From the velvet ankle boots made for Brigitte Bardot in 1966 to the shoes Madonna wore for her starring role in the 1996 film Evita, accessories by Salvatore Ferragamo are things of beauty. The offerings in the 2012 pre-fall collection are no different, drawing from a rich autumn palette of burgundies, deep purples and loden greens and reflecting a soft, sophisticated style. Our favorite piece? This python handbag ($1,900) with a gold padlock-style fastener. It’s chic yet understated—with a touch of old-world boarding-school charm—and the perfect addition to any fall wardrobe. Available in Salvatore Ferragamo stores nationwide; ferragamo.com.
Designer and architect Zaha Hadid is known for making waves, sometimes quite literally. After years as a controversial figure in the architecture world, Hadid became the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. More recent accomplishments include designing the Maxxi museum in Rome and the aquatics center for this summer’s Olympic games in London. The 61-year-old’s fluid designs continue to challenge convention, and “Zaha Hadid. Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design” at Ivorypress Space in Madrid (opening September 4) showcases a wide sampling of the artist’s work.
Dawings, paintings, reliefs, installations and furniture design comprise the collection. From her London studio, for example, Hadid’s Liquid Glacial table (shown above) is an ethereal structure of rippled glass that seems to pour from top to legs in one fluid motion. “What is so inspiring and intriguing about the astounding output of Zaha Hadid is the imaginative, inventive and unquenchable expression of curiosity and creativity,” says exhibition curator Kenny Schachter. “Hadid defies pigeonholing in a world increasingly defined by uniformity.” September 4 through November 3; 48–46 C/Comandante Zorita; 34-91/449-0961; ivorypress.com.
France is renowned for its food, but for all the delicacies that grace its capital city—macarons, pâté, white truffles—tapas has been surprisingly lacking. That is until W Hotels opened its 91-room W Paris-Opéra, next door to the famed Palais Garnier opera house, and chose chef Sergi Arola to head its restaurant, which bears his name. Arola is a fitting choice for bringing Spanish haute cuisine to Paris. He got his start as a protégé of Ferran Adrià (the godfather of Spanish gastronomy and creator of the now-closed El Bulli restaurant) and went on to earn two Michelin stars and win Spain’s National Gastronomy Award for his Madrid restaurant, La Broche.
The flavors and spirit of Catalonia, Arola’s native province, strongly influence the restaurant’s cuisine. The menu philosophy is known as pica pica, or tapas-style—small, intensely flavorful dishes meant to be shared. Each falls into one of three categories: garden, sea or land. There is an elevated take on the tapas staple patatas bravas, in which hollowed-out potatoes (normally diced and dolloped with sauce) are lightly fried and piped full of spicy salsa brava and whipped aioli. There are succulent white sardines dotted with sun-dried tomato oil, and thinly sliced Iberian pork with hot Basque peppers. The experience is full Spanish gastronomical immersion served in an airy room with a view of one of Paris’s most iconic plazas—a cultural collision of the highest (and tastiest) order. 4 Rue Meyerbeer; 33-1/77-48-94-94; restaurant-arola.com.
Called “an elaborate exercise in organized chaos and on-the-edge expression” by the Chicago Sun-Times, the third annual Chicago Fringe Festival (August 30 to September 9) delights in the unconventional. Held in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, home to many of the city’s artists and writers, the 11-day event is a mecca for performance art. The shows cover a wide range of genres—from theater and dance to puppetry and spoken word—and organizers praise the festival for its inclusivity (performers are selected by a lottery and include both professionals and amateurs).
Fringe has a long-standing history: In 1947, eight uninvited theater groups arrived to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland. They did their thing despite crashing the party, and the next year even more uninvited groups tagged along. Journalist Robert Kemp dubbed the interlopers “the fringe,” and the movement was born. Chicago’s fest kicks off with shows like The Alembic by Terra Mysterium, a haunting musical about a goddess and an alchemist, and Handshake Uppercut by Jay Dunn and John Leo, a meandering mash-up of 1920s silent-film style and rock 'n’ roll hijinks, as seen through the eyes of two gentlemanly (to a point) brawlers. August 30 through September 9; performances are held at various venues; 773-428-9977 for more information; 866-811-4111 for tickets; chicagofringe.org.
Erwin Wurm "Big Kastenmann" (2012). Courtesy of the Artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York. Photography by Adrian Gaut.
As part of The Standard, High Line NYC’s ongoing public-art program, The Standard commissioned Austrian installation artist Erwin Wurm to create something especially for the hotel. Wurm is known for his offbeat, at times humorous projects (his limited-edition Pee on Someone’s Rug prints are currently on sale at The Standard), and his latest project is anything but shy. Big Kastenmann (Big Box Man in English) weighs 1.6 tons and stands at a towering 18 feet tall. Moreover, the aluminum figure is headless, pantless and covered in pink enamel paint. We caught up with Wurm to get the scoop.
Q: What was your inspiration for Big Kastenmann?
A: I was actually combining a human form and a geometric form and it became this strange object in between. I added legs to make it a bit more figurative and also to relate it to The Standard’s architecture. The Standard is kind of block-shaped, or two blocks, in a way. So I wanted to add something with a similar language.
Photo by Christian Wind, courtesy the Artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York
Q: We have to ask—why doesn’t the sculpture have a head?
A: I was more interested in having a picture of people—a personality of someone but not a singular person. In a way, it’s more an image of a human being and not a singular person that I’m interested in.
Q: What do you hope that New Yorkers get out of this piece?
A: Well, I don’t know. When you create a piece, you do it primarily for yourself, and then when you show it to the public they discuss it among themselves, and hopefully the reception is good and people are interested in it. But I’m not expecting that. I did something and put it out in the world.
Q: Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
A: Yes, yes, yes. I have a big show in Spain, one in Ghana and another show at my gallery in Paris. It’s great.
Sculpture on view through November 2; rooms, from $370; 848 Washington St.; 212-645-4646; standardhotels.com.
Greek painter Konstantin Kakanias has resurrected Mrs. Tependris, his beloved fashion-loving cartoon character, for a seven-minute animated film done in conjunction with the Los Angeles–based fashion label Co. In Tependris Rising—which follows several books by Kakanias, including Mrs. Tependris: The Contemporary Years—our protagonist awakes after being cryogenically frozen and heads into the desert, with dog and assistant in tow, in search of a fashion show. After a chance encounter with an unusually civilized giant spider, Mrs. Tependris lands herself smack in the middle of the Co. fall fashion show, walking the runway in a floor-length black dress and fur jacket. With Kakanias voicing Mrs. Tependris and front-row cameos by the likes of Anna Wintour, Carine Roitfeld and Kanye West, our stylish heroine makes a fashion comeback—though not before a slip on the catwalk has her literally swimming in eveningwear. Whimsical and winning, this could be Kakanias’s best interpretation of Mrs. Tependris yet. Co-collections.com.
Art has been a cornerstone of Le Royal Monceau’s identity since the iconic 84-year-old Parisian hotel reopened in 2010 on the heels of a redesign by French architect and designer Philippe Starck. In addition to a dedicated art concierge (the first in Paris) and an art bookstore, the hotel has its own gallery, Art District, where the work of French photographer Jean-François Rauzier is on view in the exhibit “Hyper Versailles” through September 2.
Rauzier works in a self-invented style he calls “hyperphoto,” where he creates visual images from hundreds of still shots taken with a telephoto lens, then assembles the images on his computer. “Hyperphotos are like a long-forgotten dream come to life,” he says. “The images are assembled numerically, to create an image so detailed and fascinating yet at the same time massive in scale and never ending—just like a dream.”
Among the works on display at Le Royal Monceau is Galerie des Affaires Etrangères (pictured above), a 2011 piece from Rauzier’s “Versailles” series and a whimsical creation made up of photographs taken in the Gallery of the Hotel of Foreign Affairs and the Navy, the very room where the 1783 Treaty of Versailles was negotiated, bringing about the end of the American War of Independence. Through September 2; rooms, from $960; 37 Hoche Ave.; 33-1/4299-8800; leroyalmonceau.com.
Still from SAMSARA. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Shot on 70mm film over the span of five years throughout 25 countries, Samsara—which opens August 24 in New York and Seattle—is a transfixing journey pegged to a theme of birth, death and rebirth. The conceit is familiar, but the parade of breathtaking images, made all the more powerful by the film’s complete lack of narration, is an immersive, sensory treat.
Samsara, which means “the ever turning wheel of life” in Sanskrit, is presented as a “guided meditation,” according to director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson. (The two are also behind 1992’s Baraka, a similar globe-spanning spectacle.) Original music ushers the scenes along, but the visual experience is as rich as they come. “You don’t want to leave stones unturned,” says Fricke, who traveled with Magidson and their crew to more than 100 locations. “You don’t want to have regrets.”
That diligence paid off. Sweeping vistas of Bagan, Myanmar, and other natural wonders contrast with buzzing, overdeveloped urban landscapes and factories churning out everything from poultry products to sex dolls. The hallowed halls of a cathedral bleed into the equally reverential spaces of undulating rock formations. Children are baptized at Divino Salvador Church in São Paulo, Brazil; teeming crowds of worshippers at Mecca swirl and churn like flocks of birds.
Samsara is a thought-provoking trip and a lot to take in (broader messages on the state of our society and the world as a whole aren’t lost amid the images). But, ultimately, it will make you want to see it all first-hand—experiences that the filmmakers couldn’t forget if they tried. “We’ve learned a lot doing this,” says Fricke. “It’s made us fearless.” Opens August 24 in New York and Seattle; barakasamsara.com.
No country has embraced the pop-up restaurant revolution more than England, which is seeing a boomlet of pop-up restaurants spring to life, from London to Manchester to Harrogate and beyond. The Chateau Marmot is held at a secret location every weekend where rotating chefs, such as young Aussie Miles Dupree from London’s renowned Ottolenghi, serve up small-plate five-course meals including dishes like butternut-squash consommé and poached snapper, turnips and dashi butter. The final installment is in Harrogate (September 21–22).
Pop-up goes vegan with Hanover’s Gourmet Girls, whose Friday pop-ups include themed dinners featuring Mexican fare (August 24), Greek food (August 31) and gourmet burgers (September 28). Manchester’s cocktail-centric Summer House takes inspiration from Europe’s colorful pop-art gardens and will run through September in the city’s Exchange Square, serving light fare like mezes, salads and bar snacks.
Though the entire country has pop-up fever, London wins the gold medal for having the most, which have been showing up at department stores like Selfridges and its Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party (open through September 2) and hotels, including the sold-out A Taste of Noma at Claridge’s. Last year’s London Restaurant Festival at the London Eye set the bar for creativity high, and since then the city has watched pop-up mobile steakhouses like Flat Iron, rooftop picnics with the London Picnic Club and even secret Korean hot-dog feasts like Superette (August 25 and September 1) become part of the landscape.
It isn’t often that one gets the chance to travel with a roster of experts who not only know the chosen destination inside and out but also have years of experience navigating uncharted territory. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Nomadic Expeditions is making that happen, assembling an accomplished, innovative team for an 11-day trip (October 3–14) to Mongolia—considered one of the last untouched wilderness areas of Asia.
Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions CEO and founder, will lead 15 guests along with Peter Matthiessen, author of the National Book Award–winning The Snow Leopard; naturalist and birder Victor Emanuel; and Costas Christ, an editor and columnist for National Geographic Traveler and an expert on ecotourism. “I really wanted to create a once-in-a-lifetime trip that showcased Mongolia’s best-kept secrets in a genuine and distinctive way, while sharing my perspective along with those of my peers, who are some of the sharpest minds in sustainable travel and conservation,” says Urubshurow.
Guests will see the famed Gandan Monastery and meet Hamba Lama, the highest Buddhist lama. Accommodations include traditional gers at the Three Camel Lodge, a top-rated ecolodge in the Gobi Desert. Chances to see animals like the Przewalski’s horse, the world’s last wild equine species, which resides in Hustain Nuruu National Park, and lammergeiers (bearded vultures), which call the foothills of the Altai Mountains home, abound. Visits to places like Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province, to see Kazak golden eagles hunt at the Golden Eagle Festival, provide an authentic perspective. And a gala reception and dinner at the Fine Arts Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, celebrates the journey.
The rare glimpse into the country’s beauty, culture and history is matched only by the opportunity to travel side-by-side with such an esteemed assemblage. It may very well be a trip of a lifetime, and the impression left on its guests may just last that long. October 3–14; $13,800 a person (double occupancy); 800-998-6634; nomadicexpeditions.com.
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