Archive for the 'Art' Category

Jean-Paul Gaultier Meets Roche Bobois

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Fashion designer, Jean Paul GaultierThe name Roche Bobois is synonymous with quality and style, its position in the luxury furniture market as strong as ever, so the company’s 50th anniversary was the perfect moment to launch its latest manifesto: The 10 Commandments of Design.

Enlisting the assistance of France’s bad boy of design, Jean-Paul Gaultier, the 50th anniversary collection is a genuinely stunning blend of a classic furniture brand’s coming together with one of the main players in 21st century fashion.

Roche Bobois has a long history of working with designers from the world of haute couture, Emanuel Ungaro and Kenzo Takada being just two of the major names to be associated with this illustrious furniture company. One of the enduring traits of Roche Bobois has been the fact that it’s never been afraid to embrace new ideas, which probably accounts at least in part for its success and longevity.

Jean-Paul Gaultier started his career with a carefully cultivated reputation as high fashion’s clown prince, but with the passing of the years he has been embraced as a truly original creator of some of Europe’s most striking and unique fashion.


Royal Siam

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

At once mysterious and welcoming, Thailand is a tropical paradise with hidden depths beyond its beaches, spa resorts and nightlife.

A Thai Buddhist monkTypically South East Asian, Thailand is the confluence of three great cultures. Dominated for centuries by the neighbouring Khmer, the people of Thailand have also been strongly influenced by India and China. From early Hindu influences through to Buddhist conversion, the Thai have borrowed from their Indian and Chinese neighbours to create a distinctive identity of their own. While many of these traditions may have their origins in the India of classical times, and while a large percentage of the population is of Chinese extraction, the resulting mix is a spicy blend that can be rightly labelled as Thai.

The Thai, or Siamese, state was established when the country broke free from the yoke of its Khmer masters and established the first of several dynasties, the Sukhothai, in the 13th century. From then on, the nation became a major power in the region, eventually even wreaking its revenge on the Khmer as the 15th century Kingdom of Ayutthaya invaded modern-day Cambodia and destroyed the old Khmer capital at Angkor. Smaller kingdoms competed for power until the nation was finally unified in the late 18th century and bordering areas incorporated under King Rama I, founder of the Chakri dynasty that rules to this day. (more…)

Boy George

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Giorgio Armani infront of one of his flagship storesEach year, over two million people buy an item of clothing or an accessory in one of the more than 2,000 Armani outlets in countries all over the world, generating revenues in excess of $700 million. This is the profile of a company that has enjoyed continued growth since it was established in 1975 and still shows no signs of slowing down. Loyal to a philosophy of design that has produced his trademark style of simple yet refined elegance, Giorgio Armani has not only weathered the vicissitudes of time, he has thrived on them. The secret of this remarkable success is the clean design that gives his creations a timeless quality, which transcends fashions and fads—the surest mark of a master.

As a young man, Giorgio Armani gave up his medical studies when he realised that he had a greater affinity for design. After several detours, he found his true vocation in the hectic and exciting world of the Milan fashion industry, where his first notable design, now almost 35 years ago, was a button for a jacket by Nino Cerruti, his erstwhile employer. Displaying a unique personal touch at a very early stage in his career, Armani plunged wholeheartedly into the unknown, breaking new ground and shirking no challenge in the process. (more…)

Daniel Libeskind villas, Marbella

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Exterior Libeskind Villas in MarbellaWith an ultramodern project designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind, the man charged with designing the new World Trade Centre site in New York, Marbella has attracted a project of true architectural significance.

One of the leading architects of our time, Daniel Libeskind has also added to an already impressive list of great American designers. A sought-after guest lecturer at universities around the world, his work is inspired by the possibilities of a new era in which technology, media and novel materials are pushing the definitions of conventional living spaces towards new boundaries.

Noted for his impressive public and commercial projects, Libeskind also brings the expressive freedom of these genres into the design of private homes, as in the case of the Libeskind Villas in Marbella. Offering the kind of quality, comfort and luxurious living environment expected from a modern villa these homes reject rectangular spaces, conventional materials and construction techniques in favour of the angularity of a new age. (more…)

Highflying women

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The Red Arrows aerial display teamI think there’s a certain glamour to aerobatics – that world in which elite groups of the world’s finest pilots outdo one another to create the ballet of the skies. This synchronised dance of timing and daring is also one of the most dangerous activities you could sign up for, so there must be an element of madness in the steely nerve of these handpicked men – and women.

I admit it; I was quite surprised to see that two of the world’s oldest and finest aerobatics teams, the Red Arrows and the Patrouille de France, now also have female pilots within their ranks. I know it’s 2011 and that there are now women fighter pilots in the air forces of the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Canada, Australia and even the likes of Pakistan and the Philippines, but it still took me by surprise. (more…)