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October 2010

Competitions:

EXCLUSIVES:

Win a 7-nights luxury trip to Portugal!

Nathalie Vranken on Frieze Janelle Monae – Diddy’s rising star Bose – the unveiling of VideoWave home theatre system

XMAS LUXURY GIFTS GUIDE Best of British Black and White special

Holland & Holland IJL special

BEAUTY

HOROLOGY

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MOTORING

TRAVEL

TECHNOLOGY

INTERIORS

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EDITOR’S LETTER

GREETINGS!

I am very excited to be welcoming you to the last edition of 2010, which also happens to be our sixth year anniversary edition! It’s a great way to end the year on a positive note, seeing as we have an exciting line up of projects lined up, which I will keep you all informed of regularly. In the meantime, to come back to this edition; yet again we have a number of exclusive features and interviews for your reading pleasure. We talk to Janelle Monae, a rising star at Atlantic Records, and Daryl Greatrex of luxury gun makers Holland & Holland for our ‘Best of British - under the spotlight’. I also personally get to share a rare moment with Madame Nathalie Vranken of Domaine Vranken Pommery on her role as an art patron and philanthropist. I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that Leyla Abdollahi, our much talented Jewellery Editor, has just launched her latest jewellery collection, which the team and I are very proud of. Do look at the preview in the jewellery pages with my personal introduction. As for other projects, our Capital Life portal is on temporary hold due to our designer Rebecca’s unfortunate car accident which was pretty serious. But I’m glad to say she is out of danger and getting back on her feet. I trust you will join me in wishing Becky a speedy recovery. And finally the most exciting news of all: the Urban Life Privilege Card (see ad on the right). This has been a concept I’ve wanted to incorporate within the magazine for the benefit of our readership for a while, for which the timing is now appropriate. Do keep a look out on the website for up to date information which will go up in due course. In the meantime I’d love to hear from you if you have ideas about what you would like from the membership and how it will benefit you. This is a very exciting project indeed! We will see you again in the New Year with our January edition. In the meantime, I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you all the very best of season’s greetings. Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year.

Until the next edition… YOURS

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

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T h e Pr i v i l e g e d L i fe B l a c k Ca r d

567/N90

PRIVILEGED LIFE MR A. N. OTHER 1224 57889 90099 7890

Launching 2011 privilege@urbanlife-magazine.com

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URBAN LIFE

CONTENTS 10: Beauty Errol Douglas & Nougat London salon reviews

12

12: Fashion Catwalk highlights from London Fashion Week 16: Fashion A special feature on the opening of the Selfridges Shoe Gallery, the world’s biggest women’s shoe department 18: Luxury Gifts Guide A Christmas Special on the best gifts money can buy 20: Jewellery An IJL Special, featuring some of our brightest young designers

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24: Urban Star An exclusive interview with recording artist Janelle Monae 26: Best of British – Under the Spotlight An exclusive interview with Daryl Greatrex, the MD of Holland & Holland 28: Horology Artistic creations from some of the world’s best known luxury watch makers 32: Motoring Test-drives of the new Jaguar XK, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Škoda Superb Estate

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36: Technology A round-up of gadgets and gizmos for the home and personal use, with a special focus on Bose’s global launch of their ‘VideoWave’ home theatre system 42: Travel A short break to Kos, the sunshine island 44: Competition Your chance to win a fantastic 7-nights holiday in 5-star luxury for up to four people! 46: Art & Culture An audience with Madame Nathalie Vranken, talking about Frieze and her involvement with the art world and a round-up of some key exhibitions

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56: Interiors Fashion-inspired interior design 60: Restaurant Reviews We visit L’Etranger and Kiyashii 62: Urban Social More A-list parties and events, from around the world including our own LFW opening party in Chinawhite

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ART & CULTURE

CoveR PICtURe Photographer: Dez Mighty www.dezmighty.com Model: Lois @ Oxygen hair & Make-Up: Alex Jones www.makeupbyalex.co.uk Lois wears: Mehbs Yaqub Leather Cross Cuff Bracelet with Swarovski Crystals - £1500 / www.mehbsyaqub.com stella McCartney strapless organza dress - £930 and RM by Roland Mouret ‘som’ bra top - £150, both available at browns, 24-27 south Molton street, w1K 5Rd. tel: 0207 514 0016 / www.brownsfashion.com

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Best of British

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

Travel A mini-break in Helsinki

URban LIfe

High-Jewellery Cartier – Urban Life Special Feature

Salon Privé 2009

Luxury Phones Guide

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Phones you won’t want to keep in your pocket

Luxury Watches

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BEAUTY

BEAUTY REVIEWS Errol Douglas 18 Motcomb Street, Knightsbridge, SW1X 8LB 0207 235 0110 www.erroldouglas.com Red Carpet Ready treatment £75 One of the best treatments we’ve had so far! Errol’s team really do push out the ‘red carpet’ upon arrival at the salon. This is a perfect antidote to energise and revitalise the hair and scalp during the coming dark and gloomy days of the autumn/winter months. Whether you want to attend a red carpet event or need a spot of indulgence, it doesn’t get better than this. The treatment lasts for 60 minutes and uses products containing Vitamin B3, mango and ginseng to strengthen and repair the hair. All treatments includes Shiatsu scalp massage followed by a Biolage hot therapie towel, adding even more of a special touch. Get spoilt...

Nougat London Westbourne Grove, W11 0207 792 3574 www.nougatlondon.co.uk Perfect 10 £75 Nougat London, the all-in-one clothing boutique and spa in Notting Hill is celebrating its ten year anniversary with the Perfect 10. A series of treatments follow one another starting with the cleansing of the hands and feet , followed by exfoliating the body. Once that’s done you take a shower using a hydrating body mousse. This is then followed by a 15 minute neck and back massage, using a soya based candle oil. Not to be confused with wax, as it doesn’t solidify and is actually rather nice. This should then be followed up by having the legs moisturised and the feet massaged, as well as a facial massage using pressure points and even a gentle scalp massage to finish off. But unfortunately the fire alarm went off with the therapist disappearing for what seemed like ages! It was all going so well too! However, it was only a minor hiccup but on this occasion just spoilt what was looking to be a great experience.

Skin Truffle – decadence in a jar 50ml - £75 Exclusive to Harrods until early December Skin Truffle is an amazing skin rejuvenation cream that contains a plethora of fantastic ingredients to give your skin an instant boost. Containing luxurious super ingredients like black truffles, extracts of pure gold, silk and Champagne, as well as micronised sheer diamond particles, your skin will never have felt so pampered. Commissioned by Temple Spa in Switzerland, we are told it has taken five years of research and development to bring to market. It’s Brimming with anti-oxidants, vitamins and phyto-endorphins which fight free-radicals to help with collagen production and protect the skin from signs of ageing. This rich, luxurious face cream will leave your skin feeling fresh, nourished and hydrated for extended periods even with minimal use. Truly decadence in a jar.

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BEAUTY

Actress Emilia Fox at Errol Douglas

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FASHION

SPRING SUMMER 2011 FASHION WEEK ROUNDUP Feature by Sarah Walsh It seems like London Fashion Week came and went in a haze of flashbulbs blazing glory, with designers putting on some amazing catwalk shows for their Spring/Summer collections. We loved it all. From Maria Grachvogel’s sculptural elegance to John Rocha’s monochrome theme and summer tweeds and Issa’s delicate pieces in an Indian-inspired orgy of colours. Here are some of the highlights...

Issa

Phi

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FASHION

Osman

John Rocha Maria Grachvogel

Phi

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FASHION

Paul Costelloe

Hardy Amies

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FRAGRANCES

LALIQUE – FLEUR DE CRISTAL A century and half after his birth, Lalique Parfums celebrates its founder’s legacy with the launch of Fleur de Cristal. This exclusive and limited edition perfume comes as twelve one-off pieces using the ‘lost wax’ technique. Due to its unique and lengthy manufacturing process, no two flacons are the same. Each flacon is numbered and signed, and filled with lily of the valley bulbs within the crystal ‘skin’. Top notes of Calabrian bergamot, pink peppercorn and Sambac jasmine combine to unravel a warm sensuality which in turn is heightened by the heart notes of lily of the valleys and stephanotis. And it is the unmistakable freshness of the lilies that fire up the senses, followed by the subtle yet distinctive woody down notes of amber and sandalwood. This is one of those rare and elegant perfumes that linger in the memory. René Lalique would have been proud. Lost wax flacon, Limited Edition of twelve at £12000 each. Other variations are available. For further information contact: Lalique, 47 Conduit Street, W1S 2YP 0207 292 0444 / www.lalique.com

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FASHION

Feature by Sarah Walsh

Selfridges Shoe Gallery – the largest women’s shoe department in the world

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FASHION

H

ello, my name is Sarah and I’m a shoe-a-holic. And I think I am going to start the first ‘OMGmeltdown’ support group! I’ve never been so in love with anyone or anything since, well, my first crush. I mean I know I’m not alone when it comes to an unhealthy obsession with shoes, which like most sensible women (and men) was fine and manageable up until my recent trip to the new Shoe Gallery. OMG (there I go again), just what were Selfridges thinking when they came up with the idea? Did they not realise that perfectly sane and composed people would suddenly find themselves running around like kids in a candy store? Ok, don’t answer that. But on a serious note, just how impressive is this haven of heels and wedges? As far as scales go, we are told it’s bigger than the Tate’s Turbine Hall and covers over 35,000 square feet. There are six major salons and eleven brand boutiques designed as themed ‘apartments’. Everything from high street to high-end is available in one department over one floor. Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Louboutin, Prada – they’re all here. Top Shop even have their own ‘shop’, the first outside of their store. For the ballerinas amongst us, Repetto’s first boutique outside Paris even has its own ballet bar. And it doesn’t stop there. If you need me,If you need me, I’ll be at one (or more) of the ‘apartments

Private Preview Selfridges Shoe Galleries © Selfridges

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LUXURY GIFTS GUIDE

FOR HIM 1.

5.

8.

2.

9.

3.

6.

12. 11.

4.

7.

10.

(1) Creed Bleu Washbag £750 Creed Harrods 0207 730 1234 www.harrods.com (2) Prada golf kit £110 Prada 0207 647 5000 www.prada.com (3) D&G Leather Padlock Crossbody Bag £200 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (4) Rayban Metro Print Wayfarer £140 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (5) Marc Jacobs Short Peacoat £660 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (6) Hugo Boss Suede Leather Belt £80 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (7) Lanvin Platinum Pearl Cufflinks £145 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (8) Tumi Tennyson Attaché Case £2895 Harrods 0207 730 1234 www.harrods.com (9) Simon Carter Tweed Gloves £75 Simon Carter 0208 683 4475 www.simoncarter.com (10) Brooks Brothers Alligator Billfold Wallet £279 Brooks Brothers 0203 238 0030 www.brooksbrothers.com (11) Montblanc John Lennon Limited Edition 70 £17,300 Montblanc 0207 730 7681 www.montblanc.com (12) Austin reed Q Club membership £275 per annum – Membership by invitation or referral only 01845 573 135 www.theqclub.co.uk

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LUXURY GIFTS GUIDE

FOR HER 1.

10.

7.

2.

4.

5. 11. 8. 8.

6.

3.

9.

12.

(1) Cashmere travel bag £399 Monogrammed Linen Shop 0207 589 4033 www.monogrammedlinenshop.com (2) Sonia By Sonia Rykel Long Wool Coat £470 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (3) Alexander McQueen Leather Britania Purse £380 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (4) Prada travel kit £150 Prada 0207 647 5000 www.prada. com (5) Givenchy Wedge Lace Up Boot £875 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (6) Tumi Townhouse Motcomb Hatbox Rust £2425 Harrods 0207 730 1234 www.harrods.com (7) Scented Bath Robe £120 Ruth Mastenbroek www.ruthmastenbroek.com (8) North Circular Knit Bobble Hat £70 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (9) Chanel Vintage Handbag £2500 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (10) Prada Black Slippers & Sleep mask £95 (sleeping mask) & £255 (slippers) Prada 0207 647 5000 www.prada.com (11) Fashion Rules! Board Game £55 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com (12) Pamela Love Talon Cuff £850 Harvey Nichols 0207 235 5000 www.harveynichols.com

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JEWELLERY

Miranda Wallis - Capture Ring Platinum, set with a 11mm Tahitian pearl and diamonds www.mirranna.com

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS

Alexander Davis - Dendritic Carbon Fibre cuff www.alexanderdavisjewellery.com

Leyla Abdollahi takes a look at the brands and the pieces that sparkle and catch the eye at International Jewellery London.

IJL took place early last month and proved yet again that it can play host to an exceptional range of talented designers showcasing their collections. Award-winning and established designers showcased alongside newcomers, both British and International. Manufacturers and other key industry players, who between them set the jewellery trends for the coming year, were also out in force. Having met and spoken with many of them, the outlook for the New Year is very bright. When deciding on what to include in these pages, I was spoilt for choice as there were so many collections to choose from. However, the designers and their respective pieces that I have chosen represent what contemporary jewellery means to me: trendy, fashionable, beautiful craftsmanship and an instant desire to wear them!

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JEWELLERY

Harry Hornby - Watered silk double finger ring. 18ct rose gold and pink tourmaline. www.harryhornby.com

SHO Jewellery White and black 18ct gold Origami ring with pavé set black diamond edges www.shojewellery.com

Katie Rowland A platinum swirled pendant, pavé set with white and champagne diamonds graduating in colour along the arms. www.katie-rowland.com

Hannah Livingston The Nicholas Box - 18ct godplated precious white metal, lined with Florentine paper www.hannahlivingston.com

SHO Fine Jewellery 18ct white gold ring with white quartz and pavé hot pink sapphires www.shojewellery.com

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JEWELLERY

Jessica Poole Large 18ct Gold Anticlastic Twist Pendant. Pave set with 0.29ct Diamonds www.jessicapoole.co.uk

Jessica Poole Fluted lace earrings 18 ct gold www.jessicapoole.co.uk

Drew Perridge Spiral Earrings 18ct Yellow Gold www.drewperridgejeweller.co..uk

Choo Yilin Coral polyp rings, embellished with fancy sapphires and amethysts www.chooyilin.com

Alexander Davis Diadem Ring Platinum, diamonds and amethyst www.alexanderdavisjewellery.com

Jayce Wong Flourescent Spiral Ring. Under UV rubies, diamonds, freshwater pearls and Toumalinated quartz www.jaycewong.com

Anna Loucah - Dancing Lotus’ earrings. Platinum with approx 3 carats of fine rubies and pavÊ set diamonds. www.annaloucah.com

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JEWELLERY

THE LILITH COLLECTION BY LEYLA ABDOLLAHI An introduction by Ataur Rahman It is my great pleasure to present for the first time in our magazine our very own Leyla Abdollahi’s new jewellery collection.

W

hen I first met Leyla a few years ago, our jewellery pages were to be frank non-existent. But it was over many a discussion and exchange of ideas, and her intimate knowledge of jewellery design that I convinced her to join my team, initially as a consultant and then as Editor of our jewellery section. I was and still remain very excited with Leyla’s involvement as she brings a creative dimension to how we choose the jewellery and their designers to feature in the magazine.

18ct Gold, rubies, pink and green sapphires and green amethysts

18ct Gold, pink and green sapphires with pear shaped green amethyst

18ct Gold, amethyst and green sapphires

What I am most impressed about is Leyla’s creative stance. She has a critical eye and a certain aesthetic, which can only come from a designer, which in turn complements our position as a magazine. As for the collection, it’s influenced by Leyla’s keen interest in ancient mythology, and the symbolisms attached to the collection are all about the paradoxical characteristics of the Babylonian Demon Goddess, Lilith. To quote Leyla, “my designs are unique contemporary pieces. They are created for strong, assertive and independent women. The dreamlike fluidity attached to each piece with their contrasting drama go on to form natural and supernatural forms, thereby empowering the wearer with a certain sense of style”.

18k gold, blue sapphires, tanzanite. Tahitian pearls.

18ct Gold, black diamonds, tsavorite garnet, Tahitian pearl and green sapphire

I couldn’t have put it better myself... For more information on Leyla’s jewellery collection, please visit her website: www.leyla-abdollahi.com

18k gold, white sapphires, light blue sapphires.

18ct Gold, rubies, pink and white sapphires

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URBAN STAR

Monae Love One of the world’s most original new recording artists? We think so. Andre Gayle talks to Grammy nominated US sensation, Janelle Monae.

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R

ecording Artist. Everybody knows what the term signifies but too many don’t understand what it’s supposed to mean. Over the years the transatlantic music industry has been punctuated with a whole host of manufactured acts, style over substance singers and ring tone rappers. Then, sometimes, we hit that exclamation point and suddenly we remember - the Recording Artist is why we love music. Step forward Janelle Monae, singer, songwriter, visionary, artist.

She’s already a rising superstar in the US and the underground buzz on her in the UK is set to carry her to the top of the charts here. Although originally from Kansas she found herself fulfilling her musical ambitions in Atlanta, via a brief flirtation with studying musical theatre in New York. It was in Atlanta she co-founded a creative collective called the Wondaland Arts Society and began to grow into her own style. She found favour with like minded Atlanta Hip Hop stars like Outkast and it was their Idlewild project that represented her first real break (Wondaland Arts Society produced and featured on two tracks on the soundtrack album to the movie of the same name). What caught the imagination of the US public is the many eclectic styles and influences that contribute to the Janelle Monae persona. In somebody else it might seem contrived, even disjointed, but here it seems organic and pitch perfect – a lot of contradictions that shouldn’t work but do. “I don’t think about those things”, she tells me, “I’m always evolving as an artist and this is just the space that I’m in right now”. That ‘space’ also happens to be in the middle of a world tour promoting her new album, The ArchAndroid, the continuation of the story of Cindi Mayweather. First introduced to us with her 2007 EP, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), Mayweather is her android heroine and muse who inhabits a world based on the German science fiction silent movie classic, Metropolis. “The new album deals with self discovery and awakening. Cindi fell in love with a human on the first album and had to run because of it. Now she realizes she’s the ArchAndroid, rising above the division in the world to be the link between the have’s and the have not’s”.

It’s at this point you realise that Janelle’s music has a lot to say, even if sometimes what she’s saying is not always entirely clear. On ArchAndroid, allegorical themes of perception, discrimination, oppression, hope and freedom are told in songs that range from the James Brown-ian funk of Tightrope (featuring Big Boi from Outkast), the big band sound of BaBopByeYa and the hybrid futuristic trip-hop of my favourite track, Wondaland – all told in a future world based on a 1920’s silent film. Don’t try and map your way through it, it’s better to just sit back, listen and let it all find you naturally. When I asked whether she ever ran into any creative roadblocks when combining so many styles, themes and genres her reply was a simple ‘no’, the kind of reply that tells you this is something she’s living, not marketing. It was just this kind of creativity and originality that led none other than Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs to immediately sign her to his label, Bad Boy, when she released her Metropolis EP through Wondaland. ‘She’s a true visionary and one of the most important signings of my career’, he declared. An old school hip hop super-producer from Harlem signing a new wave psychedelic funk rock punk artist from Kansas City? On paper it shouldn’t be the most natural match but by now you can see the theme. “I surround myself with the people from Wondaland, who I trust and love, because we’re all a movement together”, she tells me, “So the tactics that people who are in a position of power would normally use with artists who are entering the industry just wouldn’t work for us and they understand that. It’s been great to work with people who trust us creatively and we’ve formed great partnerships, along with Atlantic Records (distributor) and Warners (parent company). I’ve actually been blessed to be involved with people very afraid to talk to me about how I can fit into the mainstream”. Speaking to her reveals another contradiction which is perhaps a little more understandable. She has a soft, quiet and considered manner that ostensibly fits a delicately pretty young woman who stands only five feet tall. When she hits the stage, however, she’s at least twice that height. Her energy, stage presence and voice are incredile

live. Everywhere she’s played has resulted in four and five star reviews and a dedicated and growing fan base. Anybody who saw her performing Let’s Go Crazy on stage, while Prince himself looked on from the audience, at this year’s BET Awards or caught her more recent set on Later with Jools Holland will have some idea of the phenomenon that is about to come their way. Onstage she invokes James Brown while performing, conducts her band like Cab Calloway and has an image that harks back to the legendary Harlem Renaissance icons like The Nicholas Brothers and The Berry Brothers. Even her sartorial style typifies the embrace of the seemingly contradictory. She and her band are only ever seen dressed in sharp black and white, the ultimate contradiction. She calls it her ‘uniform’: “It represents my solidarity with the regular ordinary people who get up every day, put on a uniform and go to work. People like my parents. Those are the people that I most make my music for.” Anybody who saw her up close at her London shows earlier in the year will have already been sold. “I loved those shows and I value the live experience a lot - the direct contact with the people. I value being a recording artist too, of course, but performing on stage is when you can be really free. I’m really looking forward to performing in London again”. That’s right. For those who haven’t seen her live your chance will come in December when she returns to the UK to perform concerts in Manchester and London. You’re in for a treat. The album The ArchAndroid and the new single, Cold War, are out now. Janelle will be performing live dates: Dec 3 at Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Tottenham, London N22 7AY- (supporting Vampire Weekend). www.alexandrapalace.com Dec 5 at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, Shepherds Bush Green, London W12 8TT - Headline Show. www.o2sheperdsbushempire.com Dec 6 at Manchester Academy 2, Manchester University Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR – Headline Show. www.manchesteracademy.net

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BEST OF BRITISH – UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

Daryl Greatrex

THE SHOOTING STAR Andre Gayle meets Daryl Greatrex, Managing Director of British heritage sporting gun makers, Holland and Holland.

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nless the 12th of August each year happens to be the day of your birthday or anniversary, for most of us the date holds no more significance than the day before it or the day after it. For a very well heeled section of the population, however, the day has been extravagantly christened ‘The Glorious Twelfth’ and marks the start of the Grouse hunting season in the UK; a uniquely British tradition that has been strictly adhered to for almost 180 years. Shooting as a pastime and as a sport is something that has become integral to the rural economy in this country – it brought in over £22 million to Exmoor alone in 2005 - but the image of it had always seemed to revolve around Old Money and Landed Gentry gathering in the bushes away from prying eyes to be rich together. It’s a reputation that is not entirely undeserved but the past few decades have seen the sport become very popular to a far wider range of people from all walks of life. One of the leading names heading this charge into the wider national conscientiousness is prestigious gun and rifle maker, Holland and Holland. As a company Holland and Holland are almost as old as the British shooting season itself (175 years) and was originally

started by Harris Holland, a former tobacco wholesaler in London with a penchant for pigeon shooting, who was later joined by his nephew Henry Holland. After building on well over a century of excellence and innovation in gun and rifle making the company joined the ranks of other luxury brands like Bentley, Fortnum & Mason and Aquascutum when it received an official Royal Warrant from the Duke of Edinburgh in 1963. But the real surge for the company has taken place in the most recent decades. As the membership base for sport shooting expanded exponentially Holland and Holland sought to capitalize on the boom by adding a full range of associated clothes, accessories and services to its portfolio. Advertising and marketing for the brand is now not merely confined to targeted publications like The Field or the Shooting Gazette, now you will find them speaking to you from the pages of the likes of GQ. “The expansion was overseen by our creative director, Niels van Rooyan”, explains the fantastically named Daryl Greatrex, managing director for Holland & Holland, “His remit was to develop the clothing ranges and carefully take the brand forward. We don’t like to align ourselves too closely with the fashion industry though, we’re more a lifestyle company with a tremendous heritage in gun making and traditional crafts and we prefer our clothing to mirror that”.

The expansion of the company coincided with the acquisition of the company by France’s Chanel Group in 1989, but that didn’t stop it being the quintessentially English brand it always was and the core business was never diminished. In fact, in terms of business share, gun making still accounts for the larger part of the revenue, especially when you consider that many of the guns sold here are one off, bespoke collector’s items that are either made by the company or re-sold through the company. “Collecting guns can be akin to collecting art”, says Daryl, “Some guns can take anywhere from twelve months to three years to make. This is because gun making involves a lot of specialised processes that can’t be rushed. The wood that you choose, for instance, is treated with a particular oil to give it a protective finish but it can only be applied for ten minutes a day and then it has to be left to dry and set. Once it has set it’s rubbed down and the cycle starts again”. Add to this the care taken to ‘fit’ a shotgun to your personal dimensions and comfort, the manufacture of the various mechanisms, the very high quality of materials used and the highly skilled labour that goes into making them and just dipping your toe in the water can set you back either a cool £35,000 for an entry level ‘Round Action’ model or £66,000 for the standard

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BEST OF BRITISH – UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

‘Royal’, the trademarked Holland and Holland premier over-under gun (both barrels one on top of the other rather than side by side). That’s not necessarily including the extras like precious metals or personalised hand engraving either. Highly decorative commissions can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. It soon becomes clear that the company has been built on premium quality rather than volume. But all businesses are subject to the ebb and flow of the economy and Holland and Holland is no different. “We always wanted to remain the best in our field, that was the ultimate goal”, replies Daryl, “but we were also very much aware that we’re in a fairly harsh commercial world and we couldn’t just sit back on our laurels”. As such, the company has taken the brand name overseas, with gun rooms replicated in New York, Paris and Moscow with plans afoot to expand into other markets. There has also been the introduction of the ladies collection of branded clothing and accessories to complement the men’s, along with a concerted effort to encourage women to take up the sport and, in turn, start their long term relationships with Holland and Holland. “We have a fully serviced shooting school in North West London employing some world renowned instructors and there we

run a programme specifically aimed at encouraging women to take up the sport. There’s absolutely no reason why women shouldn’t also shoot - they’re often pretty deadly when they do”. A chance meeting with luxury Range Rover customizers Overfinch while exhibiting at the Salon Prive supercar show led to another attractive marketing strategy for the company. As Daryl explains it: “About ten years ago we had a collaboration with Land Rover who produced about 500 limited edition Holland and Holland vehicles that sold worldwide pretty successfully. The guys at Overfinch were aware of this and approached us at Salon Prive feeling they could really ratchet up the level of luxury with the new Range Rovers. It was a proposal that really sat well with us and expanded the reach of the brand in the right way”. The Holland and Holland Range Rover certainly is a beautiful car. Using the 2010 supercharged 5.0litre version of the car, Overfinch can customise it inside and out based on the Holland and Holland template and your own specifications. The finished product is something they describe as a ‘true motoring landmark’, ‘opulent’ and ‘the most luxurious Range Rover ever made’. “Unfortunately, I don’t own one”, laments Daryl, “and I don’t think I am ever likely to either”. Costing up to

£170,000 fully loaded, it’s an outlook that he and I both share. We were actually not so dissimilar in a number of other respects as well. When you hear the surname and ponder the setting there is a temptation to let your imagination start conjuring up images of monocles and white moustaches with curly flourishes at each end – much like the original Henry Holland. In fact, what you have is an Essex born self made man who is much younger and far more accessible than you might expect. Daryl started with the company as an entry level apprentice and it’s a relationship that has now lasted thirty years. He was neither born into great wealth or into a privileged position and maybe that’s why Holland and Holland has been so adept at capitalizing on the interest of those who, like myself, were maybe intrigued by the sport and the traditions but perhaps thought it was ‘not for them’. Talking with him about the guns, what goes into making them and the traditions and etiquettes of a shooting party I could suddenly see myself at the shooting school honing my hand eye co-ordination or maybe even donning a Holland and Holland shooting vest and joining a shooting party for the weekend. At the end of the day, that’s probably the best advertisement the company could hope for.

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23/10/2010 11:13


HOROLOGY

ART OF TIME

Art comes in all forms and, arguably, all forms have artistic value. It’s just that some forms have more value than others. The process that goes into making a fine luxury watch is just as creative as any other artistic discipline. A grand complication watch may require ingenuity and skill to construct but unless it also pleases the eye the effort may be lost on you. It’s that final flourish that can sell a piece and when you are spending tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds perhaps you are entitled to have something that pushes the artistic boundaries a little. Or a lot. Time as a work of art? Maybe. Feature by Andre Gayle

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WATCHES.indd 2

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HOROLOGY

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Greubel Forsey – Quadruple Tourbillon The art here really does come in the mind-numbing complexity of this amazing watch. It features a spherical differential that links four asynchronous tourbillon carriages that independently contribute to the ultra high-precision time keeping. Everything is housed in a distinctive yet sublime slighted exploded platinum case with a silvered gold dial. Finished off with a hand-sewn alligator leather strap. RRP £370,000 www.greubelforsey.com

Armin Strom – Blue Chip Skeleton This watch is fully skeletonised so you can see right through to the movement. Everything you see inside the stainless steel case is made from anthracite and individually hand engraved. The strap is alligator skin leather. RRP £12,995 www.arminstrom.com

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HOROLOGY

MB&F – HM4 Thunderbolt A truly striking work of art from Maximilian Busser, a former Managing Director at Harry Winston. Its aviation inspired design is borne out of Maximilian’s childhood passion for model airplanes and three long years of development. The time and power reserve dials are side mounted on the twin grade-5 titanium ‘fuselages’ while the movement is top mounted and visible through the sapphire crystal. The strap is hand-stitched calfskin leather. A special watch. RRP £124,000 www.mbandf.com

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WATCHES.indd 4

23/10/2010 11:15


HOROLOGY

Parmigiani - Bugatti Type 370 Limited Edition

Benzinger – Skeleton Floral

A distinctive collaboration between the luxury watch maker and the super-car marque. The Type 370 is reminiscent of the grille of the Bugatti Veyron in its design and the movement is distributed over five separate plates inside the case (visible through the sapphire crystal), mimicking the design of the car’s engine. The case itself is 18ct white gold and the strap is made to measure Hermès black calfskin. RRP £190,000 www.parmigiani.ch

This stark yet beautiful watch is completely skeletonised making it possible to see right through to the movement. The sweeping design inside the watch recalls rolling storm waves in the sea or, as its title suggests, an extravagant floral display. The design itself is fashioned in rose gold, while the hands are a flame-blued Breguet style. The case is high grade stainless steel and the strap is hand-stitched alligator leather. RRP £15,600 www.jochenbenzinger.de

Cabestan – Winch Tourbillon Vertical

Urwerk – UR-103

This watch is billed by the company as: ‘a rare work of mechanical art’, and it would be hard to disagree. Capstans are used for winding the movement and setting the time and a linked chain and fuse employed to transmit the energy. Engraved drums display the time, a vertical tourbillon regulates the movement and a miniature winch concealed in the ‘deployant’ buckle activates the mechanism. All housed in brushed natural titanium with an alligator leather strap. Available in a variety of colour combinations. Impressive stuff. RRP £265,000 www.cabestan.ch

This watch is a work of modern art. It has an innovative method for displaying the time coupled with a sleek and futuristic design. The orbital ‘satellite complication’ displays the time by each of the hour ‘satellites’ sweeping the minutes arc at the bottom of the dial. Grade-2 titanium is used throughout while the hour satellites are made from aluminium. RRP £45,600 www.urwerk.com

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WATCHES.indd 5

23/10/2010 11:16


MOTORING

Jaguar XK

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his year a number of automotive companies came of age. Italian marques like Ferrari celebrated 63 years and Alfa Romeo clocked up its centenary. Add to that list British racing marque Jaguar who celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2010. Although now owned by Indian giant Tata Motors Jaguar is still based in the Midlands and produces all its luxury vehicles there.

As part of that celebration I was given the chance to put the latest XK coupé through its paces across the highways of Europe. It was a chance not to be missed. The XK is Jaguar’s entry into the competitive world of the two + two seat coupés, and it’s up against some very stiff competition. The likes of the Audi R8 and Maserati GranTurisimo have already stolen a march in the market and their footholds will be hard to dislodge. From every angle this is a real luxury coupé. The sleek lines of the body

attracted admiring glances wherever I went and the deep black soft grain leather seats with contrast stitching were luxurious to behold and superbly comfortable, with heating and cooling controls as standard. The cockpit also features a 7 inch full colour touch screen display with DVD mapping for navigation. Sadly this feature didn’t work very well on Benelux roads and I couldn’t be sure if it was a just a problem with my

ECLECTIC CARS Patrick Anderson test drives cars from three very different classes of the consumer car market.

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MOTORING

system or if it was something bigger. Elsewhere the cockpit is bursting with electronic luxuries. The door panel has no less than 5 buttons to carefully select the drivers seating requirements and another 2 to set the heated wing mirror and, like many of its counterparts, the XK uses a smart key and stop/start button to operate the car. The heating controls in the sumptuous leather steering wheel were a particularly nice touch, especially with those cold winter mornings ahead.

The drive itself was very relaxing but you were always comforted by the fact that the power developed through the automatic 6 speed gearbox and the 5.0 litre multipoint injection engine was only a few inches away under your right foot. With the pop-up drive selector on the central console or the techtronic paddles behind the steering wheel, 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds is available at whim.

motorway driving and the boot space has plenty of room for the family’s weekend bags, your golf clubs and more.

The XK’s 70 litre tank even gives you around 26mpg on combined urban and

Available at £67,500 on the road.

So, after almost 1000 miles on the road I can say with a certain authority that this car is a pleasure to drive, in spite of the occasional sat nav hiccups. The only problem I see with the car is parking the eye catcher safely on the public road!

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23/10/2010 11:18


MOTORING

Škoda Superb Estate Elegance 1.8 TSI 4x4

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etting into the car for the first time I felt a bit of déjà vu. I was taken back to my days of driving a Volvo V50 estate, even right down to the plastic clip on the windscreen that holds parking vouchers. That said this car was roomier and, at an overall length of 4.83 metres, it’s one of the longest estates on the road. This means the driving position is really comfortable for the daddy long legs amongst us, with plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel. Even the rear passengers have ample room to stretch out.

Boot volume starts at a large 633 litres – easily beating all its sector rivals. With the rear seats folded down it rises to a massive 1,865 litres, with additional rails and straps in the boot floor to prevent cargo slipping. Loading is made easy with a low 600mm rear sill. Another great piece of design is the umbrella holder in the left-hand rear door, with a Škoda-branded umbrella – coated with special anti-mould solution – installed as standard, something I’ve only ever seen in a Rolls Royce. On the road the 1.8TSI Petrol combines direct fuel injection with a

turbocharger and 6 speed gearbox to deliver a smooth, responsive drive even when well loaded. With 160bhp and a maximum torque output of 250Nm between 1,500 to 4,200rpm, it delivers a strong mid-range for its 1.8 litres yet can still return a frugal 38.7mpg despite its 4x4 wheelbase. With other innovations like Adaptive Front Lighting, touch-screen Sat Nav, the award winning Park-Assist computer and Keyless Entry and Start, this is a solid if unspectacular entry into the market. Available from £25,000 on the road.

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23/10/2010 11:19


MOTORING

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

posts are already installed and many more planned, are already way ahead of the UK in terms of the future of electric consumer automobiles.

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itsubishi’s i-MiEV is one of the first production electric cars in Europe and the name translates as ‘Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle’. This will be the first 100% fully-electric production car to hit the market. The i-MiEV has been on long-term tests across the UK, particularly in London and Coventry since December 2009 and now deliveries will begin in earnest in January 2011. Over 2300 i-MiEVs have already been operating on Japanese roads since full production started in July 2009 with great results. So, the question is, is this really the car of the future? It was interesting to note that at this year’s bi-annual International Motor Show in Paris almost every manufacturer had some form of electric production vehicle on show, with others unveiling prototype concepts like bikes, scooters and vans. One of the main halls of the giant Parc des Expositions was dedicated to more than twenty electric show vehicles that were available to the press and public to test drive. It seems that France, where many on-street charging

Back to the i-MiEV. The First thing to say is that the car looks rather like an A-Class Mercedes, though maybe not quite as appealing. With the recent announcement that the proposed on the road price would be slashed from almost £32,000 down to a far more accessible (but still not ‘cheap’) £23,000 its appeal should certainly rise inversely. Throw in congestion-charge exemption and, in many boroughs, parking charge exemption and Mitsubishi might be on to a winner. Now, if someone can explain to me how driving an i-MiEV, instead of any other petrol car, reduces congestion then we can all be on board!

80 miles on a full charge (six hours on mains supplies or 30mins on a phase 3 supply) and can get up to a regulated top speed of 81 mph. The cost of running the car at current electricity prices is about £1 per charge. Those are certainly attractive numbers but bear in mind that energy in a battery dissipates much quicker in colder weather so be prepared for either that number to go up dramatically in the winter or a lot of stalls mid journey. This little car is a great step in the right direction but unfortunately this is really not the car that can take you to your country house and back on the weekend and, until you can charge your car anywhere on the street, it’s hard to imagine the i-MiEV being little more than a novelty addition to our roads. For now.

Having said that, this is a good fourseater city car. It’s surprisingly speedy but completely silent, which takes a little getting used to, believe me. It would probably be a good idea if it employed recorded engine notes, if only so pedestrians can hear the car coming! It’s a fairly comfortable little vehicle though and it’s certainly in its element handling the busy streets of London. The interior was a little plastic for my tastes but there was plenty of room, even at my height of 6’4”. There’s even more than adequate boot space of around 227 litres that increases to 860 with the rear seats down. The car has an approximate range of

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23/10/2010 11:20


TECHNOLOGY

HIGH TECH Innovations to make life easier and more pleasing to the eye Feature by Ivan Petersen and Sarah Walsh

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Cruden Professional Racing Simulator This has surely got to be the ultimate ‘boy-toy’ for the consummate technophile! If you ever fancied a go at being an F1 driver you can now have one of these made to your exact specifications and delivered to take pride of place in your bachelor pad. With an ton of features including full motion and g-force simulation, you’ll not tire of this easily. Time to work on those bonuses... Prices start at £120,000 for a basic model, but can go up to £150,000 for a pimped up fully customised version. www.cruden.com

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TECH PIECE.indd 2

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TECHNOLOGY

Naim Unisystem Just launched, the new wireless multi-room audio system. Select music from a range of different sources (iPod, CD, DAB, USB etc) from anywhere in the house and listen to them in a unified high-performance system. Also connect to your TV, Sky boxes and games units for a total home entertainment system that can be accessed from anywhere in the house via an iPhone/iPod app. Brilliant.

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Pricing starts between £1350 going up to £2250 for each component. Check website for full pricing options and stockist details www.naimaudio.com

< Doro Prosound hs1910 DECT headset This is a really cool piece of kit that doesn’t fail to impress! If you’re tired of holding a phone to your ear (especially if you spend as much time on it as we do), then this headset should be on your priority list. Ergonomically designed, it’s quite comfortable to wear given its substantial size and it definitely adds to the cool factor when added to a gadgetladen desktop. It can be used without a phone, but will connect up to any GAP compliant base unit. The wireless range goes up to 150m and features noisecancelling microphone and acoustic burst protection. For pricing and further information, go online www.doro.com

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Logitech Fantasy Collection Add a little splash of colour to your desktop with this new collection of mice. With so many colour options to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice! For pricing and stockist details, go online www.logitech.com

Panasonic ES-RF41 The new RF series from Panasonic feature two new 4-blade wet/dry shavers for a gentler and faster shaving time. More blades mean a closer shave and the curved foils provide contact with skin more evenly so you don’t get the irritation normally associated with electric shavers. Both models are completely waterproof, so you can even take them into the shower. There’s even a slide-up precision trimmer for sideburns which tucks away neatly when not in use. Battery life is upto 65 minutes cordless use on a full charge. ES-RF41 £169.99 (pictured) and ES-RF31 £149.99 Available from John Lewis, Dixons and www.shavers.co.uk

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TECH PIECE.indd 3

23/10/2010 11:23


TECHNOLOGY SPECIAL

BOSE – REDEFINING MINIMALISM Ataur Rahman travels to the launch of the extraordinary new Bose VideoWave home theatre system in Paris.

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aybe it’s an age thing, but when I think about it, I no longer crave ostentatious things in my life. No longer do I feel the need to have the biggest, loudest or shiniest objects in my possession. I can’t even remember the last time I cranked up the volume in my car or the sound system at home with windows open to give the neighbours a heart attack. In fact I never thought I’d say this, but these days I notice my eyes shifting towards the less obvious; the discreet and minimal. This goes for all things I use and have possession of, including my TV and home entertainment system (which I think are now about to find new homes in the re-cycling skip!). Having been to countless product launches over the years, one does tend to get a little jaded with the whole process. And even though the invitation from Bose HQ arrived for their recent European unveiling shrouded in total mystery (very little was said apart from ‘a major launch – the biggest in decades’), I thought it was

worth a trip on the Eurostar for a day. I’m glad I made the presentation and I have to give full credit to Bose. They have launched a truly revolutionary product which I think will shake up the entire home entertainment market.

home theatre system. Of course, the added bonus is that it also rids us of the problem of a mass of trailing wires, making for a very desirable system that will sit comfortably on any media cabinet or hang easily on any wall.

Starting with one of the slickest intros I’ve seen in a while (massive semicircular screen - the height of a doubledecker bus and the length of two) and audio visual effects accompanied by dancers, the day started on a high with a huge sense of excitement. In this regard, Bose certainly did not disappoint.

The Bose VideoWave home theatre system consists of three elements: the 46” LCD display, the console and the click pad remote control. With no separate speakers or bass modules, you’d be forgiven for thinking just how good can this system be without them? Well, having seen the product demonstrations, combining both audio and visual elements, even the most seasoned techie writers were impressed at the results. Needless to say, so was I.

Journalists and Editors from all the main techie titles across Europe were represented and, having spoken with a lot of them throughout the day, the consensus was that Bose has indeed raised the bar on all-encompassing home entertainment systems. As we all know, Bose is known for its audio products. However, this unveiling was about the combination of a complete audio visual system that does away with the need to invest in a separate

So, just what makes this system worth talking about? Well, above all other considerations, I believe the simplicity of the system will be its biggest selling point. You get truly immersed in the rich fluid sounds emanating from the cluster of six high-performance woofers, producing the deep low notes, and the seven-

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TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY SPECIAL

element speaker array controlled by the Bose ‘PhaseGuide’ sound radiator technology, which surrounds you with the kind of sound you would only expect with speakers positioned all around you. And with Bose’s ‘ADAPTIQ’ calibration technology, which on setup recognises a room of any shape and size and adjusts automatically to provide optimum sound delivery , you will hear sound coming from places where there are no speakers. Surround-sound systems have just been dealt a major blow and it really is something you have to experience in person to fully understand what I mean. In addition to the sound quality, the VideoWave is all about ease-of-use, and this is something Bose are making a point of emphasising with this launch. The age old problem of having a dozen remote controls has been done away with. The almost back-to-basics click pad remote control can be used by even the most techno-phobic amongst us. It features only the most basic elements needed on a control, a nod to a by-gone era of having three or four channels on

a television set where the only functions you needed were the power, volume and channel selection buttons. With the new Bose remote you have exactly that. All the additional functions have been removed from the unit and on to the on-screen interface which you then just breeze through with the touch and glide actions of the remote control and simply click to action. It’s about plug-and-play simplicity, allowing you to simply choose what you would like to watch or listen to; whether it’s scrolling through your iTunes playlist or watching a film on the Blu-Ray/DVD player. The console allows for up to five different devices to be connected to the system at once, so you could have your stereo system, DVD/Blu-Ray, iPhone and even an external hard-drive all plugged in at the same time, hidden away from view and controlled by one simple remote control. It really could not get any easier! And at £6000 including VAT, it really is a snip.For more information, pop into the Bose flagship store on Regent Street or visit the website: www.bose.co.uk

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TRAVEL

THE SUNSHINE ISLAND: Ataur Rahman flies out to Kos for a short break at the magnificent Iberostar Odysseus Hotel

T

here’s no better way to treat oneself to a quick pick-me-up than to hop on a plane and be sunning yourself by the beach in a matter of hours. And recently I did just that. It took a little over three hours to get to Kos by Easyjet and, when I arrived, I was greeted by clear blue skies and the warmth of the Mediterranean, a far cry from the non-stop rainy days we were having at the time. Not having been to Greece before, I really didn’t feel like following the beaten track and this is why travelling to this ancient island was perfect. It’s the third largest island in the ‘Dodecanese’ chain (Greek for ‘Twelve Islands’) after Rhodes and Karpathos in the Aegean Sea, and sitting 4km across the waters from the coast of Bodrum in Turkey. Our hotel of choice on this occasion was the brand new 5-star Odysseus on Tigaki beach, located 5km from Kos town and 22km from the airport. It’s the flagship property of Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, who also have a number of other properties on the Island, but this one is the most desirable by far. It was a tad disappointing to have missed the benefit of a full summer’s sunshine,

since it was pretty windy everywhere I went. Late September/October is not really a good time to go if you fancy being active because, although the sun is out in cloudless skies, the wind factor can make it all a bit chilly. Swimming in the sea is almost out of the question as throughout our long weekend the red flag on the beach was out at all times due to the sea being quite choppy. Great for windsurfing but not swimming.

But I wasn’t complaining. I wanted, and needed, a little time to myself, which I found to be the best excuse to try out the hotel’s lavish facilities. It was obvious from the outset that no expense had been spared in its design and construction. Everything was on a grand scale, from the rather substantial reception and lobby area to the lounge and restaurants and even the rooms, which all had a sea-facing balcony. The

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suites (all weirdly named ‘honeymoon suites’) had a terrace with direct access to an adjoining communal pool which ran the length of the building. Midnight dips for loved up couples was clearly the idea. Overall the hotel operation could not be faulted. The staff were friendly and attentive and although service at times was a little incoherent, their hearts were in the right place. As for facilities, minor teething problems could be seen from the outset (dysfunctional TV, blocked sink, telephone line disconnected etc). But apart from the dodgy TV, all were easily and quickly attended to upon request. In need of some pampering my next priority was to hit the spa. Another great feature of the hotel, since it had a pool, jaccuzzi, sauna and various treatment rooms. My only criticism here would be the ambient noise levels were too distracting, so you couldn’t really relax. On top of that they had communal air conditioning all interconnected throughout the treatment rooms, so the fact that I was freezing my toes off could not be helped in any way. The saving grace were the treatments which were amongst some of the best I have ever had. Definitely a big thumbs up there.

Of course it’s not entirely fair to be too harsh or critical, given this was the winding down period of only their first season of operation (the hotel was closing for the winter season for six months a few weeks after we left). But I am certain that, with a bit more attention to detail, this is going to be one fabulous destination hotel for a future summer holiday. As for Kos town and the historical element, there is much to be explored on the island. As you can imagine, the island is full of remnants of its Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past. The nearest I came to doing a walking tour of the old part of town was when we took a boat out to a couple of the other islands. It just was too late in the day to do anything else, so reluctantly I left it for a future trip. If you are after a sunny destination without resorting to the usual tourist traps then this would be one of my recommendations. On the condition it’s with a stay at the Odysseus, of course! Odysseus Hotel, Kos, Greece. Tel: +30 2 242 049 900 Email: odysseus.hotel@iberostar.com.gr www.iberostar.com

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OVERSEAS COMPETITION

THE RESIDENCES COMPETITION

WIN A 7 NIGHTS HOLIDAY FOR FOUR PEOPLE!

Portugal has long been the number one destination for many holiday makers, golfers and second home owners, lured by the year round weather, top class golf courses and matching accommodation. With frequent flights from across the UK and Ireland to Faro in the Algarve, you are only a couple of hours away from the perfect European holiday home destination. The Residences Resort, Victoria Clube de Golfe in Vilamoura, Algarve, is a popular second home destination in Portugal which benefits from the

full use of the Victoria Clube de Golfe facilities. Designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, it’s known for being one of the best courses in Europe and a challenge for even the most practiced golfer. Or how about melting away your stresses at the Tivoli Victoria Hotel Elements Spa by Banyan Tree - bringing you a taste the Far East? After a relaxing treatment you can then take a dip in one of the many pools, use the other leisure facilities or feast on all the delectable dishes by Chefs Bruno Rocher and Bruno Veigas in the 5* hotel. It really is the best of all worlds!

If you can’t bring yourself to leave the sunny climes of Vilamoura then you certainly don’t have to. Home buyers have the opportunity to own their own piece of Portuguese paradise with generously proportioned 2 and 3 bedroom apartments on offer at the Resort. Having opened in Summer 2009, The Residences freehold and fully serviced apartments at the Victoria Clube de Golfe are complete and ready for you to move in, with prices starting from €495,000.

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OVERSEAS COMPETITION

The prize is for 4 people staying in one of the luxurious 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom apartments on the Resort for one week. It includes flights to Faro, transfers, generous discounts on the Vilamoura Golf Courses, full use of the Elements Spa and access to the Beach Club. It’s a trip not to be missed! To enter simply answer the question below: Competition closing date: 14th January 2011 Where is The Residences at Victoria located in Portugal? Answer: a) Andorra b) Algarve c) Algeciras URBAN LIFE COMPETITION ENTRY FORM - THE RESIDENCES RESORT COMPETITION

Sales information: For more information on Apartment Sales at The Residences, Victoria Clube de Golfe, Vilamoura, Portugal contact Alan Ellis on: 00 351 918 745 330 email: info@ residencesvictoria.com or visit www.residencesvictoria.com

Name Profession/Job Title: Address: Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email:

To Rent a 2 bedroom Resort Apartment or a 3 bedroom Master Suite Apartment, at The Residences, Victoria please contact: reservations. htvr@tivolihotels.com or visit: www.tivolihotels.com

Terms and conditions. Competition open to UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 years or over. A maximum of 4 guests are able to take the prize. Any children on the trip must be accompanied by an adult. Return economy flights only. The trip must be booked and taken any time before 30th June 2011. The 7 nights’ accommodation and any additional offers/services are subject to availability and at the discretion of The Residences. No cash alternative will be offered. Editor’s decision final and no correspondence will be entered into. Competition closes on the 14th of January 2011, with the draw taking place on the 17th January 2011. Only one entry per household. Winners details may be used for promotional purposes. Full terms & conditions available upon written request. Entrants will be contacted by The Residences again for future marketing related purposes, unless stated otherwise. If you do NOT wish to be contacted for such reasons, please tick here

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ART & CULTURE – SPECIAL FEATURE

Objet d’Art Ataur Rahman sits down with Art lover and head of the Pommery Champagne empire, Nathalie Vranken.

art as one of its most ardent supporters? So, just as LFW finished, I jumped on the first train to Paris for a one-to-one with the ambassadress of Domaine Pommery, Madame Nathalie Vranken; philanthropist and matriarch of the Vranken household.

A

rt, fashion and film have always been entwined, one creative field inspiring the other, but nowhere is this more evident than at Frieze, the UK’s largest contemporary art fair. Following hot on the heels of London Fashion Week, it’s the most eagerly awaited event on the end of summer calendar. And who better to explore this symbiotic relationship with than the Champagne house which champions contemporary

Sitting in her third floor office tucked away in a courtyard nestled between Avenue Montaigne and the Champs Elysées, Nathalie Vranken greets me with a warm smile upon my arrival. She catches me glancing around her office. “We’re re-decorating”, she assures me with her charming Parisian accent, “which is why the walls are a bit bare so you’ll have to excuse us. It’s a busy time of year with the start of Experience Pommery and the Frieze Art fair coming up and, you know, I’m also a full time mother and wife, so things take a little time” she chuckles. Indeed they do, but I couldn’t spot anything out of place or a

speck of dust anywhere to suggest there was any work going on. Sure the walls were a little bare, but there was order everywhere I looked. We sat down to begin the interview and almost immediately it was as if we had been talking for hours. A natural conversationalist, she has a charm and effortless elegance that belies the steely business mind in charge of an empire. It was re-assuring to hear her speak with such jovial candour because, given her international status as a major supporter of the arts, she, along with her husband Paul-François Vranken, certainly could have afforded to engage in a different manner. It was this earnest, down to earth nature that I found most intriguing. The Vranken family have just embarked on their annual six-month long exhibition, the aforementioned Experience Pommery, which is now in

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ART & CULTURE – SPECIAL FEATURE

its 8th year, and this time they will be celebrating a rich past full of memories. Curated by Régis Durand, a former Director of Jeu de Paume, the event has nostalgically been titled, Nos Meilleurs Souvenirs, and will bring together a stellar line up of artists to honour the many collaborations between Durand and Madame Vranken which started with Printemps de Septembre in Cahors. Pommery have been sponsoring the event for the past 20 years, which has led to a number of other key fairs, such as the FIAC, the Armory Show and, of course, Frieze. As the conversation flowed I wondered what prompted her involvement in contemporary art. “Well, we are not engaged in contemporary art simply because it’s fashionable. Madame Pommery was a great supporter of art during the late nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, so

we have a great tradition in the field. We even have some very important pieces stored in the cellar. What we want to do is to continue with her [Madame Pommery’s] traditions, and to do that we have to have an interest in what’s new and combine that with what she built. This is the view of the Domaine Pommery”. This philosophy of continuing with the traditions of Madame Pommery is clearly important to Madame Vranken and every year Experience Pommery attracts tens of thousands of visitors over its six months duration. “The opening day is always a spectacle to behold. We commission a special train for Pommery at the Gare de l’Est (Paris East Train Station) and we have artists, families of artists, curators, museum directors and clients – a lot of people all arriving at the Domaine on the same train at the same time. It’s a lot of fun!”

Over the past seven years Experience Pommery has hosted well over two hundred artists, a clear indication of its success. I ask Nathalie how she chooses which artists to invite to showcase their work during the event. “I always find a curator! I am not interested in the choice of artists by the curator. I mean, I have an idea and it starts from there, so I choose a curator who I know will pull in the right group of artists of the right calibre

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and we go from there. I don’t choose the artists, but of course I keep an eye on them. If one of them decided to paint everything yellow I will say, ‘thank you very much, but it’s not possible’. I am here to be the protector of what’s possible. I am the common sense”. As we talk about the evolution of the shows our discussion steers back to Pommery’s involvement with Frieze. “We were partners with the Armory Show in New York and the FIAC in Paris. So we thought it would be interesting for us to partner with Frieze as then we would have two of the most important fairs in Europe, in my opinion - FIAC for the French part of the world and Frieze for the English. When you are a Champagne brand it is very easy to make friends and find partnerships”, she says with a smile, “But you need to have a purpose and have an exchange of ideas. You can imagine what can be produced at these shows; it’s out of this world”. Being a Champagne brand one can imagine there is considerable demands made of them to support events and causes in their various guises. So where does the business stop and the philanthropy start? “Of course you don’t have philanthropy if you don’t have a wealthy business. Those who tell you the contrary are lying. When you mix ideas you may or may not have great success. If I am holding exhibitions in the Domaine Pommery cellar, and I’m

working for the image of Pommery, I’m sure doing the exhibitions are a good way to have people talk about, and be interested in Pommery. So people coming to the exhibitions may or may not go out and buy Pommery immediately, but when they are in a shop or restaurant, they will think they know the brand upon seeing it. But it also means acting in a culturally or socially beneficial way necessitates that you are running a company that is doing well and there is an expansion of the brand. I have not said this - it doesn’t come from me, it comes from Fondation Cartier (pour l’art Contemporain)”. As we start to wrap up I ask about Nathalie’s role at the Comité Montaigne, for which she is credited with starting their annual events and brand partnerships, as well as her personal interests and what makes her tick. “Ah, Comité Montaigne, the association of all the boutiques of the Avenue

Montaigne!” she declares. “It was launched in 1979. I was not a very interested or competitive student so I started a company at the age of 22 with money from my father. But once I had the company I didn’t know what to do with it. It was then that I met the president of the association and presented an idea to get the boutiques to open wine tasting evenings to draw in the gentlemen customers along with their wives, who otherwise would be shopping alone. When you have fine wines and Champagne, it’s a different story! So we needed a partner to supply the drinks and we knew of a guy called Vranken, who was a friend of Alain Dominique Perrin and who supplied Champagne to Cartier. He [Vranken] approached me and we had lunch. At the end of the lunch he asked to marry me. So I had a Champagne partner, an event, my business and a husband. Formidable! And as for personal interests, if only I could have a day where everybody forgot about me. I would start the day watching a movie or two in bed. I love films, but never have the opportunity to watch any...” she says wistfully. If only all our lives could slot into place so easily. But with such charm, warmth and class you couldn’t begrudge her a few ‘aligning of the stars’ moments, especially when it has allowed her to give back to so many of us by simply doing what she loves.

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1.

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ART & CULTURE

ART EXHIBITIONS

SOLD OUT: AMERICAN POP ART fROM ThE 1970S TO ThE 1980S 22 September - 20 November 2010 Olyvia Fine Art, 17 Ryder Street, London SW1Y 6PY www.olyviafineart.com This exciting exhibition of works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Wesselmann, Keith Haring, Robert Longo and Frank Stella illustrates the evolution of Pop Art and the diversity of styles and techniques developed by its leading contributors. This comprehensive and original collection of paintings, silk-screens and wall sculptures aims to highlight key notions of Pop art using existing imagery from mass culture, the flatness of un-modulated and unmixed colours bound by hard edges, as well as the mechanical techniques that imply the removal of the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand and suggest a depersonalisation process of mass production, and the unapologetic decorativeness of popular taste.

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ART & CULTURE

THE MATTHEW WILLIAMSON DISPLAY 13 October 2010 – 30 January 2011 Somerset House The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org To coincide with the publication of MATTHEW WILLIAMSON’s new book, Somerset House will be hosting a display of his work, offering a unique insight into the life of one of the most original and exciting fashion designers working today, about whom actress Sienna Miller said: “When I step into one of Matthew’s dresses I feel like I am stepping into his world, which is colourful, ethereal and dreamlike”. The display will animate aspects of the book and will feature a range of photographs and key quotes from contributors such as Paul Smith, Diane Von Furstenburg, Zandra Rhodes, Anna Wintour, Editor of US Vogue, and Lucy Yeomans, editor of Harpers Bazaar.

DIOr ILLuSTrATED: rENé GruAu AND THE LINE Of BEAuTY 10th November 2010 – 9th January 2011 Somerset House The Strand, London WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org This is a celebration of the renowned illustrator René Gruau (1909-2004), who created some of the most iconic fashion and beauty images of the 20th century. This exciting exhibition will showcase groundbreaking artworks, including over forty original illustrations for Christian Dior Parfums, exquisite vintage perfume bottles, sketches, magazines and poster adverts. René Gruau’s bold lines and fluid style were perfectly in tune with the spirit of Dior, capturing the energy, elegance and audacity of the brand. His illustrations also tell of a special understanding Gruau had of Christian Dior himself, born of a close friendship between the two men. The show will also feature a selection of Dior Haute Couture dresses personally selected by John Galliano including a special dress, designed by Galliano himself, in homage to Gruau.

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NEWSPEAK: BRITISH ART NOW PART II 27 OCTOBER 2010 – 16 JANUARY 2011 Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4SQ www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk

Maurizio Anzeri Giovanni 2009 Photographic print with embroidery 51 x 41 cm Courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London © Maurizio Anzeri, 2010

As the title suggests, this is the second instalment of the Gallery’s museum-scale survey of emerging British contemporary art. Far from manifesting a visual language in decline, which the Orwellian title might suggest, the exhibition celebrates a new generation of artists for whom the stimulus of our hyper-intensified, codified, contemporary world provides a radical pathway to a host of new forms and images. From sculpture and painting, to installation and photography, artists here employ a hybrid of traditional and contemporary techniques and materials to create a new language with which to articulate the world around them. The exhibition features a selection of works by renowned artists including Alan Brooks, Alexander Hoda, Anna Barriball, Anne Hardy and Ansel Krut.

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ART & CULTURE

Dominique Dieulot: PhotograPher extraorDinaire Dominique Dieulot has a CV that reads like a programme for the Paris Fashion Shows, having worked with Popy Moreni, Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Ishunuma, Issey Miyake, Romeo Gigli, Jean Paul Gauthier, Anne Valérie Hash, Lanvin, Maurizio Galante, to name but a few. Her influences include photographers such as Lillian Bassman. She’s renowned for a highly creative approach to shooting fashion images and it’s this approach that has informed her fine art photography. In particular her ‘Butoh’ series, featured by Oc-Eo Art at their recent Attractive-Repulsive exhibition. Here we introduced three women artists, each presenting their own visions of a woman’s body relating to their specific cultures, sensitivities and development. Butoh is a dance that was developed in Japan after the 2nd World War as a statement against the nuclear strikes and the creeping Americanisation of the culture. It found a home in Paris, and Dieulot came across her model performing in the Place des Vosges. Fascinated by her subject, she proceeded to photograph her in great depth and detail over a period of two years. As an artist, Dieulot seeks to capture feminine signs of grace, beauty and elegance, and so her Butoh images are hauntingly beautiful - the cosmic white of a kimono, flashes of mother-of-pearl on skin, the sfumato style of the shadows and corners, the abyssal blackness of hair, the languor and tension of the extremities and, ultimately, the sumptuousness of self-abandonment. Dieulot’s encounter with this Japanese dancer, with her beauty, sensuality and powerful spiritual aesthetic, was an emotional shock to her. The history of art is replete with campaigns designed to repackage the female body within the reassuring assumptions of aesthetics. In this long contemplation of these slow movements, Dominique Dieulot makes the liberation of the spirit visible. Her lens leans into a movement, tightens in on exorcised violence, joins the artist in absorbing the irradiant light, then occupies the emptiness and the hardwon peace. Through this enraptured contemplation, she draws us into the image and gives us the key to help us reconnect with a forgotten world.

Further images and information can be found at www.oc-eo.com, or from info@oc-eo.com

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C m th qu th

Sc Te

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Foto: Daniel Wester

Lars Wallin and Carpe Diem Beds have Lars Wallin and Carpe Diem Beds have through a unique cooperation in bed- and through a unique cooperation in bed- and bedroom textile design created an extravagant bedroom textile design created an extravagant collection of beds and bedtime accessories. collection of beds and bedtime accessories. The two strong brands are intimately The two strong brands are intimately associated with design innovative design and are associated with innovative and are constantlythe stretching the boundaries. constantly stretching boundaries. Nowlike we would share this sophisticated Now we would to sharelike thistosophisticated dream-like dream-like luxury withluxury you. with you. Find your nearest Find your nearest retailer on retailer on www.carpediembeds.com www.carpediembeds.com

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INTERIORS

Kitchen Creative Who’s cooking up the best recipes in kitchen design? Paulina Nejman finds out.

Our living patterns change constantly but kitchens continue to play a pivotal role in open plan living, no matter if it is used a little or a lot. We actually entertain in kitchens more often these days so it’s vital that it feels inviting, comfortable and welcoming. It’s not all about functional. Appliances are part of the look and clever storage keeps clutter to a minimum. Most of all it’s important that the transition between the kitchen and dining/living area is seamless. Whether yours is a high tech lab or a traditional design there are many kitchen designers to choose from. Here are a few examples of the latest in kitchen design:

Plain English

Bulthaup

Since 1992, Plain English have used traditional materials and methods to produce handmade, tailored cabinetry with meticulous attention to detail. The collection consists of four ranges, with a wide variety of door patterns. This Williamsburg (Shaker) Kitchen is made with painted tulip wood frames and dovetailed drawers on waxed wooden slips. If you’re in the market for a Plain English kitchen make sure you have at least £40,000 to start with. www.plainenglishdesign.co.uk

Bulthaup kitchens are modern yet timeless. Their new B2 kitchen consists of elements that can be re-combined, moved and added to, giving your kitchen versatility in terms of spacing and ambience. A particular selling point is Bulthaup’s new, horizontal floating energy-efficient air extractors with fluorescent tube light, which can be positioned according to users’ individual and changing needs. Prices on consultation. www.bulthaup.co.uk

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INTERIORS

Modulnova

Boffi

A new arrival to the UK, Modulnova is a young, progressive Italian kitchen company. Their ‘Twenty’ collection, shown here, is being showcased by Alternative Plans in their newly re-designed flagship showroom in Battersea, London. With its combination of clean lines and purpose-designed interior fittings, the kitchen can be wholly tailored to clients’ style and budget. Finishes include lacquers and book matched veneers in exotic timbers. Clever storage solutions allow the kitchen modules to become pieces of furniture creating a fuss free, seamless look. Modulnova kitchens start at £25,000. www.alternative-plans.co.uk

Boffi have manufactured state-of-the-art, innovative kitchens since 1934. The company is known for its minimalist but functional style. Its new range Aprile Kitchen System, designed by Piero Lissoni, was launched earlier this year. Here the use of natural materials, such as newly treated wood and stone, combined with modern materials like stainless steel is the key factor. Stand out features are the new hob which is completely integrated into the Aprile’s worktop and made with an inset of either stainless steel, Serena stone and Carrara marble or solid black granite Prices on consultation www.boffi-chelsea.com

Tsunami

Aster Cucine from InHouse

What sets Tsunami kitchens apart from their competitors is the unusual minimalist, masculine design and use of unique materials. Their Terra kitchen, designed by Alberto Minotti and Claudio Silvestrin, is made in such a way that all the appliances, sinks and taps are concealed behind doors and sliding or flip-up worktops. All clad in semiprecious White Labradorite this kitchen will certainly make a statement! Prices start from £100,000 in stone. www.tsunamiuk.com

The new Contempora Next Collection from Aster Cucine has been designed with lighting in mind. During the day natural light reflects off a highly reflective surfaces made from hammered stainless steel, high gloss lacquer and glass. Thanks to hidden under cabinet lighting the place undergoes a total and dramatic transformation at night. Prices start from £12,000. www.astercucine.it

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INTERIORS

Decorex: Love Design Paulina Nejman brings us a taste of the fashion inspired interior design trends and products from this year’s Decorex, one of the world’s premiere interior design shows.

Fashion and interior design go hand in hand. It’s why so many of the more renowned designers like Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani are now known for their interiors and lifestyle furnishings as well as their clothes.. And, just like the fashion industry, the interior design industry has its summer and winter season collections and each season new trends take hold. One of the best places to keep ahead of the game is at Decorex, billed as the ‘international design show of choice’. Here you’ll find a myriad of industry exhibitors from designers, architects and high-end retailers all under one roof. If it’s not here, it’s not fashionable.

Crystal Tiles This year luxury tiling company Bisazza introduced six new decorative patterns, dubbed “The Crystal Collection”, at the London Design Festival. Each pattern is bejewelled with Swarovski crystals, the most noteworthy being this Skulls & Crown pattern. Used in a shower room or the interior of a pool the combination of the black reflective tiles and the twinkling crystals would be very dramatic. Prices from: £460 per square metre. www.bisazza.com

Stamp Rugs

Vintage Design Wall Paper

If you like your bit of heritage home furnishing with a contemporary twist you’ll find it in this exclusive collection of Queen’s head stamp rugs from Rug-Maker. They have been given exclusive licence by Royal Mail to fully recreate the iconic design on handmade, 100% New Zealand wool rugs. Used as a conventional rug or wall hanging these are real conversation starters. Prices start from £695.00 based on 1.20m x 1.00 m. www.stamprugs.com

The spirit of the 1950s and 1960s are back, with this vibrant ‘Spirit’ wallpaper design from the Boutique Collection by Harlequin. Only recently launched, this and eight other designs have been printed on non-woven paper for easy use and hanging £39.00/roll. www.harlequin.uk.com

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INTERIORS

Mademoiselle Moschino Armchairs Kartell’s most fashionable armchair gets a contemporary makeover, courtesy of the House of Moschino, in a salute to this year’s Milan fashion week. Just like the clothes these are bold and vibrant stand out designs not for the shy and retiring. Definite statement furniture. Price: £485. www.kartell.com

Function and High Design Dalcan’s Lolly Pop collection combines cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art technology and creates a stimulating experience of look, touch, sound, and even smell. This AV cabinet combines a TV, hifidelity speakers, a plethora of additional audio-visual devices, and a fragrance diffuser. Prices start from around £25,000. www.dalcans.com

Animal Print tiles

Disposable Linen Napkins These linen napkins and placemats, from the Monogrammed Linen Shop, follow today’s trends of colour and disposability and can be used up to five times. They start from £11.95 a roll and are available from www. monogrammedlinenshop.com

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These exquisite boldly coloured animal inspired print tiles from De Ferranti’s Serengeti Collection come in four designs in sandstone and black marble and are made with the utmost attention to detail. They’re available in a variety of traditional tile styles, including the Opus sectile (pictured), an ancient Roman method of assembling designs where materials are cut to thin places, polished, and then cut further according to the required pattern Prices from £1200 per sq m www.deferranti.com

Ikat Rugs The bold patterns of Ikat rugs are currently all the rage, and Luke Irwin has capitalised on this with his new collection launched in October to mark the opening of his first shop in Pimlico, London. The collection consists of nine designs, using silk and wool, with each piece handmade to order. Prices start from £650 per sq m. www.lukeirwin.com

23/10/2010 11:53


URBAN TASTE

EAT ING OUT 2010 KYASHII Once upon a time I used to be an accomplished club Dj. One of my regular spots was at a now defunct bar called Denim in Saint Martin’s Lane, opposite the infamous Stringfellows nightclub. So it was with a little bit of nostalgia that life came full circle again and I returned there to review new Japanese restaurant and lounge bar, Kyashii, the newest residents of the old Denim property. The first thing to be said about the new place is that it looks very chic from the outside and entering the restaurant gave me a real sense of just how much of a transformation the place had undergone. Fresh, modern and contemporary design with amazing aquarium tanks inset into the length of the back wall. Fortunately the staff were warm and welcoming as we walked in. A snooty attitude could really have made the place feel cold as the stark lighting really bounced around all the white surfaces on the restaurant floor. My companion and I were led upstairs to the lounge bar where we could relax and have a drink while we waited for our table. This in itself would be a great place to hang out even if you were not eating at the restaurant. The chocolate decor is fantastic and a nice contrast to expanses of white below. The funky music and the large inset video screens completed the atmosphere and we were almost sorry to leave when our table became available.

Admittedly I am not such an aficionado of Japanese food and, while I was looking forward to the experience, I also made sure to bring along somebody who was a veteran of the cuisine – her expertise might come in handy. For appetisers I started with Steamed Edamame (£3.50) while she opted for the Miso Soup (£4.50). Already the expertise was starting to tell. The Soup had much more flavour to it than the Edamame (soybeans lightly steamed in their pods), so much so that I had to ditch them and order my own soup. Hopefully my other choices were as good as the soup. We also tried the Mixed Seafood Tartar (£7.50) and the Chicken Kara-age (£6.50). I’d hit paydirt! They were both beautifully prepared and delicious, especially the chicken, which was battered and marinated in soy sauce and ginger, which I adored.

There was hardly room for desert but when someone offers you something called a ‘Yuzu Tart’ with champagne ice cream and brandy butter it would be rude to refuse. It turned out to be the perfect end to a very good meal. Kyashii looks fantastic and has great food matched by thankfully unpretentious service. The decor and lighting doesn’t really make this a place for lovers but for friends out for dinner it will be hard to beat. Andre Gayle 4a Upper Saint Martin’s Lane London WC2H 9NY 020 7836 5211 www.kyashii.co.uk

We were on a roll (forgive the pun) and followed those dishes with a platter of sushi selections. For our delectable pleasure we had Sake Sashimi (£5.50), Maguro Nigiri (£3.00), Toboko Nigiri (£2.00), Ikura Nigiri (£3.00), Dragon Roll Sushi (£12.50 for eight) and Ama Ebi (£2.00). First thing to note is the presentation is fantastic – simple, clean yet appetizing – with great colours set against the white serving dishes. Diving into it all was a real explosion of flavours and I recommend the Dragon Roll in particular.

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URBAN TASTE

L’ETRANGER make a name for herself in the world of fine and contemporary art, so we had much to talk about. And where better than at L’Etranger with its intimate and convivial setting? The restaurant clearly enjoys local patronage, since pretty much all tables were full and looked like they were on familiar terms with the staff and manager. Having said that, it didn’t take long for us to engage in light banter with them either. So far, so good.

I remember when Ibi Issolah first opened L’Etranger because it was around the time when I launched Urban Life. It’s one of those places that’s been on my list of places to review for years, so I was glad to have finally made it through its doors recently. My dining companion on this occasion is an art dealer about to

So conversation starts flowing over a glass of white wine for my campanion (£9.50) and sprakling water for me and the food starts arriving. On the table first was a Tofu Chaud Fait Maison, Sauce Ponzu et Gingembre (homemade tofu with ginger and ponzu - £8.50) for my companion and a Salade de Homard, Langoustine et Foie Gras (lobster, langoustine and foie gras salad - £16.50) for me. The tofu surprised us, since it had to be cooked on the table. It was hard to resist the temptation to keep peeking under the lid to see how it was solidifying by the minute. My companion certainly enjoyed the ‘homecooked’ element to the theatre of it all. My salad on the other hand was just perfectly delicious. On to the main courses and we ordered

a Cabillaud Noir Carmelisé au Miso (caramelised black cod with miso£26.00) for my companion, which in her own words was “better than the one I had in Nobu a while ago”. For myself, it was the Suprême de Poulet Farci au Crabe et Mascarpone et Sauce aux Girolles (cornfed chicken breast stuffed with crab and mascarpone with girolles sauce - £16.50). quite a mouthful, but lived up to its name. It was perfectly cooked and the crab stuffing was delicately balanced with the mascarpone adding to a fusion of tastes you wouldn’t otherwise think would work. The main course was accompanied by a couple of sides (£4.50). For dessert we had just the signature L’Etranger Death by Chocolate (£14.50), which as the name suggests is lethal! Thankfully we were too full already otherwise it could have got messy. This was followed by coffee and macaroons. My next trip is saved for their Sashimi offering, which I hear is pretty good. Judging by this meal, I don’t doubt it. Ataur Rahman L’Etranger 36 Gloucester Road, SW7 4QT 0207 584 1118 www.etranger.co.uk

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

Mehek

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.

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URBAN LIFE

OUR GUIDE TO THE MOST EXCLUSIVE AND HIPPEST PARTIES & EVENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD The launch of Vertu’s first smartphone, The Constellation Quest at Lancaster House, St. James’s

Getty Images

Amy Sacco and friends

Amanda Hendrick in Swarovski

Holly Valance and Nick Candy

Aisha and James Caan

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Diana Vickers

David Gandy

Olivia Inge

Evgeny Lebedev, Georgie Gregg and Ben Fogle

Seal and Kevin Spacey

Tom Parker Bowles

Brigitte Nielsen

23/10/2010 12:01


Celeb spotting at New York Fashion Week

Andre Leon Talley, Reinaldo Herrera & Fran Lebowitz

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Anna Wintour

Estelle

Stanley Tucci

Omarion

Sarah Jessica Parker & Rachel Bilson

Jay Sean & Thara Piashad Kristin Cavallari

Jojo

Iman & Carlos Mota

Emma Roberts Nicky Hilton

Katrina Bowden

Jessica Simpson

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Molly Sims

Odette Yustman & Perrey Chris Stollery Reeves & Leon Ford

23/10/2010 12:25


URBAN LIFE 54Th Bfi London Film Festival

Sam Rockwell

Amanda Hendrick in Swarovski

Hillary Swank

Diana Vickers

Michelle Williams

Gillian Anderson & Mark Griffiths

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Getty Images

Carey Mulligan & Kieira Knightly

Ruth Wilson

Mark Strong & Liza Marshall

Edith Bowman

Andrew Garfield

Minnie Driver

23/10/2010 12:26


Renault at the 2010 Paris Motor Show

Flavie Flament

Aissa Maiga & Firmine Richard

Luc Besson & Carlos Ghosn

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Getty Images

Christophe Lambert

Simon Le Bihan & Daniela Beye

Jean Luc Lahaye

Thierry Fremont

Rachida Dati

Judith Godreche

Frederique Bell

Chris Stollery & Leon Ford Jean Hughes Anglade Gerard Darmon

23/10/2010 12:26


URBAN LIFE EVENTS A small selection of images from our LFW opening night party at Chinawhite

Š Patrick Anderson

Urban Life events are sponsored by

www.oc-eo.com

www.viaherbal.co.uk

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Urban Life Magazine  

Urban Life is a luxury lifestyle magazine for professional/affluent Londoners. features include: fashion, beauty, celebrity, motoring, tech...