian politician La Cicciolina. Karl Lagerfeld gave him his first job and Donatella Versace tapped him to design her Versus collection.


But nothing could prepare him for YSL. “I still don’t want to realise that I am designing for Saint Laurent, because, if you think too much about it, then you are blocked by the heritage and the things that you have on your shoulder,” he says in his soft voice. On his first day, Vaccarello suffered a form of fashion stage fright. He sat in his vast new office with its tripleheight ceiling and couldn’t do any work. “I had to put everything away in my head to be able to continue,” he says. It was his only moment of hesitation. On day two, he had a meeting with the late Pierre Bergé, the life and business partner of Yves Saint Laurent. Bergé, an entrepreneur, patron and philanthropist, was considered to be the chief custodian of the designer’s legacy. He ran the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, which looks after the couture archive. “I really wanted to understand his vision. I wanted to present myself and to know the story through him,” says Vaccarello. The pair met at the foundation, where the designer’s office is kept exactly as it was when he died of brain cancer in 2008. “He said something that I really have in mind every day. He said, ‘Do not copy Yves Saint Laurent.’ He told me to continue to be what I am and to respect Saint Laurent.” At one point, Bergé ordered Vaccarello to handle the original drawing for the YSL logo, designed by the artist Adolphe Mouron Cassandre in 1961. “He said, ‘Touch it, take it in your hand.’ It was like a passing of a baton,” says Vaccarello, who was mesmerised by the “perfection of the line”, but then he made it the heel of a shoe. “I like playing with bad taste,” he says. “It’s what makes things cool.” On that same day, standing next to the designer’s desk was a mannequin wearing a gown from a 1982 couture collection. “It was kind of long and leopard, with huge sleeves,” says Vaccarello, who by strange coincidence had the exact same dress in mind when he was thinking about his debut collection. It would have been easy to dash off a version, but with Bergé’s warning not to copy ringing in his ears, he has developed a novel way of melding the brand’s heritage with modern dressing. He begins his design process by collaging images of vintage

He said, ‘Do not copy Yves Saint Laurent.’ He told me to continue to be what I am

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What I love from Yves Saint Laurent is all the spirit, the allure and the sense of that woman such as the model Anja Rubik and singer Lou Doillon. “I dress women, not ladies,” he says. Not first ladies, either. Every woman on his team went on last year’s Women’s March in Paris, and although he’s reluctant to talk politics, his main message is one of liberation. His customer, he says, “doesn’t need a man or a woman. She dresses and lives for herself, she’s very confident. She thinks and acts as a man, but is still feminine. She’s modern, she’s what every woman wants to be. I think she’s free.” Freedom, as he sees it, means “being yourself and not trying to be like the others”. When Vaccarello’s vixens first stormed the catwalk, confident in their

leather and lace finery, it was clear he was forging his own path, neither copying the founder nor treading the same rock-chick route as Slimane. “What I love from Yves Saint Laurent is all the spirit, the allure and the sense of that woman,” he says. Nevertheless, on the day of his debut show in September 2016, he was so nervous he was close to tears. “I was hoping people would love it or hate it. I was hoping the reception not to be in the middle. I didn’t want them to think it’s only OK. When there was more love than hate, it was a bit disappointing,” he says, allowing himself a little smile. Even Bergé gave him the seal of approval. “He really liked it. After the show, we had a lunch, to go through all the looks. He was very sincere and very positive.” Then the interview is over. I go back out into the Paris night. The quiet Belgian has spoken. Saint Laurent’s three-storey store at The Dubai Mall is now open

Credit: Claudia Croft/News Licensing

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Yves Saint Laurent pieces with new things that attract his eye, to create something fresh. “I’ll cut up a sleeve, put something else under it and make a hybrid,” he says. He came up with the idea of putting sweetheart corsets with slouchy jeans. He imagined a girl “going into the wardrobe of her mother, finding that YSL dress and she just cuts into it to make it more her”. Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent woman is more grown-up than Slimane’s, and his casting is also more racially diverse. “Saint Laurent was the first to use black models on his runway. I like that, too,” Vaccarello says. Whatever his models’ ethnicity, though, they “have to have character and good legs”. He’s not joking (he never jokes). There isn’t much for the knobbly-kneed in Vaccarello’s world; his tailoring, however, is second to none. If you are looking for a perfect sharp-cut jacket, this is the label to shop. He is inspired by “the women around me that I see every day” and friends


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Motoring

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JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Living LÊgende Renault has resurrected the Alpine – a plucky 1970s berlinette that conquered hearts (and rivals) at Monte Carlo and Le Mans. Welcome to one of the most anticipated cars of 2018 WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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gility, lightness and elegance. It was this tricolor of assets that saw the French-produced Alpine A110 romp to multiple triumphs in its heyday – like a one-two victory at Monte Carlo Rally in 1971, and in the inaugural season of the World Rally Championship in 1973. The brand was an underdog synonymous with beautiful production coupés and gutsy competition, instigated by creator Jean Rédélé. The motorsport success of the A110 came after Rédélé sought backing from Renault, but the oil crisis of 1973 put the brakes on sports indulgence. Four decades (plus plenty of rumours) later, Renault decided the time was right to give Alpine a worthy return. Antony Villain, design director at Alpine, told us, “Since 1995, it seems every two years there were tentative Alpine projects but I think it was not the right time for Groupe Renault. Things changed around 2012 thanks to the new design direction created by Laurens van den Acker. Since then, Renault has been in good shape, and it heralded the right time for Alpine.” When the resurrected model from the marque was first teased at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, it garnered universal ‘ooohs’ and a stampede to preorder, without buyers even getting behind the wheel. You can thank Alpine’s fine pedigree for that. “A key point from the beginning was to stay true to the original A110 DNA. Our basis was to imagine it never disappeared from production – a continuation of the line and an evolution, treating it like an A110 Mk4 69


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Our basis was to imagine the A110 never disappeared from production or Mk5, derived from the original berlinette,” says Villain. A signature of that original was its power-to-weight ratio and overall agility thanks to lightness, enabling the berlinette to triumph against heavier, more powerful competitors. The lightweight racing generation to which Alpine belonged was spawned by racing genius Colin Chapman, who was best known for masterminding the single-seat, cigar-shaped Lotus 25; a tubular monocoque that transformed Grand Prix racing. He famously said, “Simplify, then add lightness.” The British pioneer was not connected to Alpine, but the company’s chassis technical leader Thierry Annequin 70

revealed to Top Gear about the new A110, “We followed Chapman’s principle, which is still valid. If we have low mass, we can have moderate power, so we don’t need super wide tires or big, heavy brakes and so on. We have chased all grammes everywhere – on each component and each system – to achieve this weight.” As such, aluminium comprises 96 percent of the chassis and body – and the car weighs in at 1,080kg (that’s kerb weight), making it around 320kg lighter than the comparative Porsche or Audi. There are no wings or spoilers on this trim fighter. “Aesthetically, we ensured to maintain that link to the past, it was mandatory to legitimise our work and

make it recognisable, especially outside of France where the brand is less well known,” Villain enthuses. Its heritage is clear. Four round headlamps and modern four-ring lighting signature; the ‘A’ emblem on the side, like a superhero’s insignia; the side sculptures; the 3D curved glass; its very low, wide rear end. The instrument cluster and the kilted leather also defer to the A110’s design roots. The modern day hierarchy contains three offerings: Pure and Légende are for the road, while the GT4 is crafted for a bout of track driving. As its name suggests, the Pure edition is driver-focused, with ‘extensive’ weight saving achieved by microfibre


interior upholstery and matte carbon fibre cabin trim, as well as lighter Sabelt sport seats. When manufacturers bandy about the word ‘lightweight’, it usually means bidding farewell to creature comforts like air conditioning and entertainment. That’s not the case here. Alpine wants the A110 to be enjoyed, and the Légende edition concerns itself with finer touches. Among its sophisticated cues are six-way adjustable seats, full leather upholstery and a gloss-finished carbon fibre interior. The marque says that this version is ideal for ‘everyday driving or long distance touring’. Pure and Légende both contain the same 252hp, 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and performance is the same; not that there will be any complaints about that, as how it feels to drive is an area that has attracted universal acclaim. Villain explains, “What strikes the driver after just a few seconds behind the wheel is its agility. The car has little inertia; we’ve had it described as playful, even at low speeds. Personally, after a few minutes, I didn’t want to stop, and I experienced a few laps with a professional driver, who was also wowed. The car is so progressive it can please a beginner and a professional – which is not an easy line to tread.” The A110 sounds as good as it looks, emitting gorgeous gurgles and pops from its four-cylinder mid-engine. Alpine chief engineer David Twohig revealed to Car Magazine that “thousands of hours” were dedicated to creating a soundtrack worthy of a pedigree sports car. Then there’s its appealing pricetag. “When you look at the competition around the €50-100k mark, there are limited options; we wanted to create a market alternative,” says Villain. “On one side you have hardcore, trackorientated cars such as Lotus, and the Alfa Romeo 4C, while on the other side are more refined, heavy and powerful offerings like Porsche and the Audi TT. So we believe there’s room for us in this market.” There’ll be room for the A110 in the garage stable (for an exclusive number) of motoring enthusiasts, too. The au fait car builder is back, and an industry is proclaiming ‘Vive la Alpine’. 71


Gastronomy JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

When in Wien... The Michelin Guide ‘Main Cities of Europe’ was created this spring, to spotlight key dining establishments on the continent. In Austria, judges deemed trendsetting Restaurant Konstantin Filippou as worthy of a detour WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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hat does it take to surprise an Austrian dinner guest? No tablecloths, according to Konstantin Filippou, head chef of his eponymous capital city eatery. That punch line is five years out of date, but when Filippou embarked on his solo culinary venture, such details – or absence thereof – were enough to cause a stir on the Viennese food scene. “Austrians are very cool guests but they stick to tradition – be it with the food or the décor,” he says. “What we introduced to the city five years ago, at just the right time, was the cuisine that one finds in a very high end restaurant, without curbing the fun feeling and with a casual aura. So I respect them for being of an adventurous attitude, to try our concept when it was new.” The half-Greek, half-Austrian had an established culinary existence at the time, having honed his abilities at a series of key restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay and Le Gavroche in London, and Arzak in San Sebastian. But with a rich trove of family recipes to reinterpret, Filippou wanted to break out alone (anchored by his marketing specialist wife, Manuela): “When you work as a chef in a key restaurant, you cannot show your personality in a place 72

that someone else has designed for you,” he explains. “I wanted to show people how I think a restaurant should be. For me, a restaurant is a piece of artwork, to absorb and appreciate every detail. Every single plate is unique and handmade; every butter knife is sourced from a small producer; we work with individual designers from different fields to ensure that each detail is perfect – though not showing off in the wrong way. I believe in having an intense interaction with all aspects of the dining experience.” His mindset is now cherished not just by loyal locals, but also on a global platform. The Michelin Guide came calling in 2014, bestowing a star, and this year Restaurant Konstantin Filippou earned its second. More attention arrived when the restaurant was a headline mention in the ‘Main Cities of Europe’ guide, which Michelin released in April and positioned as ‘ideal for guests wishing to discover Europe’s most romantic and culturally stimulating cities.’ The very fare that the judges praised is not purely Austrian in nature. “Being Greek from my father’s side and Austrian from my mother, the cool thing – and something I always thank


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Below: Konstantin Filippou

my parents for – is that I didn’t need to ‘find’ my idea of cuisine, as my cooking derives from the food I grew up being nourished by,” he enthuses. “When I create a dish, it is not complete if it does not have the balance of both sides. When I draw upon something Austrian, I always have the feeling that it needs some Mediterranean flavour, and vice versa.” For instance, a signature offering is the brandade. “From my experience of the dish, and also from my grandmother’s cooking, I’m familiar with it being made with salted cod, but I instead decided to make it with Austrian Amur carp because it is fat enough. So we salt the carp for two weeks, strain the salt out, cook it into a little bit of thyme and lemon, then from the stock of the carp we make a foam. After some additional steps, it is served with Grüll caviar.” Filippou is a fine dining philosopher, armed with tenets and a dining temple to please the purist-dining pilgrim. “At home I love art and a lot of visual elements but the restaurant must be ‘clean’ in its aesthetic plus calm and quiet, for guests to appreciate 74

the dishes and not be distracted”, he defines. “It’s like looking through a camera lens to focus on one point.” Some in the industry downplay their accolades, but Filippou still revels in the recognition. “Michelin was a very big thing for us,” he reflects, adding, “With the awarding of both stars, the energy level was raised; it feels like riding a wave. Every year we make natural tweaks, and my wife and I are happy that they see how hard we work. It is validation, and we feel especially proud that we did it ourselves.” This last remark is no mere turn of phrase from Filippou; one can take it quite literally. “The venture was a big risk because we were doing this without

any investors. The bank accepted our concept and we started building. We were floored when the bank wrote to us with a one-line update that said, ‘We have decided not to finance your venture.’ I was standing in the middle of the restaurant and didn’t know if I wanted to scream or cry.” The lack of faith, he assesses, is that “for 20 years, no chef had opened a place here; banks were not used to seeing a business model from the chef’s side. They had only had proposals from an investor or restaurateur angle. That first year was crazy, and it took a lot of patience and understanding from those we did business with. The pain was eventually worth it, though.” Indeed imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the owner proffers that, “Now you find a lot of bistros and wine bars in Vienna who have followed our lead, resulting in a vibrant food scene.” This, it turns out, is not the only interesting footnote to this culinary success story: “The guy from the bank came into the restaurant to dine a few years later,” says Filippou, with a smile. “He said, ‘Wow, you really did everything that you promised to do.’”


The restaurant must be ‘clean’ in its aesthetic and calm, for guests to appreciate the dishes. It’s like looking through a camera lens to focus on one point

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Travel APRIL 2017 : ISSUE 71

Indian Ocean Indulgence

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With bespoke treatments at its new spa retreat, Velaa Private Island Maldives promises a personalised wellness revolution in paradise

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he curated environs of Velaa Private Island represent the very essence of luxury living. Its sizable abodes are blissful homes in which to kick back in comfort, soakingup a sunrise or sunset or taking a dip in a private pool. The dining indulgences burst with flavour, assuredly pleasing the palate. And lest not neglect those unsung attentive touches that make each guest the centre of Velaa’s universe. Endless temptations make this exclusive Maldivian island bolthole an ideal summer escape – and now there’s an added reason. The resort’s recently unveiled wellness series assures guests can depart with more than lasting memories: they can step aboard the seaplane having accrued the wealth of good health. At a dedicated new Detox & Energising Spa Retreat, Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer and Fitness Trainer Specialist Aya Miklos have masterminded a series of individually tailored programmes, to inspire a lasting life change. The comprehensive Retreat does include the (admittedly enticing) act of laying prone, with muscles soothingly massaged back to health with an Oriental massage or a spot of Ayurveda spa therapy, delivered via the acclaimed Spa My Blend by Clarins. However, to obtain noticeable and impactful results, the concept ventures deeper than mere time on the spa bed. On this retreat, guests first receive an in-depth consultation, after which a bespoke daily programme will be crafted around specific health needs and goals. To accomplish this, a personalised dietary plan will be composed by Amelia, complemented by a customised itinerary of sports, yoga, meditation and relaxing spa treatments – designed to create enduring results for the mind, body and soul. This is where the natural beauty and outstanding facilities of Velaa Private Island come to prominence. This may be a pretty postage stamp in the Noonu Atoll, but the resort packs a punch with its array of experiences. One can play tennis, squash and nine tees of golf, zen out with Hatha yoga and meditation, or take to the surrounding azure waters of the archipelago – an ideal habitat for snorkelling, standup paddle boarding and kayaking. A boutique resort that prides itself on privacy and seclusion makes for

the perfect hideaway in which to ignite a meaningful life adjustment, guided by expert advice and nestled in a breathtaking natural setting. Velaa Private Island has a stellar reputation as being fit for a king and queen; this summer, the resort is making sure that the king and queen are fit, and emotionally nourished.

All images: Velaa Private Island Maldives

The 7-, 14- or 21-day Detox & Energising Spa Retreat can be availed until 1 September. For more information visit velaaprivateisland.com, or contact the resort via reservations@velaaisland.com / +960 6565 000

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29 JOURNEYS BY JET

Monastero Santa Rosa

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Italy

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Travel JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

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rom its perch on a Conca dei Marini cliff edge, Monastero Santa Rosa has kept watch over Salerno bay since the 17 th century. Once a contemplative outlook for Dominican nuns to gaze across while pondering, three centuries and one faithful renovation have imbued the property with different purpose: the rustic Amalfi Coast retreat, situated between Amalfi and Positano, is now a sophisticated boutique resort and spa. The dramatic scenery naturally commands centre stage for every stay. The windows of its 20 suites perfectly frame the masterpiece; the tiered gardens of Monastero are the perfect for a lunchtime stroll in glorious sunshine; on an late afternoon dip in the infinity pool, one gets drawn to the edge to witness the sunset paint this coastline with its resplendent palette. Guests can also choose to admire the panorama from the terrace of Il Refettorio, the resort’s Michelinstarred restaurant. Chef Christoph Bob was recently awarded for his interpretation of local Campania cuisine with Mediterranean soul, using carefully selected vegetables and herbs from the organic garden in the grounds.

The vaulted ceilings, mosaics and stone walls of the spa – excavated from the naked rock – create an admittedly beautiful environ for a spot of pampering. But should the call of the ocean still not be resisted, The Spa Garden of Wellness promises open air treatments performed under a pergola, overlooking the sea. Despite a modern approach to luxury, heritage has been loyally respected. The abodes, for example, whose décor is punctuated by thoughtfully chosen antique pieces, derive their names of medicinal herbs still cultivated in the large gardens of the property today. With an elite culinary offering, breathtaking views, and gardens perfumed by wafts of lemon, rosemary, jasmine and aromatic herbs, every moment at Monastero promises to be divine. It’s a dreamy slice of Italian summers bliss. Land into Naples Capodichino, then avail a private transfer from one of the hotel’s luxury fleet. Alternatively, arrive by helicopter (flying over Naples and Mount Vesuvius), landing at nearby Sorrento or Ravello. monasterosantarosa.com 79


What I Know Now

AIR

JUNE 2018 : ISSUE 85

Agniya Mirgorodskaya FOUNDING DIRECTOR, RIGA INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART and to realise that humour is all around us. What he is trying communicate is that it’s okay to make mistakes and fail from time to time. I found this outlook very refreshing in our overly competitive world.

I spent many years studying linguistics and then political science. So when I discovered contemporary art it struck me that, in a way, it linked the two disciplines that interested me most, while offering an alternative language to analyse and reflect on the world around us.

part of this whole process for me. Most often, these people have extremely interesting and very unique outlooks on life. I especially enjoyed getting to know Adrián Villar Rojas. I was following his footsteps during his stay, tried to get a grip of how his mind works.

Art can truly move the senses. I’d opt for Mark Rothko’s No.10 as the piece that had the most profound effect on me. When I saw the painting at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) it brought me to tears and made my head spin – I felt like what I saw got under my skin; it simultaneously elevated me and made me plummet. I still can’t fully define the way it made me feel.

What I realised was that he never stops working, not even for a second. Every time I looked at him, he was extremely focused, even in the moments when we were all having dinner. It seemed that he never stops thinking and analysing, that his curiosity was never ending. People like this inspire me the most.

Having always been fascinated by semiotics and the deconstruction of language, I feel that artists are one step ahead of politicians or historians. They are more sensitive to what is happening around us, and can offer new, unexpected perspectives. And for those eager to broaden their horizons, there is no better way to do that than through art.

Another artist that afforded another perspective on things was Erik Kessels. From spending time with him, and looking closely into his practice, I learnt to see beauty in ordinary things,

Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) runs from 2 June to 28 October. Find more info at rigabiennial.com

The overall experience of speaking and spending time with the artists has probably been the most enjoyable 80


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Air Magazine - Al Bateen - June'18  

Air Magazine - Al Bateen - June'18  

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