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Issue FIFty sIx january 2016

Lily James Luxury • Culture • People • Style • Heritage

Haute Joaillerie, place Vend么me since 1906

DUBAI: The Dubai Mall - Mall of the Emirates ABU DHABI: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island 800-VAN-CLEEF (800-826-25333) ABU DHABI: Etihad Towers +971 2 681 1919

Idyllic Pont des Amoureux Poetic Complications watch, white gold, diamonds, “contre-jour� enamel, mechanical movement with retrograde hours and minutes.



Contents JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher


Editorial Director

John Thatcher Group Commercial Director

David Wade Commercial Director

Rawan Chehab Business Development Manager

Rabih El Turk Editor

Chris Ujma Art Director

Forty Four

Fifty Eight

With plenty of highlyanticipated films coming out in 2016, here’s six emerging stars who’ll captivate

55 years on, AIR explores what 2016 presidential candidates can learn from President John F. Kennedy

Six For 16

Andy Knappett Features Editor

Annie Darling Designer

Emi Dixon

Fifty Two



Andrew Thorpe

This month, AIR celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1960s animated Batman television series

Production Manager

Muthu Kumar


White House Legacy

Contents JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56


Thirty Two

Sixty Four

Seventy Two

Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz will debut a set of new portraits to add to her WOMEN collection

Glittering, transformative crystals: the immense impact of Swarovski on haute fashion

What was that neon green blur? Catch the Lamborghini HuracĂĄn, on this rare occasion it is standing still

Drift away to Cousine Island; read about its empty beaches and the idylls of nature in four pages of pure escapism

Twenty Four


Sixty Eight

Leila Heller speaks with AIR about her new Dubai space and Alaa Minawi reflects on the refugee crisis

Arnold & Son has a storied history and a sensational approach to the present. Here’s what makes them tick

Michelin-starred chef Sergi Arola ticks all the boxes at his signature Abu Dhabi restaurant, Pearls & Caviar






Art & Design


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



Nasjet JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Welcome Onboard JANUARY 2016

In welcoming you onboard I have the pleasure of conveying my greetings and wishing you a smooth and comfortable flight in the luxury of your private NASJET. For us at NASJET, a recent highlight was the Dubai Airshow 2015, always a magnificent event and one where we have the opportunity to meet with our many business partners in the regional and global aviation industry. Dubai Airshow also gives us the opportunity to see and learn about the next generation technologies, the advances being made in supersonic travel, and the latest developments in the essential support services. All these factors are shaping the future of the global aviation industry in general and contributing to the rapid growth in the demand for private aviation services, especially in the Middle East where NASJET continues to occupy a leading position that keeps the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the head of the regional business jet market. Keeping pace with market growth, I am proud to say that at the end of 2015 we added four new aircraft to our fleet: a Gulfstream G4, two Legacy 600, and a Citation XL. These will be commercially available. At Dubai Airshow we also signed several new agreements as part of our vision for 2016 when we look forward to adding more new jets to our fleet as we continue to expand and maximize our presence in the region. It is your loyalty and support that makes our progress possible and for this I thank you on behalf of everyone at NASJET and assure you that we will continue to provide you with impeccable service before, during and after your flight, with a commitment that combines luxurious comfort with your safety as our first priority. We have much more to offer in 2016 and I look forward to enjoying the privilege of sharing it with you.

Saad Al Azwari CEO

Contact Details: T. +966 (0)11 217 2070 13

Nasjet JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

NASJET signs international handling agreement with Jet Aviation At EBACE 2015 in Geneva, NASJET signed a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) global service agreement with Jet Aviation. Under the agreement, Jet Aviation is to provide handling services through its global network of FBOs to the fleet of NASJET aircraft

As the largest and fastest growing private jet operator in the Middle East, NASJET operates a diverse international fleet of more than 70 aircraft. Jet Aviation currently manages 19 premium FBO facilities across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. The two companies signed an agreement at EBACE 2015 in Geneva to have Jet Aviation provide seamless handling services to the NASJET fleet. “We are always looking for strategic partners with whom we can ensure our customers receive personalized service and end-to-end support wherever they may be,” said NASJET CEO Mr. Saad Al-Azwari. “Jet Aviation shares our values and our commitment to excellence and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with them.” “Our goal is to secure the greatest comfort and convenience for our 14

customers by anticipating their needs,” said Monica Beusch, general manager of Jet Aviation Zurich and head of FBO Services in EMEA & Asia. “We look forward to welcoming the NASJET fleet throughout our network and to adding value to their operation by assuring smooth travels on the ground.” Jet Aviation’s fixed base operations provide customers with executive VIP terminals, conference rooms, business services, passenger and crew lounges, snooze rooms, crew showers, weather and flight planning services. The company offers private aircraft handling and full FBO services, including domestic and international flight handling, line maintenance services, refueling, immigration and customs services, passenger and crew transportation, as well as catering, hotel and local transport arrangements.

FOR SALE: 2010 Falcon 7X (SN 82) on exclusive with NASJET/TJB aircraft sales This Falcon 7X has the latest stateof-the-art EASY II cockpit which enables pilots to monitor and control the progression of the flight using Dassault’s highly optimized version of Honeywell’s Primus Epic digital flight deck. This one owner from new aircraft has always flown privately, with its own dedicated and experienced crew. It can fly non-stop from New York to Riyadh; Riyadh to Perth; and Abu Dhabi to Tokyo. It can land at airports with restricted runways, such as London City. The luxury 14seat cabin boasts multiple options including high speed broadband enabling passengers to stay

connected while relaxing at 41,000 feet. It also includes Satellite TV that can be watched throughout the cabin ensuring you never miss your favourite TV show. If you find yourself stressed at the end of a busy day then you can unwind listing to music through the multiple ipod docks while the EMTEQ Quasar full spectrum lighting system relaxes with mood lighting of your choice. The Dassault Falcon 7X is also a very strong competitor in the market place due to its much 15

lower fuel burn (7X burns 380 GPH and Gulfstream’s G450 GPH) and lower maintenance costs (2.62 SAR maintenance hours per flight hour compared to 5.74 SAR for Gulfstream’s G550). The aircraft is also enrolled on Falcon Care and ESP platinum elite engine and APU pay by the hour programs providing peace of mind that all schedule and unscheduled future maintenance is budgeted for. For further information please email

Nasjet JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Our Services A host of services await you when flying with NASJET AiRcRAft sAles Buy from the best. As a world-class owner, operator and manager of private aircraft in the middle east since 1999, we offer real-time market pricing analysis, aircraft financing with preferred lenders, aircraft inspections, sales and marketing collateral, and assertive price negotiation.

stress away and give you peace of mind knowing that an established and experienced international operator is able to manage your asset efficiently. NASJET has in excess of 70 aircraft under management. Aircraft owners gain many privileges and financial benefits by being within a NASJETmanaged fleet, including economy of scale on fuel, fleet insurance, training and maintenance.


Benefit from our experience. We have the advantage of a close working relationship with many of the leading business jet manufacturers, including Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Hawker Beechcraft. Over the years, the team has successfully completed over 45 new aircraft deliveries, working with owners to ensure their aircraft is completed to the highest specification and within budget.

Access a fleet of jets – with guaranteed availability. With the NASJET fractional program you buy a share in a jet, ranging from an eighth to a half. You can have all the advantages of aircraft ownership for a fraction of the cost. Your share guarantees you a certain number of flight hours per year in your jet or in a comparable aircraft. Fractional ownership costs are pre-agreed and fixed annually – no end-of-year financial surprises, just seamless international access to a fleet of aircraft. You can also enjoy all the benefits of the fractional program without the long-term commitment, with the 12-month lease program.

AiRcRAft mANAgemeNt

fligHt sUppoRt

Have the experts do all the work. Owning a private jet is certainly a pleasure, but it’s also a major undertaking. NASJET can take that

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gRoUNd seRvices in 2013 NAsJet, and their partner ExecuJet, launched ground services for private aircraft flying into the Riyadh private aviation terminal, Saudi Arabia. The collaboration builds on the two partners’ reputation for providing a superior and competitive level of service.

oN-demANd cHARteR the best option for ultimate flexibility without the commitment. Chartering with NASJET gives clients access to the largest and most closely-managed fleet in the region. We are focused entirely on safety, service and value. By owning many of our aircraft, we are able to make an immediate decision on aircraft availability. NASJET’s dedicated 24/7, 365 days a year charter department, based in Riyadh, are able to provide instant competitive quotations. The NASJET block charter program has all the benefits of ad-hoc charter but with guaranteed availability, flexible payment terms and billing based on your actual flight times. Visit for more information.




Arguably the finest photographer of her generation, Annie Leibovitz will debut a set of new portraits to add to her WOMEN collection, which she first worked on 15 years ago. The new portraits, commissioned by UBS, reflect the changes in roles of women today. London is the host city for the first showing on January 16 at the city’s Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, before the photographs embark on a 10-city global tour, ending in Zurich. annieleibovitz. 18

WOMEN: New Portraits Exhibition by Annie Leibovitz with Exclusive Commissioning Partner UBS. Annie Leibovitz with her children, Sarah, Susan and Samuelle Rhinebeck. New York, 2015 Copyright: ŠAnnie Leibovitz.

Critique JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Film Colonia Dir: Florian Gallenberger An activist in Chile, 1973, is kidnapped. Time for his girlfriend to mount a daring rescue… AT BEST: “Lack of critical approval can work as a thrill ride for viewers.” Venture Capitalist Post AT WORST: “The real Colonia was covered up with lies, and so it’s fitting that this is a resoundingly dishonest film... from an emotional and storytelling standpoint.” Collider

The Hateful Eight AIR

Dir: Quentin Tarantino Eight snowed-in social outlaws combat their claustrophobia in a postCivil War era, politically-conscious Western. AT BEST: “Tarantino has created another breathtakingly stylish and clever film… intimate yet somehow weirdly colossal.” The Guardian AT WORST: “…Gets weighed down by its busy agenda... A random voiceover narration crops up more than two hours in, and certain enticing characters never receive their due.” Indiewire

Concussion Dir: Peter Landesman Conducting an autopsy on a former NFL football player, a forensic pathologist makes a potentially game changing medical discovery... AT BEST: “…Great acting, directing, humour and love of football… an incredibly beautiful film that can be appreciated by all.” We Live Film AT WORST: “As the basis for drama, (the directorial) approach is marred by a lack of believable characterisations that keep Concussion from what it needs to be: urgent.” The Guardian

The Revenant Dir: Alejandro G Iñárritu A hunter’s harrowing revenge voyage through the American wild. AT BEST: “... A frostbitten epic which can’t help but provoke a sense of awe through its visual daring and the sheer demented scope of its ambition.” Irish Independent AT WORST: “It’s an imposing vision, to be sure, but also an inflated and emotionally stunted one.” Variety 20

Critique JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Theatre I

n the enigmatic opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson writes: “Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it has stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more”. Anthony Neilson’s stage version of the psychological thriller will entertain theatregoers at the Liverpool Playhouse until January 16. Hailed as a mysterious work of unnerving terror, the novel tells an unsettling tale of a troubled heroine. The ghostly recesses of a shapeshifting manor house hopes to trouble, trick and intrigue audiences, however, Lyn Gardner from The Guardian comments: “Anyone hoping for the giggly, spooky shenanigans of Ghost Stories, or even the icy, heartstopping surprise of The Woman in Black, may come away disappointed. Hill House does something different and more interesting. “Less is more here, and there are some clever and unsettling sleights of hand, particularly in the way it plays with perspective.” Dr. Montague, an occult scholar seeking solid evidence of supernatural activity, tries to assist the unstable protagonist, Eleanor. This friendless, fragile young woman claims to be well acquainted with poltergeists, but even she can’t prepare for the inexplicable phenomenon that waits. Gardner adds that, “this is an undoubtedly enjoyable evening that carries the unsettling suggestion we can only save ourselves – because we are all alone in the dark”. The Stage’s critic Natasha Tripney, disagrees with Gardner’s assertion, noting that the performance “feels like the production team has taken something heavy to the text – something like, say a hammer.” Treading the boards in New York, Take Care opens in the basement of the Flea Theatre. The unusual production’s written by Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith, who explore the consequences of a fictional weather

apocalypse that has been triggered by global warming. The story is set in the near-ish future and the New York Times explains in its review that, “anyone with inflamed performance-anxiety issues may want to think twice before attending Take Care, a willfully weird, highly interactive theater piece that uses a series of playful but ominous sketches and games to explore nervous-making aspects of the world today.” The UK premiere of American writer Richard Greenberg’s play, The Dazzle, has been brought to life in the former Central St Martins building in London. Running until January 30 and based on the life of the Collyer brothers, whose bodies were found in their 1947 family home in New York, the narrative takes a posthumous view on their lives. Greenberg largely fictionalises what their lives could have been like, inspired by unknown possibilities of how these two men could have gotten into such an unfortunate state. Sherlock star Andrew Scott was cast as Langley, an eccentric pianist 21

of some fame. Homer, played by David Dawson, is his accountant brother, and dotingly looks after his sibling who struggles to become successful or independent. Daisy Bowie-Sell, of WhatsOnStage, writes: “Over the course of the piece, Milly Ashmore – played by an excellent and beautifully poised Joanna Vanderham – enters into their world, almost marrying Langley, then much later almost marrying Homer, before they are left alone, hidden from society, dirty and dying, surrounded by the trinkets they have accumulated throughout their lives.” The Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings watched-on more crticially: “Despite the classy performances The Dazzle is frustrating. Greenberg’s writing is sometimes witty and sometimes unsettling, with more a hint of Oscar Wilde in the first half and a strong note of Samuel Beckett in the second. “The frequent flowery speechifying does not compensate for the flimsy plot and although Simon Evans’ production is intimate the characters remain psychologically opaque.”

Critique JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56



ngland’s National Maritime Museum has brought fresh life to Samuel Pepys’ diaries in a new exhibition in Greenwich. Brimming with over 200 paintings and objects, in addition to quotations adorning every wall, the exhibition hopes to explore the diarists’ perspective into some of the most tempestuous times in British history. Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution runs until Friday, March 28, and features interactive visual and audio elements in the hope that it will contextualise Pepys’ work with contemporary relevance. The Telegraph’s Alastair Smart writes: “In his Diary of 1660-69, Samuel Pepys penned the most irresistible record of London life ever, mixing personal experiences with reports of events of national, historical importance. “A new exhibition about Pepys at the National Maritime Museum seeks to broaden our picture of him beyond the one decade. It succeeds unequivocally.” The Upcoming disagrees, by asserting organisers fail to reinforce his modern day significance: “As a whole, the exhibition does not go far enough to achieve this intention”.

Arguably best known for choosing to save his beloved parmesan and wine over his wife during the Great Fire of London in 1666, the naval administrator’s writings are both compelling and dramatic. Smart concludes: “I suppose my one regret about this show is that it singularly dodges the issue of Pepys’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade – he was a major shareholder in the Royal Adventurers into Africa company. “It still, however, comes recommended. It ends up not so much about Pepys as about his times, among the most turbulent in this nation’s history. It also brims with exhibits that, in a manner worthy of Pepys himself in his Diary, bring those times rivetingly to life.” Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Toyin Ojih Odutola’s latest exhibition Out of Context and Without is possibly her most hypnotic, despite having previously hosted four solo shows with Jack Shainman Gallery. The Nigerian-born artist’s ballpoint pen ink and charcoal figurative drawings explore the concept of identity, in addition to the perception of blackness. Out of Context and Without will run through January 30 22

and her work also appears as part of the exhibition Black: Color, Material, Concept at Harlem’s Studio Museum until March 6. ColorLines writes that her images allow “the artist to address race and blackness on the continent with a twist on her iconic pen-and -ink drawings. “In one final play on identity, the artist’s includes renderings of herself. One is a white charcoal self-portrait that was titled Subway Selfie (Or be Thankful to Exist), which addresses the need to capture ourselves. The second is larger-thanlife-sized marker piece of a nude Ojih Odutola, originally titled What’s On Offer but is now called The Object is the Technique + The Technique is the Object (after a Francis Bacon quote).” Elsewhere, the New York Times writes it’s expected that the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death will trigger “a cavalcade of performances and exhibitions around the world”. In advance of the coming milestone, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are offering a unique perspective of the playwright’s early celebrity: an in-depth and “meticulous” online recreation of the first museum dedicated to his work. The three-roomed gallery opened in 1789 under publisher John Boydell on the prestigious Pall Mall in London. Although a sensation, it closed in 1805 and the digital recreation hopes to give an insight into the national figure’s popularity. Deciding how the gallery space would be filled was challenging: “More than half of the 86 works in the gallery in 1796, the year chosen for the reconstruction, had been lost. While a surviving watercolor of the gallery gave its general look, and engravings provided reduced blackand-white copies of the artworks, a catalog for the show did not indicate the size or location of the paintings.” Time travel to Shakespeare’s Gallery by visiting the following link:

Critique JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Books I

n a dazzlingly rich and florid memoir, singer-songwriter Carly Simon reveals moving details of her challenging early adulthood. Her new autobiography covers Simon’s first 38 years, from her childhood in Greenwich Village and Connecticut, through to her marriage and divorce from fellow celebrity James Taylor. “Boys in the Trees is primarily about her family, her interior life and her stormy relationships with men, and her candour is frequently startling,” explains the Independent. “Swimming pools, tennis courts, chauffeur-driven cars and household staff are part of the furniture of family life.” In the new release, Simon confirms who was the inspiration for her hit single, You’re So Vain, and is uncharacteristically coy about her famous former lovers: Mick Jagger, Marvin Gaye and Sean Connery. Over the years, she’s had a string of high-profile relationships with some household names, among them actors and musicians. Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald reveals Simon “writes beautifully and affectingly”. However, also explains “disappointingly, she gives her own recording career, more creatively daring than Taylor’s, comparatively scant attention. Whole albums are ignored or glossed over.” The Sunday Times was more forgiving: “This is a sensational memoir, partly because of the jawdropping roster of famous names the author slept with, but also because it is so brilliantly well written. Carly Simon is incapable of writing a single boring sentence.” From reflective onto funny; Terry Southern’s collection of letters exhilarates – Yours in Haste and Adoration is streaked with innuendo and satirical humour. As one of the 20th century’s most witty writers, it comes as no surprise this gathering of letters are as entertaining as they are controversial. However, not all critics were impressed; The New York Times writes: “A bigger drawback of

Southern’s letters is that there’s very little gossip (another word for reportage) in them. He tended not to relate things he saw or heard, but things he would have liked to have seen and heard. “Southern’s letters were antic, but they were also surprisingly unlettered and juvenile in an ur-Judd Apatow sort of way.” The collection spans a period of four decades, with each thin and expensive piece of paper boasting its own wax seal. The readers introduced to several distinctly different versions of Southern as time goes on: the energetic and inspired Paris-based expat in the early postwar years; the somewhat cynical Greenwich Village hipster; the Hollywood star of the ‘60s and ‘70s; and finally the deflated, skint and somewhat desperate figure of the ‘80s and ‘90s. However, one element is evident throughout the correspondence; despite being absurdly wellconnected, Southern was never 23

anything other than an outsider. Kirkus comments: “A must for fans of Southern, that great satirist, and a revealing look into the litbiz of old.” Finally, it has been a painstakingly tedious wait for fans of Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy. A tremendous creation and tragedy, Dictator is the final volume of a wonderful historical tale. The Times describes the book as “a well-researched work of actioncrammed political fiction, it is narrated by Tiro, Cicero’s loyal slave and amanuensis.” In contrast, The Independent voices a largely negative take, however, describing the Dictator as “perhaps the least successful book of the trilogy, for reasons which are largely outside Harris’s control. Having begun a series of books about the rise and fall of a great Roman statesman, he can’t very well stop before the end of Cicero’s life. But the later years of Rome’s Republic are impossibly complex, with an enormous cast of characters.”

Art & Design Art & Design JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56


A Royal Welcome Women are leading a Middle Eastern revolution in contemporary art, and Leila Heller is the newest arrival to the region’s creative scene




ew York art director Leila Heller has opened the largest gallery in the Middle East in Dubai’s new Al Serkal cultural and retail district. The expatriate Iranian art dealer already runs a gallery in Manhattan and is regarded as unparalleled in New York, thanks to her persistent promotion of Iranian art. Heller has gradually tapped into the Middle Eastern market after frequenting Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art: “I have been witness to the quickly growing art and cultural scene in the UAE. Dubai has established itself as an international artistic hub, in no small part due to the fact it’s in between the East and West. It’s very exciting to take part in this ever-expanding scene.”

For the past seven years, Heller has explored the possibility of opening an art gallery in Dubai. However, she struggled to find a commercial space offering the same standard of quality as similar galleries in America and

It’s not about selecting an artist based on where they come from Europe. Commenting on the location, she said: “I knew I had found the perfect place to have a gallery. The space was definitely large enough. We have 32ft ceilings, which allow artists to create any type of installation they 24



can imagine. We’re also surrounded by other great galleries, studios and cultural businesses.” Since its establishment in 1982, Heller’s New York space has gained worldwide recognition for being a pioneer in promoting contemporary artists from the Middle East and Asia. The gallery promotes a cutting-edge programme of international mid-career artists; however, Heller explains that “most of the artists we work with in New York and now in Dubai are not considered ‘emerging’. Despite this, as a gallery, we embrace the pleasure of working with artists to help develop their careers further. “One of the things that our gallery in Dubai will do is work with emerging Emirati artists, which is great because it’s an incredibly exciting and burgeoning art scene.“ Heller was educated abroad and in 1972 she enrolled at Brown University, where she majored in French literature and art history. She later received a master’s degree from the Sotheby’s Institute in London, before achieving a second master’s degree in art history and museum management from George Washington University. “Growing up on three different continents, I am naturally drawn to a wide variety of artists,” Heller says. “For me, it’s not about selecting an artist based on

where they come from, but it’s about finding an artist and oeuvre of work that I can connect to.” After university, Heller planned to return to her home country, but these plans were derailed by the Iranian Revolution. Instead, she began working at the Hirshhorn Museum, before moving to New York to work at the Guggenheim Museum. Heller’s first gallery was a salon-style space in an apartment on Madison Avenue. She originally focused on American and Latin American art, but found herself sought after by fellow expatriate Iranians. She and her son, Alexander, who is the galleries’ director, split their time equally between New York and Dubai “so that one of us will and can always be present”. The grand opening of Leila Heller Dubai was sponsored by Harvey Nichols – Dubai Fine Jewellery: “We’re very honoured to partner with Harvey Nichols for the opening of our gallery here in Dubai. They have a portfolio of esteemed brands and we were very excited to work with them.” His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan hosted the grand opening. “It truly is an honour and a privilege to have the support and blessing of both of their Highnesses, and to open my gallery under their very 26

We embrace and have had the pleasure of working with artists to help develop their careers further generous patronage,” explains Heller. “As the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development, Sheikh Nahayan Al Nahayn has led with great vision to make his country an important art and cultural center.” This month’s exhibition will feature new work by world-renowned designer and architect Dame Zaha Hadid. Commenting on the display, Heller said: “It’s a real privilege to bring the work of a Middle Eastern and female architect to Dubai in such a grand way. I admire Zaha so much, particularly her path to success and journey to becoming one of the most important architects in the world.”

Opening page: Zaha Hadid Zephyr sofa. Photograph courtesy of Jacopo Spilimbergo Opposite Page::Aria. Image courtesy of Slamp This Page: ‘Woman’ perfume bottle for Donna Karan


Art & Design JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Let There Be Light AIR

Artist Alaa Minawi tells the stories of Syrian refugees with his sensational lighting design and visual scenography WORDS : ANNIE DARLING


alestinian-Lebanese designer Alaa Minawi works directly with light to create installations that engage viewers with the wonder of human perception. Over the years, he’s participated in several international theatre workshops, often taking his installations with him. His current, and arguably most attention-grabbing, project, My Light Is Your Light, has already featured at the Amsterdam Light Festival, the Beirut Spring Festival and the Istanbul Light Festival. “It’s incredible that my ideas are travelling and being seen in so many countries. It’s very important to me that each project’s message is spread.” And it brings you success? “Maybe! I hope so,” he laughs.

Minawi first conceived My Light Is Your Light nearly two years ago, after spending three years working at the US embassy in Beirut. The fragile installation consists of six life-sized figures, made of curved neon tubes,

He’s stopped and looks ahead, as if he sees something. He’s a sign of hope which resemble a family displaced by the ongoing war in Syria. “My job at the embassy was to interpret interviews with refugees entering Lebanon from Syria. I have a need to talk about the stories I heard 28

during this time,” says Minawi. “My Light Is Your Light was based on my personal experiences with the refugees. Most of these stories are very hard for someone to hear. “I felt that I had to let them know that I had heard what they had to say when I interpreted for them. This can be difficult – as an interpreter you can’t be emotional with refugees. You can’t hug them, hold their hands, or tell them everything will be okay. This is hard because you feel you should be supportive. This piece is my way of supporting them. It’s my way of letting them know I heard them.” Minawi and his six colleagues translated interviews for over 7,000 families who were trying to resettle in America. “Syria surrounds Lebanon;



Syrians are our closest friends. What happened there was traumatising for everyone in the Arab world. I remember when I arrived as a refugee; my parents were Palestinian and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want people to have to go through what my own grandfather and father were forced to go through’. I have to do something.” One household particularly affected Minawi, and his installation closely resembles their family: “They’re crossing the border. The father is in front, watching out for the family. The grandfather trails behind him, bent over and exhausted. The mother is walking forward but looking elsewhere; she’s distant. The adolescent has been left behind, because all teenagers are misunderstood. He’s just as traumatised as the rest of his family, but they don’t notice. There’s also an unwed aunt and a little child. “The latter is my favourite. The child is standing upright and is the only silhouette to hold his head up high. He’s stopped and looks ahead, as if he sees something. He’s a sign of hope.” After studying Computer Science for three years, Minawi decided to change his field of study, before graduating from the Lebanese American University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts. Since 2006, Minawi’s participated in over 200 performances in Lebanon, in addition to other productions throughout the Middle East and Europe. The visual artist, who began to develop a fascination with light in 2010, explained: “I started thinking that I needed to start experimenting with light as a medium. I fell in love with light and began seeing light as a character; a breathing entity that I can play and tell a story with.” It wasn’t long before his designs attracted international attention. “Soon after I began experimenting with light, someone told me about light festivals. These were events I had no idea about.” In 2013, Minawi launched his first design, Beyond Myself; a light piece that premiered at the Amsterdam Light Festival. The piece invited passers-by to question their own reflections. “For my first exhibition, Beyond Myself, the inspiration came from something existential,” explains Minawi. “It was a huge glass cube that’s

made from mirrors, and it’s only when you light the cube from the inside that you can see what’s within.” As visitors approach the installation’s deceptive surface, their reflections give way as lights reveal the cube’s interior. Several internal cubes rest within each other and slowly but surely become visible. Minawi’s message was unmistakable: “Only with light, can we go beyond ourselves”. He revealed: “It’s a love story about a couple that live together. The piece explains that you must look beyond yourself and only then can you truly communicate with one another. When the mirror and – by extension – your own reflection disappears, that’s when you can see the real layers inside.” Product design and development for Minawi’s light displays can be time consuming: “Mainly it’s the music. 30

Usually, I ask myself what I want to talk about and then I must think about how I can transfer this emotion or idea into light; into something that can be expressed through light. It can take me two years or a month – it depends. “I start by sketching my concept, then we move onto the 3D stage where we start to develop the technical elements of the installation, which is extremely exhausting. Each installation comes from an idea, so creating this as a physical piece of art is a challenge. There are always limitations, specifically in regard to the materials used, and as an artist you always want the final piece to look exactly how you first imagined it.” Art consultants have an influential role in bringing together each exhibition. “They give me options when it comes to how the art piece will be

I don’t want people to have to go through what my own grandfather and father were forced to go through

made,” he explains. “Then I have to make the ultimate decision on how to create each specific detail, just the way I want. I need that support with any technical aspect of a piece. For example, with My Light Is Your Light, a lot of detail went into the neon and framework. I wanted the creation to look as though the neon was standing by itself, but it can’t otherwise it’ll break. My consultants advised me to use a metal framework, and these details affect the aesthetics and the project’s image as a whole.” By the end of 2016, Minawi plans to sell his installations and hopes to donate the profits to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, saying: “That’s my ultimate goal. That’s why I’m doing all these tours, so that the installations will gain value and make more money for when the time comes for me to sell them.” With special thanks to the Zorlu Center, Istanbul. 31

Jewellery JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Swan In A Million How Swarovski’s ‘chameleon crystals’ enhanced haute couture







warovski changed fashion forever.“ It’s a bold, attention-grabbing statement of clarity – qualities befitting the brand – with which to open an interview. But then, when masterfully deployed in works of crystal couture, Swarovski never-has afforded the spectator that initial, steadying pause; neither will acclaimed fashion journalist Colin McDowell, when urged to encapsulate 120 years of the company. “For fashion, they propelled decoration from being merely an option to being a necessity,” he proclaims. The British writer and his fellow industry observers have long lauded Swarovski with enough superlatives to fill a book: which is exactly what the brand has done to commemorate its 120th anniversary. Dubai was chosen as the launchpad for the visually stunning, Rizzoli-published tome, ‘Swarovski: Celebrating a History of Collaborations in Fashion, Jewellery, Performance and Design’ – a coffee-table masterpiece that collates delicious images alongside insightful commentary from leading media fashion authorities. Even the most cursory flick through its glossy pages shows that Swarovski has added new dimensions to design in every way imaginable (and many, frankly, unimaginable). Drama, experimentation and innovation are core components of this brand and historically, a daring approach is embedded in the Swarovski DNA. Daniel, the patriarchal pioneer, had a hunger to “constantly improve on what is good”, and in 1891 patented a machine that cut lead-glass with such finesse that they resembled diamonds. A move that Suzy Menkes calls “as profound as Steve Jobs founding Apple” changed an industry, and sent the message that from day one, this was never going to be an operation that played by the rules. They became accomplished cutglass masters, but it was a cuttingedge business approach that ensured these crystals became woven into the fabric of fashion. Over the ages, they decided to selectively share a glittering bounty with eager designers looking to push style boundaries in London, Rome and far beyond. Fashion is a whirlwind world: there’s zero time to sit and contemplate what you did

yesterday (such luxuries are reserved for coffee table books). As such, the word ‘collaboration’ has been central to Swarovski’s living, breathing success, keeping them contemporary, and an enduring fixture on the catwalk. The roll call of their designer alliances double as the mononym collection of high fashion, who so easily roll off the tongue. YSL. Armani. Dior. Gucci. Versace. Westwood. Balenciaga. Louboutin. Chanel. McQueen. Each, in their own interpretive way, were enamoured with how the cut-glass could inspire and transform the dimensions of their design pieces, ensuring ‘visionary’ would translate to ‘visual’. Explained Giorgio Armani, “I was able to play with light and create a shimmering effect on moving cloth…. By using the crystals, I was able to draw

Who can’t close their eyes and summon an iconic moment starring these crystals? attention to the contours and cut of the garments, making the wearer literally shine as she moved.” Modern names may abound, but Swarovski in design actually dates back to the late 1800s and the House of Worth, with couturier Charles dressing his notable female clients in elegantly-simple couture enhanced by the crystals. It was a fashion marriage ahead of its time, orchestrated by Daniel, and new sciences and trends kept the brand in the spotlight well into a new century. The tastefullyjewelled dresses of 1920s ‘It’ girls and malleable, trimmed ‘patent bands’ ensured the company made it (barely) through the austere Great Depression. Post-War, Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, and Christian Dior led the charge, each comprehending the allure of these glass-gems. With countless more notable moments over the decades, it was 1999 which saw a supernova: a modern-day revolution led by the iconoclastic Alexander McQueen. The designer melded high fashion and showmanship, and made incorporating crystals his calling-card. “Visually sumptuous, technically ingenious and 34




Opening page: Alexander McQueen, Spring/ Summer 2004 © Nick Knight / Trunk Archive Previous page, from left: Madonna at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show in a costume by Givenchy Haute Couture, 2012 © Jeff Haynes / Reuters / Corbis; Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, 1963 © 20th Century Fox / The Kobal Collection This page: Elie Saab Haut Couture, Fall Winter 2012 © Sy Delorme

irreverent in spirit”, enthused design critic Alice Rawsthorn of his crystalinfused creations. Showstoppers such as his 1999 fluid-metal mesh set with crystals and the 2009 Bell Jar dress are among the pieces that vaulted McQueen to stardom, after being given unlimited supplies of the jewellery to work with. The latter is a particularly salient point: Swarovski’s passion is to support the next wave of greats, and this will write the coming chapters of their success. They’ve a fierce entrepreneurial spirit to nurture future-talent, giving the cream of fashion’s new-blood access to the company’s distribution channels and, crucially, the crystals themselves. They call it the ‘Swarovski Collective’, a coveted programme established under the leadership of fifth-generation family member Nadja Swarovski, to support emerging and established fashion designers, encouraging them to innovate. The Group has been invaluable to nurturing over 150 grassroots talents such as the futuristically-minded Hussein Chalayan and digital pioneer Mary Katrantzou. “Putting our crystals into the hands of creative talents always seems to inspire and results in the most extraordinary experimentation. Members of the Collective continue to amaze us with their ability to fuse crystal so imaginatively into their collections,” Nadja beams. 37

Fashion is fickle, spitting out a new trend by the time you’ve finished this sentence, and it is testament to the versatility of these crystals that ensure they are utilised season after season. Swarovski purely captures the imagination. Who can’t close their eyes and summon an iconic moment starring these twinkling crystals? An armadillo heel or ‘no place like home’ Dorothy slipper, the galactic Dior Aurora, perhaps a ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ Monroe figure-hugger…

They selectively shared a glittering bounty with eager designers looking to push boundaries everyone has definitely had their own Swarovski memory. The jewellery is an influential fashion ingredient. And while it is Nadja who is the protectress of a 12-decade family legacy, Swarovski really belongs to ‘the moment’– to whichever creative mind harnesses the beauty of the glass gem, to the glint of light that catches the angle of the coloured crystal, and most of all, to the eye of the beholder. Swarovski – Celebrating a History of Collaborations in Fashion, Jewellery, Performance and Design, Rizzoli.

Timepieces JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Vintage Brands To Watch TARIq MAlIk


he world of on-auction collectibles is an elite niche, and one always full of surprises. As an auction veteran, I’ve noticed record-breaking sales are en vogue: put two similar watches up for sale at an auction house, and you can never be sure that they will achieve similar prices on the same day. There are just too many variables to consider, and in the end, the buyer decides what it is worth. Yet one consistently-alluring trend is vintage. 2015’s prestigious Phillips Geneva Watch Auction Two, for example, brought in close to $28 mllion: almost double the conservative pre-auction estimate. Record sales were achieved and, as with many of the auctions I follow, two titanic watchmakers lead the way: Rolex, and Patek Philippe. A rare and beautiful Rolex Reference 6263 Oyster Albino Cosmograph Daytona smashed the previous Rolex record to sell for more than $1.4 Million. Patek Philippe, meanwhile, just last November saw its unique stainless steel 5016 Grande Complication go for US$7.3 Million. There were early whispers of an $800,000-plus price tag, but when the piece came up for bidding there was a power tussle. Two anonymous buyers went head-to-head over the phone lines for a full nine minutes, and when the deal was done, there was a standing ovation. So, with the rising prices of these two premier brands, collectors are looking toward others. I too have developed a sense for good investment, and I would like to share with you two names that are firmly on my auction radar. First is

longines. From the mid 1930s they made a range of oversized aviatorstyle timepieces wherein the cases, especially the waterproof ones, are simply out of this world. The Caliber 13ZN was a large 13 1/4 ligne movement, meaning it was almost 30mm in diameter; this is a huge plus with buying trends favouring larger dials. Aesthetically it’s a really attractive model, particularly in stainless steel, and many collectors consider ZNs the best chronographs ever made. If you discover one with mono-pushers, central minute hands and longines on the dial, be sure to check that the movement inside is not from another manufacturer like Valjoux. You might be onto a winner. Also ensnaring my auctionattention is Universal Geneve, with their Tricompax and Aerocompax models of particular interest. One of the first brands to utilise the genius of influential mastermind Gerald Genta, their watches were distributed along 39

with Patek Philippe through the Henri Stern Watch Agency in the US, and in France through Hermes. If you’re lucky enough to find a specimen with the coveted Hermes name on the dial, you can expect the watch’s value to rise by 40-80%, or more. Watches from these brands are hidden gems, and have all the right hallmarks for success. But, lady luck is capricious and whimsical – and you might have better luck than me. If you’ve been bitten by the watchcollecting bug and Rolex or Patek Philippe are not the brands for you, these two alternatives are highlyrecommended. They look set to climb in value and if they are on my radar, you can be sure to find them on the lists of other collectors too. Just make sure you’ve made your move for them before the gavel falls. Tariq is co-founder of Momentum, the UAE’s only vintage watch boutique. Find them at

Timepieces JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56


It’s All About The Beat

Arnold & Son produce watches loaded with a lethal combination: brains and beauty. AIR speaks to brand CEO Frédéric Wenger about accomplished craftsmanship at its creative best WORDS : CHRIS UJMA


he Arnold & Son ethos towards making timepieces is as precise as the machines themselves. “The most important thing we focus on is making really beautiful watches, where everything has to come together perfectly. We call it ‘neoclassic horology’: attractive watches of immaculate and timeless elegance, with purposefully constructed movements. This is not your Grandpa’s watch. This is modern sophistication; contemporary, with classic styling,” enthuses the CEO. With all due respect to high-quality magazine printing, these watches have to be seen to be appreciated, they are that mesmerising. There is a fascinating, layered, three-dimensional

architecture to each piece. From whichever angle you choose to study the details, open bridges and plates, skeletonised movements, and attentionto-detail achieves what you might call ‘mechanical poetry’. “The architects

These watches have to be seen to be appreciated, they’re that mesmerising we have are careful to give depth and symmetry to the watch so that you can peer into it and see all of the layers, all levels of its beauty, almost like a sculpture,” he explains. The aesthetic 40

balance is so natural, that you could be forgiven for overlooking the complexity of achieving such harmony. “We get this comment quite often,” laughs Wenger, “and the response is that like any piece of art or technology, what looks simple once finished was often a skilled challenge to achieve. Everything about our timepieces is focused on detail, proportion, colour scheme. Each model and movement is composed and researched from scratch, with an esthetical and technical approach whereby all components of the watch are designed to be perfectly integrated. First we devise the watch, then we develop the movement specifically for that timepiece.” Such passion for the craft influenced



This is not your Grandpa’s watch. This is modern sophistication


Opening page: Constant Force Tourbillon with anthracite open dial and 18c rose gold case: a 90h power reserve and true beat seconds are among its features Left: Front view of the Time Pyramid movement

a diverse ensemble of modern-looking pieces. Royal and Instrument are the headline names for collections which feature among their ranks the TB88, the Time Pyramid, the TE8 Tourbillon, the HM Perpetual Moon and the Constant Force Tourbillon. 18-carat rose and red gold are on hand to exude a more classic look, while palladium 950 and white gold achieve a futuristic feel. For the technical aficionado, delving into the specs across the range is a wonderful trip down a proverbial Alice’s wonderland rabbit hole. It is a world where three complexities – of a tourbillon, a column wheel chronograph and an automatic winding system – are masterfully integrated; a world where a calibre is built in a pyramidal shape, with balance wheel at 12 o’clock, and two mainspring barrels to supply 90 hours of power reserve at 6 o’clock are found at the opposite end of the movement. (These are merely two from countless examples of technical excellence the designers have created. Oh and armed with an Arnold & Son, poor Alice would definitely not have been late). In terms of visuals, Wenger explains there is a subtle personality to the portfolio. “While our collection is diverse, we like to think of each watch possessing technical elements and details that make them recognisable members of one family. They don’t all look the same, yet they share certain characteristics and each is desirable in its own right.” The company is based in La Chauxde-Fonds, Switzerland, the heart of contemporary luxury horology and the world-renowned city of mechanical watchmaking. Yet the origins of the brand put them at the heartbeat of the industry. “John Arnold’s life and legacy is the inspiration for our brand. You’re talking about a watchmaker who lived 43

250 years ago, and who, together with Abraham-Louis Breguet, is credited as one of the inventors of modern watchmaking. Though France and Britain were in competition – whoever had the best military positioning technology would rule the seas – these two craftsmen worked very closely together and had a great professional relationship and mutual admiration. For example, the first ever tourbillon was assembled by Breguet on an Arnold & Son base-movement. Meanwhile Arnold’s ‘No. 36’ was the first timepiece to be called a chronometer. Our prestigious roots are the very foundations of modern-watchmaking, but we are not pretending that he was our ancestor! We are simply inspired by his achievements, because it is a fascinating story.” Away from the history books, the company’s modern-day presence is ticking along nicely too. The company organises bespoke high-society events, and there is a selective presence at luxury events such as the Salon de Grandes Complications 2015, which Dubai brand-partner Damas Jewllery urged them to attend. Virtually, 140,000 followers on Instagram view an account updated with beautifullyphotographed lifestyle images, where the watches are the star of the show. Suffice to say, an owner of such horological craftsmanship is selfassured about where they are in life. The aim, shares Wenger, is to “present the products in the luxury lifestyle settings in-which they flourish, and belong. Our clients are true watch connoisseurs, with a strong cultural interest. They value beauty, appreciate the fine things in life, and cherish genuine exclusivity.” As Arnold and his son would surely attest, the company is continuing their legacy; of design and style that will stand the test of time.


Get used to these new faces – you’ll be seeing much more of them on the silver -screen throughout this year




Alison Brie Having paid her dues in ensemble sitcom Community and the supporting cast of Mad Men, brunette beauty Alison Brie has three movies coming out over the next 12 months, and is well on her way to leading-lady status. Brie is part of a new charge of funny females, spearheaded by Amy Schumer and Rebel Wilson, out to prove that women can have the same comedy box-office draw as their male counterparts. Brie’s How to be Single is slated for February 2016 and also features Lily Collins, Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann. It’s a thoroughly modern interpretation of what it means to be single today, and explores current approaches to love and dating. Behind the camera, Brie is also executive-producing a new female-led US comedy series called Teachers, meaning that the 33-year-old has got a bright future on both the production and talent side of Hollywood. With no TV obligations to fulfill, Brie is finally ready to step into the cinematic limelight. 46

Christopher Abbott He played a downtrodden boyfriend in two series’ of Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls before abruptly leaving the show to pursue cinema roles he felt were more representative of himself – and he’s got three films slated for 2016, including Fun House with Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton. In Fun House, a journalist recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Abbott plays one of the military characters she comes up against. 29-year-old Abbott’s brooding intensity has seen him steal scenes in several independent films and a succession of shorts, and this scattershot approach is paying dividends. As well as Fun House, 2016 will also see him appear in Hilltown, as well as the emotionally ravaging Katie Says Goodbye, in which a kindhearted 17-yearold must corrupt herself to fulfill her dreams of a new life in San Francisco. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter whose career he most admires, Abbott said: “Sam Rockwell: always works with great people and always does something different. He disappears in roles. I love that.” One suspects Abbott may struggle to disappear when the year ahead is through. 47


Gal Gadot Success has been a slow burn for Gadot, who you may have seen in the supporting role of Gisele in the Fast and the Furious film series (she also contested Miss Universe). The 30-year-old’s career was kickstarted in 2013, when Warner Bros. revealed that she had been cast in the iconic role of Wonder Woman in the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The success of that movie is almost guaranteed, which could easily lead to spin-offs into her own movie series. Gadot, before taking the role, told Interview Magazine: “I didn’t want to do the obvious role that you see in Hollywood most of the time, which is the heartbroken girl who’s waiting to be rescued by the guy, blah blah blah.” You’ll also see Gadot’s face in campaigns for Gucci’s Bamboo fragrance in 2016. 48

Jack O’Connell Making the transition from cult UK TV shows to the big screen has never been easy, but 25-year-old O’Connell seems to be making the change with aplomb. The actor found fame as hard-living James Cook in UK teen drama Skins, and then gave critically acclaimed performances in the independent films Starred Up and ’71. A role as war hero Louis Zamperini followed in the Angelina Jolie-helmed Unbroken, O’Connell’s Hollywood debut, and 2016 promises to elevate the Brit to leading-man status since reforming his bad boy image after working with Jolie. O’Connell told GQ last year: “I still have to remind myself to stay focused. Less so these days, but I am still nervous of what happens in my own time. I might react badly in certain situations that might hinder my future... I’d hate to find myself in a predicament that would potentially compromise what I’d like to achieve.” First up on the list of coming achievements is the Tom Stoppard-penned Tulip Fever, and later in the year the hotly anticipated Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster and co-starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. As well as this, O’Connell is keeping his theatre credentials hot by treading the boards in The Nap, a comedy thriller about a talented young snooker star, which has its premiere at the Crucible in Sheffield, England – arguably the home of snooker – in March. 49


Lily James From Downton Abbey to Downtown Hollywood, the future is looking nothing but rosy for the British star. First gaining recognition as Lady Rose MacClare in the aforementioned period drama Downton Abbey, James followed this up with the title role in the 2015 Disney adaptation of Cinderella. After seeing James in a performance of Daniel Evans’ Othello at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (soon to host Jack O’Connell’s next stage role), the critic Quentin Letts wrote “She left drama school only last year, yet she practically sweeps all before her as Desdemona in this Othello. Poise, diction, allure – she has them all.” High praise indeed for someone who was barely 21 at the time. One of 2016’s highest-profile films is set to be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a comedy/horror based on the smash-hit novel that saw author Seth Grahame-Smith update the classic Jane Austen text to include copious attacks from the undead. James takes on the prime role of Elizabeth Bennet, who lives on a countryside estate with her four sisters and their parents, whose lives are occasionally interrupted by flesh-eating zombies. Co-starring Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote and Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey, the film gives James the opportunity to not only show-off her period credentials again, but to audition for a future action career. 50

Maika Monroe Sometimes an acting career just creeps up on a person – think Charlize Theron, who was discovered by a casting agent after having a tantrum in line at a bank. In Monroe’s case, her professional career began as a kiteboarder, competing across the globe at various events. Her movie debut was in the 2012 film At Any Price, and was followed by a small role in the 2013 Kate Winslet vehicle Labor Day. Since then, Monroe has carved out a niche as something of a “Scream Queen,” after her performances in the critically-acclaimed horror movies The Guest and It Follows. Her biggest break is yet to come, in 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence, in which she plays the character of President Bill Pullman’s daughter. This casting caused some controversy when it was announced, as fellow actor Mae Whitman, who played the role in the original 1996 film, is still working in Hollywood – critics could not understand why a new actor had been cast. Once Monroe gets the chance to show what she can do with the character, however, any doubts will be firmly assuaged. 51




Zap! Pow! Can it really be 50 years since the debut of the Batman TV show? The first episode was screened in the US on January 12, 1966 and became an instant hit WORDS : CHRIS ANDERSON



o modern film and TV audiences, Batman is a dark, brooding soul who fights crime from the shadows. But back in 1966, things were very different, and the more comedic version played by Adam West on TV favoured bizarre gadgets, dry wit and fight scenes accompanied by written-out sound effects. His war on crime was aided by an excitable teenage sidekick, Robin, played by Burt Ward, who he regularly imparted his wisdom to. “Wait Robin, we need to pay the meter,” he said in one episode, darting from the Batmobile. “We all must do our bit.” When asked how his version compares to more recent interpretations, such as Christian Bale’s Batman, West often says in interviews, “Ah yes, the Dark Knight. I was the Bright Knight.” The opposite in nickname and crimefighting style – unless you can picture Bale attempting a ‘Batusi’ dance or challenging the Joker to a surfing competition. Fifty years have passed since the first episode of Batman was screened on the ABC network in the US on January 12, 1966. It aired twice a week, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, always a two-part story, with a cliffhanger ending the first instalment. An incredible success, its first season was never out of the ratings top 10 and spawned US$75 million-worth of toys and merchandise – eclipsing anything the James Bond movie franchise was capable of. In all, it ran for three seasons, from 1966 until 1968, spawning 120 episodes and a movie, and enduring for decades due to the endless repeats around the world, which still continue today. It was not only different from today’s version of Batman but also the other action-adventure shows that ABC had wanted to emulate, such as The Man From UNCLE. This was due to William Dozier, its executive producer. ABC talked to 20th Century Fox about making the show once they had secured the rights, and the studio turned to Dozier and his company, Greenway Productions – there was just one problem: Dozier had never read a comic book and had no idea who Batman was. “I scurried around and bought seven or eight different Batman comic books,

and felt like a fool doing it,” said Dozier in a 1989 documentary, filmed two years before his death. “I said to myself, ‘What am I meant to do with this?’ I thought they were crazy, trying to put this on TV. Then I had the simple idea of overdoing it, making it so square and so serious that adults would find it amusing. I knew kids would go for the derring-do, the adventure, but the trick would be to give the adults something to make them watch as well.” Dozier also performed the in-show voiceovers, introducing each episode

Ah yes, ‘The Dark Knight’. I was the Bright Knight and setting up the famous cliffhangers, reminding viewers to come back the following night, “Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.” Other voice artists could not give the effect he wanted. If the show was heading down a particular route, of appealing to children for its action and to adults who could laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, finding the right people would extend to the cast also. As associate producer Charles FitzSimons once described: “We were looking for actors willing to play Alice in Wonderland as if it were Hamlet.” Adam West was hired first. He had been working in Hollywood for several years, but had yet to receive his big break. When the producers approached him, he was appearing in a TV commercial for Nestlé Quik, playing a James Bond spoof character called Captain Q. It showed he could be suave, charming and also funny – the perfect 54

mix for this particular version of Batman, and his alter ego, millionaire Bruce Wayne. The search for Robin, aka teenager Dick Grayson, was more difficult, and over 1,100 actors were tested. Newcomer Burt Ward, a 19-year-old who impressed with his martial arts skills, eventually got the part – his first ever acting role. Like Dozier, Ward has said that he was not aware of Batman either. “I had no idea what I was auditioning for,” he admitted recently. “I had signed with an agency and they told me to go to the studio. I did some martial arts, then I read three pages of dialogue – a conversation between Bruce and Dick, it said nothing about Batman and Robin – and I tried the costume on. That was the first time I had seen it, and still I didn’t know. I saw the tights and thought it must have been Shakespearean, or something.” Ward could have easily been mistaken considering the acting talent invited to play the villains. Dozier was well connected in Hollywood, and called in favours to give audiences more of a reason to watch – Cesar Romero agreed to play the Joker, on the condition he could keep his moustache and have white make-up put over it; Burgess Meredith starred as the Penguin, years before his role as Mickey the trainer in the Rocky films; Frank Gorshin was the Riddler, Julie Newmar the original Catwoman, and even horror legend Vincent Price played the lesserknown Egghead. When the show took off, more big names were desperate to be involved. “Lots of actors wanted to be villains, but there weren’t enough parts for them to play,” Ward confirms. “So we did




this thing where Adam and I would be walking up the side of a building on our Bat ropes, and then someone opens a window and looks out… hey, it’s Sammy Davis Jr or Betty White… or Lurch from the Addams Family, because we’d promote other ABC shows too. All of these people had cameo appearances, and that was a lot of fun.” In the 1960s, it was common for action-adventure TV shows to edit two or more episodes together for release in cinemas. With Fox and Dozier finding success with ‘Batmania’, as it

We were looking for actors willing to play Alice in Wonderland as if it were Hamlet was known, the decision came to make an original film instead, which began shooting two days after the first season wrapped, taking six weeks. Receiving a bigger budget, Batman was given a range of new vehicles to sit alongside the Batmobile, including the Batcopter, Batboat and Batcycle, but the movie is still remembered best for its use of Bat shark-repellent spray. Perhaps the movie was a step too far. Returning for its second season in late 1966, audiences had clearly seen enough, and viewing figures were dropping. A year later, when it returned for a third season, it had been reduced to one self-contained episode a week, and Batgirl had been added, played by Yvonne Craig. This made it more problematic for the writers, faced with an extra lead character and less time, as well as a dwindling budget. The final episode was screened on March 14, 1968, but while successful, Dozier remained realistic about the show’s demise. “We had a good threeyear run,” he said, speaking in 1989. “That’s not bad for what was essentially a novelty show. Those series can’t last too long. In fact, I was surprised it went 57

to a third season. Adults had gotten tired of it, and kids were just as happy watching old shows. If they don’t care if it’s a rerun, why spend money making new ones?” It was a good point, as despite no further episodes being produced, the Batman TV show of the 1960s continued to be repeated, much to the annoyance of West and Ward. Unable to distance themselves from the characters after years of TV and personal appearances, and even attempting to launch music careers – Ward recorded ‘Boy Wonder, I Love You’, a song written by Frank Zappa, and West released a country single, ‘Miranda’, which he performed on variety shows in his Batman costume – the two struggled to find work. In the 1970s, they surrendered to the association, lending their voices to Batman and Super Friends cartoons, again playing the characters, and putting on the costumes one last time for a disastrous 1979 TV special, Legends of the Superheroes. Ward left the industry, setting up a special effects production company and another making dog food, while West continued with voiceovers and currently plays himself as mayor on Family Guy. The two will reunite in 2016 to lend their voices to a 50th anniversary animated movie, in the style of the old TV show. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck will be the latest actor to take on the character’s live-action legacy, making his debut in a new movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, out in March. But even he may owe something to West, as however comical the portrayal, it was arguably this actor in the 1960s that helped to elevate Batman’s popularity to a level that has never gone away. As the man himself told Hollywood Reporter recently, reflecting on his career: “To create a character that is so loved by people, there is no reason why I shouldn’t love it too.” Batman: The Complete TV Series and the Batman 1966 movie are available on DVD and Blu-Ray





A MAN MAY DIE, NATIONS MAY RISE AND FALL, BUT AN IDEA LIVES ON 55 years ago in January, 1961, then President John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address, perhaps the most memorable in the history of US politics. AIR asks Kennedy biographer John T. Shaw what this year’s presidential hopefuls can learn from JFK’s successful campaign WORDS : ANNIE DARLING







y fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” John F. Kennedy fearlessly announced, moments after being sworn in as president. Widely perceived as one of the most enduring and influential inaugural messages in American history, JFK’s speech had been meticulously crafted; worked and reworked, over several painstakingly scrupulous months. He snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, winning the 1960 election by one of the smallest margins ever seen. JFK ambitiously entered politics in a precarious era – America’s political landscape was changing. The nuclear arms race and volatile nature of the Cold War seemingly threatened the world’s very existence. “He’s an endlessly compelling – and ultimately tragic – figure,” describes John T. Shaw, author of JFK in the Senate. When the time came, JFK understood that his speech would have to project an assertive image to inspire confidence at home, as well as admiration abroad. He had campaigned hard on the issue of American strength, power and prestige. Anticipating the 1960s to be “a challenging decade, that required bold thinking”, his inaugural address voiced a message Americans were eager to hear: one of core beliefs and prosperity. As the fight to win the 2016 presidential election intensifies, Shaw argues inspiration can be drawn and lessons learnt from JFK’s 1960 campaign. “As a presidential candidate, he travelled the country relentlessly,

Without question, JFK played a crucial role in revolutionising American politics reaching out to convention delegates and seeking to build public support.” Shaw explains that JFK’s “intensity and delight in politics should be a model for current candidates.” Pursuing the support of the steadily growing suburban population became imperative in JFK’s pursuit of the White House. He adopted popular 61


liberal attitudes from Democratic politicians Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, promising a new surge of legislative innovation. “He recognised that after eight years of mostly cautious leadership by President Dwight Eisenhower, the United States would be ready for a new generation of leaders and ideas,” explains Shaw. For the first time, television became the dominant source of information for voters, and Shaw comments: “President Kennedy launched the first four-year campaign in the United States for the presidency and shrewdly used television to introduce himself to the country. With all his charm and charisma, he also worked harder than the other candidates.” Without question, JFK played a crucial role in revolutionising American politics. He graduated from Harvard and, despite having had a brief military career during the Second World War, lived a luxurious life of privilege and comfort. His relatively short congressional career had been uneventful. Although many voters yearned for Kennedy’s youthful enthusiasm, many worried this inexperience made him a weak candidate for presidency. “He took full advantage of his family’s wealth to wage a well-funded national campaign,” reveals Shaw. “He observed that in politics the ‘margin is awfully small’ between those who win and those who lose.” Nowadays, this margin is even more difficult to judge due to various financial obstacles current politicians face. “The modern candidate must be far more focused on raising campaign funds than JFK and his contemporaries were. Kennedy came from a very wealthy and influential family, and had substantially more resources than most of his competitors.” For 2016 candidates, it’s also more challenging to quell criticism over controversial policies. “JFK strongly believed that the federal government could play a positive role in boosting the American economy. However, his unwavering resolute confidence in the basic competence of government would be challenged forcefully if he were now on the campaign trail presenting a similar agenda.

“Also, the intense scrutiny of 21st century politics would have been a major challenge on matters ranging from his personal life to his health. But he was a shrewd, tough and ambitious politician and might have been able to adjust his behavior to deal with the different norms of today.”

He was a shrewd, tough and ambitious politician The media plays several key roles in politics – the most important of which is one of watchdog; guarding the nation’s values from corrupt government representatives. However, Shaw claims JFK “brought an ambition and self-confidence to politics and public policy that seems to be missing today”, arguably due to incessant media surveillance. “His swagger inspired confidence and it was contagious,” asserts Shaw. “He appealed to the public’s largest dreams and aspirations. “He also embraced the idea of individual sacrifice for the betterment 62

of the nation, but was not overly specific about what sacrifice he was calling for.” Debate over JFK’s legacy, both as a man and a president, continues unabated. After his assassination, his time in office has been mythologised as a ‘Golden Age’. For many Americans, especially those who came of age during his administration, a sense of nostalgia and lost idealism obscures his untimely death. However, Shaw acknowledges that this isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of his presidency: “A fair criticism of JFK is that his aspirations were not always presented with the full disclosure of their price tag. He felt the United States should spare no expense to prove the supremacy of its way of life. A number of historians believe that his sweeping aspirations led to a costly overreaching by America.” Although JFK’s presidency is burdened with a number of foreign policy blunders – particularly his early errors in judgment such as the Bay of Pigs – it’s also teeming with undeniable accomplishments. For these, he warrants our admiration and respect.






The Lamborghini Huracรกn blends Italian passion with German efficiency, to stunning effect WORDS : RICHARD JENKINS





n the face of it, the Lamborghini Huracán LP6104 could be accused of having something of an identity crisis. Not on the outside, admittedly – where the impossible angles and aggressive polygonal styling remains pure Lamborghini, in the face of Ferrari’s gently seductive curves. That low, low profile windscreen and slatted rear window bookend one of Lamborghini’s most exuberant designs – making even the Gallardo, which the Huracán replaces, look slightly mundane in comparison. The model AIR is testdriving is also an eyeball-blastingly bright green, listed by Lamborghini as ‘Verde Mantis’ – when one of these comes up in your rear view mirror; you’re under no illusions as to what you’re dealing with. The marque could take the bull badge off of every single model, and a toddler would still be able to identify them. Much of the body is aluminium, with carbon fibre in the rear bulkhead, centre tunnel and sections of the B-pillars – making it ten percent lighter and 50 percent more rigid than its predecessor, the Gallardo. No, the mixed personality comes further inside, and it’s one that requires a fair amount of unwrapping. No scissor doors here – that extravagance is reserved for the Huracán’s bigger brother, the Aventador. To slide into the low, low racing seats the doors open traditionally, although the handles do pop out invitingly when the unlock button on the bulky key is pressed. Safely seated, seemingly inches above the ground, ignition begins by flipping up the cover over the starter button and enjoying that whistling, oddly familiar engine roaring into life. The cabin is best described as “luxury fighter jet,”

with a row of switches front and centre used to operate the windows, lower and raise the profile (crucial for navigating speedbumps and parking ramps), turning on parking assist and, if you find yourself on the track, switching off the ESC. This last one is conveniently right next to the fire-alarm-red hazard light switch, which is probably the one you’ll need next if you turn off the ESC around town. The interior – once again, leather trimmed in that glowing green – is cosy and more comfortable than previous Lamborghinis would have you expect. There’s even a serviceable glove box, and a small storage compartment amidships to hold sunglasses or other handheld items, plus a little space behind the seats. Visibility out of those rear slats is almost nil, but that’s by the by. A press of the accelerator means that whatever’s behind you will be out of sight in a few moments anyway. The nav and centre console is, as you’ll be aware, thanks to Audi, and it’s here the first signs of a new era of Lamborghini start to reveal themselves. For one thing, it’s easy to understand. The starter button is there. The indicator switch is there. Everything you need to turn the car on and go is right in front of you, which is quite a feat for a brand that seemed to delight in bewildering novices. The navigation and media selectors are, like the new Audis, reliable and simple to operate. It’s a real pleasure to use, but where there’s a lack of challenge, there’s also a lack of achievement in the mastery of it. A hint of the old mischievousness remains – the dials refer to ‘Batteria’ and ‘Olio,’ reminding you that you’re in one of Italy’s most romantic exports 66

This is a car that sulks at slow speeds... yearning for you to touch the accelerator

– but by and large, it’s an almost sanitised experience. On the road is joyful reaffirmation of the Lamborghini experience. This is a car that sulks at slow speeds, steering around town heavier than expected – yearning for you to touch the accelerator and let it bound free of the leash. Once you do, the car’s raw V10 engine barks into life, glorious revs playing a symphony just behind you. It’s dramatic, energetic and pure Lamborghini – this is what you’ve signed up for. The instruments are all liquid crystal, with an intelligent set of display modes to show your choice of a large central speedometer, tachometer or navigation – or a combination of all three. You’ll want to keep an eye on them too, as the 600 horsepower will propel you from 0-62mph in three seconds. Paddle shifters are in place for 67

kicking the car into high gears in Sport or Corsa modes, but the automatic selector when the car is in Strada does a fine job of moving up and down, especially when tooling around town collecting admiring glances. The engine is shared with the Audi R8, and that’s where the familiarity comes from. It’s a great engine with a great sound, of course, but taking away that uniqueness is anathema to what has made Lamborghini one of the all-time greats. This is a fairly minor criticism, and in the grand scheme of things doesn’t really matter. From the looks to the performance, the Huracán is destined to go down in history as one of Lamborghini’s finest, and is a truly worthy upgrade to the venerable Gallardo. In the end, even the Verde Mantis paintjob seems a great idea. The Huracán has that power of persuasion.

Gastronomy JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56


Hell’s Kitchen Three Michelin-starred chef Sergi Arola was once an aspiring rock star, but now tantalises tastebuds with signature Spanish dishes WORDS : ANNIE DARLING


rom the sensual pendant lighting and sophisticated dining playlist, to the silver speckled furnishings and heavy metallic drapes, Pearls & Caviar by Sergi Arola (p&c) harmoniously merges this three-starred Michelin chef’s refined professionalism with his coarse, and yet irresistible, charisma. The voguish, modern and sleek interior design is as much a component of Arola’s restaurants as the signature Spanish cuisine. In his first establishment in the Middle East, Arola tantalises guests with a formidable tapas-style menu at one of the UAE’s

finest hotels, The Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Each plate is a nostalgic blend of the modern and the traditional; an unusual mix of French nouvelle cuisine and classic Mediterranean flavour, both of which he developed while working under culinary revolutionists Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire. With locations in Mumbai, Istanbul and Madrid to name just a few, Arola’s delectable menu is similar in all of his restaurants and based on the chef’s deep-rooted philosophy of creative cuisine. “For me, the most important part of the food is the passion,” he 68

explains. “As long as you keep that passion alive, you can cook. Of course, one menu may be better than another; the inspiration may be better in one moment of time, and if you don’t have inspiration, you must rely on your experience. Despite this, you must remember to keep the passion.” The tattooed Catalan native is best known in his home country for being the tough-talking star in the Spanish version of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Despite this success and his unique take on traditional Spanish favourites such as paella and patatas bravas, Arola wasn’t always destined



for a career in gastronomy. “Why do I cook?” he mused, wistfully. “I hated cooking when I was a kid.” “You didn’t like eating?” I ask, jolting him out of his reminiscence. “Did you like everything you ate when you were a kid?” he raises his eyebrows. “Maybe you were the exception, but my children, they don’t eat anything!” he chuckles. “Not a single thing. You need to learn and develop your knowledge about the world of gastronomy. This comes with time and age.” Despite his initial reluctance, Arola’s talent for cheffing was honed during his teens, when he began cooking with his grandfather. He was also a budding musician and played the guitar for a band called Los Canguros; The Kangaroos, occasionally cooking to raise money to buy instruments. “When I was a teenager I was in a band at high school, but there was nothing special about that,” he insists. “Some guys played football, others

Working in a restaurant was the only thing I could do to support my family played basketball and the rest of us played guitar or bass. There’s no magic behind it, I’m afraid. I just met someone who was like, ‘Hey, let’s join a band and let’s rock!’ That was it.” The reasoning behind the connoisseur’s chosen career was more melancholic. “It was a simple decision for me to make. I was from a lower middle class family in Barcelona. I had a simple life and a simple family. We weren’t special. “When you are 16-years-old in a country like Spain, in the middle of a financial crisis, which I was in the ‘80s, and you don’t speak English and you arrive at a place like London where you want to live and work. What do you do? You’re going to work in a restaurant. There’s no doubt about it. You’re going to clean dishes, peel potatoes and you’re going to do whatever you need to do. “It became very clear to me as a teenager that I needed to help my family. I needed to work. My mum’s at 70

home, my dad’s gone and I need money. I didn’t have years of experience or education behind me because I was in high school. So what did I do? What could I do? I worked in a kitchen, cleaning the floor and peeling potatoes. That’s how I started my career.” Arola’s story is interrupted by the arrival of mountains of bite-sized, sizzling morsels of fried calamari, potato croquettes, caramelised foie pudding and wild sea bass ceviche. Sweet and spicy flavours of extravagant mocktails dreamily drift around the table, while talented mixologists fashion delicious concoctions from behind the p&c bar. “Woah, man, that’s a lot of food!” Arola exclaims. “Hey,” he addresses the waiter, chuckling. “That’s so much food, stop bringing out so much food, man!” After graduating from culinary school in Barcelona in 1988, Arola was invited to work with one of Spain’s 71

most celebrated chefs, an exclusive opportunity that would catapult his career into the blue-blooded realm of Spanish fine dining. He later left Barcelona for Madrid, and embarked on opening his own restaurant. “I got to a certain point in my career when I began to realise that I was doing very, very well. Most of my colleagues love to tell stories about one specific, magical moment; an epic story that inspires people. But for me, it was simple. I grew up in the middle of a horrible financial crisis and working in a restaurant was the only thing I could do to support my family.” Arola’s dynamic and elegant concept of tapas-style fine dining quickly gained attention worldwide. He’s also penned a cookbook, titled Cooking Is Fun, which features signature recipes and a technical glossary. Despite his persevering schedule he’s learned to adapt to the demands of being a celebrity chef. “It’s very easy now,” he insists. “It’s my job. I’ve been doing this for the last 35 years. I get even more pleasure from working now than I have ever done. At the end of the day, regardless of how I became a chef, it’s now what I like to do. Nobody puts a gun to my head and forces me to cook each day. I’ve always said that if one day I really feel that my passion for the cuisine has gone, I hope to be honest and say, ‘Hey guys, it’s been so nice meeting you. Sorry, I’ve lost my fire and it’s over.’” Arola, who’s an enthusiastic humanitarian and has volunteered abroad with NGOs, visits p&c about four times each year. “I know that when I’m not here there’s a process and high set of standards which are exactly the same as in all my other restaurants. When you work with a company like The Shanghai-La, their name is just as important to them as my name is to me. The balance between the two is perfect. If you don’t work with a luxury brand, they may cut corners. They don’t care as much about their reputation, or my reputation. But here, in Abu Dhabi, our goals and standards are the same.” His most recent visit to the region coincided with the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “Can I be honest?” he admits. “I’m a biker. I have my Harley-Davidson and my Triumph. I love motorbikes.”

Travel DECEMBER JANUARY 2016 2015: ISSUE : ISSUE56 55

The Great Escape


The Seychelles’ beautiful and private Cousine Island is the ideal place to ease yourself into the new year


t’s hard to conceive of a childhood more idyllic than Kirsten Keeley’s. Rather than lingering at home in South Africa, she would spend school holidays on Cousine Island, her grandfather’s magnificant private island in the Seychelles. Summer days were whiled away just below the equator, exploring empty beaches, swimming alone in warm sea or clambering in lush woodland. Now that she has grown up and the island and its five villas are being made available to others on an exclusive-hire basis, she serves as the retreat’s marketing executive and is an understandably enthusiastic ambassador. Standing about 1,000 miles east of Africa, the 62-acre granite island was purchased by her grandfather in 1992 and its protection and betterment has become something of a mission for the family. Early maintenance projects included the removal of every alien tree from the island – some 8,000 indigenous species were planted in their place – and the subsequent

Room interiors feature Louis XVI and Louis XV furniture creation of a dedicated conservation team meant that the island’s fragile ecosystem and the endangered species that make their home there could benefit from constant monitoring and nurturing. Hawksbill and green turtles make their home on Cousine, as do wedge-tailed shearwaters, lesser noddy and fairy terns. Twitchers can anticipate abundant sightings and other ecologically minded guests can actively participate in conservation work by planting trees, 72

assisting ecologists in the monitoring of turtles and birds, or contributing to other restoration and rehabilitation works. But physical exertion is by no means required and visitors can confidently claim they’re providing the island with vital assistance at any given moment, even when prone on a massage table in the Beach House spa. That’s because the island has adopted what it calls a conservation-based management structure, meaning all revenues generated through the private




hire of Cousine will be reinvested in their entirety into its conservation. So simply by residing in one of the four French colonial-style villas guests are doing their bit. Room interiors – though aesthetically likely to feel quite dated to some – feature Louis XVI and Louis XV furniture alongside more simple handmade pieces, as well as more modern accoutrements such as private (but petite) infinity pools and Wi-Fi. The most impressive abode is the island’s new two-bedroom presidential villa, which will be available to guests for the first time when the 2016 visitor season commences in April. There guests will have use of a study and outside bar, but the 625sq metre residence’s private gym and spa seem somewhat redundant. Why hide yourself away when the entire island will be in the sole use of your friends and family and the more comprehensively equipped communal gym and spa are so easily

Summer days were whiled away... exploring empty beaches reached by the golf buggies that are at your disposal at all times? And in any case it is likely that groups are most likely to convene at the Pavilion, a social hub that features a library, bar, freshwater pool and openair restaurant. Parties of up to 12 adults and six children are accommodated on the island and unless they’d prefer to eat barefoot on the beach, it’s here that groups will likely gather for dinner, with Creole, Asian and Western dishes made to their specifications rather than predetermined by a set menu. Though the recently refreshed Fregate Island Private and North Island more generally vie for the title of best private island in the Seychelles, they aren’t directly marketed as exclusive-hire venues so the thought of those shared evenings at leisure should prove popular with families who want to fully escape it all. Full-board stays at Cousine Island cost from $30,000 per night, with rates inclusive of helicopter transfers to and from Mahé, a journey of approximately 20 minutes. 75

What I Know Now JANUARY 2016 : ISSUE 56

Matt Temby

Vice president - commercial, luxury department stores


wise woman once told me to “put it out there in the universe, and it will happen”. To me the phrase is less about being spiritual and more about being positive. Let’s face it, no negative thinking people have ever had a positive life. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But having positivity front of mind and making it a habit is harder than it seems. It’s well worth the effort, though, and being poitive is one of the best contributions you can make to the lives of others. Coming from a culture of hard work, long hours and an industry that trades

around the clock, it can sometimes skew the real meaning of productivity. Working smarter and not harder almost landed as an epiphany to me in my late twenties, and forced me to reconsider everything I had learnt growing up. Noone wins a bravery medal in this world from working 16-hour days. To be truly balanced as a person, and to operate at your best most often, you need to be organised rather than exhausted. There are a couple of key things I’ve learnt that have definitely helped me to improve personally and professionally, as well as support others 76

in their development. Everyone needs feedback and to have the timing and bravery to give it honestly is a very underestimated skill. The flip side of that is to be equally as brave to seek out feedback from others as to how you can improve. Manners count. It’s something that was relentlessly drilled into my siblings and I as kids, and I find myself doing the same with my daughters now. It costs nothing to be polite to everyone in your path. In fact, the most impressive people I’ve ever met can relate to anyone and all have great manners.

Profile for Hot Media

Air Magazine - Nasjet - Jan'16  

Air Magazine - Nasjet - Jan'16  

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