Issuu on Google+

the winter wishlist Inside a Wanders Wonderland 150 years of ligne roset Jean-Paul Gaultier, a fetish for furniture At the galleries


nel.com


ABC ACHRAFIEH - TEL. 00961-1-212828 / 00961-3-665226


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Publisher: Fashion 76 77 City News Privilege 78 79 on behalf of Le Cercle Hitti 80 81 82 Editor in Chief : 83 84 Anastasia Cassandra Nysten 85 86 87 88 Managing Editor: 89 90 Helen Assaf 91 92 93 Graphic Design: Art & Culture 94 95 Genia Kodash 96 97 98 Printer: 99 100 101 RAIDY | www.raidy.com 102 103 104 Contributors: 105 106 Dan Bratman 107 108 Karah Byrns 109 110 Miriam Dunn 111 112 Natalie Jarudi 113 In Beirut 114 Maya Khourchid 115 116 117 118 Advertising: 119 120 sales@citynewsme.net 121 122 t:  +961 3 852 899 123 124

Welcome to the Vintage Issue of Le Cercle. The theme takes its inspiration from the winter season, the time of year when climates cool and wineries across the country are engaged in producing this year’s vintage blends. From sun ripened grape on the vine to full bodied bottle sitting on the table, it’s a process that engages the senses of masters who know how to select and match the right aromas and tastes to please palates. Of course vintage also means much more than a year’s signature wine offering. It is the preferred term for anything that originates from a previous era. Like a fine wine, it is something that appreciates over time, gaining in value. So for this issue we have dipped into all vintage worlds. From the best wine outlets in Beirut to a unique winery that is still blending its very first production, and from the fashion staples of yesteryear to the eternal appeal of Chanel, there is an eclectic vintage vibe coursing through the pages. Hopefully as you uncork this issue, you will find a pleasant bouquet, an enticing aroma and a full taste of engaging features.

Cover: Raimond light Stainless ‘spring steel’ Moooi


PARK VIEW BUILDING, BOULEVARD DU PARC - BEIRUT T. +961 1 99 21 16 CHARLES MALEK AVE., ELLIPSE CENTER - ASHRAFIEH, LEBANON T. +961 1 20 00 01 W W W. W S A L A M O O N . C O M


the winter

improvise

c

o

wishlist

Le Cercle goes window shopping for some of this season’s musthave purchases.

e

Ann Vrielinck

Snigger

c

o

g

a

r

d

25 cm l / 53 cm h

e

Ann Vrielinck

Triumph

c

o

g

a

r

d

55 cm l x 106 cm h

e

Ann Vrielinck

g

a

r

d

166 cm h

art


e g d

BreakfastatTiffany’s Archive limited Edition Black & White Photography

Sabrina

g

e

t

r

o

w

b

r

i

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Date: 1961

CasualMarilyn

g

e

t

r

o

w

b

r

i

d

Archive limited Edition Black & White Photography

d

Marilyn Monroe in a casual portrait. 1952

TakeOfftryptich

g

e

t

r

o

w

b

r

i

Archive limited Edition Black & White Photography

d

Limited edition photography

t

r

o

w

b

r

i

Contemporary Black, Size 152 x 123 cm

photography


s

r t

Ø 5,5 cm - H 5 cm - 6,5 cm - 7,5 cm - 9 cm 10,5 cm - 12 cm - 13,5 cm - 15 cm

Design Bernard Forestier

t

H.70 cm - l.27cm H.50 cm - l.18cm

i

H.43cm - Ø 20cm H.30cm - Ø15cm

35cm x 18cm - 53cm x 23cm

f

o

r

e

s

t

r e

Setde2feuillesdebananiers

i

f

o

r

e

s

r e

PhotophoreClapotis

t

f

o

e

H.120 cm - l.52cm

r

H.175 cm - l.72cm

s

r e

TourEiffel

i

f

o

r

e

e i

Setde8tubesphotophores

accessories


a i z g

(set of 6 vases) Bluette collection

e

i

SbiecoFusionvases Design Paola Navone H.40cm - Ø10cm H.35cm - Ø7,5cm H.25cm - Ø10cm H.30cm - Ø12cm

Made out of double thickness, clear mouth-blown glass. Handcrafted silk-screened decoration with 980/1000 silver.

g

Lace collection

e

a i

Cylindricalvases

z

tumbler: H.15cm - Ø7cm glass: H.10,5cm - Ø3,7cm

i

g

Bluette collection Design Paola Navone

e

z

Sbiecodrinkware

i

i

a

H.25cm - Ø15cm

Design Paola Navone H.40cm - Ø20cm H.35cm - Ø12cm

g

Made out of double thickness, clear mouth-blown glass. Handcrafted silk-screened decoration with 980/1000 silver Lace collection

e

z

Cylindricalvase

i

i

a

H.40cm - Ø10cm

Design Paola Navone H.25cm - Ø15cm

accessories


i o o o

BlowAwayVase Front, 2008

o

o

o

i

m

color: white & blue

DelftBlueNo.3,No.1&Eggvasesmall Marcel Wanders, 2007 Delft Blue, 12 different options

o

o

o

i

m

material: ceramics

DelftBlueNo.4 Marcel Wanders, 2007 Delft Blue, 12 different options

Marcel Wanders, 1997

m

o

i o

Eggvase

o

m

material: ceramics

colour: white developed in a project with Droog Design & Rosenthal material: porcelain

accessories


a n n

Minuit cutlery

c

i

Luca Poupel material: stainless steel 18/10

Ligne Roset H.32cm W.16cm L.40cm

r

s

Liquorice

o

e

t

colour: anthracite

Round vase in double-layer mouth-blown glass

Hand-cut finish. Each piece is unique

n

n

a

l

i

g

n

e

grey-blue exteriors and grape-coloured interiors

Boheme Fred Lambert

c

i

colour: amber or transparent 14.5cm x 30 Ø .

s

P. Mali & C. Gollnick

o

RêveD’Edo H.15cm W.15cm D.15cm

r

e

t

Carafe in amber mouth-blown glass with a clear glass stopper

Mini-box in oak veneer, with clasp in moulded hand polished

lacquer and moulded mirror-polished aluminium clasp

l

i

g

n

e

aluminium, or in MDF, with interior finished in ‘café au lait’

accessories


i o o o

Raimond Raimond puts in association with Ox-id, 2008

m

material: stainless ‘spring steel’ Raimond is sparkling with sizes up to 2 meters diameter containing hundreds of LED lights

o

o

o

i

Staring into the universe is now possible even on cloudy nights

RabbitLamp Front, 2006 material rabbit: fiberglass

m

material shade: PVC viscose laminate on metal frame, closed top colour: black 54cm x Ø28.5cm The Rabbit Lamp is one of a three piece collection of animal furniture which also includes a life-size Horse Lamp and Pig

o

o

o

i

table. A perfect guest for a Mad Hatters tea party.

BraveNewWorldLamp Fresh West, 2008 material: Oak frame and cast iron balancing weights

m

70cm x h.180/110cm The Brave new world lamp started as a concept piece in random thought-initiated construction. Inspired by the traditional Far Eastern bamboo scaffolding. The Brave new world Lamp

m

o

o

o

i

was developed without a design or plan in place.

HorseLamp Front, 2006 material horse: fiberglass material shade: PVC viscose laminate on metal frame, closed top colour: black 230cm x h.240cm Who Wouldn’t want a horse to light up your home and a pig to serve your guests? Furniture to fall in love with at first sight or to hate forever.

lighting


a n n

Trinitas,pendantlamp

c

i

Dรถgg Design Lights with bicolour trilobic shade, black on the outside and orange on the inside

Pascal Mourgue

o

Colour: red, white, black or brilliant-chrome

n

n

a

l

i

g

n

e

Sizes vary

r

t e

PascalMourguelamp

s

W.68cm D.68cm H.185cm

Chio Luminous box in plexi transparent, stems

c

i

varnished aluminum chechmate. W.23cm D.15cm H.60cm

n

n

a

W.23cm D.15cm H.90cm

Ouverture Philippe Daney

c

i

Base and stem in satin lacquered steel with matching chintz shade. H.202cm D.65.5cm W.268cm (fully open)

lighting


Steel vase

fa誰encerie de charolles

Eolvase

fa誰encerie de charolles

h. 55cm, 54cm, 82cm

Karalamp

fa誰encerie de charolles

fa誰encerie de charolles

Kappavase

Poloccovase

Lead, white h. 67cm, 73cm

Ebony h.55cm, 64cm

Polocco vase Bronze h.25cm, 38cm, 70cm

seating


b & b

Metropolitan Jeffrey Bernett, 2002-2003 Aluminum swivel base with four spokes. Adjustable magnetic head rest

Mart

&

b

W.100cm D.84cm H.95cm

b

Antonio Citterio, 2003 Thermoformed leather, cross-shaped swivel base

MusaSimplicecollection

l a

W.44cm D.53cm H.83cm

o

o

o

i

m

a

Antonio Citterio, 2008 Material: Wood, fabric/leather

x

t

o

W.75cm D.102cm H.88cm

SmokeChair Maarten Baas, 2002 material: burnt wood, finished with epoxy resin, fire

m

retardant (FR) foam, leather upholstery. Each chair is unique colour: black Furniture finished with fire. The beauty and character of burnt wood is now captured in a long lasting material, creating the strange sensation of burnt furniture.

seating


b & b

GrandePapilio Naoto Fukasawa, 2009 material:shaped polyurethane foam, Fabric/Leather

s

material: natural beech and black beech

r

t e

Curule Pierre Paulin, 2009

o

W.83cm D.87cm H.102cm

W.56cm D.35.5cm H.67cm

e

bring out its essence to create a timeless, contemporary classic.

s

material: Tubular steel with soldered metal mesh, fabric

r

t e

Alster Emmanuel Dietrich, 2006

o

l

i

g

same name reserved for people of eminence. This design seeks to

n

The Curule chair takes its inspiration from the historic seat of the

W.61cm D.59cm H.82cm

s

material: Structure in MDF finished in American walnut veneer W.42cm D42cm H.45cm

l

i

g

n

e

Hertel & Klarhoefer, 2009

o

Rocher,sidetable

r

e

t

l

i

g

n

e

Alster combines innovative design, comfort and an impeccable finish

seating


Designed by Luca Schiepatti and manufactured by the Lamiflex Group, Ciclotte is a Made in Italy innovative exercise bike. Combining exceptional materials like carbon, steel and glass fibers, Ciclotte rethinks the functional aspect of everyday gym equipment to combine it with aesthetics.


Richard Rogers is a man with a passion for architecture’s social context W o r d s

b y :

N a t a l i e

J a r u d i

rchitects are a dime a dozen. Architects like Richard Rogers, however, are few and far between. Regarded as one of the most influential British architects of our time, Rogers is also a theorist and a social activist. What has distinguished this world-famous architect of iconic buildings such as the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Lloyds Building and Millennium Dome in London to name just a few, is his life-long commitment to social and environmental responsibility. In his recent lecture at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts, Rogers delivered a passionate overview of his theories relating to the compact city and sustainable urban development.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Shopping 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Architecture 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Living 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Product design 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 Fashion 77 78 79 80 81 The challenge 82 83 for architects and urban 84 85 planners is to create 86 87 sustainability in cities that 88 89 have already become 90 subject to overcrowding, 91 92 environmental 93 94 Art & Culture degradation and 95 96 dereliction. Public 97 98 and green space is 99 100 shrinking and this will 101 continue to threaten 102 103 the quality of life in 104 105 cities worldwide. 106 107 “Sustainable urban 108 109 development is 110 111 dependent on 112 113 three factors; 114 In Beirut the quality of 115 116 architecture, 117 118 social well119 120 being and 121 122 123 124


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124


environmental responsibility,” said Rogers. “The compact sustainable city is multi-cultural with a hierarchy of density, has a mix of uses and tenures, is well connected with a coherent public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, is well designed both in terms of public spaces and building, and is environmentally responsive.” The challenges facing cities need to be met head-on by visionary architects, such as Rogers, who has a progressive outlook on urban zones,

social inclusion and quality of life. Architecture itself cannot be viewed outside of the societies that bring them to life. The city has become man’s natural habitat. “Compact polycentric cities are the only sustainable form of development and should be designed to attract people. If we don’t get urban regeneration right then all our work on cities – buildings and public spaces, education, health, employment, social inclusion and economic growth – will be undermined,” Rogers said. Central


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124

to the theory of practice at his current firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, is the advancement of public space. According to Rogers, “public space between buildings influences both the built form and the civic quality of the city”. The architect has committed his life’s work to revitalizing the city and planning for inevitable future congestion. As Chief Advisor to the Mayor of London and Chair of the Urban Task Force, Rogers clearly practices what he preaches. He is actively working with urban planners and government agencies to advance his beliefs that promote social inclusion and the regeneration of disaffected areas. The Pompidou Center

(designed in collaboration with Renzo Piano and completed in 1977) was the first example in his oeuvre of how a building can reinvigorate a rundown area of the city. In this project the design deliberately dedicated over half of the site to a public piazza. The Pompidou is now one of the most highly visited buildings in Europe and the area is a bustling center in Paris. Not all architects concern themselves with the social context of their buildings. Roger’s considers people, environment, utility and quality of life before anything else. This is precisely what makes him an architect activist—his buildings enact social change.


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Shopping 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Architecture 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Living 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Product design 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 Fashion 77 78 79 80 81 World War I. By chance, Edgard, an 82 83 innately curious and handy man, 84 85 discovered a box of metal molds. “It 86 87 was like looking at a jigsaw puzzle. 88 89 It took me four years to piece together 90 the first mold. All I knew is that I 91 92 wanted to make tiles exactly like my 93 94 Art & Culture grandfather did,” he recalls. Unfazed 95 96 by the possibility to ‘modernize’ the 97 98 entire process of making tiles and 99 100 therefore dramatically increase 101 production, Edgard Chaya was 102 103 committed to continuing the 104 105 hand-made tradition. Time and 106 107 labor intensive as the process 108 109 is, Blatt Chaya continues to 110 111 produce these quintessential 112 113 items of Lebanese design, 114 In Beirut one tile at a time. 115 116 With orders 117 118 from New York to Greece, 119 120 one gains the sense of 121 122 a growing appreciation 123 124 for the artisanal

Lending a hand to preserving

tradi tions W o r d s

b y :

N a t a l i e

J a r u d i

ith each traditional Lebanese home that finds itself demolished to a pile of rubble and soon replaced by a modern sky-scraper, one wonders how the Lebanese artisanal tradition is able to compete against a growing culture of mass-production. Edgard and Karim Chaya of renowned Blatt Chaya revealed a few of their secrets of how this 100 year-old familyrun tile business has been able to survive and even flourish. Not surprisingly, it has nothing to do with modernizing the factory or adopting a different production philosophy. This story is all about respect for age-old traditions and love of the craft. Blatt Chaya are simply keepers of Lebanese tradition. Edgard Chaya is an enigmatic man who after having retired from his foreign exchange business was providentially drawn towards the dormant family business. What started as a hobby has grown into a flourishing artisanal business. For several decades, the factory of Blatt Chaya had been closed after


tradition. In a statement that sums up the philosophy of Blatt Chaya, Chaya says: “My ideal is to advance to the old. I make my bread at home. I like the old way of doing things. It is more human”. Karim Chaya elaborates, “We as a country and world have a disease which is called speed. We want everything now. This is not what Blatt Chaya is about. We do it slowly. We take our time. We turn down customers.” Each step of the process is undertaken with care and precision. The sand, which naturally comes in colors ranging from white to red, orange, yellow and black, is then thoroughly washed and sieved which results in the softest and finest sand. Depending on the complexity of the tile’s design, the factory craftsmen than hand fill the tiles. For colors

such as blue or green that have found their way into tiles since 1900, a natural oxidation process of various metals produces the rich tones. Nothing is artificial. Every tile is unique and emanates a hand-made feel. Blatt Chaya’s tiles are a distinct way of accessing a Lebanese design history through the decades. From classical patterns such as the tumbling blocks and geometric patterns to art deco, perusing through the Blatt Chaya provenance is a journey through a traditional Mediterranean aesthetic. Each tile is also named after a place in Lebanon—depending on where that tile has found its home. From Ain el Mreisseh to Batroun, Blatt Chaya is making sure that a tile is not just a tile but indicative of design trends and emblematic of a finer way of living life.


Pub lic Pri va cy Dori Hitti creates an intimate statement W o r d s

b y :

K a r a h

B y r n s


ooking up from a main street in Rabieh, a striking house rises above the cars, above the people, and above expectations. Seemingly adrift on a different plane, the residence blends into the hill by intertwining its exterior with its natural backdrop of trees, grass, and stone. Designed by Dori Hitti and completed in collaboration with architect John Hamamji in 2009, this private home in full public view plays with three distinct pairings of opposites, with the merging of interior and exterior, natural and urban, public and private. Blurring the line between interior and exterior, Hitti used wood paneled flooring that extends from the inside of the house to its outdoor pathways to make the abode become one with the land. And by employing natural, warm materials like wood and stone cladding in a modern context, Hitti also defied the notion that contemporary design is exclusively the realm of glass and cold metal, forever at odds with tradition, warmth, and ethereal softness. To resolve the ultimate and most challenging issue of achieving


a sense of private space in a highly public location, Hitti gave in to both forces, without letting one aspect of the equation overpower the other. “What we did was create an inner back private area on one side of the house and on the other side, we sealed it off with a fence and greenery so that any zone that overlooks the street is sealed off,” he says. The result is a residence that carries his signature touch that explicitly aims to produce a visceral reaction; “You either love it or you hate it there is no in between”.

Le Cercle Hitti projects Architect Designer: Dori Hitti Architect: John Hamamji


Boom

time W o r d s

t was a time that would reshape the way that ordinary people lived their lives. In the postwar period the availability of foams, plastics, elastic meshes and Formica gave a new generation of French talent inspiration for daring approaches to design. Paying homage to this exceptionally creative period that defined the look of late 20th century lifestyle, the exhibition titled Mobi Boom gathers 250 items of furniture by around one hundred of France’s finest creators at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Following the war the look was one of streamlined, pared down designs driven by function and comfort. Later as the decades morphed into the hedonistic sixties and seventies, color and

b y :

H e l e n

A s s a f

imagination came even further to the fore. While designers, such as Pierre Paulin, Olivier Mourgue, and Roger Tallon, to name just a few, were key to fueling this explosion, it also took the foresight of publishers like Roche Bobois and Ligne Roset to bring the fruits of this period to a wider public. Mobi Boom explores the importance of such key players in an exhibition that promises to revisit one of Europe’s greatest modern-day renaissances in furniture design. Mobi Boom: l’explosion du design en France (1945–75) runs until January 2nd at Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, Paris. Telephone +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50 for more details or visit www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr.


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124

A glance in the

rear-view


W o r d s b y : Karah Byrns

orsche. One syllable with everlasting impact, simply hearing the name of this legendary German automaker immediately calls up devastatingly masculine images of success, glamour, velocity, and style. Beneath the sleek, smooth lines that define the allure of Porsche today, however, lies the story of a family empire that has and always will be dedicated to refining the art of speed. Founded in 1931 as a limited partnership company that focused on auto work and consulting services, Porsche ironically began its journey with the far less luxurious Volkswagen Beetle, whose rear engine vehicle concept was engineered by Porsche founder Ferndinand Porsche. As Europe fell into war, the company took to the more pressing task of constructing heavy military tanks for use in World War II, which landed its founder in jail for war crimes following Germany’s defeat. His son, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, steered the company through its darker days, and dared in 1948 to “build a sports car of the kind I like myself”, based on his father’s Beetle. Ferry led Porsche into the realm of sports car excellence in the fifties, making a name for the automaker with the car he dubbed “the 356”, which was followed by the 550 Spyder roadster. At the 1953 Paris Auto Show the Spyder met the world, then took it by storm, winning countless international motor competitions, with the 550A earning Porsche its first win in a major sports car racing competition, the 1956 Targa Florio. Nicknamed the “Giant Killer”, it was built so low to the ground that it could pass beneath a closed railroad crossing gate, and made headlines when it lived up to its name as the car in which Hollywood bad boy James Dean met his death in on September 30, 1955. Several race-worthy models followed the Spyder, but it was the unveiling of the Porsche 911 in 1964 that truly stole the show. The Porsche 911 continues to be the most iconic of Porsche models, ranking just as highly with drivers both on and off the racetrack. Called “the never ending story” by car aficionados, the Porsche 911, or “neunelfer”, remains in continuous development, undergoing only slight, modernizing changes since its debut, making it one of the oldest sport coupes still in production. In 1997, Porsche introduced the Boxster as its first convertibletop roadster targeting the mainstream consumer,


followed by a coupe version in 2006, the Cayman. In 2002 it joined the trend towards four-wheel drive vehicles when it introduced its first SUV model, the Cayenne. The most recent addition to the line arrived last year, with the release of the 2009 Panamera, a plush, streamlined fourdoor sport model. Privately owned by the Porsche and Piech families until 1972, when the world famous company went public, Porsche, like its 911, is a “never ending story” of success. Today, it remains the smallest German independent automaker while also remaining the most profitable automaker in the world. Although the firm has hosted CEOs outside of the Porsche family, descendants still keep a tight rein on the company with a majority share, driving it ever forward with precision and prestige. 2011 will mark the automaker’s 70th anniversary, but if the past is any indication of what can be expected for the years to come, it is certain that Porsche’s triumphant pursuit of mechanical perfection and remarkable innovation knows no finish line.


Words by:

M a y a

K h o u r c h i d

Curving dynamically towards Germany’s famed Rhine River, in a silhouette courtesy of celebrated architect KarlHeniz Schommer, The Kameha Grand boasts carved-out room terraces with equally majestic views of the Siebengebirge mountain range. But the raison d’etre of the luxury hotel in Bonn extends far beyond the picturesque

he well-being of our guests is at the heart of all our doing. By creating a laid-back yet sensual atmosphere we facilitate memorable encounters with and between our guests – experiences that add inspiration and new outlooks to their lives,” reads the Kameha brochure. Indeed, atmosphere and aesthetics meld seamlessly within the interiors created by renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders – a salient point of interest for those making inroads in the world of design. The art director and cofounder of internationally acclaimed design label Moooi, rose to fame in 1996 with the success of his Knotted Chair created for Dutch firm Droog Design. Among the plethora of honors bestowed upon him, Wanders has been celebrated as one of “The stars of Europe” by Business Week in 2002, then “the design world’s favorite star” by the Washington Post in 2003 and Designer of the Year 2005/2006 by


Elle Decoration International Design Awards. Wander’s touch is considered by many inthe-know to be near mythical, and it has been applied decadently to the interiors of the Kameha Grand. The interior design is typical of the designer, noted online lifestyle guide We Heart, with “gigantic urn-like pillars and Wanders’ signature prints on everything from the floors and walls, to the bed of the heated outdoor infinity pool”. The luxury hotel boasts 190 rooms and 63 suites that are hardly standard, both in terms of size and amenities. The Kameha offers a series of themed rooms such as the ‘Beethoven Suite’ – a nod to one of Bonn’s most famed residents. There is also the Fairplay Suite and here the amenities include a dartboard for traditionalists and a Wii for those keeping up with the times. Service is “informal, exclusive and individual” and the options range from in room dining, to in room spa and limousines. A member of The Leading Hotel of the World luxury brand – which strives toward the eco-friendly and offers to offset the carbon emissions of its guests with donations to Sustainable Travel International – the Bonn hotel has none-the-less set itself apart. The entire structure was conceived as a geothermal facility – in fact, it is one of the largest in Europe. “For the Kameha Grand Bonn, ecological responsibility is a matter of course,” explains the Leading Hotels of the World website. “The heat of summer is stored for winter; and the cold of the winter to provide cooling summer. State-of-the-art technology makes the hotel largely emission-free.”


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124


Timeless style in the heart of Paris W o r d s

b y :

K a r a h

B y r n s

iscreetly tucked away from the dazzling Champs Elysees just a few stiletto-ed steps away from the glittering store windows of Avenue Montaigne, the Hotel de Sers offers an enclave of extravagant repose, in the embrace of impeccable style and historical charm. Originally a four-story mansion designed by architect Jules Pellechet for the Marquis de Sers in 1880, the structure took an odd detour in the early 1900’s as a medical facility, leaving it with four additional floors and a six-story attachment. In 1935, it became a hotel, and in 1999 Thibault Vidalenc took over, investing no less than 11 million euros to renovate the faded mansion, under the direction of his cousin and architect, Thomas Vidalenc. Revamped in a bid to resurrect its original glory, the Hotel de Sers was born, instantly becoming a star in the ranks of Paris’ new generation of boutique, five-star hotels. Inside, where prices for one night within the Sers’ portrait-laden walls range from 580 to 2350 euros, a muted sense of lavishness pervades every space as antique treasures mingle seamlessly with modern touches like retro-floral fabrics and sharp edges. The Victorian era is preserved without the heaviness that often accompanies the past, conveying a lingering impression of aristocratic charm to an otherwise contemporary abode. Red velvet, gilded frames, and Scandinavian-style furniture and light fixtures blend grandeur with simplicity, striking a careful balance between past and present that still exhibits an overall sense of classic French elegance. “Along with visits, encounters, and discoveries, the hotel is part of the travel experience. It is but a foothold, but it


becomes a home where the traveler’s time takes on a different dimension, communicating a kind of ‘contemporary melancholy’,” explained architect Thomas Vidalenc, describing his thematic approach. Much of the hotel’s furniture is to his credit as well, accompanied by the latest in comfort and technology. The Salon le Marquis offers an extensive scope of business services, all from the comfort of Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs. As a temple of design, the hotel also caters to the temple of the soul, offering a proud range of pampering that includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, massage, hammam, sauna, and a unique menu of private baths. The Restaurant de Sers offers three intimate dining spaces – a winter garden, marble-dressed parlor, and leafy summer terrace – and after sunset, its trendy S’Bar comes alive with original

house cocktails, cool jazz, and striking modern decor. Its centerpiece is the Carrara marble bar and imposing looking glass, which infuses an ethereal ambiance by changing colors – from red to blue to fuschia, orange, and green – every few seconds. The rooms themselves too are magical. Contemporary rosewood furniture by Poltrona Frau, fabrics by Missoni, Bang & Olfusen plasma screens, and Italian marble bathrooms stocked with botanic-chic toiletries by Anne Semonin all supplement the breathtaking Parisian views that travelers the world over come to marvel. At the Hotel de Sers, it is no difficult feat to lie back and imagine the magnificent scope of the city’s colorful history and future promise while lounging in the resplendent glow of “the city of lights”.


W o r d s

b y :

K a r a h

B y r n s

A Sustainable Legacy of Contemporary Perfection

or some, furniture is something to fill a room. A decorative yet practical object. For others, furniture is a passion. A passion for color, form, and reaching a level of functional harmony that can break boundaries, capture the spirit of an era, and complement the identity of an individual. For Ligne Roset, passion is the only rule never to be broken. Furniture is not merely a business, but an art. Every product they release onto the market is designed with precision, created to please the eye as much as the soul. And this year, the world-renowned brand now celebrates its 150th birthday as France’s only firm to commission, manufacture, and distribute upscale, contemporary pieces of furniture. It celebrates a global status as an icon of style and a beacon of legendary, exquisite taste. It celebrates, in its own words, “150 years ahead of time”. It all began in 1860, when the young Antoine Roset decided to start up a small factory producing parasol handles and walking sticks. Upon his death in 1893, his widow and son Emile took the helm, focusing on furniture frames instead.

Emile Roset took full control in the 1910s and, following a tragic accident in 1946, his twentysix year-old son Jean inherited the factory of fifty-odd laborers. Jean Roset stood to make a change, and with his young and enterprising spirit, he began sowing the seeds that later blossomed into today’s Ligne Roset. Feeling the pulse of the times was his trademark, and he first executed this skill through contractual community deals to furnish universities, schools, retirement homes, almshouses, and social organization spaces during the golden age of the public market in the 1950s. In the 1960s and early 1970s he rode the wave of a new era, when creativity reached new heights. He invested in new talents and took risks on their potential to aesthetically defy or reinvent classic concepts of interior design. He made a strategy of commissioning the field’s most daring minds, and transformed his Roset enterprise into an empire. Understanding that an investment in creativity and innovation was just as essential as quality production, he built a brand that would come to be synonymous with revolutionary modernity and the good life. At Ligne Roset, a free spirit, an open mind, and a commitment to perfection became the signature of its success. “Good furniture gives great pleasure, and we take great pleasure in making good furniture. One reason for this is because we have always worked with fascinating, creative people,” stresses Michel Roset, current Creative Director and Co-owner of Ligne Roset, and son of Jean Roset. Together with brother and co-owner Pierre, the duo continues to lead the company in line with their father’s pioneering drive. Since the mid-1960s Ligne Roset has worked with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed talents, from Pierre Paulin to Michel Ducaroy. Today, the brand continues to collaborate only with the best, and it is no coincidence that Ligne Roset works regularly with four of the ten top designers chosen by Philippe Starck for the Salon Maison & Objet, for their exhibition entitled “10 Generation 2020 Designers” (Philippe Nigro, Marie-Aurore Stiker-Metral, Sam Baron, Dingjian & Chafai). It remains one of


La PliĂŠe Marie-Aurore Stiker Metral, 2008 Laser-cut sheet steel finished in gloss lacquer


Togo M. Ducaroy, 1973-2006 5 densities of polyether foam are combined to make the frame. Quilted, polyester material filled


MoĂŤl Inga SempĂŠ, 2007 Thermoformed back is foam covered and upholstery covers


03 01

02

04 05

07 08

the only brands worldwide to seize the Red Dot Award for “Best of the Best” more than once, first for the Facett (Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec) in 2005, for the Moel (Inga Sempé) in 2007, and Confluences (Philippe Nigro) in 2009, which also received multiple prizes abroad, in Germany, Italy, and the United States. As another feather in its cap, the design giant also boasts prestigious contractual agreements to furnish some of the world’s most elite hotels, restaurants, museums, and cruise liners. In celebration of these 150 years of excellence, Ligne Roset has decided to release a handful of limited edition pieces in 2010, produced in quantities of 150 pieces each. Two items generating significant buzz are reinterpretations of Pierre Paulin’s pumpkin chair, which first graced the drawing rooms of the Elysees Palace

01_____Dingjian & Chafai 02_____Inga Sempé 03_____Pierre Charpin 04_____Philippe Nigro 05_____Marie-Aurore Stiker Metral 06_____Sam Baron 07_____Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec 08_____Pierre Paulin 09_____Michel Ducaroy

for Claude and Georges Pompidou in 1971, and was released to the public only in 2008 through Ligne Roset. For these anniversary editions, the traditionally monochrome wool seat is available in two variations of warm and cool tones. The first comes in eight shades of red and the second in eight shades of blue, with each seat being labeled Pierre Paulin, numbered 06 from 1 to 150, and branded “150 years of Ligne Roset”. Another remarkable limited edition piece is the Lines sideboard by Peter Maly, released in new colors of lacquer. Venturing ahead even more boldly, a limited edition of the company’s landmark Togo sofa reinterpreted by Catalan designer Cristian Zuzunaga encases 09 the body of Claire Bretecher’s original design in a vibrant fabric that features a multicolor, pixelated theme. The best-selling Togo, which was created to symbolize the freedom of the hippie generation in 1973, has sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide to date. Despite its enduring reputation for cutting edge design and flawless production, sustainability is not only a concept that is applied to the brand’s ability to constantly – and pleasantly – surprise the public. It is also a cause that the firm takes to the origins of its art; to the forests and fields that provide the raw materials for such exquisite craftsmanship. “For me, sustainable development begins with the pleasure we derive from working in such a remarkable location as Briord, France. When one has the good fortune to grow and develop in an environment of such quality, one naturally wants to protect it,” claims Pierre Roset, President of Ligne Roset. As the head of a firm leading the contemporary furniture industry even in this regard, he draws the line between its approach to the design world as well as the natural world: “Our environmental practice is nurtured by the concepts which have always guided us: creativity, innovation and quality.”


Minet El Hosn - Beirut | T +961 1 369100


Egg Geisha based on the Egg Vase by Marcel Wanders, photography & concept by Marcel Wanders & Erwin Olaf


Smoker Man based on the Smoke serie by Maarten Baas, photography & concept by Marcel Wanders & Erwin Olaf


W o r d s b y : Helen Assaf


or Hala Habis it was a trip to India that particularly stands out as early inspiration for her boutique Barjis. “The mix of colors so effortlessly and naturally blended together by the natives,” she says, “was amazing”. Today Habis herself blends fabrics, textures and colors to produce a range of pouffes and cushions that have an identity all of their own. As well as the collection housed in-store, Habis also accepts custom orders, producing one-off pieces for that individual touch. The fabrics are sourced from high-end European brands such as Rubelli, Sahco Hesslein, Dedar and the Designers Guild, as well as from the local market. Utmost in Habis’s mind is the quest for quality and the tactile properties of the material between her hands. When blended together to create a Barjis piece, the result is eclectic with a contemporary ethnic edge. Beyond their style credentials, the labor of love that goes into each item is evident in the fact that Habis gives them all names.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Shopping 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Architecture 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Living 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Product design 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 The Barjis boutique on Sadat 75 76 Fashion Street in the Hamra district is also Habis’s 77 atelier. “It’s both practical and interactive 78 79 to have the atelier and shop in the same 80 81 place,” she says. What she enjoys the 82 83 most is the interactive element of the 84 85 meeting between artist and client. An 86 87 eternal interest in people’s “psyche and 88 89 needs” is, she says, also what drives her 90 in her work. At the same time, her artistic 91 92 outpouring is the means through which, 93 94 Art & Culture she states, she strives to bring happiness 95 96 and comfort to other people’s lives. 97 98 The name Barjis comes 99 100 from an old Farsi game that once 101 upon a time was be played on a 102 103 velvet cloth with brass pegs and 104 105 shells. Although the pastime may 106 107 not be familiar to most, a number 108 109 of Habis’s pouffes also incorporate 110 111 an embroidered version of it in 112 113 their fabric. The result is much 114 In Beirut like the Barjis boutique itself: 115 116 a stylish and colorful take on 117 118 life’s tapestry of traditions. 119 120 121 122 123 124


Jean Paul Gaultier partners with Roche Bobois Words by: Karah Byrns

Jean Paul Gaultier brings fashion between the walls for Roche Bobois.

ho better to employ for shaking up 50 years of international, innovative design than iconic fashion house bad boy Jean-Paul Gaultier? In a daring move this year, furniture and homeware label Roche Bobois commissioned Gaultier to create an exclusive anniversary collection for the famous French company, to be coupled with a 250-piece ultra limited edition collection. Perfectly compatible bedfellows, Roche Bobois and Jean-Paul Gaultier are both keen on pushing the envelope as far as it can go in the realm of design. The only difference? While Gaultier normally breaks boundaries on bodies, Roche-Bobois does it between four walls. By clashing traditional touches with their


brazenly contemporary collections, both Gaultier and Roche-Bobois have a knack for striking the delicate balance between the shockingly bold and the shamelessly beautiful. Featuring the signature motifs Gaultier is legendary for, like marine stripes, tattoo-inspired prints, gothic typography, and coquettish touches, the collections include a plush yet modern bedroom set, floor-hugging sofas, and corresponding statement accessories. Elegant yet casual and throbbing with an experimentalist vibe, the overall feel of the collection is one of gotta-have-it taboo edginess. Suitable for lounging in style, the sofa collections are as fun as they are fearless, with playful red pom-pom buttons dotting blue and white sailorstriped cushions featured on one version,


while the other blends a wild mix of a Hollywoodesque kissing scene with currency bills, lace and tattoo inspired patterns, and satin pillows in a black and white scheme complemented with muted colors. The bedroom set explores a feminine fifties pin-up sex appeal with dusky pink satin and black dentelle lace themed patterns that flirts with confident, masculine stripes and navy tattoos. A modern fold out screen that serves as a frame for the bed adds an illicit, peekaboo vibe. Completely off-the-path but just as enviable is Gaultier’s armchair, appropriately coined the “Ben Hur Armchair” for being a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic film’s racing chariots. Other accessories include eclectic minimalistic items like tin lamps, a rugged floor mat emblazoned with the outline of a skinned animal hide, and pillowcases fashioned from ripped denim, belt loops and all. In this striking partnership of talent lies a testament to the unbreakable bond between interior design and fashion. Cheers to another expression of unbridled passion, tamed by creative genius.


D E S I G N V É G É TA L - D E S I G N O B J E T - PA R F U M


W o r d s

ince its debut in 1921, Chanel No.5 has become as iconic of femininity as a string of pearls, black heels, or lace. Never ceasing production over 89 years, the classic scent has been reinterpreted to explore nuances of its complex personality, but the original formula has always been painstakingly preserved and offered to an ever-adoring flock of fans. No fragrance conjures up as much mystery, glamour, and erotic elegance as Chanel No. 5. No fragrance spans generations, able to be passed on from mother to daughter like a treasured secret or rite of passage into womanhood. Chanel No. 5 is addictive. It is sensual. It is timeless. The essence of a modern woman’s genius, Chanel No.5 was the first of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s flirtations with the perfume industry. The French designer known best for creating minimalist garments that rebelled against the furbelows and frills of her times never intended to venture into perfume, which she reputedly deplored as a means of using syrupy floral extracts to disguise poor hygiene. It was only when she was introduced to renowned perfumer Ernest Beaux that she became aware of its power for self-expression. Requesting a “perfume for a woman, from the scent of a woman”, Chanel chose the fifth vial among a series that Beaux was experimenting with to take home with her, releasing it only as a limited edition Christmas present for her best clients in 1921.

b y :

K a r a h

B y r n s

Chanel No.5 was a pioneer in formula, scent, and design. As the first fragrance to blend synthetic ingredients, or aldehydes, with organic raw materials like rose and jasmine, the perfume broke new ground in the chemistry of fashion. Its bouquet can be attributed to no one flower in particular and exudes a subtle sophistication. It is so complex that the number of notes it contains remains impossible to distinguish and replicate. Its original art deco flacon was a bold symbol of Coco’s contempt for the over-embellished perfume bottles popular at the time; the masculine and boxy glass shape was fashioned by Brosse Glasswork after a Charvet toiletry bottle from the travel case of her lover who died in a tragic accident in 1919, Arthur Boy Capel. The daring approach and scintillating scent overcame the public and in 1922 Chanel No.5 was released en masse by popular demand. From housewives to Hollywood starlets like Catherine Deneuve, the perfume came to personify the image of the ideal modern woman. But it was only when Marilyn Monroe famously breathed that a few drops of Chanel No.5 was the sole thing she wore in bed that the perfume shot to permanent fame. Until today, a bottle of Chanel No.5 is estimated to be sold every 55 seconds in an echo to the famous words of Coco Chanel herself: “Fashion passes... style remains.”


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Shopping 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Architecture 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Living 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Product design 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 Fashion 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 Art & Culture 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 In Beirut 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124


The joy

t shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the square silk scarf (carré) made by luxury goods company Hermes is listed as a must-have item for many of the world’s most stylish women. Renowned for being luxuriously soft to the touch and yet strong enough to help support a broken arm, as Grace Kelly famously demonstrated in the 1950s, Hermes square scarves have a timeless elegance. This helps to explain why fans range from the late Audrey Hepburn and Queen Elizabeth II to Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker. There are many features of the legendary carré that make it unique, such as the precise 90 cm × 90 cm measurements and the instantly recognisable, hand-stitched rolled hem, which have been in place since the first scarf, titled ‘Jeu des Omnibus et Dames Blanches’ was created in 1937. That first creation broke new ground in the world of fashion, with its elegant portrayal of Parisian public buses encircling a group of ladies indulging in a game. Since then, Hermes has teamed up with some of the world’s most brilliant designers to produce scarves that have raised the bar in the world of accessories. Their innovative, creative motifs, often with equestrian, military and germane themes, have ensured that Hermes is still synonymous with style decades later, across the globe. Yet while its classic designs are still highly sought after, Hermes has also led the way in evolution. Today’s motifs include bold, abstract concepts in a rainbow of colors thought up by some of the world’s leading contemporary designers. They sit in harmony on the shelves next to the classic motifs, such as the Brides de Gala created by designer Hugo Grygkar in 1957, which are constantly reissued. The meticulous and delicate precision used to make the Hermes silk squares is truly an art in itself. The day when the new designs arrive, on paper, at the Lyon Words by: Miriam Dunn offices, signals the beginning of a journey that will demand perfection at every stage. The finest printing, engraving and coloring techniques are applied to each individual Hermes scarf as it goes through a painstakingly thorough process which begins at a mill in Brazil. This is where the legendary silk from the mulberry moth cocoons, which gives the Hermès carré its incomparable softness, is woven. It is part of a process that requires great patience, spanning almost three months from when the raw thread is received, and then dried and stretched, to the point when the rolls of silk twill are ready for printing. It is, of course, a perfect example of teamwork, from design to completion. A combination of hard work and creative genius which produces the ultimate fashion accessory, draped around the shoulders or tied at the neck of a woman who knows she exudes timeless style and elegance.

of silk Decades after its birth, the legendary Hermes carré proves that it is still head and shoulders above other fashion accessories


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Shopping 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Architecture 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Living 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Product design 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 Fashion 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 Art & Culture 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 Words by: D a n B r a t m a n 102 103 104 105 image and personality by the cut 106 107 of fabric, the placement of seam 108 109 and dart, of stripe and hem. The 110 111 result, when well performed, 112 113 is fully formed, one that at 114 In Beirut first glance speaks more 115 116 than a resume, more than 117 118 a biography. This act of 119 120 prestidigitation pulls from 121 122 a hat, a man. Confident, 123 124 bold, masculine,

Duncan Quinn breathes new life into a gentleman’s classic t is at the sprawling Gatsby-esque mansions on the shores of Long Island, 1928. It is climbing out of the Astin Martin in 1964 London. It walks the streets of SoHo, 2010. When you see it, a time is evoked. Yet it is timeless. It is a craft handed down by artisans through generations, from father to son. It is a fashion that never goes out of fashion. The fashion designer performs a trick of the eye. Evoking


tasteful. It has been said that the clothes make the man. But it is Duncan Quinn that makes the clothes. Born In London, Duncan grew up the son of a Saville Row tailor. Then, as now, the streets of London were in a constant state of fashion clash— the ultra conservative style of the British upper class at war with the radical street fashions of punk and post punk style. Each musical genre emanating from the clubs came with a style of its own. While these factions stared each other down in wild west sidewalk showdowns, Duncan Quinn sought to reconcile the two. Leaning more towards the conservative style, he started with a few hand me downs from his father. Throughout his subsequent travels around the world, his taste and experience expanded. From the resorts in the south of France to India, Japan and Africa, his visual vocabulary expanded accordingly. Today, his suits evoke an immediate and worldly impression. The bad boy aristocrat, the rock and roll trust fund. Made of the finest fabrics, Duncan uses time-honored craftsmanship to make some of the most finely crafted custom suits, shirts and ties made today. Details like mother of pearl buttons, French cuffs and single needle stitching are the hallmark of a Duncan Quinn suit. Immaculately

tailored, each two-piece suit takes from eight to twelve weeks to complete. And, starting at $4,000, they are not for the faint of heart—or wallet. In a world where huge chain stores sell suits in the current fashion for under $200, an exquisitely crafted, hand made custom suit is an anomaly. But quality will always be highly valued. And, although fashion serves a fickle mistress, there are some things that remain constant, certain lines that reach back into tradition as they stretch out towards the future. The visual world is made of magic. Colors, shapes and curves speak to us of a language seen, not heard. It is a language of feeling, impression. Fashion brings our bodies onto the canvas of this visual world. It covers and conceals, expresses and reveals. The choices we make can’t help but speak of who we are. It is an art of magic to make fabric speak. And sometimes a designer says something that we all understand, that speaks to us in this language. A designer that can simultaneously recreate, redefine and transcend style. It is for this that Duncan Quinn has earned a place in the pantheon of fashion.


Stepping into the sands Berluti ventures further East

Words by: Karah Byrns


y experience comes from a lifetime spent at men’s feet,” says Olga Berluti, the world’s only female boot maker, and the fourth generation of the Berluti family that has been creating exquisite, bespoke leather shoes for men since 1895. Olga Berluti took the helm of her family’s Italian shoe dynasty centered at 26 Rue Marbeuf in Paris as the House Artistic Director after having demonstrated an ardent devotion to not only creating shoes that are a pleasure to look at, but also a pleasure to walk in. Today, the highly exclusive brand that limits its distribution to just eight boutiques in Europe is venturing further East, with a Beirut boutique in 2009, the re-opening of its 2006 boutique in the Dubai Mall of the Emirates in 2010, and a brand new boutique in Doha’s Villagio Mall in late 2010. “They inspired us to dream and pushed us to the limits of artistic creation due to their desire for excellence, unparalleled expectations, and extravagance,” says Berluti, referring to the Middle Eastern clientele that inspired the brand to look at expanding its dedication to perfection in leather footwear to the heart of the desert. For Berluti, shoes

are the modern man’s last piece of armor, and each pair of Berluti shoes are made with the utmost care and artisanal craftsmanship on the basis of a virtually clinical understanding of the foot. Because Berluti believes that a man cannot be elegant unless he is comfortable in his own shoes, the brand strives to strike a balance between comfort and style, resulting in a timeless shoe that is intended to accompany the wearer from one stage of life to the next. As much as Olga Berluti worships shoes, she adores people even more highly, finding perpetual inspiration in her clients. The brand claims to have a pair of shoes fit for every man no matter what his personality or prerogative, whether he is relaxing on a Sunday in distressed vintage jeans or dressed to the nines for a black tie affair. For this classic label, leather is like a page upon which a man writes his story, and in the case of Berluti’s Middle Eastern clients, she perceives a presence of mythic grandeur. Suggesting that these clients led her to dream, she described each one as having “exemplified the heroic spirit of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.”


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124


The thrill of the unexpected Words by: Karah Byrns


his August 19th marked the official launching of Chanel’s newest and long-awaited men’s fragrance, Bleu de Chanel. More mysterious than the classic Allure Pour Homme, Bleu de Chanel is a celebration of the unexpected. The depth and salty dry-down of this woody aromatic is fatally masculine, exuding confidence, strength, and bravado. And with a 60-second spot directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese featuring Canadian model Ingrid Schram and French actor Gaspard Ulliel, the fragrance has already achieved undeniable star status. Inspired by the Chanel Bleu de Chanel of the 1930s, this modern reinvention was created to evoke the dry bark of sun-scathed trees in a Mediterranean forest, illuminated under the brilliance of a bright blue sky. The fluid itself is contained within a midnight blue, nearly black bottle that when held to the light conjures up the feeling of holding out a lantern over the sea, revealing the storm concealed within. The satisfying click of its metallic, magnetic cap seals the attraction before the first drops of scent hit the air. And when they do, the fragrance springs to life vibrantly with the smell

of citrus, introducing a core of dry cedar and labdanum with a prelude of grapefruit and ginger. Like benzene, it exudes virility and endures, revealing more of its character with the hours. With a dark dry-down of vetiver, patchouli, and frankincense, the lasting impression is of raw sexuality, clothed in a fine hand-tailored suit. Created by perfumer Jacques Polge, the fragrance intends to capture freedom and elegance in the same moment. As Polge says himself, “I wanted something frank, direct and pure.” Other notes that add to the powerful, provocative effect include nutmeg, sandalwood, mint, jasmine, incense, and pink pepper. Personifying this new fragrance is international heartthrob Gaspard Ulliel, who takes center stage in Scorsese’s New York spot as the hero of the fragrance. Captivating, energetic, handsome, and cosmopolitan, Ulliel emits the spirit of the brand in the role of a man set on conquering the heart of a woman to the rhythm of the Rolling Stones classic “She Said Yeah”. Like the pursuit of destiny, Bleu de Chanel is about adventure, freedom, and moments between the lines or between the sheets. It is the scent of the intrepid gentleman. It is, quite simply, Chanel.


Pass the

paint please

Lebanon’s art scene faces a revival

Reported by: Karah Byrns

he Lebanese art scene has faced numerous challenges, but in recent years local artists and zealous art aficionados have proven that nothing can break down the force of the creative spirit. Especially in the last year, with the introduction of Beirut Art Center and the Ayyam Gallery, the local art scene is heating up, grabbing plenty of regional and international attention. What follows is a sampling of Beirut’s most vibrant galleries, followed by their inspirational insights into where art is headed in Lebanon’s future.


Beirut Art

Center

Jisr El Wati, 97th Street, Bldg. 13 01- 397 018 / 70 - 262112 www.beirutartcenter.org info@beirutartcenter.org

B

eirut Art Center (BAC) opened in January 2009 to produce, present and promote local and international contemporary art and cultural practice throughout the year. The center is housed in an independent, stand-alone building with 1,500 square meters of space divided across two floors, designed by architect Raed Abillama. Along with its main exhibition space, BAC also includes an auditorium, a mediatheque, a bookshop, and a boutique cafe. BAC also organizes regular events such as talks, concerts, performances, screenings, and educational activities (workshops, guided tours, etc.). A solo exhibition for internationally renowned French filmmaker and artist Chris Marker opens on November 24, entitled “Par quatre chemins”. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? Beirut Art Center is the first non-profit space dedicated to contemporary visual art in Lebanon. An unprecedented initiative in Beirut, the center constitutes a public space that makes art

accessible to a large and growing audience of residents and visitors alike, who are invited to engage with a rich and diverse range of contemporary artistic production, year-round. This accessibility is achieved through a regular program of exhibitions and weekly related events. Beirut Art Center organizes a number of solo exhibitions each year that are dedicated to established local and regional artists, many of whom have exhibited widely abroad but have never had solo shows in Lebanon. In this way, the local audience gets the opportunity to engage with and become aware of works by artists who interpret the realities of their own environment. Beirut Art Center also organizes an annual exhibition dedicated to emerging Lebanese artists and non-Lebanese artists residing in Lebanon. The exhibition series is entitled Exposure, and it aims to support up-and-coming artists from Lebanon by providing them with a much-needed platform that they can use to produce and display work that is not essentially aimed at the market. Through its program of thematic exhibitions and through occasional solo shows that feature major international artists, the center also provides the Lebanese public with the opportunity to access works of art otherwise inaccessible in the country. The center has, for example, presented works by Joseph Beuys, Martha Rosler, Kara Walker, Antoine D’Agata, and Anri

Sala, all of which were never before shown in Lebanon. Furthermore, Beirut Art Center’s weekly events that relate to its exhibition program provide the local audience with opportunities to further reflect on the works on display and participate in critical discussions and debates. As such, BAC serves as a catalyst for the realization of contemporary art projects and for the interaction of local and international cultural players. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? Generally, in its selection of works for its exhibitions, the center places an emphasis on art that is conceptual in nature. Beirut Art Center looks for works that engage with socio-political realities in a meaningful way. For its thematic exhibitions, the center searches for works that fall within the framework of the particular topic that each show explores. For its solo shows the center looks for artists who have made great contributions to the field of art on a local, regional, and/or international level. For its emerging artists show, the center searches for up-and-coming artists who demonstrate potential and whose work stands out on its own. Overall, the center also tends to present works executed in new media such as video, installation, photography, and performance art; however, this is not exclusively the case.


What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? While the art scene in Lebanon has experienced a serious boom over the last 15-20 years, especially recently, much remains missing. There are, for example, no museums that are dedicated to contemporary art. There is a lack of government funding for art projects. There are only a few educational institutions that have specialized art programs, and these tend to be more traditional or classical in their approach. There is also a major need for art critiques, and not just through arts journalism. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? Over the years, Beirut’s art scene has developed in an organic manner, whereby initiatives have emerged in response to the needs of both the city and the art scene. For example, Beirut Art Center came about in response to the lack of a non-profit space dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon, despite the fact that the scene had been active by then for more than 10 years. 2010 sees the opening of the academy of Ashkal Alwan again in response to a specific, in this case, educational need. We predict that Beirut’s art scene will continue to develop in this manner, with its development all while remaining deeply rooted in its evolving conditions and realities.

Mark

Hachem  Minet El Hosn, Salloum Street Capital Gardens, Bloc B 01 - 999 313 / 70- 949 029 www.markhachem.com beirut@markhachem.com

E

ach of the exhibitions at the Mark Hachem Gallery is an invitation to dialogue, between the public, the artists, and art itself. Due to Hachem’s presence in Europe and the US through galleries in Paris and New York, and the various international art exhibitions they regularly participate in, the Mark Hachem Gallery enables established and emerging local artists to promote their work regionally and internationally. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? Our intent is to provide a platform for local emerging artists that will enhance their talents as well as their ability to market and sell their work. It is vital to ensure that local and regional artists are supported as much as possible to make a living from their work, to ensure that the local art scene is viable, vibrant, and expanding. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit?

The work should reflect the artist and represent his/her ideas, motivations, and goals. Mark Hachem Gallery looks for works that are going to serve a purpose hanging on the wall. We want a presentation that will create discussion and interaction. Each piece should work on its own, but the selection of art should also work as a group. We make sure the pieces we choose look like they belong together. There should be some common theme that runs through every piece, whether through its subject matter, materials, color or process. What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? 1. Contemporary Museums that prioritize Lebanese and regional artists in an international context. 2. A government supported industrial-zone reclamation project, which would provide artists with affordable studio space. 3. Art collectors and investors who by making long term investments and putting their energy and spirit into the scene would not only make generous profits, but also foster and promote Lebanese artists. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? With an increasing politically stable environment, Lebanon has the potential to develop a very unique and diverse art scene.


The creative atmosphere can benefit from the natural symbiosis between the unique Arab culture proper to Lebanon combined with Mediterranean and European influences. A growing local awareness of the potential of art as a first class investment medium will also provide the necessary financial rewards that are needed to encourage artists to produce and remain in the country.

Ayyam

Gallery Zeitouni Street, Beirut Tower 70- 535301 www.ayyamgallery.com beirut@ayyamgallery.com

S

ince its founding in 2006 in Damascus, Ayyam Gallery has become one of the Arab world’s leading art spaces. With a selection of cutting-edge painting, sculpture and photography that represents some of the Middle East’s most exciting talent, the gallery has sought to promote the region’s dynamic cultural scene at home and abroad. Its continued commitment to the expansion and progression of local art has led to a number of landmark initiatives, including blockbuster exhibitions, original publications and special events. The 2009 opening of Ayyam’s Solidere outpost, in the heart of

downtown Beirut, has come amidst the reemergence of Lebanon’s commercial art scene and is already making waves. Seeking to honor the country’s longstanding tradition of art collecting and connoisseurship, the “First Beirut Sale,” an in-house auction of Arab art that is the first of its kind, was organized as a groundbreaking network through which Arab art can be appreciated and valued. In addition, understanding the importance of documenting this exciting time in regional art, the gallery seeks to contribute to its art historical discourse with multilanguage texts that provide unique insight into the rapid transformations that are occurring and some of the individuals who are behind them. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? As Ayyam Gallery grows, it will continue to find new and innovative ways to further its original mission— to insure that the Arab world’s finest artists receive the international recognition they deserve. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? A propensity for expanding the boundaries of local culture while engaging global audiences. What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? A museum that purchases, collects, and exhibits contemporary art.

What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? With active worldwide efforts, the Lebanese art scene will be establishing a significant presence in the global art market while garnering outstanding recognition for its artists.

Sfeir-

Semler

Gallery Quarantina, 56th Street Tannous Building, 4th Floor 01- 566550 www.sfeir-semler.com beirut@sfeir-semler.com

S

feir-Semler Gallery was founded in 1985 by Andrée Sfeir-Semler in Kiel, Germany and relocated to Hamburg in 1998. In 2005, on the occasion of the gallery’s 20th anniversary, the Lebanese-born Andrée Sfeir-Semler opened a second branch in Beirut. Focusing primarily on conceptual art from Europe, the United States, and the Middle East, the gallery represents several established international artists and supports a new generation of artists from Lebanon and the Middle East. These include Walid Raad, Etel Adnan, Rabih Mroué, Akram Zaatari, and Marwan Rechmaoui - who are all


working in Beirut at least part of the time but who travel between New York, Paris, London and Berlin. The gallery represents the FrenchMoroccan artist Yto Barrada who is based in Tangiers, the Syrian painter Marwan who has been based in Berlin for many years, and the Egyptian Wael Shawky. In addition, it works with the New York-based conceptual artist Robert Barry, Elger Esser(German), Timo Nasseri (German-Iranian), Christine Streuli (Swiss), and Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italian), to name a few. The gallery nurtures a unique cross-cultural link between Western and Middle Eastern contemporary art practices. Since its opening, Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut has become an important platform for cultural exchange in the region. Situated in the Quarantine section of Beirut, the gallery occupies a 1000 square-meter space in a converted industrial building overlooking the city’s port. In addition to mounting the first one-person exhibitions in the region by Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari, Marwan, and others, the gallery has been a venue for dynamic curatorial projects including Catherine David’s “In the Middle of the Middle”, William Wells’ “Out of Place”, and Home Works IV, a recurring forum on contemporary art based in Beirut. The gallery also works to bring its program to a global audience, participating in art fairs around the world and cooperating with European and Middle Eastern art institutions to

realize complex and ambitious exhibition projects. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? Sfeir-Semler Gallery is based both in Hamburg, Germany and in Beirut, and our program works as a kind of bridge between European and Middle Eastern artistic practices. Our gallery in Beirut is a platform for artists working in Middle East, as well as being a large-scale space to show international contemporary art. In addition to mounting the first one-person exhibitions in the region by artists including Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari, Yto Barrada, Marwan, and others, the gallery has been a venue for dynamic curatorial projects including Catherine David’s “In the Middle of the Middle” and Bidoun Magazine’s “Noise”. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? We work with many different kinds of artists, each one pursuing their artistic projects in different ways. The Beirut program focuses especially on artists who are either from the Middle East or have some connection to the region, but each artist we work with brings their own individual experience and set of ideas or concerns to the gallery. There are no general criteria for selecting artists, but rather a kind of mutual interest in various ideas and ways of seeing the world.

What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? There is much to build here! My first thought is that Lebanon still does not have a museum that collects contemporary art. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? The arts community is still small, but there are many different individuals and groups who are pursuing projects in different and wonderful ways. There are many seeds here - for collecting art, for arts education, for artistic research, for public arts, and of course for new artists, and these will certainly grow as long as the city continues to nurture this community and these kinds of projects.

Janine Rubeiz

Gallery Raouche, 1 Avenue Charles de Gaulle Majdalani Bldg. 01- 868290 www.galeriejanninerubeiz.com gjr@inco.com.lb 

A

nchored in a strong commitment to modern and contemporary art in Lebanon, the Galerie Janine Rubeiz takes its roots in the


precious legacy of “Dar el Fan”, a highly qualified art space and cultural platform under the direction of Janine Rubeiz between 1967 and 1976. Her effort was both cultural and political, for she believed that cultural and artistic activities foster communication among communities, offer enrichment through diversity, combat all forms of discrimination, stop hatred and war, and cultivate peace. But “Dar el Fan’s” premises were destroyed during the war and Janine moved her activities and set up her own apartment into a gallery that hosted cultural and artistic events, till her death in 1992. The present gallery (1993) carrying her name, run by her daughter Nadine Begdache holds strongly to the belief that cultural development is an integral part of the sociopolitical maturity of the country. Annually, the Galerie Janine Rubeiz holds seven to eight exhibitions, including the works of Lebanese masters still living and working, as well as those of young innovative artists creating in painting, various media, sculpture, installations, video and photography etc. While preserving and consolidating a living memory of the art life and works in the second half of the 20th century, the Galerie hosts and supports a number of well established Lebanese artists while constantly looking for young talents in Lebanon and from all over the

world. It also holds a permanent collection of their works. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? The Galerie strives to make Lebanese contemporary modern art known in Lebanon and abroad. It hosts the works of internationally recognized artists, and participates with its artists in a number of regional and international fairs. The Galerie takes upon itself to facilitate the widening of the artistic space, seeking a multicultural exchange of artistic experiences. Indeed, since 1997, the Galerie has participated in Euop’Art (Geneva, 1978) and the “St’art 2001”, la Foire d’Art Contemporain de Strasbourg-France, and “Visages Francophones” in Cahors, France (2002). In the United Arab Emirates, the Galerie with its artists participated in the modern art fair “ArtParis Abu Dhabi” (2007), in “Art Dubai” (2009, 2010) and “Abu Dhabi Art” (2009) as well as the present “Art Dubai” in 2011. Aware of its role and responsibility, the Galerie has also taken two initiatives, one in London in 2004, “Lebanon, the Artist’s View II”, and “Pinceaux pour Plumes” a show that the Galerie Janine Rubeiz organized at Sursok Museum in Beirut, in 2006, to the benefit of the Lebanese Foundation for the National Library.

What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? The commitment of the Galerie Janine Rubeiz to quality, openness, novelty and universality as leading criteria for its choices reflects the convictions and identity that characterize what could be called “Lebanese Art”, in as much as art is an essential element on the cultural scene, and the honest mirror of its various facets. What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? Public institutions for cultural production in Lebanon. For now, galleries are the reference. We need art. We need culture. They play an essential role in keeping Lebanon alive. Culture is a great part of our development and we feel a big responsibility toward the artists with whom we work. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? The art scene is developing fast. We hope that Lebanon will witness, in the coming years, the rise of most needed public institutions, a museum for Contemporary Art, for example. As a gallery and for the artists, we also need to work with the different ministries to update the laws and regulations concerning art, in order to anchor Lebanon as a main ‘Art Center’ in the region.


Agial

Art Gallery Hamra, 63 Abdel Aziz str. 01- 345213 www.agialart.com info@agial.com

S

ince its foundation in Beirut in 1990, Agial Art Gallery specializes in the promotion of contemporary art from the Arab world. The two-story gallery hosts its permanent collection on the lower ground floor, while the ground floor on Abdul Aziz street is home to a series of monthly exhibitions. One of the largest in the area, the permanent collection of Agial includes the names of both pioneers and established artists. Artists represented by Agial Art Gallery include Saloua Raouda Choucair, Nabil Nahas, Ayman Baalbaki, BAAL, Tagreed Darghouth, Samir Sayegh, Oussama Baalbaki, Daniele Genadry, Tamara Al Samerraei, Jocelyne Saab, Theo Mansour, Abdul Rahman Katanani, Shawki Youssef and Chaza Charafeddine. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? Since its foundation, Agial has been working on two fronts: Defending the modernist art scene (18801980), and promoting young

emerging Lebanese artists. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? When choosing to collaborate with one artist, we mainly focus on his or her long term commitment to a career in terms of perseverance and seriousness, in addition to the quality of execution and depth of conceptual underpinning. What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? A good museum, visionary public institutions, and great patrons of the visual arts. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? Very positive. The Lebanese arts scene is doing very well. With a greater interest in visual art in general, I believe we will be seeing more quality initiatives and better exposure.

Espace Kettaneh

Kuningk Hamra, Gefinor Center, Bloc E 01-738706 espacekattanehkuning@cyberia.net.lb

E

space Kettaneh-Kunigk is a nomadic space. It will be located in Mar Michael in a

space especially built for art in a couple of years. The gallery in Beirut is 3 years old, but it has a mother gallery in Munich, Germany since the early seventies. Opening on November 9 is an exhibition of a selection of 30 photos by Robert Doisneau entitled “Palm Springs�, which will run until December 10, 2010. What do you think your gallery contributes to the local art scene? It helps both established and emerging artists to find a market and, through our presence in international art fairs, to make a name for themselves that travels beyond Lebanon. What are your criteria for selecting the artists that you exhibit? The quality of their work and their professionalism. What is still missing from the art scene in Lebanon? Good curators, public spaces, and a museum which has a budget to buy art. What are your predictions for how the art scene will develop in the coming years? With the work of Christine Tohme plus the Beirut Art Center and some dedicated galleries, we have helped artists. There is a lively art scene in Lebanon in the field of music and visual arts.


would like to believe that all my works carry a part of myself and that wherever they end up to be, they will give joy and a feeling of freedom,” says Nayla Kai Saroufim, a mixed media artist known best for her vivid, flamboyant canvases that transform colors and forms into bold expressions of her kaleidoscopic lust for life. A graduate of ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts) with a diploma in Advertising and Illustration, Saroufim worked for several years with leading advertising agencies in Art Direction. Her journey into the world of art as a professional career began modestly in 2007, when friends recognized the potential of her talent in the colorful canvases she had created simply to decorate her living

space. “My entourage encouraged me and I started having orders.  My first exhibition was in Faqra, in summer 2007.  I can say that it was the launching of my career,” she confides. Inspired, Saroufim opened her first workshop in 2008. Today, Saroufim counts clients from the US, Europe, and the Middle East on her list of orders, and has participated in numerous exhibitions abroad. She primarily promotes her work via the internet, where her works are featured in an innovative format that displays her customizable paintings in interior spaces to illustrate how they can transform, and quite literally light up, a room. It is here that Saroufim also invites us to enjoy her world, a place she describes to Le Cercle as one that is “very colorful, full of life, full of joy and ambition.” 


W o r d s

b y :

D a n

B r a t m a n

his is the future. In the evolution of the human form, body and soul bear the marks of time. Heavy limbed and huddled together, commiserating, crushed beyond the capacity of their mass. Seeking solace in proximity, intertwined and mutually alienated. Broken bodies, melting, melted, melding into shapes ponderous with the weight of experience. Broken eyes, too many of them, looking for and with love. Yet somehow unbroken. Still alive and so unbroken, still seeking connection. “This is how we turn on the inside.” Alex Nysten does not seek to explain but to show, without judgment. “I don’t really claim to know anything,” she says over a lemonade in a café by her home in Brooklyn. “This is just what I observe.” Alex, composed and smiling does not appear to be someone from whom these images would come. Her paintings are decomposed, reconstructed. Their eyes are timeless, ancient, weathered. They are the eyes of civilisation fallen. Pretense is a luxury they have long since ceased to afford. But if you look closely at the disfigured men and women, they are all in a state of relating, often gently, often with a longing, delicate and tender. This is

what Alex’s large almond eyes see. In the bruised colours, there is something other than hope, for hope suggests the desire for a different future. This is something now and unbreakable. Heat bears down from the buildings and bounces off the sidewalk like a suckerpunch. Men and women in cutoff jeans and tank tops mingle outside a small gallery on the Lower East Side of New York City. Fragments of art house conversation mingle with the humid air. Inside, the heat turns to tactile oppression. To the right of the entrance hangs a canvas surrounded by a half circle of people, ossified and silent. From the canvas, a woman, naked with a small baby perched in the palm of her hand stares back at them. Her eyes, damp with compassion, on the brink of overflowing, are familiar to me. I turn to Alex to see they are hers. In the painting they are blue but they are the same. On a violent and bruised background of splatter and drip is a modern family, a Mad Max Madonna and Child from the future. It is the opening night of Alex Nysten’s gallery show. She is nervous. “Whenever I start a new project I am often anxious. When I start to see the results then I am overtaken by this rush of adrenaline. I can see it starting to take


shape.” As more people file in, the show clearly begins to take shape. She has curated this show by bringing in fellow painters, photographers and multimedia artists. But it is her work that stands out as the most deeply emotional. Alex has shown her work around the world. From New York to Qatar she has shown her photography, illustration and painting. Born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, she has lived in Cannes, France, Beirut and Brooklyn. After a Bachelor’s degree from ALBA University, Beirut, she is currently earning her Master’s from the acclaimed Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. But her art shows a wisdom beyond her years, her vision beyond what her eyes have seen. Alex Nysten believes we are evolving. That the human form will meld with technology. “There is no century I would rather live in. With all the technology available to us, these are exciting times.” Back at the café, the sun has melted the ice in our lemonade. A cat jumps onto the table and then takes turns sitting in our laps. “I find myself in these situations, they might be domestic and suddenly I am in awe of everything. All things become absurd, amazing. Everything.” The cat sits in her lap. A leaf drops onto the table. A siren plays its horn in the distance. “I am not trying to change anything. I am observing. With fascination. These are things I don’t understand. I am trying to represent experience.” She claims to not know, to not understand. But from her canvasses, I don’t believe her.


THE FRUITS OF VINTAGE

DREAMS Words by:

H e l e n

A s s a f


very Thursday afternoon Jean Massoud leaves his office in Beirut and drives to a village perched in the hills above the northern coastal town of Batroun. For the next few days he immerses himself in the surroundings that represent the best part of his week. “In 2005 I got a call saying someone wanted to sell a traditional Lebanese house with a small plot of land attached,” recalls Massoud of how the story began. “Initially I was planning to sell it on three months later but then my wife said why don’t you start making your own wine?” For the life-long connoisseur of viticulture, the suggestion soon turned into a reality. Spurred on by a visiting wine

producer and expert from Bordeaux who believed in the potential of a “small is beautiful” approach, Massoud lost no time in putting the plan into action. Soil analysis determined the selection of grape varieties to be planted – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and a small quantity of Petit Verdot – and within months they were in the ground as Massoud subsequently set to work building his winery. Since then he has acquired three other small plots in surrounding areas, bringing the total area to not more than 50,000m2. In Massoud’s opinion this ranks it as the smallest winery in the country to date. “I am sacrificing quantity for quality,” he says. “My aim is to produce an excellent quality wine.” This ambition has

led to bringing in top of the line machinery as well as equipment and accessories such as new French oak casks to age the wine and bottles produced by Saint-Gobain. While these are all integral to the superior product that Massoud is aiming for, he believes that it is “out in the field” that makes all the difference. This is where techniques are introduced that nurture the grapes to their fullest potential, such as the way they are trained and pruned. Even at harvesting, time-consuming procedures are in place, such as hand selection, to ensure a better quality result. “Very few companies do this in Lebanon,” Massoud notes. He is quick to point out though that his aim is not driven by making profits but deriving a


personal satisfaction. “It’s not business oriented but it’s a passion and when you’re passionate you try to do something you like yourself and then share it with people around you,” he explains. “I am going to share the first bottles with my family and friends, for sure.” Only 12-15,000 bottles will be produced, with these destined for five to six selected retail outlets and a number of restaurants. Despite the limited quantity, the wine will also have an international reach with distributors lined up in Brazil and the United States. The first vintage of 2009 is currently in oak casks undergoing the aging process. Six to eight months down the line the tasting and blending will begin at which

point the wine will be returned to the casks. The result will reach the general public in May or June next year. “My idea of making wine is my retirement; I want to retire there and produce wine,” says Massoud of his home above Batroun. It is only fitting that when deciding on the branding for this new exclusive addition to Lebanon’s wine market that inspiration came from the very house that sparked the dream. Atibia is the name that hangs above the doorway and also the one that will soon grace the bottles of wine, too. And not only is it the place where Massoud began turning his passion into reality but where some of Lebanon’s finest wine is destined to be produced.


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Shopping 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Architecture 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Living 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Product design 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Fashion 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Art & Culture 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 In Beirut 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124

Message in a bottle Le Cercle uncorks some of Beirut’s finest wine outlets Words by:

Maya Khourchid


I

naugurated in July 2002 Vintage Wine Cellar provides Beirut with an astounding selection of more than 600 wines, sourced from all around the world. The offerings range from local Lebanese to the most prestigious and rare international brands. The Saifi Village boutique also offers a growing selection of fine single Malt and blended whiskies, rare and vintage Cognacs, and a growing sample of White Spirits including Stolichnaya Vodka. “Our experience allows us to select the crème de la crème, small quantities of fine wines, as well as internationally known winemakers and domains, at all price and taste levels… we love to have customers discover new wines and tastes at all budgets,” says Wadih Riachi, manager.

Open from 10am to 9pm daily, except Sunday, the upscale wine and spirit cellar also gives weekly wine courses, held every Wednesday from 7pm to 9.30pm, in English or French. Here patrons learn the history and geography of wine countries, as well as winemaking and tasting techniques. Private wine courses are also available and can be tailored to a theme of choice, as are private dinners hosted at the Vintage Wine Cellar. For the seasonal selections of wines, deals on spirits and detailed wine course schedules, sign up for the monthly newsletter at the boutique. Tel: 01 970 222


T

his self-professed ‘house of wine’ is just that. Located in the Downtown area, it is a place to peruse and purchase. There is an appealing selection of local wines and more than a modest range of imports; the varieties stocked at Enoteca hail from South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Chili, Spain, the United States, France, Italy and Portugal. For the more discriminating customers eager to pair their dinner with the perfect wine, this option is available as well - but it extends far beyond the simple “white for fish, red for meat” rule of thumb. The wines are instead

sub-divided by the type of food with which they are best matched, down to the exact type of meat and the manner it is cooked. Looking for wine to match your shrimp, lobster or otherwise crustacean appetizer? There’s the 2001 Les Blanchots Chablis and the 2004 Clos Floridene among the four recommendations on Enoteca’s list. If you are serving grilled fish the Clos Floridene will still do, but go for the Reserve de L’Obedience Chablis instead - and if your fish is cooked in sauce, there is another list entirely to look at. Tel: 01 898 597


I

n 1976 Joel Robuchon was honored as the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, the best craftsman in France. In 1987 he was named the country’s chef of the year and then in 1990, it’s chef of the century. This year, now with 26 prestigious Michelin stars under his name, his fame expanded to this side of the world with the opening of La Cave de Joel Robuchon, alternatively known as The Wine Library. Located in the newly unveiled Beirut Souks in the Downtown Central District, it is an ideal place to savor some of the finest and most highly recommended

international wines, open daily from 10am until 10 pm. For those intrigued, but not so up to date on the world of wine, there is a sommelier present to guide you as well as regular tasting sessions. Tel: 01 970 222


T

here are three particular highlights to an evening spent at Burgundy in the upper crust but artsy Saifi Village. First there is the eclectic décor courtesy of Beirut design firm PSLAB. To this end, the ceiling is arched with wooden beams with a unique lighting system suspended from the arches. The second point of interest is the cuisine - which is the labor of love of two Michelin star chefs, no less. Although originally from Vancouver, Brody White built his name in the Parisian gastronomic scene with a residency at famed L’Atelier

de Joël Robuchon. Jason Whitfield, also a Canadian, is an alumnus of Market by Jean-Georges in Vancouver. Last but certainly not least is the magnificent selection of the locale’s namesake; Burgundy wine. Indeed, the wine bar-cum-restaurant was conceived as a temple to this type of wine and there is perhaps no better place in Beirut to sample a fine glass of it. Tel: 01 999 820

B

ehind specialty grocer Aziz is a historical ragsto-riches story. First opened in 1955, founder Aziz Abi Aad lost everything at the beginning of the civil war. He then started over and reopened in Zalka in 1976 where the branch remains until today. With the success of this outlet, a second location was opened in 2001 in Kantari - just a hundred meters away from the original shop that was once forced to close. Aziz is renowned for the variety of exclusive food, wines and spirits on display. Wines are a specialty here and Aziz offers

a range of French provenance, as well as a selection sourced from across Spain, Italy, Chile and Argentina. Private events are occasionally thrown to celebrate and introduce new brands of wine and champagne, the latest of which was in honor of the Billecart-Salmon brand of champagne. The Kantari branch is open from 7.30am until 9pm every day except Sunday when it is open 8am until 1pm. The Sunday timings go for the Zalka branch as well, which is open from 7am until 8.45pm every other day. Tel: 01 970 222


www.porsche.com/porsche-dna

Porsche Centre Lebanon s.a.l. Telephone 01 975 911, 03 901 911 www.porschebeirut.com


Le Cercle # 5