Departures

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Autumn 2014

Style

The art Of

FROM THE UNABASHED GLAMOUR OF HAUTE COUTURE

TO TIMEPIECES WITH AN UNMISTAKABLE EDGE AND

A SUMPTUOUS ARRAY OF HOMEWARES – A SEASONAL GUIDE

TO THE CHIC, SLEEK AND UNIQUE

Plus

LISBON’S ALLURE, MALLORCA’S MAGIC, A SRI LANKAN IDYLL AND A TURKISH DELIGHT


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CONTENTS

AUTUMN

2014

features

68

PASSION AND

PATHOS

A crimson-hued collection

of dramatic looks against the

noble white rocks of the

English seaside

STYLED BY ELISA VALLATA

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

CAMERON-JAMES WILSON

76

FAIR & SQUARE

A svelte selection of edgy

watches proves it is, in fact,

hip to be square

BY LAURIE KAHLE

PHOTOGRAPHS BY XAVIER YOUNG

80

COUTURE À

L’ANGLAISE

The fine art of haute couture

takes London by storm

BY AVRIL GROOM

86

ALL I HAVE

LONGED FOR

I FOUND IN

PONDICHERRY

Soul-searching in

India’s spiritual enclave

BY TINA GAUDOIN

PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM PARKER

ON THE COVER

Couture gown by Nicholas

Oakwell, photographed by

Benjamin Kaufmann.

For more, see page 68

CAMERON JAMES WILSON

p 68 Majestic shades of red mark this issue’s eye-popping fashion spread

8 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


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CONTENTS

AUTUMN 2014

departments

14

CHECKING IN

By Christian Schwalbach

20

IN THIS ISSUE

DEPARTURES contributors

BLACKBOOK

23 Treasure island:

Sri Lanka’s southern charm

28 The cool side of Bodrum:

Alaçatı; plus Istanbul’s hippest spot

32 Mallorca:

the Balearic beauty on the rise

36 Florence Update;

plus, what’s cooking in Italy

42 All lit up:

the lure of Lisbon

p 57

Buster +

Punch’s midcentury-inspired

cocktail tray

STYLE ETC.

45 Fashion dispatches

from a trio of cities:

London, Milan and Paris

50 Grab bags:

motorcycle chic

53 Hair, Face, Body:

grooming for men, beauty for the

ladies and candles for the home

54 Pint-sized styles:

dressing up the kids

57

HOME + DESIGN

Comfort zone: a compendium

of the artful, the modish and

the innovative

p 45

Young Londonbased

designer

Danielle Romeril

p 23

An Indian Ocean vista, as seen through the

lush greenery at Underneath the Mango tree in

southern Sri Lanka

Online

extras!

Property special: A look at

20 diverse real estate treasures

currently available for sale

around the globe

Best of the best: From real-world

Game of Thrones locations to the

coolest surf spots in Ireland, a

curated collection of top lists

Hotel happenings: Whether brash,

bold, bijoux or Beaux

Arts, a round-up of the latest,

greatest and grandest in the

world of hospitality

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: © BUSTER + PUNCH, GERNOT GLEISS, JOHNNY MCMILLAN

10 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


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CHECKING IN CHRISTIAN SCHWALBACH

THE ANNALS

OF STYLE

You’ve either got or you haven’t got ... style.” That

ineffably subtle but instantly recognisable virtue

was one that Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn

rhapsodised about in their timeless refrain, written

for the 1964 musical Robin and the 7 Hoods. It

portended a keen eye and a curated outlook in everything from the

tiniest detail in the clothing we wear to the few (or many) objects

we surround ourselves with – not to mention the multifarious

locales, be they exotic or familiar, to which we travel. It broadcasts,

to those in the know, who we are and how we wish to be perceived.

In this edition of Departures, we embrace style and all manner

of things stylish, starting with our unlikely cover story on the

handful of artisans who are reinventing haute couture, not in the

predictable workshops of Paris, but in the up-and-coming ateliers

of London – and doing so with a flourish. As Avril Groom reports

on page 80, half a century after Britain established itself as a hub

for men’s fine tailoring, it’s putting itself on the map for the most

vaunted iteration of women’s costuming as well.

Style, of course, reigns supreme not just on the body but in the

abode. Which is why our Home & Design section – revamped

like all others in this issue – is dedicated to the latest and greatest

in homewares from around the world. Thanks in large part to our

resident interiors expert Nicole Swengley, we have assembled a

collection of must-haves spanning every room in the house. Our

special report starts on page 57.

The modish theme also encapsulates our travel features,

including a tri-city insider’s guide to who, what and where is

hot in the European style capitals of London, Milan and Paris –

complementing stories about Mallorca and Florence and all the

happenings there. But we also have a few off-beat pieces, too,

including dispatches from Sri Lanka’s south, the Turkish town of

Alaçatı and Pondicherry in India. Wherever you’re headed this

autumn, we hope it is in style.

FROM TOP: © ROCHE BOBOIS, HELEN CATHCART, FILIPPO FIOR, © ASPREY, © RALPH & RUSSO, LAZIZ HAMANI, BENJAMIN KAUFMANN

14 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


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IN THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTORS

AVRIL GROOM

WRITER

“Couture à l’anglaise”, page 80 and “Dispatches from London, Milan, Paris”, page 45

“There are times when the privilege of an insider’s view into the exquisite worlds of haute couture and high

jewellery just knocks your socks off,” gushes the fashion writer of the research that went into her two stories for

this issue. “Like walking into a breathtaking, circular arena of white orchids for Raf Simons’s amazing show for

Dior and being equally wowed by the clothes. Or entering the hallowed portals of Alexandre Reza in Paris, or the

new maison of Giampiero Bodino in Milan and finding the environment as beautifully designed and curated as

the jewels.” Groom is also a regular contributor to such titles as Sphere and Harrods magazine.

CAMERON-JAMES WILSON

PHOTOGRAPHER

“Passion and pathos”, page 68

“Shooting on location is always nerve-wracking,

but when you’re on a beach in the UK you just

pray it doesn’t rain,” says the London-based

photographer who has shot for Rough Magazine

UK and Phoenix, among others. “Luckily for us

it was the hottest day of the year so far! The

glistening powder-blue sea and the chalky

white rocks were the perfect backdrop for this

gorgeous shoot, even if my black shoes were

white by the end of the day!”

PAUL RICHARDSON

WRITER

“Mallorca’s moment”, page 32

“I thought I knew Mallorca like the back of my hand,” admits the author of

his recent visit to the Balearic island for Departures. But Richardson, author

of A Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain and a contributing editor at

Condé Nast Traveller, managed to be surprised afresh: “I was amazed by the

plan to transform Magaluf beach. It won’t be easy, but it has to happen.”

TINA GAUDOIN

WRITER

“All I have longed for I found in Pondicherry”,

page 86

The jet-setting lifestyle editor and consultant to London’s Design

Museum is currently working on her third book, a family history

set in India and Burma. She is also a contributing editor to

The Wall Street Journal Europe. Her journey to Pondicherry and

Chennai, remembered in these pages, brought her to the church

where her ancestors were married in the 1880s.

NICOLE SWENGLEY

WRITER

“A curated guide to material comforts”, page 57

“The current design scene is hot, hip and happening, and picking the latest and most

stylish homewares was a real pleasure,” says the interiors journalist. Based in London, Swengley is

well placed to report on the international design agenda and contributes regularly to the

Financial Times’s How to Spend It, The Telegraph magazine and The Art Newspaper.

KEEP IN TOUCH We welcome your comments and recommendations, which we may edit for clarity and space. Contact us at letters@departures-international.com. THE KEY All

prices are in British pounds, euros or American dollars unless otherwise specified. Hotel is a member of Fine Hotels & Resorts Establishment is either cash only or does not accept

American Express cards. Online extras at departures-international.com

follow DEPARTURES magazine on Twitter @DeparturesInt

20 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


SWISS First

Discover a new world

before you even get there.


BLACKBOOK

WHERE TO GO NEXT TRAVEL WHAT TO KNOW NOW

Southern

CHARM

Pristine wilderness, culinary delights

and an unfettered sense of adventure all

combine to make Sri Lanka’s southward

side an off-the-radar treasure, as

FRANZISKA SENG discovered firsthand

On location

W

e’ve actually got everything

right here,” says island

native Noel Rodrigo,

speaking in a part of the

world that is the stuff of storybook

illustrations: lonely bays, fine sand beaches

and, beyond them, several thousand

kilometres of nothingness – then Antarctica.

“Everything,” he continues, “except for ski

slopes.” The outer tip of Sri Lanka doubles

as the lowermost point of the Indian

subcontinent: the ends of the Earth as we

know it, and yet, this once-troubled island

(where a civil war raged for decades) has

experienced a boom in development over

the past few years, offering up compelling

reasons to come explore its already cultureand

nature-rich surrounds.

JOHN SEATON CALLAHAN/GETTY IMAGES

Crystal-clear waters

and laid-back beach

life in Unawatuna,

near Galle

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BLACKBOOK ON LOCATION

like smoked goat cheese cream

Sri Lanka is home to

a number of rare bird

species, like the great

hornbill (left); suite

with garden and ocean

views at the new

Underneath the Mango

Tree resort (right)

Rodrigo is a former motor

sport professional and owner

of two safari camps to which

we’re heading, as we pass

scores of pilgrims en route to

Sithulpahuwa. The ruins of

the 4,000-year-old Buddhist

cloister lie at the heart of Yala

National Park, just one of

the area’s ancient cultural

treasures. In a certain sense,

Rodrigo is a pilgrim, too.

Before founding Leopard

Safaris (leopardsafaris.com), he

spent some 30 years exploring

Sri Lanka’s national parks on

his own. But his true passion

is the leopard, and Yala is his

El Dorado. “We have one of

the highest concentrations of

leopards worldwide. The

chances of spotting one are

pretty high,” he explains. “I

like to sit in a tree until one

flits across my camera lens!”

His guests enjoy

considerably more

comfortable environs: springloaded

Land Rovers, airconditioned

tents, barbecue

dinners and hot showers in

the company of lightning

bugs under the starlit sky. Still,

the best experience here is

with the animals. If watching

the sun rise over the park –

campers, unlike daytime

tourists, are the first here –

isn’t spectacular enough, the

many rare birds, the elephant

herd that makes its way past

us against the backdrop of the

Indian Ocean and, of course,

the three leopards that

suddenly appear to soberly

examine us, only to quietly

disappear back into the

wilderness, shine like sparkling

gems, unforgettable keepsakes

seared into one’s memory.

An exploration of the

region’s ample culinary cache

begins with one of the

island-nation’s foremost

exports: tea. The Handunugoda

Tea Estate (virginwhitetea.com)

near Mirissa produces small

quantities of green, black and

white blends. Here, guests can

taste 20 different varieties –

some internationally acclaimed

– that have won over at least a

few dyed-in-the-wool coffee

drinkers. One-of-a-kind brews

include Ceylon Souchong,

which is smoked over

cinnamon wood, and the

morosely named Suicide Blend,

which is enriched with cognac.

The company’s Virgin White

Tea, though, takes the cake: it’s

made on the plantation and is

based on a recipe from the days

of the Chinese Empire.

Those looking for the future

of Sri Lankan cuisine should

Precious, carefully harvested Virgin White Tea from the Handunugoda Tea Estate (left);

market-fresh ingredients at Underneath the Mango Tree’s popular eatery (right)

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: GERNOT GLEISS (2), SERG MYSHKOVSKY/GETTY IMAGES, ANDY CAULFIELD/GETTY IMAGES

24

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BLACKBOOK ON LOCATION

head for the restaurant at the

Underneath the Mango Tree

(utmthotel.com) resort in Dikwella.

Or better yet, book a room for

a few nights. Austrian hotelier

and former pastry chef Robert

Hollmann is paving his own

path with an ambitious

concept for the recently opened

beachside retreat. It’s not just

the fact that he relies almost

exclusively on local resources,

adhering to stringent ecological

guidelines. Instead, says

Hollmann, “Our guests should

feel more comfortable here

than at home – they should feel

like they’re visiting Grandma.

We want to spoil and look after

them.” A hint of his distinct

Viennese sense of humour is

visible in every corner of the

place – an exercise in funloving

design, without

appearing garish or loud.

Sri Lanka is known for

ayurveda, and Underneath the

Mango Tree boasts an extensive

offering. The spectrum ranges

from “Light” with “Ayurveda

Wellness”, which includes

traditional spa treatments,

through to “Ayurveda Intense”,

complete with a bespoke,

doctor-supervised diet plan. It’s

not uncommon to catch a

glimpse of staff members from

nearby ayurveda resorts

tucking into the innovative,

creative and tasty Sinhalese

fusion dishes at the resort’s

excellent restaurant.

Those not interested in

dieting, but still looking to

shed a few pounds or ride the

waves on the Indian Ocean

need not look far. With softly

breaking waves, the beaches

around Under the Mango Tree

in the southeast are not only a

draw for surf novices, but are

also essentially undiscovered

by the surf tourism industry

and the crowds that inevitably

follow. The best course of

action is to hook up with an

experienced guide and surf

instructor like Bandula

Gardiyawasam (+94 77 63 577 34).

“I’ve done surf-guiding for

professionals, and they’ve said:

‘Please, don’t tell anyone about

these spots’,” he says with a

laugh. Still, sometimes he

does just that, giving his

guests a treat that for some is

the greatest pleasure

imaginable: gliding atop an

empty, perfect wave at the

edge of the world. ♦

The Yala National

Park is best known

for its bountiful

leopard population

The scene

URBAN

RETREAT

The blossoming citadel of Galle at the

southern tip of Sri Lanka beckons with

detour-worthy attractions and much more

Vintage souvenirs at Stick No Bills Poster Gallery (left); Sri Lanka’s

gemstone wealth renders Galle a paradise for jewellery lovers (right)

Long before colonial times, Galle was a

lively commercial centre. Today, the city’s

old town – including its UNESCOprotected

fort – remains a compact

bastion of history, and is just the right size

for a laid-back day trip. When it comes to

shopping, Galle’s countless jewellery studios are an

absolute must: Sri Lanka, is, after all, one of the

world’s most important sapphire and moonstone

exporters. While Ibrahim Jewellers (47 Church Street)

is the most renowned merchant here, check out

Pedlar’s Inn (pedlarsinn.com) for a selection of more

innovative designs. Stick No Bills Poster Gallery

(sticknobillsonline.com) specialises in high-quality

vintage prints from Sri Lanka, India and the rest of

the world. Designer Jo Eden Mimimango

(joedenmimimango.com) showcases quirky sari

creations in her shop. The diminutive Fortaleza

Boutique Hotel and Restaurant (fortaleza.lk) offers

up refreshing fusion cuisine in a cosy atmosphere.

The Amangalla ( amanresorts.com), in turn, is the

only exclusive resort here open to non-guests,

who can reserve tables at its excellent in-house

restaurant or book a treatment at its spa. Just a

short dive from the centre, the WB Villa (whybeach.

com) is a hidden beach refuge with an Italianinspired

restaurant. The Old Railway Café (

theoldrailwayshop.com) abutting the train station is

the best place to enjoy homemade cake while

spending a relaxed afternoon watching trains

come and go. —FS

SRI LANKA’S NEWEST JEWELS

Of late, it’s clear that the island nation is dead set on making the most of its can’t-beat natural beauty. While the intimate eight-bungalow Gal Oya Lodge

(galoyalodge.com), in a heartbreakingly beautiful park in the southeast of the country, kicked off its first season this June, Cape Weligama (capeweligama.com),

not far from Galle, is slated for launch in October with a svelte collection of 40 villas and vast, 270-degree panoramas of the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, at the

centre of the island, the new Taylor’s Hill (taylorshillkandy.com) is set on a tea estate and reminds one of a stately English country home. — CLAUDIA WHITEUS

FROM LEFT: © YALA NATIONAL PARK, © STICK NO BILLS POSTER GALLERY, KIM WALKER/GETTY IMAGES

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dispatch

ESCAPE TO ALA ÇATI

The town just north of Turkey’s perennially popular

resort destination of Bodrum has quickly become the

country’s newest retreat. BY LEE MARSHALL

Alancha restaurant serves

dishes like smoked goat’s

cheese cream with wild purslane

and strawberry vinegar (left)

and tomatoes and onions with

bean juice and garlic flowers

From the sprawling port city

of Izmir, in western Turkey, a

three-lane highway drapes a

ribbon actarren hills of the Çe¸

sme Peninsula. For miles all I see

are shrubs, wind farms and the occasional

sheep. After about an hour, a sign appears:

alaçati. Turning off into the town’s rural

suburbs, the air is heavy with the scent of

jasmine. A cat suns itself on a cemetery

wall. I could be anywhere in Turkey. Is

it really the new Bodrum, where people

come for the scene as much as they come

for the sun?

Gradually the town asserts itself in

a maze of lanes edged by handsome,

© ALANCHA (3)

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BLACKBOOK

INSTANBUL’S

KARAKÖY

QUARTER

The gritty industrial port area

overlooking the Golden Horn has

recently emerged as the city’s

hippest spot

FROM LEFT: MARTIN PATERNOTTE; © CONTEMPORARY HIC CRAFTS (2)

weathered stone houses. There’s a white

mosque, jazzed up by a splash of climbing

bougainvillea, and a bar where two old guys

in flat caps are playing backgammon – not

for the first time, I’m guessing. So far, so

Ottoman. But next door is a small hotel, then

an art gallery. Soon there are funky cafés,

design emporiums, miniskirted Beyoncé

lookalikes and a music store specialising

in vinyl. Approaching Kemalpas ¸a, the

main square, the beautiful people multiply,

and the sign above the Yastik textile

boutique (yastikbyrifatozbek.com), owned by

Turkish fashion designer Rıfat Özbek,

suggests I’ve reached the epicentre of cool.

“London-Istanbul-Alaçatı” it reads. For

many of the Turkish smart set who hang

out in the Aegean’s new summer hot spot,

the trio – plus New York and Berlin – are

the only places in the world that matter.

It’s startling to think that just 15 years

ago, this buzzing town 563 kilometres

southwest of Istanbul was very nearly a

ghost village and, until recently, lacked

the kind of proper luxury resort that

tends to put destinations like it on the

map. That changed last summer when

Alavya (rooms from $260; alavya.com.tr) opened

in the centre of the old town. This

arrival was a seismic event. It charts how

far Alaçatı has come since those far-off

years around the early 1990s (which

An Opal Premium

Room at Alavya

in Alaçatı time is the equivalent of the

Cambrian era), when nearby Liman

and Çark beaches were discovered by

the international windsurfing fraternity.

Most surfers camped near the beach,

but a few began to explore the charming

semi-abandoned village.

Built midway through the 1800s by

Greek workers brought in to drain nearby

marshes, Alaçatı fell into decline in the

early 1920s. But shortly after the surfers

discovered it, word got around about its

handsome but crumbling stone houses

and, before long, the first style mavens

from Istanbul and Izmir arrived to buy up

the properties (back then they could be

picked up for a song).

The Mayflower moment for Alaçatı was

the 2001 opening of marketing executive

Zey nep Özis Taş ¸’s Otel (rooms from $120; tasotel.

com), a seven-room, light-filled property

that helped to define the destination’s

WHERE TO BEACH

Sun wor shippers visiting Alaçatı may be put

off by the fact that the closest swimmable

beach is near Çeşme, half an hour away. A

favourite beach club near there is Okan’s

Place, where the drill is: swim, lounge, nosh

on meals with ingredients from owner Okan

Kızıldağ’s farm and repeat. okansplace.com

The gentrification of Karaköy

continues and has turned the

area near the Istanbul Modern

museum (istanbulmodern.org) into

a must-stop. Vault Karaköy, The House

Hotel (rooms from $220; thehousehotel.

com) just opened with 63 guest rooms in

a neo-Renaissance former bank. Interiors

mix historic details like columns and vaults

(one has been turned into a wine cellar)

with contemporary art and furniture. The

best rooms have views of Topkapı Palace.

The place to eat: Hoşaf (Lüleci Hendek

Cad No 46B; +90 530 920 0170), a new

Turkish spot run by Burak Sırmaçekici,

who previously worked at Anissa in New

York. There’s also Naıf (Mumhane Cad

No 52; +90 212 251 5335), a bistro serving

Anatolian cuisine prepared with local

farm-fresh ingredients. Next to Hoşaf,

Turkish contemporary painter Ismail Acar

(ismailacar.com.tr) works out of his home

and gallery, which can be rented for

events; the rooftop terrace faces

the Bosphorus.

The housewares store Hiç Crafts

(hiccrafts.com) stocks modern Turkish

items, from Suzani-inspired bed coverings

and silk ikat pillows (above) to delicate

ceramic dinnerware. Also new: Magnolia

Culture (Lüleci Hendek Cad No 49B; +90

212 243 1042), a bookstore with a seductive

selection of coffee-table books, like

Istanbul lensman Ahmet Ertuğ’s Ephesos

and Chora. The 16th-century Kılıç Ali Paşa

Hammam (kilicalipasahamami.com), originally

designed by Ottoman architect Mimar

Sinan, reopened in 2012 after a seven-year

renovation. It’s the best hammam in town

for those who want to bathe somewhere

more historic than a hotel.

In other Istanbul news: the Spice

Bazaar area, across the Galata Bridge

from Karaköy, finally has fine dining.

Chef Vedat Başaran opened Surplus

(Rüstempaşa Mah Ragıp Gümüş Cad 54; +90

212 520 1002), which offers regional cuisine

and an unbeatable view of the Golden

Horn, the Bosphorus and the silhouette of

the Old City. — MELISSA BIGGS BRADLEY

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29


BLACKBOOK DISPATCH

The pool

at Taş Otel

breezy but cultured style with heirloom

antiques playing off whitewashed walls and

a bougainvillea-fringed pool. The hotel

boom since then has been exponential:

Özis ¸ esti mates there are close to 250.

Thankfully, all the action has not ruined

the place. Few of the butik otels, as they

are called in Turkish, have more than eight

rooms, and since Özis ¸’s 2001 founding of

the Alaçatı Preservation Society and the

Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s

declaration of the town as a Cultural

Heritage Site, renovations and new builds

remain true to the vernacular tradition.

The owners of the Alavya,

contempo rary art collectors Erol

and Rama Tabanca, sidestepped

the space limitations by

purchasing and restoring what is basically

a whole town block of six Greek-era

houses, out of which they were able to

create 25 rooms and suites, a restaurant

and bar, a boutique and a spa. The land

between the houses is taken up by terraces

and gardens surrounding a small mosaiclined

pool. They brought in designer and

Alaçatı-devotee Hakan Ezer to give a stylish

East-meets-West feel, and this past

summer at the all-year-round Mitu café,

bar and bistro, they engaged the services

of Turkish executive chef Murat Çakiro -

glu, who specialises in Asian-Turkish fusion.

Alaçatı’s creative dining scene is fast

turning ˘ the resort town into one of the

most interesting places to eat in Turkey

outside Istanbul. At the crest of the wave is

Alancha (alancha.com), the hilltop fiefdom of

soft-spoken former windsurfing champion

Kemal Demirasal. Opened in spring 2013

inside a converted windmill, Alancha aims

to offer a “journey around Anatolia on a

plate”. Not always on a plate, to be honest:

Demirasal serves a starter of pistachio

cream on a pebble, without cutlery – the

idea being that you pick up the stone

and lick it. But dinner here is more than

a succession of party tricks. The chef puts

flavour before the flash in dishes such

as tahini with Black Sea anchovies and a

simple milk-boiled corn on the cob served

with browned butter, dehydrated olives

and a pinch of dill.

But fancy cuisine is not quite the Alaçatı

thing. The Istanbuli intelligentsia that

hangs out here is more likely to be found in

the shabby-chic courtyard of Asma Yaprağı

(Toko ğlu Mah, 1005 Sk. No. 50; +90 232 716 0178),

which for many seasonal regulars is the

Alaçatı restaurant. It’s a slow-food, villagekitchen

kind of place, committed to locally

sourced ingredients that end up in mezes

like delicately fried courgette blossoms

filled with crumbly, tangy sheep’s cheese,

chopped mint and flecks of red bell pepper,

or buckwheat noodles in walnut sauce, a

dish that tastes like the Anatolian plateau

meeting the steppes of Central Asia.

So fast is the pace of change in Alaçatı

that habitués who had never heard of

the town until recently will confidently

tell you the downtown area centring

on Kemalpas¸a street and the main

square is now “over”; the hipsters

are migrating a few blocks south to

Hacımemis ¸, a lovely, slightly down-at-heel

residential district that is already being

colonised by boutique hotels, including

the überchic five-room Su’dan Palas (rooms

from $100; sudan.com.tr) and stylish shops like

Bazen (Hacımemiş Mah, 2012 Sk No 12; +90 532

292 4183), a concept store offering curated

homewares, fashion and jewellery, much

of it by young Turkish designers, plus

selected pieces of Ottoman and Western

antique furniture.

But to pick out Hacımemiş as the

happening suburb of what is basically a

large village is insider sophistry. Alaçatı’s

laid-back delights are not confined to

a single area. Even in the centre – just

around the corner from Yastik – you’ll

find a fish vendor hawking glistening

trays of sunrise-pink red mullet, while the

Saturday produce market is a magnet for

the whole region. Like many corners of the

new Turkey, Alaçatı is cool because it’s still

real. Long may it stay that way. ♦

GETTING THERE

Once in Turkey, those wishing to hit Istanbul and Bodrum before arriving in Alaçatı should do so on

Seabird Airlines, whose fleet of Twin Otter floatplanes – which carry a maximum of ten adults and

two children – makes speedy, regular connections between all three cities. The carrier recently debuted

a partnership with Bodrum’s seaside Maçakizi resort that, in two hours, flies passengers from

Istanbul’s city centre straight to the hotel’s beach – an ideal spot to recharge whether or not you’re

continuing on to Alaçatı by one of Seabird’s 45-minute flights. flyseabird.com; rooms start at $535;

macakizi.com

— ANTHONY ROTUNNO

FROM TOP: LEVENT BOZKURT, RUPERT EDEN

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BLACKBOOK

Clockwise from top left:

al fresco breakfast on Castel

Son Claret’s picturesque

terrace; Sa Cabana’s idyllic

outdoor pool; a chef at work

at the year-old Hotel Cort;

the sun sets on Philippe

Starck’s Porto Adriano

I

n Palma, Mallorca’s charming capital, the

greatest recent hotel success story has

been the Moragues family’s mini-empire

of old-town hotelitos. Miguel Conde

Moragues, his architect wife Cristina and

designer mother Cecilia have built on the

excellence of their Can Cera (cancerahotel.com)

– a stunning and still unrivalled revision of a

17th-century palacio – with last year’s Hotel

Calatrava (boutiquehotelcalatrava.com), a historic

the agenda

MALLORCA’S

MOMENT

While the rest of Spain

encounters continued

economic malaise, the largest

of the Balearics is forging

ahead, its optimism

reflected in new investments

and initiatives as well as a

renewed emphasis on getting

the details right. As PAUL

RICHARDSON discovered, the

island – hitherto known for its

sun, sea and surf – is quickly

gaining a reputation for topnotch

hospitality, the verve of

its young native native chefs

and much more, making

it undoubtedly the western

Mediterranean’s most

desirable destination.

townhouse within sight of the sea whose

contemporary interiors have a delightful airy

feel. The latest addition to the Moragues

portfolio, Can Alomar (boutiquehotelcanalomar.

com), has a dream location on the tree-lined

avenue of the Borne, axis of the city’s luxe

boutiques. The 16-key hideaway is small but

perfectly conceived, with the added

attraction of a first-floor terraza serving fusion

tapas at what has swiftly become the city’s

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: © CASTEL SON CLARET, © HOTEL SA CABANA, © HOTEL CORT, JOSE HEVIA

32

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BLACKBOOK THE AGENDA

hottest restaurant – a title it

shares with the downstairs bistro

at the Hotel Cort (hotelcort.com),

which opened last year with

interiors by Barcelona-based

design doyen Lázaro Rosa-

Violán. Another old-town palace

conversion, the Posada Terra

Santa (posadaterrasanta.com)

– “tucked away since 1576”

– only confirms the trend for

chic accommodation in fabled

buildings, another example

being the Cuba Colonial

(hotelhostalcuba.com), which

brings back to life a century-old

mariners’ lodging behind the

seafront in the buzzing barrio

of Santa Catalina. Beyond

Palma, meanwhile, the countryhouse

Castell Son Claret

(castellsonclaret.com), owned by

logistics tycoon Klaus-Michael

Kühne, has taken just a year to

become Mallorca’s most refined

rural getaway. The converted

country mansion is done up in a

time-honoured local vernacular

which Sa Cabana (hotelsacabana.

com), also new last year, pushes a

little further with its on-site spa,

housed in a circular stone

construction of impressive

design. With all these high-end

happenings, even the low-end

sector has had to smarten up.

Tongues are wagging locally

about Meliá Hotels’ radical

reconversion of the rock-bottom

package-tour resort Magaluf

into a sophisticated Miami

Beach-style “city resort”. This

season’s new ME Mallorca

(melia.com), a ten-storey 1970s

building cunningly made

over for the 21st century, rubs

shoulders with some pretty cool

neighbours – notably the lounge

club Nikki Beach, Ibiza offshoot

Café del Mar and trendy

twentysomething surf hotel

Wave House. ♦

HOME-GROWN CUISINE

the island’s hottest tables

A minor revolution is underway as a generation of foreign and off-island chefs gives way

to a new wave of fired-up young Mallorcans, who are taking cooking back to the roots. The

chefs of the moment are not only natives but fiercely loyal to island produce. Pioneering Santi

Taura (restaurantsantitaura.com) is booked up for months in his home town of Lloseta, while his

contemporaries Macarena de Castro at Jardín (restaurantejardin.com) and Tomeu Caldentey

of Es Molí d´en Bou ( esmolidenbou.es) – Mallorcans both – have each racked up a Michelin

star. Joan Marc Garcias (joanmarcrestaurant.com) has just opened a place on the square in

Inca where he grew up, wowing diners with island-inspired dishes like roast chicken with

esclatasang mushrooms and local botifarra sausage. But perhaps the brightest star is 31-yearold

Andreu Genestra ( andreugenestra.com), who after stages at El Bulli and the Kuwaiti royal

palace has returned to a farm-forward kitchen in rural Capdepera.

MARKET FINDS

Spain’s produce markets

have always had bars

where shoppers could

perch on a bar-stool

with a coffee, a beer or

a snack – but latterly Mallorca’s

mercados have taken the

custom a step further. At

Palma’s Mercat de l’Olivar

(mercatolivar.com), charcuterie

specialist Sebastià Rojas offers

tapas of ham and Spanish

sausages, while Toni and Tolo

Torrens run an oyster stall and

German chef Thomas Wilden

dishes out sushi and smoked

salmon. At the fashionable

food market in Santa Catalina

(mercatsantacatalina.com), Ca

S’Ostra (casostra.es), run by

Swiss-born Fabrizio Peroni, is a

great place to put down your

bags and refuel with a plate of

shellfish and a glass of cava.

PORT OF CALL Its clear waters, picturesque coastline and well-equipped harbours

make the island an increasingly attractive place to drop anchor, and the Spanish

government’s recent removal of the tax on chartered yachts is an added incentive.

Philippe Starck’s €90m Port Adriano (left, portadriano.com) now goes head-to-head

with nearby Puerto Portals (puertoportals.com), Mallorca’s classic high-end boat park.

Meanwhile the Moll Vell (mollvell.com), a newly revamped stretch of historic harbour

below Palma Cathedral, aims to bring the superyachts into the heart of the old city.

FROM TOP: © JOAN MARC, GERHARD WESTRICH/LAIF, © PORT ADRIANO

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BLACKBOOK

A Prestige Suite

at Portrait

Firenze

WHERE TO STAY IN

FLORENCE NOW

New hotel players are on the scene while the

established ones stay fresh and relevant.

Where other Italian tourist cities have let the recession drag

them down-market, Florence remains a cultured hub that’s

serious about getting the best out of life. And it’s not just

Michelangelo’s David, Brunelleschi’s cathedral dome and

the Botticellis on display at the Uffizi Gallery that make it so. The city’s best

hotels provide a prime example of its against-the-tide dynamism: amid a

sprinkle of new openings, the largely successful improvements made by

Florence’s first wave of bespoke properties – places like JK Place Firenze,

Hotel Savoy and Relais Santa Croce – remind us that it’s entirely possible to

stay current, even in a city so transfixed by the past. — LM

PORTRAIT FIRENZE

The city’s novelty is the

36-suite Portrait Firenze,

which opened this past

May. Aficionados of

Leonardo Ferragamo’s

Lungarno Collection

hotels may remember the

riverside property, with

its compelling views of

the Ponte Vecchio, as the

former location of Lungarno

Suites (a pleasant though

rather bland long-stay hotel

that never really took off).

Portrait Firenze is quite

a different animal.

Modelled on Portrait

Roma in the capital, the

hotel group’s biggest

checking in

success to date, the

Florence property matches

local interiors maestro

Michele Bönan’s stylish

decor with what it claims

is unrivalled service.

Bönan (a regular Lungarno

contributor who designed

the original hotel) deploys

classic furnishings with

a 1940s and 1950s feel

in a series of light-filled

rooms (some have floor-toceiling

windows, a rarity in

Florence) whose grey walls

are decorated with vintage

photos of Florentine

scenes and characters. But,

as Lungarno Collection

President Ferragamo says,

“the real challenge is not

designing furniture. It’s

designing atmosphere.”

Service centres on a

“lifestyle team” trained to

cope with any and every

request, who know the

city inside out. They’re

required to eat at local

restaurants and take the

city’s various private tours

in order to offer spot-on

recommendations.

Rooms start at €467;

portraitfirenze.com

JK PLACE FIRENZE

Founder Ori Kafri admits

that “Portrait Firenze is

the first competitor I’ve

really needed to worry

about since we opened in

2003.” But he shouldn’t

lose too much sleep, as

the deliciously club-like

contemporary classic – also

designed by Bönanstill – has

all of its charm. Of the 20

rooms, the three spacious

Master Rooms come closest

to distilling JK Place’s

home-away-from-home

ambience, with cream sofas

and picture-window views of

the evening passeggiata in

Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

Book room no. 1 (from €1,233),

on the first floor, for its

higher ceilings. Rooms start

at €463; jkplace.com

THE WESTIN

EXCELSIOR

A March 2014 refurbishment

freshened and modernised

the Westin Excelsior

Florence, which was looking

a little shabby. Still, the

property’s real calling card

is the rooftop Sesto on Arno

restaurant (sestoonarno.com),

housed in a steel-and-glass

structure unlike any other in

the city and with stunning

river views. Florentine

captains of industry flock

to the gourmet Sunday

brunch. Rooms start at €321;

westinflorence.com

HOTEL SAVOY

A recent stay at Rocco

Forte’s Florence property,

the Hotel Savoy, confirmed

just how well it’s wearing

its venerable 14 years. Nips

and tucks have included a

makeover of the first-floor

Repubblica Suite (from

€1,389), a one-bedroom

apartment that feels like it

might belong to a Florentine

friend. But don’t sneeze

Sesto on Arno, the Westin

Excelsior’s rooftop restaurant

Hotel Savoy on the

Piazza della Repubblica

at classics like room 419,

with its view of the city’s

Renaissance Duomo and bell

tower (from €336), or the first

floor’s room 106 (from €441),

a corner Superior Deluxe

that overlooks the crowded

Piazza della Repubblica.

Rooms start at €291;

roccofortehotels.com

BE-ONE ART AND

LUXURY HOME

When all one needs is a

cheer ful bolthole close to

the sights, the cute Be-ONE,

which occupies part of the

third and fourth floors of a

Risorgimento-era palazzo just

off Piazza della Re pub blica,

can’t be beat. The approach

(via an office-lined corridor)

is unpromising, but inside,

contemporary art and

touches of bold colour jazz

up the rooms. (The Sofia

Loren Deluxe Double is, in

a word, lovely (from €224)

For what is basically a very

up-market B&B, the service

is excellent, and among the

art experiences that can be

arranged are fresco-painting

courses with Tuscan maestro

Massimo Callossi. Rooms

start at €172; b1florence.com

RELAIS SANTA

CROCE

Relais Santa Croce is

popular with old Florence

hands and those who

prefer their hotels to feel

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: © ROCCO FORTE HOTELS, ALESSANDRO MOGGI, © LUNGARNO COLLECTION

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BLACKBOOK CHECKING IN

more like a nobleman’s

townhouse – which is what

this restored palazzo was

when it was built in the

17th century by Marchese

Baldinucci, treasurer to

the Pope.

While the hotel’s

frescoed first-floor suites,

De Pepi (from €1,853) and Da

Verrazzano (from €2,465),

are our favourites, couples

may prefer room 308 (from

€504), a dainty junior suite

whose intimate bedroom

opens onto a terrace with

views across the rooftops

to the nearby Basilica of

Santa Croce. Rooms start at

€340; baglionihotels.com

THE ST REGIS

Two and a half years

after opening inside the

former Grand Hotel, the

theatrically opulent St

Regis Florence still has

few rivals in the city centre

when it comes to full-on

luxury. The sheer quality

of the details in each room

is what stands out: Rubelli

velvets, engraved wooden

doors by local artisan

Giovanni Baccani, Remède

amenities.

And, after a few

false starts, the hotel’s

fine-dining restaurant,

Winter Garden by Caino

(restaurantbycainoflorence.

com), is now in the capable

hands of Tuscan chef Valeria

Piccini, from the Michelinstarred

Ristorante Da Caino

(dacaino.it). Don’t miss the

pappa al pomodoro with

The Presidential

da Vinci Suite

at the St Regis;

salted cod

is served at the

hotel’s Winter

Garden

shrimp and basil sorbet.

Rooms start at €392;

stregisflorence.com

FOUR SEASONS

HOTEL FIRENZE

The St. Regis’s only real

com petitor in its category

is the Four Seasons. Now

in its seventh season, the

stylish player has a lot

going for it: the historic

frescoed Renaissance

palazzo and former convent

it occupies, the only serious

hotel spa within the city

limits, 4.4 hectares of

grounds and the cuisine

of chef Vito Mollica at the

hotel’s Michelin-starred

Il Palagio restaurant. The

only problem is that it’s

about a 20-minute walk into

and out of the centre of

town. Sure, there are taxis,

but Florence is a walker’s

city. Rooms start at €568;

fourseasons.com

VILLA LA MASSA

If seclusion within reach

of the city is the aim, Villa

La Massa, eight kilometres

from downtown Florence, is

the best bet. With 37 rooms

occupying a 16th-century

villa on the Arno River, the

dress-for-dinner estate is

a perfect base, especially

with the recent addition of

its Arno Spa, a countrified

space that boasts a Turkish

bath with water supplied by

the villa’s own well.

Rooms start at €448;

villalamassa.com ♦

consuming passion

COOKING

LIKE A TUSCAN

A just-opened Florentine school offers lessons in the art of

Italian cuisine. DELIA DEMMA went back to class

Stealing the secrets of top chefs, learning to prepare the perfect special

occasion meal and experimenting with all the sublime instruments of a

professional kitchen – these are just three of the reasons why I enrolled

in a three-hour cooking class organised by the Scuola Lorenzo De’ Medici,

which opened on Florence’s Mercato Centrale this past spring. The classes

take place inside a charming 19th-century edifice recently restored after years

of neglect and now surrounded by small shops purveying ingredients that

embody the very flavour of Tuscany. Inside, 16 steel workstations are decked

out with induction hobs and state-of-the-art utensils to better mimic the

movements of the instructor. And here I am, apron strings tied and ready to

try my hand at a three-course menu led by Stefano Pinciaroli, a renowned

expert in the art of Tuscan cooking. Before the lessons begin, we take a tour

through the market to scope out the fresh ingredients we will use for our

lesson. The market, however, is not just a place for food shopping: you can

also taste homemade traditional Florentine dishes on the spot. Back at my

workstation, I get down to business. The instructions

are straightforward, and I grin from ear to ear

when my pie – made with almond flour, pine

nuts and raisins – emerges from the oven

wonderfully soft and fragrant. Afterwards,

we are given the day’s recipes so we

can replicate them at home. Those

reluctant to get their hands dirty in the

kitchen can watch the shorter cooking

show, which concentrates on a single

dish at the chef’s counter. Either way,

culinary satisfaction is all but guaranteed.

Cooking classes are held from Friday to

Sunday, by appointment only; cucinaldm.com

From sweet,

locally inspired

treats to

crisp seafood

appetizers:

learning the

tricks of the

trade from

seasoned

experts

Delicate pastries form part of

the curriculum at De’ Medici

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: © SCUOLA LORENZO DE’MEDICI (4), ALESSANDRO MOGGI, © THE ST. REGIS FLORENCE

38 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

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A chef working with fresh ingredients;

left: looking down across the undulating

Veneto countryside

SICILY

Chef Fabrizia Lanza,

who heads up the school;

right: expertly prepared

Sicilian cassata

ANNA TASCA LANZA

The school’s eponymous founder and local gastro icon counts as one

of Sicilian cooking’s earliest ambassadors. Today, Anna’s daughter

Fabrizia helms the 25-year-old institution set on the family’s ancestral home

in Palermo. Students are encouraged to not just follow a recipe, but to

immerse themselves in the flora and fauna that surrounds them, taking

cues from nature, rather than a book – a sentiment treasured by Sicilians

for centuries. annatascalanza.com

MASTER CHEF

BUON APPETITO

The renaissance in Italian cookery spans up

and down the country, as this quartet attests.

BY CLAUDIA WHITEUS

Countrified

surrounds at Desinare

FLORENCE

DESINARE AT

RICCARDO BARTHEL

A passion for good food and a love

of design are paramount at this

new Florentine culinary school. A

self-described contemporary space

with an old soul, the institute is

housed in the showroom of interiors

maverick Riccardo Barthel. Here,

students engage in courses ranging

from cookery and wine selection to

food photography and table design,

with the odd trip to the market or

neighbourhood deli, all led by an allstar

team of local gastro-biz movers

and shakers. desinare.it

VENETO

STIRRED

Al fresco dinners underneath a chestnut tree, face time

with some of the area’s top chefs, truffle-hunting excursions

and foraging trips through Venice’s Rialto market: Stirred,

launched this summer, is a consummate hands-on holiday

for lovers of rustic Italian fare. Hosted in a 15th-century villa

in the foothills of the majestic Dolomites, guests – when

not busy trying their hand at local staples like osso buco or

saffron risotto – can relax poolside or kick back in estate’s

individually designed bedrooms. stirredtravel.com

VENICE

Handling fresh

crab; right: the

hotel’s historic canalside

facade

GRITTI PALACE EPICUREAN SCHOOL

While the Gritti Palace – recently plucked from the

brink of fustiness and relaunched in grand style by

Starwood – sets the bar for Venice’s upscale hostelry

scene, its in-house Epicurean School and executive chef

Daniele Turco, too, maintain the highest of standards

when it comes to imparting the magic of Venetian cuisine

to its hungry students. In half- or three-day courses,

students learn how to craft fanciful Venetian cicchetti

after extensive exploratory tours through the Rialto.

thegrittiepicureanschool.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: SEAN KNOTT (2), MIRCO TOFFOLO, © STARWOOD, ALESSANDRO MOGGI (2), © ANNA TASCA LANZA, MELISSA KRONENTHAL

40 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM CONTACT PLATINUM CARD SERVICE FOR BOOKINGS


BLACKBOOK

Dusk descends on the

yellow-lit skyline, as

seen from the

Memmo Alfama

Above: local

gastro-biz star

José Avillez;

left: simple

but delectable

carpaccio with

radish and

muxama from

Boi-Cavalo

site specific

LISBON COMES ALIVE

Perched on Europe’s west coast, the Portuguese capital is, much like the shimmering Tagus River that

flows out to the Atlantic Ocean, quietly opening up to the rest of the world. There are new boutiques,

cutting-edge eateries and bustling nightlife, commingling with its timeless charms. And, as SYMA TARIQ

reports, there is no better time than autumn, what with its balmy nights, to visit this Iberian gem.

Sunset-hued

satchel by cork

skin authority

Pelcor

WHERE TO STAY

A much feted recent addition

to the city’s burgeoning hotel

scene, the diminutive Memmo

Alfama (memmoalfama.com) is

set in the heart of the

enchanting Moorish district,

with just 42 rooms and a

rooftop pool overlooking the

Tagus. For a more traditional

Cosy yet contemporary

decor at the new design

hotel Memmo Alfama

(left); men’s outfitters

Slou Lisbon’s minimalist

storefront (right)

experience, the

quintessentially modernist

building housing the Four

Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

( fourseasons.com) belies its

interior opulence, which

includes luscious tapestries,

paintings and foliage – and

perhaps the best spa/pool

combo on the Iberian

peninsula. Lastly, the

central Bairro Alto Hotel

(bairroaltohotel.com), located in

downtown Chiado, is perfect

for those who want a good

night’s sleep but want to be

close to all the action. Go for

the Prestige rooms, complete

with claw-foot bathtubs and

street-facing windows.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: © MEMMO ALFAMA, © BOI-CAVALO, PAULO BARATA, © SLOU, © MEMMO ALFAMA, © PELCOR

42 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM CONTACT PLATINUM CARD SERVICE FOR BOOKINGS


BLACKBOOK

The red-tiled rooftops

of the Portuguese

capital beckon from

Memmo Alfama’s

modernist terrace

WHERE TO EAT

AND DRINK

José Avillez (joseavillez.pt) is

the city’s chef du jour, with his

fifth project, Mini Bar, offering

cocktails and theatrical tasting

menus that touch on his love

for molecular gastronomy –

seen in full form at his flagship

classic Belcanto, just down the

road. Another new eatery is

Boi-Cavalo ( +351 21 887 1653),

housed in a renovated butchers’

shop in Alfama, where chefs

Hugo Brito and Pedro Duarte

cook up simple but stunning

dishes such as marinated

mackerel with Alvarinho gel,

or clam soup with foie gras.

For those who prefer tapas

(or more correctly, petiscos),

the buzzy Taberna da Rua das

Flores ( +351 21 347 9418) serves

rustic Portuguese finger food,

often with an Asian twist,

accompanied by local wines to

just 20 tables.

© MEMMO ALFAMA

PLENTY OF BOUTIQUES TAKE

ADVANTAGE OF THE COUNTRY’S

HERITAGE FOR HANDCRAFTING

WHERE TO SHOP

Style in Lisbon means

high-quality materials

above all, with plenty of

boutiques taking advantage

of the country’s heritage for

handcrafting. Two such that

are drawing repeat visitors

are the reopened Kolovrat

(lidijakolovrat.org),

stocking unique and

flamboyant creations by the

Croatian designer, and Pelcor

(pelcor.pt), the home of cork

gems, including sumptuous

satchels and wallets. Menswear

store Slou Lisbon (sloulisbon.

com) stocks the latest lines

from brands such as APC

and Comme des Garçons,

and if eyewear is your thing,

concept store Chiado Factory

(chiado-factory.pt) is the place

to find spectacles among

other accessories. Vista

Alegre (vmyvistaalegre.com)

is a must for those wanting

to take home ceramic items

by Portugal’s answer to

Wedgwood.

CULTURE VULTURES

Autumn in the city brings a

slew of film festivals to its

various cinemas, including

Doclisboa (doclisboa.pt) in

October and the Lisbon &

Estoril Film Festival (leffest.

com) in November. Aside

from the big screen, a

number of new galleries

and museums have opened,

including the impressive

Leal Rios Foundation

(lealriosfoundation.com), which

hosts contemporary works

from Portugal’s young artists,

and Galeria Múrias Centeno

(muriascenteno.com), whose

championing of up-andcoming

creatives continues

the ambitions of its flagship

gallery in Porto. The Oriental,

European and Classical

collections of the Fundação

Calouste Gulbenkian (museu.

gulbenkian.pt) also merit a visit,

and its impressively landscaped

gardens offer a good spot for

restful reward afterwards. ♦

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

43


STYLE ETC.

THE ART OF APPROPRIATE ACQUISITION

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: TIM CLINCH, HELEN CATHCART, © COX & POWER

DISPATCHES

FROM

Cox & Power Seascape spinel ring,

created with fair-trade platinum

MILAN ...

PARIS ...

THE SCOOP ON THE ITALIAN STYLE CAPITAL

Lovingly curated textiles

at concept boutique Mouki

BY AVRIL GROOM

A smart guide

to Europe’s

fashion-forward

metropolises

TIMELESS FRENCH SOPHISTICATION FOR TODAY’S AVANT-GARDE

LONDON

AN INCOMPARABLE AND INSPIRED BRITISH BOUNTY OF TALENT

The residents may be up in arms

about noisy paparazzi, but CHILTERN

FIREHOUSE (chilternfirehouse.com) –

hip American hotelier André Balazs’s

latest enterprise – has brought a new

spark to what was already London’s latest

shopping hot spot. Only celebs and VIPs

can get reservations for the restaurant with

its big, open kitchen and small, perfectly

judged courses in this converted Victorian

fire station, but anyone will be happy

with the retail opportunities in this villagey

insiders’ offshoot of Marylebone High

Street. Maria Lemos’s MOUKI (moukimou.

com) does it best – like a chic yet homely

gallery, its carefully curated range of lovely

objects comes from her global travels,

all hand-picked to last and be loved for

more than a season. COX & POWER

(coxandpower.com), one of the city’s

most innovative contemporary jewellers,

has moved from High Street to a bigger

space where clients can browse the range

and exhibitions of young jewellers’ work

or commission a special design. PRISM

(prismlondon.com) is the flagship for

the super-stylish swimwear, sunglasses

and espadrilles brand, while PAULINE

FASHIONING A NEIGHBOURHOOD – MARYLEBONE’S CHILTERN STREET

BURROWS (paulineburrows.com) offers

classic bespoke tailoring for women and

men, who also revel in the pair of TRUNK

(trunkclothiers.com) shops, purveying

carefully selected, cool-label clothes,

accessories and luggage alongside

British cashmere-to-boxers store

SUNSPEL (sunspel.com).

André Balazs’s modish

Chiltern Firehouse

Finding fashion in unexpected places: the emerging haute-couture capitals of the world, now online

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


STYLEETC. THE SMART GUIDE

LONDON

Q&A with

HAKAN ROSENIUS

NEWLY RETURNED DESIGNER FOR MEN’S LEATHER,

SILVER, CHINA AND CRYSTAL AT ASPREY

Why go back to a firm that you once left?

1 I have always been very passionate about the

brand, and in the five years I had been away

the brand had positively evolved. I have the

opportunity here to explore and work closely

with unique artisans.

What’s unique about Asprey? Asprey

2 is exclusive, at the apex of luxury, and the

pieces found here you would not usually

find. Many of the pieces are made by our own

craftsmen in the Bond Street workshops,

many of whom have worked at the company

for over 30 years – there are not many

brands that can still say that today.

As a designer, how do you work with so many

3 different materials and objects? My own

personal interests and passions are very widespanning,

so I actually find it easier to work

across more than one product category at a

time. I have an idea, then develop the concept

alongside a team of designers/craftsmen

through to the end look, so the final product

fits with the Asprey aesthetic. asprey.com

Intriguing Asprey animal

figurines, hand-painted

on porcelain

Retail renaissance

A spate of openings and reopenings, centred

around Bond Street, is enlivening some of

the biggest brands in the capital: Jimmy

Choo (jimmychoo.com) has a new couturemeets-fantasy

showroom designed by David

Collins Studio just steps from the revamped

Dior townhouse (dior.com), which has also

introduced a new look to its newly expanded

premises. Next door, Hermès (hermes.com)

has embarked on a renovation, while just

across the street Longchamp (longchamp.

com) has debuted its plush outpost to

complement their one-year-old flagship

on Regent Street. Not to be outdone, Spanish

house Loewe (loewe.com) has reinterpreted

its home in sumptuous wood-accented

white on Mount Street.

Spotlight

Emporia to know

Top: Duke Street

Emporium’s bricklined

space; right:

kaleidoscopic

designs from

Roksanda Ilincic’s

Autumn/Winter line

Danielle Romeril

Roksanda Ilincic (roksanda.

com) has debuted on Mount

Street with an interior as

uncompromising as her

clothes, designed by modish

architect David Adjaye and

the perfect vehicle for her

confident colour sense and

graphic shapes. A stone's

throw from Oxford Street,

the Duke Street Emporium

(dukestreetemporium.com),

by Jigsaw founders John and

Belle Robinson, recalls their

Shop at Bluebird – hardto-find

brands, well-chosen

vintage, artwork, armchairs

and a free jukebox.

Thomas Tait

Rejina Pyo

Fresh faces The conveyor belt of award-winning young designers learning their craft and

basing themselves in the British capital continues. This year's winner of the first prestigious, global

LVMH prize is Canadian-born Thomas Tait (thomastait.com), who took home €300,000 for his business

and a year's mentoring from the top luxury conglomerate. Not bad for the Central Saint Martins

graduate, whose often oversized experiments with cut and colour are, he admits, hardly mainstream

– his autumn Constructivist-style prints should be hot sellers. On his heels comes RCA graduate

Danielle Romeril (danielleromeril.com), from Ireland, who wins New Generation sponsorship to present

at London Fashion Week – she makes techno plastic and heat-stamped motifs look edgy but feminine.

And watch out for Korean-born Rejina Pyo (rejinapyo.com), who has won the Hans Nefkens Fashion

Award, collaborated with an H&M subsidiary and is breaking through with her sculpted shapes, slashes

of colour and very covetable coats.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: LAUREN CROW, © DALZIEL AND POW, © ROKSANDA (2), © REJINA PYO, IMAGO, JOHNNY MCMILLAN, © ASPREY

46

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


THE

SCENE IN

MILAN

Catwalks,

couture

and curios

Elegant

Bodino-designed

Primavera

bracelet, left,

and Tesori del

Mare ring,

below

UP AND COMERS

Introducing the rising stars of the

Italian fashion world

The Italian fashion system

notoriously lacks encouragement for

young talents – they get scooped

into the voracious studios of the

big brands before making a name

for themselves. Now the powersthat-be

have recognised a need and

are offering help, such as the Italian

Vogue-backed Who Is On Next. One

winner, Italo-Haitian designer Stella

Jean (stellajean.it), scored a coup

when Giorgio Armani lent her his

fashion theatre for her first show

last year. Her colourful, exuberant

clothes mixing 1950s Dolce Vita

Italian chic with bold, Africaninspired

Caribbean wax prints,

mismatched with stripes and checks,

struck a chord and sales have leapt

– her full circle print skirt worn with

a simple shirt is a favourite. Also a

lover of circle skirts – very short ones

– is Fausto Puglisi (faustopuglisi.

com), designer of the brashest,

boldest Italian fashion since Gianni

Versace, but rooted in the rock’n’roll

era, not the 1980s. Studded leather

jackets and printed fluo skirts or

dresses are his joyful style, beloved

by modern It girls. He now also

fronts 1980s super-glam house

Ungaro, following the path of Peter

Dundas (now at Pucci), another

disciple of high-octane looks.

Hot off the runway: an eclecticchic

look from Stella Jean’s

Autumn/Winter collection

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: © STELLA JEAN, © TIFFANY, LAUREN CROW, LAZIZ HAMANI (2)

Bodino’s palace

The latest place of pilgrimage in Milan is the sumptuous

Villa Mozart in its secret garden, now the maison of

former Richemont Group art director Giampiero Bodino

(giampierobodino.com) and his opulent, Byzantineinfluenced

jewels. Bask in his refined, self-curated

interiors with his own artwork while he sketches potential

designs for your commission. Or catch him at the Paris

Biennale in September.

a few minutes WITH

FRANCESCA AMFITHEATROF

THE NEW DESIGN DIRECTOR AT TIFFANY & CO

What are your guiding principles as a jewellery

1 designer? I follow my instinct rather than market

research. I look at the current bigger picture –

fashion, art, archives, what I see around me culturally.

I'm quite emotional and obsessive, always thinking

about what is in the air. It's surprising that I'm the

first female design director at Tiffany, when most

jewellery is chosen by women to go with their clothes

and fit their lives and feelings.

How did the new T Collection come to be? I wanted

2 it to be instantly recognisable, understood globally

and based on design, but reflecting the energy of

New York. "T" is a very graphic, architectural symbol

which we've used to suggest the grid pattern of the

city. It has an effortless sense of modernity, which

we've enhanced with hidden engineering – flexible

chains and smooth hinges.

FOOT NOTE

THE TOD’S MAKEOVER

After a peripatetic fashion career (Gucci, Valentino, Pinko), Italian

designer Alessandra Facchinetti has found a home at Tod’s

(tods.com), where she is developing the clothing side and giving

a crafted, modernist shot in the arm to accessories. The new

season’s elegant, bi-colour pumps with a squared-off new take

on the snaffle reflect the metal and metallic leather she used on

the catwalk shoes, only available in flagship stores like Milan’s

Via della Spiga branch. Look for silver driving moccasins with a

geometric layered motif (also on bags) and block-heeled boots in

sophisticated pastels or deep berry shades.

3

How does the recently opened Paris flagship fit

with the brand’s European presence? Paris is the

European centre of high jewellery so it's essential to

have a good presence there, and anywhere that

people shop internationally. The world is changing

fast: maybe one day everything will be online, but for

now the experience of being close to the pieces in

an intimate setting is important. We will shortly also

open in Geneva, and then more European stores as

yet under wraps. tiffany.com

A trio of diamondencrusted

rings from

the Amfitheatrofhelmed

T Collection

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

47


STYLEETC. THE SMART GUIDE

The

consummate

shopper’s

paradise

EN

VOGUE À

PARIS

Well heeled

A fixture on the cool local design scene, Pierre Hardy (pierrehardy.com)

designs footwear and bags that define contemporary glamour, creates

jewellery for Hermès and has collaborated on shoes with Gap. His range

is filtered carefully through selected stores and websites, so a visit to his

Palais Royal shop is essential to see the whole range. Choosing is hard,

damage to finances predictable.

A TRIO ON THE MOVE

A look

from

Maxime

Simoens’s

latest

collection;

below: 1717

toile and

calfskin

handbag

by Fauré

toried French

Sarmourer Fauré

Le Page (faurelepage.

com), established nearly

300 years ago, has been

revitalised in recent

years and now sits very

close to Rue St-Honoré,

where it offers a range of

handbags and accessories

that might not win wars

but will definitely turn

heads with their bold

repeating patterns and

vibrant colours. Another

French brand with

provenance is making

waves, as dentellier Sophie

Hallette (sophiehallette.

com), founded in 1887, is

not just the firm that made

the lace for the Duchess

of Cambridge’s wedding

gown, but also the purveyor

Below: Paris native

Pierre Hardy’s fanciful

footwear creations

of a new range of tulle and

lace haute couture, readyto-wear

and lingerie at its

appointment-only Paris

showroom, proving that

lace, once a staple only

of the golden generation,

is back in style for all

ages. Meanwhile, young

designer Maxime Simoens

(maximesimoens.com) is

making an unmissable

splash, backed since 2013

by LVMH, and starting

with haute couture. His

new autumn ready-to-wear

designs are a little bit

1960s Courrèges, a little

bit YSL rock chick and a

lot of monochrome and

sparkle. Cut with couture

discipline and quality, they

herald a new fashion star in

the City of Light.

REBIRTH OF A LEGEND

n an opulent apartment on Place Vendôme, Olivier Reza indicates a suite of jewels with 11 perfect Burmese

I rubies, which he will exhibit at the Biennale after a gap of 14 years, during which his father and the firm’s

namesake, Alexandre Reza, retired and nearly sold the business. With one of the best inventories of precious

stones, revival is the best option and Olivier has gone from banker to jeweller, bringing his own contemporary

slant and working, as his father did, with the best Paris craftsmen. Many clients are delighted

to see this venerated name back on song; expect a crush round its Biennale booth. alexandrereza.com

LONDON

My favourite byway is

KINNERTON STREET

in Belgravia, so much so that I moved

there last year. It has a charming village

feel, yet it is literally 100 metres from

the bustle of Knightsbridge. There is

a charming independent pub called

THE NAGS HEAD (53 Kinnerton

Street), where locals mix with the

occasional tourist, and my tailor

NICOLA DONATI (nicoladonati.co.uk)

is literally only steps away: a pint of

local ale with your fitting?

MILAN

THE STYLE CAPITALS

ACCORDING TO:

KEVIN MARTEL

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF

HARRYS OF LONDON

I lived there for many years

when I worked for Giorgio

Armani and came to appreciate its quiet,

often hidden charms. The evening

aperitivo is taken very seriously, and

one of my favourite places is near the

office in the Brera neighbourhood.

RADETZKY (Corso Garibaldi 105)

always has a great vibe and a cool

crowd drinking inside but also outside

on the pedestrianised corner of the

Corso. It’s one of the best places for a

good Sunday brunch in Milan, too – a

rare find indeed.

I am obsessed with classic

PARIS button-down shirts: they

are part of my daily uniform. I recently

spent the morning at CHARVET

(28 Place Vendôme) being fitted for

a custom shirt. It is the most amazing

place with rooms filled to the ceiling

with bolts of the most beautiful fabrics.

The process and attention to detail is

incredible – and there is still a chic little

ashtray in the tiny elevator: so French!

What’s underneath

Handmade lingerie is a rare pleasure,

but one that 130-year-old French brand

Lejaby is bringing to a wider clientele.

Better known for good middle-market

styles, the brand has a skilled workforce

trained in traditional French lingerie

construction, and a new range, Couture,

featuring luscious combinations of

lace, tulle, chiffon and velvet ribbon. At a

discreet and relaxed salon near the Place

de la Concorde, items can be altered to

fit, ordered in special colours or designed

from scratch. Prices start reasonably, but

the sky’s the limit. lejaby.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: LAUREN CROW, © FAURE LE PAGE, SHOJI FUJII, © PIERRE HARDY (4)

48 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FARHAD HEYDARI, BRIAN NOONE AND ELISA VALLATA


STYLEETC.

Clockwise from top right: RALPH LAUREN calf leather Ricky Chain bag, ralphlauren.com;

FAURÉ LE PAGE black alligator and gold brass Night Shot bag, faurelepage.com; NANCY

GONZALEZ lime medium-chain shoulder croco bag, nancygonzalez.com; MAX MARA

printed calf leather bag, maxmara.com; ETHAN K crocodile leather The Betty bag from

the Icons collection in Chilly Red with shiny finish and frog decorations adorned with

lapis, ethan-k.com; LOUIS VUITTON calf leather Chain Louise bag, louisvuitton.com;

BEARBAG crocodile leather bag with lamé details and suede lining, bearbag.it

1.

objects of desire

THE

CHAIN

GANG

Motorcycle

chic comes

to the

fore in the

season’s

must-have

handbags

ANDREAS ACHMANN

50 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


STYLEETC.

HAIR, FACE, BODY

It’s no longer a surprise to hear a

man talk about his grooming routine.

His preferred brand of moisturizer or

aftershave will trip off his tongue as

easily as the latest football scores. And

because being well groomed is no

longer a sign of excessive vanity, it was

only a matter of time before the skincare

industry caught up and unleashed its hitech

anti-ageing formulas for men. The

good news is, they’re pretty effective.

Clinique’s Smart Custom Repair Serum

(clinique.com), for instance, reads the

signals a man’s skin sends out from sun

damage, stress, lines and wrinkles and

gets to work. A three-month-long study

showed visible improvement in the skin

of volunteers with uneven skin tone,

dark spots, dullness, lines and wrinkles.

Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Ultimate

Recontouring Eye Lift (esteelauder.

com) may not be targeted at men, but

the brand is aware that increasing

numbers of men who suffer from dark

undereye circles are benefiting from

its formula of skin-supporting black

tourmaline gems and collagen.

For time-poor men who crave a

masculine-looking product, Lab Series

purveys two: the PRO LS All-in-One

Face Treatment and MAX LS Daily

Renewing Cleanser (labseries.com), a

powerful duo that together are the first

step in the range’s anti-ageing regime.

Similarly restorative is Kiehl’s Skin

Rescuer (kiehls.com): an instant remedy

that is not only remarkably smooth to

apply, its formulation of mannose and

rosa gallica acts as a barrier against

pollutants as well as soothing tired skin.

metro man

HEAVY LIFTERS

MEN HAVE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD WHEN IT COMES

TO ANTI-AGEING PRODUCTS, SAYS DAVID WATERS,

WHO SELECTS THE PICK OF THE LOT

Helping to block the epidermis from

the harmful rays of the sun is the raison

d’être of La Mer’s Reparative Face Sun

Lotion SPF30 (lamer.com), which is

among the most effective – it reduces

the ageing effects without leaving

behind an unwelcome shiny residue.

Even hair care is no longer immune to

the anti-ageing juggernaut. The Aveda

Invati (aveda.com) range – a threestep

system of exfoliating shampoo,

thickening conditioner and scalp

revitaliser – can slow the progression of

baldness, perhaps the most visible sign

of ageing. And that’s something that,

along with the latest sports results, will

have the metro man talking long after

ANDREAS ACHMANN

52 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


STYLEETC.

CANDLES TO COVET

THE LATEST SCENTS TO TRANSFORM THE MOOD AS THE AUTUMNAL DAYS DRAW IN

WOMAN OF THE WORLD

Three’s company for

ladies on the go

1 2

CODAGE PARIS SERUM NO 1

Travelling doesn’t have to mean

dried out, tired skin. This intense

moisturising face serum instantly

replenishes the weary derma with

lipids, buffering your natural hydration

system and protecting it from outside

stressors. mycodage.com

3 4

1 Made in Paris’s (lfmadeinparis.com) Butte Montmarte reflects the artsy, carefree nature

of the city’s bohemian quarter with a playful floral, fruity bouquet 2 Giardino Secreto by

Milan-based Fornasetti (fornasetti.com) is a real hoot, with both a captivating hand-poured

ceramic encasing and an equally alluring blend of wood notes 3 Life’s a beach – so says Jo

Malone (jomalone.com) with its new Wood Sage & Sea Salt that recalls a windswept stroll

along the shore 4 Inspired by British bards of yesteryear, Cire Trudon (ciretrudon.com)

waxes poetic with a powerful blend of wood, spice and brandy for its new Byron fragrance

ORMONDE JAYNE

OSMANTHUS SOLID PERFUME

COMPACT

Fans of this London-based fragrance

house can now carry this sweet,

flower-and-spice-accented scent

in their pockets in this elegant new

compact. ormondejayne.com

PERPETUALLY PRIMPED

PERFUMER FRANCIS KURKDJIAN’S WHIRLWIND

JOURNEYS AROUND THE WORLD SPARKED THE

IDEA FOR A PAIR OF TRAVEL SPRAY CASES FOR

MEN. AVAILABLE IN GOLD OR ZINC FINISH, THEY

HOLD ANY ONE OF 13 SCENTS, WHICH CAN BE

REFILLED. FRANCISKURKDJIAN.COM

CLINIQUE CHUBBY STICK

CHEEK COLOUR BALM

Speed up your make-up routine with

this just-released blush stick, the

third in Clinique’s series of no-fuss

cosmetics products. An effortless

swish across the cheeks instantly

gives you a subtle, healthy looking

flush. Available in three colours.

clinique.com

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

» A must-have for all manicure-starved jet-setters, Czech & Speake

presents this convenient, carefully constructed nail set that also passes

stringent carry-on guidelines. czechandspeake.com

BY CLAUDIA WHITEUS AND FARHAD HEYDARI

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

53


STYLEETC.

1 5

2

7

3

4

6

12

13

8

11

10

1

9

the get

KITTING OUT THE KIDS

From pullovers to plush toys, a seasonal selection

for the youngsters in the family

1. LITTLE MARC JACOBS cotton scarf and hat, marcjacobs.com 2. CARRERA JUNIOR Carrerino 11 sunglasses, carreraworld.com 3. GUCCI

acetate sunglasses, gucci.com 4. BABY DIOR acetate sunglasses, dior.com 5. YOUNG VERSACE black patent leather sneakers with suede

inserts and golden metal details, versace.com 6. COS cotton hoodie, cosstores.com 7. VILAC wood and plastic accordion, seen on nickis.com

8. STONE ISLAND JUNIOR cotton poplin trousers, stoneisland.com 9. SCHACK SCHIRAFF soft fabric Dragan dragon from the collection

Die GlücksFreunde, schackschiraff.de 10. BILLIEBLUSH double-breasted mustard coat, groupecwf.fr 11. CHLOÉ cotton navy dress with gold

details, chloe.com 12. STELLANOVA mini globe lamp with LED bulb, seen on nickis.com 13. SCHACK SCHIRAFF soft fabric LaSchiraff Giraffe

ANDREAS ACHMANN

54 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


PROMOTION

One of the Park Hyatt Vienna‘s tastefully decorated guest rooms

P

PARK HYATT VIENNA MAKES A GRACEFUL DEBUT

With a superb location in Vienna’s Goldenes Quartier,

Hyatt’s first Austrian property is ready to shine

erched at the heart of Vienna’s iconic

First District, Park Hyatt Vienna

is the brand’s first property in Austria,

setting a new benchmark for understated

elegance and discreet luxury to match

the cultural charms and imperial heritage

of the city itself. Housed in a 100-year old

edifice once occupied by a bank – a jewel

in its own right – great care has been

taken to preserve the unique architectural

features, while also infusing the space

with a contemporary feel, exhibited best

of all in its 143 spacious rooms and suites.

Here, modern décor blends seamlessly

with each room’s carefully restored

interiors. The on-site restaurant, The

Bank, is also evocative of times gone by,

and head chef Daniel Schöfisch adds a

strong local twist to continental European

fare in dishes like bouillabaisse with fish

sourced from Austrian lakes and streams

and a delectable char-grilled fillet of beef

Rossini. Equally indulgent is the Arany

spa, a 1,000sq m temple of relaxation that

offers an array of personalised wellness

experiences expertly administrated in

six copper mosaic and mother-of-pearl

treatment rooms. As the day winds down,

guests can head to the Living Room, a

beautifully preserved space resembling

a British gentlemen’s club, or to Pearl, a

chic Coco Chanel-inspired bar serving

freshly inventive cocktails and prepared

bar snacks – the perfect end to yet another

rewarding day in the Imperial City, one

filled with countless unexpected pleasures.

From left: the

hotel’s spacious

and inviting

lobby; The Bank

restaurant, the

property’s shining

centrepiece; Park

Hyatt Vienna’s

stately facade

Discover Personalised Luxury

Park Hyatt Vienna

vienna.park.hyatt.com


COMBINING CRAFTSMANSHIP,

DETAIL AND LIFESTYLE

British luxury bed company, Vispring, uses traditional

artisan skills to make each of its beds by hand. Using only

the finest materials, Vispring beds are completely bespoke

in size, tension, style, fabric and even shape. The ‘Rolls-

Royce of beds’, Vispring is the clear choice for discerning

sleepers who demand the best in life. vispring.com

JET PENNY BAREFOOT LOAFER

These genuine hand-sewn moccasins features an exclusive

new sole design in collaboration with Vibram ® , Italy.

Taking inspiration from the growing trend of ‘barefoot’

shoe construction and barefoot running, Harrys have

developed a soft, lightweight construction that combines

traditional craftsmanship with revolutionary outsole design.

harrysoflondon.com

GRAND DEBUT

FOR THE FAMOUS

PATEK PHILIPPE

Presenting the Annual Calendar

chronograph, launched in 2006.

The platinum and rose-gold versions

have made room for a stainless steel

sibling worn on a metal bracelet with

droplet-shaped links. It has a silvery

opaline dial with a monocounter and

three calendar apertures designed to

further enhance legibility. patek.com

DEPARTURES

NOTEWORTHY

What to have. Where to go.

A BOLD LOOK AHEAD WITH

TIFFANY & CO. DESIGN

DIRECTOR FRANCESCA

AMFITHEATROF

With the introduction Tiffany T, Francesca

takes the clean lines and pure soul of

the letter T and transforms them into a

collection that honours the company’s

visionary past while leading it into the future.

Available in stores from September 2014.

tiffany.com

THE TIME, THE PLACE

Watches of Switzerland is opening

Europe’s largest luxury timepieces

specialist store in the heart of London

at 155 Regent Street. The much

anticipated three-storey dedicated

timepieces showroom will coincide

with the 90th anniversary of the

Watches of Switzerland brand. The

showroom will be home to a number

of rare and exclusive watches from

some of the finest international brands,

including Patek Philippe, Vacheron

Constantin, TAG Heuer, IWC, Rolex

and Chopard, to name but a few.

The revolutionary new retail concept

will boast 12 branded individual

boutiques, a VIP suite and a dedicated

area for expert consultation on vintage

watches. Promising clients the ultimate

new buying experience, the showroom

will be unveiled from mid-July.

watches-of-switzerland.co.uk


© MOLTENI

THE LATEST MUST-HAVE

CREATIONS, INSPIRING

PIECES, BREAKTHROUGH

CONCEPTS AND

HIGH-TECH GEAR

TAKE CENTRE STAGE IN

EVERY ROOM OF THE

HOME. NICOLE SWENGLEY

SHORTLISTS A KEYNOTE

COLLECTION FROM

AROUND THE GLOBE

HOME & DESIGN

A CURATED GUIDE TO

MATERIAL COMFORTS

WORK & PLAY

The chic, wall-hung Segreto by Israeli

designer Ron Gilad for MOLTENI&CO

reinvents the classic secretaire. Its

triangular design houses internal

storage, while a drop-down shelf

provides a worktop. An elegant

eucalyptus or American walnut finish

makes this an essential piece. molteni.it

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

57


AMAZING VISTAS

Wider viewing angles, crisp picture

quality and a profound sense of depth

give SAMSUNG’s curved, ultra highdefinition

“smart” televisions the edge on

small-screen enjoyment. samsung.com

ROCK STAR

Like a shooting star,

cut facets of handblown

glass gleam

with reflections from

an internal LED light

source in LASVIT’s

Crystal Rock pendant

light, created by French

designer Arik Levy.

lasvit.com

HOME & DESIGN Living room

WARM EMBRACE

Curved and quilted, the four-seater Ploum by

French designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for

LIGNE ROSET matches comfort with style.

ligne-roset.com

SOUNDS PERFECT

DYNAUDIO’s Evidence

Platinum loudspeaker

marries innovative

technology with advanced

manufacturing in a

design and engineering

masterpiece.

dynaudio.com

SITTING PRETTY

The poetic, butterflywing

backrest of Cécile Maïa

Pujol’s Lady B chair for

ROCHE BOBOIS offers

various sitting positions.

Winner of the brand’s

design award in 2013, it

launches this month in

a choice of 21 felted

wool colours.

roche-bobois.com

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

58 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


Good Morning !

We believe that day and night are one.

Sleep well, live better with a Vispring bed.

LONDON - NEW YORK - PARIS - MILAN - BERLIN - MOSCOW - BEIJING - HONG KONG

www.vispring.co.uk


Living room

RAISING

THE BAR

1

MANHATTAN

DRINKS CABINET

Amy Somerville

Glamorously crafted from American black

walnut with solid bronze legs, the interior

can be customised to suit glassware

requirements. amysomerville.com

2

THE ROCKSTAR

Buster ±±±+ Punch

Handmade from solid walnut, blackened

ash or oak, this sultry design has an internal

brass light and a quilted silk back panel.

busterandpunch.com

HOME & DESIGN Accessories

GLASS ACT

Show-stopping vases like this Paradiso

Stoneform XL are master glassblower PETER

LAYTON’s forte. Watch hand-blowing drama

at his London studio and purchase the fabulous

results on site. londonglassblowing.co.uk

3

TECTONIC BAR

Linley

Finely crafted from ebonised walnut with a gold

leaf-lined interior, its secret compartments, hidden

fridge and cigar humidor are revealed by precision

engineering. davidlinley.com

BULL RUN

Give sofas or

beds a new

kick with the

Maverick throw

pillow in wool.

ralphlauren

home.com

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

60 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


Fiorella Radice Ph. Romano Fotografie

www.colombostile.com - info@colombostile.com


HIDDEN SECRETS

MAGNUS FINLAYSON’s

handmade Ari coffee

table conceals an undertabletop

compartment

and a drawer in its oak

base. designmasters.

futoncompany.co.uk

PRIME

PEDIGREE

The Harnais lamp,

designed by Michele

de Lucchi, highlights

HERMES’s heritage.

Saddle-stitched

leather links an

opaline shade to the

base using three

saddle tacks. Wires

and cables are fully

leather-sheathed.

hermes.com

BRIGHT SPARK

A chic candleholder like the

glass-and-leather Harrington

Votive from RALPH LAUREN

HOME’s new Downtown

Modern collection pairs

good looks with safety.

ralphlaurenhome.com

HOME &DESIGN Accessories

ROYAL INSPIRATION

The silver-finished Camilla mirror with convex glass

wittily imitates Camilla Parker Bowles’s wedding hat

as conjured up by CHRISTOPHER GUY.

christopherguy.com

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

FUNCTIONAL SCULPTURE

BEN FOWLER’s solid beech bentwood Hat &

Coat Tree has attractively curved tips for

stowing shoes, hats, scarves and jackets with

a neat sill for newspapers and keys.

designmasters.futoncompany.co.uk

62 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


GREAT CARE FROM THE GROUND UP.

At Aer Lingus, we take great care in everything we do - from baggage handling,

to catering, to customer care. We are proud to announce that from March 2015

we will be launching our brand new transatlantic Business Class Experience.

Great care on every level - it’s one of the many ways Aer Lingus takes care of you.

Great Care. Great Fare.


HOME & DESIGN Dining

WALK THE LINE

Inspired by elegantly sophisticated British

tailoring, Jasper Conran’s Pin Stripe collection

for WEDGWOOD marries crisp lines with a

chic platinum trim to create a sleek,

contemporary look. wedgwood.com

EYE-CATCHER

Add drama with B&B ITALIA’s red lacquer

Tobi-Ishi table (other finishes available).

Designers Barber & Osgerby were inspired

by ornamental stones in Japanese gardens.

Shown here with B&B Italia’s Mini Papilio

seat. bebitalia.com

CABINET OF

CURIOSITY

The limited-edition

Sushi cabinet by Brazilian

designers FERNANDO

AND HUMBERTO

CAMPANA is a carpetwrapped

stunner.

carpentersworkshop

gallery.com

DRAMATIC DROP

BARONCELLI’s Saturno

LED pendant suspends

hand-blown glass

trihedrons within a

polished copper or gold

ring. baroncelli.com

NEW FLAME

In an inspiringly

contemporary take on

a traditional object, an

abstract kneeling form

is suggested by the

minimally linear shape

of architect JOHN

PAWSON’s bronzed

candleholders.

conranshop.co.uk

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

64 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


EXPERIENCE LONDON

IN THE VERY BEST LIGHT

It’s extremely rare to find a new prime London

development on the North Bank of the Thames.

Riverwalk’s unique location, distinctive shape

and curved balconies offer spectacular views

over the river and London.

These beautiful apartments, designed by Stirling Prize

winning architects Stanton Williams, have exceptionally

high ceilings and full height windows to maximise

the sense of natural light within.

Show Suite now open

Viewing by appointment only

Prices from £1.8m

Tel +44 (0)207 030 3295

www.riverwalk.co.uk

A development by Ronson Capital Partners

in association with Derwent London


REFLECTED GLORY

Launched at Milan’s Salone del Mobile,

DONGHIA’s new Anjou mirror combines

a fluid, feminine shape with a sturdy,

stainless steel frame finished in nickel or

brushed gold. donghia.com

HOME & DESIGN Bedroom

Bedroom

DREAMY DESIGNS

FOR BEDDING DOWN

1

DUXIANA

Dux 818 bed

EXQUISITELY

CRAFTED

Built-in lighting

and numerous

compartments make

the opulent Grace

cabinet by LINLEY

a place for preening

to perfection.

davidlinley.com

With nearly four times as many springs as a standard bed

and numerous customisation options, this is the Swedish

firm’s most advanced design. duxiana.com

2

VISPRING

Portman headboard

GLAMOUR PUSS

Relax in style on the white

Kidassia fur-covered

chaise longue with

patinated bronze legs

from the Anita collection

by FRANCIS SULTANA.

It’s like floating on a cloud.

francissultana.com

This new, geometrically themed headboard is

hand-upholstered in a client’s own fabric, making

it a natural pairing with Vispring’s luxe mattresses

and divans. vispring.com

3

SAVOIR

Anniversary bed

SCENE

STEALER

The lovely Lana

dressing table for

PINCH DESIGN

comes with

three walnut

storage boxes,

a cheval

mirror and a

hidden drawer.

pinchdesign.com

Marking The Savoy hotel’s 125th anniversary – the

birthplace of Savoir beds – this special design

combines 1920s glamour with futuristic metallicbronze

upholstery. savoirbeds.com

4

HERITAGE

Four Seasons bed

An eye-catching headboard with winged side extensions

gives this elegantly traditional bed a contemporary look.

Launched at Milan’s Salone del Mobile, it comes in

soothingly subtle shades, while the leather upholstery is

either smooth or deeply buttoned. luxurylivinggroup.com

66 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


LIGHT

SHOWERS

Japanese design

studio Nendo

blurs boundaries

between bathing

and living areas with

its innovative Lamp

Shower for AXOR

by stylishly combining

an overhead rainshower

jet with

integral lighting.

hansgrohe.co.uk

BESPOKE ELEGANCE

Interior designer FIONA

BARRATT-CAMPBELL

collaborated with Alexander

McQueen on this Gentleman’s

Valet for Wallpaper*

Handmade’s 2014 exhibition.

The oak/bronze design has USB

charging ports, a pull-out tie

and belt holder, an accessory

tray and a shoe stand.

fbc-london.com

HOME & DESIGN Bath and kitchen

RETRO CHIC

Carlo Colombo’s Pop bath for TEUCO

provoked a nostalgic frisson at Milan’s

Salone del Mobile this year.

teuco.com

COURTESY MANUFACTURERS

PERFECTLY FORMED

Compact yet elegant, the George pouf from

Italian furniture maker CANTORI is available

in either nubuck leather or a hemp/

linen mix. Deeply buttoned upholstery

makes it a perfect choice for traditional or

contemporary interiors. cantori.it

ARTWORK

German über-brand MIELE

goes modernist with its

Generation 6000 PureLine

kitchen in Brilliant White, with

touch controls for ovens

(conventional/combination

steam), microwave, coffee

machine and food-warming

drawers integrated into white

glass fascias. miele.com

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

67


ELIT QUI DOLORA DEBISQUAM

REREM LABORES NIS BORUM

SUS INISTIUST, TOREC TIUSA

CONSERUM ACCUPIC IPIDUCIL

MOLUM HARCHILIT FUGIATIO

MA LORE ENTIA SUS UT PRAE

BY ELISA VALLATA

PHOTOGRAPHS BY

MATTHEW SHAVE

PASSION AND PATHOS

PHOTOGRAPHER CAMERON-JAMES WILSON

PRODUCTION BY ELISA VALLATA


DIOR wool

serge coat, dior.

com; AESA bronze

collier and cuff,

aesajewelry.com;

ROECKL leather

gloves, roeckl.com;

BIONDA CASTANA

red calf leather

and leopard lace

Gabriella high heels,

biondacastana.com

THE CHALKY CLIFFS OF SOUTHERN ENGLAND OFFER A BLANK CANVAS FOR A CARMINE

COLLECTION OF THE SEASON’S MOST COVETED LOOKS

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

69


GIAMBATTISTA

VALLI cotton and wool

turtleneck sweater,

giambattistavalli.com;

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

stretch cotton miniskirt,

matthewwilliamson.

com; DIANE VON

FURSTENBERG doublebreasted

wool coat, dvf.com

OPPOSITE:

RALPH & RUSSO French

Chantilly lace one-shoulder

gown with silk gazar-draped

flowers, ralphandrusso.com

70 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

71


MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

stretch tailoring embroidered

structured top and skirt;

BIONDA CASTANA red calf

leather and mesh Beatrix

high heels; MARJANA VON

BERLEPSCH red leather

cuff with gold metal clasp,

marjanavonberlepsch.com

OPPOSITE:

VERSACE floral jacquard

cotton dress with golden metal

military buttons embellishment,

versace.com; SALVATORE

FERRAGAMO calf leather

handbag with gold metal details,

ferragamo.com; MARJANA

VON BERLEPSCH python

leather cuff featuring a sterling

silver snake ornamented with

Swarovski beads

72 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

73


74 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


AKRIS lambskin zipped

dress and pochette, akris.

ch; VERSACE ruby red

rhinestone and leather

necklace with golden

chain details and Medusa

medallion

OPPOSITE:

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI silk

and cotton dress; DIOR

red glass beads necklace;

VERSACE gold metal ring

HAIR: IMRAN CHOWDHARY/ADRENALIN PHOTOGRAPHIC; MAKE-UP: ADAM BURRELL; MODEL: ANNA Z/NEXT

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

75


PHOTOGRAPHS BY XAVIER YOUNG


FAIR &

SQUARE

CORNERS ARE MAKING A

COMEBACK ON TIMEPIECES WITH

CONTEMPORARY STYLE,

AS LAURIE KAHLE REPORTS

PRODUCTION BY ELISA VALLATA

From top: TAG HEUER

Monaco 37mm Calibre 6

Full Black with titanium

and steel case, date

window at 3 o’clock and

small second display at

6 o’clock, tagheuer.com;

BELL & ROSS BR03-94

Carbon Orange Ltd,

chronograph with

date between 4 and

5 o’clock, matte black

dial, Superluminovacoated

numerals and

canvas strap, bellross.

com; MCT Sequential

One S100 WG Black

with white gold case,

sequential indication

of the hour on prisms,

minutes on jumping

rotating sector and

seconds on the back,

mctwatches.com

Though they’ve been

adorning the wrists of the

smart set for more than a

century, square wristwatches

haven’t lost any of their

modern and unconventional

appeal. From Cartier’s

Santos Dumont, launched

commercially in 1911, and the

original 1917 Tank, inspired

by World War I tanks, to

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso,

which debuted in 1931, some

of watchmaking’s most

enduring classics are

defined by right angles. This

year, square cases continue

to make a bold statement in

jewelled confections for her

and slick and sporty

chronographs for him.

A classic since 1969, the

Monaco by TAG Heuer has

gotten a timely all-black

makeover with the 37mm

Calibre 6 Full Black watch in

a black titanium carbidecoated

case with polished

fittings. Accents of red

enhance the Monaco’s

sporty sensibility on the

small seconds hand as well

as on the lining of the

perforated calfskin leather

strap that evokes the

steering wheel of a vintage

race car. Bell & Ross’s BR

03-94 Carbon Orange is

another black beauty,

limited to 500 pieces in

ebony-hued PVD-coated

steel. Inspired by aeronautical

instrumentation, the BR

03-94 heightens legibility

with bright orange accents

paired with a fashionable

military-style canvas strap.

MCT coated its manual

in-house MCT-S1 movement

in carbon black DLC for a

special white gold edition of

its Sequential One, limited

to only three pieces. The

unique time display uses

rotating prisms to indicate

the hour and a central

minutes disc in sapphire

crystal modified with black

metallisation for enhanced

visual contrast.

Known for its minimalistic

Bauhaus style and highvalue

manufacture

movements produced in the

eponymous German

watchmaking hub, Nomos

Glashütte has expanded its

Tetra collection with the

Berlin Mix featuring dials in

four hues inspired by the

vibrant German capital –

Clärchen (green), Goldelse

(rose gold), Nachtijall

(midnight blue) and Kleene

(turquoise) – paired with

neutral grey suede straps.

The 29.5mm square steel

case houses Nomos’s

manual-winding DUW 4301

movement with the brand’s

exclusive swing-system

escapement. And from the

neighbouring Glashütte

Original, the latest Pavonina

sparkles with more than 500

diamonds on the dial, case

and lugs. The guillochéengraved

dial features a

diamond for each hour

marker, while the Calibre

03-01 quartz movement with

a date at 6 o’clock has been

artfully finished with

Glashütte stripes and

engraving.

Bold black diamonds and

vivid coloured gems define

de Grisogono’s signature

style. The quartz Allegra

doubles down with a

two-level pink gold case

composed of a square-withina-square

set with orange

sapphires. A luminous

orange mother-of-pearl dial

is complemented with pink

gold dauphine hands and a

fashionable multistrap

leather bracelet fastened by

a pink gold clasp. By

contrast, the complicated

automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre

Reverso Squadra Lady

Duetto in steel on a fresh

white strap offers practical

functions for today’s onthe-go

women with a dual

time-zone function thanks to

back-to-back swivelling dials

and a day/night indicator

housed in a feminine

package decorated with

a sunburst guilloché motif on

the dial and 38 diamonds on

the bezel.

Brilliant diamonds also

frame the crisp white dial of

Carl F Bucherer’s Patravi

EvoTec BigDate for her, which

launched a few years ago. This

technical timepiece is

powered by the brand’s novel

CFB A1003 Manufacture

automatic movement, which

uses a peripheral rotor system

for winding, in addition to a

patented dynamic shockabsorption

system and an

efficient setting system for

the calendar function.

Hermès also equipped its

popular H-Hour collection

with an automatic movement

for the first time this year,

offering women a more

sophisticated alternative to

quartz. Whether they’re

outfitted with complications,

glittering gems, or simply chic,

the latest four-sided designs

prove, at least for timepieces,

it’s still hip to be square. ♦

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

77


From top: NOMOS

GLASHÜTTE Tetra Berlin

with stainless steel case,

lacquered dial, goldplated

hands, manual

winding and velour grey

strap, nomos-glashuette.

com; GLASHÜTTE

ORIGINAL Pavonina

with white gold case set

with diamonds, quartz

movement, date window at

6 o’clock and a satin strap,

glashuette-original.com;

DE GRISOGONO Allegra

S13 with rose gold case

set with orange sapphires,

orange mother-of-pearl

dial, quartz movement

and leather strap,

degrisogono.com

78 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

From tux to track, find a watch to suit any occasion online

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


RODNEY SMITH

From top: CARL F

BUCHERER Patravi

EvoTec BigDate

with stainless steel

and diamond case,

date window at 11

o’clock, small second

display at 6 o’clock,

and water snake-skin

strap, carl-f-bucherer.

com; JAEGER-

LECOULTRE Reverso

Squadra Lady Duetto

with stainless steel

and diamond case,

mechanical automatic

winding, day and

night indicator, and

alligator leather strap,

jaeger-lecoultre.com;

HERMÈS H Hour

Automatic in steel

with matte white dial,

automatic movement

and a lime smooth calf

double-tour strap,

hermes.com

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

79


From left: Nicholas Oakwell’s fabric swatches in a range of elegant hues; a mood board of inspirational images and lace

samples in his atelier; an embroiderer sews silver bugle beads onto one of his gowns

COUTURE

À L’ANGLAISE

WITH A HANDFUL OF TOP DESIGNERS EMBRACING THE

AESTHETICS, DELICACY AND DEVOTION OF HAUTE COUTURE,

“BEST OF BRITISH” IS TAKING ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING

When it comes to couture, it’s hard not to picture

the gilded salons and workshops of Paris and Rome filled to the

brim with immaculately skilled craftspeople fashioning the

world’s most elegant garments entirely by hand. London, while

an established temple to men’s tailoring, has always been, at best,

a buyer’s market for such feminine creations. But increasingly, as

the commissioned works of couturiers, which are admittedly still

few in number, grow commensurate with their respective

businesses, so too does the reputation of the British capital –

engendering the interest of investors who are only too happy to

back this rarefied form of fashion across the city.

One such designer is Nicholas Oakwell (nicholasoakwellcouture.

com), who credits London’s increasing relevance in this area to its

role as a global centre but also to the rapid rise for the unique,

BY AVRIL GROOM

the rare, the specially made and bespoke among his clientele –

qualities that, in fashion, only couture can provide. “I have

customers from the Middle East, Russia, America, the Far East,

Europe and Britain,” he says of a starry base which includes

everyone from Helen Mirren to Paloma Faith and who, after

three years in business, has just opened a Mayfair salon next to

the Claridge’s Hotel and early next year will move his operation

to an 8,000sq m building in St James’s. “Those who don’t live

here often come through, though we have to plan our schedule

around them – we have delayed our autumn show this time

because the normal slot is during Ramadan.”

Such personal touches are what the customer values and

expects, alongside a close collaboration with a designer whose

proposals can be altered to suit a client’s shape and lifestyle. In the

BENJAMIN KAUFMANN; HAIR & MAKE-UP: MARCO ANTONIO/DAVID ARTISTS; MODEL: KSENIA/SELECT

80 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


RODNEY SMITH

Couturier

Nicholas Oakwell

in his studio with

a model in a handbeaded

gown

from his current

collection

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

81


LONDON COUTURIERS ARE FINDING YOUNG PEOPLE KEEN

TO LEARN THE PAINSTAKING CRAFT INVOLVED

big couture houses of Paris, whose local customer base has dwindled

severely, the designer is often more at arm’s length. Prices may also be

a factor of anything between two and ten times higher than in

London, which causes pause for even this elevated demographic. Not

that quality is inferior. London has long had seamstresses and beaders

and, of course, tailors well equal to the task of producing exquisite

standards, but until recently they were an ageing workforce. Now

couturiers are finding young people keen to learn the painstaking

crafts involved partly because, says Oakwell, who already has beaders

in training and hopes eventually to offer apprenticeships, “they haven’t

grown up with them so they are fascinated by the idea, and they are

prepared to put in the hard work and have the patience necessary.”

Emilia Wickstead (emiliawickstead.com), whose

elegant, often sweeping dresses are worn by

Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge

and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess of Wessex,

has young interns who, she says, “sometimes

become full-time staff, under the watchful eye of craftsmen

with 20 or 30 years experience, who work to our exacting

standards”. She has recently outgrown her elegant Belgravia

salon and moved to an equally beautiful but more spacious

premises on grand thoroughfare Sloane Street.

Some designers are benefitting from the shrinkage in Paris

couture by employing craftsmen and seamstresses with industry

experience who are happy to join London’s growing French

community, which today numbers over 300,000, according to

the French consulate. The city now has virtually all couture crafts:

Oakwell goes to Paris only for handmade leather flowers, while

Alexander McQueen (alexandermcqueen.com) (a top British

international name that, like Vivienne Westwood, has opened a

couture studio) has its most intricate embroidery done in India,

where Lesage, the world’s top embroidery and beading house, has

ateliers. Some couturiers even create their own fabrics. Anna

Valentine (annavalentine.com), a favourite of Camilla Parker-

Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as a roster of high-flying

international businesswomen who love her understated modern

style, creates wonderful effects with layers of chiffon enclosing

corded embroidery. “Clients love fittings, being in a creative

zone, watching it happen,” says Valentine.

All this is in marked contrast to where the genre was seen to

be heading a decade ago when, upon Yves St Laurent’s

retirement, none other than Pierre Bergé, his business partner

and industry mogul, declared the craft to be all but dead. What

a difference a few years makes. Nowadays, there are even some

among this contingent of British believers who show in Paris as

part of the official twice-yearly couture week, invited by the

French industry’s governing body, which means they must

comply with strict rules on quality and how garments are made.

Even the British Fashion Council, so far identified with highly

© EMILIA WICKSTEAD

82 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: © ANNA VALENTINE, © ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, RICHARD BORD/GETTY IMAGES (2)

From far left: Emilia Wickstead

in her workroom; a full-skirted,

pink silk evening gown from

Wickstead’s autumn 2014 madeto-measure

collection; Anna

Valentine’s design for a beaded

caped coat and skirt for her new

line; couture on the catwalk – a

recent made- to–order design

in embroidered and feathered

silk tulle by Sarah Burton for

Alexander McQueen

creative ready-to-wear, is planning a retrospective show of

Oakwell’s work to wrap up London Fashion Weekend, which

will have a strong red carpet slant.

In Oakwell’s darkly draped salon, which can go from

window display to entirely curtained off when an important

client and their entourage arrives, the fitters and “petite mains”

working with quick, dextrous hands create a buzz unique to

this exalted level of fashion, which underlines how irresistible

the experience is for those who can afford it. The techniques

used are steeped in tradition – modern touches may speed up

the process but most of the work is done by hand.

Like the seamstresses, clients must learn to be patient: each

new one has a block made to her shape before a pin is lifted,

and the first outfit may take five fittings and five months,

according to Valentine, though two or three is normal for

regular clients. Wickstead reckons “40 working days”, or eight

weeks, is average for her, and that is speedy; for McQueen it’s

three to five months for a complex catwalk special altered to

the client’s wishes, or up to six months for a unique creation

by house designer Sarah Burton, such as the Duchess of

Cambridge’s wedding dress. Such a time lapse takes couture

way beyond seasonal fashion. The client can command a

timeless fantasy that will be hers alone – and London’s new

couturiers create them just as convincingly as any of their

feted European rivals. ♦

From top:

white silk

trousers

and handembroidered

tulle blouse

from Ralph

and Russo’s

autumn 2014

collection

shown in

Paris; oneshouldered

red silk

gown from

the same

collection,

its complex

ruffled

peplum

balanced by

a floating

caped back

YOUTHFUL BLOOM

Established six years ago

by fresh-faced Australian

duo Tamara Ralph and

Michael Russo (she’s

the creative, he’s the

money man), Ralph and

Russo shows, uniquely

for a London-based

house, on the official

Paris couture calendar.

With A-list clients from

Beyoncé to Angelina

Jolie, commissions

including complete

private collections and

gowns decorated with

Cartier jewels, and up

to 70 craftspeople in

London and a further

Paris atelier, they have

just attracted private

investment reported

to be worth nine

figures and moved to

vast Knightsbridge

premises. “We show our

clients that anything is

possible and to do so

we help keep alive these

wonderful crafts,” says

Russo. Theirs is a model

to which other London

couturiers might aspire.

ralphandrusso.com

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

83


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ALL I HAVE LONGED

FOR I FOUND IN

PONDICHERRY

The Academy Awardwinning

began

in this Indian city on

the Bay of Bengal.

For TINA GAUDOIN, it

was the beginning of her

own spiritual odyssey

PHO T OGRAPHS BY TO M PAR KER

86 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


Rue Romain Rolland,

a street in Pondicherry’s

French Quarter

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

87


TO BORROW FROM THE

STEELY DAN SONG,

PONDICHERRY

TUMBLES INTO THE SEA,

WHICH IS PRECISELY

WHAT MAKES THE CITY SO ALLURING.

Tucked away on the Bay of Bengal in the

southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu,

“Pondi”, as the locals call it, was first

recorded as a Roman trading port in the

mid-first century and was, from the 17th

century, controlled by the French, the

Dutch, the English and then the French

(in that order) before being returned to

India in 1956.

The French are a big part of why I am

here (and also the reason that Pondi retains

a seductive mix of old French colonial

and “native” India). I’m on a personal

pilgrimage – attempting to answer two

of the bigger (and some might say more

indulgent) questions life can throw at

us: where did I come from? Where am I

going? (I also couldn’t resist seeing what

the locals have made of the latest Western

invasion of their little patch of paradise,

thanks to those beautiful, albeit CGIenhanced,

opening scenes in Ang Lee’s Life

of Pi, which has done for Pondi what La

Dolce Vita did for Rome and Madagascar

did for, well, Madagascar.)

The paper trail of my ancestry begins

two hours north of Pondicherry in Chennai

(formerly Madras), where, according

to Commonwealth records (I reside in

London), my relative Anthony Gaudoin

(an auctioneer) arrived from France with

his sons, Joseph and Charles, in 1797 on

the Royal Charlotte. I can’t help but think

that, being French, they must’ve at least

visited Pondi, if not lived here.

But no amount of research or walking

in my ancestors’ footsteps can help me

with the second question. I confess I

have spent a good part of the last 20 years

stumbling along the path less travelled,

which has included a weeklong ritual

mortification otherwise known as the

Hoffman Process; a rather chilly twoday

rebirthing procedure on the edge of

a moor in Cornwall, England; a threeweek

programme of sitting silently while

listening to Mozart and completing a

tapestry (yes, really); running a marathon;

cofounding a yoga centre; canoeing the

Zambezi; trekking through Bhutan; and

meditating in Thailand. At the end of all

this, I find myself fiftyish, divorced-ish and

with a dawning awareness that if this is the

path less travelled, then there’s something

wrong with my sense of direction.

In India, where one is never more than

a few paces from the divine, there is no

excuse for not looking inward. This is

particularly true of Pondicherry, home

to one of the world’s biggest and most

established ashrams, Sri Aurobindo, and

the alternative community of Auroville

(about ten kilometres to the north),

both of which hold a fascination for me,

particularly as they are nonreligious –

meaning anyone of any faith can practise

there. Like almost every alternative

community, both have had their share of

good and bad press, and just before I arrive,

I discover that the ashram and Auroville

were recently the subject of a government

investigation. On the grounds that a) there

is at yet no ruling or judgment on matters,

and b) I may never pass this way again, I

resolve still to visit and with an open mind.

After the French returned in 1699,

they de signed Pondi on a grid,

splitting it into two towns: white

(the French Quarter) and black (the

Indian Quarter). The wide

boulevards remain, and the large, stately

structures with intricate masonry and

columns stand proudly but unsteadily, their

sugary coloured paint artfully peeling with

age. Every so often new India makes itself

known with garish signage: “Fridge Store”,

“Internet Café”, “Burger Bar”. On almost

every block, bamboo scaffolding of the

uniquely precarious Indian variety is

rampant and stands in stark contrast to villas

recently bought for record prices and

restored by French-Indian residents. (About

6,000 people hold French and Indian

passports, a relic of the old regime in Tamil.)

Speculators talk of Pondi, with its

88 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


The pool at

Pondicherry’s Palais

de Mahé, a hotel

named after a formerly

French area on India’s

west coast; the dining

room of Jamavar, a

restaurant at the Leela

Palace in Chennai,

which serves north and

south Indian cuisine;

locals selling cotton

candy in Pondicherry


In Mahabalipuram,

the temples and cave

sanctuaries carved

from rock date back

to the seventh and

eighth centuries

PONDI & CHENNAI

THE DETAILS

As a travel destination, Pondi is “India Lite”.

It’s the perfect point of entry for Subcontinent

virgins into a culture that can be loud, aggressive,

regressive and deeply impenetrable.

Stay at the wonderfully low-key, recently

restored French colonial Palais de Mahé (rooms

from $100; cghearth.com), with its simple wooden

furniture, breezy rooftop restaurant (serving

Western and Asian fare) and verdant tiled

courtyard – complete with a rather noisy swimming

pool – and ask for rooms on the upper floors;

eat Indian and French food at the überchic Villa

Shanti (lavillashanti.com); and shop the Cluny

Embroidery Centre at the convent on Rue

Romain Rolland for exquisite hand-embroidered

linens and FabIndia (223 Mission St; fabindia.com)

for hand-blocked or tie-dyed blouses, shawls and

salwar kameez. La Maison Rose (8 Rue Romain

Rolland; lamaisonrosepondicherry.com), perhaps the

most sophisticated and stylish store in southern

India, has an eclectic mix of clothing, arts,

household goods and jewellery, none of which will

look out of place back home. In Chennai, if you

want to know what new India really looks like (and

what new Indians really want), stay at the Leela

Palace (rooms from $140; theleela.com), a hotel that

puts the “b” in “bling”: it’s where Vegas left off and

Bollywood charged in. Ornate mirrors, marble, gilt,

swags, bold colours, dark woods, Indian artefacts

and more restaurants than one could possibly use

(including a magnificent bakery in the lobby) make

the Leela an experience in and of itself. TG

90 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


new airport, as being the star attraction

for India’s burgeoning middle classes – a

kind of Goa. Except, of course, Pondi

could never be the new Goa; it’s not built

that way. The rigours and strictures of a

“proper” French upbringing (the language

is still spoken here) have rendered the

town – for all its chaos, dilapidation and a

somewhat shocking garbage problem – far

too genteel ever to give in to the excesses of

rave culture. There is also no beach, merely

a sea defence that would have offered little

respite had the 2004 tsunami roared ashore

here as it did 30 kilometres farther up the

coast, engulfing entire fishing villages in its

foamy black wake.

Pondi has always attracted renegades,

alternative types and controversy.

The most famous is the Indian

nationalist agitator Sri Aurobindo

(born Aurobindo Ghosh), who

took refuge in the city after being acquitted

of involvement in the 1908 Alipore Bomb

case, in which two British citizens were

killed. While in captivity Ghosh claimed to

have been visited by the late Swami

Vivekananda, one of the first spiritual

figures to introduce yogic and Vedic texts to

the West. As a result, Ghosh relinquished

his political work to focus on set ting up the

Sri Aurobindo Ashram (sriaurobindoashram.

org) with French woman Mirra Alfassa (later

known as “the Mother”).

In many senses Sri Aurobindo is the

backbone of the city. It owns a good

portion of the buildings in the French

Quarter (all painted a distinctive shade of

grey), and it attracts thousands to the area

every year. Visitors and seekers alike pay

homage to the founders by filing quietly

through a courtyard strewn with flowers,

which houses the white marble tombs of

Ghosh and Alfassa. Those wanting to stay

and give service at the ashram can book

into one of the modest but eminently

affordable guesthouses located a walk or a

bicycle ride away.

Its headquarters is a vast old colonial

building tucked neatly beside the Manakula

Vinayagar temple (famed for its resident

elephant called Lakshmi). Inside, dark

and brooding portraits of Sri Aurobindo

and the Mother stare down blankly. At

one end of the cavernous room, an elderly,

white-haired lady in thick spectacles writes

intently, her pen scratching the paper as

she works. Here I meet Vijay Poddar, the

public face of the ashram, who does a great

job of explaining its genesis and an even

better one of skirting neatly around “the

controversies”.

We talk about my background and

Poddar lasers in on my situation, pushing

his index fingers together and pressing

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

91


them above his lips. “You like to start

things and then move on,” he pronounces,

“but you are still searching.” Arguably

these are the vagaries one could level

at any ashram visitor, but they strike a

chord. Soon I’m enthusiastically lunching

in the spotless dining room, as hundreds

file through to do the same. Maybe it’s

the detachment from the real world, or

the fact that everyone here is engaged in

working toward a “greater good” – ashram

dwellers are expected to work unselfishly,

as per the Mother’s instructions, in one of

the ashram’s more than 80 departments

as a form of spiritual discipline – but

the mood is infectious. I tell Poddar

about my desire to visit Auroville and the

I immersed myself in the community’s

quiet vibe at Dune Eco Village & Spa (rooms

from $80; duneecogroup.com), where founders

Dimitri Klein and Sunil Varghese have

successfully merged the commercial spa

with the hippie escapism for which India

is renowned.

Klein, once a top advertising executive

in Paris, says he gave it all up because he

and his wife “couldn’t see a future for our

children in Europe”. He is also an ex-

Aurovillian . “I felt we could do more on

the outside than on the inside, but the

ethos is all here,” he says. At the quirky

14ha sustainable resort bordering the

beach, Klein used reclaimed materials

from Chettinad palaces, South Indian

AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION,

PONDI IS

“INDIA LITE”,

THE PERFECT POINT OF ENTRY

FOR SUBCONTINENT VIRGINS

Matrimandir (the golden temple at its

centre), and he laughs wryly. “You need

to book a place,” he says. “It is incredibly

popular.” When he sees how disappointed

I am, he agrees to help.

Auroville (auroville.org) is a 30-minute

car ride from Pondi, and you need a

pass in order to stay there, whether

you have a few days to spare or a

month. Founded in 1968 by the

Mother, the community, characterised as

an experiment in human unity, is home

to 2,000 people from across the globe

who live what can be described only as a

sustainable alternative lifestyle. Bicycles and

motorbikes are the norm, and many work

at the centre in return for assisted board;

they are visible as either tour guides, shop

assistants or gardeners in the landscaped

grounds surrounding the Matrimandir.

Many also work on the 14 sustainable

farms or in the back office, administrating

what is effectively a medium-sized, fully

functioning village. Auroville is managed

by an Indian-government-appointed

board and has been endorsed by unesco.

At its heart is the solar-powered, futuristic

golden-domed Matrimandir, a temple to

no religion in particular but a place of quiet

meditation. At the centre of the interior

chamber, a 69cm (in diameter) crystal globe

refracts the sunlight into the dome itself.

colonial houses and Kerala planters’

mansions to create individually designed

bungalows and rooms that blend the

contemporary with the traditional; it’s all

here, plus a menagerie of farm animals,

dogs and a very helpful staff.

My visit to Auroville, during which

I’m jammed onto a bus with 20 or so

other “seekers” and shepherded around by

various Auro officials, leaves me reflective

but frustrated. I’m puzzled by the temple’s

popularity until an Aurovillian explains

that busloads of India’s expanding middle

class have been bitten by the travel bug and

arrive daily to see the fabled dome, covered

in 18kg of gold leaf. There’s no doubting

the awe that being inside the Matrimandir

evokes, but the corporate marshalling of

the tour seems countercultural and far

too sanitised. One can see very little of the

place itself (though a former inhabitant I

meet along the way recommends taking an

organised bicycle tour). “The only way to

really understand this place is to live here,”

she says. I suspect that she’s right. The

idea is not unappealing. On the plane ride

home, I catch myself taking out a calendar

and idly calculating how many years it will

be before my teenager starts college, leaving

me free to explore my “alternative lifestyle”.

In India nothing is incidental, but the

best things are often accidental. My friend

Mehra Dalton is an Indian travel specialist

92 DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM


In Chennai, San Thome, one of

three churches in the world built

over a tomb of one of Jesus’s 12

apostles; Saint Thomas came to

India in ad52 and was buried here

20 years later

DEPARTURES-INTERNATIONAL.COM

93


Krishna’s Butter Ball

at Mahabalipuram is a

giant rock that’s naturally

perched on a slope

(greaves-travel.com) and when helping me

plan my trip instantly understood that

the purpose was not R&R. Before I

arrived, she set up a dinner with Michael

Weston, a longtime musician friend

“who knows everything about Pondi

and everyone”.

The evening we meet, no sooner have

I told Weston (who arrives with his

gorgeous Indian classical-dancer wife,

Rekha) a tiny part of my family story

than he pronounces that I simply must

meet his artist friend Desmond Lazaro. “I

think you two might have similar genes,”

he says vaguely.

meet

I

Lazaro, a native of Leeds, at

his studio, which, to my surprise

and delight, is located upstairs from

La Maison Rose (see “Pondi &

Chennai: The Details”). I learn that

the store is owned by Agathe, Lazaro’s

fashion-savvy French wife. Lazaro

looks like any number of my cousins

rolled into one. Turns out we both have

family records stored at Fort St George in

Chennai. He is fascinated not only by his

family’s heritage but also by the calligraphy

that was employed to record it. We go back

even farther and discover an Armenian

link: his great-grandfather and my greatgreat-grandfather,

a dealer in precious

stones. “But you know they are not from

Armenia, these relatives of ours,” he says.

This is new information. I had barely given

the Armenian connection a moment’s

consideration. “They are from Persia,”

Lazaro says. “Go to the Armenian Church

in Chennai and you will see where they all

gathered and where many are now buried.”

I leave for Chennai in search of more

family history. On the way I make a

stop at the extraordinary unesco World

Heritage site of Mahabalipuram, with its

famous mélange of caves, carvings and

temples dating back to the seventh and

eighth centuries, including the famous

Descent of the Ganges and the beautiful

Shore Temple. If you see just one famous

site in southern India, this categorically

should be it.

I head out into the city with my

redoubtable guide, Girija Duraiswamy,

to Fort St George, once a British

stronghold (the first in India, founded in

1644) and the place where the entry of my

ancestors from France is recorded. On 8

May, 1802, my relative Charles Gaudoin

married Miss Georgina Campbell here

in St Mary’s Church (the oldest British

building in India and the oldest Anglican

church east of Suez). As we stand in the

transept of the church and gaze at a vast

tower of ancient, leather-bound tomes in

various states of decrepitude (the Indians

were not big on keeping their colonial

records in good order – you can’t

really blame them), my guide raises an

eyebrow and lets loose a volley of Tamil

that is directed at the record keeper.

‘‘There’s no archiving system here,” she

says wearily. “You literally have to sit

down and look at each book for your

relatives’ names.” After an hour or so of

studying the intricate, swooping, faded

script of the births, deaths and marriages

of Anglicans in India of the 1800s, while

the warm monsoon rain beats a staccato

pattern on the flagstones of the church

graveyard outside, I concede defeat. In

truth, the India Office Rec ords at the

British Library at home in London could

probably offer me more information.

At the enormous green door of the

Armenian Church down the street, I

encounter more resistance in the form

of a warden who is eating his lunch and

refuses me entry on the grounds that the

church is being renovated. I talk my way

into the courtyard, where I marvel at its

white columns and mounds of rubble

and broken statues. A few hundred

Armenians are buried here, but the place

is in such a state of disarray and the rain

is so torrential that I cannot get close.

The Armenians in Chennai were an elite

band of merchants who walked into

India via the Hindu Kush. Ending up in

Chennai, they dealt with the English in

rare spices, silks and exquisite gemstones.

The church is all that remains of the once

wealthy, vibrant population. Perhaps

it’s the stark sense of loss or maybe it’s

just the jet lag, but either way, I feel

tears welling. Several Indians sheltering

from the downpour stare politely and

inquisitively at the forlorn-looking

Westerner with the black umbrella. “You

can come back and look again,” says the

warden kindly as Duraiswamy translates,

“when the church is good again.”

“I am sorry that you did not find what

you were looking for,” says Duraiswamy

at the end of our long day. Actually, I say,

the opposite is true. This trip was a marker

for me. I wanted to come to the very

place where, in 1797, my family began a

whole new adventure in an alien land. It

sounds dramatic, but I wanted to stand

where they stood and imagine as best as

I could the way their lives might have

been. And I wanted to visit Pondicherry

and Auroville, to see whether I could

imagine a new life for myself. As I wave

goodbye to Duraiswamy through the

gathering gloom, with the warm rain still

falling softly, I recognise the emergence of

something that has lain dormant within

me for quite some time: the glimmer of a

very real sense of possibility. ♦

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