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The world's most beautiful gardens Special section curated by Mathaf director Abdellah Karroum - 4 2 pages on Stylish Weddings LBP 10.000 / KWD 2.5 / AED 37

the JOD 7 / USD 10 / DHB 4 / QAR 37

Glorious Haute Couture Cloud art by Berndnaut Smilde What to see at Design Days Dubai Reading poetry with Hemmerle

Romantic issue

ayyam gallery|al quoz

Samia Halaby

Five Decades of Painting and Innovation Curated by Maymanah Farhat 19 February - 30 April 2014

E di tor's Let t er

Editor’s Letter The turn of Spring always brings a new romance – a romance with life, as the world wakes up again in an explosion of colour and beauty. In this March/ April issue we look to all things fanciful, drawing on this season’s mood in fashion – a modern take on a very pretty fairytale. Tapping into this feminine blossoming we have a 24-page Weddings Special all about the stylish side of getting married, plus we take a light-hearted look at wedding traditions from around the world. Staying in the emotional realm,


we share some of the touching words from a new book of poetry by Bavarian jeweller Hemmerle, and look at why Berndnaut Smilde’s elusive Nimbus photographs continue to capture so many hearts around the world. Our wonderful fashion and luxury expert Avril Groom reports back from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, in Geneva, and from the Paris Haute Couture shows, which have been especially illustrated for Selections by Swedish illustrator Amelie Hegardt in her elegant style. Timed perfectly for when the new collections arrive in store, our London trend forecaster presents all the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear trends for Spring/Summer, and we merge fashion with design in our interview with Serge Bensimon – he of tennis shoe fame! – after I had the pleasure of spending the day with him in Paris earlier this year. Fashion and interior decoration come together later on, as the cult Finnish design studio Marimekko guides us around its hometown Helsinki. My warmest thanks go to Abdellah Karroum, director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, for putting together his personal sequence of art works for our Curated By pages. It is a great pleasure to be able to collaborate with such a visionary curator, at an esteemed institution, to look at modern and contemporary Arab art through his individual lens. For even more art, Selections supplement the Art Paper opens with a review of Mona Hatoum: Turbulence, one of Mathaf ’s most engaging exhibitions to date. Speaking with the Beirut-born, Palestinian-British artist at the opening event gave a one-off insight into how this important creative voice from the Middle East thinks and works. I invite you to look further into the paper for more at this exciting time of year, when many diverse creative voices come together in our region.

C ont e nts

fa s h i o n

34 s h a p e s h i f t i ng i n pa r i s














luxury lifestyle























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COVER IMAGE: Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2014 illustrated by Amelie Hegardt for Selections

COVER IMAGE: Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2014 illustrated by Amelie Hegardt for Selections


Publisher City News Privilege Editor in Chief Rima Nasser +961 3 852 899 Editor Kasia Maciejowska Publisher City News Privilege Managing Editor Helen Assaf Editor in Chief Pictures Editor Rima Nasser Rowina Bou899 Harb +961 3 852 Advertising & PR +961 3 852 899 Editor Kasia Maciejowska Distribution Managing Editor Messagerie Helen Assaf du Moyen Orient de la Presse et du Livre s.a.l. +961 487 999 Pictures Editor Distribution Qatar Rowina Bou Harb Messagerie de Moyen Orient Advertising & PR +961 3 852 899 Distribution UAE GLS International Media Placement Distribution Messagerie du Moyen Orient de la Presse et du Livre s.a.l. +961 487 999 Contributors Avril Groom, Rich Thornton, Lucy Knight, India Stoughton, Thomas Rees, Owen Adams, Patrick Simeon, Alberto Mucci, Alia Fawaz, Anya Stafford, Eliana Maakaroun, Rowan Clare, Nour Harb In-house Illustrator Yasmina Nysten Guest illustrator Amelie Hegardt Art Director Peter Korneev Printing Chamas for Printing & Publishing s.a.l. With special thanks to Abdellah Karroum











six of the best formal gardens


Hand Picked

art & design











Curated by abdellah karroum



Photo Michel Gibert. Photograph used for reference only. Special thanks: TASCHEN,

European manufacture

Blogger modular sofa, design Roberto Tapinassi & Maurizio Manzoni Diagonal bookshelf, design Luigi Gorgoni. Cuba Libre coffe tables, design Daniel Rode. BEIRUT DOWNTOWN 33 rue Weygand Tel: +961 1 986 888/999

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luxury lifestyle


{ China Loves Lux } { Cristal Beirut } China is a multifaceted super power making strides in every industry and according to a recently published study from ContactLab, a digital marketing company based in London, the luxury market is no exception. Data shows that four out of five of those surveyed in Shanghai have purchased at least one luxury item in the last 12 months, and will do again within the next six months. What is even more striking about the ContactLab results is that in the next six months the Shanghai luxury-lovers will outdo their New York counterparts by spending on average 66% more.


This year the cold Lebanese mountains hosted the 9th MENA Cristal Festival in February. The event brought together the region’s brightest minds of the advertisement world and tested their ideas in front of a stellar jury made up of McCann’s chief executive creative officer Pierre Odendaal and Martin Spillmann of Leo Burnett Zurich.The prize for company of the year went to Starcom MediaVest Group that scooped up a total of nine honours including Best Use of Branded Content and transport and tourism. A very pleased chief executive officer John Antoniades said: “We look forward to taking our clients and their brands even further in the future.”

{ Ski North Korea } { Lagerfeld for Dupont } North Korea is probably the last country that comes to mind when thinking about a skiing holiday. Yet it is now possible. A new resort in the town of Masik, in Kangwon province, has recently opened its doors to the public. With the help of, a US based travel firm that specialises in trips to the DPRK, you can now enjoy the thirteen ski slopes, two of them for beginners. Prior to the resort’s opening the DPRK had only one ski slope. For enthusiasts things are looking up and if you decide to take the chance and head to North Korea you might be even lucky enough to bump into Dennis Rodman, who recently garnered media attention for his visits to the country.

Haute pens require an haute designer. The purveyors of classic pens and cufflinks since 1872, the French brand S.T. Dupont has teamed up, for a second time, with prolific designer Karl Lagerfeld to produce a collection of suitably elegant pens. A pioneer in all things cutting edge, Lagerfeld’s White & Matte-Black Collection draws inspiration from the digital. It is for this reason that the pens are in optic white and are covered in a black lacquer finish – these days we may use our fingertips to do most of our writing but this Lagerfeld and Dupont’s collaboration proves the pen is most definitely not dead.


{ Raymond Weil Dies }

{ New Orient Express }

{ 1001 Nights in a Rolls }

{ Shangri-La in the Shard }

When, in January, Raymond Weil passed away at the age of 87, the luxury watch industry lost an icon. Weil founded the eponymous watch brand in 1976 and despite the inflow of quartz watches manufactured in Asia, it wasn’t long until his venture turned into a success and his work was internationally recognized. Among the first to see the watch as a luxury accessory, he is also famously noted as being the man who brought the showpiece watch within reach of those with more style than fortune.

Immortalised by the Agatha Christie novel Murder on the Orient Express the legendary train that ran from Paris to Istanbul bid a sad farewell to travellers back in 2009 but is now set to make a come back. France’s SNCF rail group, which has owned the brand name since 1977, has pledged that the iconic railway journey will be up and running again within the next five years. To achieve this goal SNCF teamed up with luxury trunk maker Moynat (part of the LVMH group) to create a number of products carrying the Orient Express name. High-end travel on the tracks is finally back.

The Middle East loves cars and for many in the region the bigger the better. In an attempt to answer demands from this part of the world Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has decided to launch an Arabian Nights-inspired limited edition named 1001 Nights Collection. Over the years the region has become an important market for the British car manufacturer and it should therefore come as no surprise that Rolls-Royce’s new model draws on the cultural symbols of the Arab world. If given the possibility, perhaps Scheherazade, the legendary queen of One Thousand and One Nights, would have chosen one of these luxury vehicles over the magic carpet.

Imagine being able to lie in a bathtub while over looking Big Ben. It would be a luxurious treat indeed – as would sipping a drink in the dead of night while overlooking an unmatched view of London from what is now the tallest building in Western Europe. This May, as the new Shangri-La hotel in London’s Shard opens, such scenes can come to life. The new hotel will occupy floors 34 to 53 of the 72-storey scraper. Guests will be escorted to the hotel via a high-speed elevator and will reach rooms filled with Acqua di Parma products, heated floors and floor to ceiling windows. From July the 52nd floor will host the GŎNG bar, soon to be London’s tallest watering hole.

lu xu ry l ifest yl e  POETRY WITH H E M M E RL E

Pomegranate brooch


diamonds, rubellites, gold, silver, copper


n the blossoming, misty carpet of meadow, my colourful, starry one, I will recognise your beauty”; “In the winter we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage with blue cushions”; “If they were seen from Paradise no one would have been more beautiful”; “Sight to the blind I can restore by you, heal every wound, and every loss renew” – these heady lines, not often read together, can be found side by side in the unusual context of an artistic book about fine jewellery this Spring. Drawn respectively from poetry by the German Wolfgang von Goethe, the Frenchman Arthur Rimbaud, the Persian Fakhr Al-Din Asad Gorgani, and the Italian Michelangelo Buonarotti, these words in their fuller versions will

Words: Kasia Maciejowska

Art publisher MACK and jewellery house Hemmerle collaborate to compose a book of poetry - as much of a pleasure to hold as it is to read


lu xu ry l ifest yl e  POETRY WITH H E M M E RL E

Hazel Nut brooch, Diamonds, Gold, Copper

accompany either a brooch, a necklace, or an earring for the one-off publication, which is being produced by Hemmerle in collaboration with the excellent independent art book publisher MACK. The German jewellery house is releasing the book to accompany its new collection Nature’s Jewels. The publication pairs romantic poems in eight different languages from around the world with a sequence of madeto-order jewellery pieces, each of which takes its shape from the branches of a different fruit tree. Christian Hemmerle and his Egyptian wife Yasmin are responsible for the brand’s creative direction under the directorship of Christian’s parents Stefan and Sylveli. The younger generation has worked with the upand-coming British poet Greta Bellamacina to source the poetry. As Christian explains, “As a poet herself, Greta’s expertise meant we could include some of the best poetry from all over the world. We chose the selection together, not only for the emotions they convey, but also for their individual qualities and whimsical styles.


Our own philosophy resonates with poetry - originality, beauty, boldness, creativity, and technical understanding go in to making both.” That the Hemmerle atelier continues to exist represents a dedication to the painstaking and committed craftsmanship which goes against the fly-by-night pace of contemporary digital culture. The company has remained in the same family for four generations since its foundation in 1893 to make medals for the Bavarian court. The boutique, on Maximillianstrasse in Munich, has remained in the same location since it opened in 1904. Some among the jewellery objects being shown in this new book took around 500 hours to make. The book itself has been composed with considerable vision, as papers of varying weight and translucency allow sketches of each plant

lu xu ry l ifest yl e  POETRY WITH H E M M E RL E


Eucalyptus brooch Diamonds, gold, bronze, brass

to overlay the poems, which have been hand-written by calligraphers for the publication. Combined with the texture of the cover, this makes it very much an object of desire in its own right. The poems are printed in their original languages with English translations included at the back. They date from between the 11th century and the present day, and include different poetic forms ranging from a Japanese Haiku by Basho to a German sonnet by Rilke. In contemporary jewellery design the emphasis falls all-too-often on high-impact pieces full of bling, and as a result the delicate and the unusual are forced into the shadows of the jewellery world today. Against this context, Hemmerle’s pieces are a welcome counterpoint as they set fantastic stones – magical sounding things like orange-pink sapphires and green diamonds - in muted materials such as copper or rare woods. While understated in a certain way, these materials mean that pieces made by Hemmerle actually stand out more than would the most sparkling stone housed in the brashest setting. It is a pleasant surprise to see such intricate carving and muted colours, which are perfectly suited to the naturalistic new collection. From Christian’s point of view, “We are inspired by what we see around us in culture, history, art, architecture and the natural world. We are innovators who are prepared to take risks that keep us at the vanguard.”

Hemmerle launches the Nature’s Jewels collection at TEFAF in Maastricht from 14th-23rd March 2014


lu xu ry l ifest yl e  SIHH R E VIE W


Watchmakers turned to the skies for inspiration as the latest crop of timepieces launched at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie this year looked to their astronomical source

words:: Avril Groom


s a showcase for some of the world's most luxurious watch brands, the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) fair in Geneva routinely produces inventions whose ingenuity and beauty are truly remarkable. The most intricate are so time-consuming and expensive to make that only a handful ever enter the market but the new ideas that come from them can inspire the wider industry for years to come. This year is no exception - right now the watch world has two obsessions - the night sky and astronomical functions, and the most exquisite dial craft. Here are some of the most imaginative and impressive new models on show:


Fabuleux Ornements by Vacheron Constantin With four of the of the most beautiful métiers d'art watches ever, each of these has a super-delicate openwork movement surrounded by a design of high craft and gemwork, each representing a different culture: French lacework in engraved gold and precious stones on a guilloché dial with translucent enamel, Ottoman latticework in a complex gold grid with tiny pearls, Indian manuscripts with multi-coloured enamelled and engraved flowers, and Chinese embroidery with engraved precious stone flowers and cloisonné work.


lu xu ry l ifest yl e  SIHH R E VIE W

Ballon Blanc by Cartier If the Ballon Bleu has been a huge hit for the brand, its new little white sister looks set to equal it. The sapphire crown is replaced with a faceted diamond (purely ornamental - the crown is recessed in the back) and the softly-flexible bracelet consists of round links - some models shimmer with a diamond cupped in each one. Even though it isn’t particularly revolutionary and some models are quartz it is still particularly lovely. The best ideas are often the simplest and this is the perfect modern evening watch.

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna by A. Lange und SĂśhne The front is a typically sober looking, functional disk with clear, finely executed details - but the reverse is a riot. It features a patented orbital moonphase display showing the position of the moon, as well as its phases, in the northern hemisphere in relation to a beautifully designed earth and a gold sun represented by part of the open movement.


Altiplano 38 mm 900P by Piaget Piaget breaks yet another record for slimness with a revolutionary design in which the baseplate is also the caseback and the ex-centric dial is recessed at the same level, so the whole thing is only 3.65 mm thick. Not just a technical masterpiece but beautiful too - the openwork movement and dial are an elegant and harmonious, unisex design and the diamond-trim version could make grown women weep. Furthermore, by the standards of these things, it's not overpriced considering the workmanship involved.

Midnight Planetarium by Van Cleef and Arpels More than just an accurate orrery (a model of the solar system) on your wrist but poetically made of precious stones as befits a jewellery brand watch. Six concentric discs of dark, sparkly aventurine each bear a different coloured stone planet that, courtesy of an innovative movement, rotates in real time around a golden sun - the outer one, Saturn, takes 29 years. You can set the date, month and year and it even tells the time by a golden comet on a 24-hour dial.


Words: Alberto Mucci

lux u ry l ifest yl e  FR E DE RIC M A RCIL HAC

Art historian Félix Marcilhac amassed an incredible collection of Art Nouveau works throughout his life - until now, when he decided it was time to redistribute them through the expert hands of Sotheby’s and Artcurial


t feels near-impossible to define Félix Marcilhac in only a few words. The 74-year-old Parisian is at the same time a collector, an art-historian, the founder of the René Lalique museum, a journalist, a professor and one of the greatest experts in Art Nouveau in recent decades. This long list of achievements is made even more impressive by the fact that the above titles come coupled with a smile that has been described by his close friends as being, “Larger than life”. When Sotheby’s, in collaboration with Artcurial, announced that the auction of Marcilhac’s private collection


below: Glass bottles

opposite page:Snake stand

from circa 1928 by

By Edouard Marcel SANDOZ

Maurice Marinot

“Some of the pieces from Marcilhac’s collection have not been seen by the public for years”


lu xu ry l ifest yl e  FR EDERIC M A RCIL HAC

“Never miss the chance to buy an object you like. You will be able to find the money later, but not the object”

Nautile chair by Paul Iribe


Paon by Josef Csaky

would take place on the 11th and 12th of March this year, the art world became abuzz. Cécile Verdier, Sotheby’s director for Europe, recently explained how, “Some of the pieces from Marcilhac’s collection have not been seen by the public for years.” Félix Marcilhac is reputed to be very charming yet quiet and private. Beyond his most intimate circle, very few have ever been allowed to enter his house to admire his exemplary collection. The story goes that Marcilhac’s devouring passion for works in the Art Nouveau style developed after his friend Jeanne Lanvin, the late fashion designer and admired founder of Maison Lanvin,

donated Gustave Miklos’s Femme to him in a moment of generosity. The statue’s beauty, with its elegant lines and absence of excess must have struck a deep chord with the soon-to-be-collector as from that moment Marcilhac was reportedly hooked, and begun his perpetual search for similar art that he admired. “Never miss the chance to buy an object you like. You will be able to find the money later, but not the object” – this cherished saying of his informed Marcilhac’s voracious collecting. Continuing to create a personal array of works that was in keeping with his vision throughout many decades, he was

able to accumulate a remarkable number of rare artworks and design objets, ranging from Paul Iribe’s classic Leopard Chair to Ossip Zadkine’s Gold Figure, which sit alongside Jean Dunand’s cabinet featuring colourful motifs themed on a sand dune, Maurice Marinot’s intricate and elegant glass bottles, and the quasi-mythological sculptures of Jospeh Csaky Paon. When asked in a recent interview if he was unhappy about selling his collection Marcilhac responded that, to the contrary, he had decided long ago that the art he would accumulate would one day be returned to the general public, to whom he feels it belongs.




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The classic French fashion house Hermès has just launched a capsule collection of scarves, all playing with the colour indigo. The very limited collection is made up of only four scarves, either in cashmere or silk, and combines printing and embroidery work to reinterpret some of the typical symbols seen on Hermès scarves in the past – such as bridles, feathers, spurs and plants. The capsule collection pays tribute to the printing skill of the brand’s in-house artisans in Lyon, France, and to the natural indigo fabric dyeing methods from Northern Bangladesh and Southern India. Shoppers from the Middle East can find the collection online at as the pieces will primarily be stocked only in Paris.

The Qatari-owned London department store Harrods has partnered with British Airways to present designer looks to passengers at 30,000 feet. The first ever such high-altitude catwalk took place on 6th February on BA’s new A380 route from London to Johannesburg, South Africa. New-season looks were shown by British designers Stella McCartney, Jenny Packham, Ralph & Russo and Victoria Beckham. Each sky-high show from now on will be curated differently by the department store to show a different mix of designers every time. Rather disappointingly, however, these high-style events will only happen on this same specific route, and only on press-flights. Regular passengers will have to start staging their own.

Following his departure from Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs is focusing all his attention on his own-name fashion house. The diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs has been rebranded and designed by his close friends and life-long collaborators Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley, who debuted their first collection for AW14/15 with great success. The style of this new line will be built around how women like to dress in real life, mixing classic pieces with casual wear and maybe adding some grunge details – the signature of Bartley’s own relaxed British look and the style that built up Jacobs’ reputation. Hillier will no doubt inject her playful genius into the accessories, for which she is widely acclaimed in the fashion world. Jacobs himself will focus on the main Marc Jacobs line, saying he will “Re-think everything” – but especially bags and shoes. At New York Fashion Week, in February, his brand opened a pop-up store for its Daisy perfume, at which shoppers could pay not in dollars, but in tweets. No doubt we will see more of such engagement with his fans as Marc Jacobs enters this new phase.





For Spring Summer the very cool eyewear designer Karen Walker has partnered with one of the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiatives in East Africa which supports the work of artisan community groups in urban Kenya. The designer, who hails from New Zealand, is employing some of these creative groups to craft the handmade cases that come with her trend-setting shades. The advertising campaign for the collection, entitled Visible, portrays the people who make these cases wearing the Karen Walker glasses, which come in zany shapes from oversized squares to wide and round, in different colours. Speaking about the collection, the designer said, “We’re delighted that this season’s eyewear will be making a real and meaningful impact. We hope that the campaign images will help to bring visibility to this place, these people and the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.” Simone Cipriani from the initiative itself, added, “Karen is a visionary and she clearly understood who we are at EFI and the potential of working in Africa with us. We like everything about this project — which brings forward the positivity, dynamism and beauty of Africa.”

The Dubai store Level Shoe District welcomes a handful of new labels for Spring Summer that we’re keen on here at Selections. Top of the list for us comes Mary Katrantzou, whose ready-to-wear collection this season was insanely pretty – full of frills and flounces, crazy prints and dazzling colours, all crammed onto cute mini dresses. The designer is known for her bold prints and has just launched her own online store for international shopping. A woman on the rise, we highly recommend picking up some shoes from this inspired designer. A close second from Level Shoe District’s new label list is Chloé. Everything released by this feminine design house is on our wish list as the brand always creates pieces that are wearable and simple yet epitomise Parisian romance. We’re also excited about the addition of Vionnet, the historic house being revamped under Hussein Chalayan this season. Men can look out for Giuseppe Zanotti and Loake – just two of the new brands in the menswear department this season.

Shares in Michael Kors’ eponymous brand rose 17% last month, giving him the official status of a billionaire. Kors’ wealth has exploded since the initial public sale of his company in December 2011. Kors has built his empire on the sort of sleek American look that has come to epitomise the universal style of the international jet set. His collections feature lean cuts in white and beige that merge an upmarket sportswear look with preppy styles and classic fits. Based in New York, the designer now heads an extensive fashion empire that includes lines of watches, handbags, womenswear, menswear and shoes. His style is appreciated for its wearability rather than its high design. In 2013, Kors was selected for Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has also been acknowledged for his extensive charity work for organisations that help people with HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Chanel will launch its next Cruise collection with a catwalk show in Dubai. The presentation for Cruise 2014/2015, also known as Resort, will take place on 13th May 2014 as the French fashion house’s latest international presentation comes to the Middle East. Since 2000, Chanel’s Cruise collections have been travelling around the world – from Paris to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Venice, Saint Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Versailles and Singapore. Sharing his reasons for choosing Dubai, Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld explained, “As a futuristic megalopolis of the 21st century, the ever-developing Emirate of Dubai is a crossroads of civilisations between Europe and Asia.” Mr Lagerfeld himself will host the catwalk presentation, to which Emirati fashionistas – and indeed dedicated fans from across the region – will undoubtedly flock en masse.

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Words: Avril Groom Illustrations: Amelie Hegardt

Light, airy, fresh and very pretty, Parisian Haute Couture is lean and modern for Spring Summer 2014 as the venerated high-craft reinvents itself anew, with Marco Zanini at Schiaparelli, Hussein Chalayan at Vionnet, and of course Raf Simons at Dior, leading the charge


aute couture may be an old-fashioned and rarefied concept but it still has the power to make fashion news. In a world craving the unique and the handmade, and with growing wealth to pay for them, the idea of an outfit proposed by a famous designer and then made to the client’s personal requirements is irresistible, and the global clientele is increasing. Wherever these new clients come from, many of them are young, with modern attitudes, and they want modern clothes. So haute couture is transforming itself for a new era.


For this spring, two new names join the distinguished roster of couture designers - one at a revived historic house - and other venerable names have a new lightness of touch. Couture today is all about the work - shapes are simpler and more wearable than they were in the past because clients often like to order what they see on the catwalk rather than needing to alter it, but this gives great scope for handworked embellishment like beading, embroidery and lace. The trick is to use such traditional crafts in a modern way and for this summer the results really do seem as light as air.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2014 illustrated by Amelie Hegardt for Selections









Raf Simons has brilliantly modernised Dior’s traditional codes over the past two years with his own minimalist viewpoint, and this season is no exception. Shapes vary from the simple A-lines, voluminous coats and jumpsuits that he loves, to the full skirts and corseted outlines of original Christian Dior, all graphic and clear, much of it monochrome and most with astonishing decoration of laser-cut organza, little halfcircles fluttering open over a layer of dense beading, or bouncing lightly like a Chinese paper lantern, or floating in millefeuille horizontal pleats.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2014 illustrated by Amelie Hegardt for Selections



Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2014 illustrated by Amelie Hegardt for Selections





Vionnet Vionnet


Vionnet Vionnet





Modern airiness is the main element that younger designers are bringing to couture now. Marco Zanini, late of Rochas, had a tough brief at Schiaparelli with the first collection for a house moribund since the 1950s, yet he exceeded expectations, with a nod to Elsa’s 1930s heyday in fitted and draped shapes and amazing craftwork including pieces with far more decoration on the inside - or the superlight and airy shapes that he plainly loves. Prints reminiscent of Elsa’s drawings, outsize hats and jewels recall her well-known association with surrealism. British designer Hussein Chalayan’s debut at Vionnet revealed his interest in a different sort of conceptualism - with dresses based on paper patterns (a theme he has used in his own collections) alongside simple designs derived from the geometric shapes that Vionnet always used, enlivened with delicate pleats and made in the best couture fabrics.



Alexis Mabille Armani

Elie Saab Versace


Elie Saab

Alexis Mabille


Elie Saab


Couture-light was pioneered by the young design duo who took over at Valentino, and they take a new direction, inspired by music (gossamer ballet tutu skirts, opera scores beaded on organza) and something more tribal, with naïve art versions of jungle animals hand appliquéd on to monastic-looking raw silk or cashmere coats and capes. It is also a forté of young Parisian Alexis Mabille, who works cut lace edgings on to finely draped silk like Greek goddess gear, or cuts a sinuous, flattering gown in palest shades embroidered with fragile leaves and buds. The long-established are embracing it too. Chanel’s chiffon-ruffled trainers made headlines but are only part of a youthful, practical approach with loose, easy crop tops over short A-line or full skirts, even if the cinched waist between them is sculpted by a corset. Fabrics here are the lightest ever tweeds, organza, even feathers. Versace’s hooded, 1980s-draped dresses prowl with metallic beading and swags of tiny silver chain, or dramatic tattoo beading on nude tulle, yet are supremely light and fluid, as are Elie Saab’s ever more accomplished lace fantasies in indefinably subtle shades. Armani Privé layers complex looking yet airy, metallic lace over woven silk in geometrics and Paisleys inspired by men’s ties for a shimmering, deep blue-based look hailing from somewhere between north Africa and Central Asia. Couture has rarely looked more appealing to its new young customer.



Elie Saab


Alexis Mabille



Elie Saab


Elie Saab









Serge Bensimon

Words: Alberto Mucci

Serge Bensimon launched his brand’s signature plimsoles by painting them himself with his brother in the Eighties. He went on to become a well-known figure in the Parisian creative retail scene with his concept store, design gallery, and now his own cult art bookshop


ittle did Serge Bensimon know that what had originally started out as simply up-cycling old army clothes would soon became a world-famous fashion label. Yet this is how it went for the Parisian who built a small empire of style and culture up from his father’s business in military wear. During the Forties and Fifties, M. Bensimon senior made a living importing and exporting garments that had lost much of their value and use after World War II. Serge and his brother Yves used to help out with the family business, and one day, during one of their business trips, they came across a huge stock of white shoes that would soon change their life. Without hesitation, the brothers bought the lot with a plan to paint



Above: Gallery Bensimon, Paris

them and re-sell them at a higher price. Needless to say, the shoes were a hit and in no time Serge and Yves opened their first venture, Surplus Bensimon. These same shoes can still be considered Serge Bensimon’s greatest success. The world-famous Bensimon Tennis shoe, with its simple, monochromatic and clean design, can be seen on the streets of most capital cities today and is frequently spotted on the chic and the famous. When asked about the secret behind his success, Bensimon smiles and answers that their ongoing appeal lies in, “The practical and casual design of the shoe.”


This widespread but straightforward success wasn’t enough for Serge’s restless mind, as his creative side sought new horizons to explore and new ideas to bring to life. In 1989 he opened Autour du Monde in the Marais neighbourhood of Paris, the city’s first concept-store. Twenty years later, in 2009, he founded his eponymous gallery in the same neighbourhood. Galerie Bensimon embodies Serge’s spirit of constant experimentation as inside the space the selected artists are given the freedom to experiment and create new compositions. The shop merges design works, textiles, ceramics, interior details and art pieces.

The result, as the owner describes it, is, “An expressive space that sits somewhere between contemporary art and design”. Most recently, Serge added the title of cultural philanthropist to his already impressive list of achievements when he rescued Artazart, a historic Paris bookshop known for its vast collection of literature on design and the visual arts. When discussing how he stays on top of his numerous diverse projects, the fashion entrepreneur, gallerist and bookstore owner demonstrates his natural charm and humility by saying, “I am lucky enough to have a team who understands exactly what I want. It makes everything easier”.

fas h io n  WOMENSW EAR TR EN DS

FRESHEN UP The ready-to-wear catwalks were full of feminine flair, reports London-based trend forecaster Thomas Rees as he talks us through each look


Bold Citrus

Paul Smith


When Lena Dunham, the woman of the moment thanks to her starring role as lead actor and writer of hit TV show Girls, wore yellow to the recent Golden Globes Awards, she unwittingly set the trend for S/S ‘14. Uplifting, clean and positive, yellow offers the opportunity to stand out this season without appearing too zany or rebellious. The best silhouettes in this hue are feminine without being fussy.

Ralph Lauren




fas h io n  WOMENSW EAR TR EN DS


Ralph Lauren



Lacy Lady

Ralph Lauren



Whether vampy or virginal, gothic or romantic, for S/S 2014 lace works for every mood. Ralph Lauren and Chanel uses many different laces in a conservative and wholesome manner, while Dolce&Gabbana, true to its Mediterranean roots, chooses full-length black lace gowns embellished with heavy golden medallions.

Wimbledon Woman

This look invokes the British summertime and its world-famous tennis championship, Wimbledon. Wearing these looks will transport you to a buzzy season spent courtside with strawberries in one hand and cream in the other. It’s all about simple sports references and soft drapes in luxurious satins. Necklines are round and arms are sleeveless while cute, neat pleats mimic the games skirt from boarding school days. Wear these looks with a visor and platform sandals if you want to win the game.





Sportmax Ferragamo



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Paul Smith



Christian Dior

Hyper Floral



Uber-femininity is the buzzword for S/S ‘14 and perhaps it comes as little surprise that floral print trends are in. 3-D blossoms on lace shift dresses and large digital flowers on acid backgrounds of baby blue and turquoise provide full-on glamour. The secret to this trend is that contrary to the regular rules of dressing in ‘good taste’, more is certainly more. Think loud and proud while wearing this trend.

Ralph Lauren


fas h io n  WOMENSW EAR TR EN DS


Candy Sweetheart

After huge popularity during A/W, pastel tones are hanging around with designers upping their game by introducing a few extra shades. Styles are super-sweet with cucumber green and peach jumping on the fashion band-wagon, and fabrics shimmer with girlie looks. Bare legs are shown off by short cuts and collarbones flattered by off-the-shoulder cocktail dresses.


Christian Dior




Christian Dior


fas h io n  MENSW EAR TR ENDS

CUT A DASH London-based trend forecaster Thomas Rees unpicks the top four trends for men from this year’s Spring catwalks



Solid Print Sibling



Head-to-toe prints and embroidery are a brave look for men this upcoming season. Show your softer side with suits covered in handdecorated, romantic floral scenes. Push the statement even further by adding seemingly robotic digital images to the floral ensemble. And if not even that is enough, try the artistic approach: vibrant pink cartoonish strokes or elegant pale-blue and green lines and lastly, for the most daring, splashes of vibrant black or abstract colour.

High-Tech Burberry


This look stands as a demonstration that the devil really is in the details. Garments are crafted in minute detail from technical and performance materials of weatherproof quality. The techie feel continues through the taped zips and the large pocket flaps embellished by press-studs. Jackets boast inbuilt hoods coupled with drawstrings and Velcro to protect against the risk of summer showers. Mirrored glasses and backpacks complete a trend that can be defined as perfect for being perpetually on-the-go.



Kris Van Assche



fas h io n  MENSW EAR TR ENDS

The Minimalist Effortless and quietly confident, lean, clean styles guarantee a cool sartorial summer. Relaxed looks gently reference sportswear while monochrome tops and trousers are paired with icytoned leathers and soft plaster pink.

Kris Van Assche


Kris Van Assche






Dior Homme

Summer Suit Come rain or shine, suits are sometimes the only thing to wear for social engagements, formal occasions, and those times when you want to look dapper. Luckily this season’s style offers a practical solution that allows for smart dress on any occasion. Sharpe jackets worn with tailored shorts and combined with formal shoes and black socks are a chic alternative to the traditional suit. Large geometric, clean-lined prints in tonal colours create visual interest while retaining a level of sophistication.


fas h io n  CHANEL G OES ARTY

Words: Nour Harb

Chanel sent everyone back to art school this season with a rainbow-bright palette and a light-hearted attitude

left: Chanel ready-to-wear Spring Summer 2014, set design by Olivier Saillant



his season Karl Lagerfeld sent his models down the Chanel runway dressed as walking paint boxes. The art world is continuously inspiring fashion, but this collection took things more literally than usual,

covering dresses, bags and smocks in a palette-like print, and giving the models amusing accessories straight out of art school to carry, including paint brushes and portfolio cases. Mr Lagerfeld’s models looked as much like galleristas as they did like art students, with their pristine


fas h io n  CHANEL G OES ARTY

above: Chanel ready-to-wear Spring Summer 2014, set design by Olivier Saillant

Left: Chanel Spring 2014 make-up collection, Notes of Spring

white boots offering a chic counterpoint to the wild make-up look created by Peter Philips for the show. The catwalk itself was lined with paintings and sculptures that played with the brand’s iconography, such as the double C logo, reformed into artworks. Best of all was the giant robot version of a Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle. Even the cosmetics collection for Spring takes a turn towards the arts, with the photography of the new makeup range framing lipsticks among the staves and clefs of musical notation.


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The Stylish Wedding a 24 page special ---


Weird and Wonderful

Wedding Traditions from Around the Globe Words: Rowan Clare I l l u s t r a t i o n s : Ya s m i n a N y s t e n

Weddings offer everyone a chance to eat, drink, and be merry, and around the world, cultures are united in their celebration of marriage as a joyful occasion that is decadently commemorated through food and entertainment. But there, the similarities stop. From the weird to the downright wild, each culture’s marriage traditions offer distinctive, elaborate rituals to guarantee a prosperous and happy union for the newlyweds’ future.


Money Dance Greece

Weddings are an expensive business and in Greece, where marriages are elaborate occasions that can last for several days, the highly anticipated money dance offers some friendly financial support. As the newlyweds dance together in the centre of the room, the surrounding crowds of applauding guests lavish them with paper money to set up their new life together. By the end of the performance, their wedding attire is laden with cash and, suddenly, that exotic honeymoon looks much more affordable.

Kumbh Vivah India

Have you ever thought about marrying a tree? In India, you could find yourself saying “I do” to a banana tree before you’re allowed to wed the man of your dreams. If a Hindu girl’s horoscope is afflicted with Mars, she is referred to as a Manglik, which, unfortunately for her, means she’s a poor marriage prospect. This is big in a country that prioritizes harmonious wedlock based upon complicated astrological calculations, so her perceived more difficult characteristics must be neutralized through a symbolic marriage with a sacred tree before she can wed her future husband. Although this sounds like an archaic practice, Aisharya Rai, a high-profile Bollywood actress, married a banana tree before her actual marriage to another Indian film star in 2007.



La Soupe France

If you’re a die-hard Francophile you could follow their lead and dine from a chamber pot on your wedding night. A rather strange tradition unique to the fine-dining French, the bridal party dumps all leftover waste from the reception – including champagne, cake and chocolate – into a porcelain chamber pot and barges into the newlywed’s room after the ceremony demanding that they drink it as fuel for the night ahead.

Unity Sand Ceremony USA (Native American People)

America, that big old mixing pot, is renowned for its sponge-like absorption of cultural ingredients from around the globe. The popularity today of the Unity Sand Ceremony, which has its roots in Native American tradition, reflects contemporary Americans’ eagerness to integrate symbolic moments from other cultures into their wedding vows, regardless of their own ethnic background. The ritual involves pouring two containers of differently-coloured sand into a vase so the grains of sand sift into unusual layered patterns, with the two colours maintaining distinctive separation even as they form part of a larger mosaic. This symbolizes two individuals beginning a new life together, both maintaining their individuality while joining together in the creation of a new family unit. Throughout marriage, the vase acts as a visual reminder of the couple’s commitment to their love.


Bathroom Moratorium Malaysia (The Tidong Community )

The Tidong community takes their cleanliness very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they prohibit the bride and groom from visiting the bathroom for three days and nights. Made possible through fasting and minimal water consumption, the newlyweds are watched by helpful relatives for the entire period to ensure that the ritual is adhered to. Tradition has it that those who breach the custom may suffer from a broken marriage, infertility, or death of their children at a young age - punishments not to be scoffed at. After three long days, they are bathed and allowed to return to normal life.

Spitting on the Bride Kenya (The Massai People)

In most countries, spitting is downright rude. But for the Massai people, in Kenya, it is seen as essential that the bride’s father spit on her head and chest as a blessing that will bring good luck and fortune to the newlyweds. Even more shocking for those from non-Massai backgrounds may be the fact that the women of the groom’s family also insult the bride to ensure that all bad luck has been successfully warded off before the marriage begins. Once that is over, the bride must leave for her new home with her husband, never looking back in case she turns to stone.


w e d di ng s  S Y MBOLS OF FLOWE RS

in FULL BLOOM Words: Lucy Knight

Flowers are more than just pretty decorations, as every species has a meaning



here was once a time in history when texting a lover with our desires, or even sending a love letter, was something you could only do with caution – in stepped flowers. Gifts of floral arrangements, plants and blooms were used to send coded messages. Victorian England and America were very fond of such practices, so much so that ‘floral dictionaries’ were written to translate those messages that could not be spoken out loud.

From Shakespeare to Jane Austen; Van Gogh to Monet; the daffodil to the pansy, the use of flowers as a mode of sending a message, expressing a feeling, or merely creating something beautiful, is timeless. As the British novelist Iris Murdoch once said: “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us”. Flowers have the most significance at the key symbolic moments in our lives, from births to deaths and, of course, for marriage. Every species has its own implications here are some of the best suited to weddings.

Rose “Your love is like a red, red rose” – so wrote the poet Robert Burns, most famously. If there were ever a flower that symbolised love in our modern age, it would have to be the rose. Of course white roses are a wedding classic but as a universal symbol for passion, choosing a red hue has become the most popular way to simply say, “I love you”.

Iris This flower is truly steeped in artistic and cultural history. The iris is said to symbolise inspiration and it certainly inspired the ‘fleur-de-lis’, a regal emblem that has appeared on coats of arms throughout Europe since the 10th century. Taken from the Greek word for rainbow, there are as many as 300 variations of this flower, so, endless choices abound when it comes to the big day. A grand choice.

Baby’s Breath These airy, cloud-like and delicate flowers are often used to accompany roses or lilies to lighten a bouquet but even standing alone they can be a simple and soft accessory for a bride. Technically the species is called gypsophila and is often associated with innocence and everlasting love, hence its more commonly known pseudonym, and its traditional association with the virginal blushing bride.

Sunflower A happy flower for a happy day! This bold, uplifting bloom is shamelessly in love with the sun and is often seen as a symbol of adoration. So representative is it of outward beauty that it came to stand for the late 19th century’s artistic ‘aesthetic movement’. This flower is positive and unpretentious, and always raises a smile.

Orange Blossom The fragrant flower of the orange tree has been used since ancient China as a symbol of purity, chastity and innocence. Young brides would wear it on their gowns to reflect these thendesirable virtues. Some say it also represents fertility, while others deem it to bring good fortune – two things that have made it a popular choice for bouquet arrangements and pretty head wreaths for brides on their big day.


w e d di ng s  E NGAG EMENT RIN GS

PUT A RING ON IT Whether your ideal piece of finger candy is a simple solitaire or a colourful showstopper, Selections chooses some of the most desirable engagement rings and wedding bands from our favourite jewellers

clockwise starting from the top: Fleurette yellow gold and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels ; Estelle wedding band in platinum and diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels; Rhodolite inlaid into pink quartz ring by Bogh-art; Solitaire rings (three) in white or pink gold with white diamonds around a heart, cushion or round-cut diamond; Griffe diamanti emerald cut solitaire by Bulgari; Marry Me wedding bands (two) in platinum with pavĂŠ diamonds by Bulgari; Aveu white gold, diamonds and sapphire ring by Dior; Asscher cut diamond solitaire ring in white gold by Van Cleef & Arpels; Perl diamond solitaire ring in pink gold by Van Cleef & Arpels; Diamond solitaire ring in white gold with pear-shaped diamonds by Yvan Tufekjian; My Dior white gold and diamond ring by Dior; Dedicata a Venezia round-cut diamond solitaire ring in platinum by Bulgari; Diamond inlaid into parabia ring by Bogh-art; Heart-shaped brilliant diamond and platinum ring by Chopard


w e d di ngs  D R ES S DESIG NERS


of a dress That fairy tale wedding gown could be hiding in the next few pages...


Wo r d s : A l i a Fa w a z

hoosing a wedding dress, possibly one of the most treasured items a woman will ever own, is a one-off opportunity to merge sartorial self-expression with traditions and expectations. The search for the right dress can be daunting for some but once the designer has been decided, it becomes a collaborative process as the dress is made to measure until it

becomes perfectly bespoke. Initial appointments with the atelier usually take place at least three months before the wedding, and ensuing discussions and fittings become a collaborative creative process as each designer crafts his or her particular vision around your individual form – an important personal touch that lies at the heart of the art of couture. Here we look at some of the supremely beautiful gowns that have been crafted for this season with Spring Summer brides for 2014 in mind.

w e d di ng s  D R ES S DESIG NE RS

Elie Saab As the most internationally renowned Lebanese fashion designer, the name Elie Saab has become synonymous with a feminine, fairy-tale-style glamour. In 2003 the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture invited him to become a member, and he has been showing in Paris ever since. Today, Saab’s impressive fashion empire also includes ready-to-wear, accessories and perfume. He has become the go-to name for a show-stopping bridal gown that is both traditional and highly fashionable. For this season’s Haute Couture collection the designer found inspiration in the work of the 19th century Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who was known for his flowers and textures. Saab presented glorious empire-line dresses and chiffondraped princess gowns in a gorgeous colour palette of floral tones. There were even a few surprises like the Victorian-style long dresses in delightful ombré colours and striking flower prints, mixed up among his signature looks decorated in monochrome embroideries and exquisite appliqué work. Fortunately this couture collection also injected plenty of dazzling creations that could easily be adapted as wedding gowns – such as the glorious off-white Grecian style robes and exquisite lacey dresses with delicate sheer panels. But in keeping with the tradition of the Haute Couture catwalk, the best was saved for last with his show-stopping princess bride, a hit with the critics worldwide. An delicate vision in a splendid soft beige bustle-hipped embroidered dress swayed down the runway, inspiring brides for the season to come. The dramatic gown and veil shimmers like a garden strewn with small flowers reflecting the light. This utterly romantic and elaborate imperialstyle gown from epitomizes the elegant eye and sartorial excellence that keeps Saab at the top .The shape is flattering for all figures, especially if you prefer to accentuate from waist upwards, with below featuring a grand flared silhouette reminiscent of historic European royalty and is incredibly dramatic when seen in motion.


Georges Chakra Veteran couture designer Georges Chakra has been creating sublime evening wear since the midEighties, but his work really reached critical acclaim over the past ten years. Chakra’s work was featured in the popular fashion film The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep as Anna Wintour, and today his highly-coveted gowns are regularly spotted at awards ceremonies such as the Oscars. Seductive and feminine silhouettes that mix contrasting colours and geometric designs have come to define his stunning ready-to-wear and Haute Couture lines. Originally trained as an interior designer, Chakra’s eye for detail and diversity in each collection is what characterises his style. While every collection he produces is a precious labour of love, Chakra Bridal is perhaps the ultimate place to find luxury tailoring for women. Each fabulously crafted dress is treated as a unique piece that will never be duplicated. While a bridal line is not pre-created as a collection, clients can have a one-of-a-kind dress made to measure at the atelier, often working from the designer’s sketch as a starting point or building on some of the themes explored in the Haute Couture collection, more specifically the final wedding look. The jewel in the crown of his most recent show, this season’s bridal gown is an ultra-light construction of astounding beauty and ethereal femininity. Its regal ballgown silhouette is immersed in a frothy train designed for making the grandest of romantic entrances. The dress has an iridescent finish in a mix of white and baby pink and is swathed in tulle with the most delicately stitched shimmering beadwork – which the studio tells Selections took 3,500 hours of handwork at the atelier. This painstaking work of artistry represents the true craftsmanship that continues to be offered by Haute Couture which is rarely heard of in mainstream fashion today.


w e d di ng s  D R ES S DESIG NE RS

Lanvin This revered fashion house, founded by Jeanne Lanvin in the 1920s, is one the oldest still operating today. When its founder passed away in 1946, the brand lost its prominence and a series of different ownerships followed. The fate of Lanvin has shifted dramatically since 2001 however, when a private investor group took hold of the company and put in place its genius creative director Albert Elbaz. Under the artistic leadership of Elbaz the brand has become both the embodiment of Parisian ladylike chic and simultaneously ultra-cool. Credited with picking up the threads of Mme Lanvin’s rich legacy in a sensitive and contemporary way, Elbaz continues to wow the fashion world with his Grecian draping, kooky bows, meticulous tailoring and lavish embroidery, all to be found among mounds of flirty tulle and fine silks. Today the house of Lanvin has expanded far beyond women’s ready-towear to include a strong accessories range, menswear, childrenswear, perfumes and the dreamy Blanche bridal collection. The Blanche collection is perfect for the independent-minded bride who wants a pretty look that is nevertheless edgy and free-spirited. The complete bridal line boasts many diverse looks however, and does include one or two more traditional gowns with flared skirts and wow-factor bow details. Seen here, the Techno Duchess Satin Dress, in light grey, has a touch of rock ‘n’ roll attitude that can be beautifully accentuated with a short statement necklace or tiara. Those who prefer a more modest look for the ceremony can go for the line’s straight dress with pleats, which has a regal Grecian Goddess feel to it, or else the Ecru Tafetta Dress proposes a girly, flirty feel with its ivory-coloured pleated taffeta deployed in three big ruffled layers. With 15 different dresses, the Lanvin Blanche collection beautifully captures different moods to suite a light-hearted bride with an eye for contemporary fashion.


Zuhair Murad A favourite with the red carpet elite, Murad is known for his figure-hugging silhouettes and transparencies that have come to define his signature cocktail and eveningwear dresses. For his new Haute Couture line, Murad departed from his usual sheer fabrics and delved into heavy embellishment in the form of florals. A garden strewn with shimmering petals was dreamily translated onto delightful pieces mixed with delicate embroideries and feathers. He offered plenty of elegant flowing gowns, complex voluminous dresses, and more relaxed two piece ensembles accented with striking gold leaf motif belts. Some of the intricate floral references are echoed in his latest Bridal offering which is gorgeously crafted with splendid details. Princess-style gowns in intricate lace, subtle sequins and dreamy tulle can be found throughout, and while the mood is romantic and timeless there is a modern edge to this collection that allows for a versatility which is not often seen in bridal lines. The gorgeous strapless Faun gown with shimmering floral details comes with a full tulle skirt which can be altered into a chic mini version – an option that can seamlessly take the bride from the ceremony right to the after party. The splendid long-sleeved lace Diana gown comes with a wide overskirt that can be taken off for a more paired-down narrow style. Murad’s designs offer flattering cuts with a wide range of silhouettes suited to different body shapes, ranging from the romantic tiered ball gowns like the Alexia, to more fitted skirts and shapes at the neck that place subtle emphasis on the décolleté. In short, a Zuhair Murad gown is sophisticated and glamorous.


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Georges Hobeika Georges Hobeika’s sumptuous pieces capture the feminine grace and intricate embellishments that the Lebanese couturiers have become renowned for. He nevertheless manages to inject a slight edge and youthfulness that somehow sets him apart from his compatriots. For starters, his collection is usually limited to 35 looks, unlike other designers who may present twice that much in one fashion show. This means that each of his gorgeous frocks in any single collection is different from all the others on show. His latest Spring Summer 2014 Haute Couture line is an enchanting offering of pastel colours and soft silhouettes with botanical references. Hobeika offers a variety of looks in crepe georgette and organza, with sequins and pearls delicately added here and there. Aside from the elegant maxi dresses, there are stunning fitted jackets with cinched waists and column skirts and more relaxed knee-length tulle skirts paired with youthful cropped tops. Hobeika’s Bridal collection is equally mesmerizing if not more so. At the recent show he offered a glimpse with his Bridal finale which appeared otherworldly with its beauty. The exquisite dress, in an off-white crepe georgette, is all about fine detail. The dress is fully embroidered with a delicate lace, pearl and crystal design of immaculately strewn stems and leaves. While it appears as a strapless dress, an illusory sheer tulle actually covers the shoulders and sleeves, sprinkled with Swarovski crystals that sparkle like miniature snowflakes. In place of the traditional veil, the bride wears an intricate flower headband to resemble a graceful ballerina. Hobeika’s dresses are true statement gowns, in this case shown by the lavish tulle princess train that flows out from the hips. His pieces are perfect for brides who want to inject drama and romance intro their look for the day.


w e d di ngs  D R ES S DESIG NERS

Carolina Herrera Before embarking on a career in fashion, Carolina Herrera lived the life of a well-known beauty and socialite thanks to her Venezuelan aristocratic roots. Top-notch New York artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol have taken her portrait and she has kept the company of numerous notable names, including the legendary editor of American Vogue, Diana Vreeland. With such an impressive pedigree a great sense of style was Herrera’s cultural heritage, and she began to design in 1981 with a collection of couture-style dresses, soon followed by her famous bridal-wear, ready-to-wear and accessories. For her Spring Summer 2014 ready-towear collection she was inspired by the work of Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto – specifically by their work from the fifties and sixties – and she translated their style into geometrical prints and dresses with sheer organza overlays. There was lots of veiling and layering, most strikingly with pleats in a sophisticated colour palette of dark green, plum, orange, black and ivory. Her Bridal line for this season however takes a more classic turn with her models demurely clutching a bouquet during the presentation. The collection explores the romance and femininity of lace in many different ways, from intricate Chantilly lace appliqué to dresses in hand-painted lace motif on silk organza. The silhouettes are mostly floorsweeping sheaths with modest necklines. A flowing plunging neckline dress and a playful faux fur cape – perhaps for later in the evening, when making a dashing exit - add bursts of novelty to this elegant collection. Herrera’s all-white gowns propose many fantastic shapes for every female shape, and the real beauty of her work is the variety through which she offers something for pretty many different styles, ages and personalities.


Georges Hobeika Haute Couture

72 Balenciaga Ready to Wear

Chloe Ready to Wear

Valentino Haute Couture

Elie Saab Haute Couture Armani Haute couture

Alexis Mabille Haute Couture

Georges Chakra Haute Couture

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Spring Summer 2014


Stephane Rolland Haute Couture

Moschino Ready to Wear

Elie Saab Haute Couture

Stephane Rolland Haute Couture

Alexis Mabille Haute Couture Georges Chakra Haute Couture

Chanel Haute Couture

Roberto Cavalli Ready to Wear


Words: Rowan Clare

Destination weddings mean leaving your acquaintances behind and tying the knot with only close family and friends – just one reason why they are now more popular than ever


ur ancestors would have been horrified at the prospect of being pronounced man and wife while wearing flip-flops on a beach, yet destination weddings are the latest craze to sweep brides-to-be off their sand-covered feet. Defined as marrying at least 100 miles from where the bride currently lives, most destination weddings take place in a tropical climate that promises perfect weather, white sand beaches, and breathtaking sunsets. Often a more intimate affair with fewer guests, they range from being a minimum of three


days up to becoming holidays in their own right as the newlyweds organize group activities, sightseeing tours, and elaborate dinners for all in attendance. In 2011, almost one in four American couples had a destination wedding, reflecting a rising popularity worldwide that chimes with the increasingly nomadic and internationalised existence of modernday couples. With many young people migrating away from their hometowns for work opportunities and choosing spouses from different regions and countries, a ceremony in your hometown doesn’t necessarily make sense anymore. Carley Roney, cofounder of XO Group Inc.,

a media and technology company that provides advice on weddings, explains that, “When family is spread all over the country and, increasingly, the globe, a destination wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together.” But perhaps it sounds too good to be true – and it can be. With every postcardperfect destination wedding, there comes a myriad of tricky social situations and thorny etiquette questions that can bewilder soon-to-weds as they try to navigate their way to the altar. Many feel guilty about hosting a celebration far away from their friends and family and for

forcing attendees to fork out considerable sums for airfare and accommodation. When you throw in the nightmare of organizing a wedding thousands of miles from your home, with all the potential linguistic and cultural barriers that come along with that, and a destination wedding can seem like an overwhelming proposition after the initial proposal. One recently married bride and groom who organized extravagant nuptials in France, because it was a country that meant something to them as a couple, experienced numerous highs and lows leading up to the ceremony as

they battled against government officials who were reluctant to grant tourist visas to their guests and their friends fretted about finding enough hotel rooms in the sleepy French village they had chosen. As the groom explains, “On the wedding day itself I was still fielding phone calls from guests who were asking for help with their future sightseeing plans.” But, he adds with a smile, it was an, “Unforgettable weekend.” So is the experience of saying “Yes” to your other half going to feel better on a beach? The galloping pace of contemporary life can make a sun-

soaked beach wedding seem like a mellow alternative to all those more traditional celebrations taking place back home. And with the growing support of wedding planners sourced at home or in the destination, arranging the dream wedding in an exotic location is becoming increasingly easy for newlyweds with a case of wanderlust. The best destination weddings aren’t just about choosing flashy locations but happen somewhere that mean something in personal to the couple’s own romantic story – be that in the mountains or meadows, on sea shores or desert sands.



Words: Kasia Maciejowska

Parisian florist in Beirut Benjamin Fournier believes floral design should be about letting flowers express their inherent beauty so we might remember the gardens of our youth


enjamin Fournier is a man who knows his own mind. Fifteen years ago he convinced the Paris florist Au Nom de la Rose to take him on despite him having no experience, while today he persuades his bridal clients to follow his advice and leave the creativity up to him. Smart brides are advised to do just that, as his exquisite taste is both contemporary and romantic, with a fresh eye and light-handed flourish.


As someone who has always loved to live and work with nature, the signature of his bouquets is their unforced style and natural beauty. Although Fournier knew nothing of flower arranging when he began at Au Nom de la Rose, he became store manager after six months and then took charge of the brand’s leading branch on the Left Bank, in the 7th arrondissement, home to Saint Germain, before taking over the Paris flagship store. One year later he decamped to Beirut to establish Au Nom de la Rose in the Lebanese capital. The store was a success for ten years but the Frenchman’s independent creative drive pushed him to open his own-brand boutique Infloressence in September. Located on the chi-chi Rue Selim Bustros, in St. Nicolas, Achrafieh, the beautifully arranged little shop specialises in easy-going bouquet designs and niche perfumes sourced from Paris. When establishing his own identity in floral styling for Beirut, Fournier was determined to move away from the fashion for showy, over-the-top arrangements. “Infloressence is a place where the flowers can express their beauties. I want to show the flowers as they are with no artifice, glitter, or balloons or ugly teddy bears”, he says, explaining his naturalistic approach. This makes him the perfect choice for

the cool contemporary woman who wants stylish details for her home or her events, without going overboard or giving a formal look. “What we do is more country style. We don’t make tight, false-looking bouquets, and we think about where the flowers come from, so for example we don’t mix garden flowers with tropical flowers, like roses would never be put together with orchids.” For weddings, the Infloressence

approach is to tap in to the mood of the location. Referencing the setting through the colours, atmosphere and existing flora and fauna, Fournier comes up with appropriate combinations of flowers that enhance the environment around them in a harmonious way. “When I’m working with a bride or her wedding designer we talk about the scene, the colours, the ideas we could play with. The truth is that a successful

wedding is not very difficult; you simply need to look at the area and get into the spirit of the place.” Keen to uphold his own vision, Fournier is someone with clear views on what works and what doesn’t – which he keeps in mind when a bride approaches him. “The way I do weddings is simple. I meet the client and I feel out whether we can work together. If they trust me then we go ahead. The

most important thing is to be able to say no when the client makes bad suggestions. A bride is asking for your help and sometimes the best help you can give is to tell the truth and say, ‘No, if you do that it will not be beautiful, let’s do it this way.’ Too many florists are afraid to say no and the result is lots of bad taste copy-and-paste weddings. A wedding is a day for personal expression so you have to make it unique.”


w e d di ng s  B ULGARI BRIDA L JE WE L L E RY


The bridal jewellery from Bulgari is painstakingly handmade and quality controlled to render every piece an exquisite example of Italian craftsmanship



n a bid to focus on the inherent beauty of each individual diamond, the jewellers at Bulgari design their rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings that make up the brand’s bridal range around the glittering stones themselves. For the rings, settings range from classic to innovative and pretty to modern, as do the cuts that shape and facet the stones. The Dedicated to Venice series of rings echoes the feminine lacework that is historically produced in the city, while the Corona ring is even more florid and decorative, reminiscent of a romantic crown, as the name suggests, and inspired by brides from Ancient Rome who wore a crown of flowers atop a bright orange veil. In contrast, the Marry Me and Lucea designs have a more

Clockwise from top left: diamond flower earrings, Diva diamond necklace, Elisia necklace, and Elisia ring, by Bulgari. Facing page: Serpent diamond necklace by Bulgari

masculine, Art Deco look about them, to give the bride-to-be a more modern look. For the wedding day itself, the incredibly ornate necklaces are the standout choices. Ranging from Bulgari’s take on the slinky serpent, whose symbolism ranges from passion and fertility to everlasting energy and rebirth, depending which culture you are from, to the more traditional-looking collars in which pretty diamonds are set like snowflakes and droplets. For earrings, the house proposes tumbling cascades of contemporary-looking flowers and diamonddotted rows of hoops. The Elisia set is their modern and classic line built around elongated loops of variously-sized diamonds which hang around the collarbones and from the ears, and sit across the finger in a decorative ring to match.


w e d di ng s  T HE NE W HONEYM OON S

Words: Rowan Clare

As newlyweds become more adventurous with their honeymoons,indolent beach holidays at all-inclusive resorts have been replaced with bespoke travel plans that include camping under the stars and a desire to tap into local culture


oneymoons: they’re the icing on the sparkling white wedding cake once the madness has settled and the relatives have been packed home again. But with so much pressure to have an amazing wedding and an even more amazing honeymoon, how can newlyweds ensure that the honeymoon is as impressive as the wedding itself ? It used to be easy. Honeymooners were expected to lounge on sandy beaches, drink champagne in gilded hotel suites,


and endure that awkward moment when the man with the castanets decides to serenade the two of you at a candlelit dinner. But a recent survey of 2,000 unmarried people by Kuoni, a luxury travel and tour operator in the UK, discovered that the perfect honeymoon now involves, “Four days lying in the sun, temperatures of 27ºC, two books, four candlelit meals, three spa treatments together, and three adrenalinefuelled activities.” As expectations have evolved, hotels have tailored their services to include a wide range of culturally-authentic experiences in off-beat settings that seek to satisfy even the most spoilt travelers.

Shunning the bland anonymity of sprawling five-star resorts, many newlyweds are now embracing glamping (glamorous camping) as the most stylish way to combine the luxurious amenities of the world’s finest hotels with the intimacy of a secluded campsite on the remote edges of the earth. San Camp, an elegant, white-tented safari camp perched on the breathtakingly minimalist Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana, offers couples the chance to stay in a solar-powered, environmentally friendly camp that includes a dining tent and a tented yoga pavilion. By day,

From left to right: San Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans Nat, Botswana; Hotel Casa Real, Santiago, Chile; San Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans Nat, Botswana; Endemico, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Copyright: Taschen, from 100 Getaways Around the World, by Margit J. Mayer, from Taschen.

guests can venture in to the Kalahari Desert to track habituated meerkats or discover remote archaeological sites; by night, they are treated to spectacular night skies. It’s not just glamping that’s got honeymooners excited. Far-flung destinations that promise culturally profound travel tales are luring couples to underexplored corners of the globe. Endemico, a luxury ecohotel perched on a remote hillside overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe in northwestern Mexico, puts the emphasis on extravagance within an authentic

setting. Designed to highlight the isolation of the spectacular desert that stretches out beneath the 20 luxury cabins, guests can visit the adjoining winery, arrange hikes, soak up the blend of Mexican culture and artisanal activity, or simply relax in the panoramic swimming pool. This is lean luxury at its very best, drawing upon local culture and the indigenous landscape to create an unforgettable experience and the most epic Instagram opportunities – because nothing gets more Likes than a photo of a happy couple at their wedding or on honeymoon.

As hotels and travel operators become more hip to what people want now, unusual destination choices are closer within reach. It’s little wonder that honeymooners are becoming more selective in their travel arrangements as they seek new thrills in their first months of married life. At some point down the long matrimonial road, the generic luxury of an all-inclusive resort may sound appealing but today’s most stylish newlyweds are determined to replace corporate with culture and glitz with glamping.




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{ SkyCycle For London }

{ Antarctica’s Lost Landscapes }

{ Glow in the Dark Plant }

World-leading architecture firm Foster & Partners has drawn up plans to build a network of elevated cycle highways over London, allowing the capital’s cyclists to avoid the traffic and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the metropolis. The blueprints - which are backed by the organisation Transport For London but still far from finalised - show how the cycle paths will be built on the top of the overground train network. The project includes 220km of car-free routes and around 200 entrance points. It has the capacity to accommodate an incredible 120,000 cyclists per hour. The dream for the future is that you can wake up in Paris, cycle to Gard du Nord, hop on the Eurostar, hop off at Stratford in East London, and cycle into Central London without your bike ever having to leave your side.

Art photographer Diane Tuft has released a book of photography revealing the intricate ecology and frozen textures of the wastelands of Antarctica. As well as capturing the raw power and mystery of this inaccessible continent, Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land also documents how infrared and ultraviolet radiation has affected its barren landscapes. Her scientific lens reaches deep into the ice to picture ancient frozen microbes that lived 25 million years ago, when Antarctica was farther north and still part of the larger landmass called Gondwana. Instead of pages of snow and ice, the close-focus of much of Tuft’s photography creates a varied colour palette, which - as the tagline of the book suggests - reveals the invisible within the visible.

We all know the frustration of searching in the dark for a replacement light-bulb … if only there was a light that never goes out. Well now there is! American biotech company Bioglow have invented a glow-in-the-dark plant. It is a small, leafy, light-emitting organism that they hope will be the future of lighting design for personal and public use. The plant was developed by introducing DNA from luminescent marine bacteria into the chloroplast of a common houseplant. So far, the plants can only be viewed in a darkened room but the company are engineering brighter strains which they believe will be popular as decorative way to mark driveways and routes, or as nightlights for children. As the technology develops biological lights could even replace street lamps, shop signs and other man-made urban light pollution.

{ Space Race 2014 } Despite the US having actively down-scaled its lunar operations over the past 40 years, 2014 is the 10-year anniversary of NASA’s activity on Mars. In 2004, two rovers were dropped off on the red planet, one of which is still active and continues to send back precious scientific data and awe-inspiring photography as you have probably witnessed online. Yet while the US has neglected moon exploration in recent years, China is swelling with pride after it’s Chang’e 3 and Yutu probes ‘woke up’ from their month-long dormancy. The probes were forced to remain inactive during the long lunar night as their operations rely largely on solar power. Now that they’re active once again China has been officially proclaimed the third country in the world to have successfully landed on the moon, after the US and Soviet Russia.

{ Doughnut Skyscraper in China }

{ Doha Metro for Qatar 2022 World Cup }

After China suspended construction of their 838-metre Sky City tower last year, which was set to be the world’s tallest building, the country can now revel in the triumph of owning the skyscraper that looks most like an oversized doughnut. The Guangzhou Circle, at 138-metre high, is much smaller than the Sky City, but equally arresting and somewhat more baffling. Inside its circular central hole an elevated garden affords views over the Pearl River and across the expanding metropolis. The circular design was chosen for China by the architect with the aim of expressly contrasting the Western rectangular blueprint. It was placed by the river so that, when reflected, a figure of eight can be seen. The number eight is lucky in China – so much so that the Beijing Olympics of 2008 were fixed to begin on the eighth day of the eight month at precisely 8.08pm.

Amid the controversy over whether the Qatar 2022 World Cup will take place in winter - and if so, in which month - the city of Doha has begun construction on its ambitious underground train network. The Doha metro is just one part of the Qatar Rail Development Programme, a project that seeks to connect the capital via underground, overground and elevated trains, as well as providing express links to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The metro itself will consist of four lines, 100 stations and 216km of track, and each World Cup stadium will be furnished with its own station. The wider railway project is expected to cost over $50 billion and is intended to be fully functional by 2019.

{ Cannabis Legalised in Uruguay } Uruguay has become the first country in the world where marijuana is legal and therefore actively regulated by the state. Although not in effect until April 2014, the government remarkably passed a law in late December which has made growing, selling and using the drug fully legal. The pressure is now on to ensure that a good quality version of the crop is available and the price is right in order to create a balanced and regulated market that is safer than a black market. The government chose to legalise the drug partly to help users avoid contact with harder drugs such as cocaine, which marijuana dealers frequently sell. However, it remains a controlled substance and under the new system only residents of Uruguay are allowed to purchase the plant from selected pharmacies, with a limit of 40 grams per month per person. This groundbreaking move from the country comes as the criminalisation of cannabis use is becoming perceived as more detrimental to society than using the drug itself.

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words: Alberto Mucci

wo r l d  P  ARIS W ITH S OFITE L

Sleek French style, seasonal cuisine and meticulously sourced coffee are all part of the newly revived Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe


stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées and even less from the Arc de Triomph. If you draw the lines from these two imaginary points you will find the precise coordinates of the newly redesigned five-star Sofitel Hotel. Here, just behind a quintessentially Hussmanian façade, lies a delicately redesigned interior realized by IGLOO studio and envisioned by the world famous Studio Putman. The mind behind the revamp of Sofitel’s new jewel in the centre of the French capital is that of Olivia Putman, the


Paris based interior designer and daughter of world-famous Andrée Putman. An interior designer herself, Putman senior made a name for herself in the Eighties after the overhaul of New York’s luxurious Morgans Hotel. Bearing in mind the family history behind Putman studio, guests should not be surprised to find citations of Andrée Putman’s work dotted around this new version of Sofitel Paris. In the sleek elegant lobby, Andrée’s Crescent Moon sofas and Lang armchairs are placed under large windows that flood the room with natural light. This choice stems from the idea that a designer, just like any other artist, needs to draw on traditions

and re-interpret them, adding features that reflect the present time without disregarding the past. This blending of past and present is the hallmark of the Putman brand and can be found in different parts of the hotel. It is present, for instance, in the restaurant’s lampshades created out of Kraft paper, a material that Olivia decided to use to tackle the growing environmental concerns and to create a softer light that is smoother on our eyes as they grow increasingly tired as we live more through screens and tablets. First and foremost Studio Putman’s stamp is to be found in the idea behind the hotel room designs. Instead of simply

aiming to make the customer feel at home, Studio Putman opted to create a ‘pied-à-terre in Paris’ experience. The main stylistic reference point is to classic French houses with discreet details such as parquet floors and coat pegs by the entrance. The concept behind the hotel’s restaurant, L’Initial, follows the same ethos as it aims at being nothing more than exquisitely French. Take its design, for example: banquettes are covered with Pierre Frey cushions set around petite round tables that have been re-invented to bring the chi-chi French bistro into the present with a twist of sleek modernity. The same goes for the restaurant’s menu.

Head chef Thomas Bruno is a committed member of the Locovare movement, meaning that all cuisine is seasonal and all products local, never further away than 160 kilometres from where they are cooked. The coffee and sweets selection at the hotel is also notable. Selected by Pierre Hermé, defined by Vogue Paris as “the Picasso of pastry”, the Infiniment Café serves incredible delicacies that go by names like Saint Honoré. Selections had the pleasure of visiting at the end of last year and can advise paying a visit next time you’re in Paris – at least to sample the coffee.



Sami Ruotsalainen


MY CITY WITH MARIMEKKO The Finnish design company's iconic prints have been making their mark in fashion and interior decoration since the 1960s. Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen gives Selections his personal guide to the capital of Finland, Helsinki

What are the best and worst things about Helsinki? Many of the features of Helsinki can be described as both the best and worst at the same time. For example, the fairly small size of the city - on the one hand, it’s the best thing because everything and everyone is at hand, but sometimes it also feels good to leave Helsinki for a trip to a bigger city.

What’s the ‘real’ Helsinki? For me, the real Helsinki is the character of its people, as well as the beautiful nature in and around the city. To find this ‘real Helsinki people’, I recommend, for example, taking a morning coffee at any of the city’s market squares or market halls. And to find the nature, well, you’re always just a few steps away from it, even in the most central part of the city.

What is the city’s best-kept secret? A lot of people seem to think that the food in Helsinki is not as good as it is in a lot of other cities, but if you look hard enough, and look carefully, you will find extremely wonderful restaurants where the food is prepared with great passion using pure ingredients found only in Finland.

What do you miss when you’re away? I travel quite often and when away I find myself especially missing the food from home. The simple, real flavours that come from ingredients that can be found here in the Finnish countryside - and most of all good rye bread with Finnish butter.

Can you describe your perfect day in Helsinki? My perfect day would begin with a slow and lazy breakfast at the Helsinki market square, where the wind blows fresh from the sea and the background is filled with the lively sounds of people talking about their daily lives. I would continue with a walk by the sea, drifting into small shops and cafés along the way. I would then stop at a market hall for some treats and go to a park for a picnic with friends. In the evening I’d drift along the shores for a chance to catch the silence of the night when it feels like the city is only mine. Which is your favourite gallery or shop? One of my favourite things about Helsinki is that new shops and galleries open all the time. I think it is best to turn the streets into an adventure; to keep your eyes open

for the hot new up-and-coming thing just around the corner. Which five keywords best express the city’s mood? Relaxed, lively, compact, innovative and clean. If Helsinki was an outfit, what would it be? In my opinion, Helsinki has too many sides to it that one outfit. Even one style would not describe all the possibilities it has to offer. The people in Helsinki are also used to changes as the extreme seasons make us re-invent ourselves four times a year. I guess this makes us also a bit braver with our choices. A good place to see some great local looks is at


wo r l d  Si x of the Best

FORMAL GARDENS Words: Rich Thornton



Even those who were previously non-plussed by descriptions of vast parterres, hidden bosquets and inch-perfect topiary have been wowed by the Gardens of Versailles. Gazing down the elegant avenues, these French words from the specialised world of landscape architecture begin to make perfect sense. Seemingly endless and impeccably maintained, the Gardens of Versailles are the world’s finest example of the 17th-century French Garden style. The glorious geometry is typical of how the historical elite from before the French Revolution sought to organise nature’s wild beauty into patterns of pleasing order and reason. Neat parterres (symmetrical flower gardens split with gravel paths) lead to soldier-like squares of perfectly aligned trees (that’s the bosquets) among which sit the gardens’ most arresting feature: the fountains. A total of 50 fountains adorn this regal park, all of which can be seen in full play during the Grandes Eaux, a spectacle that takes place every weekend between May and September. Many of the fountains still use the same plumbing and piping as was installed under the Sun King Louis XIV in 1664, which stands as a testament to the engineering prowess of the time, and the wealth and power that royalty could exercise.

The best gardens aren’t necessarily the biggest. In China the art of balancing water, architecture and foliage in harmonious aesthetic proportion has been practiced for millennia. It reached perfection in the Master of the Nets. The garden was inspired by the solitary and calm life of a Chinese fisherman, and as such it aims to instil inner peace. It has hardly been altered since being created during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). The buildings in the garden are so placed to give a sense of space and the water features are structured to reflect the sky to provide the illusion of floating. With names like the Barrier of Cloud grotto and the Ribbon Washing pavilion, the garden immediately invokes a mystical and dreamlike charm that transports you back to ancient East Asia. The experience gets even better as entertainment is hosted within the garden walls. Three of the most popular performances are musical solos played on historic instrument the Chinese zither, a dance show called Moonlight River, and a traditional Kun opera. Each activity takes place in a different pavilion, and at different times of year, in order to reflect the changing seasons. Such a holistic approach is in keeping with the overall philosophy of the gardens, which aim to create balance, unity and a sense of wholeness for all who enter.

Palace of Versailles, Île-de-France, France


Master of the Nets, Suzhou, China



In contrast to the tailored plant-life and geometric formality of the French Garden style across the English Channel, the rolling hills and natural-looking lakes of Stourhead appear casual and untempered with, as was their design. This is a beautifully maintained example of the English Garden style, which came into fashion after the French. Every inch was in fact acutely planned with the intention of creating an idealised but believable view of nature, in keeping with the values of the Enlightenment movement. As a result, trees are scattered asymmetrically around recreations of Classical architecture and lawns are landscaped to hide their boundaries from the visitor’s eyes. Camp replicas of the Greek Pantheon and the Temple of Apollo at Baalbeck, Lebanon appear here among the lush grass and fluffy treetops that flood the park. The overall design was based on 18th century pastoral paintings, which often featured neoclassical architectural details. The best time to visit the garden is in autumn, when a walk around the lake gives a view of the trees changing colour. This fabulous arborial rainbow of colour is, like everything else here, intentionally crafted, as the trees were planted in a specific combination to create the strongest contrast when their leaves begin to turn.

Although there is no such thing officially termed ‘German garden style’, Fredrick the Great’s 18th-century summer house Sanssouci so well employed aspects of the Versailles style and the English landscape garden style that it could be seen as the most interesting to visit. Following in the French kings’ tradition of building grand gardens of leisure, Fredrick named his palace and estate “Sans Souci”, meaning “without concerns”. The principal attraction of the garden is the cascading vineyard that falls in terraces from the foot of the villa down 132 steps to the parterres and fountains below. The vineyard includes numerous niches, trellises and convex landscaped hills designed to capture as much sun as possible. Despite its relatively northern location in European, Fredrick not only grew grapes, but also figs and other fruits that would not usually grow at such a latitude. The garden’s second arresting feature is The Chinese House, a golden rococo pavilion that was inspired by architectural elements imported from China. Chinoiserie was at the height of fashion in the 1750s and Sanssouci’s beautifully maintained example fits surprisingly well with the garden’s neoclassical architecture. The palace and gardens are best visited in summer, when the vineyard is heavy with fruit and the fountains are at full play.

Stourhead House, Stourhead, England

Sanssouc, Potsdam, Germany


wo r l d  Si x of the Best



Long before the French and English had coined their respective garden styles, the Italians were leading the Renaissance of the grand garden as we know it. Villa d’Este was completed in the 1570s. Prior to that, European gardens were traditionally walled, private and mainly used to grow fruit and vegetables. Inspired by the rediscovery of Classical thought and architecture that was carried in by the Renaissance, Cardinal Ippolito II commissioned a garden not far from Rome that had awe-inspiring views over the nearby landscape, complete with fountains and statues that sought to impress his many noble guests. Today, the garden’s dramatic network of more than 500 fountains and steep terraces look as beautiful and playful as ever. The villa’s Renaissance architecture is set off by the mannerist garden style, and the soft, water-riddled stone on which the estate is built takes the form of charmingly eroded grottos, complete with carved nymphs, pebble mosaics and frescoes. The Hundred Fountains, a plant-covered wall that spouts jets of water, and the Rometta fountain complex which surrounds it, are best explored from behind through an arcade. Walking out from the Rometta, visitors are greeted by the grand sculpture of Pegasus that represents the fountain of Hippocrene near the home of the Greek Muses on Mount Parnassus in Greece.

For the prim, proper and perfectly executed formal garden experience, you could travel to the Emerald Isle and wander through the wonders of Powerscourt. First built in the 13th century, it wasn’t until 21-year-old Mervyn Wingfield inherited the property in the 1840s that the gardens began to take their current shape. The young master had an eclectic taste! Here you can see Japanese gardens leading to Classical statues, a pet cemetery beside an Italian Garden, and a medieval stone tower ringed with topiaries peeking out from the forest. Surrounded by azaleas, rhododendrons and beds of roses, the pet cemetery is one of the most intriguing treats of the garden. Children and adults alike will be moved by the intimate and personal inscriptions on the graves, which pay tribute to the fine animals who accompanied the estate’s owners over the centuries. Powerscourt elegantly mixes the French desire for order, intricate Italian terraces, and the English idealisation of nature, but boasts an added dash of Irish joie de vivre. This dash is embodied in the estate’s majestic waterfall, a totally natural, 121 metre-high water feature which cascades down the rock face of Djouce Mountain, and offers the perfect focal point for the vista of the estate.

Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy


Powerscourt Estate, Ireland

w o r d s : Pa t r i c k S i m e o n

Around the world in six stylish stops, from a cult cafĂŠ in Paris to sushi on South Beach

wo R r Ll D d  Hand- pick ed WO

CULT COFFEE Kitsuné Café Maison Kitsuné is expanding once again. After the creation of a successful fashion brand and a music label that has recruited some of the best electronic and indie musicians of the last years, it has decided to open a new luxury café in Paris after its first positive experiment in Tokyo, Japan. The new Café Kitsuné will be located at the heart of the 1st arrondissement, just a short walk from the beautiful gardens of the Palais Royal, opposite what was once the former residence of the French king and is now the headquarters of the Constitutional Council. Café Kitsuné is French classic with an extra dash of nostalgic charm. The European-style café serves premium Londonroasted coffee prepared by attractive baristas, along with gluten-free pastries and cakes baked by Noglu, one of Paris’s top-notch sans-gluten épiceries.


FUSION IN FLORIDA Morimoto, South Beach Yet another American debut for the Japanese chef that reached stardom a few years ago thanks to the highly successful Iron Chef TV show that ran on the Food Network. What captivated Americans the most is Marimoto’s fusion style and its imaginative mix of Japanese and American cuisine. New York and Los Angeles were the first two lucky cities to host his restaurants and now downtown Miami will soon have its own branch inside the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel, a few steps from South Beach. Despite attention and curiosity by the media, the chef has shared very few details about his new Florida joint – not even about the menu. Most probably the Iron Chef will stick to his acclaimed amalgamation of Western and Japanese ingredients, which may not be a big surprise but will certainly be delicious.


wo R r Ll D d  Hand- pick ed WO

DEAD SEA THERAPY Six Senses, Jordan This Six Senses spa, nestled at the bottom of a deep, rocky canyon just a few kilometres away from Jordan’s Dead Sea coast, is an ideal spot for taking a welldeserved break. Guests are hosted in a traditional Arabian-style building with rooms that are both elegant and rustic, and most importantly they’re just a stone’s throw from the therapeutic sulphuric waters from this place’s thermal baths. As well as the spa, this Six Senses location offers lounges and terraces to do some serious chilling. The restaurant blends Western and local Jordanian food, with many healthy options. Last but by no means least, you’ll enjoy access to cultural highlights such as the natural wonders of the Wadi Rum desert, the historical ruins of Petra, the Byzantine mosaics of Madaba and the Roman ruins of Jerash. Choosing the right excursion may be the hardest part of the holiday.


GOLF IN PARADISE Andaz Peninsula Papagayo The Andaz hotel brand, run by Hyatt, has finally decided to expand beyond cities and broaden out to include hotspots that are carefully hidden in select natural reserves. Andaz’s new gem is perched in the middle of the Papagayo Peninsula, in the Bay of Culebra, Costa Rica, where white sand beaches alternate with blossoming patches of green forest. And if the surrounding nature is breath-taking, the hotel itself can only be described as stunning. Designed by the Costa Rican archistar Ronald Zurcher, every last detail at this luxury resort has been planned to deliver extra comfort and a top-notch escapism experience. The newly built hotel has three themed restaurants, a marina bar, a spa and a fitness centre. Golf-enthusiasts might like to know that a few minutes’ drive from the hotel sits the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Championship course, where most of the world’s champions have competed. For those not interested in birdies and eagles, a quick walk to the bay can turn into a sunset boat trip coupled with dinner cooked by local fisherman.


wo R r Ll D d  Hand- pick ed WO

BALLOON OVER BHUTAN Gangtey Goenpa Lodge Bhutan is rightly famous for having invented the Gross National Happiness index, but tourists should be aware that there is a lot more to discover than quirky statistics in this mountainous country. Those tempted to explore the mystical Dragon Kingdom may like to consider visiting the beautiful and remote Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, particularly if a Himalayan hike is on the agenda. The large rooms decorated with traditional designs and furniture created to give a cosy and relaxed atsmosphere. The outstanding views are the extra touch that make the long trip to the lodge feel worthwhile – when you open up the shutters you look over a sweeping panorama of a deep endless valley. As if all of this isn’t enough, the husband-and-wife team Brett Melzer and Khin Omar Win who manage the lodge, recently announced that the resort will offer hot-air balloon rides that will allow guests to explore Bhutan beyond the surrounding Gangtey valley, starting mid-2014.


ISTANBUL SLING Raffles Istanbul The original Raffles in Singapore has won numerous awards and is famed for its signature drink, the Singapore Sling, and its classic colonial style. The hotel has played host to aristocrats and celebrities including Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, so the brand’s new five-star hotel in Istanbul will have to work hard to keep up the stellar reputation. Set in the heart of the Zorlu Center, the largest development Istanbul has seen for a long time, the new Raffles overlooks the deep blue waters of the Bosphorus so visitors can gaze over the boats below. Guests at the 181-room establishment can enjoy a plethora of swimming pools and there is even a heliport for high octane arrivals. The doors are set to open later this year.




Musée des Confluences Département du Rhône Image de synthèse Photo © Armin Hess & COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

{ IKON 50 } Spring 2014 marks the first major UK solo show by Iraqi photographer Jamal Penjweny at the Ikon gallery in Birmingham. The artist hails from Kurdistan, where his family work as shepherds in the mountains. He fell in love with photography as a child, going on to work as a photojournalist for international news agencies during the Iraq war. Penjweny, who now runs a cultural café in Kurdistan that serves as a hub for local artists, is showcasing three distinct series in his UK debut, on show until late April 2014. The first consists of portraits of figures holding a photo of former dictator Saddam Hussein over their faces. The second series captures elderly war-wounded amputees alongside clean-cut soldiers jumping in the air. The final series is black-and-white and shows figures, including U.S. President Barack Obama, crossed through with a red line. Two films add a documentary element to the show, one exploring Iraq’s illegal weapons trade, the other the ways in which alcohol is smuggled from Iraq into Iran.


{ Hieronymus Bosch book }

{ Mandela Sculpture }


Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch is one of the most mysterious and fascinating figures in art history. Something of a radical for his time, the Renaissance artist, who was born in 1450 and died in 1516, is famous for his use of fantastic imagery, creating panels on which grotesque creatures cavort with one another and macabre symbolism is used to illustrate moral and religious ideas and stories. A recently released book, published by Taschen, provides a new perspective on the worldrenowned artist. “Hieronymus Bosch: The Complete Works,” by art historian and Bosch expert Stefan Fischer, features brand new photographs of recently restored paintings and includes an unprecedented overview of the artist’s oeuvre. Complete with a fold-out spread over 110cm long, the book provides a visual overview of Bosch’s fantastic output, accompanied by a commentary penned by Fischer, in which he explores Bosch’s broad influence and key role in art history.

A nine-metre-high bronze statue of Nelson Mandela by sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, was unveiled in Pretoria on South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation on December 16, a day after the former President was buried, caused controversy in January when a rabbit was discover inside the cavern of one enormous ear. The barely visible bunny turned out to be a discrete form of signature on the behalf of the sculptors, who had been prevented from initialling the statue’s trousers as originally intended. Prinsloo and van Vuuren issued a public apology for any implied disrespect, explaining the meaning of the rabbit, which they said represented the pressure they were under to finish the commission on time. The word for rabbit in Afrikaans, “haas,” also means “haste.” The South African government called for the rabbit to be removed upon its discovery, a month after the statute was erected, and officials are reportedly discussing a more appropriate way for the artists to sign their work.

Natural history buffs have something to look forward this year as Lyon’s Musée de Confluences, set to open in December 2014, is finalised. Housed in a stunning building designed by Canadian-American Pritzker prizewinning architect Frank Gehry, the museum focuses on the coming together of humankind throughout history and the formation and evolution of societies. Covering natural history, earth sciences, humanities and ethnology, the contents of the museum will be divided into four sections: Origins: Stories of the World, focused on the origins of the universe and man’s place within it, Species: the Mesh of Life, which explores the evolution of man in relation to his natural and social environment, Societies: Man’s Theatre, questioning the role of the individual in society, and Aeons: Visions of the Afterlife, which looks at conceptions of death and what follows it in different civilizations. Items on display will include ancient fossils, meteorites, stuffed animal specimens and archaeological finds from early tools to Egyptian mummies.

Ben Quilty, Dad with peacock feather hair, 2013,

Corin Sworn, centre, with Whitechapel Gallery’s

oil on linen, 135 x 115cam, image courtesy artist,

director Iwona Blazwick and Max Mara’s Luigi

Jan Murphy Gallery and Prudential Eye Awards

Maramotti (Photo courtesy Whitechapel Gallery)

Photo courtesy Galeria Sabrina Amrani

{ Prudential { Corin Sworn Max { Madrid gallery awards at Suntec } Mara winner } district }

{ BE OPEN made in India }

In January Prudential announced the winners of their Eye Awards for contemporary Asian art in a ceremony at Suntec City, Singapore. Out of a total of more than 500 nominees from over 30 countries, Australian artist Ben Quilty was named the winner of the painting category as well as the overall winner. His subtle paintings dwelling on the relationship between the personal and the cultural will be showcased at London’s Saatchi Gallery in the summer of 2014. Daniel Crooks, hailing from next door New Zealand, won the prize for digital work with his experimental approach towards video art, while self-taught Indonesian artist Jompet Kuswidananto, who trained as a musician, was awarded the installation prize with his multimedia creations combining sound and video. The photography prize went to Adelaide-based artist Trent Parke, whose work tracks the evolution of the Australian nation, while Seoul-based artist Seoung Wook Sim walked away with the award for sculpture, for work plunging viewers into imaginary worlds.

Global philanthropic foundation BE OPEN has announced its intention to launch a worldwide project exploring handmade products and how to ensure their survival in the modern world. Each year the foundation selects a theme; for 2014 they chose North/South - East/West, reflecting their decision to travel to the four corners of the earth in search of the best and brightest young designers, whose innovative approaches shed light on how to keep traditional skills alive through technology. The hunt began in India, where artisans have for centuries been creating carved and inlaid works in stone, marble and wood, rich textiles and world-class ceramics. A February exhibition in New Delhi, Made in... India, showcased furniture, textiles and jewellery by contemporary designers skilled in integrating traditional approaches into their work, which are set to be auctioned off at the Milan World Expo in 2015. The proceeds will be channelled back into the Young Talent Award fun, furthering the foundation’s aims of promoting emerging designers worldwide.

London’s Whitechapel Gallery announced in January that fifth winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women is Glasgow-based, Britishborn, Canadian artist Corin Sworn. The winning proposal by the artist, who works in film and installation, was inspired by the fascinating history and elaborate costumes of the Commedia dell’Arte, which allows Sworn to continue her exploration of stories surrounding migration by revisiting the history of the acting troupes who toured Italy from the 16th century onwards. The prize consists of a bespoke residency, which will be divided between Rome, where the artist will spent three months exploring the relationship between the Commedia dell’Arte and Italian cinema, Naples, where she will be based in the newly restored Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Napoli, and Venice, where she will immerse herself in the archives at Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, founded in 1898 and home to one of the oldest residency programs in Europe.

A unique collaboration in Madrid is bringing art lovers and galleries closer together, courtesy of a program that sees 14 venues in District 28004 teaming up to coordinate and extend their opening hours, simplifying life for visitors. The project aims to encourage members of the public to enjoy the neighbourhood’s extensive collection of galleries, which from the end of January agreed to synchronise their opening hours so that visitors no longer need to check each individual gallery’s timetable. The fourteen venues Casado Santapau, Elba Benítez, Elvira Gonzalez, Espacio Valverde, Heinrich Ehrhardt, Joan Gaspar, Juana de Aizpuru, La Caja Negra, Max Estrella, Oliva Arauna, Rafael Perez-Hernando, Sabrina Amrani, Travesia Cuatro and Utopia Parkway — are all now open from 11am until 7 pm, Tuesday through Friday. Even better, they are opening from 11am until 2pm on Saturdays and inviting visitors to enjoy a late breakfast at the venue of their choice on the last Saturday of each month.


W o r d s : Pa t r i c k S i m e o n

Selections picks some of the best art events and exhibitions in the coming months

Mona Hatoum: Turbulence

Design of the Year 2014

7th February 2014- 18th May 2014 Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha This London-based, Beirut-born artist of Palestinian origin has won respect over her 30-year career for her moving and strange installation and video works that contain incisive political comment. Mona Hatoum’s current retrospective at Mathaf has been curated by Art Reoriented who organised her pieces with a thematic eye to generate an experience for visitors that provokes awe and discomfort in tuen. The title pays homage to her topical work Turbulence, a reflection on the artist’s own identity as being constantly torn between alienation and displacement.

26th March 2014 – 22th June 2014 Design Museum, London, UK London’s Design Museum awards bring together the best of the best from the design world along with a number of carefully picked newcomers. The exhibition will show installations, threedimensional works and architectural projects together with workshops, and strives to cover the breadth of the new out there. This year’s winners include the Parisian Tour Bois-le-Prêtre Building designed by Frédéric Druot and the Medici chair, a new creation by Munich based Konstantin Grcic.

MiArt Fair

14th February 2014 – 14th June 2014 Garage, Moscow, Russia Have you ever wondered what pushes collectors to choose the art pieces they purchase? If you have (and you should) your question can be answered through a Russian lens. The exhibition organized by the Garage Center calls upon twenty of the most important art collectors in Russia to share some of their favourite pieces with the public and explain their decision process. Household names (in Russia…) include Dmitry Aksenov, Mikhail Alshibaya and Leonid Blavatnik.

28th March 2014 – 30th March 2014 Fieramilanocity, Milan, Italy This annual meet up is a must for anyone remotely interested in contemporary and modern art. Based in Milan, this three-day event has the intent of making “modern and contemporary art communicate”. Talks, art shows and performances sponsored by artists and established galleries are mixed with events and workshops.


Personal Choice


Art Fair Tokyo

Art Dubai

6th March 2014 – 9th March 2014 Skylight at Moynihan Station, New York, USA Sixty international galleries from 22 different countries will show at this year’s edition of Scope, one of the most important platforms for emerging and mid-career artists in the world. Scope is more than just an exhibition. The Breeder Program gives a chance to emerging artists to be noted and fostered by Scope. Former alumni include some impressive names such as Peres Projects and John Connelly Presents.

7th March 2014 – 9th March 2014 Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan One of the most important art happenings on the Eastern side of the hemisphere, the Tokyo Art Fair brings together the best of Japan’s galleries. Among the 70 carefully chosen participants are Scai the Bathhouse, rated one of Tokyo’s top ten galleries and Mizuma, an art space that made its name in recent years by pioneering the traditional nihonga painting style, a technique that privileges fantastical images over a focus on real world subjects.

19th March 2014 – 22nd March 2014 Index Tower,Dubai, U.A.E. Art Dubai, the most important art event of the Arab world, rolls around again, this time with a new focus on Modern works. Nearly 100 galleries from more than 30 countries will showcase under the same roof and contend for the attention of the twenty-five thousand expected visitors. Those lucky enough to be there will also be able to enjoy commissioned projects and performances, artists’ and curators’ residencies, radio and film events. A genuine hub for commercial and critical artistic production in the region.

Real Emotions: Thinking in Film

The Sleep of Reason

23rd February 2014 – 27th March 2014 KW, Berlin, Germany How does one tell a story that is able to challenge people and push them to think beyond the boundaries of the world they already know? This difficult question is at the heart of the on-going exhibition at the KW space in Berlin. Curators selected a number of movie snippets from commercial and art-house movies in order to highlight different techniques and methods for achieving every film-maker’s goal: to create a strong new emotion for the spectator.

8th February2014 – 27th April 2014 Arter Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey Inspired by Goya’s classical painting The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, British artist Marc Quinn’s solo exhibition, curated by Selen Ansen, is an attempt to take the Spanish painters tradition into our modern times. In the majority of the 30 works that will be exposed the artist represents himself sleeping, surrounded by the products of his own imagination, monsters and nightmares.

Lara Zankoul: The Unseen 10th February 2014 – 30th March 2014 Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon Seen internationally as the leading commercial gallery for Middle Eastern art, Ayyam Gallery’s exhibitions are always high profile and this latest show is no exception. Lara Zankoul’s photographic pieces are here collected together under the title The Unseen for her second solo show following her appearance at the 2011 Women’s Art Exhibition at Art Lounge, Beirut. Ayyam has a talent for picking up new artists and revealing them to the market, making it worth a look for curious collectors.


a rt & dEs ig n  B  ERNDNAUT SM IL DE

Berndnaut Smilde, the Dutch artist behind those touching cloud photographs that went viral online, has created new Nimbus photo-sculpture-installations that are equally mesmerising for his upcoming exhibition Antipode, as he tells Selections editor Kasia Maciejowska


“P opposite: Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Litta, 2013, digital c-type print on aluminium, Courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

above: Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Green Room, 2013, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

eople have been projecting meaning onto clouds for centuries,” muses Berndnaut Smilde as he considers why his Nimbus images have captivated so many people since he first started creating them two years ago. “People seem to be touched that the clouds are in effect real at the moment when they are captured.” Perhaps it is this romantic sense of catching a moment that led the images to go viral and prompted Time magazine to place these indoor clouds at number one on its list of the best inventions of 2012. On top of using photography’s ever-appealing calling card of appearing to stop time, Smilde’s production of actual temporary clouds that float for a fleeting moment adds a double layer of whistful temporality to the series, which the multidisciplinary artist describes as a synthesis of photography, installation and sculpture.

Not only are they temporary, but also downright strange – simply because they are set indoors. By contrasting a miniature version of a natural phenomenon with the gilded interior walls of a palace or the streaked stone ceiling of a historic hammam, Smilde gives the viewer a healthy dose of surrealism. Seeing a perfectly pretty, white fluffy cloud floating mysteriously inside a building, transports you immediately into a topsy-turvy world in which the normal becomes unfamiliar. “The clouds function as a sort of ‘in-between reality’ as they are presented out of their natural context, which opens up the possibility to project lots of ideas onto them,” says the artist. Describing how he crafts his uncanny mini clouds, Smilde says every shoot is still an experiment. “I started working with smoke because of the visual resemblance to clouds and by testing different techniques I got the hang of it. It’s not a high-


a rt & dEs ig n  B  ERNDNAUT SM IL DE

tech process. I use a fog machine and by carefully adjusting the temperature and humidity of the room the clouds are produced just long enough to be photographed. I can control the spaces I shoot in but the clouds are different every time. It always takes a while to get a cloud where I want it. It appears for a few seconds and then it falls apart, and only the photo remains. The photo functions as the document. The work only exists as a photograph.” For his upcoming exhibition Antipode, at the Ronchini Gallery in Mayfair, London, Smilde has produced a sequence of new works to add to the ongoing Nimbus series. As with his previous show at the same gallery a year ago, the exhibition mixes one or two contrasting works in with the Nimbus images as a sort of complementary counterpoint, and it works very well introducing a 3D element like this. In Antipode, he will exhibit some new experiments that play with light and capture the prismatic spectrum. One, called Unflattened, “Plays with the rainbow as a sign of perfection and promise,” says Smilde, who explains that by projecting the rainbow upside down onto an image of an idealistic-looking landscape he generates something that looks simultaneously idealistic and apocalyptic. “I like it when the projection – and therefore the idea as well – continues outside the photomural into the exhibition space itself. This places it in time.”


above: Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus LOT, 2013, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

BELOW: Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus, 2010, courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Occupying these sorts of cross-over spaces between the natural world, constructed architectural or exhibition spaces, and people’s interpretations of natural phenomena, is the magic of Smilde’s beguiling image-making. “The fantastical nature of clouds somehow sets the imagination free so people can create a mythical narrative – that’s why so many different types of people respond to these pictures, they must have some kind of universal appeal.” Certainly clouds are apt to being interpreted in infinitely various ways and will never lose their ubiquitous beauty. It is Smilde’s re-contextualisation of them inside that has won so many hearts. Through this he clears the jaded human eye of its familiarity with clouds and in doing so reframing our image of one of nature’s most visible scientific wonders, reinstating it to one of awe. Antipode runs from 11th April until 17th May 2014 at the Ronchini Gallery

Words: Kasia Maciejowska

a rt & dEs ig n  D  ESIG N DAYS DUBA I

Design Days Dubai brings enigmatic high-tech installations and magnetically desirable craftwork to the Gulf from as near as Pakistan and Lebanon, to as far as China and South Africa


I above: The Archetypical Vase by Andrea Bandoni and Joana Meroz

opposite page: Overnight pendant lights (detail) by Odd Matter

n the brimming market of commercial design fairs, Design Days Dubai has its geographical location to help it stand out. Lip service is often paid to the Gulf ’s position as a crossroads for cultural exchange between Africa, Europe, and Asia, and for the 2014 edition of the fair, director Cyril Zammit has zoned in on this positioning as a tool for presenting diversity in design. He has enlisted galleries from eight new territories to exhibit, coming from Algeria, Pakistan, South Africa, India, China, and Brazil, among others. Zammit is conscious of how important timing can be to giving exposure to designers coming from territories that

are currently still emerging onto the international design scene. “I am often asked by many galleries from far and wide if they can exhibit. I try to encourage where appropriate but also to say no if the time isn’t right, because it can actually be detrimental to mount an exhibition that will be received as representative of a designer, gallery or a country before they are ready as they won’t show their best work.” Yet at the same time, he knows that Design Days Dubai can offer a platform when none other is available: “I accepted the Algerian Agency for Cultural Outreach because I realise that if I don’t, then nobody will – where else can they exhibit?” It’s not all about newcomers this year of course. Established names include


a rt & dEs ig n  DESIG  N DAYS DUBA I


Top left: Kassena

Far left: Full

bottom left:

left: PP Trees

Above left:

Top right:

Above right:

Server Slate by

Turn by ECAL

Spacecrafted carpet

by Tom Price

Yalla copper wall


Mirage mirrors by

plates by Fabrica

audio system by

Benjamin Graindorge

Dokter and Misses

by Iwan Maktabi

Arne Faerber

the Campana Brothers, India Mahdavi and Michael Anastassiades – the latter two who work with the Beirut gallery Carwan. This new leader in design in the Lebanese capital, and its compatriot Art Factum are each showing works they commissioned around specific concepts. Lindsay Edelman’s series called Vessels and Fabrica’s Copper Wall Plates stand out at Carwan, while Karim Chaya’s marble and bronze lighting series created for the Spectrum exhibition is one of the highlights at Art Factum. Contrary to as its name would suggest, the Discover section actually focuses on the well-worn city of Paris, presenting galleries Bensimon, Gosserez, Next Level, and Ymer & Malta, where Benjamin Graindorge’s seductive Mirage mirrors can be found, among other treasures. Several installations add the experimental and experiential aspect that is central to engaging people at a fair. Greeting

visitors at the entrance is The Obsessive Drafter, a 3D printed robotic arm sketching in real-time, created by Nareg Karaoghlanian and Guillaume Credoz, who opened the first 3D print shop in the Middle East in Beirut. Nearby people can rest beneath the PP Trysting Trees of Tom Price, whose pretty and thought-provoking arborial structures re-use white polypropylene piping. Similarly captivating is Climatology by Elaine Ng Yan Ling, presented by Beijing-based Wuhao; this meticulous floral construction from smart textiles, or ‘wooden skin’, responds to fluctuations in light, temperature and humidity. Smaller, but equally attention-grabbing, is the spinning iPad at Benjamin Muzzin gallery, designed by graduates from the wunderkind Swiss design school ECAL. Design Days Dubai is at The Venue in Downtown Dubai, from 17th until 21st March 2014


a rt & dEs ig n  MAIS ON & OBJE T TR E NDS


Words: Alberto Mucci

Three bewildering trends - Landscape, Heliotropic, and Beyond - lit up the latest edition of Maison&Objet in Paris. But how did they look and what did they mean?


a rt & dEs ig n  MAIS ON & OBJE T TR E NDS


hree thousand designers, architects, innovators and decorators all met up for their regular seasonal five days in Paris to showcase their work to 80,000 eager professionals from every corner of the world. The reams of refined works exhibited in the 250,000m² Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte could be divided into three Spring/Summer trends that are inspiring architecture and design – Landscape, Heliotropic, and Beyond. But what does this mean to those of us who don’t speak Trend? All three directions were grouped under the notion of ‘Elsewhere’.The first theme, Landscape, relates to the will of architects and designers to search beyond the known horizons and experiment in new fields,











especially in the area of natural landscapes. The second theme, which is rather lavishly called Heliotropic, refers to the tendency of plants to reach out and naturally look for the sun. In terms of design and architecture this translates into the search

for objects and spaces that are open, wide and always relying on a natural source of light instead of an artificial one. The third identified trend, Beyond, deals again with an intention to look for something that “goes beyond”. “Beyond what?”, you might ask. As Vincent Grégoire, a trend analyst for the Nelly Rodi agency puts it, to reach, “The edges of space or oceanic depths”. This phrase is a reference to the Sea-Punk movement, a subculture that has been gathering momentum in art and fashion over the past couple of years and features the heavy use of turquoise and the adoption


of nautical themes but re-arranged in a digital collage that reflects the surrealism of the online realm. If all of this sounds a bit vague and confusing, the Maison&Objet team has endeavoured to streamline the overwhelming volume of design work being presented at the fair by selecting those works that it considers to be the best and most representative works of 2013. Winners this edition included names like Tom Dixon and Philippe Nigro. Dixon has become widely lauded

for his bold and textural work. Both a college drop-out and a failed rock-star, he re-invented himself as a furniture maker and designer to high acclaim. By the early Eighties Dixon was employed by the Italian furniture giant Capellini. He worked his way up until he decided to start his eponymous company which is now one of the world’s best known. Negro is Spanish in origin and French by birth. After university he made a name for himself by collaborating with Italian designer Michele De Lucchi


on a variety of projects until in 2010 he conceived what is probably his most famous work, “The Think Station”, a large wooden box made to isolate the person sitting inside it from the outside world. Alongside such big-name highlights, the fair of course presented the new collections and creative installations of both emerging designers and interiors brands, in addition to regional exhibitions from around the world, including East Asia, where the coming edition of Maison&Objet will be held this month.


C ur at ed by A b d e l l a h K a r ro u m a rt & d E s ig n

Curated by Abdellah Karroum


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m



round the globe, modern and contemporary art is made up of multiple histories, often overlapping with utopian projects. Men and women create spaces, invent materials, and explore new concepts of life through painting, sculpture, writing, filmmaking, architecture, and design. New tendencies in art reflect political changes and social progress around the world. Today’s world is full of contradiction and multiple possibilities; borders open, but not for everyone. The understanding of art’s histories today considers those characters who introduce key ideas, the geographies they came from, and how they shift between contexts. They move for political reasons such as exile and, at other times, for personal reasons, such as love or discovery. Sharing the evolving research and knowledge of these histories is one of the primary goals of the Museum today. A museum such as Mathaf assumes the

responsibility of collecting objects that accurately and evocatively bear witness to our time and to those that came before. With research as a tool, exhibition as an experience, and education as a perspective, the museum today should inscribe art in our daily life. The series I have chosen for the following pages is a mix of works by modern and contemporary artists who took risks and invented original artistic languages. After making the selection, I realized that just half of the artworks I included were created by men, underscoring the extent to which gender equality is crucial to the progress of art and society. Putting these pages together reminds me of the inaugural exhibition I curated for L’appartement 22 in 2002, in which ideas of equality were interrogated between the private space and the public space, and makes me proud of Mathaf ’s spring 2014 exhibitions, which include solo shows by Etel Adnan, Mona Hatoum, and Manal Al Dowayan.

Abdellah Karroum Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m


Cow Belly (2010) Hassan Sharif

steel, copper, aluminium

This installation by Hassan Sharif is typical of how his work

interrogates form. Made of papers that look like larger-than-

life candies, the piece mimics a carpet yet is impossible to step on. Sharif explores conceptual systems, using recycled objects and materials to construct a collection of his own.


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m

Two Women (1957) Jawad Selim oil on canvas

The pioneering Jawad Selim’s contributions to Iraq’s modern art movements have inspired generations. His work, which he produced in the midtwentieth century, can be read in relation to the multi-dimensional legacies from Mesopotamia until modern Iraq, with all that came

in between. He depicted scenes from the streets of Baghdad and re-

invented the notion of localised art using cultural symbols and forms.



a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m


Title unknown (circa early 1960s) Fahrelnissa Zeid oil on canvas

Fahrelnissa Zeid is one of the most ambitious international painters who had strong affiliations with and a lasting impact on art in the

Arab World. Born into an Ottoman family, Zeid moved to Amman

in 1975 and there she founded the Fahrenissa Zeid Royal Institute of Fine Arts to mentor a group of young women who were interested in

art. Among her students was artist Suha Shoman, who often speaks of

Zeid as a spiritual mother. Looking at the time and prolific production of Fahrelnissa, we see complicities with her peers, who included modern painters from École de Paris such as Sonia Delaunay.


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m

Stories of Martyrdom (1994) Shirin Neshat

gelatin silver photograph and ink

Shirin Neshat’s work is both conceptual and analytic, documentary and fantastic. This photograph speaks to the real intellectual position of the

artist, inviting the viewer to think about histories, relationships, and social

conventions. She uses photography and film to question the place of women in society, and in her home country where the artist witnessed a radical

social change toward a uniform political system. Her Stories of Martyrdom, in which Arabic calligraphy overlays hands, activates the idea of gender

and femininity in relation to social pressure and violence. Such oppositions are present in the work’s material form - black and white photography - as well as in the composition with the idea of beauty and death.


The Silent Multitudes (2010) Amal Kenawy

multimedia installation: gas cylinders and video

Amal Kenawy studied film and fine art in Cairo. She was a friend and her personal life was inhabited by political pressure, as was her body, which was affected by the sicknesses of the society when schizophrenia and

paranoia took Egypt to its social explosion. Her prescient performance work, Silence of the Sheep, shows groups of people crawling on the

streets of Cairo lead by the artist. It took place in the streets of Cairo

prior to the Arab Spring. She passed away very young, in 2012, in the

midst of her very prolific and successful career. The work selected here

expresses the pressure of the world that threatens to explode at anytime.


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m


Until The End Of The World (2008) Shezad Dawood

neon, timer and aluminium encased mirrors

Shezad Dawood’s artworks consistently use elements from popular culture to tell other stories. His technique of citation draws on a wide range of

sources, ranging from contemporary cinema and traditional literature to

spiritual texts. In this work, the artist cites, in blinking neon lights, a verse

from the Quran about the signs of the end of the world. The artist imbues the text, read backwards in an adjacent mirror, with a double movement.

The image of the mirrored script illustrates the idea of the before and after.


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m


Suspended Together (2011) Manal Al Dowayan 123 fiberglass doves

Saudi artist Manal Al Dowayan belongs to the generation of artists that

I call Generation 00. Her work both provides insight into social political

context and explores an original aesthetic where individual opinion meets

collective memory and drama. The artist bears witness to a time of political change within the larger movement of the Arab Spring, using art for

creation and awareness. The installation, Suspended Together, was featured in Paintings, Sculptures and Projects Garden, an exhibition of Mathaf ’s permanent collection in 2014. Printed on each dove is the permission document that Saudi women are required to have in order to travel.


a rt & dEs ig n Curated by Abde l l a h Karrou m

Title unknown (1995) Youssef Ahmad

acrylic on canvas Photo: Wael Mansou

I choose to conclude this selection with a work by Youssef Ahmed, a

key figure in art in Qatar and the Gulf. His innovations in materials and forms are the results of his movement between the Arabian Peninsula

and the Western world. He makes his paper from palm tree leaves and

experiments with poetic calligraphy so that it is read as forms shifting in

meanings. His pieces are always in progress, similar to the environment in which he lives - Qatar - mutating every day in progress before our eyes. His works of recycled paper and plexiglas are formed to look like the

fabric of Doha’s buildings, reflecting on the influence of the topics and techniques that oil exploitation industries bring into art production.


by ghada blanco

Selections # 25  
Selections # 25  

Selections magazine presents a playful take on la vie en rose covering culture, style and luxury from an international perspective. With art...