Page 1


September 2009

Best of British

Exclusive interview with Ben Ainslie – Britain’s most successful sailor of all time

Salon Privé 2009 A run-down of the UK’s only luxury motoring event

Luxury Watches Black and White special

Film & Entertainment Whitney, Maxwell and Jude Law – need we say more?

High-Jewellery Van Cleef & Arpels Special Profile







KOROK.indd 2 korokum_urban.indd 1

22/09/2009 14:04

KOROK.indd 3

21/09/2009 07:41 1/9/08 17:23:07



And welcome to another feature-packed edition of Urban Life…

I think we can confidently say that we are on our way to economic recovery. We have read the headlines and heard the sound-bites coming from all quarters: the recession is officially over. Let’s hope the pundits are right! Given that we’ve just had the worst economic crisis of our generation, we are witnessing an explosion of creativity and innovation like never before. Especially the fashion industry, which has stepped up a gear and what with London Fashion Week celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, we have much to celebrate. The big guns are out in force this month: Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson, Aquascutum and Julien Macdonald are amongst those creating a real buzz. And not forgetting the up and coming designers who will also be sharing the limelight of what this great city has to offer the fashion world during that one hectic week. As for our own creative development, we too have been working overtime. We are touching on quite a few new features, which I believe will stand us apart from our peers. After much anticipation (and planning), we are making the debut of our ‘Best of British’ feature in this edition. This will be a permanent fixture in the magazine as of now; featuring, profiling and celebrating all that is quintessentially British. We start with our first ‘icon’, Ben Ainslie; our most successful and prolific sailor ever. We also take a look at Clive Christian, a name synonymous with luxury interiors and the world’s most expensive perfume. As of this edition, we also introduce our new jewellery feature, which is being overseen by Leyla Abdollahi, our new consultant Jewellery Editor. A jewellery designer by profession, I am extremely pleased to have her on our team to oversee this section and to lend us her expert eye on what’s hot in the world of luxury and high-jewellery. Contents wise, our new Property and Interior section is also underway, with this edition briefly touching on interior design trends, setting the stage for expansion of this section from the next edition. All this, and so much more. I do hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together!

Until the next edition…


Ataur Rahman Editor-in-Chief editor@urbanlife-magazine.com


LEADER .indd 1

21/09/2009 22:11

To buy online visit www.juicycouturewatches.co.uk

For your nearest Juicy Couture Watch stockist please telephone 01428 664700 or visit www.juicycouturewatches.co.uk



BEAUTY Essential handbag kit for women HIGH-JEWELLERY Cutting edge designs from contemporary designers and a profile of Van Cleef & Arpels

16 26

FASHION TRENDS Stay ahead of the fashion game this autumn


BEST OF BRITISH – UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT Clive Christian: A profile of the first designer to introduce the chandelier in the kitchen!

32 38

LUXURY WATCHES Black and White: watches that work best in monochrome

41 42

FRAGRANCE Six of the best smelling fragrances for him and her


FILM & ENTERTAINMENT The Comeback of Jude Law, Maxwell and Whitney Houston.

50 52

RESTAURANT REVIEWS Laya’ Lina and Min Jiang

58 60

URBAN SCENE Nightlife according to Funky Nora


INTERIOR DESIGN The first of a new section looking at trends in Interior design


URBAN LIFE If it’s fashionable and high profile, we’re there!

BEST OF BRITISH – ICONS Ben Ainslie: an exclusive interview with our most prolific and successful sailor of all time


TECHNOLOGY Some of the best and most artistic creations on the market

MOTORING A review of Nissan’s new rival to the ubiquitous ‘Chelsea tractor’ and a round-up of this year’s Salon Privé at the Hurlingham Club


ART & CULTURE A special profile on the work of celebrated artist, Nicolas Ruston

TRAVEL The Ed goes on a road trip to Bovey Castle in a Bentley Continental




21/09/2009 19:28

EJC A4 May06.qxd



Page 1

Most people drive to the airport Some people drive to the aircraft Most people rush to catch the flight Some people leave when they’re ready

Some people charter Private Jet Charter is : • Convenient

• Flexible

• Direct

• Reliable

• Secure

• Cost Effective

Expedient Jet Charter - so much more for a lot less than you may think. For more information or to discuss your individual requirements, call +44 (0) 208 991 9817, or e-mail graham.turner@expedientjet.com


Some people arrive at an airport conveniently close to their destinations


Cover picture photographed by: Adam Parker Model: lena @ Profile Location: Just st. James lena wears: Strapless Satin Dress £899, Amanda Wakeley. Pink Folding Clutch, £330 Philip Treacy. 18ct White Gold Diamond, Black Diamond and Ruby Skeleton Key Pendant £21,000, and 18ct White Gold Diamond and Ruby Quiver Double Drop Earrings £4,500, both by Theo Fennell.

uRbAN liFe Published by: Westside Communications Ltd. 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB


Tel: +44 (0) 871 989 8206 Fax: +44 (0) 871 989 8207 Email: info@urbanlife-magazine.com URL: www.urbanlife-magazine.com Publisher and editor-in-Chief

Ataur Rahman

Creative director

Lee Thomas

deputy editor

Andre Gayle

sub editor

Will Dugdale

Motoring editor

Patrick Anderson

Fashion editor

Delphine Hervieu

Consultant Jewellery editor

Leyla Abdollahi

head of business development

James Tan


Sarah Walsh, Jodie May Ivan Petersen

social Correspondent

Funky Nora

editorial Assistants

Andy Simpson, Clara Thomas

Cover & Fashion Photography

Adam Parker www.adamparker.co.uk


Becky Chatsworth

subscriptions Manager

James Mason

All enquiries relating to features, advertising and sponsorship should be directed to the sales team in the first instance: sales@urbanlife-magazine.com To subscribe please fill out the subscriptions form available in this issue, otherwise download it from the website: www.urbanlife-magazine.com. Alternatively contact the office on the number below or email: subs@urbanlife-magazine.com © Westside Communications Ltd 2006-2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part as well as storage of same in any retrieval system or transmission in any form including content and advertisement designs without the express prior written permission of the publisher will result in legal action. The content and views contained within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. All details correct at time of going to press but are subject to change. All errors and omissions excluded. All special offers and competitions are subject to terms and conditions (please see individual offers for details). Westside Comunications Ltd (t/a Urban Life Magazine) cannot be held responsible for any unsolicited material. Correction: in the May ’09 edition we referred to ACF Hospitality as ‘AFC’ Hospitality more than once (Thornbury feature). We would like to apologise for the mistake and any subsequent confusion this may have caused.



21/09/2009 19:36



Before the show or after some retail therapy the best way to unwind and enjoy your evening is with good people eating great food at a fantastic location. Just St James Bar and Restaurant can provide the last two if you can provide the first! In keeping with the theme of this issue Just St James has recently launched its Best of British Menus. Dishes like Potted Cornish Crab, Smoked Scottish Venison and Wye Valley Rainbow Trout are made to highlight superior British produce and the menus, overseen by owner and executive Chef, Peter Gladwin, evolve every couple of weeks to keep discernable palettes coming back for more. Even the recommended wines come from Peter’s own Nutbourne Vineyard in West Sussex. To celebrate Just St James is offering readers of Urban Life two fantastic incentives to visit: - Simply mention ‘Urban Life Offer’ when ordering a 2-3 course meal from the Best of British menu and receive a complimentary 1/2 bottle of English white or rose wine. - Mention ‘Urban Life Offer’ when ordering any drink over £10 at the bar and receive a complimentary Superfruits cocktail (pictured). *offer ends November 30th 2009. Management reserves the right to stop the promotion at any time.

JUST ST JAMES. 12 St James's Street, London, SW1A 1ER. Tel 020 7976 2222


Keep ahead of current trends with London’s hottest lifestyle magazine.Subscribe now for your free copy!



Profession/Job Title: Address:

Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email: I wish to subscribe to Urban Life magazine


D ate:

I have enclosed a cheque for £8.75 to cover postage and packaging for one year’s subscription (4 issues, UK only). For International subscriptions, please contact us for further information: subs@urbanlife-magazine.com


Your details will be processed by Westside Communications Limited (Publisher of Urban Life Magazine) and its affiliates in accordance with UK Data Protection legislation. From time to time, Westside Communications Ltd. may contact you with information about our other products and services. Please tick here if you do NOT wish to recieve such information. Westside Communications Ltd. may occasionally share this information with other reputable companies who wish to contact you about their products and services, please tick here if you do not wish to be contacted by such companies.



21/09/2009 19:37



Not the movie stars and celebrities you might be thinking of. Just the iconic products they carry in their beauty bags to keep them looking and feeling beautiful…


Smith’s Rosebud Salve – More than 100 years old, Rosebud Salve is name-checked by Chloe Sevigny and Eva Longoria. Burns and grazes are healed, lips softened, elbows smoothed and even spots banished.

< Chanel Rouge Noir – Ever since Uma Thurman waved Rouge Noir-ed nails across the screen in Pulp Fiction this polish, the colour of dried blood, has been an icon. No other colour has lasted in minds and hearts so completely.


Chanel No 5 – A cult product since Marilyn Monroe claimed it was all she wore in bed, the bottle has been illustrated by Andy Warhol, advertised by Nicole Kidman and worn for generations.

< <

Guerlain Meteorites – Blusher, bronzer, base, highlighter, Guerlain Meteorites does it all and they keep finding new ways to harness the technology. Much copied but never bettered, the original pearls are a must.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm– Surgery in a tube, Beauty Flash Balm plumps wrinkles, makes cosmetics endure, and defines the face and jaw – used under foundation or as a mask.


BEAUTY.indd 2

21/09/2009 19:47


< Lancome Juicy Tubes – With the dawn of the gloss age the colourful Lancome Juicy Tubes appealed to our inner girl. There are few better formulae; no wonder 11 tubes are sold every minute.

< Batiste Dry Shampoo – Celebrity hairdressers might add pricey dry shampoo to their ranges but none is as popular as Batiste. A travel essential, half of Batiste’s charm is in its kitsch packaging.

Artistry Amway’s Artistry range of skincare products ranks among the world’s top five prestige skincare brands and is available in over 90 different countries. With an already huge and still growing fan base, Artistry Products are establishing their presence in the UK and come in two distinct collections: Essentials Range: For basic daily skincare. Essentials is a botanically based, comprehensive three-step system for all skin types: Normal to dry, combination to oily and extra care for sensitive skin. Prices start from: £8.86 Time Defiance Range: An age defying skincare system designed to prevent the visible signs of ageing before they appear and reverse any existing damage that can cause the skin to age prematurely. Time Defiance uses advanced science to renew and restore radiant skin. Prices start from: £20.18


Then there is the piece de resistance – Creme LuXury, a technically advanced and effective ARTISTRY formula that achieves younger looking skin. Rich, luxurious and clinically tested to help skin act up to 15 years younger, Creme LuXury retails at a cool £180 and can count Sandra Bullock among its more select customers.

Nars The Multiple – First gaining worldwide attention for its controversial ‘Orgasm’ shade, The Multiple is the ultimate multipurpose product, usable on eyes, cheeks, lips and even limbs.

ARTISTRY products are available exclusively at the Amway Experience Centre, London, WC1 For nationwide availability Tel: 01908 629400 or visit www.amway.co.uk

< Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – The first Arden product, created by Elizabeth herself to soothe her horses’ bruises. Used to heal, moisturise, shine and smooth it can even be used in place of make-up.

BEAUTY.indd 3

21/09/2009 19:48


BEJEWELLED O ne of life’s greatest pleasures is to give and receive jewellery. nothing reaffirms that strong bond of love like a precious item of jewellery, whether it’s a family heirloom being passed down through the generations or a significant other buying a piece for his or her other half.

There is such a wide variety of choice when it comes to jewellery that it would take us forever to go through the range and styles, not to mention price brackets. But since this is Urban Life, and we are all about luxury, we will concentrate only on high-jewellery. We will share with you new and exciting designs from the cream of jewellery designers, from the most iconic heritage brands to the new breed of talent that’s leading the way in the art of luxury jewellery creation. We start off with Annoushka Ducas, who not only designs exquisite jewellery herself, but also champions new talent by collecting, mentoring and selling their creations through her jewellery business. Add to this Shaun Leane and Stephen Webster who are currently two of the biggest names in contemporary jewellery in the UK. As well as sitting at the helm of Garrard as Creative Director Stephen is also a previous three time winner of the ‘British Luxury Jeweller of the year’ award while Shaun’s designs captured that crown at the 2009 awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Feature by Leyla Abdollahi Assisted by Sarah Walsh

Poison Ivy Cluster Ring in Red Gold with smokey Quartz and White Diamonds

Fly By Night Cascade Earings

Jewels Verne earings

Stephen Webster

Jewels Verne Diamond Couture collar

As for the house profile, we look at pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels, one of the most recognised and prestigious houses in luxury jewellery. The next issue will see an expansion on our sojourns into the world of jewellery, with more collections and in-depth profile pieces, so watch this space…

Jewels Verne Bracelet



21/09/2009 20:02


Eclipse Cool stack

‘White Light’ by Shaun Leane in collaboration with

Shaun Leane

Steinmetz for the Forevermark Precious Collection. Silver Cherry Blossom ring

Annoushka Porcupine Ring Cherry blossom

with Rhodalite & pearls

Annoushka Eclipse Porcupine Inverted Ring



21/09/2009 20:03




Europe Bracelet Chevaux de Neptune


ackie Kennedy, Diana Princess of Wales, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Denueve, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Marlene Dietrich – the list could fill a phone book. They are all some of recent history’s most celebrated beauties and, naturally, the common trait they all shared is their penchant for Van Cleef & Arpels classic jewellery. Recognised and respected as one of the most prestigious and coveted luxury brands in the world, Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery and watches have adorned the rich, famous and successful for over a century; celebrating its centenary in 2006. The company started life in Paris when husband and wife team, Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, joined forces with Alfred’s brother, Charles, to open an ‘exquisite’

jewellery boutique in the exclusive Place Vendome square, a few doors away from the legendary Coco Chanel. Such was the success of their venture that another boutique followed soon after in Monte Carlo and the rest, as they say, is history. The company relocated to the ultra chic Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, during the war years where they were able to expand their global identity by becoming the first French jewellers to establish businesses in China and Japan. Innovative designs like the Mystery Setting – the process of affixing a stone with no visible means of holding it in place – and the Alhambra Motif, a subtle and popular quatrefoil (petal) design, helped to lift the cache of the brand name to such a level that Van Cleef & Arpels were soon fielding

countless major commissions from royal and imperial courts all over the world. The business continued expanding, added a perfume division in 1976, and continued to stay family owned until it was bought out in 1999 by the powerful Richemont group, who added it to their portfolio of ultra luxury brands which also included Cartier, Mont Blanc and Alfred Dunhill. Despite the takeover, the traditions, quality and desirability of the Van Cleef & Arpels name hasn’t diminished an inch among the new crop of movie stars and jetsetters who happen to have class as well as money. Because for them this isn’t about ‘bling’ and a display of wealth. For them this is about taste and a display of style. This is the jewellery that jewellers would wear....



21/09/2009 20:04


Bomarzo Necklace



21/09/2009 20:05


camel coat

skirt suit

little black dress




For Autumn/Winter

Feature by Delphine H


Donna Karan


Giorgio Armani

Jil Sander

Yves Saint Laurent

Michael Kors

Jean Paul Gaultier

Donna Karan


Jean Paul Gaultier

Matthew Williamson



e are only now just coming out of a long recession so fashion designers are reminding us that, this winter, we should not let ourselves fall into moroseness. Great shapes and “über” stylish cuts have been seen on the catwalk. From the Dynasty lady to the Disco Queen, designers have taken their inspiration from the TV shows of the eighties. Why? Because that decade is the symbol of a time when women were living for parties and enjoyed dressing up: metallics, sequins, bright to fluorescent colours have reclaimed their fame. For a workier attitude think basics, basics and again basics. Indeed, timeless elegance has never been so fashionable for a board meeting: get yourself a skirt suit or grab the one you have stored and give it a trendy twist by wearing it with a chunky metallic necklace, high knee boots and a tiny belt. When Fashion plays it subtly and wise, it is time for accessories to add their part and start the conversation. The key Autumn investment is a coat or, more specifically, “The Camel” coat. You might have forty coats but you need this one that will follow you season after season. We’re spoiled with choices from Jil Sander, Donna Karan, Chloe… browse and pick the one. If you need to justify your shopping spree this should be the wisest purchase you have made for a long time: it is definitely a fashion staple. Finally, sophisticated and innovative fabrics were featured during the shows to remind us that a Little Black Dress can have many versions: satin, lace or even Michael Kor’s leather version, so don’t be afraid to step outside your normal boundaries. If the money is tight, the outfit is balanced, elegant and in tune with modernity. Better days are yet to come so we are just getting sartorially ready to rock the streets and the venues of our beloved city…


TRENDS.indd 2

21/09/2009 20:26


black and leather



standout colours

Gianfranco Ferre

Gianfranco Ferre

Alexander Mcqueen

Thierry Mugler

Dolce and Gabbana

Rick Owens


Roberto Cavalli


Emporio Armani


Dolce and Gabbana



ivenchy looks set to be this winter’s Balmain for men. When chief designer Riccardo Tisci put his twist on the Autumn/Winter ‘09 menswear collection, he was asking us to trust in the risks he had taken; so what’s the risk? Givenchy leather leggings teamed with the new best kept secret in men’s fashion: knee high boots from LD Tuttle. All over standards seem to be excluded from this winter’s fashion for men dictionary. If women love the second skin feeling of leather, the glitter of sequins or the shock of standout colours on their ‘oh so feminine’ eighties looks they also want their men to match. From a punk celebration in Shoreditch to a new fashion launch in Mayfair, they want the show to start as soon as they leave the loft apartment, and labels like Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen and Gucci have made dressing for an evening’s cross cultural tour easy. This season the main colour is still black but the fabrics like leather make the variations. ‘Balanced’ is a trendy concept these days, so soul mates might pair those very sexy Givenchy leggings with classic but chic cashmere from, say, Rick Owens. The good news this season is that women can now extend their wardrobe by borrowing his leggings or flat high knee boots… they just have to pretend they gave them to the dry cleaner or left them at the shoe repair! Now is the time for resurrection more than recession and women have one more reason to do some window shopping - they are browsing in the men’s section for what might also look good on them!


TRENDS.indd 3

21/09/2009 20:27

Floral Autumn Trench £2,430, Avsh Alom Gur. Glisten Black Dress, £895, Temperley London. Star Shoes, POA, Gil Carvalho. Green Sift Clutch, £630, Philip Treacy. Cushion Shaped Yellow Gold Hinged Bangle, £3,150, Oval Domed Yellow Gold Hinged Bangle, £2,350 and Pink Sapphire Lava Ring, £3,750 all by Robinson Pelham. Feather Caged Bracelet, £350 and Cube Cluster Trio Ring, £205, both by Lucy Hutchings available at Liberty. Black Tights, Stylist’s own.


FASHION.indd 2

18/09/2009 15:00

Photographer: Adam Parker Fashion Styling: Francesca Marotta Fashion Assistants: Carolina Moxon and Lucia Camilloni Hair and Make-Up: Jonas Oliver using MAC Pro Model: Lena @ Profile Photographer’s Assistants: Lesia Shot at: Just St James Restaurant, 12 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1ER. Tel 020 7976 2222 for bookings.

LONDON THREADS & ROCKS Best of British – Fashion

Purple Print Dress £1,395, Graeme Black. Pink Folding Clutch, £330, Philip Treacy. Red Shoes, POA, Gil Carvalho. Blue Topaz and Diamond Loop Ring in White Gold, £7,000, and Long Drop Diamond and Aquamarine Earrings, £18,800 both by Robinson Pelham. 18ct White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Wave Ring £19,500, Theo Fennell. Purple Tights, Stylist’s own.


FASHION.indd 3

18/09/2009 15:01

Taffetta Black/Cream/Red Check Dress £389, Vivienne Westwood at Harrods. Yellow Button Beano with Knot £690, Philip Treacy. Lime Green Sequin Shoes, POA, Gil Carvalho. Plain Silver & Gold Plate Large Claw & Ring Bracelet £570 by Shaun Leane. Large Gold Choker Necklace, POA, and Large Gold Cuff Bracelet, POA, both by Shaun Leane for Alexander Mc Queen. Rapunzel Black & Gold Tights, £85, Bebaroque available at Liberty.

FASHION.indd 4

18/09/2009 15:02

Moulin Rouge Dress, £1,755, Avsh Alom Gur. Night Visor Hat, £320, Victoria Grant. 18ct White Gold Kunzite and Diamond Pegasus Ring £25,000, Theo Fennell.

FASHION.indd 5

18/09/2009 15:02


FASHION.indd 6

18/09/2009 15:02

Printed Floral Black/White Skirt £429, Vivienne Westwood at Harrods. White Button Shirt, POA, Aquascutum. Gretel Sheer Silver Tights £39.50, Bebaroque available at Liberty. Orange Leather Gloves, £195, Holland & Holland. 18ct White Gold Diamond, Black Diamond and Ruby Skeleton Key Pendant, £21,000, and 18ct White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Wave Ring, £19,500 both by Theo Fennell. Silver and Gold Plate Turquoise Bangle, £210, and Silver and Gold Plate Coral Bangle, £210, both by Shaun Leane; Black Patent Leather Shoes with Metal Screw Stiletto Heels, Stylist’s own. URBAN LIFE 00

FASHION.indd 7

18/09/2009 15:03

Black/Grey Wool Coat, £679, Vivienne Westwood at Harrods. Black Nero Jacket, £3,200, Temperley London. Black Trousers, Alexander McQueen , Stylist’s own. Black and Red Shoes, POA, Gil Carvalho. Gold Soft Jasmine Bag, £829, Vivienne Westwood at Harrods. Quartz, Brown and White Diamond Oak Leaf Ring, £4,000, Robinson Pelham. Silver & Gold Plate Large Claw & Ring Bracelet, £570, and Silver, Gold Plate & Complexion Topaz Eagle Skull on Chain, £1,700 both by Shaun Leane.

FASHION.indd 8

18/09/2009 15:03

Black CDC Full Length Micro Sequin Dress, £1,795, Amanda Wakeley. White Gold and Diamond Deco Earrings, £7,860, White Gold and Diamond Deco Bangle £12,650 and White Gold and Diamond Deco Necklaces £2,940 and £3,350, all by David Marshall.

FASHION.indd 9

18/09/2009 15:03


THE PERFECT STORM Behind the film star looks and the jovial personality lies a hard as nails world champion the likes of which Britain, nor the world, has rarely ever seen, yet Tim Henman is still more famous than he is. Andre Gayle discovers Olympic Sailor Ben Ainslie.


xactly what does it take for someone to be classed as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time? Skill? Talent? Determination? All useful attributes, to be sure, but even a combination of all three might not bestow historical status upon you – no matter how much of each you might have at your disposal. No, there is a fourth dimension without which you surely will never achieve greatness. Muhammad Ali had it, as do Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras and Lance Armstrong. Without meaning to cast aspersions, the fourth dimension is a near demented quality in your approach to what you do: a mindset so instinctively singular that if it were applied to any other sphere of life some might truly wonder about your sanity. It’s the philosophy that says, as Tiger Woods puts it, ‘when your opponent is on the floor keep your foot on his neck until it’s over.’ Britain has some great sporting stars and with the advent of lottery funding in the UK we now see the benefits of talent that has been given the opportunity to grow and develop without the debilitating financial considerations of the past. But to have a career straddle almost two decades and still stay at the pinnacle your field, winning everything there is to win in that time? Well, that takes something that lottery funding will never find. That ‘something’ is being Ben Ainslie. As a competitive sailor there literally is no comparison. Sat in the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge it becomes obvious on first meeting him that he is too personable a

character to forcibly articulate the real secret of his success. However, anybody prepared to delve into his competitive history will be able to point to it with little if any trouble. On the field of play – and only on the field of play – this man is cutthroat. It’s as simple as that. The skill and dedication he has to his sport has been underwritten with a ruthlessness that only those who go down in history possess. Put it to him directly and Ainslie will only smile sheepishly and tell you, “when I’m racing, I’m racing to try and win.” There was a time when he didn’t win, though. In his first Olympic Games, in Atlanta 1996, Ben won a silver medal at the age of 19. However, in a career that started as far back as 1992 he has clocked nine European gold medals, eleven World titles and three consecutive Olympic titles; twenty-three gold medals, countless other honours and the current holder of every major title available in the sport. ‘Racing to try and win’ somehow just seems to undersell it! The story of his first Olympic gold medal in Sydney, 2000, provides the marker for what was to come. Going into the final medal race of the Laser Class he was competing in, Ainslie was guaranteed a gold medal as long as his main rival, the Brazilian Robert Scheidt, finished outside the top twenty places. So, as the rules allow, Ainslie took part but didn’t necessarily compete in the race. Instead he set about legally preventing Scheidt competing in the race by executing a series of calculated manoeuvres that frustrated the Brazilian so much he racked up too many penalties trying to >


STORM.indd 2

21/09/2009 20:42



Henri Lloyd


STORM.indd 3

21/09/2009 20:43


Henri Lloyd

“THE SKILL AND DEDICATION HE HAS TO HIS SPORT HAS BEEN UNDERWRITTEN WITH A RUTHLESSNESS THAT ONLY THOSE WHO GO DOWN IN HISTORY POSSESS” escape him and was disqualified from the race. “They were burning effigies of me in the streets of Sao Paolo after that”, he says, “Australian Secret Service informed me that they had even intercepted death threats but I had no qualms about what I did. I’d done it before and would do it again. In fact, I did do it again to win in China in 2008.” The story is a revelation on two levels. First, that there can be such a fiercely adversarial edge to competitive sailing that it would surely engage a much wider British audience if sailing tactics were more fully understood (or publicised). Secondly, that Brazilians actually care quite that much about their sailing. Perhaps the Brazilians had discovered this mercilessly combative component to sailing long ago and that’s why they’re instinctively much more emotionally engaged with their own competitors than we are, even if they haven’t won a thing since Ben Ainslie has been competing. Considering Ainslie is now ranked in the top three competitive sailors in the history of the world and was the only British sportsperson to be holding a ‘Grand Slam’ of European, World and Olympic titles at the time, does he feel disheartened, aggrieved even, that in his home country his profile and/or that of his sport wasn’t high enough to win him the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year nor the 2008 Sport’s Journalists

Association of Great Britain’s Sportsman of the Year (both went to Olympic Cyclist, Chris Hoy)? “It would be nicer if the sport itself had a higher profile, even though it has come a long way from when I first started, but personal recognition brings its own issues because you still have to go out and prove yourself in your next race.” It’s a reasoned and rational answer but you do get the feeling that if you put him in a boat on rough waters and told him Scheidt was coming, the answer to that question might be a little more stark. It goes without saying that Ainslie should be much more highly and widely regarded in the UK than he currently is. We may have a number of new and emerging sports stars now but Ainslie had already achieved his legendary status long before being a full time competitor in one of the less easily accessible sports was a real and viable option. Not that he isn’t being pro-active (if not necessarily vocal) about it. High profile sponsorship from Global investment firm J.P. Morgan sits alongside marketing and advertising deals with exclusive Swiss watch makers, Corum, and British fashion brand, Henri Lloyd. An autobiography, Close to the Wind, hit stores in September and there are also a growing number of female fans who have become more interested in sailing since they realised Ben was involved (let alone its master.) I wonder if there might be a temptation to make

him something of a ‘David Beckham’ of sailing? “I’m not about to be seen on billboards advertising Calvin Klein’s anytime soon, if that’s what you mean”, he says with a laugh. “I’ve been on the fringes of that celebrity premiere type scene before and I haven’t really liked what I’ve seen. Not my style.” Ask him about his future goals though and there’s no embarrassed laughter. With London 2012 looming the prospect of his fourth gold medal at his fifth Olympic games is the immediate ambition. “I’ll be 35 by 2012 so it will probably be my last Olympics but it would be the goal of any British sportsman to try and win gold on home territory. After that it’s going to get physically hard to compete at the highest level.” The bigger goal though is skippering his yachting team, Origin, to glory in The America’s Cup, yachting’s premiere event. “I’ve had success in the Olympics already and the America’s Cup is the one thing left for me that I haven’t won.” In fact, a British team has never won the America’s Cup in its 158 year history. Imagine how long that record will stand once Ainslie dedicates his full time and attention to it? Somebody should warn the yachting world that there’s a storm coming... Ben Ainslie’s autobiography, Close to the Wind, is available now.


STORM.indd 4

21/09/2009 20:43

For your nearest HUGO BOSS Watch stockist please telephone 01428 664700 or buy online at www.bosswatches.co.uk

STORM.indd 5

21/09/2009 20:43




ver the past few decades the Clive Christian name has built a reputation that is synonymous with the ultimate in luxurious interiors and the world’s most opulent perfumes. As one of the most respected brands in the world of luxury, the name instantly invokes a sense of timeless creative aesthetics that are quintessentially British, making it a natural choice for this new section on celebrating some of the most iconic British brands.

Going from strength to strength, 2008 saw the opening of Clive Christian showrooms at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre in London and, this year, in the Architect & Design Building in Manhattan, New York. Both of these showrooms hold the entire furniture collections and make it possible for any customer with an eye, and a pocket, for ultra luxury furnishings to dress their home from attic to basement in nothing but Clive Christian.

It was over thirty years ago that Clive Christian started his eponymous design business. Widely acknowledged as a revolutionary in kitchen design, he influenced a major shift in the perception of the home environment. Christian made the kitchen the heart of the home, which he further enhanced by daring to incorporate the chandelier in his layouts, something unheard of at the time. Some chose to label him eccentric, but it soon became his statement of individuality and non-conformity to the conventional wisdom in interior design, and one which has since become a signature for every kitchen he creates.

2009 also sees Clive Christian celebrating 10 years since acquiring The Crown Perfumery, one of the oldest and grandest perfumeries in Britain. It’s commitment to excellence and luxury was recognized with the ‘Crown’ in its title by Queen Victoria in 1872 and, given this, it was perhaps inevitable that the Crown Perfumery and Clive Christian would cross paths some 127 years later. For Christian it was a bold move away from a long established and thriving interiors business but, remember, this was also the man who put a chandelier in your kitchen. The success that has

since come from this move he credits to his eldest daughter, Victoria, who has nurtured and developed the business by injecting her own particular passions for perfumes and extravagant luxury. As with everything Clive Christian, the pursuit of quality and excellence has been at the forefront of all considerations and with the Clive Christian No 1 perfume you have, certified, the world’s most expensive perfume ever created. Only 1000 of the men’s version and 1000 of the women’s versions are released each year and due to its fine, rare and exotic ingredients it will cost you about £1,500 a bottle (30 ml).


CLIVE.indd 2

21/09/2009 20:49


In 2006 a limited edition bottle of Clive Christian No.1 was released. Named Imperial Majesty, the bottle was cut in Baccarat crystal and crowned with a five carat diamond and 18 carat gold collar. Only ten were ever made, valued at over £100,000 each, and five of them currently reside in the Clive Christian personal collection. Elton John reportedly had his own customized design commissioned for his collection and his Baccarat crystal bottle shaped like a grand piano set him back £150,000. Kitchen chandeliers and the most expensive perfumes in the world truly record breaking luxury.


CLIVE.indd 3

21/09/2009 20:49


BLACK AND WHITE Sometimes things really are just that simple. It’s easy, it’s elegant and it matches everything. Whether it’s for casual, business or dress attire you can never go wrong with the classic black and white watch. It’s the style that never gets old.

Feature by Andre Gayle

From the fashion houses to the dedicated luxury manufacturers, all watchmakers know they couldn’t launch a collection without it. Everybody should have one, even if it’s only the one you grab as you rush out of the door. A watch in monochrome colours can be more eye-catching than one encrusted with baguettes but never will it be viewed as vulgar or over the top. The black and white watch: time to fall in love.

Jaeger LeCoultre AMVOX1 – Alarm A stunningly sublime watch that owes its existence to the partnership between Jaeger LeCoultre and luxury car manufacturer, Aston Martin. The satin black dial with luminescent white numerals is made to invoke the classic styling of the counters in vintage Aston Martin dashboards, while the black ‘Bridge of Weir’ leather strap comes from exactly the same leather used to upholster the interior of the cars. Each watch can be set to strike the hours via a unique hammer and gong mechanism and on the back of the watch, engraved into the stainless steel casing, the Aston Martin emblem proudly sits alongside the manufacturer’s logo. RRP £5,600. www.jaeger-lecoultre.com for stockists.


WATCHES.indd 2

21/09/2009 20:56


Jean Richard Sport Chronoscope A watch with a distinctive large face measuring 43 x 43 x 13.5mm. It has a satin finished ‘sunburst’ effect white dial enclosed in a stainless steel case that is water resistant to 100m and a self winding mechanical movement that has a power reserve of 42 hours. Complete with black Alligator strap finished with white stitching. RRP £3,975. www.jeanrichard.com for stockists


WATCHES.indd 3

21/09/2009 20:57


< Porsche Design P6310 Flat Six Automatic Classic rectilinear styling in all white make this a stand out sports watch from Porsche Design. The red second hand and numeral 60 above the 12 o’clock position are designed to particularly catch the eye. The movement is a Porsche Design self winding rotor with a 42 hour power reserve and the strap is all white, wear resistant caoutchouc rubber. RRP £1,300. Porsche Design, New Bond St, London W1. Tel 0207 495 2938. www.porsche-design.com


Oris Bob Dylan Rectangular Limited Edition As a tribute to the pop culture icon that is Bob Dylan, Oris created this special watch in a limited run of just 3000 pieces worldwide. The dial carries his distinctive signature while the back of the case is engraved with his portrait. Each watch comes in a special presentation box that also includes a Hohner Marine Band Harmonica, Dylan’s instrument of choice. Stainless steel case with a printed structure black dial. White numerals with superluminova coated second and hour hands. 38hour power reserve with automatic winding. Black leather strap. RRP £1,200. www.oris.ch for stockists.


WATCHES.indd 4

21/09/2009 20:57

To buy online visit www.twsteeluk.com For your nearest TW Steel stockist please telephone 01428 656822 or visit www.twsteeluk.com URBAN LIFE 00

WATCHES.indd 5

21/09/2009 20:59


A. Lange & Söhne Lange Zeitwerk Launched in May 2009, this piece marks a new era in timekeeping for the 165 year old luxury watchmaker. A new design concept for telling the time (with power reserve meter), a large open face and patented precision timekeeping make this a bold and unique statement for Germany’s most luxurious brand. White Gold Case with a solid silver and black dial, Sapphire crystal glass and black hand stitched Crocodile strap. RRP: £33,200. Available exclusively at Wempe, New Bond St, London, W1. Tel 0207493 2299. www.wempe.com


WATCHES.indd 6

21/09/2009 20:59



Seiko Ananta Automatic Chronograph 8R28 Continuing our efforts to bring you the new players in the luxury watch market we actually bring you an old name. Seiko is currently reinventing its business as it makes a wholesale move from Global Watch Market has traveled the world tostreet bring the high to the luxury consumer market, you a collection of watches that satisfy the mostto raise its UK profile to the level already seeking enjoyedyou in Asia discerning tastes. Navigational features allow toand some parts of America.

Global Watch Market explore our new and used inventory with ease, and The Ananta find the exact watch and features you want. Fromcollection launched at Baselworld 2009 and derives its styling from the ancient and skilled long forgotten vintage time pieces to fresh designer art of Japanese sword-making, Katana. From that collections, Global Watch Market has it all. collection comes the Automatic Chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch system for precision

At Global Watch Market, we make finding your Stainless steel case with black hard timekeeping. perfect watch easy. coating, black dial and black crocodile leather strap. RRP £2,250. www.seiko.co.uk or Tel Seiko: 01628 770988 for stockists.


Girard Perregaux Limited Edition Vintage 1945 XXL As the title of this model may suggest, the most distinctive feature of this watch is it’s huge face – measuring an impressive 36 x 37 x 13mm. Its black carbon fibre dial is adorned with large white luminescent numbers encased in a solid steel, scratch resistant case. Complete with black rubber strap. Has to be seen on the wrist to be fully appreciated. Limited to only 999 pieces (numbered)



RRP £7,700. www.girard-perregaux.com for stockists.

Global Watch Market

Global Watch Market brings you a collection of watches guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning tastes. Navigational features allow you to explore our new and used inventory with ease, and find the exact watch and features you want. From long forgotten vintage time pieces to fresh designer collections, Global Watch Market has it all. At Global Watch Market, we make finding your perfect watch easy.




WATCHES.indd 7

21/09/2009 20:59


DESIGNER TECHNOLOGY KEF Muon speakers Following our last feature on high-end audio speakers from Steinway Lyngdorf, we thought we had probably covered the best available speakers on the market for a while. Not quite, it seems! During one of our recent excursions into Harrods (again,) we came across this fabulous limited edition range of designer speakers from KEF, which are being stocked there exclusively. These two metre high monoliths are a testament to beauty in form, as well as function. When the much-respected and visionary industrial designer Ross Lovegrove was given the brief – nay challenge – to design the ultimate audio speaker in the world, he clearly took it in his stride. Collaborating on this design with KEF, he’s produced a speaker that not only looks the business, but sounds it too, what with packing a four-way speaker system mounted on the front…

The speakers are fabricated from superformed aluminium, using a similar moulding process as vacuum forming. Malleable sheets of heated aluminium are used to create impossible shapes, which are a convergence of ergonomics with superior technology harnessing the physics of sound. Acoustic Compliance Enhancement technology uses a process of carbon activated air absorption to double the volume available to play with while the mounted bass drivers deliver a clean, thick and open acoustic performance to its environment. We love these unashamedly 21st century combinations of art, function and modern living and if you have the space for them we think you will too! Price: £100,000 per pair. Available exclusively at Harrods. www.harrods.com



21/09/2009 21:14


Alfred Dunhill AD88 This little beauty has been designed be Meridien, one of the UK’s leading manufacturer of high-end audio systems. Minimalist and very stylish, but without compromise on performance or sound quality. It’s a self-contained, compact unit which is a CD player supporting MP3 and WMA files. A DVD player which you can connect to the TV, as well as DAB radio and has an iPod dock. Don’t let the size or muted look fool you though as this baby packs a punch! Available in Harrods for £199.95 www.harrods.com Steinway Lyngdorf Speaker System Model C – from £135,000. Includes an 18Karat gold remote control - £10,000!



21/09/2009 21:14


JBL Radial Speakers This is so cool we had to include it! This iPod dock makes for a nice little addition to those with little space to invest in a big sound system. It can even be used to boost up your tracks played from your computer, replacing any external speakers you may have had before. Check out the bass on this little monster! Available in John Lewis for £149 www.johnlewis.com

Iomega Prestige Portable HD Drive These extremely cool portable hard drives are made of aluminium and come in a dark silver finish. Capacities range from 250GB upto 500GB. Available in John Lewis for £78 (320GB) www.johnlewis.com

Sony Vaio X Series Just presented at IFA Berlin (consumer electronics trade fair), the Vaio X Series is causing quite a stir amongst techie fans. We’re still waiting for a full specs list, but it’s being billed as the worlds thinnest and lightest laptop. Release date is midOctober, and Sony are keeping details very close to their chest on this one. www.sony.com



21/09/2009 21:15


THE SIX SCENTS With over 100 new fragrances launching every year in London it is hardly surprising that finding the perfect scent for the Autumn party season can be quite a tricky proposition. Luckily Urban Life has done all the hard work for you! We’ve sniffed out this year’s six most sassy, seductive and scrumptious scents to keep you smelling sweet and sexy this Autumn!

FOR WOMEN Marc Jacobs Lola The latest fragrance from design godfather Marc Jacobs, Lola is a fashionista ‘must have’. The exquisite bottle, which comes in two different shapes, has a cap which looks like an exploding bouquet of roses. Lola captures everything that is beautiful about Marc Jacobs and creates an irresistible, sexy essence for the modern spirited fashionista. Limited Edition EDP 30ml purse spray RRP £35.00

FOR MEN Ed Hardy For Him Christian Audigier has created a men’s scent which is described as being like a floral tattoo on wood which last and lasts. With some of the biggest celebrity names in the world among its fans this scent is undoubtedly one of the leaders of 2009 and will ensure that you get noticed at any party you go to! Eau De Toilette Spray 50ml RRP £35.00

Prada L’eau Ambree The Devil may very well wear Prada but so does every conscientious London lady. This beautiful new scent is a new, more accessible way to wear Prada. A highly feminine scent made from the best quality ingredients and blended by the world’s leading noses. EDP Spray 50ml RRP £46.48

Dunhill Black The idea behind Dunhill Black is that it equips a gentleman with everything he needs for the game of seduction! What better party fragrance could there be? With aromatic notes designed for seducing, including adventurous green nettle and refined suede accord, Dunhill Black takes unexpected ingredients and blends them into to a surprisingly masculine potion. Eau De Toilette Spray 30ml RRP £22.51 Stella Nude Chic women everywhere love Stella McCartney and this fabulous new fragrance is her most intimate to date. A vintage inspired bottle creates the sensuous allusion of silk nude coloured luxurious lingerie. A perfume perfect for women who celebrate understated style and luxurious quality. EDT Spray 50ml RRP:£43.00.

Diesel Only The Brave Only The Brave is about courage, force and self affirmation. It claims to be more than a name, for wearers it is a manifesto of what it takes to be a man! Captured in one of the most innovative bottles of the last few years, a closed fist with Diesel embossed across the knuckle, this is a fragrance for men who love to be men! Eau De Toilette Spray 50ml RRP £34.50 All prices correct at time of going to press. Available from the perfume shop, harrods, selfridges and other major outlets.



21/09/2009 21:15



THE URBAN NOMAD Patrick Anderson runs a discerning eye over Nissan’s new Qashqai+2 Tekna dci


rranging a road test can take many different paths, but this was a particularly unusual one: an invitation to Island Records’ birthday bash at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire to hear Grace Jones, Kid Creole and the Coconuts and other bands including Sly and Robbie was quite a surprise from Nissan! It was, however, all part of the marketing for the new Qashqai n-tec including the Nissan Connect sound systems, and so it was a few weeks later that I was driving the Qashqai+2 Tekna across Europe. Qashqai (pronounced Cash-Kai) is Nissan’s ‘Urban Nomad’ which takes its name from an Iranian desert-dwelling

nomadic tribe. Although conceived in 2003 in Japan, it’s about as British as a car can be today: designed by Nissan Design Europe, based in Paddington, London, and engineered by the Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield. The Tekna itself is a revamp of the 2007 model, with an extra 4.5 cm to accommodate the 7-seater configuration, coming in two diesel and two petrol versions. It is a sizeable family car fitting between conventional hatch-backs and larger SUVs, and the various models start at around £17,000. The back seats are ideal for children and smaller adults, and easily folded away for more rear-space.

There is also plenty of storage space, including extra cockpit storage in the deep door pockets, gloveboxes, and central console, as well as an extra under-floor section in the boot for small items you’d like to keep hidden: all of which we packed with clutter for our trip to Belgium. I was slightly disappointed with the SatNav which was significantly less user-friendly than that fitted to the Nissan Murano, which is probably the best I have used, even on continental roads. The driving was enjoyable and comfortable, and as a smaller, more economical alternative to the Chelsea tractor, this makes for a great family car. >



21/09/2009 21:36

Urban Life:Layout 1



Page 1

> Supercar Hire > Chauffeuring Services > Corporate Hire > Yacht Hire > Helicopter Hire > VIP Nights > VIP Security

telephone: 020 7537 9589 / www.bespokevip.co.uk URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 3

21/09/2009 21:37



THE SUPERCARS Urban Life at Salon Privé 2009


his year’s Salon Privé, held at the Hurlingham Club in late July, showcased a spectacular line up of prestige and super cars, where numerous marques made their UK public debut. This included the much talked about Rolls-Royce 200EX, Jaguar XJ, the Aston Martin One-77 supercar and the world premiere of the Vermont Veritas RSIII.

Once again the three day event proved to be a great success in attracting visitors consisting of buyers, enthusiasts and collectors alike. There was also much admiration for the variety of classic cars on display at the Concours d’Elégance, which included a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder, a 1969 ‘Gulf’ Porsche 917 and a number of post-war Aston Martins, including a DBR1.

Now in its fourth year, the Salon Privé has come a long way, with a steady increase in visitor numbers and profile of manufacturers. And, what with the British Motor Show now being cancelled for next year, we think this event will fill the major void for showcasing exciting new models and classic marques in an exclusive and intimate setting, now and well into the future.



21/09/2009 21:37


01. Aston Martin One-77 02. rolls-royce_200ex 03. Morgan 04. Aspid 05. Mercedes SLR McLaren 722S 06. Aston Martin DBR1 1957 07. Jaguar E-Type V12 08. Jaguar-XJ 09. Dodge Charger CoupĂ&#x2021; 1969 10. Lotus Evora 11. Maserati Ghibli 4.9SS 1971 12. vermot veritas 13. Maserati Granturismo S automatic















21/09/2009 21:37


DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK Feature by Andre Gayle

They’ve been here for years. Perhaps they haven’t been making the headlines in quite the same way they used to but their influence could still be felt in a multitude of ways and their presence missed by, in some cases, a whole generation of people. No comeback would have been greater or more celebrated than that of Michael Jackson’s. His untimely death earlier this year leaves a hole that no-one else could ever hope to fill. What of some of the others, though?


JUDE LAW The hole left by Jude Law is perhaps not quite as deep nor felt by quite so many but his talents as an actor are well recognised and there was a time when it looked like he would eventually become one of the world’s biggest stars. At the present time though it’s hard to remember the last film he was in. This versatile actor from South London made an early and conscious decision to steer his career away from the heart-throb Romantic Comedies that his good looks almost demanded of him and instead he chose sometimes quirky, sometimes villainous but always edgy roles he could get his teeth into. But, sometimes, they didn’t always work out for him. It seems incongruous that an actor who has twice been nominated for an Oscar (The Talented Mister Ripley and Cold Mountain) should also be able to draw such savage rebukes from critics and box office alike for films like Alfie and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. But this is what it means to be Jude Law, the actor.

Not that the perceived success or failure of his films seems to influence the choices he makes about future projects. There is an all pervading perception surrounding Jude Law that he is absolutely in control of his career, despite his (good) looks, and it’s going to stay that way. Zac Efron – eat your heart out. Perhaps it’s that principal of not chasing the obvious projects that makes it so hard for us to pinpoint when we last actually saw Jude Law up on the big screen. There was My Blueberry Nights in 2007, a reasonable, small romantic drama that no-one seems to have seen. In the same year was Sleuth, a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, that was seen by even fewer people. Smaller roles in The Aviator and The Holiday also come to mind but you have to go back to 2004 and Alfie for Law’s last big role and even further for his last critically acclaimed roles in 2002 for Road To Perdition and 2003 for Cold Mountain. Law seems much more willing to play the lothario in real life than on screen. The

stories of affairs with the nanny of his three children and impending fatherhood for the fourth time after a recent brief fling with an American model have at least kept his name in our consciousness, but not much in the way of work. Well, Boxing Day 2009 sees Law return in a big way playing Dr Watson to Robert Downy Jnr’s Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, Brit director Guy Ritchie’s much anticipated big budget version of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle story. The recent adding of Brad Pitt to the cast has raised the profile of the project even further. Soon after that, Law returns to the leading man role in Universal’s Sci Fi thriller, Repo Men, so big Hollywood projects are back on the scope for Jude Law and if the reaction to them matches the anticipation it seems certain that the work will replace the personal life as the main topic of conversation for all the tabloid media. Sherlock is released 26th December 2009.



21/09/2009 21:49


universal music

MAXWELL Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. It could have been the album that killed his career as soon as it started. Like Terrence Trent D’arby’s Introducing The Hardline According To... a generation earlier, 1996’s Urban Hang Suite was so successful, such a seismic jolt in the record industry, that people wondered if it would become the noose around his neck, the debut album that would be the pinnacle he would spend the rest of his career trying to reach with dramatically decreasing success. D’arby’s second album, Neither Fish Nor Flesh, unfortunately signalled the abrupt end of his career as we knew it. Like D’arby, Maxwell tried to evolve from the formula that made the first album so successful. But, unlike D’arby, Maxwell was far more successful doing it – or maybe, perhaps, just far less indulgent. Released in 1998, Embrya wasn’t as successful as the first album but it was successful enough to solidify Maxwell’s position as an artist with longevity. The

factor that really made him memorable though was his image - his looks, sartorial elegance, the cool crazy afro hair, his smooth crooner personality – a confluence of traits that, combined with his talent, made him perfect swooning material for his army of female fans. He was a marketing department’s dream. Soon the style and the crazy afro were everywhere (for those who could cultivate an afro). Some even began to tell stories that they came up with the image first, such was his impact on the scene at the time. Maxwell’s third album, Now, in 2001, continued his assault on the Rock and Roll hall of fame, selling more than Embrya but still not quite reaching the heights of Urban Hang Suite. And then nothing. For eight long years Maxwell dropped off the face of the planet, no singles, no albums, no films, no news. Maxwell just stopped. Nobody knew what had happened to him and there was a palpable mourning of his loss. Eight years later Maxwell returns to music with a new album, a new image

and an explanation for his self-imposed exile: “Not having the pressure of being anything but a person. In my every day, not having a deadline and not having a due date. Making music like I did when I was a kid, because I just needed to finish it, because I wanted to hear how it ended up as opposed to finishing it in time to get it over to mastering.” The new album, BLACKsummer’snight was released in July 2009 to much critical acclaim, reaching the number one spot in the US Billboard top 100 on the back of the first single from the album, Pretty Wings. The next three years will see the creativity of the past eight years finally bear fruit as BLACKsummer’snight is the first in a trilogy of albums coming from the same creative period. It will be his triptych, if you will, an ambitious long term project that ensures that, this time, Maxwell should be back for good. BLACKsummer’snight by Maxwell is available now.




21/09/2009 21:50


universal music

WHITNEY HOUSTON It’s been a long time since people were asking “Whitney or Mariah?” There was a time when it seemed everybody on Earth had tried to sing I Will Always Love You at some point and failed, not knowing that there was a much easier, original version to attempt sung by Dolly Parton. There was a time when her near classical beauty graced every fashion, lifestyle and entertainment magazine that mattered. And then there was Bobby Brown. While Mariah Carey went on to release hit album after hit album, collaborate with every recording artist and producer worth talking about and win Grammy after Grammy, Whitney Houston descended into a bizarre quasi soap opera with a husband who never quite seemed to ‘fit’. The epic recording career, as well as a fledging

film career that began with a bang with The Bodyguard, began to flounder as the stories of drug binges, domestic violence and dramatic weight loss (on an already slim frame) began to take over. It all culminated in a truly ill-advised, fly on the wall, MTV style reality show in 2005 called Being Bobby Brown, a car crash of a series that only served to show Whitney and her husband at their worst for America to cackle and pour scorn over. It came as no surprise when Houston divorced Brown little more than a year later. When you need friends and you are Whitney Houston, one of the biggest selling female recording artists of all time, you can probably turn up at Clive Davis’ house any time you like for a quick coffee and a chat, which is helpful if you are planning a recording comeback because Clive

Davis is arguably the most successful record producer in history and the current head of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide. He is also the man who first discovered her back in 1985 and released her first album, Whitney Houston, which went on to sell 26 million copies across the globe. It was as far back as 2004 when Davis and Houston first talked about going back into the studio to record a new album but it wasn’t until mid 2007 studio sessions actually began. August 31st 2009 saw the fruits of the past two years in the studio finally released to the world. At 46, Whitney Houston is back with a new album, I Look To You, a new look and a new healthy lifestyle. Fortunately for us, she also comes back with the same old voice..... I Look To You by Whitney Houston is available now.



21/09/2009 21:50


21/09/2009 21:51



When I first heard of Laya’Lina, it was through a friend who was going to the opening party a few months ago and decided to nominate me as her plus one! When we turned up on the night the place was packed and with a lot of familiar faces from around town, which, I hoped, was a good sign of things to come. After that first night I decided to go back and review the place properly. I have to admit, I subsequently thought it may have been a rushed decision, since remembering the canapés and finger food being passed around on the opening night wasn’t exactly anything to go by. Thus I was expecting some mediocre fare, with a lot of fanfare and live entertainment thrown in. Well, the good news is I’ve been back quite a few times since, as the food is actually rather good, and the entertainment not too bad either! Located on Beauchamp Place, in Knightsbridge, Laya’Lina is spread across two floors. There is a bar with a raised lounge area to the back, which makes for a cosy and intimate setting to catch up over a drink and nibbles. The adjoining room on the ground floor has more of a bistro feel to it, where you can order from the bar menu, although a la carte is also available.

certain nights, along with belly dancers, which adds to the whole ambiance of the place. For the review I went on a Friday evening with my dining companion, a top hair stylist, visiting from out of town. It was a lovely sunny evening and the sun was still shining when we got there, so we decided to sit outside and have an aperitif while looking over the menu. We ordered a selection of hot and cold mezzes to start, consisting of: Hummus with chilli and coriander, Tabouleh (parsley and tomato salad), Samakeh Harra (prime fish fillet drenched in spicy tomato salsa), Cheese Sambusak (pastry parcels filled with cheese) and some Patata Harra (diced potatoes with spices and coriander sauce). They were all extremely tasty, in particular the fish fillets and cheese pastries. The twist on the hummus with chillies was also a pleasant surprise.

The main courses were substantial and well presented and tasted equally as good, especially the lamb shank which just melted in the mouth. A truly mouth-watering dish and certainly one I would highly recommend. With so much food, we really didn’t have the capacity to have any desserts, so instead finished off with a coffee. Overall a fabulous restaurant with friendly and helpful service. As I mentioned, I’ve been there several times since the review and will no doubt be going there again in the very near future. Our bill came to £92.00, including a couple of cocktails and coffees. Ataur Rahman Laya’Lina 2/3 Beauchamp Place London, SW3 1NG Tel: 0207 581 4296 www.layalina.co.uk

For the main course we had the Laya’Lina Lamb Shank (braised baby lamb, served with oriental rice with cinnamon sauce), the Sultan Ibrahim (Fried Red Mullet served on a bed of baked potatoes and topped with a lentil sauce). Side dishes were Spinach in Cream with a hint of garlic and Lentil Stew (braised brown lentils with coriander and lemon) with some Lebanese bread.

The main dining area is situated downstairs in the basement, which is where you would go for a real culinary experience. Live music is provided on


REST.indd 2

21/09/2009 22:01



I love Chinese food, but I have to admit to always having seen it as a bit of a dirty treat. After a night out on the town, popping into one of those all-night ones in Soho, or even ringing for delivery while still on the tube, to be delivered (hopefully) minutes after my return home. The MSG, egg fried rice with more egg than rice, unidentifiable meat products… I love it. Therefore, when invited to review Min Jiang, I was mainly excited by the thought of a restaurant on top of the Royal Garden Hotel overlooking Kensington Gardens. In such a venue I was expecting beautiful settings, an amazing view, excellent service… and maybe a nice Sweet and Sour Pork. And for the most part, I was right. The service was friendly, efficient and yet unobtrusive, we were greeted with cocktails in the bar which made the most of the fantastic view and the décor was tastefully understated. The food, however, was eye-opening. I started with scallops, which were steamed and served on a bed of fine noodles and a subtle soy-based sauce. Presented on shells, the sight of them alone made me realise I had

underestimated the quality of the meal to follow, and eating them merely confirmed by how much. It was a delicate blend of flavours that really made the most of the meat – one that is all too often easily overwhelmed. Similarly, my companion had been concerned when ordering her Crispy Fried Squid with Chilli that it might be too spicy, but again the chilli was expertly combined with the batter so the base flavour of the flesh was allowed to express itself perfectly.

While, perhaps, the price might prohibit this from becoming an every day eatery, if you are keen to try gourmet Chinese food in unpretentious, beautiful surroundings, the quality and general experience of Min Jiang means I can think of no better value restaurant in London. I shall certainly be returning…. William Dugdale Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT. Tel: 020 7361 1988. E: info@minjiang.co.uk

Min Jiang’s signature special is woodfired Beijing Duck, and it was no sacrifice to opt to try this as our main course. The whole duck was bought to our table for preparation, and proffered in several ‘servings’. The crispy skin was presented in thin slices as amuse-bouches, and the prime cuts from the outside of the duck were presented to be eaten as pancakes with a variety of sauces. The waiter was happy to answer any questions on the cooking process, and even tips for combining the sauces in particularly pleasing ways with the duck, such that the final effect was something so superior to the duck pancakes I have eaten in the past, that I wish there were a different way to describe them. The remainder of the duck was shredded and stir-fried as per our selection from several choices, and served up with rice and black pepper sauce. While this was in itself a lovely dish, it did seem slightly anti-climactic after such an interesting and well presented build up.

These days, luxury is a much-devalued word. Some people, however, refuse to compromise on standards.


Mehek Indian Restaurant

45 London Wall, Moorgate London EC2M 5TE Telephone: 020 7588 5043/7588 5044 Facsimile: 020 7588 5045 Email: info@mehek.co.uk Website: www.mehek.co.uk

If you are one of them, then you'll find Mehek has been created especially for you, where fine dining is truly exquisite, and where sumptuous cuisine and some of the world's finest wines are served in exclusive surroundings. After all, your parties and events are too precious to be left to chance, and too important to expose to indifferent service or inferior food standards. So isn't it time you came on board?

Now you can experience luxury without compromise

Some of the acclaims for Mehek: Multiple times winner of the AA Rosette Awards, winner of the British Curry Awards, BCA no.1 in the City, Best In Britain Awards, Safety Thirst, City of London Safer Pub & Club Awards, TopTable Gold Award, and numerous recommendations by restaurant guides, newspapers and magazines.

REST.indd 3

21/09/2009 22:01


ALTERED IMAGES The art of Nicolas Ruston

Feature by Andre Gayle

Picture: Jonathan Cole


t’s perhaps not surprising that Nicolas Ruston spent a major part of his life in the advertising industry. An artist from a very young age he had always been fascinated by society’s growing conditioning to media influences in an era where ‘government manifestos are now based on branding ideas and advertising aesthetics more than at any time in previous generations’. If ever there was a discipline that required a mastery of the manipulation of perception and imagery, advertising is it. As an Art Director for major agencies like Euro RSCG and TBWA he worked on print and TV campaigns for brands such as Jaguar, Virgin and Sky. The transition from advertising back to pure art was a necessary, if not easy, choice for him but once the decision was made there was


ARTS.indd 1

22/09/2009 14:21


Greed Is God


Woman For Sale


Teacher Sex Scandal

War on Bingeing

Necessary Illusions

We Love Plastic

Porn Star


ARTS.indd 2

21/09/2009 22:09

no going back. The lasting influence of pop culture imagery, however, is plain to see in his work and has seen Ruston’s star rise exponentially since his full time return to the art world little more than two years ago. Unafraid to use any medium or material within his reach Ruston’s work can at once be seen as aesthetically eye pleasing, complex artistic creations and also a sometimes raw and painful examination of the subtext to the messages that we are bombarded with by the global media industry 24 hours a day. Iconic images, cut out newspaper and magazine headlines and call girl flyers in telephone boxes – everything has an underlying truth and, being a former exponent in the art of subliminal manipulation, Nicolas Ruston is singularly equipped to decode these messages and he means to bring us the truth behind them in the best way he knows how. Best known for his intricate scratch paintings – individual layers of paint are applied to a canvas and the artist takes to it with a knife or a scalpel before it dries – he has also been known to

use materials such as MDF, silicone, supermarket shelves and even discarded McDonald’s fries cartons to create his work. Sometimes those creations can be as involving and intriguing as Necessary Illusions and Consumption or as cold and calculated as Women For Sale and Rape and Slavery. Now that the notoriety and appreciation of his art is rising so rapidly you can find his work in exhibitions and private, as well as corporate, collections the world over. Wider public exposure is guaranteed when the movie Dead Man Running opens worldwide in November 2009 where Ruston’s art plays a key role in the plot. Ruston’s newest work can be seen at the DE$IRE exhibition in West London until mid October 2009. True to his contemporary and controversial form, Ruston includes a room size installation at this exhibition that fuses the vacuous nature of a porno movie set with the dungeon where notorious convicted serial rapist, Austrian Josef Fritzl, imprisoned his own daughter for 24 years. Not content with just holding up a mirror to our own sensibilities, Ruston titles this installation Euphoria.

It’s easy to see he’s revelling in the growing freedom he now has to shock, excite, surprise and engage us, experimenting with even bigger ideas and higher concepts. As an artist he truly subscribes to the theory that any reaction, good or bad, is preferable to indifference. Thankfully, getting a reaction is not the basis on which his creative process is built. With room to breathe Ruston’s work is also expanding into new mediums and reaching new venues. The next 6-12 months will see him open an exhibition in conjunction with luxury department store Harvey Nichols at their flagship site in Hong Kong. He’s also currently collaborating with celebrated English composer Paul Gladstone-Reid on a multi media performance piece based on his silicone painting Brave New World to be staged by the Royal Ballet Company in 2010. These and other projects will ensure that Nicolas Ruston will soon be a name well known even outside the world of art.

The DE$IRE exhibition is at Holster Projects, 81 Westbourne Park Road, London W2, until 10th October.


ARTS.indd 3

21/09/2009 22:09



The Dance, 2008, Limited Edition of 5, 4.03 x 3.4 x 2.2 m, South Bank, London

CO U N T Y H A L L G A L L ERY R I V ER SI D E B U I L D I N G , LO N D O N SE1 7PB Tel +44 (0) 207 633 9360 info@azam.com www.azam.com

Azam_frieze_ad1.indd 1

29/9/08 15:27:58

The Dance, 2008, Limited Edition of 5, 4.03 x 3.4 x 2.2 m, South Bank, London


COCounty U N T Hall Y HGallery A L L G A L L ERY R I V ER SI D E Riverside B U I L DBuilding I N G , LO N D O N SE1 7PB South Bank Tel +44 (0) 207 9360 info@azam.com London633 SE1 7PB www.azam.com Galery : +44 (0) 207 633 9360 Mobile : +44 (0) 7912 071 350

Azam_frieze_ad1.indd 1

ARTS.indd 4


29/9/08 15:27:58

22/09/2009 11:55



TWO YOUNG ARTISTS ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD STAGE Born in 1976 in Hoi An, Vietnam, and working with a vivid and courageous palette, Minh’s paintings are an emancipation, chapters in his diary of emotions depicted as a cast of strange, slightly mutated portraits with eyes that appear and disappear in a swirl of colour and abstraction

Phan Thanh Minh

Right Balance – oil on canvas, 110x90cm Left: ‘Red Lotus’, oil on canvas, 100x100cm Below right Between Two Persons – oil on canvas, 90x90cm Below My Surrounding People – oil on canvas, 90x90cm.


OC-EO.indd 2

22/09/2009 11:58


Born in 1971 in Inner Mongolia, China, Hong Wei is a remarkable and exciting talent. Rooted in traditional Chinese brush painting, but also strongly influenced by Cezanne and Picasso, his abstract land and cityscapes together form an ancient, epic Chinese scroll painting, linking the past, present and future with powerful and emotional memories.

He Hong Wei

Top Hometown 2 – oil on canvas, 60x80cm Left Composing – oil on canvas, 74x93cm Above Hometown 4 – oil on canvas, 66x84cm.

CONTACT DETAILS Oc-Eo Art presents ‘Rising Stars’ for Asian Art in London, 2nd-7th November at The Air Gallery, Dover Street, London W1S 4NE Contact info@oc-eo.co.uk for an invitation Oc-Eo Gallery 85 Canonbury Road London N1 2DG 07775 795 867 www.oc-eo.com


OC-EO.indd 3

22/09/2009 11:58




s it just me or has this summer been a bit more boring than usual? We know that things have been stagnating for a while, which can be partly attributed to the state of affairs with the crumbling economy. However, is it all to do with the economy or are we facing a mass exodus of the movers and shakers of London nightlife that are finding pastures new abroad? I know personally there are a lot of my friends living la vida loca in New York, Monaco and Dubai. Some are going even further afield such as Rio and even the Caribbean. And then for those of us still left behind holding the fort, it seems more and more of our generation (late twenties and upwards), are increasingly doing the bar circuits and then just going back home. In fact home entertainment has never been more popular than at the current time. When I ask, most of them would turn and say that clubland in general is full of kids and ‘out of towners’ these days and they are better off not being seen in these environments! As someone who lives and breathes the London circuit, I find myself reluctantly having to agree on most occasions as this seems to be the growing trend. However, looking at the state of affairs of the ‘elite’ clubbing landscape, every club worth its salt is having to fight for more or less the same crowd. Naturally this raises the question of the commercial viability of a venue. If there aren’t enough big spenders and table bookings to go around, the clubs will at some point or another have to start relaxing their door policies and let the numbers in to compensate. It is an interesting debate and one which is raging in the corridors of power throughout the nightlife community. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this matter, dear readers.

Paramount Whilst you think about getting in touch, let me not paint a picture of complete doom and gloom, for there is hope yet! Firstly there are two new operations which are currently offering a breath of fresh air to the trendy brigade. The first of these is Paramount, otherwise commonly known as Level 31. And although it has been open for a while, it is only recently that it’s making some noise. Situated on the 31st-33rd floors of the iconic Centre Point building on Tottenham Court Road, this is, for want of a better term, a spectacular venue! It is a bit of a bummer to get to (unless you are being driven/dropped off). But once you are free of the chaos on the street, climb up the stairs and into the lifts on the mezzanine floor, you are on your way to something that is absolutely breathtaking. Naturally the first thing on your mind as you get out of the lift is to get to the nearest window and just admire the panoramic views across London. But once you’ve got over that,

you get to make a choice of whether you want to eat and drink at the main bar and restaurant on the 32nd floor or go up to the more intimate setting of the 33rd floor with it’s champagne bar and 360 degrees view across the capital. Seating here is arranged along a narrow walkway with tables for two alongside floor to ceiling windows. If you are looking to impress, gentlemen, I suggest you make the call and get something in the diary, because it doesn’t get any better than this! The 31st floor on the other hand is more of an event space for holding parties for large groups, which is reminiscent of something you would expect in Manhattan, with its fantastic backdrop. The blank-canvas set-up is perfect for cocktail receptions and all sorts of other events. If you haven’t heard of it, there’s no more excuse, ‘cause you have now! Centre Point, New Oxford street WC1A 1DD Tel: 0207 420 2900



22/09/2009 12:03


Alto The second of our venues is Alto, or for those of you who care to remember, the club formerly known as Umbaba. However, apart from that little titbit of information, there is nothing else to connect the two in any shape or form. Under the watchful eye of Fraser Donaldson and Yacine Bouaouni (formerly with Crystal and Chinawhite respectively), the venue has gone through a complete revamp and has been styled with a 1920s inspired theme. Unless you make a point of taking a closer look at the neoclassical furnishings placed strategically here and there or the detailing on the walls or even the use of lighting, you won’t actually notice much. But I think that works since it leaves a lot more for the eyes to see and register, which in the end makes the place grow on you.

The layout has been re-jigged completely, which has opened up the club and incorporated a dancefloor (have you noticed the growing trend?). Towards the back there is a VIP section, although personally, I prefer the little area just in front of the DJ booth, by the dancefloor. There are tables and chairs provided along the bit of space behind behind the VIP leading up to the toilets. This acts as both a chillout zone and somewhere you can get away from the madness of the main club to follow up on those deep and meaningful conversations, if indeed that’s on your mind! And just so that you don’t have to run back for a drink at the main bar, they’ve put in a small one in this section to keep those conversations flowing without interruption.

On the whole it’s a nice club. I like it and many of my friends have been a few times. The only reservation I have at the moment is that the sound system is not being utilised by some of the DJ’s properly. Either they don’t know what they’re doing or they’re a bit tone deaf, because at times the music is great and we absolutely love it and at others, you just want to go and knock some sense into their heads. I think if they can get their music policy sorted, and they do have a whopping sound system to be able to accommodate it, we’ll be in for some fun nights here this autumn, especially as the party season is upon us. Ganton street, W1F 9BN Tel: 0207 734 6696 www.clubalto.com



22/09/2009 12:04



The last time we featured Bovey Castle was back in 2005, when our former Travel Editor stayed there for a few days. A number of things have changed since then: ownership, refurbishment, expansion and so on, so now it was time for Urban Life to pay another visit.


had heard so much about the property in the past that I thought a nice weekend escape was in order. It’s two and half hours from London by train, but, not having driven long distances for a while, I thought it would be a great idea to arrange some nice wheels and take a long leisurely cruise down south. So I loaned a Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed (naturally), picked up my travel companion and we got on our way. It would have been a lovely drive had the weather not hampered the entire journey so much. It started to rain as soon as we got in to the car. And what a day it was. We had thunder and lightning with gale force winds pretty much the entire route, sometimes reducing visibility to only a few yards. Luckily for us we were in a floating ship, so of course the car did more than its job of handling the conditions perfectly which made the journey that much more bearable. However, we still lost a good hour and half due to the conditions, taking us to nearly five hours journey time instead of the predicted three to three and half hours.

Getting to Bovey was quite simple actually. As long as you are able to follow directions (and I don’t mean using a sat-nav, since that will take you on a wholly different route!), it’s a breeze once you leave the M5. Bovey Castle, with its imposing (and impressive) facade is set amongst 400 acres of land sitting square in the middle of the Dartmoor National Park. It is considered to be one of the top country house estates in England, and quite rightly so as there is plenty to see and do here. The land on which the property sits was originally bought by William Henry Smith (WH Smith fame), but the actual manor house, which is now Bovey Castle, was built by his son and heir Frederick back in the early 1900s. All the on-site amenities are too numerous to list, but included among them are an 18-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Elemis holistic spa and more activities than you can handle over a weekend, such as falconry, sloe gin

making, cider pressing, shooting, fly fishing, and even art classes. If you are feeling that bit more active there an abundance of other choices to indulge in; from rock climbing, kayaking and survival skills (this is Dartmoor after all!), to hot air ballooning, horse riding and quad biking. It is advisable to check for availability before deciding, since a lot of the activities are seasonal and will be dependent on the weather and availability on the day. You can then top this all off with a spot of high-tea on the main terrace with its stunning views overlooking the golf course or in one of the countless lounge areas with open log fires for a relaxing afternoon. Life at Bovey Castle operates at a much slower, less frenetic pace and you soon realise that, here, you actually find that rare commodity that we Londoners so cherish so much: time. And don’t worry about your mobile phone ringing. In fact, you may as well switch it off. There’s hardly any reception at all on the property, so unless you’re a die-hard phone addict, you can enjoy


TRAVEL.indd 2

22/09/2009 12:09


that extra bit of solitude away from the constant clanger of the ring tone! Bovey Castle has 63 rooms and suites and 14 private 3-bedroom lodges on the grounds. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, with views across the 1st tee of the golf course. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the design of these suites, as they were spacious, yet cosy and with lots of natural light. Modern contemporary décor, along with sumptuous furnishings made for a comfortable stay that helped us to relax and unwind in. There are three restaurants at Bovey: the Bistro, Edwardian Grill and the fine dining Mulberry. For some reason we only managed to try lunch at the Bistro, which sadly didn’t agree with our stomachs, which meant for the second evening we had to cancel dinner at the Mulberry. So, apart from the room service menu, we didn’t really get to try out anything substantial, therefore I’ll reserve judgment on the food overall.

Service is friendly and there are plenty of staff around to cater to your every whim. However, my only reservation is that at times it is a bit slow, and could do with a bit more of a pro-active approach. Apart from that there’s not really much else to fault as the property lives up to all expectations. I will be looking forward to going back in the not too distant future as it really is a stunning property and there is much left to explore…01454 281 182

Bovey Castle North Bovey Dartmoor National Park Devon, TQ13 8RE Tel: 01647 445 000 www.boveycastle.com For more details on the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed, please visit the Bentley Motor Cars website: www.bentleymotors.com

www.vonessenhotels.co.uk URBAN LIFE 61

TRAVEL.indd 3

22/09/2009 12:10


INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS: 2009-2010 To start of our new Interior Design section, we invited Eliska Sapera (www.eliskadesign.com) to share her expertise with us for sprucing up our interiors. Here she gives us her top tips…

Don’t overfill a room with objects, instead source truly unique pieces that act as the focal point and give a room character. Remember that quality and craftsmanship are paramount: * A bedroom with just an Art Deco inspired dressing table and a bed - the drama is in the dressing table, and the pieces on it, the simplicity in the bed.

“There’s been a definitive shift in the design scene – a very real and emotional response to the current economic environment. It’s a proven fact – as true today as in past periods of crises – that in troubled times our instinct is to cocoon and nest: the home becomes our sanctuary. It is the place to regain our sense of well-being and peace. This, in turn, is having a huge affect on the way our homes are being decorated and designed. Gone are the minimalist and rather stark trends of the boom years and in their place is something much more accessible, warm and timeless. The new look is one that anyone can achieve, they just need to adhere to a few basic rules. Here are my top tips: An uncluttered room is still paramount, but warmth needs to be added to it, with small, personal touches: * Mix bold tapestry and vibrant print cushions. * Use unusually shaped or coloured tableware. * Hand-blown glassware, with a dash of colour, for a unique touch. * Cashmere throws are a perennial for design, but be liberal in their use – they are perfect for draping over sofas and chairs and for snuggling up into.

Don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new for an unusual, yet complementary and timeless look: * Combine a contemporary sofa upholstered in shagreen print leather with a 17th Century portrait. * Combine quirky antique silver with contemporary tableware. * Antique furniture works well with contemporary art or large, modern framed photographs. * Classic shaped furniture, e.g. a console table, covered in an unexpected material such as warm, tactile leather.



22/09/2009 12:14


Recycle, recycle, recycle… but do it with style: * Quirky antique silver pieces work well in contemporary settings, as well as adding a touch of class to their surroundings. * Vintage Murrano and Venini pendant lights from the ‘40s onwards are affordable, yet stand out.

Be bold with furniture – especially chairs! They are so versatile and can really add a personal touch and a warmth to a room design: * Take a classic shape, e.g. a Louis XV chair and cover in an unexpected way – black patent or leopard print leather for the wow factor. * Place large chairs in prominent, yet unusual locations – for instance, the bathroom.

Bring warmth to a room through clever lighting; and the simplest way to do this is via the humble mirror – over-scaled mirrors reflect light back into a room beautifully.”



22/09/2009 12:16


Our guide to the most exclusive and hippest parties and events from around the world… THE 66TH VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORED BY JAEGER LECOULTRE

Nicholas Cage

Margareth Madé

Tilda Swinton

Huang Lu

Riccardo Scamarcio and Jasmine Trinca

Maria Grazia Oliver Stone

Svetlana Hodchenkova

Antoine Fuqua Sylvester Stallone

Elisa Sednaoui

Jaclyn Jonet Til Schweiger and Quentin Tarantino Eva Mendes Mads Mikkelsen and his wife Hanne Jacobsen

SOCIAL.indd 2

Manuela Velasco Wesley Snipes

22/09/2009 14:40



Alexa Chung and Taylor Momsen

Martha Stewart Emmanuelle Chriqui

Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Astrid Munoz Huang Li with Jerome Lambert

Kelly Rowland

Kristen Johnston

Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York

Katrina Bowden

Tinsley Mortimer

Keri Hilson

Sharon Stone, Sol Kerzner and Heather Kerzner

Joaquim de Almeida and guest

Bruce Willis and model Emma Heming

SOCIAL.indd 3

Tori Spelling

Mena Suvari and Simone Sestito

AnnaLynne McCord

22/09/2009 14:41


CARTIER TREASURES, BEJING (L-R) LeToya Luckett, Keri Hilson and Adrienne Bailon

Actress Han Yi Se

Forbidden City, Beijing

Actress Shu Qi Estelle

Cee-Lo and Dionne warwick

Forbidden City by night

Musician Mario

Nigel Luk, MD, Cartier Far East and Bernard Fornas, CEO, Cartier

Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Philippa GregoryDolls Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe

David Walliams and Kate Moss Musicians Bootsy Collins and Janelle Monae

Actor Tony Leung

Actress Shu Qi

Pam Hogg

SOCIAL.indd 4

22/09/2009 14:44


14/5/09 6/10/08 16:11:28 12:16:05




The legendary Baume & Mercier Riviera collection draws its identity from the timeless design of its eye-catching twelve-sided bezel. Limited series with tinted sapphire crystal dial revealing a flyback chronograph movement housed within a PVD-coated steel case.

SOCIAL.indd 1

For catalogue and stockists, call 020 7312 6885

22/09/2009 14:48

Profile for Urban Life Magazine

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...