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MARCH 2019

RAMI MALEK


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Contents MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

EDITORIAL Editorial Director

John Thatcher Managing Editor

Faye Bartle Editor

Chris Ujma christopher@hotmediapublishing.com Editorial Assistant

Julianne Tolentino

ART Art Director

Kerri Bennett Senior Designer

Hiral Kapadia Illustration

AIR

Leona Beth

COMMERCIAL Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher General Manager

David Wade

david@hotmediapublishing.com Commercial Director

Rawan Chehab

rawan@hotmediapublishing.com

PRODUCTION Production Manager

Muthu Kumar

Forty Two

Forty Eight

Fifty Four

Sixty

In rock bio Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek put on a show. Now comes his due applause – and much more

A Nelson Mandela exhibit charts the late leader’s life – but sadly, you can’t meet him. Here’s a man who did

With the tectonics of fashion photography on the move, Patrick Remy interprets the seismic shift

As David Bailey’s Sixties portraits are shown on his home turf, the photographer shares some East End wisdom

Mercury Rising

6

Meeting Madiba

Antiglossy

A Shot of Bailey


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Contents

AIR

MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Eighteen

Thirty Four

Timepieces

Motoring

Sixty Six

Seventy Four

Maison Dior brings all the fun of the fair to Dubai, when its circus-inspired Parisian couture show rolls into town

In its homage to the UAE, Moritz Grossmann has captured the Sands of Time – from the seven emirates

An electrifying hypercar has emerged from Croatia, and it’s even more accomplished than its predecessor

Sun-kissed sands and iconic city skylines are the two fascinating sides to Four Seasons Resort Dubai, at Jumeirah Beach

Twenty Six

Thirty Eight

Seventy

Lita Cabellut’s latest Transformation, adds another series of dots and commas to the sonnet of art

At Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’École, the secrets of fine jewellery are revealed to the fortunate few…

Both affluent and authentic, nahm adds Michelin star majesty to bustling Bangkok’s culinary scene

Radar

Art & Design

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Jewellery

Travel

Gastronomy 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.


Elegance is an attitude Simon Baker

Conquest V.H.P.


The Great Past of Tomorrow

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NasJet MARCH 2019: ISSUE 94

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 operates:

Welcome Onboard MARCH 2019

• Cessna Citation Excel, which can seat 6 passengers and fly for up to 3 hours non-stop • Embraer Legacy 600, which can seat 13-15 passengers and fly for up to 5 hours non-stop • Gulfstream GIV-SP and G450 Aircraft, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to 8 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 8 hours non-stop • Boeing Business Jet (B737-900), which can seat 38 passengers and fly for up to 9 hours non-stop • Boeing 767, which can seat up to 44 passengers and fly for up to 14 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, 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.

Captain Mohammed Al Gabbas MARCH 2019

RAMI MALEK

Cover: Rami Malek. Josh Telles / AUGUST

Senior Vice President

Contact Details: nasjet.com.sa / +966 11 261 1199 / sales@nasjet.com 11


NasJet MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Strengthening Our Resolve NASJET REGROUPS AS IT SELLS AIRCRAFT TO FOCUS ON CHARTER, MANAGEMENT

NasJet Private Aviation, the businessjet arm of the Flynas Group, has sold a number of aircraft and will concentrate on a new model focusing on aircraft management. Consolidation of the group, comprising its commercial arm, Flynas, NasJet and Hajj and Umrah operations, is well under way, says Yosef F. Hafiz, NasJet Vice President Sales and Marketing, Commercial. “Throughout 2018, the consolidation of all three primary companies in 12

the NAS Holding Group – Flynas (the airline), NasJet (the private aviation side of the business), and our Hajj and Umrah operations (wet leases of larger aircraft for mass movements of people from particular countries into Madinah and Jeddah) – was taking place,” he explains. “There is a fourth handling company, a joint venture with ExecuJet, headquartered in Riyadh. NasJet Private Aviation has seen a lot of restructuring. We have sold many of the aircraft we owned. Sale of [our] Hawker 750s has taken place, and we have also returned three Gulfstream GIV-SPs to CIT, from whom we were leasing them. At NasJet, moving away from ownership of aircraft was the objective, to focus on revenues and profits. We want to refocus more on charter and

management,” Hafiz enlightens. He outlines that NasJet’s ability to charter aircraft successfully would lead to new purchases from major OEMs like Airbus, Bombardier or Gulfstream, as increases in charter made purchase more cost-effective. “There is a diversity to the types of aircraft we manage and operate. They include ten fully managed; four MRO managed; four fully owned aircraft; one wet lease managed aircraft; for a total of 19 aircraft. The figure was 24 last year. We have sold the four Hawker 750s and returned the three GIV-SPs to CIT. So 19 aircraft are in operation. We have 13 different types of aircraft that we manage. That makes our portfolio interesting,” he explains.


The largest is a wide-bodied Boeing 767 with a VVIP configuration. The list continues with a Boeing BBJ3, Airbus ACJ318s, Gulfstream G650ER, Gulfstream GV, Gulfstream G450s, Gulfstream GIV-SP, Legacy 600s, a Hawker 800XP, which is for sale, a Falcon 2000, also for sale, a Citation Excel, a number of Citation Bravo 550s, and a De Havilland Twin-Otter DHC6, which is a twin turboprop able to operate to remote areas in the empty quarter. Hafiz concedes that less flying took place in the kingdom in 2018. “We are looking at our budget for 2019, and I have to forecast flying hours for the aircraft we own. I looked at data for 2018 from January to September, and the results indicated less flying. What we’ve noticed is that some of those owners have allowed

us to use their aircraft for charter.” He also details that Saudia Private Aviation has moved away from its previous charter model, which could provide additional leeway to NasJet. “They sold two Falcon 7Xs and are moving away from their previous charter on the Falcons and Hawkers. They are focusing more on the ground handling business in Jeddah,” he said. “In Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, PASA is responsible for management of the private aviation terminals, including all private business jets, parking, VIPs and landside. PASA have Saudi investors also,” Hafiz adds. The Vice President states that the lack of hangarage availability in the market continues to make life difficult for owners and operators. “This is a topic for a lot of people at an internal level. [Many] businessmen

are interested in investing in it in Jeddah and Riyadh. The only hangarage that was available to us, is no longer available. You do see business jets baking in the sun, with no protection,” he explains. For all the changes at NasJet, though, Hafiz is keen to emphasise the reliability of the company name: “We have long term client retention. Some leave but the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side, and they come back to us. Our products make a difference.” NasJet has long been a premier operator in aircraft management and charter, and is a role model for the local industry. “The company is a dynamic, innovative training ground,” he adds. “We are restructuring very well. We are regrouping.” 13


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INTRODU CING THE NE W


Radar MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

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Photo: ©Estelle Hanania for Dior

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Roll up, roll up! By reprieving its S/S19 haute couture showcase on UAE shores, Maison Dior is exclusively bringing a touch of circus majesty to Dubai, on 18 March. Originally paraded in Paris, the whimsical collection – dreamed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri – evokes the magic of a “wondrous, raw, poetic and indispensable place.” To further conjure the fun of the fair, the show is animated with graceful performances by all-female circus company Mimbre.


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Critique MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Dir: Chiwetel Ejiofor A film – based on the true story of William Kamkwamba – about a boy who invents an unconventional way to save his village from famine AT BEST: “Ejiofor brings a real sensitivity and empathy to this material, as well as some bold, fluent storytelling.” The Guardian AT WORST: “Competently mounted yet plodding, it’s manifestly a labour of love that becomes a bit of a labour to watch.” Variety

Apollo 11 AIR

Dir: Todd Douglas Miller A documentary – five decades in the making – focusing on the space mission that represents one of humankind’s greatest accomplishments AT BEST: “Will bring you to tears – it’s a reminder of national functionality, of making the big dream happen without ego or divisiveness.” Time Out AT WORST: “Not only highlights the best of humanity... but it also feels like an elegy for an age long since gone.” Nerdist

Ash is Purest White Dir: Zhangke Jia Quick-witted Qiao and her mobster boyfriend stake out their turf against rivals in a tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld AT BEST: “Moves fluidly from naturalism to melodrama to tell an epic story of a wayward, romantically frustrated woman.” Chicago Reader

The Hummingbird Project Dir: Kim Nguyen Two cousins join forces against a powerful trader in the high-stakes world of high-frequency trading AT BEST: “A defiantly odd thriller involving esoteric subject matter ... a familiar story of ambition and greed with enough eccentricity that [its] strangeness becomes one of its chief attributes. Screen International AT WORST: “Though [it] might be just a little too odd for more mainstream success, [it’s] a promising step in the right direction.” Hollywood Reporter 18

Images: Netflix; Neon; Cannes Film Festival;The Orchard

AT WORST: “There’s something comforting, and frankly invigorating, about watching such an undeniably messy, sprawling, ambitious voice coming from the East.” The Playlist


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Critique MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

AIR

Theatre

Shipwreck at Almeida. Photo by Marc Brenner

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ou are formally invited to dinner with the 45th President of the United States with Shipwreck, at Almeida Theatre until 30 March. It is an “Anne Washburn’ play [that] does something you rarely see in the theatre: it takes Donald Trump seriously rather than as a subject for easy satire,” notes Michael Billington in The Guardian.” Sarah Crompton says for What’s On Stage that “Washburn’s writing is often razor sharp and pungent. Her observation that Trump is somehow a corrective to the darkness lurking unrecognised beneath liberal assumption, is acute. But as scene follows scene, in a spiral that accelerates into increasing unreality, it is hard to avoid a sense of indulgence.” There are “multiple layers of stories and symbolism [in this] Russian dolllike work,” writes Andrzej Lukowski in Time Out. “The conversation comes back to... Could they have done more to stop him? Why did one of their number vote for him? And – in the most shamelessly meta scene – is it possible to write a play about him? 20

Tartuffe, at National Theatre until 30 April, is a “Subversive Molière update that is more talky than lolworthy,” says Lukowski again, in Time Out London. “Here, John Donnelly’s adaptation of the classic 1664 farce feels caught between updating the jokes and updating the morality. There are a lot of killer lines, but there’s also a lot of padding between those killer lines.” Demetrios Matheou observes in Hollywood Reporter that, “So many plays in the UK are being viewed through the prism of Brexit at the moment... Few have been consciously adapted with such a skilful awareness of the current mood as this exuberant, uproarious, fully ventilated new version of Tartuffe.” It is “a play for today,” believes Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. “Though more than 350 years old, [it] addresses subjects that are pressingly current: the spiritual neediness of the rich, the power of religious zealots to manipulate the unwary, and the slippery nature of truth. It can feel chic or impishly subversive, but in [this] fresh version,

apparently set in the present, the prevailing mood is one of farce.” “Musicals don’t come much more lowkey, wholesome or Canadian than Come from Away,” says Alice Saville, in Time Out. “[Set] in the straightforward world of the Newfoundland town of Gander... [The cast] sing their way through a set of folk-tinged songs that tell stories of the five days after 9/11, when 38 planes made emergency landings on the island’s huge, disused airstrip. And it’s all totally, soul-feedingly wonderful.” In the show, at Phoenix Theatre, Covent Garden until 25 May, “Something has happened, a catastrophe has hit, but not even near Gander... Much of the book and lyrics consist of a swollen checklist of needs when the town of Gander suddenly doubles in population with the arrival of the ‘plane people,’” explains Jordan Riefe in Hollywood Reporter. “The cosy glow of kindness isn’t a fashionable subject in theatre,” admits Henry Hitchings.” But this folksy Canadian musical by Irene Sankoff and David Hein makes no apology for its affirmative message.”


Critique MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Books

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B

angkok Wakes to Rain is the debut novel by Pitchaya Sudbanthad who was born in Thailand and now lives in New York. “It captures the nation’s lush history in all its turbulence and resilience… flowing gracefully from historical fiction to contemporary realism to science fiction… Entrancing… Sudbanthad’s narrative is not just a tribute to his home, it’s an act of resistance against the city’s mildew and amnesia… a way of preserving what is otherwise inscribed only on the liquid surface of memory,” say The Washington Post. “In its early chapters, the book reads like a collection of short stories linked only by their relationship to Bangkok: A nameless woman walks through its bustling streets in the present; an American doctor more than 100 years ago struggles to decipher its overwhelmingly foreign culture; a Thai photographer living in Los Angeles in the 1970s visits his ailing father in London; a woman running a Thai restaurant in Japan finds herself threatened by Thailand’s politics,” praise the writers at Kirkus Reviews. “This breathtakingly lovely novel is an accomplished debut, beautifully crafted and rich with history rendered in the most human terms.” The author’s “Glittering tales of the title city accumulate into a mosaic of jagged puzzle pieces whose chronological leaps make the whole thing come together only more powerfully by the end,” enthuse the reviewers at Vulture. Thomas Mallon, “May well may well be the 21st century’s Anthony Trollope,” say Kirkus Reviews, comparing the author of Landfall to the famed Victorian-era political novelist. “Mallon extends his sharpeyed fictional exegesis of real-life American politics (previously, he wrote Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years, 2015, etc.) into George W.

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Bush’s second term... Marvelously detailed, [it is] often darkly funny, as informative as it is entertaining.” “Fiction as nonfiction...The story of President George W. Bush, his acolytes, his father and mother, is so lifelike that when one realises one has been deceived so cleverly one has to take one’s hat off to the author,” says Johnathan Power for New York Journal of Books. “Landfall is smart and knowing and absorbing. It is to novels as good studio movies are to movies – extremely well made, satisfying if you have a taste for the genre, occasionally excellent,” says Kurt Anderson in The New York Times. “The prose is a pleasure. For better or worse, I can’t imagine a more positive portrayal of George W. Bush in a novel of this quality.” This Much Country: A Memoir by Kristin Knight Pace, is “A worthy addition to the outdoor adventure genre,” say Publishers Weekly. “Pace is candid about life in the frozen north... Sled dog racer Pace debuts with an earnest chronicle of the ups and downs of a life spent living in the wilds of Alaska... She wonderfully captures the adrenaline rush of flying across a snowcovered landscape in 40-below temperatures, as well as the despair of later burying two of her beloved dogs in the frozen tundra.” Kirkus Reviews talks of how “Much of the memoir recounts Pace’s training for and racing in the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod, both exhausting, exhilarating, and, as Pace depicts them, glorious feats. Soon, the author and her new love set up their own kennel, devoted to their valiant dogs – and to each other... [It’s] a buoyant evocation of a thrilling, hardscrabble life.” This Much Country “Is an honest, heartfelt, and exciting memoir and a mustread for all nature lovers seeking a glimpse into a truly Alaskan adventure,” say Booklist.


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Critique MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

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Art

Joan Miró. “Hirondelle Amour”. Barcelona, late fall 1933-winter 1934. Oil on canvas. Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller. © 2018 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

“I

n The Birth of the World (1925), Miró created a new visual language expressing Surrealist notions about chance and the unconscious,” write Apollo Art Magazine. “This painting is considered here both in its own right and as a stepping stone to Miró’s later works, such as the ‘savage paintings’ of the 1930s.” The exhibition in question is Joan Miró: Birth of the World, at Museum of Modern Art, New York until 6 July. “The Modern dips into its superb holdings of works by Miró to survey the pioneering Modernist known for fluid dreamscapes, populated by biomorphic forms that walked the line between abstraction and figuration,” say Time Out New York. “Bolstered by loans from other collection, the show pays special attention to the development of the artist’s pictorial language and the role poetry played in inspiring it.” His savage paintings were “Painted in response to the rising political tensions in Spain in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War,” detail Blouin Artinfo.”These small gouache and oil washes on

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paper collectively known as the ‘Constellations,’ were created by the artist during a time of isolation and great personal anxiety, when he was forced into exile in France late in 1936 for harboring Republican sympathies.” “Visiting the Royal Academy can make a person feel small,” relates Rosemary Waugh in Time Out London. “That naked Grecian sculpture? It’s massive. Those ceilings? They’re towering. The staircase? Gargantuan! And you, tiny insignificant creature, are worthy only of cowering in the corridors of this prodigious Palace of Art. You’re small and it’s big. But the bigness of the RA just got even bigger, thanks to Phyllida Barlow: Cul-de-Sac.” Her “vibrant, large-scale installations transform the environments they inhabit. The new, David Chipperfield-designed galleries are next,” say Galleries Now, of the show, on until 23 June. “Seemingly precarious and often massive in scale, she uses raw and recycled materials like cardboard, cement and plaster, to create looming forests of structures that respond

directly to the places she makes them in.” Entering the cul-de-sac of the exhibition, absurd acts of balance reach new heights, literally...” writes Louise Long at Wallpaper. “Never before has a cul-de-sac seemed so psychologically charged, so geniusly irrational, nor so fantastically absurd.” The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Lower East Side, has announced Nari Ward: We the People – “A survey exhibition of the New York-based Jamaican artist featuring over thirty sculptures, paintings, videos, and large-scale installations drawn from the oeuvre of Ward’s 25-year career,” says Blouin Artinfo. “It aims to illustrate Ward’s status as a key bridge between generations of American sculptors and a vital advocate for art’s capacity to address today’s most urgent issues.” Ward, “Mined materials from the streets of his Harlem neighborhood to use in powerful found-object installations dealing with social justice and the black experience in America,” explains Time Out New York. Ward admitted to Studio International, “I wouldn’t be the artist I am now if I hadn’t moved to Harlem.”


Art & Design

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Metamorphosis Spanish artist Lita Cabellut is a commercial success, and is oft-noted as being Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman’s favourite artist. Yet she operates outside of ‘celebrity’, creating work with true cerebral substance WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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T

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he creativity of Lita Cabellut simply cannot be contained; it cascades into seemingly everything she does: painting, poetry, film – even a conversation with her, which takes on an inventive, contemplative tone. The latest emergence of her flair makes an appearance at The Opera Gallery London, throughout March. Transformation is a solo exhibition of 22 new large-scale works; “pieces where I want to invite the viewer and my collectors to share the artistic change that I am currently going through,” summarises the Spaniard. The gallery has a long-standing relationship with the artist, and its director Federica Beretta calls Cabellut’s work “powerful”, describing her as “An incredible storyteller that transports us to a world of her own.” This is the part where a writer would insert further validation akin to ‘It’s little wonder, then, that the likes of Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and

Gordon Ramsay admire her work, and that she is one of Spain’s foremost contemporary artists.’ Except it’s an incorrect parallel to draw: the artist does not believe that economic success is related to art and its purity. “In my case, I am very clear about the difference between success (which is something ethereal and fleeting) and Art (which is my identity and remains),” Cabellut urges. “Knowing that difference allows me to be completely free. Art is something silent and also intimately solitary. Creation is the Ego in relation to the world. When I work, it’s dreams and fears that make me shrink or grow out of a realistic proportion. When you are aware of the greatness of art, popularity can brutalise its beauty.” The greatness of art plays a prominent part in Cabellut’s story. In her teens, she was introduced to the Spanish masters at Madrid’s Prado Museum, where she discovered the works of Velazquez, Goya and

Frans Hals. Then, surrounded by the abundance of fresco paintings in Barcelona, Cabellut developed a signature technique that captured the volatile characters and scenes of her hometown. “I believe that the great masters taught me many valuable lessons about perseverance and observation,” she muses. “At the beginning of my career, I wanted to learn how to use painting as a way to understand the world around me, and I felt like studying the technique of these old masters allowed me to see and depict the world more clearly. As I studied their way of painting, I developed a more profound understanding of how they were involved in the world and what was happening around them.” At 19, she moved to The Netherlands (aged 57 she still resides there, and works in The Hague). Looking back on that cross-continent shift, she details that it was a country she’d never been to before, but was allured by “The diversity

You have to explore all the forms of expression, and be ready to leave your skin and soul on the road as a process of finding your voice

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of nationalities, races, religions and ideas – that was the most important thing for me. In that period Holland was one of the countries in Europe with the most ethnic tolerance, and it made me very welcome from the beginning. In this country, a melting pot of nationalities and cultures, I’ve always felt I’m a citizen of the world and I feel the freedom of the tolerance.” Cabellut settled on a storytelling style, and an expressive way of executing it; ‘We are the dots and commas in the sonnet of art,’ she has said. But she admits that discovering an identity as an artist “is a long journey.” She has an unforgiving, naked way of describing the creative process, and words that accompany her process are anger and tenacity. If so, the art that emerges does so from a perfect storm of passion: her works are personal reflections that burst out from the canvas; just like the lady herself, they cannot be called meek. “For an artist to find an effective, direct, true language, you must have to be willing to waste energy,” she explains, with a dose of gritty reality. “You have to explore all the forms of expression, and be ready to leave your skin and soul on the road as a process of finding your voice. Artists experiment with their language and identity a thousand times in the process of searching for their own essence. To me, reaching maturity means the full realisation of one’s identity as an artist.” A part of her identity is now, inextricably, linked with her work being ‘collectable’ – after all, society hankers for those with a flaming streak of candour, and it shows in healthy (yet privately acquired) sales. I ask Cabellut about times she has communicated with collectors. What did they reveal resonated most about her work? “It’s my necessity to communicate with all the facets that make up the human being: beauty, brutality, sensitivity and absolutism,” she reveals. “My work is an honest portrait of the divine and the brutal at the same time; of beauty and heartbreak that coexist hand in hand. I’d like to think they acquire my work because of their deep belief in art as a platform for expression of beauty and life.” It’s a delicate yet empowering answer, to which she adds – rather directly, and

without missing a beat – “I’ve had several, amazing discussions with my collectors about my work, but I believe that the most meaningful moments have been with those who have acquired my work by trusting their intuition without consequences.” So, alongside ‘creativity’ we can add ‘honesty’ to the inner emotions that Cabellut cannot contain. The art world is a better place because of it. Transformation by Lita Cabellut opens at Opera Gallery London on 14 March. operagallery.com/london/

Opening pages: Metamorphosis; Metztli 01 Previous page: Mesha Below: Tulä A. All images courtesy Lita Cabellut and Opera Gallery London

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OB JECTS OF DESIRE

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Officine Panerai presents a deep dive into its exceptional Submersible collection, and high complications


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 9 8 4 – S U B M E R S I B L E MIKE HORN EDITION his lead, with its case, crown protector, bezel and caseback made from EcoTitanium; making it both strong, and sustainable. Case: 47mm, brushed EcoTitanium Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time, 72h power reserve

While the world looks to Panerai as a purveyor of luxury, it looks to the world, aware of its wider responsibility. This makes brand ambassador Mike Horn – the courageous explorer who conquered the Arctic Circle, solo – an ideal advocate for the safeguarding of our precious planet. This piece follows 1


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 7 9 9 – S U B M E R S I B L E B M G -T E C H is testament to this: a specially developed alloy blend that protects the timepiece against corrosion, shock and magnetism. Case: 47mm, BMG-Tech Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time, 72h power reserve

Officine Panerai is a brand built to withstand pressure: its first underwater forays were to create depth gauges. At the request of the Italian Navy in 1936, it began making dive watches and, eight decades later, the spirit of research and development continues to thrive. BMG-Tech 2


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 959 – S U B M E R S I B L E shark grey dial and steel/blue ceramic bezel of the 959, for instance, makes for an ocean inspired – and tested – timepiece. Case: 42mm, AISI 316L brushed steel Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time, 72h power reserve

The reputation for reliable ‘divers’ was built on accuracy; trust fostered by details such as anti-clockwise rotating bezels, safeguarding for accidental adjustment. Yet Panerai’s know-how is imbued with suave, and the Submersible collection is a fine example of this elegance. The 3


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

47mm

42mm

PA N E R A I

PA M 96 0 & PA M 1 61 6 – SUBMERSIBLE CARBOTECH contrast is handsome, while helpful, with Super-LumiNova coating ensuring legibility in the darkest underwater conditions. Case: 42mm & 47mm, carbotech Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time, 72h power reserve

To produce Carbotech, thin sheets of carbon fibre are compressed at a controlled temperature under high pressure, meaning these 42mm and 47mm watches feel as light as a feather. Two tone is more than enough for this timepiece, as out of blackness comes light: the bold blue colour 4


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 9 7 9 – M A R I N A M I LTA R E C A R B O T E C H earning this piece the rank of Survival Instrument – and evoking the legendary history of those special forces. Case: 47mm, carbotech, titanium back Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, calculation of immersion time, 3d power reserve

Aside from Carbotech’s minimal weight and durability, it imparts a visual treat, too: each cut produces unique matt black striping. Turn this piece over, though, and things get truly interesting. On the caseback is an engraving inspired by frogman commandos of the Italian Navy, 5


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 9 2 0 – L’A S T R O N O M O L U M I N O R 1 95 0 M O O N P H A S E S E Q U AT I O N O F T I M E G M T place chosen by the client. Case: 50mm, brushed titanium Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, months indicators, second time zone, 24h indicators, sunset and sunrise indicator, equation of time, tourbillon, moon phases, 4d power reserve

L’Astronomo is a complication crafted to content the connoisseur: a skeletonised piece that puts the sky in motion, and honours the visionary Galileo. This tourbillon-graced watch is fully customisable too, such as being calibrated to operate in accordance with geographical coordinates of a 6


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 767 – L U M I N O R T O U R B I L L O N G M T is one example, being 3D-printed using a Direct Metal Laser Sintering technique. Case: 47mm, brushed titanium Features: Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT, 24h indicator, power reserve indicator on the back, tourbillon, 6d power reserve

As any avid Paneristi will attest, the Laboratorio di Idee defines the brand DNA, representing its quest for innovative technical solutions. From the manufacture in Neuchâtel, skilled Haute Horlogerie concepts are masterminded and perfected; the titanium case of this limited edition 7


OB JECTS OF DESIRE

PA N E R A I

PA M 7 7 9 – L U M I N O R C A L I F O R N I A 8 D AY S D L C guard, plus an aged patina look, the aesthetics of the PAM 779 make for a harmonious ‘greatest hits’ of Panerai design codes. Size: 44mm, titanium DLC Features: hours, minutes, military designed supple leather cuff strap, 8d power reserve

Panerai is known for bold size statements, and the addition of a military style cuff adds visual clout here. With the California hour markings (meaning Roman and Arabic numerals sharing dial space), tasetful use of cutting edge material, a distinctive crown bridge 8


OFFICINE PANERAI UAE Boutiques Dubai The Dubai Mall Abu Dhabi The Galleria Mall, Sowwah Square For your private booking with an Officine Panerai sales associate, please contact +971 56 998 6086


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Timepieces MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Sands of Time Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons challenged a traditional German watchmaker to push the envelope, and Moritz Grossmann dreamed up the Extreme Dubai 2 – a cultural homage that harbours a piece of each emirate WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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raditional’ is not exactly the first impression of the watch emblazoned across these pages – however the ‘Extreme Dubai 2 –Sands of Time’ is truly a departure from the Moritz Grossmann modus operandi. It’s best to think of the timepiece this way: in order to break the rules of watchmaking, the manufacture first had to master them. Long before UAE-based watch distributing titans Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons were prompting the brand to dream-up a regional exclusive, Christine Hutter had ideas for a fledgling business, and watch parts strewn across her kitchen table. It was 10 years ago, and she had just become the CEO and founder of a company inspired by the legacy of Moritz Grossman. The pocketwatch extraordinaire lived during the 19th century but, after his passing in 1885, the name went unseen on watch dials for decades. Seeking an identity to underpin an independent watchmaking

venture, Hutter – who has experience on the workbenches, and held positions at Glashütte Original and A. Lange & Söhne – acquired the rights to the name and with it, inherited a historic philosophy. “Mr. Grossmann wrote a prize essay, an expert analysis of watch design called The Construction of a Simple and Mechanically Perfect Watch – and his rules set a DNA, of sorts,” Hutter explains. “We approach watchmaking from a contemporary angle, yet his ethos serves as a fine foundation.” The brand’s first five years were dedicated to production and the development of in-house movements. Last year, the German brand took residence in a Glashütte based modern HQ (though prototypes still make their way to Hutter’s home). It has swiftly cultivated a reputation for producing elegant timepieces for both male and female wrists, within Benu, Atum and Tefnut – its pillar collections, inspired by the names of Egyptian gods. 35


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Opening pages: The limited edition Extreme Dubai 2 – Sands of Time This page: The Benu Tourbillon in white gold (with its 25 to 35 minute mid-dial marker); the Atum GMT, new for 2019 Opposite: The Tefnut 1001 Nights

Across these collections, deft touches enhance heritage-aura timepieces – and each incorporates sumptuous surprises to be admired. For instance, the intuitive 24hour scale, with its own hand, that circles the dial of the newly released GMT; an intricate tourbillon on the Benu Tourbillon, which obscures the 25-35-minute marks – so the brand placed a mid-dial indicator in order to accurately chart that 10-minute span; the Tefnut Twist, where the mainspring is innovatively wound with a smooth turn of the watch strap. At a more micro level, all engraving is done by hand, not machine; the brand polishes between the teeth of the movement wheels (an industry rarity); for jewels, it uses white sapphires instead of rubies; even the screws are treated under the flame, to achieve a signature brown-violet colour. Then there’s the hands – an oftadmired detail among connoisseurs, and indicative of the brand’s attentive in-house craftsmanship. “In 80 percent of watches in the market, the hands are too short,” Hutter observes. Her company’s antidote to the issue (to the relief of more fastidious collectors) are perfectly shaped slivers that dip just above the minute increments, are heat-treated to achieve distinctive hues like cobalt blue and violet, then expertly polished. The latter alone is a six to eight hour process for one person, the CEO urges. Suffice to say, Moritz Grossmann focuses on perfecting its vocation, not high-volume production – and this process allows for passion projects. Its latest special edition, the commissioned Extreme Dubai 2, is far from being the brand’s first foray into the avant garde (or even into Arabesque aesthetics): the asymmetric Tefnut 1001 Nights deploys an artistic motif of a nocturnal sand dune landscape, with a moon shining above it – made from the finest mother-of-pearl, no less. 36

Our classic line is imbued with heritage, while pieces like the Extreme Dubai represent our ‘haute couture’ abilities

The ‘2’ is an encore to 2018’s Extreme Dubai. Both were developed in partnership with the Sediqqi family – “a really nice relationship that comes from the heart”, enthuses Hutter. The second edition, limited to 18 pieces, has swept into an entirely different direction. Sand (the gritty, diametric enemy of delicate mechanics) was procured from all seven of the nation’s emirates, and each measure adds its own tint to the watchcase-confetti. “The Middle East region is really important for us,” explains Hutter – and when Moritz Grossmann embarked on its 2019 world tour (to unveil its newest additions at cosy, invite-only gatherings) they started not in London or Asia but in Dubai, with an afternoon at Cipriani. “Ladies watches have good traction here, and in general, watch aficionados in Dubai are adventurous with their purchases – which enables us to push the

boat out with some more crazy pieces, and from here we get personalisation requests to put little insignias on the dial, for instance,” she elaborates. The company appeals to both audiences: its classic line is imbued with heritage, and then the Extreme Dubai 2 represents what Hutter deems “the haute couture abilities of Moritz Grossmann – stylistically venturing out from the normal lines to show what we are capable of.” To accompany its hardware, the company has also rolled out a new tagline: Schönstes Deutsches Handwerk. Translated, this means ‘the most beautiful German crafts’ – and in an era when the demands of time are more complicated than ever, the brand is evidence of the technicality that can be accomplished at a slower, more deliberate pace. As Grossmann himself might have said, simple yet mechanically perfect.


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Jewellery MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

Learning by Heart Van Cleef & Arpels’ inspiring L’École makes a triumphant return to Dubai, to impart the culture, craftsmanship and history of fine jewellery

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WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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hen Van Cleef & Arpels brings its annual school of jewellery arts to Dubai’s Design District, it turns out that the diamonds are not the only thing given a platform to shine. “Many of those who attend our workshops already own a diamond – but what is a real diamond? Where do they come from? What is its value, and what is its heart?” posits Olivier Segura, L’École’s scientific director and in-classroom expert. “At L’École Van Cleef & Arpels, we delve into a stone at all levels, and for me it is quite moving to see that transformation in students – from merely looking at a natural object, to them waking up inner emotion and connecting with the stone on a more profound level. When you see the sparkle in the eye of the students, it is wonderful. They are given a tactile experience with an array of precious gems, and that evokes an emotional reaction.” The high jewellery maison created the L’École concept seven years ago in Paris, and more than 30,000 students

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from 47 different countries have been welcomed to Place Vendôme in that span. The educational masterclass has (selectively) gone global, with more-intimate editions popping up in cities such as New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and here in Dubai. The classes – open to allcomers, irrespective of age or background – are part of a menu of intrigue at the two-week event, which also comprises conversations, cinema screenings and curated exhibitions. L’École made its Middle East debut in 2017, and from 28 March to 13 April 2019 will return to Hai in d3 (Dubai Design District). Segura wields a lifetime of gembased knowledge; from 2011-2018, for instance, he was director of France’s prestigious LFG (French Gemological Laboratory). I ask him about the essential points he likes to impart: “I need 10 or 12 hours to answer your question,” he quips. “Gemology is a vast topic, but we have honed the handful of courses to capture the essence of expertise. They enable attendees to understand the gemstones, and how to evaluate

them – not from a value perspective, but from an emotional vantage.” Marie Vallanet-Delhom, the president of L’École Van Cleef & Arpels, cites its existence as enlightenment to combat the dearth of understanding about the fine jewellery realm. The potential for learning about it is not unique to Dubai, but the city happens to be fortunate that Van Cleef & Arpels chose to host L’École here, with insightful programmes that impart the fascinating inner secrets of that world. “Everything is helped along step-by-step and you will succeed – even if you don’t have an existing technical skillset, one learns how to educate the eye and the hand,” she enthuses. Courses fall under three thematic headings – the Art History of Jewellery, The Universe of Gemstones, and Savoir Faire. Topics range from trying out jeweller’s techniques and grasping colour and clarity, to understanding the design process, as well as a historic cavort through the odyssey of gold and jewellery (from antiquity to the Renaissance princes), exploring the


Harry Winston had a penchant for seeking out stones that resembled brilliantly hued candies for some of his most precious designs

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All images: Select scenes from the making of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Olympia necklace and bracelet – the kind of precious knowledge, honed by expert artisans, which L’École seeks to share

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This masterclass is ‘for the love of “ jewels’ – our focus is on enrichment of knowledge, and deeper understanding ”

Van Cleef & Arpels universe.“We find that people attend for one course, then feel compelled to enrol in others, to complete the picture,” Segura explains, of the ‘student’ base. “They are eager to connect the dots between all of those pockets of knowledge that we provide.” As mentioned, Van Cleef has tailored a number of concurrent exhibitions for its 2019 Middle East edition. Hidden Treasures: Jewellery from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an attempt to highlight the myriad influences that animate design repertories across the Arabian Peninsula. Precious Art Deco Objects presents a spectacular array of precious boxes from the remarkable collection amassed by the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan for his wife, the Princess Catherine Aleya Aga Khan, and The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds regales attendees with the story of the breathtaking diamonds acquired by Louis XIV, from the travelling merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689) in 1668. Pearl Merchants, meanwhile, rediscovers a fascinating saga between the Gulf and France. The latter exhibit is evidence that when Van Cleef & Arpels 40

arrives in a region, the openness and opportunity for learning flows two ways – the jeweller can be enlightened to fascinating facts, too. “The journey of the Pearl Merchants exhibition began during the last edition of L’École Dubai. I was not working with L’École at the time, yet was invited by Nicolas Vos, (Van Cleef & Arpels’ CEO) and by the French ambassador of the UAE to give a talk about pearls – my personal passion,” shares Segura. “Pearls are of great importance to this region’s heritage, of course, and during the discussion I asked the gentlemen if they knew that, on Rue Lafayette in 1920s Paris, from shop No. 1 to No.100, the street on which jewel sellers set up business, there were 100 natural pearl dealers alone. They wanted to know more – but even I didn’t know more. I know about the science, but not about the historic knowledge; the history seemed to have been lost.” L’École used its clout. “We embarked on a huge research project, committing resources to the topic for over a year – both in France and the UAE, simultaneously – to sift through the history books and meet families on both sides of the story to build the narrative, step by step.” The end

result is a fascinating exhibit that unfurls the saga of how these pearls made their way along the trade routes connecting East and West, with pearl commerce developing due to a thriving interchange – beginning with trade relationships between French merchants and the pearl merchants in the Gulf during the early 1900s. It is such dedication to the details of jewellery – both as an art form, and an adventure – that proves how invaluable this division of Van Cleef & Arpels truly is from an educational standpoint. “We don’t offer a diploma, or the opportunity for a job etc,” says Vallanet-Delhom. “This masterclass is ‘for the love of jewels’ – our focus is on enrichment of knowledge, and deeper understanding.” The allure of L’École is the opportunity to ‘Discover, learn, and wonder,’ drinking deep from this historic maison’s well of knowledge. The d3-based event promises another thing, too: attendees will look at a magical piece of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery with fresh understanding, and newfound appreciation. L’École Van Cleef & Arpels is held from 28 March to 13 April at Hai d3. To enrol, visitlecolevancleefarpels.com


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Patience, determination and a dose of star quality have propelled Oscar-winning Rami Malek to the pinnacle of his profession

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WORDS: ALICE VINCENT

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he film Bohemian Rhapsody was so challenging, so overdue, in its birth that it’s quite surprising it ever made it to the silver screen at all. With respect to securing the new prominence of its star, Rami Malek, the movie (a foot-stomping bio based on British rock champions Queen) was well worth the wait. Egyptian-American actor Malek wore fake teeth and a liberal cloak of “darlings” to portray Freddie Mercury – and awards judges have gone gaga. A Best Actor gong from BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) was followed by the most coveted prize of all – Best Actor recognition, at the 91st Academy Awards in February. Malek will be particularly well-known to a British audience, but probably only those who’ve found themselves bingeing on Mr Robot, the Amazon Prime-distributed cyberthriller that made Malek so famous in his native America that he came up with a quip for the strangers who repeatedly asked him,

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I live with my anxiety and fears and want to do something special with my work. I never want to look back on performances where I could have done more

“Is it about robots?” “Yes,” he would deadpan, in a voice that’s surprisingly rough and deep. “Do you like robots? Because it’s the show for you.” Mr Robot is not about robots. Instead, it’s about Elliot Alderson, a morphineaddicted hacker (played by Malek) who becomes embroiled with the Occupy-era disruption of a global conglomerate, before, in series three, trying to save the world. Written by Sam Esmail, the show’s punishingly dark exploration of Alderson’s psychological trauma and anxiety helped it to win it a Golden Globe award and Malek an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – the first Arab-American to do so. After the self-confessed “slow burn” of his twenties, Mr Robot granted Malek with critical acclaim and globe-trotting fame a decade after. While he grew up in Los Angeles, he did so in the San Fernando Valley, away from the film factory of Beverly Hills and Hollywood. “I didn’t even know it existed [until my teens] as far as I was concerned,” he said in 2016. 44

Malek’s parents left Cairo in 1975, inspired by the wider world his father, a travel agent, witnessed through the lens of his clients. They settled among what Malek called a “massive ethnic melting pot”; his mother became an accountant and his father an insurance salesman. Nobody, in short, expected Malek to act. His twin brother is a teacher, and his sister is a doctor. But Malek’s talent made itself known at 12, when he was spotted by a teacher who cast him in a school production of Charles Fuller’s one-man play, Zooman and the Sign, about the race-related murder of an African American girl. “I picked it up and it read, ‘My name is Zooman. I’m from the bottom.’ And that line just hit me,” Malek later recalled, in an interview with W Magazine. “And then the way I said it hit me. I was like, Who the heck were you right there?” When his parents watched him perform, he “saw something happen in their faces. Like, Oh, he might be able to do something with this. It was

a real emotional movement that made me feel like this could be the thing.” Malek still nurtures a love of stage acting (“that connection with an audience is like nothing else”) but he hasn’t been on one for a while. After balancing the occasional indie film role with a job as a waiter, Malek’s first major blockbuster role was that of Ahkmenrah, an Egyptian king in the Night at the Museum series, which he said he didn’t even think about from a typecasting perspective: “I was young and eager to be in my first big studio movie. It was from Fox, with Ben Stiller at the helm and Robin Williams. I said: ‘This is going to be fun, I’m going to get paid to do it.’” He was overlooked for dozens of other roles, including the lead in US prohibition series Boardwalk Empire (which went to Michael Pitt). Shortly after, though, Malek was picked up by Hollywood heavyweights such as Paul Thomas Anderson for his Oscar-nominated religious drama The Master – where he took acting advice from co-star Philip


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Seymour Hoffman (he told Malek to “make Joaquin as uncomfortable as possible”) – and Spike Lee, in the director’s remake of Oldboy and then, two years later, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. Steven Spielberg cast Malek in his “first big part that I really, really loved”, playing Snafu in Second World War miniseries The Pacific, a role Malek said was “a life changer”. Produced by Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the latter had typed a letter – perhaps, knowing his affectation for typewriters, in the analogue fashion – to the producer, saying “This guy’s got haunting eyes” after seeing Malek audition. Halfway through doing the callback, Malek realised that it was Spielberg himself behind the camera recording his performance. “I was like, ‘It’s now or never. Don’t blow this. Do not blow this.’” History would attest that he didn’t. By the summer of 2015, those “haunting eyes” were slicked all over billboards, posters and websites around the world. When Malek, driving at the time, first 46

saw his supersized face, he slammed on the brakes with such force that the car behind went into him. While he considered it a “marker for some sort of achievement,” Malek hardly considered – or considers – himself a big star. “I was born in Los Angeles,” he told The Observer in a fledgling career interview. “I come from a mindset of, ‘I know what that billboard was two weeks ago. And I know what it’s gonna be two weeks from now.’ This business is a revolving door.” By all accounts, Malek applies a rigorous level of dedication to his work. He holds himself upheld to standards high enough to maintain an understanding of anxiety that allowed him to easily key into his paranoid character Elliot. “Ultimately I am too tough,” Malek told IndieWire in 2016. “I live with my anxiety and fears and want to do something special with my work. Sometimes I’m not satisfied unless things are as good as they can be... I never want to look back on performances where I could have done more.”

Will Malek look back on playing Mercury and worry that he could have done more? The actor flew to London, put himself up and “just got hammering away”: learning piano lessons, taking singing lessons, working with a movement coach and sinking into hours of footage of Mercury that drifted around the internet. He would go into costume fittings as the star, adopting his famous mischief, and “order a f----ing cup of tea”. Long before that, though, Malek had done his research; getting insight from Ray Davies, Brian May and Paul Gambaccini on “the impression Freddie had on people. How he could be alone at home and be quiet and reserved and, as he sometimes referred to himself, quite boring. And then exist in such a powerful way on stage.” If Malek has another major film role on the horizon, it’s yet to be announced publicly. First, there’s the fourth – and final – series of Mr Robot. The actor will retreat back into the character’s hood, keeping fans of the show gripped one last time.

Words: Alice Vincent / The Telegraph / The Interview People. Images: Getty Images

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Spielberg was behind the camera recording his “performance. Malik said to himself, ‘It’s now or never. Don’t blow this. Do not blow this’ ”


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At the immersive Mandela: The Exhibition, visitors can embark on a journey through the life of the inspirational Nelson Mandela. One thing they can't do, sadly, is meet the late, great leader. Peter Morey was by Madiba's side when countless people had that very privilege WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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efore she went into his office to meet him, Mariah Carey was perfectly composed and smiling. 30 seconds later – after a short conversation and the shake of a hand – it was like a freight train had hit her senses: she was crying and emotional. Her staff whisked her away, back to her hotel.” It’s a scenario that Peter Morey witnessed time and again at the Mandela Foundation Offices in South Africa. Morey – the official photographer to the family in Mandela’s later stages of life – saw kings, queens, superstars and mere mortals in awe, their poise interrupted. "That’s the profound affect he had,” Morey says, using the time Mariah met Madiba as an example. “He could wow anybody, but it was not a pretentious ‘wow’ – just a natural charm that made people so overwhelmed in his presence. Meeting him was a life changing event – for everyone.” Mandela departed us five years ago, and 2018 marked a century since his birth: two timely milestones that prompted the painstaking planning of Mandela: The Official Exhibition – an immersive showcase hosted at London’s 26 Leake Street, Waterloo. Morey’s photography is among the vast collection of images, anecdotes, curios and artefacts from the Royal Household of Mandela, that have been accumulated to illustrate an in-depth journey through the late, great leader’s life. A series of immersive zones guide visitors through Nelson Mandela’s remarkable ascendance to becoming a globally loved and respected figure. The comprehensively-told story unfurls gradually: Mandela’s childhood in the Eastern Cape, steeped in the tribal traditions that shaped him, through to his political awakening in Johannesburg, all against the backdrop of South Africa’s turbulent struggle against apartheid. It provides insight into his 27-year incarceration, and celebrates his triumphant

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liberation – which led to an historic term as South Africa’s first black president. The exhibition, spread across seven galleries, promises to ‘go beyond the Mandela myth’ – and in the 1980s there was plenty of mystery swirling around his reputation. Decades before Morey’s own formal introduction to Madiba, his involvement was less personal – he was jostling for position in the media pack, as one of a thousand press members on-hand to document a particularly significant event for the newsreel: Mandela’s release. “To be quite honest, during the 1970s/80s when he was in prison, we knew very little about him. I wasn’t raised in a very political family, and only when I started working for the Pretoria News did I begin to learn more about him," admits the photographer. "As a population, there were varying opinions of who he was, what he stood for – and also what he looked like. When the press arrived to document his release, we had photographs of him from 20 years prior to his imprisonment, but we’d no idea what he even looked like. We just knew he’d be the one surrounded by a swarm of people.” When Madiba was inaugurated as the nation’s first post-Apartheid president in 1994, Morey was at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Then, “as time marched on”, he was the official photographer for the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants. When they hosted the events in South Africa, the girls would meet Mandela. Morey was welcomed into the fold after meeting Mandela’s daughter, and was appointed to document birthday celebrations, formal meetings with presidents and photo ops with Miss Universe contestants, while being entrusted with capturing intimate family moments occurring away from the public eye. His relationship was with ‘Nelson Mandela, the grandfather and the family man,’ rather than ‘the politician


Opening pages: Nelson Mandela from Adrian Steirn's 21 Icons South Africa series. Š Adrian Steirn/www.21Icons.com via Getty Images Below: Nelson Mandela, circa 1990 at the airport in South Africa to greet Alfred Nzo and Joe Slovo, the secretary general of the South African Communist Party, back from exile. Mandela's trenchcoat is among the artefacts showcased at the exhibition. By Lily Franey/Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

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Opposite: Peter Morey's favourite photograph that he captured of Mandela. The image is the headline photo of Mandela: The Official Exhibition, and is also one of 18 portraits in Morey's Faces of Mandela – a limited edition collage, each individually signed by Madiba. “The collection shows him with different expressions, and that’s one of the reasons he told me he liked the piece," says Morey. "It is shows different sides to him, and is not solely political pictures.” The artwork is available for purchase from the photographer at photoman@icon. co.za or petermoreyphotographic.co.za

and freedom fighter.’ Countless other monikers have been bestowed on Mandela – revolutionary, father, political prisoner, world leader, statesman, icon of the struggle against oppression. Morey’s definition him, oft-repeated in our anecdoteinfused conversation, is ‘kind’. “One thing that stands out in my memory is his warmth towards the public,” recounts Morey. “His security guards would tear their hair out, because whenever there was a function and they’d planned the route to a tee, he would deviate in order to greet anyone and everyone. Watching him interact with others bought home how full of kindness and compassion he was, to speak to the ‘ordinary’ person, and give them his time.” Morey describes the first time he met him as “probably the most significant moment in my life,” and later he had the opportunity to introduce his family to Madiba. “The first time my children met him they were school-age girls, and kept saying to me ‘Dad, can’t he come to my school?’ and I’d tell them ‘You’re crazy, this is Nelson Mandela, you’re lucky to get two minutes with him!’ The first thing he said to them was ‘Oh what school do you go to? I must come and visit you there’ – and that was his way, knowing exactly what to say to win someone’s heart over.” The recently-opened London-based exhibition has acquired an assortment of Mandela's worldly possessions, and while there are some (such as an ivorywhite cane) that are synonymous, the item Morey recalls him having to hand is a newspaper. “When I would go to the residence and sit with him in the

He had a natural charm that made people so overwhelmed in his presence. Meeting him was a life changing event – for everyone

dining room or the lounge, chatting to him, he always had a newspaper – very often in Afrikaans,” he explains. “It was symbolic: when he went into prison, he couldn’t speak or read Afrikaans –‘the language of the oppressor’, if I can call it that – but Madiba taught himself to the point that the prison warders used to ask him to read the letters they’d received from their family. He was very proud of himself for that.” As one would expect of a well-read world leader, Mandela had his finger on the pulse of current events – but had a remarkable propensity for accessing the information seemingly at-will. “When he met the Miss World girls from different nations, he had something wise or intelligent to say to each one. He met Miss Aruba – I’d never even heard of Aruba – and he shook her hand and said 'Oh, how’s the president’s wife’s foot, has she recovered from her operation?' I was gobsmacked – I didn’t even know where Aruba was and there he was, talking about the president’s wife’s foot,” laughs Morey, with dose of admiration. “He had a way of starting a conversation and running with it – he spoke to people’s hearts and they gobbled up every word that he said; he never put a foot wrong.” This latter remark is indicative of the admiration held for the late leader; he’s regarded as a paragon of virtue. (Not that he was by any means perfect; even he remarked, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”). Still, “A lot of people in South Africa, myself included, regard him as the

best we’ve ever had – and probably ever will have,” estimates Morey, from an insider’s perspective. “There’s a huge legacy left behind – the Nelson Mandela Foundation still collects for kids, families and the underprivileged, and we have Mandela Day on his birthday where everyone, even the corporate companies, make a huge effort to get involved in some small way." Indeed, a portion of the exhibition proceeds will go to the Mvezo Development Trust to support economic development programmes in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. “We still have our problems here, but most of us strive to remember how he would have reacted and what he would have done, guided by his legacy,” Morey adds. That legacy, written through inspirational moments when he was alive, is why Robert De Niro, Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton were cool yet humbled in his presence, why Sharon Stone absolutely melted and cried, and why Naomi Campbell was over-awed, Mariah Carey-style. Morey thinks back to the first time he put his camera down and spent quality time with Mandela. “I took a moment of pause to thank him for everything he’s done for our country,” he recalls. “Madiba looked me in the eye, shook my hand and said, ‘No Peter, it’s you journalists we need to thank for everything you’ve done.’ That was so ‘Mandela’ – despite his stature, whenever he was paid a compliment he would turn it right round, and pay it straight back to you.” Mandela: The Official Exhibition, is now open at 26 Leake Street. mandelaexhibition.com 53


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In his latest book Antiglossy, art director Patrick Remy explores how social media meets traditional print, to showcase an innovative new era of photographic style expression

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s a book about contemporary photography trends, Antiglossy is predicated on luscious visuals; the images speak a thousand words. To delve into the book’s underlying premise, though, its author is more than happy to settle into some good old-fashioned storytelling. “There was a time, not so long ago, when fashion photography was an important step between design and distribution – to inspire! And, incidentally, to encourage consumers to go to the store to buy that little dress they spotted on glossy paper,” begins Patrick Remy, in his heavy French accent. “Things today are more complex.” The complexity relates to how the term ‘fashion photography’ – and, indeed, the meaning of the term ‘fashion photographer’ – is being redefined by a new fashion landscape. He is an a prime position to spot the flux. Patrick Remy Studio specialises in consulting and iconographic research for luxury brands and advertising agencies, and the Paris-based art director most recently worked on Louis Vuitton’s Fashion Eye series. Rizzoli picked up Antiglossy, Remy’s latest print outing, where he has assembled an anthology of work from 30 photographers. They were selected for inclusion, by Remy, for their ability to encapsulate contemporary fashion photography trends in the social media age. 55


Fashion’s way is to draft in “ photographers who are not strictly in fashion, to breathe creative ideas into what they consider an art form ”

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“My choices are a new generation of photographers – not necessarily fashion photographers – but those with a deep point of view underpinning their work when they have taken on fashionorientated projects. They use the codes of fashion to make art.” For the book, Remy got into a certain psyche. He imagined the respective photo being taken from the pages of the magazine – captions removed – and put on the white wall of a gallery, before asking ‘does this work as art?’ The times may have changed but a timeless adage persists: the cream rises to the top. “An image is still an image, and must endure whether it is created for Instagram, in a magazine or in a book. That comes from its quality and how memorable it is.” Photographers’ labours of love have become images on squares that pass fleetingly under the fingertips on an app such as Instagram; ‘liked’, then scrolled into the past. Digital media has created a continuous flow of images. Applied to style, “Fashion photography admittedly still exists, but the stories have become segments of a strategy,” Remy explains. The tales, “Told in a series and comprising a dozen images, become a succession of small pebbles dropped in magazines and social media – and we are not quite certain to find our own way in to the narrative, as with an endless conversation.” Yet from this cloud of [what can be) confused conversation, crackles lightning bolts of sheer creativity. In an 56

attempt to balance commercial viability with creative vision, artists are leading the fashion photography genre in surprising new directions. Remy talks about how fashion latched onto the work of Andrew Miksys. The first edition of his book Disko was an act of visual anthropology, where he documented dingy disco locations in deep Lithuania, ‘once Soviet offices, detentions centres, weapon storage...’ with the images capturing images of ‘kids poured into Western jeans and poses… creatures of a brief moment in time… that will never exist again except in these pictures.’ It was not a style-orientated book the first time around – but so gritty and stark were the images that French fashion brand Vetements commissioned a separate clothing shoot for Dazed magazine, using the same local teens as models. ‘Glossy’, it was certainly not. The project encapsulates a strong currency in the attention wars: the art of surprise. Remy explains that society has a hand in shaping the creative climate. “I always say ‘Creativity is high when the stock market is high, and creativity drops when the stock market has dipped.’ Luxury is a billion-dollar business but when budgets are tight, this mood filters down to the photographer and you have that black and white image with an understated, sombre look,” he observes. “Fashion’s way around that is to draft in photographers who are not strictly in fashion, to breathe creative ideas into what they consider an art form.”


Opening pages: By Maurits Sillem, Maädchen herz / Numero Berlin / 4 / S/S18 Below: By Daniel Sannwald. Georgia May wears Lipmix in Blue / Garage Magazine / 7 / F/W14 Overleaf: By Julia Hetta. Power Lines / Dazed / Vol IV S/S17. All images from Antiglossy: Fashion Photography Now © 2019 Patrick Remy

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Designers and consumers now aspire “ to a photography away from the usual references, singular in expression ”

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A balance has been struck between virtual and print, though. “With this digital tsunami, the pendulum always swings back. Back to books,” says Remy. He cites recent examples like Loewe, which offered luxe literature classics such as Dracula, Don Quixote and Wuthering Heights during one of its fashion shows. “For its magazine, meanwhile, the brand collaborates with artists who usually operate away from the fashion industry.” Indeed, Gucci has commissioned several such photographers for their books, just as Bottega Veneta did for their advertising campaigns. “Both the brands and the magazines are done with the shine and the glam, and are searching for meaning. It may be the end of the glossy paper, but not the end of the life of the image.” Remy assembled his 30 fashion photography avengers from across this mixed media landscape: some on websites, some met through friends of friends, and others found in select magazines such as Vogue which still thrive “because Instagram is not enough to tell a full story – you need pages.” For the consumer, the fashion business still needs to “preserve the dream” Remy asserts, and for this, “The industry that needs artists, fashion photographers to deliver and further the dream; that slice of the dream that brings garments to life before they are even worn by consumers.” A narrative still needs to be unfurled. 58

To write the visual narrative, photographers draw from an arsenal of new power plays. “Surprise now replaces references, the antiglossy and the glamour,” says Remy. “Misogyny is receding, the desire for the body leaves room to other values, and the struggle against standardisation is permanent. Society as it is, and not as it is dreamt, has re-placed the glam, the glitter and the gloss. Designers and consumers now aspire to and need a photography away from the usual references, singular in expression.” When it comes to understanding this brave new world, Remy’s thoughtprovoking tome of stop motion stills contains work from the likes of Daniel Sannwald (who is establishing a strong and recognisable that is already catching the attention of some of the most influential trendsetters in fashion), Ruth Hogben (who assisted visionary legend Nick Knight, and going solo has since been deployed on visuals for brands such as Christian Dior Parfums, Fendi, Hugo Boss and Alexander McQueen) and Erwin Wurm (Who questions “What was traditionally understood as ‘sculpture’ was some three dimensional thing that had to last for-ever. My feeling was that sculpture could also last but a few moments.” Antiglossy is a varied and eclectic collection but, moreover, is a concise entry point to understanding fashion photography – as it is now. Antiglossy: Fashion Photography Now by Patrick Remy and is published by Rizzoli. rizzoliusa.com


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With a new David Bailey exhibition hosted on his home turf, there’s no better time to hear the photographer’s thoughts on fashion, supermodels, legacy – and more… INTERVIEW: ALAIN ELKANN ADDITIONAL WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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efore I was a photographer, I painted, and I sculpted sometimes. I made money from directing commercials, not from photography,” says 82-year-old David Bailey, rather seriously, when reflecting on his early-life aspirations. What does he regard as the difference between painting and photography? “It’s quicker to take a photograph!” he laughs, unable to resist injecting his trademark wit into proceedings, which is indicative of Bailey’s down-toearth nature; he’s still a self confessed working class East End boy at heart. He settles again, to add, “It isn’t that I like doing portraits best – I don’t like anything the best, I would be very limited. I don’t want a style, my style is minimal. I like everything. I just want to do things. Some photographers are so good it doesn’t matter what they do.” His most iconic portrait efforts –the 1960s pictures of pin ups – take the spotlight again this month when shown at Gagosian in London, through March. “The 60s were special and we were young,” Bailey says. “It was the first time the working class had a voice, could say what we should do, and be. They never had a voice before. We had hippies before America and it was London I was interested in.” It’s the city where Bailey grew up. His youth was shaped by being dyslexic (“Nobody knew what dyslexic was when I was a kid. They just thought you were stupid”), vegetarian (“Because my dad killed my pet chicken. I woke up one morning and saw it hanging over the sink”), and resourceful – “I used to make suits for Teddy Boys when he was 14. I liked Reg Kray. The Krays slashed my father, he had to have 63 stitches. He had a snooker club in the East End.” It’s important to remember where you came from, he believes, as “It forms you for the rest of your life. His parents “weren’t worried” about him, though. “I knew I had to get out of London. I was in the Royal Air Force in Singapore in 1956 and I made the most of it.” Bailey’s career took off when working with John French and Tony Snowdon. “I didn’t like Snowdon’s photography and I didn’t like French, but you had to be practical and work with someone who would pay you,” he shrugs. “Then I went to Vogue. You had to have a contract to work with 62

Vogue and they gave me one, which I should never have signed because it was a s--t contract. I liked working with Tina Brown, who wasn’t just about fashion. She liked everything.” He was there before Diana Vreeland, “And we thought we would all get fired when she came, but Grace Coddington and Vreeland were great. They were beautiful. I like different kinds of beauty. I did the first black cover for the magazine, with Donyale Luna in 1966, and that caused a lot of trouble.” Bailey’s life story is inseperably linked to supermodels. “There’s Jean Shrimpton, Kate Moss, and my wife Catherine Dyer, and Marie Helvin. I was with Catherine Deneuve for seven years, we had a laugh and she had a good sense of humour,” he says. “We lived in Paris but we were always travelling. I was always attracted by glamorous women. I lived in the world of beautiful women and you end up with who you work with; I learnt more from women than men.”

He cites Shrimpton and Moss as “The two best models in my life. One click and I have got them. Both are unique – Jean was posh and better at working a dress, while Kate is charming and funny. She has a magical personality and a sense of humour.” On the topic of fashion, which made Bailey famous, he still does campaigns, “But I’m more interested in the model than the fashion. The designers Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy were fantastic. I like John Galliano but he got himself into trouble. Now frocks are all the same, you can’t tell the difference.” He’s “still friends” with Mick Jagger, who “Was going out with Jean ’s sister, that’s how I met him. It was before the Rolling Stones”, and within his artist circle he counts Julian Schnabel – “my friend for forty years”, and Damien Hirst – “one of my best friends. He is rich but I don’t think of people like that, I either like them or I don’t like them. I like the working-class best. Bacon and Freud were quite posh, so I had no relationship with them.”


The Sixties were the first time the working class had a voice, could say what we should do and be. We had hippies before America and it was London I was interested in

Opening pages: Mick Jagger; Jean Shrimpton Opposite: Michael Caine, 1965 Below: Marianne Faithfull, 1964 Images © David Bailey

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I’ve had a charmed life – I’ve been married to my wife for 37 years. And humour is a key part of my life. You need it, in the East End

Opposite: The Kray brothers, 1965; John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1965. All images © David Bailey, courtesy of Gagosian London in relation to David Bailey: The Sixties exhibition

Of his peers, photographers he likes are “Tim Walker, a great photographer. I find David LaChapelle interesting, but it’s going to date. I like work that doesn’t date, like Helmut Newton. The greatest fashion photographers are probably Steven Meisel and Richard Avedon.” In conversation with Bailey, it’s astonishing to realise just how many significant paths he has crossed. “I photographed several Prime Ministers of England,” he says. “I used to go to Japan a lot and went with [then British Prime Minister] Jim Callaghan to China for two weeks, where he couldn’t tell the difference between jade and malachite.” Desmond Tutu is the politician he liked best, “And I liked Mandela. I liked Margaret Thatcher, too. She would set the time aside for me, one hour, and then we would finish in less and have tea and chat. When I lived in France with Catherine [Deneuve], on weekends we used to stay with Prime Minister Pompidou; I liked him because he had a Porsche. The French are more mixed between the politicians and artists than the British, much more interclass culturally.” Then there’s one Elizabeth Windsor, who happily settled in front of his lens. “I did the Queen in 2014: I respect her and she is one of the hardest working women I ever met. She’s a nice woman and let us choose the room we used at the Palace. She is the pinnacle of that kind of ‘famous without doing anything’ person. She is the Queen! It’s like photographing god”. Tugging at the threads of his memories unspools fascinating tales. The topic of his extensive travels, for instance, invokes the time he worked with Mother Teresa for two weeks in Calcutta. “She was tough and wanted USD100 from me every day. I did a booklet for her hospice and we talked about birth control and she said all her nuns get pregnant,” Bailey says, pulling no punches. “I also spent a week on Onassis’ yacht with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Liz Taylor was sweet. They were fighting all the time, though.” More philosophically, he remarks that “A camera makes travel worthwhile. I made trips to Afghanistan, and I was arrested as a spy in Sudan. I went to New Guinea before it was touristic. I went to the Naga Hills

in the north of Burma four years ago; that was dangerous, but I don’t like places with a couple of hundred German or French tourists with their cameras, so there are not many countries left. I like the Italians but you wouldn’t want to do a book on Italy, it’s been done. I prefer Milan to Rome because of the creativity.” Caravaggio is his “favourite” painter, and film director Michelangelo Antonioni even took Bailey’s character as the protagonist for his 1966 movie thriller Blow-Up. “Francis was one of the most interesting journalists I ever met, but I thought the film was a bit boring.” he estimates. Still, Bailey has added a few decades to that character since, and has few regrets. He admires Picasso very much, though never met him (“I don’t regret it. He was my hero, and I’d have walked into his studio and he would have farted”), and would have liked to have done Hitchcock. Of those he misses, “If they’re dead there’s nothing you can do. Lady Diana was very sweet and I liked Princess Margaret a lot. You didn’t know if she was the Queen or a friend. She could turn into a princess, you never knew, but she was a delight.” His life has changed, in that “My father didn’t understand what I did. I am proud of coming from the working class.” But it’s a life he isn’t quite ready to surrender yet. “I don’t want to die. I want to continue working,” he says, when contemplating fears. “Getting old is hard work. I started getting old at 76. You get tired. I’ve had a charmed life – I’ve been married to my wife for 37 years. And humour is a key part of my life. In the East End you need it,” he laughs. He has a raft of assistants to help continue his quest. “I need them,” he confesses. “We are always doing books. Nowadays I don’t do commercials. I made the Greenpeace series, probably the most famous ever made, and people said, ‘Oh, he can do serious things!’ I’ve done 45 proper books. Now I think, ‘Have I got the energy to do it?’ I turned 82 in January.” And what of his legacy? My books are for art or pleasure,” he says, smartly dispatching the question. “I am not interested in legacy.” David Bailey: The Sixties shows at Gagosian, Davies Street, London until 30 March 65


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Motoring MARCH 2019: ISSUE 94

Croatian Sensation RIMAC Automobili is back with its gamechanging C_Two – a pure electric GT hypercar that can drive itself, recognise your face, and interpret your mood WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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t has been exactly 12 months since Rimac Automobili made its third appearance at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show, debuting its pure electric C_Two hypercar at the Swiss car-showcase. Suffice to say, the EV (electric vehicle) game – which Rimac has helped set rules in, with a slew of innovations – has travelled at lightning pace since. Just looking at the strides from a localised vantage, the UAE has bolstered its EV infrastructure in that time, with DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) adding 100 charging points in late 2018 – bringing the total to 200 in this emirate alone. Meanwhile, at the highest levels of motorsport, Formula E (the electric-powered racing series to rival F1) debuted its inaugural Saudi Arabian E-Prix race last December. In the industry at-large, established marques are teasing their electric or hybrid offerings, while reinforcing a commitment to sustainable tech. And company-specific, Tesla Inc. is addressing the matter of electricpowered driving en-masse; it delivered 91,000 units in the third quarter of 2018, though its recordsetting Roadster, tipped to take on the Bugatti, will go on sale in 2020. These are exciting times for EV. As ever, there is a niche for highclass luxury, and setting a high bar. Croatia-based Rimac Automobili is doing just that, quietly and confidently going about its business with a product that speaks to the uppermost tier of car connoisseur; spearheading the way with gamechanging innovation. Rimac is a boutique builder that focuses on designing, engineering, manufacturing and assembling components in-house, and while it may only produce a handful of cars each year, the company is already onto its second super-EV effort. It’s first outing was the 1200hp Concept_One – the predecessor to the C_Two – which rightfully claimed the title of the world’s first electric hypercar. “It delivered on the promise of what electric powertrains

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are all about, and that it can be exciting and more competitive than combustion engine cars,” says founder Mate Rimac, who is leading his eponymous company’s charge toward new EV horizons (and is increasingly referred to by the media as ‘Europe’s Elon Musk’). Off the bat, Zagreb might seem an outlier for the next generation of supercar development, but don’t be misguided; Mate’s expert team comprises 27 different nationalities, many of whom relocated to join the Rimac revolution. It’s a flourishing company, and the newsfeed out of its HQ is constantly aflutter: an announcement that its “smart, dedicated” team has grown to over 450; the building of a new production facility; the recent appointment of Tim Richardson, who joins from auto components powertrain supplier BorgWarner. On the business front, things are humming along nicely. There’s a freshness to its approach, too. For instance, the C_Two is an entirely new car, built from scratch, with nothing carried over from the Concept_One, and nothing off the shelf (unusual for the industry, but perhaps not for such a young company). The C_Two is a creation for driving adrenaline but also adept for the self-driving generation. To that, the motoring purist might protest ‘Just hold onto your horsepower a minute’ – but Rimac says the Level 4 autonomous-ready hardware onboard the C_Two is not about replacing the driver, but enhancing their experience. The founder was clear about that from the company’s outset, back in 2010. “These are electric cars built by petrolheads,” he told Drive Tribe. “It’s not by somebody who wants to get rid of cars, or who thinks walking is the better mode of transport… We were trying to use the advantages that electric powertrains give, to not just make an electric sportscar, but to make the sportscar better.” So the goal is efficiency, yes, but also fun. Mate cites four main things to focus on when attempting to download the gigantic amount

of spec details about the C_Two: performance, its structure, its design, and the futuristic tech within. The body is a single, full carbon fibre monocoque, with a bonded carbon roof and an integrated structural battery pack, held in place by a rear sub-frame. 2,300Nm of torque are produced by four electric motors, with each motor controlling each wheel separately – Mate calls this “every Vehicle Dynamic Engineer’s dream come true”. It has a pair of single-speed gearboxes in the front, with two-speed double carbon clutch gearboxes in the rear, “Which allows the C_Two to take full advantage of the torque, and produce a mindblowing acceleration and top speed,” says Mate. Those figures are a top-speed of 412km/h, “making full use of the instant torque, but also the traction made possible by a very precise traction control system and custom made Pirelli tyres,” he adds. The high powered battery is high capacity and high energy. A 250kw recharge gets it to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes, and Rimac quotes its range as 647km (on the NEDC – The New European Driving Cycle cycle) – with liquid cooling designed for long term speed performance (think two full laps of the Nürburgring with no thermal degradation, Mate says). It’s a car alive with technology: among the specs are eight on-board cameras, a lidar sensor, six radar emitters and 12 ultrasonic sensors. It has facial recognition in lieu of a traditional key, and Performance ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) with response monitoring software, that changes the car’s character depending on the driver’s mood or the prevailing weather conditions. As expected, for the collector this is not a cheap pursuit: the Rimac Concept_One clocked in with a pricetag of USD1.2 million, and the 150 planned models of the C_Two will start at around USD2.1 million. It’s a purchase that assures bringing performance, technology, usability and style to the road; an electrifying prospect indeed.


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It brings performance, technology, usability and style to the road

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All images: The RIMAC C-Two. Images courtesy of Rimac Automobili

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Gastronomy

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MARCH 2019: ISSUE 94

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Michelin Ka

Bangkok-based nahm continues its reign as one of Asia’s most acclaimed eateries – with Pim Techamuanvivit now guiding the way WORDS: CHRIS UJMA

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n the streets of the culinary haven that is Bangkok, the aromas of delicious street food have little regard for your restaurant booking across town; tastebuds and appetite are fair game in bustling Krung Thep. The sheer number of delicacies on offer in the Thai capital are mind boggling – yet hold your nerve and resist the tempting wafts of freshly cooked fare. Save the savouring for the menu at nahm; it’s well worth the wait. Around the city, you’re certain to receive a broad smile when mentioning that you’re due to experience the chic eatery, located at COMO Metropolitan Bangkok. This Michelin-acclaimed enclave is a source of true Thai pride (in 2014 it was the only Thai representative in the Top 50 Restaurants of the World), and the patriotic delight has further swelled now that the head chef at the helm has local roots. Since 2011 it was Australian chef David Thompson who shaped the venture, and when he chose to step away last year, Pim Techamuanvivit was approached to take the reins. Ms Pim’s pedigree was fostered 12,000km from Bangkok at Kin Khao, in San Francisco – a Michelin star restaurant she still helms, and which was the source of her initial reluctance to lead nahm into a new era. “I was very intrigued and very interested, but at the same time I was quite sceptical,” admits Pim, recalling her 2017 approach by retail tycoon and hotelier Christina Ong, the owner of nahm. “I didn’t know how I could run two restaurants on two opposite sides of the world at the same time. It took me a while to become more comfortable with the idea, and to come to see how I could organise my life so I could do the job,” she adds. What won her over was “The opportunity to cook in Thailand. I struggle to get good ingredients for my restaurant in San Francisco, whereas in Thailand I have access to so many artisanal producers and farmers. The quality of ingredients I have access to is just staggering. Also, working for such an inspiring businesswoman like Christina Ong was a great

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opportunity. I was also drawn to spend more time at home in Bangkok because my parents are getting older, so the opportunity to be closer to home and see them more than once a year was also pretty compelling.” The family setting is where Pim’s culinary passion took hold – and was a guiding inf luence in her menu revamp. “My food is based on the food I grew up eating. I reference old books and old recipes, like all ambitious Thai chefs working in the country. But ultimately, it’s based on the f lavours from my childhood – a lot of the foundational recipes are from my own family. I’m not trying to copy anyone or be like anyone. I just cook the food I love, using the best ingredients I can get my hands on,” she enthuses. Which of these treasured dishes was she most eager to showcase, when taking over the kitchen? “Oh – so many. It’s hard to pick just one or two,” Pim confesses. “I’ve always struggled with choosing ‘signature dishes.’ Everything I put on the menu has my signature on it. Everything I put on the menu I love.” Instead, she prefers to wax lyrical about the process. “Basically, I see nahm as a showcase for Thai cuisines. I’m going to do my best to find the most amazing local artisans who produce the most delicious ingredients for my cooking. I see it almost as a responsibility: I’d always go for small farmers or small producers first over big companies. Always,” she expounds. Nahm uses three different fish sauces in the kitchen, the chef elaborates. “Each is sourced from a small producer. One is made from fresh water fish. One is made from salt water fish. And the final one is not made with fish at all, but tiny little krills we use in the making of shrimp paste. Each one has its own unique application, and f lavour profile. It’s just about finding the right dishes to showcase the nuance of each sauce.” Eventually, she does reveal a menu item she holds dear. “There’s a lunch dish that I particularly adore – it’s my favourite Sunday lunch my family would have when I was growing up,” she reminisces. “It’s my grandmother’s recipe.”

The dish, Kanom Jin Namprik, is lightly fermented rice noodles served with a savoury, lightly sweet sauce made with shrimp, golden mung beans, peanuts, and coconut. It’s served with a myriad of sides, including some fresh, blanched and fried vegetables. “It’s a very historically traditional dish that’s not that easy to find these days.” The dish is an example of how Pim’s local inf luence is a feather in nahm’s cap – and its sublime quality counts, too. Yes, the city cherishes its Michelin Guide (and its star bearers), and nahm’s inclusion undoubtedly contributes to its sophisticated private dining rooms being reserved by politicians and celebrities. Yet one of the interesting things about Bangkok – where one can satisfy seemingly any epicurean craving – is that good food is good food, without bias about where it is served up. “If you asked me what earned Kin Khao its Michelin star, I wouldn’t know how to answer you,” admits Pim. “I just cook the food I’m proud to serve and I hope people like it, and I hope critics like it. But at the end of the day, my first priority are those basic principles of enjoyment. I don’t do it for stars, or to win a place on a list.” With so much cuisine to choose from in Thailand, does Pim feel that a diner’s expectation differs when compared to, say, America? “I think all guests are just looking to have a great meal and a great experience,” she says. “Perhaps there’s more pressure to be really good in Bangkok, because you’re competing with more Thai food there than, say, in New York. But at the end of the day I’m just going to serve the food I’m proud of, whether I’m in Bangkok, San Francisco or anywhere.” Pim wants guests to depart nahm “Feeling that they’ve experienced the real taste of Thai cuisine, and that they’ve tasted Thai food cooked with the utmost care, using the best ingredients we could find. I hope they leave full and happy,” she says, with a smile. They leave uttering a traditional Thai phrase, too: ‘aroi mak’ – the seal of approval bestowed only on ‘very delicious’ fare.


Right: Eneko Atxa, chef and owner of Azurmendi Below: The glass-fronted restaurant, located in Larrabetzu in northern Spain

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Travel

AIR

MARCH 2019 : ISSUE 94

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38 JOURNEYS BY JET

Four Seasons Resort Dubai,

at Jumeirah Beach

T

he story of Four Seasons Resort Dubai, at Jumeirah Beach, truly is a tale of two cities. Its prime address puts it in close proximity to the places that matter in Dubai, while the resort is also a beachfront oasis, sitting on the edge of glittering Arabian Gulf waters. There’s soft sands and sunkissed sea views to one side, and breathtaking vistas of the electric city skyline to the other. Meanwhile, within the resort, an array of slow-paced and indulgent luxury experiences are underpinned by sharp, sublime service that never sleeps; it’s all a soothing balance that represents the best of both worlds. The iconic Four Seasons name and reputation rightly brings with it a weight of expectation, and this property carries it with utmost aplomb. Its Speciality Suites, for instance – Penthouse, Presidential and Royal – can be considered among the finest examples of grandeur in this city. Each is an expansive living sanctuary (with ample space for the entire family), imbued with signature touches. A prime example is the dramatic ballroom-like area that greets guests in the Royal Suite – a penthouse occupying the fifth floor. Marble floors and Venetian chandeliers set a regal tone, while the ocean panorama can be enjoyed from the private terrace. There are experiential ideas aplenty to tempt guests to leave their chosen room. During the day, take advantage of Dubai’s currently cooler climes on the picturesque beach, and slip inside one of the private poolside cabanas; ideal for relaxing in, having spent time frolicking on sand and in sea.

Alternatively, for a wellness top-up, The Pearl Spa promises to arrange virtually any pampering treatment. (One of its truly escapist offerings is to slink into a Couples’ Suite, boasting its own private courtyard and soaking tub). An assortment of 10 restaurants, lounges and nightclubs are on-hand to ensure a variety of dining and nightlife choices during an extended stay. An ideal starting point is the Asianinspired fare at Sea Fu where, along with ample menu musings, there’s the decision of opting to sit inside or out the terrace – with its sunken lounge and fire pit. Mercury Lounge is a recommended after-dinner rooftop enclave, ideal for dancing under the moonlight with a handcrafted cocktail in hand. For all the connotations of coupledom and romance, the resort is not merely a haven created for two: younger guests have received plenty of consideration. Thoughtful details (and well-trained staff) cater to the taste of discerning younger guests, such as child-sized bathrobes and complimentary children’s toiletries, to a toy camel mascot keeping them company. What’s more, both child and newfound furry friend gain complimentary access to Dubai Parks and Resorts. This versatility is indicative of how Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach can delight allcomers, with an occasion for all – be it lounging under the sun with toes buried in the sand, or stepping out in style at a resort regarded for its own effortless elegance. Avail a Mercedes S Class, BMW 7 Series or Bentley Mulsanne from the fleet for a private transfer from airport to hotel. fourseasons.com/dubaijb/ 75


What I Know Now MARCH 2019: ISSUE 94

AIR

Reema Juffali FIRST FEMALE SAUDI RACING DRIVER

The racing dream only came later in life for me. I didn’t grow up in a racing culture, and I struggled to imagine even driving a car in Saudi Arabia – let alone representing my country as a female racing driver. I used to think that racing was something you had to grow into from a young age, but after watching my first Le Mans race, I realised that some of the drivers were over 40 years old. That’s when I thought ‘Why not? It’s not too late.’ At university I began joining different track days, and that’s when I caught the racing bug. After working overseas for a couple of years, I came back home to pursue other opportunities. After some encouragement from my family (and pleasant encounters with people in the racing world), I took the plunge. I’ve always been competitive but racing, 76

unlike other sports I’ve played, requires a different level of focus and precision. I had to learn to handle in-race stresses and demands, and staying calm and focused under the pressure are the biggest challenges. You have to find the limits of the car and yourself, while maintaining focus: I had to learn to rebound quickly from mistakes during the race, and work hard to overcome my fears and doubts. Every person deals with it differently, but what has helped me is taking a step back, breaking down the process, and slowing things down so that I don’t get ahead of myself and over think. Staying positive and trusting in my ability has helped me overcome the pressure. To me, success is simply about setting goals and then working hard to achieve them. My personal goal is to leave each session with something to reflect and

improve on; I love the feeling I get when I’m behind the wheel – and that’s where I’m happiest – but more than that, it’s the challenge that keeps me going. If I could go back and speak to my younger self – the one hesitant to get behind the wheel – I’d tell her to trust your instincts, don’t be afraid to take risks, and go after what you love. It’s important to take the first step, even though it is always the most difficult. Initially, my thoughts were only focused on my first race and I didn’t really think beyond that, but I have been humbled by the response I’ve received since that first competitive foray onto the track. I’m fortunate to be able to do what I love, and for it to have a positive impact on the lives of others. If I’ve inspired others to take a risk to pursue their passion, then that’s a win I’ll treasure.


Profile for Hot Media

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