TOURBILLON RM 38-01 BUBBA WATSON
HauteHaute Joaillerie, Joaillerie, place place Vendôme Vendôme since since 1906 1906
DUBAI: DUBAI: The Dubai TheMall Dubai - Mall Mall of-the Mall Emirates of the Emirates ABU DHABI: ABU DHABI: The Galleria The Galleria Al Maryah Al Island Maryah800-VAN-CLEEF Island 800-VAN-CLEEF (800-826-25333) (800-826-25333) ABU DHABI: ABU DHABI: Etihad Towers Etihad+971 Towers 2 681 +971 1919 2 681 1919 www.vancleefarpels.com www.vancleefarpels.com
Frivole Frivole collection Frivole collection collection BetweenBetween the Finger Between the Ring, Finger the Ring, Finger Ring, yellow gold yellow andgold yellow diamonds. andgold diamonds. and diamonds.
Contents MarCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Editorial Editorial director
John Thatcher Managing Editor
Faye Bartle Editor
Chris Ujma firstname.lastname@example.org
art art director
Kerri Bennett designer
Jamie Pudsey illustrations
CoMMErCial Managing director
Victoria Thatcher Group Commercial director air
email@example.com Commercial director
ProduCtion Production Manager
Tomb Raider heroine Alicia Vikander, on turning acting uncertainty into Hollywood bankability
How the ‘Man Who Shot The Sixties’ not only photographed the decade, but embodied it
The lead investigator into missing Academy Awards explains the mysterious cases of ‘Lost Oscars’
An exclusive peek at the creative magic behind look No 57, from Chanel’s SS18 haute couture
Gone With the Wind
MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Dances with... Rhinos? The eclectic memories of Salvador Dalí helm a Dubai-based exhibition
The 2019 Cayenne vs. Omani wadi terrain – find out how Porsche’s SUV prospered on its UAE unveiling
You might not have heard the Agenhor name, but you might just be wearing its expertise upon your wrist
Niklas Ekstedt plays with fire; it’s the only method the chef uses to cook his ‘New Nordic’ Michelin-Star fare
How international creatives like Zohra Opoku are ‘blending in to stand out’ at this year’s Art Dubai
A fifth anniversary celebration for The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is time to reflect on its sophisticated presence in the capital
Art & Design
Jewellery The stones that caught the eye of Bulgari’s creative director on her Sri Lankan sapphire adventure
Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.
Service and detail that shape your journey. Immerse in the luxury of rich experiences at the JW Penthouse Suite and Marquis Penthouse Suite, spread across two levels of impeccably designed space with a touch of traditional Arabic design. Each 624sqm suite features two separate bedrooms with two separate living rooms. Additional benefits include complimentary airport transfers, private check-in and check-out and access to the award-winning Executive Lounge on the 37th floor. Enjoy celebratory dining in more than 15 restaurants and bars, and pampering at the luxurious Saray Spa.
JW MarriottÂŽ MarquisÂŽ Hotel Dubai jwmarriott.com/DXBJW Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000 | jwmarrottmarquisdubai.com
LUMINOR 1 950 8 D AYS G M T A C C I A I O - 4 4 m m ) ( R E F. 2 3 3
جدة • الخبر دبي • أبوظبي • بيروت • الكويت • المنامة • مسقط • الرياض • ّ PANERAI.COM
NasJet MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
NasJet is the first private charter company in Saudi Arabia, providing bespoke aviation services for the most discerning clients and institutions in the world since 1999. Currently, the Group operates more than 24 corporate aircraft, making us the largest and most experienced private jet operator in the region with a managed fleet value exceeding USD1.5 billion. NasJet, which is part of NAS Holding, employs over 1,800 industry experts, operating 24/7 from our state-of-the-art flight centre in Riyadh and across the world delivering a superior level of safety, service and value. At NasJet we have the expertise and international experience to operate corporate aircraft worldwide. Every hour of every day, we are moving planes, crews and inventory across continents. We give you peace of mind when it comes to our commercial operations. As a Saudi company we are backed by some of the most prominent shareholders in the world. We are established. On our Air Operator Certificate (AOC), NasJet currently operate the following aircraft types: • Cessna Citation Excel, which can seat six passengers and fly for up to three hours non-stop.
Welcome Onboard MARCH 2018
• Embraer Legacy 600, which can seat 13-15 passengers and fly for up to five hours non-stop. • Gulfstream GIV-SP and G450 Aircraft, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to eight hours non-stop. • Gulfstream GV, which can seat 16 passengers and fly for up to 12 hours non-stop. • Airbus 318ACJ, which can seat 19-22 passengers and fly for up to eight hours non-stop. NasJet is pleased to offer the following services: • Aircraft Purchase and Sales. We have aircraft available for sale and management, or we can manage the purchase or sale of other aircraft. • Aircraft Acquisition, Acceptance, Completion and Delivery. We can find you the new aircraft that suits your needs, customise it to your liking, monitor the build of the aircraft at the manufacturer, and supervise the final delivery process to ensure a smooth and rewarding private aircraft experience. • Aircraft Management, where we are responsible for your aircraft from all aspects to provide you the highest safety standards, the best service and the most economical management solutions. • Block Charter, where we provide you with charter solutions sold in bulk at discounted rates. • Ad-Hoc Charter, where we can serve your charter needs where and when you need us on demand. With the new GACA Rules and Regulations having come into effect as of 1 March 2016, NasJet has established itself as the first to market our Private and Commercial AOC Services. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, and look forward to seeing you aboard one of our private jets.
COVER: Alicia Vikander. By Williams & Hirakawa; courtesy August
Captain Mohammed Al Gabbas Senior Vice President
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org nasjet.com.sa T. +966 11 261 1199 13
NasJet MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Setting the Ground Rules New rules requiring aircraft owners to register their aircraft under an Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC) came into effect in Saudi Arabia as of 1 March. The new rules cover all business aircraft based in the country, regardless of whether they are registered on the Saudi Arabia HZaircraft register or elsewhere. Aircraft owners have the option of using two General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) Operator Certificate types for their aircraft. The first option is to add the aircraft onto a commercial AOC, which will be under GACA Part 121 Special Unscheduled Operation, allowing the owner to charter out the aircraft. The second Operator Certificate (OC) is under GACA Part 125, which is for owners who will only use their aircraft for personal (non-commercial) flights. It is understood that the Saudi authorities have put the new rules into place to combat the so-called ‘grey’ market charters, where aircraft are chartered out unofficially. The grey market is not just an issue in Saudi Arabia, and authorities globally have been looking at ways to combat it. As well as passengers flying on a potentially unsafe aircraft that have not been audited by the correct authorities – because greymarket charters often undercut bona fide charter operators’ prices – they often take away business from the legitimate charter operators. Yosef Hafiz, CCO of NasJet, says that the new rules were mostly driven through by IATA, which told Saudi authorities that they needed to become stricter with enforcing rules with monitoring foreign-registered aircraft based in the country. 14
“Most of the aircraft in Saudi Arabia are probably non-Saudi registered,” says Hafiz. “A lot are registered in the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, the US, San Marino or Bermuda, where nobody was really monitoring the activity of the aircraft because they are here 365 days a year.” The only monitoring of the aircraft was done during the yearly audit by the registration authorities in the country in which the aircraft is registered, with very little oversight of the movements of the aircraft in and out, as well as inside Saudi Arabia. NasJet welcomed the announcement of the new GACA rules and regulations, which were first announced by the Saudi authorities on the 1 March 2016, with aircraft owners given six months to let the authorities know under which AOC type they would be registering their aircraft, and another 18 months to ensure that the AOC registration had been completed. Without having their aircraft registered under an AOC (Part 121 Special Unscheduled) or an OC (Part 125), foreign-registered aircraft hoping to operate within Saudi Arabia are not having their annual landing permits renewed. As the deadline has come, Hafiz says that NasJet is seeing an increased number of clients reaching out to ask for its help. This, Hafiz says, is because the new rules were not taken seriously at first, but operators now realise that if their aircraft had not joined an AOC or OC by 1 March, it will effectively be grounded. The above piece is courtesy of Corporate Jet Investor; the original can be viewed at corporatejetinvestor.com
Under Our Wing NasJet is a strong advocate for the new General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) rules and regulations, and has seen an increase of requests from aircraft owners in Saudi Arabia for adding their aircraft under the NasJet Air Operator Certificate (AOC). GACA has begun the process of implementing the new rules and regulations, and has given every aircraft owner a strict deadline of 1 March 2018 to comply. Aircraft owners have been approaching NasJet to add aircraft under our Private and Commercial operations, to ensure they meet these new requirements and are allowed to renew their annual landing permits.
GACA has made it very clear to all the aircraft operators or owners who do not have an AOC within Saudi Arabia that they will not be able to renew their annual landing permit, and this will lead to operators and owners having to apply for individual permits for takeoff and landing within the Kingdom. These may not be granted in an expeditious manner, and it may lead to further questions as to whom is onboard. Aircraft owners are beginning to feel the pinch, and have reached out to NasJet to become the operator of the aircraft in order to support them with the new requirements laid out by GACA back on 1 March 2016. Aircraft owners who join NasJet
can enjoy multiple added-value services, including the ability to generate income through chartering their aircraft, as well as receiving lower costs on fuel, handling and maintenance through the discounts we provide our clients. We also provide owners under our management programme a backup aircraft when needed, and will provide support on any aircraft that may be grounded for technical reasons until it is returned back to service. NasJet is backed by leading airline Flynas, resulting in a combined fleet of 58 aircraft between both companies. We are established yet continue to grow, offering the best quality of service available in the region.
Welcome to NasJet NASJET MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
IS GOOD EVER GOOD ENOUGH? If an Embraer executive jet feels like nothing you’ve experienced before, that’s because there was nothing like it before. In short, our executive aircraft are the tangible manifestation of our culture of constant improvement and unconventional thinking. You’ll notice it in the details. Feel it in ergonomics. And hear it in cabins that maintain amazing levels of quiet at every altitude. We’re not for those who are comfortable with the status quo—but rather, for those who consider that the starting point.
Radar MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
The late Salvador Dalí’s memories continue to persist – this time with a showcase of photographs, lithographs, and paintings at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). On behalf of Alpha Soul, renowned fine art dealer Dilyara Kamenova has curated a collection of the surrealist’s artworks, which are ordinarily locked away in a private collection and rarely receive a public outing. “There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction”, the eclectic maestro once proclaimed. Quite apt, then, that his work be hosted at a venue on Happiness Street. Salvador Dali: The Memories shows at the Conference Hall in DIFC until 22 April. salvadordali.ae 19
Critique MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Film Red Sparrow Dir: Francis Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika, a prima ballerina, devoted daughter, master of combat – and fresh secret intelligence service recruit At Best: “A lavishly costumed, locationenhanced thriller.” AV Club At WoRst: “Strikes a sometimes uneasy balance between trustno-one espionage and sensationalism.” Hollywood Reporter
The Death of Stalin AIR
Dir: Armando Iannucci A satire set in 1953, with Stalin’s cronies squaring off in a frantic Moscow power struggle At Best: “A riotous farce of doublespeak and plotting laced with moments of bitumen-black horror.” Time Out At WoRst: “Amounts to a complete dose of the absurdity that defines Iannucci’s vision.” IndieWire
Goldstone Dir: Ivan Sen A detective heads to a mining town out on the frontier, to investigate a missing persons case At Best: “A compelling mix of slow-burn mystery and explosive action set against harsh beauty.” Movie Talk At WoRst: “Might look great, but it has plot holes as vast as the Outback itself.” 3AW
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? Dir: Travis Wilkerson A dramatic investigation into the murder of Bill Span, where society turned a blind eye to his shooting At Best: “It’s hard not to get shivers up your spine – from fear, from anger, and from the beauty of the filmmaking.” Village Voice At WoRst: “Perhaps most maddening is the way Wilkerson tries to turn everything into a mystery, ignoring that history is a form of collective amnesia.” Variety 20
Critique MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
n Girls & Boys, Carey Mulligan gives “a transfixing performance that makes the audience hold its breath,” writes Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. “It’s a crafty 90-minute piece, which sometimes sounds like a lecture. Yet if occasionally it feels manipulative, it’s also packed with memorable lines… What’s most arresting, though, is Mulligan’s gift for making a throwaway line devastating.” Mulligan, “Returns to the Royal Court for a project that sees her take to the stage alone in the world premiere of this solo show, scripted by Dennis Kelly and directed by Lyndsey Turner. It’s a mouthwatering team and they do not disappoint in a piece that takes us on an extraordinary journey from clubby laughter to the bleak arctic wastes that lie on the other side of terrible tragedy,” summarises Paul Taylor, in The Independent. Of the play – at the Royal Court throughout March – Matt Trueman of Variety says, “It doesn’t always feel like Kelly’s story to tell – something about Mulligan’s character betrays a male author – but he tells it brilliantly… the upshot is a startling play about men and women, parents and children that is at once a dissection of patriarchal structures and a shot across their bows.” “When Richard Eyre’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece opened at the Bristol Old Vic two years ago, it felt a bit raw and rushed,” writes Michael Billington in The Guardian, of Long Day’s Journey into Night, at Wyndham’s until 7 April. “Now, with Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville still heading the cast, it has… acquired a rhythm that allows us to feel that we are living through a day and a night of alternating hope and despair… Within a tight classical structure, the characters bounce around like pinballs between reality and illusion.” 22
Carey Mulligan, the lead in Girls & Boys. Photo by Marc Brenner
Henry Hitchings, writing for Evening Standard, agrees regarding the revamp: “This sprawling drama feels pacier than usual, though it still weighs in at three and a half hours. It remains a gruelling experience – Eyre calls it ‘the saddest play ever written’ – but has a naked emotional power that’s genuinely absorbing.” O’Neill’s writing, says Alice Saville in Time Out, “Repeats itself, obsessively picking away at the same old scabs with a doggedness that could be called adolescent or repetitive. But this quality is also the source of its horribly uncomfortable power. The family’s arguments suck you in, force you to become a fifth member whose loyalties are endlessly called on.” Anastasia is “a Russian Princess with an identity crisis,” says Ben Brantley in The New York Times. “She has to worry only about whether she’s really a princess. And judging by her instinctive poise, commanding condescension and cut-glass accent, she can’t be in that much doubt,
though she does sometimes go all wobbly when ghosts of the Romanov Empire dance around her. The show in which she appears trembles nonstop with internal conflicts during its drawn-out two-and-a-half hours.” The musical, which shows at the Broadhurst Theater on an open run, has an amazing set: “While you may not leave the theatre humming the scenery, you may be a bit dizzy from the whizzing and zooming as maps – often with Cyrillic name places – and locations urge you along the journey from the Russian revolution to luxe exile in France,” enthuses Jeremy Gerard in Deadline. David Rooney, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, says it is “a pretty but anodyne musical, which ends up being more satisfying than the sum of its parts… it’s kitschy, old-fashioned entertainment given a relatively sophisticated presentation, and you have to acknowledge its success when you hear the target demographic swoon on cue”.
20.09.2017 - 19.03.2018 SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE, ABU DHABI
Hilya by Rasheed Butt in nastaliq and thuluth scripts, 2000–01, Pakistan © HE Mohammed al-Murr Collection
Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs
Critique MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
t starts as a drawing: clear, precise and strictly mathematical. It ends as an experience: nebulous, embracing and strangely numinous. This is the transition made by the work of Anthony McCall. Roll over, Euclid,” pens Rachel Campbell-Johnston in The Times, of Solid Light Works. At the Hepworth Wakefield until 3 June, is this survey-show “comprising three of McCall’s signature ‘solid light’ installations: pieces that occupy a no-man’s land somewhere between sculpture, film footage and drawing to create an immersive experience.” McCall’s art “is interactive in the best way. It does not insist on any particular kind of behaviour or coerce a reaction. In fact, the mood is still and sombre. The white monochrome light is grave and serious. From the outside, the structures it creates are dignified, restrained, even mournful,” writes Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. Laura Cumming writes in The Observer that McCall has a “terrific precision and control to his work. The beams describe an ellipse that gradually shrinks through slender arcs to a dot, or they draw curvilinear forms on the screen, abstract but associated with eyes, birds in flight or ribbons fluttering in the breeze. How frail is this light that makes our world visible, and yet how strong: that is the wonder he brings to mind with his works, so simple, poetic and strange.” “Like the proverbial iceberg, Eloise Hawser’s new exhibition is more about what lurks beneath the water than above it. Dredging up data on H20 from historical records and medical imaging, the idea is to show a connection between the passage of water in the Thames and the flow of fluid in our bodies. Meaning: if there’s something in the water, then there’s something in you too,” writes Rosemary Waugh in Time Out of By the Deep, By the Mark. “The foundations of [venue] Somerset 24
Face to Face by Anthony McCall, The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo by Darren O’Brien/Guzelian Picture
House hold a unique connection to the River Thames, beyond the fact that the former overlooks the latter,” writes Michael Clarke in The Strand. “Hawser explore this connection in relation to the human body and mind… The connection between land and water however, is shown to be not just structural but also integral and human… Hawser’s latest exploit proves to thought-provoking, allowing one to realise how at one with water we really are.” Art Rabbit writes that she, “Points to our fear of pollution and disease and the lengths we go to protect ourselves, seeking to reveal emotional resonances within the often overlooked infrastructures that underpin modern life.” The title David Milne: Modern Painting “might at first seem impossibly broad, but by the end it makes perfect sense: this is the story of one man struggling to figure out what the ‘modern’ world is about, and what possible place painting might have in it,” writes Chris Waywell
for Time Out. “Milne’s struggle is a thoroughly un-macho one, despite his backwoods-loner schtick. His later works are often bold and startling: full of questions. If you’ve seen beauty, he seems to say, war is impossible to comprehend. But once you’ve seen war, everything is impossible to comprehend.” The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones scythed down the showcase, which shows Dulwich Picture Gallery until 7 May. “This exhibition of a supposedly ‘great’ Canadian artist who was unsuccessful in his own lifetime and is little-known outside his own country today is called David Milne: Modern Painting. I don’t know what definition of modern painting they used, but it isn’t in any of my books. Milne’s paintings are only modern if by that you mean a wishy-washy vagueness, depressed colours and complete lack of shock. This is the cough of the new, modern art with a yawn… I prefer the photos. I have never thought that about a painter before.”
CONFIDENCE IS EARNED Thatâ€™s why our worldwide 4,000-person-strong customer support network is with you every step of the way. How we serve you is just as important as how your aircraft performs. Discover promise in every journey. GULFSTREAM.COM
NICOLAS ROBINSON | +44 7950 885 967 | email@example.com
Critique MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
o, there’s not something for everyone in this collection. To say so is trite as well as wrong,” posits San Francisco Book Review about The Stories We Tell: Classic True Tales by America’s Greatest Women Journalists. “But the book embraces human diversity, covers emotions from admiration to deep shock, and depicts meetings with the famous and with those whose names never make the headlines.” A celebration of the work of twenty women who have made major contributions to the canon of American magazine writing, “The essays contrast with each other in a meaningful way,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “The calibre of work makes this collection a masterclass in the sort of long-form journalism that is published in magazines like the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, where many of these pieces were first seen. The diversity of subjects illustrates includes subjects and topics that historically might have been assigned to male journalists… It’s an engrossing anthology of work, full of intimate details.” The collection, “Is the one I wish I’d had when I was starting out as a writer,” says an empowered Elizabeth Kaye, author of Lifeboat No. 8. “Back then, non-fiction was the purview of men; here’s an unequivocal affirmation that it no longer is.” “What’s the most enduring legacy of the cultural rebellions of the 1960s? Civil rights, feminism, ecological awareness?” asks Steve Silberman in SF Gate of Hippie Food. “Well an engaging new book by San Francisco Chronicle food writer Jonathan Kauffman makes the case that the most durable contribution of the counterculture can be found in your kitchen.” “We’re all hippies now,” writes Rien Fertel in the Wall Street Journal. “Though most of us packed away our Birkenstocks and Grateful Dead records long ago, our stomachs remain resolutely tie-dyed. You might eschew tofu
and renounce alfalfa sprouts, but foods like yogurt, granola, hummus, avocado and soy sauce, ingredients that were first embraced by hippie faddists in the 1960s likely figure in your daily diet.” Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A gastronomic study of the gradual integration of organic food choices into public consumption… Kauffman documents the nationwide natural food revolution through the voices of organic farmers, homesteaders, and innovative vegetarian cooks… [It is] an astute exposé that educates without bias, leaving the culinary decision-making to readers.” Francisco Cantú begins by telling his mother his reasons for joining the Border Patrol in The Line Becomes a River. “‘Maybe it’s the desert, maybe it’s the closeness of life and death, maybe it’s the tension between the two cultures we carry inside us. Whatever it is, I’ll never understand it unless I’m close to it.’ It’s surreal dialogue, the sort of thing that feels like a promise and only later turns out to be an omen,” writes Genevive Valentine for NPR Books. The author “finds himself on both sides of the battle over illegal immigration in this fraught memoir of his time patrolling the Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas borders from 2008 to 2012, an experience that roiled his emotions and shook his sense of his own part-Mexican identity. He discovers at the border a zone of heartbreaking absurdity,” reviews Publishers Weekly. “He second-guesses his motivation. He has nightmares,” writes Mila Koumpilova in Star Tribune, adding that, “Cantú’s writing is engaging and straightforward. At times, it is achingly lyrical… Some readers might lose patience with the author’s conflicted feelings about a job he stuck with for years. But if they are interested in life on a border that has recently occupied an outsized role in policy debates, they will learn a lot.”
A place where turquiose clear waters meet cloudless azure skies.
AIR This page: This chronograph shows what Agenhor does best: movements for the high watchmaking pieces of prestigious clients, such as FabergĂŠ 28
Timepieces MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
It’s Complicated Who makes the poetic cadences of Van Cleef & Arpels bloom, and fuelled the opus of Harry Winston? Credit Agenhor, whose movements play a background role in some of watchmaking’s best-loved complications. (Just don’t tell anyone) WoRds: CHRIS UJMA
f you don’t mind me asking, how exactly did you find us?” politely enquires Nicolas Wiederrecht, beginning our interview with a tone that is equal parts inquisitive and impressed. The Agenhor co-owner, who helms the company with brother Laurent, is rightly quizzical, for this Geneva-based manufacturer truly does fly under the radar. It’s only when looking deeper into the story behind some of horology’s most complex pieces that you come across this name. In the watchmaking world, plenty of haute horlogerie companies pride themselves on making movements fully ‘in-house’. Then, there are brands who chose to use a ‘shadow watchmaker’ to assist with developing the Swiss movements of their forays into fine watchmaking. (Some are, naturally, more guarded about the process than others). This is where Agenhor comes in. The family-run workshop was founded by Nicolas’ father Jean-Marc Wiederrecht in 1996, and ‘Agenhor’ derives from the term Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie – a simple ploy, to ensure they’d be at the start of the phonebook when the big brands came calling for a workshop to make their movements. And they do call. Agenhor has worked with a coterie of prestigious names, providing the
beating heart to a clutch of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG) prizewinners. Moreover, it has also independently innovated the biggest improvement to the time-honoured chronograph for over 200 years. First, let’s talk about the awardwinning collaborations. Agenhor has had an influential hand in innovations from the likes of MB&F and Chaumet. Hermès and Harry Winston are valued clients, while it has fostered an enduring relationship with Van Cleef & Arpels, dating back to the turn of the millennium. “Our clients come to use with a concept, and are aware of the complexity it will take to accomplish. But they usually don’t have a clear idea of how to solve the mechanical problems that stand in the way of the timepiece becoming a reality – and this is the reason they come to us,” says Nicolas. They’re masters of adaptation, be it working on an avant garde project like the Opus 9 watch for Harry Winston (which deployed a linear display and used almandine garnets as indicators in place of hands), or more traditional needs like a Perpetual Calendar module for the classic Slim d’Hermes. 29
This page: The Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux Watch by Van Cleef & Arpels; Agenhor’s innovative redesign of the iconic chronograph, first deployed in the Singer Track1 for Singer Vehicle Design opposite: A cross-section showing the dial and movement of MB&F’s Horological Machine No.3
Nicolas uses a couple of instances, to clarify their versaility. “Fabergé approached us wanting to move into very high-end watchmaking, but didn’t know what design they wanted on the dial,” he says. “In our ideas drawer we had a concept of showing the time with a hand fan that unfurled upon the dial, so we showed it to them. Inspired, they came back to us a few months later with a drawing where the fan had been adapted into a peacock, with the bird opening his plumed feathers to show the minutes. That was the genesis for its Lady Compliquée Peacock.” When Van Cleef & Arpels walked through the door, it proved a delicious test. “At that time we were used to being presented with heavy challenges such as ‘be more precise’ or ‘show a moonphase that will be accurate for centuries,’” Nicolas outlines. “Suddenly VC&A came along and said, ‘Okay, we’d like to have a watch that shows the seasons, with a complex mechanism that showcases an aesthetic.’ The Lady Arpels Butterfly Symphony incorporated a large disc that depcited something delicate and poetic.” Agenhor has become adept at being in harmony with the mindset of its clients. “For Hermès we have to think ‘crazy’; for Faberge we think of surprises; for MB&F for have to connect with that playful, childlike emotion to create something special; for Van Cleef & Arpels we adopt a poetic approach,” Nicolas explains. “We feel a bit like actors making a movie, fully assuming the character of the brand we are working with.” For the AgenGraphe chronograph movement, though, Agenhor assumed the lead role. And the innovation represents something entirely different, developed not as a solution for the needs of a specific client, but as an answer to an age-old watchmaking dilemma. A chronograph is the ‘stopwatch’ function found on specialist timepieces, comprising subdials that accurately 30
We feel a bit like actors making a movie, fully assuming the character of the brand we are working with measure split timings – the function came to prominence in motorsport, where every second counts. The chronograph was first invented by Louis Moinet in 1816, and has been used countless times in watchmaking ever since; if you’ve ever had a Rolex Daytona, Tag Heuer Carrera or Omega Speedmaster in your midst, then you’ve handled a chronograph watch. To modify the historic formula was brave, but necessary. “Since my father was at watchmaking school, he had the feeling that the ‘normal’ chronograph – which has remained relatively unchanged since its invention 200 years ago – had some problems,” says Nicolas. “Legibility is one example, as it can be very hard to read the measurements on its multiple, small subdials.” The company took a decade to work on its own revision of the classic, which is immensely complex within, but makes for effortless interaction at visual level. “We worked for 10 years to find a technical method that has all the indications of measured time in the centre of the watch. Instead of having
just hours and minutes, we have added indicators for seconds around the wide chapter ring. It is generous in terms of readability – the counter is huge, taking up the whole of the dial, eliminating the need to consult subdials. It is far easier to use.” Agnehor tackles grand problems on the smallest scale, and for the avid watch-lover, delving into the minds of its experts sheds light on the behind-thescenes toil needed to bring an ambitious timepiece to life. In an age of self-promotion, one does wonder why this complications specialist decides to be ‘off radar’, and not shout from the rooftops of its Rue Emma-Kammacher HQ, given Agenhor’s impressive credentials. “We like to be discreet because we really don’t care about ego. It allows us to work with more focus and concentration, rather than working on our image,” clarifies Nicolas. “Though of course it is important to be visible for brands to know where to find us, so that we can continue our passion for solving some of the greatest challenges in watchmaking.”
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this monthâ€™s must-haves and collectibles
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
lES ETERnEllES DE ChanEl Maison Chanel is excellent at concealing a tempting secret, and hidden beauty finds a way into an array of its fine jewellery offerings. Each watch in this stunning new Lion-themed collection is imbued with fascinating personality, indicated by names such
as ‘Dazzling’, ‘Protective’ and ‘Infinite’. The L’Esprit du Lion Beryl Secret Watch, in 18k gold, particularly caught our eye. The timepiece is set with a vibrant yellow carved-cut beryl of 37.41 carats, flanked by 541 brilliant-cut diamonds. A statement piece to wear with pride. 1
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
GlasHÜt te or iGinal
S E n aT O R C O S m O p O l I T E This Baselworld novelty is a steely expression of high watchmaking, nestling into the Senator Collection. Glashütte deems it the ‘Minimalist World Traveller’, and the Cosmopolite is built to effortlessly weave between the 36 world timezones, aiding the jetsetter
with an abundance of clever details, such the two windows that display the name of an international airport within the relevant time zone. Complexity anchors the minimalism, ensuring the wearer never misses a beat and will arrive in style – wherever the destination may be. 2
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
Va n c l e e F & a r P e l s
The energy and beauty of Springtime are enscapsulated in each stunning collection from this maison. Frivole, its newest, is inspired by the constant metamorphosis of flora; the pieces are enriched with miniature flower motifs, and glimmer thanks to mirror polishing and dazzling
pavĂŠ diamond surfaces. An openwork technique has been used to accentuate the above bracelet (part of the mini model motifs), whereby the artisan pierces the gold structure to enable light to pass through the diamonds. Itâ€™s a piece that blooms with colour, movement, and life. 3
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
The G600 made its debut in Singapore at Asia Pacific’s largest Airshow, yet has attracted admirers around the globe. This sister craft to the G500 combines efficiency and airframe advances to move travellers at Mach 0.85. There’s an abundance of light in a spacious cabin which sleeps up to
nine people – and at 13.77m, the 600 has the longest in its class, configurable for up to four living areas. Relaxing, dining and sleeping quarters can be furnished with premium upholstery such as handwoven rugs and bamboo flooring, to create a tranquil haven in the sky. 4
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
s t e Fa n o r i c c i
D I a m O n D l E aT h E R B E lT The Florence-based maison has grand style ideas, able to mastermind bespoke luxury yacht projects and home interior overhauls. Its soul is steeped in tailoring tradition, though, and it remains faithful to madeto-measure menswear. Its accessories in particular add flourish to any gentlemanâ€™s
outfit, as Stefano Ricci handmade belts are known for their fine stitching and elegant buckles. This piece from the SS18 collection is no exception: diamonds have been discreetly inlaid into an 18kt gold buckle that graces supple crocodile leather. Bellissimo. 6
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
crocK e t t & Jon e s
ShE ll C ORDOVa n C OllEC TIOn It takes a lengthy process to produce handmade boots of such quality: specialist tanning, hand dyeing and expert finishing produce the distinctive strong fibre structure and the rich, shiny lustre found across the Shell Cordovan collection. The process ensures these fully lined, straight
cap boots are built to last (with storm welted soles to outlast the elements). Crockett & Jones has been crafting shoes from its Northampton home since 1879, to an exquisite enough level that the familyowned company is royally warranted by HRH The Prince of Wales. 7
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
louis V uitton
pETITE mallE ClUTCh When Nicolas Ghesquière debuted the design of his diminutive Petite Malle clutch back in 2014, it became the ‘it’ bag of the season. Yet rather than fall foul to fleeting fashion, the shape has become a timeless LV icon – and the SS18 collection is the perfect occasion for a reimagining of
the successful silhouette. Among the lineup is this clutch in floral-print (a thematic calling card for the brand this season) in Epi leather, embellished with mirrors and silvery hardware with enhanced capacity owing to more supple form. A cool jewel of an evening bag. 8
Timepieces MARCH 2018 : iSSUE 82
Desirable Dials TARiq MALik
assion and energy. Contrast and vibrancy. Red on black is a strong visual combination – and when it comes to vintage watches, it’s an exclusive one too. Besides being an aesthetically pleasing pairing that looks incredible on the wrist, it is proving to also be a highly collectible pairing. Lately, there has been a significant upsurge at Geneva Auctions of the finest and rarest watches being snapped up at the highest possible premiums, because of one small detail – red on a black dial, making them seemingly irresistible to bidders. Red Racer Tag Heuer were pioneers of PVD racing watches in the mid-to-late 1970s, and began to offer different versions of the Monza, Lemania, Pasedena and Monaco series from there. The passion of auto racing, the high-octane energy, the fast cars screaming around the track – and the split-second timing all find expression in Tag Heuer watches. Without doubt the rarest of these PVD models is the Monaco, and more specifically, the ‘Gulf’ series, which feature a dial with the classic racing stripe. The Monaco dial, in all its forms, is often slightly metallic, and partially textured. A special edition of 55 Monaco watches were made for the Porsche Club of America, and the gorgeous red on black found a perfect home. Vivacious Vignette Why do lovers prefer red roses? Why do so many men prefer ruby red lipstick
on women? Red speaks the language of the heart, and one of the most refined and tasteful expressions of that can be found in an unexpected place – the Rolex Day Date. With so many dial variations over the years, it takes some searching, but these Vignette Dials are some of the most lustrous that Rolex has made – the colour deepens as the watch catches the light. The original Rolex factory diamond dials, though, should not be confused with the many after-set or after-market diamond dials that are sometimes seen. Single or Double The Rolex Submariner has always been hugely popular among serious (and even not so serious) watch collectors. The earliest versions of the Submariner ref. 1680 had the “SUBMARiNER” label
printed in red writing, and that’s where the nickname ‘Red Sub’ came from. Rolex eventually phased out the red writing on the ref. 1680 and replaced it with white writing in 1973. As a result the models with the red “SUBMARiNER” are now highly prized by vintage Rolex collectors. When two lines of red text appear on the dial, it’s known as a “double red”. The Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller was produced for a decade from 1967 until 1977 and during that time, several dials were created and are known by collectors as Mark i, Mark ii, Mark iii and Mark iV with their rarity ranking in descending order. That one small detail makes all the difference. Dubai’s DIFC is home to Momentum, Tariq’s co-founded vintage watch boutique. momentum-dubai.com 33
Art & Design MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Blend in to Stand Out A selection of international artists converge in the UAE for Art Dubai this month. They will create a body of work that blends their artistic practice with the local setting, offering a coveted opportunity to view the work as it unfolds WORDS: FAYE BARTLE
rom her hometown of Accra, Ghana, multidisciplinary artist Zohra Opoku is eager to see how transporting her energy to a new destination will inform the continuation of her current series Harmattan Tales – a study on what it means to be a woman in the African Muslim world. As Opoku elaborates: “It deals with the invisibility of the female body by focusing on the politics and aesthetics of Muslim dress codes which is, for me, both stunning and disruptive. The notion of being completely veiled is an intriguing juxtaposition given the ebbs and flows of modern life, where practicality reigns supreme. Considering the textile dynamics within Islam in an Arabic state, I am sure that the shared thoughts and perspectives I will receive in the art environment of Art Dubai’s new residency programme will show in different forms. It might be like directing a different series, although it will carry fragments of the intentions that I first initiated in Ghana.” Opoku is one of 11 international artists participating in Residents, Art Dubai’s new residency programme and gallery section. Over eight weeks, they will immerse themselves in the local art scene and create a body of work that merges their artistic practice with the surroundings, with the results on show within a dedicated section of the fair. It’s a natural extension of the event, taking place from 21-24 March at Madinat Jumeirah, which champions diversity as a reflection of its multicultural location. Opoku will be working out of an open studio at Tashkeel art hub in Dubai, where she will also be hosting a workshop; an introduction to screenprinting onto fabric. “I feel a certain sense of responsibility along with excitement,” says Opoku. 34
The notion of being completely veiled is an intriguing juxtaposition given the ebbs and flows of modern life
“My past six residencies have been key experiences in my development. I believe this one will encourage me to grow, help me accomplish new things, and create space for self-critical contemplation – especially dialogues with fellow artists. The friendships and continued conversations after a programme nurture me to this day.” Her workshop will focus on black and white photography, with the darkroom replaced by the technique of screen-printing on different materials such as hand-washed paper, newspaper and textiles. “I know very little about the art scene in UAE, which makes it stimulating to discover during my stay,” she adds. “In Ghana, the art scene is quite small, with a talented, growing art community that is intellectual and commercial. I can have an impact on this change by working in Ghana and, at the same time, by being part of an international exchange.” It’s exactly the effect that Art Dubai Director Myrna Ayad hopes will be 36
In an era of unprecedented technological sophistication, we can often forget the connection we hold to nature
shared by all those involved: “The Residents already have in mind what their practice is about and there’s a focus and a theme to their work, but they will come and engage those ideas in a new environment and immerse themselves in the UAE landscape,” she said. “I am excited and very curious to see what will transpire.” The initiative has been in the works since last summer, and was the baby of Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val whose presence in the art world has been pivotal in finding the first round of participants. “We decided early on that this as going to be slanted towards emerging and contemporary artists, to give them an opportunity,” said Ayad. “That said, there are many more who deserve a residency like this and many more who we would have liked to invite as well, but this is the beginning and I’m glad that we have 11 from different parts of the world.” The buzz is about what works the artists will create, and also how they will interact. “They will be in a sphere that is creative, stimulating and intellectual and asked to produce their experience, essentially. Even for those who have been to the UAE before, it’s one thing to visit the country but it’s another altogether to spend between four and eight weeks as part of a residency. They will be seeing a new, more intimate side to the UAE. “We would like to introduce them to the arts community by way of studio visits, and meetings with the collectors and curators that are flying in. We are welcoming them here and we are here for them.” It’s a notion that is sure to be appreciated by Jennifer Ipekel from Istanbul, whose involvement marks her first trip to the UAE. Ipekel will also be working from Tashkeel, where she will be hosting a botanical workshop on the ‘languages of flowers’. “In an era of unprecedented technological sophistication, we can often forget the connection we hold to nature,” she explains. “My work is focused on looking at our surroundings in an animistic perspective. In my workshop, participants will be asked to explore the secret language of nature through this viewpoint.”
Poonam Jain, from Bombay, hopes that, as her first formal residency programme, it will offer “a fresh approach towards the dynamics of the city that reflects migration, money, power, lights and discipline of sorts.” With a deep interest in in pedagogy and architecture, Jain will set to work in the company of four other artists at creative space In5. “As of now I am contemplating the idea of home in the context of economy,” she reveals. “Dubai is a hub that calls for work opportunities that seem to be economically better than the those in the subcontinent and I anticipate exploring the notion of employment versus (or along with) the notion of family and how a job is different to work. Each time I visit, it feels like a city in India because of the ease of language. I am looking forward to getting a better insight of the means of production of both art works and functionality within the city. “I usually see my practice as a performative act behind the scenes due to the sense of repetition and counting that is involved and I prefer
conversation to orating,” she continues. “Open studios will be one of the best experiences for me, as it will be a way to informally share my process with the audience, which I feel is more intimate to an artist or maker than the final product. And generally, it’s through conversations that I get a clearer picture of what I am making, as I tend to improvise as I produce and become my own audience at the end of the work.” And while residency programmes around the world typically culminate in a body of work that is exhibited, it’s less common for it to be seen by the public at a platform as dynamic as Art Dubai. The fair drew 28,000 visitors in 2017, with even more expected this year. As for what will transpire, one can hardly predict, but it’s sure to resonate. As its champion del Val summarises: “In the final exhibition, visitors can expect a powerful display, in which each work tells its own story – one of blending in and belonging – not unfamiliar to those living in the UAE.” To find out more, visit artdubai.ae
Opening pages: Layered by Zohra Opoku, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery; Shopping by Poonam Jain, courtesy 1x1 Art Gallery Opposite: Dance; Hiding Under Sunflowers, courtesy of Öktem&Aykut. Both by Jennifer İpekel This page: Art Dubai 2017
The Art of Wardrobe At Rimadesio, Italian elegance meets Eastern form in its portfolio of elegant living solutions
AIR X RIMADESIO
lass is magic; light, air, transparency. Metal – aluminum in particular – is eternal.’ This poetry is a missive written beside an abstract sculpture, in the book Stories and Matter. But rather than being a publication dedicated to contemporary art, the pages comprise palpable photography by Nicloas Polli. He was commissioned to provide an artistic take on some of the stylish materials used by high design firm Rimadesio, which approaches furniture-making on an artistic level. At its very essence, the core competency of this six-decades-old Milanese family business is sliding doors – complemented by living solutions that are customisable through an array of finishes and colour palettes. Its aluminium and glass-blend pieces, though, evoke something on a more-emotional plane. After all, “Furniture is fashion,” implored Rimdesio CFO Luigi Malberti, on his visit to Obegi Designers’Lab, “and our clientele find it important to be attuned to design trends. They can approach us to obtain exactly the interior theme that they desire.” The company talks of partitions as ‘curtains’, that on one hand safeguard intimacy, yet can be ‘drawn back’ to theatrically transform the living space. Directing this drama since 1992 is Giuseppe Bavuso, the famed architect who is the company’s Director of Design; for decades he has dreamt up its award-winning living solutions, which exude style while achieving functionality. Bavuso created the Rimadesio original, Siparium, as well as systems inspired by Japanese partition arrangements (Daimon), and collections with visible references to the East (Soho). The company was also something of a pioneer in the interiors customisation niche, understanding early on that clients wanted to make their own indelible mark on the space they call ‘home’. The design phase is intricate yet precise, given that there are more than 160 available finishings, which comprise tough yet elegant pieces made of premium glass and aluminum.
“Within our atelier and factory we have the capability to cut, bend, temper and lacquer the glass, and we don’t have an arsenal of ‘ready-made’ panels because each is meticulously tailored to the millimetre,” explains Malberti. One need only look at the company’s special undertakings for a taste of its design vision. In a collaboration with its UAE partner Obegi Home, for example, Rimadesio lent its thematic expertise to Palme Couture Residences; 15 contemporary living masterpieces, located on Palm Jumeirah. Not just an example of luxury, the project served as an inadvertent reminder of the level of quality that Dubai property investors should expect – yet rarely receive.
“To appreciate the style and longevity of such a choice takes a refined and sophisticated owner, who is personally involved in the selection of materials,” deduces managing partner Karine Obegi. Reinforces Malberti, “In today’s world, the hallmark of being ‘Made in Italy’ is strong, especially in markets such as Dubai, where we are establishing a name and a reputation. The quality of Italian craftsmanship is priceless when securing an identity.” Interior design hinges on just that – identity – and Rimadesio has become masterful at helping the homeowner to artfully create a space that captures their own personal story, expressed through ‘matter’. Rimadesio is exclusively available in the UAE at Obegi Home. rimadesio.it
Opposite: Cover freestanding storage system This page: An asbstract art form of Rimadesio materials (bronze mesh glass, dark brown glass, castoro regenerated leather, emperador marble and brushed bronze), photographed by Nicolas Polli for Stories and Matter 39
No Stone Unturned
MARCH 2018 : iSSUe 82
On the hunt for Sri Lankan sapphires with Lucia Silvestri, creative director for Jewellery at Bulgari WORDS: Sarah royce-GreenSill
ucia Silvestri is scrolling through pictures of her new house in Puglia. She’s having it renovated and hopes to spend next summer there. When it’s finished, she’ll christen it “Elahera”, a word she breathes with sparkling eyes, as it signifies one of the loves of her life: Sri Lankan sapphires. The Elahera mines, in the middle of Sri Lanka, are the source of a particular velvety-blue coloured sapphire that Silvestri can recognise at a glance. But despite having visited the country more than 30 times, she has never been to their exact source – until now. Her excitement is palpable. “Sri Lanka is my favourite country in the world. Most visitors don’t know its riches, the beauty that this land holds.” And that’s part of its appeal. Far from the colossal, industrialised diamond mines of South Africa, Sri Lankan sapphires are mined by hand using ancient, labour-intensive techniques, on what looks like unkempt farmland.
This page: necklace in gold with multicoloured sapphires, 2005 © laziz hamani Opposite: creative director lucia Silvestri at the gem table, 2016 © courtesy of Bulgari
Opposite: Model wearing a necklace in gold with amethysts, tourmalines, rubellites, and diamonds, from Madame Figaro, December 2011. © Gyslain yarhi/ Figarophoto/contour Style by Getty images
Mr Bulgari touched the stones a lot before buying. How they feel against the body is very important Mines are dug with pickaxes, the gem gravel hoisted up ladders in wicker baskets and carried to rivers where barefoot, hunched men swill water over and over in the hope of discovering a stone. Amid the heat and dust and sweat, Silvestri, in her wedge heels and Bulgari jewellery, is an anomaly. As she clambers into the mines, posing for photos and showing the workers her lucky talisman – a blue star sapphire bought on one of her earliest trips to the country – it’s unlikely they have any idea that, as creative director of Bulgari, she’s the woman responsible for getting the rocks they discover on to the fingers, wrists and necks of the world’s most glamorous women. If Silvestri is an unconventional figure now, imagine when she first started at Bulgari, more than 35 years ago, as an 18-year-old girl from Rome who’d been chosen to assist vice-chairman Nicola Bulgari, one of the grandsons of the brand’s founder, on buying expeditions. Her father, a family friend of the Bulgari brothers, had convinced her to take a temporary secretarial position at the company. “I wasn’t interested – I was studying biology at university, engaged to a doctor, and the plan was to open a practice together. I thought it would be a good way to earn money for a vacation so I agreed, but only temporarily.” Two months in, she was invited into Nicola Bulgari’s office, his table covered in loose gemstones. “I was very shy so I don’t know why, but something made me touch them. It felt very natural,” she recalls. Spotting potential, Bulgari invited her to spend an hour a day in his office playing with the colours. At the end of her contract, he asked her to become his assistant – he could concentrate on buying big, important stones, and she would focus on smaller, semiprecious gems. “Can you imagine – I was 18 years old and I had the opportunity to join the best jewellery company in the world, with one of the smartest and most handsome men in the world, to play with jewels? 42
I couldn’t refuse. Immediately, biology, my fiancé, everything else was forgotten.” She began travelling to Thailand, Hong Kong, New York and Geneva in search of “Bulgari stones”. These aren’t necessarily the largest, rarest or most pure, but those that burst with colour and sparkle with life. “The most important thing is the colour. They can’t be too dark or heavy; we want to see the life inside the stone, its personality.” Bulgari rose to prominence in Italy in the 1950s and 1960s. Its exuberant and boldly coloured pieces were a joyful contrast to conventional white-diamond jewellery, and were adored by the glamorous dolce vita crowd: Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Elizabeth Taylor. Central to the Bulgari style were the stones themselves: gobstopper-sized cabochon gems that provided colour and volume. The house has grown hugely since this golden era (in 2011 the Bulgari family sold their remaining stake and the brand was acquired by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH), but its dedication to the stones remains – with Silvestri at the vanguard. She instinctively knows whether a gem is “Bulgari”. Back in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, she whips through paper packages of sapphires, paying no heed to the supplier’s desire for ceremony: “Can I open them myself? I’m very fast.” She frowns, inscrutable – a negotiation technique, perhaps, not letting on she’s interested? Until she finds one she likes. “Buongiorno!” she exclaims, “Good morning, how are you?” After all these years, she still takes childlike pleasure in the stones: touching them, feeling them, Instagramming them against her skin. “Mr Bulgari touched the stones a lot before buying. How they feel against the body is very important.” Presented with a parcel of faceted sapphires in sweet-shop shades, she begins to select a few, her speed and certainty reminiscent of the miners who quickly comb through baskets of gravel to pick out the tiniest gems. She’s arranging them
into a pair of mismatching earrings, adding moonstones to the top and sketching diamond briolettes to shiver along the fringes. It’s like watching an artist at work. Each high-jewellery design begins like this, with the loose stones; Silvestri follows their journey from beginning to end. “I know everything about each jewel: the weight of the rough, the cut, the price, the manufacturing; they are my babies,” she says. After decades of laying the foundations for designs, in 2013 she was named creative director. “For many years my position was hidden. So that was a strange moment – an honour, but a huge responsibility. I realised people are very interested in my job: for me it’s normal, but for most people it’s not. Especially because I’m a woman.” Gemstone buying is a male-dominated domain and at first, Silvestri struggled to be heard. “It was very difficult because I was a girl in a man’s world. When I started to negotiate, everybody would say, ‘I want to talk to Mr Bulgari.’” She had to cultivate a steely side. “My personality is divided into two parts: one very creative, the other business oriented.” Occasionally, she’ll still encounter suppliers who won’t negotiate with her. “OK, if you don’t want to talk, I won’t buy. Sorry for you.” While the Bulgari name – and her own reputation – have made things easier, there are new challenges; not least, increased competition for gems as more houses incorporate semiprecious and coloured stones. “When I started, we had just five stores. Now we have over 200 and the stones are becoming more rare and sought after. So we have to be more creative.” Sometimes she’ll see stones she recognises in other brand’s designs; those she’s deemed not Bulgari. “Maybe five per cent of sapphires are for 44
Bulgari. I don’t want to see all of the rest – but if it could be a Bulgari stone, I have to be the first.” Her suppliers had better heed this warning, “If not, they’re finished!” She’s a tough negotiator, and discussions can go on for months, years even. Sometimes she’ll ask suppliers to recut stones to make them lighter and more Bulgari, which they are loath to do, given that gems are priced by weight, per carat. She’s currently wrangling with one supplier, who she refers to as the “king of sapphires”, to recut 14 faceted sapphires into smooth, rounded sugarloaf cabochons. In his office, she arranges the stones into a bib-necklace shape, trimming them first with pink sapphires, then rubies. “The colour is fantastic, but the shape… They need to be sugarloaf,” she tells him. “One day you’ll decide to recut, I know you will. I trust you.” Recutting would be a risk for the supplier, because faceted stones are more popular than cabochons, and there’s no guarantee that Silvestri will buy. “It’s like theatre… he’s thinking about it,” she smiles. Patience is a virtue in Silvestri’s world; while a high-jewellery collection takes a year to design, it might take two or three to amass the stones. No wonder she has such an emotional attachment to the final product. “I’m happy when a piece sells,” she says. “When I see a woman enjoying wearing my baby, I’m a proud mother. But sometimes, for me, they leave too fast!” But soon enough she’ll be back running her hands through parcels of sapphires, delighting in the possibilities they hold. While the gem-buying market and her role have shifted dramatically over the last three decades, Silvestri’s love affair with Bulgari remains. “I like change, and in my private life I change a lot,” she muses. “But Bulgari was my first love, and it’s still my love.”
Sarah royce-Greensill / The Telegraph / The interview People
This page: Brooch in gold with sapphires, emeralds, mandarin garnets, pink tourmalines, and diamonds, 2014 Opposite: Sketch and stones laid out for the Secret Garden necklace in the Giardini italiani collection, 2015. Both images © antonio Barella all images from Bulgari: The Joy of Gems, Magnificent High Jewelery Creations, printed by assouline
استمتع بسعادة غامرة
الطراز S-ClaSS Cabriolet / Coupé 2018 تتألف أحدث الميزات التي تمت إضافتها إلى أسطول سيارات الفئة S-Classمن شركة Mercedes-AMGمن زوج رائع من األبواب لالستمتاع بقيادة األحالم .وأصبحت اإلصدارات المتنوعة الساحرة للطرازين Cabrioletو Coupéمتوفرة في المنطقة ،حيث تتميز المرتفع وتصميمها الجديد المميز .فهي أنيقة وفاخرة بأدائها ُ وتعبر عن المكانة الرائعة التي تحتلها ،وهي سمات ال تتوفر إال في فئة مثل .S-Class تتميز العديد من الخصائص المدمجة في هذه اإلصدارات المتنوعة الرباعية المقاعد من Mercedes-AMGأنها تحاكي ما تتمتع به طائرة ّ نفاثة خاصة ،حيث الراحة غير المسبوقة والتقنية الفائقة وسهولة السفر. يمكن على الفور التعرف على الطرازين المنحوتين CoupéوCab- rioletمن AMGبفضل ما يتمتعان به من سمات مميزة تتنوع بين شبكة وقاية المشع (الرادياتير) ،AMG Panamericanaوالتي شوهدت للمرة األولى في السيارة طراز AMG GTذات السرعة الفائقة والظهر المقوس والمصنوعة من قطعة واحدة ،فض ً ال عن مدخل لهواء التبريد على شكل الحرف اإلنجليزي ،8تقسمه دعامات رأسية من الكروم وغطاء أمامي يشبه جناح الطائرة ّ النفاثة الذي يرفرف. في الوقت ذاته ،تتمتع المقصورة الداخلية لهذين اإلصدارين الجديدين بسمات تجعلك تنطلق ً حقا في سعادة غامرة في رحالت تشبه رحالت األحالم.
AIR X MERCEDES-BENZ
ّ 2018 حقق األحالم في متوفرة اآلن في المنطقة S-Class Coupé AMG S 63 4MATIC+ مع محركV8 AMG S 65 مع محركV12 S-Class Cabriolet AMG S 63 4MATIC+ مع محركV8 AMG S 65 مع محركV12
S-ClaSS Cabriolet / Coupé 2018 الطراز
ميزات تجعل القائد مسيط ًرا ومتص ً ال بشكل دائم
تتنوع هذه الميزات بين مقعد قائد السيارة وواجهة بشاشة عريضة لمقصورة القيادة تحتوي على أوامر التوجيه الخاصة بلوحة القيادة .وهناك شاشتان عاليتا الدقة تعمالن باللمس مقاس 12.3بوصة وتستقران أسفل غطاء زجاجي أنيق مشترك ،بينما توجد شاشة عرض مرئية كبيرة في نطاق الرؤية المباشرة لقائد السيارة ،وهي شاشة قابلة للتخصيص بشكل كامل لعرض معلومات الرحلة المطلوبة ،والتي تتنوع بين األدوات االفتراضية وبيانات الرحلة وأرقام االستهالك أو حتى إرشادات التنقل. توفر مقصورة القيادة الرقمية بالكامل ثالث سمات مختلفة للغاية من الناحية المرئية .وتتمثل في السمات «الكالسيكية» و«الرياضية» و«التدريجية» ،والتي ستتوافق على التوالي مع شاشة العرض المركزية ومجموعة أجهزة القياس حسب حالة القيادة. على الصعيد ذاته ،هناك جيل جديد من عجلة قيادة ،Mercedes-Benzوالذي يتمتع بميزة التحكم باللمس ،وهذا ما يؤدي إلى إضفاء الطابع الشخصي من خالل مجرد لمسة بطرف اإلصبع. وتستجيب األزرار التقبلية المسطحة لحركات التمرير باإلصبع مثلما يحدث مع شاشة الهاتف الذكي، وهو ما يتيح معالجة النظام المعلوماتي الترفيهي كام ً ال باستخدام كلتا اليدين بأمان على عجلة القيادة .كما أن إمكانية استخدام نظام المساعدة DISTRONICوضبط إعدادات التحكم في السرعة هما ميزتان جديدتان لعجلة القيادة هذه التي تتميز بسهولة االستخدام. قم بتهيئة الميزات المذكورة أعاله حسبما تفضل، ولن يكون أمامك أي عائق لالنطالق.
سلسة خالية من االهتزازات ،وذلك بفضل وظيفته المتعلقة باإلمالة عند المنعطفات .فهو يعمل على إمالة السيارة قلي ً ال بزاوية في المنعطف ،ومن ثم تعمل هذه اإلمالة على تقليل شدة االهتزازات التي يستقبلها الركاب. وهناك كاميرا استريو تساعد ببراعة في التعرف على االنحناءات ،فض ً ال عن مستشعر تسارع جانبي يعمل ً وفقا لذلك. على مسح الطريق لضبط نظام التعليق إجما ً ال ،هناك مجموعة من المستشعرات واألنظمة الذكية التي تضمن عدم تعرض الركاب ألي إزعاج في جميع الرحالت.
يتم دعم حدس القيادة لديك من خالل أدوات ذكية للتعامل مع الطرق من تطوير Mercedes-Benz
تصميم يرسم المسار األكثر أما ًنا إلى كل وجهة من ِقبل عقول برعت في ابتكار هذا الجمال
هذه التكنولوجيا شبه المستقلة ،الموجودة في هذه
الساعة قبل الوصول إلى االنحناءات أو التقاطعات أو
اإلصدارات المتنوعة للفئة S-Classشبيهة بالطيار
الممرات الدائرية ،مع االستفادة من أنظمة الخرائط
اآللي للطائرة .إذ يحافظ نظام Intelligent Drive
لتحقيق هذا الغرض .ومن المعروف أنه ال تكون
(القيادة الذكية) على رباطة جأش قائد السيارة
جميع الطرق ُمنشأة بشكل متساوٍ ،لذلك فقد طور
وتحكمه ،وهو ما يعزز من شعوره براحة البال .ويتم
مصممو هذا الطراز من السيارات أداة تحكم نشطة
دعم غريزة القيادة لديك من خالل أدوات ذكية
في االهتزازات (تضبط مستوى هذه اإلهتزازات) لتوفير
للتعامل مع الطرق من تطوير شركة
حركة انزالقية سلسلة وهادئة على الطريق السريع. ً وفقا وتضبط كل عجلة نفسها ذاتيًا بسرعة ودقة
لحالة القيادة الحالية والحالة الخاصة بسطح الطريق. يعمل نظاما ( Active Distance Controlالتحكم النشط عن بعد) و( Active Steeringالتوجيه النشط)
بلمسة ساحرة ،يعمل نظام التعليق
على ضبط السرعة واستشعار السيارات الموجودة في
( MAGIC BODY CONTROLالتحكم السحري
األمام ومواصلة التحكم في السرعة بالكيلومتر/
في الجسم) بشكل متزامن على االستمتاع برحلة
اصعد على متن ردهة فاخرة توحي األجواء الداخلية المتطورة للغاية للطرازين Cabrioletو ،Coupéوالمستوحاة من التصميم الداخلي الفخم للطراز السابق لهما ،S-Class Saloon أن الركاب سيستمتعون باالسترخاء خالل رحالتهم المقبلة. عالما سيكتشف هؤالء الذين يدخلون إلى هذا الحيز ً تنغمس فيه الحواس ويتشكل من أرقى المواد. فهناك ثالثة خطوط من الزخارف الداخلية الجديدة التي تشتمل على خشب الجوز ذي الحواف الخشنة المزيّن البنية فائقة اللمعان أو خشب الدردار الرمادي ُ من الخارج بالساتان أو خشب المغنولية المزين بطالء الديزيجنو ( .)designoوتكتمل روعة هذا التصميم الداخلي من خالل المفروشات الداخلية المزخرفة بالماس والمصنوعة من جلد الغنم الناعم ،والتي تمتزج بقطع متناثرة من حرير البنغال األحمر التي تعكس تباي ًنا يتجلى بشكل أكبر من خالل لمسة من الخزف الصيني المطفي .ولالستمتاع بلمسة رياضية أكبر ،فإن اختيار حزمة الزخارف الداخلية المصنوعة من األلياف الكربونية يمنح هذين اإلصدارين المتنوعين من الفئة S-Class مواد خفيفة الوزن. في األمام ،يحتضن المقعدان الرياضيان اآلليان الفخمان قائد السيارة ومساعده مع وجود مسند جانبي ،في حين توفر وظيفة الذاكرة وتدفئة المقاعد لقائد السيارة والراكب األمامي مكان جلوس يمكن ضبطه بما يتوافق مع راحة كل فرد.
استمتع بالدخول إلى حيز تنغمس فيه الحواس ،ويشتمل على أرقى المواد
توقعات بفخامة وأداء يحلقان عال ًيا إن مجرد فتح السيارة سيجعلك تندهش بسلسلة من األضواء الديناميكية المتحركة .كما يعمل نظام LED Intelligent Light System (نظام اإلضاءة الذكي بتقنية )LEDبها على توفير إضاءة مميزة ال تخطئها عين ،حيث تتوهج هذه المصابيح األمامية مع 47كريستالة مذهلة من كريستاالت سواروفسكي. هناك سمة أخرى تتميز بها هذه اإلصدارات المتنوعة للفئة S-Classتتمثل في نظام اإلضاءة ،OLED والذي يستخدم مواد عضوية في شكل رقاقات مسطحا للغاية من مصباحا وافر رفيعة إلضاءة 66 ً ً مصابيح .OLED في السيارة طراز ،Cabrioletعند قيادة السيارة وهي مكشوفة ،يتيح نظاما AIRSCARFللتدفئة عند مستوى الرقبة و AIRCAPللوقاية من التيار الهوائي والقيادة المريحة بدون سقف حتى عند انخفاض درجة الحرارة .يشار إلى أن AIRSCARFهو نظام الم َّ دفأ حاصل على براءة اختراع ،حيث يتدفق الهواء ُ من مساند الرأس ،بينما يتألف نظام AIRCAPمن عاكس للريح مزود بشبكة في إطار الزجاج األمامي، ويكون قاب ً ال للتمديد بمقدار 7سم.
ميزة التحكم في وظائف الراحة ENERGIZINGتوفر جميع جوانب الرفاهية
سينبهر عشاق المحركات بالمحرك الذكي الجديد ( V8ثماني األسطوانات) ثنائي التوربينات ،والذي يعد واحدً ا من محركات البنزين األكثر اقتصادً ا في العالم مع استهالك أقل للوقود وقوة 469حصا ًنا .ومثل الطائرة النفاثة ،ال يتوقف هدير المحرك المضبوط بدقة عن إثارة مشاعر السعادة واالبتهاج ،مع قيام نظام العادم AMG Performanceالذي يمكن التحكم فيه بتغيير صوت العادم ليتناغم مع وضع القيادة المضبوط .DYNAMIC SELECTفعلى سبيل المثال ،في السيارة طراز +4MATIC 63 S من ،Mercedes-AMGاضبط وضع القيادة على +Sportوستستمع إلى صوت الهدير الكامل لمحرك جذاب ثماني األسطوانات (.)V8 بفضل ميزة التحكم في وظائف الراحة ،ENERGIZINGتعد الفئة S-Classنزهة للحواس ً أيضا .إذ تتوفر جميع جوانب االستمتاع بالرفاهية، والتي تتنوع بين الهواء الصحي وتعطير األجواء ومجموعة متنوعة من وظائف التدليك الموجودة داخل المقعد ،فض ً ال عن اإلضاءة المحيطة ،حيث يمكن تهيئة مصابيح LEDعلى 64مجموعة مختلفة من األلوان ،وهو ما يتيح لك إمكانية أن تغمر مقصورة سيارة أحالمك التي تتألف من بابين بالتدرج الهادئ الذي تفضله من األلوان.
After a whirlwind rise through the ranks, Alicia Vikander is considered one of Hollywoodâ€™s leading stars. She explains the method to the madness InteRVIew: JASON ADAMS AddItIonAl woRds: chriS uJMA
It’s a bit like when you fall in love. You can’t really control why
he jungle of South Africa is the moody backdrop for certain scenes in Tomb Raider – a franchise reboot in cinemas this month. Alicia Vikander brings to life the character of Lara Croft – the gutsy archaeologist-adventurer who has been a video gaming cult heroine since 1996 (and who was played by Angelina Jolie in the 2001 film adaptation). Sprinting through dense undergrowth and performing daredevil stunts, Swedish-born Vikander can’t have imagined she’d be so exotically onlocation for this Warner Bros action blockbuster, directed by Roar Uthaug. Why? Because she never imagined she’d even make it to Hollywood. “I didn’t know I could work internationally,” she admits, with a laugh. Having paid her acting and stage dues in her native Sweden, she had not initially cast her mind any further afield. The system just didn’t provide such avenues, she explains. “To work as an actor you normally went to theatre school, though my mum [Maria Fahl Vikander] was one of the very few lucky ones who secured a contract with one of the state theatres. Then, if you were lucky, you may be able to do a film or TV part. But the industry is not that big, and there are few opportunities. When I didn’t get into theatre school I was accepted into law school – but just two weeks before I was due to start, I landed the part in my first feature film [Lisa Langseth’s Swedish title Pure].” She had role models, of course: “Growing up I had several Swedish
actresses to look up to – including my mum – plus I had seen Ingrid Bergman, but her story seemed just a fairy tale.” Then, in 2009, Noomi Rapace starred in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and it was a turning point for Vikander. “I saw a photo of her in the newspapers – in Cannes, promoting the film – and I just remember thinking, ‘Wow!’ I couldn’t believe she was on that carpet with all these actresses and filmmakers. I saw that and thought it extraordinary.” Galvanised, Vikander went on to secure key roles in Hollywood, and is now undoubtedly the one who aspiring actresses back in Gothenburg are turning to for inspiration; she’s a new case study in how to achieve international acting acclaim. Her American film debut – and first English-speaking part – came in the Joe Wright-directed adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, alongside Jude Law and Keira Knightly. But 2015 was the true breakout year. Her depiction of humanoid robot Ava in Ex Machina garnered significant kudos, while her supporting actress role as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl ensured she was giving an Academy Awards acceptance speech come awards season. Naturally, she now has her pick of scripts, with directors clamouring to work with her. “In the beginning you’re very lucky and are just terrified that you’re not going to get a job again,” she says about acting’s underbelly of anxiety.
“I’m sitting here talking about the incredible chances I’ve had in my career, but that feeling kind of stays with you, which is probably good. I realise it’s difficult to come by fantastic screenplays, but Ex Machina was one example where I hadn’t seen such a character, and I was terrified – but that made me so excited. It’s a bit like when you fall in love. You can’t really control why.” She speaks of the wider picture that “it’s the idea of being part of a whole world and a vision. I love the collaborative idea of filmmaking and how everyone does bring their contribution to a set. It’s 25 or even 350 people moving in this beautiful movement together. That’s why I really love filmmaking.” Perhaps not wanting to ruin that magical process is the motive behind Vikander adding, “I don’t watch the films in the end. I’m immersed in the whole process and the edit but, for me, it’s the experience I take with me over those weeks and months.” She has worked with Langseth more than once: November’s Euphoria marked the third occasion, and when Vikander stepped onto the set of Pure, aged just 19, she had no formal training. “I was so hungry, I still am, but then I was so hungry for doing this in a way that I was almost blind,” she confesses, candidly. “But I got that script and, like I said, there are not many feature films being made in Sweden a year – and it’s also not very often that you get a young, strong, complex female character. 51
I read this daring, outspoken character and then an immense amount of training went into those auditions. We spent hours actually trying to figure out who that character was. And for Langseth to guide me, and for me to fall on my face over and over again and then keep trying… that’s how I still want to work.” Fear, she maintains, is a motivating factor in filmmaking. “It’s scary as an actor because your hands are sometimes a bit tied, when someone else is leading the vision. Then you need to have an immense amount of trust with a director, and be fine that you can shoot a take in which you can take one step too far over the edge, but that won’t make it to the final edit, in order to find that extra special nuance in the character.” “It’s very different depending on the filmmakers,” Vikander says about preparing for a role. “I’ve realised what sets the tone is the vision, the voice that normally leads how the film should be, the collaboration, how you do or don’t prep, plus whether you try out scenes weeks before or if you improvise. But I love research. I love to be home and to be extremely well prepared.” The actor might not end up drawing from any of these notes or thoughts they experienced, she says, “But what happens is that you instinctively know what your character would do in different situations.” Not every base can be prepared for, and she “still loves stepping into a scene with an actor for the first take and be surprised. I’ve worked with some incredible actors; names you 52
immediately say ‘Oh I have to be in this because this person blows my mind.’” It is not simply being in harmony with a co-star that brings out her best; a secret to Vikander’s success has been putting in the extra hours, being immersed not only in the role, but the creative process. “I have been fortunate as an actor to be able to choose some parts and film projects where I have been part of the script development, and wasn’t simply coming into proceedings a week or two before, straight into rehearsals then shooting the film,” she says, of her panoramic vantage of film mechanics. “I have even had some extremely generous directors who have invited me into post-production and to be a part of the final edit. I really want to be part of filmmaking as a whole. I love film, and I’ve always been interested in every single part of what people do on set and after.” Tomb Raider will represent something of a curveball for Vikander admirers. She’s been in an action movie before – opposite Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones and Julia Stiles in Jason Bourne. But her filmography leans toward the dramatic, such as period piece The Light Between Oceans, (where she met now-husband Michael Fassbender). Even in that high-octane Bourne outing, she was not the lead. Headlining as Croft is an important progression then, not only for Vikander but also as part of an overall shift in the film industry. She is an advocate of strong female voices taking charge both in front of and behind the camera.
“For me, it’s always about the best person for the job, but for a long time your eyes are still kind of closed, even as a woman.” She recounts a moment when filming Tulip Fever in particular that caught her off-guard. “I had made four films in a row where everyone – including me – talked about how I was given such an incredible chance to play such important female characters. Then, I did a scene with the extraordinary actress Holliday Grainger, and I realised, ‘Oh my god, this is the first time I’ve had a scene solely with a woman in four films.’ It was a shock, because I love to talk about this [topic] and raise awareness, yet, I’m used to what the ‘norm’ is and what it’s ‘supposed’ to be like,” she admits. “Bringing diversity into the industry is important because we need to hear all stories. And if you don’t have women being a part of what we do, then how do we get that diversity, and ensure all these stories that need to be told are put out there?” Did she always dream of playing a female protagonist such as Croft? “Ten years ago I never would have thought so,” she admits. “I was playing the Tomb Raider video games and it was the first time I’d seen a computer game that had a female hero. But I would never had been able predict it.” The timing, though, is impeccable. At a stage when Hollywood needs it most, she’s been cast in a role that proves a strong, female lead is not mere video game fantasy, but a reality that exists long after the final credits have rolled.
Jason Adams/The interview People
If you don’t have women being a part of what we do, then how do we ensure all these stories that need to be told are put out there?
action As Hollywood celebrates its 90 th Academy Awards, Olivia Rutigliano has her eye on another number: 79. That’s how many statuettes have been mysteriously stolen or gone missing since 1929 – and she’s devoted a career to tracking down Lost oscars Words: Chris Ujma
right: alice Brady, whose ‘missing’ Oscar kickstarted rutigliano’s obsession overleaf: hattie mcDaniel is presented with her replacement ‘Best actress’ award; a plucky thief swiped one of Katharine hepburn’s record four ‘Best actress’ Oscars from a public exhibition
onsider every movie you have ever seen. For all the direction, costume, musical scores, spellbinding screenwriting and peerless method acting that has flashed before your eyes, only 3,048 Oscars have ever been awarded for the achievement of cinematic excellence. Regarded as the pinnacle of artistic accomplishment, the Academy Award of Merit is a coveted honour indeed. Yet in unguarded moments – after the tears have been shed and the acceptance speeches have been shared – 79 of these rare statuettes have mysteriously gone missing, and 12 of that total have still never been recovered. If you’ve ever heard of the ‘Lost Oscars’ phenomenon, then Olivia Rutigliano is the reason. It was this Columbia University PhD student (Theatre English/Comparative Lit.) who retreated to the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library and trawled through archives, investigating the veracity of urban legends and drawing public attention to this fascinating series of occurrences. “When I was 12, my mum came home one day with a coffee table book about the history of the Academy Awards – a lovely illustrated edition with beautiful photographs, which had trivia sidebars for every year of the awards,” she explains, of how her fascination first took hold. “You’d look at photos of the winners and then, in a sidebar, could read about interesting things that happened during that ceremony.” On the page about the 1937 Oscars was a mention that Alice Brady – who
It was the spookiest, coolest thing I had ever read about movies secured a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ win for the film In Old Chicago – had her award stolen on the night. “The bite of text explained that, apparently, a bedridden Brady didn’t attend, and a man walked on stage, accepting the award on her behalf. Nobody knew his identity, but it didn’t necessarily attract suspicion, and he vanished with her Oscar.” The factoid resonated with Rutigliano: “In high school I decided to go to the New York Public Library and research this theft. The common fable explained that it was only after Brady contacted the Academy – enquiring about the location of the statuette that she’d heard she had won – did the Academy realise it had been taken by an imposter.”
She found that nobody had discovered the identity of the man, and the Oscar was never found. “This was the spookiest, coolest thing I had ever read about movies,” she says. Cool it might have been but, as Rutigliano would later discover, it was completely untrue. The Crimes “During my senior year in college I had the opportunity to apply for a research grant with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to fund a research project of my choosing. I pitched to the organisation that I would attempt to find and discover what happened to three Oscars I had read were stolen,” she says. The trio comprised Alice Brady’s 1937 award, Vivien Leigh’s Oscar for 55
A Streetcar Named Desire (which was stolen from her home in a burglary in the early 1950s), and the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ prize recognising Hattie McDaniel’s turn in Gone With The Wind. “What I uncovered were so many other thefts”, she recalls, “and so I counted how many Oscars had been stolen; it turned out to be a much bigger white whale than I could ever have imagined.” Her findings settled on a huge number: 79 lost Oscars. She embarked on a time-consuming mission, scouring newspaper archives stored on archaic technology to find scraps of information. “If my cactus was stolen I’d make a big deal out of it, so I can’t imagine how so many of these tales went under the radar,” she remarks. “There was substantial newspaper coverage for some of the thefts, but with Leigh’s Oscar, for example, I actually had to verify with the Academy that a replacement statuette was issued, as there was so little reporting. Overall there’s shockingly little in the newspaper archives of when these prizes go missing.” The student-turned-investigator also built relationships with people closely related to the thefts in some capacity, and the combined methods unearthed some fascinating discoveries. A curious case of celebrity worship, for instance, which left Olympia Dukakis bereft of her 1987 ‘Best Supporting Actress’ won for Moonstruck. “She kept the award on her kitchen shelf in her home in Montclair, New Jersey – which is noteworthy in itself; a sign of Dukakis’ unpretentiousness, keeping it in the kitchen next to her coffee maker and toaster,” Rutigliano notes, of one of the Oscar’s most perplexing cases. “One night an intruder broke into her house, unscrewed the nameplate on the award, left that on the shelf, and took the Oscar home. Her husband called the police, and they told the force that they thought the perpetrator was a lunatic obsessed with the Academy Awards, writing it off as the work of a ‘nutjob.’” But two decades on, a curious thing happened: “The family was contacted by the thief 20 years later, who called to ask if they wanted the Oscar back. It completely changed the assumption about that theft; what first seemed like a quick grab and run was aligned with this substantial, years-long investment in her 56
An intruder broke into her house, unscrewed the name plaque on the award, and took the Oscar home as a person. He made a concerted effort to find out where Dukakis lived. It has a different flavour from other thefts, which seem more opportunistic.” Among the examples of such the brazen thefts is of one of Katharine Hepburn’s four ‘Best Actress’ awards. “It was stolen from a 1992 display exhibit in the Guinness World Records Exhibit Hall in the Empire State Building, says Rutigliano, adding, “Hepburn said she didn’t care, so long as the Academy issued a replacement and, more importantly, that they spelled her name correctly on the plaque this time; her name was misspelled with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’, on the stolen trophy.” She recaps the rest of the distant dozen. “The Oscar belonging to the late Italian director and cinematographer Michelangelo Antonioni was stolen while he was on holiday in Venice, while two Oscars were stolen that belonged to Eustace Lycett, the animator in charge
of special effects in Disney movies (he made possible the technology for the dancing penguins to romp alongside Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins). Hattie McDaniel’s award from Gone With The Wind is also still missing.” The infamous Oscars heist of 2000 – where a truck delivering the statuettes to the Academy was hijacked – saw three Oscars be listed missing from the eventually recovered stash. One, however, was found in an unrelated police raid at a private home, leaving two unaccounted for. “The final three are recent cases, within the last year. Poetically, given recent events, Harvey Weinstein’s office is missing two ‘Best Picture’ Oscars for The King’s Speech (2010) and The Artist (2011) – those may have been accidentally misplaced,” she theorises. “In the late 1990s Michael Jackson purchased David O. Selznick’s ‘Best Picture’ Oscar for Gone With The Wind
for USD1.5million, but since the singer passed away the people in charge of his art collection recently reported they have no idea where it is.” The Motive “The Oscar is one of those objects that propels the fascination with Hollywood’s greatest movies – akin to the statue from The Maltese Falcon, the sled in Citizen Kane or the ruby slippers worn in The Wizard of Oz,” says Rutigliano, when I ask what compels a thief to swipe one. “Professionally, it’s worth the pilgrimage because it is so special. By obtaining one illegally, there seems this hope that by coming into contact with it or even possessing it, then the culprits own life is given that gloss.” Of course, no culprit has ever been interrogated, and each theft has its own unrelated circumstances, but Rutigliano has “a few interlocking answers” about why people snatch the statuettes. “Many people have an attachment to an Oscar that makes it significant to them; this might motivate a buyer interested in bidding on an Oscar at auction. As a collector, if your favourite film is All About Eve, then you’d want the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar to synthesise your love for the film – making a tangible connection.” She believes the desire to steal one, “is perhaps a twisted outgrowth of that concept, and it might be because one doesn’t have enough money to legally obtain an Oscar. They can insert themselves into the narrative of the film or person they love and venerate – or, perhaps, to sabotage one you don’t.” Their scarcity is deliberate: the Academy prevents any resale of the awards. Since 1950, winning artists have been made to sign a contract backstage before being allowed to take their Oscar home on ceremony night. “The Academy is very strict, and has made it illegal for winners to sell Oscars without first offering them back to the Academy, for the price of USD1. Basically, you never really own an Oscar, you just rent it, and the Academy decides what happens to it afterwards,” Rutigliano explains. “That there was a market for Oscars seemed to cause the Academy concern, so they instituted this clause. Oscars that predate 1950 are exempt, though, so those can be auctioned and passed on.” You’re not exactly pre-warned that an Oscar is about to cross your path, so in 58
opposite: The police spotted a Los Angeles Times listing selling Karl Fruend’s Oscar 15 years after it was stolen This page: Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar was stolen from a parcel when she returned it for cleaning; they were eventually reunited
‘Alice Brady’s Oscar has been found,’ Rutigliano recounts with a gasp many of the thefts “it was just sitting in an unguarded display case or laying in a box that had been mailed back to the facility to be cleaned. There are moments when the Oscars are not being watched, and people seem willing to suddenly risk everything in this un-premeditated, opportunistic moment,” she describes. “The intrinsic allure of this gold statuette seems to numb the inner voice of ‘this isn’t mine, I can’t take this.’” The Resolution Rutigliano considers the mistruth of Alice Brady’s Oscar – which she read about as a little girl, and that kickstarted her fascination – as the most significant case she has researched, because the mystery was solved on her watch. She discovered that the oft-repeated tale
from the book was inaccurate, and the mystery man who snatched Brady’s award was not a stranger after all. “Right before my research trips to the Academy’s Fairbanks Center, I contacted the Academy librarians before descending down the research rabbit hole. I told them I wanted to look into the three thefts, and asked which resources or databases in their archives would prove the most fruitful places to start.” She received an email back from Libby Wertin. Rutigliano cites the intervention of this Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences librarian as “one of the most important things that happened to me along the way”. Wertin wrote back telling Rutigliano that she was welcome to look at the research detailing these thefts, but
added, “’Just so you know, Alice Brady’s Oscar has been found,’” Rutigliano recounts with a gasp. Several years prior, Wertin herself had looked into the case on behalf of the library, and unearthed an obscure trove of articles which pinpointed that it was never actually lost. It was the film’s director Henry King who accepted the award, and passed it on to Brady’s friends to take home. Once the actress had seen it, as per protocol she returned it to the Academy to be engraved with her name – but sadly passed away due to cancer before getting it back. “If it was ever ‘missing’, that was only because it had been given back to be engraved.” Like a good movie plot, there’s an added twist to the tale. “Years later, when writing a Politics/Letters article, I decided to find out what happened to the award. I came across a Heritage Auctions website, with a lot described as Alice Brady’s replacement award, and a photograph of Brady receiving the ‘replacement’ backstage.” This was, of course, impossible: “The lot was not her replacement, but the actual engraved Oscar; I traced the photo to a newspaper clipping of Brady being presented the original Oscar on set, as part of a photo opportunity. Unknowingly, the auctioneers had sold the original.” There was no euphoria for the oblivious buyer, though: “Not only did the bidder remain publicly anonymous, but the auction house is barred from contacting the person. The trail is dead.” Only for this case: Oscars will forever change hands, “so there’s nothing finite about this topic”, Rutigliano says, “But right now, there are 12 cases which have no foreseeable conclusion, and I will sadly have to let them go,” she reflects, with a sigh. “Then again… I thought that was the case with Alice Brady’s Oscar,” adds an optimistic Rutigliano, summoning the tenacity which has made her the foremost expert in the world’s most prestigious game of ‘hide-and-seek’. 59
Photography firebrand Duffy is considered ‘The Man Who Shot the Sixties’, and he not only captured the spirit of the era – he embodied it WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
or once, the man with the notoriously short fuse was the one who lit the spark. One afternoon in 1979, reacting to some bad news from an assistant, one of the Sixties’ greatest photographers gathered every negative he had ever shot, and set fire to them in his back garden. Some of them were salvaged but, defiantly, Brian Duffy wouldn’t take stills for another three decades. The story is an oft-repeated Duffy anecdote, but it misguidedly focuses on a solitary, destructive moment from a photographer whose life was about creation, not annihilation. After all, had his works not been so acclaimed to begin with, there would be little shock at these morsels of genius going up in flames. In his 1960s heyday, Duffy was the business. He changed the visual landscape with a new style of dynamic photography; influential, in-yourface photoshoots were underpinned by a love for solving pre-Photoshop technical challenges, and an added dash of Rene Magritte-like abstractism. This was no ‘revolution for one’, though. Professionally, Duffy came to prominence in a time when it was the photographer – not the model in front of the camera – who was the star. The great Norman Parkinson bestowed a lasting nickname on the era’s three most prominent camerasmiths: the
‘Black Trinity’ of (David) Bailey, Duffy and (Terence) Donovan – referred to solely by surname. “They were great rivals, always goading one another and producing the zeitgeist images that the era needed, but they were also great friends, often hanging out together,” says Chris Duffy, the photographer’s son, who was privy to the uncomplicated nature of these pals, who were London boys through and through. “Every photographer has their own technique; Bailey’s was always to put people on the back foot, where they didn’t know what he’d say or do next, while Donovan was the joker. Duffy was the intellectual,” he adds. “Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual,” Duffy self-surmised. A proud Chris is the catalyst for Duffy’s return to public conscience. He served as his on-assignment assistant during the 1970s, and witnessed both Duffy’s work ethic and his photography hiatus, when magazines and film companies tried to convince him to talk, but faced a wall of silence. In the mid-2000s, Chris ventured into the attic and rifled through boxes of undeveloped photographic treasures, before managing to coax his father into showing his hidden works to the world. He made it his mission to bring Duffy’s legacy out of the shadows, because
“Other people started claiming the crown of the Sixties, and as time moves on, the people of the period who knew how talented he was are replaced by a younger audience. Unless promoted, his impact becomes forgotten”. For Duffy Senior, it all began innocuously enough (thankfully). He enjoyed “an enchanting wartime childhood, running wild and exploring bombsites,” but his ragamuffin days were curtailed by community efforts to get the youth attending theatre, ballet and the arts. Invigorated and intrigued, he attended Saint Martins School of Art. He undertook a dressmaking course, so developed a sense of how a garment was tailored and how it should look on a woman; an understanding that he would apply to his eventual vocation. He turned down a role in Paris with Balenciaga in his 20s to seek moresteady employment (his wife, June, was pregnant at the time with Chris), and instead accepted a job at Harper’s Bazaar as a freelance fashion artist. While there, a stack of photographic contact sheets (photographic paper on to which negatives from a film have
been printed) caught Duffy’s eye, and he was inspired to pick up a camera. He adopted a daring visual approach, and was outspoken and headstrong enough to defend his aesthetic shockwaves. Explained Duffy in a BBC interview, “Most people in the 1950s were pretty deferential to everybody – but there were some who were not, and said ‘Why? Who told you? Why should I? Go on, make me.’ There was a lot of class consciousness and snobbery.” Concurs Chris, “Everything in life is about timing, and photography in the 1950s was very stilted, rooted in an austere period. But there was a new generation that emerged, who decided they weren’t going to play by the same rules. They wanted to kick in the doors and create something new – so the explosion of Sixties counterculture happened.” A misnomer of the decade, Chris believes, is that swathes of people ignited the change. “My conversations with Duffy revealed that, in truth, there were only a handful of people who instigated that shift in Britain,” shares Chris. “The likes of Caine, Vidal Sassoon,
Opening pages: Ponte Vecchio, Florence, 1962 Left: Michael Caine Smoking, 1964 Above: The Queen, Kings Road, 1968. All images Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive
Mary Quant, The Beatles, Bowie – whereas today you have thousands of people who are celebrities, and those who are famous just for being famous. It was a core group of people who shook up the decade.” Duffy worked with Michael Caine on a regular basis, was good friends with John Lennon and David Bowie, but – because he was so prolific and was always shooting – the whole Sixties crew were “all great mates of his. It was a very small clique”. They may have been limited in number, but their impact was farreaching. This ragtag group of talented London-based pals helped shape a culture for their contemporaries, and the Black Trinity in particular had an eye for the provocative and the 63
Left: Archive Image from a shoot for French Elle, in 1963 Opposite: John Lennon with UFO Detector, 1965. All images Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive
unusual. They produced images that firmly influenced trends seen on the streets, in both fabric and fearlessness. “As late as the 1950s, for instance, it was slightly déclassé to come into the office not wearing gloves and a small hat. Editions of British Vogue from 1958 contained very little difference from pre-War Vogue,” posits photographic historian Robin Muir, of the printed style-zeitgeist. “The Trinity, who all started around the same time, bought a sense of reality to the magazine. From 1961, the pages are enlivened… it really does look like a new era.” British model de jour Jill Kennington concurs; “Things changed from 64
staid, formalised fashion into cool fashion for young people.” Duffy represented a new kind of cool himself; no nonsense, and certainly more ‘hellraiser’ than ‘sweetie pie’, with a glint of mischief in his eye. In the BBC documentary The Man Who Shot The Sixties, former fashion editor Molly Parkin playfully described him as, “a bit of a b*****d, really, but one that you’d enjoy having at the dinner table. Duffy was one who would inspire the miner’s strike, let’s put it that way. There was something defiant about him; belligerent and against authority.” Chris opts to describe him, more gently, as “a maverick” who “could be a difficult person”.
Either way, Duffy, who passed away in 2010, was an abrasive force – especially when pitted against a post-war society taught to mind its p’s and q’s. He tested the patience of his high-profile employers, yet his down-to-earth mindset meant he’d be the last to tout his talent as ‘fine art’. “He didn’t go out to commissioned shoots on a daily basis with his art easel and his beret and say ‘I’m going to create art,’” says Chris, with a chuckle. “He was a jobbing photographer; a tradesman who simply produced work, and moved onto the next shoot. It is only when we look in retrospect at things that they fall into the ‘art’ category.” Still, Chris believes he “would have been incredible whatever business he had gone into, because his mind was so eclectic, and he was so well-read – fascinated with history, culture and art – photography was in the right place at the right time for his enquiring mind”. The cutting edge images on-show at London’s Proud Central this month (but ever available at duffyphotographer. com), capture the essence of a cultural epoch that resonates. “The 1960s are the embryo of modern pop culture and its influences are there to this day – a cultural explosion that endures,” says Chris. “The decade is such an important force; people hark back to it all the time in music, photography, design and fashion. There’s still a huge fascination with the time.” Considered the photographer’s photographer, there’s no better lens through which to view the happenings of the Sixties than that of Duffy. Chris recounts a quote from pop artist Derek Boshier, who worked on Five Sessions with Bowie and agreed to join forces because, “Duffy didn’t take the photograph. He invented the moment.” This was his generation. Sixties Style: Shot by Duffy, shows until 18 March 2018 at Proud Galleries. proud.co.uk
He didnâ€™t take the photograph. He invented the moment
Say It With Flowers Climbing roses, ivy and jasmine adorned Parisâ€™ Grand Palais for the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2018 Haute Couture show, while models crowned with floral hairpieces walked the garden-like setting. Join AIR on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes peek at the making of look NÂ°57
Below and right: The pattern is used to create the â€œtoileâ€? of the silhouette, and the positioning of the future embroideries is established (01 and 02).
Above: Using an embroidery sample validated by the studio, the silk tulle for the top of the dress is embroidered first with 300,000 yellow and pink sequins and 10,000 tube beads using a Luneville hook; Luneville embroidery is executed on the underside of the fabric on an embroidery frame with one hand holding the hook and the other beneath the frame moving the elements forward (03). Right: Backstage at the Spring-Summer 2018 Haute Couture show (04).
Left: Spring-Summer 2018 Haute Couture show, look NÂ°57 (05)
Below: Once the silk tulle is covered with sequins and tube beads, it is adorned with primroses in pink organza and 1,200 opal beads, 7,000 faceted beads and 3,400 strass embroidered on using a needle and Luneville hook (06).
5 Right: The pieces embroidered by the Maison Lesage are sent to the CHANEL ateliers so that the seamstresses can start assembling the dress (07-08)
On its exclusive UAE launch, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne was pitted against the mountains of Oman. Which would prevail: a tough terrain engineered by nature, or the best luxury SUV the Stuttgart marque can engineer? WORDS: Chris UJMA
here’s no goat-avoidance setting on the 2019 Cayenne. At the mere touch of a button you can prime Porsche’s grandiose new SUV to conquer gravel, sand, mud and even rocks. But swerving around unpredictable livestock? No. In fairness, such a thing doesn’t even exist, and it would be pointless to 99.9 percent of the manufacturer’s target market – but driving around the rugged mountainous region of Oman, you’re acutely aware of horns butting into sculpted panels. The good news is that in Omani mountain surrounds – in a vehicle as smart and well-equipped as this – avoiding sprightly Billy goats is the only thing you need to concern yourself with. The Cayenne handles everything else with aplomb.
First, a stroll down memory lane. This edition marks the third wave of the successful Cayenne, the roots of which can be traced back to the 953 – a beautiful, sweaty, cramped, fuelfumed-cabin endurance warrior, that was affectionately called the ‘911 4x4’. It was the car in which René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne triumphed at the 1984 Paris-Dakhar Rally. Despite champion level credentials, the announcement of the Cayenne back in 2002 caused dissenters to murmur that a Porsche SUV would never catch on – and those quarters even contained a segment of hardcore Porschistas, who urged the company to stick to supercars. The doubters would now doubtless trade-in their high horse for the high horsepowered Cayenne Turbo; the range has been a total success.
Motoring MARCH 2018 : issUE 82
On its introduction, 270,000 first editions were sold, and the current iteration further raises the bar of performance excellence and aesthetics. There are three models in the initial 2019 family; the Cayenne, the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. Porsche highlights a reduction in the car’s weight, plus the external shaving of centimetres off its roof and shoulders. A striplight added to the rear communicates the design language of a (pumped-up) 911 and in a rethought cabin with supple seats, there’s more space, and a pressure touch interface prevails. Day-to-day driving joy derives from expertise carried over from the iconic 911, and it shows; behind the wheel onroad, the poised Cayenne has a sporty zest, feeling swifter and far more agile than one would expect of an SUV. A new engine lineup helps. The Cayenne/S/Turbo trio contain a V6, V6 twin-turbo and a V8 twin-turbo respectively, power output clocks in at 340hp, 440hp and 550hp, while advertised 0-100km/h timings are 5.9, 4.9 and 3.9 seconds (all with the Sport Chrono package). The Turbo is also the first SUV to have an active rear spoiler, which automatically lifts above 170km/h to increase downforce for cornering grip or, in the airbrake position, to lessen stopping distance. To show its UAE audience the Cayenne’s off-road credentials, Porsche picked Fujairah – the easternmost emirate with a topography that, from satellite view, looks like a bottomless pile of Toblerone pieces. It neighbours northern Oman, where yet more mountainous, rocky and unpredictable ground awaits. Porsche is meticulous in its event execution, though, so back in October an expert team was deployed to extensively map out a cross-border route. But prior to the exclusive unveiling, a torrential New Year’s flood wiped out the Omani mountain road network, obliterating all of that careful planning. At this change of plan, the Cayenne simply shrugged. The vehicle has good reason to be imbued with such confidence. While Omani wadi terrain is a world away from gently ascending the parking ramp at The Dubai Mall, it is still nothing in comparison to what the 72
Cayenne endured in testing. Porsche put it through hellish extremes. A million kilometres were clocked during the testing process, and it is somewhat reassuring to watch video footage of the Cayenne outlasting the elements; blasting over Dubai’s famed Big Red dune in the height of sweltering 50°C summer then, in the next scene, traversing freezing tundra at a bitter -40°C. On a day of far kinder climes, our drive set out from the opulent Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort, whose sands are lapped by the visionquenching Gulf of Oman. The warmup comprised a brief sprint along highways to the UAE/Oman checkpoint in Dibba Al Hisn, then a glide along the Corniche, post-border crossing.
The route then snaked into rocky Wadi Bih, with decreasing levels of asphalt and increasingly dramatic cliff overhangs. The roadways are ‘barely there’, but vehicle feedback belies what you see through the windows. The vista is dry and rocky, with craters and boulders that mimic a scene from Mars rather than a UAE weekend drive. Yet three-chamber air suspension provides stability and a cushioned ride, with the Cayenne wellbalanced on this surface (that was, admittedly, coated with dust, not moisture). It treads confidently. Up in these valleys, Active Suspension Management and astute hill descent are your best friends. Selecting ‘Terrain’ on the chassis height menu raises
All images: The 2019 Porsche Cayenne
its ground clearance, then engaging hill descent keeps the driver in check of every gradient shift; to oblivious occupants, it makes even the novice seem adroit and masterful of the car’s power output during terrain navigation. With ‘Gravel’ mode engaged, there was an assured crunch under these chunky tyres as, at micro level, mountain adroitmoves for man. The bulbous front facing camera tucked in the grille also gets in on the action, beaming the jagged road surface onto the cabin screen in high definition. It’s necessary. There are moments on ridge-tops where you’re momentarily looking up at pure sky before a soft landing. The drive system is so capable a guide, in fact, it’s almost easy to
forget just how much the Cayenne shields you from the bonejangling reality of the ‘road’. But will local clients take their prized Porsche into similar territory? Other than a weekend jaunt into the mountains to play ‘Counting Cayennes’, there’s no data on the prevalence of its off-road use. The point is that it can, nestling the driver in a safe, comfortable cocoon should they get a thirst for adventure. On this sunny occasion, nature didn’t whip up a maelstrom, and the Cayenne’s extreme weather-training was not called upon, so perhaps it’s best to call this gentle sparring session a draw. In the luxury SUV segment, though, the new Cayenne looks set to be another win for Porsche. 73
Gastronomy MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Fireman Meet Niklas Ekstedt, the man at the helm of a Michelin-starred restaurant that has no electricity or gas in its kitchen
WORDS : HazEl PlUSH
omewhat remarkably for a man who spends his life playing with fire, Niklas Ekstedt has never had his fingers burned. You might expect his hands to be covered in scars – physical manifestations of a career spent toying with flames, tinkering with blazing embers, and poking smouldering coals. But no. For a man who cooks exclusively, obsessively, with fire, Ekstedt looks – I’m rather disappointed to learn – nothing like a cave man whatsoever. But then, smoked mussels and seared langoustine are hardly Stone Age fare. This succulent seafood – along with the rest of the menu at his eponymous restaurant Ekstedt, in Stockholm – is cooked entirely with fire. No electric ovens, no gas hobs: only charcoal, wood, hay – and a whole load of matches. It sounds like a cute gimmick, but since it opened in 2011 the restaurant has met with continuous rapturous acclaim – though in the beginning, few people believed it would work. “When we started, we had a fire pit, a wood fired oven and a wood stove,” says Ekstedt. “People said I’d made things too difficult for myself.” But the restaurant quickly received the ultimate accolade, a Michelin star. The naysayers soon changed their tune: ‘cave man cuisine’ was here to stay. 74
Life in the restaurant is “constant chaos”, says Ekstedt – and I believe him, as it has taken over a week and countless emails to pin him down to chat. He spends all day and most evenings in the kitchen, a work ethic that he honed while working in Spain’s three-Michelin-starred elBulli, and Charlie Trotter’s in the US, during his early days as a chef. Ekstedt’s hard graft and ambition have certainly paid off: these dishes would be impressive enough without the knowledge that they’d been rustled up on an open fire. He uses flaming hay to sear meltingly-tender sweetbreads, and a birch-fuelled oven to roast wild local duck. Ekstedt’s favourite dish on the menu? “Turbot that we cook on the bone over wet juniper wood. I like both the taste and the technique.” It’s the ultimate in ‘New Nordic’ cuisine – the regional trend for super-local ingredients cooked in ever-inventive ways – but Ekstedt isn’t simply following a fashion. His methods are deep-rooted in his Scandinavian heritage, though he admits he stumbled across them by accident. After a successful but unfulfilling stint as a TV chef, the restaurateur had retreated to the family’s simple cabin in the Stockholm archipelago, hoping that the traditional lifestyle would give him much-needed inspiration for his next
Fire gives the possibility for the technique to be more important than the components venture. “I mostly cooked on a grill, but one day I couldn’t wait for the embers, so I pushed a cast iron pan into the flames. The fire hissed and crackled around the pan. What power, and what flavour! Finally, I felt I was onto something.” Soon after, he opened the restaurant in Stockholm – and never looked back. “Working at elBulli and Charlie Trotter’s taught me that restaurants need to have a strong philosophy and their own identity,” says Ekstedt. “I want to be remembered as a hardworking restaurateur.” The dining room décor is paired back and rustic, a nod to the cabin which inspired its cuisine – a refreshingly informal setting that paved the way for Stockholm’s increasingly alternative fine dining scene. In addition to the kitchen’s original fire pit, oven and stove, Ekstedt has added a smoker, extra fires, and what he calls (with tongue firmly in cheek) a “Stone Age microwave” – a blisteringly hot glass box stuffed with embers, which is entirely his own invention. He has, however, allowed himself to indulge in an electric blender and a machine to make ice cream – which he serves alongside wood-oven-baked almond cake, a finale to the four- and six-course set menus. 76
“It’s simple food,” says Ekstedt – but I beg to differ. His menu certainly feels liberated from the usual trappings of fine dining – the ritzy foams and infusions, the dishes fussed over like a spoiled child – but simple it is not. This is a restaurant where the fuel is as important as the ingredients themselves: indeed, “Fire gives the possibility for the technique to be more important than the components,” says Ekstedt. “It is a challenge for my chefs, who need to really work with the food.” Does the type of fuel matter? “Oh yes. The fire and the smoke give a different flavour, and we sometimes even use the embers as an ingredient to flavour the food.” His fuel of choice? “Birch: it affects the food differently from any other type of wood, and gives a consistent temperature which allows for the possibility to cook with cast-iron over the fire. We get through a cubic metre of birch at the restaurant every day.” In fact, the fuel is so important to Ekstedt that he works closely with local birch farmers on a bespoke production programme, overseeing everything from the planting to the finishing of the wood. The hardest dishes to cook, I’m surprised to learn, are meat and oily fish: “Ingredients with a high fat
content drip into the fire and give too high a flame.” Bread is done in the oven so it’s relatively simple to bake, “but you need a lower temperature to cook seafood and fish. That’s actually quite hard, so you need to have more cooks on the line.” The most important component of Ekstedt’s philosophy? “Respect for the fire” – and a cool head, no matter how hot the kitchen gets. That, he assures me, is how his fingers have remained intact over the years. “When you’re working with an open fire you have way more respect for it than a regular kitchen – you know it’s seriously hot.” His techniques may be based in centuries-old traditions, but Ekstedt’s cuisine feels – and tastes – utterly contemporary. Go there, and be wowed by the energy and passion of this pyromaniac maestro – a true trailblazer, in every sense of the word. 77
MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
26 journeyS by jet
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
t has been 100 years since the birth of the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed and, in honour of the beloved visionary, 2018 has been deemed the ‘Year of Zayed’. This month, the annual Abu Dhabi Festival celebrates the man, reflecting on his blueprint for a nation; by fostering determination, wisdom, and a sense of belonging, he laid the foundations for prosperity. On a drive along Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Road, one need only gaze at the skyline to see the realisation of Zayed’s legacy. From this boulevard beside the Arabian Gulf, one can see countless examples of soaring architecture, within which pulses a world-leading economy. At the southern end of the thoroughfare sits Nation Towers – two landmark skyscrapers which are home to one of the capital’s most prominent occupants, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. In itself, this graceful hotel is a fine illustration of a very modern UAE – where contemporary expectations exist in harmony with respect for local tradition. This is a tasteful world, where Arabesque cues harmonise with New York character. The hotel oozes aesthetic elegance, and its lifestyle offerings have further secured its reputation as a charming local character. Its 55 suites, for example, make a lasting impression and among them,
The Abu Dhabi Suite is regarded a jewel – of both St. Regis, and of the city. A two-storey abode, it spans the skybridge between the towers (making it the highest suspended suite in the world), boasting astonishing 360◦ views. With its own private elevator, within the living quarters are three bedrooms (one of which, the master suite, is reached by ascending a curved staircase), two powder rooms and a lounge bar. Among the property’s other highlights is Nation Riviera Beach Club, with its private sands, secluded cabanas and stunning infinity pool. Just accessing it feels exclusive – one must slip into a covert marble underpass that runs beneath the Corniche. Reméde Spa, meanwhile, is a thirdfloor relaxation retreat, with VIP Suites in which to indulge in trademark spa therapies and a terrace upon which to drink-in spectacular views of the sea. And the hotel’s line-up of distinctively designed restaurants and lounges have become trusted social retreats, for both esteemed guests and city dwellers alike. It so happens that 2018 marks The St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s fifth year at the heart of this ambitious emirate, and though mere years into its journey, the hotel couldn’t be better placed to add to its own legacy. Land into Al Bateen Executive Airport, then chauffeur to St. Regis in one of its Bentley fleet. stregisabudhabi.com 79
What I Know Now MARCH 2018 : ISSUE 82
Managing director (gulf office), SoS children’S VillageS international
My parents inspired me to look beyond my own life and fight for the rights of others. They raised me to stand up for what’s right. Working as Chief of Staff for HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein was priceless. I observed the ways she extends herself to people, working on the ground and developing strategies in the fields of health, education, social development, peace and humanitarian aid. The manner in which she dedicates herself to serving others – especially when nobody is watching – also helped me find purpose and direction. Not everyone is so naturally blessed with such strong role models, though. In that respect, SOS Children’s 80
Villages employ ‘Mothers’, who are the cornerstone of our organisation and because of them, children who have lost parental care – or who can no longer live with their biological families – grow up in a caring, stable and secure family environment. SOS Mothers build resilient and nurturing relationships with each child, while providing a strong role model to mothers and young girls. I believe that a strong female presence inspires a woman to be confident and independent, and to raise boys who are respectful of the role of women. I’ve witnessed that the human spirit can summon incredible resilience and courage when put through times of
adversity. It is assisting those who are enduring such hardship that has driven me; there’s no greater satisfaction than making even the smallest difference. I would advise my younger self that for all the obstacles in your way, only you can stop yourself. Along the road you also realise that tolerance is how to conquer life’s biggest challenges, and that we always have to be considerate to those who are suffering. It can be difficult to be forceful in what you believe while remaining diplomatic. I have learnt to keep my calm and speak with tact, yet stand my ground and listen to another’s point of view. In all, you must walk the talk, because actions speak louder than words.