A blonde woman singing in a choir

Rowan Pierce, soprano & Peter Manning, Conductor

LUX sponsors a charity evening of music by candlelight with some starry guests at a palatial setting in London’s Chelsea.


The Bath Festival Orchestra (BFO) gave an intimate recital to an audience including some of London’s most significant philanthropists in the State Apartments at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Star act was soprano Rowan Pierce, who entranced the audience with a rendition of Deh Vieni from Le Nozze di Figaro. Sipping some Nyetimber sparkling wine before and after the recital, the audience, there to support the BFO, was enraptured.

Two women

Sally Greene and Countess Andrea Hamilton

An asian woman talking to a group of people

Olivia Ma, David Banks and Aud Jebsen

An old man in a red army uniform standing next to a man in a suit

William Waggott and Chelsea Pensioner

A man clapping in an audience
A bag, flowers and magazine on a table

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An old man and women

Aud Jebsen and David Banks

A boy standing between two women

Paige Nelson, Edouard Favre-Gilly de Bueil and Comtesse Marie Laure Favre-Gilly de Varennes de Bueil

A woman playing the violin

Maren Bosma, Leader

A thank you note in red and black

Later this year, the BFO will be performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto at Kings Place, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at Cadogan Hall, and a ground-breaking new commission from pre-eminent American composer Tod Machover, where music will meet science.

Reading time: 5 min
school children playing on the ground
school children playing on the ground

This finalist team from Kibera came up with a waste recycling system in the largest urban slum in Africa

The Earth Prize is one of the many initiatives run by The Earth Foundation. It is a competition open to all institutions from leading schools in London to the poorest slums in Africa. The Prize  encourages schools, students, researchers and young entrepreneurs to educate themselves and be mentored in order to find innovative solutions to  solve the planet’s environmental challenges. With the winner of The Earth Prize being announced on Friday 25th March 2022, Candice Tucker speaks to Angela McCarthy, CEO of The Earth Foundation, about the importance and impact of this Prize.

A woman in a black top

Angela McCarthy

1. Why do you think teenagers might have the solutions to some of our greatest environmental issues?

They have the ability to still think out of the box. They are in touch with their creative minds and they care deeply about the planet. This emotional intelligence is key in finding solutions. The older we get, the more we are blinded by outside belief patterns blocking our imaginations and causing us to lose touch with nature and ourselves.

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2. How important is education versus action in schools with regards to the fight against climate change?

With education, action comes naturally. Once you have opened the eyes and ears of teenagers to what is happening, how and why, they can then take steps to make a change. Once they care about their planet’s crises through education, they will want to make different choices. Those choices create a ripple effect. As we know, there are many factors that contribute to climate change. If they can start to live differently or come up with new solutions, they will help the fight against climate change.

Two girls in front of a sign

The adjudicating panel for the Earth Prize consists of leaders in sustainability, science and entrepreneurship

3. The Earth Prize is open to leading private schools in the wealthiest countries to those with the most basic education in refugee camps and slums. How do you ensure a level playing field?

Once they have registered online for free, everyone receives the same support to participate in The Earth Prize competition. This includes online video learning content and access to our 30 university mentors whom the students can ask for help at any point. I and The Earth Foundation team are available for any further advice or to answer questions that any teacher, supervisor or student may have at any time. We found that everyone was able to get access to the internet, and that is what made it all work! Our students in Lebanon had the internet go down and they would have to wait until it was rebooted, and the same happened in South Africa, but they all managed. The amazing teachers made it their mission to support their students while they came up with their own solutions. Finally, equality was guaranteed because each submission carried only a number, thus eliminating any risk of bias in the judging.

4. What was the original intention of The Earth Prize?

To inspire, educate, mentor, and empower students, schools, researchers, and young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to tackle environmental challenges. Through this process we strive to build our very own ecosystem. Peter McGarry, the founder, and I believe in the voices of the youth being heard and bringing their solutions to life, and how everyone can be part of the solution to solving today’s most pressing sustainability issues.

The Earth close up

The Earth Foundation was founded in 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland by Pete McGarry to encourage young people to find solutions to the Earth’s environmental challenges.

5. Apart from The Earth Prize, can you tell us about other projects within The Earth Foundation?

The Earth Prize is our first initiative. The second will be The Earth Foundation Awards that will support research endeavours in the environmental sustainability field with grants and scholarships by distributing $300,000 every year to university students and researchers. We are also in the process of creating our Alumni Association, a platform for networking and encouragement amongst our community of passionate and inspiring individuals.

Read more: Unilever’s Rebecca Marmot On The Sustainable Everyday

6. How do you ensure a long term effect and results from the prize?

Through The Earth Prize Alumni we will strengthen ties among its members, offering them access to educational content, mentorship, social events, and professional opportunities. We will be helping them bring their solutions to life, and invite them back to share their impact, successes and their challenging times to the next year’s participants. We believe this will become a very powerful way to accelerate change and showcase the leaders and change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Find out more: www.earth-foundation.org

Reading time: 4 min
two people dancing in time with each other
two people dancing in time with each other

Lucinda Childs and Philip Glass first created Dance in 1979. Photograph by Jaime Roque de la Cruz

Bringing together a union of three iconic British houses of the arts, Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Opera House and Tate Modern, Van Cleef and Arpels have created a festival, Dance Reflections, presenting different dance performances for two weeks. Candice Tucker was invited to view Dance by Lucinda Childs and Philip Glass. Here she tells us about the experience.

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The story behind Van Cleef and Arpels and dance dates back to the early 20th century when Louis Arpels, who was a great fan of the ballet would take his nephew, Claude, to the Paris Opera. 1967 was the pinnacle for the Maison’s relationship with dance when renowned choreographer, George Balanchine, created the ballet Jewels, in collaboration with Van Cleef & Arpels. Today, the house continues this tradition, supporting Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project since 2012, and starting the FEDORA-Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet in 2015.

a ballerina in a white top

The minimalism of Dance adds to the immersive experience of the performance. Photogrpah by Mehdi Benkler

American composer, Philip Glass and choreographer, Lucinda Childs are both known for their minimalistic approaches. A dark stage and plain white costumes were therefore no surprise. The performance commenced with dancers jumping on to the stage one by one, and then two by two, and so on, in a repetitive motion, in perfect harmony with the music. The routine quickly began to resemble doves flying around a large cage.

a ballerina clip in gold with diamonds

Van Cleef and Arpels Ballerina clip, 1993

The performance progressed with a projected film of dancers from the Lyon Opera Ballet, by Sol LeWitt, appearing to mimic the onstage dancers repetitive movements. Suddenly there were ballerinas dancing in the air and in all parts of the stage echoing each others movements. With the repetitive music of Philip Glass, it was a fabulous, unique and almost  hypnotic experience.

two dancers perfoming

A film by Sol LeWitt, of the dancers of the Lyon Opera Ballet projected on to the stage, whilst the dancers from the same school performed. Photograph by Jaime Roque de la Cruz

Dance, which was first performed in 1979, was the perfect demonstration of the link between dance and Van Cleef & Arpels; they are both timeless.

Read more: Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos on the poetry of jewellery

The evening ended with a spectacular meal at Galvin La Chapelle, arranged by Van Cleef & Arpels to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Find out more: dancereflections-vancleefarpels.com

Reading time: 2 min
Heather Stewart in a black turtle neck
Cameron Diaz wearing a suit and tie

Cameron Diaz on Patio, Mission Santa Barbara, California ©1995 George Holz

American photographer George Holz, known for his fashion and celebrity portraiture, was once the assistant to the iconic, Helmut Newton. Here he speaks to Maryam Eisler, at the Maker Hotel, Hudson New York, about his close relationship to Newton and how he built his own illustrious career.

Maryam Eisler: George, what is occupying your mind these days?
George Holz: It feels like I’m a bear coming out of a long hibernation. But right now, I feel like the world is my oyster. It’s a nice feeling. I’m in the middle of working on a few projects. One is my book of nudes. I was about to finish it, and then it got sidelined by Covid. This is my second monograph. It’ll be a 40 year retrospective of my nudes. I’m also working on another book project which I’m not at liberty to talk about yet.

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Maryam Eisler: Let’s step back in time to your Newton years. Given that you were one of Helmut’s key assistants, what are the best memories you hold from those years?
George Holz: That’ always a tough question. I think it evolves with time as I step further back and watch what is happening with his legacy. To me, he was like a second father, my photography father, and June (Newton) was my photography mother. They didn’t have kids so they took a few of us under their wing in the 70s. It wasn’t so much about learning technically; it was more about being around him and seeing how he dealt with the models and with the clients. That was not stuff I had learnt at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Just seeing how Helmut dealt with a situation creatively and how he problem-solved was incredible. Still on shoots today, I often think ‘what would Helmut do? How would he handle the situation?’ He also taught me how to look at film and all the behind -the -scenes stuff: making phone calls, casting and location hunting, all of which I did for him. I often recall the Van Halen shoot or tying David Lee Roth up in chains; seeing the photos in a book or a museum often make me think: “Wow I did those chains!” Now that I step back, I realise that I was part of all of that. And then, there was the human aspect of Helmut, something you don’t necessarily pick up on in a museum show or in a documentary.

George Holz wearing a check gilet and black shirt standing by a plant

George Holz photographed at the Maker Hotel in Hudson, New York. Photo by Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler: To what would you attribute Newton’s ever continuing relevance in today’s art world? Some may question his motives regarding objectifying women, but it seems that they are far and few in between.
George Holz: We were at a press conference at the Foundation in Berlin in 2019, and some journalists were hurling those types of questions at the panel – which consisted of myself, Mark Arbeit and Just Loomis (the three of us were part of the ‘ Three Boys from Pasadena ‘ exhibition at the foundation ) alongside the director, Matthias Harder, and, publisher, Benedikt Taschen. And, everyone answered the questions in a similar manner: Helmut was very demanding creatively. He loved women, he venerated their beauty and he empowered them. He never took advantage of his power or his position and was always very professional. I think a lot of that had to do with June (his wife) always in the background.

Maryam Eisler: Now onto you. What is your most memorable moment when it comes to your Hollywood-focused body of work?
George Holz: Photographing Brad Pitt fishing in the stream for People magazine around the time of A River Runs Through It … I actually got to give him some pointers on fly fishing, because I’m a big fly fisherman. He was a good student. He wasn’t very famous then. Luckily, I got to photograph many celebrities very early on, at the start of their careers like Madonna, and Angelina Jolie. I worked a lot with Jennifer Aniston. I was lucky to work with InStyle magazine. What a great magazine that was! One of the things that I loved about it was that they often gave me a two-day window to work with somebody because I was photographing them in their home. So, you really got to know them, you met their kids, you saw their whole life. I got Carly Simon in her bathtub with a lobster, just crazy things and great moments.

Brad Pitt fishing in a river

Brad Pitt, A River Runs Through It, Montana ©1991 George Holz

Maryam Eisler: Ultimately, it boils down to trust between you and your subjects; does it not?
George Holz: It is all about trust, the one big word. A lot of these shoots were done before the internet. It was about having that human rapport with somebody where you would build trust…they liked you, they laughed with you, they saw a couple of polaroids and they would give their ok! Someone like Andie MacDowell I worked with a lot, photographing her for Macy’s catalogues and more. I remember her going to acting classes and I photographed her, her family, her babies. To this day, when she comes to town, she calls, we get dinner together. Lauren Hutton comes to my openings. It’s like old friends; you don’t always see them but they are in your orbit and they’re there for you.

Maryam Eisler: Who would you say best understands your work?
George Holz: My wife Jennifer. She gets me. She organises my crazy ideas and puts them on paper. I’m always able to bounce things off of her. It’s like Helmut and June. Behind every great artist there’s a great partner. She also trusts me. That’s very important because I couldn’t do it on my own.

Madonna in a black dress and hat

Madonna, Interview Magazine, Los Angeles, California ©1983 George Holz

Maryam Eisler: Can you talk to me about your fascination with the female form and energy.
George Holz: You (Maryam) have a female gaze on this topic and you get it. I have the male gaze, but we both look at female figures as things of beauty. It’s something I’ve done for so long, and the work has really changed and evolved. It’s becoming more refined. I often look at old contact sheets and there’s always something hidden I find, maybe a lot deeper and more interesting and I often think ‘how did I pass that up’. I remember seeing the big Penn show at The Met and he had several prints of the same image over the years, and he said ‘they’re all my prints; it’s just my perception of what I thought was a beautiful print that changed over thirty years.’ Getting back to the female form, I guess it’s kind of timeless. It’s absolute and pure in its beauty. To me it’s the ultimate portrait. Nothing dates it. I’m kind of wanting to get more stuff in the studio again, like my earlier works with objects and form in shadows and light.

Heather Stewart in a black turtle neck

Heather Stewart-Whyte, My What? New York ©1991 George Holz

Maryam Eisler: How do you feel about Instagram? Does it push your boundaries and force you to differentiate further vs. what’s out there?

Read more: The LUX Art Diary: Exhibitions to See in March

George Holz: I think we are all affected by what we see on Instagram, whether we’re a photographer or not, bombarded by so much visual imagery. What it says to me is that there are a lot of amateurs out there, just shooting and some of it is really interesting work. But it has forced me to re-evaluate my own work again and get back to what I was trained to do, to what I was best at … 40 to 50 years of learning the craft of photography. Getting behind the camera and working with lights. It’s getting back to the basics. That’s where my comfort zone lies.

Jack Nicholson spoking a cigarette

Jack with Camel, Los Angeles ©1997 George Holz

Maryam Eisler: Now onto your split life between your public life centred around the urban
(New York, LA ..) and your private life on your farm, set against the beauty of the Catskills, away from the rat race.
George Holz: With the internet, everything is instant. So you can still be part of that rat race in a virtual way, and instantaneously step out of it into beautiful nature if you choose to do so. Originally, we got the property as a refuge from the city, a place we would come up to on weekends and then that kind of segued into a more full time situation, first with 9/11, then Covid. The industry also changed as did family life. So, my country home became command central whilst I still continued to travel here and there. In the old days, my studio was in the city, but I was always separated from it. Now, if in the middle of the night I want to look at some contact sheets, I just walk over to the studio and it’s right there.

Jennifer Aniston in a white vest

Jennifer Aniston, Los Angeles ©1995 George Holz

Maryam Eisler: We’re sitting in Hudson Valley, in the midst of its artistic legacy, not too far away from Holz Farm. What are your impressions of this part of the world and why here?
George Holz: I’ve been shooting pictures at my property in upstate New York, for the last 40 years and always loved the history and gorgeous Hudson River School light. Our road has always had artists and musicians and there was always that ‘Je ne sais quoi.’ You can’t put your finger on it, but it’s just a really cool creative place and not many places have that. I think Berlin has that, I think Paris, Milan has that. Venice has always attracted a lot of artists. I think there is a reason why so many artists and musicians flock to Upstate, as opposed to the Hamptons for example. Since Covid, there has been an even bigger exodus of people out of the city. We are seeing a lot more full-timers and there’s a real sense of community now. We have wonderful restaurants. We are sitting here in this beautiful hotel (‘The Maker’), and it kind of feels like we’re back in the city. And yet, the locals keep it real and that too is really important.

Find out more:



Reading time: 9 min
consumer goods stacked on shelves in a supermarket
consumer goods stacked on shelves in a supermarket

Unilever, one of the largest suppliers of consumer goods, has committed itself to sustainable ways of working throughout the whole company. Image by Bernard Hermant

Rebecca Marmot is Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever, the consumer giant whose portfolio spans everything from Dove soap to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Under Marmot’s leadership, Unilever has made significant interventions in sustainability milestones like the Paris Agreement and the creation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – yet, she says, much of the innovation is still to be done. Marmot tells Ella Johnson why companies must embrace transparency and collaboration in order to create a truly green value chain
a woman wearing a black shirt

Rebecca Marmot

LUX: What is essential to the success of a company’s ESG agenda?
Rebecca Marmot: Success relies on everyone being on board – from employees to c-suite to investors. For example, we put our Climate Transition Action Plan – which outlines how we propose to reach our net zero target – to an advisory shareholder vote. Over 99% approved it. Making it public increases our credibility, transparency and accountability and helps us engage with stakeholders.

We also recognise that we can’t do this on our own. We need to draw on the ingenuity and experience of experts and peers across the globe to meet our sustainability targets – from specialists creating plastic alternatives to suppliers supporting initiatives to protect and regenerate nature. We know that pioneering new practices requires partnership. We are also calling on governments to accelerate climate action by setting ambitious national renewable energy targets so that consumers can use our products at home with water heated by clean energy.

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LUX: Can planet and profit ever truly go hand in hand?
Rebecca Marmot: The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), which ran from 2010-2020, contained over 70 time-bound targets spanning issues from waste, water and greenhouse gas reduction, to supporting people with training around sustainable agricultural practices. Over 10 years there were notable achievements – including improving the health and hygiene of well over a billion people – as well as valuable lessons in what does and doesn’t work.

The USLP helped clarify our belief that sustainability can unlock superior performance. The business case is clear. Climate change and inequality are huge global challenges, but they also pose very specific risks to the future of our business: for instance, climate-related adverse weather disrupts supply chains and rising inequality limits prosperity and prospects.

people walking through a flood

Climate change directly affects the success of a consumer goods businesses by disrupting supply chains. Image by Jonathan Ford

LUX: How do you avoid greenwashing?
Rebecca Marmot: We recognise that we are on a journey – and need to be transparent about our failures as well as our successes. We didn’t reach all of our USLP targets by 2020, but in falling short, we learnt new ways to approach and overcome challenges.  For example, the need to engage in advocacy to decarbonise the grid – rather than just focusing on promoting shorter showers!

Here, reporting can play a useful role in tracking progress and preventing greenwash. We are calling for the adoption of high-quality, standardised non-financial reporting to ensure disclosures are consistent and comparable across companies and to facilitate allocation of capital to the most sustainable companies.

LUX: How is Unilever working to eliminate Scope 1 and 2 emissions – those generated by your operations?
Rebecca Marmot: First, we need to put our own house in order by transforming the way our factories run: investing in new technologies, increasing energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources. For instance, biogas generated from the manufacturing of Marmite helps power the boilers at our Burton site in the UK.

We are also innovating through our brands.  Our Clean Future programme  commits us to eliminating fossil fuel derived carbon from cleaning and laundry products by 2030, and we also recently launched the word’s first laundry capsule made from captured and recycled industrial carbon emissions in China in partnership with LanzaTech.

One of the biggest challenges is that the lion’s share of our emissions are outside of our direct control. About 60% of our emissions come from raw materials and packaging. So, to reach our target, we are working across our value chain and engaging suppliers, partners and consumers in our decarbonisation journey.

Unilever Office

Unilever World Headquarters, London

LUX: Unilever has substantially more influence over its suppliers than consumers. How do you overcome that challenge?
Rebecca Marmot: When you take your Dove soap home and use it in your shower, then clean your shower with Cif bathroom spray, then reward yourself with a Magnum ice cream, the power used to generate the hot water and run your freezer is the area we have the least control over.

We’ve learnt over the last ten years that our ability to influence consumer emissions can be limited; we can’t control how long they spend in the shower or how they source their energy. But increasingly, consumers want to align their purchasing power with their values. We want to make it easy for them to choose our trusted brands – knowing that they are made with respect for the planet and people.

We can design products that help consumers use less carbon – like concentrated laundry detergents which enable people to wash their clothes at lower temperatures. Washing clothes at 30°C instead of 60°C cuts the GHG emissions per load by as much as 50%. We’ve also taken great strides to eliminate phosphates from our laundry products, one of our most GHG-intensive ingredients, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 50% per consumer use.

LUX: How is Unilever addressing the ‘S’ of ‘ESG’?
Rebecca Marmot: COVID-19 highlighted vast social inequity and reaffirmed our focus on protecting lives and livelihoods. Last year, we committed to ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to Unilever earns at least a living wage or living income by 2030.

It also demonstrated global interdependences and the need to work together. At the beginning of the pandemic, Unilever and the UK government established a £100m partnership – The Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) – to provide products, infrastructure and education to help tackle COVID-19. Working with 21 NGOs and UN partners in 37 countries, HBCC has reached over 1.4 billion people and has recently been extended for a second phase. Bringing together the influence and expertise of Government and NGOs, with the brand reach and marketing power of business, has proved truly effective in spreading life-saving programmes.

consumer goods

Unilever’s Positive Beauty row

LUX: Is there a risk that those who are last to take on the costs of a green transition will be winners in the short term?
Rebecca Marmot: Inaction is no longer an option. In a world where the effects of climate change and inequality are glaringly apparent, both ability and license to operate will become dependent on being sustainable.  Research shows that consumers are increasingly shunning companies that aren’t responsible, and employees want to work somewhere that reflects their beliefs. Without action to make supply chains more sustainable, companies simply won’t be able to source the raw materials needed for their products and operations will be stalled by floods and extreme weather. Laggards will likely also be hit by taxes on carbon and virgin plastic which are certainly coming down the line.

We believe the growth opportunities in embracing sustainable business are immense. In our experience, brand purpose grows brand power, and brand power drives market share and sales growth. There is no trade-off.

LUX: Which leadership qualities are necessary to implementing a sustainability strategy while meeting the needs of shareholders?
Rebecca Marmot: Delivering superior performance while creating value for multiple stakeholders requires ingenuity, partnership and, above all, a clear, ambitious plan.

Given how interlinked everything is, we also need to shun silos in favour of systems thinking. For example, we take a holistic approach across climate and nature since we recognise that action to solve one crisis can help to address the other.

Read more: Richard Curtis on the Power of Pensions

We also need to be bold. Last year we established the €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund so that our brands can invest in projects that have a positive and meaningful impact. Knorr will have 50 regenerative agriculture projects over the next five years – supporting farmers and building resilient food chains of the future.

And we need to be innovative – identifying new ways to lower our impact without compromising quality or performance. For example, our R&D teams are using the latest technology to create new means of compacting and reducing the resources used to deliver our products and our Foods business is expanding our plant-based offerings to ensure that sustainable options become accessible to all.

Find out more: www.unilever.com

Reading time: 7 min
Two women standing in a vineyard
Two women standing in a vineyard

Left to right: Naoko and Maya Dalla Valle

We taste some of the most admired vintages of Napa Valley, through the decades, with two generations of the owning family of the Dalla Valle estate, Naoko and Maya

Naoko and Maya Dalla Valle make some of the most magical wines in the world. From their vineyards in Rutherford, in California’s Napa Valley, the mother-and-daughter proprietors of the eponymous winery create red wines which combine perfume, subtlety, style and power, that have become cult acquisitions for collectors. They also score high in the increasingly important sustainability stakes, as all the estate’s vines are farmed organically.

Dalla Valle was started by Naoko and her husband Gustav in 1986; it shot onto the wine world map in the early 1990s, when Robert Parker, the super-critic and then the man who could make or break a high-end winery, gave a perfect 100/100 score to their flagship wine, Maya.

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As well as being their most prized wine, made from their best vineyards, Maya was their daughter, then a baby. Thirty years later, Maya is the winemaker and increasingly active in running the estate. Parker no longer makes or breaks a wine’s image, but standards are still the same. The Dalla Valle wines, made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, come from vineyards on the Rutherford Bench, just above the valley floor of Napa and home to what wine enthusiasts would call some of the best “terroir” in the region, which now produces some of the world’s most expensive wines.

The two wines we tasted on our Zoom tasting and chat are celebrated for an elegance, complexity and sophistication that is not always found in the great (in every sense) wines of the Napa Valley. Below are short extracts of our conversation, and our tasting notes.

green vineyard with a pathway in the middle and mountains in the distance

LUX: Can you go back in time and tell us about making your first wines?
Naoko Dalla Valle: We created the Cabernet Sauvignon in 1986 commercially. Then 1987, we purchased more land from the neighbour and we planted additional about five acres of Cabernet sauvignon. And that turned out to be the best vineyard on the property and then we combined with that highest quality of the Cabernet franc we produced, and decided to create this special wine called Maya. People think she is named after wine, she came first! We immediately got noticed by Robert Parker and we immediately started getting very high scores and then by 1990, we got 99 points. For the 1992 vintage, we received 100 points from Robert Parker, we were the second winery in America to receive that score. That put us on the map. We have been fortunate to be able to maintain the quality.
Maya Dalla Valle: I would also point out the fact that, my father unfortunately passed away in winter, December 1995. So shortly after we had learnt about this 92 vintage Maya, so it was also a very sentimental moment but also for my father, he passed knowing that we were going to be ok. I am first generation American, both my parents came from different countries [Japan and Italy]. My mother had the choice to sell the winery and go back to Japan to work. We had family there, she could have easily have done that, but she had grown a fondness and a deep love for our property and the vineyard and land and winemaking, that she really took this business to next level.

LUX: What makes your terrain special?
Maya Dalla Valle: We are on the east side of Napa Valley, and it is about 500 feet elevation at the peak. What’s interesting is that this little bench that we sit on is a result of a landslide that occurred four million years ago, from volcanic origin, so we have volcanic iron rich bedrock soil… things are constantly moving. We often see these small boulders pop up in the vineyard each year through the surface. It makes us wonder sometimes if we are farming rocks or farming grapes.

a woman with two dogs

Maya Dalla Valle and her corgis

LUX: You represent a generational change of winemaker. Has there been a generational change of consumer preferences?
Maya Dalla Valle: The younger consumer is not the same kind of buyer as the previous generation. They seek more authenticity and are able to connect with your brand. Then they become more loyal. You need to show them what you are doing in a way they can feel like they connect with you. We talk a lot about our sustainability, we are organic, we did organic certification for our vineyard to show accountability of what we do.

The tasting: (notes by Darius Sanai)

Dalla Valle Maya 1990
Scents of black olive, truffles, perfume top notes, a wine you could wear to the ball at the Chateau de Versailles. At the same time it is rich and dense, but not at all heavy, on the palate. Tastes develop in the mouth for a long time. One of the great wines of the world today, at 32 years old, but I would like to try it again when it is 64. The star of the show.

Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Very deep, layered wine, stratified, almost. Lots of muscle, black fruits and herbs. One for Kobe beef, simply grilled, on a Friday evening alone.

Dalla Valle Maya 2010
Like a young Russian prince wearing a cloak. Beautiful but quite closed to start with; opened up after half an hour of conversation, to reveal a complex, surprisingly delicate personality.

a vineyard and mountains in the distance

Dalla Valle Vineyard

Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Quite different to the Maya, remarkable that it is grown from land so nearby. Full and rich, black fruits and mountain herbs, and a zinginess that makes it quite distinctive. To share with an old friend, in your mountainside ranch in Wyoming.

Read more: Luxury Travel Views: Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, Épernay

Dalla Valle Maya 2018
Expected this to be very closed, as it’s so young, but this is like walking into a jewellery shop, with a multitude of colours of flavour. Dazzling stuff, and you would drink it while celebrating your latest deal, but with a hint of guilt, because it will plainly be so much better in decades.

Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
A rich Napa cabernet, meaning power and weight, and also with a lightness, meaning people who prefer elegant wines will also enjoy it immensely, particularly over a meal of grilled miso vegetables on the terrace of your Umbrian palazzo on a coolish May evening.

Find out more: dallavallevineyards.com

Reading time: 5 min
a woman in a gold dress
A woman wearing a black top and gold sparkly skirt with a slit in it

Edeline Lee embraces femininity and female empowerment through her clothes. Photo by Nick Thompson.

As Fashion Weeks comes to a close, we’re celebrating designers who are paving the way for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. Here, Edeline Lee tells us why sustainability makes such a difference to the quality of her brand,

LUX: You’ve mentioned before that you design with the “Future Lady” in mind. What does that mean exactly?
Edeline Lee: The Future Lady is an idea that I made up to encompass the woman that I am designing for.  Female identity is in flux in our generation.  Modern women live hectic, collaged lives.  We can’t automatically subscribe to the identities that have been laid out for us historically.  Women now are more beautiful, more powerful, more free, stronger, more aware, more capable than any other time in history.  Yet, we still have a way to go before we fulfil our true potential.  How does the Future Lady dress?  What is it to dress with true power, grace, beauty and dignity in today’s world?

My overarching concept has always been a conversation about this journey as a woman with the women who wear my clothes.  It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that fashion is all about more and more: younger, thinner, cheaper, taller, louder, sexier.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

I’ve spent a lot of time dressing with women in changing rooms.  My experience is that women are well aware; they are not blind fools.  They can feel the difference when something is made with quality and meaning, fits well, and is designed with a soul, to lift the best out of you.  Once they experience what it feels like to put it on, they don’t need to be convinced to buy.

LUX: How did your time at Central Saint Martins impact your approach to design?
Edeline Lee: My time at Central Saint Martins taught me that you can design a collection from anything. At the beginning of every season, I try to connect back to the source.  What do I find interesting, meaningful and beautiful around me?  What makes me smile or makes me curious?  It’s important that the source is pure, because then others will respond to it too.

A woman standing in a black dress underneath the skull of a bull

Edeline Lee. Photo by Mars Washington

LUX: Was there a particular turning point when you felt you’d discovered your distinct design language?
Edeline Lee: Femininity is a huge part of my design language. The problem I’m always trying to solve is: how does a woman dress with power and authority, whilst still being feminine? The two should not be mutually exclusive.

I design to help women express their higher purpose, but I also make clothes that resist wrinkling so that women can actually function at a high level in the clothes.  The tricky thing is to strike the perfect balance between something that is flattering and appropriate, but just special enough to draw out what is individual and special in the woman wearing it. Thinking women deserve clothes that think.

LUX: Are there any designers or perhaps, design movements that have influenced your practice?
Edeline Lee: I’ve been very much influenced by the practice of the Weiner Werkstatte with their philosophy of the Gesamtkunstwerk or “total work of art”.  I love the idea that every element in an environment can be harmonised and unified whether it be art, decorative arts or design.  They believed that it was better to work 10 days on one product than to manufacture 10 products in one day.

A woman wearing a gold sparkly dress with a white collar

Edeline Lee Autumn Winter 2022. Photo by Nick Thompson.

LUX: How do you think the brand has evolved since its inception?
Edeline Lee: The label really became a “brand” when I learned how to define and project my purpose out into the world. If you know what your purpose is, the rest becomes so much easier.

LUX: Edeline Lee has been celebrated for its sustainable approach to luxury fashion. What’s your personal approach to sustainability? And do you think attitudes are changing in the fashion industry?
Edeline Lee: It startled and worried me when we were named in the top 4 sustainable brands at London Fashion Week by Good On You. It takes a lot of research and commitment to try to source and work sustainably and ethically, and we’ve been doing our best. Yet, I know that we still have such a long way to go.

My personal approach is that we must all take responsibility for our actions. Just as we producers need to take responsibility for the choices that we make, it’s important for customers to be empowered by their choices, and realise their power to purchase sustainably as well.

LUX: There has been much discussion around the unsustainability of fashion week. What are your thoughts?
Edeline Lee: I don’t think that it is necessary for everyone to relentlessly travel around the world, all the time. In that sense, the relentless churn of global fashion weeks isn’t sustainable. If anything, Covid 19 has taught us that we could all probably take a breather and be more selective in our choices.

a clothing stand with chairs and a table

Edeline Lee retail space at Harrods, opened in 2022

LUX: You’re also an advocate of community-made fashion. How does that work in practice? And why is it important?
Edeline Lee: We dye our fabrics in Yorkshire, and design, cut, sew and finish all of our pieces in London – not because good craftsman don’t exist elsewhere in the world, but because of quality control. It means that I’m always the final eye cast over each piece before it ships. It means that I know personally each hand that touches the clothes, I truly believe that the love and care that is put into the making of a garment lends it a soul.  It is visible to me when I look at a dress.

Read more: All-access rundown of Ozwald Boateng’s return to London Fashion Week

When your mother gives you a dress that she wore in her youth, aren’t you able to see or feel the soul in that garment?  It is something like that.  A dress is more beautiful when it is made with love, and that humanity in it becomes more powerful if every part of the dress is made within a community, by a team.

LUX: What are your goals for your company this year, and in the longer term?
Edeline Lee: We’ve just opened our first branded retail space inside of Harrods – so I am enjoying the process of developing and improving that. Please visit and take a look!

Find out more: edelinelee.com

Reading time: 5 min
luxury hotel bedroom

hotel facade

Málaga might not be the first place that springs to mind as a luxury destination, but the recent opening of sophisticated boutique hotel Palacio Solecio alongside the first international outpost of the Pompidou centre and a super-yacht marina signals a new future for the historic Andalusian city. LUX checks in for a weekend of food, art and culture

We arrive on a warm spring evening. Our taxi drops us on the edge of the pedestrianised cobbled streets of Calle Granada, Málaga’s old Jewish quarters, where our hotel, Palacio Solecio, is located in a former 18th century Andalusian palace opposite a peach-coloured 14th century church. This part of the city has a serene, almost earthy feel to it, perhaps partly due to the plethora of historic buildings and narrow winding alleys but also because it feels lived in. There are none of the Irish bars and nightclubs that are so popular with hen and stag dos – although if that is your thing, the central strip is a matter of minutes away too. That said, Malaga has done much in recent years to shake its reputation as a party destination. With a new sleek port, a first-class culinary scene and a growing clutch of artistic attractions, it’s slowly beginning to attract more culturally-orientated visitors.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

After we’ve checked in and been shown to our bedroom – an elegant junior suite with an enormous four poster bed and a french balcony overhanging the street – we head back out to find somewhere to eat and stumble upon El Pimpi, a rustic tapas bar where, in true Mediterranean fashion, local families are crowded around tiny tables for a late night snack and glass of sherry. The menu is scrawled in Spanish on a large blackboard behind the bar and we pick a few plates, largely based on words we recognise. A few minutes later, a thick yellow wedge of tortilla arrives on our table along with boquerones en vinagre (white anchovies in oil and vinegar), patatas bravas drenched in a rich tomato sauce and crispy calamari. Málaga is renowned for having some of the best tapas in Spain and this is strong start.

luxury hotel bedroom

A junior suite with french balconies

The next day is bright and fresh – warm enough to go without a jumper in the sun. We have been given an extensive list of recommendations by the hotel’s staff (all within walking distance), but decide to spend the morning wandering and set off without any particular direction in mind.

What strikes us the most is the sheer beauty of the city: its sun-washed palette, patterned ceramic tiles, hidden churches and vibrant plazas,  the way in which the ancient and modern coexist so seamlessly. One minute we’re walking past high street brands and the next, we’re standing in front of the ruins of a Roman theatre. The cathedral is especially astounding both for its monumental scale and the lush gardens that surround it. On our visit, a woman is sitting against one of the walls, singing a slow, haunting tune.

Read more: A tasting of Dalla Valle wines with the owners

For lunch, we take the hotel’s advice and find a table on the edge of the famed Atarazanas food market, listed as one of the best markets in the world by The Guardian in 2019. The food is exceptional: tortillitas de camarones (crispy prawn fritters) followed by fresh tuna kebabs with thick slices of beef tomato and pepper, and two enormous grilled king prawns. We then head down to the waterfront to visit the Pompidou Centre Málaga, the first international branch of the Pompidou Centre outside of Paris to view its permanent collection which includes a promising range of works by the likes of Picasso (Málaga’s most famous son), Bacon, Giacometti and Frida Kahlo. Although some of the pieces are compelling, we find the experience as a whole disappointing: the space is disorientating and the display lacks any curatorial concept. The Carmen Thyssen Museum, however, is wonderful. The permanent displays on the lower levels offer an intriguing insight into Spanish art history with a strong collection of Old Masters, while the upper galleries stage visiting exhibitions – during our visit, there’s an excellent presentation of works by American photographer Paul Strand.

restaurant interiors

Balausta, the hotel’s restaurant

That evening, we dine at Balausta, the hotel’s restaurant, located in a light-filled atrium edged with pillared archways. The menu focuses on Andalusian dishes made with fresh, local produce. Our waiter recommends we choose a few plates to share and  we opt for the tomato tasting platter and kale salad followed by the red tuna tartare and scallops cooked in tomato stew (a local recipe packed with flavour). The dishes are modestly sized, but perfect after our indulgent lunch while the unpretentious serving style feels very much in keeping with hotel’s relaxed, homely atmosphere.

After dinner, we make our way to Hammam Al Andalus (a five minute walk from the hotel) where we bathe in candlelit heated pools until midnight when the baths close and we drift back to our room for one of the best night’s sleeps we’ve ever had.

Rates from €179 per night on a room only basis. For further information or to book, visit www.palaciosolecio.com/en/

Reading time: 4 min
man standing in jeans and a cowboy hat
a man with his arms folded

Portrait of Henry Lohmeyer by Maryam Eisler

American photographer Henry Lohmeyer is not only renowned for his powerful photography but also his use of words to accompany each work of art. Here, Lohmeyer speaks to Maryam Eisler about the impact his art and poetry have had on his audience and himself

Maryam Eisler: Whose work speaks your language and has impacted you most?
Henry Lohmeyer: I can’t say certainly. Your sensibilities change as you are exposed to life. To begin with, I wasn’t really struck by photographers as much as I was by painters and sculptors. Bresson, absolutely; I think all roads lead to him—so fascinated that he saw himself a drawer first. The other artist who has really hit me hard is Arbus. How she was able to squeeze out of that tight space she fit into, as probably most women artists were at the time, and are still… her work is masterful in that she saw beauty and humanity in almost anyone. She was able to show both physical and emotional scars in the most powerful of ways. And through these scars, we are made to see our own differences, commonalities and identities.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Maryam Eisler: When did your first camera click take place?
Henry Lohmeyer: We had a cabin growing up, on a little fishing river, and my mother would give me a camera to play with (as well as crayons to draw with). It was a plastic camera but it took 120 film, and as you know on 120 film you were only allowed 10 or 12 photos. I was given that for the week and you learn to shoot very sparingly. That’s when I remember taking a photo with thought. I also learned to see the charm in those ones that were missed and somehow turned out beautiful.

A man wearing a hat crying into a handkerchief

Lohmeyer says: “May we just talk about hurt and love? The hurt you feel when you know you can’t help. The kind of love when you beg to understand.”

Maryam Eisler: As I discovered you on Instagram, I realised that not only your photos are poetry but so are your words, a powerful marriage of the visual and the intellect. Have you always approached your art in this manner?
Henry Lohmeyer: When I got sober twelve years ago, I needed a way to express myself. I went to art school and I often fancied myself becoming a painter, a sculptor, a print maker. It just wasn’t feasible at the time to do that, but what I had was my IPhone. I would just take photographs of anything and everything. In all honesty, they were terrible shots but I really appreciated them, as much if not even more than any photograph I take today, because they served as foundation for my work today. It was a means for me to express myself, process stuff, figure out where I was headed without including another person into this whirlpool of emotions. It was something I could do every day and there was no cost. A year into it, I started incorporating a sentence or a word and I found this to be a great way, as a diary does, to journal, to share my experiences. I love it when people respond to what I write or photograph, but on a more personal note, it’s a source of accountability. Even at my age, I’m still trying to figure so much out, as we all are. I like the childlike quality of that process. My fear, however, is that I may box in the photo when I write what it’s about, rather than opening it up to interpretation.

Read more: The LUX Art Diary: Exhibitions to See in March

Maryam Eisler: Through your words and your images, you unveil yourself to your viewers and connect with them- your feelings, your scars. Do you enjoy this connection with ‘the other’?
Henry Lohmeyer: I like to believe that what I’m feeling is a shared experience. I think we all want to be normalised, not to say that we don’t want to feel unique but … We don’t want to feel like a pariah. We want to be received, accepted. It is nice when someone connects with what I’m saying. It makes me feel good, it helps me too. I receive way more than I could give on that regard. With that said, it’s an exercise in vulnerability and opening myself up, connecting. That’s something that photography and my words have given me: a connection that I was so quick to discount, deny or run away from so many times in the past. I do it because it keeps me healthy. I’ve been able to ride the ship many times because of my words to myself and of myself.

A child wearing a fury hood and scarf

For the women who care for each of us

Maryam Eisler: You speak of scars. Do you think that an artist needs them in order to produce?
Henry Lohmeyer: I do not believe that. But I do know that if you are scarred, art can help. Expressing no matter what your medium can be an asset. I don’t know if this is true and it’s probably my narrative but I feel like I can tell when work is derived from a really sore spot and I don’t think it necessarily makes it any better, but I do admire those that can rely on it and turn it into something that others respond to. There’s a saying in recovery that “you’re only as sick as your secrets” and I do think that it’s important to live out loud.

a barn

Lohmeyer says: “Like love, hope is a rather subversive ideal.”

Maryam Eisler: For an introvert, you are incredibly expressive!
Henry Lohmeyer: It’s a need. I also know that I create my best work, living on that edge. I’m not Evel Knievel but I am living in that idea of pushing myself. Vulnerability is a moving target. I can remember the first time I wrote alongside my images and still today, like many, I feel fear before sharing.

Maryam Eisler: But doubt is necessary for an artist- is it not?
Henry Lohmeyer: Yes, doubt is a constant for me. My writing never stops, but visually I haven’t opened myself up as much as I would like to. I’ve been in a place where I close down the things I see. I see a photograph in the making and it’ll be like falling out of a boat into water- that easy!

Read more: Shahrzad Ghaffari: “Where Curiosity Stops, the Creative Process Ends”

Maryam Eisler: I suppose it’s like writer’s block… you get visual block. I guess, in your case, you need that balance between both sides of the equation.
Henry Lohmeyer: More times than not, one picks up the other. There’s sometimes a photo, where what I saw really captured me. You know how it is, you’re not just capturing visually what it is but also how it made you feel and that’s the hard part. How many times, have you seen that old mary-go-round horse… tattered, broken, chipped… but then you see the beauty in it.

trees in the snow

Lohmeyer says: “If I were a boy king, more command than competence, with all the valour in my heart and any army at my disposal, to what length would I go to conquer love? To what depth would I go to honour both her heart and mine? What lines would be drawn in the sand to mark each prayer, each hope, each noble act? If I were a boy king, to what end would I be measured, to what time would I embrace and to what distant shore would I sail to join hearts?”

Maryam Eisler: When I think of your work, I think of wide open spaces, I think of solitude, I think of isolation but also time. There’s huge sentimentality in what you portray.
Henry Lohmeyer: Well a continuous theme in my work is that of a hero’s journey, the fall and the rise. I think that the lone figure is very appealing to me. I connect with it very easily. I think that we all feel sometimes alone and I certainly don’t want to relish in that moment, but I do think that there is a lot of beauty in that space. It certainly doesn’t feel beautiful when you’re in it yourself but it’s hard not look at it with some admiration, and to find honour in that moment when you rise out of it. There is that song from Les Miserables where Fantine sings, “there are storms we cannot weather”, and I do think that when someone says it’ll get better, we don’t necessarily feel that, but I do know that when we step out of it and start to rise, there is great reason to celebrate and embrace the moment. That is something that gets lost on many of us. We feel like we deserve the harshness, and yet when we are victorious or when we thrive, we somehow think it’s Grace. That we didn’t earn it. I think that again we don’t need to experience bad to understand good or feel despair to understand hope.

A close up of a black man with a moustache and beard

Lohmeyer says: “I don’t know where he is now. I know we hugged. I know he liked his tea sweeter than mine-that’s very sweet. I know he couldn’t sing. I know that he looked at me the way son looks at a father-baba, he would say, I know we trusted one another and I know I miss him.”

Maryam Eisler: Speak to me about Love.
Henry Lohmeyer: I understand the idea of love and I do love. I’m capable of love … my children, my two grandchildren. I love my brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews and my friends. I know that I have many shortcomings in this area, and that I am constantly working on it. It’s not the idea that ‘forever’ scares me and I don’t necessarily equate ‘forever’ with love; we can love for a day. In fact, I think love is probably our greatest gift. I hope that in my photography and through my words, I show how I love people. I have not necessarily been very good with the romantic kind of love. I laughingly say I have one great love affair left in me, and I say that tongue and cheek in a way because I’m just going to keep trying to get back on the saddle. I do love the idea of it.

A man wearing a white shirt with his hands together sitting on a chair

Portrait of Henry Lohmeyer by Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler: You are very well read. We have spoken a lot about your favourite authors and I’m assuming that it’s from that passion for literature where your love of the ‘word’ comes from.
Henry Lohmeyer: I like Hemingway a lot. I like his style. I know he’s controversial regarding his views on women and life, and there is no denying all of that. I do like how he can say things in such a pithy manner. There are many lines I really love. “Why did they make birds so delicate and as fine as those sea swallows when the ocean can be so cruel?”, comes to mind. I love when J.D. Salinger says “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” Jonathan Safran Foer’s writes in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” This line kills me.

Read more: Darius Sanai’s California Diary

Books to me are magical, because I had a lot of trouble reading them as a child due to my dyslexia and ADD, so they were kind of a burden at first; when I was able to sit down with them eventually, it was kind of magical.

Two doors and stairways

Lohmeyer says: “My father would describe things, places, etc, “It’s the same, but different.” He spoke of love in this manner too. Maybe we seek a mirror, one that holds, not what is peculiar to us, but rather what reflects the best parts of ourselves. The same, but different.”

Maryam Eisler: Camus is an author you hold close to your heart and “Vivre au point des larmes” (‘to live on the verge of tears’) is tattooed on your body.
Henry Lohmeyer: I believe that emphatically; it’s a thing I aspire to, but am not always successful at. It’s scary to be on or over the edge of the boat, but I do believe that is the place to be. It’s fear, it’s hope, it’s glory, it’s exciting but it’s also sad and you’re easily broken there. For me, to be happy and satisfied, I need to be on that edge. That doesn’t mean life- risking. I have no desire to skydive or bungee jump; I’m not a thrill seeker emotionally, and I don’t thrive on the loss of anything, but I do know it’s necessary to be there, on the brink.

man standing in jeans and a cowboy hat

Image of Henry Lohmeyer by Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler: What’s on the horizon for you now, artistically?
Henry Lohmeyer: I’m excited about what’s coming next. The word “Shadows” come to mind. I’ve done a good bit of witnessing and recording those we’ve chosen to place on the edge- refugees, immigrants, the homeless, and the abused. And, during this time I’ve come to realize that it may not take a catastrophic event or events to cost us our safety and security—our rights as humans. My art, going forward, will take a much softer approach at witnessing and translating. While the images may be more measured, the words will not. As you know, my words mean as much to me, if not more, than my photographs—so, I’m going to incorporate them directly onto the images. Might be many words, might be one. I’m hoping it will be a more expressive reflection of what is seen—it’s a vulnerable space for anyone to allow for an open interpretation of self and an imperative for any artist.

Find out more:



Reading time: 12 min
artist in front of mural
artist in front of mural

Artist Shahrzad Ghaffari in front of her work-in-process at Leighton House. Photograph by James Houston

Leighton House, the former home and studio of British artist Frederic Leighton, was once a lively meeting place for artists and writers who would gather beneath the domed ceiling of the elaborate Arab Hall (named after the vast collection of Middle Eastern tiles adorning its walls) to converse and listen to music. Now, a major renovation, including the construction of a new wing, seeks to reestablish the house as a creative hub by inciting a dialogue between its Victorian heritage and contemporary visual culture through a programme of events, exhibitions and artist collaborations. Ahead of its reopening later this year, Millie Walton visited the museum to speak to Shahrzad Ghaffari, the first contemporary artist to be commissioned by Leighton House, and preview her work-in-progress

LUX: Much of your work is inspired by Persian poetry. How do you see the visual medium of painting interacting with poetry?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: Painting has been my passion since I was a child. Everybody always knew what to buy me: paper, crayons, paints. Then, slightly later on, I became interested in poetry and started to read a lot but the two came together when I was experimenting with trying to find my own style in painting, an honest way of expressing what’s within.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

artist at work

Ghaffari at work. Photograph by James Houston

LUX: Oneness, your mural for Leighton House, is based on a poem by Rumi. What was your process for coming up with the composition?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: I started with the poem in mind, but the shape of the composition took some time to develop through sketching. That said, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I walked into the space. I chose silver for the background, for example, because there’s a lot of gold in the old wing of the house and silver responds to that in a modern way. In a way, I think it also works as a kind of mirror, reflecting the heritage of the house just as the shape of the form mimics the spiral movement of staircase. The textured surface, however, makes reference to the notion of history. I built it up in layers of acrylic paint mixed with mediums, but nothing is scraped away. Each layer is applied on top of the next and has its own story. Then, the turquoise I’ve used for the abstract form is traditionally the colour of hope in Persian culture, but it also pays homage to the turquoise tiles in the Arab hall while the bits of burnt orange that you can glimpse through the background are supposed to represent the red bricks of the building’s facade.

LUX: Have you painted a mural of this scale before?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: No, I haven’t and it has been quite challenging! I originally intended to project the calligraphy onto the wall, which is what you would normally do with a mural so that you can then trace it, but I couldn’t because the space is so tight. Instead, I made a grid and did everything by hand. That said, it has been a lot of fun too, especially painting the upper part near the skylight at the top of the stairs.

wall mural

A render of Oneness by Shahrzad Ghaffari. Courtesy of Leighton House

LUX: In a more general sense, what role do you think public art can, or should play?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: As the name suggests, public art is for the public so it must be able to connect with its audience, which, in this case, are the visitors to the museum. I also think it needs to be loud enough or perhaps, unusual enough to make people pause in front of it, to pull them out of their everyday life and to convey its message in just a few seconds. In a way, public art acts like a bridge between architecture and the public because it echoes what the architecture wants to convey but often, in a more accessible way.

Read more: The Best Exhibitions to see in March 

LUX: Which artists or movements have influenced your practice?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: When I was younger, I was quite heavily influenced by Impressionism. When I was studying art they would make us copy classical works and so, when I first encountered the looseness of Impressionism it felt very freeing. I think that had, and continues to have a big influence on my work. Also, the light! I always try to incorporate something that reflects light, like the silver I’ve used in Oneness. I remember first seeing Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and feeling so drawn to it for that same reason.

LUX: What is it about paint, as a material, that appeals to you?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: I use paint for two reasons. The first is to create something very visually strong. I want to engage the viewer, to captivate them. But I also use it to reflect my emotions. I used to mainly paint with oil and I recently changed to working with acrylic for the practical reason that I live in Canada and oil takes ages to dry, but using acrylic has also changed the way I work because you have to paint very quickly.

artist portrait

Photograph by James Houston

LUX: Do you have to be in a particular state of mind to create?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: Yes. I can’t just sit and start painting. For me, [the creative process] starts with a strong feeling. It could be happiness, for example. Then, I take the brush and I start to act upon that feeling, usually very quickly. The mural is different because the composition is planned, but usually I have  three or four canvases that I’m working on simultaneously and that helps me because I might not be in the mood to work with red paint, for example.

LUX: Do you paint every day?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: Even if I’m not painting, I show up in my studio every day. Maybe, I’ll write something down instead, but I have to show up. That’s very important.

LUX: What else do you have coming up?
Shahrzad Ghaffari: I have a show of my works here at Leighton House, when then museum reopens, and I’m also looking into exploring NFTs – mainly out of curiosity. I think as an artist, you should always be open to everything, to exploring all the tools that are on offer. That’s what it’s all about it, it’s what motivates you to keep making. Where curiosity stops, the creative process ends.

To find out more about Leighton House, visit: rbkc.gov.uk/museums/

Follow Shahrzad Ghaffari on Instagram: @shahrzadghaffariart


Reading time: 5 min
artist standing between a blue and red painting
Jeffrey Deitch Gallery
Meeting art doyen Jeffrey Deitch at his gallery in West Hollywood

Part One: Art & rediscovery in LA

When I was spending a lot of time in LA in the 1990s, there were some areas a visitor would avoid at all costs unless they had to. Three of these were South Central, Downtown, and the web of roads behind the boardwalk at Venice Beach.

I am due to visit all three. Heading to LA mainly for Frieze LA, where I am meeting with our partners at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, the long-term partners of Frieze, I have added a full California schedule on to the three-day art fair itinerary. LA, from Beverly Hills to South Central, is just the beginning.

Partly this is for sustainability reasons, to minimise future flights, and also because I have not been to California since before the pandemic, and as ever it is home to many of the world’s thought and opinion leaders, some of whom are on my schedule, as well as a thriving art scene in LA itself.

I spent the ten years before the pandemic commuting many times a year to Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as on short haul trips to Europe for Condé Nast, my other alma mater. Meaning I built up a British Airways Gold membership and accompanying dependence. I had not been to the Virgin Clubhouse for years. The feel is as much private club as airline lounge, with the key differentiator of excellent customer service. I had a wonderful chat with a manager at the lounge who was bemoaning her inability to return to her native Hong Kong, and we exchanged tips on restaurants there (hers, mainly). When the chairs, food, and champagne are largely the same, this makes a difference. I silently wish Virgin had short and mid-haul operations to my frequently visited European and former-Soviet destinations.

Editor’s note: LUX paid for its flights to California in full and received no support from any airline.

a man and woman standing on a terrace

We met with Forbes 30 Under 30 curator, Emilia Yin, at the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Lounge at Frieze LA

Central LA is a grid of warehouses, yards and unmarked buildings. Nowadays, inside some of these there are artists’ studios, the artists driven here from around the Americas and elsewhere by then cheap rents. As ever, the artists move in, hipsters get the vibe and start to gentrify, and the artists are forced to move out. That hasn’t happened yet in central LA, but it will. So I enjoyed the moment of visiting a few studios, buried behind delivery yards and run-down buildings, with real working artists inside them. No cafes, no galleries, no bars. Give it two years. It’s a cert that the property investors are already there.

A friend with homes in LA sends me a WhatsApp suggesting I visit Gjelina, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard behind Venice Beach, for dinner. I last knew this street as needle central, with a few porn and pawn shops thrown in (homophones that go together), in the late 90s. But my friend has taste, and many homes, so I take his advice. The food is vibrant, trim, focussed and beautiful, like the clientele. Like nothing anywhere else.

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The street is now lined with (expensive) independent fashion boutiques and teenage TikTokkers wander around making TikToks. They fit the TikTok profile of being blonde, white and wealthy. The porn and the pawn have now moved and multiplied online, but where have all the junkies gone, I wonder? Elsewhere in Donald Trump’s ‘American Carnage’?

artist standing between a blue and red painting

Ross Caliendo is among numerous artists from around the world who have set up in the warehouses around downtown LA

two men standing side by side

Meeting with ocean conservation icon Jean Michel Cousteau in Santa Barbara

I host some clients at the pre-opening event at Frieze, created by Deutsche Bank, in Michael Jackson‘s former mansion above Beverly Hills. People are happy to be able to meet and mingle after two hard years, which seem to have hit LA hard. There is a sense of anticipation about the fair. People have travelled, and people in LA have prepared. It’s the first major cultural event in the city for two years. Art really can catalyse human change.

At the fair the next day, everyone is waxing lyrical about the lounge. Deutsche Bank’s team have created an indoor-outdoor space with garden and water, a few footsteps from the fair and linked by a private walkway. Many guests comment that it should be permanent. Meetings in the lounge are bound by Chatham House rules, but there are plenty of guests, our own and others, who have come from afar, and are loving both fair and lounge. Bravo to the creators, although the Deutsche Bank lounge at Frieze London, with its creations by Idris Khan and events on ocean conservation, was still the more artistic and focussed. In my view.

I drive to West Hollywood to see Jeffrey Deitch, an art world force since the 1970s. In his private gallery, which is probably three times the size of the Serpentine Gallery museum in London, he has put together a museum-grade show, entitled Luncheon on the Grass. Works from Mickalene Thomas, Jeff Koons, Kehinde Wiley and Paul McCarthy line the walls. I am taken by Tschabalala Self’s response to Édouard Manet’s ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ in particular. A few of the interpretations are quite explicit.

Which is quite honest, as the idea of a summer lunch on the grass probably brings that out in many people. Any romance aside, I make a mental sketch of my dejeuner sur l’herbe: it would involve rosé champagne from a small producer like Chartogne Taillet and might ask a question of why people enjoying the countryside in my adopted homeland of England are so predominantly white. I decide the reason I like Deitch’s show so much is that it reveals so much about the artists, and how they want to be perceived, or appear to want to be perceived. I will leave the topic there to avoid falling into the trap of the dreaded (and banned in LUX) language of ‘artspeak’.

Deitch tells me it is his busiest day for meetings for years, another sign of what a good art fair can bring to a city.

Maubourne Pool
The Rooftop at the Maybourne Beverly Hills

The next morning, I drop in on a new friend I made at the fair, Emilia Yin, who was introduced to me by a major collector I invited to the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management lounge. I meet her at her Make Room gallery. Also in West Hollywood, it is in a little building behind a car park off the main drag, Melrose Avenue. There is a sense of both Zen and intent inside, and the paintings in her show, by young Brussels-based Italian artist Jacopo Pagin, all sold within days. I buy the last remaining work, an intriguing sketch. I wonder if she is one of the Jeffrey Deitches of the future.

After three days of intense art and meetings, I take a morning swim in the rooftop pool of the Maybourne hotel in Beverly Hills. The Maybourne, grand but laid-back, has a part-city, part-resort vibe and the view from the roof terrace is surprisingly restful. I pick out my favourite mansions in the hills over a green juice.

I have meetings lined up in the afternoon in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Santa Barbara’s main street, State Street, has been pedestrianised at its seafront end and it’s abuzz with cafes, bars, restaurants and an outdoor market. A positive outcome of the pandemic. A little further up the street I meet Jean-Michel Cousteau, octogenarian sage of the oceans, at his offices, which are lined with pictures and souvenirs of his decades in ocean wildlife conservation and filmmaking. There’s a touching picture of him as a small boy with his father Jacques, giving him instructions on how to dive.

Details of our conversation are saved for a major feature in the next issue of LUX, so stay tuned.

Read more: Olivia Muniak’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Los Angeles


Ten minutes’ drive from Santa Barbara is Montecito, the chichi coastal community which plays host to Harry and Meghan, as well as many other members of the world’s rich and famous. It’s supposed to be a low-key place, I am told. I drive past bijou small shops and cafes, created in a faux-rustic style, all perfect. Perfect children walk past holding immaculate ice creams. On the road to the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort, where I am meeting my contact, three police cars, lights on full colour strobe, have formed a triangle, partly blocking the road. As I drive past, I see one individual sitting slumped on the spotless pavement. I wonder what his crime was. Perhaps not owning a Tesla?

My meeting takes place in a wood-panelled drawing room overlooking the beach, with a couple of islands visible in the slash of gold from the setting sun. I feel I am George Clooney in the last scene of a feel-good movie, concluding Bourbon in hand in a highball glass. Except this is the first scene of a (admittedly potentially exciting) business deal, I am not George Clooney, I do not live here, and I am drinking tea.

Back to LA in the dark, the traffic has died down, and I have a calming Margarita in the bar of the Maybourne to prepare me for the drive north the next day.

To be continued

An airport lounge

The Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow has a members’ club feel

Reading time: 11 min
clothes on a rack
clothes on a rackJane Shepherdson is the woman behind the early success of Topshop, the fast fashion behemoth where she served as Chief Brand Officer in the 2000s. After this and her subsequent role as CEO of retailer Whistles, however, Shepherdson found that her complicity in one of the world’s biggest polluting industries was overriding the joy she once found in fashion. Here, the Director of the London Fashion Fund talks to Ella Johnson about her pivot to luxury rental start-up My Wardrobe HQ, and why rental is key to bringing the fun back to fashion

LUX: You are often associated with Topshop’s success as one of the early pioneers of fast fashion.
Jane Shepherdson: I always wanted to be a buyer – to structure and create ranges without actually designing them, and to work closely with designers. I got into Topshop at the very bottom, starting in the accessories department, and moved up to the jersey department, which was the biggest. It was where you could make the biggest impact, because you had responsibility for tens of millions of pounds worth of the company’s money. We travelled an awful lot in those days, and we did not worry about the environmental aspect. It was hard to beat as a lifestyle.

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LUX: When did you start to think about the environmental and social side?
Jane Shepherdson: We started our drive to better understand the supply chain at Topshop in the 1990s. We brought in a team of experts to do it, but Topshop had thousands of suppliers: it was very difficult to start establishing exactly what the supply chain was from the beginning like that.

It wasn’t until I moved to Whistles in 2008 that we really started to address the environmental side of things. We were a small business and we got to know each of our suppliers as well as we could, working with them to improve their practises. But it is still difficult to be completely sure that the factory you’re using is doing everything you expect them to be doing.

Two girls jumping in a field in white dresses

LUX: You are now Chair of fashion rental platform My Wardrobe HQ. What prompted your move to the rental fashion sector?
Jane Shepherdson: I left Whistles in 2016 because I was unsure that running a fashion business was something I could continue to do. I started looking at the possibility of creating a platform to display sustainable fashion, but I realised that I couldn’t find enough credible fashion brands that were sustainable. There is no point in endorsing fashion brands that I don’t think are any good: their practises may be perfect, but if the garment that comes out of the other end comes out as a hair shirt, there is no point doing it.

I had also just come back from a year travelling around America in Airbnb virtually every night. Fifteen years ago, you would never have considered sleeping in a stranger’s bed for the night. Now people are far more relaxed about renting apartments, cars, scooters. Why not fashion?

LUX: How have luxury brands responded to the rental proposition?
Jane Shepherdson: In the beginning, they were slow. They couldn’t see how rental worked within the luxury world, with the feeling of exclusivity. But in the last year we have started to have conversations directly with the luxury players – including Burberry, Liberty London and Harrods – because they are starting to realise that rental is not going away.

Think about it from the designer’s point of view. Most of their catwalk pieces end up just being that – catwalk pieces. The wholesalers don’t buy the avant-garde or brightly coloured pieces because they are too risky. Conversely, it has been proven that people are much more experimental when it comes to what they rent: consumers are much more likely to rent something that is covered in feathers or bright yellow than they are a black dress.

A blonde wearing a pink blazer with green leaves on it

Jane Shepherdson, Chair, My Wardrobe HQ and Director, London Fashion Fund

LUX: Has that been true of your own experience of renting clothes?
Jane Shepherdson: I have spent a lifetime trying to dress myself for events, typically spending £1000 on something that was quite discreet, in navy or black, and assuming that was my sense of style. When I was first introduced to rental, however, the first thing I wore was this floor-length lilac Sharon Wauchob dress that was covered in feathers, with a matching tailored coat. Lisa Armstrong then called me one of the best dressed women of the year – the first time that has ever happened to me! It was completely different to what I had ever worn before, but it felt completely me – because I was allowed to experiment. Rental brings fun back to fashion.

LUX: Can second-hand ever be incorporated into ‘mainstream’ luxury?
Jane Shepherdson: The stigma associated with second-hand clothing is becoming less every single day. Most of our marketing and social media is really based on showing the beautiful, over the top creations that don’t look like they have come from a charity shop and are a bit more glamorous. I hope people will get that feeling and then prefer to rent a few pieces that were beautifully made that made me feel amazing, rather than have a wardrobe of cheap clothing that cost the same and they aren’t going to wear again.

LUX: Some say that rental perpetuates the appetite for newness which drives overconsumption in the first place.
Jane Shepherdson: I think telling people that they can’t do or have something is tantamount to saying to them ‘go on, do it again’. You have to find ways of allowing people to have fun, but in a different way.

Rental isn’t perfect, and I know that. There are plenty of environmental factors that I am still trying to overcome, like ozone cleaning and having to dry clean clothes all the time. But I hope it changes people’s mindset and relationship with fashion. Rental slows you down: you have to plan ahead.

LUX: How important is diversity to My Wardrobe HQ’s offering?
Jane Shepherdson: We want to be accessible to as wide of an audience as possible. That is difficult, though, because the individuals who lend us their wardrobes tend to be in small sizes. It is easier with the clothes we get from brands, because they give us a full size range. But we are continually trying to get a broader selection of clothes on the site.

two girls in yellow and pink dresses lying on the grass

LUX: Is there scope for designers to bring out collections for rental alone?
Jane Shepherdson: We have to think of different ways of doing things. I have had many conversations with [sustainable fashion designer] Patrick McDowell about how designers might do that with deadstock. If rental takes off and we get to some kind of scale, then it would certainly be a business model that designers would be happy to adopt. Think about the difference: designers selling their product to a wholesaler get back about 30% of retail price; if they rent it, they have only got to rent it out two or three times to have made more money than they are going to get from the wholesaler.

Read more: All-access rundown of Ozwald Boateng’s return to London Fashion Week

LUX: In what other ways are you seeing fashion innovate itself?
Jane Shepherdson: I am Director of the London Fashion Fund, which is funded by the Mayor’s office to find environmentally and socially responsible businesses who will be the future of fashion. We are currently looking at one business that is growing cotton hydroponically, which uses 90% less water. There is another which is looking at creating garments that photosynthesise when you wear them. They are alive, since they have these microbes, so instead of putting your jacket in a dark wardrobe, you hang it on the back of the chair in front of the window. They claim that one square metre of the cotton jersey they produce absorbs as much CO2 as a 100-year-old oak tree, and are talking to a high-street retailer about putting a collection together.

It is early days for a lot of these things, but there is so much that is happening that makes me feel optimistic. At least we can mitigate some of the damage. I am so desperate that someone doesn’t come along and say, ‘you can’t have fashion anymore: it is too trivial’. We have got to find ways.

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Reading time: 7 min
diptych painting

Abe Odedina, They’re Playing Our Song, 2021. Courtesy of the Artist, Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

In our ongoing online monthly series, LUX’s editors, contributors, and friends pick their must-see exhibitions from around the globe

Jumoke Sanwo, Artist & Curator, Founder of Revolving Art Incubator & Co-Founder of NFT Africa

Top of my list for this month is Under the Influence, Nigerian-British artist Abe Odedina’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. It’s presented as a special project room installation by Diane Rosenstein Gallery and opened during Frieze LA but runs until 12th of March 2022. The show includes a collection of eight still life and portrait paintings on plywood board – the artist’s nod to the street signage found in many African cities, especially on the streets of Ibadan and Lagos, from where he received his earliest influences.

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I am personally drawn to his work because it engages the charged relations between mythological and contemporary Afro experiences, delving into the magic realism of Yoruba mythologies and folk. He has a glossary of symbolisms of the everyday, alongside relatable characters and similar to some of his earlier influences such as the late Nigerian magician Professor Peller, he transports the viewer through bold imagery into a world of magical realism.

Shahrzad Ghaffari, Artist

While I’m in London working on Oneness, my commissioned artwork for Leighton House, I’m looking forward to seeing Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child at the Hayward Gallery (open until 15 March). Louise is one of my favourite artists — I love how vulnerable and expressive she is through her art. She works across a variety of mediums, such as painting, sculpture, and drawing. Her work explores traumatic events from her childhood with a beautiful sense of boldness.

art installation

Installation view of Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child at Hayward Gallery, 2022. © The Easton Foundation/DACS, London and VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Mark Blower/© The Hayward Gallery

Durjoy Rahman, Art Collector & Patron, Founder of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

There’s so much great art to see this month, but I’m most excited about Desert X AlUla 2022, a recurring, site-responsive, international free admission art exhibition taking place in AlUla, Saudi Arabia (on until 30 March). The show features newly commissioned works by 15 artists from across the globe.

Read more: All-access rundown of Ozwald Boateng’s return to London Fashion Week

Stand-out pieces include Ghanaian artist Serge Attakwei Clottey’s Gold Falls, a vibrant yellow tapestry-like work made from square parts of yellow water jerry cans found throughout Africa that the artist has long used to discuss issues related to water scarcity and migration in Africa and also AFROGALLONISM, an artistic concept that comments on consumption within modern Africa. Jerrycans, imported to Ghana from Europe and Asia carrying cooking oil, are used to store water pumped from the soil in regions of short water supply. This situation contributes to plastic waste and fails to present a sustainable alternative. Addressing this situation, Clottey creates tapestries out of plastic pieces with the help of his community studio. These sculptural installations poignantly draw attention to the economic and social situation being faced by many people on this planet.

installation artwork

Serge Attukwei Clottey, Gold Falls at Desert X AlUla 2022. Photo by Lance Gerber

Tae Kim, Artist

Korean artist Park Grim’s solo exhibition entitled Horo, Becoming a Tiger is currently on show at Studio Concrete in Seoul (until 27 March 2022) and it’s definitely a must-see. A deep concern with self-image coupled with a lack of confidence has a tight grip on the Korean population, who have grown up in the age of the internet and the queer population, especially, still faces discrimination largely due to lack of understanding. In this latest exhibition, Grim uses his art to overcome the social stigma and self-hatred that he faces as a queer artist. Using the narrative of the shimudo, a story revolving around growth and enlightenment in Buddhist teachings, he illustrates his own journey towards self-confidence (towards, metaphorically, “becoming a tiger”) while diverse symbolism, quotes on contemporary Korean culture and references to the queer scene add a sense of depth and immediacy to the works.

Korean artwork

般若虎 반야호 The Tiger of Perfect Wisdom (Interracial), 2022, 비단에 담채

The LUX Editorial Team

This month, we’re spotlighting a few artists and organisations who are raising much need funds for Ukraine through the sale of artist prints, NFTs, and other creative initiatives.

According to artnet, the UkraineDAO (a decentralised autonomous organisation) co-created by Russian Pussy Riot founder and artist Nadya Tolokonnikova, has so far raised more than $4.6 million USD worth of ETH with the funds being donated to Come Back Alive, a crowdfunding organisation that funds members of the Ukrainian military and their families. The group’s NFT – a single edition of the Ukrainian flag –  is being released alongside a PartyBid, a tool that allows people to collectively bid, and, in case they win, own a fractionalised piece of the artwork. Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn is also selling 100 NFT called “Support Ukraine, Stop the war” on SuperRare for 0,24 ETH (~$690) with profits going to Ukrainian charities that support civilians.

Earlier this week, London-based creative space Have a Butchers launched a charity print sale in association with Hempstead May & May Print. The sale runs until 11th March with all prints sold at £50 and proceeds donated to the British Red Cross, Ukraine Crisis Appeal. New York-based photographer Dom Marker has also put together his own website (accessible here) selling photographic prints for 100USD each, with all profits going to Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund . Current work includes Marker’s own photographs alongside three images by Jack Davison, available as 8×10 C-prints. Meanwhile, Idris Khan revealed a new artwork on his Instagram that will be available for purchase as a print via the charitable organisation Migrate Art which helps displaced communities (a release date is yet to be announced, but keep an eye on their site for updates).

Over in the US, the producers behind Immersive Van Gogh and Immersive Frida Kahlo are bringing a new art show to Chicago that pays tribute to the Ukrainian artist, writer and political activist Taras Shevchenko. Entitled Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine, the exhibition will debut in select cities throughout the United States and Canada on March 15 with 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event being donated to the Red Cross and National Bank of Ukraine Fund.



Reading time: 5 min