MAY 2023 NICHOLAS BRAUN
The Dubai Mall
Dubai Marina Mall
Mall of the Emirates
Contacts: +971 4 2262277
Thirty Four Braun Identity
Succession has made Nicholas Braun one of TV’s hottest stars. He talks the unassuming power of Cousin Greg.
Forty How India Styled The World
Charting the profound impact of traditional Indian dress on global fashion.
Forty Eight Chic To Chic
As a child Isabel Marant found inspiration in her father’s wardrobe, now the queen of cool has turned to menswear.
Contents MAY 2023: ISSUE 140 5
Credit: Anita Dongre, dupattas and lehengas in natural dyes and Ajrakh hand-block prints with intricate hand-embroidery featuring gota-patti along with dori, sequins, and zardozi, 2021 Ode to Bhuj collection. Courtesy of Anita Dongre
Sixteen Objects of Desire
Twenty Art & Design
Twenty Six Jewellery
Fifty Four Motoring
Fifty Eight Gastronomy
Sixty Four What I Know Now
In only a decade, Struthers Watchmakers have become a sensation, with both their handmade watches and expert restoration continually in high demand.
Editor-in-Chief & Co-owner
John Thatcher email@example.com
Art Director Kerri Bennett
Illustration Leona Beth
Managing Director & Co-owner Victoria Thatcher
Digital Media Manager Muthu Kumar
Media City, Dubai, UAE
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
MAY 2023: ISSUE 140
Credit: Andy Pilsbury
Welcome to the May issue of AIR – our aviation lifestyle magazine. If you are reading this issue onboard, we wish you a pleasant flight with us today. Owning a business jet is a great privilege but it also comes with responsibilities – maintaining and operating the aircraft safely and complying with all the various aviation regulations that may apply. As an aircraft management company, first and foremost, our aim is to help owners meet these responsibilities and to enable them to enjoy all the benefits of ownership.
At Empire Aviation, we have inducted over 70 aircraft into our managed fleet, based across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including business jets from leading aircraft manufacturers, helicopters, seaplanes, and air ambulances. We continue to apply this vital experience as we add new aircraft (including ultra-long-range business jets and jet airliners like the Boeing Business Jet) to our managed fleet. We also provide owners with flexible options when deciding where to base their aircraft, with a range of three aircraft registries. You can read more about our aircraft management services in this issue.
We also feature a story on our ‘Luxury Partner’ programme, designed to combine the unique benefits of private jet travel with award-winning luxury travel partners. We launched this innovative service in response to the growing demand from affluent leisure travellers for highly personalised private travel services and associated luxury leisure experiences. Our first Luxury Partners included companies with a particular focus on the luxury resorts of the Indian Ocean and Thailand - favourites among private jet charter clients – and for this issue, we are showcasing Raffles Seychelles. Summer vacations are on the horizon and it’s time to start planning.
Enjoy the read.
Paras P. Dhamecha Founder & Managing Director
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org empireaviation.com
9 Empire Aviation Group MAY 2023:ISSUE 140
Cover : Nicholas Braun, Getty
How To Maximise The Benefits of Aircraft Management
Empire Aviation’s one-stop approach to management services allows the owner to maximise all the advantages and pleasures of ownership
As the number of business jets operating worldwide continues to grow, aircraft management service providers such as Empire Aviation are increasingly being called upon to manage the day-to-day operations of these aircraft on behalf of owners, whether this is a corporation, a family or an individual. We help relieve the stressful demands of maintaining and operating a business jet through a one-stop approach to management services that allows the owner to maximise all the advantages and pleasures of ownership.
Today, Empire Aviation manages
one of the region's largest and most dynamic fleets of business jets with aircraft from various manufacturers. As different types of aircraft join our managed fleet, our aircraft management team must ensure that all the appropriate support personnel are available, along with the pilots and crew, and that the operations team is thoroughly familiarised with the new aircraft type.
Ultimately, owners are responsible for ensuring their aircraft is maintained to the highest standards for their safety and comfort. An aircraft management partner gives owners peace of mind
by handling all aspects of aircraft registration, operations, maintenance and repair, including scheduled maintenance checks, unscheduled repairs, and required inspections.
But it all starts with aircraft acquisition.
Access to expert advice is essential when buying or selling aircraft and a fully integrated private aviation management company such as Empire Aviation brings extensive experience and knowledge to assist and guide on aircraft selection, purchasing and finance, ownership model options and residual values, with a view to
10 Empire Aviation Group MAY 2023:ISSUE 140
protecting the aircraft asset for the duration of the ownership.
The company's aircraft sales capabilities and experience extend to global markets and transactions and our role as an aircraft management company differentiates the approach from traditional brokers – the team knows which aircraft sell and how to maximise residual values. The ability to draw together all the strands of private aviation – sales, management, operations and charter – enables the Empire Aviation team to make private aviation a great experience for owners (and charter guests). When it comes to managing maintenance (or MRO – maintenance, repair and overhaul), the complexity and demands of supporting a mixed fleet across multiple operating bases become apparent. One of the major challenges is the ready availability of approved facilities to support owners in all locations where the aircraft are based. With a growing and increasingly mixed fleet of business jets under management, the team has to put in place all the appropriate
MRO infrastructure for each aircraft at the local operating base, working with our partners and approved facilities to ensure the aircraft is maintained in excellent condition.
Scheduling and managing general maintenance across the fleet is also a challenge and we aim to minimise downtime and any potential disruption to travel schedules. The team works around owners' schedules but other aircraft from our managed fleet can provide interim options to owners. For Empire Aviation's CAMO-only clients (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation), the team offers these aircraft owners the same service benefits that we provide to our managed aircraft owners with fully inclusive management contracts, including MRO as part of the one-stop service.
Our successful and award-winning aircraft management service has been built on close personal working relationships with owners to develop a high degree of personal trust, openness and transparency. The team builds this trust and manages
expectations by looking after every operational and maintenance detail of their aircraft. This includes negotiating all contract services with supplier companies and tracking all costs to ensure owners receive the best deals with open books at all times.
Financing and managing the expenses associated with owning a business jet can be complex and a professional aircraft management company should provide detailed financial planning and analysis, forecasting, cost controls, and accounting.
Searching, selecting and managing flight crew is demanding and our aircraft management services cover all these aspects, including recruitment, assessment, scheduling, and training. The team ensures that flight crews are highly skilled for their specific roles and enjoy a positive working relationship with the owner. Our in-house flight operation centre covers all route planning and scheduling of aircraft, weather monitoring, arranging all airport slots and permits and coordinating all the ground support services for passengers, crew and the aircraft.
Jet Away To The Seychelles Raffles Resort
Praslin is home to some of the world’s most impressive and unspoiled natural beaches
Seychelles offers guests a unique and luxurious Indian Ocean island vacation and our Luxury Partner resort – Raffles Seychelles – is an ideal host destination. A private jet charter is the perfect option to enhance the experience.
Raffles Seychelles is located in Praslin, the second-largest granite island in the Seychelles, about 40 kilometres away from the main island of Mahé. The island is a heavenly paradise with some of the world's most impressive and unspoiled natural beaches and tropical landscapes. Praslin is also home to fascinating attractions
such as the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can spot the Coco de Mer – the world's heaviest nut, from trees almost 400 years old – and the black parrot, the world's rarest bird, only found in Seychelles. Just a few minutes away from Raffles Seychelles Resort is the world-renowned Anse Lazio, famed for its idyllic beach setting of white sand and turquoise water framed by lush vegetation and dramatic granite formations.
Praslin's location provides perfect opportunities for excursions to neighbouring islands, some of which are nurturing sanctuaries for rare
endemic flora and fauna, such as Aride Island, the finest seabird island in the western Indian Ocean, Curieuse Island, home to hundreds of giant tortoises, or La Digue island, praised for its stunning beaches.
Raffles Seychelles Resort offers the perfect opportunity for a truly unique and unforgettable vacation experience. A private jet provides the perfect start to your Seychelles experience with all the privacy, comfort, and convenience you can imagine, from state-ofthe-art entertainment systems to deluxe cabin furnishings and top-of-the-line catering.
12 Empire Aviation Group MAY 2023:ISSUE 140
Unprecedented power and acoustic performance
STATE-OF-THE-ART FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS
This highly intelligent loudspeaker provides you with clarity, range and a sound staging that is secondto-none. Beolab 90 features an impressive 360° design, has a variety of settings, and regardless of its placement it will give you mind-blowing sound.
Beolab 90 BANG & OLUFSEN DUBAI MALL SHOWROOM. FIRST LEVEL. FASHION AVENUE. +971 4 339 9314
LA-based Ukrainian cosmetic artist
Vlada Haggerty is makeup royalty. Using lips as a canvas, she uses gloss, lipstick, sequins and jewels — along with painstaking attention to detail — to create her unique art. 200 photographs of her acclaimed, innovative work feature in a new book devoted to her craft, Art of the Lips , which pulls together looks inspired by nature, jewellery, pop culture, and more.
14 AIR Radar MAY 2023: ISSUE 140
Credit: Pink Gold, 2018, liquid lipstick, large glitter, lapel pin
Art of the Lips, by Vlada Haggerty, published by Smith Street Books, is out now
15 Pop Art Style, published by Assouline, is out now
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Master craftsmanship, effortless style and timeless appeal; this month’s must-haves and collectibles
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
MADEMOISELLE PRIVÉ PIQUE-AIGUILLES
One of the undoubted highlights of Watches and Wonders, Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watch owes its unique appearance to the humble pincushion, the indispensable tool a seamstress wears on her wrist, thus fusing the worlds of couture and watchmaking. “While its
architecture has the boldness of simplicity, its oversized dial flirts with excess and offers an incredible space for expression,” said Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the Chanel Watchmaking Creation Studio, whose team used that space to craft five extraordinary, limited-edition pieces.
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
PATEK PHILIPPE GRANDMASTER CHIME REFERENCE 6300GR-001
Few brands were as active as Patek Philippe at this year’s Watches and Wonders, the venerable watchmaker unveiling a strong line up of 17 new models replete, as you would expect, with an equally wide range of innovative technical and aesthetic features. Included
among them is this Grandmaster Chime Reference 6300GR-001, which builds on the legacy of 2014’s Grandmaster Chime, the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch. Here, white gold and rose gold are combined for the first time on this storied model.
OBJECTS OF DESIRE 2
POISON DROP GOLD&ROSES
Online jewellery store Poison Drop enters the Middle East market with a wide selection of multi-brand items curated by its in-the-know buyers, who seek out the next big thing, whether trend or designer. One such brand is Gold&Roses. Founded by gemologist
Sonia Ruiz and designer Hannah Rodríguez, its delicate pieces are handcrafted from 18k gold and natural gemstones, with more than 80 jewellers involved in the production process. These beautiful rose gold crawler earrings feature diamonds and emeralds.
3 OBJECTS OF DESIRE
BOUCHERON QUATRE CLASSIQUE CUFF
Boucheron’s classic cuff bracelet tells a story, its four stacked rings – shaped from yellow gold, pink gold, brown PVD and diamonds – each designed to represent a strand of the maison’s DNA. There’s the grosgrain pattern, a nod to the house’s founder, whose
parents were clothmakers, and Clou de Paris, a technique that dates to the 16th century and evokes the cobbles of Place Vendôme, the home of Boucheron. Now those signature codes have been amplified to XXL size, comprising 134 round diamonds.
4 OBJECTS OF DESIRE
CHOPARD COLOURED DREAMS
Love is at the heart of Chopard’s new high jewellery eternity rings, a richly colourful set that sees painstakingly selected precious stones cushioned in place not by metal prongs but four brilliant-set hearts, a signature symbol of the house. This piece is crafted from Fairmined-certified
ethical 18-carat white gold and brilliant diamonds, with a stunning emerald of 3.20cts as its centrepiece. The unique setting is one of two introduced to the collection, with the other seeing the central stone held on a gently undulating band.
5 OBJECTS OF DESIRE
OBJECTS OF DESIRE 6
As Lamborghini celebrates its sixtieth anniversary it looks to its future with the release of its first High Performance Electrified Vehicle (HPEV). This V12 is a hybrid, combining an entirely new combustion engine with three electric motors, alongside a double-clutch gearbox that makes its debut on a 12-cylinder
Lamborghini for the first time. Moreover, the extensive use of carbon fiber and lightweight materials, combined with the potent engine power — acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 350 km/h — contributes to achieving the best weight-to-power ratio in the history of Lamborghini.
7 OBJECTS OF DESIRE
The inspirations behind 1309 Studios’ latest collection of day and evening wear pieces are as varied as they are long, weaving from the disco scene of the 1970s to the allure of the expansive desserts in America, via an overarching idea of individuality and self-expression.
These myriad muses are perfectly expressed through the collection’s colour palette: earthy tones such as sand, nude and brown reflecting the dessert, vibrant hues like blue, purple, orange, and green representing the dancefloor.
8 OBJECTS OF DESIRE
1309 STUDIOS SPRING/SUMMER 2023
OBJECTS OF DESIRE
Dir. Nida Manzoor
Sisterly affection clashes with parental disappointment as a younger sister bids to save her elder sibling from her impending marriage.
AT BEST: “The repartee is peppy and clever, and the scheming, fighting and colourful design delightful.”
— Nicolas Rapold, Financial Times
AT WORST: “So much of what is grounding and emotional in the first half falls away as the larger context grows more and more extreme.” — Dan Mecca, The Film Stage
Dir. Matt Johnson
Before Apple’s smartphone became ubiquitous, there was BlackBerry. This comedy drama tells its story, from meteoric rise through to catastrophic demise.
AT BEST: “A smart movie about smart people who were destroyed by a dumb system.” — Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com
AT WORST: “The movie can’t rouse the full spectrum of human emotions a movie about communication needs.” — Sarah Manvel, Critic’s Notebook
The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future
Dir. Francisca Alegría
A long-deceased woman emerges alive from a polluted river along with thousands of dead fish, prompting both curiosity and fear.
AT BEST: “It’s a thoughtful film, tender, hopeful, with some knockout bovine performances too.” — Cath Clarke, The Guardian
AT WORST: “It’s too slipshod to be serious, too earnest to entertain.” — Kevin Maher, The Times
Dir. Celine Song
Two deeply connected childhood friends, wrest apart when one emigrates from South Korea, are reunited two decades later in New York for one fateful week.
AT BEST: “Might just be the most singularly exquisite film of the year.” — Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar
AT WORST: “I would have preferred not to have spent two hours with either of the main characters.” — Amy Taubin, Artforum
18 AIR Critique
MAY 2023 : ISSUE 140
Filmmaker, writer, and comedian Judd Apatow’s Sicker In The Head is the follow-up to his New York Times’ bestseller, and once again has him in candid conversation with some of the most exciting names in comedy.
“When I need to read an interview with a comedian while in the bathroom, I always turn to Judd Apatow for deeply personal insights into the comedic mind. Place one on your toilet today,” suggests Amy Schumer. “As sequels go, this second collection of interviews with creative artists, featuring a diverse line-up and wideranging conversations about life and comedy, is more The Godfather Part II than Jaws: The Revenge,” says The Washington Post. “The interviews go well beyond origin stories to fruitful discussions about the mysterious creative process.” The New Yorker describes it as, “An amazing read, full of insights and connections
both creative and interpersonal.”
Forbidden City by Vanessa Hua tells the fictional tale of a teenage girl living in 1960s China, who becomes Mao Zedong’s protégée and lover, and a heroine of the Cultural Revolution.
“Think Succession, but add death and mayhem to the palace intrigue… Ambitious and impressive,” writes the San Francisco Chronicle. “This finds a brilliant new perspective on familiar material via its story of a young woman’s brush with power.
It’s magnificent,” hails Publishers Weekly. Fellow author Lara Prescott was fulsome in her praise: “Arresting, beautiful, and epic, Forbidden City left me breathless by the last page.
Hua’s writing is propulsive and packed with rich historical details and exquisitely crafted characters.
Mei’s story will stay with you long after reading.” The Washington Post bills Hua’s novel as, “Eye-opening,
vital and timely now more than ever.”
In Games and Rituals, Katherine Heiny pulls together a collection of humours short stories. “Heiny approaches her disarmingly charming characters with tenderness, empathy, and humor, even (perhaps, especially) when they meander outside the bounds of good behavior. Lighthearted and amusing yet deeply resonant, these stories offer sly insights about human connection and can, in the space of a single sentence, take your breath away,” says Kirkus “Heiny’s distinctive story collection portrays varied characters navigating shifts in their lives and relationships, from the disquiet of unrequited love to the shock of infidelity… Poignant and searching, Heiney’s collection strikes emotions and realizations head on,” writes Booklist, while Publishers Weekly talks up the author’s “keen observations,” which help “put a shine on these everyday comedies.”
19 Critique Books MAY 2023 : ISSUE 140
Setting The Scene
The second instalment of the Richard Mille Art Prize was further proof of how the watchmaker has helped establish a thriving regional arts scene
The stage was set at the gala ceremony to announce the winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize 2022. But like everything else Richard Mille creates, this was no ordinary stage. With Louvre Abu Dhabi as its backdrop — Jean Nouvel’s magnificent modern marvel — the boundary-pushing watchmaker dreamt up an enchanting midnight garden to celebrate the blossoming of the region’s art scene. Artistry abounded under the stars. Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied took to the stage for the first time since 2016, performing an Abu Dhabi-inspired routine with fellow dancer Caroline Osmont that was choreographed specifically for the event, while the Michelin-rated chef Grégoire Berger served up a dazzling dining experience for the assembled audience of art connoisseurs and regional personalities.
But the evening belonged to Rand Abdul Jabbar, the Iraqi-born, Abu Dhabibased multidisciplinary artist whose clay-sculpted work, Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings, was selected by the panel of five eminent judges (among them HH
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum, and Sharjah Art Foundation) to win the $60,000 first prize.
Comprising 100 handmade objects, Jabbar’s work “emerged out of my research into ancient Mesopotamian artefacts, architecture, and mythology. Overall, the work attempts to capture and convey the reverberations of the past within a contemporary sculptural language. The choice of working with clay further reinforces connections to ancestry, as well as the material culture and embodied knowledge that form part of my cultural inheritance as an Iraqi,” says Jabbar, who left Beirut as a child when her family moved to Abu Dhabi.
Was a total of 100 objects always the target, or did Jabbar gravitate towards that number as the project developed? “I see this collection of ceramic sculptures as an ever-growing family. I enjoy the process of making them, I find it quite meditative. It’s also a process that is endlessly generative, drawing on a rich history of cultural vestiges spanning thousands of years, which makes it full of discovery. Exhibiting 100 objects as part
of this exhibition [Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022, which preceded the award ceremony] was a milestone I wanted to achieve at this particular moment, and I hope there will continue to be more.”
The objects form a mix of the recreated and the reimagined. Do certain pieces particularly resonate with the artist?
“Several years ago during my research I found a photograph of an ancient pin — just a beautiful, elegant, thin, sharp object. I created a lino cut of it and printed it alongside a photograph of my father as
Opening page: Rand Abdul Jabbar with the Richard Mille Art Prize 2022, along with Peter Harrison, CEO, Richard Mille EMEA and Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi
This page, top to bottom: Benjamin Millepied performs with Caroline Osmont; the setting for the Richard Mille Art Prize 2022 gala ceremony
a young boy, riding a long, slender boat called a mashhoof on a visit to the marshes in southern Iraq. I found there was an interesting formal dialogue happening through the interplay between these two objects.
“A couple of years later, while I was working on this project, I went through my archive of images and this pin came up again, so I decided to replicate the gesture in ceramics. When I took my father to the exhibition, he saw this object and said it reminded him of the mashhoof. This
particular piece means a lot to me because it holds a personal memory, but it’s just one example of many, and they each have their own story.”
Jabbar’s own story wasn’t destined to feature art. “I actually trained to be an architect,” she reveals. “I consider my educational background in architecture as providing the foundations for the way I work, both in the way it’s conceptually grounded in rigorous research, as well as its material engagement in shaping space and form. Design, as an act, pervades both art and architecture, and unites them in their pursuit of describing an intention. However, what I enjoy about artistic practice is the more direct involvement and proximity it affords me in the process of crafting materials, drawings, objects or sculptures.”
Jabbar’s award win marks the second instalment of the Richard Mille Art Prize, continuing the avant-garde watchmaker’s commitment to showcasing contemporary artists from the region, cultivating talent. “Richard Mille has been enriching relationships with the art world for over a decade,” says Peter Harrison, CEO, Richard Mille EMEA. “The GCC is home to one of the most evolving art scenes globally, and at an unprecedented pace. As a brand, we are privileged to witness the extraordinary growth of this region firsthand, and we have been eager to support its burgeoning art scene for quite some time now.”
This page, from left to right: Rand Abdul Jabbar; objects from the award-winning Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings
An art lover and collector himself, Harrison describes how during his frequent visits to the region he was struck by “always finding myself discovering contemporary art pieces that were created by Arab artists in the GCC. This built a curiosity, to understand how these artists were being represented, and if their art was being given the opportunity to grow outside the region.”
This curiosity prompted Harrison to discuss the topic with Louvre Abu Dhabi, from which a ten-year partnership between Richard Mille and Louvre Abu Dhabi emerged, the annual Richard Mille Art Prize its flagship initiative. “The Richard Mille Art Prize represents a significant addition to the types of opportunities available to artists in the UAE and the wider GCC region,” says Jabbar. “It not only spotlights the work of artists, but also, through its thematics, allows for the expansion of discourse and engagement around contemporary artistic practice.”
The theme of the third edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition for 2023 is ‘Transparency’. Curated by Maya El Khalil, it is open now to entries. louvreabudhabi.ae/arthere
This page, from top tp bottom: Rand Abdul Jabbar with her award-winning work, Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings; Rand Abdul Jabbar with Peter Harrison, CEO, Richard Mille EMEA, and judges
How Danny Larsen transitioned from professional snowboarder to refined painter of his Scandinavian homeland
WORDS: CARU SANDERS
MAY 2023: ISSUE 140 Art & Design AIR 20
Danny Larsen’s atmospheric neopointillist paintings evoke the folkloric forests, fauna and fjords of his homeland. Much like his paintings, Danny Larsen himself is otherworldly and mystical. It’s as if his time spent with Mother Nature has informed a kind of mystic vision that enables him to photographically represent the woodlands, open waters, mists, and atmospheric morning frosts of his Norwegian homeland in pen and paint.
Larsen’s process is so precise, so painstaking and disciplined, that it seems at odds with the renegade, daredevil spirit of the first half of his career. If painting is his serene and meditative second act, it’s the very antithesis of the first, which involved careering down mountains as a professional snowboarder.
Larsen’s career crossroads came early. As a teen, he grew up in Norway and his path could have led either way. He lived next to a ski slope and
started boarding in 1994, the life of professional snowboarder his ultimate boyhood dream. Yet his promise also showed in the school art room.
His pivotal moment came after graduating from high school, when he discovered he could make a living as a snowboarder and opted for the thrill of the slopes. Sponsorship opportunities came in thick and fast, propelling him towards some of the world’s most deathdefying runs. Meanwhile, his artistic leanings came in handy when it came to delivering the kind of cool factor that his sponsors wanted – his looks made him the number one published snowboarder in Europe, freestyling his way all over Europe, China, Japan, South America, North America and Canada for photo and video shoots.
The course did not run smoothly, however. While snowboarding in California, he got caught in an avalanche and was dragged downwards until he managed to ‘swim’ his way out of danger.
He came terrifyingly close to falling down a 20-metre gap with rock walls on both sides, survived a 10-metre fall from a jump at an in-city snowboard event in Oslo, walking away with only a scar, and counts a broken back, ankles and wrists among his battle scars. He’s been catapulted into trees and literally seen the ground disappear beneath him.
When he suffered a bad crash in Japan, he was conscious of the debris of his surroundings — but also the beauty.
“It was magnificent”, he says by way of explanation, “so I saw this crash as a magical moment. But I also realised that I didn’t have to go to Japan or anywhere else to have that moment. I could’ve had this realisation in my own backyard.”
Larsen had another reason to settle and gather some moss. He had a longterm girlfriend, also a professional snowboarder, whom he had met in his early 20s. Throughout the noughties, they travelled the world and lived out of bags, finally tying the knot in 2009. In
Opening pages, from left to right: Danny Larsen, by Aaron Schwartz; Another Sleepless Night, 2022, marker and acrylic on linen canvas
These pages. clockwise from left: Flowers By The Forest Roadside, 2021, marker and acrylic on linen canvas; Even If I Cannot See The Colours, 2022, marker and acrylic on linen canvas; Snø Og Granskog, 2022, marker on linen canvas
‘ The most important thing to me is to try to live a life where you appreciate all the small moments ’
2014, his wife became pregnant with their first child. Larsen decided that enough was enough. He no longer wanted to be a rolling stone, so he called his sponsors to resign from snowboarding. With the ultimate impetus to find a new means of supporting his new family, Larsen set up in a studio collective to resurrect his artistic talent, painting his way towards a bright future. Now he connects the dots, literally. His stippling technique, particularly the spacing between dots, allows the artist to detail intricate depth in the scene; we are shown that the ordinary can be something extraordinary. His almost spiritual response to the natural world and attention to detail are aspects of art that Larsen likens to snowboarding; both are intrinsically linked to nature. “Like snowboarding, art offers both freedom of self-expression and proximity to nature”, he observes.
Larsen explains what his process entails, from choosing a special moment to capture through to the finished painting. “The most important thing to me is to try to live a life where you
appreciate all the small moments. I work at acknowledging those special moments and when we do that, you start realising how beautiful the world is.”
Larsen and his wife now live on the edge of the forest, a 45-minute journey from Oslo with their son Balder and daughter Solveig, who was born in 2017.
He walks around, a lot. If he sees something that takes his breath away, he stops, takes a photo of it. He observes and then he paints it, one dot at a time. His artworks are so detailed and photographic, it’s almost unfathomable that they are produced from hundreds of tiny points.
He may have circled the world on adrenaline-filled adventures yet now his paintings are inspired by daily walks, recreating the atmospheric beauty of the nearby forests that flank his own backyard. He reminds the viewer that areas of natural beauty are never that far away, wherever you are. In this, he has a poignant message for one and all: seek and you shall find. The ultimate magic can be found in the present and in one’s own surroundings.
THE PINNACLE OF LUXURY LIVING BULGARILIGHTHOUSE.COM
SUSPENDED BETWEEN SEA AND SKY
Introducing Bulgari Lighthouse Dubai. Elegantly crafted, 4 to 5-bedroom luxury penthouses, suspended between sea and sky on one of Dubai’s most exclusive private islands, Jumeira Bay. Cocooned in coral, these timeless, statement homes are a beacon of light for those who value solace and serenity, set to the beautiful backdrop of the sparkling Arabian Gulf and the Dubai city skyline.
The Villages Come to Life at The Bicester Collection
This season sees The Bicester Collection of villages bloom into life, with a series of exciting happenings
Offering a series of exciting new openings, activations and indulgences across the Villages in Europe this season, The Bicester Collection invites you to discover something new. The Villages come to life with an unparalleled curation of fashion and lifestyle brands, a tribute to a globally-renowned musical icon, TikTok viral culinary delights, and exceptional five-star hospitality.
The Bicester Collection comprises 11 flagship retail Villages, nine of which can be found within easy reach of popular summer destinations including London, Milan, Munich, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. Guests from all over the world visit the Villages to shop for a selection of the world’s finest luxury brands at up to 60% of their recommended retail price.
All the Villages boast five-star services, including invitation-only collection previews and access to the VIP apartment spaces. Additionally, guests can also enjoy personal shopping services, hands-free shopping, and a concierge and chauffer service.
The Bicester Collection’s unique shopping culture is underpinned by the real, meaningful connections it makes with its guests, delivering exclusive opportunities and
unlocking the door to individuallytailored experiences.
The Villages’ signature services make the shopping experience as seamless and personal as possible. Within each Village, dedicated clienteling teams build one-on-one relationships with guests, ensuring all their needs are met before, during and after their visits. They can even offer virtual shopping sessions and source products from across the entire Collection. What’s more, your personal contact is never more than a WhatsApp away, wherever in the world you may be.
Each Village also offers the Collection’s most discerning guests private spaces in the form of chic Apartments and Personal Shopping Suites. Here, they can enjoy the likes of live performances, hear lectures from prominent spokespersons, and attend private events.
These unique spaces for private clients feature a raft of elevated and bespoke design details, courtesy of renowned architect David Thomas: handcrafted gold leaf Degournay wall coverings in lngolstadt Village; 20thcentury Lalique decorative arts in La Vallee Village; and a stunning floorto-ceiling wall mural, hand-painted by artist Patrizia Volpi in Fidenza Village. There is no better time to visit the Bicester Collection than now. Ongoing until the end of June, internationally
renowned environmental artist Steve Messam brings Bicester Village to life with a series of signature inflatable installations entitled Encounters. Messam’s giant, colourful artworks will be integrated into the Village’s buildings, offering guests a chance for a brief encounter with art as they shop. Coinciding with the timings of the Coronation of King Charles III, Pride, and the much-awaited British spring/summer season, Encounters will provide an additional touch of fun and playfulness to guests during their day out.
Those in search of a sweet treat should look no further than La Vallée Village, where pop-up The Madeleine by Ferrières, by Celebrity Chef Desty Brami, has just opened. Brami, who is the Executive Pastry Chef at renowned restaurants including Le Chai and Le Baron at the Chateau de Ferrières, will offer gourmet creations including the gone-viral New York Roll croissants.
In fact, you will be spoilt for choice for restaurant bookings across the Collection. Maybe visit Bicester Village’s Cecconi’s for top class Italian fare, or the iconic Ladurée in Ingolstadt Village. If Eastern cuisine is more your thing, Kildare Village’s Saba boasts exciting Vietnamese and Thai dishes, with ingredients flown in directly from Bangkok
Music fans will also be able to bag
themselves some unique memorabilia this summer. In celebration of Sir Elton John’s ongoing ’Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, special pop ups in Kildare Village, Dublin; Bicester Village, London; and Ingolstadt Village, Munich, will sell boxsets and albums spanning Elton’s unparalleled career, alongside museum-worthy memorabilia, highly collectible signed merchandise, unique artworks, rare photography, and one-off, limitededition pieces. Additionally, these pop ups will also showcase the much-anticipated global launch of Elton John Eyewear, a collection of opticals and sunglasses, each designed by Elton himself.
Don’t delay, become a member today
The Villages’ Membership programme offers exclusive offers, insider access, and special surprises from the world’s leading luxury brands. Membership enables guests to discover a world of special experiences and personalised treats, including specially tailored rewards, access to exclusive collections, additional savings, and member-only invitations to private sales and special events. To be become a member, guests can join online at www.thebicestercollection.com/ en/member
AIR X THE BICESTER COLLECTION 25
Famed as owners of one of the world’s largest black diamonds, Maison Korloff is on a mission to make its mark across the world, as CEO Bassam Azakir outlines
WORDS: JOHN THATCHER
Jewellery MAY 2023: ISSUE 140 AIR
While legacy jewellery brands can lean on more than a century of history to help chart their future course, Maison Korloff – relatively young having been founded by the Lyon-born diamond dealer Daniel Paillasseur in 1978 – has the extraordinary as its compass; an 88-carat black diamond, among the world’s largest and considered priceless.
“The Korkoff black diamond is more than emblematic of the house, it is its soul, its source of inspiration,” states the maison’s CEO, Bassam Azakir. “To understand why, you need to know where it comes from and its legend.”
A lso referred to as carbonado (a Portuguese word meaning ‘burned’), black diamonds differ by lacking traces of minerals found deep in the Earth's mantle, typical of other diamonds. One proposed theory is that they are formed in supernova explosions – when a dying star literally bows out with a bang –with chunks of the material ultimately falling to Earth, their unusual properties pre-formed. As such, carbonados are estimated to date from between 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago.
T he origin of Korloff’s black diamond is a 200-carat chunk of carbonado, discovered in Brazil during the nineteenth centuty. “It was acquired by the Korloff-Sapojnikoff family, members of the Russian nobility,” continues Azakir. “Mysterious and fascinating, endowed with a powerful magnetism, the gem has been passed down like a talisman through the generations. With the revolution that took down the Tsarist regime, the family sought refuge in Europe, where its members escaped the horrors taking place in their country of origin. The black diamond became synonymous with renewed luck and happiness, and later cast its spell on Daniel Paillasseur, who acquired it.”
O ver the course of eighteen months, Paillasseur had the diamond cut to eighty-eight carats, a size specifically chosen due to the ‘lucky’ connotations of the number eight in Chinese numerology.
It certainly brought good fortune to Paillasseur. “He christened the black diamond ‘Korloff,’ in honour of its
former owners, and established the eponymous house of fine jewellery and diamonds,” tells Azakir, who became company CEO in 2018 after working first as its International Sales Manager, then Associate Director.
Helping to plant the brand’s footprint in more than 40 countries, Beirutborn Azakir’s most recent step towards Maison Korloff “conquering the world, near and far, as is our priority,” was to open its reimagined store in The Dubai Mall, under the management of the Chalhoub Group.
“ We are proud to bring our exceptional and unique collections to the region. The Middle East is a vast region that encompasses many different cultures, traditions, and languages. It offers great opportunities for those who make the effort to understand its complex marketing landscape, which is exactly what Maison Korloff has done to be successful.
It’s also one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and especially attractive for luxury brands because of the region’s increasing spend on luxury goods, compared to more mature markets such as Europe, Japan, and the United States. One important fact to note about this region is its young demographic, with almost fifty per cent of the population under the age of 25.”
It's a fact that has not gone unnoticed
at Maison Korloff. “A few years ago, we refreshed the brand, with a revised logo and a brighter, more welcoming boutique concept. New collections and global campaigns were also designed to appeal to young people.
“ This younger generation of clients is continuing to cause a massive shift across all markets. By modernising the brand and its universe, we aim to make a deeper connection with them through our exceptional design and craftsmanship.”
K orloff’s new collections are certainly contemporary. The Eclat collection is inspired by the architectural lines of the Louvre’s pyramid tip, the boldly designed pieces in the Korlove collection feature 18k white and pink gold, while the colourful Saint-Petersbourg range utilises diamonds, onyx, lacquer, and motherof-pearl to offset striking agate.
Yet diamonds remain at the heart of Korloff, the brand even having its own unique cuts: one octagonal in shape with 73 facets, the other a more traditional brilliant cut, but with 88 facets instead of the typical 57. There is also a bespoke service. “We take pride in providing our discerning clients with the opportunity to have their jewellery designed and crafted to their exact specifications, bringing their vision to life,” says Azakir.
O ne area where the younger generation stand apart is consumer habits. Does Azakir feel that Korloff’s clients are now more conscious about the sourcing and sustainability aspects of a stone? “Of course, they are, and we fully respect this growing consciousness,” he says. “We do have a responsibility and are equally aware that it is a process [to implement sustainable practice] that will not happen overnight. But we are ready to start our journey to sustainability, and our next high jewellery collection will be crafted from Fairminded gold. Other sustainability initiatives are also on the way.”
A s for what else the future holds for Korloff, Azakir knows it will be inextricably linked to its legendary black diamond. “It’s a treasure, and we have the ambition to capitalize on it in the upcoming years.”
‘ Conquering the world, near and far, as is our priority’
In only a decade, Struthers Watchmakers have become a sensation, with both their handmade watches and expert restoration in high demand
WORDS: TRACEY LLEWELLYN
MAY 2023: ISSUE 140
Tucked away in the Churnet Valley in England, affectionately known as Little Switzerland for its hilly landscape, is the Struthers Watchmakers studio. Within this 350sq ft workshop in the market town of Leek is a combined 40 years’ experience in watch restoration, watchmaking, goldsmithing, silversmithing, fine art, gemmology and design.
Last year the company founders, Craig and Rebecca Struthers, celebrated 10 years in business, as well as their 10th wedding anniversary. In only a decade, they have become a sensation in the world of horology, with order books full for their own handmade watches, and a waiting list stretching into many months for their restoration work.
“Watchmakers like Craig and me are a rare breed,” explains Rebecca in her new book, Hands of Time. “In 2012 we set up on our own, becoming one of just a handful of firms in the UK with the skills to make mechanical watches from scratch and to restore antique watches from the last five centuries.”
Unsurprisingly, both disciplines need the same skills: “If you’re a proper watchmaker, you are capable of making parts, and in restoration you have to make parts,” says Craig. “Some of our best watchmakers, people like the late George Daniels, started out in restoration. When you restore, you are handling centuries of design and you can use that to inform your own work.”
They’re so busy because it is increasingly difficult to find good watch restorers. There are few formal courses in restoration techniques, and not enough restorers have the time to take on and train apprentices. Plus starting salaries for those servicing modern watches are usually much higher than in the antiques trade, so the reasons for the shortage become obvious.
Nevertheless, old watches have become highly sought after, compounding the problem. “Watches sell at auction, someone has a tinker with them and they end up in an even worse state and back in another auction,” Craig says. “As a result, over the past 10 years the overall condition of vintage watches has gone down. People buy them, decide not to get them repaired because they can’t find anyone to do the job or because
These pages, clockwise from left: front and back of The Carter; Craig and Rebecca Struthers, by Andy Pilsbury; The Carter Next pages, clockwise from left: the workshop, by Andy Pilsbury; The Kingsley MKII; The Kingsley
it is too expensive, and sell them on. It’s creating a downward cycle.”
Discovering their shared love of old over new, while students at Birmingham City University — Craig in horology and Rebecca originally in goldsmithing, before moving on to watchmaking — the Strutherses separately moved to London after graduating, working for auction houses, restoring, and watch dealing. During this time, they worked with restorer Steven Hale — then on
George Street, now on South Molton Street and in Bushey, near Watford, and experienced what they refer to as “another level of training,” working on early Rolexes, carriage clocks and rare military watches.
In 2012, when the idea arose to start up on their own, they moved back to Birmingham and set up shop in the Jewellery Quarter, which remained their home until last year, when the rural calm of Staffordshire persuaded them to make another move.
“We started out doing restoration only, specialising in pre-1960s watches,” says Craig. “Our clients came from contacts in the auction houses, and slowly word started to spread. Building a reputation in watchmaking is very different from other businesses; it takes a decade plus to get anywhere.”
In fact, recognition came surprisingly quickly for the couple in an industry that is notoriously slow paced.
In 2013 the Strutherses won a Design Innovation Award for their pendant watch Stella — a singlehand timepiece housed in an orb of rock crystal suspended within a platinum gimbal and based around a 1960s heritage movement.
Rebecca sighs at the memory of Stella. We just had to submit a design,” she
says, “and we never really thought we stood any chance. But a few months later we got a phone call to let us know we’d won and we realised we’d have to make this thing. It was a steep learning curve: we’d never made a case before and we initially thought we would just find a casemaker to work with. Then we realised that there really aren’t many independent casemakers left. So, we had to teach ourselves — as well as how to work with platinum. And everything had to be done in 10 weeks. We got back from the awards saying, ‘Never ever again.’ But then we got over it and thought, ‘Actually we can do it again, and we can do it better.’”
Since then, the Strutherses have gone on to hand-make several small collections with salvaged and restored movements bought from bullion dealers who scrap the cases for gold and discard the movement within. They have also made their own movement, Project 248, which will power a very small run of bespoke watches with six-figure prices to be delivered over the next decade — all already preordered. But the heart of the business remains restoration and the joy gained from working on objects that contain decades, or centuries, of history.
Like the trays and drawers of
salvaged movements, the antique tools in the Strutherses’ workshop have been lovingly rehomed, coming from all around the world via eBay or offered to the pair following a media appearance. “We try to name the tool after the person it belonged to,” says Craig. “Also, as there’s only the two of us in the workshop — three if you count Archie our Staffie watchdog — the tools are like our team, so they all deserve a name.”
The old machinery is ideal for restoration since modern tools are more suited to large-scale production. “I want to come into work and see a museum of old stuff that we actually use,” says Rebecca. “That is a lovely thing.”
Currently on the Struthers workbench is a little CH Meylan art nouveau
pendant watch in platinum decorated with flowers and set with emeralds. Previous attempts at restoration had resulted in a missing stone being replaced with dyed green resin. “I managed to pick all that out without damaging the delicate settings,” says Rebecca. “And we found a Birmingham-based lapidarist who matched and cut the stone.
“There are very few people in the world with this level of skill; he’s one of the last in the Jewellery Quarter. Our setter is way past retirement age, and even his ‘apprentice’ is in his 50s. He did an amazing job. It’s hard finding people with the skills to match what they were making in the 1920s and ‘30s — back then it was the norm.” With the case finished, the pair are starting to work on the movement, which has a broken winding stem and hairspring. Replacement parts are no longer available, so Craig and Rebecca will have to make them from scratch.
“We’ve just finished the restoration of a chronograph. It wasn’t anything special, but we were the fourth watchmaker that had seen it,” says Craig. “Every time somebody took it in, it came back in a worse condition with missing parts.
“Most ‘watchmakers’ today are qualified for modern servicing, and while they may think, ‘I can do chronographs, I’ll give it a go’, vintage pieces are completely different beasts. Unless you have the patience and are willing to start learning from scratch, you won’t be able to do it. There are idiosyncrasies that you have to understand to get an antique movement to work properly. Working on so many old watches, we understand the different mechanisms — the strangest of set-ups is almost normal to us.”
Hands of Time: A Watchmaker’s History of Time by Rebecca Struthers (Hodder & Stoughton) is out now
‘If you’re a proper watchmaker, you are capable of making parts, and in restoration you have to make parts’
Credit: © Tracey Llewellyn /Telegraph Media Group Limited 2023
Succession has made Nicholas Braun one of TV’s hottest stars, and as the final series of the Roy family drama wraps this month, the actor talks about the unassuming power of Cousin Greg
WORDS: HADLEY FREEMAN
Before meeting me in a bar in midtown New York one Saturday evening, Nicholas Braun spends the afternoon mooching around the Gagosian gallery and drinking cocktails with none other than… Matthew Macfadyen. That’s right, Cousin Greg and Tom Wambsgans from Succession — the bromance that brings light relief to the show’s dark heart — are even closer in real life than on screen.
“God, I love Matthew,” Braun, 34, says in a tone that comes perilously close to soppy. “I just feel extremely close to him — when we finished shooting the last season I sobbed saying goodbye. It’s still hard to get through a scene with him without laughing.”
Even though Braun and Macfadyen spent their every working hour staring into each other’s eyes as they shot Succession’s fourth and final series, they couldn’t bear to be parted over the weekend. “I haven’t been to a museum since I don’t even remember. But we wanted to hang, so this was the activity, and then we went to Bemelmans,” Braun says, referring to the iconic Upper East Side bar. (Sidenote: Sam Rockwell was also on this perfect-sounding date. But seeing as he is not part of the GregTom affair we can just ignore him.)
The question of who will take over the Roy family business is the central question of Succession, and when the last series ended it looked like Tom and Greg were joining forces to seize power together: the ultimate Tom-Greg fantasy. They were both duly nominated for an outstanding supporting actor in a drama series Emmy, and last September when they went to the ceremony — well, probably best to let Braun tell this.
“Matthew’s and my hands were on each other’s legs when the nominees were getting read out,” he says.
I’m sorry — your hands were where?
“ Yes, and, like, we were looking at each other, squeezing each other’s legs when our names got read aloud. Then when he won, I got to be the first person to give him a hug. And then his wife.”
So is Macfadyen’s wife, actress Keeley Hawes, jealous of this romance between the two of them, I ask, possibly a bit too excitedly.
“Uhh, no. No, no, no,” he says looking at me as if I’m a bit unhinged. Well, it wasn’t me who was just talking about gazing into Macfadyen’s eyes
while feeling up his leg, Nicholas. Since it launched in 2018, Succession, the HBO drama about the Roy family, a fictional mega-rich media dynasty, has been a critical and commercial blockbuster, with the writers and cast dominating every TV awards show ever since. And deservedly so, because they are all terrific, from Brian Cox’s furious swearing as the patriarch, Logan, to Jeremy Strong’s tortured angst as the eldest son, Kendall. But it’s Braun as Cousin Greg who has really endeared himself to audiences, making an instant star out of the former jobbing actor, to the point that when he met Steven Spielberg, Spielberg cried: “I can’t believe I’m meeting Cousin Greg!”
Braun had actually been acting since he was a kid but was so tired of depressing auditions and failed pilots that he was on the verge of focusing instead on music with his brother, and then he was cast in
‘ I wasn’t the best at making friends. It just didn’t come easily to me, being an insecure young guy ’
the show. When I ask Jesse Armstrong, the British writer who created Succession, how he knew Braun was right for the character of Greg, he says: “Nick had that comforting thing for a comedy writer of nailing every comic beat available, but also brought his own rhythms, winkling out extra comedy and pathos.”
Now the man who has been described by the New York Post as “NYC’s hottest bachelor” has his moves around the city feverishly followed by female fans. “He asked me for sugar and I could barely respond,” one sighed on a celeb-spotting site.
A las this bachelor does now have a girlfriend. “I shouldn’t mention it,” he says, even though he was the one who brought her up. “But it’s really a special thing we got going on.” (He eventually concedes that she’s “super creative” and wants to be a producer.)
Yet despite being a very alpha 6ft
7in and sought after by women across Manhattan, Braun does not carry himself like the millennial Mr Big. He hunches and contorts himself so much that when he’s filming the other actors don’t need to stand on boxes to be at his eye level, even though some are a foot shorter than him. “I do a lot of leaning,” he says. You’ll be riddled with slipped discs by the time you’re 40, I say.
“ Yeah, I know!” he says, looking stricken. “I had, like, a posture strap. But, um, yeah… ” he trails off. On Succession Greg is the hopeless outsider and Braun comes across as a bit Gregish in this bar, Pebble, to be honest. He partly owns it, yet when we arrive the staff don’t even know his name. (“It’s Nick?” he says with Greg’s upward-tick intonation.) When he then orders food — “I’ll have the devilled eggs?” — it takes enormous self-restraint not to make a reference to “Greg the egg”, the belittling nickname used by the Roys. In his very dress-down outfit of a hoodie and jeans Braun seems about as out of place in this swanky three-storey bar, with its retro dark wood and expensive furniture, as Greg is among the Roys. (Mark Ronson is another investor in Pebble, which makes more sense.)
In fact Braun has become something of a hotspot magnate. It started when he was on “a big night with a buddy of mine, [the New York hospitality impresario] Jon Neidich”, he says, and Neidich mentioned, at 3am, that he was opening a bar. “And I was, like, ‘Dude, you gotta tell me when you’re starting bars, man,’ obviously like a hundred drinks into it. And he’s like, ‘Do you want in on this one?’ ‘Yeah!’ And we shook on it right there.” Trying in vain to suppress memories of Greg getting wasted at Tom’s bleak bachelor party, I ask if he regretted shaking on anything at 3am.
“No, I checked it out the next morning and it was great,” he says. This was the Lower East Side dive bar Ray’s, which has become downtown’s celebrity hangout, with Gigi Hadid, Zoë Kravitz and ASAP Rocky all spotted there. This was followed by the stylishly retro deli S&P, on 5th Avenue, then Pebble. “I don’t know. I think it was, like, always a cool dream. Like, ‘Be great to have a bar some day.’ ”
Braun grew up in Connecticut and New York, commuting between his divorced parents’ homes. His father, Craig Braun, a Grammy-winning record sleeve designer, helped Andy Warhol with
These pages: Still from Succession, season 3, 2021
38 AIR Credit: The Sunday Times Style Magazine / News Licensing
When we finished shooting Succession I sobbed’
the famous banana cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico album and came up with the Rolling Stones’ lips logo. But when Nicholas was six Craig decided to train to be an actor. Nicholas would tag along to his father’s auditions, and this soon became a father-son project, with Nicholas auditioning as well and becoming the more successful of the two. He ended up playing a teenage superhero in the 2005 film Sky High and became a Disney favourite, starring in 2009’s Princess Protection Program alongside Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. But when the Disney Channel offered him his own show, he turned it down, because quick teen fame was not his goal. Back then, acting for Braun was mainly just a way to be with his dad in New York and, most important, to get out of school: “I hated school. I was so bored and I wasn’t, like, the best at making friends. It just didn’t come easily to me, being an insecure young guy,” he says with effort, still pained at the memory. It didn’t help that he was always tall, making him stand out awkwardly (his mother is 6ft 3in and his father is 6ft 1in). He half-heartedly went to college, but dropped out, knowing now that acting was where his heart was. Now, he says, he’s doing exactly the thing he should be doing. Because like Greg, Braun is not as vague as he initially seems. “Greg has a kind of faux
naiveté, and I think I do that too,” he agrees. But whereas with Greg this is a trick to get more of what he wants — namely, money and power — with Braun it feels more like someone so stunned by his good fortune that he is dealing with it by underplaying everything. Just a week before we meet he got back from Sundance, where his next film, Cat Person, premiered. He plays the pathetic-slashcreepy male lead, Robert, in the film adapted from Kristen Roupenian’s 2017 viral New Yorker short story.
“Honestly, he’s not that different from general guys in their thirties, someone who has never found love and doesn’t quite know how do it. So I didn’t play him as a creep, but someone who is desperate to find a connection,” he says. Braun has also just sold a series to HBO, which he is writing, about an indie band in the early 2000s. On top of that, this summer he will direct and star in a film that he has written and is planning to head to London to be in a play. As a side project he writes songs, one of which — ‘Antibodies (Do You Have The)’ — went viral during lockdown. It’s quite annoying that you’re doing all this and are still only 34, I say.
“It’s not happening quick enough for me,” he says, and there’s a sudden flash of Greg’s secret inner steel.
This page: Still from Prom, 2011
A new book and exhibition hails the profound impact of traditional Indian dress and textiles on European and American fashion, from the eighteenth century to today
WORDS CHRIS ANDERSON
If you happened to catch the firstever Dubai Fashion Week in March, taking place at locations around the city, you might already know a thing or two about the influence of Indian dress and textiles on the West. The moment came when Amato Couture — a Dubai-based label launched 25 years ago by designer Furne One — took to the catwalk, unveiling an AW23 collection inspired by classic Indian costumery. On show were turbans, capes, sarongs, hooded robes and silks, all in vibrant colours, dotted with beads and sequins, and models traversing a runway lined with Oriental carpets. Crossovers between East and West, such as this, do not go unnoticed, particularly by those with a keen eye for fashion, such as Hamish Bowles, Vogue ’s global editor-at-large, and editor-in-chief of The World of Interiors . Running until June, as the first exhibition to be hosted by the newly-opened Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre, a stunning, modern three-storeyed structure in Mumbai, is India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination , curated by Bowles. He has also edited an accompanying book of the same name, published by Rizzoli, taking his observations to the world.
The exhibition sets out Bowles’ intentions: to trace the widespread
impact and influence of India’s sartorial traditions in textiles, jewellery and surface ornamentation on global fashion, spanning the 18th-21st centuries. “India’s impact on Western fashion has been a complicated and layered history of admiration, appropriation, exploitation, and celebration,” explains Bowles in the introduction to his book. “Its textile traditions were imitated at the court of Louis XVI and by the couturiers of Jazz Age Paris, as well as the haute couture designers of the mid-20th century. India’s fashion community has impacted them all.”
Described as a first-of-its-kind exhibition, the show mirrors prominent designers from India itself, from Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla to Tarun Tahiliani, with the work of their global counterparts, including Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent. Bowles has even pinpointed when the West’s fascination with Indian clothing began. “At the turn of the 17th century, merchants of the East India companies of the Netherlands, Britain and France began to import Indian-made textiles to Europe,” he explains. “The British in particular, realising they couldn’t compete with the Dutch in terms of spices, looked to dyes and textiles instead.”
‘India’s impact on Western fashion has been a complicated and layered history of admiration, appropriation, exploitation, and celebration ’
Opening pages: Tarun Tahiliani, jersey metallic gold concept sari with jeweled printed bodice, embellished with diamonds and crystals, 2019 Egypt collection. Courtesy of Tarun Tahiliani.
Right: Anita Dongre, dupattas and lehengas in natural dyes and Ajrakh hand-block prints with intricate hand-embroidery featuring gota-patti along with dori, sequins, and zardozi, 2021 Ode to Bhuj collection. Courtesy of Anita Dongre.
India was a global leader at the time in terms of manufactured textiles, so supply was plentiful. Intricate, labourintensive chintz fabrics, with their foliate motifs and exquisite artistry, were of particular interest to begin with, with muslins woven in delicate patterns, threaded with gold or silver to reflect candlelight, also becoming popular. “Indian chintzes were used for household furnishings, such as bed and wall hangings, and for men’s garments, including waistcoats and banyans — an informal, lightly-structured robe worn at home,” Bowles adds. British aristocracy and royalty became huge fans of banyans and chintzes, with imported Indian Kashmir shawls fashioned into dresses. To keep up with demand, and avoid import costs, Western manufacturers even began to take advantage of the emerging Industrial Revolution, making the necessary machinery to mass-produce imitations.
During the 19th and early-20th centuries, Eastern dress forms, such as the kimono and sari, were increasingly looked to by European and American designers to liberate women from corsetry, and impress with their bright colours. As luxury fashion houses began
to emerge, so too did their interests in loose-fitting Indian clothing. World events also seemed to keep India in the public eye — Indian royalty, temporarily displaced by two world wars, travelled west, flitting between London, Paris and Hollywood, and associating with dignitaries and celebrities, so were a constant fixture in the press, and their lavish, decorated clothing became an inspiration. The emerging possibility of global travel also positioned India as an exotic country to experience, and its fashions along with it.
Bowles describes how Indian dress
‘ Sari-inspired dresses became a recurring part of Saint Laurent’s repertoire, as they did for Balenciaga and Givenchy ’
These pages, from left to right: Anamika Khanna, cotton top with silk organza skirt and stole, Spring 2019. Courtesy of Anamika Khanna; Tarun Tahiliani, foil-crinkle tulle draped dress, Spring 2020. Courtesy of Tarun Tahiliani.
began to impact the West during this period. “There was Cartier, whose designer, Jeanne Toussaint, created ‘tutti frutti’ jewels, incorporating tumbled and carved Indian stones,” he says. “And Christian Dior’s Indian inspiration for his very first Corolle ‘New Look’ collection for Spring 1947 even extended to the naming of his ensembles, with Benaras, Bengale and Pondichery among them.
“Dior’s young protégée was Yves Saint Laurent, and his first collection for his own house featured slim-fitting raja jackets — a recurring theme at Chanel too — and turban-inspired hats. Sariinspired dresses became a recurring part of Saint Laurent’s repertoire, as they did for Balenciaga and Givenchy.”
India seemed to weave itself into the very narrative of popular culture during the 1960s. Spurred on by the potential for international travel, Vogue magazine conducted its fashion shoots there, making landmarks such as the Taj Mahal a backdrop to Western couture. “First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a goodwill tour of India and Pakistan in 1963, and wore a sleeveless, green and blue print shift dress by American designer, Warhol muse and socialite Joan ‘Tiger’
Bowles. “And who can forget the influence of India on the Beatles, with their spiritual journey, and the sitar and ragas becoming the soundtrack to 1960s counterculture? Playing Shea Stadium, New York, in 1965, the group wore tan Nehru jackets, named after Jawaharlal Nehru, who was India’s first prime minister after independence, and derived from the northern Indian achkan, or kneelength jacket, usually considered court dress for Indian nobility.” Modern designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dries Van Noten, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen continued to celebrate India in their own collections. Likewise, Indian talent discovered that setting up in the West could also prove lucrative. “Rahul Mishra became the first Indian designer to present his haute couture in Paris, and Sabyasachi Mukherjee opened a flagship store in Manhattan,” Bowles reveals. As has been the case for centuries, India is a global tastemaker when it comes to fashion.
India in Fashion runs at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre until June 4
India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination is
published by Rizzoli
Left: Rahul Mishra, threedimensional hand-embroidered ‘Mushroom’ drop shoulder ocher long dress. Couture Spring 2021, The Dawn collection. Photograph by Hormis Anthony Tharakan. Courtesy of Rahul Mishra Morse,” says
As luxury fashion houses began to emerge, so too did their interests in loose-fitting Indian clothing ’
WORDS: LISA ARMSTRONG
As a child Isabel Marant found inspiration in her father’s wardrobe, and now the queen of French cool has returned to her first love — menswear. Just don’t expect any suits
WORDS KAREN DACRE
Afew hours before I am due to meet French fashion royalty Isabel Marant, I find myself admiring her outfit in the street. The 55-year-old designer is walking with purpose through Paris’s 1st arrondissement when I spot her with her signature ash-coloured hair swept up in a bun, sporting a perfectly cut pair of dark-wash jeans and a plaid jacket from her menswear line (I’m familiar with it because it’s sitting pretty on my wish list).
I’m delighted to get a glimpse of her: Marant is every inch Parisian chic and to see her in her natural habitat is, I imagine, how it was to see Vivienne Westwood stomping up the Kings Road or Gabrielle Chanel smoking on Rue Cambon.
A few hours later, when we sit down together with a coffee at her company headquarters, I decide not to mention our chance encounter. Instead, I break the ice by telling her how much I love her jacket. “For me, a good shirt, jeans and a nice feminine shoe are the essentials,” she says, in an accent that is unquestionably Parisian.
To a generation of women who wouldn’t dream of shopping anywhere else for their cigarette-cut jeans and biker jackets, Isabel Marant is a cultural icon who is as essential to contemporary Parisian life as overpriced hamburgers and en terrasse dining. Indeed, creating clothes for women who seek that justfallen-out-of-bed breed of effortless style is her modus operandi.
But it’s actually menswear that is Marant’s real passion. At the age of ten, with a haircut inspired by Patti Smith, she knew the clothes she wanted to wear didn’t exist in the shops and started digging around in her father’s wardrobe for inspiration. “That love of men’s clothing has never left me,” she says. “There’s something about the fit that changes the way I feel, the way I walk.”
In recent years, menswear has become a professional concern too — the brand launched its first menswear collection in 2018 and has two standalone men’s stores in Paris, with plans to open more in London and New York.
“It is so refreshing to design for men after all these years,” she says, “and it came very naturally because
all my male friends were already wearing the womenswear.”
Men (and women) shopping Marant’s brand can expect to find overshirts, excellent denim and a sweatshirt in every colour of the rainbow, but absolutely no sign of a suit — “tailoring is not my interest”, she says. There’s also a plethora of prints, from playful florals to more abstract motifs. “I’m not interested in the clothes men wear to work in a bank or go to the office, but in wearable, comfortable and realistic clothes that are also unmistakably modern.”
It helps that men are more adventurous than they have ever been when it comes to their wardrobes.
“Gay men pulled the rest of the guys up,” says the designer. “Before, it was normal for a man to think that if he wore pink he was dead. We’ve moved on from that now.”
In her youth Marant worked in a
‘ Happiness does not come from buying many, many things but from choosing something you really love’s’
clothing store to fund a shopping habit that included Comme des Garçons and Maison Margiela. After leaving school, she studied fashion at the Parisian design school Studio Berçot and did stints with the design teams of Chloé and Yohji Yamamoto. In 1995, after a few failed attempts at going it alone (she had a jewellery line and a knitwear label that she created with her mother), Isabel Marant the brand was born.
During her formative years, Marant lived in the Paris suburb of Neuillysur-Seine and now resides in bohemian Belleville with her husband, the accessories designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, and their son, Tal. With the exception of her husband, with whom she regularly swaps clothes, she’s unexcited by French men’s style. “Honestly, I think Parisian men look quite boring, their style is so conservative. It’s not adventurous. I find men in London and Berlin far more inspiring.”
This influence is apparent in her designs. Marant menswear has a casual, sporty edge that appeals to men who want clothes that are practical as well as on the money in style terms. And while it pains her to admit it, sweatshirts, hoodies and caps bearing her brand’s logo are among her bestsellers, particularly in the US, where the brand is emerging as a men’s fashion must-have.
“The logo has always been a bit of a problem for me. I started doing them to make fun of the logo mania that was happening elsewhere in fashion at the time and now it has stuck. I never wanted to make fashion for people to show off how much money they have in their bank account. Fashion shouldn’t be about social position, it’s about procuring a feeling of happiness.”
That happiness doesn’t come cheap. But the designer is the first to advise caution to anyone putting their hand in their pocket for one of her products. “We should resist being greedy. Happiness does not come from buying many, many things but from choosing something you really love.
I’ve always been inspired by clothes I know I would wear and love for ever.”
There’s a philosophical side to Marant. Over the 45 minutes we’re together, our conversation segues from discussing her disdain for “most” men’s shoes to her new-found appreciation
for ceramics. I am also surprised to hear that Marant — whose company is majority-owned by the private equity firm Montefiore Investment and took £260 million ($320 million) worth of sales last year — is an advocate for the four-day working week.
On Mondays, the designer tries to avoid emails and instead focuses on crafting sculptures and vases from clay. “I find that it allows me to concentrate on something fully and completely in a way nothing else in my life allows. Ceramics have become a sort of meditation for me,” she says. Happiness is solitude for Marant, who spends her weekends away from the hustle of Paris in Fontainebleau.
“I don’t really enjoy when people recognise me in the street,” she says.
(I’m suddenly very glad I stayed quiet during our earlier encounter.)
Marant undoubtedly has the aloof, Parisian attitude down pat. But she is warm too, erupting with laughter when I ask her if her son wears her clothes. “He would rather die than wear anything with my name on it,” she says. “He has nothing, not even a T-shirt, because he thinks I’m devastatingly uncool.”
I beg to differ.
‘ I never wanted to make fashion for people to show off how much money they have in their bank account’
Credit: Karen Dacre / The Sunday Times / News Licensing
Motoring MAY 2023 : ISSUE 140 54 AIR
Join The Q
Why admirers of Audi’s new Q8 e-tron will form a long line
WORDS: JOHN THATCHER
Maybe it’s familiarity, the dashboard of Audi’s new Q8 e-tron ripe with screens to touch, buttons to press, or knobs to twist yet so easy to navigate, but the second you slip into the driver’s seat you’re immediately at ease. This is, of course, by design, and it’s a major achievement of Audi’s to make something so techy so reassuringly simple.
In turn, this smart EV, Audi’s flagship SUV, is a breeze to drive, smooth and effortless and blissfully quiet, particularly at high speed.
But let’s stick with its slick interior for a while. There is ample space for five and no obvious detriment to headspace in the back if you opt for the swooping Sportback version over the standard SUV shape, the two body types available for the Q8’s range of 50, 55 and S-badged versions.
The seating has gone through a thorough thought process. A three-stage ventilation system makes it hugely comfortable even
with the outside temperature raging, while Audi’s individual contour front seats offer up a wealth of adjustment and comfort opportunities – one of which is to be massaged by ten pneumatic cushions, set to one of three levels of intensity.
You can add an engaging design element to the seats by opting for the Audi Sport stitching package, adding striking red lines to the seats, steering wheel, and door armrests, among other areas. But the most noteworthy aspect of the interior relates to the use of recycled materials, the natural next step for all EVs to take but one area in which Audi is already making strides. Recycled materials are used for carpets as well as in insulation and damping materials. The Q8 e-tron’s decorative inlay is available in an anthracite tech fabric made partly from recycled PET bottles, while in the S line equipment package you’ll find sports seats upholstered with artificial leather and Dinamica, a luxury,
suede-like fabric made from recycled polyester.
Furthermore, the plastic covers of the seatbelt buckles have been produced in part from mixed automotive plastic waste. The question of how to deal with the stifling Middle East summer probably wasn’t posed when Audi’s designers were debating climate control, but their decision to grant it a dedicated, easy-touse high-resolution 8.6-inch touchscreen is a very welcome one for our region. Always visible, there’s no need to fumble around to first find and then adjust the air flow, which is one of a number of subtle safety considerations across the car. In fact, the Audi Q8 e-tron provides drivers with approximately 40 driver assistance systems, including five cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors. It makes parking it a doddle.
Above the climate controls is another touchscreen — this one 10.1-inches —
that comprises all the other controls you’ll typically find laid out across a car’s dashboard. Additionally, many of these functions can be activated by voice command.
This is the first time the e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs have been branded as the Q8, and to mark the occasion an external styling refresh includes a redesigned grille, restyled lighting elements, and updated wheel designs. When it comes to colours, there are eleven to take your fancy, five of which are debutants, including an Ultra Blue Metallic — the hue of the Sportback model we whizzed around Dubai in — which is exclusively available for the S line.
The Q8 e-tron is also the first model to feature Audi’s new flatter, two-dimensional rings branding. “As a prestigious model, the Q8 e-tron represents Audi’s ‘e-volution’, so it is only logical for this vehicle to be the first to use
the new four rings design,” says designer André Georgi. This e-volution will see Audi’s electric portfolio extend to 20 models by 2026, the date from which the brand will produce EVs only.
That Audi feels confident enough to shift its entire production so soon, relative to other manufactures, is due in part to the battery capabilities of the Q8 e-tron, which sees improvements in both capacity and charging power. The large-battery
SUV has an WLTP range of up to 582 km, while the Sportback equivalent will take you 600 km, thanks to its enhanced aerodynamics. And if the power supply is suitably optimal, the model ranges will take between 28-31 minutes to charge up from 10 to 80 per cent. Impressive figures indeed.
Two electric motors provide all-wheel drive and give the car the feeling of being meticulously balanced. It really is a serene drive.
If only everything else, like charging it when out and about, was equally effortless. If the region is to hit its on-road EV targets (Saudi Arabia aims for at least 30 percent of its cars to be electric powered by 2030), it needs to accelerate the number of fastcharging points available for drivers. Do so and, with the good reason, you’d expect a good chunk of that 30 percent to be Audis. A brand that’s leading the electric charge, the Q8 e-tron its flagbearer.
‘ The use of recycled materials is the natural next step for all EVs, but it’s already an area in which Audi is making strides’
No one has more Michelin stars than Frenchman Alain Ducasse, and at the age of 66 he’s bemused by the pension protests in the country of his birth
WORDS: HANNAH EVANS
58 AIR Gastronomy MAY 2023: ISSUE 140
When Alain Ducasse, the godfather of French cuisine, arrives at his chocolate shop, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, in south London, the first thing he does is walk straight back out again. It’s his first trip since the shop’s new chocolate production site, La Manufacture, opened and he’s not completely satisfied.
The chef has a rule that a door shouldn’t make a sound when it opens, a member of his team tells me, and lo and behold, when he walks back in, the heavy wooden door makes a hiss. It’s barely audible, but enough to set the notoriously particular chef off on a tour, quietly pointing out tiny things that need fixing: there’s a thin wire above the door that needs to be painted and hidden; something is not right with the lighting; and one of the legs of the cabinets displaying boxes of chocolates is wonky. “We like the details,” he says in his thick French accent.
This morning Ducasse is supposed to be giving me a tour of La Manufacture, but trying to keep his attention while he’s near a kitchen is like herding a very curious cat. He keeps wandering off. One moment he’s posing for a photo or telling me where he found the antique handle for the door; the next he has gone to see if the chefs are piping the chocolate into the moulds correctly. “He just reminded me to make sure I got the level right. Not too much and not too little,” one of them tells me.
Well, you can’t be one of the world’s most decorated chefs without being a bit fussy. We are meeting two days after the latest Michelin guide was announced. There were no surprises or upsets for him or his restaurants, including Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, which retained its three. “We were not worried. We didn’t have much pressure,” he says with a shrug once we’ve finally sat down. “I have a lot of trust in the team right now.”
At 66, Ducasse is one of only two chefs to have held 21 stars, being trumped only by the late Joël Robuchon (he had 31). He now has 20, more than anyone else alive. Ducasse is a parable of someone who has dedicated his life to work. As well as 34 restaurants, he has a cookery school, two luxury auberges in Provence available to rent, cookery books, a culinary consultancy and his chocolate empire.
Some might call him a workaholic, so it’s ironic that his home country has experienced violent demonstrations about
President Macron’s unpopular decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. “French people are too difficult to manage,” Ducasse says with a sigh. “We live longer, you work more. The French are the only people who don’t understand that. The rest of the world gets it. I’m not sure how it is all happening.”
This may be considered a somewhat cheeky observation given that Ducasse relinquished his French citizenship when he became a citizen of Monaco in 2008. But still, even under Macron’s new measures, Ducasse would be owed two years of overtime.
That’s not to say that France’s love of a protest has been lost on him. The one time he came close to some kind of industrial action was when he worked for the French master chef Alain Chapel in 1976, aged 20. Fed up with the low pay, Ducasse turned up to work in his car with all his belongings and threatened to leave if he didn’t get a raise. “I was sharing a small apartment with no heating. It was difficult and I was not paid a lot so I decided I would put a stop to it. I went and saw the chef and said if he didn’t
increase my wage, I would quit for ever.”
Thankfully, his boss agreed. If he hadn’t, Ducasse might not have gone on to become the first chef to own three restaurants with three Michelin stars in three different cities. Being successful in this field is like playing a very competitive sport, Ducasse says. “When you reach that level of excellence you have to train, train, train every day. If you enter this type of competition, it’s what you need to do. It’s intense.”
Some chefs burn out. In January René Redzepi, the owner of the three-Michelinstar Noma in Copenhagen, announced that the restaurant would close in 2024 because running it was unsustainable “financially and emotionally”, despite there being no shortage of guests paying £600 ($750)- for the tasting menu with wine. Noma has regularly been named the best restaurant in the world for its “new Nordic cuisine” and tables are notoriously difficult to book.
“He is a marketing genius, that man,” Ducasse says of Redzepi. “He’s not closing for 24 months. It’s great marketing. He’ll be sold out for the rest of the time.”
Ducasse is far off retiring. “Non,” he ays when I mention “slowing down”. He’s already working on another “100 per cent sustainable project”. In 2021 he opened his first permanent plantbased space, a casual dining restaurant called Sapid in Paris, which serves vegan food, and has also opened Burgal, a vegan burger pop-up in an old kiosk in
‘ I am a craftsman. My projects are about craftsmanship’
the city. Although you won’t see him making a foray into the world of chain restaurants like his contemporary Gordon Ramsay, whose restaurants hold seven stars. Ramsay’s Street Burgers have been panned by some critics.
“That’s [Gordon’s] choice. He is a good guy and a good chef. I am a craftsman. My projects are about craftsmanship. My restaurants and shops are little ateliers, not copycat chains. I’m into projects that have a deep sense of significance.”
Which brings us to Le Chocolat. “We’re making haute chocolate here,” he says. “Haute biscuits and haute gelato.”
Lining the shelves and glass cabinets are boxes and boxes of handmade praline chocolates and truffles. There’s a cabinet filled with his signature chocolate animals — not cute bunnies, but geometric 3D piggy banks, an Easter lamb and a supernatural-looking parthen, part-fish, part-rabbit creature filled with lobster-shaped pralines. There are biscuits bursting with flavours and an ice-cream shop serving flavours like the most delicious pistachio, made with four different varieties, and an incredible five-herb sorbet of mint, basil, coriander, tarragon and parsley. It takes a year to develop a flavour, I’m told. Behind glass panels at the back of the shop is La Manufacture, where a team of expert chocolatiers that Ducasse selected make everything on the shelves. In the middle of the room is a tap from which a lava of thick melted chocolate pours nonstop. In the oven madeleines are being baked and on the table Ducasse’s favourite biscuits are being piped with lemon curd and topped with confit lemon peel. Every few minutes a chef comes out to deliver a platter of things for us to try. How many does Ducasse eat a day? “A lot,” he says with a laugh as we work our way through a row of almond pralines. He’s sitting in a leather chair wearing a grey tweed suit and thick black-rimmed glasses with his hair swept back. He looks very chic, like a French Stanley Tucci. Ducasse spends most of his time in Paris. On the rare occasion (“I am always out”) he cooks at his home, where he lives with his wife and three young children, he is commis and chef, prepping and cooking vegetables grown in his garden and fish from the local market. “My family always pushes me to do both because they don’t want to peel vegetables and prep. Nobody likes to be commis. It’s why I went so
quickly from that to being a chef.” He’s a perfectionist, but says he doesn’t deserve the reputation that he is demanding. “I am a very positive person. If I have a problem I will try to obtain two solutions,” he says. “I have to learn from every experience.”
It’s a mindset he credits to an accident he survived in his twenties. Three months after being awarded his first two stars, in 1984, he was flying to Courchevel in the Alps with his staff. “It was foggy. Then suddenly we saw the face of a mountain and the plane crashed.”
Ducasse was the only survivor. He was thrown from the aircraft and lay
for seven hours bleeding in the snow until he was rescued. “Life now is like an extra. Everything that comes after is a plus, so I have to live it to 100 per cent. I am lucky to be here. I think about it every day — but in a positive way.”
The final treat to arrive at our table is from the gelateria: dinky cups of Ducasse’s favourite flavour glacé, vermouth and grapefruit, in a nod to the negroni. Ever the gentleman, he kindly extends an offer to come to Paris to visit his first ice-cream shop before saying au revoir. I’m out of the door for only a few seconds before I look over my shoulder and see he’s already inspecting the chairs.
Credit: The Times / News Licensing 61
Opening pages, from left to right: Alain Ducasse; veal medallion at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester These pages: staff and dishes from Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse, © Matteo Carassale
Clinique La Prairie, Pioneering Longevity, from Switzerland to Doha
We may not be able to halt the march of time, but what if we could slow its steps? To decelerate the ageing process and prevent its ill effects on our bodies and minds by utilising modern science and adopting a holistic approach to medicine.
That’s just one of the questions posed – and subsequently answered – by the industry-leading team of medics at Clinique La Prairie, the world renowned medical and wellness clinic on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Laman.
Founded in 1931 by celebrated Swiss surgeon, Professor Niehans, who specialised in regenerative medicine, Clinique La Prairie’s long history of innovation and ongoing scientific research has propelled
it to forefront of preventative medicine. At the core of its approach are four key pillars. Medical Care, which relates to an individually-tailored methodology formed from a comprehensive medical assessment and doctor consultation –often involving state-of-the-art genetics testing; Nutrition, for which a dedicated team of dieticians devise bespoke, antiinflammatory meal plans and educate on the importance of a balanced diet; Wellbeing, understanding how taking time to relax and recharge is vital to the condition of our cells; and Movement, applying expert knowledge to help reverse age-related muscle loss and improve cognitive and mental abilities.
These pillars are manifest in the
Indoor pool at Clinique La Prairie
clinic’s extensive range of longevity programmes, of which Revitalisation is the flagship. Delivered over the course of seven days, central to this programme is cell therapy, administered via the famed CLP Extract, a powerful formula that, essentially, reactivates dormant cells in adults (those over the age of 35) so that they perform like younger cells, thus curbing the ageing process. This revitalising science is bookended by DNA testing, complete screenings, innovative treatments which span the clinic’s pillars, and a nutrigenomic course of plant-based supplements and super-antioxidant active. Another popular programme is the 7-day Master Detox. It’s underpinned by advanced research, genetic testing, plus cellular and nutritional sciences so that it can be specifically tailored to the exact DNA and health profile of each patient, ultimately creating a bespoke and highly advanced cleansing programme rooted in the clinic’s natural detoxification method.
State-of-the-art location in Doha While Switzerland remains the homeland of Clinique La Prairie, the launch of its Longevity Hubs in global destinations enables patrons to access the clinic’s integrative approach to longevity more readily. In March, Doha, Qatar, became the third city to home a Longevity Hub, following openings in Madrid and Bangkok. Based at St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, the Pearl, Doha’s Longevity Hub is beautifully designed over 1,800 square metres, including a luminous fitness area to maximize health, performance and physical appearance, so you can always be the best version of yourself. Clinique La Prairie’s expert protocol starts with a Longevity Index assessment, to understand your needs and select the right treatments and coaching that amplify each other to help you look, feel and live well. These include cryotherapy, far-infrared lights dome, IV-drips, movement performance lab, beauty boosts, spa treatments, and more. cliniquelaprairie.com
AIR X CLINIQUE LA PRAIRIE
Food at Clinique La Prairie
Living Room in suite at Clinique La Prairie
Gym at Longevity Hub Doha
Treatment room at Longevity Hub Doha
Lounge at Longevity Hub Doha
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” That’s a quote by the American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, and it’s great advice because we have often seen the negative effects of quick or early success. It’s true what they say — struggle grows character. You would not know yourself as well as you do had you never struggled. Your character goes hand in hand with what you are creating. In turn, this also determines what you will achieve. But what it makes of you is always going to be the most important thing.
I pray everyday. This is a religious obligation, but I also believe it adds layers to a person’s character, enhances their abilities, and paves the way for what they are meant to accomplish. The best thing about praying everyday is that it brings discipline, which I believe is the most important element for anyone who ever wanted to achieve anything.
A lesson I learned the hard way was that happiness is not the most important thing in life. It’s about being and giving your best, regardless of what cards one is dealt. There are studies that show that happiness and pleasure are different things and even release different chemicals. People who chase pleasure will find that it runs away from them, simply because they are chasing the things that were never going to bring them anything long lasting, such as materialistic things. Chasing happiness is not the answer either, so becoming your best and giving your best is the main aim. When it’s about giving more than taking, when it’s about becoming the best version of yourself, somewhere along the way you will come across happiness as a result.
Ralph Waldo Emerson. Napoleon Hill. Earl Nightingale. Dale Carnegie. Jim Rohn — all are people who inspire me. I believe these men had true wisdom, the real kind. They were men of
substance, knowledge, and sincerity. I believe they understood the way of the world, human nature, relationships and, most importantly, themselves. They wanted to be good men who did good things, and ended up being great men, who are remembered long after they passed.
Becoming the best version of yourself by building your character consciously and proactively. By holding yourself accountable and to the highest standards, and by always facing your own truth no matter how challenging — that is where the answer to real growth lies.
If I could tell my younger self something I would say that he has the right passions. I would tell him to read all the books that I read later in life. I would tell him that there are no rejections in life, only redirections. And I would show him who he is going to become, so that he can enjoy the process and continue to have that faith.
What I Know Now 64 MAY 2023 : ISSUE 140 AIR
Illustration: Leona Beth
LUXURY RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE prime.bhomes.com
ROBBIE CALIBRE 5 FLYING TOURBILLON MOVEMENT, DESIGNED AND ASSEMBLED BY THE CHANEL MANUFACTURE WATCH IN HIGHLY RESISTANT CERAMIC AND DIAMONDS CHANEL.COM