Lifestyle

Jimmy Choo’s Sandra Choi on Designing a New Type of Christmas Tree for Claridge’s Hotel

Jimmy Choo’s Sandra Choi on Designing a New Type of Christmas Tree for Claridge’s Hotel

LONDON — It’s a Jimmy Choo Christmas.
The luxury accessories brand’s creative director Sandra Choi has unveiled her Christmas tree design for London’s Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair.

The brightest and most animated in the hotel’s history, the tree is a minimal geometric shape lit by white lights with a double-knotted neon pink bow.

“The bow as a symbol of bringing things together and this united ceremony is what I wanted to portray,” Choi told WWD on the morning of the tree’s big unveiling.

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“The tree itself was a symbol to the core of our brand because what does Jimmy Choo mean? Glamour always comes like a boomerang,” she added. Glamour is a running motif in the brand’s winter 2022 campaign shot at the famous hotel, starring Iris Law, Mica Argaňaraz and Stan Taylor, photographed by Angelo Pennetta.

The tree has been given the name of The Diamond.

The tree has been given the name of The Diamond, a nod to the brand’s regalia-like accessories. The designer wanted to translate the allure of Jimmy Choo’s through light in collaboration with set designer Simon Costin who worked on the tree that stands more than five meters tall and took more than 350 hours to construct. 

“We chatted and we dissected what it means to use light as a whole idea into the future. It’s about stepping inside the jaw, which I talk about often. Claridge’s is a place of heritage, it’s iconic and for us at Jimmy Choo, we needed to bring that glamour that Claridge’s has,” Choi said.

Simplicity and upcycling were at the forefront of Choi and Costin’s ideation when they met to plan the project. 

“We produce a lot of stuff and Christmas is one of those times where you’re overloaded with things to bring the festivities alive, but we wanted to minimize the stuff element and have the ability to upcycle certain parts of the tree. We haven’t got there yet, but it’s something we discussed last night. What do we do with the materials and what do they mean to us?” said Choi, who will be hosting a cocktail party at the hotel on Wednesday evening to celebrate the tree commission.

Sandra Choi outside Claridge’s hotel in London.

Courtesy of Jimmy Choo

Christmas for Choi is all about treating others. Her most memorable memory of the holiday is from 2019 when her family took a trip to Lapland in Finland, she said.

“We packed our bags, went to the cold and had a white Christmas. It was incredibly magical because it’s not about stuff, but rather just being together,” said Choi, who will be celebrating Christmas with her sister in Wales this year.

“I have volunteered my sister to treat me,” she said, jokingly.

Choi has already started forward planning for 2023, and hinted at a mentoring program in the works. 

“I’m really into seeing what the new generation is looking at. I’ve got teams of people I work with and I always chat to them about what they see and how they feel. I’ve been in this brand for so long, I’ve seen it all, but to actually see it from another lens is very important,” she said.

Choi hinted at another project set for spring 2023 that she describes as a “nostalgic childhood project that is really artful, creative and feminine at the same time.”

Why Do So Many Bakeries and Pastry Shops Abound?

Why Do So Many Bakeries and Pastry Shops Abound?

What’s with all the bakeries and designer pastries?
While coffee chains and cafés infiltrated New York City streets years ago, the latest wave of post-pandemic pick-me-ups can be found in an abundance of bakeries. Colorful, affordable, communal — the quest for the perfect pastry has become a pursuit in itself. Some tend to stroll past display cases as if they were taking in a museum exhibition; other upscale food halls are featuring pastry shops to sweeten the attraction. Paris-Brest delectables can be found at the recently opened sprawling Tin Building by Jean-George Vongerichten and bombolones, crostatas della nonna and other confections are among the offerings in the “pasticceria” at Harry’s Table.

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”Bakeries have long been a staple of society, especially so in European culture,” says Smor Bakery Sebastian Perez, co-owner with Simon Bangsgaard. “We are both from Denmark and there the number of bakeries is equivalent to the number of Starbucks. They are everywhere. The same in Paris, Stockholm, Madrid, etc. The cultural diversion is really just catching up to the New York City lifestyle.”

Of course, the appeal of baked goods isn’t just for delicate Marie Antoinette-worthy creations. Consider the frenzy for the mustard donut concocted by French’s Mustard and Dough Doughnuts. The one-day giveaway involved eight weeks of tastings, Fitzco and Sunshine Sachs were hired for marketing and public relations, respectively, and donuts were sent via Amtrak to the Baltimore headquarters of McCormick & Co., which owns French’s Mustard.

Dough Doughnuts co-owner Steven Klein, a former sportswear manufacturing executive, says, “We did everything very professionally, similarly to almost any kind of tasting or as in fashion — everyone wants to see the fit. We created different styles and different items. In the end, we picked out a mustard donut that was glazed so that it had a decent taste. And people liked it actually — more than I thought [they would]. They are asking us to even bring it back.”

French’s financial splurge included wrapping Dough’s seven stores, as well as videos, influencers and promotions. ”We had over 1 billion [media] impressions in a couple of days. It was astronomical. They did such a good job; it went viral. We were in 60 publications, on ‘Good Morning America,’ and ‘Fox & Friends’ — everybody took a piece of it because it was so unique,” says Klein, adding that Dough’s site sold 25,000 donuts in two minutes.

”Food is a driving force because it’s a destination and offers satisfaction…if you use social media, it lasts longer. The cronut has been around for six or seven years already, and it’s still popular. Our donuts are very popular because they are brioche — lighter, fluffier. Almost nobody in the country makes brioche. It’s a different process. It’s more of a pastry.”

Klein adds, ”If anybody can come up with a pastry that tastes great, it kind of becomes a fashion icon because people have to try it, they wait on line for it and will pay any price. So you want to call it a designer pastry? Maybe. In a sense, it is because they’re paying a higher price, which of course everybody can’t afford because it becomes more expensive to make it. Inflation has hit the whole market — prices are rising for eggs, butter, flour, oil. Prices of the materials are forcing people to raise their prices.”

Free from pandemic quarantines, millions have embraced a carpe diem mind-set, flying off for vacations and embarking on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. In turn, the let-them-eat-cake attitude adds up and offers its own transportable moment.

Doris Ho-Kane in her new Ban Be bakery in Brooklyn.

Photo by Shirley Cai/ Courtesy

Doris Ho-Kane, who unveiled the Ban Be bakery in Brooklyn last July, sees the trend as a reach for warmth and comfort. “It took something as cataclysmic as the pandemic to usher in this return to the kitchen and to the sweets we cradled and devoured as children,” she says. “Pastries were once an afterthought, but now an entire dinner party can be centered around a beautiful agar jelly layer cake or a mountain of a Vietnamese cassava cake.”

The you-can-try-this-at-home element has heightened interest, too. A few years of  sourdough bread kneading and funfetti cake making have given way to banana bread bake-offs and other TikTok-driven tricks. Another pandemic winner was “The Great British Bake Off,” which attracted 6.9 million viewers for its finale last fall. New Nordic Cuisine pioneer Claus Meyer says, “Bread — at least in the U.S. — for the most part and for far too long, as Henry Miller so poetically described it, has been ‘highly underwhelming.’ Organic grain production is one of the finest ways to free our ground water from pesticides, and a delicious bread is one of the most democratic luxuries on earth, especially if you bake it yourself.”

Asked about the renewed interest in bakeries and pastry shops, the Copenhagen-based Meyer, whose New Nordic Food Hall was a casualty of the shutdown, adds, “We also see this tremendous growth in specialty bakeries because opening up a small bakery is not as complicated and risky an affair as opening a restaurant is. Also, baking is such a wonderful and down-to-earth way to spread love in a community.”

Acknowledging how baking blew up during the shutdown due to TikTok trends, the Food Network’s 2021 “Best Baker in America” Jaclyn Joseph chalks up the influx of bakeries to proprietors’ passion and making that their occupation.

“The more bakeries that we have is great because we all have something special to offer,” she says. “Everyone did notice after the pandemic that [it] is a luxury to go out, and it is almost an event to go out to enjoy something sweet. I think people realized that baking is not so easy and it requires a lot of skills. So there is an appreciation for the technique too.”

The economic impact of baking in the U.S. is significant — nearly $154.3 billion and 764,777 jobs, according to the American Bakers Association, an organization in its 150th year. In total, the impact of baked goods produced and sold in the U.S. is $480.47 billion. A further 1.52 million jobs are supported by the baking industry.

While rising food prices are weighing consumers down, many are willing to invest in the occasional splurge for relatively affordable indulgences. The shop-local movement and social media phenomenons like Dough Donut’s adventurous flavors, Lafayette Bakery’s “Supreme” creme-filled circular croissant, Kam Hung Bakery’s colorful sponge cakes and Sugar Wood’s suggestive baked goods are giving others reason to head for New York City’s pastry shops and bakeries.

Dough’s co-owner Klein says, ”When you go into a downturn, or whatever you want to call it, because nobody defines it, whether it’s a recession or the pressure of making a living, sweets have done very, very well. Any types of sweets — chocolates, pastries or anything of good quality — is what people crave when they have an urge.”

As ”the only donut store open seven days a week during the pandemic,” Dough found patrons were coming from the tri-state area and even from Pennsylvania “just to take a drive and have a donut, which shocked me,” Klein says. ”Whether it’s a pastry, a donut, a scone, a cookie, chocolate — it’s always been available to people when they go through hard times. It’s a sweet treat. It’s as simple as that. If you make a good product, you survive. If you don’t, you go by the wayside like any other business.”

As pastry chef and cronut creator Dominque Ansel could attest due to the cronut craze ignited years ago, demand can be so strong that multiple daily drops are needed. Dough, Lady Wong Pastry & Kuih and Lafayette are among the bakeries on board with that.

A limited edition French’s mustard-infused donut was a massive success for Dough.

Photo Courtesy Dough

The aforementioned circular Supreme at Lafayette “well beyond a tasty, fancy pastry — social media has really driven this thing. People like to post that they had one. They like to post that they are on line. It’s a very visual experience on social media and it becomes very popular on TikTok and Instagram, which we like. It’s fun and it also maybe brings in people, who wouldn’t ordinarily come into the bakery. We’re into it. We’re leaning into it,” says Lafayette’s managing partner Luke Ostrom.

The pain au chocolat “Supreme” is a specialty at Lafayette Bakery.

Photo Courtesy Lafayette Bakery

Food nostalgia set in during COVID-19 and post-pandemic, people are “getting very excited about things that are being baked in interesting ways and they are eager to have desserts again,” he says.

The bakery’s biggest conundrum is that it can’t bake enough Supremes, with 125 dropped at 8 a.m. and 125 more at noon. Sellouts have been so swift that there is a one-per-person limit now, the kitchen is being expanded and more people have been hired. Later this month, a third drop will be introduced in the late afternoon.

Asked if Lafayette is following the fashion and sneaker-driven drop model, Ostrom laughs, “Inevitably, we were sort of pushed to do so. It was not our intention in the beginning.”

Much media ink is being spilled on the wunderkind artistry of Eunice Lee’s pristine French Korean pastry “boutique” Lysee that bowed in late June in the Flatiron district. Her trompe l’oeil creations include a demure cob of corn that consists of corn-infused mousse, layers of caramel and a corn kernel biscuit with a grilled corn cream shell. Such edible artistry requires days in the making. Lee ventured out on her own after serving as the head pastry chef at Jungsik, which garnered two Michelin stars. Other newcomers include Lido in Rockefeller Center and the Asian-inspired Italian bakery Angelina Bakery that has branched out to serve more bombolones and other confections with a few locations including a 4,000-square-foot Times Square outpost.

An assortment of pastries from Lysee including its signature corn confection.

Photo Courtesy Lysee

Downtown is awash with a slew of new bakeries. Late night revelers might be increasingly crossing paths with off-to-work bakers at dawn in the East Village. The neighborhood has a thriving bakery scene, thanks to relative newcomers like Lady Wong Pastry & Kuih, Smor Bakery, La Cabra, Bread Story and La Librae. Like several other newcomers, Lady Wong sprang from the pandemic, when many longed for nostalgic food and in some cases struggled to find it. The husband-and-wife team Seleste Tan and Mogan Anthony have dreamed up moon cakes, candy-coated taro ube tarts, “pandacha” (pandan-matcha) Dutch-Indonesian butter cakes and a Champagne Oolong peach tart. Lady Wong also offers weekly drops that have been drawing lines out-the-door for its colorful concoctions.

Scandinavian loaf lovers are in luck too in the neighborhood. Smor Bakery, an offshoot of the Scandinavian restaurant by the same name next door on East 12th Street. Passersby will waft cardamom buns, cinnamon buns tebirkes, salted chocolate rye cookies, rugbrod and and other specialties.

From left, Smor Bakery’s co-owner Sebastian Perez, head baker Rowan Gill and co-owner Sebastian Bangsgaard.

Photo Courtesy Smor Bakery

Another Nordic outpost — La Cabra — is about 10 blocks south. More austere than hygge, the New York location is the first in the U.S. for the Denmark-based company and was designed by its head of design Mikkel Selmer with features by ceramics partner Kasper Wurtz. The caffeinated lineup includes on occasion classic washed Colombian coffee from Orlando Sanchez and hand-brew is serious business. Its site bills coffee as “an illustration of our dream in motion, one that brings together terroir, varietal and the skilled hand of processing.” Roger that, but what about the pastry? Banana caramel cookies, lemon-infused canneles, barley mousse Chou and the more expected cardamom buns are part of the rotating menu.

Croissants are baked throughout each morning to keep things fresh. Lard lovers will take heart knowing the croissants call for 27 layers of French butter that is first fermented cold for 24 hours.

Over at 35 Cooper Square, Librae Bakery blends “Middle Eastern roots and Danish techniques” and promotes itself as “a third culture bakery.” Translation? Basque cheesecake, lumees Earl Grey blueberry scones, rose pistachio croissants and Marmite-spiked, sesame-encrusted pastries are among other unexpected combinations.

Decades after Sarah Jessica Parker and “Sex In the City” made cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery a must-stop for thousands of out-of-towners, many still flock to its Manhattan outposts and rivals like Billy’s Bakery. Another New York City-grown company, Levain Bakery, has not just definitively supersized the walnut chocolate chip cookie but attracted a flood of customers. So much so that last month Levain started shipping nationwide with DoorDash, so that Hawaiians and others can land eight cookies for $70. Levain has also branched out to other U.S. cities, including Boston.

Eight years after the first Maman café and bakery location opened in SoHo, the 22-unit company will have 28 by the end of the year. Six or seven more are planned for next year. Some of the real estate opportunities were caused by the pandemic, which “unfortunately” forced the closures of many bakeries, says founder and designer Elisa Marshall.

“We were contacted by a lot of landlords, who had had their tenants (including some second-generation bakeries) basically just hand back the keys because they didn’t want the spaces any more.”

Initially designed to be counter to the cold, industrial chic scene that ruled in the beginning of the Aughts, the original ethos was to create multisensory cafés that are “a full experience through the vibe, the smells, the attention to details, great food, great coffee and people that were more reminiscent of home,” Marshall says.

Maman was designed to be counter to the industrial design that was once ubiquitous.

Photo Courtesy Maman

Part of that growth stemmed from a fluke early on — when an Eater editor, who lived nearby, wandered in and later posted about Maman’s nutty chocolate chip cookie rivaling ones sold at Levain. Oprah Winfrey’s team then caught wind of that and placed Maman’s specialty on one of her “Favorite Things” list. A blend of French and American cuisine, the mostly French pastry team cooks up homemade Oreos — a chocolate salted wafer with a white chocolate ganache filling — as well as everything bagel croissants. While “people’s love for sweets is never going to die in the U.S.,” Maman plays up premium ingredients like top-quality dark chocolate, imported sea salt and roasted nuts. Such primo items are increasingly prized among customers and bakers alike.

A former fashion executive, Marshall started her pastry career as a side job, doing trunk shows and baking cookies for the Coterie trade show and other fashion events. “A lot of brands — whether it be fashion or not — are really looking to take on that lifestyle element. It’s amazing how fashion and food have come into play with each other. Food and coffee especially is the heart of New York and that at the end of the day drives so much traffic for many retail stores. We consistently do tons of collaborations — every other day we’re out there with a different retailer and we do backstage catering for many of the top designers,” Marshall says.

Maman’s version of the chocolate chip cookie attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey’s team.

Photo Courtesy Maman

Just as fashion trends change so do pastry ones, with Lafayette offering a corn berry crunch Supreme in September. Others bakeries like Maman are broadening into plant-based and seasonal options.

”You’ll be seeing a lot more vegan and gluten-free items. We just launched a vegan croissant. With a blind taste test, you can hardly taste the difference,” Marshall says. ”We’re broadening our horizons beyond the sweet side of things and broadening our customer base by getting creative and catering to more people.”

Dough’s Klein notes how in real estate, fashion and other businesses, “you work with more problems than having people tell you that you are great. In the donut business what we’ve found is that everybody’s happy when they eat a pastry. The amount of happiness is very high even if people wait in line for an hour or even two hours….For some reason, people today are looking for anybody who has a good pastry.” That said, Dough plans to launch cookies this week.

Little Cat Lodge Delivers Alpine Vibes in the Hudson Valley

Little Cat Lodge Delivers Alpine Vibes in the Hudson Valley

Little Cat Lodge is open and ready for New York’s colder months ahead. Located near Catamount Mountain in the foothills of the Berkshires, the boutique hotel offers Alpine-style lodging and dining for all seasons.The hotel is the latest project from Noah Bernamoff and Matt Kliegman, whose collective projects in New York City include Black Seed Bagels, The Smile, Celestine and the recently opened Pebble Bar near Rockefeller Center. Both men reside part-time in the Hudson Valley, and while the idea of opening a restaurant or hotel upstate was in the back of their minds, they weren’t actively looking for a project when a friend flagged a lodge that was for sale in Hillsdale, New York.

The property is located between artsy towns Hudson, New York, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and the pair hope that the hotel will appeal to weekend guests from both New York City and the Boston metro region. “The idea of being between [the two cities] was really quite appealing,” says Kliegman, adding that the property also resonated with them on a personal level. “Noah’s from Montreal, he grew up skiing; I’m from New York and grew up snowboarding. It’s something that we enjoy and the reality is there’s really not a great après-ski experience at the mountains that are proximate to New York City.”

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The Hudson Valley continues to see an influx of boutique hotel developments in recent years. In Hudson, notable projects include the high-end Maker Hotel. West of the river, the Wylder hotel group refurbished a large property this spring in Tannersville, luxe-retreat Piaule opened in Catskill, and a new Auberge property debuted near New Paltz. Located further east, the Catamount region offered an unsaturated market to introduce a boutique property.
“It was an area where not many people were doing things,” says Kliegman, who with Bernamoff also co-owns Otto’s Market in Germantown, New York. “We don’t mind being a bit of a pioneer.”
The property underwent a significant renovation before reopening, although the team aimed to keep the Alpine-style “spirit” of the property alive despite a full-gut of the interior and “reconceptualization” of the exterior. The team worked with designer Loren Daye of Love Is Enough to reflect the aesthetic heritage of the Alps without leaning too far into interior trends. The idea was to create an environment that would be conducive to dining and relaxation, whether that means comfortably drinking a hot toddy outside in the winter or spritz in the summer.
“Our approach was…let’s not try to modernize the feeling of this entire property. Let’s actually bring the Alpine essence out even further,” says Bernamoff. “I do think that we’ve taken a thoroughly idiosyncratic design path that produced a unique product that does not look, feel, or in many ways compete with any of these other very beautiful properties [in the area].”
The hotel’s restaurant program is Alpine-inspired, but not exclusively Swiss. “We want the food to reflect the full scope of cuisines that are represented throughout the Alps,” says Bernamoff, noting that the menu pulls from elements of French, Northern Italian, Austrian, German and Slovenian cuisine. “It’s going to be a little bit of a melting pot — a fondue pot — of different Alpine cuisines.”

There are two dining concepts onsite, a restaurant and casual tavern that will appeal more broadly to a crowd of local regulars. The tavern menu veers from the Alpine theme with the inclusion of classic American dishes that are seasonally driven and locally sourced from farms in the area. “Having that flexibility to service our broader local community is great,” adds Bernamoff.

Inside a guest room at Little Cat Lodge.

Courtesy

WWD Report Card: Are You Seeing the Fashion Out of Venice?

WWD Report Card: Are You Seeing the Fashion Out of Venice?

Tilda Swinton is seen during the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Tilda Swinton: 4

Wearing head-to-toe white Chanel to eat a color-coordinated ice cream cone? Of course. When it comes to Tilda Swinton, the level of sophistication is unmatched. Who ever thought eating ice cream could look so chic? 

Jodie Turner-Smith attends the “Bones and All” red carpet.

Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images

Jodie Turner-Smith: 5

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This is giving off Britney Spears at the VMAs, but a couture take. The head-turning denim gown is far from casual and she looks beautiful, sexy and elegant. The blue eye shadow is the ideal accent for this flawless effort. 

Tessa Thompson attends the “Bardo” red carpet.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Tessa Thompson: 3.5

Carrying your bed sheets on the red carpet is never a good idea, but the construction of this cocoon also gives science fiction vibes, making the whole effort rather fun. The matching tights and heels are very of the now. And in case you don’t see it, there is a handbag there as well. 

Timothee Chalamet attends the “Bones and All” red carpet.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Timothee Chalamet: 5

Probably the most talked-about outfit of the Venice Film Festival to date, this one-of-a-kind red number is another successful collaboration with friend and designer Haider Ackermann. Chalamet gets extra points for constantly pushing menswear boundaries. 

Maude Apatow attends the “Bones and All” red carpet.

John Phillips/Getty Images

Maude Apatow: 5

This is the best we’ve ever seen her. The retro movie star hairstyle is flattering on her and the figure-skimming corset together with the floor-sweeping skirt are classic with a touch of seductive danger. 

Cate Blanchett attends the “Tar” red carpet.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Cate Blanchett: 2

This is basically a goth flower vase come to life. Surrealism is fine, but this is too literal. The real flowers embellished jumpsuit raises a question about the health of the buds — where is their water?

Taylor Russell attends the “Bones and All” red carpet.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Taylor Russell: 4

She looks gorgeous, but one wonders if she’s uncomfortable — does the front of the skirt need to be carried? Regardless of the logistics, the dress is cool and there’s drama in the glove and the slicked-back glam. 

Chris Pine attends the photocall for “Don’t Worry Darling.”

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Chris Pine: 1

Some old preppy ghost washed up from Cape Cod has taken over his body. A fashion exorcism is needed. And Brad Pitt called: he wants his hair back. 

TikTok is Obsessed with the ‘Whisper Method’, so can it really help you manifest anything you want?

TikTok is Obsessed with the ‘Whisper Method’, so can it really help you manifest anything you want?

Photo: ShutterstockTikTok users, put down your phones for just a minute, you’re going to want to listen up to this one…
‘Manifesting’ is the buzzword that just doesn’t seem to be going away, and we’re not mad about it. We’re all up for anything that helps us achieve our biggest, bravest dreams through the power of positive thinking and conscious action, I mean, what’s not to love about that? The thing is though, we haven’t yet managed to see our wishes realised (except obv that the Peaky Blinders film is actually happening). But could that all be about to change?
TikTok users believe the viral Whisper Method – a hashtag you’ve probably seen floating about on your fyp – can help you get whatever you want through manifestation.
So not to be left out, we decided to delve further into the viral trend that refuses to fizzle out.
What is the Whisper Method?
The concept of the Whisper Method is similar to that of telekinesis (bear with us), so, in short, it works on the premise that through the power of manifestation, you can get anybody’s attention, Yep,  anybody. Supposedly, using the method can prompt someone you’re thinking of to get in touch with you, all by changing the vibes you’re giving out and focusing on the version of you that you want this specific person to see. Cue thousands of users using it to see if their ex gets back in touch or hoping that their crush will suddenly reach out.
As TikTok user @hothighpriestess explains, you want to first start by creating some positive affirmations and repeating these daily. “What’s going to happen is that these affirmations are going to seep into the brain of the person you’re trying to manifest,” she explains. “And they will begin to view you the way you view yourself.”

@hothighpriestess
Replying to @arlynh15 the whisper method
♬ Paris – 斌杨Remix

Next, she takes us through a step-by-step guide on how to actually carry out the Whisper Method:
“Step one, you’re going to visualize your specific person wherever you think they are going to be right now, get specific and really visualize the scenario. Then you’re going to envisage yourself walking up to them and whispering in their ear – three times – what it is you want them to do,” ok, we’re with you so far.
She gives examples of the kinds of things you could ask of your ‘person’, such as asking them to text you, then according to the Whisper Method, you kiss them on the forehead and envisage walking away.

Then here’s the tricky bit (or at least we think it is), once you leave the space, you need to have “full conviction” that what you’ve asked of them will happen: “be patient because it can literally happy any day.”
And now the crucial question, does the Whisper Method actually work?
Well, from the comments section of the @hothighpriestess’ video, it seems so. “IT WORKSSSS i did this on my ex-bf and now we’re back together again and it’s safe to say that we’re both happy,” wrote one, while another added: “No stop it actually worked I did it yesterday and he told me he was thinking about me today.”

But this isn’t the only video of its kind, in fact, there are now thousands of videos on the app that are tagged with #whispermethod or #whisperingmethod, with many users gushing over the effectiveness of the technique.
“Did you try this? Works like ✨magic✨,” one from user @manifesting.cheat.codes is captioned, while the video explains, “this is how I manifested him to message me in just 3 minutes.”

@manifesting.cheat.codes
Did you try this? Works like ✨magic✨ #manifestingmethods #manifestation #whisperchallenge #spirituality #shifting #777 #888hz
♬ snowfall (Slowed + Reverb) – Øneheart & Reidenshi

Another user adds text over the top of her video, saying: “It 100% works,” before writing out the message she received from her ‘person’ after trying the method, “I just randomly started thinking about you so much. Can we please take and fix things? Please I love you.”

@valeriafune
Use my guide to see results quicker #whispermethod #manifestingatext #manifestingadvice #manifestingspecificperson #manifestinghimback #manifestingtechniques
♬ original sound – Vinnie

The hashtag is also flooded with people trialing out the Whisper Method for themselves, including those without any former manifestation understanding and success. Though we must admit that there are varying results, some feel it worked for them almost instantly, while others are still waiting for the result or just downright skeptical it will work at all.
Here’s our thinking: it’s free to do, it doesn’t take long and in the process, you’re building up your own confidence and harnessing your own power. What’s the downside in that, right?

Originally published in Glamourmagazine.co.uk

Hollywood Is Finally Living Up to Its Glittery Reputation as a Place Stars Want to Hang Out

Hollywood Is Finally Living Up to Its Glittery Reputation as a Place Stars Want to Hang Out

Gucci was onto something with its “Love Parade” runway show — Hollywood is L.A.’s most glamorous place to hang out this summer.Once the embarrassment of the city, with seedy streets and down-on-their-luck costumed characters, Hollywood was a place that made tourists scratch their heads, and say, “Is this all there is?” But the neighborhood is finally living up to its glittery reputation as a destination actual stars want to see and be seen in thanks to buzzy new hotels, first-class restaurants, rooftop bars and private clubs, all near where Netflix and Paramount have leased office space.
On most nights women in bandage dresses, designer handbags and heels, and guys rocking Dior Jordans, can be seen sliding out of slick cars, ducking into restaurants, waiting on line for bars and sneaking puffs off of vapes.

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Much of the action is centered off the seedier Hollywood Boulevard, on the side streets bordered by Cahuenga Avenue on the east and Wilcox on the west. The area is also known as the Vinyl District because of its history of recording studios, one of which is preserved as the Grandmaster Recorders restaurant.
Mama Shelter was the first new hotel to plant a flag on Selma Avenue in 2016, launched by Paris-based hotelier Benjamin Tragono, followed in 2017 by The Dream from real estate firm Relevant Group, which has put $1 billion into projects in Hollywood and downtown L.A.
“Hollywood has a unique history in the annals of L.A., and we thought if we could curate a really unique set of hotel and dining experiences we could attract a wide ranging, multigenerational and multicultural demographic,” says Dan Daley, chief executive officer and cofounder of Ten Five Hospitality and a partner at Relevant Group, which also developed The Thompson and Tommie hotels, with their popular restaurants Mother Wolf and Ka’Teen, and rooftop bars Bar Lis and Desert 5 Spot.
The Prospect Hollywood, designed in Hollywood Regency style by Martyn Bullard Lawrence, and the Godfrey Hotel are also new upscale lodging destinations.
The epicenter of the culinary scene is Mother Wolf, chef Evan Funke’s take on Roman cuisine, where the fiori di zucca fritti and tonnarelli cacio e pepe shine as bright as starry diners like Michelle Obama, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Jens and Emma Grede.
Located in a chic, renovated Art Deco building that once housed the Hollywood Citizen News, the 10,000-square-foot restaurant is massive by L.A. standards and on weekend nights really hums.
“A lot of Los Angeles restaurants are small, quaint, chef-driven; this is very much a New York, London-style restaurant with the grandness and opulence and size of the room,” says Funke, an L.A. native who trained with Wolfgang Puck before moving to Italy to master the art of making pasta, and opening his first restaurant, Felix, on Abbot Kinney in 2017. “I knew in my gut we were going to make some noise.”
In the Thompson, chef Lincoln Carson’s French-meets-farmer’s market brasserie Mes Amis is another delicious spot, with a crudité plate that’s a work of art, a terrific raw bar and French onion burger. Cocktails with names like “Some Like It Hot” (gin, lemon, strawberry and Lo-Fi Dry) play off the glam old Hollywood black-and-white photos on the walls. Upstairs, the rooftop Bar Lis has a Côte d’Azur-inspired vibe, and a burlesque night on Wednesdays.

Around the corner at Ka’Teen, guests enter through an Instagrammable tunnel made from branches into a jungle-like oasis with a thatched roof, wicker light fixtures and plentiful palms. Chef Wes Avila serves up Yucatan-inspired fare, including tuna aquachile, vegan birria, banana leaf-wrapped heritage pork, and stiff mezcal drinks, including the Witchdoctor, which comes with its own smoldering sage stick, for a cocktail that’s also a spiritual cleanse.
Tommie’s rooftop Desert 5 Spot brings the spirit of “Stagecoach” to Hollywood, with a cowboy hat-wearing neon cactus sign beckoning, country rock inside, and a boots-and-bikinis weekly Sunday afternoon party at the pool.
On Cahuenga, Grandmaster Recorders is a rooftop bar, restaurant and the sexy Studio 71 disco rolled into one, where Anya Taylor-Joy hosts monthly dance parties. The entrance delights with boom boxes, 8-track tapes and other rock ‘n’ roll relics of the circa-1971 studio where David Bowie, Mötley Crüe, Foo Fighters, Kanye West and many more recorded.
The casual, 4,500-square-foot rooftop serves views of the Capitol Records Building, DJ beats, pizza and drinks. And the warehouse turned 5,000-square-foot dining room, helmed by chef power couple Monty and Jaci Koludrovic, features nouveau Italian food, including a Petrossian caviar cannoli appetizer that’s as decadent as it sounds, and a tiramisu made to look like a GMR vinyl record, just waiting to be cracked open. Cocktails are named after songs (“Shake Your Money Maker,” “Hard to Handle Now”).

Grandmaster Recorders’ tiramisu.

Courtesy/JENNIFER JOHNSON

“It’s one of those come for a meal stay for a night venues…you start on the roof, end up in the restaurant, then the Studio and you’ve done three things in one night…Or now you can start here and go to the Thompson, go to Bar Lis. You want that camaraderie and it’s all walkable,” says Grandmaster Recorders co-owner Grant Smillie.
Further west on Sunset Boulevard, in the former site of old Hollywood favorite Ye Coach & Horses pub, the modern Cal-French Horses restaurant is emerging as a next-gen Les Deux Cafes, Michelle Lamy’s ’90s Hollywood hot spot where one could go every night.
Stylist Elizabeth Saltzman is one of the regulars at Horses, which is helmed by another chef power couple, Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian, who serve a spectacular smoked salmon and caviar lavash, endive Caesar salad with breadcrumbs, Cornish game hen with warm dandelion panzanella, a Sunset Mess dessert and plenty of Vesper cocktails.

To the east, on Fountain Avenue, chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis of Bestia and Bavel fame just opened Saffy’s, a jewel box of a casual Middle Eastern eatery designed by Nicky Kaplan, in an Art Deco building in the shadow of Hollywood’s Scientology Celebrity Center. Now open for dinner, and soon during the daytime with a next-door coffee, tea and pastry shop, too, it’s the kind of place to stay awhile nibbling on shishito peppers, hummus and a knockout shawarma plate, while downing tequila-spiked cherry limeade or orange wine.

Saffy’s restaurant in East Hollywood.

Courtesy/Joseph Weaver

Hollywood, like the rest of L.A., also can’t get enough members’ clubs. Revamping the historic CBS radio building, Neuehouse was the first, opening in 2015. Now there are more.
On Aug. 1, David Bowd, a hospitality veteran of London’s Chiltern Firehouse, New York’s Mercer and L.A.’s Chateau Marmont, will open The Aster with his business and life partner, Kevin O’Shea, as part of their Salt Group hotel collection. This is act three for the building at Hollywood and Vine, formerly SBE’s Redbury Hotel and Paul Allen’s h club.
Bowd may have been trained by Ian Schrager, who helped usher in West Hollywood’s ’90s nightlife heyday with The Mondrian and Sky Bar, but he is positioning The Aster differently, as a hybrid 35-room hotel and club that will try to be a good neighbor to the area’s unhoused by providing excess food from its Lemon Grove restaurant to the Hollywood Food Coalition, and employment opportunities for people in transition.
“We want The Aster to be inclusive and diverse from an employment and members point of view,” he explains of the approach, which lets guests have a membership while they stay, and will emphasize programming, from volunteering to wellness. Also in keeping with the times, the rooftop restaurant and bars will have a large nonalcoholic program.
Rooms start at 700 square feet and feel residential, with dining areas and dressing rooms, which the founders envision stylists using around awards season, as well as an onsite recording studio and screening room.
On La Brea Avenue, German fitness conglomerate RSG Group, which also owns Gold’s Gyms, just opened its first upscale fitness concept club, Heimat, in a 1928 building. Across 58,000 square feet and five floors with playful California modern interiors, original artwork and graffitied staircases left over from when the building used to host raves, there are state-of-the-art fitness facilities, co-working rooms, a juice bar, spa, pool deck, and healthy Michael Mina restaurant Mother Tongue.

“L.A. is the birthplace of bodybuilding and physical fitness with Muscle Beach,” says Sebastian Schoepe, president of RSG Group, of selecting the location for the first Heimat (which means “home,” or “belonging” in German). “We wanted to create a space that changes the mind-set of ‘I have to go to the gym’ to ‘I want to go to the gym.’

Cardio room at Heimat.

Courtesy

“Growth has been moving east from West Hollywood and Beverly Hills because everything is pretty much done there…We saw Prizma’s apartment building going up, CIM Group building in the Sycamore District,” he says of the real estate firm developing an eight-story headquarters for Sirius XM.
One street over from Heimat, the Sycamore District on Sycamore Avenue is also home to the newish French brasserie Gigi’s restaurant, Tartine bakery, the Hideaway cocktail bar and multibrand fashion and art-filled concept store Just One Eye.
And the momentum isn’t stopping anytime soon.
On Sunset Boulevard, a $500 million, 22-story office building dubbed The Star is in development, with a curvilinear, sci-fi-looking silver dome construction that would play off the area’s other landmarks, including the Capitol Records Building and the Griffith Observatory.
After closing in 2021 because of the pandemic, the Arclight Hollywood movie theater and landmark Cinerama Dome have taken another step toward reopening by receiving approval for a liquor license.
Will retail follow in the area, meaning stores that aren’t selling souvenir T-shirts, sex toys and bongs? It could.
Opened along the Walk of Fame in 2001, the Hollywood & Highland shopping center once welcomed 25 million annual visitors. Earlier this year, it was purchased by DJM Capital and renamed Ovation. A $100 million renovation is slated to be completed by the end of August, with a new public space and new “local-driven” tenants to follow.
Key addresses:
Mother Wolf, 1545 Wilcox Avenue, Los Angeles, motherwolfla.com.
Mes Amis and Bar Lis, 1541 Wilcox Avenue, Los Angeles, mesamisla.com; barlisla.com.
Ka’teen and Desert 5 Spot, 6516 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, kateenla.com; desertfivespotla.com.
Grandmaster Recorders, 1518 Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, grandmasterrecorders.com.

Horses, 7617 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, horsesla.com.
Saffy’s, 4845 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, saffysla.com.
The Aster, 1717 Vine Street, Los Angeles, theasterla.com.
Heimat and Mother Tongue, 960 N. La Brea, Los Angeles, heimat.com; hellomothertongue.com.

How to Cycle in Style, Effortlessly and Sustainably

How to Cycle in Style, Effortlessly and Sustainably

Urban regeneration programs across key European cities such as London, Paris, Milan and Amsterdam are mostly designed with the goal to reduce traffic and encourage residents to walk and cycle to their destinations.London alone plans to add to and increase the number of cycle lanes in the near future to better connect regenerating residential areas like Wembley, Tottenham Hale, Isle of Dogs, Greenwich and Brentford to the city center.
A slew of bicycle manufacturers and cycling-gear makers are booming because of the rising demand, and e-bikes in particular have become a popular option for commuters looking to strengthen their health while beating traffic.
There are many options with prices as low as 499 pounds for a foldable e-bike from Argos, which could work if you don’t mind a freakishly giant battery hanging between your legs, to mountain-trail ready, monstrous-looking ones retailing for around 7,000 pounds from Evans Cycles in London.

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The average price for a decent e-bike is still relatively high, ranging from around 1,500 to 3,000 pounds. The good news is that cities like Paris have introduced multiple incentives to make choosing an e-bike more accessible.
As part of French capital’s biking plan, some 180,000 additional bike parking spots will be added, and between now and 2026, Parisian riders will gain 180 kilometers of long-awaited and permanent bike lanes.
E-bike rental providers such as Lime, Uber’s Jump and Tiers are also making effortless and sustainable riding more accessible to millions across major cities in Europe and beyond.

Presenter Jeremy Vine here seen leaving BBC Radio Two studios on his new 2,700-pound Electric Brompton bike. The new bike allowed Jeremy to get around quicker between his two jobs at Channel 5 and BBC Radio Two studio.

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Cycling may be on the rise — but sleek and chic options for the fashionably minded are slim.
Brompton is a popular choice. It can be packed into a small square and can be checked into a cloakroom at a party. There are also a many accessories to choose from — if you are going home from said party with a giant goodie bag, the messenger bag that attaches to the front will be perfect to fit all that stuff you might re-sell online later.
Powered by electricity, the Brompton e-bike overcomes one of the biggest flaws of its small-wheel nature — going uphill has never been so easy. (Anecdotally, I was once asked if I have competed in weight lifting as years of cycling on a Brompton have given me very strong thighs.)
If you don’t want to pay the premium for the electric version, which costs about twice as much as the normal one, you can sign up for the waiting list on Swytch. This British upstart sells e-bike conversion kits that promise to turn standard Brompton bikes, as well as others, into e-bikes at a lower cost.

A VanMoof e-bike designed by Jacquemus.

Courtesy

Another contender is VanMoof. This Dutch e-bike maker has designed some of the most stylish models available on the market.
VanMoof recently teased a one-off all-black version of the S3 model for Paris Men’s Fashion Week with the Berlin-based fashion label GmbH’s cofounders, Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik.
Loved by celebrities including Evan Mock and Frank Ocean, VanMoof bikes come with a very minimal and futuristic design with the battery hidden within the frame and buttons are nearly invisible. The company has also released one-off bikes in connection with Stephane Ashpool’s Pigalle, Jacquemus, and Highsnobiety, as well as content collaborations with Ganni in celebration of the Scandi brand’s store opening in Amsterdam.

Jonathan Hum, chief marketing officer at VanMoof, says the company, founded in 2009 by Taco and Ties Carlier, started with the mission to make the perfect city bike.
“Design has been the hallmark of the brand from the beginning, and it continues to be the key differentiator for us. We are fairly unique in the sense that we prioritize design whereas that maybe hasn’t been a priority for a lot of other brands up until this point in the space,” Hum says.
“It is not just from a form point of view, but also from a function point of view, such as these consumer-led design features, whether that’s the shape of the frame itself, or the integration of, like, a kick lock into the frame so you don’t have to lug a big heavy lock around with you,” he says.

VanMoof teamed with Ganni on a cycling-themed collaboration.

Courtesy

The A5 and S5 are the least VanMoof models to hit the market. Both are manufactured in Taiwan.
“There’s a very deliberate consumer-focused design strategy. It’s not a men’s bike or a women’s bike. A5 is a bike that is aimed ostensibly at a slightly smaller rider, which makes them easier to jump on and off cycling around town, whereas the other bigger model S5 is a bit more of a cruiser with an emphasis on riding comfortably over longer distances,” Hum explains.
He believes that the company’s emphasis on design is what drew “an enviable list” of fashion and design brands that want to collaborate with VanMoof. “There’s a sense of recognition of that being important to us as it is to some of the other brands that maybe you wouldn’t ordinarily put us together with, but there’s a shared terrain with design,” Hum says.
E-bikes, which generally result in less sweating, open up a new lane for fashion possibilities in the summer. The layer game is a solid option for long-distance commuters. And both the Brompton and VanMoof A5 are ideal for those attending summer parties by the Seine during Fete de la Musique in maxidresses, as the lower top tube design allows riders to get on and off the bike more easily.
Remember to top your e-bike look off with a helmet — safety cannot be compromised in the name of fashion.

Saudi Interior Architect and Designer Nouf AlMoneef on Riyadh’s Progressive Cultural Landscape

Saudi Interior Architect and Designer Nouf AlMoneef on Riyadh’s Progressive Cultural Landscape

Nouf AlMoneef wearing a dress from Pinko, with bracelets by David Yurman. Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Tasneem AlSultan
Art, design, and culture
Nouf AlMoneef is part of the fabric of Saudi Arabia’s thriving art and cultural scene, as project manager of Noor Riyadh. She has a background in design, with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Prince Sultan University in Riyadh and an MFA in interior architecture from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “I have experience working in the Saudi private and public sectors, as well as running my own private studio,” she says.
Wearing a Norma Kamali dress with Dalood blazer. Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Tasneem AlSultan
Witnessing change
As a Saudi national, AlMoneef’s upbringing exposed her to her homeland’s progressing social scene, specifically regarding women’s affairs. “I grew up in Riyadh during at a time when the social norms were completely different from today. I witnessed and was part of the dramatic changes in society impacting womens’ status, as well as culture, arts, and entertainment,” she says. Today, AlMoneef works to further empower Riyadh’s rich cultural glories, including landmarks such as AlUla, which she considers her favorite cultural go-to. As she explores different destinations around the world, she dives deeper into her field and unlocks new interests along the way. “In my current job, which is related to art, I came to appreciate it and have collected art works from Saudi Arabia and all around the world,” she shares.
Nouf AlMoneef. Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Tasneem AlSultan
Life in color
When dressing and accessorizing, AlMoneef looks to brands both in the region and abroad to offer a pop of color to her look. A black Norma Kamali dress serves as a solid base for bright layers. A pair of fuchsia tie-up heels by The Attico and a slick of Gucci lipstick offer further edge, along with accessories like an Okhtein bag or David Yurman bangles. If an event or her mood calls for higher octane glamour, she will opt for a pussy bow sequin shirt.
Shoes by The Attico
Light and style
AlMoneef’s current mood board suggests accents of light art and fashion, hence her philosophy for style is “simplicity and elegance.” “Personal style to me is to add the colors, the accessories to match my own preferences and outgoing personality,” she says. While AlMoneef likes to keep it simple, her curiosity shines through with statement cuts and fabrics. She makes a case for unique abayas and trench coats as she flaunts them with accents of culture and modernity. “My abaya selections for the past couple of events and travels were from Nora Al Shaikh’s collection. Her abayas are authentic, and culture related with a modern twist.”
A bustling day
AlMoneef tunes into a playlist that throws her back to the 90s with music that sparks nostalgia for her childhood and charges her for the day. Her typical day starts with a quick workout at the gym, followed by a lively schedule that keeps her busy until 8pm. Sometimes her responsibilities expand beyond her government set working hours and require her presence at art-related sites in Riyadh. “I also attend art events related to my field of work. Therefore, managing time is essential,” she shares.
Mykonos
Wanderlust
From exploring Europe and Asia’s vast repositories of art to soaking up the Middle East’s charm, AlMoneef enjoys traveling to different parts of the world where she can fulfill her eye for design. Of course, nothing beats an itinerary of sightseeing and hopping to various museums and art galleries. “I particularly like the metropolitan cities and the historical places in Spain and Italy,” she says, while these photos were captured in Greece.
An Okhtein bag. Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Tasneem AlSultan
Power drive
After checking off her professional duties, AlMoneef devotes the last hours of her day to her family. Yet, despite her daily schedule of demanding responsibilities and activities, AlMoneef remains driven and charged by surrounding herself with positivity and appreciating the work of her colleagues. Whether at her studio, office, or an art event, AlMoneef manages to power through her role by following a motto of “taking it easy, and playing by the rules of the game.”
Originally published in the June 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
Read Next: Meet the Saudi Women Helping the Kingdom’s Art Scene Get the World’s Attention

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

PARIS — Just as a fashion designer might spend a lifetime creating the perfect little black dress, Philippe Starck is obsessed with making the ideal chair.With his new collaboration with Dior, due to be unveiled at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, he thinks he’s nailed it. Starck, who is behind iconic designs like the transparent Louis Ghost, was commissioned to put his spin on another medallion chair: the Louis XVI-style model that has been a symbol of Dior since the house was founded in 1947.
The designer, who describes his ethos as a constant striving for minimalist perfection, stripped the classic chair down to its bare bones, and chose to make it in aluminum to emphasize the lightness and purity of its silhouette.

“I can tell you that right now, nothing can be ‘less’ than this chair, and that requires a huge amount of work. You have to literally whittle it down. You have to know the technology,” he told WWD in a Zoom interview.

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“I worked to create a totally timeless, definitive design, an icon, so that it will never go out of style,” he added. “We’re right down to the skeleton of the object. That’s why there are very biomorphic shapes in this chair. Semantically, stylistically, we’ve reached the bare minimum.”

Philippe Starck’s sketch for the Miss Dior chair.
Courtesy of Dior

The chair will be the centerpiece of the “Dior by Starck” exhibition, due to run from June 7 to 12 at Palazzo Citterio in Milan, which can be visited by prebooking a time slot online. Starck has commissioned sound artist Stephan Crasneanscki to create a soundtrack for the show, inspired by the imagined life of Miss Dior.
The solo presentation reflects Starck’s stature in the design world. For last year’s Salone del Mobile, Dior commissioned more than a dozen participants, including Pierre Yovanovitch, India Mahdavi and Oki Sato of Japanese design firm Nendo, to revisit the medallion chair.
Working with decorator Victor Grandpierre, founder Christian Dior introduced the streamlined neoclassical style that came to define the Dior universe. The oval-back chair was a feature of his couture salon, as well as his store decor, beginning with the brand’s first boutique on Avenue Montaigne.
Starck said the design had entered collective memory, making the collaboration feel natural.
Dubbed Miss Dior, his take presented a logistical challenge. Only one injector, located in Italy, was capable of creating a mold to produce the chair, which is less than one centimeter thick in places. It comes in three models, featuring one, two or no armrests, priced from 1,500 euros to 5,000 euros.
“I chose a difficult material that’s designed to last. It’s made of recyclable aluminum that is very special, quite expensive and rock solid. There’s no reason for this chair ever to break, and that’s already an extraordinary guarantee when you buy it. You know it’s something that can be handed down,” Starck explained.
The designer, who has always promoted democratic products like his 1989 curved toothbrush for Fluocaril, said the project would have been impossible to achieve without a luxury partner like Dior, willing to invest heavily in the production process.

“I’ve always pushed to keep costs down so that everyone can have access to quality design,” he said. “Given the choice, obviously, I would always prefer that. But there are other people who can afford this. Why deny them?”

Philippe Starck’s Miss Dior chair in polished aluminum.
Courtesy of Dior

The Miss Dior chair telegraphs luxury, with galvanized metallic finishes including pink copper, black chromium and gold, available in satinated or polished versions. By contrast, the polycarbonate Louis Ghost, produced by Kartell, retails for less than 350 euros — though Starck stands by his use of plastic.
“I don’t change with the wind,” he said. “I will always defend my use of plastic, because I did it for environmental reasons, which is to say that when I make a plastic chair, I don’t cut any trees and I don’t kill any animals.”
Starck notes that the polycarbonate used in the Louis Ghost chair is made from renewable raw materials. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with manufacturers, and today, there are bio-sourced plastics. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years,” he noted.
The designer, who is based in Portugal, is also thinking about more significant ways to reduce our environmental footprint. He’s working on a state-of-the-art complex for space training company Orbit that is designed to leave no trace.
“We’re building a city, but reinventing all the parameters. I want it to be the first reversible town, meaning it can disappear in three months and have the smallest possible footprint,” he explained. “In addition to training people for space, which is the future of the world, I’m potentially creating the cities of the future, too.”
Up next is space itself: commercial space station Axiom Space has commissioned Starck to create the crew quarters inside its privately developed modules, which will be attached to the International Space Station. Expect nest-like interiors sprinkled with hundreds of LED lights with changing colors.
As challenging as that sounds, he believes that nothing is harder to design than a chair, and it will be difficult to top the Miss Dior. “Like a lot of couturiers, I have always been on the quest for the little black dress,” he said. “In terms of chairs, now there is this one.”

SEE ALSO:
Dior Medallion Chair Exhibition to Make U.S. Debut
Dior Supports Venice Biennale as Women Artists Move to the Fore
Dior Lady Art Handbag Show Heads to China

Homo Faber’s Sophomore Edition Opens Venice’s Season of Art

Homo Faber’s Sophomore Edition Opens Venice’s Season of Art

MILAN — Homo Faber has officially kicked off the season of arts in Venice.At its sophomore edition, the cultural event celebrating craftsmanship in all forms opened on Sunday, offering a compelling showcase for tourists and local visitors in the leadup to the city’s Biennale Arte, slated to run April 23 to Nov. 27.
Running through May 1, Homo Faber champions artisanal talent by showcasing a variety of materials, techniques and skills through live demonstrations, immersive experiences and handcrafted creations displayed across 15 exhibitions, all staged at the majestic spaces of Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Courtesy of Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The event is organized by the Geneva-based Michelangelo Foundation nonprofit established by Compagnie Financière Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert and Italian entrepreneur Franco Cologni with the mission to promote, encourage and preserve fine craftsmanship in different fields.

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In particular, this edition celebrates European and Japanese talents and the interconnections between the two countries through shows conceived by 22 renowned curators and designers. These include architects Michele De Lucchi and Stefano Boeri, museum director David Caméo, American director and visual artist Robert Wilson and fashion exhibition designer Judith Clark, among others. 

Homo Faber’s curators.
Courtesy of Michelangelo Foundation

Titled “Details: Genealogies of Ornament,” Clark’s show spotlights 15 luxury houses encompassing Alaïa, Hermès, Cartier, Buccellati, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Serapian, to name a few.
Staged in a venue that formerly housed a nautical school, the exhibition flanks precious objects — ranging from kimonos and leather pieces to jewelry and watches — to artisans at work, who offer a live demonstration of their skills and a behind-the-scenes look at the different manufacturing processes.

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