When the photographer ANNA SKLADMANN returned to her parents’ homeland, Russia, she discovered a generation of privileged, sophisticated children. She thought of them as little adults, and has devoted a book to shooting what will become the next generation of Russia’s economic rulers. We publish some of her images from “Little Adults” on these pages, and Skladmann speaks about her experiences to LUX below

LUX Why did you decide to shoot these very privileged children?

AS I was born in Germany to Russian parents. The first time I came to Russia was for the millennium where I accompanied my parents to a masquerade ball. At that event there was a table with children who held themselves, talked and behaved in the manner of Little Adults. Even though I was very young, these images never left my memory.

LUX Did anything strike you about them in general?

AS I started working on the project while graduating from university (Parsons School Of Design in New York) and finished the project two years later. I, as a visual artist and photographer, grew up and shaped myself with these children. They taught me many things and motivated me. My plan is to rephotograph them 10 years from the time the project was finished.

LUX Who was the most interesting?

AS All of them had their interesting facets and stories but there were a couple of striking surprises. For example with Jakob (‘Jakob Shooting at Ballerinas’, Moscow, 2009) I had a planned photoshoot with his sister who was fourteen at that time. She was very ahead of her age and I started to realise that she was actually “too mature” for my project. After the shoot we sat down for tea and she started to show me around the house and in one of the rooms sat Jakob, her younger brother. He was sitting on his bed casually shooting at ballerinas on the TV screen with a Kalashnikov. The Cultural Channel was playing on TV because his grandmother turned it on a few minutes before.

What was the most compelling part of this project?

AS Again, every part of the project had its own appeal. Starting from the simple act of photographing Nastia, my muse for this project, to generating the idea and up to its realisation. Every single chapter and story has shaped my critical and creative thinking. It was the nature of these children which evoked such a desire to create, perfect, and bring this project to life.


Reading time: 2 min
Roof Terrace - A state-of-the-art stage boasts elaborate pyrotechnics and laser shows
Roof Terrace - A state-of-the-art stage boasts elaborate pyrotechnics and laser shows

Roof Terrace – A state-of-the-art stage boasts elaborate pyrotechnics and laser shows

The new Ushuaia Tower brings a whole new dimension of rave to Ibiza’s party scene, observes DARIUS SANAI on a flying visit to his favourite summertime island

It’s midnight on a July Friday night in Ibiza – the night is just getting going – and a thousand people are waving their arms and tanned bodies in front of uber-DJ David Guetta, who is on stage playing Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”. The crowd has shaped itself around an enormous swimming pool, which is cordoned off for the night; beyond them, another crowd of onlookers is swarming on the beach; in the distance are the lights of Ibiza Town.

I can see all this because I am at a party of my own, on the roof terrace of the just-opened Ushuaia Tower Beach Hotel, where a competing DJ plays equally vibrant music. The crowd downstairs, where I have just come up from, is young, Hoxton-chic boys and girls delighted to get into the pool party, dressed in a mix of designer and carefully picked fast fashion: it feels like being in the moving heart of a particularly snappy Instagram feed: #gowildbaby.

Upstairs on the roof, it’s a little cooler, in every way. Brands have been pushed together with foresight. Partiers are a little older, a little more restrained: their wild days, you feel, are either behind them, or a couple of hours ahead. The moon reflected in the smooth Mediterranean would be almost romantic, if the DJ weren’t pumping out Avicii at the highest octane.

Welcome to the Ushuaia Tower. I have been invited as a guest to see the opening of the party island’s coolest new club, which sits atop a new luxury hotel tower between Ibiza Town and the airport, built for a new generation of highenergy, high-tolerance, new-gen guests-cum-ravers.

Pool Party - The Tower hosts renowned, exclusive daytime parties featuring top-notch live performances

Pool Party – The Tower hosts renowned, exclusive daytime parties featuring top-notch live performances

Room categories sum it up: there’s the Anything Can Happen Suite, the Anything Can Happen Suite with Stage View (offering the same view I was catching), the Fashion Victim Suite, and the I’m on Top of the World Suite.

I was slumming it in a mere luxury double, with views of sea, beach, and mountains, a suggestive minibar, and a minimal-chic bathroom. Unlike some hotels, the room is just an accessory to your experience: a place to spend the morning and early afternoon recovering from everything you have come to Ibiza to do.

You don’t necessarily need to venture outside the hotel’s boundaries to do so, either.

The amorphous giant pool which is a backdrop to the likes of David Guetta at night is the pool terrace of the Ushuaia Beach Hotel – part of the same complex, and already in existence before last summer. The brand new Tower next door has a pool of its own; step onto the beach from either and you are greeted with an array of sun loungers and a beach bar belonging to the hotels. Here they serve an excellent club sandwich made with Jamon Iberico, as I discovered the next morning when indulging in my recovery brunch.

It would, however, have been a little coarse not to drop in on other favourite spots in Ibiza, and here the hotel also came into its own. The cool will tour Ibiza on a 1960s Moto Guzzi motorbike, raven-haired brunette hanging on, vintage Hermès headscarf pulled tight over vintage Cartier, shouting directions and admonishments from behind. I had no such option and opted for what must be the next best thing: a two-seater micro-Smart car, dressed in the hotel’s colours. I headed off for lunch to Cala Jondal, a hidden beach only accessible by a more or less unmarked side road, just two cliffsides away from the nearby airport but a different, secluded world of Ibiza.

The Ushuaia Tower Hotel with its poolside stage is a new concept on Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa beach

The Ushuaia Tower Hotel with its poolside stage is a new concept on Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa beach

At Blue Marlin on Cala Jondal, I ate grilled local sea bream with a glass of Ibizan rosé. A supermodel I can’t name was having a discreet birthday lunch with some mutual friends at the next table, and I spent a relaxing afternoon with them before tearing myself away back to the hotel, where a symphony of DJs was warming up for the evening. I slipped into some light Margiela and Lanvin for the evening and made my way over to Lio across town – now an established joint but, with its live Cirque du Soleil shows, still the most glamorous restaurant on the island. The friend I dined with had a family engagement afterwards – only in Ibiza can someone go to their aristo mother’s 60th birthday party in a club, something I just didn’t have the mental range for – and I headed back to the Ushuaia.

Hotels as self-consciously cool as the Ushuaia Tower need to employ striking looking staff to keep themselves on brand. And it’s no secret that striking staff tend not to be excellent staff, as they are naturally en route to a career in modeling, acting, or headlining at the O2 in London, and have limited patience for the day job. It’s been a problem since Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell first opened the Morgans in New York and eye-candy staff of both sexes became the equivalent of contemporary art for a hotel.

Maybe I just caught them on a good day, but the Ushuaia Tower’s staff had plainly been drawn from a different modeling agency. The ravishing (male) concierge had almost burst out of his designer uniform in trying to get me a good table for two at almost no notice at Lio; the (female) receptionist was patience and efficiency personified in dealing with various airline bookings and IT tasks; even the housekeeping staff were fluent and efficient.

There is one proviso for anyone wishing to have the ultimate urban-Ibiza-clubbing experience at the thrilling Ushuaia Tower; no, two. First, while the views are striking, don’t expect gentle romance or trad luxury: this is the hotel equivalent of a Shoreditch superclub. And, if you expect peace and quiet after midnight, or indeed, more or less anytime, then you should probably be getting yourself to another part of the island: or, better, to another island altogether. Otherwise, get there while it’s hot – and while you are, honey.

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Reading time: 5 min
Christian Hemmerle and his wife Yasmin

They may have begun by bejewelling Bavarian royalty, but Hemmerle is far from being a throwback. CAROLINE DAVIES speaks to the family-owned German jeweller about breaking the rules 

It is October in Munich. I am nestled in a wooden booth in a “traditional” Bavarian inn, erected 15 days previously. Oktoberfest songs blare from painted speakers, echoed by the swaying crowd. Our table is laden with sausages, roasts, apple sauce and several half-finished litre glasses of fine German beer.

“First time at Oktoberfest?” Seated to my right is my host, Christian Hemmerle. He also happens to be the next generation of fine jewellers. Hemmerle jewellers is a Munich dynasty. Founded in 1893 by Joseph Hemmerle, Christian’s great-grandfather, the company has been decorating Europe since they won the warrant to produce medals for the Royal Bavarian court. They even occupy the same spot on Munich’s Maximilianstrasse as they did in 1904. Yet there is nothing staid about Hemmerle.

Today the company is renowned as one of the most innovative jewellery houses in the world, setting rare precious stones into copper, iron, steel, bronze and even wood. The end result is elegant, but minimal. The textures and colours, simply but smoothly arranged, make for tactile and unique pieces. Their one store, an understated glass façade on a street crammed with designer labels, is a favourite for art world impresarios including New Yorker Beth Dewoody.

“We definitely have a tendency towards art more than other manufacturers,” says Christian, shouting over the trombone. “We are just not afraid of doing something unusual.

“My father realised that there was a strong need for understatement. People in the 1980s had very grand jewels. They were getting them out once a year for a gala event, but the jewels were not incorporated in their daily lives.”

In 1995, Christian’s father, Stefan, tried something that would send a shiver down some fine jewellers’ spines. He set a diamond in iron. “My father realised that with these new materials and new possibilities you can make something much more wearable,” says Christian.

Christian Hemmerle and his wife Yasmin

Christian Hemmerle and his wife Yasmin

Hemmerle remains a family company. Stefan and wife, Sylveli, continue to manage the business alongside the dapper couple, Christian and his wife Yasmin. Perched neatly at the table, dressed in a traditional Bavarian dress, white blouse and green corseted top, Yasmin has been fully enveloped in the fold. Originally from Egypt, she once worked at a diamond dealer in Paris, long before she met Christian.

“I always knew I had a passion for jewellery,” she says. “But I never knew why. I think it was meant to be.”

The creative process is a collaboration.

“We start with a stone,” says Christian. “There is a momentum, having these two generations together. We bring out the maximum creativity in one another. We sit around a table and criticise it until, by the end, it is a perfect thing.” It wasn’t always destined to be like this. Raised surrounded by jewels, Christian was uninterested.

“After school I wanted to get involved with real estate,” he says. “I couldn’t have imagined starting to work for the family business at that time.

“It was a very sudden change. I wanted to go to New York and my studies required me to find a work place for six months. I called my father, because it was short notice. He said, ‘I can help, but the bitter pill is that it has to be in my industry because those are the people I can call on.’

“I worked for a very small diamond dealer’s firm and I really fell in love with it on the first day. It was doing something natural. Working with precious jewels felt so normal.”

None of the Hemmerle team are nervous around priceless stones. It is unlikely many of their designs would have made it past the first sketch if they were.

“I like to think of myself as someone who pushes boundaries,” says Christian. “A lot of people only do things that have been done before because that is the way it has always been. I like to be innovative and try something new, to try to optimise.”

Creating something new requires an understanding of the old. Hemmerle’s workshop is particularly unusual for its glass beading technique, the 200-year-old skill of ‘sorting and knitting’. The work is so detailed, stones appear as though they are woven together, without a visible binding “

I want you to realise there is engineering behind it but you don’t need to see it,” says Christian. “I want to see the beauty of the piece. It should be beautiful at first sight. Love at first sight.”

Particularly popular with the art world, Hemmerle’s understated pieces are a collector cult.

“I’ve heard stories of people bonding over it at dinner parties,” says Yasmin. “They recognise a brooch or a bracelet from across the room. It’s a good conversation point because many of our clients are very passionate about it.”

“Some people would call it daring,” says Christian. “Others would say we are crazy.

“But there are other people who think the same way as we do and are very supportive of our work. We make so few pieces that we want to attract people that feel the same way about beauty as we do.”


Reading time: 4 min