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Contents SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
EDITORIAL Editorial Director
John Thatcher Managing Editor
Faye Bartle Editor
Chris Ujma firstname.lastname@example.org
ART Art Director
Kerri Bennett Senior Designer
Hiral Kapadia Illustration
COMMERCIAL Managing Director
email@example.com Commercial Director
PRODUCTION Production Manager
Michelle Williams says she had to “become a bigger person” for her latest role – the dancing half of Fosse/Verdon
To celebrate the 100 th edition of AIR, we present our carefullyconsidered list of the greatest things in luxury right now
The stunning, Karl Lagerfeldmasterminded Chanel shows – as seen through the expert lens of Simon Procter
Those looking to make it onto the International Best-Dressed List must first sway Amy Fine Collins. What’s the secret?
Dancing Up a Storm
The Luxury 100
The Greatest Showman
Dressed to Impress
Beijing · Dresden · Dubai · Geneva · Hong Kong · Macau · Madrid · Nanjing · Paris · Shanghai · Shenyang · Singapore · Tokyo · Vienna · Xian
SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Into the V&A wonderland of Tim Walker, at the largest exhibit of the enigma’s photography to-date
Four stunning timepieces (unveiled at SIHH) are indicative of Speake-Marin’s new vision, post-founder
From the Blower of the 1920s to the Bentayga of today, Bentley has spent 100 years crafting era-defining motors
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island are the brand’s established Abu Dhabi-icons
The contemporary art of Nicholas Kontaxis has caught the attention of Adidas, collectors and Coachella
With the family back in the fold, Fabergé is hatching its storied history into an exciting, gem-filled present
Heston Blumenthal has gone from The Fat Duck to settingup a water research lab. Are things going swimmingly?
Art & Design
Gastronomy Tel: 00971 4 364 2876 Fax: 00971 4 369 7494 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media is strictly prohibited. HOT Media does not accept liability for any omissions or errors in AIR.
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NasJet SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
NasJet is the first private charter company in Saudi Arabia, providing bespoke aviation services for the most discerning clients and institutions in the world since 1999. Currently, the Group operates more than 24 corporate aircraft, making us the largest and most experienced private jet operator in the region with a managed fleet value exceeding USD1.5 billion. NasJet, which is part of NAS Holding, employs over 1,800 industry experts, operating 24/7 from our state-of-the-art flight centre in Riyadh and across the world delivering a superior level of safety, service and value. At NasJet we have the expertise and international experience to operate corporate aircraft worldwide. Every hour of every day, we are moving planes, crews and inventory across continents. We give you peace of mind when it comes to our commercial operations. As a Saudi company we are backed by some of the most prominent shareholders in the world. We are established. On our Air Operator Certificate (AOC), NasJet currently operates:
Welcome Onboard SEPTEMBER 2019
• Cessna Citation Excel, which can seat 6 passengers and fly for up to 3 hours non-stop • Embraer Legacy 600, which can seat 13-15 passengers and fly for up to 5 hours non-stop • Gulfstream GIV-SP and G450 Aircraft, which can seat 13-14 passengers and fly for up to 8 hours non-stop • Gulfstream GV, which can seat 16 passengers and fly for up to 12 hours non-stop • Airbus 318ACJ, which can seat 19-22 passengers and fly for up to 8 hours non-stop • Boeing Business Jet (B737-900), which can seat 38 passengers and fly for up to 9 hours non-stop • Boeing 767, which can seat up to 44 passengers and fly for up to 14 hours non-stop NasJet is pleased to offer the following services: • Aircraft Purchase and Sales. We have aircraft available for sale and management, or we can manage the purchase or sale of other aircraft. • Aircraft Acquisition, Acceptance, Completion and Delivery. We can find you the new aircraft that suits your needs, customise it to your liking, monitor the build of the aircraft at the manufacturer, and supervise the final delivery process to ensure a smooth and rewarding private aircraft experience. • Aircraft Management, where we are responsible for your aircraft from all aspects to provide you the highest safety standards, the best service and the most economical management solutions. • Block Charter, where we provide you with charter solutions sold in bulk at discounted rates. • Ad-Hoc Charter, where we can serve your charter needs where and when you need us on demand. With the new GACA Rules and Regulations having come into effect, NasJet has established itself as the first to market our Private and Commercial AOC Services. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, and look forward to seeing you aboard one of our private jets.
Captain Mohammed Al Gabbas Senior Vice President Cover: Michelle Williams. Art Streiber / August
Contact Details: nasjet.com.sa / +966 11 261 1199 / firstname.lastname@example.org 13
NasJet SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Knowledge Exchange NASJET UPDATES LEADING INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS ON ITS OPERATIONS, PLUS KSA MARKET DEVELOPMENTS NasJet was once again honoured to partake in Corporate Jet Investor Dubai: a conference which attracts a prestigious cross section of industry movers, shakers and decision makers. The fourth iteration of the event, hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah Beach, was an opportunity to examine the realities of managing and operating aircraft in the Middle East – while time was also dedicated to discussing matters affecting neighbouring markets. 14
The midday session served as an opportunity for speakers Captain Mohammed Al Gabbas (NasJet’s Senior Vice President) and Yosef Hafiz (NasJet CCO) to take to the stage and provide delegates with a pulse check of both NasJet’s business focus, and of the wider Saudi Arabian private jet landscape – including a timely update on GACA’s newly-implemented rules and regulations. “It’s safe to say that, this time last year, people were sceptical of the new GACA Rules and Regulations,” said Hafiz. “Observers openly wondered how GACA was going to regulate other aircraft that are not registered in Saudi Arabia.” Said rules came into full effect as of 1 January 2019, and require all aircraft owners – regardless of where they are registered to be on a private Operators Certificate (under Part
125) or on a commercial Air Operator Certificate (under 121 Special Unscheduled). “GACA has taken a strong stance against aircraft owners and operators, they put their foot down, and did not offer an extension beyond the 1 January deadline,” admits Hafiz. “But they needed to regulate the market, as there were a lot of savvy owners managing an aircraft on their own, with the pilot, and they weren’t doing a good job. There’s been a pushback from some of the aircraft owners but eventually, they are all going to have to comply. They will all have to find an AOC holder, an OC holder, who can maintain their aircraft for them. It’s predominantly about safety. ” A positive impact is that the Grey market (where private aircraft owners conduct illegal charter flights without an AOC), “Is almost eliminated in
Image: Gulfstream G650ER, courtesy of Gulfstream News
Saudi Arabia,” says Hafiz. “It’s almost nil. We are seeing less and less grey market charter which was a big issue for management companies in KSA. Cabotage [the transport of cargo or passengers from one destination to another, for a fee, within the same country] has been eliminated completely. Anybody who wants to fly domestically has to be with a Saudi company that has an AOC or an OC in Saudi Arabia.” From a NasJet-centric aspect, Captain Al Gabbas spoke of the previous 12 months as being, “The best year since we started the business – and there’s a couple of reasons behind that. We merged some services with our sister company FlyNas – so maintenance and operations became one department – and we also decided to remove five Fokker aircraft, which were not needed because there was not
enough demand in Saudi Arabia.” The selling is no surprise, being in line with NasJet’s shift of focus to aircraft management. Says Hafiz, “For us– as with other operators in Saudi Arabia – aircraft management is where the future lies. As a company we used to do fractional ownership; we used to do ad hoc charter; we used to own the assets. That doesn’t work. It’s not about owning the asset; we’ve learned that over the last 20 years of business. The changes that we have made have shown positive results for us as a company. Our future lies in consolidating all the efforts we have to manage aircraft in Saudi Arabia.” Added the captain, “There are good margins for us there and it’s our core business – we do supplement that with charter, and a lot of the aircraft that we operate are on a Commercial AOC, so there’s a high
demand for charter flights, especially from the government sector. That helps out aircraft owners offset some of the cost.” Casting an eye to the year ahead, Captain Al Gabbas was direct about his “optimism” for NasJet operations. Hafiz provided the colour commentary, saying, “The need for jet owners to have an AOC or OC registration has meant that competition among aircraft management companies in Saudi Arabia has continued to rise. This demand has led to aircraft owners seeking providers who can provide them with the better level of service – which has led Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) directly to NasJet’s doorstep.”
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Radar SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Image: Duckie Thot, ‘Aubrey’s shadow’ by Tim Walker, London, 2017 ©Tim Walker Studio
The acclaimed Tim Walker may live in a fantastical wonderland but thankfully, for the art observer, he leaves a vial of potion for us to follow him down the rabbit hole. A new exhibit – the largest collection of his work to-date – details the evolution of this photography enigma. “To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams,” said Walker, of the show’s gracious host. “It’s the most inspiring place in the world”. ‘Tim Walker: Wonderful Things’ opens at London’s V&A this month – showing until 20 March 2020
Critique SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Film The Current War Dir: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon The epic tale of geniuses Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse in the race to electrify America. AT BEST: “Highly stylised and edited for pace... carried along by [its] bombastic staging and heightened performances.” The Ooh Tray AT WORST: “Even with electrocutions and shots in which switches are thrown and towns light up for the first time, it doesn’t have the excitement of a good cinematic yarn.” Vulture
Dir: Simon Hunter After her controlling husband dies, a woman embarks on a trip to fulfill her longtime dream of climbing a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. AT BEST: “In common with its difficult protagonist and her hardscrabble holiday, director Simon Hunter’s film is pleasingly gritty, even in moments of levity.” Irish Times AT WORST: “[The movie] has heart and pathos, but had the potential to be something much more.” Screen Queens
Loro Dir: Paolo Sorrentino A screen depiction of the life and times of scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi – looking at life in Italy under the billionaire prime minister. AT BEST: “ Sometimes whimsical, sometimes gruellingly sordid, sometimes wayward in those Fellini-esque departures and dreamlike epiphanies of which Sorrentino [is] such a master.” Guardian
Monos Dir: Alejandro Landes A survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America, tracking a young group of soldiers and rebels defending a hostage AT BEST: “Nothing short of an aesthete’s dream, a film crammed with visual bravado that at various times echoes Kubrick, Malick, and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.” CineVue AT WORST: “A gritty, jarring cinematic style, Monos is less likable than admirable – an achievement with a clear, apocalyptic vision.” Vox 20
Images: 101 Studios; Music Box Films; Sundance Selects; NEON
AT WORST: “Toni Servillo’s bravura performance as Berlusconi often papers over the cracks.” The Times UK
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Critique SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Samantha Pauly as Eva Perón (and-Co.) in Evita. Photo by Marc Brenner
orget everything you know about Evita: this one properly rocks. Gone are the romanticised shots of sunsoaked South America, sliced out are the filler numbers clogging the score and deleted is the simpering, blonde starlet,” writes a shocked Rosemary Waugh for Time Out London. “Instead, Jamie Lloyd’s production... creates a pumping, sped-up Evita edged with dirt, rust and grime.” This interpretation, at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London through September, “Is all very far removed from Hal Prince’s first staging and seems deliberately stripped of its finery,” explains Arifa Akbar in The Guardian. “Perón appears in just a white slip for most of the show and Soutra Gilmore’s stage is a set of stairs that neatly alludes to Perón’s talent for social climbing.” At The Express, purist Stefan Kyriazis was not amused. “Look, I get it. Art must never stagnate or rest complacently on its laurels. Innovation can be wonderful, especially in new pieces. Some older works can find new life in fresh interpretations that reflect changing realities... But do cry for Argentina as this brutal ‘modernisation’ rips out its heart.” 22
Pairing two shows back-to-back sometimes brings out the best in both,” says Adam Feldman for Time Out New York. “Sometimes, it only makes the virtues of one of them shine brighter. The latter is the case in Sea Wall / A Life, a diptych of works by English playwrights that has now moved to Broadway for a brief engagement. The two pieces are superficially similar... But in every regard, the first of the two puts the second in the shade.” Writes Adam Green in Vogue ,“At their best, one-person plays have the intimacy and urgency of an encounter with someone who needs to get something off his or her chest... Under the direction of the smashing Carrie Cracknell, each is a short monologue that, beneath its spare surface, grapples with profound questions about life, death, and identity.” The twin-set, at Hudson Theatre through September, “[Are] two overwhelmingly great performances...” enthuses Kerensa Cadenas for Entertainment Weekly. “[It’s] an evening that will emotionally wreck you, convince you of Sturridge’s acting prowess, and further consider that Gyllenhaal is one of the finest actors of his generation.”
“Lewis Carroll’s trippy Alice in Wonderland books have inspired many a theatrical spectacle, but Company XIV’s performance is a transporting fusion of haute burlesque, circus, dance and song,” explains Raven Snook of Queen of Hearts in Time Out New York. “With its soundtrack of pop songs, attractive ensemble cast and immersive aesthetics – plus chocolate and speciality cocktails – Queen of Hearts feels like Moulin Rouge! for actual bohemians. Hell, it even has a cancan. Like Alice, you may resist returning to reality when it’s over.” At Theatre XIV until 2 November, “The evening plays on familiar literary tropes from Carroll’s Alice series. Artistic director Austin McCormick (like underground auteurs Warhol and Waters) has assembled a company of ‘superstar’ performers, each with their own very unique talents,” says Bobby McGuire of The Broadway Blog. “The euphoric atmosphere [created] reminds us now and then of the political insanity in the world right now...” opines Pete Hempstead at TheaterMania. “But for the most part, Queen of Hearts lets us trade the madness outside the theatre for an intoxicating, exquisite madness within.”
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Critique SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
hahidha Bari’s Dressed, should have been purest catnip for me, the kind of book I’ve longed for half my life,” says Rachel Cooke in The Guardian. “Its high-minded intentions are obvious even before you open it: thanks to her publisher, which has been generous, it is more than elegant enough to inhabit one of those fashion emporiums for the thinking woman where hardbacks slyly cosy up to the latest trainers and piles of white T-shirts... But my real problem with Dressed hasn’t to do with its thinking. It’s more a matter of tone.” At Literary Review, Lucy Moore is kinder when expressing, “[There are] many delectable facts waiting to be discovered... [It] is irresistible when Bari riffs with extraordinary breadth and depth on the cultural meanings of the items she describes… I put it down having been dazzled by Bari’s learning and insights... In the end, Dressed is an argument for taking apparently frivolous things seriously...” Dressed, says Danny Arter for The Bookseller, “Is a meandering, enriching and sprawling read... Each chapter opens with a lucid, novelistic first-person soliloquy introducing the type of clothing under scrutiny, then delves into its genealogy and portrayal in popular (and less popular) culture, with a fair dose of philosophy, too.” Our Women on the Ground comprises 19 Arab women journalists speaking out about what it’s like to report on their changing homelands in this firstof-its-kind essay collection – with a foreword by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. “In many cases, these conflict-zone reporters were inspired to become journalists due to heart-rending stories among their own families and friends,” say Kirkus Reviews.“[Reflections and] remembrances give this collection its power as they reveal strength and courage not only among the contributors but inherent in so many of the people they encounter as they seek to reveal the horrors of war, and the hopes
that still prevail despite Middle East conflict,” pens Elayne Clift for New York Journal of Books. “The stories shatter stereotypes and offer a necessary view on a part of the world too frequently misunderstood, while revealing the sexism and harassment that women journalists encounter while doing their difficult work.” There is, writes Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson for NPR, “A deep fascination in the West with how women function in ultra-conservative societies where repression can be violent and even deadly. This anthology pulls back the curtain on those places, while connecting readers to brave and incisive female journalists who help us better understand the Arab world.” “In the late 1970s NASA was sending Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 to a tour of the outer planets, after which they would continue on into uncharted outer space,” explains Marla Warren in a Nerd Daily review of The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record. “With the idea that maybe, just maybe, there might be life somewhere that would find these space probes, astronomer Carl Sagan was commissioned to create a record. This record would be fixed to the side of the Voyager crafts and has been considered the most important compilation ever made. Think of it as a mixtape, from Earth to the Cosmos.” The book, praises Publishers Weekly, “[Is] delivered with effortless grace; a buoyant look at one of NASA’s most unusual but oft-overlooked efforts will appeal to music fans and astronomy buffs alike.” Says James Hill in The Washington Post, “The Beatles didn’t make the cut. Neither did Elvis, Jefferson Starship or the Rolling Stones. What did was Chuck Berry, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Louis Armstrong and an obscure musician named Blind Willie Johnson, along with other forms of music from around the world. A sceptic would say: What’s the point? And indeed, Scott notes that the intended audience, extraterrestrials, might never happen upon the Golden Record.”
Images: Penguin (Jonathan Cape imprint); Penguin Random House (Harvill Secker imprint)
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Critique SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Installation of Dóra Maurer (5 August 2019 –5 July 2020) at Tate Modern © Tate (Matt Greenwood)
inks, curves and meshes of colour,” summarises Evening Standard’s Ben Luke of Dóra Maurer, at Tate Modern until 5 July, 2020. “Maurer’s work is diverse formally – photography, film, drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture – but consistent in its use of conceptual systems. Much of it unpacks simple actions. It’s too neat to link this to her journeying between East and West, especially given how arcane and abstract the work can be, but Maurer did once say that ‘motion was change, existential change for me.’” Maurer, explains Laura Cumming for The Observer, “Was born in Budapest in 1937. Her career began under communism... Maurer has said that her work is not overtly political, but it is very clearly a discreet form of defiance in its sheer experimentalism: worlds away from the regime’s preference for social realism and sentimental schlock.” Says a laudatory Jonathan Jones for The Guardian, “In today’s anxious world, where even a museum on a Sunday afternoon is not a safe space, it’s a joy to see this optimistic art. You could almost come away with the idea that the world has got better, not worse, in recent decades.” 26
“If you’re British, Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) is a relatively unknown artist. If you’re Finnish, Helene Schjerfbeck is a very famous artist,” says to-the-point Rosemary Waugh for Time Out London. “This show is the first chance London audiences have had to join the Schjerfbeck fan club... [showing] how her style morphed from French-influenced naturalism to looser, fuzzier modernism”. The review, at Royal Academy of Arts until 27 October, “Is reticent about her personal life, on the basis that male artists aren’t discussed in terms of their home lives,” observes Melanie McDonagh in Evening Standard. “Fine, except that her output seems very human in that it is affected by her relationships... This is an overdue tribute to a very considerable artist.” Muses Laura Cumming in her Guardian review, “Gradually the selfportraits deepen with age... In the final self-portrait, made at the age of 82, Schjerfbeck has reverted to drawing. The eyes are sightless, the face no more than a pictogram: it is the image of a death foretold. The artist is now no more than a line, but what a line – the perfect distillation of herself.”
“The public might be in danger of missing Mrinalini Mukherjee: Phenomenal Nature, because her name is not well known, and because it lacks an easy hook,” worries Ben Davis for artnetnews. “She hailed from a different art world, India in the 1970s2000s, and her work draws on a pool of references and traditions that might be slightly unfamiliar. But... her sculptures eschewed the kinds of easily marketed images of ‘Indian-ness’ that the global contemporary art biz sometimes feeds on.” Showing at New York’s Met Breuer until 29 September, “Her abstracted forms, which combined figurative elements with those inspired by nature, were woven intuitively, without benefit of preparatory studies,” says Time Out New York. “These spontaneous creations form the backbone of this show, which also displays example of Mukherjee’s efforts in ceramic and bronze.” The singular knotted-rope sculptures, profiles Murtaza Vali at ArtForum, “Are composed of undulating folds, soft crevasses, and drooping protuberances. Teetering between figuration and abstraction, her efflorescent forms... echo classical Indian sculpture.”
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Art & Design SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Reaching His Stride The abstract paintings of Nicholas Kontaxis are making a profound mark on the art world: his solo shows have caught the keen eye of high-profile collectors, while Coachella and Adidas have come calling with commissions. Oh, and he’s only 23 WORDS: CARÛ SANDERS
Opening page: Nicholas Kontaxis This page: The artist takes a moment to reflect
The brushstrokes on his canvas are his words; the spontaneous layers of paint are his inflections and punctuation
ollowing several sold-out shows all over the United States, Nicholas Kontaxis will show his work in London for the first time this September – and an international exhibition across the pond is a major moment for the young painter. The milestone is all the more extraordinary when you learn that the 23-year-old moves with difficulty, and his speech is limited. One wonders what he would say to the guests who come to look at his vibrant, large-scale murals; Kontaxis is not able to speak or convey the ‘meaning’ of his paintings with ease. With limited speech and physical disabilities, his painting is his language. The brushstrokes on his canvas are his words; the spontaneous layers of paint are his inflections and punctuation marks. Compositions are usually a series of quick brushstrokes, closely connected in a bold colour scheme, with elements that harmonise to impart a sense of optimism and joy. He has created his own linguistic narrative. Kontaxis’ parents discovered that he had a brain tumour when he was 14 months old. He can speak, but what he says changes as the seizures change. The titles of his works are certainly catchy, mini-soundbites that lend an even greater sense of playfulness to the technicolour schemes of the paintings. Yet despite his pain, Kontaxis isn’t tortured by his art. It is his art that
gives meaning to his existence. Every picture tells a story, and in this case, it is one of joy – and a reminder that something beautiful can come out of adversity. Ultimately, his story is as much about a family pulling together as it is about the abstract colours upon the canvasses. The Kontaxis family refused to take the easy option; institutionalising him was never part of the plan. When asked why they chose painting as a medium, his mother Krisann explains that, “As a youngster, Nicholas enjoyed laying down patterns on papers and was obsessed with vibrant colour. When no options were left for Nicholas in the school’s disabled working programme – mainly because of his daily seizures – we were worried he would never work in his life, which was devastating for us.” Krisann explains that she and her husband Euthym, an emergency room doctor, had a lightbulb moment. Nicholas had excelled at art in high school, and the couple had paint sitting in the garage. The school district mandated that their son had to earn a living in the job of his choice, in order for them to allow him to pursue the subject at school in its vocational programme. Euthym explains, “For some reason, it was important to us – no matter how trivial it seemed in the light of his health issues – for him to be part of the work force.” He adds, “We had to
This page: Beautiful as Me; Candy; When She Comes By Overleaf: Letâ€™s Have a Snowball Fight
honestly assess strengths and weaknesses, and accept extreme limitations. In Nicholas’ situation, his limitations resulted in the only possibility. It was a case of ‘Let the “no’s” be the rail tracks of what is possible.’” He started to paint and, while the pieces showed promise, for the family it was never about making money – it was about creating routine and a purpose. His school allowed him to set-up a corner studio and, once he started to sell, a friend suggested holding an exhibition. The first few paintings sold fast. What the Kontaxis family have demonstrated is that love and support can overcome limitations. His mother Krisann defines him as an “outsider artist”, which rings true in the sense that he can’t discuss his work with his audience. But then, John Milton was blind when he wrote Paradise Lost – one of the most evocative pieces of writing in the literary canon – and he would have to keep the words in his head until his daughter could write them down for him. Jean-Dominique Bauby, author of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was left paralysed by a stroke apart from one blinking eye. The extraordinary memoir was transcribed – like Milton, by his daughter – communicating using only his left eyelid. Experts disagree on whether Michelangelo had gout or osteoarthritis. The famous sculptor had significant trouble using his hands, but continued to chisel away and paint until he was almost 89. Francisco Goya experienced visual problems, dizziness and mobility issues with his painting arm bit his illness didn’t limit his abilities, only transformed them into something more robust. Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse did not let their lack of mobility dampen their spirits: it is in fact well documented that some of their symptoms may have contributed to their artistic practice. Van Gogh suffered from seizures and was born with a brain lesion, which didn’t prevent him from being one of the most renowned painters in art history. Matisse referred to his wheelchairbound years after cancer surgery as ‘une seconde vie’ – his second life – which allowed him to rethink his priorities. Unable to travel like he used to, he saw the world and his art from a different vantage. 32
As a youngster, Nicholas enjoyed laying down patterns on papers and was obsessed with vibrant colour
Like Matisse, Nicholas is limited in his mobility, but while he may not be able to travel, his work does – and because his family unit (comprising his parents, brothers, aunt and others) refused to take the easy option, he is no longer anonymous outside of the small community nucleus. The artist has been commissioned by Coachella and Adidas, while among the collectors is tennis legend Roger Federer,
who purchased several of the paintings for his home. Kontaxis won’t be in London for his first international exhibition, but his work is a journey in itself; an experience of the beauty around him, via the art he creates with his own hands. Reach – Nicholas Kontaxis’ solo exhibition, curated by West Contemporary – shows at London’s 35 Baker Street from 4-10 September
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Timepieces SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Speak for Yourself Under new guidance, Speake-Marin remains a beacon of independent Swiss watchmaking - blending minimal production with maximal curiosity WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
t has to be said that Speake-Marin is no longer helmed by its founder Peter Speake-Marin – and it’s best to be up-front about that because the namesake brand is, too. Christelle Rosnoblet was installed as the independent brand’s CEO two years ago, and has admitted that losing the founder was an “undeniable challenge.” However, she says that the brand now “focuses more on the Speake-Marin timepieces than the face that started it”. British-born watchmaker Peter founded the eponymous brand in 2002. A former antique watch restorer, his own artistic creations were heavily influenced by classical watchmaking – while also inspired by both his time in London and the intricacies of marine chronometry. But he relinquished company ownership many years before departing in 2017 (leaving to teach watchmaking, and indicating to horology35
journalism authority Hodinkee that he was ‘cool’ with the separation). In 2011 it was the retail-focused Rosnoblet family who stepped in – beginning as observers and now playing a more prominent role. Christelle says that, “Speake-Marin was an attractive brand to enter as I always wanted to be involved in the strategic management and product development of a watch brand, which utilised my background as a passionate watch connoisseur and collector. At that time, my arrival and involvement allowed Peter to concentrate more on the watchmaking part of the business.” The company is now being shaped by the Rosnoblet family, and it is making a mark on high end watchmaking. “Our new brand strategy – to position Speake-Marin in a unique way – not only required us to modernise the corporate codes [by implementing ‘Royal Blue’ as its main communication colour], but also to modernise the design of our watches and become more exclusive,” she details. “We took the decision to focus on in-house movements only, offering only limited editions – ranging from an automatic movement with micro rotor (SMA01) to double tourbillons (SMAHH06) and Minute Repeater Tourbillons (SMA-HH02). The updated Piccadilly case, with its visible horns and our heart shaped hands, make Speake-Marin watches unique and recognisable – while still respecting the brand’s DNA and its codes.” Heritage courses through the company: it describes its pieces as ‘A love story between Swiss watchmaking and English inspiration’, and its logo is the shape of a topper wheel (a tool that is part of a vintage watchmaker’s arsenal, used to alter the profile of the teeth on wheels. It’s rarely used today outside the restoration of early pocket watches or vintage wristwatches). The brand made its strongest statement yet when four new watches were presented at this year’s Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). The lineup included an Openworked Dual Time edition of the striking ‘One & Two’ – a timepiece that Christelle explains, “was introduced to reach a new, younger target group who looks for an elegant but different aesthetic. Within the One & Two collection, the Openworked models HMS and Dual Time (launched at SIHH) have a very 36
Opening page: The versatile One&Two Openworked Dual Time by Speake-Marin Previous pages: One of Speake-Marin’s SIHH 2019 highlights, the Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon ‘Légèreté’ This page: Speake-Marin brand ambassador Pierce Brosnan, wearing the Velsheda, from the J-Class Collection
Watchmaking is a true profession – an art – which requires ingenuity, sophistication and taste strong character with their prominent angles and their contemporary look.” There was also a showing for The Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Légèreté at the fair – a bona fide haute horlogerie highlight and a thing of beauty, where contemporary pizazz is married with the brand’s classic British design cues. Aesthetically, its refreshingly clear case is made of sapphire (the first minute repeater carillon timepiece with a case made of the material, says the brand), while 38
acoustically, three hammers create a chiming noise. The Légèreté part of its name is French for ‘lightness’, owing to the featherweight case. Excitingly, Speake-Marin also just unveiled its ‘Only Watch Auction’ contribution; an iteration of the London Chronograph in powder blue-hue, which matches the colour scheme of the auction branding. 2019 marks Speake-Marin’s third participation in this Monacobased watch sale, where a coterie of elite watchmakers each create a one-off piece
to be sold, with proceeds funding further research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Unlike the heavy-hitters in the industry (who pour out hundreds of timepieces a year), Speake-Marin’s ‘Only Watch’ contribution is par for the course: each of its watches is either a limited edition (with very small quantity) or a unique piece, prompting watch collectors from around the world to hunt down one of these exceptional, handmade timepieces. One constant of the brand is its ambassador, actor Pierce Brosnan. The former James Bond discovered the brand for the first time on the set of 2015’s Survivor. He was cast in the part of a London watchmaker, and needed some advice from a fine watchmaking brand with British roots to help him in his role. Brosnan – a self-described lover of watches – and Speake-Marin realised that they shared the same values: elegance, simplicity and independence. “I acquired one of the pieces, and a dialogue ensured,” says the actor. “When Speake-Marin asked me to be an ambassador for their work, it was a simple answer.” Indeed, when it comes to independent watchmaking, each person involved in the intimate operation is driven by a love for the craft: be they brand ambassador, avid collector, master craftsman or CEO. “What started as a passion for fine watchmaking developed into a role which gives me freedom to be actively involved in the creation process of exceptional timepieces, together with an incredible team of people at Speake-Marin,” says Christelle, giving a glimpse into the devotion that remains at the heart of the brand. “Watchmaking is a true profession – an art – which requires ingenuity, sophistication and taste.” As proven at SIHH, the inspiring timepieces that emerge from this mindset speak volumes.
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OB JECTS OF DESIRE
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this monthâ€™s must-haves and collectibles
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
H A R RY W I N S T O N
PREMIER PRECIOUS MICROMOSAIC Watchmaker or jeweller? Harry Winston frequently responds ‘why not both’. The Women’s Premier Precious Micromosaic is the latest, greatest piece of evidence that the house has mastered both realms. A 36mm watch with
an automatic movement, it features tiny pieces of tesserae glass, individually cut and assembled in a technique which dates back to the Ancient Greco-Roman era. It’s so easy to be spellbound by, that one might forget they glanced to check the time. 1
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
A N D Y W A R H O L’ S L E N I N Aside from being an essential chapter of his oeuvre, Warhol’s portrait of the Russian leader was created in the year the artist died. From 26 September, Phillips presents the important series in London as a selling exhibition – and the above piece (Lenin,
1986; acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 183 x 122cm, verso signed and dated on the overlap) is part of haul which comprises eight prints/ silkscreens and one work on canvas. It is shown courtesy of Galerie Klüser, Warhol’s gallerist. 2
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
BICOLOUR WOOL TRENCH Autumn brings with it a bluster that rules out going single-layer polo shirt, yet isn’t icy enough for a thick winter warmer. Berluti’s Pre-Fall 19 wardrobe presents a handsome solution with this camel/noir-hued, singlevented long trench. Water repellent wool
protects against a pesky surprise rainshower, while popping the collar against an evening chill reveals another elegant detail: a concealed leather framed underside. It’s handmade in Italy – streets upon which it would look comfortably at home. 3
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
ROL L S-ROYCE
BESPOKE CULLINAN There are Cullinans, and there are Cullinans. The below is the latter – a reminder of the lengths that the marque’s customising division will go to for its clientele. The oneoff was crafted for enthusiast Michael Fux, who warmed to a shade of orange he saw on
an item of clothing in Florida and sent it off to the manufacturer to match it. A year later, he has unveiled the result: an ‘RR’ SUV with specific ‘Fux Orange’ detailing, contrasting Arctic White leather upholstery, and custom touches. Both bold, and utterly bespoke.
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
L M F LY I N G T
MB&F sets the bar high when it bestows the ‘Legacy Machine’ moniker on certain timepieces – and the stunning Flying T lives up to the name. The watch is driven by a cinematic flying tourbillon (anchored only at its base), while affixed to the upper
tourbillon cage is a large diamond, which rotates. It is asymmetrical, domed, threedimensional, and graced with a reverse rotor that is shaped like the sun: as such, there are many vantages from which to admire this piece of horology – or should that be art? 6
OB JECTS OF DESIRE
BL ACK HAWK / COW GIRL NECKL ACE
The Wild West feels a pretty long way from Paris (where maison Messika is headquartered), but the lands of vast plains and Calamity Jane provided a creative catalyst for its latest high jewellery collection. A gorgeous visual campaign was
graced with equally entrancing jewellery pieces like this Cow Girl necklace (bearing 65 pear cut diamonds, 49 marquise cut and 1,124 brilliant cut). It’s an inspired collection in all, which sees Valerie Messika lasso her ‘Born to Be Wild’-side. 7
OB JECTS OB JECTS OF DESIRE OF DESIRE
THE CHANEL 19 BAG
Its name may designate its year, but the Chanel 19 Bag has the silhouette of an enduring classic. That’s because ‘The 19’ has echoes of the iconic Chanel 2.55, with the diamond-quilted bag also drawing inspiration from maison codes (such as the
double ‘C’ fastener). Available in three sizes and with variants of leather or tweed, the accessory made its runway debut as part of the RTW FW19-20 collection masterminded by the late Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard. An elegant style ally. 8
Timepieces SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
The Height of Elegance
ebble Beach Concours D’Elegance is always a feast for the eyes and inspiration for the imagination. The world’s most spectacular (and most painstakingly restored) Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Bugattis and more – along with futuristic concepts and rare designs – are annually paraded in the sunshine, out on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach’s scenic golf course. The attention to detail in restoration, and the sheer abundance of old-world elegance and style make this event one of the calendar highlights for me. There has always been a strong link between vintage cars and watches (not to mention plenty of opportunity for watch-spotting during the event). Both vintage cars and watches are driven by a passion for style, a nose for authenticity, and meticulous attention to the tiniest details – bordering on obsession, perhaps, but that’s what we love about it. Whether it’s a rare hood ornament or an exquisitely crafted escapement wheel, both celebrate history, perfection, and both highlight the marriage of engineering and art. Rolex is a big part of the festivities. Each year it bestows engraved timepieces to the owners adjudged to have the bestin-category vehicles. Most notably, the “Best of Show” trophy is accompanied by an engraved steel-and-gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41. This year, Sir Michael Kadoorie from Hong Kong was the proud recipient, taking home the top prize for his 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer. From 15 August, the scenic Pacific coastal town of Monterey became the temporary home to an army of collectors, enthusiasts, and journalists. None were
The Pebble Beach Concours D’Eelegance ‘Best of Show Trophy’ – with the prized Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41. Photo by Rolex/Tom O’Neal
disappointed by the 69th edition of the event, which delivered classic cars, curves and gleaming chrome. ‘Concours’ has been called the Baselworld of cars, and some of the most incredible old two and fourwheeled machines ever built made their appearance. The sheer number of the events at Monterey Car Week means it’s near impossible to see it all. The six-day summit includes auctions, rallies, pleasure cruises and car races – including historic racing at the Laguna Seca racetrack. There was a sprinkling of drama in the 2019 auction portion when a 1939 Type 64 coupe, designed and driven by Porsche AG founder Ferdinand Porsche, was the subject of a bidding blunder. The silver coupe had stood unsold for years because of questions about its provenance. When it came up for auction
there was a flurry of excitement, but this soon turned to a hullabaloo of confusion surrounding the bidding on the car, which resulted in a ‘no sale’. All was soon forgotten, though: who can linger on negatives when a procession of four-wheeled beauties from yesteryear roll out in the California sunshine, heading up to Big Sur with engines roaring, fashionable hats fluttering in the wind, and leather gloves firmly on the steering wheels ... plus immaculate watches peeping out from under a sleeve? It was a treat to see the passion, the patience, the pride and the painstaking love that the owners put into these cars – and it reminded me all over again why I love what I do. Dubai’s DIFC is home to Momentum, Tariq’s co-founded vintage watch boutique. momentum-dubai.com 41
SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
A Life in Colour
When Gemfields reunited Fabergé with descendants of the family who built it, they sparked a renaissance that renergised the historic house WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
ack in July, when the custodian of a tiny glass flower ornament pottered along to the Antiques Roadshow, a shock awaited. The quaint, long-running British BBC TV series centres on members of the public dusting-off family heirlooms from the attic or mantelpiece to have them valued by the show’s experts. Fingers are crossed in hope for a modest sum to go on holiday with, or to perhaps redecorate the bathroom. One of the show’s specialists, jewellery authority Geoffrey Munn, admitted his “pulse was racing” when laying eyes on this particular flower. It was a Fabergé, and its owners were an Army reserve cavalry squadron who considered the gold, diamond and jade flower as merely “part of the furniture” at their barracks. The pear blossom trinket was gifted to them in 1904 by Georgina, Countess of Dudley. “It is the rarest, most poetic manifestation of Fabergé’s work that one could ever hope to see,” Munn praised. “It is the size of the object, the sophistication of the object that brings it very, very close to only two other such flowers in the UK – which are in the Royal collection.” He then rendered the ornament’s owners speechless by revealing its worth: GBP1 million (only the third seven-figure valuation in the weekly show’s 50-year history). The headline-making find is another reminder that the fruits borne from the early years of this 177-year-old brand continue to fascinate, beguile, and astound. Yet – while much pleasure can be derived from, say, a tour of the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg or the current history exhibition at The Met in New York – the brand is not content with basking in its former glories, and wants its new creations to conjure their own level of fascination.
Opening pages: On the left, the Mosaic Pendant; to the right, the Heritage Heart Locket and the ‘I Love You’ pendant Opposite: Pieces from Fabergé’s Heritage collection
This constitutes the reunification of the House of Fabergé and a new chapter in its history The modern-day version of the company (which, to many people, is inextricably ‘all about the egg’) is busy hatching an assortment of high jewellery creations, and has whisked up appeal among contemporary collectors – while adding to its heritage. The renaissance has been wisely overseen. When Gemfields – the leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones – acquired the brand in 2007, it sought to bring in descendants of the original family, which had completely lost touch with Russia’s first international superbrand. Helming the new era (and setting up the Fabergé Heritage Council) were Tatiana and Sarah Fabergé – great-granddaughters of founder Peter Carl, who was the egg-maker to the Tsars; the official goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court from the 1840s on. The family leapt at the chance. “It has been my life’s ambition to restore the unsurpassed standards of design and workmanship that characterised my great-grandfather’s treasures,” enthused Tatiana. “Now, finally we have the basis for fulfilling this ambition.” Concurred Sarah, “This constitutes the reunification of the House of Fabergé and a new chapter in its history.” Its revival actually began with high jewellery collection called Les Fabuleuses. Since then, a steady output of delights have emerged: in 2016 the Secret Garden suite took home the 44
Middle East Jewellery of the Year award, while the current jewellery theme is ‘A Life in Colour’, within which is an ‘Emotions’ series that contains pieces like the eye-catching Mosaic MultiColoured Pendant (boasting sapphires, Mozambican rubies, tsavorites, and white diamonds, set in 18k white gold). The aim is to continue Fabergé’s design spirit of tastefully composed kaleidoscopic colours. In its jewellery undertakings (the brand creates watches and egg-centric objects of desire, too), the brand looks to push the boundaries of artistry and craftsmanship with the use of coloured gemstones and enamels. The resulting trinkets definitely don’t not look like antiques, but their intrinsic valuation is just as exciting. Fabergé’s dynamic with its parent company is that it ‘works closely, but not exclusively’ with Gemfields when sourcing exceptional coloured gemstones. Having the parent company as a confidante has also helped steer Fabergé on-course toward modern values, such as taking on the jewellery industry quest for conflict-free gems and traceability. In 2017, Gemfields and high jewellery company Gübelin unveiled a ‘paternity testing’ mechanism whereby uncut gemstones could be tagged at source with specially encoded nanoparticles which would survive cutting, polishing and treatment processes, allowing the mine-of-origin of the gemstone to be determined years or decades later.
Last year, Gemfields and Fabergé collaborated (with AnchorCert Gem Lab) on a one-off concept to create the world’s first laser-inscribed emerald with a personalised message which requires a magnification of 20x to read. “Gemfields’ belief that there is ‘A story in every gemstone’ is taken to a new level by laser-engraving a message on a gem,” said CEO Sean Gilbertson. But it was a milestone for ethics, too. “We are thrilled to unveil another exciting advance, simultaneously supporting both the traceability and the romance of precious coloured gemstones,” he added. The alignment has also ensured the historic jeweller stays on-trend with stones. Last month, Gemfields publicised the rise in value of rubies, which have hit an all-time price-per-carat record as popularity soars among a younger audience, whose tastes are steering away from diamonds; Fabergé has duly added a heart-shaped Mozambique ruby – concealed within an egg-shaped locket – to its Imperial collection. There’s a mutual desire to bridge the past with a modern, equally-relevant present. Of course, when contrasted with its century-and-a-half of history, a decade is a brief notch in time – but for Fabergé and Gemfields it is already proving to be a defining period. The collaboration has earned Fabergé newfound recognition, enabling its prestige to blossom once again. Like that tiny antique flower, one might say.
Michelle Williams talks about why she had to “become a bigger person” to play dancer Gwen Verdon WORDS: JANE MULKERRINS
f Michelle Williams “had 100 lives to live” she would choose to spend one in a marriage like that of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. “They reached their highest highs with each other, as well as their lowest lows,” says Williams, who plays Verdon in a glossy television drama that tracks the star dancer’s fiery partnership with Fosse, the choreographer and director with whom she worked on such Broadway classics as Sweet Charity and Chicago. “She was the greatest interpreter of his work, and he was the greatest instructor of her art.” By the time Verdon met Fosse, in a Manhattan rehearsal studio in 1955, she was 30 years old, had already won her first Tony Award, for Cole Porter’s Can-Can, and been cast as the lead in Damn Yankees, for which she would win her second. Fosse – a 27-year-old talent on the rise – had just been hired as choreographer of the latter. Together they became one of the most formidable couples in showbusiness, apparently unhindered by the fact that Fosse was still married to his second wife, Joan McCracken. Fosse divorced McCracken in 1959 and married Verdon the following year. In 1963, their daughter, Nicole, was born. By 1971, they had separated. The drama Fosse/Verdon is nominated for 17 Emmy awards this month – including acting nods for both Williams and Sam Rockwell. If it doesn’t shy away from the darkness cast on the couple’s relationship by Fosse’s addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs or his affairs with other women, including actresses Jessica Lange and Ann Reinking, nor does it underplay their creative achievements. They continued to collaborate professionally and never divorced; when Fosse died in 1987, Verdon was at his side. “Bob said if they could have lived inside a rehearsal room, they would have stayed together forever,” Williams tells me. “Their creativity was their lifeblood, that is what kept them connected. They had this perfect creative symbiosis – and I am sure that was very exciting and sexy to be at the heart of.” She smiles wryly. “It’s just… that kind of volatility doesn’t make for a stable home environment.” In order to recreate that charged home environment, Fosse/Verdon’s
creators hired Nicole Fosse as a consultant and executive producer for the series. According to Williams, she revealed “a very broad spectrum of detail… everything from how her mother would pick unusual words, so her phrasing wasn’t what you expect it to be, to her memories about how they tested if the pasta was done by throwing it at the ceiling”. Williams disappears completely into the role, nailing not only the physicality that made Verdon such a captivating dancer, but also her breathy, theatrical voice and idiosyncratic speech patterns.
“I feel like I started prepping for this role at eight, with tap lessons,” Williams laughs. “Everything I’ve ever learned I had to call upon for this.” Before filming began, she spent many Sundays in six-hour dance rehearsals. How did she have the energy, I ask. “It’s fear,” she says. “There’s nothing as motivating as sucking. Especially for a New Yorker – we have such high standards for ourselves.” She also turned to meditation. “I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird – but I had to become a bigger person in order to play Gwen. I had to
Interview: Jane Mulkerrins / The Telegraph / The Interview People
expand my consciousness.” Williams, who will turn 40 next year, says it’s not a process she could have imagined putting herself through as a younger actress. “I am excited to feel the kind of strength that comes with ageing, getting to the place where you can first of all identify the thing that you want, second of all believe in yourself enough that you can achieve it, and third, be bold enough to ask for it. I couldn’t have done this at 28 and a half; I could only just do it at 38 and a half.” Born in Montana in 1980, Williams moved with her family to San Diego when she was nine. Her mother, Carla, was a housewife; her father, Larry, a commodities trader who twice ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate as a Republican candidate. After making her film debut in Lassie at the age of 14, Williams legally emancipated herself from her parents – common practice for child actors at the time, to allow them to work adult hours – then moved, alone, to Los Angeles. By 18, she was playing tearaway teenager Jen Lindley in the soapy drama Dawson’s Creek, which kept her in steady employment for six years until the final episode in 2003. However, it didn’t give her what she has called “the thing I most wanted, which was respect and a good sense of myself – I wasn’t viewed as an artist”. That recognition came in 2005 with her Oscar-nominated performance as a wife in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. On the set of that film, Williams fell in love with her co-star, Heath Ledger; their daughter, Matilda, was born in November that year. They split up after three years together and, five months later, in January 2008, Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Notoriously private, Williams has rarely discussed her personal life since (and I am instructed not to ask about it), but, in September last year, she told Vanity Fair magazine that she and Phil Elverum, an American songwriter, had married in a secret ceremony in upstate New York. “I never gave up on
love,” she said. To me, she makes no comment on her marriage, but a couple of weeks after we meet, it is reported that she and Elverum have separated. Fosse/Verdon marks Williams’ first appearance on the small screen since her Dawson’s Creek days – a stratospheric 16-year stretch during which she picked up three further Oscar nominations (for Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn and Manchester by the Sea) and appeared on Broadway, first as Sally Bowles in a 2014 revival of Cabaret then, in 2016, as the victim of a criminal offender in the David Harrower play Blackbird. “The medium doesn’t really factor in my decision-making so much as where the thing is being made,” she says. “I will do just about anything to stay at home in New York, because it is so agitating as a mother not to be able to be present in the way that I want to be. Whether it is a TV show, a film, a play – I have tried to adapt to the medium so that I can work from home.” Having gained a reputation for giving intense, emotionally charged performances, more recently Williams has discovered a new lightness in musical roles: first as Charity Barnum in The Greatest Showman – which was also shot in New York – and now in Fosse/Verdon. “I discovered that I really loved it,” she tells me. “There is a childlike aspect to singing and dancing. It turns off your critical thought. You get lost in the flow of the song or the dance, and that’s pretty blissful.” She’ll be testing her musical mettle again soon in a Janis Joplin biopic, Janis, before playing teacher-turnedastronaut Christa McAuliffe in The Challenger and a pro-choice activist in Sixties Chicago, in This Is Jane. Based on Laura Kaplan’s book The Story of
Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, the film follows a group of American women who provided terminations before their legalisation in 1973. If, together with the new TV series, these roles suggest that Williams now only has eyes for true stories of boundary-breaking women, it’s worth noting that Verdon was originally expected to appear as a secondary figure in a drama about Fosse. There was no plan to explore in any detail either Verdon’s own dramatic life story – born with severe rickets, she was put in dance class by her mother aged three to straighten and strengthen her legs; at 17, she was physically abused and impregnated by a man whom her parents then forced her to marry – or her critical contributions to Fosse’s legend. “When this project was originally conceived, it was just Fosse – it was just Bob’s story,” Williams tells me. “By the time I came on board, it was Fosse/Verdon, but I think it says a lot about how the climate has shifted in the past two years that they changed it.” The gender balance of the show – which now treats Williams and Rockwell as joint leads – is significant for her in other ways, too. In January last year, it emerged that Mark Wahlberg, her co-star in Ridley Scott’s Getty family drama All The Money In the World, had been paid USD1.5 million for the reshoots required when Kevin Spacey was replaced in the film at the 11th hour by Christopher Plummer. For the same reshoots, Williams was paid less than USD1,000. Speaking at a hearing about the gender pay gap in Washington DC in April this year, Williams said she was “paralysed in feelings of futility” after learning of the disparity. After 25 years in front of the camera, Fosse/Verdon is the first ever job for which Williams has enjoyed pay parity with a male co-star. “That,” she admits, “came as a very nice surprise.” Her surprise alone suggests that the fight for equal recognition – a struggle in which Gwen Verdon was engaged all those years ago – isn’t over yet. 51
The Luxury 100 A celebration of AIR’s milestone issue
100 issues ago, AIR took flight. As a Dubai-born magazine touching down in a publishing landscape that was, and still is, largely dominated by titles franchised from international shores, our centenary is a milestone we are delighted and proud to celebrate. But celebrate how? That was the question. Not ones to blow our own trumpet, we didn’t want to do what other magazines tend to do when hitting 100 and show you all 100 covers of the magazine, or champion a selection of our favourite articles from the archive. We wanted to do something that celebrates our love of the things that have helped shape AIR editorially – such as craftsmanship, style, design, and invention in its many forms. And so, the idea for The Luxury 100 was born. It’s our considered selection of luxury’s 100 finest things at present, which we hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed creating it. Here’s to flying high for the next 100 issues.
Chanel Haute Couture FW 2019/20
TAILORED SUITS FROM THE DECK In 2016, Daisy Knatchbull became the first woman to break the rules of Royal Ascot by visiting the Royal Enclosure dressed in full morning suit, top hat and all. As the other women at the races clapped and cheered Daisy’s symbolic liberation, she was made aware of the gap in the previously male-dominated tailoring market. Enter The Deck, a tailoring house exclusively for women. From its flagship address on London’s Kings Road, The Deck runs up made-tomeasure suits that can be customised to a client’s particular requirements. BARRIE CASHMERE DENIM JACKETS Gone are the days of a denim jacket being made out of the obvious; welcome the days of its uber-chic cashmere replacement, courtesy of Chanelowned Barrie. The Scottish company, which has specialised in cashmere knitwear since 1903, launched a capsule collection of jackets at its London popup in July. It’s now available at Barrie’s Burlington Arcade address in Mayfair, where clients can customise their piece with embroidered patches by Maison Lesage, who contribute such detailing to Chanel’s haute couture collections. THE POUCH BY BOTTEGA VENETA You may have caught wind of the over-sized ‘it’ clutch of the moment, as style icons across the globe flaunt this notoriously hard-to-get-hold-of bag. The by-now iconic piece from Bottega Veneta was one of the first items to be designed by creative director, Daniel Lee, who chose to pay homage to Bottega’s leather craftsmanship heritage. The Pouch is fashioned with smooth butter calf leather that envelops the frame, creating its recognisable rounded shape. Available in a number of colours, this is the perfect addition to any clutch collection. VIRGINIE VIARD’S FIRST CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE COLLECTION Debuting her first couture collection for the French house, Virginie Viard chose a library-inspired runway as a nod to Gabrielle Chanel’s daytime apartment
‘Virginie Viard’s debut couture collection for Chanel showed her ode to femininity come through with a softer touch’
and Paris’ storied Galignani bookshop (a favourite of Karl Lagerfeld). Viard’s collection was widely praised for its by-the-book, timeless elegance and free-form silhouettes. And as with her earlier cruise collection, Viard’s ode to femininity came through, with floaty fabrics and romantic outlines proving a a prominent theme. SEMSEM RESORT COLLECTION Channelling Seventies glamour with bright hues and geometric designs, SemSem’s creative director Abeer Al Otaiba was inspired by the stylish Bianca Jagger for her new collection. A Studio 54 regular, Jagger was known for her luxurious and elegant night-time looks, while her activism made her an icon of the time. This translated to the running theme throughout Otaiba’s collection, falling in line with the brand’s ethos of female empowerment. The wearable collection features tailored feather detailing and asymmetrical jumpsuits, reminiscent of the disco era. SILCILIAN STYLE FROM DOLCE&GABBANA The story of Dolce&Gabbana’s Sicily bag began a decade ago. Since then it has evolved into an icon of the house. The protagonists of its latest chapter – the Sicily 58 and 62, whose names refer to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s birth years – are crafted from fine French and Swiss leather and feature myriad functional features. The identifiable detail of the Sicily – the characteristic 3
top handle fastened to two leathercovered metal cylinders – remains gloriously prominent. VIKTOR & ROLF HAUTE COUTURE: SPIRITUAL GLAMOUR Harking back to the origins of the word ‘glamour’ and its magical connotations, Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 19 couture showcase enchanted audiences with a shades of black-anchored collection that gave way to a successive wave of shifting colours and dramatic detailing. Spelling out the rationale for the collection, Stella McCartney
Viktor Horsting noted a desire to “transform the feeling of doom about our environment into positive action.” Purveyors of eco-conscious haute couture, the brand chose to use ethically sourced and handcrafted felts by Netherlands-based Claudy Jongsta. BESPOKE FOOTWEAR BY JADA DUBAI Creators of the world’s most expensive pair of shoes, Jada Dubai offers a bespoke design service for that dream shoe. Calling on their wildest footwear fantasies, clients have access to a unique collection of delicate fabrics and rare precious stones from which the house’s chief designer will craft a one-of-a-kind shoe. The desired materials are then hand-sourced from France. Classically minimalistic or as extravagant as one dares, exclusivity is guaranteed as sole owner of the perfect pair. BERNADETTE SILKS Giving new meaning to ‘I got it from my mama’, Belgian fine arts graduate Charlotte De Geyter teamed up with her mum Bernadette to create a luxurious silk brand named after mother dearest. The Antwerp duo share a love of silk and design to create comfortable yet chic collections made using only the highest quality Italian sourced fabric. With an age gap of over two decades, their stylishly diverse pieces speak to a multigenerational audience, in keeping with the motherdaughter theme.
STELLA MCCARTNEY ‘ALL TOGETHER NOW’ All You Need is… a psychedelic piece inspired by the iconic Beatles film Yellow Submarine, courtesy of Paul’s daughter and sustainable fashion pioneer, Stella McCartney. Her ready-to-wear pieces are embroidered with motifs, graphics and quotes from The Beatles’ film, paying tribute to the group’s message of togetherness with bright colours and Sixties-esque shapes. A highlight is the ‘Fur Free Fur All Together Now’ coat, with its vibrant colours and hallucinogenic patterns. 4
THE NATURAL WONDER Islas Secas, a privately-owned archipelago of 14 utterly idyllic isles, is finally putting Panama’s Pacific Coast on the map – albeit quietly. With their silk-soft sands, pristine reefs and scattering of sustainable-yet-superlative casitas, these far-flung jewels accommodate just 18 guests at a time. While the dining is superb and the private pools sublime, the real draw is the untamed setting. Twice a year, humpback whales migrate
thrillingly close to the shores, while nearby Coiba National Park offers encounters with sea turtles, whale sharks and manta rays. THE MANHATTAN MAKEOVER Emerging from a multi-million-dollar transformation earlier this year, The Ritz Carlton New York unveiled a clutch of cutting-edge suites and La Prairie spa – but the pièce de résistance? Two new Legendary Suites, whose rakish furnishings and playful artwork capture the
style of a grandiose Manhattan penthouse with marble bathrooms, four exquisite bedrooms, and dining rooms that seat twelve. Central Park is so close, you could almost fling open the windows and ruffle the treetops: you won’t find a betterplaced (or better-dressed) spot in the city. THE EXQUISITE RETREAT If you haven’t yet set foot on the silken sands of Velaa Private Island, make 2020 your year. In this most 5
decorated of archipelagos, Velaa stands head and shoulders above its (admittedly stellar) neighbours with all the luxe accoutrements you’d expect from a Maldives retreat, plus a golf academy, four fabulous restaurants and dazzling scuba sites just a fin-kick away. Our tip? Book the Ocean Pool House, a wholly private domain – complete with two sunset-view bedrooms, al fresco spa area, and direct access to those sapphire shallows.
THE STELLAR SAFARI LODGE Welcome to a land where lions, hippos and rare black rhinos roam free; where impalas and giraffes stalk across the savannah, and a kaleidoscope of bird species swoop through the skies. Rwanda’s Akagera National Park is one of Africa’s greatest conservation triumphs, and now, with the opening of Mashagi Camp, it’s home to one of the continent’s hottest hotels too. Its six swish tents feature canopied kingsize beds, uninterrupted views of Lake Rwanyakazinga, and wild activities aplenty – from moonlit safaris to guided bush walks. Getting back to nature has never been so glamorous. THE RAVISHING RAIL RIDE It’s already one of the world’s most luxurious locomotives, the finest way to flit between European cities – but the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will raise the stakes even higher in 2020 by unveiling three new Grand Suites. The compartments – named Vienna, Prague and Budapest – will feature intricately-carved marquetry, silk furnishings, and vast picture windows to survey the passing landscape. The proportions are on the right side of generous, with en suite bathrooms and separate stylish salons: after all, space is the ultimate luxury on the rails.
‘The powdery beaches at Bawah Reserve give way to Listerine-hued shallows, surrounded by a reef bustling with turtles and tropical fish’
THE BIRTHDAY BEAUTY Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is the French Riviera’s most glamorous spot, bar none – no mean feat in this most notable of neighbourhoods. She’s the jewel of the Côte d’Azur, and 2020 will mark her 150th birthday – not that this grand dame ever shows her age. The likes of Pablo Picasso, Cary Grant and Elizabeth Taylor have rested their heads on these plushest of pillows, while legendary scribes F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway found muses in those sparkling Mediterranean vistas and joie de vivre. Here’s to the next 150 years.
THE ROYAL RIAD Commissioned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the Royal Mansour Marrakech is, quite simply, the country’s finest address. It sits on the edge of the medina, ensconced within its historic walls yet offering a secluded, serene experience in this busiest of cities. The traditional-style riads are completely private, and festooned with the work of over 1,500 talented artisans: think hand-carved cedarwood furniture, impossibly intricate zellige tilework, and silken damask at every turn. Divine.
THE UNTOUCHED ISLAND ESCAPE Reached only by seaplane, Bawah Reserve is a tiny cluster of six Indonesian islands – a blink-and-you’llmiss-it archipelago between mainland Malaysia and Borneo. Their powdery beaches give way to Listerine-hued shallows, surrounded by a reef bustling with turtles and tropical fish. Until now, the isle of Elang has remained uninhabited, but 2020 will see the opening of a handful of bungalows and suites on its shores, many with
private plunge pools. Spend your days snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and diving – and your nights beneath a diamondstrewn sky. THE ULTIMATE ANTARCTIC VOYAGE This year saw the launch of the first private superyacht to navigate Antarctica’s icy shores: Legend, an exquisitely-appointed 252ft vessel, complete with a spa, cinema, and suites for just 22 adventurous souls. In December – and selected dates in 2020 – it will sail again, along the frozen peninsula to towering icebergs and untouched islands, with opportunities to kayak with penguins and get up-close with humpback whales. It’s an expedition, yes – albeit one with massages and fine dining too. THE HIMALAYAN HIDEAWAY It’s easy to overlook Bhutan, a sliver of land dwarfed by its neighbours India and Tibet... until you actually set eyes on it. This forest-swathed, gorge-gouged Himalayan kingdom is dotted with mountaintop temples and tranquil palaces – yours to discover on untrammelled hiking trails, wildlife safaris and jaw-dropping helicopter trips. Six Senses Bhutan offers all this, and much more – with three new lodges in Punakha, Paro and Thimphu
(the capital), and two more opening over the next few months. Go now – before the rest of the world catches on. THE DESERT DINING EXPERIENCE It’s the ultimate al fresco feast, a multi-course supper cooked in the breathtaking Namibian wilderness – and served at a table for two. Mavros Safaris’ new three-day private gourmet adventure is led by expert guide and chef extraordinaire Dean Dewdney, who takes guests deep into the NamibRand Nature Reserve – a land of ochre dunes and barren-yet-beautiful mountains – for wildlife watching, hot air balloon rides, and gourmet dinners rustled up on his 4x4’s novel ‘bush kitchen’. Expect restaurant-quality rump steaks, freshly-caught bream, and traditional Namibian stews. Remarkable. THE FABULOUS FAMILY ESCAPE To mark its 25th anniversary this year, Banyan Tree Phuket raised Thailand’s style stakes with two new suite categories. For couples, the one-bedroom Serenity Pool Villa is a plush hideaway that features a private pool and Jacuzzi, shaded by tropical gardens – with exquisite Thai-inspired decor inside. The three-bedroom Serenity Pool Residence, meanwhile, is
Six Senses Bhutan
designed for fuss-free family escapes. Wherever you book, you’re a mere meander from Banyan’s exquisite dining, beach and spa treatments.
handful of newly-opened suites you’ll find open fireplaces and deep-soak bathtubs – as well as private terraces with the wildest of views.
THE OFF-GRID OUTBACK RETREAT Even the journey to Mount Mulligan Lodge is an adventure – a half-hour helicopter ride over razor-edged rock formations, thundering waterfalls, and rainforest unfurling as far as the eye can see. And then, a tiny cluster of lodges, barely peeking through the treetops: Queensland’s newest, most far-flung retreat. It has room for just 16 guests, with secluded suites and aweinspiring Outback activities such as cattle mustering, billabong kayaking, and the most spectacular stargazing you’ll ever encounter.
A CASTLE OF YOUR OWN Once the domain of Europe’s most notable families, a clutch of historic castles across Britain and France are now opening their hallowed grounds to overseas guests. From hunting estates in the Hampshire countryside to 18th-century treasures in Provence, these magnificent properties are available for exclusive private hire – complete with impeccable staff. Masterpiece Estates by Oetker Collection's pre-eminent properties include Gordon Castle, a Scottish Highlands retreat surrounded by manicured grounds; and Château d’Estoublon, a palatial pile in southern France, with Saint Tropez just a helicopter hop away.
THE WILDERNESS PLAYGROUND With 3,500-acres of Utah wilderness on its doorstep, The Lodge at Blue Sky is a back-to-nature bolthole like nowhere else on Earth. From savage rivers and lonely mountains, to forests filled with shy deer and raucous birdlife – it’s yours to discover on hiking trips, horse rides and heli adventures. There’s also mountaintop yoga, fly fishing, and night-time nature trails lit by the full moon. But a rustic getaway this is not: inside the Kinross House, Masterpiece Estates
‘A clutch of historic castles across Britain and France are now opening their hallowed grounds to overseas guests’
Men's style BERLUTI’S DEBUT SUNGLASSES A brand first from storied Parisian shoemaker Berluti sees the release of a striking line-up of sunglasses, the colours of which are inspired by Berluti’s signature patina. They’re also the perfect example of how Kris Van Assche (Berluti’s creative director since April 2018) has adapted his style to the brand, and vice versa – with one eye on the past and the other very much on the future. Streaks on the frames are a nod to the dye-splattered marble on which Berluti’s craftsmen use hand dye to patina shoes, while blue and red lenses add a flash of flamboyance.
w SAMAN AMEL SUITS Suits in traditional blues and blacks are a complete contrast to the softer colour palette of the Gulf’s landscape. So, for a suit more befitting of our environment it’s to Stockholm we shall go. There, best friends Saman Amel and Dag Granath set up their made-tomeasure Atelier Saman Amel in 2015, where inspiration is drawn from a muted colour palette (think browns and sandy tones) and fabric that is painstakingly considered, thanks to a love of cloth derived from Amel’s Middle Eastern roots. Availabe from mrporter.com BESPOKE JEANS FROM ATELIER LOT NO 1 Having created the first pair of denim trousers in the late 19th century, it’s fitting that Levi’s has led the recent charge of designers offering custom denim services. At Atelier Lot No 1 on London’s Great Marlborough Street, master tailor Lizzie Radcliffe heads a team of allwomen tailors who craft the perfect pair of Levi’s from a startling range of options, including a cotton/ cashmere mix denim and end-ofroll exclusives. Prices start from GBP500, with each pair taking 16 hours to make. HOSTEM STORE, LONDON “We aren’t about what’s new, new, new – we want our clients to focus on the artistry and dedication that goes into the making of the garments,” explained James Brown, the owner of clothing store Hostem, to How to Spend It. Situated on Old Nichol Street in London’s Shoreditch, Hostem stocks work by deliberately under-theradar designers who produce in limited quantities, a fact dictated to by the nature of their production. Here you’ll find silk trousers made with thread harvested in small quantities from a rare Japanese silkworm.
ALANUI KNITWEAR Milan-based clothing brand Alanui is helmed by 39-year-old co-founder and CEO Nicolò Oddi, who runs the operation from thousands of miles away at a beachfront address in LA. You’d think, therefore, that heavy knits wouldn’t be needed in perma-sunny California, but these luxe-bohemian style cardigans are made to withstand a lifetime and wherever life may take you. Unisex and seasonless, each vintageinspired Alanui cardigan takes 15 hours to create, a further five hours to embellish, and uses one kilogramme of cashmere. RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL TAILORED DRESS SHIRT Every wardrobe will house a crisp white dress shirt. Yet no matter whose designer name is stitched into yours, unless it has the words Ralph Lauren stylishly imprinted on a purple label, you need to buy another one. Tailored to perfection through traditional Italian craftsmanship, multiple elements of this shirt are completed by hand, which accounts for subtle touches like the last buttonhole being stitched horizontally for a superior hold. Its Oscar-worthy look is finished with the addition of genuine mother-of-pearl buttons. WARDROBE NYC’S CAPSULE PIECES Occupying a unique position in the luxury retail landscape, Wardrobe NYC positions itself as an antidote to fast fashion and its cyclical nature of consumption and production. Founded by Vogue Australia fashion director Christine Centenera and designer Josh Goot, the brand had, until now, only sold clothes in bundles of four and eight essential pieces to be worn interchangeably for different occasions and across seasons. Now you can buy its made-in-Italy pieces individually from matchesfashon. com (though you’ll no doubt want to buy a bundle of them).
‘You’ll find silk trousers made with thread harvested in small quantities from a rare Japanese silkworm’ 10
GIVENCHY’S IRIDESCENT LEATHER DERBY SHOES The idea of wearing shoes to add a polished look to your attire takes on a whole new meaning with Givenchy’s stop-and-stare Derby shoes. The patent iridescent leather used to craft them is – like a lot of recent fashions – inspired by the ‘90s, but the look is overtly modern. Styled with an almond toe, the shoe also features the brand’s name subtlety embossed on its side, while a rubber injection at the heel adds lift.
VEJA SNEAKERS Fashion and sustainability aren’t obvious bedfellows so it’s hats off to French footwear brand Veja, whose instantly recognisable V-branded sneakers are a step in the right direction. Made of the most ecological materials and involving ethical suppliers at every stage of production – the rubber used on the soles of each pair is purchased directly from rubber tappers in the Amazon, while the waterproof mesh on select styles is created from recycled plastic bottles – this is shoemaking that’s equal parts sustainable and stylish.
MICHAEL BROWNE BODY COAT Prior to setting up on his own in London’s Berkeley Square, Michael Browne worked at Chittleborough & Morgan on Savile Row. It’s that background that informs his meticulous attention to proportion, yet the design of his garments is very much rooted in couture. Rather than work from the basis of a house cut, Browne begins with a clean slate and a conversation to ensure each garment is individual (he also attends every fitting in person), making for a standard turnaround time of roughly six months. We’re huge fans of his sharp-shouldered body coat, which makes one yearn for chillier climes. 11
motoring THE FUTURE OF BENTLEY To celebrate its first 100 years, Bentley has given us a glimpse of what the next 100 might bring, with its EXP 100 GT concept. This imagines a Bentley from the year 2035 as a huge, coupé-like high-performance car with two massive lifting doors, and the dimensions and interior space of a limousine. Capable of self-driving, with four light and powerful electric motors, it uses artificial intelligence to anticipate the needs of its passengers. The structure is made from aluminium and carbonfibre, with sustainable materials used for the interior. A WINNING TROFEO One of the fastest SUVs ever built,
the range-topping Levante Trofeo from Maserati owes much of its stellar performance to its 3.8-litre V8 Twin Turbo engine, designed and built by Ferrari, no less. This gives it a staggering 580hp, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 299km/h – coincidentally, the most powerful production car ever produced by Maserati. Priced at around USD152,256, with 22in alloy wheels, carbon detailing and an impressively aggressive stance, it is definitely one to stand out from the SUV pack. AN ELECTRIFYING PORSCHE Ahead of the car’s official unveiling this month, Porsche recently announced that it has already taken deposits
ARES DESIGN PANTHER PROGETTOUNO Based in Modena, Italy – not far from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati – Ares Design offers something a little different to the world of motoring. Here, you can enhance or personalise your existing car, have the body of a classic fitted to the underpinnings of a modern vehicle or, like the Panther ProgettoUno, come up with something completely new. An homage to the DeTomaso Pantera, a much-loved 1970s Italian sports car, this version, featuring an original body, is built onto a Lamborghini Huracán and will set you back approximately USD700,000.
McLaren GT Superlight
‘When McLaren announces its first GT model, then there is definite cause for excitement’
for nearly 30,000 Taycans – its first all-electric model. Considering that it delivered just over 35,000 examples of the 911 in 2018, Porsche fully expects the Taycan to become its flagship model. Described as an electric car with a ‘typical Porsche driving experience’ by the brand, it will be positioned between the USD68,303 Cayenne SUV and USD82,863 Panamera five-door coupé in terms of price, with performance rumoured to be on par with a 911 Turbo. RAMP-UP THE ROADSTER A limited edition that is hard to ignore – the flagship R version of the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster. At USD218,011, Mercedes describes it as a “brand-defining sports car”, as much at home on the track as cruising on the open road. The key to its performance is a hand-built bi-turbo 4-litre V8 engine, offering 585hp, with a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds and a limited top speed of 317km/h. It has some aggressive styling, a three-layered fabric roof, and a bespoke badge on the centre console featuring its number in the production run – out of just 750.
MCLAREN GOES SUPERLIGHT When McLaren announces its first GT (or grand tourer) model, then there is definite cause for excitement. The GT Superlight, priced from USD198,000, offers the high performance and longdistance capabilities expected of the class, but in a lighter, faster and more engaging package. The carbon-fibre and aluminium body weighs just 1,530kg, making it the lightest grand tourer on the market, with a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine giving a 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 326km/h. With 420 litres of boot space, it is the roomiest McLaren too. THE SSUV: LAMBORGHINI’S HURACÁN STERRATO It is a brave person who takes a Lamborghini sports car off-roading, and an even braver one who test-drives this Huracán Sterrato concept. Unveiled by the brand in June, this is a Huracán Evo, complete with 5.2-litre V10 engine, raised suspension, high-profile balloon tyres and off-road cladding, with stickers, roof rails and front spotlights. A roll cage, sports seats and harnesses 13
PURITALIA BERLINETTA This 965hp carbon-aluminium hypercar has already been dubbed Italyâ€™s most powerful hybrid. The reason for that is a 5-litre V8 engine up front, producing 750hp on its own, plus an electric motor sat on the rear axle. This equates to a 0-100km/h time of 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 335km/h. The bodywork has a slightly retro feel, influenced by the Shelby Cobra, while the inside is all modern technology, featuring a huge touchscreen. With only 150 being built, priced at around USD627,000, this is a less obvious choice when opting for an Italian sports car. 14
‘Such nice folks at Ferrari – if you can’t find what you want in its showroom, they will make you a one-off to your unique specifications’
can be found inside to complete its transformation from road to rally car. And the rumour is that Lamborghini may soon offer these for sale in limited numbers. Perfect for the desert?
FERRARI FOR ONE Such nice folks at Ferrari – if you can’t find what you want in its showroom, they will make you a one-off to your unique specifications. Like the P80/C, unveiled in March, which has been described as the most extreme ANOTHER LOTUS BLOSSOMS custom from the brand ever. It uses This is what you call a statement a 488 GT3 race car as its base, with piece – how Lotus announces its the driver cockpit moved forward to return to the top. There was a time elongate the rear, and a huge carbonwhen the British brand ruled Formula fibre wing atop a 660hp 3.9-litre twin1, and even made James Bond’s car turbo V8 engine. The new owner, said of choice, but it has dwindled in the to live in Hong Kong, wanted a track car spotlight in recent years. Now, fuelled influenced by classic Ferrari designs. by Chinese ownership and massive investment, it has returned with the AT THE GATES OF VALHALLA headline-grabbing Evija, the UK’s first It can be hard to picture Aston Martin all-electric hypercar and the world’s without thinking about James Bond. most powerful series production road The manufacturer has enjoyed a lengthy car. Expect 0-100km/h in under three relationship with the fictional secret seconds, a top speed of more than agent, and will again be featured in his 320km/h, a limited run of 130, and a next big-screen outing, No Time to Die, price tag of USD2.43 million. due for release in 2020. This time, Bond will drive the new Aston Martin PININFARINA PANACHE Valhalla, a super-sleek hybrid built in To call the Pininfarina Battista eagerly collaboration with Red Bull Advanced anticipated is an understatement. Technologies. Limited to just 500 and This will be the most powerful priced at USD1.21 million, the Valhalla road-legal car ever to come out of will have a turbocharged V6 engine, Italy – an all-electric hypercar packing offering 0-60km/h in less than three 1,900hp, and accelerating from seconds and a top speed in excess 0-100km/h in less than two seconds. of 321km/h. The Pininfarina brand is well known, as this is the Italian design firm and ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH – coachbuilder famous for its work THE EAGLE HAS LANDED with Ferrari, but this will be its first Grab yourself this special edition Wraith standalone model, built through if you are looking for a way to celebrate a Munich-based sister company. the 100th anniversary of the first nonNamed after its original founder, stop transatlantic flight. Rolls-Royce Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, only 150 are expects at least 50 people wanting expected to be built, each costing to do so, as that is how many it will USD2 million. produce. The aircraft that completed
the flight in 1919, a modified bomber left over from the First World War, used a pair of Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines, hence the name of the car. It also has two-tone grey paintwork and a black grille, with grey and black leather interior and a dashboard made of smoked eucalyptus wood. A fine way to celebrate an anniversary. FATHER & SON The Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg has held world records in the past for its cars, based on their performance and speed. So, when it says it wants to build a vehicle to break the 300mph (482km/h) barrier then who would doubt it? The car to do it is the Jesko, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year and named after the father of the company’s founder, Jesko von Koenigsegg. It uses a 5-litre twinturbocharged V8 engine, comes in a low drag or high drag variant for track use, and is limited to 125 models, priced at around USD2.8 million. UNLEASHING BMW’S COMPETITIVE STREAK This enhanced BMW 8-Series is the brand’s ultimate blend of luxury and performance. It has a high-revving, twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, with the Competition spec pushed to 625hp – the most powerful engine for an M car ever. As a convertible with a fabric roof, it gives a 0-100km/h time of 3.3 seconds and a limited top speed of 249km/h – or 304km/h with the M Driver package. Inside is all leather Alcantara trim and 3D quilting as standard, with a digital instrument cluster and a 10.25in touchscreen in the dash. 15
timepieces Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina
A RENDEZ-VOUS WITH JAEGER-LECOULTRE Tapping into its poetic side, Jaeger-LeCoultre has composed a Rendez-Vous Sonatina that celebrates the peacefulness of nature. Elegant details of orchids and butterflies contribute to these miniature works of art, which showcase the brand’s rare handcrafted mastery: gem-setting (in this case, diamonds), guillochage (with the wavy dial motif) as well as 16
micro-painting on mother-of-pearl (with the tints of pink, green or purple). It’s a love song to the art of watchmaking. GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL TAKES ON THE OCEAN DEPTHS When pondering the portfolio of Glashütte Original, the first thing that springs to mind is undoubtedly
an elegant dress-watch tucked under the cuff of a finely tailored dinner suit – not a sporty dive watch that accompanies a wetsuit. Yet with the release of the SeaQ, the German watchmaker is re-exploring its forgotten underwater heritage. Three models comprise the ‘Spezialist’ collection: a vintagelooking 39.5mm SeaQ, a moremodern styled 43.2mm SeaQ Panorama Date, and a limited-edition piece inspired by the SeaQ 1969.
‘Celebrating the peacefulness of nature, it’s VACHERON CONSTANTIN: PRINCE OF POWER a love song to the art of watchmaking’ THE Motoring has its Horsepower Wars,
where supercar marques tune their engines to hammer out hellish ‘HP’. And watchmaking? It has its Power PANERAI’S ‘THE SCIENTIST’ Reserve battle, where the aim is to Panerai’s 2010 release, in honour pack as much punch into a tiny case, of astronomer Galileo, remains a obtaining maximum time between ‘grail watch’ among collectors – and winds. With the 42mm Traditionnelle the brand’s famed ‘Laboratorio di Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, Idee’ has now cooked up the equally Vacheron Constantin has raised anticipated Lo Scienziato (The the stakes by offering a gargantuan Scientist). It’s a new version of one 65-day output; set this highlyof the manufacture’s most innovative complicated timepiece to standby pieces: a 47mm Luminor Tourbillon mode, and forget tiresome perpetual GMT with a 3D-printed Titanium calendar adjustments. A watch wellcase, P.2005/T Skeletonised worthy of its Geneva Seal. movement and a Tourbillon regulator. It’s light as a feather with the case, THE UAE EXCLUSIVE BY main plates and bridges made entirely JAQUET DROZ of Grade 5 Titanium. A true wonder In 1758, when mechanical genius of science. Jaquet Droz presented an automaton (of a dog guarding a basket of apples) OMEGA’S OLYMPIC GLORY to the royal court of Spain, so The countdown to next summer’s authentic was its barking that the King Tokyo Olympics is on, and Omega – assumed the mechanism could only the official timekeeper for 27 editions be witchcraft. This wonderment lives of the quadrennial sporting spectacle on at Jaquet’s namesake manufacture, – has released two celebratory which crafted a special edition Bird timepieces. The Seamaster Aqua Repeater Falcon exclusively for the Terra Tokyo 2020 (a 41mm piece UAE. A pair of falcons tend to two for men) and the Seamaster Planet chicks, which sit in a red gold nest Ocean Tokyo 2020 (a 39.5mm for engraved and painted by hand – their women) are podium-worthy movements revealing nuances of Omega creations, given a thematic colour. A fitting national tribute. Tokyo twist. With the collection limited to just 2,020 examples BLANCPAIN DIVES DEEP of each, expect competitive The Fifty Fathoms was the first collectors to snap them up with true, purpose-built scuba diving Usain Bolt-like speed. watch – the brainchild of a former CEO who happened to be a dive ONLY WATCH AUCTION 2019 fanatic. So stringent were the specs, The world’s horology heroes come the instrument was adopted by out in force at Geneva’s Hotel des French commando frogmen. With Bergues for this biennial auction – its dual-tone dial, the ultra-slim Fifty where proceeds benefit research Fathoms Barakuda Re-Edition is a into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. take on a 1960s dive classic (with just 50 leading watchmakers have each 500 being produced). Its two-tone produced a truly one-of-a-kind rectangular hour-markers, whitetimepiece to be sold for the science, painted fluorescent hands, plus a and among the temptations are a visible date display at 3 o’clock set topaz-set Classic Fusion Tourbillon this piece apart from its siblings. Sapphire Orlinski by Hublot, a prototype RM 11-03 McLaren by BRANDO’S ROLEX Richard Mille, and an Endeavour There’s something quite piquant Perpetual Moon Concept by the about a precious auction lot once creatives at H.Moser & Cie. Fine mysteriously lost, then eventually watches for a fine cause. rediscovered. Marlon Brando’s Rolex 17
Panerai Lo Scienziato
‘It’s as light as a feather, with the case, main plates and bridges made entirely of Grade 5 Titanium. A true wonder of science’
GMT-Master (for sale at Phillips ‘Game Changers auction’ in New York), fits the bill: the legendary watch featured in Apocalypse Now, and was crudely hand-engraved by the man himself. Initially reluctant to wear it (“If they’re looking at my watch, then I’m not doing my job as an actor”, Brando uttered at the time), he eventually relented – but not before removing the bezel, resulting in a truly unique timepiece. THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER When Roger Dubuis first debuted its skeletonised Excalibur, the Swiss watchmaking rockstars illuminated the watchmaking world with a seismic new design. In Osaka last month, they took the concept to its literal limit – releasing three editions of the non-conformist 18
timepiece that fizz with energy when basking under blacklight. Inconspicuous(ish) in daylight, the ‘Trilogy’ consists of a 28-piece pink gold edition, 88-pieces in blue, and a black DLC titanium alternate. Think of them as The Godfather of high watchmaking – and a limited edition offer that collectors can’t refuse. PATEK PHILIPPE’S NAUTILUS FOR WOMEN The Gerald Genta-designed Nautilus is a true watchmaking icon, considered the Birkin bag of timepieces (the Ref. 5711 has a reported 10-year waiting list). Patek Philippe has long enjoyed the champagne success of the design and the Ladies’ Nautilus Ref. 7118 is its latest interpretation, arriving in rose gold (with an opaline dial variant), as
well as a steel version with diamondset bezel. This 35.2mm case size is intended for women but truthfully, the Nautilus is such a masterpiece it will be admired by all. SKULL CRUSH HYT never has taken the conventional route to telling time, creating conversation by using the seemingly mortal enemies of mechanics and pressurised fluid in their timepieces. Now, the hydro-horology specialists provoke thought by injecting a touch of existentialism into the HYT Soonow – their latest skull-adorned offering. The dynamic timepiece takes on the topic of mortality, pushing micro-fluid around a skullshaped glass capillary. Design-wise, 313 pins (made of 18k gold) outline the skull, further proving that time is indeed precious.
‘Richard Mille timepieces can be equally admired as pieces of contemporary art’ AUDEMARS PIGUET CRACKS THE CODE When Audemars Piguet defined the Code 11.59 as its ‘biggest launch since 1972’, the haute horology world was piqued. This revolutionary new collection, five years in the making, is a series of 13 references across six models (with just 2,000 of these 41mm pieces being produced across the first year). It’s an unenviable decision to choose a favourite, but the Minute Repeater Supersonnerie – with its white gold-casing, smoked blue enamel dial – is a masterpiece. A new era is born at ‘AP’.
IWC TAKES TO THE SKIESFIRE Stainless steel cases and vintageinspired aesthetics are firmly on-trend in watchmaking right now, and the latest IWC Schaffhausen offering has heroic heritage at its core. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire, inspired by the English fighter plane, has glass which secures the piece against displacement by a drop in air pressure, and an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare; ideal for when checking it in sunlight (or taking a proud, on-wrist photo). Its unveiling is accompanied by a round-the-world flight tour of a restored Spitfire aircraft.
RICHARD MILLE BEARS ITS ART So aesthetically enriching are Richard Mille timepieces, they can be equally admired as pieces of contemporary art; indeed the brand has revolutionised the art of traditional watchmaking. With the brand’s presence at Frieze Art Fair 2019, prolonged admiration is encouraged via the showcasing of its rare, exceptional and unavailable timepieces in a gallery-like setting. Expect the spectacular; last year Richard Mille collaborated with artist Cyril Kongo, who decorated the front and back of an RM 68-01 Tourbillon in a riot of rainbow hues.
Richard Mille RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo 19
art, design & literature Peggy Guggenheim
LOUIS VUITTON X Pop into this must-see pop-up next time you’re LA-bound and enjoy a snapshot of 160 years of creative collaboration between the storied French fashion house and leading global artists. The unmissable orange and pink-branded Rodeo Drive destination presents an immersive repository of design evolution, with 180 items on view from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid. Running until mid-September, it also features rooms dedicated to current brand creatives Nicolas Ghesquière and Virgil Abloh.
‘It’s an unmissable snapshot of 160 years of creative collaboration between the storied French fashion house and leading global artists’
LOUVRE ABU DHABI UNVEILS 10,000 YEARS OF LUXURY A glimpse into the rarefied history of luxury debuts at the UAE outpost of the landmark Paris art museum this October, with 350 objects of desire which span 10 millennia. The 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibit is a narrative timeline that travels through different cultures and examines unique interpretations of excess. From divine offerings (and golden thrones fit for a Sun King) to iconic couture pieces from the great fashion houses, the exhibition probes our notions of how we label lavishness – and its enduring influence on the status quo. BENTLEY CENTENARY OPUS Celebrating 100 years of automotive luxury, Bentley Motors’ release of a handbound triptych of literary collectibles includes a diamondencrusted USD250,000 ‘100 Carat
Edition’ of its Centenary Opus. The fascinating history of this legendary carmaker unfolds across 800 pages, weaving an adrenaline-fuelled tale of early race track victories, technological excellence and unwavering commitment to the integrity of the marque. Behindthe-scenes insight from the designers, drivers and devotees who have collectively contributed to the Bentley legacy make for an unputdownable read.
photographs). Guggenheim lived out her last 30 years in Venice, eventually opening her private collection to the public. An exhibition of the same name runs at Venice’s’ Peggy Guggenheim Collection through January 2020.
UAE DOES DESIGN Design takes centre stage in the Emirates from November, starting with the newly launched Sharjah Architecture Triennial. Three months of architecture PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: THE and urbanism programming includes LAST DOGARESSA a 30-project showcase and series of A lifelong patron of the arts, Peggy performances, forums and interactive Guggenheim championed emerging experiences. Join the international design artists during her years in London, community at Dubai Design Week for Paris and native New York. This visual six days of architecture, furniture and biography charts her peripatetic existence, interiors related events. Highlights via a selection of primarily lesser-known include Downtown Design fair and pieces from the enviable collection the Global Grad Show, a showcase for she amassed between 1938 and 1946 cutting-edge projects from 100 of the (including previously unpublished world’s most innovative young designers. 21
jewellery GUCCI’S GARDEN OF DELIGHTS Gucci urges collectors to explore its ‘garden of delights’ (or Hortus Deliciarum, as expressed in Latin) – and this Eden is the maison’s first foray into high jewellery. Creative director Alessandro Michele personally selected unique gems for the collection, bringing his high jewellery dream to reality. The spellbinding 200-strong suite, presented during couture week in July, features iconography from the Gucci style canon and encompasses three ‘worlds’: Animal Kingdom, Hearts & Arrows, and Solitaires. The pieces will flourish in the brand’s new Place Vendôme boutique. Florence Welch in Gucci high jewellery
A LOVE STORY FROM VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Unlike Shakespeare’s assertion about a rose, it’s doubtful that Van Cleef & Arpels – by any other name – would be as sweet. There’s a certain intangible beauty to this maison’s poetic approach which just cannot be replicated: mostrecently evidenced in its Romeo and Juliet high jewellery sonnet, a repertoire of creations inspired by the star-crossed love story (and also influenced by ballet choreographer Benjamin Millepied). 100 one-of-a-kind pieces include the Balcone brooch, a tribute to the place where Ms. Capulet uttered her famed ‘Wherefore art thou…’
GRAFF IN THE PINK Graff is no stranger to making history, having acquired (and cut) celebrated gemstones; the immense Star of Bombay in 1974, the flawless fancy Imperial Blue in 1984 and the D-colour Paragon set an early tone for the company. The remarkably rare Graff Lesotho Pink is the latest addition to this prestigious timeline. In July, the brand just shelled out USD8.75 million to obtain the vivid stone, making it the most expensive per carat to emerge from the famous Letsing mine. The jewellery world awaits the polished cuts that will emerge from the rough.
Van Cleef & Arpels Romeo & Juliet high jewellery
HARRY WINSTON’S AVENUE CLASSIC Akin to the dance between the Moon and the Earth, high jewellery and high watchmaking harmonise in a 20th anniversary celebration of Harry Winston’s ‘Avenue Classic’. The novelty, in celestial white gold, features a poetic moon phase complication as well as allusions to the house’s famous Fifth Avenue flagship salon (mimicking as its arched entrance). Master gemsetting is evidenced by 50 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, case bands, and crown, while the top of the case is marked by two brilliant-cut diamonds; it’s an instant classic. A SHANGHAI SHOWING BY TIFFANY & CO. For the first time in its exhibition history, window-dressing wizards Tiffany & Co. grace Shanghai – with the SeptemberNovember showing of Vision & Virtuosity. The New York-headquartered jeweller finds itself far from home with this Asiabased showcase, which celebrates 180 years (featuring an array of stunning pieces that include French Crown Jewels and the world’s rarest yellow diamond, as well as delicate sketches from skilled designers). Hosted at the Fosun Foundation, the exhibit is split into six phases: one of them aptly titled ‘Blue is the Colour of Dreams’.
AT HOME WITH BOUCHERON Number 26 Place Vendôme has been the illustrious home of Boucheron since 1893. However, the maison hit the pause button last year in order to renovate. Refurnished and refreshed the brand is back, opening the doors to its historic flagship boutique (and ending 12 months of ‘Let me see!’ curiosity). Among the highlights are a pretty winter garden, a commanding – previously concealed – central staircase, as well as a luxurious 20,000 sq.ft. apartment that is designated for VIP clients, allowing for overnight stays. DIOR’S 20 YEARS OF HIGH JEWELLERY Dior Joaillerie popped open the champagne when in Venice earlier this year, to celebrate 20 years of fine jewellery joy; it stands tall as a two-decade success story, guided for its entirety by creative director Victoire de Castellane. The maison wasn’t content to simply bask in the past, however, and the moment was ripe to unveil its Gem Dior suite. A delightful USD2.1millon necklace headlines de Castellane’s latest conjured collection, where crystal-stones set the tone for her architecturally-elegant 99-piece kaleidoscope. 23
LE PARIS RUSSE DE CHANEL A dreamy high jewellery collection from maison Chanel is a nod to Madame Coco’s fascination with Russia. Le Paris Russe de Chanel is a glittering tribute to her captivation with the nation: she enjoyed a brief affair with Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, had close Russian confidantes, and artistic references from this rich culture made their way into the legacy of her maison. The collection (69 pieces in total) is demarcated into four epic ‘chapters’: The Friendships, The Maison, The Muses and The Lovers. SOTHEBY’S MIDAS TOUCH Couture queen Guo Pei will curate a gilded Sotheby’s auction in London, titled Gold: The Midas Touch. Taking place in October, the sale puts the fine work of artists next to artisans, with the creative link being a precious metal that has compelled humankind for six millennia. “In a world that speaks over 6,900 languages, the language of gold remains universal,” considers the esteemed auctioneer. The lots include four of Guo’s own couture gowns, which are interlaced with 24ct gold thread. BUCCELLATI’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY AIR is not the only one celebrating ‘100’: Milan-based high jewellery house Buccellati has crafted a striking, diamondencrusted collection of handcrafted pieces, in order to commemorate the occasion of its centenary. The fourthgeneration family-run brand has also spent two years sourcing pieces for a spectacular Vintage Collection – recovering 70 antique jewellery examples and restoring them in time for the anniversary occasion. What’s more, the brand cut the ribbon on a new boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, too. A NEW ERA FOR DAMAS JEWELLERY Damas has been a titan of fine jewellery in the UAE since 1907, and has since cultivated a portfolio of over 40 24
‘Le Paris Russe de Chanel is a nod to Madame Coco’s fascination with Russia... a glittering tribute to her captivation with the nation’
international luxury names and in-house brands. 2019 marks the launch of a new era for Damas – and the year began with the appointment of Asil Attar, its first female CEO, as well as a new flagship boutique at The Dubai Mall. This new direction will continue “with a vision: crafting tomorrow’s dreams, inspiring your imagination, honouring our heritage,” the jeweller has teased. Definitely a development to watch. CHOPARD SPREADS A LITTLE HAPPINESS The Artisan of Emotion has crafted yet another heartfelt rendition, as its signature motif is given an extra dose of bliss with the Magical Setting collection. The brand’s creative director (and president) Caroline Scheuefele designed the setting in order for the diamonds to appear to ‘float’. These alluring cluster rings, pendants and earrings are set with the obligatory happy gems, which can be harmonised with blue sapphires from Sri Lanka, rubies from Mozambique/ Madagascar, or emeralds from Colombia/Zambia.
PIAGET’S ABU DHABI FLAGSHIP BOUTIQUE Piaget is certainly fond of the UAE; on these shores, the Swiss jeweller is most synonymous for its backing of the month-long Art Dubai fair. Turning its attention to the capital, the company has put down permanent roots in Abu Dhabi with the recent unveiling of a flagship boutique, in the opulent environs of Galleria Mall. The curated space, which opened last month, is a place to linger and admire the latest masterpieces from Piaget’s ateliers – from those razor-thin Altiplano chronograph watches to its elegant Possession and Sunlight high jewellery suites. FABERGÉ’S CRESCENT SUITE In the early 1960s, former French secret service officer Charles Antoine Roger Luzarche d’Azay donated his collection of 18 exquisite Fabergé cigarette cases to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Years later, his friends explained that he had been desperately in love with the glamorous French aristocrat Princess Cécile Murat. Crescent, a beguiling jewellery suite, is inspired by this tale of mystery, his sense adventure and his devotion – as well as the case designs, which feature crescent moons and a golden map of the Nile, with coloured gems marking cities along its course. DAVID MORRIS’ ENCHANTED ISLE David Morris comes across as the bastion of Britishness, but its Enchanted Island sees the brand firmly in holiday mode. Jeremy Morris, who helms ‘The London Jeweller’, took a journey by jet to his Mykonos home and was inspired by the Aegean isles. The result is a suite full of stunning, shimmering pieces, which conjure daydreams of the crystal-clear waters and sun-drenched sands. The pieces are a visual escape, drawn from memories of the colourful flora and fauna that brighten up the island each summer.
David Morris Enchanted Isle high jewellery 25
gastronomy OLLIE DABBOUS AT HIDE Ollie Dabbous burst onto London’s congested (and fiercely contested) culinary scene with the opening of his eponymous restaurant Dabbous back in 2012, for which he won a Michelin star. Fast forward six years and the Kuwait-born chef launched Hide, a hugely ambitious undertaking that spans three floors (with a different culinary offering on each), plus Europe’s most extensive wine list. Bringing the changing seasons to life through thrilling dishes, Hide now boasts a Michelin star of its own, and should be on your must-dine list. NEW OPENINGS FROM DANIELA SOTO-INNES What’s already been a big year for Daniela Soto-Innes – the 28-yearold was heralded as the world’s best female chef in June – is about to get a Noma
whole lot bigger. Her unique take on modern Mexican fare was established first at New York’s Cosme, then at the more casual Atla in the same city. While still running the kitchen at Cosme, Soto-Innes will spread her wings to America’s west coast at the end of this year to open adjoined restaurants Damian (serving Japanese-influenced Mexican) and Ditroit (a taquería) in Los Angeles. We reckon the Michelin stars are being shined in anticipation.
‘Hide is a hugely ambitious undertaking that spans three floors with a different culinary offering on each’
THE REBIRTH OF NOMA Noma, of course, needs no introduction. Having given birth to new Nordic cuisine and landed an unprecedented number of awards, René Redzepi decided to close Noma at the height of its global influence in 2017. He did so to travel the world and develop new culinary ideas along
the way, all of which now influence the cooking at the new Noma, which opened last year in a new location in its home city of Copenhagen. It offers three menus per year, each roughly 20-courses, and this year reentered the list of the world’s best 50 restaurants at number two. EAT LIKE A LOCAL IN THE SWISS MOUNTAINS Taking the idea of eating locally to new heights, Switzerland’s Schloss Schauenstein sources pretty much all of its produce from a radius of just one mile. In fact, some thirty per cent of it is actually sourced much closer to home – from within its beautiful castle grounds. It’s where vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown in sprawling gardens and where it roasts its own coffee and bakes organic bread (courtesy of a small roastery wood-fired bakery). Backed by the Alps, Schloss Schauenstein is at the peak of sustainable dining. DINNER IN PARADISE There can be few settings on earth quite as spectacular as So Hands On, the beneath-the-stars 5-seat sushi counter at Soneva Fushi’s over-water Out of the Blue restaurant in the Maldives. Four times a year Kenji Gyoten comes here to host an intimate dinner for the fortunate quintet. Japan’s youngest Michelin-starred sushi chef (and one of only four Japanese chefs to have been awarded three Michelin stars), bases his menu on omakase – the tradition of letting the chef choose your order. After all, he makes for the ideal Michelin ‘guide’.
property THE RESIDENCES AT THE ST. REGIS BELGRADE The landmark at the heart of the city’s high-profile multibillion-dollar Belgrade Waterfront development, the twisted Kula Belgrade tower is home to 220 St. Regis branded residences including a clutch of stunning duplexes. Dramatic inclined floor-to-ceiling statement windows frame contemporary interiors anchored by a grand sweeping mezzanine staircase and an abundance of polished marble. Bespoke services on offer include access to the St. Regis Iridium spa, on-call personal chef, and 24/7 butler.
THE PINNACLE OF NEW YORK LIVING A Neo-Gothic marvel on the Broadway skyline, its crowning glory is a Thierry W Dupont-designed eagle’s eyrie penthouse that dominates the building’s iconic green copper clad spire. Sprawled across five floors, the high spot has to be the 408-sq.ft open air observatory offering 360-degree city views. Residents of the limited collection of 32 ultra-luxurious condos can count laps in F. W. Woolworth’s original basement pool or host pals in the 29th-floor Gilbert Lounge.
The Residences at St. Regis Belgrade
‘The twisted Kula Belgrade tower is home to 220 St. Regis branded residences’ MONTE CARLO’S CANDYLICIOUS VILLA Candy pink is the colour of this cliff perched Belle Epoque villa with harbour views. The late 19thcentury residence was once home to casino developer Francois Blanc, a key player in the city state’s transformation into a glittering playground. Six floors of quirkily designed space feature six bedrooms, a rooftop terrace, lap pool, guest apartment and wine cellar. F1 fans will be in pole position each May to enjoy priceless views of the renowned Monaco Grand Prix street course. MIAMI NICE The petrolhead lifestyle is quite literally on the doorstep for residents of the 60-storey, Atlantic-fronting Porsche Design Tower, with in-unit supercar sky garages accessed via a robotic turntable parking carousel. Relax with a sundowner and cast an appreciative gaze over your prized automotive through the glass living room wall. Interiors take their cues from Porsche, with fibreglass, suede and leather accents, while residents also have the run of a games room with racing simulators, yoga room, personal wine lockers and a movie theatre with stadium seating. THE STATE OF THINGS TO COME Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah is no stranger to multimillion dirham homes but M. State is a gated community on another level. Located on one of the most sought-after fronds, just five luxury residences form the secluded enclave with Villa Aurum an ultra-luxe 14,000-sq.ft. example. Miami chic was the brief for LW Design Group, with the three-storey villa’s contemporary living spaces including a home cinema, gym, spa, and infinity pool, plus a private beachfront and discreet staff quarters. 29
yachts and jets
Embraer Praetor 600
EMBRAER PRAETOR 600 Touted as the world’s most disruptive super mid-size super jet, Embraer’s Praetor 600 assures comfort (an enticing blank canvas for personalisation) and speed (the 600 zips between key city pairings with ease, and regularly makes light work of the London-New York route). A Maximum Mach Operation of 0.83 and high-speed cruise of 863km/h play their part in swift journey time, while a 6ft-tall flat-floor cabin, plush seats, fully flat beds and a generously-sized baggage compartment (accessible in-flight) are some of its myriad appeals for the jet owner. PERSHING THE ‘140’ The ‘biggest thrill in Pershing’s history’ marks its entry into the superyacht sector with a triple30
deck effort that contains a beach club, lounge and bar, private entertainment space, plus four guest suites below deck. More yacht has not muted the fireworks, however: “Anyone who’s sailed on a Pershing is familiar with the adrenaline rush that kicks in with every turn,” enthuses Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi. “It is a unique feeling, akin to flying through the waves.” The ‘140’ simply supersizes the sensation. A GRANDE IDEA Unveiled at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, Azimut’s Grande S10 slips into the boatmaker’s S Collection – and the Sports Yacht has already been dubbed a ‘refined villa on the sea.’ The flowing interior/exterior space creates a true ‘welcome onboard’ feel for this
94-footer: open the doors to get the open-air on-deck dinner party started. Guests wanting to get out on the water can head to the garage, which houses two boats plus personal watercraft; those remaining on-yacht can soak up the sun on the beach deck. AT HOME IN THE CLOUDS Starlight ceilings, tactile fabrics, nap-inducing furnishings and ambient lighting all sound like details describing the latest Rolls-Royce cabin… yet they are opulent features in a BBJ 777-200 bedroom, curated in-house by AMAC Aerospace. These Swiss style-masters certainly know how to wow, and even joined forces with Pininfarina at this year’s EBACE – presenting a 360° cabin concept that presented new technologies and
‘The biggest thrill in Pershing’s history marks its entry into the superyacht sector with a triple-deck effort that contains a beach club and four guest suites’
exotic materials when customising an Airbus cocoon for the discerning VVIP of the future.
AMAC’s jet interior
TRANQUILITY AT SEA When time is of the essence (curtailing the chance to embark on a bespoke-superyacht shopping spree), chartering Camper & Nicholson’s ‘Yacht of the Year’ makes for an attractive alternative. The Tranquility – a 300ft beauty built by Dutch shipyard Oceano – is an oceancrossing world explorer which hosts up to 22 guests. It’s more like a floating hotel: zero-speed stabilisers mean you can simply sit pretty and enjoy its beach club, swimming pool and spa (replete with sauna, Hammam and massage room), as well as admiring the panoramic views from the VIP stateroom. 31
Words Chris Ujma John Thatcher Sophia Dyer Hazel Plush Chris Anderson Claire Malcolm
Contents P2 Womenâ€™s Style P5 Travel P9 Menâ€™s Style P12 Motoring P16 Timepieces P20 Art, Design & Literature P22 Jewellery P26 Gastronomy P28 Property P30 Yachts & Jets
THIS IS THE
GREATEST Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Shows are the stuff of style legend – from transforming Paris’ Grand Palais into a ski resort, to envisioning a monochrome, space-aged Ateliers Berthier. A stunning new tome by photographer Simon Procter looks at these seismic shows through his lens WORDS: CHRIS UJMA
he first time I met Karl Lagerfeld, it was make-or-break for my career,” admits Simon Procter, without a hint of understatement. The photographer – speaking from his countryside house in France, prior to the release of Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows – is recounting his time working with Chanel and, moreover, its late creative director. Procter is referring to a meeting that transpired long before he was in the Grand Palais, witnessing Lagerfeld’s transformation of the hallowed space into a rocket launchpad, snow-filled ski resort or a luscious forest. “Harper’s Bazaar had commissioned me to shoot his portrait in various iconic New York locations. It was very nerve-racking; there were a lot of models and a lot that could go 56
wrong,” the photographer explains. Procter says he was “lucky” to even meet Karl in the first place. “As with most things in life, it was one of those strange coincidences. I met Lagerfeld for the first time in 2006 because of James Kaliardos (a renowned makeup artist and one of the founders of the fashion title V Magazine) and Stephen Gan (one of the title’s other founders). That first major project with him in New York… People use the phrase ‘makeor-break’ but in fashion it is especially true – if something goes wrong, you’d be finished [in the industry].” It went very right. That job proved to be the catalyst for Procter’s rise to prominence; he was then commissioned by the likes of Nokia, Nike and The New York Times. Yet he always gravitated back to Lagerfeld’s live work.
For Procter’s first foray into fashion, James and Stephen came calling again with an idea to shoot a show from a rooftop. “It was a bit unusual and none of their regular photographers were that interested,” says Procter. “I had never been to a fashion show and thought it sounded like fun”. He explains that had an early ambition to “make art – I studied fine art, and started as a painter and sculptor”, but got into fashion photography “by accident”. Well, Lagerfeld’s fashion shows have been lauded as bridging the gap between haute couture and fine art, so perhaps it was an ideal union. “I approached the shows as an outsider, so my gaze was always slightly different,” Procter admits. “It’s a fashion show presenting clothes but foremost, I viewed each event as an extraordinary spectacle.”
Opening pages: Chanel Rocket, RTW FW17-18 at Le Grand Palais, Paris Above: Chanel Arcadia, RTW SS18 at Le Grand Palais, Paris Overleaf: Simon Procter in conversation with Karl Lagerfeld at the Grand Palais in September 2013 Final pages: Chanel Thousand, Haute Couture SS17 at Le Grand Palais, Paris. All images from Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows, by Simon Procter
are fashion shows presenting â€œThey clothes but foremost, I view each as an extraordinary spectacle â€? 57
Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step
It may sound sacrilegious but Procter didn’t find himself examining the fashion per se, but instead looking at the overall scene – and time-upon-time, that scene turned out to be extraordinary. For example, Chanel built a cliff with a running waterfall for its RTW FW19 snow-show, imitating an Alpine ski resort. The photographer describes Chanel’s RTW SS19 indoor showcase, explaining, “On a grey day in Paris, the purposebuilt beach they created just made everybody happy; you entered a giant box and arrived at a tropical beach with real waves and sand, and everyone kicked off their shoes and went in the ‘sea’.” He adds with a chuckle, “You’d have to be a pretty cynical person not to think that was fantastic.” On the technical front, he captured these Lagerfeld shows through his own artistic eye, training his camera lens on candid backstage moments as well as on wide-angled vistas of the installations. He describes his method, saying, ‘I combine moments, I combine exposures; things that are invisible I make visible. I stitch shots together to make an impossible perspective and then work some more to make it almost believable.’ The new book – a photography compilation published by Rizzoli – frames the famed shows in highresolution glory. ‘Once I got the films back and had scanned them, I spent a very long week putting it all back together, to make one single picture – a serious piece of work’ he explains. It’s important work, historically. In the couture schedule there are two shows at 20 minutes each (one is not enough to cater to all the VIPs), and these installation pieces are far too fleeting, believes the photographer. “Not many people see the shows unfold,” theorises Procter. “There are only 1,000 or so attendees who see them up-close and, as with 58
fashion as a whole, once it’s done, it’s over and the industry moves on. Of course, others see select photos of the shows, but I don’t feel that the things Chanel has achieved are either seen or understood enough.” The coffee table book, then, stands as a valuable document. Procter doesn’t consider the resulting images as fashion photography (nor are they not fashion photography): “There is art and there is making these images, and I never worry about defining them. I’m 50 years old now and have been making art for a long time, and the Chanel shows are one aspect of what I do – but they are works of art for people to enjoy on many different levels.” He believes, “It’s one of the best visual representations of these shows because it is constructed from many moments. One of the aspects of my presence is to get this singular piece of art by playing with the timing, shape, and presentation, to construct all of those components into what becomes the ‘perfect moment’. It’s a celebration of what Lagerfeld and Chanel achieved.” The designer – who helmed Chanel from 1983, ran his eponymous style label, and was also the creative director for Fendi – proved an ideal ally. “He believed in the creative vision of the artist,” Procter shares. “He told me, ‘Do whatever you want, creatively,’ which is extraordinary freedom to be given by someone of that level. As a photographer or an artist, it gives you an incredible boost. Even when he did look over your shoulder there was no ego or jealousy; he was genuinely interested – as someone artistically minded – in what I was creating.” The resulting show images were all shown season-fresh in V Magazine (a title that Procter deems his avenue into the couture realm) but as for the compiled book itself, Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows was a handful of years in the making. Following the untimely passing of Lagerfeld in February, though, both the publisher and Procter chose to inflect. “I always wanted to make the book about Karl Lagerfeld because I felt he is a very important cultural figure who wouldn’t be around forever,” he says. “But we were working on the book when the sad news came that he had died, and so elements of the book changed 60
to make it even more focused. The content stayed pretty true, but the book tightened up somewhat, to highlight that this was a Lagerfeld-centric project.” Penned the photographer in his foreword, ‘I was lucky enough to meet Karl Lagerfeld many times over the years; it was always a delight and we always did great work. The two things I remember most were that he always personally greeted everyone in the room. The other, that he was very very funny. Many times, whoever was standing next to him could be seen giggling uncontrollably over something he had whispered to them.’
Procter spent cherished moments with the designer backstage, and adds poignantly, “Karl Lagerfeld worked very hard for a long time and rarely dwelled on the past; he made people laugh and was polite to the point of graciousness. I think we can all learn something from that.” ‘Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows’ is produced by Simon Procter and published by Rizzoli. The Rosenbaum Contemporary gallery sponsored the project, and the book will be launched on 26 September at Hotel Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris
the aspects of my presence “is toOnegetofthis singular piece of art; to construct all of the components into what becomes the ‘perfect moment’ ”
Since the 1940s, The International BestDressed List has been the custodian of style, and being inducted bestows lasting prestige; Eleanor Lambert deemed it her ‘gift to fashion’. Amy Fine Collins – who inherited the decision-making mantle – discusses the modernday definition of being ‘best dressed’ WORDS : CHRIS UJMA 63
t was not intended to have such potency, possess such power – nor become a touchstone for the fashion sphere and the world at large. When public relations-savvy Eleanor Lambert formulated the Best-Dressed Poll in 1940, her original idea was simply to balm the fears of retailers on New York’s Seventh Avenue, who feared a downturn of income in the face of World War austerity. In creating her tasteful, inspirational, aspirational index (which, in time, would become ‘The International Best-Dressed List’), Lambert wanted to give the U.S. fashion industry a jolt in the arm, putting well-dressed American women – and women who wore American fashion – on the map. At that point, Paris had been invaded and occupied, and very few of its couture houses were in operation. The first list reflected the shift of attention away from Europe. In time, however, The List – which went from being decided by ballots to being determined by a secretive, guarded committee – became the style zeitgeist; a veritable ‘who’s who’ of society style that encompasses politicians, royalty, world leaders, and inadvertently charted the emergence of our celebrity gaze. Each year, the list puts on a pedestal the select few. It began by lauding the first style conversants who picked up the torch from Paris, stylistically embodying the sobriety of the 1940s. It went on to contain the beautiful people and elegant rebels of the 1960s, defined the egalitarian style shapers of the 1970s, and highlighted fashion’s leaders during the ‘recession, indiscretion and post-modern chaos’ of the 1990s. As she advanced into her 90s, Eleanor (who referred to herself as the ‘oldest living database’) had begun to hatch various schemes for the posthumous survival of her list. On 29 June 2002 – having guided the List through five wars, cyclical counterculture upheavals, 13 presidents, and onward into a new millennium – she officially gave her invention to four ‘friends at Vanity Fair’: Graydon Carter, Reinaldo Herrera, Aimée Bell and Amy Fine Collins. As a neophyte at Vanity Fair, Collins met Lambert when the latter was representing ‘among dozens of other posh clients, the venerable 64
It’s wonderful when you encounter a person whose look elevates your mood and stimulates your eye. It’s a form of etiquette and politeness
decorating firm of Parish-Hadley’, who Collins had profiled for the magazine. It turned out they were neighbours, which led to aesthetically-informed conversation that underpinned the ‘press agent and press member’ dynamic. Pens Collins in her preface, ‘Before long, Eleanor invited me to join her synod-like committee, which oversaw and edited the results of the annual International BestDressed Poll… Sitting on the I.B.D.L. committee was a heady experience. Surrounding me were some of the era’s most sophisticated personalities from society, media, and fashion.’ “Ultimately, she wrote a letter bequeathing the International BestDressed List to us,” says Collins, in her measured and deliberate manner (traits reflected in her own style sensibilities; she was rightly added to the Best-Dressed list, elected back in 1994 – with a Hall of Fame nod two years later). “We accepted Eleanor’s remarkable gift and are grateful to our Godmother of Fashion.” Collins, one of the four who Lambert entrusted with the legacy of The List, has compiled a hefty tome called The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story, which charts the ebbs and flows of the List’s 80-year (and counting) reign. The List’s current arbiter, speaking to me from a remote island in the pleasant climes of New York, shares in passing that she has not yet visited Dubai. I remark that with the UAE in the grip of its summer swelter, she may want to hold off for a month or two – adding that some days (despite having the best of intentions), style sense is reduced to simply besting the wilting heat. “Well, that is one element for making it onto The List,” she reflexively responds, ever-alert with fashion authority. “Making the appropriate style selection for your surroundings is part of being worthy.”
It’s a response that offers a glimpse of the secret recipe: when Collins and the private judging panel assemble, what exactly are the parameters that define being ‘best-dressed’? Even in the modern day, where the spectrum of ‘well dressed’ would seem to have broadened, there remain certain universals, asserts Collins. “One of them is being visible as a public figure. Another is being extraordinarily influential on the way other people dress, moving the needle a little bit in a direction. “It’s wonderful when you encounter a person whose look elevates your mood and stimulates your eye. It’s a form of etiquette and politeness, in a way – to present yourself in a way that gives pleasure to someone else.” It isn’t easy to accomplish. Collins believes, frankly, that society currently suffers from mass conformity and a fear of being different. “You see everyone wanting to dress alike, to carry the same bag, to wear their hair the same way,” she expands. “Then when something shifts in the clothes that are being shown on the runway (or wherever the public get their information on seasonal trends), you see them switch that look. Social media is making it difficult to distinguish one person from the other.” Social media channels serve up a daily flurry of ‘looks’ for us to consume, but Collins and Co. find it easy to cut through the noise. “It is true that there’s a lot of pressure to look welldressed – especially on social media, where people don’t like to repeat their clothes – but that is the opposite of having style. Clothes should come from some sort of inner compulsion and inner expression of who you are and what you are,” she explains. “If you’re just a person posting pictures, existing in a vacuum, there’s no context. Digital pictures will show the outfit in tiny pixels,
All exhibition images: AlaĂŻa Galleria Borghese Below: ÂŠ Peter Lindbergh
but the real parameters that define ‘Best-Dressed’ are how do you move, and how do you live in that dress? How are your clothes a manifestation of your life? Have the clothes in your wardrobe become a second skin? It seems what we see online are people who have had clothes pitchforked onto them, then onto the next person. This need to keep changing has had a deleterious effect on achieving individual and consistent style.” Across The List’s history, there have been such strong, distinctive looks from those who don’t look like any other. The style silhouettes of Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Coco Chanel, for instance, are instantly identifiable. “Having the strength of character 66
and sense of daring to create a look that is distinctly your own – as well as being consistent with it – is being ‘Best-Dressed’,” Collins embellishes. “The idea of having a distinctive identity which is expressed through clothing is wonderful – it’s almost like these people have created a persona and costumed themselves as a character, for life. It’s so much more interesting and exciting than looking like anyone else.” It’s not to be taken that the committee is anti-social media: “You do see more of what’s going on out there – and as a committee we maybe discover new things that may have been inaccessible or invisible otherwise,” praises Collins. And this deluge of online images
acts as a viewfinder for truly tasteful gamechangers to display their creativity and imagination. For instance, on a daily basis, one can see how a public figure such as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, looks at any given moment – even though she does not necessarily court the social media glare. “I think it is hard for women to find images of females where the agenda for dressing is neither about being cool or about being sexy – but there is a whole realm to conquer beyond that. What about chic, or elegant, or glamorous? Kate is one person who has shown the way,” Collins praises of the British royal. “She has a serious, lasting impact on the way women are dressing. Kate has managed to find a way to be youthful in her dress, appearance and manner, but with an appropriateness to her position; as well as Michelle Obama, in her time as First Lady, for tiny trends as prosaic as reintroducing cardigans, or sleeveless chic. They are both watched, as figures the public look to emulate.” Still, the phrase ‘best-dressed’ remains divisive, and the I.B.D.L.’s annual choice of inductees has always guaranteed ire from outsiders. The List has its ‘Originals’ category, “which seems to make people mad,” Collins chuckles – and sometimes they are not even especially controversial choices. She recalls, “When we first had Kate on the list – back when she was Kate Middleton, having just met Prince William – there was such a backlash, especially from those in the UK. I had to interview on BBC Radio to defend our decision for including her which – looking back – seems hard to believe; people forget how much she was disliked at that time, and it proves how quickly cultural perception can change.” The same goes for inductee Isabella Blow, Collins notes. “When we selected her, there was vociferous criticism that she was too eccentric and ‘a mess’ – but with the benefit of hindsight she is a woman who changed fashion with her daring, and thanks to all the designers she introduced. Often at I.B.D.L. we have identified icons early, who end up becoming a big influence, and the public forget their outrage about the inclusion.” To continually make calls that turn
out to be ahead of the curve, there must be cues that the committee observes? “We look at those who are evolving a very distinctive look,” says Collins, affording a peek behind the curtain. “We track those who are beginning to have an influence on the culture, where what they are doing right now could be misunderstood, yet one can predict from historical examples what the lasting effects will be.” She cites the arc of Lady Gaga as a choice example. People were “disturbed” when Gaga was first included in The Originals, wearing her meat dress. But to the Listmakers, it was clear that Ms. Pokerface “was going to make a statement that would last for at least half a generation, and watching her has been fascinating every step of the way, because she has become more glamorous in a traditional way. But that was one farout case where we took an early risk.” The I.B.D.L. is an enigma: both carefree and crucial. More-seriously, it stands as the sartorial pantheon of all-time male and female greats; a snapshot of culture that is added to each year, but never subtracted from; oft imitated but never emulated. Collins gets verbally attacked “all the time” but laughs off the vitriol, saying, “It’s fun when you get pushback, and a backlash of angry letters and emails.” (She adds a beautiful quip, that the concerns affecting fashion “can often seem like a tempest in a thimble”). Still, observers feel very strongly about who should (and should not) be on The List. She proffers that – in the face of the annual furore – “My thought is always: ‘these people care.’ There’s something good, and useful and fond about this list, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many attempted copies of it – or so many figures scrambling to get on it.” It is still a constant surprise to see how important the list remains, Collins says, taking stock of Lambert’s legacy. “However, it denotes power. Each year when The List is announced, it is something that people hope to find their name upon”. The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story is compiled by Amy Fine Collins and published by Rizzoli New York. rizzoliusa.com
Opening pages: The Duke of Windsor with the Duchess of Windsor, wearing an ensemble in her trademark blue, which matched her periwinkle eyes. The Duchess, for whom the Duke abdicated the British throne, famously said that, though she could never be the most beautiful woman in the world, she could be the chicest Previous pages: Austine Hearst worked as a newspaper columnist before marrying the chairman of the Hearst media empire. Here, the New York-based couturier Charles James fits her in his studio. Eleanor Lambert noted that Austine launched “many trends through her adventuresome clothes sense.” Opposite: Queen Elizabeth II, aged 26, arriving for the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Home Park of Windsor Castle (24 July, 1952) – one year before her coronation Below: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with President John F. Kennedy at the White House state dinner for the Shah of Iran and Farah Diba (11 April, 1962). Jackie wore Oleg Cassini’s dupioni-silk dress, whose lace waistline sparkles with rhinestones. She upstaged Farah Diba with the simplicity of her ensemble, surmounted by a small diamond starburst in her ‘brioche’ hairdo
100 YEARS OF BENTLEY Celebrating a centenary of luxury, performance and motoring excellence
100 Extraordinary Years
n 1919, Walter Owen Bentley set out with a direct mission for his automobile company: the desire to build “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.” The founder (better known as W.O.), ‘Turned his attention to building cars that would satisfy his own extraordinarily high expectations as a driver, an engineer and as a gentleman,’ says the brand. The marque to which he put his name far exceeded W.O.’s greatest ambitions. Fuelled by the relentless pursuit of luxury and performance, Bentley has become a byword for class. From the ‘Blower’ of the 1920s to the Bentayga of today, its innovations have shaped a century of luxury automobileownership, delivering sensational driving experiences and evoking unforgettable emotions – be the occupant at the wheel, or savouring the sumptuous cabin space. As the company celebrates its 100th year, Bentley sees the milestone as a moment to honour its past, showcase its present, and cast an eye to its future. 2
The Bentley Centenary
Bentley: From Past to Present
W.O. was born in 1888 and by 1919, the British engineering enthusiast had founded his eponymous company – Bentley Motors. Two years later, the first Bentley bearing Walter Owen’s iconic ‘Flying ‘B’ insignia – the 3-Litre – pulled out of New Street Mews in London, costing its owner Noel van Raalte the handsome sum of GBP1,050. It marked the dawn of a new era in luxury motoring 4
The 4.5-Litre Bentley ‘Blower’ was the defining Bentley of the 1920s; a British thoroughbred sports car that set the lap speed record at 24 Hours of Le Mans – an elite endurance race that pushes the cars (and their drivers) to the limit. The Blower triumphed under the guidance of the fabled ‘Bentley Boys’ racing team, which stormed to victories in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930, dominating the race track
The 1930s bore a car that the Bentley founder considered to be his ‘masterpiece’: the 8-Litre, capable of 160km/h in every body configuration. Reviewing the dream machine for Tatler, Capt. W. Gordon Aston opined: “Never in my life have I known a vehicle in which such a prodigious performance was linked to such smooth, unobtrusive quietness.” Just 100 were ever produced
The Bentley Centenary
By the end of the 1940s, Bentley had moved operations to Crewe in Cheshire, England. The relocation afforded access to a community of highly-skilled engineers and mechanics who had migrated during the war to this busy industrial hub. One of the first cars to emerge from the factory was the acclaimed Mark VI, a luxury sports saloon which benefitted from advanced technologies and a new approach to manufacturing. Crewe remains the home of Bentley to this day
Bentley welcomed a valuable partner in its quest for superior luxury: then-independent coachbuilders Mulliner (whose own founder was commissioned to build and maintain carriages for Britain’s Royal Mail, as far back as 1760). It remains a crucial element of the Bentley set-up; Mulliner is dedicated to bespoke craftsmanship and individual client customisation, tasked with dreaming up creative new concepts such as 2017’s fascinating Bentayga Falconry, tailored to the Middle Eastern market
Seeds that would bloom into the iconic Continental were sown at the Paris Motor Show, with the unveiling of the T-Series – a four-door saloon that print advertising at the time promised each buyer ‘elegance, comfort and silence’. Bentley’s reputation was also blossoming: for instance in Ian Fleming’s 1961 novel Thunderball, the author depicts fictional spy James Bond driving a 1953 R-Type Continental, bought and restored in 007’s preferred specs (dark grey with a black leather interior)
In this decade, Bentley’s
famous V8 engine was re-engineered to increase the capacity to 6.75 litres – the size it has remained to this day. 1971 marked the sad passing of founder W.O. Bentley. Though world events throughout the years had made the company’s ride far from smooth, the tenacious W.O. had set the Bentley blueprint for a century: an elite marque primed to create the world’s most desirable high-performance grand tourers 6
Two names nowsynonymous with Bentley are cemented: in 1982 the T-series is renamed the Mulsanne, with a high-performance turbo version debuted. (A later Turbo R goes on to become the fastest road-going Bentley of its age). Then, the popular Corniche is rebadged with the ‘Continental’ moniker =– and though the specifications differ to the current car bearing this name, the premise remains: a light, fast and nimble high-performance car, with no sacrifice on sophistication
The Bentley Centenery
It’s a little-known fact that Bentley’s original winged ornament is asymmetrical; to thwart forgers, W.O. opted to put an uneven number of feathers on either side of the famed ‘Flying B’. Sidelined since the 1950s, the design was restored by Bentley’s new parent owners the VW Group – and, though a minor tweak, the move was emblematic of the group’s intent to set new values for Bentley, while respecting its past
In 2003, the arrival of a sleek, bullet-like Continental GT marked the first all-new car engineered under the VW Group – heralding new heights of driving distinction, and becoming a standard bearer in its segment. Then-potent performance and an effortlessly powerful W12 engine were the headline-makers of a car that benefitted from substantial investment. Within the cabin, Bentley showcased its trademark craftsmanship – upholding the ‘grand’ in Grand Tourer
Within the modern-day Bentley constellation sit four stars: the Continental GT (an elegant two-door coupé that is the most successful selling Bentley in history, with a convertible cousin), the sublime Flying Spur (where sports sedan meets limousine), the dignified Mulsanne (‘The visionary, flagship Bentley’), and the commanding Bentayga (‘The most luxurious SUV in the world’, released in 2015 and with both V8 and hybrid options recently unveiled). The
marque continues to be guided by its enduring principles of a pioneering spirt, bold ideas and a commitment to excellence. They are traits represented in a trio of special edition cars (each limited to 100) which have been created by Bentley in homage to its centenary: the Continental GT Number 9 Edition, the Continental GT Convertible Number 1 Edition, and the Mulsanne W.O. Edition – all handcrafted by Mulliner, the company’s bespoke division 7
Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner
ir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin was one of the original ‘Bentley Boys’ of the 1920s and 1930s – a customer, investor and a racing driver full of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition. This special edition Continental GT has been crafted in his honour, and it celebrates the pivotal ‘Number 9’: the supercharged 4.5-Litre Bentley ‘Blower’ in which Birkin and his cohorts stormed the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Continental GT homage has ‘No.9’ badgework and a bold, matching front grille graphic. Customers have the option of either Viridian green or Beluga black exterior paint, with 22in Mulliner Driving Specification wheels also in these colours, plus Black Line Specification and a carbon bodykit. Upon the centre console of the vehicle is an exclusive British Jaeger clock face (inspired by the original dials with the same traditional manufacturing methods from the vintage era). Furthermore, the revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display is home to a special artefact: a wood insert from the seat of Birkin’s iconic 1930 No. 9 Le Mans vehicle, which was removed during a sympathetic renovation – adding a piece of treasured history to each of these 100 vehicles. 8
Continental GT Convertible Number 1 Edition by Mulliner
he original ‘Number 1’, from 1929, was a single seater with a faired-in radiator, purpose-built for racing the banked circuit at Brooklands near London – the world’s first purpose built motor racing circuit. The base for this special edition homage is the 6-litre W12 Continental GT Convertible – the ultimate Grand Tourer in Bentley’s modern-day line-up. The 2019 edition features 18ct gold plated fender badging and showcases a range of bespoke features that encapsulate the spirit of a golden era of motorsport. Available in either Dragon Red II or Beluga (and with a Claret or Beluga folding hood), this limited edition is equipped with a Centenary Pack, Bentley Black Line Specification and Carbon Body Kit, rounded off by the painted Number 1 front grille. At the heart of the Number 1 Edition sits an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine and – just like the original supercharged Blower of 1929 – it provides exhilarating and agile performance. Only 100 bespoke examples will be handcrafted. 10
Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
he 8-Litre was W.O. Bentley’s final magnificent creation at the helm of the company he founded. Such was the power and torque of its straight-six engine, it was proclaimed in 1931 that the 8-Litre would be more than capable of 100mph [160km/h], regardless of the type of body configuration the owner had chosen. The 8-Litre is an ideal source of inspiration for this reimagined Mulsanne, crafted by Bentley’s bespoke division, Mulliner – which has imbued its prestige into this anniversary homage. The W.O. Edition can be specified to any of the three-model Mulsanne 12
range, based on customer preference. Key features include a colour split interior cut from Heritage Hide (representing the patina of vintage cars), Onyx paintwork, and a discreet W.O. signature badge displayed on the lower bumper – with special centenary badging adorning the selflevelling wheel centres and door treadplates. There’s even a tangible link to the past, as each Mulsanne holds a slice of crankshaft from W.O.’s personallyowned version of the 8-Litre. It’s a fitting homage to the company founder and – for both the Bentley lover and the avid motoring historian – is a true collector’s item.
Reimagining The Future: Bentley EXP 100 GT
he EXP 100 GT is a prime example of Bentley’s intent to drive the future of an industry; it’s a concept car that sets the tone for the luxury-motoring landscape of tomorrow. The Grand Tourer, mooted for 2035, has the option of being self-piloted by a driver or guided by an autonomous system, while Bentley envisions the electric-powered ‘GT’ to register zero emissions, while eclipsing the 700km distance range. The vehicle is infused with emotionally intelligent AI, yet its sleek technology is designed to disappear for a more mindful experience. Moreover, the EXP 100 GT seeks to reduce the marque’s impact on the natural world. A core value of the future is sustainability and, as part of the concept car’s production, Bentley collaborated with a range of like-minded businesses to deploy thoughtful elements (such as reclaimed riverwood and exterior paint made from recycled rice husks, through to 100 percent organic leather-like textiles and lighter batteries). The EXP 100 GT is a masterpiece of both aesthetics and innovation, of which Walter Owen would surely be proud. It’s also more than a benchmark for elegance: it’s an indication that the next 100 years of Bentley’s legacy are in safe hands. 14
AIR x Bentley
Bentley / 100th Anniversary Limited Editions -Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner -Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner -Continental GT Convertible Number 1 Edition by Mulliner Just100 examples of each to be handcrafted. bentleymotors.com
SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Tonic Water Never one to rest on his laurels, Heston Blumenthal explains why he relocated to rural France to set up a new lab dedicated to researching water WORDS: DAMIAN WHITWORTH
eston Blumenthal is late. He was due at an event to promote his range of Australian barbecues an hour ago and quite a crowd has gathered at a restaurant in Canary Wharf, east London. Chefs from the Fat Duck are cooking Asian ribs. Blumenthal’s manager is pacing up and down with his phone providing updates as the press officers for the barbecue company look on anxiously. Eventually, the chef’s new wife, Stephanie, appears and huddles with his manager. There are reports that he is nearby. Then, finally, he arrives, full of apologies. His Thai assistant had been held up at Heathrow airport. Blumenthal was told that he couldn’t take their luggage until his visa situation was resolved. The chef has flown in from the south of France, where he lives, and therein lies quite a story, although it takes a while to get to the bottom of it. I have interviewed him a few times before and it has always been hard to keep up. The Willy Wonka of cooking fizzes with ideas, and sometimes the rate at which they occur to him outpaces his ability to communicate them clearly. Today, however, the stream of consciousness sometimes borders on the surreal. “I live in Provence and we’re setting up a lab on water. It’s a big subject,” he says, plunging in. We’ll come back to the water story, but the short version of what has been going on in Heston world is this: almost a quarter of a century after he opened the Fat
Duck, the restaurant in Bray in Berkshire where he made his name with snail porridge and earned three Michelin stars and international fame, he has decamped to Provence, where he is renting a house while looking to buy a property that will be his home base. “I’m back in the place where it all started. I’ve come full circle.” Blumenthal’s journey began when his parents took him to L’Oustau de Baumanière, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Provence. The meal they had convinced him to devote his life to cooking. The sounds of clinking glasses and crunching gravel and the smell of lavender as he ate that meal inspired his multisensory approach. Now he is living 15 minutes from the restaurant with Stephanie, an estate agent who became his second wife last year, and their baby daughter. “It’s so bright. There’s a reason Van Gogh was there. The light! And Picasso. And the ground is so fertile.” He’s off, waxing geological about the porosity of the rocks, so I try to bring him back to why he wanted to leave Britain to live there. The Fat Duck was relaunched in 2015, after a six-month refurbishment, during which time he took the operation to Melbourne. Then he reappraised his life and for the past year or so has been much more low profile than usual. “You know, we’re so obsessed with things outside our body, box-ticking: ‘When I have more money, I’ll be happy. When I
have a family, I’ll be happy. When I get my degree, I’ll be happy. When I go on holiday, I’ll be happy. When I do this, I’ll be happy.’ We miss what we’ve got. We’re always projecting forward and then we blame these things outside our body when they don’t work. That could be another person, it could be this, it could be that. We are missing the moment.” He told an Australian newspaper earlier this year that he had got rid of a lot of “unconscious anxiety”. I ask him to explain. “I realised that I can’t do everything and [should] focus on the things that are important to me.” The move to rural France was to escape diversions while finding other, preferable ones. “It’s also a bit Charles Darwin-y, I suppose; being able to have a connection with nature. We live in a life that’s so fast now. Every time somebody tries to sell you a new app on your telephone there is another cause for distraction.” He promptly seems to get diverted by one thought after another: Jewish culture, Mayan Indians, Greek astronomers. “I’ve got ADHD and so I get distracted. I’ve worked very [hard] on it and it is working a lot. The more things around me, the more things I can get distracted with. That fork might remind me of something and it’s, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do that.’” There’s also a practical reason for his French adventure, he explains. He discourses on the power of gamma rays in the south of France, which does not appear to have any grounding in science, but the bottom line is this: “It gets very hot there. They grow truffles, olives everywhere. Lavender, herbs, vine fruit. They
Opening pages: ‘Walk in the Woods’ centrepiece at The Fat Duck (photo by Jose Luis Lopez de Zubiria); Heston Blumenthal portrait from Getty Images Opposite: ‘Meat Fruit’, served at Dinner London (photo by John Blackwell) This page: ‘Damping Through the Borough Groves’, served at The Fat Duck (photo by Lopez de Zubiria)
Fire and sense of direction, they were man’s big things. We’ve got GPS, so that’s one out. Us men are hanging on by the skin of our teeth
breed white horses. It’s incredibly fertile. And the Romans! The biggest amphitheatre outside of Italy is down the road in Arles and you’ve got the Pont du Gard aqueduct in Nîmes to take water 50km. Every road has ...” There follows an explanation of the French drainage system, but this isn’t quite as tangential as you might think, because it brings us to his new lab, where he is setting up his water project. “Water has a memory and carries data. Without it we can’t live. It forms the basis of every food we eat, every living creature, in some shape or form. You can activate it by sunlight, by passing current through it. You can activate it by motions.” He then leaps into a riff about the stuff we can’t see making up trillions of times more of the universe than the stuff that we can. “It’s a bit tricky to get your head around,” he admits. I am in agreement with him on this point, but try to steer him back to safer terrain. Will we be seeing the fruits of this research in the Fat Duck soon? Oh yes, he says, and starts talking, almost in bullet points, about dementia, Alzheimer’s, gut health, vibrating particles, string theory and quantum theory. “Everything is vibrating.” What, though, does this all mean for the Fat Duck, the restaurant at the heart of an empire that includes Dinner, the restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel, his Hind’s Head gastropub in Bray and his range of products for Waitrose? Is he taking a back seat while he pursues a better life balance and his mysterious research into water? “No, in fact, in a funny 74
way I’m actually doing the opposite.” His development kitchen in France will work “hand in hand” with his team in Bray, where all the wonkery takes place. “This next stage is an evolution of what’s been happening. I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been with R&D, and it will start to manifest itself over the next couple of years.” The costs that go with this creativity are huge. The Fat Duck seats fewer diners at a sitting (38) than the number of chefs on its payroll. Accounts for Snail Porridge Limited for the year ending May 2018 showed that losses had increased from USD866,000 to USD2.1 million. The company said it was starting to see the impact of efficiencies and that the accounts provided a historic view only. Reports in Australia this year said that his Dinner restaurant in Melbourne, which is owned by a company in the Caribbean, also made a loss in 2017-18. More recently, UK newspaper The Sun reported that staff were worried that Blumenthal’s restaurant business could “do a Jamie Oliver”, but that the company’s spokesman insisted that there was no truth in the rumours. Given the challenging marketplace his restaurants are operating in, it is unsurprising though, that Blumenthal is promoting other money-spinning ventures, such as his new barbecue. I tell him that I was surprised, looking at the Fat Duck website, to see that a table for two people – once notoriously hard to secure – was available for the following evening. There was also availability over the next week. “The secret of the Duck is that we have cancellations and rebookings. So if
you happen to get on just after cancellation, then you can get a table,” Blumenthal says. While still working in kitchens, he was obsessed with working out and was a muscular figure. Today, dressed all in black with his trademark thickrimmed specs, he looks a bit heavier. He recently had an accident while cycling and fractured his kneecaps. The boyish curiosity is, if anything, even more pronounced. He rummages in his bag and pulls out a microbiome kit, for which he has produced a sample in order to get his gut bacteria analysed. But let’s not get distracted by his stomach’s contents. “Tomorrow we’ve got an all-day development meeting,” he says, focusing on the immediate future, “but the basic principle comes back to the fact that human beings are storytellers. I’ve used food to tell stories.” And the story behind his new barbecue? “Nanotechnology meets philosophy,” he proclaims and offers a short history of human evolution, which sounds as if he has read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and takes in the lengthening of the larynx, the discovery of cooking on fire and the start of communal meals, and arrives at the modern day with Blumenthal’s wife trying out his fancy new barbie and leaving him wondering what purpose men still serve. “Fire and sense of direction, they were our big things,” he says, smiling. “We’ve got GPS, so that’s one out. And she looked at me and said in her beautiful French accent, ‘I can do this.’ And I thought, ‘Have I just [blown] it?’ “Us men are hanging on by the skin of our teeth.”
This page: Sambocade (served at Dinner London); ‘Just the Tonic’ (served at The Fat Duck, photo by Lopez de Zubiria) 75
SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
This page: Aerial view of the pool and beach at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Opposite: A panoramic suite view from Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort 76
44 JOURNEYS BY JET
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers & Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi
t’s impressive how, in a relatively short space of time, Jumeirah Group has expanded its world-class property offerings far and wide: Jumeirah’s luxury reputation is now globally recognised, gracing destinations from Frankfurt to London, and the Maldives to Shanghai. Still, there’s nothing quite like experiencing Jumeirah in the UAE – where the vision for this luxury brand became reality. Jumeirah’s two glorious properties in Abu Dhabi offer a sublime first impression of the capital city. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is a 63-storey UAE landmark that sits on the vibrant Corniche, where the scent of Arabian oud wafts across a grandiose lobby which offers stunning panoramic views. Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, meanwhile, represents dreamy beachfront living, mere steps away from powder sands and the glittering Arabian Gulf shoreline. The latter is the northernmost of the pair, with the Etihad Towers property just a short drive down the coast. And while a mere 25-minutes separates the two properties, there’s a whole lot of Abu Dhabi packed into the area between them – comprising the arts, retail indulgences, national history, the bustling business district, and protected pockets of nature. On the doorstep is Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat arts and theatre district (home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi), the entertainment hub of Yas Island sits a short drive inland, plus a host of shopping spots (such as the prestigious Galleria Mall, on Al Maryah Island) are within touching distance of these two Jumeirah hotels. The luscious Mangrove National Park, teeming with wildlife, brings a welcome pop of greenery to the island palette, while also nestled within this city space is Emirates Heritage Village – a reconstruction of a desert village with cultural festivals and traditional arts and crafts. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also sits picturesque on the skyline. While both properties are ideally located for the adventurous urban explorer, there is plenty to keep guests enthralled within the plush environs of each hotel. At the contemporary-styled Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, architectural form meets sophisticated function. There’s mixed-purpose living here, with the 382 abodes comprising enormous hotel
Opposite page: Dining at VaKaVa restaurant and a skyline vista – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi This page: Ocean views, and the King Bedroom (within the 4-Bedroom Villa) – Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
suites (the largest being the commanding, one-of-a-kind Royal Etihad) and serviced apartment residences (up to threebedrooms in size) – each with floor-toceiling glass walls for stunning city views. Whatever the duration of a stay, this property is a perfect ‘home’ when in the city: a host of signature dining experiences and nightlife offerings ensure enriching evenings aplenty, while tranquil Talise Spa provides the opportunity for some wellness focus. For the full experience of slower-paced life, the eco-conscious Saadiyat Island resort is immersed in natural beauty; sea breezes and lapping waves embellish this sophisticated summer house-style resort. 239 rooms and suites overlook the magnificent waters, and eight exclusive villas are replete with their own private pool, an on-call butler service, and an in-villa spa and treatment room. The great outdoors beckons with three Infinity pools, and a secluded beach ideal for a sunrise yoga session. This pair of properties each has its own distinct personality, yet both are built around thoughtful and generous service – brand hallmarks. Be it within the grandeur of Etihad Towers or upon the laid-back Saadiyat Island, guests are assured a remarkable level of Arabian hospitality –experienced in the nation where the Jumeirah legacy began. Charter into an FBO based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah, then avail Jumeirah’s chauffeur fleet. To plan an individually tailored stay, contact +971 28115888 or email JADreservations@jumeirah.com (for Jumeirah at Etihad Towers) or JSIreservations@jumeirah.com (for Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort) 79
What I Know Now SEPTEMBER 2019: ISSUE 100
Leanne Maskell MODEL / FASHION INDUSTRY ACTIVIST
Being a successful model is like winning the lottery; regardless of how you look, it is completely down to luck. It can be inspiring: from wearing next season’s couture gowns to being part of the design process, a model is constantly surrounded by art, creativity and talent. I started modelling at the age of 13, with my first ever job published in British Vogue. I have continued modelling throughout school and while studying law, as it has provided me with income and great opportunities; however, I have also experienced and witnessed immense amounts of exploitation. To be told to lose weight, put on expensive starvation plans, humiliated by strangers, unknowingly having debts racked up in your name, not being paid for months on end or being asked to strip naked at work – this shouldn’t be normal behaviour. Working as a model can often feel like being someone else’s doll. You bring 80
other people’s visions to reality, with your life permanently held in someone else’s hands. As a result of the constant change and unstable lifestyle that models encounter, many do not have a clear image of who they are. The best way to deal with the craziness of life is to be a little kinder to ourselves, with some mindfulness and self-love, putting yourself first and respecting yourself as you would any person you really love. Modelling has certainly given me oncein-a-lifetime experiences and enabled me to live a life filled with adventure, but these adventures have mostly been at the mercy of other people. I figured out what to expect from modelling after years of trial and error. No one ever sits down and explains to you what to expect while working, what is acceptable and what is not. It took me years of tentatively turning up to
castings, sending pleading emails after weeks of no contact or months of not being paid, being told to strip down in front of strangers and being poked, prodded and pushed on a daily basis by different people in the course of my job to understand when I can and should speak out. The more I have learned, the more passionate I have become about passing this information on to others, especially those who idealise the industry and negatively compare themselves to fashion models. The trick to having a successful, happy career as a model is education – by understanding what the job entails, you can make conscious decisions about your career and choose the course of your life. Adapted extract from ‘The Model Manifesto: An A-Z Anti-Exploitation Guide for the Fashion Industry’, printed by Practical Inspiration Publishing. themodelmanifesto.com
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• Michelle Williams dances up a storm • Flying high: The Luxury 100 by AIR • Secrets and scandal from the Best-Dressed List • Chanel's most...
Published on Sep 1, 2019
• Michelle Williams dances up a storm • Flying high: The Luxury 100 by AIR • Secrets and scandal from the Best-Dressed List • Chanel's most...