Page 1


Eddie Redmayne Luxury • Culture • People • Style • Heritage


DUBAI, THE DUBAI MALL +971 4 3827100/06


DOHA, LAGOONA MALL +974 4444 1932










Boutond’or d’ornecklace necklace Bouton yellowgold, gold, yellow chrysoprase,onyx onyxand and chrysoprase, diamonds. diamonds.

Contents oCtoBEr 2016 : ISSUE 65

Editorial Editorial director

John Thatcher Editor

Chris Ujma christopher@hotmediapublishing.com



Emma Laurence Contributing Editor

Hayley Skirka

art art director

Andy Knappett designer

Emi Dixon illustrations

Vanessa Arnaud Forty Two

Fifty Four

High-class background plus everyday humility: that’s Eddie Redmayne. The star’s winning formula charms all

Take a longing look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet (against a pretty Abu Dhabi backdrop)

Forty Eight

Sixty Four

Author of Runway Alix Browne talks fashion evolution and avant-garde style pioneers

Scotsman Alan Cumming is a master of all trades; witty, sharp and talented, is there anything he can’t do?

Red Hot

CommErCial managing director

Victoria Thatcher Group Commercial director

David Wade


Runway Revolution

Commercial director

Rawan Chehab

rawan@hotmediapublishing.com Business development manager

Rabih El Turk


ProduCtion Production manager

Muthu Kumar


Open Season


Leave your comfort zone, but not entirely. Bentayga.

Unparalleled standards in luxury and performance make even the road less travelled feel familiar in a Bentayga. For more about Bentayga, visit BentleyMotors.com or book an appointment with: Bentley Abu Dhabi +971 2 2222 445

Bentley Bahrain +973 1 7238 822

Bentley Dubai +971 4 3058 999

Bentley Kuwait +965 2 4735 199

Bentley Al Khobar 800 4400 101

Bentley Doha +974 4 4114 411

Bentley Jeddah 800 4400 101

Bentley Oman +968 2 4500 217

The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2015 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Bentayga.

Bentley Riyadh 800 4400 101

Contents OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65



Gérard Rancinan’s eclectic photographs of lifestyle icons arrive for the art eyes of Dubai to pore over Twenty Eight


An alternative art prize in every sense, Artes Mundi is determined to make a difference outside the gallery

After 50 years lost in the wilderness (as the devil in disguise), Elvis’ BMW 507 is back to its best

Thirty Four

Seventy Four

Snyper is a deadly marksman in the horology industry, and a must for the wrist of the risk-taker

Chef André Chiang’s creative juices never stop flowing; what drives the Singaporebased kitchen maestro?

Thirty Eight

Seventy Eight

To bring intricate animal kingdom-inspired pieces to life, Van Cleef & Arpels’ artisans cast their magic

Wild on the outside, luxury on the inside: Sasaab Lodge is an intimate destination for a bespoke safari adventure


Art & Design






Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in AIR.




Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, a lifestyle destination for those who set the trend. Located on Pearl Jumeira, the resort introduces 132 keys comprising 117 rooms and suites, 15 villas with private pools as well as 63 private residences boasting top-line facilities. Host of unique food and beverage offerings including the world-famed Nikki Beach Restaurant & Beach Club. Relaxation and wellness are key elements of the resort where you can enjoy the choice of pools, sundecks or a more relaxed environment at Nikki Spa.

For reservations or more information please contact reservations.dubai@nikkibeachhotels.com NIKKI BEACH RESORT & SPA DUBAI | Pearl Jumeira, PO Box 8286, Dubai, United Arab Emirates T: +971 4 376 6000 F: +971 4 376 6333

Aaron Basha Boutique Paris Dubai •

673 Madison Avenue

Hong Kong

Levant Dubai



Ali Bin Ali Qatar

• •

New York Moscow




Asia Jewellers Bahrain




Harrods London


Nasjet OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

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 67 corporate aircraft, making us the largest and most experienced private-jet operator in the region with a managedfleet value exceeding USD2 billion. NASJET, part of NAS Holding, employs over 1,700 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 your private or commercial operations. As a Saudi company we are backed by some of the most prominent shareholders in the world. We are established.

Welcome Onboard OCTOBER 2016

We currently operate and manage on our Air Operator Certificate (AOC) the following aircraft: • Hawker 750 Aircraft, which can seat up to eight passengers and fly for up to four hours nonstop. • Citation Excel, which can seat six passengers and fly for up to three hours nonstop. • Legacy 600, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to five hours nonstop. • Gulfstream GIV-SP and G450 Aircraft, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to eight hours nonstop. • Gulfstream GV, which can seat 16 passengers and fly for up to 12 hours nonstop. NASJET is also pleased to offer you 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 right new aircraft that suits your needs, customise it to your liking, monitor the build of the aircraft at the manufacturer, and supervise the entire 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 with the highest safety standards, the best service and the most economical management solutions. • Block Charter, where we provide you with charter solutions sold in bulk at discounted rates. • Ad-Hoc Charter, where we can serve your charter needs where and when you need us on demand. • With the new GACA rules and regulations having come into effect as of 1 March 2016, NASJET has taken the lead to establish 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 on one of our private jets.

Ghassan Hamdan CEO

Contact Details: clientservices@nasjet.com.sa nasjet.com.sa T. +966 (0)11 217 2070 13

Nasjet OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65


Nasjet OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

New Saudi Arabian GACA rules & regulations Consolidating its leadership role in the Saudi Arabian aviation sector, NASJET, the largest private-aviation operator and management company in the Kingdom, has announced its decision to extend compliance support to the local aviation community, with a proposition that will allow aircraft owners to operate their aircraft on a NasJet Private or Commercial Air Operator Certificate (AOC). The welcome move comes on the back of the introduction of new General Authority of Civil Aviation Regulations (GACAR), which came into effect on 1 March 2016 and are applicable to all aircraft based in Saudi Arabia regardless of the aircraft’s country of registration. NASJET currently manages a diverse fleet under its AOC, including Boeing Business Jets, Airbus Corporate Jets, and Gulfstream, Falcon, Legacy, Hawker and Cessna Aircraft. By operating their aircraft on NASJET’s AOC, owners will also benefit from exclusive discounts on fuel, handling and insurance, which can help reduce

NASJET partnership with The Jet Business

their aircraft operating costs by 25%. “As a leading player in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector, we are committed to catering to the needs of the aviation community as a whole and our decision to offer compliance support comes as part of our continued efforts to offer advisory and a range of specialised services to aircraft owners. To make the transition to the new regulations as smooth as possible, we will also be providing consultations to help owners understand the full scope and impact of the new regulations, as outlined by GACA,” says Yosef F Hafiz, chief commercial officer, NASJET. The new General Authority of Civil Aviation Regulations (GACAR) stipulate that aviation companies in Saudi Arabia submit a comprehensive plan by September 2016, stating their decision to operate their aircraft on either a Private or a Commercial AOC. Failure to comply with the new rules and regulations may result in severe consequences, including restrictions on annual landing-permit renewals or refusal to provide a one-time landing permit, which can lead to the grounding of the owners’ planes. NASJET Sales Team Tel: +966 11 217 2070 Email: sales@nasjet.com.sa Web: nasjet.com.sa

NASJET and The Jet Business headquartered in London, UK have teamed up to offer a partnership for selling and purchasing aircraft for the Middle East clientele. The Jet Business is the world’s firstever street-level corporate-aviation showroom for the acquisition and sale of private-jet aircraft and ancillary services. The Jet Business provides a fully immersive experience throughout the aircraft transaction process, combining the most upto-date product information, global market data, extensive industry relationships and unrivalled worldclass expertise. With this partnership NASJET is now able to provide full turnkey solutions from the purchase of the aircraft, completion and outfitting, to full management and charter solutions. 15

‫األنظمة والقوانين‬ ‫الجديدة للهيئة‬ ‫العامة للطيران‬ ‫المدني‬ ‫ أكبر شركة خاصة‬،‫أعلنت شركة ناس جت‬ ‫لتشغيل وإدارة الطائرات في المملكة العربية‬ ‫ عن دعم جهود شركات الطيران‬،‫السعودية‬ ‫المحلية لالمتثال لمعايير التشغيل من خالل‬ ‫شهادة ناس جت الخاصة أو التجارية للتشغيل‬ ‫الجوي؛ وذلك في خطوة تعزز من مكانة‬ ‫الشركة ودورها الريادي في قطاع الطيران‬ .‫الخاص بالمملكة‬ ‫وتأتي هذه الخطوة التي القت‬ ‫ترحيب ًا عقب إصدار لوائح الهيئة العامة للطيران‬ ‫المدني في المملكة العربية السعودية والتي‬ ‫ ويجري‬،2016 ‫ مارس‬1 ‫تم تفعيلها بدءاً من‬ ‫تطبيقها على كافة شركات الطيران الخاص‬ ‫التي تتخذ من المملكة مقراً لها بغض النظر‬ .‫عن بلد التسجيل‬ ‫وتقوم ناس جت في الوقت الحالي‬ ‫بإدارة أسطول متنوع بموجب شهادة التشغيل‬ ‫الجوي بما في ذلك طائرات بوينغ وإيرباص‬ ‫وغلف ستريم وفالكون وليغاسي وهوكر‬ ‫ ومن خالل تشغيل الطائرات بموجب‬.‫وسيسنا‬ ‫ ستحصل‬،‫شهادة ناس جت للتشغيل الجوي‬ ‫الشركات المالكة للطائرات على خصومات‬ ‫حصرية على سعر الوقود وأعمال المناولة‬ ‫ وهو ما سيساعد بدوره في خفض‬،‫والتأمين‬ .%25 ‫تكاليف تشغيل الطائرات بنسبة‬ ‫ رئيس‬،‫وقال يوسف فيصل حافظ‬ ‫ «كشركة‬:‫الشؤون التجارية لشركة ناس جت‬ ‫رائدة في قطاع الطيران بالمملكة العربية‬ ‫ تلتزم ناس جت بتلبية احتياجات‬،‫السعودية‬ ‫ ويأتي قرارنا بدعم‬.‫مجتمع الطيران ككل‬ ،‫ فيما يتعلق باالمتثال للمعايير‬،‫شركات الطيران‬ ‫في إطار جهودنا المستمرة لتقديم العديد‬ ‫من الخدمات االستشارية والمتخصصة‬ ‫ ولكي نجعل‬.‫للشركات المالكة للطائرات‬ ً ‫تطبيق اللوائح الجديدة أمراً سه‬ ،‫ال وممكن ًا‬ ‫سنقوم أيض ًا بتقديم االستشارات لمساعدة‬ ‫تلك الشركات في فهم اللوائح وأثرها بشكل‬ ‫عام وفق ًا لما أقرته الهيئة العامة للطيران‬ .»‫المدني‬ ‫وتنص اللوائح الجديدة التي أصدرتها‬ ‫الهيئة العامة للطيران المدني على ضرورة‬ ‫تسليم شركات الطيران في المملكة العربية‬ ،2016 ‫السعودية خطة شاملة بحلول سبتمبر‬ ‫توضح ما إذا كانت ستقوم بتشغيل طائراتها‬ .‫بشهادة تشغيل الطائرات الخاصة أم التجارية‬ ‫وقد يؤدي اإلخفاق في االلتزام باللوائح‬ ‫والقوانين الجديدة إلى تداعيات من بينها فرض‬ ‫قيود على تجديد تصريح الهبوط السنوي أو‬ ‫رفض منح تصريح الهبوط المؤقت لمرة واحدة؛‬ .‫األمر الذي يمكن أن يتسبب في حظر الطيران‬

Nasjet OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

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

Flight Support Expertise and purchasing power. Using NASJET’s unrivalled regional operational expertise and purchasing power, aircraft managed either by the principal’s crew or an internal corporate-flight department can access a menu of services provided by the NASJET flight centre.

Completions-Advisory Benefit from our experience. We have the advantage of a

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

Ground Services In 2013, NASJET and its partner, ExecuJet, launched ground services for private aircraft flying into the Riyadh private-aviation terminal, Saudi Arabia. The collaboration builds on the two partners’ reputation for providing a superior and competitive level of service.

Aircraft Management Have the experts do all the work. Owning a private jet is certainly a pleasure, but it’s also a major undertaking. NASJET can take that stress away and give you peace of mind knowing that an established and experienced international operator is able to manage your asset efficiently. 16

NASJET has in excess of 70 aircraft under management. Aircraft owners gain many privileges and financial benefits by being within a NASJETmanaged fleet, including economy of scale on fuel, fleet insurance, training and maintenance.

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


PROVEN LEADERSHIP Growing an international business demands reliability and peak performance. That’s what the Gulfstream G450™ delivers. This aircraft is part of the top-selling platform in business aviation history and consistently earns NBAA reliability ratings above 99 percent. Take the guesswork out of success. Put yourself in a G450.

ALLAN STANTON | +971 50 653 5258 | allan.stanton@gulfstream.com | GULFSTREAMG450.COM Theoretical max range is based on cruise at Mach 0.80 with eight passengers, three crew and NBAA IFR fuel reserves. Actual range will be affected by ATC routing, operating speed, weather, outfitting options and other factors.




One of the world’s most renowned contemporary photographers heads to Dubai’s Opera Gallery this month to debut his touring exhibition. Gérard Rancinan is widely known for his portrait photography, having captured countless famous faces for the likes of Time and Paris Match, yet his large-scale works also proffer comment on social issues, politics and popular culture. During his stint at Opera Gallery (5-20 October) Rancinan will also shoot 10 exclusive portrait sessions, available upon request – if you’re as quick as a flash. operagallery.com



Critique OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

Film Chronic Dir: Michel Franco A caregiver is meticulous, effective and passionate about his job… but needs his patients as much as they need him AT BEST: “A film made as an invitation for reflection, but the truth behind it might be harder to understand than you think.” Vanguardia AT WORST: “It’s little more than arty scaremongering for hypochondriacs.” The Guardian

Denial AIR

Dir: Mick Jackson The burden of proof is on the accused in this tense courtroom chess game, based on a real-life legal battle for historical truth AT BEST: “The film is talky and well-mannered, which are not usually the highest of compliments. But it works.” TheWrap AT WORST: “The crucial thing missing is what should be the essence of a courtroom drama: our immersion in how Lipstadt’s lawyers stake out their strategy.” Variety

The Magnificent Seven Dir: Antoine Fuqua A star-studded update on the legendary 1960 assembly of ‘save the town’ gunslingers AT BEST: “Hits all the right buttons but misses the fun of the original. Maybe because back then, this plot wasn’t old hat.” Variety AT WORST: “Slick but forgettable, Fuqua’s suicide squad is a macho posse movie that could use a jab of fun. It’s The Magnificent Seven, but the ‘magnificent’ is silent.” Empire

Deepwater Horizon Dir: Peter Borg Disaster movie based on the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico AT BEST: “All that counts here is that the film serve up a realistic, non-phony-looking, action-packed rendition of the worst spill in American history, and that it certainly does.” Hollywood Reporter AT WORST: “Lacks the fun found in big dumb action movies, the suspense found in thrillers, and the emotional heft found in dramas; it just floats in the humdrum middle ground.” Film School Rejects 20

© 2016 TUMI, INC.


Abu Dhabi Mall +971 2 6738574 The Dubai Mall +971 4 3398536

The Galleria +971 2 4124115

Mirdif City Center +971 4 2363408

Also Available at Galeries Lafayette - Dubai Mall Tanagra Marina Mall +971 2 6817506

Tryano - Yas Mall

Tanagra Mall of The Emirates +971 4 3411084

Rodeo Drive Boutique +971 4 3434000


Critique OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65




f St. Joan at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, The Guardian sets the scene, saying, “Philip O’Sullivan’s new adaptation respects the play’s central arguments between church and state, while deftly condensing it for a cast of seven. The Lyric’s artistic director Jimmy Fay gives his production an austere tone, with the action unfolding in a contemporary office. In this grey corporate zone crammed with filing cabinets, Lisa Dwyer Hogg’s Joan is a crop-haired teenage firebrand whose vitality is a provocation in itself, even before she proclaims her divine mission.” No More Workhorse expands, “The decision to cut the play and adapt it for seven actors is [an] astute one. O’Sullivan (who is also in the cast) does an admirable job of condensing the play, which although still wordy and slow during the opening scenes soon gathers momentum, with the second half in particular perfectly balancing emotion and tension. This is a play whose success can be wholly dependent on the lead actor and Dwyer Hogg as Joan is a revelation…[she] captures all the facets of Joan’s personality: her complexity, her naivety and her stubbornness…” The Stage review concludes, “Jimmy Fay’s intense, layered production resounds with echoes of the past while pragmatic talk of punishment by burning prefaces Nazi horrors lying ahead. Shaw’s uncompromising dramatisation of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc is a play for all times… [This is] a powerful and intense revival of Shaw’s play that concentrates attention on both past and present.” After a successful UK stint, The Encounter makes its way to Broadway (and further still in the realm of ‘experiential’). The impression it made on Ben Brantley of The New York Times? “Someone is blowing in your ear, and it isn’t anybody in your immediate vicinity. You can feel this distant person’s breath (hot) and his urgency (hotter), and the sound of him is all over the place – behind

you, before you, to either side of you, close and distant, shouting and whispering, sometimes in several voices at once… Inspired by Petru Popescu’s Amazon Beaming – a novel based on real-life accounts of an American’s adoption by the mystical Mayoruna tribe in 1969 – The Encounter is nominally a one-person show… Let yourself go, if you dare, and you enter a world beyond borders of regimented thoughts and senses, one in which the ear sees more than the eye.” Michael Billington wrote for The Guardian, “Judged purely as a sonic experiment, the show is an astonishing technical feat. Amiably chatting to the audience and asking us to put ourselves in the mind of Simon McBurney asks us to don headphones that relay information from a binaural microphone… No less extraordinary is [his] own ability to transport us into another world in a two-hour encounter that makes strong demands on an audience, but ultimately rewards them.” Back in London, on the West End, how about Dinner At The Twits?

Lisa Dwyer Hogg in St. Joan 22

The Independent’s Paul Taylor explains, “To mark the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth, the theatre company Les Enfants Terribles have joined forces with culinary whiz kids Bompas and Parr in order to serve up his 1979 children’s book as an immersive theatrical dining experience concocted specifically for adults… For all its culinary novelty, this show leaves a rather bland taste in the mouth.” Perhaps pass on dessert, then? Wait, sit back down… Ben Norum at the Evening Standard disagrees: “Roald Dahl’s grotesque couple are worth the price tag… For those wanting them, specially themed cocktails can be bought in the bar post-show. Try the Old Fashioned, which features scraps from Mr Twit’s beard – including cornflakes, cheese and fish… It brings together a stunning set and engaging, often hilarious performance with two free cocktails, a three-course meal and plenty of wine. You’ll be doing well to find a theatre ticket, pre-performance meal and a couple of drinks anywhere else for much less.”









Critique OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65




clectic, edgy, funky… who else but the Icelandic pop firework that is Björk? Björk Digital shows at London’s Somerset House until 23 October, and the Londonist says, “The selling point of this show is the virtual-reality experiences… It’s quite something to have multiple versions of the Icelandic megastar singing at us from all angles on a beach, especially when her face appears very close to ours. Even not being fans of Björk, we were impressed by the cinematography and the artistic style of each work. Cynics would suggest this exhibition is a plug for her new album, but it’s the visuals that win here, not the music.” The Telegraph’s Mark Hudson is less enamoured, saying, “The [effects] are at once alarmingly claustrophobic and quite awe-inspiring… Although there are moments of beauty, you may leave this exhibition with the feeling that you’ve been had – even if you’re a major fan… This is essentially a glorified album promotion, which requires the punter to pay handsomely for the privilege of taking part.” Joe Muggs at The Guardian adds, “Well, this is definitely the most fun you can have inside a gigantic pulsating mouth this month… Far from complacent, the more time passes, the more Björk seems determined to tinker and muck about on the grandest possible scale, with at least as much focus on the act of tinkering itself as on the final product… The musician’s otherworldly VR album exhibition shows that technology can’t quite keep up with her galactic artistic ambition.” Back on this planet, at MOMA in New York, is Kai Althoff: And Then Leave Me To The Common Swifts (until 28 January). “His kaleidoscopic uses of decor, staging, installation and performance have long explored the hermetic and private histories of late late capitalism… This quixotic show, helmed by the artist, will include some 200 works in all manner of media, from painting to music to fragrance to sculpture – as well as

an artist’s book – creating a world of interiors all its own,” observes Michelle Kuo for Artforum. “A dreamy, surreal amalgam of Expressionist and Symbolist tropes characterises the art of this German artist who works in multiple mediums, including ceramics, weaving, drawing, painting and sculpture. His creations range from discrete objects to room-size installations that seem to grow out of the artist’s fantasies, reveries and personal memories. The term unique is too often applied to artists, but in the case of Althoff’s oeuvre, the label fits perfectly,” proffers Time Out New York. Blouin Artinfo remarks, “The exhibition is a deep and personal reflection of Althoff’s own thoughts… It’s a recollection of events fabricated earlier in life. He seeks to realise the immense power needed to put one’s work on display for a thousand eyes to see and strains to understand as to why his artwork is exhibited in museums and others are not.” Meanwhile, Wifredo Lam, the subject of Tate Modern’s The EY Exhibition (until 8 January) “is billed as the most important Cuban painter of the early 20th century… His father was a Chinese emigrant who settled in Cuba; his mother was Congolese African and Spanish; his godmother a Yoruba princess” in the words of The Independent’s Karen Wright. Matthew Collings of the Evening Standard is not exactly overwhelmed: “Lam led an amazing life: if only his paintings were as exciting… What does it mean when everything in a large exhibition is quite good but full of uninteresting so-so decisions?… Nothing lacked charm but everything seemed like a prelude to something better, without it ever arriving.” Wright bites back with: “Is it worth persevering or is Lam yet another artist who has the technical ability to cannibalise the best of international artists without adding much himself to the personal discourse?… Passages of rapid brush strokes and surreal detached lips… convince me that this visit is not a waste of time nor mental space.” 24

Björk Digital

Critique OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65




he Invention Of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World does wonders for a magazine editor’s word count, but was more beneficial still for its authors reputation (and bank balance). Andrea Wulf scooped USD32,000 on winning The Royal Society’s science book prize for her biography of Humboldt, the 19thcentury explorer. Remarks Simon Winder of The Guardian, “Many of the other young naturalists tended, boa constrictor-like, to gorge themselves on specimens from a single trip and then spend years digesting them, never setting foot outside their homes again except to collect awards. One of the many pleasures of Humboldt is that he never mutated into a hidebound panjandrum… Wulf imbues Humboldt’s adventures there with something of the spirit of Tintin, relishing the jungles, mountains and dangerous animals at every turn… However, given how little Humboldt’s endless, sensational adventures are now read in English – one of [Wulf’s] key points – it seems a shame not to really let rip and pile up the pages on tapirs, curare and jaguars. These are minor cavils, though, and should not stand in the way of readers eagerly reading.” For The New York Times, Colin Thubron adds, “As with Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle 32 years later, all of Humboldt’s work was founded on a single momentous journey, which becomes the centrepiece of Wulf’s book… Andrea Wulf’s Humboldt is the ecological visionary and humanist. Despite some reiteration, her book is readable, thoughtful and widely researched, and informed by German sources richer than the English canon. It is the first formal biography in English for many years and may go some way toward returning this strange genius to the public.” Cloaked espionage writer John le Carré turns the interrogation light on himself in The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life. “Once upon a time, he was a literary enigma wrapped in the kind of mystery appropriate to his genre, the spy thriller. In the footsteps

of Graham Greene, he kept himself in the shadows, rarely, if ever, gave interviews, and cultivated a persona that offered a teasing mix of riddle and conundrum,” explains Robert McCrum of The Guardian. “Those days are long gone. In The Pigeon Tunnel, the reader encounters a powerfully divided self, a narrative magician who is both thrilled by his dazzling inventions and yet infuriated by the inhibitions imposed thereby.” When Kirkus Reviews unpacked the book, they found, “In this memoir, in which he pointedly uses his real name, David Cornwell, the author acknowledges the difficulty of teasing biography from a life devoted to novel writing. ‘Pure memory remains as elusive as a bar of wet soap,’ he writes. ‘Or it does for me, after a lifetime of blending experience with imagination.’ He avoids strict chronology in favor of a loose, episodic structure that outlines his work’s real-world influences and allows him to consider his evolving views on patriotism, geopolitics, the lives of writers, actors, directors, and rogues (specifically his con-man father), and other topics… For all the cinematic glamour of le Carré’s experiences, reflections on the workaday realities of fiction writing 26

may provide the most engaging aspect of this colorful valediction. A satisfying recollection of a literary life well lived.” Lastly, let’s visit Nutshell by Ian McEwan. “It is certainly his most intriguing book… recalling the darker short stories of his early career… An interesting experiment that mostly works, not quite comparable with his masterpieces but not as disappointing as his mis-steps,” believes John Boyne at The Irish Times. Says Tim Adams at the Observer, “McEwan has what seems like enormous fun constructing a voice that is both alive with wild and whirling wordplay and capable of all sorts of antic dispositions.” The Guardian’s Kate Clanchy concludes, emphatically, “An unborn child tells the story of how his mother and her lover plan to murder his father in this brutally effective update of Hamlet… This book is organised so thoroughly, in its plot, characters and themes, around the central image of the foetus suspended in the churnings of gravity and time that it becomes, as Polonius also says, ‘scene individable, or poem unlimited’. Nutshell is an orb, a Venetian-glass paperweight of a book… a consciously late, deliberately elegiac, masterpiece.”

Art & Design OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65


Different Strokes

In mainstream circles, the name Artes Mundi might not elicit quite the same reaction as, say, the Turner Prize. But, says Karen MacKinnon, there’s a lot to love about the UK’s ‘other’ art award WORDS : EMMA LAURENCE


sk even the most informed art lover to name the UK’s biggest art prize and they’ll likely proffer the Turner, such is its (oftdebated) public profile. But they’d be wrong – established in 2002 by Welsh artist William Wilkins, the biennial Artes Mundi International Visual Arts Exhibition & Prize trumps Turner’s topprize pot by a cool USD20k. Perhaps such collective oversight is down to the fact that the former’s home is in Cardiff, not London, or perhaps it’s because Artes Mundi, which literally means ‘arts of the world’, has more to do with said art than with courting the media spotlight. Now entering its seventh cycle, Artes Mundi is slowly but surely bolstering

its position on the international arts circuit with its expertly curated mix of the contemporary and conceptual, all anchored by a singular, universal concern: what it means to be human in today’s world. Says director Karen MacKinnon, “Of course it’s wonderful to be compared to the Turner Prize. It’s the most widely known art prize in the UK and draws huge audiences. However, Artes Mundi is a very different exhibition, prize and organisation – we’re passionate about art and social change and our core aim is to create an ecosystem that connects individuals and communities through contemporary art.” This year’s shortlist is testament to that aim. Whittled down from over 28

700 nominations, Artes Mundi 7 brings together six artists hailing from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, whose body of work, says MacKinnnon, “explores the social realities lived by people across the globe. There are themes around the city and migration, and there is humour and surrealism, too”. Previous exhibitions have featured everything from canaries to chocolate sculptures, and this one is set to be just as diverse. Seminal black British filmmaker John Akomfrah’s award-winning work will play out alongside the quirky installations of Neïl Beloufa and the powerful war stories of Lamia Joreige, while Amy Franceschini brings environmental art into the



frame through her socially minded Futurefarmers collective. Then there’s the Angolan performance artist Nástio Mosquito, who’s been dubbed ‘the coolest man in art’ thanks to his original blend of anthropological commentary and political incorrectness. Wales’ own Bedwyr Williams, known as much for his stand-up comedy as his satirical showpieces, completes the impressive creative lineup. Over the next four months, their work will inhabit two of Cardiff’s premier cultural spaces, Chapter Arts Centre and the National Museum, before a winner is chosen in early 2017. “I love them all,” enthuses MacKinnon, who (quite rightly) refuses to pick a favourite. “What excites me is the clarity they have about their ideas. These are artists who are considered to be the best in the world today, whether they are from Wales like Bedwyr or Algeria like Neil or Beirut like Lamia. Artes Mundi revolves around the theme of the human condition and the artists interpret this in many ways, from the poetic and beautiful to work that’s critical, provocative and political. All of their work is connected to the here and now and how we live our lives in a global society. It’s powerful in its connectedness to society, community and everyday life.” What most excites MacKinnon, though, is “the ability for art to bring about social change”, and it’s this concept that is at the very heart of Artes Mundi. On a local scale, the Cardiff-based arts charity of the same name is responsible for a public education programme that extends beyond the duration of the exhibition, as well as staging concurrent debate and networking events for artists and critics alike. But on a global scale, too, Artes Mundi has consistently made waves on the modern-art scene, raising both awareness and understanding of contemporary visual art around the world in its 12-year history, and, says MacKinnon, “building cultural bridges and conversations between Wales and the wider world”. Since the inaugural prize, which highlighted the lingering post-9/11 questions of the world, articulated in dust by Chinese artist Xu Bing, Artes

Previous pages: Nástio Mosquito performing at the 2014 Festival Belluard Bollwerk International. Opposite: Bard Attitude (2005) by Bedwyr Williams

From the poetic to the critical, all of the work is powerful in its connectedness to society, community and everyday life Mundi has kept its finger firmly on our shared cultural pulse. The most recent winner, American artist and professor Theaster Gates, challenged Western notions of religion with his timely and thought-provoking installation, A Complicated Relationship Between Heaven And Earth, Or When We Believe, to great critical acclaim – and not just because he declared, on accepting the prize, that he’d be sharing the cash with his fellow exhibitors. As the BBC’s art editor, Will Gompertz, put it, “The critical reaction to the open and innovative nature of Artes Mundi 6 has been as positive as the response to this year’s Turner Prize was negative, suggesting that the one-time bad boy of contemporary art prizes is being shown a thing or two by this less staid young pretender.” And MacKinnon is confident that Artes Mundi 7 will only build on this success: “Each exhibition reinterprets the human condition, exploring issues that have both local and global topicality – issues such as poverty, globalisation, migration and conflict, which are relevant to Wales but seen through an international prism. I hope that the work in the exhibition speaks directly to the people who visit on a deeply personal level about their lives. I hope it engages, challenges and makes people think about things differently.” 30

It’s abundantly clear from this year’s edition – showcasing narratives from the UK, US, France, Algeria, Belgium, Lebanon and Angola – that, although its roots are unashamedly Welsh, the exhibition and prize’s focus is nothing if not outward-looking. That said, art connoisseurs descending on Cardiff for the event would be wise to explore the wealth of cultural pursuits the Welsh capital has to offer. “Cardiff has a thriving arts and cultural scene,” explains MacKinnon. “During the first month of Artes Mundi, Cardiff Contemporary festival celebrates modern visual culture with a diverse programme of events created by the city’s community of artists, designers and architects.” She also recommends a trip to g39, an artist-run warehouse gallery space that acts as an artistic melting pot, championing emerging local talent as much as bigger international names. The city is also home to Europe’s largest waterfront development, Cardiff Bay, where you’ll find the stunning Millennium Centre, a vast arts hub emblazoned with the poetry of Gwyneth Lewis: “In these stones horizons sing.” Words that could well have been written about Artes Mundi itself. Artes Mundi 7 runs from 21 October to 26 February. For more information, visit artesmundi.org




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



o s c a r d e l a r e n ta

S I l k-Ta F F E Ta g O w n

A black dress it may be, but there’s nothing little about this glossy silk-taffeta floorsweeper. A fitting final flourish from outgoing creative director Peter Copping, who was handpicked by Mr De La Renta to lead the brand before his death in 2014, it’s your last chance to own a piece of couture

history before Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia take the helm. Fans of the label needn’t worry, though – the pair were also proteges of De La Renta and, as they’re both currently engaged (fabulously, to each other), their debut collection should be just as full of the old Oscar amour. 1




Frequent fliers need suitcases that mean business, and they don’t come any more serious than Tumi’s 19 Degree. The brand’s first aluminium case sees to the business side of things with a reinforced frame, die-cast corners and a patented aircraftgrade handle system, while the strikingly

sculpted exterior is all about pleasure. Inspired as it was by the intersection of fluid nature and linear architecture, it’s the perfect fusion of form and function. And, with its sleek silver contours strategically designed to catch the light, it’ll make a cool airport companion, too. 2


E christian louboutin


Louboutin lovers should head to Paris this month, where you can pick up a pair of special-edition red soles and maybe even meet the man himself. Christian and his new Plan de Paris collection are guests of honour at the iconic Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche until 16 October.

An unabashed love letter to the City of Lights, the collection pays tribute to its most famous landmarks in the shape of vintage map-style prints – accompanied, of course, by the brand’s trademark spikes. Perfect for a stylish stroll around the 1st arrondisement. 3



c a rt i e r


Tough, spiky, solitary: the cactus isn’t the most obvious beacon of natural beauty. But if anyone can make these dusty desert monoliths sparkle, it’s Cartier. Like the legendary panther before it, the Cartier cactus is wild, uncompromising – and unmistakably

alluring. This statement cuff combines emeralds, chrysoprases, carnelions and (naturally) diamonds in a dome setting that’s designed to evoke a flowering cactus scattered with drew drops at first light. Wrap it around your wrist, feel the power, be dazzling. 4


Fr ancK muller

V a n g U a R D g R a V I T Y w aT C H

Albert Einstein once said, “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” He had a point – but then, he’d never seen the Franck Muller Gravity watch. The follow-up to the haute horologer’s cult 2014 design, the Vanguard, it’s a sporty, futuristic take on an already

classic timepiece. Available in titanium, stainless steel and 18-carat gold finishes, with or without a dusting of precious stones, we’re favouring this sophisticated titanium, rubber and alligator-leather style with subtle bronze dial and monochrome accents. Timeless indeed. 5




U lT R a V I D S a Fa R I E D I T I O n B I n O C U l a R S

In this age of disposable imagery, there’s something to be said for simply being in the moment, without having to capture it frame by frame. If you’re venturing out on safari, resist the urge to selfie and instead, look the Big Five right in the eye with a pair of the finest binoculars money can

buy. Optical powerhouse Leica conceived these with the discerning safari-goer in mind. The magnesium body means they’re incredibly light, while the khaki leather coating and handcrafted case will look great in the Jeep. But you’ll have to be quick – only 200 will ever be made. 6



b o t t e G a V e n e ta


No-one does a box clutch like Bottega Veneta. Classic or quirky, sleek or dripping with embellishment, since 2001 not a season has gone by without a new version of The Knot being inducted to fashion’s hall of fame. So called because of the nowiconic knot clasp, FW16’s iteration adds

a mosaic-like 3D finish to the maison’s signature intrecciato design. The hue of its ayers-leather wrapper was inspired by the rare lavender peony, and every single piece is hand-woven. Oh, and it also happens to mark the 50th anniversary of the Venetian brand. We had you at The Knot, didn’t we? 7


E Wa l l a c e c h a n

CICaDa BROOCH There’s a truly international flavour to this season’s TEFAF as The European Fine Art Foundation makes its New York debut on Park Avenue from 21 to 26 October. Among the exhibitors is Chinese artisan jeweller Wallace Chan, whose exquisite showpieces range from a 2.2m titanium

and gemstone sculpture to this enchanting cicada brooch. Crafted from imperial jadeite and studded with rubies and diamonds, it’s a glittering tribute to the romantic of the insect world (male cicadas woo their mates with song) and an ancient Chinese symbol of resurrection. tefaf.com 8

Timepieces OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

Guiding The Destinies Of The World TARIq MAlIk


ast month I discussed what makes the Rolex President’s Watch such a potent symbol of power; this time I want to probe a little deeper: how the brand itself became what it is today deserves a few more words. From the outset Hans Wilsdorf, founder and visionary, had big plans for Rolex. He never made a hasty or careless business move. It had to be just perfect – memorable, international and grand. It was in the mid 1950s that a strategic advertising campaign set the bar for luxury timepieces – and, I would go as far as to say, luxury brands in general. Rolex also made discreet gifts to carefully selected men of power, including US and British heads of state Eisenhower and Churchill. History reveals that very carefully worded letters were exchanged, assuring there were “no commercial aspects whatsoever” attached to the gifts. It was part of the Rolex master plan. A few short years later, in 1956, Rolex capitalised on its presidential favour with an audacious ad slogan: “Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex watches.” Fullpage spreads occupied the pages of important newspapers around the globe. They were designed to be unmissable. Staying true to their word, they never named names, but the implications were bold. The copy read: “We cannot mention their names. It would not be fitting to do so, for they include royalty, the heads of states, great statesmen... the people who feel the pulse of our times.”

The best advertising appeals on a deeply psychological level, and in the public eye Rolex became the watch that belonged on significant occasions. It was seen on the wrists of those who made the news and changed the world: when Martin luther king Jr met with President Johnson in the White House in Washington DC to negotiate a worldchanging civil-rights decision, both were wearing Rolex watches. In fact, Johnson was famous for always wearing his gold Rolex, and was, at least in part, responsible for its ‘presidential’ moniker. Then there were the explorers and adventurers who conquered the tallest peaks and the deepest oceans – including the great Jacques Cousteau, with his Submariner hard at work. But Rolex had already become far more than just a tool for 33

adventurers. It was now a symbol of triumph and power. When Prince Andrew got engaged to Sarah Ferguson, Rolex was there. When Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, was shown in the media looking dapper in his military fatigues, I couldn’t help but notice the stainless-steel Rolex Explorer II (with a white dial) on his wrist. Since its earliest days, Rolex has been no stranger to the world of power and influence. Of course, the most important decisions that shape the world don’t generally lie in the hands of royalty any more. The captains of industry and the developers of the world have taken charge – and Rolex is still there. Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most powerful entrepreneurs, and the so-called Oracle of Omaha, wears a gold Rolex Day-Date. Oil magnate T Boone Pickens also wears a gold Rolex Day-Date that he purchased in 1964. They are far from the only ones – and it was no accident that Rolex rose to its present status. It’s a company unlike any other in the world; privately held and independently run, it has its own foundries, produces its own grade of precious metals, has its own science lab and a vault that rivals Fort knox. Next time you see that familiar crown insignia on the wrist of a world-changer – or perhaps run your fingertips across it – take a minute to appreciate what it really stands for. Find Tariq’s co-founded vintage-watch boutique Momentum in Dubai’s DIFC; momentum-dubai.com

Timepieces OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

Time On Target With its ironclad image and sharply defined lines, Snyper is celebrating its Hollywood debut AIR



n 20 April 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters unfolded in the Gulf of Mexico. On the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig, ordinary workers were to became real-life heroes. The disaster claimed the lives of 11 people and changed the lives of everyone else onboard in what was an ultimate test of survival. Now, Peter Berg’s Hollywood blockbuster Deepwater Horizon aims to capture the drama that unfolded through the eyes of rig operator Mike Williams, shrewdly played by action man Mark Wahlberg. In the movie, midway through the disaster the bustling oil gives way to flames and Wahlberg’s character takes charge, somehow navigating a hectic escape for most of his crew from the blazing rig. As he emerges from

the black ooze, smoky hallways and streaming flames, an eagle-eyed viewer may notice a black and red timepiece – remarkably still intact – adorning Wahlberg’s wrist. That timepiece is a Snyper, a Snyper One Red, to be precise. And although that particular watch is a little worse for wear after filming, according to Snyper director Bernard Dick, it’s positively still intact. “We used three of the timepieces for the movie, and one of them is now definitely burnt, as Mark wore it near the fire and during all the action scenes. It’s a little melted, but we thought we may put it in a museum or something, as it survived the fire and is part of the Deepwater Horizon story now.” How exactly did such a partnership come about? “Well,” explains Dick, “Our American agent happened to 34





Previous page: Snyper Ironclad. This page: Snyper Two Green Target. Opposite: Snyper One Red, worn by Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon


It’s for people who are looking for a strong, sporty watch, and for something different meet Mark’s manager. He mentioned that they were looking for a watch brand for the movie so he said to him, ‘Why not try Snyper?’ We sent him a selection of timepieces and he chose the Snyper One Red edition. We signed an agreement at the beginning of this year, it’s exciting. I can’t believe Mark Wahlberg’s wearing my watch.” Perhaps it was the strong sense of masculinity – present in all Snyper designs – that caught the Hollywood star’s fancy. According to Dick, this concept is key: “We work with the very best people in the watchmaking business and have truly unique, bold designs – all sharp angles and solid cases – we always aim to have something really masculine and quite different.” The Snyper One Red certainly holds true to that concept. Created from black PVD-coated steel, the watch features a substantial 53mm-wide case and a whole host of design elements borrowed from military aesthetics. From the crosshairs on the dial to the chronograph pushers shaped like firearm triggers, and even a special chronograph hand with a target symbol at 9 o’clock. Two metal bars on the case are reminiscent of holsters and actually serve a similar practical purpose – they’re used for mounting optional modules onto the timepiece, with wearers able to choose from torches, lasers or even windproof lighters. Powered by the Snyper Calibre F101, a self-winding chronograph movement

with a power reserve of 48 hours, it beats out at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and there’s a customised oscillating rotor in grey PVD, fittingly coated with the Snyper target logo in bright red. The numerals and flange boast the same colour treatment. Water resistant to 100m and – judging by its survival of Deepwater Horizon – somewhat fireproof, the timepiece boasts a black leather strap with contrasting red stitching and a pin buckle. Retailing at around CHF8,600 (Dhs32,000), this is the watch for the man who already has everything. “It’s for people who are looking for a strong watch, a sporty watch, and for something different. For someone who has everything but wants something that people will look at and then say, ‘What’s this?’ It’s a real talking point,” explains Dick. Entirely Swiss made, designed and assembled in Geneva, Snyper thrilled 37

at Baselworld earlier this year, with the launch of a whole host of novelties and collaborations, something Dick hopes to recreate at the watch fair next year. “I can’t reveal too much right now, but we definitely have some models under process and we hope to have two or three new pieces ready to present at Baselworld 2017,” he says. Born of a chance meeting between the brand’s original founders and a Special Forces sniper in 2008, things have gone from strength to strength for the watchmaker that prides itself on having impeccable standards of robustness, precision, technology and functional design. With timepieces based on innovative design and the values of excellence common to military special forces worldwide – and now a lead role in the portrayal of one of the world’s biggest-ever ecological disasters – 2017 looks set to be on target for Snyper.

Jewellery OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65


Animal Magic Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest high-jewellery collection illustrates the richness and diversity of the animal kingdom through the maison’s signature skill


t is our goal to outdo ourselves in order to marvel,” states an enthused Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, as he ponders the beauty of the mythical Pegasus, brought (almost) to life by the maison’s renowned savoir-faire. “To me, this clip embodies the fairy of creation in every possible way.” The Pégase clip, to title it correctly, is Bos’ favourite piece from L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels, a new and enchanting high-jewellery collection of clips that borrows from the maison’s past to gift its present. “We are constantly trying to renew our creations, both from a technical and creative point of view. We are concerned about the fact of keeping and respecting our artistic line, which is our heritage, while revisiting it with a new look,” outlines Bos.

The Pegasus, along with the alsoimagined phoenix and unicorn, are the only creatures presented singly in the collection, with the others (over 60 in all) presented in duos as part of a Noah’s Ark-like procession. Whether paired up or alone, these immensely intricate creations renew, as Bos suggests, the tradition of clips, which have been a feature of the maison since its formative years. From as far back as the 1910s, when diamond feathers were utillised to illuminate birds pinned to hats or jacket lapels, clips have been used to convey the maison’s key themes: flowers through to ballerinas. However, it’s the animal kingdom that has proved the most enduring muse. From the birds of the early 20th century and rampant lion of 1954’s La Boutique collection – its resplendent mane cast from yellow 38



To the maison, animals represent joy, happiness and even a certain sense of playfulness

gold – through to the horses and elephants of the 1970s and antelopes, pink flamingos and polar bears of the Noughties, the richness of wildlife continues to inspire. “To the maison, animals represent joy, happiness and even a certain sense of playfulness. At Van Cleef & Arpels, we like to represent their benevolent side,” says Bos, who conceived the idea for the collection following his “extraordinarily intense” reaction to viewing Jan Brueghel the Elder’s painting The Entry Of The Animals Into Noah’s Ark at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Of the animals depicted side by side in the collection, all dazzle in their own unique way; the craftsmen of the maison showing immense skill and

know-how to enhance the individual characteristics of each animal. Take the giraffe clips, for example, on which the artisans have employed the massed setting technique whereby the selected stones are directly encrusted into the metal. In this way, diamonds and coloured sapphires depict the distinctive marks on the giraffes’ coats, while their hooves are detailed with gleaming black spinels. Or the toucan clips, which bedazzle through their intense colours: blue sapphires, red spinels, the turquoise of the Paraíba-like tourmalines, and the orange and green garnets that adorn the toucans’ necks and distinctive elongated beaks. Then there’s the ever so Van Cleef & Arpels Perroquets clip, on which the individual feathers of 40

These (and opening) pages: Van Cleef & Arpels white gold Papillons clips with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, lapis lazuli, turquoise and malachite

the parrots’ outstretched wings have been painstakingly cut, adjusted and positioned, as if primed for flight. “The search and selection of raw materials is a preliminary step that requires a great deal of time,” says Bos, when discussing the intense process behind each imaginative creation. “Once the rough stones are cut, they must meet the quality standards of – and suit the creative intentions for – the pieces. Often it is necessary to begin a new search for rough stones at this stage, since the material can reveal imperfections once it is cut. When the initially cut materials are deemed acceptable, a new difficulty must be faced: the necessity to obtain pieces with homogeneous colors. Pairing is crucial in the crafting of the pieces. 41

“Other factors required for the hard stone and precious wood designs, such as thickness or width, can make the selection work more challenging. For example, the threedimensional surfaces of turquoise and lapis lazuli featured in the Hérissons clips are the result of a long search for rough stones.” It is this attention to detail, the quest for absolute perfection, the desire to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, which sets the maison apart. Only Van Cleef & Arpels, its virtuoso high-jewellery savoir-faire to the fore, could have recreated the beauty of life through this immaculate collection. Outdoing itself, as Nicolas Bos hoped, to make us marvel at its creations once again.


Eddie Redmayne is the darling of Hollywood and a surefire box-office success. But really, he’s just down-to-earth

INTERVIEW : Rudy Gomolka 42





lead role in 2014’s The Theory Of Everything – a thoughtprovoking, romantically laced bio of Stephen Hawking during his university years – saw Eddie Redmayne scoop the coveted bestactor gongs at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Academy Awards. He’s garnered 33 awards so far (as well as an OBE for services to drama), following The Theory Of Everything with an Oscar-nominated performance in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, based on the gender-identity struggle of landscape artist Einar Wegener. But what, in Redmayne’s own estimation, is his greatest achievement? “Getting married was the most wonderful thing I’ve done,” he professes, in a heartbeat. Far from being ungrateful, it’s an answer that typifies the unassuming normality of a bona fide star. There should also be no mistaking the steeled finesse of talent Redmayne methodically wraps around achingly complex characters; after soulsearching turns as Hawking and Wegener, he’s ventured on a more fantastical outing as the lead in JK Rowling’s screenwriting debut, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which opens next month. Okay, so Redmayne isn’t completely ‘regular’; he attended Eton College, the same private school that counts Prince William among its alumni. But, he says of the Windsor-based institution, “It’s a beautiful place, an old one, where you wear a tailcoat with a collar every day for school. But when you’re there and everyone’s wearing it, it feels natural.” Sartorial traditions aside, he continues, “The real reason for me to be there was that there are very good teachers – worthy of a mention is Simon Dormandy, an amazing drama teacher. He treated me like a professional and [the way] he taught me, I never went to drama school after that. He taught me everything I know.” The idea of a performing career enraptured Redmayne early. “I’d always loved it as a kid, and when I was young, let’s say 12, I was bitten by the [acting] bug… I never believed it would have been possible to do it professionally, though. I was always told that so few actors were employed, and it’s true. So I never allowed myself to believe it would be possible. But I suppose it

was through the end of school, before university, that I began to get excited by the prospect of trying.” His talent propelled him through TV and theatre (with appearances in Twelfth Night, Hecuba, Red, Richard II and such) into the stratosphere, beyond “trying” and into mastery. He’s revered by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and Scarlett Johansson, who all have beautiful words to say about him. Alicia Vikander (Redmayne’s costar in The Danish Girl) remarked at

Getting married was the most wonderful thing I’ve done the time, “He’s an extraordinary actor and a wonderful, incredible friend and man. When I came to my audition, to see the amount of work he had put in… I was already so impressed.” Redmayne blushes at such praise: “I have nothing to say other than I have the privilege to work with them… I was lucky when I started, and working on films is like a circus life, it becomes your family. So I can say, yes, I have been very lucky [to work with] people of that level.” He’s effusive in his admiration of his peers, adding, “Everybody is always mentioning older people [but] I like Ben Whishaw, Andrew Garfield – and Benedict Cumberbatch is wonderful. A friend of mine, Tom Sturridge, is great, and then there are the young actresses I’ve 45

worked with, like Kristen Stewart and Chloë Moretz – their freedom and their passion were very inspiring for me.” There’s a ‘one of us’ quality to Redmayne, despite most being in awe of him. He’s said before, “I do get stopped now and then, but I can go to the supermarket and on the Tube without being noticed. It’s usually me that gets starstruck, especially by TV stars.” And post-Oscar acceptance – despite all eyes being on him – he attributed his nerves to “the fact that it was Cate Blanchett giving it, and so I was recovering from that excitement of seeing her, and then just trying to bury all this frenzy of nerves and white noise and trying to speak articulately”. Redmayne is as well regarded in the style stakes as for his acting chops: GQ named him this year’s Best-Dressed Man for the second time in a row, and he’s modelled for Burberry since 2008. His approach to fashion? “When things look overworked, it doesn’t capture me. I would say that elegance is effortless.” He’s pushed boundaries with well-tailored bravery in grey flannel, an all-white suit and a velvet jacket-trouser combo; he’s led the resurrection of the classic three-piece, bosses the black-tie look, and had an impactful Picasso-esque blue period, when navy became his couture du jour. Surprising then, perhaps, that he tells us he’s colourblind. “Sometimes I use too-bright colours, then I realise how bright they are… But otherwise I stick to blue, because I can see that.” Though he lives out of a suitcase, the actor insists he packs light. “When I do


I found LA overwhelming 10 years ago, I didn’t get it. Now I do, it’s a very special place

press events I have [a lot of clothes], but T-shirts and suits are my normal luggage”. There is, however, “a lot of work in the carry-on: scripts, books, paintboxes to do some bad paintings… my camera, to take photographs”. It’s true that Redmayne has an affinity for all things aesthetic. He studied art (and appreciates it), but does it influence his acting? “When I am playing parts, particularly historical ones, I spend time in the National Portrait Gallery in London, because so many periods are covered there… Even if it doesn’t show your character, it will show someone from the period and you can witness how other artists have interpreted [them]. It’s lovely to see.” For example, he recalls, “Once, I was working on two [projects set in] the Elizabethan period – one was Elizabeth: The Golden Age; the other, Elizabeth I. I played the Earl of Southampton… there was a painting [and] you could see by the fact he commissioned this painting how much he loved being wealthy: he had long, long hair and lots of rings.” Which other artistic domains inspire him? “In New York, my favourite spot is the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side. In Venice I love the Peggy

Guggenheim Collection. I always go to exhibitions when I travel.” And when back in the UK, it’s cultural hubs to which the Westminster-born Brit gravitates. “I walk a lot – I love the South Bank, and down by the Design Museum. There’s a market called Borough Market, with amazing food. I also love the central area, [it’s] full of offices but during the weekend nobody is there – it is quiet, it is old…” Redmayne has described LA as “the opposite of London”, elaborating, “In London you can just arrive in the Tube station and discover new places, get lost in finding wonderful new things. In LA, first you have to drive, second you have to know where to drive! I found it quite overwhelming when I started to go there 10 years ago, I didn’t get it. Now I do, I enjoy the place as a very special one… you can be at the beach one minute, you can be skiing a couple of hours away, you can be in the desert, it has everything.” He’s made a lot of friends there, and explains, “It is a one-industry town, but often, a lot of the British actors, when we first go over there we stick together because you don’t have friends. Again, it’s a family thing, you live together for a month or two, you help each other.” 46

Speaking of family, Redmayne and his wife Hannah Bagshawe are approaching their two-year wedding anniversary, and welcomed baby Iris Mary into the world this summer. It took him 15 years to realise his nowpublicist was the one, though (or at least, to cement it with a marriage vow). “We met when we were 15, but then we didn’t see each other much,” he explains. “It took another 15 years for our paths to cross and then we got together… Very soon after, we went to Florence and it was this weird thing of [being with] someone you know but at the same time don’t know.” The most special thing about her? “There’s too much. It’s something chemical, we both remember it from the first time we met. Plus, she makes me laugh and we share the same interests. We’ve asked [one another] why we didn’t marry younger, but who knows? The truth is that when you are young, you are chaotic.” Perhaps, at the top of his game and lucky in love, Eddie Redmayne is channelling a thought he once expressed about his Oscar-winning role: “Playing Stephen Hawking was a constant reminder to put things in perspective. We only have one chance at this.”





In her new book Runway, Alix Browne showcases decades of thrilling fashion spectacles that have transcended lines to become an important part of our contemporary culture WORDS : hayley skIrka



s New York Fashion Week got underway this year, with London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks to follow, the runways were alight with rapid evolution. In keeping with findings from a report released by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which analysed the future of New York Fashion Week and found unanimous consensus on a need for change, designers were clearly on the same page. From flames to escalators, cruise ships to Lady Gaga, it was all in a day’s work at the world’s most prominent fashion week. Having been a stalwart of the multibilliondollar industry since 1943, today’s fashion weeks are a designer’s chance to take their creative vision to the next level, transforming empty spaces into a variety of spectacular shows, detailed stages and theatrical masterpieces. Over the last few years, changes to the traditional structure of fashion week have been in play as the industry opens its eyes to an ephemeral society. And the shows of 2016 were all about the entertainment factor as designers strived to show the world that fashion week is still important. From Hilfiger’s parading of models around the elaborate Titanic-inspired deck of a vintage cruise ship dubbed the TH Atlantic to Diane Von Furstenberg’s dance party with Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner in attendance, spectacle was the order of the day. Even the superstars of the runway shows were different: the real hero of the Polo Ralph Lauren presentation wasn’t the models or even the fedoras and rugged denims they sported, but seven-year-old Ruaidri – a glossy Irish setter who strutted his stuff down the catwalk. For Alix Browne, fashion writer and features director at W Magazine, this year’s fashion weeks were just extra sprinkles on what she deems decades’ worth of icing. In her new book, Runway: The Spectacle Of Fashion, she has whipped together a collection of the crème de la crème of fashion spectacle from across the years. “I never thought of it as a ‘best of’,” she explains. “I included shows that really made a lasting impression on me but I also wanted to give a sense of the range of approaches designers have taken over the years.” That’s something she’s definitely achieved, with a publication that has been almost 20 years in the making – coincidentally, the same amount of time that Browne has been occupying a seat at the shows, making her easily well versed enough to give us an insight into the often sheltered and extravagant world of fashion. Many of those shows have left Browne with a lasting impression. “There have been a lot of shows that touched me deeply,” she says. “Chief among them are the Raf Simons show Kinetic Youth, the Yohji Yamamoto show about marriage,

and Alexander McQueen’s Dante show, which was staged twice, in London and then in New York.” Of all of them, however, the most poignant remains Hussein Chalayan’s Parisian showcase in 2001. “It was just after September 11, and I remember sitting in the audience and feeling so grateful to have something beautiful to look at,” she recalls. This connection between global events, societal changes and the world of fashion isn’t new, says Browne: “I think Hedi Slimane revered Saint Laurent and was trying to do the contemporary iteration of YSL in the late Sixties after the student riots.” And more recently, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel rather recklessly, perhaps, brought an iceberg from Scandinavia to Paris, in what Browne believes was an attempt to incite society. “Karl is not out to change the world. He is out to make beautiful clothes. And he is unapologetic about that. Do I think it was a very decadent gesture importing an iceberg from Scandinavia to Paris? Yes. But I also think his statement was partially designed to provoke,” she explains. In sharp contrast to this, Browne nods to Molly Goddard’s spring 2016 collection. Quaint and charming, the set was designed by Goddard’s mother and set up by her father. A white curtain, white floors, white tables and white plastic chairs housed the models – a cast of ordinary girls handpicked by her sister from Facebook profiles – who Goddard instructed to make cheese sandwiches. The mundanity of this task was starkly juxtaposed with the clothes the models wore, which included tulle confections in glorious pink and green, ruffled rompers and colourful tartan smocks. Of the show, Goddard ensured, “It looked good and we gave everything to a homeless charity afterwards so no waste.” For Browne, the attention of such a presentation was noteworthy. “I found this show incredibly charming, especially given this current climate of untold expenditure and waste.” Digital media also had a key role to play this season and is a significant contributor to fashion being viewed as entertainment. Browne recalls, “When I started in fashion, the runway shows were lorded over by the fashion press and store buyers. They were basically the only people invited and they decided what was important and what information was going to be disseminated in the press. At some shows they asked that people not take notes, let alone pictures. Now everyone can see the shows and fashion has become a form of entertainment.” And while some critics may believe a digital mass market dilutes a prestigious brand, Browne disagrees, insisting, “I think a brand is as prestigious as the product it puts out into the world.” For many designers, the mode of presenting their fashion to the world is just as important as the clothes they create – and of these, Lee Alexander 50

Opening pages: Maison Martin Margiela’s fall 2000 show. Opposite: Susan Cianciolo’s 1995 Run show. Next pages: Michele Hicks, Helena Christensen, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell star in John Galliano’s spring 1995 show




The best fashion designers out there are truly artists in their own rights

McQueen was quite possibly the ultimate fashion showman. “McQueen was certainly exceptional,” agrees Browne. “I think the best designers all have something to say but they don’t necessarily follow a narrative approach like Lee did. Galliano certainly spun wild tales in his day. All of his collections had elaborate narratives driving them. But I think in this day and age, it’s more the Hood By Airs or the Vetements that are making the statements with their clothes and their casting. They are less interested in telling fairy tales than showing you the world as it exists.” So with reality taking precedence over fantasy, is it possible that we will see an increase in shows like Tara Subkoff’s 2013 spring presentation for Imitation of Christ? Entitled This is Not a Fashion Show, the designer staged the so-called experiment in New York’s Bortolami Gallery and the focus was on women of all shapes and sizes (tall and lanky, short and stocky) and ranging in age from eight to 70, accompanied by a video by artist Vanessa Beecroft that explored themes of beauty and self-esteem. Collaborations like this, where art and fashion cross over, have become somewhat common and acted as the basis for some of fashion’s most memorable showcases. For Browne, the Marina Abramovic/Givenchy collaboration was one of the most successful to date. As she puts it, “Honestly, the best fashion designers out there are truly artists in their own rights. They just don’t always get the credit for it, because their chosen medium happens to be fashion.” And while not quite a dying art, fashion is clearly evolving. Somewhere between well-trod catwalks, leggy models and an army of makeup artists, fashion weeks the world over are embracing the challenge of presenting more tangible showcases to an international audience, all topped with a healthy dollop of entertainment. 53




Taking luxury to new heights and advancing the art of innovation, the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet breaks every boundary in its pursuit of perfection





Opposite: Ava wears: Sunglasses, Preen at Boutique 1. Top, MaxMara. Trousers, Elisabetta Franchi. Bag, Mulberry

This page: Ava wears: Sunglasses, Preen at Boutique 1. Scarf, ChloĂŠ. Top, Elisabetta Franchi. Skirt, MaxMara



This page: Gloves, Elisabetta Franchi

Opposite: Ryan wears: Sunglasses, Orlebar Brown. Jacket, Hackett. Shirt, Paul Smith. Ava wears: Sunglasses, Preen at Boutique 1. Scarf, stylist’s own. Top, Paul & Joe at Boutique 1. Trousers, Elisabetta Franchi 58



Ava wears: Sunglasses, Preen at Boutique 1. top; skirt, both MICHAEL Michael Kors. Belt, MaxMara. Shoes, Fendi





Opposite: Ryan wears: Sunglasses, Orlebar Brown. Jacket, Paul Smith. Shirt, Acne Studios. Tie, Hackett



REBORN Famed as one of the most fun people in showbusiness, Alan Cumming chats exclusively to AIR about sharing the love, political philosophies and the real-life adventures documented in his new book WORDS : HAYLEY SKIRKA





ala. Lala. Come here, Lala!” I move the phone away from my ear as the shouts continue. Suddenly, the tone changes from urgent to a cheerful “Good girl, Lala, good girl”. This is promptly followed by a profuse “I’m so sorry”. It’s just over halfway through my telephone interview with Scottish actor Alan Cumming and I entirely believe his apology is genuine. We’re chatting as he strolls through an Edinburgh park with Lala – a black collie/spaniel with hints of German shepherd and Rottweiler, and the latest addition to his family. Despite his puppy’s exploits, Cumming’s good nature doesn’t fade and he’s keen to jump right back into our interview. It’s exactly this sort of laid-back demeanour that’s helped Cumming rise to success across the Atlantic. From Broadway fame to cabaret triumph, and with movie credits spanning Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the pop-tastic Spice World and superhero epic X-Men 2, he’s A-list property stateside. He was also nominated for an Emmy earlier this year for his role as Eli Gold, political strategist in the insanely popular US TV drama The Good Wife. Having made New York his home for over 15 years, it must be exciting coming back to Scotland, I probe? “Oh, it’s lovely. I actually came back a week early and went to Barra. That was lovely, I love the Outer Hebrides. In fact, I’m kind of obsessed with it so I went on the ferry, and I took my dog over and it was just lovely.” As a fellow Scot, I can appreciate this particular obsession – it’s hard not to fixate on the splendid isolation of Scotland’s northernmost isles. In his loquacious manner, Cumming continues, “We love Edinburgh, too – Lala loves it as she can go everywhere with me. And yesterday, she had her first ever train journey when we went through to Glasgow because I was being sculpted there by David J Mitchell. I’ve got my flat in Edinburgh, too, and it’s just nice to get home.” At 49 years old, home hasn’t always held such pleasant memories. The son of a mother he adored and a father who beat him to a pulp, it’s a subject that haunted the actor for years, eventually leading to a mental breakdown and

The life I have now is not something I dreamed of. But I like it

the subsequent release of Not My Father’s Son, Cumming’s bestselling autobiography, which was laced with accounts of his childhood abuse. Today, that’s behind him and he’s back home in Scotland for the launch of his next book and a more joyous chapter in his life. Entitled You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life In Stories And Pictures, it’s the tale the actor always planned to pen. “This was the book that I was meant to write, the book that I started out to write before all that stuff happened that led me to write Not My Father’s Son, so in a way it’s been a long time coming.” And while this may well be true, having devoured the page-turner from cover to cover, in my opinion it’s certainly been worth the wait. The tome takes readers on a journey through Cumming’s wonderful, gregarious and, at times, downright raucous life. From journeying cross-country with Honey (Lala’s predecessor) to his successful marriage, his bond with a Mexican security guard, his love of Crocs and the meeting with Oprah Winfrey that spawned the book’s title, it’s enthralling stuff. The title, however, doesn’t get Cumming’s vote of approval. 66

This page: Iman (left) and Cyndi Lauper, both photographed by Alan Cumming. Closing page: Paw to paw with his beloved dog Honey

“That title… I dislike it. I mean, I really like the quote in the way we meant it as it was really Oprah saying to someone, ‘Get your s**t together. Don’t make meeting me the biggest thing in life, there’s bigger things to do.’” (The line stems from an incident in the book where Cumming arranges a meeting with a close friend who idolises Oprah, which quickly takes a turn when Winfrey puts the giggling superfan in his place for not having bigger aspirations.) Cumming continues, “I don’t think I’ve really had big dreams for my life. I mean, my dreams when I was a little boy were to get away from home. The life I have now is not something I dreamed off. But I like it.” I’m not surprised. The book recounts adventures, experiences, friends, family and fun in a whirlwind of excitement, and it’s clear that Cumming writes just like he talks – a no-holdsbarred rush of enthusiasm and honest commentary. His estimations of people are beyond accurate – who could argue with his description of Barbara Walters “appearing to walk around under softfocused lighting”? Of such uncanny observations, the actor explains, “It’s a feeling I get, a gut reaction. And that’s something that I’ve always




had: I feel like I’ve sort of tumbled through life based on my gut and how I feel about things.” It’s this same stumbling that led to Cumming’s love for photography. Having won a camera in a church raffle when he was just nine years old, all of the images in his book were taken by the Scotsman. From the grainy snapshots he captured with that very first camera to the photos of A-list celebrities letting loose in Club Cumming – his selftitled aftershow parties. Does he have a favourite image, I wonder aloud? “Oh gosh, there are so many,” he says as his mind trails off. He comes back with a giggle: “Actually, I really like the photo of a man in the loo, holding a piece of toilet paper. I just love that he is putting toilet paper in the dispenser and how it’s very mundane but also very beautiful due to the lighting. I guess those are the types of pictures I like most because they’re aligned with my outlook on life. Other people might think it’s just a guy putting a toilet roll away and I’m obsessing over what a beautiful image it is.”

This appreciation for the mundane mixed with an unfaltering sense of joy is exactly what he hopes people will take from the book. “I hope people have fun and get an insight into what my life is like and how weird and hilarious it is, because that’s what I feel about it. This book is definitely more indicative of my state of mind and my life now.” A big part of that life now is his interest in politics. Far from a silent supporter in the recent Scottish referendum, Cumming’s reaction to the result was heartfelt. Now, since Brexit, Cumming is confident his home country will get another shot at independence. “I was just talking to someone last night who used to be a political advisor and I think it’s definitely on the cards. Just 10% of the people need to change their minds, and so many promises were broken. I think Nicola [Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party] is a great politician and I feel really confident in her guidance. Fingers crossed.” These political curiosities creep up in his book, where Cumming draws parallels between a shared hatred for Crocs – those clumpy, colourful foam 69

clogs – and a manipulation of the masses today. Looking at his adopted home, Alan is genuinely worried. “Oh my God, it’s terrifying, I really worry about mass fearmongering and ignorance. The lack of education, and of value placed on education, is becoming very evident because people just believe anything they are told. It’s terrifying the idea that [Trump] might win power [in the US], it’s horrible.” Such turns in conversation, from his childhood memories to his fame and fortune to his political obligations, occur so naturally that I feel like I’m chinwagging with an old friend. So too, when he offers up advice on having to make your own party in life, a lesson he learned when he first moved to LA. “You can’t blame anyone else for not having fun. I think if there’s something that you don’t like, then change it. Don’t sit back and bleat about it,” he urges. It’s a mantra that’s served Cumming well as he’s gone from novelist to singer, to playing villains and superheroes, to Broadway success and the creation of his own fragrance line. Of all his successes, what’s been his favourite? “I don’t have a favourite. I feel that whatever I’m doing in the present is what I focus on. But of course there have been great things, and I guess the things I am most proud of are things where I’ve gone out on a limb and challenged myself. Like my last book and like my song show, stuff like that where before I think, ‘Oh, I really can’t do that,’ and then I do it. And when I do, it makes it all the better.” His sincerity, natural wit and a definite hint of mischief channels through the phone to me easily despite a gulf of around 5,000 miles between us and in all honesty I could happily chat to Cumming all day long. Unfortunately, the good old Scottish weather has other plans and the actor suddenly exclaims, “Oh, it’s raining now and Lala’s not so good with that. She’s got her lemon face on right now – you know, the squinty eyes. I’m going to have to go.” And with that he’s off, no doubt to prepare for another night of raucous joy at Club Cumming, a club I certainly hope to one day get an invite to.

Timepieces Motoring OCTOBER JUNE 2016 2016 : ISSUE : ISSUE 6165

You Were Always On My Mind A sought-after classic car with a storied history spent 50 years in the wilderness (thought to be lost forever). Carefully revived and lovingly restored, Elvis’ BMW 507 is back in the building




n iconic BMW, an abandoned pumpkin warehouse, lipstick kisses, a hillclimb driving legend and the King of Rock and Roll. It seems an eclectic collection of details, but they all have their place in this tale of motoring mythology. To begin with, any BMW 507 can be considered an exclusive piece of history – only 254 were ever produced, between 1955 and 1959. But when ownership of this particular vehicle passed to a 23-yearold Elvis Presley, on military duty in Germany, its fate was set.

70079 is the crucial number, and 20 December 1958 the all-important date: the former being the chassis number and the latter, the day a young GI Elvis acquired the auto. At first he was believed to have been its original owner, but the car actually possesses some pre-Presley drama. Earlier in 1958, hillclimb champion Hans Stuck won elevated races across Europe in this very 507 (with the same chassis number and the registration plate M– JX 800), and photographs would later verify that the roadster rolled off the 70



assembly line on 13 September 1957. It was exhibited at international motor shows, presented to King Baudouin of Belgium, and even appeared in a film – having quite the life before Presley acquired it with export plates, in order to commute to and from his US Army base in Friedberg. So how did such a once-famous auto almost disappear? Archivists at BMW Group Classic joined forces with supersleuth journalist Jackie Jouret of Bimmer: The Magazine About BMW to solve the present-day conundrum. The US military annually changing the car’s licence plates aided identity cover-up, then murkiness about what happened to it once Presley returned to the USA in the early 1960s blurred the issue further. It transpired that it had been offloaded to a Chrysler dealer in New York, who sold it for USD4,500 to

radio DJ Tommy Charles. He installed a (gasp) Chevrolet engine, and radically modified the car for competition; after a short-lived but successful racetrack stint, the BMW was sold again in 1963, eventually making its way to California, where classic car and bike collector Jack Castor acquired it in 1968. Castor reached out to Jouret after compiling a dossier on the 507, and invited her to authenticate the ‘Elvisity’ of the vehicle sitting sedate in his pumpkin warehouse. The writer recounts, “Jack had tied down its engine bonnet with ropes. It took some time until we actually got the engine compartment open and identified the stamped chassis number: 70079, the Holy Grail among BMW numbers.” While Castor had been uncertain of the car’s famous credentials, he was not oblivious to its intrinsic 72

beauty; the former space engineer had obtained the parts to restore it, but lacked time (and the appropriate engine) to complete the project. BMW Group Classic stepped in. They unearthed an insurance document from 1958, replete with the chassis number and the name of its keeper – Elvis Aaron Presley – and with this confirmation, they reached an agreement with Castor to take on the 507. Experts Klaus Kutscher and Axel Klinger-Köhnlein promised to restore it as per his wishes. Elvis was known for putting on a slick, polished show, but this relic of the hip-swivelling Memphis marvel was in far from presentable condition. BMW reveals, “Although the original body parts and other components were virtually all present and intact, it had lost its engine and gearbox. The

Adoring fans would leave kiss marks upon the white bodywork. Elvis’ solution? Paint the livery a matching shade of red

rear axle was a replacement part of unknown origin, rust was eating away the floor assembly, the seats were worn and there was no instrument panel.” A fair distance away from the pristine specs that had allured Presley – a 150HP, V8 aluminium engine under the bonnet, centre-lock rims, blackand-white interior and a Becker Mexico radio – it was the history associated with this auto (and not its rough aesthetics) that beguiled. In 2014, following a brief exhibition to show off their newfound treasure, the specialised BMW division set about restoration, and authenticity was a crucial aspect – right down to the colour. The ‘discovered’ version was red (with a coating of dust), while the original hue was Feather White… Presley would drive from his home in Bad Nauheim, and a legion of adoring

fans would leave kiss marks upon the white bodywork. Elvis’ solution? Paint the livery a matching shade of red. The 507 now gleams with virginal shine: the primer coat, filler and topcoat applied loyally using painting techniques that existed six decades prior. BMW explains further, “The engine was completely rebuilt from spare parts. The 3.2l V8 engine was reconditioned precisely in conformity with the original specs, but it was not given an engine number on account of the unavoidable but otherwise unusual use of old and new components.” There’s an element of modernity, though: “Original parts are limited even at BMW Group Classic, [therefore] traditional craftsmanship in the style of the 1950s was melded with hightech production procedures. For example, the instrument panel was 73

newly cast on the basis of the original; the leather upholstery was created to precisely match the pattern shown in old photographs and catalogues… Window winders and door handles were remanufactured in an advanced 3D-printing process based on the original dimensions.” Castor sadly passed away in 2014, unable to witness the conclusion of this lost-and-found endeavour, though head of BMW Group Classic Ulrich Knieps believes, “This was an exceptionally fascinating project [and] the outcome is not simply a source of great pride to us: Jack would undoubtedly have been delighted, too.” With ingenuity and a little bit of love me tender, this 507 has reclaimed its former glory – a king of the road that is one of the most significant motoring discoveries of recent times.

Gastronomy OCTOBER 2016 : ISSUE 65

OctaPhilosopher AIR

Like a genius kitchen scientist, André Chiang concocts fresh ingredients in delicious dishes and finely tuned liquids in complementary jus; it’s an unforgettable symphony of creativity and culture WORDS : CHRIS UJMA


ehind the heavy blue door of a private address in Singapore, a culinary mastermind is at work – when he is there, that is. One of the quaintest details about André Chiang’s Restaurant André is that, much like with a trusted friend, you can only dine there when the chef is in town; when he’s on his travels – visiting other restaurants in his international portfolio, for example – his head full of recipes (and the opportunity to sample them) flies with him. What seismic culinary movements have been created in the part Michelinstar abode, part food laboratory, exactly? Octaphilosophy, jus fermentation, and a departure from fine-dining routine that compels you

to put this Southeast Asian island city state on your ‘repeat destination’ list. Inside, you’ll be settled at your table by Pam, the lady who is front of house and, incidentally, Chiang’s wife. This is the house that intimacy built, and it’s a family affair right down to some of the art and pottery that graces the property, made by Chiang’s own hand. Forget browsing a menu once seated, and eschew any other preconceptions of fine dining; you’re in the presence of the ultimate lateral thinker – in his own ‘home’, no less. The Taiwan-born chef cut his teeth in some of France’s finest kitchens – Pierre Gagnaire, L’Atelier Etoile de Joël Robuchon, L’Astrance and Le Jardin des Sens – before returning 74

to his Asian roots and setting up his now-acclaimed eponymous eatery on Singapore’s Bukit Pasoh Road. There was just one problem, he says: “I was making French cuisine but I don’t speak French, so I had to think about how I could communicate the DNA of my cuisine to an international audience.” He dreamt up the concept of Octaphilosophy, comprising eight elements that create an adroit framework of the most important words that inspire him: salt, texture, memory, pure, terroir, south, artisan and unique. One of these details will define the profound dish you’re tucking into, and, says Chiang, mysteriously, “Each has a theme with a different approach; one you may eat with your fingers,



then next… who knows. But,” he adds, definitively, “It creates a total dining experience. It’s not merely our restaurant philosophy and a method of encouraging and managing the creative process, but is a principle to live by.” Does this unconventional approach that shelves normality take well with patrons? “Our guests come in without expectations and because of the setting within our circa-1922 townhouse, they are more relaxed. We have a library, a dining area that seats 30, and it feels homely; conversation finds an easy place here. It is a departure from the ‘restaurant’ process, and opens their mind to a new experience,” Chiang explains. You’ll unearth precise dishes with complex flavour profiles, but for the chef, “None of the dishes are really a challenge [despite the fact that] we get produce from farmers and fishermen daily and never know what is coming in tomorrow. We have a farm in Taiwan where we get the fresh vegetables, while other fresh items will be flown in.” Without a consistent menu, his kitchen is so fertile with innovation that Chiang chose to compile the compositions in a dedicated book. “My 40th birthday was approaching and I wanted to document 365 days of our creativity. From the outset, we thought we would create 60 new dishes but it ended up being much more… over 200 dishes, in fact. It was painstaking to take the pictures every week and document the ingredients, but fantastically rewarding.” We’ve ventured criminally far here without addressing another of Chiang’s defining dining features – jus – and in honesty, the science behind these fermented elixirs is deserving of a thickly printed tome in its own right. Watching him come alive with enthusiasm on the topic is like ‘Gastronomy Passion 101’, and listening to the mixing, bubbling, flavour-combining process he details is like being given the inside track on Willy Wonka’s trade secrets. He has concocted a collection of Jus des Idées, pairing liquids that have “astringency, smoky, grassy or creamy flavours with textures that give a wine-like sensation for full taste, body and aroma”, and no sugar or sweetness to spoil the palate. Chiang unravels his methodology: “In the back of my mind there’s always

We have thousands of years of history of fermentation… and juice is the purest way to appreciate nature in the liquid form been a burning question… we take a lot of care in sharing stories about wines, the people behind them and how they cultivate them, and any bottle of wine we have is there for a reason, because it complements a dish. But what if my guest doesn’t drink? None of the alternatives can take you to what wine pairing can do. That’s when I really started to work on the non-alcoholic beverage. In Asia we have thousands of years of history of fermentation, yet it seemed like innovation and evolution stopped since we knew how to make soy sauce. Juice is the purest way to appreciate nature in the liquid form, and it’s something that I am best placed to lead the way in.” Plaudits deservedly flood this chef’s way. His restaurant is among The World’s 50 Best, though Chiang considers it “not a ‘ranking’ of the best, but a collection of the restaurants that are pushing culinary boundaries in that given year, with unrivalled experiences. It is by far among our proudest achievements to date”. Another pleasing development is Singapore recently getting its own Michelin Guide (Chiang acquired two 76

stars in the process). Ruminating on the regional scene, he says, “When I came back 10 years ago, I could count the quality restaurants on one hand and you have to ask, why do you go to a particular city? For an unrivalled, memorable dining experience, and that is what we offer. Singapore has many great restaurants, but as a nation we always wanted what other people have. The mark of a great culinary city is when you have something that nobody else has, that compels people to visit the city just to eat in that one place. From New York to London to Stockholm, they all have that one great restaurant and the question is: what is that one place in Singapore that makes a person say, ‘I have to eat there’?” You can rely on the newly minted guide for an answer to the influential chef, or choose to trust us; either way, the signs (and scents) lead to the restaurant you’ve just read all about. For some open-book inspiration, Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant André is out now, and being taken on world tour. For information on the restaurant, visit restaurantandre.com


Timepieces Travel OCTOBER JUNE 2016 2016 : ISSUE : ISSUE 6165

9 journeys by jet

Sasaab Lodge


Samburu, Kenya



uffalo Springs National Reserve: the very name conjures up sun-baked days on the majestic African savannah, the soundtrack provided by a cacophony of roars and calls from an assortment of beasts that would do National Geographic proud. You may not have heard of Sasaab Lodge, though – a cluster of cottages near the national reserve that form a property in The Safari Collection – so allow us to paint the scene. Take the cottages: a visual blend of welcoming Moroccan and Swahili style that keeps the heat at bay, with billowing white drapes, earthy colours and – beyond the doorstep – an untamed expanse of nature. Standout elements are elegant four-poster beds, ‘at one with nature’

open-air bathrooms and invigorating private plunge pools in each abode. Sasaab has assembled the great indoors, but quelling your curiosity long enough to remain within one of the nine exclusive lodgings is a losing battle – the pull of the plains is simply too great. Take advantage of a bespoke itinerary and embrace the opportunity to sleep under the stars, gazing up at a perfect, unpolluted sky. Unleash your inner shutterbug on a cultural photography tour, or perhaps arrange to explore the region by speedy game drive or trusty camel. Even the Samburu Big Five is alternative and unique, with its beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Grévy’s zebra, gerenuk antelope and Somali ostrich lineup.


Being less adventurous and lazing on-resort has its rewards, too. Sasaab uses natural Kenyan ingredients in its skincare products; the pool, built on the hillside, overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River; and a veranda affords sunset panoramas of Laikipia Plateau and the jagged peak of Mount Kenya. All this symphony makes Sasaab Lodge a stay with a difference – it’s a place that represents intimacy, luxury and adventure at its most intricate, on Kenya’s fascinating Northern Frontier. Sasaab airstrip, just 15 minutes’ drive from Sasaab Lodge, can accommodate the likes of the Beechcraft King Air. Larger aircraft will arrive at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, from where a lighter aircraft can be chartered

What I Know Now




What inspires me most is life in general. All your experiences, up and down, inspire. You never know when inspiration is going to hit you or where you’ll find it. I suppose I’m a little different when it comes to finding inspiration; it can come from sitting down and unplugging with a soccer match or from nature, industrial design or fashion. My family is also a huge inspiration. I believe in never giving up, never taking no for an answer, and working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. My life goes at two speeds, on or off – when I’m off it’s usually because I’m sleeping; I’m on all the

other times. It’s a quality that drives my family insane but they’ve become used to it because my phone buzzes all day and all night. Work hard in silence and let success be your noise. That’s the best piece of advice I was ever given. Period. Ralph [Lauren] told me that during my time at Polo. I’d say the lesson I learned the hard way is to never to give up on a product, never give up on anything you want really badly in life. I met Richard Meier, the architect, and he said that sometimes the projects that get thrown out are your favourite ones 80

and you have to keep working on them. Sometimes people want to dissuade you from a new concept and steer you towards a new idea to change the way things are made. I think at certain points in my career, even when I was younger, I gave in too easily. Which, if anyone knows me now, is not me at all – I do not give in easily today. So I would tell others to never ever give up on something they truly believe in, no matter what it is. I would not have done a single thing differently. Nothing. I never look backwards, only forward; it’s the job of a creative director to look forward every step of the way.


Destination of Exceptional Taste. Experience a world of choice with authentic flavors at a myriad of award-winning restaurants and lounges.


Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000, F +971 4 414 0001 | jwmarriottmarquisdubai.com JW Marriott Marquis Dubai |

@JWDubaiMarquis |


Profile for Hot Media

Air Magazine - Nasjet - October'16  

Air Magazine - Nasjet - October'16  

Profile for hotmedia