Page 1

Men's Fashion November - December, 2013

T Emirates : The New York Times Style Magazine 





Men’s Fashion Fall 2013



CALIBER RM 011 FELIPE MASSA FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH Skeletonized, automatic Winding chronograph movement Annular calendar with oversized date and month indicator 12-hour totalizer 60-minute countdown timer Chronograph flyback function Hand ground titanium baseplate and bridges Rotor with ceramic ball bearings Special tungsten-colbolt alloy rotor weight 6-positional, variable rotor geometry With 18-carat white gold wings Balance wheel in Glucydur with 3 arms Frequency : 28 800 vph (4Hz) Moment of inertia : 4.8 mg/cm2 62 Jewels Incabloc for bottom plate and balance cock Water resistant to 50 meters Finished and polished by hand Central caseband in titanium with (front and back) bezels In titanium or 18-carat red or white gold

Men’s Fashion November - December, 2013

Born to be Wild

Bespoke Elegance

Best in Show

Tearing away from the macho imagery normally associated with bikers, these women riders in the UAE are challenging convention and making up their own rules as they go along. By Priyanka Pradhan. Photographs by Natasha Kishore.

The Middle East’s exclusive bespoke shoemakers share their secrets and passions with Priyanka Pradhan.

He sings, he dances, he acts, and he’s not afraid to get silly in selfmocking comedy shorts. Drawing a line from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z, Justin Timberlake has become this generation’s master of ceremonies. By Michael Hirschorn. Photographs by Hedi Slimane. Styled by Sarah Richardson.


40 Nicholas Kirkwood’s Dubai Fantasy

Leading shoe designer shares his motivation for his exclusive Dubaiinspired sketch. By Nick Remsen.



Labor of Love

What Lies Beneath

With his characteristic wit and humble charm, the artist André Dubreuil has devoted decades to breathing life back into his family’s grand 18th-century chateau. By Natasha Garnett. Photographs by Martin Morrell. Produced by Gay Gassmann.

The killer instincts of the model-turnedactor Jamie Dornan. Photographs by Karim Sadli. Styled by Joe McKenna. By Jesse Ashlock.


86 Extreme Eating

In food-rich Singapore, where even the cabbies are obsessive gourmands, a new wave of chef-driven restaurants are changing the face of dining. By Howie Khan. Photographs by Louis Porter. 92


Clockwise from top: strawberry and watermelon gazpacho with black olive sorbet at Esquina in Singapore. Justin Timberlake in a Dolce & Gabbana sweater, AED 7,695; dolce The actor Jamie Dornan in a Bottega Veneta jacket, AED 9,918, shirt, AED 4,040, and coat (on table), AED 11,387; Balenciaga pants, price on request; Dolce & Gabbana shoes, AED 2,920.

ON THE COVER: Justin Timberlake in a Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane shirt, AED 10,836, and T-shirt, AED 937; (212) 980-2970. Photographed by Hedi Slimane. Styled by Sarah Richardson. ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times

Table of Contents

The Art of Being Italian

Ferragamo seems to have it all: heritage, “Made in Italy” exclusivity, and now impressive financial results. T Emirates meets the personalities behind the brand. By Sindhu Nair. 25 A Bride’s Tale

Lookout Sign of the Times

The male hero, once in ample supply, has entered a period of steady decline, and today our most iconic men are more likely to inspire cynicism than reverence. By Joshua Ferris. 11 This and That

J. P. Tod’s Sartorial Touch collection; unraveling the scarves of the season; Dries Van Noten and Junya Watanabe's disheveled drifter with a profusion of oversize tweed jackets; and more.

Runway Report

Thanks to techno fabrics and an oversize, structured cut, sweatshirts are no longer just for weekends. Photographs by Matthew Kristall. Styled by Jason Rider.

An Emirati artist offers a unique glimpse into her culture, capturing the moods and expressions of a modern Emirati bride on her wedding day. By Priyanka Pradhan. 31


Lookout Emirates Scents and Sensibility

The season comes with a wide selection of holiday fragrances for men and women, ranging from classics to the exotic. T Emirates gets a whiff of what’s in store for the perfume aficionado. By Priyanka Pradhan. 23

Quality In Fashion

The best accessories for fall — soft briefcases, toneon-tone watches and dress boots — take their cues from classic banker style. Paired with an offbeat pinstripe suit, they’re anything but conformist. Photographs by Paul Wetherell. Styled by Jason Rider. 33

Turning Point

Antoine Arnault spent his youth enjoying the spoils of being the LVMH titan’s eldest son. But by successfully betting on high-end men’s wear as an ever-ripening luxury category, he’s quickly proving that nepotism only goes so far. By Dana Thomas. Portrait by Benoit Peverelli. 37

13 Take Two

Brian Eno and Tom Dixon take on a home fragrance, a music documentary and fleece shorts. 16 The Moment

There’s a feeling of boyish waywardness to much of men’s dressing right now, from signet rings to rumpled collars and cowlicks. Photographs by David Armstrong. Styled by Jason Rider.

Clockwise from top left: Giovanna Ferragamo, vicechairman, Salvatore Ferragamo; a silhouette of an Emirati bride captured by the emirati photographer Alia Rashid alShamsi; Antoine Arnault in the entryway to his Paris home.



Copyright © 2013 The New York Times


Behind the T 10

MODERN. CONTEMPORARY. ABU DHABI ART. 20 - 23 November 2013 UAE Pavilion and Manarat Al Saadiyat Saadiyat Cultural District Abu Dhabi, UAE

Organised by:

Principal sponsor:

Table of Contents Chief Executive Sandeep Sehgal

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Aaron Greenwood Deputy Editor David George Assistant Editor Priyanka Pradhan

By Design

David Karp lives by the principle that the world doesn’t need more flashy gadgets and fancy software — which would be fine, had he not founded Tumblr. By Tim Wu. Photographs by Ben Hoffmann.

Arena Emirates A Man at Work

Bottega Veneta’s creative director, Tomas Maier, talks about the globe’s strengthening menswear market. By Nick Remsen. 54

47 A Picture and a Poem

The young Belgian painter Harold Ancart captures nature’s shifting landscape, as described in verse by Dean Young.


A Kaleidoscope of Emirati Art

Eat, Play, Love: A Getaway to the ‘Rising Emirate’

From collaborating on an Instagram-inspired platform to using GPS as a drawing tool, contemporary Emirati artists are pushing the creative boundaries. T Emirates discovers how the Abu Dhabi Art 2013 festival is helping Emirati talent find its footing in the art market. By Priyanka Pradhan.

Not far from the glamorous high-rises of Dubai and the bustling streets of Abu Dhabi, lies the small, but distinctive emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Blessed with a natural bay and a diverse terrain, it offers an adventure just hours away from the madding crowd. By Priyanka Pradhan. 58



Istanbul: A Two-Faced Retreat


Turkey’s biggest city isn’t the easiest place to navigate, yet Istanbul’s majestic horizons turn even the most monotonous taxi ride into an adventure. We explored the mesmerizing sights and smells of a bustling destination where Europe meets Asia to create a conundrum of ancient beauty. By Joe Lipscombe. Photographs by Matthew Wilson.

A Los Angeles designer and collector creates a surreal hangout where taxidermied dogs play chess and Elton John swings by for a chat. By Amanda Fortini. Photographs by Lisa Eisner. 52

60 Document

From top: the Tumblr founder and C.E.O. David Karp’s collection of cameras in his Brooklyn loft; the designer and collector Blaine Halvorson in his Culver City, Calif., studio.

The iconic rock ‘n’ roll photographer Mick Rock reflects on the eternal allure of the bad-boy frontman. 96


T, The New York Times Style Magazine, and the T logo are trademarks of The New York Times Co., NY, NY, USA, and are used under license by UMS International, UAE. Content reproduced from T, The New York Times Style Magazine, copyright The New York Times Co. and/or its contributors 2013 all rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed within T-Emirates are not necessarily those of The New York Times Company or those of its contributors.

UMS International FZ LLC P.O. Box: 503048, Building no 9, Office 106, Dubai Media City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel:+9714-4329467 Fax: +9714-4329534


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Senior Designer Nadia Mendez

PRODUCTION Production Manager Viktor Ahmed Production Supervisor Tushar Raval

MARKETING AND SALES Assistant General Manager Poonam Chawla Senior Sales Manager Nikhil Mathur Deputy Advertising Manager Neema S. Purswani Assistant Brand Manager Tarun Gangwani Marketing Coordinator Disha Gagwani Printed at Emirates Printing Press LLC, Dubai Distributed by GN Distribution

For marketing queries please call +97150-1447656 E mail: Twitter: Facebook:

T, THE STYLE MAGAZINE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES Editor in Chief Deborah Needleman Creative Director Patrick Li Deputy Editor Whitney Vargas Fashion Director at Large Joe McKenna Managing Editor George Gustines Photography Director Nadia Vellam

THE NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICES General Manager Michael Greenspon Vice President, Licensing and Syndication Alice Ting


BPA Worldwide Consumer Membership Applied for September 2013.

Art Director Steven Castelluccia

Vice President, Executive Editor The New York Times News Service & Syndicate Nancy Lee

LICENSED EDITIONS Editorial Director Josephine Schmidt Editor, T International Editions George Gustines Coordinators Gary Caesar Jessie Sandler

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times



Correspondents Joe Lipscombe Mia Fothergill Fox Cordelia Ditton Gwenda Hughes-Art Richard Thompson-Travel

Behind the T Michael Hirschorn Best in Show (Page 72) Michael Hirschorn knows

David Armstrong and Jason Rider

his way around pop culture. But as the former editor in chief of Spin magazine, onetime head of programming at VH1, and founder of the digital production company Ish Entertainment, he had never met Justin Timberlake before. Of course, he’d been observing the star for years. ‘‘I have always been impressed by his sense of humor and intelligence, and his refusal to get carried away with his own celebrity,’’ Hirschorn says.

Youth Uprising (Page 15) T’s senior fashion editor, Jason Rider

Gay Gassmann Labor of Love (Page 78) The French furniture designer André Dubreuil, world renowned for his idiosyncratic objects like his ‘‘Sun Candelabra’’ and ‘‘Chaise Spine’’ (left), also has an idiosyncratic home. The Château de Beaulieu, an 18th-century estate in the South of France that has been in Dubreuil’s family for decades and is filled with his own eclectic collections, was shot for the first time by the photographer Martin Morrell for this issue. Gay Gassmann, a contributing editor at T who curates the art for the Picture and a Poem series and also produces stories on the homes of artists and art dealers, first met Dubreuil about 15 years ago. ‘‘I sensed then what I know now — here is an artist who lives entirely in his own world,’’ she says.

Joshua Ferris

Tim Wu

Let Us Now Praise Infamous Men (Page 11)

The Reluctant Technologist (Page

Joshua Ferris made the New Yorker’s ‘‘20 Under 40’’ list of fiction writers just a few years after his debut novel, ‘‘Then We Came to the End,’’ was published in 2007. For this issue’s Sign of the Times, he wrote an essay on the male hero’s decline in the eyes of a ‘‘savvier and more skeptical’’ modern audience. Ferris’s personal example is Ernest Hemingway: ‘‘He was a bully. He was an anti-Semite. You learn these things late, after the work.’’ Ferris’s third novel, ‘‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour,’’ is due out next spring.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

47) ‘‘If you met him, you’d never guess he had something to do with high-tech,’’ says Tim Wu, a media and Internet policy professor at Columbia Law School, about David Karp, the founder and chief executive officer of Tumblr. Karp’s Williamsburg home in New York City, which Wu describes as ‘‘a beautiful space, but ultra-low-tech,’’ inspired Wu to reconsider his own Chelsea apartment, also in NYC. ‘‘He made me think I should take down all of our drywall. I want to see some bricks,’’ Wu says, adding that he has even consulted a designer.

Dean Young and Harold Ancart Falling Leaves (Page 51) The

poet Dean Young (top), who has published 10 books of poetry, says, ‘‘In truth, I have no intentions to say anything when I sit down to write a poem, and am much more interested in what the language seems to want to say.’’ Harold Ancart, the Belgian painter who responded to Young’s poem ‘‘Second Fall in the Afterlife’’ by creating a drawing, says he also lets his art speak for itself. ‘‘It is not an illustration of the poem,’’ he explains. ‘‘It is an abstraction of feeling.’’


(right), styled The Moment in this issue near the Brooklyn home of the photographer David Armstrong. At the fall shows, Rider noticed ‘‘convincing, thoughtful representations of what men actually want to wear: big coats, worn-in knits, heirloom tweeds. They’re the kind of clothes you see in movies like ‘Stranger Than Paradise’ that look as relevant now.’’ Armstrong found the look evocative too, reminding him of the trends he saw ‘‘when I was in high school, and when I first came to New York in my early 20s.’’ The slouchy silhouette seems fresh again after the relentlessly lean streak in men’s wear, Armstrong adds.

THE HERO GOES UNDERGROUND Our male icons have tumbled from the national pedestal we once placed them on.

Sign of the Times

Let Us Now Praise Infamous Men The male hero, once in ample supply, has entered a period of steady decline, and today our most iconic men are more likely to inspire cynicism than reverence. BY JOSHUA FERRIS PHOTOGRAPH BY DULCE PINZÓN

IF YOU WERE TO TAKE AN INVENTORY of prominent men today,

you might wonder what’s become of the male icon. Once minted in steady supply from the best of our statesmen, athletes and entertainers, the genuine icon has become a rare thing. And while the icon used to be bound up in heroism — real or perceived — current contenders to iconic status are now made from darker stuff. Consider Julian Assange, or Kanye West, or Mark Zuckerberg, or the problematic fictional men of cable TV. To be an iconic man was at one time less complicated. You had to be the president, or a movie star, or a rock star, or the heavyweight champion of the world. Admittedly, none of that was easy; as achievements go, they were among American life’s most difficult, requiring at least as much dumb luck as talent and hard work. But once the hurdles were cleared, divine worship was the reward. It might be James Dean, or Elvis, or John F. Kennedy. The world needed these charismatic men, these otherworldly achievers and

transcendent beauties. What came next was the apotheosis: the iconic man delivered unto the heart of the country on the cover of Look, or Life, or Esquire. Of course, such men had their detractors. Elvis’s gyrations outraged some, and J.F.K.’s Catholicism offended others. The famous image of Muhammad Ali as Saint Sebastián, hands bound behind his back and body pierced by half a dozen bloody arrows, showed that not everyone was willing to worship in his church. But by and large, these figures had the nation’s heart, and a consensus prevailed that they were great men. And once they had begun doing great things, a centralized and highly structured tastemaking machine began curating and disseminating their divinity. Control over that dissemination was highly concentrated: it was a time of three network stations, a sovereign Madison Avenue, a stable literary canon. Ours was a dominant culture of suits and ties and a counterculture effectively contained. The machine knew what the

Issue November - December, 2013


Sign of the Times

world liked and found acceptable. It had a lock on our fantasies and projections and longings. It told us, in the primal language of the photograph, what a man was, a great man, a godly man, and how we might emulate him. But the machine couldn’t keep its grip. Nixon fell, forever desacralizing high office, and memoirs by Kennedy’s mistresses brought news of a martyred saint’s all-too-human condition. The paparazzi, once lurking among the shadows, crept into the light, helping to narrow the gap between our view of paradise and reality. Privilege would never again be accorded privacy. Irony and cynicism slowly gained on reverence. As we got savvier and more skeptical, we turned against the machine. We began to understand that what made a man iconic was as much commercial manipulation as it was empyrean merit. The supermarket tabloids undercut the pageantry of glossy cover images. Around the time that rock stars began to sell out to car commercials, the male icon entered a permanent decline. Our more nuanced view of the powerful, the celebrated and the revered gave rise to a more compromised representative man. Ali fell to Tyson. Kennedy ceded to Clinton. Kurt Cobain was my generation’s Elvis. Then something truly radical happened: the machine’s hegemony was vanquished by actual machines, whose servers brought the last towering male monoliths down to JPEG size. Postwar America’s legacy as an established culture and counterculture shattered into a multitude of subcultures full

Lance Armstrong briefly gave us a hero, but in the end he was just Bernie Madoff in spandex.

FACES OF CHANGE Top row: efforts to establish President Barack Obama as a hero soured once he took office. Middle row: the evolution of the teen idol. Bottom row: magazine covers depicting Muhammad Ali and Kanye West used religious allegory to very different ends.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

of shrill-voiced Web sites and viciously opposed narratives. The magazine cover article went into competition with a staggering number of competing stories in the online marketplace of bloggers and gossip sites, while the images on those covers lost their inherent power as a form of communication. They were captioned, manipulated, blemished. They became commodities, no more valuable than pictures on a Facebook page. The cover image now commands all of a second’s attention before it’s forgotten or absorbed via social media into the end user’s personal brand. We are no longer in thrall to the icon; the icon is in service to each and every one of us, and at our individual mercy. The male icon’s decline is bound up in the destruction of the machine and the impoverishment of the image, but it dovetails with a crisis among the ranks of men. The prospect of a president restoring the role suffered a fatal blow when George Bush took his Potemkin flight toward a ‘‘Mission Accomplished’’ banner. It was resuscitated briefly with a Shepard Fairey print of the candidate Barack Obama and the single word ‘‘Hope.’’ But in no time at all one congressman cried out, ‘‘You lie!’’ during a State of the Union address, and others throttled every prospect of bipartisanship. If Clinton was the icon of ambivalence, and Bush the icon of incompetence, the icon of hope has been transformed into the truly hopeless image of political gridlock and apocalyptic rancor. Shift to sports, or movies, or music, and the icon is equally as moribund. Lance Armstrong briefly gave us a hero, but in the end he was just Bernie Madoff in spandex. N.F.L. thugs compete with M.L.B. juicers to see who can disappoint us more. Dress Michael Vick or A-Rod up as Saint Sebastián and everyone would know that the arrows were self-inflicted. The homogenizing forces at play in Hollywood — its blockbuster business model, its jones for superheroes, its disdain for anything original — have made the mask, and not the man, the focus of our attention. Who experiences an intake of breath at another cover photo of Robert Downey Jr. or Christian Bale? In an epidemic of cynicism, it signals only another cycle of sequels. And these actors are, truly, among the best of their generation. By contrast, their counterparts in the comedy world are clown-boys who refuse to grow up over and over again, making any attempt to turn them into icons wholly silly. The male icon’s decline might not matter much. It’s never a bad idea to forge your own original power rather than ape the appeal of others. Still, we should recognize the void left behind. This is the only way to explain the presence of the accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on an August cover of Rolling Stone. Has any other magazine anointed more male icons in the past 40odd years? To see Tsarnaev in the pose of the sexy teen idol served to elevate an alleged mass murderer to the hallowed company of John Lennon and Jay Z. This explains the uproar that followed. Take the charitable view and say the decision was meant to complicate the face of terror. But the incongruity between the actions of the accused and the cachet of the masthead, the bloody footage of the carnage and the transcendent pose of the suspect, is not only a source of controversy. It’s a reinvigoration of the icon. It’s the final sundering of the heroic from the iconic. Call it misguided, crude, a craven ploy; whatever else, it represents the evolution of a very particular pictorial vocabulary — the terrorist as icon. Only 22 years ago, Don DeLillo had a character in ‘‘Mao II’’ postulate the following: ‘‘In societies reduced to blur and glut, terror is the only meaningful act. . . . Everything else is absorbed. The artist is absorbed, the madman in the street is absorbed and processed and incorporated. Give him a dollar, put him in a TV commercial. Only the terrorist stands outside.’’ The terrorist has been absorbed.



This and That


A Fine Mess

A Cultural Compendium

The deliberately unkempt looks of the season recall quite vividly the style of an obscure French film character.

With a nod to the brand’s original name, the new J. P. Tod’s Sartorial Touch collection allows you to customize monk-straps, wingtip loafers, unstructured briefcases and even its iconic driving shoes in a choice of fine leathers and hand-burnished patinas.


Happy Feet

It seems as if Boudu — the irrepressible tramp from Jean Renoir’s 1932 masterpiece, ‘‘Boudu Saved From Drowning’’ — must have made multiple appearances on designers’ mood boards this season, because his dishabille swagger could be seen all over the men’s runways. Dries Van Noten and Junya Watanabe channeled the disheveled drifter with a profusion of oversize tweed jackets, bathrobelike outerwear and patched-up suits. At Yohji Yamamoto, some models even wore fluffed-up Boudu-like beards. The character, played by Michel Simon, is an archetypal French clochard, a kind of Gallic version of Chaplin’s Little Tramp, who, mourning his lost dog, tries to off himself by jumping in the Seine. Boudu is rescued by a liberal-minded bookseller who takes him in, only to see the hobo run roughshod over his home, bedding his wife and marrying his mistress. Sartorially, Boudu is equally unable to adapt: he insists on pairing a respectable jacket with his own tattered suspenders, and when given polish to clean up his shoes, he forgoes the cloth and applies it with his hands. Funny that this funky high-low mix is now something to aspire to. — STEPHEN HEYMAN In Jean Renoir’s ‘‘Boudu Saved From Drowning,’’ an impish hobo prefigured the threadbare look seen on the fall runways at Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto.


Neck And Neck

Mellow Vibes On the heels of the now ubiquitous high-end luxury sneaker, the new Swedish brand Eytys offers a refreshingly low-key alternative: platform plimsolls that channel ‘90s Venice Beach skater shoes.

From the French knot to the casual over-the-shoulder throw, models this season were wrapped up in all manner of scarves. Here, a few fashionable options for the winter chill. ILLUSTRATIONS BY KONSTANTIN KAKANIAS

THE TAILORED TUCK A lapel-skimming silk tracer as a dandyish addition to the double-breasted suit.

THE NEW TWIN SET For the great outdoors, a knotted cable-knit scarf that matches a fisherman sweater.

THE SCHOOLBOY FLING A rugby stripe nonchalantly draped over a glen-plaid blazer as an homage to ‘‘Dead Poets Society.’’

Issue November - December, 2013


Lookout Emirates

Fall Winter Accessories: Mixed Media and Mod In a nod to the 1960s, Twiggy’s lashes, ankle booties and bright pops of color are dominating the accessories line-up this season. The use of mixed media is another big headline, with leopard print, as well as calf hair and leather seen emerging at the top. “The trend this fall moves away from platforms, towards single soles. We see a lot of olive green this season, along with burgundy and military-inspired colors,” says John Camuto, manager of product, from Italian accessories brand Vince Camuto. “There’s a strong 60s influence with simple silhouettes, chunky block heels, T straps, color blocking and the use of mixed media. In fact, we’ve juxtaposed fabrics and prints such as suede and leather for example, as a tribute to the biggest trends dominating the catwalk this season.” PRIYANKA PRADHAN

Back to Black From the runways to make-up studios around the world, smoky black eyes are bringing grunge-rock together with red carpet glamour. “The fall fashion trend in make-up definitely includes black. You’re seeing eye shadow tones starting from neutrals, but with a black, smoky element,” says Will Malherbe, make-up professional at cosmetics brand, Smashbox. “In terms of balancing the make-up, we see smokey eyes with the classic nude lips, but then also smoky eyes with deep, dark lips, such as dark cherry or ox blood. The skin is kept clean, luminous and fresh, without much blush.” The brand’s ‘Fade to Black’ limited edition collection aims for an ‘uptown meets underground’ aesthetic, with a palette of neutrals and dark hues in eye shadow, lip colors and liners.

Christmas Cheer Hand-made cosmetics brand Lush UAE is looking to serve up lemon cheesecake, apple cinnamon and candy with a twist this season. With its limited edition ‘Christmas Collection’, Lush aims to celebrate these traditional holiday flavors in a range of bath bombs, moisturizers, shampoos and skin boosters. PP


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine



Save the Date


The capital revs up the events calendar with the 2013 Yas Marina F1 Grand Prix on November 1, with after-race performances by international celebrity Jay Z, followed by Abu Dhabi Art 2013 from November 20-23 in the Saadiyat Cultural District. The art fair will showcase works from regional and international galleries, offer workshops for the public and hold talks and conferences for the art community. Dubai will host the Emirates Airline Rugby Sevens from November 28-30, with Russia as one of the eight core teams for this season’s tournament. The Dubai International Film Festival is lined up next, running from December 6-14. This year’s 10th anniversary edition will be aiming to break last year’s record number of submissions —2,100 entries from 115 countries. PRIYANKA PRADHAN

Pandora’s Box of Jewelry Purple is fast emerging as the color of the festive season, and to highlight this trend, jeweler Pandora has launched its purple stone pavé jewelry. Crafted from sterling silver, purple cubic zirconia stones are set by hand on charms, rings and earrings. Aiming to symbolize a flower on the verge of bloom, the cocktail ring in the collection features a pod-like centrepiece, with 37 purple stones in eight clusters. The pavé stud earrings hold 14 set stones, while a sterling silver charm is decorated with 94 purple stones. PP Available at Pandora stores across the UAE.

Holiday Getaway This holiday season, specialist travel agency Portugal Incoming extends an exclusive invitation to visitors from the Middle East to explore the country’s Arab heritage. Speciallydesigned excursions aim to give visitors a peek into Portugal’s 500-year-history of Arab influence, from the early 8th to mid-13th centuries AD (2nd to 7th centuries AH). ‘A Journey Through Arabic Heritage’ and ‘The Al Gharb Voyage’ are two such tours tailored for Middle East visitors this season. PP

Issue November - December, 2013



Take Two

A dual review of what’s new.

Tom Dixon

Brian Eno Founding member of Roxy Music, ambient-music pioneer and groundbreaking record producer who has collaborated with David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2. ‘‘Brian Eno: Visual Music,’’ a monograph of his visual art, will be published next month.

A triumph in packaging, given you get a free Fornasetti pot of mysterious functionality with your fragrance. The smell wasn’t my favorite. It was a bit rich for me. So I’d probably choose a different fragrance, but I thought it was a very beautifully presented gift.

Scent Fornasetti Profumi Architettura room spray with ceramic case (AED 496;

Possibly quite difficult to use from a color perspective and not for everybody’s taste, but, you know, those pinks and purples are something that I personally really love.

There was something really heartwarming about how unique that recording studio was, and how familiar a lot of those stories, or at least a lot of the tunes were, without really knowing where they’d come from.

Textile ‘‘Sherman’’ fabric designed by Irma Boom with Dorothy Cosonas for KnollTextiles (AED 257 per yard;

‘‘Muscle Shoals,‘‘ a documentary about the Alabama town that’s home to Fame Studios, legendary recording mecca for musicians like Etta James and Andy Williams.

I was struggling to understand when I would wear these. I thought it was an odd kind of hot and cold combination. And it seemed to be something that might fit a girl more, in terms of the cut. It was an odd dimension. So I’m not going to be wearing fleecy shorts anytime soon.

Pink and gray is a great combination, especially sort of fluorescent pink like this. I would be very happy to have a large chair made of it. I love it. It’s both austere and quite shocking in a certain way.

This is fantastic because everyone is prone to the kind of snobbery that says, ‘‘Oh, black music is so cool,’’ and you find that what you thought was the epitome of black music — Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, that sort of thing — were actually played by white rock ’n’ roll players. So much for stereotyping.


This caused mass hysteria amongst the design studio. They obviously felt I needed it. I think it would take more than a cream — put it that way. Maybe some surgery might help.

I like these Fornasetti things a lot. It makes you think of everything that’s nice about Italian design — the ’60s and ’70s, La Dolce Vita. The smell makes me think of nuns and confessionals. It’s a very religious smell, very nostalgic for me, as a lapsed Catholic.

Skin Care Perricone MD’s Formula 15, a facefirming cream intended to reduce wrinkles and lines (AED 459;

Fleece Shorts Topman fleece shorts (AED 205;

I’m deeply suspicious of the cosmetics industry. It’s a little bit like the fine arts business: there’s so much mystification and hype, and a huge amount of creative marketing. This actually stung me a little bit, which gave me momentary hope that it might be doing something.

It would help if I had big, muscular brown legs. But they didn’t look too silly on me. I cycled over to my grocery shop and bought some tea. Nobody hooted with laughter. I regard that as a success.



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


Celebrated British designer who created iconic pieces like the S Chair for Cappellini before founding his own furniture and lighting company. ‘‘Dixonary,’’ his latest book, out this month, reveals the inspiration behind 150 of his designs.


The Moment

Youth Uprising There’s a feeling of boyish waywardness to much of men’s dressing right now, from signet rings to rumpled collars and cowlicks. PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID ARMSTRONG STYLED BY JASON RIDER

Signet rings Eddie Borgo ring (on ring finger), AED 1,286; the Shop at the Standard, (212) 784-5520. Tiffany & Company ring, AED 9,183; Prada jacket, AED 6,042, and sweater, AED 1,763; Issue November - December, 2013



The Moment

A messy collar and cuffs Brioni sweater, AED 8,264; Brooks Brothers shirt, AED 323; Prada pants, AED 2,865. Maximum Henry belt, AED 246;


Nubbly socks and suits Gucci jacket, AED 7,713, and pants, AED 3,085; T by Alexander Wang sweater, AED 1,010; Cole Haan loafers, AED 837; Marwood socks, AED 220;

Issue November - December, 2013



The Moment

A rogue cowlick Hermès turtleneck sweater, AED 5,234; Marni sweater, AED 2,681; ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Runway Report

Casual Friday Thanks to techno fabrics and an oversize, structured cut, sweatshirts are no longer just for weekends. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATTHEW KRISTALL STYLED BY JASON RIDER

Clockwise from above: Calvin Klein Collection sweatshirt, AED 2,920; (212) 2929000. Everlane T-shirt, AED 55; Our Legacy jeans (worn throughout), AED 845; Tiffany & Company ring (worn throughout), AED 4,683; Zegna Sport sweatshirt, AED 1,010; Everlane T-shirt, AED 55.

Maximum Henry belt (worn throughout), AED 315; maximumhenry .com. Dean Harris bracelet (worn throughout), AED 1,597; Dior Homme sweatshirt, AED 3,306; diorhomme .com. Grenson shoes (worn throughout), AED 1,726; Pantherella socks (worn throughout), AED 103;

Issue November - December, 2013


Runway Report

Clockwise from top: Hermès sweatshirt, AED 19,834; Acne Studios shirt, AED 1,249; Neil Barrett sweatshirt, about AED 1,855; Patrik Ervell sweatshirt, AED 808; A.P.C. turtleneck sweater, AED 1,524;



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine



Lookout Emirates Special Focus

Scents and Sensibility The season comes with a wide selection of holiday fragrances for men and women, ranging from classic to the exotic. T Emirates gets a whiff of what’s in store for the perfume aficionado. BY PRIYANKA PRADHAN

Ermenegildo Zegna: Uomo

Gucci: Made to Measure

The fragrance for men combines the signature Zegna bergamot, cultivated at Zegna’s proprietary fields in Calabria in Italy, with a floral note of Violettyne Captive (violet leaf essence). Other notes in the fragrance include vetiver and cedar for a fresh, earthy scent. The statement continues with a suite of grooming accessories: after-shave lotion, after-shave balm, and hair and body wash in the same fragrance.

This season, Gucci’s creative director, Frida Giannini conceived a fragrance that is a masculine partner for the feminine perfume Gucci Première. Made to Measure is a spicy oriental fragrance with top notes of bergamot, Tunisian orange blossom, French lavender and aniseed. The heart notes include Sri Lankan nutmeg, water lily, juniper berry, plum and cinnamon, giving way to base notes of citrus, labdanum, patchouli, leather and amber. The celebrity James Franco, who has been a brand ambassador for Gucci fragrances since 2008, returns as the face of the fragrance.

Available at Ermenegildo Zegna stores in the UAE.


Available at Gucci stores across the UAE.

David Beckham: Classic David Beckham introduces his new fragrance for men — a woody, citrus, spicy scent, inspired by the footballer’s style. The fragrance is a blend of gin tonic accord, lime and galbanum in the top notes, from which emerges a spicy body of nutmeg and mint, and finally, in the base notes, a blend of warm, woody notes and ambermax to complete the signature scent. Available across the UAE.

Issue November - December, 2013


Lookout Emirates

Valentino: Valentina Oud Assoluto Jo Malone: Peony and Blush Suede The fragrance from perfumer Christine Nagel offers a bouquet of peonies, along with tones of red apple, jasmine, rose and carnation. The scent is then blended with blush suede, with an aim to create a play between fruity and floral, with a touch of powdery musk. Jo Malone recommends layering this fragrance with some of its other scents, such as English Pear and Freesia for more juiciness, or Orange Blossom for a full floral scent. The Peony and Blush Suede fragrance comes in cologne, body and hand wash, body crème and home candle. Available at Jo Malone stores in the UAE.

Master perfumer Olivier Cresp has created this fragrance as an oriental interpretation of the classic Valentina, with a strong oud accord. Orange blossom and cardamom in the top notes seek to create a peppery effervescence, while the fruity Bulgarian rose and leather aim to give the scent a certain sensual depth in the heart notes. Saffron then propels the accord of oud, and brings the scents of vanilla and dried woods to the fore.

Lolita Lempicka: Elle L’aime Lolita Lempicka’s new fragrance is an intense floral scent consisting of citrus notes combined with natural extracts of coconut, lime, jasmine and myrrh. The totem-shaped gold bottle bears the word ‘love’ inscribed in gold. Available at Paris Gallery and Areej stores in the UAE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


Available at major stores across the UAE.

The Art of Being Italian

Giovanna Ferragamo, vice-chairman, Salvatore Ferragamo.

Ferragamo seems to have it all: heritage, ‘Made in Italy’ exclusivity, and now solid financial results. We meet the personalities behind the brand.




at Massimiliano Giornetti, the firm’s creative director, and asks me: “He is nice?” She pauses as I nod in agreement — having just interviewed him — and then continues: “He is friendly, warm and approachable, very unusual for designers.” We are sitting in comfortable surroundings in Forte dei Marmi, a small town near Florence, with the mountains of Tuscany towering over us in surreal glory. I have been

invited to spend an afternoon with members of the family and the brand’s leading designer ahead of the launch of the latest Ferragamo perfume. There are no airs and graces about Giovanna, despite her being the daughter of the legendary Salvatore Ferragamo. She looks at Giornetti fondly for a moment and then turns to me and says: “Ask me many questions. It is just you and me now.” The Tuscany-based brand has seen a significant rise in revenues this year, after demand from the Asia-Pacific region helped increase 2012 net profits by 30 percent to 106

Issue November - December, 2013


From top: The Ferragamo family; Salvatore Ferragamo with his wife and children; Salvatore with his models wearing the new invention: the ’kimo‘, 1951; Salvatore Ferragamo at an event held in honor of Sophia Loren, 1935, Rome.

million euros (AED503 million). It’s yet another indication of the resilience top luxury brands have shown during the economic slowdown in Europe, helped by demand from wealthy tourists from emerging markets. According to Bloomberg, Ferragamo’s recent growth spurt is largely due to markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and especially China, where Ferragamo has doubled the number of stores to about 66. In just a few years, the Asia-Pacific region has become the largest contributor to Ferragamo’s revenues (36 percent), maybe not surprisingly since US investment bank Goldman Sachs has predicted that China will consume about 29 percent of the world’s total luxury goods by 2015, surpassing Japan as the world’s top luxury brands market. But according to Milton Pedraza, CEO of the New York-based researcher Luxury Institute, the reason for Ferragamo’s higher revenues is not just booming demand for luxury goods in developing countries, but also its great product line-up, the culture of the brand and how it builds relationships that allow it to gain greater market share. Pedraza acknowledges that the company’s 2011 initial public offering (IPO) gave it additional resources to invest in stores across Asia, but feels that family traditions and values were and


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

are still the brand’s most powerful marketing tool. “Ferragamo is a very consumer-centric brand,” he says, “a brand that knows its consumer extremely well, with a deep-rooted relation with consumers — one main reason for the consistent success of the brand.” Giovanna would argue that coherence and trust are among the values Ferragamo stands for. “We have always been very careful to be in touch with our roots,” says Giovanna. “We have been very strict in our principles of workmanship and credibility; and the brand is synonymous with absolute integrity.” When Giovanna’s father Salvatore began his shoemaking career a century ago, he was so passionate and detail-oriented about his craft that he spent time studying the anatomy of the foot to be able to produce the footwear that was comfortable, as well as attractive. Sixty-nine-year-old Giovanna, unlike her surviving siblings, all of whom were very small when their father passed away in 1960, has some memories of him. “He was the one to push me into the fashion arena, very demanding in certain aspects of work while being open in others,” she says. “He shared a wonderful relation with his workmen,” Giovanna goes on. “They were more like family. He used to respect each person and felt that each one of them had an important link to the end product and the brand.” While Salvatore made the brand famous with his iconic shoes, other family members expanded the group to include ready-towear, perfumes, jewelry, leather goods and watches. But all of this was part of a bigger plan. “My father was always telling us, ‘when all of you join the company, we will expand into more countries and make so many more new products’,” says Giovanna. “He was already well known in the U.S. He traveled a lot — to Australia, to Japan — and just before he died he was studying the anatomy of the Asian feet. He was open to expansion and was already planning for this. “I started the ready-to wear collection; my sister opened the accessory line; and then we opened the men’s line,” she recounts. “Each one of us, as we joined the company, was expanding in new areas. The group has grown a lot.” Giovanna has stepped back from her designing days — she led the design team from the 1960s to the ‘90s — but she still oversees the creative side of things. “I enjoyed my time when I was doing it,” she remembers. “Every collection was like a test for us. There was so much work involved, it was very stimulating times.” With a strong and distinctive fashion sense, Giovanna loves to mix and match her clothes to achieve a classic look with a twist of modernity. “Never boring though,” she laughs. “I always had to dress the shoes, instead of doing it the other way around.” The most important link in the Ferragamo story is Giovanna’s mother, Wanda Ferragamo. After Salvatore’s death in 1960, Wanda, who had no experience of working, was left not just to manage their five children, but also to steer this huge company, a job she seems to have done really well. She served as the chairman of Salvatore Ferragamo Italia until August 2006 and was its director until June 2011, when the company went public. “She was clever and determined, and also passionate about the brand her husband created,” recalls Giovanna, adding: “We called her The Boss.” The success of the brand is also attributed to CEO Michele Norsa, appointed in 2006 with a 35-year track record as executive manager of Italian family firms in fashion (Benetton) and publishing (Rizzoli) and an IPO for Italian fashion house Valentino under his belt. It was Norsa who orchestrated Ferragamo’s IPO, selling about 22 percent of the company to fund an ambitious plan to open 25 stores — ten in China alone — plus a refurbishment of flagship stores in major world capitals such as London and New York, according to INSEAD Knowledge.


Lookout Emirates


Norsa stressed the global importance of China when he talked to INSEAD Knowledge this summer: “Combined with the growth of Europe and the United States, China has become fundamental. In the next five to ten years, we will still see opportunities on the perimeter in China, because second, third-tier Chinese cities are representing this opportunity,” he said, referring to domestic growth within the country. With turmoil and uncertainty in the global economy, many observers questioned the timing of the IPO. But Norsa and the family have proved the naysayers wrong, with positive results over the past few years. “A lot of people were thinking that probably a new listing would only happen in Asia or outside Europe. We proved there were still opportunities for good companies,” says Norsa. The two successful IPOs, Valentino and Ferragamo, paved the way for other Italian brands such as Brunello Cucinelli and Moleskine to follow suit with listings on the Milan stock exchange. In his meeting with me, SF Group President Ferruccio Ferragamo, Giovanna’s brother, explains the strategic thinking behind the IPO. “We decided to go public on the stock exchange because it seemed the most coherent choice in terms of governance for a company such as ours, and aligned with our plans for global expansion,” he says. “Nevertheless, we decided to float the minimum percentage of stock with the precise aim of keeping an absolute majority of share capital in order to continue along the path of development marked out by my family in recent years.” While cynics carped that the IPO would sound the death knell for Ferragamo’s creativity and its ‘Made in Italy’ cachet, nothing drastic has happened at all to mar the company’s performance or damage the brand’s Italian exclusivity. “From a manufacturing point of view, the public offering obliges us to be increasingly efficient, and we were committed to further increasing the group’s profitability,” says Ferruccio, adding that it was improved operational efficiency that led to the upturn in SF’s earnings. “Being a completely ‘Made in Italy’ company is a strategic choice in which we believe wholeheartedly, a choice made by my father when he moved to Florence in 1927, for the very reason that he found a unique heritage of craftsmanship and production excellence here.” Nothing is left to chance at Ferragamo, and as far as generational change is concerned, the family has a rule that only a maximum of three members from each new generation can join the company. “We are a huge family, which in its fourth generation includes more than 70 members,” says Ferruccio. And to be able to become part of the company cannot be taken for granted. The ‘aspirants’ need to have a master’s degree, have gained two years’ work experience outside the company, and also pass an admission exam conducted by members of the family working in the firm. “At present, there are two members of the third generation in the company: my niece, Angelica Visconti, who is retail and wholesale director for Italy, and my son James, who is women’s leather products director,” he says. Reflecting on the fact that the brand seems to have successfully weathered many storms, Ferruccio feels the luxury goods sector has felt the effects of the global recession a little less than others. “Looking at today’s results, luxury goods and brands such as ours have held up better, perhaps because of our consistent, diversified

presence in all the world’s markets,” he says. And is Ferragamo’s design creativity also holding up in today’s global fashion market? Creative director Massimiliano Giornetti is said to have a flair for doing the extraordinary, after his very imaginative move to launch a collection inside the Louvre. For someone who had a distinct flair for architecture, but later decided that fashion was the best way to express his creativity, Giornetti certainly has come a long way in proving his instincts right. Thirteen years with the brand, and Giornetti feels that craftsmanship and heritage are not just what Ferragamo is about, but are also part of his own upbringing and conviction. The brand and the designer are so intimately connected that it seems as if they both stand for the same ideals, almost at the risk of the creator losing a bit of his own identity to keep in with the brand’s DNA. Luxury, to Giornetti, is a matter of materials research, quality and construction, right down to achieving maximum functionality of the final product, and also finding special precious detailing to make the brand exclusive. Which is why this year’s Ferragamo Spring/Summer collection caused excitement with the new modern deconstructed look for which Giornetti seems to have found a passion. Gladiator boots, tailored trench coats, wrap skirts and brocade pants brought out the season’s edgy trend, without losing Ferragamo’s classy twist and its love for neutral colors. Fashion has become much more democratic, according to Giornetti, and everyone now has access to it, making the work of designers much more challenging. “I have to think of consumers who live around the world, and also understand that the consumer has changed to become more conscious, and even bold, in their fashion statement,” he declares.

Clockwise from right: Massimiliano Giornetti with Freida Pinto and Karolina Kurkova; Salvatore Ferragamo Boutique Donna Milano. Giovanna and Ferruccio Ferragamo.

Issue November - December, 2013


Lookout Emirates


Tearing away from the macho imagery normally associated with bikers, these women riders are challenging convention and making up their own rules as they go along. BY PRIYANKA PRADHAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY NATASHA KISHORE


Mehri, who may just be one of the world’s coolest math teachers. This 34-year-old Iranian biker has been taking part in rallies and riding challenges for the past four years in the UAE, at times covering hundreds of kilometers in under 12 hours. “When I was five years old and lived in Austria I’d see a lot of women bikers zip by. I was fascinated, and wondered if I’d ever be able to do that, ” said Mehri. “When I moved back to Iran after a few years, I realized I couldn’t, because women were not permitted to ride bikes at the time. But here in Dubai, I took up riding with a vengeance … well, simply because I could. Even so, riding with men was considered a taboo in my circle of friends here, and many of them distanced themselves from me. But over time, I have managed to convert some of my best friends into bikers.” Mehri joins around 40 other women in bike manufacturer Harley-Davidson’s ‘Ladies of Harley’ circuit in the UAE. These women are challenging convention by being bikers, especially in the Middle East, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. “If you’re a biker, you’ll find yourself on a bike; if you’re not, well, you’ll get off. It does not have much to


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Sub Section


Biker Elena Efimova makes a pit stop on her road trip.

Issue November - December, 2013


Lookout Emirates

‘Some day I’d love to ride my Sportster Low Rider on the scenic routes of Iran.’

do with being a man or a woman,” says Elena Efimova, a fitness trainer from Russia whose love affair with biking began 19 years ago, starting with a lightweight model she bought from an army man in Russia and later graduating to a 1680 cc Softail Standard that she bought and customized in the UAE. “Riding is more of a stress reliever for me than anything else,” she says. “I ride out at 5:30 in the morning on the weekends — it’s like meditation. We sometimes head out as far as Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet, in the morning… anywhere, actually. We don’t plan destinations as such, we just enjoy the riding around — the journey is more important than the destination, really.” They may know their bikes intimately from a mechanical point of view, changing tires and fixing their own machines, but they also often share a deep emotional connection with the sport. Amani Danhach, a 26-year-old Lebanese biker, says she hit the road after someone very close to her passed away due to a heart attack on a biking tour. “He’d always say ‘live to ride, ride to live’, and I wanted to continue his journey. In the beginning it was a bit difficult for me, because I remembered him whenever I was on the road. But I love it, and in fact I now have the same bike as he did, the Softail Deluxe 2005,” she says. “You hear a lot of stories from women bikers in this region — a lot of inspiring ones as well,” says Elsa Abi Nader, regional marketing manager, Harley-Davidson MENA. “If you talk to these ladies and ask them what biking means to them, some will say their bike is their friend — they even give them names like ‘Jessica Rabbit’, for instance, or even ‘Spoo’ or ‘Chillies’. Once I spoke to some of the L.O.H. (Ladies of Harley) Lebanon Chapter, and found that the bike unanimously represented a source of happiness for them, one that gave them the courage and confidence to do many other things better.” “We have over 100 women riders in the region, scattered across Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE,” Abi Nader goes on. “In MENA


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

specifically, involving women is somewhat important, as culture and customs are different from those in Europe, the US or Asia. Young people need the approval of their parents, and older ones approval from their partners; Harley Davidson makes sure the safety aspect is taken care of, for both men and women.” Abi Nader stresses that this need for approval comes from the many stereotypes associated with biking, which are often distorted and inaccurate. These women bikers, however, are not interested in going out of their way to counter stereotypes or prove people wrong. When the deep rumble of their bikes causes a stir on the roads, and people stop to stare at the customized Spartan-style spiked helmets and fringed boots, the ladies ride on unaffected. Danhach encapsulates this carefree spirit as we catch her spreading her arms out on her bike with a wide grin: “This is how I feel when I ride… free as a bird.”

Elena Efimova rides her customized 1680 cc Softail Standard (top); the three Harley Davidson women bikers ride across the streets of Dubai (above); Shima Mehri, an Iranian woman biker, poses with her bike.

A Bride’s Tale An Emirati artist offers a unique glimpse into her culture, capturing the moods and expressions of a modern Emirati bride on her wedding day.

"Precious Moments in Time," an exhibit by the artist Alia Rashid Al-Shamsi at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, pays homage to an Emirati bride's experience.



“THE 40s GLAMOUR OF HER PERFECTLY-COIFFED HAIR, the femininity of the delicate tulle as it wraps

around her shoulders, and the mystery and anonymity as her face is shielded by the dark. Her expression unseen… it could be any one of us.” Emirati artist Alia Rashid AlShamsi describes a profile silhouette of a bride captured by her lens. Her exhibition titled “Precious Moments in Time”, hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, displays 15 photographs by the local artist, paying homage to an Emirati bride’s experience during the 48 hours of her wedding. “Amongst the different customs is the traditional ‘henna night’ that takes place a few days before the wedding ceremony,” Al-Shamsi says. “Delicate patterns of henna are applied on the bride’s hands and feet as her close friends and family join in. I captured that in a black and

white image, where the bride wears traditional Arab jewelry, usually given to her as an heirloom by her grandmother.” Inspired by her own wedding, Al-Shamsi re-created her big day, aiming to capture her emotions and the small but significant details that made her day memorable. “We see the bride sipping her morning coffee, reminiscing about her childhood, and contemplating the start of her new journey. The excitement of making her last phone calls to girlfriends whilst the last pin is put in her hair, the final check of her tulle gown, and the brief moment of calm as she prepares to leave her suite to greet her guests, through to the moment the groom lifts her veil…the pictures aim to tell the story of a thousand words,” Al-Shamsi says. “I wanted to highlight simple moments otherwise forgotten, to freeze them in time. Therefore each of the images is denoted by a time of day,

Issue November - December, 2013


Lookout Emirates

The artist Alia Rashid Al-Shamsi captures a bride and moments from her wedding day.

A photography exhibition by Alia Rashid Al-Shamsi at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai displays emotions and details of an Emirati's bride's wedding day.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

She adds: “Nowadays brides still wear that, but only on their henna nights, with some differences, of course, to suit each bride’s taste and style.” Her own influences as an artist are also global and diverse, as she counts iconic fashion photographers like Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Lillian Bassman and Richard Avedon as her main inspiration. “I am hugely influenced by fashion photography from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, and qualities from photos in that era always find their way into my work, whether it be a painting or a photograph. These artists captured glamour and raw beauty in a simplistic way with beautiful, almost geometrical, composition,” she says. Currently working on her next fashion and art project, Al-Shamsi is looking forward to the coming year as an artist and a newly-wed. “It’s all about adapting. You need to find a balance between spending time with your loved ones, taking care of a new home and the responsibilities that come along with it, and spending time doing what you love, in my case art and fashion.”


‘The ’40s glamour of her perfectly-coiffed hair, the femininity of the delicate tulle as it wraps around her shoulders, and the mystery and anonymity as her face is shielded by the dark. Her expression unseen … it could be any one of us.’

such as “10:03AM” or “04:23PM”, allowing my work to immortalize what would have otherwise been a fleeting moment during these apprehensive hours.” While she appreciates the unique and delightful customs of being an Emirati bride, Al-Shamsi believes that many of these small moments, feelings and thoughts that precede a wedding are shared between women of all faiths and cultures, aspects of a universal concept that she hopes will resonate with women anywhere in the world. Emirati wedding traditions are becoming somewhat “globalized” in a sense, Al-Shamsi says. “Today, most if not all Emirati brides wear white gowns for their wedding ceremonies. However in the past our grandmothers (as brides) would wear a colorful dress, also known as a ‘thobe’, with intricate embroidery around the neckline, adorned with the traditional Arab jewelry.”

In Fashion

Anti-Establishment The best accessories for fall — soft briefcases, tone-ontone watches and dress boots — take their cues from classic banker style. Paired with an offbeat pinstripe suit, they’re anything but conformist. PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL WETHERELL STYLED BY JASON RIDER

Louis Vuitton bag, AED 14,508; Gucci boots, AED 3,489; Harry Winston watch, AED 81,908; harrywinston .com. Tommy Hilfiger jacket, AED 2,016; (212) 2231824. Marc Jacobs shirt, AED 4,719; Z Zegna pants, AED 3,655;

Issue November - December, 2013



In Fashion

Tod’s bag, AED 6,115; tods. com. Valentino boots, AED 3,470; (212) 772-6969. Movado watch, AED 3,655; Alexander McQueen robe, AED 7,327; barneys. com. Cardigan, AED 5,748; (212)  645-1797. Shirt and pants, price on request; for similar styles, call (212) 645-1797.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Prada bag, AED 7,328; prada .com. Tod’s boots, AED 2,736. Baume & Mercier watch, AED 23,691; Louis Vuitton suit, AED 12,488. Dries Van Noten shirt, AED 2,057; mohawkgeneral

Issue November - December, 2013


In Fashion



Salvatore Ferragamo bag, AED 5,509; (866)  337-7242. Santoni boots, AED 3,563; Girard-Perregaux watch, AED 120,842; (646) 495-9915. J. W. Anderson coat, about AED 5,454; foundryclothingla .com. Jil Sander top, AED 2,424; Giorgio Armani pants, AED 12,855 (for suit); Maximum Henry belt, AED 239; maximumhenry. com. ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

LUCKY GUY Antoine Arnault in the Paris apartment in the Seventh Arrondissement that he shares with his girlfriend, the model Natalia Vodianova, and her three children from a previous marriage.

Turning Point

Business Before Pleasure

His project is the renovation of one of LVMH’s smallest holdings, Berluti: the luxury men’s shoe company founded in 1895 and acquired by the group in 1993 that Antoine calls ‘‘a little jewel in our portfolio.’’ The idea is to transform it into a luxury men’s wear brand to compete directly with the likes of Tom Ford, Hermès and Brioni. ‘‘Men’s wear is the new women’s wear,’’ Toby Bateman, the buying director for Mr Porter, the men’s wear arm of Net-a-Porter, said over cocktails at Berluti’s spring presentation held at the 17th-century Hôtel de Sully mansion in Paris this past June. ‘‘Before, some men looked at fashion askance. But now it has become more gentrified; it’s about cut, tailoring. It’s contemporary, chic and stylish rather than glitzy, trendy and logo driven.’’ Several luxury brands have picked up on this trend: Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and Ralph Lauren have all recently opened emporiums dedicated solely to men in international capitals, and Tom Ford’s brand, which is primarily driven by men’s wear, is flourishing. In its eight-year existence, despite the economic crisis, it has grown to $200 million in annual apparel sales, with several licensing deals and nearly 100 stores worldwide. Berluti was Antoine’s way in, and so far, the overhaul has been a success. Under his guidance, in three years business has grown from around $45 million to approximately $130 million a year in sales. The company has opened several new stores and remodeled

Antoine Arnault spent his youth enjoying the spoils of being the LVMH titan’s eldest son. But by successfully betting on high-end men’s wear as an ever-ripening luxury category, he’s quickly proving that nepotism only goes so far. BY DANA THOMAS PORTRAIT BY BENOIT PEVERELLI

IT’S NOT SO EASY to be a ‘‘son of.’’

Take Antoine Arnault, the 36-year-old son of Bernard Arnault, the chairman and C.E.O. of the luxury brand group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the 10th richest man in the world, according to Forbes. For years, Antoine was regarded as a Euro playboy who summered in Saint-Tropez, played in Vegas poker tournaments and landed the cushy-sounding job of communications director for Louis Vuitton. The fact that he used to date the French actress Hélène de Fougerolles and his live-in girlfriend of two years is the top model Natalia Vodianova only furthered that reputation. But recently, Antoine has set out to change that image, and he plans to do it the same way his father did: by running a company extremely well.

Issue November - December, 2013



Turning Point

existing ones, most notably its longtime location on Conduit Street in London, which is now a ‘‘maison’’ (or flagship) replete with a made-to-measure suiting department. Antoine has more openings planned in the next few months, including stores in Tokyo; Hong Kong; Beijing; Shanghai; Milan; Paris; Costa Mesa, Calif.; and two in New York. He hopes to double Berluti’s sales and retail outlets to 70 by 2016. One strength, it seems, is Antoine’s frankness and his openness. Unlike his father, who is more of an autocrat with ‘‘a court . . . an entourage,’’ as Antoine describes it, he is outspoken and democratic.

‘Men’s wear is the new women’s wear,’ says Toby Batemen, buying director for Mr Porter. ‘Before, some men looked at fashion askance. But now it has become more gentrified.’


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

MAN POWER Berluti’s luxurious fall collection, including (from top) a navy windowpane-check wool double-breasted suit; the Deux Jours leather briefcase; leather loafers.

$80 million purchase price and took control of the holding company. Through the ensuing years, with one major boardroom battle and several straightforward acquisitions, Bernard built up what Antoine describes as ‘‘the empire.’’ As that was going on, Antoine and Delphine were attending the right schools in Paris, hanging out with fellow scions and shuttling between the homes of their divorced parents. (Their father remarried in 1991 and has three more sons: Alexandre, a 21-yearold part-time D.J. known as Double A, and two teenagers, Frédéric and Jean.) Antoine played keyboard in a rock band, hitchhiked from his father’s summer villa in Saint-Tropez to the nightclubs


Antoine is the one who speaks up: ‘‘They will tell my father: ‘This wall is blue, and yes, what a beautiful blue!’ ’’ he says. ‘‘And I will tap his shoulder and say, ‘It was white, just so you know.’ ’’ His forthright and less formal approach to business has won over those who work with him at Berluti. Though his core business is shoes, Antoine often walks around the Berluti headquarters — which he designed — in his stocking feet, which explains the office’s thick carpeting. He rarely wears a tie, saving them for major meetings with his father. Though Antoine physically resembles Bernard — they have the same clear blue eyes, thick wiry hair and 6-foot-3 stoop — and can come across as ‘‘almost imperial’’ like his father, he is not at all like him in personality, according to his friend, the shoe designer Christian Louboutin. ‘‘Antoine is nicer than you would expect. He listens well. He is interested in people. He is not obsessive with work, he doesn’t rattle off numbers. . . . He doesn’t have his cell on the table; he isn’t checking e-mails and texts. He’s there with you.’’ Antoine attributes his free spirit to a period in his childhood that he sees as deeply formative: the four years his family spent in the United States. In the early 1980s, after France’s newly elected Socialist president François Mitterrand instituted a series of anti-capitalist policies like nationalizing banks and major companies, many French executives, including Bernard, fled to more business-friendly countries. The Arnaults settled in the tony New York suburb of Larchmont, a favorite outpost for French expats, and Antoine, then 5, and his sister, Delphine, then 7, attended the French-American School of New York. Antoine remembers his years in Larchmont as his ‘‘madeleine of Proust’’ moment: ‘‘a blessed time.’’ He was on the swim team and the soccer team. He spent weekends sailing. He tooled around town on his bike. He was completely fluent in English in six months. Looking back, he sees that his American education was ‘‘more about self-fulfillment and sports and being happy,’’ unlike a traditional French education, which is about ‘‘working hard.’’ He smiles broadly and his blue eyes twinkle: ‘‘It was just kind of an ideal childhood.’’ When Antoine was 9, the Arnault family moved back to France; Mitterrand had reversed some of his more radical economic policies, and a possible new business deal was on the horizon. The French government was selling Agache-Willot, a bankrupt holding company, which was relatively worthless except for one dusty old jewel: the Christian Dior fashion company. With the help of the investment bank Lazard Frères, Bernard, then 35, raised the

in town, watched ‘‘Seinfeld’’ on French cable and spent a lot of time at the movies. He was also being groomed to eventually join LVMH. He interned at La Tribune, a business newspaper then owned by the company, and worked at the Louis Vuitton store in Paris. On Saturdays, his father would bring him and Delphine — who is now executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and also on the LVMH board — on tours of his brands’ boutiques to see if everything was well run and customers were happy. ‘‘It was clear that my father wanted us to work with him,’’ Antoine says. ‘‘I mean, it is a family company.’’ When it came time to choose where to go to college, the Arnaults urged Antoine to study abroad. He enrolled at HEC Montréal to study business management. It was a bit of a shock at first: ‘‘I was no one there, which was off-putting,’’ he admits. ‘‘But it was good.

Unlike Bernard Arnault, who is more of an autocrat with ‘a court . . . an entourage,’ as Antoine describes it, his son is outspoken and democratic. I was out of my comfort zone, and I guess I learned a lot.’’ When Antoine returned to France, he and a couple of buddies started an Internet company called Domainoo that registered celebrity domains. ‘‘To be clear, we were cybersquatting,’’ he says. After they sold it, he recalls, ‘‘My father called me and said, ‘Listen, you had your fun. Now you can come work with us.’ ’’ He joined Louis Vuitton the next day as head of marketing. He was 25. It was actually just the right job for him. Since childhood, he had been obsessed with advertising. ‘‘I’m a visual person, a conceptual person,’’ he says. (When Antoine was 11, he

won an ad-campaign contest for pull-up diapers.) ‘‘Advertising,’’ he says quite matter-of-factly, ‘‘has always been something I kind of understood.’’ Bernard saw this and decided to make the most of it. At the time, Antoine says, Bernard was not completely satisfied with Vuitton’s advertising, but he didn’t know how best to convey this to Marc Jacobs, the company’s creative director. Antoine’s job was to be ‘‘a link’’ or ‘‘a kind of a filter’’ between his father and Jacobs, he says, and to speak his mind when he thought something wasn’t working — a rarity at Vuitton at the time, from what he could see. When Antoine first arrived, Jacobs says, ‘‘It was like, ‘Oh wow, it’s the boss’s son.’ But he isn’t like that at all. He is interested in business but the aesthetic part of it, and offers his opinions and is open to suggestions of others.’’ During his six years at Vuitton — he was eventually elevated to communications director and given a seat on the LVMH board — Antoine proved that he did indeed understand advertising. Among his projects was the wildly successful Core Values campaign: a series of photos by the celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz of international icons like Keith Richards, Mikhail Gorbachev, Angelina Jolie and Muhammad Ali posing in scenic locales with Vuitton bags. Antoine also took a year to earn his M.B.A. at Insead, a business school outside of Paris. When Antoine first became interested in Berluti, he turned to Pietro Beccari, Vuitton’s executive vice president of marketing and communications: together, they drew up a business plan and presented it to Bernard. He liked the idea, and named his son C.E.O. Beccari has since been named C.E.O. of Fendi. Antoine, in turn, hired a delightful Italian designer named Alessandro Sartori away from Z Zegna to serve as the brand’s creative director. The pair came up with the Berluti look: something, Sartori explains, that focuses on craftsmanship and quality, and is ‘‘French, eclectic, personal but with an Italian soul.’’ Their customer, Antoine says, would be ‘‘someone who works. Someone who travels. Someone who’s curious about things and about others. If he works, he doesn’t stay in his office, cloistered. Someone who’s interested in art, in health, in wine, in everything. The modern man who’s connected and maybe a little overconnected . . . the Twitter life almost. But at the same time is a little vain.’’ Father and son speak by phone at least once a day. They see each other most workdays too, and lunch en famille almost every Saturday. It is probably safe to say that few LVMH C.E.O.’s get quite as much attention from the chairman as Antoine does. And he seems fine with it. ‘‘When you’re as privileged as we are,’’ he says, speaking of himself as well as Delphine, ‘‘when you have these incredible names that you have the responsibility of, and when you actually have a little bit of a head start on everybody else because we started so young and we have a sense of this business, you know, we were born in it basically. . . . I don’t want to be arrogant or anything, but it’s like if you told a very good tennis player, ‘Why do you continue playing tennis? Wouldn’t you want to have an art gallery?’ Of course I have other passions . . . but my real investment obviously without a second thought is LVMH and what my father created.’’

A gray singlebreasted wool and silk three-piece suit.

Issue November - December, 2013


Quality Emirates

Bespoke Elegance


The Middle East’s exclusive bespoke shoemakers share their secrets and passions with Priyanka Pradhan.

Sibylle Arnold-Shish, managing director and co-founder, The Cobbler

A master shoemaker creates a pair of bespoke shoes at The Cobbler.


that offer them a truly perfect fit. They don’t really follow ‘trends’ as such, but are craving high-level craftsmanship in any clothing and accessory they will buy. They look for shoes that are entirely created for them and take into account their specific comfort and usage needs. Some of our customers need footwear in unusual sizes, or require the help of our master cobbler to achieve a certain level of quality they cannot find in ready-to-wear collections.


IN OUR BESPOKE SLIPPERS RANGE, monogramming remains

high on the list of preferences and some embroideries are very popular, like the skull and swords, or the crown. Our bespoke footwear starts at 10,000 AED a pair. The final price depends on selected leathers, the degree of sophistication required by each design and other specific requirements defined by each customer when meeting with our master cobbler.

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


time intensive project. At this stage, we have limited the orders coming in to avoid creating a backlog. This is why we currently have a waiting list for new bespoke orders. But we are still growing, and as a startup, we are working hard to enhance our processes, recruit and increase our bespoke capacity by 2014, in order to meet our customers’ demands. A frequent personalization enquiry involves hot stamping our customers’ initials on their shoes’ soles or heels.

Erkan Fere, CEO, The Left Shoe Company

ESPECIALLY IN THE UAE, slipons and loafers are in demand. One all-time favorite would be the Lapo. For dress shoes, movies such as The Great Gatsby and series like Boardwalk Empire boosted the sales of brogues and introduced the Spectator styled shoes for a wider audience. We see sales for double colored shoes picking up, for example, the black and white or in suede brown and blue. Boots are back also, highlighted by country and weekend favorites in box calf with a commando sole. One trendy color to pick for more leisure shoes would be orange, which we offer in nubuck, for example in the Desert Boots. We are looking at selling 35003800 pairs of bespoke men’s shoes this year.

‘One trendy color to pick for more leisure shoes would be orange.’



upper material and the sole. One specific differentiator is a personalized engraving inside the shoe that may mark a special occasion or simply a fun message. Examples of such would be one for a wedding recently; ‘Timothy and Jessica, 15.08.2013, Huntington Beach’ and another one by a customer with a sense of humor; ‘You’re a Rock Star’. A wife to a Liverpool Football Club fan bought a pair for a gift with an engraving; ‘You’ll never walk alone’ which we thought was great.

Clockwise from top: CEO, The Left Shoe Company, Erkan Fere with his design team; the Desert C shoes; the Edmund shoes; a master craftsman at work; the Brummell shoes; Erkan Fere.

Issue November - December, 2013


Quality Emirates

Alberto Oliveros, senior buyer, Level Shoe District

Clockwise from top: A range of men’s bespoke shoes at Level Shoe District; a master craftsman at work; Customization is offered at Level Shoe District for men, for Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.


Alberto Moretti has launched this October, exclusively at Level Shoe District, the first 24 carat gold shoe.

Alberto Moretti has launched this October, exclusively at Level Shoe District, the first 24 carat gold shoe. This will be available with only 5 retailers worldwide. The retail price for this exclusive 24 carat gold shoe is 19,500 AED. This FW13 we have many different styles made exclusively for Level Shoe District, from classic styles from Magnani and Paolo Scafora to more contemporary styles from Louis Leeman and Alberto Moretti.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


of materials, variety and novelty has been extraordinary. This season its back to basics with a classic black lace up that every man should own, as it works with everything. Slippers are extremely important this season again and a must have in any gentlemen’s wardrobe. Penny Loafers are back on trend in a classic yet contemporary way, adding metal details or unusual materials and color. The mix of materials this season is extraordinary, hair calf is the most predominant new material and midnight blue is the new color.


Quality Emirates

Nicholas Kirkwood’s Dubai Fantasy BY NICK REMSEN

Designer Nicholas Kirkwood created a fantasy sketch inspired by Dubai, far right.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


by no means out for attention. He speaks of his wares with a softness akin to a shy adolescent showing you his high-school graduation thesis. But in the quiet there breeds a riot. Kirkwood currently reigns supreme among the globe’s foremost footwear designers, creating sexy, stylish and utterly unique kicks with unrivaled aesthetic opulence. It’s no wonder he does so well in the Gulf. Shoe aficionados will no doubt comment on the recognizability of a Kirkwood platform — recessed and cantilevered like a futuristic submarine of sorts; his soles are as coveted, in some circles, as a Louboutin scarlet or an Atwood altitude. That unique silhouette has catalyzed what is shaping up to be an extraordinary career. In just a few short years Kirkwood has worked on collection editions for brands including Rodarte, Peter Pilotto and Erdem; launched a men’s line (now in its sophomore season); opened boutiques in London and New York; and attracted investment interest from Louis VuittonMoët Hennessy (the luxury conglomerate bought a majority stake in his company in September 2013). All this, while building his core women’s collection. So what’s the hook? As he says, it’s about remaining “consistent” while “growing,” and not necessarily bowing entirely to the winds of commercial applicability. Indeed, he’s

expanding his oeuvre — introducing “daytime flats and such,” while still outputting the highoctane skyscrapers the world has come to know and love. But at Kirkwood’s core, it seems the real magnetism lies in his ability to convey straight-up pure fantasy. His pumps aren’t for wallflowers — they never were, and never will be. Rather, they spin a kind of fairytale aura, real-life ruby slippers and crystal Mary Janes that somehow impart a frisson of magic both when seen and worn. In that vein, and following a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, we asked Kirkwood to come up with a “fantasy sketch,” a localized dream inspired by his time in the region. His submission, debuting exclusively here, aptly blends his wild imagination with an only-inthe-Gulf visual jump-off: Dubai’s famed Burj Al Arab Hotel. The building’s curvilinear sail silhouette serves as the pump’s heel, while its body is rendered in glinting aubergine satin. The cherry on top? A diaphanous whorl of tulle, evocative of a twilight aerial desert vista, which may have been informed by Kirkwood’s most poignant Dubai takeaway: “I went up the Khalifa Tower… when you get up there, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I’m in an airplane!’”

Nicholas Kirkwood Spring Summer 2014.


Shoe aficionados will no doubt comment on the recognizability of a Kirkwood platform — recessed and cantilevered like a futuristic submarine of sorts.

Nicholas Kirkwood is available at Level Shoe District, The Dubai Mall. Nicholas Kirkwood Spring Summer 2014.

Nicholas Kirkwood's Dubai inspired sketch.

Issue November - December, 2013


CONTINUOUS STYLE COVERAGE Now available on iPad The latest trends in fashion, living, travel, design and beauty Download your free app from the UAE iTunes store today

NEW SCHOOL David Karp at the kitchen island of his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, loft, designed by John Gachot.

By Design

The Reluctant Technologist David Karp lives by the principle that the world doesn’t need more flashy gadgets and fancy software — which would be fine, had he not founded Tumblr. BY TIM WU PHOTOGRAPHS BY BEN HOFFMANN

‘‘I DON’T LIKE SCREENS very much,’’ says David Karp, founder and chief executive officer of Tumblr, the popular microblogging platform. ‘‘Big bright monitors drive me nuts’’; screens in the bedroom are ‘‘gross.’’ He takes his rule seriously, for in Karp’s newly renovated loft, in south Williamsburg, Brooklyn, screens are scarce, as is, for that matter, anything particularly shiny or smooth. It is, instead, a dedication to all that is aged, rough or both: ancient bricks, weathered concrete, blackened steel and reclaimed oak. While Karp designs the future, his personal aesthetic is worlds apart from the Star Trek

flight deck or the Google campus that form our usual idea of what is to come. Karp doesn’t believe, he says, that the next century is necessarily about ‘‘more screens covering more surface area.’’ He is an apparent paradox: a high-tech design leader with a home and possessions that display little affection for anything postwar; frankly, most of the 20th century seems suspect to him. Nothing in his home looks particularly futuristic, or technological, at least as we’ve usually understood those terms. A house may be a machine for living, but Karp says, ‘‘I don’t want our house doing very

Issue November - December, 2013



By Design LESS IS MORE Clockwise from far left: Karp’s ‘‘mildly steampunk’’ living room, with a Niels Bendtsen for Bensen sofa, Poul Kjaerholm leather chairs (all from Modernlink) and a Jason Miller for Roll & Hill ceiling light; a German factory clock; family photos and an early Beatles poster.

much.’’ It’s a quiet space, with few distractions; one feels that stone tablets might not be entirely out of place. The newest-looking machine in the house is the metal carcass of a classic 1969 Honda CB160 motorcycle, apparently in the midst of a living-room repair job. The apartment is built with ‘‘analog technology,’’ says John Gachot, the principal designer, who worked with Karp on the renovation. Gachot specializes in solid, oldschool design; working with his wife, Christine, their recent projects include the Acme restaurant in NoHo, the West Village home of Marc Jacobs and a shuffleboard club now being built in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Gachot compares Karp’s loft to a submarine, where everything is made of tested, reliable materials that are designed to work together perfectly. ‘‘It’s mildly steampunk,’’ he adds, pointing out a few of the details, like tin ceilings and brass screws, at least ‘‘in the sense of looking backward.’’ The materials and methods are genuinely old: the reclaimed oak that dominates the living room comes from an old dairy farm in Pennsylvania, and the brick and concrete have aged with the building. ‘‘It’s very open and honest,’’ he says of the design. ‘‘Everything is exposed, and you can see all the connections.’’ Switching metaphors, he compares the home to the design of classic motorcycles, one of Karp’s obsessions, which are naked machines, all working parts exposed. Above all, Karp’s home is about as different as it is possible to be, style-wise, from the tech palaces of the West, or the smart homes of the 1990s that were once supposed to be the future. In the popular imagination, tech leaders don’t live this way. They inhabit some kind of indistinct place, defined less geographically than temporally, for the technologist is meant to live slightly ahead of the rest of us. One imagines Google’s Sergey Brin spending his days encased in


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

advanced wearable technology, orbiting the earth in a driverless spaceship, landing only to introduce humanity to new products from the mother ship. On the West Coast, the credible technologist simply must use devices and materials more advanced than the masses use. One wouldn’t want to be caught lugging around an old Dell laptop, or, God forbid, a BlackBerry. Karp’s style may not fit the public’s idea of homo futurus, but it is perfectly consistent with the image of New York’s tech industry. New York tech, where Tumblr is based, is distinguished from its Silicon Valley cousin less by technical merit, and more by its design aesthetic and its close relationship with the creativity and culture of the city itself. While still small, New York has had legitimate hits and is now being taken increasingly seriously. Tumblr, the company Karp founded with his friend Marco Arment, offers free personalized home pages and

OPEN AND SHUT Beyond the coat rack, a sliding metal fire door conceals a washer, dryer and laundry chute.

MODERN LIVING Clockwise from top left: Karp’s girlfriend, Rachel Eakley, at work, near the metal skeleton of a motorcycle; the living room bar cabinet; old-school board games; the farmhouse-style open kitchen with soapstone counters and a brass Watermark faucet.

as such is technically a competitor to Facebook and Twitter. However, the comparison ends there. Tumblr is minimalist and easy to use but also infinitely customizable; it is a genuine creative tool. Using Facebook, meanwhile, demands about all the creativity you’d need to renew a passport. As Karp puts it, ‘‘here’s your vanilla white profile page: now fill in your interests, add your friends.’’ He built Tumblr in reaction to Facebook, which he regards as ‘‘insanely restrictive.’’ Indeed, much of the New York tech industry can be understood as a reaction to the one-size-fits-all ethos of Silicon Valley. ‘‘There’s something very prescriptive in how the Valley builds its tools,’’ Karp says, ‘‘even the ones that are supposed to be expressive.’’ Consider Etsy, which is a kind of eBay for the design-conscious; or Kickstarter, which provides a platform for financing creative projects; Shutterstock, which licenses images; or BuzzFeed, a social news Web site. The major New York tech firms, with the exception of Foursquare, New York’s popular social-networking app, either cater to creators, or depend on some tie to the creative or media industries as their comparative advantage. That New York tech has more style than its West Coast counterpart cannot be doubted. But the nagging question is whether the East has substance as well,

and more particularly, whether it can actually compete with the power, money and experience of Silicon Valley. Tumblr, which is among New York’s most successful tech firms, sold for $1.1 billion to Yahoo earlier this year, which is a trifle compared with Microsoft (valued, at press time, at $263 billion), Google ($299 billion) or Apple ($423 billion). Nonetheless, Karp, who admits ‘‘we’ve got a ton to prove,’’ is optimistic about New York tech over the long run. ‘‘Historically, singleindustry cities eventually collapse,’’ he says, referring to Silicon Valley and effectively throwing down the gauntlet. ‘‘It’s the New Yorks, the Londons, the cities that have multiple industries, that are able to survive.’’ That’s what history teaches, he says, but ‘‘it’s really easy to forget that when you’re at the forefront of whatever industry.’’ The long view of New York’s prospects is also what appealed to Andrew McLaughlin, a former Google executive who moved east and is now senior vice president at New York’s Betaworks, which bills itself as ‘‘a company that builds companies.’’ (The New York Times Company is an investor.) ‘‘If you’re placing a long-term bet on consumer tech,’’ he says, ‘‘then the mix of skills you’ll find in New York, while maybe less technical, seems like a better bet to make.’’ As a veteran of both East Coast and West Coast tech, McLaughlin captures the aesthetic gap as ‘‘the difference between a Palo Alto office park and a Bushwick loft.’’ For one thing, ‘‘New York takes authenticity very seriously,’’ he says, while ‘‘the West Coast doesn’t give a damn.’’ ‘‘Functionality’’ matters most, he says, and while he has enormous respect for Google, ‘‘no one at Google spends time thinking about how to make their office park ‘authentic.’ They want it to be awesome, with robots, driverless cars, that kind of stuff.’’ Another difference is that New York’s tech industry tends to work with, or on

Issue November - December, 2013



By Design

Much of the New York tech industry can be understood as a reaction to the one-size-fits-all ethos of Silicon Valley. ‘There’s something very prescriptive in how the Valley builds its tools,’ Karp says.

BATHED IN LIGHT The master bathtub, from Sunrise Specialty Co., overlooks the living room. The rest of the bathroom is down the hall.


top of, what’s already there, whether physically or conceptually. ‘‘The West Coast thing is to destroy what came before,’’ while New York is ‘‘layering and working with what’s here already,’’ McLaughlin says, making reference to Rem Koolhaas’s seminal 1978 manifesto on urbanism, ‘‘Delirious New York.’’ Koolhaas argued that New York was a ‘‘collective experiment’’ in a ‘‘factory of man-made experience.’’ The city is the center of culture, creativity, advertising and finance: the question is whether New York tech can somehow help tie it all together. The physical spaces inhabited by the main New York firms reflect the layered approach being built into the city’s infrastructure, rather than exiled in the suburban office parks, and echo the original Bell Labs in the West Village. Tumblr’s offices are in the Flatiron district, housed on two floors in an old

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

building with rough wooden floors. Betaworks occupies a handsome industrial space in the meatpacking district with 22-foot ceilings and cast iron pillars, surrounded by fashion labels like Alexander McQueen and Tory Burch; the building once belonged to the publisher of Collier’s Encyclopedia. Kickstarter’s offices are in a rough Lower East Side loft with reclaimed cabinets and tin ceilings. (The firm is currently refurbishing a new space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, out of a building that once belonged to the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company.) Most of New York tech remains in Manhattan, but Karp has moved to Williamsburg, which, to state the obvious, is not a traditional C.E.O. hangout. It turns out that Karp and his girlfriend, Rachel Eakley, tried the West Village for a while but didn’t like their location. He went on a search for ‘‘old buildings,’’ and in Brooklyn he found more of what he loves, unblemished by ‘‘too much drywall,’’ which, according to Karp, has spoiled neighborhoods like TriBeCa. Karp’s loft also enjoys perfect views of the east Manhattan skyline. He looks out at the Niemeyer-Le Corbusier United Nations complex, with its broad tower reflecting water and sky. It was that view that sealed the deal and convinced Karp he could leave the island. He started thinking that looking out on Manhattan would be ‘‘so much frickin’ cooler than being in the West Village and seeing the Jersey skyline.’’ But not all is perfect: his view also includes an eruption of nondescript condos that have infected the Brooklyn bank of the East River. ‘‘I get so nauseated when I see these big glassy things,’’ he says, which look like ‘‘something out of Florida.’’ He denounces the spread of ‘‘generic, superbland architecture by people who decided that contemporary architecture is big glassy buildings. The stuff bums me out.’’ Once upon a time, to make it in the tech industry was to migrate from east to west, where the engineers and the venture capital could be found. Yet it seems highly unlikely that either Karp or Tumblr will move to the Valley anytime soon, for matters of taste as much as anything. ‘‘If there’s any broader issue I have with the Valley,’’ Karp says, it’s that ‘‘you’d have to be out of your mind to live in Palo Alto.’’

ABOVE IT ALL Above left and right: the master bedroom, which overlooks the living room, has blackened-steel and glass walls. An Eero Saarinen for Knoll chair sits in the corner.

A Picture and a Poem

Falling Leaves


The young Belgian painter Harold Ancart captures nature’s shifting landscape, as described in verse by Dean Young.

Second Fall in the Afterlife

First I go out into the yard to see what survived the night. The broken birdbath still holds a few handfuls of water, good enough for the grackles to keep their capes immaculate and the mounds of the fire ants between some paving stones look bigger, proof of the progress of their underground pyramids. Back inside, my cat has cornered something invisible and struts about in triumph. Swallowing my morning dose, I can almost hear the ocean made of falling chandeliers my wife’s listening to on headphones reading about the care of blind lion cubs on the Internet. Maybe this month the jasmine will finally pull the house down. Who wouldn’t rather dissolve in the mouths of flowers than be trampled by the stampede charging into the sky? DEAN YOUNG

‘‘Untitled’’ by Harold Ancart, 2013.

Issue November - December, 2013




Weird Doesn’t Begin To Describe It A Los Angeles designer and collector creates a surreal hangout where taxidermied dogs play chess and Elton John swings by for a chat. BY AMANDA FORTINI PHOTOGRAPHS BY LISA EISNER


HOUSE OF ODDITIES Top: Blaine Halvorson’s Culver City, Calif., studio is decorated with a series of peculiar vignettes: here, a pair of 1920s wax-head mannequins look upon a taxidermied giraffe; to the right, jury chairs from an early-20th-century New York courtroom front a mixed-media painting of a mug shot by Halvorson. Bottom, from left: ‘‘The Standard’’ jeans, ‘‘The Yankee’’ vest and ‘‘The Goat’’ boots from his MadeWorn collection.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

highly imaginative world of Blaine Halvorson is like trying to tell someone about a color they have never seen — nearly impossible. Halvorson, a tall, heavily tattooed 42-year-old whose laid-back demeanor hides an obsessive intensity, is a voracious collector of contemporary art, taxidermy and myriad curiosities, from old dentures and glass eyeballs to detached doll heads and faceless anatomical mannequins. These are meticulously arranged in macabre vignettes at his 4,500-square-foot studio in Culver City, Calif. In one installation, a painting of freshly butchered carcasses serves as the focal point for a herd of taxidermied dogs panting before a refrigerated case of plastic meat. In another, a row of jury chairs from an early-20thcentury New York courtroom face a series of nine-foot-high mixedmedia renderings of real, and very menacing, mug shots. Halvorson opened the invitationonly space, a sort of dark Disneyland for adults, just three months ago; it has since become a word-of-mouth secret among Hollywood’s art-world insiders. ‘‘From a safari of taxidermy to humorous pop culture references, morbid guilty pleasures and an obsession with deconstruction, it’s been a while since I’ve seen such a conceptual artistic intention so effectively materialize into a tangible, salable and utterly creative enterprise,’’ says Elton John, who recently stopped by to view the studio. Part of the attraction is seeing a truly incomparable vision realized,

Sub Section

TATTED AND TATTERED Clockwise from above: Halvorson antiques copper rivets on reclaimed leather shoes; his leather tattooed bag; the designer outside his Los Angeles home in his 1956 Ford F100 truck; tea- and coffeestained handmade MadeWorn look books.

and part of it is meeting Halvorson, who, with his artfully worn-in clothing, elaborate tattoos and beard from a bygone era, is like a living art project himself. Originally from Bozeman, Mont., where he still keeps a home — he built it while working for the architect Jonathan Foote, and bought it years later — these days Halvorson has his hand in more creative endeavors than most people tackle in a lifetime: designing clothes, cobbling shoes and binding books, to name a few. His latest project is MadeWorn, a rugged men’s clothing line that made its debut earlier this year at Maxfield and is now available by appointment

only at his studio. The studiously distressed clothes — ripped, stained, faded, patched, wrinkled, weathered — are handmade in Japan and have been worn by Brad Pitt, Jude Law and Damien Hirst. Amazingly, each replica of, say, a frayed sweatshirt, is ‘‘aged’’ in exactly the same way, with a near-maniacal attention to detail. Halvorson calls the look ‘‘homeless chic,’’ but it has more of a rumpled Civil War-era gentleman vibe. (Halvorson has just completed his first women’s collection as well; the pieces resemble hand-me-downs from a stylish pioneer schoolmarm.) This seems apropos, since they are so of a piece with Halvorson’s

found-object aesthetic that they walk the line between art and fashion. The actress Diane Keaton, who has become a passionate design enthusiast, was impressed enough to call, as Halvorson puts it, ‘‘half the staff, the buyer, the owner and her salesperson’’ at Maxfield to insist that he curate the boutique’s windows. ‘‘I thought, ‘Wow! Who is this guy!’ ’’ Keaton says. ‘‘His mind is magnificent and he is out there.’’ Visitors can also order shoes that Halvorson cobbles on the premises, using leather he buys from excavated mines and ghost towns, as well as pigskin purses, bags and totes, on which he tattoos elaborate, filigreed, old-school sailor designs. ‘‘I want this place to feel like a throwback to the old artisan way of everything being hand-done,’’ he says. This notion is something of a response to his previous business venture: In 1998, as the co-founder of a company called Junkfood Clothing, Halvorson


created vintage-looking T-shirts that were in fact new; to do this, he licensed beloved retro pop culture brands. By 2005, when Delta Apparel bought the company for $20 million (plus an additional sum based on profits), Junkfood had over 80 licenses — ‘‘from the N.F.L. to the N.B.A., from Disney to Marvel to Star Wars to DC Comics to every band you can think of musically,’’ Halvorson says. Nowhere is Halvorson’s passion for the handcrafted and authentic more evident than on his Montana compound, where Amish rocking chairs made out of willow sit on his porch, and the head of a buffalo he shot on Ted Turner’s neighboring ranch has been mounted in his kitchen. In his home state, hunting is a way of life, taxidermy is a common design element and rustic, pioneertype artifacts never go out of style. What seems mystifyingly weird in Los Angeles suddenly makes sense. SHABBY CHIC From left: Halvorson’s home in Mandeville Canyon, Los Angeles, reflects his taste for found and wellworn items, like the taxidermied stag head, distressed late-19th-century English chesterfield sofa and French chairs that have been stripped down to their original burlap; in his bedroom (right), a porcelain sculpture by the artist Tricia Cline, a bearskin rug and a pair of gelatin silver prints by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

Issue November - December, 2013


Arena Emirates

Tomas Maier, creative director of Bottega Veneta.


WORK T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine




Bottega Veneta’s creative director, Tomas Maier, speaks exclusively to T Emirates about the globe’s strengthening menswear market.

‘Our male client is confident—he possesses a strong sense of individual style.’


SINCE JOINING BOTTEGA VENETA IN 2001, Tomas Maier has carefully

cultivated the brand’s purposefully un-glittering ascent to the upper echelons of the luxury market, fueled, above all, by an unwavering emphasis on discretion (its motto, “When Your Own Initials Are Enough,” slyly undercuts the earmarks of its neighbors’ monograms). Maier’s steadfast inconspicuousness crowns a fluid-yet-controlled ethos that propelled Bottega Veneta into ten-digit dollar sales figures in 2012 (its portfolio now includes women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, fragrances, furniture, luggage, home goods and more). Approximately 30 percent of Bottega Veneta’s billion-dollarplus benchmark comes from menswear. That’s roughly 1.1 billion Emirati dirhams spent per annum on everything from woven suede loafers to feather-light leather jackets to crinkled and washed corduroys to artful three-piece suits to color-blocked track kits to oxidized silver jewelry. So who’s buying? “Our male client is confident — he possesses a strong sense of individual style,” Maier tells T Emirates. “He is well-traveled and sophisticated, but inconspicuous, moving seamlessly from place to place.” Transience, in particular, has played a key role in the robust strengthening of the overall high-end global menswear market of late; Maier’s sentiment focuses on an increasingly international high-networth pool of buyers, informed and

emboldened, no doubt, by their travels. Granted, durable Marco Polo leather totes and hyper-fine cashmere sweaters make the rigors of jetsetting to which Maier is referring a bit easier on the body, but his sentiment also has to do with the versatility — and self-aware ease — of this type of customer, nomad or otherwise, actual or potential. “The number of men who are avid and sophisticated consumers of luxury is growing,” he says, with typical abstraction. Yet of the gentlemen who might be attracted to Bottega Veneta specifically he states: “I believe our particular male customers are driven by a desire to individualize their wardrobes, a willingness to invest more time and resources in their personal styles and an increasing appreciation for quality above any other factor.” (These catalysts, in varying shades, are arguably true for Maier’s female clientele as well.) Maier also says that in addition to its profitability, the men’s bracket is “crucial” to Bottega Veneta’s repertoire “for the role it plays in completing the brand’s identity.” It’s safe to say he’s not the only head-ofhouse maintaining this outlook — just observe Bottega’s sister brand Saint Laurent, where Hedi Slimane has bulked up his men’s array to now include jewelry and a much widened footwear selection, or LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, where Kim Jones has quickly brought gentlemen’s wear to the same forefront as the ex-Marc Jacobs women’s platform.

To this effect, Bottega Veneta has just released Pour Homme, its first cologne, inspired by crystalline lakes and forest retreats in the Dolomite mountains (think: leathery, spicy, piney). This kind of even-keeled and patiently-paced evolution (one would think it’d take well less than a decade to launch a lucrative fragrance branch) hints at another Maier-ism: a pseudo-bespoke wishgranting service, if you will. What the consumer wants, he shall receive, so long as it’s perfect and it’s ready. “We have always been careful to introduce new products when the need arises, in keeping with the desires of our customers,” he accedes. Such words only further relay the deep personal bonds that function at Bottega Veneta as linkages fastening quality’s graceful wing to luxury’s powerful engine, spearheading the embrace of a market that will continue to flourish.

Clockwise from top: Bottega Veneta Men’s Fall/ Winter 2013 looks; men’s leather accessory at Bottega Veneta; Bottega Veneta Pour Homme, available in the United Arab Emirates November 2013.

Issue November - December, 2013


Arena Emirates

A Kaleidoscope of Emirati Art From collaborating on an Instagraminspired platform to using GPS as a drawing tool, contemporary Emirati artists are pushing creative boundaries. T Emirates discovers how Abu Dhabi Art 2013 is helping local talent find its footing in the art market.

Visitors viewing a work by Anish Kapoor at Abu Dhabi Art 2012.

Emirati Artist Eman El-Raesi’s winning artwork for the Wings Project, Abu Dhabi Art 2013.


community and promoting emerging local artists. In the latest edition, the organizers — the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority — have shown a strong focus on Emirati talent, with various initiatives and exhibitions dedicated to the cause. This year’s programs include ‘Durub Al-Tawaya,’ an initiative that aims to present a synthesis between daily life and culture in Abu Dhabi through artistic events involving performance, public art and installations. Afra Al-Dhaheri is taking part in this new performing art venture with a project called ‘ARTwec,’ in collaboration with 10 other artists. “I am creating a temporary space for diverse artistic practices, where artists work within the same experience together,” she explains. “We will be using an Instagram-like platform to


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

create various images from Abu Dhabi and capture the city life in action, together. The project is a blank canvas for the invited artists to fill with colors, light, images, shapes and forms, challenging the set-up, absorbing from the city and reflecting back to the viewer — like a mirror.” In a bid to offer more domestic and international exposure for young and emerging artists from the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Art Design Program set up the Wings Project in 2010. It invites emerging artists and designers to recreate the Abu Dhabi Art ‘wing’ logo in their own style, with the offer of exhibiting the winners’ artworks on an international platform. Artist Eman Al-Raesi, one of the winners announced in October, says her piece is deeply influenced by Emirati women and their role in folkloric tradition, even mythology. “I think it came to me naturally because this design represents me as an Emirati woman who is really proud of who she is, her culture and heritage,” she says.




Clockwise from top left: Cao Fei/China Tracy’s work for the Durub Al-Tawaya program at Abu Dhabi Art 2013; a winning entry in the Wings Project 2013 by another Emirati artist Rahma Al-Mehairbi; two art works by artist Fatema Al-Mazroui, who will exhibit this year; a work by Hassan Sharif who will take part in Emirati Expressions; artist Mohammad Kazem’s work, ‘Pastel on paper’.

“I also wanted to incorporate the gramophone in my design because music really inspires me, and to me the Abu Dhabi Art experience is the same as when you listen to a melody you love.” Another Emirati artist, Fatema Al-Mazroui, who is displaying her work in a solo exhibition at the fair, also places an emphasis on local culture and the significance of women in Islamic society. Influenced by the likes of iconic American graphic artist and painter Robert Rauschenberg, her work uses collage, calligraphy and acrylic colors to reflect the modern Emirati woman’s identity through art. “I focus on the traditions, rules, the hejab,” she says, “the influence of Muslim women in history and politics; powerful women in our culture and their achievements.” The fair is also hosting this year the second edition of its ‘Emirati Expressions’ event, displaying the work of six established Emirati artists. The exhibition, titled ‘Realized,’ aims to present commonalities in visual language and art practice among the participating artists. Mohammed Kazem, who is one of them, is looking forward to the opportunities that come with such exposure. “The UAE government has done a lot to nurture artists for the past 20 years through grants and support, overseas residency programs and funds,” he says. “However, the local art market has just begun to flourish, with more galleries setting up in the UAE, as well as more sophisticated collectors in the domestic market and international interest in Emirati culture and artwork.” Kazem’s work relates to the global transformations occurring in the social, political and natural environment. He uses photos, images, video and audio-visual technologies to produce his work, but also traditional and conventional practices such as drawing and painting. He has even used GPS (global positioning system) as a tool for drawing shapes, recording an item’s location and depicting political issues. “I was supported by the UAE government at the age of 14 and have been encouraged ever since,” he acknowledges. “So I’d say the platform, funding and support have all been provided for talent in the UAE. If there’s anything to be done, it’s from within the Emirati creative community — we need to learn to push our creative boundaries and work harder to achieve recognition and establish ourselves in the global art market.” Figures shared by global

auction house Christie’s in its April 2013 art sales report give an indication of the burgeoning UAE art market: its auction in Dubai that month totaled $6.4 million (AED23.5 million), with 93 percent of the inventory sold. In October, Christie’s Dubai announced it had realized the highest price ever paid for a painting by a female artist from the Middle East, when Turkish artist Fahr El-Nissa Zeid’s ‘Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life’ went for $2,741,000 ( just over AED10 million). Emirati talent has yet, however, to match the volume of sales by Iranian, Turkish and Lebanese artists in the Middle East art market. But with the government making further investments in education, training and infrastructure for artists, and with a bigger platform for exposure through international art events in the UAE, Emirati artists are optimistic about the future. Abu Dhabi Art 2013 takes place from November 20-23 on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Issue November - December, 2013


Arena Emirates

Ras Al Khaimah is the only emirate to offer microlight flying as well as training.

Travel Diary

Eat, Play, Love: A Getaway To the ‘Rising Emirate’ Not far from the glamorous high-rises of Dubai and the bustling streets of Abu Dhabi, lies the small but distinctive emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Blessed with a natural bay and a diverse terrain, it offers an adventure just hours away from the madding crowd.


no less than 1,200 meters above ground level. “The wind is perfect. Prepare for take-off now,” says the captain, over the headset. I am sitting inside a simple device — an open microlight aircraft for two, attached to a parachute with a wingspan of approximately 12 meters. We taxi along the sandy airstrip for momentum, and within a matter of seconds we find ourselves soaring over the Arabian Gulf. The 20-minute flight over Ras Al Khaimah,


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

with a sweeping aerial view of its lavish pool villas, the newly-established marina, the quaint little fishing village and its narrow streets, is surreal (and well worth the 500 dirhams it is costing me). This, my maiden microlight flight, must surely be the highlight of my trip, especially since Ras Al Khaimah is the only emirate to offer the sport. Yet there is plenty more on offer at the Hilton Resort and Spa, Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirate’s better-known watersports destinations. The water, I’m informed, is rarely choppy and the wind is uniformly strong, offering the perfect setting for a seafaring adventure. Save




for the faint-hearted (or weak-limbed), windsailing in the emirate is highly recommended, not only for the thrill of the experience but also for an intimate encounter with the forces of nature. We don’t venture far out into the ocean, but trips from Ras Al Khaimah can take visitors to the stunning Musandam peninsula, part of Oman, in the Strait of Hormuz. Having been airborne and seabound all morning, it is time for another dramatic change in terrain, this time from an endless stretch of white-sand beach to the fiery environs of Ras Al Khaimah’s famed red-dune desert. The Banyan Tree Al Wadi Desert Resort and Spa is next on the itinerary, for a walk on the wild side in its idyllic setting. The resort houses a nature reserve, with more than 50 oryx and Arabian gazelles within the 60-hectare area of the estate. “It’s not unusual to run into Masha, the former patriarch of the oryx herd, grazing by the watering holes here in the resort,” an escort at the resort informs me. “He’s an outcast from the herd now, following a scuffle with a younger male oryx when his leadership was challenged. Sometimes he hangs out with the gazelles, so he’s made new friends and is not too lonely.” We’re then introduced to the in-house falconry expert, who’s preparing for her show. “Oh, you must see the boa constrictor we recently rescued… shhh, it’s sleeping now, look!” she says, as she straps on her gloves and weighs her birds for the falconry display. “Although falcons did not originate in the

We taxi along the sandy airstrip for momentum, and within a matter of seconds we find ourselves soaring over the Arabian Gulf.

UAE, early Emirati settlers would trap the birds as they passed through the country on their way to South Asia, and use these birds of prey to hunt for food in the harsh desert environs. It was a symbiotic relationship based on trust,” she explains, as she sets the birds free for a rare and spectacular display of their hunting skills. As the birds glide into the sunset, it’s time for a few sundowners at one of the newest and most talked-about entrants on Ras Al Khaimah’s gastronomic scene. The topography changes once again at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Resort, from soft, fine dunes to little pebbles on the beach beneath our feet. I wander into Marjan, the pan-Arab cuisine restaurant, for a taste of some authentic local fare from the visiting chef from Lebanon, but he surprises with an array of unconventional delights. “Labneh sprinkled with marinated lamb, or perhaps baba ghanoush with a Turkish twist, anyone?” he asks. My palate is titillated by one delicacy after another in the traditional threecourse meal. It takes a certain confidence to attempt fusion, especially while experimenting with traditional Arab cuisine, but Marjan is fully justified in claiming to pull it off. Having polished off this very inventive pan-Arab culinary treat, I finally retire to the palatial enclaves of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. The hotel offers a slice of New York in Ras Al Khaimah, but with a distinct Arab flavor. For instance, the heritage clock seen in each of the

20 Waldorf Astoria hotels and resorts across the world, is here designed especially for the UAE, to display Islamic prayer times throughout the day. Driving back to Dubai across a beautiful stretch of desert, I reflect that Ras Al Khaimah’s appeal lies in its stunning natural beauty. Against the backdrop of the rugged Hajar mountains, the emirate is enveloped by the shimmering Arabian Gulf and cradled in the lap of nature. Efforts by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority have transformed the town into a compelling destination for tourists, especially from within the UAE. While it can make for an adrenaline-packed activity destination, it also doubles as a spot of calm, just an hour or two away from the bustle of the neighboring emirates — the perfect getaway. Clockwise from top: The junior suite at the new Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah; dining at Marjan, the Arabic cuisine specialty restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah; the falconry show at Banyan Tree Al Wadi Ras Al Khaimah, wind sailing at The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa.

Issue November - December, 2013


Arena Emirates

Travel Diary

Istanbul: A Two-Faced Retreat Turkey’s biggest city isn’t the easiest place to navigate, yet Istanbul’s majestic horizons turn even the most monotonous taxi ride into an adventure. T Emirates explored the mesmerizing sights and smells of a bustling destination where Europe meets Asia to create a conundrum of ancient beauty. BY JOE LIPSCOMBE PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATTHEW WILSON


Top: The Blue Mosque, Istanbul; the ceiling of the Blue Mosque.


through Istanbul. A brief trip from my hotel in Besiktas to Ortakoy’s tiny cobbled streets and alleyways landed me in an intimate setting reminiscent of Western Europe’s finer cities. Far removed from the ancient style of architecture born in Bursa and Edirne in the 14th and 15th centuries and adopted by the Ottoman Empire, yet nestled below one of the many distinctive mosques, Ortakoy offers a compact waterside quay filled with vendors, markets and hidden restaurants, where you’ll find men waiting to challenge you to some street-side backgammon. However, know that locals are handy at backgammon and poor at English, so brush up either on your board games or on your Turkish. Ortakoy is host to an entire row of street-food vendors offering kumpir, a baked potato with a carnival of colorful

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

extras. Stack yours up like the locals with cheese, pickles, olives, baked vegetables and sauces, and avoid wearing white. Although kumpir is an onthe-go snack, you may be better off strolling down to the quayside and finding a spot where you can watch the busy Bosphorus spring to life. If you’re looking for something less messy, Istanbul isn’t about to leave you high, dry or hungry. Indulge in a simit, a sesame-coated toasted bread snack; midye, cooked mussels with lemon juice; or simply some corn on the cob – the smell of which aromatises every street. I was looking for a place to sit down and be served, however, so I ventured inside The House Café, recommended by a local resident, and sat on its semi-covered veranda between the bar and the Bosphorus. The House Café is situated right next to the Ortakoy Mosque and offers a menu as sumptuous as the view. I wanted to go local, and the staff were more than happy to help. I ordered a Turkish dish called menemen, eggs scrambled with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mint leaves and oil, and washed it down with a small glass of cay, the traditional tea. It was cheap, fast and extremely fresh. Once you’ve refueled and been sent on your way, continue strolling down the Bosphorus, past the architecturally brilliant universities and institutes, before giving your feet a rest by boarding one of the city’s convenient trams. A short ride for barely six Emirati dirhams will land you at the popular ferry port of Eminonu. Here you will easily be able to board a large public ferry for a short tour down the Bosphorus, which really is the best way to explore the boundaries of Istanbul. A seaway that presents itself more as a gigantic loch, surrounded by rolling hillsides littered with mosques

and greenery. The view is stunning, whether you’re looking towards Asia or Europe. If you take the full 90-minute tour, you’ll enjoy a choppy narrative of Ottoman history against a backdrop of palaces, interrupted by fishermen and the occasional swimmer. When you’ve returned to Eminonu, stroll across to the Old City, where you’ll stumble upon the Spice Bazaar. This is much like the souks of Dubai, but walking through the smells and colors will lead you up to the mesmerising Suleymaniye Mosque, perched upon one of the city’s major hills. This magnificent building alone, commissioned and built back in 1550, is worth the trip to Istanbul. Winding back down, you’ll be unable to resist ducking into another erratic Ottoman building, the one most commonly known as the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar swallows up every souk I’ve ever visited in one technicolor gulp. And the best thing about it is that the merchants who occupy the thousands of stalls within the maze are surprisingly happy to let you browse at your leisure without harassing you for a sale – not something I’ve come across once in all those other markets I’ve visited around the world. Come the afternoon, if you’ve managed to escape the clutches of the Grand Bazaar, then make your way through the busy streets towards Sultanahmet’s main square, where you’ll quickly discover some of Istanbul’s most brilliant features. This area of the city reveals the mystery and intensity of its past. Bound by three separate stretches of water – the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara, and of course the Bosphorus – this is the high point of the Old City once known as Constantinople. Dragging yourself up the hill into the main hub of activity will bring you to the world-famous Blue Mosque, named for the striking colors of its dome, and Hagia Sophia, burnished with a brilliant red-tinted exterior. At that point I decided I needed a drink and a snack, but with the view too good to turn away from, I headed between the mosques to discover a latticework of cobbled streets tightly packed with restaurants and hotels, where the wonderfully friendly locals try to charm you into their particular venues. I opted for a hotel called Seven Hills that claimed to have the best view in the city – and I couldn’t argue. The fresh fish restaurant on the roof

provided a perfect view of the entire square, as well as half of Istanbul, a view that held my attention for well over an hour. After all of this excitement, you might just want to relax and prepare for the evening. Why not try a Turkish bath? I experienced my first-ever Turkish bath in the comfort of my hotel spa, and it was far less traumatising than I had expected. The architecture of the baths is most impressive, so be sure to book somewhere that does it properly. The evening in Istanbul is yours to do with as you please. The many cobbled streets and winding alleys offer strings of local restaurants serving traditional kebaps, accompanied by fragrant mezzes. My plan was to return to Hagia Sophia and enjoy the spectacle at night. The area comes to life beneath the moonlight, as the streets bustle with tourists. I decided to wander into Gulhane Park – a beautiful labyrinth previously used as a hunting ground. The high walls of the Topkapi Palace on one side, and the sheer vastness of the Bosphorus on the other, offer contrasting atmospheres of seclusion and exposure. Find your way to the far edge from the main entrance and enjoy some more cay in a café better described as a treehouse, which hangs over the cliff face. On your way out, be sure to dive underground into the Basilica Cistern. Built by the Emperor Justinian in 532 AD to provide water to the city, the cistern is a great place to spend half an hour away from the heat. Eerily poised underground, its ambient soundtrack and glowing lights make it a wonderful setting for the story of Medusa, who can be found, in multiple forms, in the far corners. If you happen to have any fish food with you, you’re sure to make some friends, too. Grab some dinner on the way out from any of the street-facing restaurants. There’s plenty to choose from, and although the menus are large, the waiters are happy to take the lead and present you with a local dish fit for a sultan. Must dos: Cruise the Bosphorus for the most incredible views of the city. Bear in mind: Cat-haters beware; felines rule the streets.

Clockwise from top: A panoramic view of Istanbul; street side view of the city; lanterns in the Grand Bazaar; the Süleymaniye Mosque.

Issue November - December, 2013


J. W. Anderson top, AED 5,712, and skirt, AED 2,314; Opposite: Burberry London sweater, AED 2,920;


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Voluminous shapes in enveloping knits lend a coziness to fashion that feels reassuringly feminine. PHOTOGRAPHS BY KARIM SADLI STYLED BY JOE M C KENNA

Issue November - December, 2013


The Row sweater, AED 16,492; Chloé shorts, showpiece only; similar styles at Céline boots (worn throughout), AED 10,614; (212) 535-3703. Opposite: Valentino coat, AED 19,099, and shorts, AED 6,207; (212) 772-6969. Céline necklace, AED 2,681 (worn throughout).




Céline dress, AED 22,038. Opposite: Stella McCartney coat, AED 12,249; (212) 255-1556.


Prada coat, AED 10,578, and belt, AED 1,377; prada .com. Opposite: Giorgio Armani coat, AED 21,542; armani. com. Victoria Beckham belt, showpiece only; similar styles at Carol Mitchell, McLean, Va. (703) 506-8963. Model: Sam Rollinson/Women Management NYC. Hair by Didier Malige. Makeup by Christelle Cocquet at Calliste. Manicure by Lucy Galsworthy at Phamous Artists using Chanel. Set Design by Max Bellhouse at the Magnet Agency. Production by Ragi Dholakia Productions. Stylist assistants: Carlos Nazario and John Pashalidis. ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.




Sub Section




November - December, 2013

Issue November - December, 2013



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


He sings, he dances, he acts, and he’s not afraid to get silly in self-mocking comedy shorts. Drawing a line from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z, Justin Timberlake has become this generation’s master of ceremonies.

Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane shirt, AED 10,835, and T-shirt, AED 937; (212) 980-2970.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS PLAYING the long game. He’s the Kasparov of showbiz. He has survived far longer than most artists, tracing an arc from pop-culture absurd — first appearing on the Mickey Mouse Club at age 11 — to pop-culture sublime, a solo career that has triumphed at a time when entertainment, and celebrity, have become more disposable than ever. ‘‘I’m 32,’’ he says over coffee this summer in downtown Manhattan. ‘‘I know that I’m still young, but I’ve been in this business two-thirds of my life and you just learn that some things are accepted the way you hope and some aren’t.’’ To a remarkable degree, across multiple disciplines, they have been: his band ’N Sync’s success, at its time, rivaled that of the Beatles; teeny-bopper adulation could’ve been a velvet coffin, as it was for other members of his group and that of the other ’90s phenomenon, the Backstreet Boys. But Timberlake methodically worked his way out of it, rebranding himself as a dapper solo artist, a picker of modest but choice acting roles (most notably as Sean Parker in ‘‘The Social Network’’) and as a

master of this generation’s gift to comedy, the viral short. The digital shorts he created with the music-comedy trio the Lonely Island, and his ‘‘Saturday Night Live’’ skits, centered largely on parodies of oversexed ’90s R&B stars. They also served to gently distance him from his teenage self, less oversexed than, say, the members of Jodeci, but perhaps similarly mockable. He also, smartly, knew when to shut up, going AWOL from music for almost seven years, absent some key collaborations, before returning this spring with a complex, densely produced best-selling album, ‘‘The 20/20 Experience.’’ ‘‘You get to this point, which I’ve done in the last five or six years, where you become less worried about success and failure,’’ he says, speaking of ‘‘20/20,’’ which is filled with eightminute rave-ups and signature Timbaland trance-outs. He may be only in his early 30s, but he has taken on the philosophical aspect of someone a generation older. ‘‘I’m sure there’s some self-help cheese-ball book about the gray area,’’ he says, ‘‘but I’ve been having this conversation with my friends who are all about

Issue November - December, 2013


What has let Timberlake bridge three generations of fans has been a certain kind of generationally specific decorum: gracious, polite, patient, deferential. He may have you naked by the end of the song but he will do so by using Antioch rules. the same age and I’m saying, ‘Y’know, life doesn’t happen in black and white.’ The gray area is where you become an adult . . . the medium temperature, the gray area, the place between black and white. That’s the place where life happens.’’


THERS SPEND YEARS in obscurity,

carving off pounds of credibility for meager dollops of fame. Timberlake was more or less born famous, disposably so, and then fought his way to something more real and lasting. And he has done it over a two-decade span that has been marked by rapid-fire cultural churn, building up and tearing down artists at a manic pace. You jump on the party bus only to see it crash in a ditch moments later. Timberlake’s secret has been to remain detached from these hyper-accelerated comings and goings of fad, trend, in, out. ‘‘If you can answer the question of why you’re doing it, it’s the right thing to do,’’ he says in Mr. Miyagi mode, describing his decision to put out his first album since ‘‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’’ in 2006, a gap in content production that would have spelled doom to a lesser talent. ‘‘To answer the question ‘Why?’ for the first time in my career, is: because I wanted to.’’ This year, among other things he wants to do, is put out the second part of ‘‘The 20/20 Experience,’’ which he describes intriguingly as the ‘‘hotter, older evil twin sister’’ of ‘‘20/20,’’ and then, even more intriguingly: ‘‘If you could imagine you’re 16 and she’s everything you thought. She’s Marilyn Monroe and then you meet her older sister; everything that’s dark and wrong about her at that age is why you become infatuated with her.’’ Hot, older ‘‘20/20’’ will be supported by a major arena tour this fall. This, after he headlined a sold-out stadium tour this summer with Jay Z, an intermittently awkward and thrilling pairing of two very different showbiz traditions, or at least two people who learned very different things watching Frank Sinatra. Jay Z took Sinatra’s


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Hermès jacket, AED 12,580, and tuxedo pants, AED 26,262 (for suit); hermes .com. Bottega Veneta shirt, AED 1,506;

Issue November - December, 2013


Grooming by Amy Komorowski for Axe/ ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


Dolce & Gabbana sweater, AED 7,695;

By inclination and design, Timberlake is positioned apart from the prevailing trends in music, fashion, sensibility. None of these interest him particularly, and his refusal to engage with the ephemera of a particular pop culture moment may in fact be his secret.

suit-and-tie phlegmatic self-confidence, merged it with hip-hop’s swagger and created a model for the 40-plus black artist/businessman that is unprecedented in the genre. Timberlake took from the crowd-pleasing Sinatra, bringing back the idea of the ‘‘performer’’: the all-singing, all-dancing entertainer, whose craft didn’t interfere with showing the fans a good time. Along the way, thanks in part to the growing amount of time spent collaborating with Jay Z, he has modeled a new kind of postracial, postmacho white male.


IMBERLAKE APPEARS IN TWO MOVIES this year. In the first, ‘‘Runner Runner,’’ he plays a Princeton student and online poker player who believes he was swindled out of his tuition money and goes after the site’s shady owner, played by Ben Affleck. In December, he has a memorable cameo as Jim Berkey in the Coen brothers’ ‘‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’’ a dry comedy very loosely based on Dave Van Ronk’s life and the Greenwich Village folk scene of the ’60s. I say loosely because Van Ronk’s life, as captured in the book, ‘‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir,’’ is a rollicking tale about New York folk at the literal moment before Bob Dylan and the ’60s were about to turn this whole little jewel box of bohemia into Pompeii. The movie, by contrast, lingers like a persistent melancholy. When the Coens called, Timberlake had actually just watched Martin Scorsese’s documentary ‘‘No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,’’ and when they asked if he had heard of the now largely forgotten Van Ronk, who played a kind of Salieri to Dylan’s Mozart, they were surprised to hear he had. Dylan, Timberlake says, ‘‘jacked a little of Van Ronk’s thing and made it his own.’’ Berkey is the husband and singing partner of Carey Mulligan’s Jean Berkey, who (improbably) cuckolds Timberlake’s character with the husky, E.Q.-challenged Davis, played by the relative newcomer Oscar Isaac. Timberland’s role is a small one, but his Berkey is a significant foil to Davis, who is the most talented musician in the story, but has

no ability to connect with audiences. Timberlake’s Berkey, unencumbered by neuroses about authenticity and craft and gazing ingenuously at the world around him, looks destined for mainstream success. It is a sly Coen brothers joke: one can see them clearly identifying with the hirsute, curmudgeonly Davis, fighting Talmudic battles with shadows; Timberlake’s Berkey just floats through the whole scene. ‘‘Talent doesn’t always equal success,’’ Timberlake says, drawing a universal connection. ‘‘A case can be made a lot for that.’’ Timberlake, it has been said, has gone far on likability, which is also a way of mildly patronizing him. He is his generation’s dapper master of ceremonies, turning up as a reliable good time on everything from ‘‘Saturday Night Live,’’ to ‘‘Jimmy Fallon,’’ to the MTV Video Music Awards and, of course, the Super Bowl. But what has let him bridge over multiple iterations and now three generations of fans has been a certain kind of generationally specific decorum: gracious, polite, patient, deferential. He may have you naked by the end of this song, but he will do so using Antioch rules. This quality was much mocked in the wake of his apologies for that ‘‘wardrobe malfunction’’ at the Super Bowl in 2004, wherein he had Janet Jackson’s right breast naked at the end of their joint performance. An apology? How . . . polite. And even as his lyrics are strewn with references to twerking and booties, he seems unable to express current pop culture’s quasiporny sexuality with anything approaching conviction. Timberlake’s ‘‘dirty’’ video for ‘‘Tunnel Vision,’’ which showcased him almost moping about an empty studio intercut with images of naked dancing women, was notably less ‘‘hot’’ than the exuberantly ‘‘dirty’’ video released a few months earlier by Robin Thicke, who has positioned himself as a kind of Timberlake 2.0 cyborg. Timberlake, who like Thicke is married, looks miserable and isn’t even shot in the same space as his naked dancing girls. Timberlake doesn’t do R-rated well. By inclination and design, Timberlake is positioned apart from the prevailing trends in music, fashion, sensibility. None of these interest him particularly, and his refusal to engage with the ephemera of a particular pop culture moment may in fact be his secret. This moment, and indeed, many of the previous moments, have been driven by technological change. ‘‘A lot of people in our biz want to write songs that people want to hear and make movies that people want to see,’’ he says, ‘‘but if the medium is changing at such a rapid pace, the question is, How do you do that?’’ His answer is to look sideways at iconoclastic artists he admires — like Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor or Kanye

West — and backward at artists who were able to transcend their moment and create something that mattered years later. Like who? His name-checks would make a boomer’s heart skip a beat: Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Dylan, Bobby Womack and his fave, Donny Hathaway. ‘‘The 20/20 Experience’’ is aural Spielberg: entirely original yet drenched in five decades of dense pop music history. Technology, he says, has jammed so much newness into the culture that culture has not figured out how to respond yet. As a result, ‘‘There’s not as much substance’’ in music. Speaking to the nadir — the end of the last decade — he says, ‘‘All the soul of it was removed. It was made for whatever the trending medium was. . . . You had two or three different female artists who were doing literally the same song, just different song titles. They are saying the same thing with the same melody, with the same B.P.M.’’ This is not to say that Timberlake is some kind of purveyor of nostalgic pap à la Michael Bublé. The 2013 J. T. experience may lack the industrial thwap of dub-step, now scrambling your innards in every car commercial, but that’s because, as he says with uncharacteristic edge, ‘‘Tim [Timbaland, his producing partner] and I were doing that seven years ago. Someone put some cocaine on top of that, and it turned into what it turned into.’’ And it’s true. Have you listened to ‘‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’’ recently? It sounds even better now than it did then, hit after hit laid into a skittering, luscious flow that is pure sex — pure, parent-approved, consensual sex, that is. Which brings us back to his role in ‘‘Inside Llewyn Davis’’ and the Village folk era. Timberlake reveres Dylan, but he also understands Dylan as largely a construction, an artistic projection. ‘‘I always bring up Robert Zimmerman. ‘Do you know who Robert Zimmerman is?’ They say, ‘Who’s that?’ Look it up.’’ Van Ronk, in his memoir, describes the Dylan persona as a kind of freestyle riff on who he thought Woody Guthrie really was. Van Ronk’s memoir describes Dylan as so cosmically full of it that he himself probably had no idea what was true and what wasn’t. Timberlake takes a different moral from the story of Van Ronk and Dylan. He sees the Dylan persona as ‘‘methodical,’’ and that constructedness, he says, is the very essence of how an artist connects with his audience. It’s called performing, and performing is a noble calling, a kind of greater realness. The authenticity is in the ability to make the connection. ‘‘I try to talk to people about how much acting goes into music,’’ he says. ‘‘How much of a character goes into what you put on stage. You ever sit down with Jay? He’s not the guy he is on stage. I’m not the guy I am on stage. I am a performer. It’s an elevated idea.’’

Issue November - December, 2013


LABOR OF LOVE With his characteristic wit and humble charm, the artist André Dubreuil has devoted decades to breathing life back into his family’s grand 18thcentury chateau.



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

IN GOOD COMPANY An André Dubreuildesigned mirror, which reflects upside down, above a 17th-century bust in his dining room. A photograph of a hand by Robert Lavrero, the husband of Dubreuil’s gallerist, Gladys Mougin, and a floor-size candlestick by Tom Dixon flank the table, which seats up to 25.

Issue November - December, 2013



s the son of two scientists, it would seem natural that André Dubreuil would one day follow in his parents’ footsteps and carve a successful career for himself in the fields of research and medicine. After all, that’s what five of his six siblings did. But from an early age, the 62-year-old French furniture designer was more interested in aesthetics than in science. He wanted to create beautiful worlds to inhabit, because, as he puts it, ‘‘when I am surrounded by beauty, whether it’s in nature or with objects, that’s when I am at my happiest.’’ In 1996, when the time finally came for Pierre and Denise Dubreuil to pass on their country home in France’s Dordogne region to one of their children, André was the obvious choice. Even as a teenager, he was always helping with the Château de Beaulieu’s restoration — in fact the pink flowered fabric wallpaper he picked out for his parents’ bedroom in the 1960s still remains there today. ‘‘When I am here, I never want to leave,’’ he says as he heads down a tree-lined driveway to the 18th-century estate. ‘‘Occasionally I might go to Paris for work, but thankfully I can do the round trip in a day. I have everything I need here.’’ Dubreuil shares his living quarters with only his three beloved mutts. (Come summer his many nephews and nieces stay in the special boys and girls dormitories he built for them.)


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

A STEP ABOVE Clockwise from top left: Dubreuil displays a collection of Dehua porcelain in the master bathroom, which echoes the blue and white tiles installed by his parents in the 1960s; the 1715 carved chalk stone staircase in the entry hall; the designer in another area of the bathroom.

Although the estate is quite grand by anyone’s standards — an approximately 750-acre property with formal gardens and so many bedrooms that Dubreuil can’t remember the exact count — it doesn’t feel as ostentatious as some other chateaus in the area. This may be due to the fact that Dubreuil has spent the last 20 years personalizing the place. When he first took it over, he wanted to tone down some of the modernizations his parents had made. ‘‘What mattered to them

was if things worked, not how they looked,’’ he recalls. So he set about paneling many of the rooms, which had been plastered over in the ’60s; he painted the windows on the outside of the house a softer teal, as the original white paint looked too garish against the slate roof; he filled the gardens with water features and his own metal sculptures. Though he kept some of his parents’ furniture, he brought in a lot of his own finds: antiques, paintings and ornate cupboards and

CHARACTER STUDY Dubreuil’s bedroom reflects his eclectic tastes, including a Tom Dixon-inspired chair he designed, an American rug, an etching of the Château de Chambord and, atop the French mahogany desk from the 1890s, a Punu mask from Africa, among other artifacts.

Issue November - December, 2013



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

CONTROLLED CHAOS In a sitting room, plaster bowls made by the designer as a model for Daum crystal on the mantel mix with a 19thcentury ceramic plate by Joseph Theodore Seek, a Maison Bagues plastic chandelier, a drawing by the British artist Martin Richman and Manuel Canovas wallpaper. Top right: a Dubreuil candlestick alongside a Chinese chair in the main hall.

mirrors that he had designed over the years. Armoires and cabinets are filled to the brim with china and glassware. Mantels are decorated with busts and small sculptures. The walls are covered with a mix of oil paintings, 1950s tapestries, photography and African carvings. Even his bathroom seems to be a showcase of sorts with a collection of Dehua porcelain surrounding his bathtub. So how does he take a bath? ‘‘I don’t,’’ he says with a laugh. ‘‘I take a shower. But I think they look nice here,’’ referring to the blue and white plates. Not everything in the house is valuable. Dubreuil likes to point out that you are just as likely to find something here that he has found on eBay as from a prized auction house. ‘‘When I first came to live here, I thought, This is good, I won’t be tempted to buy anything because I am in the countryside. But then the Internet came and then eBay — and Boof! I was at it again. Little parcels delivered to my door,’’ he says. ‘‘It always will be an ongoing project — that’s the trouble with grand houses — they create a hole in your pocket but that’s O.K. What’s important is to breathe life into a house, to make your mark.’’ In 1969, Dubreuil left France for London to study at the prestigious Inchbald School of Design. After completing his course work, he took a series of jobs dealing antiques, which helped him cultivate a passion for furniture

Issue November - December, 2013


ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Dubreuil at work in his atelier, a converted sheep barn on the property. A collection of 19th-century ecclesiastical paintings from Belgium hang over the workbench.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

‘When I first came to live here, I thought, I won’t be tempted to buy anything because I am in the countryside. But then the Internet came — and Boof! Little parcels delivered to my door.’

DEEP ROOTS Clockwise from right: a view of the garden; an early-1960s Baccarat vase and a Daum crystal piece designed by Dubreuil are perched on the buffet table in the dining room; a Dubreuil mobile from 2005 in the entry courtyard.

and design. He also fell in with a creative circle living and working in trendy Notting Hill at the time: the fashion designer Georgina Godley, the Vogue editor Hamish Bowles and the industrial designer Tom Dixon, who would introduce Dubreuil to welding. ‘‘That was that,’’ he recalls. ‘‘I bought a welder and was welding in my flat — my poor neighbor — all night.’’ He was soon twisting and turning metal into sconces, candlesticks and chandeliers. In 1986 he created his Spine Chair, a curvy loungelike piece resembling a human spine. Hand-bent from steel, the chair looks simple but the dramatic curves were a stance against minimalism, which was very popular in the design world then. His ornamental designs were viewed as art as much as they were as furniture, and as the work became more ambitious, he moved into different materials: iron, copper, even wood. Dubreuil never wanted to be commercial.

Most of his objects are unique, and if one of his customers asks him to make a replica, he typically refuses. ‘‘Most commercial furniture is made by machine, and that saddens me because you can’t leave a bit of your soul in the pieces you are creating,’’ he says. Today those pieces can command six-figure price tags, his clients include Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and his iconic Spine Chair sits in the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, but the always humble Dubreuil claims he is no longer ‘‘fashionable.’’ These days he is content to run his business from an old converted barn on the estate. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much — a simple structure once used for housing sheep — but inside it’s a fully functioning atelier with workbenches, tools, anvils, lathes and forges. Here, Dubreuil works alongside five assistants and is very much

involved in every aspect of the creation of each work — whether it’s a museum-worthy piece or the trophy he designs for the annual local bicycle race. ‘‘If I wasn’t involved, then what would be the point? I should just stop,’’ he muses. ‘‘If you have a huge workshop, you feel less free.’’ He refuses to be referred to as a designer — he sees himself as more of an artisan. But then he reconsiders even that. ‘‘I’m not sure what I am really,’’ he says. ‘‘For Social Security, here in France, I say that I make metal kitchens.’’

Issue November - December, 2013




SAY YOU’RE A HANDSOME young actor on the verge of

breaking through, but you want to escape being known for being pretty. What do you do to rise above it and establish yourself as an actor in your own right? For Jamie Dornan, the answer was to play a murderer of women — and to do so very convincingly. The 31-year-old Irishman, who was first seen nearly a decade ago as the face of Calvin Klein, drew raves for his performance as Paul Spector, a serial killer terrorizing Belfast, in the BBC Two police procedural ‘‘The Fall,’’ which was broadcast earlier this year and will return for a second season in 2014. Dornan’s handsomeness is certainly part of what makes the character so arresting; the trim beard, furrowed brow and sinewy muscles definitely don’t fit the stereotype of the homicidal maniac. But what’s especially unnerving is how swiftly he can go from being a family guy, doting on his two daughters, to a monster who strangles his victims, then ritualistically bathes them and paints their nails afterward. Dornan, whose acting career began with a small part in ‘‘Marie Antoinette’’ and includes a recurring role on the fantastical ABC series ‘‘Once Upon a Time,’’ describes his reaction to winning ‘‘The Fall’’ lead (opposite Gillian Anderson) in a single word: ‘‘Terrified.’’ He’d originally gone out for the part of a police investigator, and for a while he was convinced he was about to be fired. But Dornan, who prepared by boning up on the literature of psychopaths and serial killers like Ted Bundy, grew to enjoy playing ‘‘someone with that sort of rottenness within him,’’ he says. If anything, he got too deep into the part. ‘‘I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I was saying ‘me’ and ‘I’ a lot’’ when discussing torture and murder, he recalls. ‘‘My fiancée had to keep saying, ‘Can you please stop?’ ’’ — JESSE ASHLOCK


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Calvin Klein Collection coat, AED 12,837, and jacket (on table), AED 4,132; (212) 292-9000. T by Alexander Wang sweater, AED 1,010. Neil Barrett pants, about AED 2,277; Opposite: Our Legacy sweater, AED 882;

Issue November - December, 2013



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Lanvin jacket, AED 18,347; (646) 439-0380. Jil Sander top, AED 2,681; Balenciaga pants, price on request; for similar styles, call (212) 206-0872. Opposite: Prada coat, AED 19,228, shirt, AED 2,149, and pants, AED 3,232;

Issue November - December, 2013


Comme des Garçons Homme Plus shirt, AED 2,516, pants, AED 2,002, and coat (on table), AED 6,060; (212) 6049200. T by Alexander Wang T-shirt, AED 294; Bottega Veneta bracelet, AED 2,130; Opposite: Givenchy by Ricardo Tisci shirt, AED 24,187; Burberry Prorsum pants, AED 2,920; Dolce & Gabbana shoes (worn throughout), AED 2,920; Gucci coat (on table), AED 22,002; Hair by Damien Boissinot at Jed Root. Grooming by Hannah Murray. Set design by Max Bellhouse. Produced by Ragi Dholakia. ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Issue November - December, 2013




GNATIUS CHAN, the gregarious

owner of Iggy’s restaurant in Singapore, is sitting in his dining room trying to translate the local term shiok. ‘‘It’s hard to describe,’’ he says, before attempting: ‘‘It’s food that nourishes the soul and the stomach.’’ A spoonful of cold somen noodles with chives and caviar is set down in front of him. Chan pauses, laughs, his eyes light up in the midst of this eureka moment. ‘‘No,’’ he exclaims, ‘‘it’s like hitting the G-spot for food.’’ With that, Chan has actually described what it means to be in Singapore — an island nation of 4.5 million people where the pleasurable pursuit of all things shiok has become a fundamental part of the national identity. The obsessive conversation surrounding food here begins as soon as you clear customs. (My first chat in Singapore involved a driver outside the airport conveying his autobiography through the lens of two favorite dishes: chili crab and chicken rice.) Rightfully, plenty of that talk still revolves around the traditional street foods and hawker centers that locals, travelers and big-name food personalities have always revered for their complex flavors and modest prices, but a new generation of innovative restaurants is also producing substantial buzz here, making Singapore one of the most complete and prolific places to eat on the planet. ‘‘You can eat like an absolute king here for five bucks or 500 bucks,’’ says Ryan Clift, whose restaurant, Tippling Club, is one of the spots defining the new scene. ‘‘You really can’t do that in too many places.’’ Chalk it up to the Singaporean luxury boom. Despite being a relatively tiny island, Singapore is the fourth largest financial center in the world, behind only London, New York and Hong Kong. Rich nations such as these eat rich-nation food, meaning the high-end local cuisine here has more to do with irrepressible spending and status than it does with whatever might come from the ground or the sea, which, in fact, is virtually nothing. Singapore’s is an import economy. They brought in the banks, they fly in the finest foods, and, now, finally, they’ve lured in the tourists with their new extravagant Vegas-style resorts like the Marina Bay Sands complex, which includes an opulent casino and a Moshe Safdie-designed hotel with over 2,500 rooms. The


country’s reputation as the buttonedup, sterile anomaly of Asia has fallen away in favor of a much more culturally progressive vibe. This is due to locals like Cynthia Chua, a 42-year-old beauty tycoon who has recently expanded her empire into the realm of trendsetting restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries. She continually asks herself: ‘‘How can we reflect the creativity of Singapore?’’ The country, an independent nation since only 1965, has long been a melting pot of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures, with more than a hearty dose of English colonial influence. One way to harness any and all artistic thinking has been to bring it in from elsewhere. ‘‘Singapore’s identity is not that deeply rooted,’’ says Loh Lik Peng, a lawyer-turnedrestaurateur/hotelier who runs some of the country’s best boutique hotels (1929, the New Majestic and Wanderlust) and restaurants (Cocotte, Esquina, Keong Saik Snacks) as well as spots in London and Shanghai. ‘‘Other than a few old fishing villages,’’ he says, ‘‘our culture is really young.’’ Many of Singapore’s top chefs come from abroad, including Clift, whom Chua lured from Australia to open Tippling Club in 2008. The restaurant, which sits on the grounds of a former military installation, mashes up molecular gastronomy with the finest in cocktail culture. Myriad bottles of liquor hang from the ceiling like a boozy sculpture, and all the kitchen action — puffing beef tendons into the form of cracklings, turning white truffle into a Styrofoam-like block — is visible from

In food-rich Singapore, where even the cabbies are obsessive gourmands, a new wave of chef-driven restaurants are changing the face of dining. BY HOWIE KHAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY LOUIS PORTER

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

HAUTE CUISINE Clockwise from top left: somen noodles topped with caviar at Iggy’s; Restaurant André’s modern take on the Spanish classic patatas bravas; chilled red cabbage soup topped with a Gillardeau oyster at Iggy’s; ‘‘Velvet Fog,’’ one of the signature cocktails at the Tippling Club.

Issue November - December, 2013


‘Food is everyone’s hobby here. Everyone has a blog. Everyone posts pictures. New York and London are nothing compared to here.’

A MATTER OF TASTE Clockwise from above: scallops St. Jacques and potato gnocchi at Restaurant André; André’s fresh herb juice encased in avocado butter balls on top of moss; a confit of shrimp, uni and caviar at Waku Ghin; Esquina’s slow-cooked eggs with Iberico ham; crispy Swiss chard presented as tree leaves at Restaurant André; the bar at Esquina.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

the long concrete bar. The plays on textures and shapes are constant. And the flavors don’t miss in dishes like applewood-smoked wild eel with bronze fennel as well as in drinks like truffle-infused port. (The mushrooms, Clift explains, are put through a machine called a Sonicprep, which ‘‘shatters the cells of the truffle into the spirit.’’) ‘‘The culture is so open here,’’ Clift says. ‘‘If you have a vision in Singapore, it’s carte blanche here. It’s total freedom.’’ For chefs and diners alike, this anything-goes mentality creates what feels like a utopian mood, which stretches itself out hungrily from early in the morning until well after midnight. A 7 a.m. meeting with Justin Quek, the revered chef of Sky on 57 atop the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, is interrupted by Quek talking on the phone with his 11-year-old son, who, the chef explains, without irony, is home trying to make crackling pork shoulder. ‘‘It starts young here,’’ he says, laughing and acknowledging an almost congenital connection with edible excess that makes Singapore so unexpectedly great. Nowhere is that excess displayed in a more refined way than at Waku Ghin, the Japanese-born Australian

chef Tetsuya Yakuda’s flagship dining room in the Marina Bay Casino. Dinner here is prepared teppanyaki style, like at an haute Benihana, in one of several five-person dining rooms. It starts with a presentation of raw ingredients that includes sea urchin, langoustine, abalone, lobster and so much more of the ocean’s treasures that it’s surprising no one presents a bowl of pearls for dessert. The restaurant’s signature dish stacks marinated confit shrimp, uni and a scoop of caviar so fat it looks like an engorged blackberry. The next course matches eel with foie gras, and a few dishes later, vintage Champagne, rather than red wine, is paired with sumptuous strips of Wagyu beef, making Singapore seem like the land where money might actually grow on trees. Beyond the new age luxury hotels

and former military barracks, restaurants of serious ambition like Loh Lik Peng’s Esquina are also colonizing Singapore’s historic redlight districts. Esquina is set in a low-slung Chinatown shop house, and its customers start lining up for beef tartare with shavings of frozen foie gras and a host of other inspired small plates an hour before the place even opens its doors. Esquina’s Irish-born chef, Andrew Walsh, has cooked in Michelin-starred kitchens all around the world but he says that the obsessive attitude toward food here places Singapore in a class of its own. ‘‘Food is everyone’s hobby here,’’ says Walsh. ‘‘Everyone has a blog. Everyone posts pictures. New York and London are nothing compared to here.’’ A few blocks away, in a freestanding three-story house, André Chiang, a Taiwanese chef, has set up the kind of intimate, signature dining experience at Restaurant André that attracts well-heeled omnivores not from just Singapore, but from all over the world. Subscribing to a concept of his own invention called ‘‘Octaphilosophy,’’ Chiang breaks his menu down into eight courses, each one based on a component of his own culinary education and named with a single word. ‘‘I do one called ‘South,’ ’’ he says, sitting in his third-floor atelier which is decorated with the chef’s handmade pottery. The rest of the restaurant features tableware and furniture that he designed himself. ‘‘South’’ reflects the spirit of Southern France, where Chiang got his start as a teenager, and today includes a sea urchin chili risotto and an heirloom tomato salad with deeply roasted blue lobster and melon sorbet. Another of Chiang’s courses, labeled ‘‘Unique,’’

features a fillet of baby barracuda wrapped around chopped morsels of the same fish. All combined, it gives off the same savory, juicy sensation as biting into a sublime soup dumpling. In Singapore, even in haute surroundings, the street — which is, of course, the basis for all this culinary openness — never feels too far away.


HICH IS WHY, after our

10-course meal at Iggy’s, I am zipping through the city with Chan and some companions in a spotless taxi as cold as a meat locker (air-conditioning and cleanliness are Singapore’s other dominant obsessions), in search of carrot cake. Characteristically, the cabbie is talking about his favorite foods. When we arrive at the Redhill Market and Food Center in a fast asleep working-class enclave, Chan beelines toward his favorite kiosk, Fu Ming Cooked Foods. Shirtless vendors with ropey arms are cleaning up the day’s mess, hauling buckets and drinking from tall-boys, as Chan brings the carrot cake to the table. ‘‘It’s not cake,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s not made with carrots.’’ It’s more like gnocchi, but made from rice flour, water and shredded daikon radish, and it comes coated with a thick, dark dressing that’s composed of egg, molasses, soy sauce, garlic and onion. Everyone digs in fast and keeps going as if we hadn’t eaten in days. In Singapore, appetite is a constant, on par with humidity and breathing. ‘‘We can go through 10 courses and still devour this,’’ Chan says, working his chopsticks. ‘‘It’s got that shiok factor. That G-spot.’’ Chan looks around the closing market, sharing the last of the dish. ‘‘O.K.’’ he says, ‘‘where should we go for breakfast?’’

TOP SHELF Bottles of liquor hang from the ceiling of the bar at the Tippling Club. For names and addresses of all featured restaurants, go to

Issue November - December, 2013


Clockwise from top left: Leonard Cohen; Paul Weller and Pete Townshend; Bryan Ferry; Michael Stipe; Charlie Watts; Screamin’ Jay Hawkins; John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana; Frank Zappa; David Bowie; Kiss.

Men in Suits The iconic rock ’n’ roll photographer Mick Rock reflects on the eternal allure of the bad-boy frontman. Rock ’n’ roll and fashion form a unique pact that has been percolating for decades, as the images from John Varvatos’s new book show. For a designer, who better to showcase your wares than a hot musician? Because most rock musicians are also performers, they are very attuned to their bodies. It is the swagger with which they sport their attire that generates the sexiness that is so seductive. They enjoy the clothes they wear. Bryan Ferry has always been regarded as one of the most stylish


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

of rock’s practitioners. I took a photo of him in 1975 (top right) at his home in Notting Hill Gate, London, in which he is lounging against a wall wearing a rumpled khaki suit, cigarette in hand. I call it his ‘‘Our Man in Havana’’ look. His attitude is louche and casual, as if he had made the decision of what to wear in a whimsical moment with very little thought. He looks like the cat’s whiskers! All photos from ‘‘John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion’’; Harper Design; AED 220.



Profile for T Emirates

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine  

November-December, 2013

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine  

November-December, 2013