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With time and space to rediscover

Filed by Lucire staff/July 29, 2020/13.48



Paula Sweet

Above, from top: Chef Massimo Livan, pictured in the Canova Restaurant, showing pasta with tuna and tomato chunks, black olives, served over capellini noodles. Chef Livan’s tribute to the best of the lagoon, top to bottom, clockwise: shrimp, seppa with polenta, shrimp and tomato tartar, langoustine, sarde in sardo, baccala. Baglioni’s Gianmatteo Zampieri, Lucire travel editor Stanley Moss, photographer Paula Sweet.

Venezia has benefited from the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in the best of all possible ways. Yesterday is back.
   There is silence, space and the water is clear. Peering through the billowy clouds, the sky shimmers Canaletto blue, and only intermittent boats animate the reflections in the water of the deserted canals. You can walk aboard a vaporetto, let your glance linger over the ornate palaces as you glide by.
   For the first time in decades, there is time and space to remember the island city as it must have been a century ago. You can rediscover the humanistic attributes of Venetian life, the old politenesses, the traditional beauty, with the luxury of time. It’s emptier, slower, recovering. It’s a time of classical revival.
   Last week Lucire sat down to an impromptu lunch at the Canova Restaurant at the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venezia, in the company of our old friend GM Gianmatteo Zampieri. We were intent on rediscovering the traditional cuisines of the lagoon presented by chef Massimo Livan. The constellation of tastes took us back to the greatest classical kitchens of the Veneto.
   Later I had the opportunity to watercolour at one of the canal-side tables by the front entrance. A group of gondoliers kept up a steady banter as water taxis came and went, all at a tranquil pace. Venezia is unhurried. Nobody bothered me. I ordered a Spritz Aperol and watched the light change. It took a long time. Then I walked home.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor




Above, from top: The artist’s life, as seen at the entrance to Luna Hotel Baglioni Venice. A fast colour sketch of the entrance to Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venezia. A monochrome in Venetian green, entrance to Baglioni Hotel Luna.

 


Yoshikimono part of Tokyo National Museum’s Kimono exhibition

Filed by Lucire staff/July 16, 2020/11.14




Yoshikimono

Artist and musician Yoshiki’s kimono designs will be among those on display at the Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館) for its Kimono exhibition, which runs till August 23.
   There are 300 pieces in the exhibition, including those worn by Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu, spanning a period from the 12th century to today. There are also paintings of kimonos.
   It follows an earlier selection by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in February.
   Yoshiki’s Yoshikimono brand blends tradition with modernity. His own father owned a kimono producer. His 2020 collection featured imagery from Stan Lee’s Blood Red Dragon (which Lee had based on Yoshiki), and the anime series Attack on Titan.
   On his work’s appearance at the Tokyo National Museum, Yoshiki said, ‘I have come to receive many offers from overseas, but I am truly honoured to have my creations exhibited in Japan, the origin of kimono culture, at the prestigious Tokyo National Museum. I feel gratitude to all of my fans who are constantly supporting me. It would make me happy if you could see the exhibition.’
   More information on the exhibition can be found at kimonoten2020.exhibit.jp/english.html.




Yoshikimono

 


Letter from Venezia, July 2020

Filed by Lucire staff/July 15, 2020/12.49





Stanley Moss

The experienced traveller returning today will discover the Venice of 40 years ago.
   It is amazing, starting with uncrowded passageways, the ability to navigate the streets to admire the architecture, and it’s quiet. The droves of Asian visitors have disappeared, nor does one find Americans. Mainly we encounter German tourists, a few French, but mostly Italian speakers. It’s obvious that the rest of the world has shut down. Many of the stores remain shuttered.
   Today I visited the fish market at Rialto Mercato, found Argentine shrimps; went to the produce stand, got a bag of those amazing Sicilian tomatoes; visited the cheese store and got a hunk of Reggiano, some meaty Cerignola olives; and stopped by the coffee store for fresh ground Etiopiano. I went by Rizzardini’s pastry shop and splurged on a pallet of eight pieces to take home.
   I have no problem finding an open table with an unobstructed view, manned by an agreeable waiter, one simply happy to see business reappear. I take out my little watercolour kit, colours, brushes, my postcard-sized pad, order a drink, sketch, then paint at my own pace.
   The weather has turned perfect, and it gets dark around 9 p.m. Venice is the ideal city for getting lost. I’ve been here more times than I can count, but the coolest thing today is the ability to meander down dead-end passages and have to double back on my own steps. It’s too empty to navigate Venice the old way, stop and go, bumping into shoulders, walking downwind of cigarettes, craning one’s neck for landmarks. That Venice has disappeared, and the days of yore are thankfully returned.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor








Stanley Moss

 


Lady Gaga is the face of Valentino’s upcoming Voce Viva perfume

Filed by Lucire staff/July 10, 2020/23.22



Filippo Monteforte; Maria Moratti/Contigo

Lady Gaga is now officially the face of one of Valentino’s perfumes, the upcoming Voce Viva, by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli with Valentino Beauty.
   The new campaign breaks in September with the perfume’s release.
   ‘Lady Gaga means freedom, self-consciousness, pure hear,’ said Piccioli. ‘Her participation in this campaign elevates the symbolic power of the project to the highest level. She is the icon of a generation. Her message of freedom, passion for art, self-consciousness and equality is the same our Valentino community stands for. I am so proud for having her in.’
   On the new scent, the house said in a release, ‘Imagined as a voice to spread a message around the world, Valentino Voce Viva invites everyone to touch hearts, inspire others and live their dreams. Expressing the Maison’s values of inclusivity and individuality, Voce Viva celebrates one of the women’s most intimate sense.’
   Lady Gaga, already a modern-day icon and the only artist to receive an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe in the same year (for A Star Is Born), has recently released ‘Rain on Me’, a duet with Ariana Grande, and created her own beauty line.
   The star said in the release, ‘Be yourself, love who you are, and never give up your dreams.’

 


Mellerio shows off latest rings in its bridal jewellery collection

Filed by Lucire staff/July 9, 2020/12.17

Few jewellers can claim a history that dates back to the early 17th century, but Mellerio, as a specialist in bridal jewellery, can even count Napoléon III among its clientèle, when he presented his fiancée Eugénie de Montijo with a red enamel and diamond fan.
   The house has shown three new designs, on offer at its boutique at 9, rue de la Paix, Paris. The first, Maglia, evokes fishing nets, its mesh more apparent when the ring is worn. Giardino is inspired by an 1830s’ drawing from the company’s archives, with an intertwined, floral motif. Stresa, the third design, pays homage to the Borromean Islands, and features a textured design with the gold worked in relief, with intertwined diamonds.
   Mellerio also accepts commissions for bespoke designs, including the incorporation of precious stones that customers already own, often passed down through generations. More information can be found at www.mellerio.fr.



 


Greed a topical comedy about fast fashion and the practices that support it

Filed by Jack Yan/June 28, 2020/12.01

Greed, the new Steve Coogan comedy directed by Michael Winterbottom (The Trip), is a satirical tale about a thinly disguised version of Sir Philip Green, the head of Arcadia Group, who stood accused by various British government committees of plundering British Home Stores while it was under his company’s control. The phrase levelled at Sir Philip, ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’, once dealt to Tiny Rowland, is used here at Coogan’s Sir Richard ‘Greedy’ McCreadie, just in case you weren’t sure whom they were parodying.
   Lucire attended one viewing at a packed cinema, where moviegoers were turned away as it proved to be far more popular than anticipated.
   Given the cast—Coogan, Isla Fisher, and David Mitchell—it would be wrong to expect much more than a comedy, and on this count, it delivers, with more topical panache than most films of the genre.
   Up for criticism by the film are fast fashion—McCreadie spends his adult life pushing suppliers in Sri Lanka (the Indian locations are unconvincing) into a race to the bottom—as well as the shallow “unreality” of reality TV, or, as the trade calls it, unscripted drama. Included in the mix are the corrupt practices of modern business and their legal loopholes, and tax havens such as Monaco, where McCreadie’s ex-wife, Samantha, played by Fisher, is resident. Through all of this is the device of the officious bystander, Sir Richard’s biographer, Nick, played by Mitchell, who gets to interview certain parties, which Winterbottom shoots in documentary style.
   Sir Richard’s 60th birthday bash on Mykonos obviously references Sir Philip’s £5 million 50th on Crete in 2002, right down to the togas, and this is where things take a turn that not even Sir Philip’s enemies would wish on the milliardaire. Asa Butterfield, as the McCreadys’ younger son, and Dinita Gohil, as Amanda, a Sri Lankan-born Brit working for McCready, give the film more depth at the points where it’s needed, showing that the farce in which the ultra-rich live have real victims, inside and outside of the immediate family. Whovians will spot Pearl Mackie as Cathy, the director of the reality show in which daughter Lily McCready, played by Sophie Cookson, stars, trying the Method whilst playing herself.
   There’s a sense from earlier reviews—inevitable that we would have seen them given New Zealand’s later release—that the film doesn’t know what genre it is, whether it’s comedy, drama or documentary, an assessment with which we disagree. While the film puts a new spin on the term ‘eat the rich’, the last act wraps up the entirety of the film neatly: namely that for all the lessons that we might have learned, the fictional McGready family ticks on, with little changed. No, the outcome isn’t funny, but it is a call to action—it’s Winterbottom exercising pathos. Showing statistics about fast fashion, the income gap, and the single-digit earnings of Asian garment workers takes that one step further. Are we choosing to fund these lifestyles and the fast-fashion machine, or should we opt for the sort of designers often championed by this magazine, who work with Fair Trade, eschew seasons, and emphasize quality?
   And sometimes it takes a film that is largely entertainment to make us realize just what has been going on. The message could well be lost if this were an out-and-out documentary, which would have had a limited audience; better to have us question our consumerist habits—you know, the ones we still observed as we lavished Amazon with US$11,000 per second as the COVID-19 pandemic panic began—in the form of entertainment, ensuring a wider reach. It’s not the first to do this, and it won’t be the last—it’s a long tradition that includes The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and South Park on television and, more recently, the oddly slow-moving Brexit with Benedict Cumberbatch, and the German feature Curveball. There’s nothing more appealing in the grey depths of winter, with overseas travel not available to us, than sunny, colourful Greek locales. And when you can travel again, pack those labels with a more ethical background.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


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