the entrance of a hotel with arched windows and doors and plants
the entrance of a hotel with arched windows and doors and plants

Exterior view of the new Maybourne, Beverly Hills

In the second part of our luxury travel views column from the Spring 2022 issue, LUX’s Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai checks in at The Maybourne, Beverly Hills

The most curious thing about the Maybourne Beverly Hills is its tranquillity. Here you are at the new US flagship of London’s swankiest hotel group (Claridge’s, The Connaught, The Berkeley), in LA, metres from Rodeo Drive, and yet the overarching feeling is one of peace. How does that happen?

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The first impression of a curious quietude was from the hotel’s rooftop pool terrace. In cities, these are often rambunctious things, squeezed in, next to a spa and a restaurant, a few sun loungers and a square of blue with a highway of guests and staff running through. Not so here: rows of loungers, immaculate staff waiting to serve, a big, blue pool, and a view across rooftops to the Hollywood Hills. You could come here for a week and not feel agitated by noise. Sure, there’s a terrace restaurant but the vibe is more Ibiza chill than urban thrill.

a bar with stools

The Maybourne pool

Our suite was all pastel shades and 20th-century modern furniture, rethought for the 21st century. A kind of Hollywood-meets-resort feel, with some gorgeous photography and art. Maybourne’s owners are significant movers in the art scene, and you can tell: even the lift lobby on our floor featured an Idris Khan edition.

Downstairs, the Terrace restaurant seemed to be a breakfast, lunch and dinner hangout for the Beverly Hills crowd and the Beverly Hills chihuahua (along with a nice variety of other breeds). Opening out onto a public garden, it was also very quiet: no fumes, no traffic noise, no honking horns. All the more interesting because the hotel was originally built in the grand style of iconic US palace hotels (think Boca Raton resort): but here, the style is everywhere, and the noise nowhere.

swimming pool

The hotel’s rooftop pool

The food was also consistently brilliant: sunny and fresh, like pan-roasted dayboat scallops with girolles and sunchokes, and an absolutely vivid, meaty whole grilled branzino with Napa cabbage and basil. The Terrace is a people-watching place, and if you want to watch people more closely, and with a slightly different lens, just move to the Maybourne Bar or the Cigar and Whiskey Bar. What’s the difference between the two? Same as the difference between the Blue Bar at the Berkeley and the Fumoir at Claridge’s (with additional cigars in the case of the Cigar and Whiskey Bar).

Read more: Luxury Travel Views: Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

It was a bit of a mystery to me how Maybourne expected to create a global brand, given that its London hotels are so distinctive, unified by a crossover in clientele and a certain appeal to the fashion crowd through their louche artiness in their public spaces. Here they are in LA, and they have done just that. Quite an achievement.

Find out more: maybournebeverlyhills.com

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX

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A man wearing a navy blue suit presenting an award
A bald man wearing a black t-shirt and blazer

Norbert Stumpfl, Executive Design Director at Brioni. Image courtesy of Brioni

Until recently, Brioni was a menswear brand in flux, a 20th-century Italian formalwear legend that hit a couple of bumps as it tried to swivel to appeal to sneaker-clad millennials and Gen-Z dudes. But everything is rosy again, as executive design director Norbert Stumpfl explains to Darius Sanai

Modern yet traditional, supremely relevant yet trend averse – Brioni’s understated, logo-free luxury is appealing to a new and established global audience, from twentysomethings to the over seventies. Under Norbert Stumpfl’s expert eye, the brand welcomes Jude Law and his son Raff as its spring/summer ambassadors and rises to the challenge of creating a comfortable, stylish and sustainable wardrobe for the modern man.

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LUX: How will recent times, with people staying at home, affect menswear in the long-term?
Norbert Stumpfl: This is something we ask ourselves in the studio all the time. I think that there will be some kind of change. People will change their habits a little bit. Or there might be pockets of people who are more interested in something more meaningful – this is where we can step in, with something not ‘throwaway’ but something a man can build on in his wardrobe, something not so trend-driven. I am very positive in my feelings for the future. Also, we are all watching a lot of sport, which involves T-shirts and sweatshirts, and many designers are working in this direction. But in the long run, people might find that they have too much of this in their wardrobes and that they want to change again. There’s always a pendulum in fashion: sometimes it goes more traditional, sometimes it goes sportier, and the two influence each other much more nowadays. We, for instance, in our fabric research, are being more influenced by sportswear and new technologies. Our fabrics are now crease-resistant, they have a natural stretch, a lightness. So, we are evolving as well.

Jude Law holding his jacket over his shirt

Jude Law, currently one of Brioni’s brand ambassadors. Image courtesy of Brioni

LUX: Will markets in Asia, where sport-influenced fashion dominates, become interested in tailoring?
NS: Brioni’s not very strong in the Asian market – we’re doing well in Japan, but not in China. Our Chinese clientele is the youngest; it’s 30- plus, whereas, worldwide, we are more in the 50-year-old bracket. But, recently, there has been an explosion of people wearing it there. A lot of actors wear Brioni tuxedos or suits to events, and if these people are wearing Brioni, people will be interested. Also, in the past few years, our Chinese clientele has been the one that picked up on our new directions the quickest; while in the US or Russia, we have a slow change – they like the collection, then it takes a season or two to pick up certain garments.

LUX: Brioni has been perceived as a sophisticated tailoring brand for wealthy gentlemen. Is that changing?
NS: When I was hired, François Pinault [CEO of Kering, which owns Brioni] asked me to give the brand a modern approach. Our clients are loyal, they enjoy the suits, the comfort, the lightness – and that nobody knows it’s Brioni, just those in the know. It’s a personal luxury. So, I approach modernisation very gently.

A boy with his hand over his face wearing a blazer

Raff Law, currently one of Brioni’s brand ambassadors. Image courtesy of Brioni

Of course, the high-ticket sales are coming from tailoring, and from bespoke clothing. However, recently, we’ve seen a change: with the collection picking up high-ticket sales, as well. This means that our traditional client is also really enjoying the new direction, because it’s not groundbreaking, but it is modernising just a little bit. In China, we’re showing the more modern man of Brioni; our imagery is going in this direction, because our typical client, who is maybe 50, 60, 70, is not looking at the images on Instagram or on the runway. So in the new imagery it’s always on younger models. There is a new Brioni, but it’s inspired by the old Brioni.

LUX: What’s your view on e-commerce?
NS: For me, the digital side is very important. It’s going to be challenging to sell our tailoring online. I prefer to go to the store, have the proper fitting and look around. Yes, it’s getting more important, but for our type of garments, which need to fit well, it’s much easier to be in a physical store. There’s always a tailor in our Brioni stores, who is trained in Italy, to give this kind of service. Nevertheless, I think e-commerce needs to be our shop window to the world.

LUX: How did you choose Jude and Raff Law as Brioni’s new ambassadors?
NS: Jude is a master of his craft and Raff is following the footsteps of his father. They are both fascinating characters. The most interesting aspect is the interaction between father and son – both equally at ease in Brioni. Their natural elegance comes through.

A man wearing a navy blue suit presenting an award

Brioni’s designs and tailoring have been favoured for decades by Hollywood royalty including Samuel L Jackson. Image courtesy of Eddy Chen

LUX: You’ve used the word ‘modern’ a lot – does that mean appealing to younger people?
NS: No – what I consider modern is just a way of cutting the pieces, maybe using a more modern colour palette, working on the fabric technology, making the garments lighter, water-repellent… It’s just for a modern man. I see my design as invisible, but it’s there to make the life of the Brioni man easier.

When you touch a Brioni garment I want you to say, “Wow!” It puts you in a good mood because you’re enveloped by this super-soft material, and I think this is where the modernity lies. In our lookbooks, we also show a lot of tonal dressing – the colours are more modern, they are inspired by the Roman palettes, they are inspired by the Roman streets. There’s a modernity in me, as a designer, staying in the background to allow Brioni men to shine.

LUX: Is it hard to balance your choice of materials with a drive for sustainability?
NS: Yes, sometimes it’s quite hard. Our clients expect the best materials. It’s been a long journey, even finding our sustainable partners and getting something that is what you would expect from Brioni. There have been a lot of steps forward, and the quality of the sustainable products are getting much better. It’s something that is, personally, very important for me. I’m on the same side as Mr Pinault, who really pushes us on this. I’m a designer who wants to make garments that have a use in the world and does not damage it. For sustainable fabric, I always go to auctions.

A man wearing white trousers and a cream jacket, standing by a stone wall

A look from the Brioni SS22 menswear collection. Image courtesy of Brioni

We made a big step forward by making almost all of our denim sustainable, which means using sustainable fabrics and sustainable metal pieces. What is not sustainable, at the moment, are the threads and the leather patches. But we will push this everywhere. For instance, the cotton for our T-shirts is sustainable, and we also have sustainable rules – it’s very important that there aren’t thousands of sheep that destroy the land then move on. We are trying to take more categories into sustainability now. It’s not easy. For instance, cotton can’t always be sustainable – you can see a lot of black dots, which is not acceptable for us. We’re working with the mills to really explain what we expect.

LUX: What do you personally take the most pleasure in designing?
NS: I really like the process. It all starts with an idea. I like creating the product together with our tailors, because they are truly talented people. I like challenging them. We did this jacket for Brad Pitt, for instance, which was a super- light, double-splittable cashmere sports jacket using a fabric that is really nice, but it has to be split in half with a scalpel and stitched back together. In the beginning they said it was too difficult, but they found a way. So, working with them and their 75 years’ worth of knowledge at Penne [where Brioni has a factory and a tailoring school], and with my modern approach, we can create something very impressive.

LUX: Is Dior Homme your main competitor?
NS: I wouldn’t consider Dior Homme as a competitor – I think of Dior as a brand that is much more fashion-oriented, which we are not. We’re a luxury brand that moves very slowly. Maybe, with our product, the art is more important, the way of making it. My viewpoint is also less important – I want to be in the background. With designers like Dior, it’s more about a strong style – if a person stands 50m away, you will still recognise it as Dior. I like to let the person shine, but with designer clothes, you’re showing that you can afford them.

A man getting his suit fit by a tailor

Clark Gable being fitted in a Brioni suit. Image courtesy of Chris Pizzello-Pool

LUX: You mentioned some Italian tailors, but you didn’t mention Savile Row.
NS: Savile Row is definitely on the same level, but Brioni tailoring is between Savile Row and southern Italian tailoring. We have the appearance of Savile Row, which is very constructed, very precise, with strong lines, but with constructed interfacing. Brioni has more of the flavour of southern Italy, with soft shoulders and almost no construction inside.

LUX: You originally planned to be an architect. Are we going to see any Brioni hotels?
NS: No. For now, we have to work on our boutiques. They’re very different, they’ve been through different periods. Together with our CEO we are trying to bring the same visuals to all our boutiques, and this takes time. We might have one store design in Milan, another one in New York, another one in London, which I think is one of the most beautiful. It has the feel of extreme luxury, but also feels very human inside. It doesn’t shine, it’s not all marble.

LUX: What do you think the well-dressed man will be wearing in 2022?
NS: There are so many possibilities in the collection. I know what I’m going to be wearing – a beautiful constructed coat, with a very soft cashmere sweater and some relaxed trousers from Brioni. It’s about just being able to put things on that feel almost weightless.

A man wearing a suit, shirt and tie holding an award

Denzel Washington accepting the Hollywood Legacy Award in 2017 wearing Brioni. Photo by Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

LUX: And how will professional men dress in 30 years’ time? In T-shirts, chinos and jeans?
NS: It’s a really good question: will they be wearing tailoring? At the moment, they still do. When you go to the bank or to a lawyer’s office, they wear suits. There might be a trend for more separates, as well. I’m trying to move Brioni in a way that, as I said before, fits the modern man’s wardrobe. So we are working on innovation, so that we don’t find ourselves, in 20 or 50 years, disconnected from what’s happening with men.

Read more: Donatella Versace Interview: Doing It Her Way

This is really important – to always think of ourselves as innovators. I was asked if I think of Brioni as a heritage brand, and I said: absolutely not. Brioni was born as a super-innovative brand – our founders used new materials, they were thinking outside the box, they were putting men on the catwalk, they were the first to do trunk shows. I think we might have lost this spirit a bit, in the past 20 years or so, but we are moving forward again. Brioni will, or should, represent the modern man. This is my challenge.

Find out more: brioni.com

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX

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Reading time: 10 min
wine estate
wine estate

Château La Mission Haut-Brion. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon

For the cosmopolitan Prince Robert de Luxembourg, owning one of the world’s most celebrated wine estates, Château Haut-Brion, was not enough. The former Hollywood screenwriter is creating a world of fine wine and cuisine fantasy for visitors to enjoy in Bordeaux and Paris – and much more besides. Darius Sanai chats to the Prince about the future of Thomas Jefferson’s favourite estate

Chatting in fluent English about online retail and the Chinese social media app WeChat, Prince Robert de Luxembourg does not exactly conform to a preconception of a European prince who owns the longest established of all the great Bordeaux wine estates.

And yet since he took over Domaine Clarence Dillon, maker of Château Haut-Brion, in 2003, Prince Robert has transformed the company, taking it from being the maker of a couple of the most celebrated wines in the world (Haut-Brion and its sister, La Mission, and their second wines) but little else (and a little profit), to a business employing 200 people with five different wine ranges, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, an upmarket wine store next door, an online fine-wine retail business and a wholesaling arm.

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To add a little tannin to the story, Prince Robert, despite being born into the family that owns Château Haut-Brion, was not even intending to run it. In his youth, he was a successful screenwriter, spotted by Creative Artists in Los Angeles, with one of his scripts optioned by Steven Spielberg. To this day, he looks as if he would be as comfortable sipping a margarita in Malibu as a glass of the legendary 1989 vintage of his wine in Bordeaux.

You also feel he has only just begun on his journey of creating a real enterprise around a gem that was previously, if not neglected then certainly not fully polished.

He insists that he will not, unlike Bernard Arnault of LVMH, luxury magnate and owner of the equally celebrated Château Cheval Blanc, be lending his wine’s name to a hotel group. But there is more in the offing, including a tasting, dining and museum facility at the château itself. Unlike Cheval Blanc, Petrus, Lafite and Margaux, Haut-Brion is easily accessible from the city and airport of Bordeaux, and it is a place where he is determined that any lover of great wines should be able to visit and enjoy.

man looking out of window

Prince Robert de Luxembourg. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon

LUX: What were your dreams when you were young?
Robert de Luxembourg: Like all of us, I had all kinds of different dreams depending on my age and some of them were realistic and some were less so.

LUX: Not many owners of Bordeaux First Growths lived in the US and were scouted as screen writers by Stephen Spielberg.
Robert de Luxembourg: I lived in the US only because I went to university there for a short while (at Georgetown) in Washington DC. I was there for under two years. We’ve always had family properties in Maine up in the north-east where I go every summer. Afterwards, thanks to my future wife, we became involved in screenwriting. She was very keen and had done some courses and was working on some ideas and had written a couple of films before I became involved with her, and we wrote a first speculative script when we were living all over the place, including France and driving around. That was the one that was picked up by Creative Artists in Los Angeles and we were signed as young writers; there was interest from Spielberg in that script but we ended up auctioning it to Columbia Pictures and then we worked with different people on it including Peters Entertainment, Original Film and David Heyman. We would come and go. Creative Artists would set up two weeks of meetings for us; and then Columbia and David actually hired us to write another screenplay.

Read more: Penélope Cruz on designing jewellery for Swarovski

LUX: Does a bit of you wish you’d carried on?
Robert de Luxembourg: You can’t do everything in life, and what appealed to me initially about that was I was working with my future wife, and then the realities of our lives made it a bit more complex. I loved the purely creative process. But I have been able to enjoy that in the work that I do in the wine industry throughout all kinds of different projects, whether it’s in the wine estates’ architectural projects or whether it’s developing business ideas. My need, I have come to understand over time, is to be able to develop projects and to basically be able to tell a story and then see that story come to life. So, I have been continuing to write these stories even if they are virtual and seeing them come to life whether it is at Le Clarence or La Cave du Château, or whether it is creating our wholesale business plans.

Vintage photograph men in wine cellar

Seymour Weller and Douglas Dillon, respectively nephew and son of Clarence Dillon. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon

LUX: Was it always inevitable you would go into the family business?
Robert de Luxembourg: In 1993 it was clear that we needed to have the involvement of a young family member in the business. My mother was older and my stepfather, her husband, who was also managing director of the company, was also older, so there was a definite need to bring in new blood. At the time my writing was going well, so I spoke to my grandfather because I could see my career moving away from the family business, and I said, “I’ve been led to believe that there might be interest in me becoming involved. If that is the case, it’s really going to be now or never”. I had moved back to Europe, I was starting a family, I had bought a property and was building a house and all the rest of it, and so I was physically present and I could do it.

I didn’t know to what degree it would become such a central part of my life or how time consuming it would be at the time, but I said to him I don’t just want to be a caretaker if I become involved. I didn’t want to be involved for the glory of being associated with a wonderful story which is Haut-Brion, but to look after the business and develop it, and so he agreed with that, and then I became involved.

wood-panelled library

The library at Château Haut-Brion. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon

LUX: What was your plan when you started?
Robert de Luxembourg: I had to deal with the most basic things, like branding for example. I also wanted to make sure that we had as much focus on La Mission Haut-Brion [the sister property of Château Haut-Brion, regarded by many experts as equally good] as Haut-Brion so that they were both treated as equals. The business had always been a folly, never a business, we never took any money out of it. It was really just about making exceptional wine. I recognised that was not going to be a way that we could maintain family ownership over the generations. You have to also have a vision, you have to also be able to develop the business, and eventually down the road have a realistic income stream for future beneficiaries.

The story we had to tell was just extraordinary. We wanted to communicate it properly to the outside world, including that Haut-Brion has the most extraordinary wine history of any of the estates in Bordeaux, and we didn’t talk about it enough. Haut-Brion’s red wine as we know it today was basically invented by the Pontac family, and we had this extraordinary story of how the first vines were planted there probably in the first century AD, whereas the Médoc [the main red wine region of the left bank of Bordeaux] was only developed in the 17th century, so 1,600 years later. We were really the birthplace of the great wines of Bordeaux.

Read more: Designer Ali Behnam-Bakhtiar on bringing dream worlds to life

The Pontac family started all of these technological advancements, meaning they were able to develop the new French claret (red Bordeaux wine) that became famous thanks to their extraordinary marketing tool of opening up the Pontac’s Head tavern in London in 1666 after the great fire of London, where all of the cognoscenti at the time would go; everyone from John Locke and Isaac Newton to John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys would be there.

Since then, there has been the development of a new wine estate, Quintus, which really came into existence in 2011, so next year we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. And then the creation of Clarendelle [high-quality entry-level white, rosé, red and sweet wines]. And that was an easy story for me to tell. I was a young man looking for a great bottle of wine that had a little bit of age on it where I wasn’t going to have to break the bank and have to store in a cellar in London because I didn’t have one. I could buy extraordinary aged Spanish wines or even some Italian wines but I couldn’t find anything from Bordeaux that had the regularity or quality at that price point. That’s where that idea came from.

LUX: With something like Le Clarence, the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris that opened in 2015, how do you decide that something which might be interesting to do will also be a good business?
Robert de Luxembourg:  There’s a little bit of a field-of-dreams scenario in some cases in that if you build something then they will come. Le Clarence was inspired by the Pontac family opening up this extraordinary restaurant in London in 1666 where they introduced the new French wines of Haut-Brion. It became the most hyped-up meeting spot in that city, and I also thought if they can do that in 1666 after the Great Fire of London, we could open something up in the heart of the most visited city in the world, Paris, a few feet from the most visited shopping street in the world, the Champs-Élysées. If they were successful then, why not now?

chef in the kitchen

fine dining

Le Clarence chef Christophe Pelé (above) and a dish of sea urchin with nasturtium. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

My wife told me I was absolutely crazy but I said why not do something a little bit different, I would like to design it myself, decorate it myself, build the team around it myself and do something that’s unlike anything else that’s out there. Because I could see the way that people would react when I would invite them to Haut-Brion; they would come to the château for lunch and you could see that people were charmed by that experience. It’s a home, it’s a family story, it’s a historical story and no one else can tell that story but us.

Today it is easy to find perfection in all of these designer restaurants in great hotels around the world that are designed by the same people oftentimes. But I think what’s truly priceless is finding a soul and also finding a perfection in imperfection.

LUX: And what about the idea of starting a wine shop in a city, Paris, that has no shortage of them?
Robert de Luxembourg: Once again, it was about how do you create a unique experience. You can see what Hedonism Wines did in London for example. You didn’t have a lack of wine shops in London yet what Hedonism did was unique and founded a new customer base. Also, Sotheby’s have done an amazing job with their wine shop in Manhattan. La Cave du Château is very specifically focused on the best French produce. My first job was writing letters to about 500 wine producers in France asking them and begging them if they could give us a few bottles to sell directly from the estate. And then creating an environment that was beautiful.

La Cave has developed into an e-tailer, a rather exciting new development that has been a lifesaver for us over the last few months.

Wine cellar

La Cave du Château. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

LUX: Walking around La Cave and Le Clarence, you feel that they are more private clubs than commercial entities.
Robert de Luxembourg: Ha, yes, I know, it does not look very commercial. But once again, that’s the ultimate luxury. You don’t want to be going to a place where you are right next to other people. For a lot of these people today the ultimate luxury is being comfortable, you don’t want to be overheard by the next table, you want to be in a place where you have space and a sense of privacy. The premise was to receive people the way we receive people at the château in Bordeaux, and to have a place where, before you go down to lunch, you can go and sit in the living room and have a glass of champagne, and after dinner you can go up and have a brandy as you would in the château, and if you want to go outside and have a cigar you can do so.

LUX: And we know you have more plans…
Robert de Luxembourg: Yes, we will be opening up private dining rooms in Bordeaux, with a visitors’ centre. We will have a new Cave du Château which we’ll open up in our visitors’ centre, managed by our retail arm. We will have multiple private dining rooms there, and they can have an experience like the one they can have at Le Clarence but with an extraordinary wine shop downstairs, right within the vineyards of Haut-Brion.

Wine glass and bottle

Château Haut-Brion’s acclaimed 1985 vintage. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

Prince Robert de Luxembourg’s desert island wines: Château Haut-Brion 1945, Château Haut-Brion 1989, Château La Mission Haut-Brion 1955, Château Haut-Brion Blanc 1989, Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2009, Château Quintus 2019

LUX: With Château Haut-Brion, you are the guardian of one of the world’s great luxury brands. How does that feel?
Robert de Luxembourg: I’d like to say it’s the greatest! I don’t know – it depends how you define a brand. I am not arrogant because I am not responsible for it.

LUX: Traditionally, awareness of the great Bordeaux wines was handed down from parent to child – unfortunately, usually father to son. Now there are so many new markets – how do you pass the message on to the latest generation of wine lovers, and how do you ensure that the status of the brand is clear?
Robert de Luxembourg: It’s a challenge for us. When I first got into this space, a real wine lover in New York or Singapore or Hong Kong would say how exceptional our wines were. But none of our competitors had the regularity of the past century that we had at Haut-Brion. That was something not really known by the greater public, and it was something I felt we needed to work on.

We continue to be active and interact with people. We were the first First Growth to have our own server and website in China or have a YouTube channel or a WeChat account for our wholesale business, or to open up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for our vineyards.

You will probably remember that it was considered that luxury brands should not be represented in this space, and it took away from the experience. I disagree with that because I think if you controlled the way you do it you can reach this audience, especially a young audience. Our client base was changing and we needed to adapt to the youth.

chateau building

The chapel of Château La Mission Haut-Brion. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

LUX: And what about the wines themselves? There are commentators who say wine now is better than it has ever been because of advances in winemaking techniques. And others who say that, for example, the 1945 vintage is still the best ever made.
Robert de Luxembourg: The 1945 is the finest Haut-Brion that I have had the pleasure of enjoying. I have only had it about three times in my life. We sold the last eight bottles for charity about ten years ago, and we have none left.

But the unfortunate truth is that global warming has been beneficial to the regularity of quality with wines we’ve produced, alongside the technological advances. If you look at a temperature chart of south-western France over the years, and the heat of those particular years, you will note that the better vintages like the 1945 and 1989 are always the hottest vintages. I don’t want to take anything away from our winemakers and their work, but their work is easier dealing with a 1945, 1959 or a 1961 vintage.

Read more: Meet the marine biologist pioneering coral conservation

Yes, it is helped by technology and science, and also by massive investment. We have been in a golden period for the great wines of Bordeaux, and so we have made more money and thus are able to invest more money in all of our businesses and we always try and push the envelope and do better every year. And then we’ve had the arrival of the wine critics who have always encouraged and helped us to a degree, because we have people looking over our shoulder so you can’t get it wrong today. So, yes, I don’t think we have ever made better wines over a period of time than over the past two decades, and our climate conditions have greatly helped us.

LUX: Many wine lovers, after starting their First Growth cellar with the likes of Château Lafite and Château Margaux, eventually gravitate towards Château Haut-Brion. Why?
Robert de Luxembourg:As a wine lover, and I consider myself to be a wine lover before a wine producer, you tend to gravitate away from things that are easier to understand towards things that are more subtle and more difficult to understand.

And that is a disadvantage for Haut-Brion when you are doing a blind tasting and you are not eating and your more easily able on a cerebral level to recognise bulky and more fruit-filled wines. As you age and you become more educated, you want to have a different experience I think you look for something that sets off multiple parts of your gustatory experience, hitting certain spots you are not able to reach with other wines. It’s the same with a painting or a piece of music.

You might find it shocking and enjoyable to see a Pop art piece but over time you maybe gravitate towards something that’s a little bit more complex and has a little bit more depth, with more layers. And Haut-Brion is an intellectual wine because of the terroir, but also because of the way the wine is produced. We have always had that at Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion. They are wines that are more difficult to understand, but when you want to grow as a taster, they are remarkable wines. You see that people eventually gravitate towards lighter extraordinary wines, and great Burgundies which I love also, and I think that is also explained by seeking out something very subtle, elegant and complex.

LUX: What are the unique opportunities and challenges of running a family wine business?
Robert de Luxembourg: Already just being in the world of wine, there is the notion that we aren’t doing anything for tomorrow. A decision that I will make to pull up a parcel of vines and replant it will probably still benefit my grandchildren if they are lucky enough to be involved in the business. We don’t anticipate being able to have a short-term return on many of these projects. We didn’t take a penny out of the business for the first six decades of running this company. It really was a folly of my great-grandfather [Clarence Dillon, who acquired Château Haut-Brion in 1935] that was then inherited by his children.

Today we can’t just sit on our laurels and think that we are managing a jewel of today and being proud of being the wardens or owners of this jewel. We have to have a business that makes sense for future generations and shows some evolutionary growth because otherwise you will immediately get frustrations from the generations to come that build up, and we know how that ends. So that’s a big part of it, great people keeping great people on board, sharing that message with them, making sure they buy into that and we’ve been able to do that with all our companies.

We’ve had relative stability across the board with the teams of people that I work with. Take Jean-Philippe Delmas, a third-generation winemaker at our estate. His family arrived at Haut-Brion in 1923, so they are about to celebrate their century with us, but his is one of multiple families that have been with us for generations.

country estate

Château Haut-Brion. Courtesy of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

Winemaker and Deputy General Manager Jean-Philippe Delmas on the greatest wines from the Domaine Clarence Dillon estates

Château Quintus red 2011
We acquired this property in June 2011, so this is a first vintage. It is located on a promontory overlooking the Dordogne valley at the south-west end of Saint-Émilion. This wine is blended equally between Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It’s a sublime marriage of the finesse and elegance of Cabernet Franc with the power, colour and sweetness of Merlot.

Château Haut-Brion red 1989
Certainly the greatest success of all the wines produced by my father. Its harmony is close to perfection with a breathtaking intensity and aromatic complexity combining cedar, eucalyptus, mint, roasting and Havana. The whole tannic structure is coated, giving this wine an unexpected sweetness. This vintage remains and will remain a reference.

Château La Mission Haut-Brion red 2003
This is a vintage when the summer was scorching, so we started the red harvest in mid-August, working at sunrise at the coolest time of the day with refrigerated trucks to preserve the freshness until the vat. It is one of the few Mission vintages where there is a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon. The magic of this terroir does the rest with an incredibly fresh wine.

Château Quintus red 2019
This is the latest addition to this beautiful property in Saint-Émilion. After almost a decade of meticulous work, we have succeeded in creating not only a new brand, but also a new wine with its own identity. Over the years, we have patiently drawn the personality of this wine and have achieved our goal with this vintage.

Château Haut-Brion red 1929
Of all the vintages made by my grandfather, this is the greatest. Even today, this wine has an amazing youth. The great density of this wine has allowed it to travel back in time. It has all the characteristics of the great wines that this terroir can produce – an aromatic signature, elegance and inimitable silky touch.

Château La Mission Haut-Brion red 2009
2009 seems to me to be the modern version of the legendary 1989. In this wine, we find all the characteristics of La Mission, with very rich, deep, spherical and coated wines. This wine charms you with its precision, a tannic structure counterbalanced by sweetness akin to velvet.

Find out more: haut-brion.com

This article features in the Autumn Issue, which will be published later this month.

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Reading time: 20 min
woman wearing black dress and diamonds
woman wearing black dress and diamonds

Penélope Cruz at the 2018 Cannes festival wearing Atelier Swarovski jewellery. Courtesy Swarovski. 

Penélope Cruz brings her renowned energy to philanthropic and charitable work – and now she is designing jewellery for Swarovski. LUX speaks with the Spanish-born Hollywood superstar

LUX: Where do you call home?
Penélope Cruz: Madrid. I grew up in a place called Alcobendas, a suburb of Madrid, with my sister Mónica and our parents and after with my brother Eduardo. My earliest memories are of being in my home every Sunday, everybody cleaning the house. There was always music, and everybody was dancing. My mother ran a hair salon, and between the ages of five and 12, I would go to the salon and listen to the women. I don’t know why but women in a hair salon share their deepest secrets. They would share everything with everybody. That was the first acting school for me.

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LUX: Tell us how your collaboration with Swarovski came about?
Penélope Cruz: The whole process evolved very naturally. I had worn some beautiful Atelier Swarovski pieces at various events. But it was when I met Nadja Swarovski and she spoke in depth about Swarovski’s work with sustainability that I became inspired to work on a collection with her. I really care about having a positive impact on the planet, and Swarovski has a rich history of putting sustainability at the heart of what it does.

LUX: What interested you in working with Swarovski Created Diamonds in particular?
Penélope Cruz: Before speaking with Nadja, I didn’t realise that it was possible to create stones in a lab with a low impact on the environment. As soon as I became aware of Swarovski Created Diamonds and other lab-grown precious stones, I wanted to start designing pieces and use them.

woman in diamond necklace

Courtesy Swarovski.

LUX: Your jewellery designs seem to have a vintage Hollywood feel. Have you always been drawn to the aesthetics of the era?
Penélope Cruz: My fine jewellery collection has a classic red-carpet aesthetic and I always go back to that – they are timeless pieces that I would always choose to wear. I think there is something for every woman in what we have created.

Read more: How we created the Ruinart Frieze lounge experience at home

LUX: What is the most important thing you learned from this collaboration about how to bring a design concept to life?
Penélope Cruz: It has been an amazing learning experience. I’m very lucky that Nadja and the team have given me such creative freedom. I begin the design process by pulling together images and references of things I love, and then spend hours with the designers to distil the clippings from movies, novels, paintings, ballet dancers and vintage markets into a jewellery collection that tells the story.

party picture

Cruz with Vogue editor Edward Enninful and Nadja Swarovski, 2019. Photograph by Nicholas Harvey

LUX: Would you encourage a young person to pursue a career in acting?
Penélope Cruz: It has been an incredible honour and pleasure to build a career as an actor, and to be surrounded by so many brilliant artists in theatre, film and television. Sometimes it can be a huge challenge, but I would encourage any young person to follow their dreams, listen to their heart, work hard and stay away from drugs – whether that is in the creative industries or beyond.

LUX: When you aren’t working on a film, what personal or creative projects do you focus on?
Penélope Cruz: From the age of seven I loved redesigning the clothing and jewellery from the pages of my favourite fashion magazines. So, working on jewellery design projects is a big passion for me and I have been honoured to have the chance to fulfil my childhood dream with Atelier Swarovski, season after season.

Read more: American artist Rashid Johnson on searching for autonomy

LUX: How does your family help you to stay grounded?
Penélope Cruz: I have always kept my personal and professional lives separate. Being with my family gives me so much happiness and it is my priority.

LUX: What inspired your activism, such as your involvement with the Time’s Up movement?
Penélope Cruz: I feel very strongly about the causes I support, and I have noticed a difference in Hollywood since the Time’s Up movement created a sweeping dialogue about the treatment of women. It is already having an impact on the kind of questions we get asked in interviews. Previously, you would be in a press conference and the women would mainly be asked very rude or superficial questions. People are more careful now. It’s symbolic, but hopefully we are understanding how to treat each other with more respect. And these are issues which affect women in all industries and everywhere in the world. If we don’t all do this together, it’s useless.

Red carpet photograph

Cruz with Antonio Banderas, 2019. Photograph by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Somerset House

LUX: Do you have a dream film or television project you would like to direct yourself?
Penélope Cruz: I’ve always wanted to direct. I have directed commercials and a documentary before but hopefully I will be able to do a full-length feature film someday.

LUX: What is it like working with a director such as Pedro Almodóvar, someone you’ve worked with for years?
Penélope Cruz: Pedro is like family; he is very important to me and holds a special place in my heart because he was the reason why I became an actress. I’m excited that we are making a new movie next year.

LUX: What type of music do you enjoy? Is there a track that makes you want to dance?
Penélope Cruz: I’m a big fan of everything that Pharrell Williams does. He’s an amazing producer and songwriter. I also love Eduardo Cruz’s work. He is my brother and we are very close, but I admire his work as a composer and producer so much. He just did the soundtrack for the film Wasp Network.

LUX: Has the past year changed your outlook on life?
Penélope Cruz: We are experiencing a huge moment of social change and I am still processing the transformations that are occurring around us. However, I believe that the values I hold closest – truth, justice and equality, respect for the planet and kindness towards others – will grow in strength. We truly are all one and we have to commit to creating a better tomorrow.

View Penélope Cruz’s designs for Swarovski: atelierswarovski.com

This article features in the Autumn Issue, which will be published later this month.

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Reading time: 5 min
black and white portrait man and woman
woman by swimming pool

‘Faye Dunaway, Morning After Winning Oscar’, 1976. Photograph by Terry O’Neill, Iconic Images courtesy of Maddox Gallery

Over the course of his 60 year career, Terry O’Neill photographed the world’s most famous celebrities, but the true power of his images comes from the intimacy of his lens, his ability to see beyond the glamour to reveal the true spirit of the individual.

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Audrey Hepburn

‘Audrey Hepburn, Plays Cricket’, South of France, 1966. Photograph by Terry O’Neill, Iconic Images courtesy of Maddox Gallery

portrait of men laughing

‘Peter Sellers and Roger Moore’, Beverly Hills, 1970s. Photograph by Terry O’Neill, Iconic Images courtesy of Maddox Gallery

Born in Romford, Essex, O’Neill’s family intended him to join the Catholic priesthood, but he ended up leaving school at 15 to play drums in a band, which eventually led him to photography. He trailed behind bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and walked onto film sets in Europe and Hollywood, quickly befriending many of the stars which allowed him access to their private lives and resulted in long-lasting relationships. He photographed David Bowie over a twenty year period, capturing his artistic evolution from Space Oddity singer to Ziggy Stardust to Thin White Duke, Muhammad Ali relaxing in an arm chair reading a paper, Richard Burton wearing a shower cap in the bath, Brigitte Bardot posing with a cigar between her teeth and Audrey Hepburn playing cricket on the lawn in the South of France amongst many others.

Read more: 3 fine dining recipes by Le Clarence head chef Christophe Pelé

woman smoking cigar

‘Brigitte Bardot’, Spain, 1971. Photograph by Terry O’Neill, Iconic Images courtesy of Maddox Gallery

black and white portrait man and woman

‘Jean Shrimpton and Terence Stamp,’ London, 1964. Photograph by Terry O’Neill, Iconic Images courtesy of Maddox Gallery

The first retrospective of the British photographer’s work (he died in 2019) Every Picture Tells a Story at Maddox Gallery in Gstaad brings together a collection of these candid, photojournalistic portraits, revealing both how O’Neill pioneered the concept of behind-the-scenes reportage and captured the essence of a bygone era.

‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ runs until 29 August at Maddox Gallery, Gstaad, Switzerland. For more information visit: maddoxgallery.co.uk

 

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Reading time: 1 min
Monochrome image of a man
Dancer sitting against a green background

Ballet dancer, actor and entrepreneur Sergei Polunin. Image by Alex Kerkis

Tattooed, athletic and outspoken, ballet maestro Sergei Polunin has a way of keeping everyone on their toes. LUX talks to the dancer, actor and entrepreneur about his internet-breaking video for Hozier, working with Kenneth Branagh, and dancing in virtual reality

1. Can you describe your style of dancing?

It’s a combination of having trained in two different countries: Russia, with its classical training, precise technique and good clean positions, and England, where there is a lot of acting and expression in every movement.

2. Are you a rule-breaker?

I actually enjoy following the rules when it comes to ballet. When you’re training, you need to follow a very strict path, but in order to perform, you need to feel free. During performances, I try to discard the rules and translate what I feel for the audience.

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3. Your feelings about ballet institutions seem untraditional, though?

I’m trying to build an alternative system to compete with the old theatre system, which has been going since the 1800s, where ballet dancers are signed up and then are told exactly what to do for their whole career. They’re not allowed any representation or to negotiate for money or to choose their next project – like old Hollywood. I’m working with the government to offer dancers more money and freedom and to create some healthy competition.

4. What is the biggest misconception about male ballet dancers?

That they are silly or feminine. I was never bullied for dancing, though; I’ve always considered it a man’s job. Boxers learn dancing to improve their flexibility and to hide emotions. Just as a dancer never shows how hard they are working, a fighter hides where his next punch is coming from. Also, if you choose to study ballet, you’ll be surrounded by girls! That would never happen with football.

5. Did you expect Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’ video with your dance to go viral?

Not really, no. When they filmed the video, I had been thinking about quitting dancing for acting, so I wasn’t in the best shape at the time. I’m happy that so many people appreciated it but I still see lots of technical mistakes!

Monochrome portrait of a man

Monochrome image of a man

Here and above: Sergei Polunin photographed by Morgan Norman

6. How do you connect with the audience when you are dancing in an arena?

Performing for that many people gives me more energy. I could actually dance larger, perform bigger! It’s important to show that ballet can work for big stadium audiences, too.

7. What great traditional ballet roles are left for you to perform?

So many amazing dancers have already performed these roles, I don’t think I could add anything. I want to create new things instead.

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

8. Are there any stories begging to be made into a ballet?

Many! You can turn anything into a ballet. Imagine a Marvel or DC comic and dancing as the Joker or the Penguin.

9. How about a ballet about the Kardashians?

Absolutely! Dance has no boundaries. You can dance as a chess piece, a planet, a myth, a god.

10. What do you think is the future of dance?

Virtual reality and 3D technology are the perfect mediums for dance. Once a dance is done, how can the performance be saved forever? I think virtual reality is the answer.

11. You’ve acted in films directed by Kenneth Branagh and Ralph Fiennes. Did they give you any acting advice?

They didn’t have too many corrections on set. I think as an actor you transfer your personal energy into the role. Some actors just make you want to look at them, like Mickey Rourke or Marlon Brando on screen – I don’t care what they’re doing or saying, I just look at them.

12. Can you imagine a life without dancing?

Dance is my centre and my core. I always come back to it. It comes easily to me, but I don’t spend time thinking about it. I pursue other things like acting and I’m building a foundation to bring together financing, resources and people to develop and fund creative projects. I want to support different kinds of talents – choreographers, lighting designers, costume designers, painters, film directors, playwrights.

Discover more: poluninink.com

This interview was originally published in the Summer 2020 Issue. 

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Reading time: 3 min
Young filmmaker with camera
Panel discussion on stage

Ghetto Film School Roster brings together students and industry for a film competition screening and artist showcase of GFS alumni work, here at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, 2017

The inaugural Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award at 2020’s Frieze Los Angeles recognizes ten young filmmakers who have been nurtured by Ghetto Film School. Maisie Skidmore meets the storytellers behind the camera

DEUTSCHE BANK WEALTH MANAGEMENT x LUX

More than a century has elapsed since Paramount Pictures was established in Hollywood in 1913. Since then, the studio lot has grown somewhat, from the original 26 acres to no fewer than 65 today. The scene itself has altered entirely, with thousands of movies and television shows coming to fruition on its hallowed grounds.

The studio’s iconic logo, on the other hand, remains almost entirely unchanged. The snow-topped mountain-scape studded with an arc of 22 stars is one of the protagonists in the rich movie history of Los Angeles. It’s woven into the very fabric of the place; the city has grown up around it, producing writers, artists, filmmakers and plenty more. So, what better place than Paramount Pictures Studios to house Frieze Los Angeles, when the international art fair opened its inaugural edition in the city in February 2019?

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Non-profit organization Ghetto Film School has taken a similar trajectory to that of Frieze, in that it has opened its own LA outpost in recent times. GFS, as it is known, was first founded as a small after-school program in the South Bronx by former social worker Joe Hall some 20 years ago, with a view to introducing narrative filmmaking to youth programs in New York, particularly in low-income areas. “Ghetto Film School was founded on the premise of providing a robust, long-lasting platform for a new generation of storytellers, bridging the gap between in-class curriculum and hands-on experience in the entertainment industry,” explains Sharese Bullock-Bailey, its chief strategy and partnership officer. GFS has evolved exponentially, educating, developing and celebrating the next generation of great American storytellers. Since 2017 it has opened a third outpost, in London.

Camera crew recording a young girl in Africa

Ghetto Film School students filming in South Africa

Man attends film screening

Founder and president of the GFS, Joe Hall

In view of the long history of the film industry in Los Angeles, the city provided a natural second home for the organization in 2017. The GFS has continued to forge a pathway into the film industry and beyond for its students ever since. “There is so much more to GFS outside of fostering behind-the-camera filmmakers,” Bullock-Bailey continues. “Our partners, who provide GFS students with immeasurable support, have been key at introducing them to other related avenues within the creative world. Outside of filmmaking, our graduates have gone on to become advertising producers, writers, studio executives, and set designers.”

Now, the next generation of Los Angeles’s filmmaking talent is set to receive a further boost. In the summer of 2019, Frieze and Deutsche Bank launched the inaugural edition of the Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award, a new competition created in collaboration with Ghetto Film School. Ten aspiring and emerging filmmakers were offered a unique platform and an intensive four-month development program through which to produce their own short films, inspired by LA’s artistic, social and cultural landscape. The winning filmmaker, who receives an award of $10,000 at a ceremony in the Paramount Theatre during Frieze Los Angeles, is chosen by a panel of leading figures in contemporary art and entertainment. The award is showcased at the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Lounge at the art fair, and its launch coincides with the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Deutsche Bank Collection of art.

Read more: How Adrian Chen’s K11 MUSEA is changing Hong Kong’s cultural scene

Naturally, LA is a rich and fertile subject area for the students of the Fellows Program of the GFS to draw on. “The history of Los Angeles is built on the confluence of disparate visions for the city and its future, something that made the energy and community support at the first Frieze Los Angeles so palpable,” says Bettina Korek, the executive director of Frieze Los Angeles. “To be able to support these emerging local filmmakers in depicting our city’s current world, and showing how the medium of film has grown alongside it, is a privilege for us and our partners at the Paramount Theatre, Deutsche Bank and Ghetto Film School. I can’t wait to meet the Fellows and to see how they envision Los Angeles.” Thorsten Strauss, the Global Head of Art, Culture and Sports at Deutsche Bank, echoes her sentiment. “We are delighted to be working with Frieze and Ghetto Film School on this exciting new film award,” he says. “It’s a natural step in our ever-developing partnership with Frieze to start this project together and support emerging LA storytellers.”

Young filmmaker with camera

Mya Dodson, a GFS alumna and below, Dodson at Film Independent’s GFS Shorts screening, LACMA in Los Angeles, 2016

Woman speaking into microphone

The Fellows, whose own cultural heritage reaches far and wide, have turned to their respective experiences of the city for their films, and the breadth of their concepts reflects the extraordinary diversity inherent to LA. They looked to the recent plague of fires (in the case of Nabeer Khan), the ubiquity of smartphones (for Nicole Thompson), and the wrenching unease of a displacement from, and subsequent return to, their home (for Silvia Lara). In each case, poignantly, the school’s Fellows share a profound and at times all-consuming desire to tell their story. They also all seem to share a hope that, in so doing, they might carve out a space in which others are able to make their own voices heard too.

GFS’s alumni, who are now scattered throughout the film industry and beyond, are testament to the program’s effectiveness. “Ghetto Film School is more than a non-profit mission statement,” says Luis Servera, a writer and director who graduated from the program in 2004. “It is family.” Servera has been part of the organization for all of his adult life, he says, proudly witnessing and contributing to its rapid growth. “It’s a bit surreal, but not surprising at all. GFS is destined to be a significant and influential catalyst in all things media.”

VIP lounge at an art fair

The Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Lounge at Frieze Los Angeles, 2019.

How has Ghetto Film School seen such success? “They understand the power of storytelling and the power of the storyteller, no matter what their background is,” Servera continues. “They also realize that education and opportunities to those with limited access are essential to cultivate and nurture unseen talent.” What’s more, he continues, given the current climate in the industry, the work GFS is doing has the potential to reverberate for decades to come. “In a time when trending words such as ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ seem to be at the forefront of keynotes and boardroom meetings, I find it curious that a small non-profit organization that started in the South Bronx is the solution to a problem that a massive industry is having.”

Read more: Francis Alÿs receives Whitechapel Gallery’s Art Icon Prize 2020

To see the short films that have been months in the making viewed and judged at a Frieze art fair – one of the core events in the art world – will, of course, be of no small moment for the young filmmakers. The Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award marks the first milestone in each of these storytellers’ own narratives; where and when the next one will be, we will just have to wait and watch.

THE 10 SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES

Young woman posing in suitALIMA LEE
“After watching Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, I had a dream about a portal that looked like an empty doorway appearing in different parts of the city. The portal allowed black and indigenous people to escape to a planet where they could be safe. I revisited this concept in my short film, to explore a story line about how a girl comes across this portal and about why she intends to use it.”

Monochrome portrait of young womanDANIELLE BOYD
“I was inspired by Shirin Neshat’s fearless ability to convey her feelings about being exiled from her home. I was also inspired by the colorful cultures in LA, and how they create the city’s identity. I was going to Africa for the first time and began feeling this sudden vacancy about my African American identity. I began to see more clearly how the miseducation of African Americans can affect us and the way we interpret our own history, and ourselves.”

Painting of young girl in car seatMICHELLE KIM
“The idea for my short emerged from this mental process of recognizing what moved me about LA and what felt significant. I reverted back to my childhood and the places I’ve grown up in, such as the car wash near my dad’s work, the liquor store in the strip mall. These sites are as sacred to me as they are banal to others, and the intention behind my short is based on visually sanctifying these places.”

Portrait of a young asian manNABEER KHAN
“I knew that I had to make my film about the recent Los Angeles fires. I asked myself how these fires were starting. That question, combined with my interest in psychology, led me to the concept for my film. I wanted to explore the power of grief and its progression to rage. In this film, I seek to apply this idea to our relationship with nature and the ongoing destruction of our Earth.”

Headshot of young woman

NICOLE THOMPSON
“The concept for this film came to me while riding a train through the city and seeing so many people wrapped up in their phones. I decided to tell a story about when a young boy is forced to move to LA and stay at his grandparent’s house for the summer. He tries to convince his mom to not leave him there, but she has to travel for work. Left with no friends, Wi-Fi, or games he explores the house, discovers a magical book, and goes on an adventure traveling through different dimensions.”

Portait of man wearing sunglassesNOAH SELLMAN
“I was watching surreal YouTube videos and saw in one of them an animated dreamscape made of Coke products. I started to wonder if that was possible. When I moved to LA, I was struck by the branding that covers the city. There is barely a blank surface anywhere. It was a lot for someone from a small town. Watching Shirin Neshat’s shorts, I realized the dreams could be abstract. Then I knew I had an idea.”

Side profile portrait of young manTIMOTHY OFFOR
“Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever was the first time I saw characters that I knew – not physically, but in character. I knew people just like them. I’ve dreamed of sharing my stories with the world ever since. The idea for my film originated during a debate with a friend about fear. We were discussing whether people are afraid of success or failure. Through that I developed a concept centered on dreams, fear and our willingness or unwillingness to overcome it.”

Portrait of young woman outside with sunlight on her faceTORYN SEABROOKS
“I love comedy and there is nothing funnier to me than an uncomfortable situation. When you’re trying to impress a person, you do things outside of your character and find yourself in the middle of cringeworthy moments. I wanted to tell this story to point out a darker truth I’ve grown to understand about idolatry within Hollywood, and what we’re willing to do to be accepted and seen by the people we admire.”

Portrait of young woman against white wallSILVIA LARA
“I’ve always wanted to see my city, Whittier in LA, portrayed the way I feel it deserves to be seen. I had lived elsewhere before but didn’t realize just how special it was until I up and moved across the country to New York and then returned. It contrasted so much that it made me appreciate aspects of this quiet suburb on the edge of LA. And it’s not as quiet as it seems.”

MYA DODSONPortrait of young woman in yellow top
“The concept for my film came to me in a vision while visiting family in Korea earlier this year. My sister had recently encouraged me to ‘move in love, not in fear’ – a motto that set the tone for my entire year. I was listening to frequencies when an affirmation came over me, and thus, Cosmic Affirmation was born. I saw the film as a representation of how I’m overcoming fear in love.”

THE JURY

Doug Aitken, contemporary LA-based artist
Claudio de Sanctis, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management
Shari Frilot, Chief Curator, New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival
Jeremy Kagan, director, writer, producer and professor
Bettina Korek, Director of Frieze Los Angeles
Thorsten Strauss, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Art, Culture & Sports
Sam Taylor-Johnson, artist and film director
Hamza Walker, Director of LAXart

Find out more: ghettofilm.org

This article was originally published in the Spring Issue 2020.

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Reading time: 10 min
Cinematic still featuring a bottle of champagne
Bollinger event with men in suits

Michael G. Wilson & Etienne Bizot from the Bollinger Family at Hotel de Crillon, Paris

Last week, Champagne Bollinger celebrated the 40th anniversary of its partnership with James Bond with a special event in Paris and a new limited-edition release

On Thursday evening last week, Champagne Bollinger welcomed the producer of the James Bond films Michael G. Wilson as guest of honour in Paris to celebrate the brand’s 40-year partnership with the legendary film series. Hôtel de Crillon played host to an exclusive list of invitees in celebration of the partnership, which dates back to 1979, when Bollinger became the official champagne of 007 upon the release of Moonraker.

Cinematic still featuring a bottle of champagne

The character Jaws opening a bottle of Bollinger R.D.1969 in Moonraker

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Champagne gift set with luxury silver box

The Moonraker Luxury Limited Edition by Champagne Bollinger with a gift box designed by Eric Berthes

Following a speech by Bollinger’s chairman Étienne Bizot, the brand launched its latest release ‘The Moonraker Luxury Limited Edition’ complete with a space-shuttle shaped gift box designed by Eric Berthes and inspired by the shuttle originally created by production and set designer Ken Adam. Guests enjoyed a first taste of this 2007 vintage against a backdrop of design sketches and stills from the Moonraker film.

Find out more: champagne-bollinger.com

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Model stands looking out of blinds wearing multiple jewels
Model stands looking out of blinds wearing multiple jewels

Bvlgari’s Cinemagia High Jewellery collection is inspired by old age Hollywood glamour

Bvlgari brings back Hollywood decadence with their latest high jewellery collection inspired by 1950s cinema

Long defined by its unconventional colour combinations of precious stones, Bvlgari’s latest collection reimagines the brand’s colour palette in statement pieces that pay homage to various aspects of cinema.

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The highly unusual monochromatic Action! necklace, for example, celebrates the invention of celluloid roll film with thirty-two carats of pavé diamonds and black zirconium, the latest innovation from the Roman maison which is surprisingly practical in design. A complex spring construction is incorporated to ensure the perfect fit whilst allowing the necklace to return to its original shape after each wear. When rotated, the round film element centre reproduces the sound of old movie projectors, adding an intriguing sensory dimension to this unique piece.

Read more: In conversation with the world’s oldest model

Model poses in director's chair wearing a silver and black choker necklace

The Action! necklace features thirty-two carats of pavé diamonds and black zirconium

Still life image of a diamond necklace on a red carpet

The Fairy Wings necklace with coloured gemstones and diamond butterflies

The Emerald Affair necklace is a contemporary reworking one of the brand’s most iconic pieces, featuring a brilliant green, octagonal step-cut jewel, whilst the Fairy Wings necklace playfully mixes eight coloured oval gemstones, each set on a delicate diamond butterfly.

Blonde model poses in evening outfit wearing an emerald necklace

The Emerald Affair necklace features a brilliant green, octagonal step-cut jewel

Sparkly necklace with multiple jewels pictured in the model of a swimming pool

Other pieces in the collection incorporate vibrant shades and a variety of gemstones

Other pieces in the collection feature varying shades associated with the days of La Dolce Vita, including pink sapphires, mandarin garnets, and citrine quartz. For a more versatile look, selected pendant pieces can be turned around and styled backwards for wearers to fully embrace Bvlgari’s rule-breaking approach to both colour and design.

Chloe Frost-Smith

Find out more: bulgari.com

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Black and white portrait of Ai Weiwei
Colourful wall mural painted up the stairs

Eamon Ore-Giron’s monumental mural ‘Angelitos Negros’ (2018), shown at the 2018 biennial ‘Made in L.A.’ at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles

No longer an outlier from the busy Europe– New York art corridor, Los Angeles is rapidly becoming a serious contender as a thriving hub on the world art scene. Janelle Zara looks at the people and places that are making the City of Angels hot, hot, hot

This autumn in LA, Ai Weiwei season is in full swing. The Berlin-based Chinese conceptual artist and political activist has not one but three major, concurrent exhibitions across the city – one at Jeffrey Deitch’s new Hollywood gallery, one at the Marciano Art Foundation and one at the new UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills. With his LA debut coming three decades into his career, it prompts the question: all this time, has Ai been saving the best city for last?

The delay in Ai’s arrival to the City of Angels may lie closer to the fact that none of these venues existed before 2017: the Marciano Art Foundation opened in a defunct Masonic temple in May last year; the new UTA Artist Space, redesigned in part by Ai, opened in July; and his show with Deitch is the space’s very first. They’re part of the LA art scene expansion that is taking place at warp speed, one powered by a booming artist population and a corresponding wave of new galleries and museums.

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For all of its recent history, Los Angeles has been anchored by powerhouse institutions: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); UCLA (where you could once take classes with the ground-breaking conceptual artist John Baldessari); and CalArts, where you can still take classes with the famous African-American abstractionist Charles Gaines (who is likely to come out and attend your exhibition opening). And yet, as far as the art world was concerned, history took place between New York and Europe. Like the rest of the world, Los Angeles was an afterthought, a home for surfers and movie stars.

Gallery space of animal artworks

Installation view of John Baldessari’s 2017 show at Sprüth Magers gallery, Los Angeles

Seemingly overnight, however, it has become a world-class art capital. Recent years have seen major milestones that have put Los Angeles on the global stage: mega-collectors such as Eli and Edythe Broad as well as Maurice and Paul Marciano have opened destinations at which to showcase their holdings, courting the likes of Olafur Eliasson and Ai Weiwei to do their first major projects in LA. Major galleries, too, have opened LA outposts to be closer to their blue-chip artists. For Hauser & Wirth, that was Mark Bradford and Larry Bell; for Sprüth Magers, Baldessari and Sterling Ruby. And, of course, the inaugural Frieze LA, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, will take place in February 2019.

Read more: 5 exhibitions to see in London this month + 1 to miss

In September 2017, ‘Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA’ embraced the West Coast’s exclusion from the New York/European canon by emphasizing its connection to Latin America. ‘Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA’ was a blockbuster moment with its thematic syncing of more than 70 institutions. Curators, funded by The Getty, had the opportunity to travel to Latin America and relay the art narratives seldom told, some amassing as much as seven years’ worth of research. The results were powerhouse exhibitions such as MOCA Pacific Design Center’s ‘Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano LA’, a survey of art that emerged in the Gay Liberation movement of the 1970s, or the Hammer Museum’s staggering feminist 260-piece ‘Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985’. It’s one of the few shows to originate in Los Angeles and then travel to New York, rather than the other way around.

Where ‘Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA’ took place inside more than 70 institutions at once, the new biennial Desert X took place in none. The first edition last February took art-goers on an epic scavenger hunt across the Coachella Valley, where artists including Richard Prince, Tavares Strachan and Will Boone took over derelict buildings and made massive incisions in the sandy earth. Doug Aitken, who built a mirrored hilltop kaleidoscope the size and shape of a small suburban house, described the event as “a vast sprawling parkour… where suburbia ends and the landscape begins”.

Endless Creative Space

In the 1960s, the Light and Space movement, with artists such as Doug Wheeler, James Turrell and Robert Irwin, was making experimental inquiries into sensory deprivation, visual perception, and the glossiness of automotive paint. In 2018, light and space are highly prized amenities that in cities such as New York and London are increasingly hard to come by. In Los Angeles, land of eternal sunshine, studio spaces are large, as is the distance between them (although lately rents have risen at an alarming rate). LA’s art scene is as vast as its geography, stretching from the shoreline into the mountains and out into the desert. See, for example, Doug Aitken in Venice Beach, Charles Long in Mount Baldy, and Andrea Zittel in the arid plains of Joshua Tree, where her collective practice revolves around survival in the desert.

Read more: Deutsche Bank’s PalaisPopulaire is changing Berlin’s art scene

It’s the kind of landscape that breeds autonomy, as exemplified by designer David Wiseman and his brother, former Guggenheim Deputy Director Ari Wiseman. After several years of David being represented by Tribeca-based gallery R & Company, he and Ari purchased and refurbished a 30,000-square-foot factory complex in LA’s Frogtown neighborhood where David could both produce and exhibit his work himself on site. Elsewhere along the LA River, French painter Claire Tabouret relishes the kind of solitude she could never enjoy at home. Inside her former industrial space-turned-studio, she spends “eight or nine hours inside not talking”, a real luxury in France, where you’re bound to bump into someone. For true peace and quiet, Tabouret also makes work in a small house she purchased in Pioneertown, a tiny Wild West city out in the desert with “no phone, no internet, no nothing”.

Facade of a red building with a public installation in a courtyard

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles

Solitude, on the other hand, is optional. Geographical barriers also breed tribes. There’s a conviviality rather than a competition among LA artists, particularly artists on the East Side who run spaces for other artists to show. From the Ruberta gallery in Glendale to the artist-run platform BBQLA downtown, openings are no formal affairs. Rather than white wine and polite conversation, you’re greeted by tacos and a cooler full of beer.

“I was surprised by just how small it feels compared with New York, but that also makes for a communitarian vibe,” says gallerist Kibum Kim, who moved to LA in early 2016. He’s a partner at artist Young Chung’s Commonwealth & Council (CwC), a Koreatown space Chung founded in 2010 and initially ran in his living room. Their work is less driven by the market than the desire to build communities, evidenced by the fact that Chung “didn’t make a sale for years”.

Read more: Gallerist Angela Westwater on inspiring women in the art world

“Many artists we work with have practices that eschew the Western notion of the individual artist genius and bring in their peers and make work that is collaborative,” adds Kim, citing partnerships between Rafa Esparza and Beatriz Cortez, or Candice Lin and Patrick Staff, all four of whom have now shown in the Hammer Museum’s prestigious biennial survey of the city’s mid-career and emerging artists, ‘Made in L.A.’. The institutional recognition affirms Chung’s diligence, Kim says. “I have to believe something like CwC can thrive in the art world, even in this hyper-accelerated, market-dominant environment.”

Nothing is Too Weird

“Los Angeles, as a subject of art history, has a few chapters to celebrate,” says Hamza Walker, director of non-profit art space LAXART, citing the Ferus Gallery days of the 1960s (the gallery closed in 1966) and ‘The Pictures Generation’ of the 1980s (a seminal exhibition curated by writer and historian Douglas Crimp at New York-based Artists Space, which explored artistic communities in New York, Buffalo and LA). Those days have passed, however, and LAXART’s focus is very much on the art of the present. Founded in 2005 as a platform for emerging artists with nowhere to show, LAXART, in light of all the young galleries that have emerged to pick up on those duties, pivoted its mission this year to respond to urgent cultural and political matters. Over the summer, Walker presented ‘Remote Castration’, a group exhibition responding to the #MeToo movement. Over the course of the show, the façade of the Santa Monica Boulevard building featured a portrait of Hollywood by Barbara Kruger – not the Hollywood of movie stars, but a sector of the city where pawn shops, dollar stores and sex work reign. Words such as “BREAK IT→OWN IT→STEAL IT→LOAN IT” were painted across the top, with the palette of black, white and green hitting the standard aesthetics of the surrounding marijuana dispensaries.

Black and white portrait of Ai Weiwei

The artist Ai Weiwei

As an OG enfant terrible, Kruger’s work has questioned the authorship of the status quo since the 1970s. The artists of this year’s ‘Made in L.A.’ at the Hammer seem to have picked up the torch, serving narratives excluded from the textbook art historical canon. Megan Whitmarsh and Jade Gordon built a collaborative parody of a typical LA New Age wellness institute with the very real intention of reframing the female life cycle as cause for empowerment. Lauren Halsey erected a monument to her native South Central LA and its residents in the shape of an Egyptian tomb, and it was Eamon Ore-Giron’s monumental Angelitos Negros (2018), a mural stretching the height of the museum’s grand staircase, that greeted visitors and set the tone of the show. Ore- Giron has arranged the circular motifs inherent to his work in a composition resembling the movements of the sun and moon. While his strong geometries typically evoke comparisons to the work of European modernists, he explains, they’re based on Peruvian abstraction of the 1200 and 1300s.

Ore-Giron’s mural is emblematic of the forward-facing art that defines LA now. It asks audiences to re-evaluate their understanding of the past, particularly concepts of Western art history. The appeal of LA lies in its cultural diversity, an atmosphere that, like his mural, “both elevates and alters the way we read the past,” says Ore-Giron. And from the past, into a bright, shining future.

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2018 Issue in partnership with Deutsche Bank. Browse more content here: The Beauty Issue

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Jared Leto stars in new gucci fragrance campaign

One of Hollywood’s great mysteries, Jared Leto has spent his career defying its received wisdom that you can only fit one niche. Below the radar of gossip columnists, he flits from Oscar-winning performances and eye-catching red carpet appearances – green Gucci frock coat with candyfloss pink cropped trousers recently – to rock climbing and headlining with his rock band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. He fits the role of doe-eyed sweetheart, psychopathic killer and fashion frontrunner all in one.

Raised by his mother, Leto spent his childhood moving from city to city around America, learning to love the nomadic life. He studied cinema, moved to LA and was cast as the sensitive teenage love interest in the cult TV series, My So-Called Life. But Leto was more than a pretty face. A committed method actor, he has lived with homeless heroin junkies for the role of Harry Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream and dramatically lost and gained weight playing the overweight killer of John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, in Chapter 27 and the transgender drug-addict, Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Winning an academy award for his work, Leto never breaks from his character on set. After years of art house, Leto recently went for blockbuster as the Joker in Suicide Squad, taking on the role left by the late Heath Ledger. All this while he has been fronting his rock band alongside his brother, with record sales in the millions. Now he has taken another turn on his alternative Hollywood path, working with Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele as the new face of Gucci Guilty. He spoke to Caroline Davies about commitment, guilt and never quite letting go of the joker.

Jared Leto stars in new gucci fragrance campaign

Jared Leto in the Gucci Guilty campaign

LUX: What scents do you associate with your childhood?
Jared Leto: The smell of a campfire is always pretty powerful. It brings back certain times and adventures.

LUX: What was the first scent you wore?
JL: I think one of my grandfathers got me and my brother Old Spice and Brut soap-on-a-rope.

LUX: Acting, directing, music. Are they different parts of your personality? How do they inform one
another?
JL: It’s been challenging to make them all work. They take a lot of time, which has always been the
biggest challenge for me. How do you find the time to make room for several lovers, I suppose?

LUX: You spent much of your childhood moving around America. Has it given you a wanderlust?
JL: I would say that I like new experiences so that’s sometimes the part than can keep you travelling.

LUX: Where is your favourite place in the world? What would you do there?
JL: There are so many places around the world that I really love. The national parks in America have to be some of my favourites.

LUX: You’re known for your commitment to roles. What has been the most difficult part to play? Why?
Jared Leto: The Joker was probably one of the most difficult, that and Dallas Buyers Club. It’s just very dark and emotional. There was a physical component – I had to lose a lot of weight, so it was really challenging.

LUX: Have you ever scared yourself with a character? When?
JL: I was more concerned with the work that I needed to do in order to try and do my best.

Guilty Gucci fragrance

Behind the scenes shot from the Guilty Gucci campaign by Alessandro Michele

LUX: Which character was the hardest to let go of?
JL: The Joker still visits from time to time. So be careful.

LUX: Why Gucci? Why now?
JL: Alessandro drew me to the collaboration and we had met and become friends. And so when he asked me to do it, I was so excited. I thought it would be really fun to join him in this great adventure.

Read next: Gorden Wagener on creative intelligence

LUX: Tell me about creating the footage for the Guilty campaign. You filmed in Venice in December; what was the atmosphere like?
JL: It was improvisational. It was very creative. It was a unique story of this guy and two women on an adventure, and it’s magical but it’s good. It was a lot of fun to make, and a great group of people to work with.

LUX: What do you think of when you think about guilt?
JL: Guilty is a frightful way to mean taking some chances and not always playing things safe.

LUX: How would you describe your choice of clothes?
JL: I don’t really put very much time and variation into fashion to tell you the truth. Maybe that’s a good explanation for a lot of things. I have fun with it and I’m not worried about being too safe with it because at the end of the day, it’s really not big a deal. So I just have a bit of fun with it.

Jared Leto in the gucci guilty campaign

A still from the Gucci Guilty campaign, filmed in Venice

LUX: Do you think that fashion can feel limiting for men?
JL: I think most men’s fashion is pretty boring, utilitarian, safe, and there is something to the
unpredictability of what Alessandro does that’s really compelling.

LUX: How do you view Hollywood?
JL: Well, I’m glad that I am where I am now. I think you sometimes have to throw a bit of caution to the wind. I have taken long breaks from acting. And that’s okay.

LUX: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard about life and acting?
JL: Commitment, to commit

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