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The Collective

Life

Arts/Style/Travel –No. 5


“ I T ’S N O T T H E C L O T H E S YO U W E A R , I T ’S T H E L I F E YO U ’ R E LIVING IN THEM” W W W. M I S T E R H A G A N . C O M COMING SOON -


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Contents Arts Collective

Style Collective

Travel Collective

12-Preview The Collective guides you through the coming months with our pick of the latest arts and culture based events.

38-Gatsby? What Gatsby? It’s back! Alecia Marshall discusses the lasting power of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece, The Great Gatsby.

58-Table for Two, Food for Ten Great food and great style, hotel Punta Tragara has it all.

14-Manchester International Festival Alecia Marshall examines the approaching Manchester International Festival and its exciting programme.

40-Gatsby Fashion

19-Art In Print Collective Editor, Lee Joseph Hagan, spends a morning with world renowned photographer, Rankin, as he unveils his brand new exhibition. 27-The Liverpool Music Awards The Collective talks to Ellie Phillips ahead of Liverpool’s biggest event on the music calendar. 29-Collective Predictions Collective’s easiest prediction yet, Tom Odell talks BRIT Awards and wild nights. 33-The Kite Runner Can one spectacular book become one spectacular play? Our Arts Editor investigates. 34-Book Review Michelle Langan recommends the perfect book to include in your holiday suitcase. 35-Film Review Writer and cineaste Adam Scovell reviews

help you out… 44-1920’s Glamour Nancy Buckland helps you recreate this season’s strongest look. 45-The Business of the Creative The Collective talks to Kate Kingston, the interior designer who knows a thing or two about property. 46-Keeping Up With The Collinges Liz and Andrew Collinge return with a guest columnist in tow… 49-Editor vs. Fashion Blogger Who packs the biggest punch is this battle of fashion heavyweights? Alecia Marshall asks the question. 52-Food Glorious Food Empty fridge? We review three of Liverpool’s most tasty restaurants.

60-Water, Water Everywhere and Just Champagne to Drink! Our Editor falls in love with Capri. 62-A Place for the Future After a delicious dinner, J.K. Place moves to the top of our Editor’s wish list. 64-Season’s Greetings Rubbing shoulders with the Italian elite, Lee Joseph Hagan visits Milan’s Four Seasons. 66-There’s No Place Like Home Lee Joseph Hagan makes himself at home in one of Milan’s most prestigious hotels. 68-Luxury vs. Bankruptcy Expensive taste equals an empty wallet at Hotel Excelsior. 70-One Night in Sorrento And where better to spend it than the Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais?

Plus… 74-A Malt Whiskey With… Mike Stubbs, CEO of Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology.


Issue 5

Disclaimer No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior permission of the publisher (H of H publishing). Whilst every care is taken, the publisher can take no responsiblty for omissions or errors.

All prices and details are correct at the time of going to print, the publisher can take no respsonsibilty for change thereafter.


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Editors Note Dear Readers, Welcome to our 5th issue, ‘Life’ celebrating the immortality of art. As F. Scott Fitzgerald proves, by creating art, art in any form, you will live forever. Alecia Marshall eloquently discusses this in our Gatsby piece followed by luxurious Gatsby themed fashion pages. My vision for The Collective is and always has been to create a contemporary, stylised publication that celebrates and showcases the North West in a fresh, innovative light and its safe to say, the magazine has had an overwhelmingly positive response. Largely in part to the universe offering me help in the form of my team (featured on the right). We focus upon the creative, the arts, the up-and-coming and the established, underpinned by style and travel, offered to you complimentary with our sole aim to inspire. Being Editor of the magazine, certainly inspires me and introduces me to people I have long admired, interviewing Rankin, the internationally renowned photographer who adorns our cover, has been an unarguable highlight. This summer I launch my first blog - a style journal of my travels caught on camera by photographer and recently appointed Creative Director of The Collective, Viktorija Grigorjevaite. (www.misterhagan.com). The Collective is exactly that, a collective. We want you to be a part of it. Let us celebrate you, write about you, publish your work, create campaigns for you but mostly to engage and hopefully, entertain you. I am only an email away. Yours fabulously, Mr.H Editor-in-chief


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Collective HQ Lee Joseph Hagan Editor-in-chief

lee@thecollectivebrand.com twitter: @mrleehagan Instinctive, frequent, flyer, wine enthusiast, lives for clothes and foreign adventures, true Virgo. “There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.” Diana Vreeland

Viktorija Grigorjevaite Creative Director & Fashion Photographer viktorija@thecollectivebrand.com www.vggv.co.uk

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Lithuanian, artist/photographer, spiritual, loves the UK. Enjoys challenges and grateful for life. “Men are mortal, but ideas are immortal.” Walter Lippmann

Alecia Marshall Arts Editor

Jmeel Allen Designer

alecia@thecollectivebrand.com

hello@jmeel.co.uk www.jmeel.co.uk

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Lover of tortoises, Keats and Francis Bacon. Nothing excites me more than an unread book. “Art is the thrilling spark that beats death – that’s all.” Brett Whiteley

Lynn Gallagher Editorial Assistant

lynn@thecollectivebrand.com

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Ambitious PR specialist with a flair for writing and love for Fashion. Unwavering knowledge of Arrested Development. “All that is not eternal, is eternally out of date” CS Lewis

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Graphic designer. Half welsh, half African. Funk, soul and house enthusiast. Enjoys dancing for prolonged lengths of time. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde

Kerry Jones Illustrator

love_amelia@ymail.com Fashion Illustrator/Stylised portrait artist and image fantasist with a thirst for happiness. “Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music, it will live forever.” Julie Andrews


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VGGV.co.uk photographic services

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fashion | jewellery | interior | product | portrait | documentary | personal


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Our previews: You know how it works by now. Manchester International Festival is back – and it’s bigger than ever. Rankin unmasked. Ellie Phillips takes us behind the scenes of the Liverpool Music Awards 1 BRIT and rather handsome, we’d bet our houses on this one. Michelle Langan curls up with a book -


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Preview Dance

Exhibition

Pop Up

Film

What: ballet: Swan Lake Where: Manchester Palace Theatre When: 24th July 2013

What: Turning Fact Inside Out Where: FACT When: 13th June- 25th August 2013

What: Promised Land Who: Gus Van Sant Where: Cinemas Nationwide

This highly acclaimed romantic ballet will be at Manchester’s Palace Theatre next month. Accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable compositions, the haunting nature of this beautiful piece is drawn out to its audience, showcasing the compelling tale of a tragic romance. From the very first steps the fiery nature of Odile is apparent, contrasting with the purity of the swan queen, Odette. The oppositional temperament of both roles is just one of the many elements which make for a performance not to be missed.

Celebrating its first decade as one of the UK’s primary centres for new media art, FACT is hosting an exhibition which will take over the entire building. Continuing their lengthy tradition of staging risky and exciting installations, this exhibition will include the work of artists never before seen in the UK. Particularly focusing on elements of environments, architecture, capitalism and augmented reality, Turning FACT Inside Out is an exhibition not to be missed.

What: The MaliButique Where: Paradise Place, Liverpool. Exchange Square, Manchester When: 6th- 9th June 2013 in Liverpool, 23rd-25th August 2013 in Manchester An exciting pop-up event is returning to our high streets this summer. Malibutique has this year teamed up with Asos, Nails Inc. and Toni and Guy to help cater to your every need. The event, courtesy of Malibu, is touring across the country giving the public the chance to discover summers freshest fashion, beauty and drink trends. With competitions and freebies up for grabs we can’t understand why anybody would want to miss out.

Promised Land is yet another solid film from director Gus Van Sant; one of America’s constantly innovating, modern directors. The drama of the film revolves around the corruption surrounding the extraction of natural gas from a financially rundown but naturally picturesque area. Matt Damon stars as the increasingly desperate salesmen, determined to fight off all opposition from local opponents in this confident, beautifully shot piece of cinema.


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Theatre

Festival

Book

Classical

What: A Cozy Murder Where: Unity Theatre, Liverpool When: 25-26th June 2013

What: Liverpool Arab Arts Festival Where: Across Liverpool When: 7-16th June 2013

What: Beloved Clara Where: Southport, The Atkinson When: 16th June

This Jilted Pig production intertwines comedy and the occasional murder or two. Set in a small village, the play opens as a man is found dead on his boat. A Cozy Murder is characterised by the comic roles of Constable Pike and Detective Forsyth, as it becomes apparent that their only knowledge of murder solving is found in their stack of Agatha Christie novels. A combination of plot twists, confusion and quick character changes makes this a must see.

Returning for its twelfth year, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival plans on making this their best year yet. The festival highlights a collection of artists from across the Arab world. Focusing on the question of identity and the exploration of the Arab face, they vow to offer everyone an experience like never before. Audiences will be given a choice of artists from different genres such as music, art and even food. There will be something for everyone.

What: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Who: Therese Anne Fowler Where: Waterstones Bookstores Nationwide Therese Anne Fowler offers an irresistible insight into the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. Exploring the relationship between Zelda and her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, this novel draws upon the struggles Zelda faces as she tries to establish her own identity whilst battling her inner demons. From a couple who met at a country dance club to legends of literature, Fowler takes us on Zelda’s journey as she attempts to step out of her husband’s shadow.

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The intense and complex relationship between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms; three of the nineteenth century’s most prolific musicians, has fascinated generations of music lovers and on 16 June Beloved Clara, an entrancing programme of beautiful music and readings arrives at The Atkinson, Southport. This exciting arrangement makes classical musical accessible to all. Go on, try something different!


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Art Collective –Preview

Made for Manchester Shared with the World Eighteen Extraordinary Days 4 – 21 July 2013

Alecia Marshall discusses the forthcoming Manchester International Festival, what it means to the city and her predicted highlights of its extensive programme. anchester: the original industrial city, the meeting place of Marx and Engles, the site of the first Trades Union Congress. A city that, in the words of its Council, is committed to ‘making it happen’. A city that retains its right to the 19th century Benjamin Disraeli attribute: ‘What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow.’ It is not a past you would be forgiven for forgetting and Manchester refuses to put away its dusty photograph album of achievements. It does however, have its eyes fixed on the future, camera at the ready. But what can be viewed through the lens: a city continuing to retain its heritage whilst entertaining a cultural regeneration, a modernised version of the first industrial playground? Thanks to Alex Poots, the landscape is a little more exciting. In 2007, Manchester became the home of the first festival in the world consisting of entirely new work. An artistled, commissioning festival presenting original works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture, the biennial festival would produce projects that would tour the cultural centres of the world: New York, Amsterdam and Madrid, taking with them the reputation of a forward-thinking city. It would begin in Manchester. It would become International. Now what to call such a phenomenon... Manchester International Festival was born, embracing the city’s characteristic taste for the radical whilst

simultaneously marching into the future. MIF has been marching for seven years now and is about to unleash its most recent artistic offerings. Beginning July 4th, this year’s festival certainly has a more muted feel than that of its predecessors. The conspicuous venues chosen suggest at an intended revival, reinvention perhaps, of Manchester’s hidden spaces. Derelict buildings, abandoned industrial mills and a forgotten chapel are amongst the antiquated spaces that will prompt the rediscovery of the city’s dark, turbulent, profoundly political history. Perhaps the most explicit fusion of past and present, this year’s festival ensures a venue as exciting as the artist and my, are the artists exciting. Kenneth Branagh returns to Shakespeare after a ten year separation; Adam Curtis collaborates with Massive Attack to deliver an event that promises to be ‘beautiful, enchanting (and) frightening’; Hans Ulrich Obrist reappears with yet another interactive art experience; Nikhil Chopra prepares to spend 65 consecutive hours at Whitworth’s yet-to-be-completed Landscape Gallery; electro darlings Delphic attempt to collaborate with the world – the list continues, and be assured, becomes no less impressive. Daunting perhaps, are the possibilities presented by such a diverse programme, but I am happy to point you in the right direction...


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Following the acclaim of Il Tempo del Postino (MIF07) and 11 Rooms (MIF11), Manchester International Festival presents yet another groundbreaking, interactive exhibition: do it 2013. or me, there is little better person to describe the concept of do it than its conceiver, internationally renowned curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist - but dialling the number of the Serpentine Gallery for a prearranged, breakfast time chat with the man himself seemed more than a little surreal.

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“Hello! Lovely to speak to you, so glad we are doing this over the phone and not through email. I much prefer to have a casual chat, don’t you?” Hans Ulrich Obrist is not just an international art curator, critic and historian; not just Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London; Hans Ulrich Obrist is a man who has two great loves: art and inclusion. It is this combination that certifies Alex Poots’ faith in Obrist’s curatorial skill. It is this combination that makes Obrist and his twentyyear-old do it the perfect exhibition for Manchester International Festival. “Do it is concerned with engaging people, allowing the viewer to in turn become the artist”, explains Obrist. “And I am thrilled it is coming to Manchester.” The concept of do it arose in a Montparnasse café in 1993, as Obrist, Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier discussed the concept of instruction. Obrist recalls the incident well: “From this encounter arose the idea of an exhibition of do-it-yourself descriptions or procedural instructions which, until a venue is found, exists in a static condition. Like a musical score, everything is there but the sound.” But a venue has been found: Manchester Art Gallery, a spectacular hybrid building of Victorian grandeur and contemporaneity. The galleries recent £35,000,000 transformation has transported its collections to a new era, showcasing art in fresh, imaginative ways. A fitting venue for do it 2013, I suggest? “Absolutely”, agrees

Obrist. “There is no better location in Manchester.” As Obrist colours in the outline of this much anticipated exhibition, I realise Manchester is about to infiltrated by the world’s most impressive artists. “Do it 2013 will consist of four rooms: The Active Room, The Homage Room, The Archive Room and The Film Room. The Active Room engages the public through participation as artists including Yto Barrada and Theaster Gates present their instructions. The Homage Room is something quite different. Living artists’ will react to the instructions of their predecessors: Sarah Lucas responds to Franz West, Tracey Emin enacts the instructions of Louise Bourgeois. That is exciting. That is the art of recreating.”

1- Hans Ulrich Obrist © Juergen Teller 2- Jerome Bel, Shut up and dance Shirtology, 2012 ©TATE, 2012; Photo: Tate Photography, Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson

The Archive Room will contain ephemera and documentation from participants across the past two decades of the project and Obrist is adamant that this is the most important part of do it. “The archive ensures do it’s longevity. Anytime, anywhere, anybody can browse through the do it archive and react to an instruction. It can be used in a classroom, as the material for an exhibition - you simply react to an instruction that inspires something within you.” Your favourite instruction? I enquire, tentatively. For the first time in our half-hour conversation Obrist pauses. “Hmm, that is a good question. Felix GonzalezTorres asks for 180lbs of locally wrapped candy to be dropped in a corner. I love the reaction to that, I love the diverse nationalities of the wrappings, it is visually mesmerising.” And your own instruction? “Well, Manchester is about to find out! It involves 48 hours, a smart phone and a person very close to you. The person has to be close to you, unless you are very, very brave, of course!” do it 2013 runs from the 5th-21st July at Manchester Art Gallery. Admission is free.

Get 180 lbs. of a local wrapped candy and drop in a corner. Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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After the international success of MIF’s last theatrical offering, ‘The life and death of Marina Abramovic’, this year’s theatre programme is accompanied by an expectant excitement. Armed with two exceptional Artistic Directors’, Josie Rourke and Sarah Franckom, Poots is clearly prepared for battle.

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2 1- The Machine (credit; AKA) 2- Masque of Anarchy (credit; Jonty Wilde)

ourke temporarily vacates the stage of London’s Donmar Warehouse to direct Matt Charman’s, ‘The Machine’. A newly written play, the narrative charts the infamous chess battle between Garry Kasparov and IBM’s supercomputer, Deep Blue. It’s safe to say, chess has never been more exciting.

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Artistic Director of Manchester’s very own Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Franckom tackles Percy Bysse Shelley’s 1819 epic political poem, the Masque of Anarchy. Shelley’s direct response to the Manchester Peterloo Massacre, Franckom revisits the city’s past, and reminds the world that change can grow from the respect, dignity and compassion of ordinary people.

Josie Rourke

Sarah Franckom

How does it feel to return to Manchester? I feel enormously proud to be a part of MIF. It’s become a vital part of the city’s cultural identity. I left to study in 1995, so the Manchester I grew up in is changed now. I’m really looking forward to rediscovering and exploring the city.

What reaction do you expect/aspire to provoke from your audience? Shelley wrote the Masque of Anarchy in 1819 as a direct response to the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, a peaceful protest by working people who had come together to support a campaign for parliamentary reform and better working conditions. The afternoon was violently disrupted as a private militia employed by the mill bosses rode into the crowd with swords and literally cut down men, women and children. Shelley’s poem is a heartfelt plea for non violent resistance, and a passionate reminder about the power of collective action in the wake of bloodshed.

Is it difficult to direct a new play or does this award you more artistic freedom? New plays are my background, and therefore my comfort-zone! The challenges are often different, because there’s no precedent. It’s your job to learn how it works – on the page, in the rehearsal room, with audiences. I love that spirit of discovery and solution. In light of the recent worries concerning Arts funding/government cuts, is it important that Manchester is continuing to commission new pieces of theatre? When times are tough, we need to join together and know ourselves better. Culture renews the spirit, and helps us make sense of the times in which we live. A new piece, particularly a new play, can be the most direct route to achieving that. New artists need to invent and audiences to discover. If we stop that renewal, we’ll lose a generation of theatre-goers. Josie Rourke directs The Machine, a new play by Matt Charman, 10 – 21 July at Campfield Market Hall, as part of Manchester International Festival. For more information and tickets visit www.mif.co.uk

How do you begin to approach such an epic poem? Does it differ from directing a play? I don’t think it does. As with making a piece of theatre we are trying to create an experience. It is being performed in a fantastically atmospheric space- the Albert Hall; a disused Wesleyan Chapel minutes away from the site of the massacre. The ghosts of Manchester’s past seem very present there, and it feels the perfect space for us to honour the spirit of the poem. What does MIF mean to Manchester and to the world? Quite simply I think it means some great nights out and some unexpected experiences! I think MIF, and the work it commissions, makes, and tours is a fantastic reflection of the originality and energy of Manchester, the world’s first modern city. Sarah Franckom directs Maxine Peake in The Masque of Anarchy at the Albert Hall 12 – 14th July, as part of Manchester International Festival. For more information and tickets visit www.mif.co.uk


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Music

Delphic (credit; Cameron Alexander)

Manchester International Festival strives to bring something different to the cultural sphere, something pre-emptive, exciting and groundbreaking. There are few musicians as unique as Delphic. Tell me Matt, what does Manchester International Festival bring to the city? The festival has been a fantastic thing for Manchester in many ways. The attention it brings to the city along with the performers and unique performances really means a great deal to everyone in the city and in the wider artistic community. We’re really excited and feel incredibly proud to be a part of it. Does MIF prompt you to explore the boundaries of Collections? We see MIF as allowing us to explore ideas inherent within songs that wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to be heard. When we were writing Collections, we listened to a lot of music from around the world, tried to take it all in and boil it down in to a new formula. But here people will be able to see the different original elements that went in to the album, and it is also pushing us in to new musical areas which we find really inspiring. Has the festival provided you with an artistic license that a studio album cannot afford? So far we have never been constrained in what we have done in the studio. But this festival has allowed

heir new album, Collections, is an eclectic work that stands firm with quality and innovation, marking them as one off the most forward thinking and capable bands of our time. Performing at MIF from 18 -20 July, Delphic takes Collections around the world, rearranging the entire album to incorporate bhangra beats, Japanese soul and everything in between. A globetrotting event for the price of just one ticket, this is set to be one ambitious performance. I caught up with Matt Cocksedge in between rehearsals to discuss the importance of MIF and its artistic influence.

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us to think of a new and exciting way to re-arrange our album, which would not have happened had we not put ourselves forward to be involved in this year’s MIF. This festival is fantastic because all the artists are constantly trying to creatively outdo each other! We knew we wanted to be a part of it, and we knew that MIF encourages the artists to think of interesting concepts themselves, so in a way it forced us to think of something special to do. There are so many great ideas in this year’s festival and we feel so proud to be a part of it. Will MIF still be around in 50 years? MIF will always be relevant because it represents the spirit of Manchester itself: people don’t just turn up and do what they normally do, the festival is about making new paths and creating unique artistic visions, and that is what Manchester as a city has represented for years, and what it will hopefully continue to represent in the future. Delphic perform in Festival Square 18 – 20 July, as part of Manchester International Festival. For more information and tickets visit www.mif.co.uk


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Art in Print Look/13 – Behind the Mask

second edition of Liverpool’s international photography biennial, Look/13. Aptly coinciding its opening weekend with Liverpool Light Night, the festivals four-week programme of exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops has received tremendous interest, but it’s not over yet...

Arts Collective –Interview

With independent events running until June 15th and most of the festivals key exhibitions continuing throughout the summer, there is plenty of time to catch this array of specially produced work, showcased for the first time in the UK. Look/13 asks both its participants and its audience a question: who do you think you are? The festival’s programme examines ideas of identity, subjectivity and the self and no photographer understands this better than Mr Photography himself – Rankin.

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Portrait by Viktorija Grigorjevaite www.vggv.co.uk

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A world renowned photographer, best known for his celebrity portraits and fashion shots, Rankin moves out of his comfort zone to present a newly commissioned exhibition examining mortality. Hosted by the Walker Art Gallery, Alive: In the Face of Death presents portraits of everyday people who are running out of time. Through a series of powerful photographs, Rankin documents the lives of some very special people, each armed with a story that defies death and celebrates life. In keeping with the theme of Look/13, Rankin allows his subjects to take control of their image, deciding how they want to be portrayed. The result? A set of truly unique photographs.

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I am very happy to be at the Walker Art Gallery, it is a beautiful gallery and I feel very honoured to be given a chance to share the project here.

Astounded by the exhibition, The Collective editor Lee Joseph Hagan was eager to talk to the man behind the concept. He expected someone loud and exaggerated, glossing over the difficult questions in an effort to move the conversation along. What he found, was someone else: candid, charming and unassuming. Rankin, without his mask. Sitting in a quiet corner of the gallery, Rankin’s work adorning the walls, a picture comes to life...

Lee: How did Alive: In The Face of Death begin as a concept? Are you happy for its exhibition debut to be here, at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery?

Rankin: Really? Do you like them?

Rankin:Yes, I am very happy to be at the Walker Art Gallery, it is a beautiful gallery and I feel very honoured to be given a chance to share the project here. Alive began when I was approached by the BBC, who asked me to create a project of my choosing if they promised to help it become a reality. I told them I would love to do something on mortality. My parents have passed away and that’s been in my head for a while, the whole idea is something I am fascinated by. In the process of doing it I learnt that I was a little scared by it – well, very scared of it actually - and everything kind of evolved from that. I have a fascination with photographs representing the dead. As a photographer I would always think (pauses), you know, you want your photographs to live forever and if you take a photograph of someone you immediately want it to be the best photograph that anybody has ever taken of that person.You want that photograph to represent them.

Rankin: I think they are... well, they almost symbolise me. I am sort of protecting myself from this idea of the grim reaper. They celebrate mortality but at the same time say, ‘I am not quite ready to die yet, thanks, here is my protection’. I love the butterfly one most. I am obsessed by skulls. I’ve always loved them so it’s a nice way to incorporate a few (smiles).

Lee: Look/13 can be summarised by one question: ‘Who do you think you are?’ How do you perceive yourself? Rankin: God, that’s a big question. How do I see myself? I don’t know? I don’t know. I don’t know how I see myself. I think I probably see myself through the body of work that I have produced. I see myself through my approach to the work. I remember a couple of years ago I did a retrospective book and I remember thinking, ‘I am in all of these photos’. I mean, I am not in them, but I am in them -in a weird way I am present in them all. I think when you do something like that you suddenly realise that people are going to remember you, but I hate to think of it like that. I would rather it was about the people that I have photographed more than me.You know, I say that, but these are me (turns to the death masks). The Spot Mask, The Flower Mask - they are all me. Lee: These are my favourite.

Lee: I love them.

Lee: Do you think that art is a way to preserve life, to cheat death? Rankin: I think for all people that are working in the arts there has got to be an element of you wanting to remain alive in people’s minds. Funnily, I take photographs of other people so I don’t know, it’s a weird one. There’s a bit of a dichotomy there because I want to be remembered for taking photographs that I want other people to be remembered by. However, when you come to a show like this you don’t just want to see photographs that I have taken of people, you want to see my thoughts and feelings too. Lee: What pushes you creatively, positive feedback or constructive criticism? Rankin: I don’t really listen to either of them. I mean, it’s really nice to be told stuff and I’m not scared of reading about myself and being criticised because usually I have already gone there. I really am quite critical of myself so I don’t (pauses) - you know, whatever people say, I’ve probably said it first. I’m much more, kind of, vain and when people talk about me being overweight, or people say I’m feral, that’s the sort of thing that hurts the most and I am like, ‘how can you be so mean?’ (smiles sadly) When it comes to work I am pretty bullet-proof, just because I criticise myself so harshly, you know? I am not trying to be an artist. I’m not Damien Hurst - I am not saying I want to be Damien Hurst. I’m a photographer, a commercial photographer and I think that can have as much merit as art can.


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Lee: With all of the technology available to photographers today, do you think photography in this decade is at its best? Rankin: Oh, good question! I am not scared of technology and I am definitely not scared of people embracing photography. In fact, I think it’s great that more people are engaging with photography - I think it’s a really exciting medium. It’s a medium to express yourself and to see how you feel about things. I do think that there are a lot of people that take photographs on camera phones and put them through Instagram and think that they are great photographers and that’s OK, but there’s a big difference. I work with people like this and I’m like, ‘dude I fucking went to college and studied this shit for seven years, it didn’t come to me overnight and it certainly didn’t come to me by using Instagram’. I am not against it; I’m all for

it, I just think it’s funny. People are always like ‘look at my photo?’ (Lee laughs out loud) and I say, ‘is it Instagram?’ and they go ‘yeah’ and I am like ‘that is not a photograph: that’s the process and it’s not even a process in which you have gone to your computer and worked on it’. It’s like McDonalds vs. a 5 star restaurant Lee: To finish off, I wanted to touch on the piece dedicated to your parents; is today the first time you have seen it? Rankin: We put it together in the studio and we went to a really great show in London at the Wellcome Collection where there was a really beautiful set of photographs of Mexican day and the dead shrines. Immediately I was like, ‘I want to do a shrine’, but I didn’t want to do a shrine like that one – that is so not what I am about. I love hearts, I draw hearts all the time for my wife and I just love them. I think they’re a very beautiful shape and I thought maybe I could do a heart of photos. That is the one that I kind of want to be photographed so I can get it up in my house - I want to have it in my house now. Lee: It’s very special.

How do I see myself? I don’t know? I don’t know. I don’t know how I see myself.

Rankin: I am really happy with it, although to me it never looks straight. I keep looking at it and feeling like it is bent somewhere? I like that it looks quite good, but I am such a ‘form’ person - you can see in my work that I love my form and I love everything to be perfect - and I am still looking at it thinking there is something not quite right; but that’s my life. That was my family, quite wonky, so it’s probably a good thing.

Fran Duff -

23-year-old Fran Duff adores butterflies and asked Rankin if she could be photographed surrounded by them. She loves their ability to transform themselves: “They move so effortlessly and so gracefully...they’re the opposite of me.They’re free, whereas I’m not. But then, if I didn’t have my disability I wouldn’t be me. And I couldn’t do all the fantastic things that I do so well.” Fran suffers from Leigh’s disease, a rare disorder that affects the central nervous system. She uses a wheelchair and finds it difficult to communicate verbally. Her book, ‘Fran’s Voyage’, aims to show that people with disabilities have the same feelings, dreams and aspirations as everyone else.


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Louise Page -

Originally from Yorkshire Louise, 42, now lives in Edinburgh, where she works for the Scottish charity Thistle Foundation.When she was told that her bone cancer had returned and was no longer treatable, she started writing an online blog to share her story with others. She hopes that if even one person can draw support, comfort or strength from it then some good will have come from her illness. Her inspirational blog is now being followed by people all over the world. “It’s funny this word ‘terminal’ as it makes me think of airports.Yet now terminal has a whole new meaning for me. And in a way, whichever definition you go with, I guess it’s the same in the end.You’re going somewhere new and different.” Louise Page died on Sunday 19 May 2013 surrounded by her loving family. This was three days after Louise had attended the launch of this exhibition.


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Jim Edwards -

Emphysema sufferer Jim Edwards lives with his wife Jo and son Tom in Colchester, Essex. One of his few remaining joys in life is getting dressed up to go out, although he has not had many opportunities to do so recently. When Jim was asked how he would like to be portrayed in his Rankin photo shoot, he immediately suggested white tie formal evening dress. “I don’t see why, if virtually everything else is gone, the desire to look reasonable should go as well? Something has to make you feel good, and clothes make me feel good. And why shouldn’t a guy of nearly 70 wear pink shoes if he wants to wear pink shoes? It’s just something that keeps me happy.”

I love hearts, I draw hearts all the time for my wife and I just love them. I think they’re a very beautiful shape.’ Sam and Dan Lloyd -

17-year-old twins Sam and Dan Lloyd suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It causes weakness and wasting in the muscles, and affects males almost exclusively. Sufferers have a life expectancy of around 25 years. As it can be seen from their portrait with Rankin, Sam and Dan are huge fans of Liverpool Football Club and follow the team avidly.The brothers are able to play their favourite sport in goal, coming out of their wheelchairs and sitting between the goalposts. Their passionate love of Liverpool FC reflects the boys passion for life, living every day to the full and taking on new challenges.

Alive: In the Face of Death can be found at the Walker Art Gallery unil the 15th of September as part of the Look /13 photography festival.


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Hair styled by Andrew Collinge

Photograph taken at View Two Gallery

The Liverpool Music Awards

The Liverpool Music Awards the city, including those who work behind the scenes, facilitating and inspiring others to create and perform throughout Merseyside.

Portrait taken by Viktorija Grigorjevaite www.vggv.co.uk

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Whilst the scope of the awards provides opportunity to celebrate musical achievements beyond the borders of Liverpool, at their core, the awards are for those currently active within the city Nominees are announced in July and the public are invited to place their vote via the website.The online vote is counted and the winners are revealed at a spectacular awards ceremony in August – this year hosted at the magnificent St George’s Hall. Fast approaching its second ceremony,The Collective spends the afternoon with Ellie Phillips, the founder of this groundbreaking concept.

This year’s awards ceremony takes place at St. George’s Hall. How does that feel? Last year, the ceremony took place at The Dome Grand Central Hall, which is a stunning venue in the heart of the city and was perfect for the first ever awards. However, following the impact of the inaugural year, demand to attend in a VIP dinner style has grown so much that it has meant needing to move to a venue which can cater for larger numbers. I am beyond delighted that this year’s ceremony will be held at St George’s Hall – it’s absolutely beautiful and such an iconic building for the city. We are now entering the second year of the Liverpool Music Awards, was the reaction to the first all you had hoped? The reaction to the first year was more than I could have hoped for. Following the ceremony, even people who had been sceptical in the build up were suddenly big supporters. All those who attended were delighted and I received so much positive feedback from people who were stunned with the quality and style of the night. Winners and nominees have praised the awards for how they were run and for the exposure they gained from being involved. Lots of last years performers asked to perform again this year, as did nominees, winners and even some of the presenters - Mel C being one. Do you feel Liverpool Music Awards now has a much bigger profile inside the city? Without a doubt, and not only within the city, but on a national scale. Radio, newspapers and magazines all picked up on last year, and now the awards are firmly on their radar which is brilliant. This year our “Official Supporters” include: BBC Radio Merseyside, The Liverpool ECHO Media, Radio City 96.7, Liverpool Live and Bay TV, giving the awards a reach of well over a million. On top of that, the awards are now powered by SoundCloud which is a great platform for artists to share their music in a really slick way. Do you have a favourite category? This year we renamed the award for 16 – 21 year olds: The Michael Molloy Award for the One to Watch. This award was always quite special because it looks at younger artists who have huge potential, recognises that and encourages them to keep going and aiming higher. Now that it’s named after Michael, I’d have to say it’s definitely one of the awards which stands out as a real honour to be associated with. In general, I love the fact that there are awards for people behind the scenes as well as artists. What has been your most exciting moment so far? For the awards, having them locally acknowledged as being really successful andrespected has been a huge achievement, and something I’ve really struggled to attain. Beyond the city, all of the national press was really exciting! Seeing coverage in the Sunday Times, hearing about it on Radio One and seeing some of the winners’ names highlighted in association with the awards was just brilliant. For me personally, being shortlisted for the Merseyside Woman of The Year Award has been really overwhelming. It has been a really difficult few years behind the scenes to get the awards to where they are now, and it really is an honour to know that your hard work is being acknowledged. It also makes me really happy to know that the

Liverpool Music Awards give that same feeling of recognition and encouragement to so many others. We caught up with you in the very first issue of Collective – what has changed since then? So much has changed! Liverpool City Council have become the headline sponsor of the Liverpool Music Awards, and with that the awards have moved from November to Bank Holiday Sunday August 25th to be part of the new Liverpool International Music Festival. The Liverpool International Music Festival highlights the constantly evolving DNA of a global music city through expression, celebration and the new. It shines a spotlight on the city’s music heritage and showcases innovation and originality to create a festival everyone can enjoy. It’s brilliant that the Liverpool Music Awards sponsored by Liverpool City Council can be the red-carpet star event in the festival, and bring the focus from international right back to the best of what’s going on in the city’s music industry all year round. Do you ever have days off? If so, what do you do with them? It’s not often that I have a complete day off, but every now and then I’ll take a night off to recharge my batteries. On nights off, if I need an injection of fun I’ll either visit friends and go to a gig or have a night out dancing with them. I’ve recently rehomed a gorgeous little dog called Lulu, she’s a morkie (maltese cross yorkie). If I’m too exhausted to go out then I’ll have a night in watching films with a cuppa and Lulu on my lap. I’ve got a bit of an addiction to crime series like Criminal Minds and NCIS so you might find me watching an episode or two! Have you got your outfit prepared for the big night? I haven’t even had a chance to think about a dress yet! I do love fashion, but working such long hours means things like that have to go on a backburner. Last year I wore a beautiful lace princess dress given to me by Rare London for the occasion the day before the ceremony! When it comes to style I’m not much of a typical “scouse bird”, although I do love big hair and high heels for a night out. I’m a huge fan of vintage clothes: simple, classy outfits with a quirky piece or a splash of colour to liven it up. I love that Liverpool has an abundance of vintage boutiques and bespoke dressmakers; it means you can be unique with your style. The dress code for the awards is “dress to express” so it’s a great night to see really interesting and diverse outfit choices. How does it feel to be nominated for a Merseyside Woman of the Year award? How can we vote? Honestly, it’s just so lovely to be nominated for such a prestigious award in the region and I am truly honoured to be a finalist. It’s been an incredibly tough journey to get the Liverpool Music Awards to where they are now, and there’s still a long way to go. Being recognised in this way is really touching, and gives me the strength on stressful days to keep forging ahead. To win the title would be incredible! To vote, go to www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk and search: Merseyside women of the year 2013. For more information and to place your vote, visit www.liverpoolmusicawards.com


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Predictions: Tom Odell

Arts Collective 窶的nterview

Each issue, The Collective dedicates a few of its pages to someone making waves in their industry, somebody ambitious, inspiring and, most importantly, supremely talented. Discussing potential candidates at initial editorial meetings, one name refused to be outshone.

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When you’re writing songs you need to have experienced what you’re writing about. In order to write with insight you need to have done it.


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e has drawn attractive comparisons to the late Jeff Buckley and Coldplay’s Chris Martin; he was snapped up by record company, ‘In the Name Of,’ after just four gigs; he is the current title holder of the BRITs Critics Choice Award (previously won by artists such as Adele and Florence & The Machine); he plays the piano onstage - and he’s just 22 years old. Chichester-born musician Tom Odell is perhaps our safest prediction yet - and he hasn’t even released his first album. Raised on a steady diet of Elton John, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan, Odell’s songs are emotional and raw, tales of lost love and broken hearts, but catching up with him the morning after what seems to have been a heavy gig at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, Odell is not as angst ridden as one might expect. Apologizing for his fatigued state – “I’m a little worse for wear, but I’m ok” – we get down to business. Set for release towards the end of June, Tom’s album, Long Way Down, has been eagerly anticipated for some time. As the date draws ever closer, Tom denies any suggestion of nerves: “I just feel excited more than anything; I am really looking forward to it being out now. There is always an element of worry, but I’ve spent such a long time working on it and people have heard quite a few of the songs already so they know what it’s about. I just want it to be out, for people to hear it properly!” Is it as exciting as winning a BRIT, I want to know? The first male winner of the Critics Choice Award, Tom has certainly got a lot to brag about. “I was really surprised about that actually - I really didn’t expect to win. To win a BRIT award before you have released an album is just mad.” Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Tom is his piano. Classically trained from a young age - “Though I was never really good at it - I was more interested in ‘free music’ and expressing myself rather than learning scales” – Tom’s relationship with the piano characterises the foundations of his music. Despite his Kurt Cobain hairstyle, Tom’s instrument of choice is hardly rock and roll. One would imagine an attachment to a large, stationary object would prove restrictive when performing but apparently this is not the case. “I’ve never really felt that”, Tom ponders. “I find that it almost works to my advantage - I feel that if you have something holding you back, you just want to give more! I actually threw my piano over last night!” Excuse me?

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“For the first time ever, yes!” I am astounded. Odell is clearly a little more rock and roll than I thought. Asking if he would care to explain, he responds flippantly, “I dunno, I just got a bit out of control at the end”. I muse that it is a little different to smashing up a guitar, “and a little more expensive too” finishes Tom. His impertinence is a telling sign of his age, though his musical tone is one of a seasoned performer. Often compared to Jeff Buckley, Tom confesses that he does not agree with the acute analysis. “I always take it with a pinch of salt. Everyone gets compared to everyone. Whilst it’s very flattering I don’t feel it’s always completely right - although I’m very flattered!” So how does one so young achieve such a heartwrenching sound? “When you’re writing songs you need to have experienced what you’re writing about. In order to write with insight you need to have done it”, explains Tom. I assume he has had a turbulent love life. “No more than any other 22 year old coming out of their teens! It’s a big part of our lives at that age!” With an album made and a few cover songs already stowed under his belt, I ask Tom about his plans for the future. He is obviously keen to write more original music but does he have any covers in mind? “Actually, in rehearsals the other day I was doing Bowie, you know Five Years, Ziggy Stardust?” Of course I know it, has he read our last issue? “I went to see the exhibition at the V&A, it was brilliant, I was blown away by it.” Fearing Tom is losing interest, his hangover beginning to take its toll, I pull out my prize-winning question: so tell me, what do you sing in the shower? Laughing, Tom takes a long time to answer. Is it one of your own, I pursue? “It’s definitely not! I don’t know! I’m not much of a shower singer to be honest. I used to live in a place where my room was next to the bathroom and my flatmate always used to sing in the shower and I used to tell him off for it! He was so loud! I always had to set a good example. That’s bit of a long explanation for not having a song…. Maybe Gloria Gaynor?” I promise to quote him on that. Tom’s debut album, Long Way Down, is available from the 24th June. Tom performs at Liverpool’s O2 Academy on the 31st October.

To win a BRIT award before you have released an album is just mad.


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The Kite Runner

Can one play successfully cover a multitude of themes, cultures and locations? Alecia Marshall discusses the newest theatrical offering at Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre. Arts Collective –Coffee Read

ometimes, just sometimes, you come across a book that makes you want to stay awake. That is not to say I am prone to falling into a boredom induced dose half way through a classic - allow me to clarify. I am a literature addict: genre, style, form, from Bulgakov to Barnes, I’ve tried it all. I need my daily fix, a literary hit, to feel my synapses firing as the words stream through my veins.Yes, I am hardcore, a slave to the written word - though I have a confession to make. Sometimes, just sometimes, as a long day uncurls behind me and the warmth of my bed envelopes me, I fall asleep. The middle of a carefully punctuated sentence drops from my lips and its hard-backed edifice falls to the floor.

S

When I say awake, I mean all night. Last Tuesday as I was inconspicuously nudged awake by a disapproving work colleague during an editorial meeting I knew exactly who to blame: Khaled Hosseini and his addictive first novel, The Kite Runner. Perhaps you may think me a little behind the times, but the 2003 release of Hosseini’s debut novel was thoughtlessly passed over by my twelve year old gaze in favour of a Jacqueline Wilson novella brimming with teenage angst. In a way I am glad, I doubt the richness of Khaled’s text would have resounded quite so loudly in my pre-pubescent ears as it does now, ten years later at 3am. Picking up The Kite Runner was not however a stroke of literary luck, but prompted by the imminent arrival of its theatrical evolution at the Liverpool Playhouse. Adapted by Matthew Spangler, and co-produced by Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse, the European premiere of Hosseini’s epic

narrative reaches our city mid June. The Kite Runner is the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father’s young Hazara servant. The tale is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events; from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. Perhaps the most charming aspect of the novel is its dedication to friendship. A friendship that spans cultures and continents, a friendship that leaves a lasting impression, a friendship that leads to redemption. Quite a lot to incorporate into one two hour performance, don’t you think? Director, Giles Croft, seems undaunted by the magnitude of the task: “The Kite Runner is truly a story of our time, and bringing its vivid and haunting mix of betrayal and personal salvation to the British stage for the first time is a thrilling prospect. I found reading The Kite Runner an immensely powerful experience, and so I was delighted to discover Matthew Spangler’s honest, imaginative and theatrical adaptation.” In a recent Guardian review of the play, which premiers in Nottingham before moving to Liverpool, Lyn Gardner attributes Croft’s staging with the power ‘to undoubtedly move a stone’, so much so, ‘it hurts to watch.’ It will be interesting to see if the play really is the thing; I’m with Hamlet on this one.


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Book Review With Michelle Langan

The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared By Jonas Jonasson As a greedy reader, if the first few pages of a book pull me in, it’s hard for me to do anything else until I finish the story - which means any housework falls down the list of things to do until I devour the book in question. During a recent bout of illness, a friend gave me a copy of ‘The One-Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ (mouthful of a title!) and from the very first page, the story had me hooked. The main character, Allan Karlsson, decides on his one hundredth birthday, to escape from the monotony of the nursing home he’s been installed in, and take the first bus he can find to get him as far away as possible from the grumpy Director of the home and his loathsome birthday party. What should, in theory be an uneventful sequence of events, quickly takes a surprising turn when Allan is landed with the job of minding someone’s suitcase, and decides to take it along with him when his bus arrives. All hell breaks loose when the owner of the suitcase, a small time gang member, realises that he’s been robbed by an OAP, and sets off to track down Allan and the stolen case. Unaware that danger is snapping at his heels, Allan hops off the bus as far as his money will take him, and ends up seeking shelter with local loner, Julius. The two men soon realise that the contents of the case will be missed, and make a plan to do a runner before they get caught. Interwoven with Allan’s OAP adventure, Jonasson paints a vivid picture of Allan’s earlier life. The young Allan spent some time working with explosives and became an expert in the field, which led to several chance encounters with world leaders, many of whom got him out of a succession of scrapes. There’s a Forrest Gump feel to these chapters, which are very amusing and tie in with real life historical events. As the story continues in real time, Allan and Julius round up a band of similar misfits to help them in their escape (including an elephant) and despite their differing backgrounds, the group become a raggle taggle family. I loved being part of Allan’s world for a while, and his story had me mesmerised from beginning to end. Heart-warming, funny and a little whimsical, this little gem with the long title proved to be just the tonic I needed to escape from real life for a bit. And sometimes, that’s just what everyone needs. Published by Hesperus Price £8.99 If you have a book in mind for Michelle send us your thoughts! alecia@collectivebrand.com


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Film Review With Adam Scovell

Me and You

Reality

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Director - Matteo Garrone.

Me and You (Io e Te) is the first Bernardo Bertolucci film to surface for almost a decade. Not since his critically acclaimed, New-Wave fetishising 2003 film, The Dreamers, has the director been creating his typical brand of celluloid. Trying to tie this brand into some form of cohesive, auteur driven criteria is tricky in a thematic sense and Me and You displays yet another sidestep in Bertolucci’s continuing ineffability. Adapting Niccolo Ammaniti’s novel, the film continues the natural narrowing of Bertoluci’s visions, concentrating on a set, rigid life or character, not daring to move onto new themes for fear of losing the first in the distraction.

The world of reality television and the pressure of modern celebrity culture come under the keen eye of Italian director Matteo Garrone in his latest feature, Reality. Moving on from his darker, Italian mobster film, Gamorrah (2008), Reality instantly seems lighter but with hints of darkness shining out from underneath its glossy, multicoloured exterior.

This fits well in a metaphysical sense for Me and You, whose principle character shares this vision. Lorenzo, a young, introverted man with clear emotional issues, tricks his mother into thinking he’s going on a skiing holiday with college when he’s actually living in the basement of their apartment block for the week. His time there becomes trying when his drug addicted half-sister decides to stay with him as she attempts to go cold turkey. The film has a number of pleasing parallels; namely that of the snow Lorenzo is missing on the holiday and the drugs Olivia is missing whilst living in the basement. This self-inflicted, claustrophobic lifestyle is well-realised by Bertolucci who creates some wonderfully dank surroundings for the middle-class pair to live. Class is an interesting issue for the characters. Lorenzo’s Mother is keen not to let her son embarrass her in public at her meal; his testing, Oedipuscomplex infused questioning making her feel glad of his absence for a week. The sibling’s shared father is also interesting character, chiefly because we never see him. His lack of presence is felt, very deliberately with his buying off of Lorenzo’s unhappiness with a new snowboard. From the boy’s actions, it is clear neither of his middle-class parents quite understand their son who would rather buy an ant farm and hide in their basement for a week than socialise in the snow with his peers. While it may lack real sustenance, Me and You proposes that most vices in life are self-inflicted and is therefore optimistic about being able to conquer them. From its final questioning of temptation to its 400 Blows style freeze-frame final shot, it is a welcome return to the arena for the director.

The narrative follows loveable fishmonger, Luciano (Aniello Arena), as he gradually becomes obsessed with becoming selected as a housemate on the latest edition of the Italian Big Brother. What at first seems a whimsical, almost fantastical story of ambition quickly becomes a far more questioning parable on the desire for quick-fire celebrity and all of the perks that it brings. It’s worth mentioning the film’s modern fairytale aesthetic, as both sides of the fairytale world are contrasted, gradually merging before lapsing into ambiguity as our protagonist wanders dream-like through his world. The effect of his absentmindedness as he’s besotted by the glittery carrot dangled in front of him starts to affect his family as he spends increasing amounts of time watching the Big Brother program, confident that he is being secretly watched by the television people. He gradually starts to give the family’s possessions to random people believing his good deeds will earn him the place in the house he desires. Even the presence of a cricket in the flat is worked into the increasingly absurd plan Luciano believes the television producers are concocting before letting him into the house. Though listed as a comedy, its moments of laughter are fleeting. The aforementioned cricket scene is jovial, yet the film’s warmness comes more from Luciano’s initial naivety rather than gut-wrenching humour. As Reality addresses the darker side of quick-fire fame and celebrity, showing both to garner money and adoration from the public, it becomes more melancholic and heartbreaking as everything becomes defined as some form of surveillance or test. In many ways it shares similarities with Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy (1982). Aniello Arena gives a DeNiro-esque performance, deep with optimism that gradually swallows him whole and fledges into full blown paranoia. Garrone’s film is easily one of the most visually stunning and intelligent comments on modern media culture for some time.

Like Adam to review your favourite film? Send us your suggestions. alecia@collectivebrand.com


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Style Collective

-Gatsby’s back – and we know why. The perfect dress for that summer soiree. Be as Dapper as Gatsby himself. It’s all about the bold lip with Nancy. We talk to the interior designer with Andrew and Liz come back for more. Fashion Editor or Fashion Blogger? You decide. Fancy a bite? It’s dinner time.

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IIllustration by Kerry Jones for www.loveamelia.co.uk

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“Gatsby? What Gatsby?” How does one novel transcend decades? Alecia Marshall asks the question. Sitting in the window of a well known coffee shop nestled within a bohemian corner of Liverpool, a man walks by in cream linen trousers and a straw hat. Following his retreating form with interest, I decide there are a number of things wrong with the picture. Firstly, it may be June, but the sun is predictably coy and heavy raindrops are collecting in the brim of the stranger’s boater. Secondly, he is carrying a MacBook Pro under one arm and juggling what appear to be a Starbucks Frappuccino and a navy double-breasted jacket in the other. He seems to belong to the wrong decade, the wrong century – minus the MacBook of course.

But how does this long past era, epitomised by an elusive fictional character retain its attraction? The Roaring Twenties is undoubtedly a period to which we would all like to return: a riot of social, artistic and cultural dynamism. Fashions became experimental, literature became explicit, musical styles changed and speakeasy’s thrived. The first all-colour feature film was released to an excited crowd and Art Deco became the style of design. It was a period of freedom, of decadence, of wild parties and unashamed debauchery and who better to successfully capture such a period than the guilty socialite himself, F. Scott Fitzgerald?

My subject is suddenly faced with an impossible dilemma: let go of the Frappuccino or watch the jacket fall into the thoughtful grasp of an approaching puddle. It’s a split second decision but the tacky iced coffee gets it, its contents splattering in silent agreement to form an angry pattern on the pavement. Putting the jacket on (one can only speculate as to why this was not done at the first suggestion of rain, inadvertently avoiding the whole sorry incident), the man goes on his way, a walking juxtaposition of 1920’s style and 21st century convention. Not for the first time that day, I think about Gatsby.

Living the opulent life of a New York celebrity with his beautiful, reckless, Southern belle wife, Zelda Fitzgerald knew a thing or two about parties. He also knew a thing or two about literature. Compelled to write “something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned”, The Great Gatsby was born. Receiving mixed reviews and poor sales, the novella did not receive the recognition it deserved until after Fitzgerald’s death but my, how things grow. Now a strong contender for the title “Great American Novel”, perched upon the uppermost rung of the English literary canon, The Great Gatsby is a classic that is as strangely relevant today as it was almost a decade ago.

Baz Luhrmann’s amplified adaptation of Fitzgerald’s delicate, complex classic has successfully managed one thing (aside from proving its pre-empted faults): to ignite a rather widespread revival of the twentieth century’s most dynamic era. Intrigued by the promise of a sixth cinematic Gatsby offering, fashions biggest aficionados began to grace the red carpet in drop-waist dresses and patterned head scarves; the hint of a Fitzgerald cover could suddenly be glimpsed under a plump suited arm on a packed train or propped against the empty pint glass of a procrastinating, tattooed student; and a surge of gin and whiskey bars opened their doors, filtering lazy jazz through ancient speakers. The 1920’s are back with a bang and like it or not, Luhrmann is in some part responsible. But now that the book has been re-read, the film has been released and the rather unsavoury reviews are written, is the party over? Will the literary masterpiece be placed back on the shelf, a glittering head piece moved to the back of the closet? We think not. As Mr Straw Boater/MacBook owner so amusingly proved, there is a place for Jay Gatsby in contemporary society - a technologically advanced Gatsby, more concerned with his Twitter feed than automobiles, but a Gatsby none the less.

Perhaps this is the key to Gatsby’s consistent return, its timeless attraction. Forget the release of an overwrought, overcooked blockbuster and concentrate on the sublime lyricism of the narrative: In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray...shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple green and lavender and faint orange with monograms of Indian blue. It is lines like this that make Gatsby great. It is lines like this that make Mr Straw Boater don his hat time and time again – whatever the weather. We may all be ‘boats against the current’, but as Fitzgerald predicts, the power of The Great Gatsby will always bring us back, ‘ceaselessly into the past.’

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Jigsaw 1920’s Flapper Dress£325.00 www.jigsaw-online.com

Axenoff ‘Crown’ www.axenoffjewellery.com

Alicia Macrame and Organza dress £699.00 www.harveynichols.com

Diane Von Furstenberg Tonda Chainmail Box Clutch£250 www.harveynichols.com


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The Collective

Oliver Goldsmith Blankstone Opticians stock this range www.blankstoneopticians.co.uk

Valentino White Slim-Fit Cotton-Piqué Suit Jacket£1,030 www.mrporter.com Lanvin New Alber Silk Bow Tie £70 www.mrporter.com

Valentino White cotton-blend piqué suit shorts £330 www.mrporter.com

Burberry Prorsum Metallic Leather Ipad Case £395 www.mrporter.com

Mark Mcnairy Suede Tasselled Loafers £250 www.mrporter.com


The Collective

Alexander McQueen Blue Slim-Fit Wool and MohairBlend Suit Jacket£875 www.mrporter.com

J.Crew striped linen and cotton blend tie£60 www.mrporter.com

“He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and

Alexander McQueen Blue Wool and Mohair-Blend Suit Waistcoat £395 www.mrporter.com

lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray, shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple green and lavender and faint orange with monograms of Indian blue’’

Stubbs & Wootton Embroidered Silk Slippers £390 www.mrporter.com

Alexander Mcqueen Blue slim-fit wool and mohair-blend suit trousers £395 www.mrporter.com

Turnbull & Asser Blue and white striped slim fit cotton shirt £180 www.mrporter.com

GLOBE-TROTTER Special Edition 21” Carry-On Case £995 www.mrporter.com

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The Collective

The Art of Decadent Beauty By Nancy Buckland

As this issue is dedicated to all things 1920’s, the beauty look of the decade comes sharply into focus - and what a decade it was. Not only did it see the emergence of a young fashion designer by the name of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel and a silent movie beauty legend called Louise Brooks, it saw women start to take their place in society. Women had gained the vote, the Pankhurst’s had enjoyed both headlines and notoriety, hemlines started to rise, and ankles were for showing off. Make-up became the very height of fashion, as retailers such as Harry Selfridge would put it on display, refusing to hide it under the counter. As the decade began, a whole new style stance was embraced. The 1920’s beauty look is theatrical and dramatic, there is no room for a shrinking violet. It is all about making a bold, brave statement. It is feminine without being girlish, strong and yet playful. The 2013 interpretation of the trend is all about embracing the flapper spirit, but with modern tones and textures. The basis of the look starts with complexion perfection, so give skin a head start with Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv White Age Renewal Serum (£130) and Age Renewal Cream (£130). Used together, these wonder products marry hydration with brightening benefits to leave skin luminous, supple, fair and flawless. Next comes Chanel Mat Lumiere Luminous Matt Powder MakeUp (£39). This luxury powder compact gives skin

that matte velvet poreless skin finish. The 1920’s party girl loved her rouge and Diorskin Rosy Glow Blusher (£30.50) is a beautifully natural pink-toned blush that is long lasting and comes in that ever distinctive luxe Dior packaging. Eyes are flirty and dark and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink (£17) is perfect for giving your peepers definition. This award-winning beauty stalwart is the foolproof way of creating that smoky-eyed flapper girl look. The 1920’s is also all about the brows, and it is time to pack away the power brow and go for something much more artistic. The Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows (£14) has an ultra-slim, automatic pencil with a super-fine tip to create a highly arched brow. The mouth really is the centrepiece of the 1920’s look and the Illamasqua Pout Perfection Set (£49.50) has all you need for a decadent finish. The Ascend Lip Pencil, Lip Brush and Tramp Lipstick will give a rich, darkly defined lip. When it comes to nails, look no further than the Nars Pierre Hardy Venomous Nail Duo (£22). Use the Gunmetal shade to highlight the moon part of the nail, and the Black shade to cover the rest, for nails that can party the night away with Jay Gatsby. Eat your heart out, Daisy Buchanan!


The Collective

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The Business of the Creative

Ever wanted to be an interior designer? The Collective talks to Kate Kingston, Shaw Interior Design, and specialist up market estate agency, Kingston Shaw Residential. With offices all over the world, including Dubai and London, Kate talks us through the difficulties of entrepreneurialism and unveils the best way to make an impression in the creative industry. Forget mixing business with pleasure, this is all about business and creativity.

Style Collective –Interview

Last year you were named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by The Liverpool Post, how did that feel? Slightly overwhelming! There were so many incredible candidates. It was amazing just to be nominated and unbelievable to actually win.Winning has really raised my profile so I am very happy all round. Why did you decided to study in London? It was the only city in which to study interior design! We are talking of a time when interior design wasn’t a university course - my options were limited. You have worked and lived in some very glamorous locations, what made you want to set up an office in Merseyside? I am originally from Wirral and I had come back up to visit my Mum for a few weeks. I hadn’t been home for a while and I was so blown away by the changes that had happened up here! I just felt it was a really great place to live and set up a business. Tell us more about Kingston Shaw Residential. Kingston Shaw Residential is an estate agency that is very different from your usual estate agencies.We work exclusively in-house with developers selling new builds - we will work in one location with one developer at one time.We never have two projects in the same area, which means we can focus specifically upon marketing and quality management. You seem to have a creative and business brain! How important is it to have both when trying to break into the creative industry? It is not important, it is imperative. It is a very tough industry to break. Any industry where you’re creative and you have to charge for your time has a very fine line.You can be the most creative person in the world but you can’t make a business out of it unless you have a smart head or smart people around you.You have to be commercially

aware. At the end of the day, creativity aside, you have a service that you’re providing for people and you need to be able to charge appropriately.You really have to zone in on your business skills to ensure you succeed. When designing in different countries is it important to capture their individual cultures or is good design universal? Good design is universal but it is more important to capture what the client wants - it is almost irrelevant where the project is (unless of course you’re in a riad in Morocco and the design brief is to keep in with the cultural heritage). It is really down to the client and what they want for their project and being able to deliver that. Did you design your own office and if so what kind of atmosphere did you aim to create? All our offices are work offices so they are not at all glamorous - they are very messy and certainly not designed! We rarely have clients over as we usually go and visit them on their premises.There have been odd occasions when a client has turned up at our office and they’re always surprised at how incredibly bland is it! The only thing we do insist upon is a bright light as it helps with our design. Other than that, the offices resemble libraries, with lots of books and samples, large tables so that we can spread everything out on and a ridiculous amount of magazines and papers. It gets messy! Aesthetically, where would you most like to live in the world and why? If I could live anywhere in the world for the rest of my life I would choose Paris. I first went when I was 18 and it stole my heart, it has everything to offer. To find out more about the services Kate provides, visit www.kingstonshaw.com


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The The Collective Collective

Keeping Up With The Collinges Andrew Hello Collective readers! I’ve just had a week off, some of which I spent at home, gardening. I find this is great way to switch off, although I did find myself trimming the bushes into a variety of interesting shapes... If you’re venturing a little further than the garden for your summer holiday, do not forget to pack The Soleil range from Kerastase. It is considered one of the best in the business when it comes to holiday hair care, protecting from colour fade and dry split ends. A must have summer product; it is worth the space in your suitcase. 1920’s glamour is back and on the agenda in a big way. No-one knows how to achieve this look better than my father, Peter Collinge. Throughout the early 1950’s he was one of the leading names on the competition circuit, winning many prestigious awards both in the UK and throughout Europe. His attention to detail was second to none and the discipline within his work is truly inspirational. Agreeing to feature in my column for this issue only, Mr Collinge Sr. shows us how to create an authentic Gatsby look through finger waving and pin curling – techniques relied upon during the period. The skill is to mould and shape the hair solely with the use of the hairdresser’s hands - no clever styling tools here! I love the pictures; they really demonstrate what he can do!

Liz Whilst away and chatting to friends we had an interesting debate about make-up. Are we slaves to fashion, make-up and hair in our efforts to be attractive to others? I personally feel the opposite: that it is liberating to be in control of our appearance. It is certainly a very personal thing and with the plethora of products now available, make-up is an art form as well as a way to express ourselves.

- a shimmering tangerine that is multi-purpose, an added bonus for make-up addicts.

As Andrew has mentioned, warmer weather and holidays are approaching and it is a great time to be more relaxed with makeup. Now is the time to ditch the foundation and choose a more natural product. I adore the new Decleor BB cream £29. This really is a cream that achieves everything in one - it brightens, hydrates, corrects and protects (SPF 15). It melts seamlessly into the skin; you don’t even notice that it’s there! I also like lightweight products with a hint of shimmer. Try NARS The Multiple - in Puerto Vallanta £30

If eyes are not your thing you can be bang on trend with one of this seasons neon lip colours, try Illamasqua lipstick in Flare (a vivid orange) or Immodest (hot pink) £16.50. If you are bold enough to sport this look beware - the rest of the face must be pared down ensuring the lips remain centre of attention.

Complexion perfected, the more creative wearer will not be able to resist NARS Limited Addition New Wave palette £39.50, which contains inspirational shades including citrus, vivid blue and purple.

To finish, I’ll give you my best holiday advice: a sun hat is the best protection for hair and face. Do not go in the sun without one.


The Collective

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They’re back! The cutting edge couple of the hair and beauty world return to The Collective pages

Photography by Viktorija Grigorjevaite www.vggv.co.uk

products with a hint of Gatsby glamour.

Creating the Gatsby look with Peter Collinge OBE

NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallanta £30

Soleil Range Kerastase

Illamasqua lipstick in Flare (a vivid orange) £16.50


Invasion of the Digital Dress Dictators Who do you look to for advice on the perfect A/W coat: Anna Wintour or BryanBoy? Do you anxiously await the glossy pages of next month’s Vogue, or are

The Collective examines the growing impact on traditional media practitioners.


The Collective

Apparently, a cold war is waging. Like any cold war it is speculative and often dismissed, but simmers quietly from behind the expensive desk of the Editor, surreptitiously eyeing a frequently updated blog, live from a well-placed bench in the middle of Soho. Louis Vuitton’s at the ready, handbags at dawn has never been more apt.Yet can there truly be a winner in this battle of haute couture wearing heavyweights? Are they not just, well, different? Damien Woolnough delivers his somewhat scathing opinion on whom he describes as the ‘digital dress dictators’ in a 2010 article for The Australian, headed by the same alliterative title. Commenting from the autumnwinter collections in Milan and Paris, Woolnough notes “a token few have now made it inside the hallowed gates and as far forward as B-row but while they hold up the guests with their preening, posing and photography...the likes of US Vogue stylist Grace Coddington or The New York Times’ fashion editor Cathy Horyn head to their seats and go about the real business of fashion journalism.” His tone drips with the mocking, superior sarcasm that perhaps contributed to his recent appointment as deputy editor of Elle Australia. He may have risen, but so have they. It is three years later and I suspect from behind his newly assigned editorial desk, Woolnough is chewing the top of his pen in rage - Cartier or not. The problem is, the ‘tsunami of digital camera-wielding bloggers’ now not only occupy the whole of B-row but are starting to creep a little higher into the alphabet. “At Dior”, tweeted one Grazia reporter a few years ago, “Not best pleased to be watching couture through 13 year old Tavi’s hat”. The hat (well, more of a bow actually and a personal gift from Stephen Jones), was probably not so much the problem as Chicago blogger Tavi Gevinson’s prime position on the front row of Dior’s couture show. Naturally, the infamous Grazia reporter was not the only aggravated ‘established style figure’ forced into transmitting a damning Twitter update. The youngster’s charmingly adolescent response, elicited via her Style Rookie blog, did little to diffuse the tension: “Dudes, it is a HAT. And I’m SHORT. So watching the show behind me would be like watching it through a regular-sized adult, but better, because adult heads do not have holes in them”. Adult heads certainly do not have holes in them, a point well made some may say. Others (including said Grazia reporter) may not be so impressed. Elle’s Anne Slowly is certainly not a fan of the ‘the future of fashion’, publically declaring that she doubts Tavi even writes her own blog at all: “She’s either a tween savant or she’s got a Tavi team”. Either way, does it really matter? Is this petulant animosity the way forward? Will next year’s Fashion Week highlights skim over Mulberry’s new silk trench in favour of a front row fight feature, as Bryanboy and Alexandra Shulman fight it out for a seat closest to the catwalk, claws out, feathers flying? Ok, maybe we are exaggerating a little: Shulman wouldn’t be seen dead in feathers, but you get the point.

Obviously, it is not all about the front row. The real problem is one of reputation, of exposure, of credibility. Like it or not, with a combined audience of over a million readers and the power to make items sell out instantly with their recommendations, bloggers are attracting some serious attention. But can a girl named Susie Bubble (once upon a time know as Susanna Lau) really distract the avid fashion lover from the paper publication; persuading them to renounce their well-known fashion bible and all its glossy wonder? What will happen to Vogue, Elle and Purple if the blogger conquers? Are these well known brands, as famous as the designers themselves, hurtling towards redundancy thanks to the ever quickening fingers of fashions fastest followers? Kate Lanphear, style director of US Elle, thinks not. “Many people predict magazines will die”, she tells blogger Chelsea Burcz during New York Fashion Week. “I don’t think they will die, I think they will evolve.” Lanphear is adamant that the two roles are different: “When I go to Fashion Week, I may have 2,000 pictures of shoes. I then pick out the 6 pairs that I think are really it. Bloggers can post immediately. They serve a different purpose.” Lanphear insists that print is in no danger of extinction and perhaps she is right. Perhaps the medium of the fashion magazine is simply aging gracefully, embracing the digital revolution with its online offerings whilst retaining its roots on the corner of your coffee table. “I still like to have a magazine in my hands”, reiterates Franca Sozzani, Editor in Chief at Vogue Italia. “To turn the pages, to smell the paper, that’s great.” So what is the aim of the fashion blogger? To receive trophy gifts and paid-for trips to the next round of shows, to ‘work’ an outrageous outfit everyday of the week and upload 15 images, all containing the same practised pose as proof? The role of the editor is undoubtedly clearer cut: a pair of Oliver Goldsmith vintage Ceaser’s are not amazing because the editor likes them, the editor likes them because they are amazing. Or is this sceptical analysis a little harsh? Is the fashion blogger the aspiring editor? A number of successful bloggers have accepted offers to contribute to some of the biggest fashion magazines. Does the accessibility of the blog provide a substantial platform into the cut-throat world of fashion? After all, the days of dancing at the St. Regis, Chanel-clad and striking, no longer lead to an instant job offer from Carmel Snow for a position at Harpers Bazaar. Here at Collective HQ, we are sure of one thing. Ms. Diana - ‘I wasn’t a fashion editor, I was the one and only fashion editor’ – Vreeland, wouldn’t care at all. Magazine, blog, shoot, snapshot, 100 pages or two paragraphs - the reader wants it all, fashion in all its forms. Naturally, there is an appropriate Vreeland quote to summarise: “people are not something one thinks about.”

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Summer skin at Lip Doctor Aesthetics...

Obagi blue peel radiance skin peel

Elastiderm eye cream

Obagi Vitamin C serum

To book a complimentary skin consultation please contact Lisa... T: 0151 520 3070 E: lisa@lipdoctor.co.uk www.lipdoctor.co.uk

M: 07801 281504 / 07770 234000 E: fab@lipdoctor.co.uk

Lip Doctor Aesthetics Ltd, 171-173 Liverpool Road South, Maghull, Merseyside L31 8AA


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The Collective

Restaurant Review

Free State Kitchen

Piccolino

Hope Street is renowned for its restaurants, and perhaps a little intimidated by the calibre of its competition, Free State Kitchen nestles quietly on Maryland Street. After only one visit I can valiantly claim that it needn’t be.

Located near the thumping heart of Liverpool, Piccolino provides a rustic, yet modern Italian haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life – just what one needs after a week in Capri. Greeted by Anna Gervasoni, the new general manager, the restaurant hummed with a vibrant atmosphere as my guest and I were guided towards our table. Warm and welcoming, Anna informed us that the chefs would not be notified of our intention to review, adamant that the food should be of the same high quality irrespective of the diner. A risky choice, but did they pass the test!

As welcoming as the interior is, albeit a little intimate (a table for two verges dangerously close next to your neighbours’ who quickly become uninvited dinner guests), the imaginatively-named ‘garden’ steals the show. The grounds of a former convent, it is truly enormous. As Kate Hughes, creator and owner, points out a metal ship container with the word ‘Kitchen’ sprawled across it in pink lettering; I am assured that is not where the chefs prepare the food. Thank God. Apparently it will soon serve as an al fresco bar and there is a rather enthusiastic plan to begin a vegetable patch. Without tasting so much as a chicken wing I have the distinct sense that Free State Kitchen will be a hit.

Piccolino’s menu offers a wonderful combination of both modern and classic Italian dishes, all prepared in an open kitchen in full view of diners. Fresh pasta is made daily in the bespoke pasta kitchen using only the finest ingredients and a full list of discovery and popular wines are available, researched and tasted by in-house wine experts.

But there is no harm in ordering is there? Buffalo hot wings and Maryland crab cakes were our starters of choice and although we may sound a little unadventurous, I am keen to point out the importance of the wing. Hot, succulent and moist, it flew by in a haze of colours – excuse the pun.

Deciding on a shared starter, the Antipasto Misto provided us with an encompassing taste of Italy. The mix of calamari, arancini, caprese, fennel salami, roast mushroom, goats cheese and meatballs (as much as a mouthful to eat as it is to say) certainly got our taste buds in the mood.

Deciding upon the Classic Burger after much deliberation, my companion, a little more daring in her choice, ordered an American Cheeseburger. Accompanied by coleslaw, onion rings and the mandatory chunky chip, I experienced an immensely satisfying meal, revelling in carbohydrate heaven.

The mains refused to disappoint. My guest opted for a classic penne with aubergine, tomato, basil, and salted ricotta, which at first made my eyes widen with jealousy. However, my fillet steak - fresh from the charcoal grill – arrived cooked to perfection and the accompanying Patate all’aglio and Broccoletti (potatoes with garlic and rosemary, and broccoli with chili and garlic butter to you and me) instantly transported me back to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean.

In true American style there are a variety of sodas and beers available, including the old classics of cream soda and root beer. Tempted by the unusual array, I stayed true to my roots and ordered a glass of red. Eating a burger from a paper wrapping is never classy, but when approached with a glass of wine... www.freestatekitchen.co.uk

Ordering another bottle of Abruzzo 2010 rose, the comfortable cocoon of our surroundings prompted talk of my next visit to Italy. I think, perhaps for a brief moment, I thought I was already there. www.individualrestaurants.com/piccolino/


The Collective

Chaophraya Walking into Chaophraya, you would be forgiven for forgetting your rumbling stomach. A restaurant that demands to be noticed, a huge fish tank presides over the entrance and decadent chandeliers drip from the ceiling. From the soft lighting to the ornamental decoration, the view is a sight to behold. Toto, we are not in Liverpool anymore. Resisting the urge to take out my iPhone and begin snapping, a cheerful waitress leads us through a maze of stone elephants and jolly Buddha’s to a table on the top floor boasting a spectacular view. Hanging over the balcony to catch a glimpse of my fellow diners, a discreet cough from my companion brings me sheepishly back to my seat. What can I say, there is so much to see here - though handed a hard backed menu my thoughts instantly turn to food. The menu is as opulent as its host. Featuring classic dishes from different regions of Thailand, it covers all of the standard bases, from soups to salads, curries to noodles. Although not a vegetarian myself, there are a surprising number of meat free dishes, a pleasing sight when the average restaurant menu features one lacklustre veggie starter and two unimaginative mains. Stand-out dishes include steamed mussels served in a traditional Thai pot and lamb in red curry sauce, dressed with green beans, peppercorns, kafir lime leaves and red chillies. The well considered global wine list offers ample choice, alternated with premium beers and zingy cocktails. Feeling a little adventurous I opt for an authentic Thai cocktail (delightfully named

sangplungpra–a-tid – ‘sunshine’) whilst weighing up my options. Deciding to continue with my authentic Thai choices, I prompt for Thai fish cakes. A colourful dish, the fish is spicy without being overwhelming. Made from a special recipe including lime leaves, my palette is inadvertently cleansed as my next course snakes its way towards the table. My main had proved to be a difficult decision. Torn between crispy pork belly with Thai basil and king prawns with ginger, my waitress takes her cue and steps in to advise. Apparently, I can have my cake and eat it. Determined to provide diners with the best possible experience, Chaophraya is happy to tailor their dishes to your exact specifications. Desperate to give an old Thai favourite a new twist, crispy pork belly with sautéed mushrooms and ginger was just what I had in mind. Taste buds tingling, I am pleased with my original concoction. I always have been known to set a trend. Subduing the flames fanned by the provocative combination of chillies and ginger, a dessert of coconut ice cream was a necessity. Sacrificing my waist line to save the roof of my mouth, the ice cream is creamy and cooling – an instant, tasty remedy. Chaophraya has both style and substance, a difficult combination to perfect. A restaurant that is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat in, it certainly has my vote.

www.chaophraya.co.uk

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Buying Your First Home? Downsizing? Investor? Wanting to re-mortgage or release capital from your home with Equity Release? BBH Legal Services will help and guide you through the process with clear up front fees and professional advice at every stage from skilled, helpful staff that take the stress out of the legal process. Instruct BBH Legal Services to deal with your conveyancing transaction and receive a complimentary standard Will. Quote The Collective

G e t

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Wills and Probate Lasting Power of Attorney Personal Injury Road Traffic Accidents Financial Mis-Selling Employment Law

– Sale and Purchase Our BBH Sales and Purchase team will be happy to guide you through the process, whether you are a first time buyer, downsizing, or a seasoned property investor working to increase an existing portfolio. Friendly named staff are on hand to offer guidance, help or just to keep you updated throughout. – First Time Buyers At BBH we know that buying your first home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Experienced staff are on hand to guide you through the process which may be unfamiliar to you. – New Build Our dedicated specialist New Build Team at BBH will work with you and your developer. Our New Build Team has a vast experience of dealing with new developments and all of the current Government backed incentives such as the latest ‘help to buy’ scheme. A full understanding of developers and how they work means that we aim to have you in your new home within 28 days

– Re-Mortgage Whether you want to raise money for an important purchase such as a new car, holiday or simply to move an existing mortgage to another with a more competitive rate, the Re-Mortgage team at BBH will keep you informed through every stage of the process, and will liaise with your broker if you have one. Our aim is to complete the process within two weeks of receiving the mortgage offer. – Equity Release Whatever your reason for deciding to take out Equity Release, it’s important to work with a firm of solicitors who are experienced in this product. The dedicated Equity Release Team at BBH will be happy to guide you through the process, keeping you informed and being available to answer any questions you may have at every step. Our personal service can also include a home visit if required.

For more information about our services please call Nicola Vaughan on 0800 051 4218 or email nicolav@bbhlegal.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit our website www.bbhlegal.co.uk BBH (Legal Services) is a limited company registered in England and Wales under number 04092584 whose registered office is at Eastham Hall, Eastham Village, Wirral, Cheshire, CH62 0AF. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No.561550) A list of directors is available at the registered office.

m i n d

y o u

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The Collective

W H E R E H O T E L S S T O P W E S T A R T 0151 236 0166 | info@signatureliving.co.uk

www.signatureliving.co.uk


The The Collective Collective

Travel Collective

Let’s start the proceedings with a spot of lunch... Villa Marina Capri opens its doors. J.K. Place proves it’s more than just a pretty plate. It’s always fashion season in Milan. Make yourselves at home at the Carlton. It’s time to empty your wallet at Hotel Excelsior. A perfect evening in Sorrento.

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The The Collective Collective

Table for Two, Food for Ten Travel Collective –Capri

Where does one eat on a hot afternoon in Capri?


The Collective

aving received a number of dinner invitations, one in particular stood out: the Punta Tragara Restaurant, housed in Capri’s most exclusive hotel. I am not, of course, swayed by the word ‘exclusive’, but at the suggestion of signature menu, especially designed for me and my companion... Well, it would be rude not to make an appearance.

H

Some places hold a very special type of fascination. Words cannot describe the beauty of the sensations aroused. The Punta Tragara Hotel is one such place, standing in a unique location overlooking the blue Capri seas from atop the legendary Faraglioni cliffs. The likelihood of a standard three-course meal instantly evaporated from my expectations. In a setting like this, one expects perfection.

The likelihood of a standard three-course meal instantly evaporated from my expectations. In a setting like this, one expects perfection.

Placed at a table overlooking the crystal blue, sparkling waters of Capri instantly inspired my choice of drink: a bottle of sparkling white per favore! Served with an aperitif (canary yellow that suitably matched my jacket), we were approached by a charming, tailored waiter who explained we could either make our own selections from the menu or submit to the chef ’s allusive signature menu -politely advising us to champion the later. Naturally, we decided to hand over our fate to the expert and left the chef in charge (he compiled a menu exclusively for us – did i mention that?). To begin, we were wowed by a plate of appetisers: squid, Calabrian broccoli and fresh, Napoli spinach. With delighted eyes and watering mouths, the feast began. A selection of bread arrived, swiftly followed by scallops in an orange sauce with black olives. Once again my jacket and plate matched beautifully, but for the first time in my life I was not about to let aesthetics get in the way of my tingling taste buds. The scallops

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literally dissolved in my mouth and the sauce danced upon my tongue. Light and refreshing, this was the perfect summer combination. As dish after dish arrived, encased in shining silver domes that heightened our anticipation as the waiters steps drew nearer, I looked at my dinner companion with wide eyes. Where do we begin? Seafood risotto, lobster with smoked cheese, pasta and potatoes (only in Italy can the ‘one carb per plate’ rule be disobeyed), an enormous red snapper with spinach, carrots and yet more potatoes... Loosening the buttons of my yellow jacket, a mojito sorbet is placed upon the table with strict instructions from the chef to cleanse the palate ahead of desert. Desert? Desert! Are these people crazy! Sipping my wine in bewilderment my glass is instantly replenished – heaven forbid I should lift anything other than my fork. Daunted at the prospect of yet another course, the pièce de résistance was unveiled from beneath its silver casket. A dark chocolate mousse with a white chocolate topping, both of which are laced with coffee and accompanied by a large ball of coffee ice cream. Totting up the courses in my head I was overwhelmed, was it over ten? Had I actually eaten ten meals? A marathon of gourmet excellence ended with a plate of nuts, chocolate, cream and almonds, during which I contemplated the walk back to my hotel. The harsh reality began to dawn that I had an uphill climb ahead and my suggestion of a taxi was met with a disheartening reminder that it was a pedestrian only walk way. After 3,000 courses and 3.5 million calories, a walk uphill is just what one needs, don’t you agree? www.hoteltragara.com


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The The Collective Collective

Water, Water Everywhere and Just Champagne to Drink!

Travel Collective –Capri

Luxuriant and extraordinary, with beautiful weather and crystal blue waters, Capri calls. Stepping onto its port, I am instantly enthralled by the beauty of this Mediterranean island; a palatable blend of history, nature, culture and worldliness, all of which – I am told - coincide on a daily basis.


The Collective

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A mixture of white linens, green tones and the blue of the water glimmering through the windows characterise the interior.

efore the usual rigmarole of holiday worries ensue (how far away is my hotel, who will carry my bags, where is the wine...), a car pulls up, sent straight from the hotel in anticipation of our arrival. Impressed, but trying not to show it, I sashay over with the air of a man used to cars pre-empting his arrival - shame the windows aren’t tinted, my sunglasses will have to do. On route to my destination, bags safely stowed, I am assured the wine is waiting at the hotel - Hotel Villa Marina, that is.

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After a short drive, my luggage is whisked away and before I can check my reflection in the large glass doors - the positioning of my shorts being in question - they swing open revealing a fabulous reception area, clearly separate from the main hotel. Checking in, the subsequent uphill walk leads me through a tranquil garden, paradise like in colour and smell, with flowers adorning every possible surface. Turning to survey my path I am greeted by a view of the sea, stretching out into the setting sun. Capri, I think I love you. The main entrance of the Villa Marina is equally beautiful, all dark wood and white

walls with Prada look-books and artists biographies laid out in their hard-backed splendour. Expensive merchandise lazes behind glass cases and pieces of bespoke art adorn the walls. If this is the reception, take me to my room! Led to an outdoor seating area by hotel manager, Claudia (a delightful, attentive woman), a waiter appears as if from nowhere with two champagne flutes and a selection of appetizers. I wonder if he is for hire? Whilst discussing the necessity of a magically appearing waiter with never ending champagne, an annoying opportunist begins to pick at our food. Outraged, I snatch it away. I suppose Villa Marina cannot be held accountable for this rude guest - a passing seagull. I decide to forgive them; we can’t all be perfect. My room is beautiful, but I only have eyes for the view. Stretching beyond two floor to ceiling windows and a large balcony, the sea resides in all her splendour. As a delicate sea breeze flits through the room, I quash all thoughts of an afternoon at the spa, my back unnecessarily pummelled by a slim Italian with too much vigour. This is true relaxation. A mixture of white linens, green tones and the blue of the water glimmering through the windows characterise the interior, as does

an eye-catching piece of art dedicated to Marinetti, a famous Italian poet. Each room in the hotel is different, housing an object or work of art that belonged to Capri’s most influential artists. It makes for a glamorous aura. There is a fine distinction between the tranquillity and history of the room - if my history classes at school had included a sea view and a glass of champagne I’m sure I would have been more inclined to listen. What else can I say; everything about this hotel is exceptional: the pool, the seating areas, the gardens, the shuttle service into town, the restaurant (even though it was responsible for popping the button on my new shorts), the stunning outdoor terrace complete with champagne breakfast... This is the kind of place you dream about on a Monday morning, looking through a rainy office window contemplating your existence. On that note, I’m going for an afternoon swim. Better enjoy it whilst I can. www.villamarinacapri.com


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A Place for the Future


Mr.H has a taste of J.K Place that leaves him hungry for more. Travel Collective –Capri

nvited to J.K. Place for lunch, I arrive outside an 18th-century cream villa, transported to a scene reminiscent of Downton Abbey – minus the ugly cast. A stream of staff (immaculately dressed from head-totoe in striped cotton) pour onto the driveway from behind a heavy set of doors, lining up to greet me with outspread arms (for once, I am not exaggerating) as I strut through the large iron gates. Apparently, they have been expecting me.

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It immediately becomes clear that what J.K. Place lacks in rooms (in houses a mere twenty) it strives to counter with intimacy. Every guest that walks onto its beautiful grounds is honoured by a spectacular greeting whether staying the week, the night, or just for dinner. Talking of dinner... JKitchen is breathtaking. Fresh and crisp, with enormous sash windows and white cushioned dining chairs it oozes sophistication. Everything is white, including two colossal porcelain vases that stretch from floor to ceiling, boastful in their decadence. The restaurant epitomises the intimate atmosphere of J.K Place, occupied by only six tables, all of which are buzzing with beautiful guests and lively conversation.

As my eye travels around the room, my stomach protests with a load grumble - food is on the agenda. Intuitive staff strike a masterful balance of friendly but not too familiar, careful not to appear overbearing. Introduced to the head waiter, who charmingly walks my companion and I through the Mediterranean menu, we are quizzed on our plans for the weekend in between seafood recommendations. Classic risotto proves to be the favourite of my companions, and the simple starter of swordfish carpaccio is beyond delicious. However it is the grilled tenderloin steak that truly captures my attention, perched over a toasted bread crouton and served with baked potato cake. The steak melts as delicately as the cake crumbles, a delightful combination that is cooked to perfection. Fighting over the final drops of wine whilst we devour our desserts, we agree that this hotel exudes an air of exclusivity. It is apparent in its design, in its staff and in the taste of its food. It is difficult to leave and had my schedule not been so tight I could easily be tempted into some well articulated room enquiries. Maybe not this time J.K.Place, but I will be back. www.jkplace.com


Season’s Greetings Milan: Italy’s most fashionable city, the home of Armani,Versace, Valentino, Gucci and, for a few blissful days, little old me.


Looking fabulous comes with a rather heavy price tag, but doesn’t it always?

t is a Monday morning and instead of a rushed black coffee and a power walk to the office I am strolling towards the quadrilatero della moda, dragging my suitcase behind me in as chic a way as 18kg can possibly be managed. I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: darlings, I have arrived!

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Although the arrays of designer boutiques beckon to me with perfectly manicured fingers, I am fixed upon my location, a 15th-century convent in this aptly named rectangle of gold. Before you fall to the floor in a faint, this is not just any convent. This is a convent that has been transformed into an urban sanctuary of luxury and comfort, a convent more widely known as the Four Seasons Milan. Aside from its sweeping architecture and idyllic, cloistered courtyard, Four Seasons Milan is discreet about its past, replacing the expectation of a reserved nunnery with fashion aficionados and immaculate Italian women dressed only in Prada. Gazing up at the hotel, three handsome concierges in beautifully tailored uniforms were suddenly at my side, showering me with warm Italian greetings as bags were removed, doors were opened and my face rearranged itself into a voguish pout. The reception is stunning, as are the guests. A haze of white linen and sunglass wearing Italians recline effortlessly on plush cushioned chairs, talking quickly and gesticulating widely. Looking me up and down with a non-committal glance, their faces refuse to betray a slither of opinion on

my carefully put together outfit – there is no place for manners here, style is everything. What my fellow guests lack in manners, the hotel staff more than compensate for. A smiling receptionist (also easy on the eye), appears genuinely pleased to see me. Make no mistake; these people are at the top of their game. It is clear from stepping inside the Four Seasons Milan that it employs only the most experienced hoteliers. A quaint Sales and Marketing manager arrives breathlessly at the desk, sincerely apologising for his absence upon my arrival - I had been there for a matter of seconds – and insisting I was immediately shown to my room. And what a room it was. Ushered into a spacious Junior Suite with Fortuny fabrics and custom-designed pear and sycamoreburl cabinetry, the room emanates luxury. The muted lemon and peach palette of the decor are illuminated by the high ceilings and tall, white framed windows. Taking in the beautiful elements of archaic architecture, the hotel’s past reveals itself a little more in this room, although the high powered high dryer and ’90 seconds to fill’ bath were clearly not original features of the convent. Stepping onto the balcony overlooking Via Gesù, I was transported to the set of A Room with a View – forget Florence, Milan is the place to be. As children played in the gardens whilst the afternoon sun began to set, one thing was clear: Italy was made for me. The addition of a walk in wardrobe did little to change my mind – a necessity really when Gucci is less than a minute’s walk from the hotel entrance. In Milan, fashion hangs in the air, it lingers on the streets and, as the Four

Seasons have recognised, it dictates the layout of a room. A bathroom adorned with mirrors on every wall ensure a well-lit reflection from every possible angle – essential when dressing for a hardcore shopping trip – and a huge marble bath is supplied to soak your aching feet after a day spent in a beautiful, but highly impractical shoe. For all its splendour, Four Seasons Milan is inarguably expensive. The addition of complimentary Wi-Fi and a bowl of fresh fruit upon arrival could not stop me from wincing as a handed over a shirt and shorts to be cleaned and pressed at $47. Looking fabulous comes with a rather heavy price tag, but doesn’t it always? The problem is it is money well spent, who cares if you can’t afford to eat for a day or two if your collection of shirts are hanging pristinely in your walk in wardrobe... Every single person I encountered in this hotel not only made me feel welcome, but special, from the concierge to the management to the charming maid who collected my laundry and my life savings. Naturally, this does not extend to the willowing Italian guests, their terrifyingly stylish outfits accessorised with Balenciaga handbags and judgemental glances. Did they ruin my stay? Not one little bit. In the words of Diana Vreeland, “What do I think about the way most people dress? Most people are not something one thinks about. www.fourseasons.com/milan


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There’s No Place Like Home...

Standing in the heart of Milan surrounded by a stack of luggage and my personal entourage (well, photographer/ loyal friend), I was ready for a new experience. After an hour of perusing through Milan, blending in nicely with the afternoon shoppers, it was time to go home. urning a corner and arriving at the bottom of a thick red carpet, snaking its way towards a set of revolving glass doors, I arrived at my new abode: the Carlton Hotel Baglioni. Naturally, you should never judge a book by its cover, but a red carpet is usually a reliable indication of the story inside.

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Strutting across a polished marble floor, admiring the dark wooden panelling of the walls and the shining glass cabinets of designer treasures, I could imagine myself settling in nicely. Seated in an armchair behind an enormous black desk referred to as ‘the reception’, it was apparent that standing is simply not the done thing at the Carlton. This is a place to gracefully recline. This is a place for me. Following the red carpet to my suite (differentiated from its outside companion by a bold, Italian pattern), I am unashamed to say I was a little overwhelmed - and not just by the promise of a complimentary bottle of red, already in position at my soon to be bedside. My room is beautiful but incredibly chic. The contrast between the muted beige fabrics and the bold dark wood is both striking and dramatic, as is

the view from my ridiculously large balcony: the Duomo di Milano, in all its architectural splendour. Spotting the promised wine offering, seated comfortably next to a mouth-wateringly large box of chocolates (at this point, I thought I may have been killed during a fight over a Gucci scarf and was now in heaven), I found myself sinking onto the bed in disbelief. It was a big mistake. Woken by the summer breeze an hour later, the merits of the room had more than proved themselves and the bed was hailed as the comfiest in Europe. Being in high demand, an impromptu afternoon nap can set one back, and dinner arrangements had already been made. Apparently, being two hours behind schedule is not considered to be fashionably late, even if I do make a grand entrance. The hotel restaurant, Il Baretto al Baglioni is legendary within Milan. Originally located on Via Sant’Andrea, as its illustrious new host, the Carlton has in no way diminished its popularity. Antique wooden friezes, elegant British furnishings and hunting portraits painted in the English countryside all contribute to a ‘private club’ atmosphere. This is not your typical hotel restaurant, with the same mundane themes and colour schemes spilling from the reception area onto your table cloth; this

Travel Collective –Milan

Naturally, you should never judge a book by its cover, but a red carpet is usually a reliable indication of the story inside.


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is something completely different. At Carlton Baglioni, you truly can eat out without ever leaving the hotel and with a strong menu of Milanese gastronomy with Mediterranean flavours, one sautĂŠed risotto later, I am more than impressed. Heading back to the room with full stomachs and the excitement of getting into that bed I am greeted with another surprise. The sheets have been changed and two individually wrapped chocolates decorate my pillow. Take note, this is how to win me over. Attention to detail is paramount here and I am nothing if not a stickler for detail. A round of applause for you, Carlton Baglioni, you are the star of the show. Simply favoloso. www.baglionihotels.com


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Luxury vs. Bankruptcy

After a torturous train ride to Napoli, Mr.H was in dire need of some TLC and a glass of something sparkling.

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lready accustomed to the luxury of Milan, my standards were high and I hoped my next destination would not disappoint. Latin for ‘the best’, I was about to find out if Hotel ‘Excelsior’ deserved its self-assured name.

I had done my research (the train journey was long) and I expected that it would. After all, the hotel is armed with an impressive, historical reputation. Inside its drawing rooms lie the ghosts of opulent banquets and decadent parties, all attended by an intimidating guest list of royal families, aristocrats, financiers, actors, artists and scientists. Contemplating my casual travelling outfit (casual consisting of a silk shirt and statement necklace), my best jacket was instantly removed from my bag and smoothed down, ready for action. It seemed the haughty, aristocratic look was in order - one has to dress for their audience now. Upon entering the reception area I was glad I did. Crossing the threshold of the Hotel Excelsior is like stepping back into the past, as rich tradition drips from the Murano lightshades onto the antique carpets. Across the wall spans a breathtaking original engraving from 1775, commissioned by the Duke of Najo for the King of the Two Scilies. Perhaps I need to buy a better jacket. My room was no less incredible. Atmospheric and exciting, with damask silks and valuable prints covering the walls, the room whispers its history in seductive tones. Escorted inside I was assured that ‘each room is different, each room is special, each room is furnished with antiques’, but spotting a bottle of wine on the bedside table I was not inclined to look around. After a deliciously comfortable evening, breakfast on the outdoor terrace was tempting enough to distract me from my room. The views are truly breathtaking. Fascinated by the sparkling panorama

of the Gulf, the beauty of distant islands and the promontory of Posillipo, it is difficult to muster an appetite, but when there are cakes for breakfast (yes, cakes), one must do the right thing. An array of colourful flowers match the colourful breakfast table: eggs, cheese, meats, breads, fruits, yogurts and the all important cakes, are presented to the hungry diner. It was time to fuel up for the day, especially when lunch would have to be skipped due to a tight schedule and the absence of a money tree. So begins the problem. Hotel Excelsior may be a favourite amongst royalty, but not to those of us without a Prince Harry-esque inheritance. With daily $10 charges for Wi-Fi I had quickly decided this would not be a productive business trip. Bathrobes, luxurious though they where, dominated the bathroom with their $100 price tag, daring you to touch them at your (literal) expensive. It is safe to say, I had never seriously considered drip drying until this moment. Politely enquiring if there was an added price for oxygen was not met with the humour I had anticipated. A number of staff at the hotel (particularly a straight-faced lady at the reception desk) were simply rude, and an incident questioning the validity of a $20 note almost caused me to whip off my sunglasses in a rage. Perhaps this is all part of the Italian experience, but it is certainly not one I would be looking to repeat. Sitting on the waterfront with a family sized pizza is much more my idea of decadence. Bring out the wine! www.excelsior.it/en/


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It is safe to say, I had never seriously considered drip drying until this moment.

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Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais Travel Collective –Sorrento

Mr.H uncovers the beautiful town of Sorrento. A town steeped in history... orrento may be beautiful, but it is its history that captures my attention. The main square is dedicated to Torquato Tasso, a sixteenth century poet, born in Sorrento and considered one of Italy’s most influential poets, whilst Lord Byron, Keats and Walter Scott are amongst the city’s most illustrious visitors.

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History creates an atmosphere that simply cannot be recreated and no other hotel in Sorrento boasts as colourful a past as Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais. Discreetly situated in Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Torquato Tasso, the hotel resides above a popular restaurant. Although guests may initially feel a little perturbed by its clandestine entrance, I can offer this advice: the Palazzo Jannuzzi need not shout about its existence, it is confident in its reputation. Welcomed by owner, Maria, the story of the hotel began to unravel. Initially belonging to her grandparents, Cav. Amedeo Jannuzzi and his wife Assunta Gargiulo Jannuzzi, though popular, the hotel was abandoned in the wake of their deaths. Wanting to express gratitude and appreciation to their grandparents’ memory, a number of grandchildren (including Maria) decided to renovate the building, restoring it to its original splendour with the help of Sorrento’s most famous architects. Maria explains the intense amount of work and sacrifice involved in such a task, but a 2012 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor suggests the hardship has been worthwhile. Approved by many an A-lister, Maria is conspicuous regarding their identity. Privacy is something Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais prides itself upon, though flexing my persuasive powers I discovered that a certain Pretty Woman once graced these floors... Glancing around for a mirror to check my hair was a natural reaction.

It simply cannot be helped if I bump into Julia over breakfast... I must be ready for the photographs... Undoubtedly a boutique hotel, the portraits of Maria’s grandmother, smiling approvingly from the brightly coloured walls, successfully capture the feeling of home - although the guest rooms are a little different from my Liverpool abode. Setting down my bag on a shining checkerboard floor, I am enveloped by Italian chic. Now this is more like it. Black and white stripes are brought alive with splashes of canary yellow, six glass bulldogs sit petulantly upon a shelf and a pair of oddly shaped candlesticks dominate an antique table, possible extras from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This is different. This is Sorrento. Spacious, with an outdoor terrace that boasts fantastic views, a bottle of red and some serious people watching is the only way to pass an evening. Breakfast was delicious (though sadly there was no sign of Jules) and served in what would have been the kitchen of Assunta Gargiulo Jannuzzi – a decidedly nice touch. The family shop is also a must visit, filled with luxurious antiques and artworks, inviting the guest to take home a little piece of Sorrento at the end of their stay. Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais has truly struck gold (without charging $100 for a bathrobe – darling, please), balancing high style with hospitable relaxation.You can breathe easily here, without the worry of being charged for the privilege. Although my adventures in Italy ended with my stay, the temptation of another visit to Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais has ensured I will be back for more.. www.palazzojannuzzi.com


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A single malt whiskey with... The Collective –Interview

Mike Stubbs. Alecia Marshall meets the man behind FACT, Liverpool’s very own Foundation for Art and Creative Technology. You previously worked at the Australian Centre for Moving Image. How did FACT tempt you to Liverpool? FACT is much more aligned to my origins and roots. I’m an experimentalist. I’m an artist, a filmmaker - that’s how I started. To me, accepting the FACT post was very much about collating my skills: being a creative person, being at the cutting edge of new media and also thinking about how I can reinvent what an arts centre can be for the future. People did question Liverpool but if FACT had been the ICC in Tokoyo or the Ars Electronica Center in Linz I’d have gone there - there are five or six centres of this quality internationally. The fact that the UK new media centre was established in Liverpool not London also linked back to the history of the North West and innovation. I moved to Liverpool for FACT. Was it a daunting change? The Australian economy is booming and I arrived here alongside the credit crunch. I got here just in time for European Capital of Culture which was amazing. My feet didn’t touch the ground; there was an event every night, but after the party there were no aspirin. The recession kicked in and I couldn’t register a predictable trajectory, I had to come up with a new model in a different economy. Why is FACT important? Who is it for? How does it relate nationally, internationally? Everything becomes more interesting. Do you fulfil your own creative urges as an artist within your role at FACT? I’m actually just beginning to find my rhythm – it has taken more than five years. Largely because there was a lot of work to do structurally, managerially – to get things level has taken a bit of time. I’m working on a show at the moment called Time and Motion, Redefining Working Life. Tell us more... The idea takes its original starting point from the monument to the Eight Hour Day, which was built in 1856 in Melbourne. When I saw that for the first time I thought, ‘that’s really interesting’, but also profoundly strange, especially in terms of what behaviours are like in working life now. I could ask you, the interviewer, what time did you start work and did you start it in bed? (I nod) There is actually a stat that says 30% of the professional classes start their day in bed. That does not correspond to the notion of cycling to the factory, hearing the hooter at the end of the day, your wife having dinner waiting on the table. In terms of industrial, historical pasts and what working life in virtual and digital spaces looks like, it poses a whole series of very interesting questions. It is a collaboration with The Royal College of Art which coincidentally is my old college. I’ve wanted to do this project for over ten years; this is me hitting my rhythm.

How can you make FACT accessible to those that feel daunted by art? I was a school failure; I should have been a motor mechanic. I wouldn’t get to Art College these days with my academic record. I was strongly influenced by popular media, popular culture, television, film, punk, ska... it’s a pretty amazing trajectory. The Art of the Pop Video is deliberately attempting to engage with a different set of audiences. The upcoming, 2014 Sci-fi show is a similar strategy. Every year we will do one exhibition programme that is more popular culture orientated. When you talk to your barber and find out what’s going on in his head, you challenge your assumptions. We need to always be thinking about new ways to gain peoples interest in art and that the thing which attracted me to new media or moving image culture above and beyond other art forms was that it is very participative. Is an awareness of this need for accessibility the reason behind FACT’s lean towards more mainstream films? This is an ongoing conversation I have had since I have been here. We work with Picture House to deliver our film programme, but we also do specialist and experimental film programmes which is obviously part of my background. However, the fact that we get really big audiences in the centre to see a more commercial film does mean they are invariably exposed to more challenging concepts. If we didn’t have a cinema that was a little more mainstream they wouldn’t come! There is a compromise. We constantly work with City Screen on how we can be more intelligent in crossing our markets over. Tell us about Turning FACT Inside Out (Part of a programme of FACT’s 10th birthday celebrations). I think I am deconstructive by nature. As a film maker I am influenced by Godard, I am influenced by Bretch, I am interested in pulling things apart. I think it’s important that an organisation which declares itself collaborative puts on an exhibition that celebrates its ten years and asks “what is the model of FACT going forward” – it would be too easy to just do a bit of back-slapping. We are working with artists that are questioning the model of art making in itself, which is quite provocative! Within that process we ask what the institution means: we could ask a question about how important buildings are. Full-stop. What do we need a building for? At the moment our tagline is, ‘turning fact inside out, a place where art, people and technology meet’ but why and what? How do they meet and what do they do when they get here? How can I make that better? How can they do more? That’s my future plan for FACT.


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