Tag Archives: London

Hong Kong is Most Visited City in the World

For the sixth year in a row, come rain or high water as they say, Hong Kong is the most visited city on the planet. With 27.8 million international arrivals, the Special Administrative Region tops the Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking for 2014. Yes, 2014 because apparently the data has just been compiled for that year according to the AFP report on it. The numbers reported are based on overall arrivals, not just high net worth individuals and a UBS report on the most expensive cities to visit in 2015 lists London (five-star hotel rates at $400 per night) ahead of Hong Kong ($250 per night). In Asia, Tokyo ($500 per night) and Shanghai ($470 per night) are both ahead of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also cheaper, all-costs included, than either of those cities – $640 versus $1,000 (Tokyo) and $670 (Shanghai); the 2015 UBS report excludes Singapore.

Speaking of which, London ($750 per night, all costs in) surpassed Bangkok and Singapore to take second place on the Euromonitor list. London is the top European city in terms international arrivals followed by Paris ($890 per night, all costs in) in fifth, which is exactly in line with news reports citing London as a city of choice for Chinese travellers. North America’s most visited city and the only one in the top 10 was New York ($1,030 cost per night, all-costs-in, to visit) in eighth. By our count, this makes London, Paris and New York the most popular and most expensive cities to visit. We are not sure if “most expensive” is a tag any city really wants to have though…

Rio de Janeiro showed the highest jump in international arrivals with a 46.6% increase due to the FIFA World Cup and will likely see similar jumps in 2016, thanks to the Olympics. Greece had a record year in 2014: three Greek cities made the Top 100 with Athens seeing double-digit growth.

Kiev did not make the Top 100 for the first time due to geopolitical tension in the region. Saint Petersburg and Moscow saw double digit declines.

The United States and China top the rankings with seven cities each in the ranking.

For more information and the complete list of Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking, you can find it here.

In Pictures: Burberry AW16 Menswear

The London Collections menswear showcase was disrupted by the passing of David Bowie last week, followed shortly after by Alan Rickman’s death. Nevertheless, the fashion beat marches on and digital powerhouse Burberry, as previously reported, even found a way to include a moving impromptu tribute to Bowie in the autumn/winter 2016 show itself. The show brought a mix of styles together with aplomb, drawing on casual, sportswear and military influences. This is actually the first look the world gets at how Burberry will merge its Brit, London and Prorsum lines, which explains the mixing of styles in practical terms.

Even with the discomfiting pairing of tailored jackets with track pants, some things stay the same. Military detail has been seen everywhere at this year’s London autumn/winter menswear shows and this trend is a fixture at Burberry. This time jackets and coats led the way with metal military buttons and double-breasted cuts (as seen above). Dark colors reigned supreme, with navy blue, burgundy and dark green shades setting the tone.

burberry_menswear_aw16

Fur is back and is already dividing critics…

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The parade of different looks made for an entertaining runway show, despite the funereal tone

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It is immediately obvious that the newly combined styles may not work so well in stores

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We end the story on a high note. This bomber jacket has been receiving rave reviews everywhere

 

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and images from the AFP.

Tribute to ‘Style King’ Bowie at London Fashion Week

The Starman told them not to blow it and they didn’t. In the middle of Burberry’s London fashion show, a model showed her palms to photographers, displaying a name written in big black capital letters: “Bowie”.

To the sound of the late singer’s hits, the British label’s CEO and creative director Christopher Bailey welcomed the few hundred people invited to the unveiling of Burberry’s new menswear collection as London Men’s Fashion Week drew to a close.

“He’s a complete legend. We will all miss his creativity, his style and the elegant way that he approached everything,” said Bailey, who was born in 1971, the year Bowie released seminal song “Life on Mars”.

“I grew up with him. He’s kind of been an undercoat to my creative life forever,” he told reporters in the city where Bowie grew up.

A brilliant and visionary musician, David Bowie experimented with a kaleidoscope of images and styles as a counterpoint to his musical adventures. One of his best-known hits is named “Fashion”.

Dubbed the “King of Style” by some fashionistas, he had recently worked with British designer Paul Smith on the artwork for his latest album, Blackstar.

“A lot of people are considered celebrities today when they have only experienced popularity for one or two years, but he was exposed to the public for about 46 years, and so his talent was very very clear, very impressive,” Smith said.

For Men’s Fashion Week the designer recreated his first shop replete with items that influenced him – including many nods to the singer, such as a book of Bowie photos.

Tributes from sartorial tastemakers flowed from beyond London.

For French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, whose avant-garde work includes designs influenced by Bowie, the musician was an “absolute rock star” and a “cult” in his own right.

“Personally, he inspired me with his creativity, his extravagance, his sense of reinvention, his allure, his elegance and playfulness with genre,” he added.

The flashy makeup and striking red mullet of “Ziggy Stardust”-era Bowie inspired Gaultier’s 2011 ready-to-wear spring-summer collection.

Fellow French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac saluted Bowie on France’s RTL radio station, declaring Bowie “a cosmic pioneer in all fields.”

By the Numbers: London Collections Men 2016

As fashion observers flock to see the big names such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Belstaff and Christopher Kane, all eyes will be on the Autumn/Winter 2016 collections. But a person can’t survive on Moschino and Paul Smith alone… Ahead of our coverage of the shows themselves, here is everything you need to know about the backstage habits of the London fashion scene, in numbers, courtesy of the AFP:

9,000 specially designed Lavazza coffe cups, created by Agi&Sam, will be used during the event.

9,000 cans of still and sparkling CanO Water will be served up to thirsty creatives.

6,500 bottles of Warsteiner lager will be consumed during the festivities.

5,000 cappuccinos will be sipped.

2,500 bags of popcorn will be eaten (presumably not all of them by the models).

2,000 GQ magazines will be read on-site.

750 Johnnie & Ginger cocktails will be served at the River Island Fashion Film event.

190 VIPs will be the lucky recipients of luxury gifts from Murdock London.

90 meters of catwalk will host shows at the main Victoria House venue, with 43 additional meters used at the 180 Strand venue.

80 Floris candles will be burned over the course of LCM.

70 kilograms of Lavazza coffee beans will be ground and served.

39 London addresses will host shows or presentations.

LCM runs January 8-11. For more information see the official site.

Aston Martin Window Display at Harrod’s

When we heard about this tribute to Aston Martin at Harrod’s, we had to cover it. Our readers have shown a persistent affection for the brand (this is one of our all-time most-popular stories) and what they love, they get more of. Basically, the AFP is reporting that three Aston Martin cars will take over the Harrods storefront window in London as part of a month-long celebration of the British-made automobile.

Aston Martins have been synonymous with James Bond films for the last 50 years. The DB10 being shown at Harrods was built specifically for the latest Bond film Spectre. Also on display is the new Austin Martin model DB9 GT (below). Arguably the most famous of Aston Martins, the DB5, can be seen at the luxury department store in the Knightsbridge area, as well. This model was released in 1963 and set a standard for Aston Martins to follow with its improvement in performance.

Aston Martin DB9 GT Bond Edition

As an aside, we published a photo essay pitting the DB5 against the Vanquish right here. Ok, back to the story on hand.

Aston Martin specialists will be at Harrod’s throughout an accompanying exhibition to provide visitors with insight into the cars and their product range. If we were able to make it to this exhibition, you know how we would be harassing… The window display and the exhibition will run until January 28.

DB5 vs Vanquish

DB5 vs Vanquish. By Andy Wee

13 Hotels We are Waiting for in 2016

From the highly anticipated opening of a Toy Story-themed hotel at Shanghai Disney, to the grand reopening of two iconic Parisian landmarks, 2016 will be a big year for the luxury hotel market. While tens of thousands of new properties will open their doors for the first time in 2016, here is a selection of properties that are noteworthy for raising the bar in luxury, marking a milestone, or helping to transform the local tourism landscape.

Europe

In the last few years, Paris saw the temporary shuttering of two of its most iconic and luxurious hotels, the Ritz Paris and Hotel Crillon. This year, they will compete for attention as both are slated to re-open their doors after extensive and lengthy renovations.

Ritz Paris (March, 2016)

The hotel has been undergoing renovations since July 2012 – the biggest makeover in the hotel’s 117 year-old history. The refurbishment includes a new spa by luxury fashion brand Chanel, called “Chanel au Ritz Paris.” The hotel began accepting reservations for stays starting March 14, 2016.

Hotel de Crillon, Paris (2016)

With a history dating back to 1758, the Hotel Crillon (pictured above) is a veritable institution in Paris, located at Place de la Concorde where the Champs-Elysees begins. In 2013, it was announced that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts would take over the management of the property. The restoration will entail a contemporary overhaul led by Lebanese artistic director Aline d’Amman and architect Richard Martinet. It was also announced that Karl Lagerfeld has been commissioned to design two suites. An exact opening date has yet to be disclosed.

Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch, London (First quarter of 2016)

Nobu Hospitality (pictured below), co-owned by Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro, has announced plans to open its first European hotel in London’s trendy Shoreditch area in 2016. Expected to open in the first quarter of the year, the hotel’s five storeys are fractured into angular balconies and cantilevered steel beams using printed layered, glass and reflective facades to play with reflection and light. The hotel will be comprised of 156 rooms while the dining options will be helmed by chef Matsuhisa.

Il Sereno Lake Como, Italy (Spring 2016)

This five-star boutique hotel will be the sister establishment of the luxurious Le Sereno Saint Barths. Located 6 km from the center of Como and 50 minutes from Milan, the design of the new 30-room hotel has been overseen by Patricia Urquiola, who has focused on natural materials to create an aesthetic that is both timeless and full of character, intimate and casual. Urquiola’s studio will also design the interior of the ferry that will shuttle guests around the lake. Room rates will range from 600 to 4500 euros.

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Nobu Hotel

Africa

The Oberoi Marrakech (Third quarter of 2016)

Located 20 minutes from the city center, the luxurious property is built within 25 acres of citrus orchards and ancient olive groves. Each villa and suite comes with a private pool and views of the Atlas mountains, while rooms are spacious, modern and feature handcrafted Moroccan design features. The brand’s signature spa is built on a private island on a lake within the orchard, and offers Ayurvedic and Moroccan-inspired treatments. Facilities also include Moroccan hammams, yoga studio and outdoor pavilion.

Americas

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown (mid-2016)

Billed as the little sister to its flagship New York property in Midtown, the second Four Seasons hotel will open in the Tribeca district, a short stroll from the new World Trade Center, Wall Street and the Soho neighborhood and serve as a dual residential and hotel property. The 185 rooms are designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Dining will be provided by Wolfgang Puck and his CUT steakhouse restaurant and bar.

The James Hotel, Los Angeles (2016)

Once construction is complete in 2016, The James Hotel will open the doors to the first new ground-up hotel in West Hollywood in 30 years. The boutique property will open in the heart of Sunset Strip at the corner of Sunset and La Cienega Boulevards, and house 286 rooms, two restaurants and a rooftop and lobby bar. The LA location will be the third for the brand after locations in Chicago and New York. The brand’s philosophy embraces wellness, sustainability, local art and culture.

Il Sereno Lake Como

Il Sereno Lake Como

Middle East

Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, UAE (2016)

Located in the heart of the new Central Business District, the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island will mark the first hotel for the chain in the Emirati capital. The property will open along a stretch of prime waterfront, and house a retro-modern Chicago steakhouse, cocktail bar, and poolside restaurant. Along with 200 rooms, the property will also feature 124 private and serviced residences.

St. Regis Cairo, Egypt (October 2016)

Organized as two towers, the St. Regis will house 292 lavish rooms that includes 63 suites. The mixed use property will also offer 99 guest apartments and 117 residences. Located on the north end of Corniche Road, rooms will offer views of the Nile River and in proximity to the pyramids and retail area.

Asia

Wynn Palace Cotai, Macau (June 25, 2016)

Originally scheduled to open in March 2016, the ambitious Wynn Palace Cotai will be delayed by another three months for a set date of June 25. The $4.1 billion, floral-themed property features 1,700 rooms spanning 28 storeys, and an artificial lake. To enter the grounds, guests will board air-conditioned SkyCabs that cross the 8-acre Performance Lake into the heart of the resort. Like its predecessors, the Wynn Palace will house an opulent spa, salon, luxury retailers and gourmet dining restaurants.

Mandarin Oriental, Bali (End of 2016)

Located on the southern Bukit peninsula, the luxury hotel group’s newest property will be built on elevated terraces to offer commanding views of the Indian Ocean. The resort will be comprised of 97 villas, each with a private pool and 24 guestrooms. The signature restaurant will be a cliff-top, cantilevered dining space with sweeping ocean views. Guests will also be able to indulge in luxurious spa services that include Balinese treatments.

Shanghai Disney (Spring 2016)

After experiencing construction delays, the opening of Disney’s third theme park in Asia after Hong Kong and Tokyo is expected to open its pearly gates in spring. When it does, the park will also open the doors to two highly anticipated themed hotels, The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and a Toy Story Hotel. Not particularly encouraging is the image supplied for this story but we digress! At the Art Nouveau-inspired Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, guests will be greeted by bronze statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, while Toy Story fans will find Woody and Buzz Lightyear at the hotel courtyard.

Rosewood Phuket (2016)

To open on Emerald Bay in Western Phuket, the luxury property will be comprised of 80 villas and 32 residences that are designed to blend in with its natural hillside forest surroundings. Retractable glass walls will provide guests with unobstructed views of their environment, while garden rooftops and cantilevered structures will help the villas meld with the landscape. Dining options include a rustic Thai seafood eatery on the beach, poolside eatery, bistro and terrace bar, while a Sense spa will feature six spa villas and a swimming pool.

Shanghai Disney

Shanghai Disney

Burberry Goes 3D Interactive with NOVA

British fashion label Burberry is partnering with DreamWorks Animation’s newly formed technology company NOVA on a new 3D interactive marketing campaign. You can discover the fruits of this partnership right now, if you are in London.

The technologically progressive company has designed a digital experience featuring computer-generated versions of its iconic heritage scarf, which users will be able to personalize and play with on the world-famous ‘Curve’ screen in Piccadilly Circus, London.

The campaign will allow users to monogram their favorite Burberry scarves on their mobile devices, see them appear on the giant screen and even have the option of purchasing the modified item online or at the nearby Regent Street flagship store.

The experience launched December 14 at 10am GMT and is running 24 hours a day through December 31. If you happen to try it out, be sure to share your experience of this pioneering moment in luxury.

Alexander McQueen returns to London Fashion Week

British fashion gets one of its sexiest names back next year for Fashion Week, well sort of. Alexander McQueen will present its Fall/Winter 2016 collection at London Fashion Week in February, one of many highlights of the LFW schedule, which was revealed December 10.

The London-based house usually shows in Paris, and its return to its home city will be for one season only, according to the brand.

The label’s announcement was made as the British Fashion Council revealed the official schedule for London Fashion Week, which runs from February 19-23.

Among other notable additions are shoe designer Charlotte Olympia and Mulberry, which will debut the first collection of new creative director Johnny Coca.

See the full schedule here.

Burberry Celebrates Claridge’s 2015 Christmas Tree

Burberry and Claridge’s recently co-hosted an event to celebrate the Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2015 designed by Burberry’s own CEO, Christopher Bailey.

The glamorous occasion held at the Claridge’s lobby was attended by more than 300 guests including Bailey himself, Lily James, Matt Smith, Alice Eve, Tracey Emin and Sam Rollinson.

The statuesque Christmas Tree features almost 100 umbrellas, each finished in bespoke gold and silver metallic fabric while its 77,000 individual lights are conceptualized to burst into thousands of twinkling beams as the guests walk by.

 

Note: This story is an update on an earlier post on the same subject. Click to see the story here.

Human Tears Used as Cocktail Ingredient

When we discovered that the AFP had picked up this story about London culinary studio and events group Bompas & Parr, we couldn’t resist adapting it. Since we first toured the facilities there – as part of the Johnnie Walker “Symphony in Blue” event – we have been on the lookout for odd news from Rushworth Street. Well, this is certainly one quest that ended in tears – literally. The lads at Bompas & Parr are launching a cocktail workshop blending spirits, herbs, spices, and human tears, according to the AFP and Business Insider.

Yes, human tears are now ready for consumption, after being pasteurized of course. Well, it could be a useful reminder to go easy on the drink lest the night end in tears… The parties responsible here are Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, perhaps the most exciting duo in culinary experimentation. When we visited, the dynamic folks there were demonstrating the wondrous properties of gallium (something you definitely don’t want to consume) and this was our introduction to the unusual focus on building culinary experiences. We also walked into a whisky tornado, a spinning column of drinkable whisky vapor, at “Symphony in Blue” – a celebration of Johnnie Walker Blue Label of course. The whisky tornado was something Bompas & Parr created at their Rushworth Street studios. They wowed us again in Singapore, this time for ice-cream brand Magnum. Both experiences will stay with us a long time to come.

In this tale of teardrop mixology, you will need £25 (about US$38) to participate in the workshop – the only way to truly savor what Bompas & Parr do. Your own tears will be extracted using various methods, including massage and menthol, before being added to bottles of bitter. These can then be taken home, with an extra bottle making a very personal gift for a loved one this Christmas.

The workshop will be held December 15 at the company’s British Museum of Food in London’s Borough Market at 7pm. If you do go, ask them how exactly the gallium figured into anything…

Sleep with Lions at London Zoo

Fancy a room with a zoo? London Zoo began taking bookings December 3 for a new safari lodge it is building in the lion enclosure to allow visitors to get a taste of exotic holidays in the center of the capital.

The “room with a zoo” is located in the Land of the Lions exhibit, which will be home to a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions when it opens next year.

An overnight stay costs between £378 (US$567) and £558 (US$837) for two people, including a drink and two-course dinner, breakfast, an overnight stay in a lodge and a tour before the zoo opens.

Emma Taylor, head of product development at the zoo, said in a statement that it would be “a fantastic experience unlike any other, sleeping near to our magnificent Asiatic lions”.

Visitors will stay at the Gir Lion Lodge, a collection of nine wooden cabins “within roaring distance” inside the enclosure and surrounded by protective fence.

The accommodation design is inspired by guest houses close to the lions’ native habitat in the Gir Forest, a protected area of western India which is a safari destination and the only place where Asiatic lions remain in the wild.

Asiatic lions, which are smaller than African lions, were hunted to the brink of extinction before their population recovered to number about 500 in the wild.

London Zoo hopes that its lion exhibit will help its conservation efforts in India, where it plans to help patrolling efforts, train local staff and educate local communities.

British Fashion Awards 2015: Winners List

From Alessandro Michele to Karl Lagerfeld and  Stella McCartney, a long list of stellar fashion designers were honored at the recent British Fashion Awards.

Taking place at the London Coliseum, the awards were voted by over 800 key influencers of the fashion industry, making it one of the most prestigious fashion awards ceremonies of the year.

Forty five names were nominated and by the end of the night, 17 of them were awarded including Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Michele, Jourdan Dunn and Stella McCartney.

Without further ado, here are the full list of winners for the British Fashion Awards 2015:

 

Emerging Womenswear Designer: Thomas Tait

Emerging Menswear Designer: Grace Wales Bonner

Emerging Accessory Designer: Jordan Askill

Red Carpet: Tom Ford (Accepted on behalf of Tom Ford by Lady Gaga)

Model: Jourdan Dunn

Outstanding Achievement: Karl Lagerfeld

Creative Campaign: Burberry

International Designer: Alessandro Michele for Gucci

New Establishment Designer: Mary Katrantzou

Establishment Designer: Erdem

Brand: Stella McCartney

Isabella Blow Award For Fashion Creator: Nick Knight OBE

British Style – Fashion Innovator: FKA Twigs

British Style – Red Carpet Ambassador: Gwendoline Christie

Accessory Designer: Charlotte Olympia

Menswear Designer: J.W.Anderson

Womenswear Designer: J.W.Anderson Presented by Noomi Rapace

 

(Source and Images: @britishfashioncouncil)

Claridges Christmas tree 2015

Christopher Bailey’s Claridge’s Christmas tree revealed

Fashion designer has been getting into the festive spirit with his latest project — a Christmas tree for Claridge’s hotel in London.

The Burberry Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer’s “Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2015” has been unveiled in the hotel lobby, and the result is in striking contrast to the art deco design of the venue.

Exploring the concept of light interaction, the tree draws inspiration from Burberry’s longstanding heritage of providing protection against the elements, and the brand’s history in pushing digital boundaries through its physical experiences. The motion-responsive structure features almost 100 umbrellas, each finished in bespoke gold and silver metallic fabric. It also features the interactive element of 77,000 individual lights, which will be triggered as guests walk by, sending thousands of twinkling beams into the hotel’s lobby.

“It is so wonderful to see the tree in such an incredible setting as part of Claridge’s seasonal celebrations, I hope that it helps to bring guests a sense of festive fun,” said Bailey.

In true Burberry social media-savvy style, the UK fashion house has designed a Snapchat geo-filter that will enable all Snapchat users to frame their snaps with metallic Burberry umbrellas inspired by those on the Christmas Tree. The filter, which launches Monday, will be accessible to all Claridge’s visitors throughout the festive season, and is part of an on-going creative partnership between Burberry and Snapchat.

Claridge’s designer Christmas tree has become something of a festive tradition over the past six years, with previous creatives including Dolce & Gabbana. Christopher Bailey and Claridge’s will be hosting a private event on the stairs of the hotel’s lobby on Wednesday, November 18. Images from that event are here.

Claridges Christmas tree 2015

 

Burberry also co-hosted an exclusive star-studded party in celebration of the collaboration with Claridge’s. Click to view the story here.

8 Top Selling Artists 2015

Often anticapitalist by nature and sometimes offering scathing critiques of socio-economic systems, contemporary art is paradoxically highly sought-after for its commercial potential. While classics famously hold their value well enough to be considered an asset class, contemporary art  – where the artist is frequently alive and still working – is required to demonstrate its potential at auction regularly. Of course, the value of most contemporary art is nebulous but therein lies the excitement.

Our friends at Art Republik give us the low-down on eight living artists whose best-selling work combined nets more than USD150 million…

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Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons was born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, United States of America. He received his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Koons is known for his exploration of contemporary consumer culture in his oeuvre. His series of works include “Equilibrium” (1985), which feature ready-made basketballs floating in distilled water in tanks made of glass and steel,  “Banality” (1988), mostly sculptures of toys and popular icons rendered in porcelain and polychromed wood, and “Made in Heaven” (1989-1991), centered around photorealist paintings and sculptures of the artist engaged in sexual intercourse in varied positions with his ex-wife Ilona Staller, an adult film star.

Koons’ “Balloon Dog” sculptures in five color versions – blue, magenta, yellow, orange and red – are probably among his most well known works. These are from the “Celebration” series, which presents giant mirror-polished stainless steel sculptures with transparent color coating.

The artist has pioneered new techniques for the making of his artworks. For the “Celebration” series, for example, he collaborated with Arnold AG, a metalwork mill in Germany to make the sculptures’ high-shine surface. In addition, he used the CAT scan, typically used in hospitals, to get an all-round imaging of subjects so that the enlarged versions could be reproduced to perfection. He also has a unique way of working. Koons’ works are made in a studio that employs more than 100 assistants who fabricate his work.

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“Balloon Dog (Orange)”

2008 was a particularly productive year for Koons, with solo exhibitions at Château de Versailles, France, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. More recently, in 2014, “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective”, was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It has now traveled to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and will be at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao later in the year.

Koons’ first million-dollar work sold was the “Pink Panther” (1988) from the “Banality” series, which transacted at Christie’s in 1999 for USD1.8 million (1988). In 2013, he became the most expensive living artist when “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold for USD52 million at Christie’s. He holds the title to this date.

Koons lives and works in New York.

In Brief

  • Age: 60
  • Nationality: American
  • Gallery Representation: David Zwirner Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Galerie Max Hetzler
  • Big Break: Koons’ “Banality” series (1988), featuring the work, “Michael Jackson and Bubbles”, exhibited at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York City in 1989.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “Balloon Dog (Orange)”, 1994-2000, mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD58.4 million. Sold at Christie’s, New York, November 2013

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Zeng Fanzhi, Mask Series No. 5, 1994, oil on canvas, 180 x 150 cm. Sold at Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, October 2010.

Zeng Fanzhi

Zeng Fanzhi was born in Wuhan, China in 1964. He graduated from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts in 1991, where he specialized in oil painting.

Before moving to Beijing in 1993, he began painting the “Hospital” series, showing tableaus from the hospital, and the “Meat” series that contrast human beings with butchered meat, inspired by the hospital and the butcher’s shop he lived next to. From these first works, the characters began to be drawn with disproportionately larger hands, which persisted into his “Mask” series.

Zeng Fanzhi is probably best known for his paintings in this series of figures standing in groups or alone, wearing white masks with big smiles. This was motivated by his interactions with people in the capital of China, whom he thought hid their true identities and feelings from others and perhaps from themselves as well, in a representation of the Chinese people’s feelings of isolation in the decade after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

An adventurous artist who has experimented with different styles, Zeng began drawing landscapes in 2004, mostly covered with bare intertwining branches, inspired by the unexpected beauty he saw in a pot of Chinese wisteria in his studio. He also painted portraits of luminaries in western culture such as Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol in 2010.

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“The Last Supper”, 2001, oil on canvas, 220 x 395 cm.

Zeng first set a new world auction record for Chinese contemporary art in May 2008, when his diptych Mask Series 1996 No. 6 sold for USD9.7 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong. This featured eight members of the Young Pioneers, the Communist Party’s youth movement, wearing their representative red scarves, and Zeng’s signature masks. In 2013, his painting, “The Last Supper” sold for USD23 million at Sotheby’s. He remains the most expensive living Asian artist.

In the same year, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presented the first French retrospective of 40 paintings and sculptures from Zeng made between 1990 and 2012.

Zeng lives and works in Beijing.

In Brief

  • Age: 51
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Gallery Representation: Gagosian Gallery, Acquavella Galleries, Gallery Hyundai, ShangArt, Hanart TZ Gallery
  • Big Break: Fresh out of art school, paintings from Zeng Fanzhi’s “Hospital” series were selected by Johnson Chang from Hanart TZ Gallery based in Hong Kong to be included in an exhibition at Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1993 titled “China’s New Art, Post-1989”. This introduced the artist to the art community, and at the same time gave Zeng tremendous encouragement to continue pursuing his career as an artist.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “The Last Supper”, 2001, oil on canvas, 220 x 395 cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD23.3 million, Sotheby’s Hong Kong, October 2013

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Installation view, Takashi Murakami’s exhibition, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 10 November – January 17 2015 © 2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, and received his BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo University of the Arts, formerly the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

A multi-hyphenate, Murakami is involved in many aspects of the art world, and works as an artist, a gallerist, a curator and an art theorist, among others. He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996 for the production of his works, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., an art production and art management corporation. In addition to the production and marketing of Murakami’s art and related work, it manages and promotes emerging artists.

Murakami has organized several influential exhibitions based on the theory of a tradition of a pervasive superflat look in contemporary Japanese visual culture, typified by manga, which refer to comic books, and anime, which refer to animation, that tend towards two-dimensionality. The first exhibition, titled simply “Superflat”, was held at Parco Gallery in Tokyo and Nagoya. It subsequently traveled to MoCA gallery in the Pacific Design Centre in Los Angeles, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, in 2001. He has followed up with exhibitions such as “Coloriage” at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris in 2002 and “Little Boy: The Art of Japan’s Exploding Subcultures” at the Japan Society in New York in 2005.

A pioneer in art-fashion collaborations, Murakami began working with Louis Vuitton in 2003. He first created the “Monogram Multicolore”, which featured the “LV” monogram in 33 bright colors. Since then, he has made special prints for the luxury fashion house’s leather goods that incorporate motifs such as cherry blossoms and pandas. In 2008, the limited edition “Monogramouflage” collection, for all products from iPhone cases to luggage, featured a juxtaposition of the khaki and beige camouflage print and the Louis Vuitton monogram.

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Takashi Murakami, “Lionel Messi and a Universe of Flowers,” 2014, acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas laid down on board, 70 7/8 x 70 7/8 in

A notable recent exhibition is “Takashi in Superflat Wonderland” at the PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul Korea in late 2013, where some of the artist’s most iconic works were on display, including one of the artist’s “Superflat Flowers” sculptures made in 2010. Also in the exhibition was a fiberglass sculpture of “Miss Ko2”, a buxom character created by Murakami as a commentary on otaku culture, an obsession with anime and manga, and the resultant desire to have these unreal characters come to life.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Murakami is constantly innovating. In 2013, he released his first feature film, “Jellyfish Eyes”, which mixes live action with cartoon characters, with plans for a sequel.

Murakami lives and works in Tokyo.

In Brief

  • Age: 53
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gallery Representation: Gagosian Gallery, Blum & Poe, Galerie Perrotin, Kaikai Kiki Gallery
  • Big Break: Murakami had an international traveling retrospective, “©Murakami”, showing over 90 works by the artist that kicked off at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles in 2008. In an interview in W Magazine in April 2013, Murakami said that this exhibition was a turning point in his career, stating that he thought the conventional view before the exhibition was that he was merely an artist influenced by Japanese subculture. The exhibition was persuasive of the strength of his artworks to have a place in art history.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “My Lonesome Cowboy”, 1998, oil, acrylic, fiberglass, iron, 254 x 116.8 x 91.4cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD15.1 million, Sotheby’s, New York, May 2008

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Tracey Emin, My Bed, 1998, mattress, linens, pillows, objects, 211 x 234 cm. World auction record for the artist at Christie’s, London, July 2014. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2014.

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London, where she earned her Master’s degree in 1989.

Emin’s art is inspired by her personal life. Her artworks reflect universal emotions and are both relatable and confrontational. These are created in wide range of mediums, including, painting, photography, textile, video, installation and sculpture.

In 1999, Emin was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, an annual prize awarded to a British visual artist below the age of 50. This was for her provocative work, “My Bed”, an installation of the artist’s bed complete with liquor bottles, cigarette butts, worn underwear, condoms and rumpled stained bedsheets, the scene of a post-breakup breakdown.

Among other works by Emin are her “I’ve Got It All” photograph from 2000 showing the artist seated on the floor with ample cleavage, her legs wide open, bills and coins pressed against her crotch. She is also known for her neon light installations, which she has produced since the 1990s, featuring evocative messages such as “You Forgot to Kiss My Soul” (2001) and “You Loved Me Like a Distant Star” (2012).

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Tracey Emin

Emin has exhibited extensively. In 2007, she represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale. The first major retrospective exhibition of Emin’s work opened at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2008, and traveled to Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain and the Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland. In May 2011, Emin had a major survey exhibition, “Love is What You Want” at the Hayward Gallery in London.

Emin currently lives and works in London.

In Brief

  • Age 52
  • Nationality British
  • Gallery Representation Lehmann Maupin, White Cube
  • Big Break Charles Saatchi’s “Sensation” exhibition at the Royal Academy, London included Emin’s much-discussed work “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995”, which was a tent embroidered with over 100 names of people she had slept with, including 32 lovers, and 80 people she had only slept next to.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold “My Bed”, 1998, mattress, linens, pillows, objects, 79 x 211 x 234 cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD4.3 million, Christie’s, London, July 2014

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Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1986, oil on canvas, 300.6 x 250.5 cm. World auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s, London, February 2015. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter was born in 1932 in Dresden, Germany. He studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie, or the State Academy of Art, in Düsseldorf under the eminent German artist Karl Otto Götz from 1961 to 1964.

Richter has had an illustrious career spanning over half a century. Beginning in the 1960s, the author painted, in grey scale, renditions of blown-up blurred black-and-white photographs he had taken of still lifes, portraits and landscapes, such as “Kitchen Chair” (1965), “Helen” (1963) and possibly his most well-known work of the period, “Domplatz, Mailand” (1968), measuring nearly 3 meters by 3 meters, featuring the Cathedral Square in Milan. This iconic work appears to vibrate with Richter’s signature fuzzy blur in his photo-paintings, which had the capacity to soften or destabilize an image.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Richter created his “Colour Chart” and “Grey Paintings” series that were based on his exploration of color. “1024 Colours” was made in four unique editions, and feature neat ovoids of 1024 different colors painted in a grid at random. His “Grey Paintings” were inspired by the use of shades of the color in his photo-based paintings.

In the 1980s, Richter started to apply a squeegee across the canvas to scrape and smear freshly laid paint to create intuitive paintings that revealed hidden layers, and from the 1990s, the tool was applied both horizontally and vertically to create new possibilities in the final works.

Richter has exhibited all over the world. He had a major exhibition, “Abstract Paintings”, in 1978 at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, which traveled to the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. In 1988, the artist was given his first North American retrospective, jointly organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. The exhibition traveled to Washington and San Francisco. In 2002, a 40-year retrospective of Richter’s work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and in 2011, a major retrospective of the artist’s works opened at the Tate Modern, London and traveled to the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Richter has also participated in multiple editions of the Venice Biennale and the Documenta in Kassel since 1972.

In 2012, Richter became the most expensive living artist after his work, “Abstraktes Bild (809-4)” (1994), sold for USD33 million in London, a title he held until 2013. Most recently, in February 2015, another “Abstraktes Bild” work, this one painted in 1986, sold for USD37 million, which made him the most expensive living artist
in Europe.

Richter has lived and worked in Cologne since 1983.

In Brief

  • Age: 83
  • Nationality: German
  • Gallery Representation: Marian Goodman Gallery, Scott White Contemporary Art
  • Big Break: In 1968, Richter was commisioned by Siemens AG to make a work to hang in their Milan offices. The result was “Domplatz, Mailand” (1968), at the time the artist’s largest figurative painting, and probably the most accomplished
  • photo-painting by the artist.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “Abstraktes Bild”, 1986, oil on canvas, 300.5 x 250.5cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD46.3 million, Sotheby’s, London, February 2015

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Exhibition view of Yayoi Kusama, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore. Photography by Quek Jia Liang. Image courtesy of Ota Fine Arts

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929. She moved to the United States in 1957 before moving back to Japan in 1973. Kusama has had a rich and varied career as an artist for over five decades. Her works are in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, performance and installation. Among her most well known works are the “Infinity Net” paintings she began making in the late 1950s, made by adding white arcs onto a darker background on a large canvas. The “Accumulation” sculptures came after, and feature soft-sculptures she made by stitching cotton-stuffed cloth into phallic shapes to attach to furniture and clothing, as well as her trademark polka dot designs in both two- and three-dimensional works. In her time in New York in the 1960s, she was also a performance artist who staged provocative happenings, such as painting people in the nude in her trademark polka dots.

Kusama has exhibited all over the world. In 1993, she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale, for which she created an installation with a mirror room and multiple yellow pumpkin sculptures, the beginnings of similar sculptures covered in uneven black dots. In 1998, a major retrospective of her work made in New York, opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of art before traveling to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

Notably, from 2011 to 2012, a touring exhibition of her works made its way to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London as well as the Whitney Museum in New York.

In 2012, Kusama collaborated with Louis Vuitton in an ambitious project that saw products such as leather goods and ready-to-wear fashion, in prints featuring Kusama’s signature polka dots – black polka dots against a yellow background, white against black and red against white, which took center stage in window displays of 460 Louis Vuitton stores in 64 countries, as well as seven special concept stores in Paris, London, and Tokyo.

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Yayoi Kusama, Shellfish, 1989, screenprint, 53.5 x 46 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Ota Fine Arts.

In the past decade, Kusama has created immersive installations of walk-in rooms that create disorienting experiences for the viewer. “Fireflies on the Water” (2002) features 150 lights and a pool of water in the center of a room, whose surfaces are all covered with mirrors that give multiple reflections. “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” at the David Zwirner Gallery in late 2013 played on a similar concept with 75 colored LED lights that glimmered and pulsed in a small mirrored room. Another recent installation is “The Obliteration Room”, currently at the Queensland Art Gallery, where children add colorful dot stickers to white furniture, objects and surfaces.

Kusama lives and works in Tokyo.

In Brief

  • Age: 86
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gallery Representation: Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, David Zwirner Gallery
  • Big Break: Kusama has had a long and successful career, but probably became a global household name when she collaborated with Louis Vuitton in 2012, which included not only a full range of products carrying her signature polka dots, but also the window displays of the luxury fashion house’s stores in over 60 countries.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “White No. 28”, 1960, oil on canvas, 147.6 x 111.1cm. Price including buyer’s premium: USD7.1 million, Christie’s, New York, November 2014

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #463, 2007/2008, chromogenic color print, 174.2 x 182.9 cm, edition of 6. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American artist born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She graduated from State University College, Buffalo, New York, in 1976. Her photographs have seen her take on multiple roles since her first series, “Untitled Film Stills” in the late 1970s, and continuing with “Centrefolds” (1981), in which she was photographed in an intimate setting as a vulnerable character, and “Fashion” (1983-84), exploring the objectification of women in the still image. The artist is at the center of each photograph, but in different guises, as she plays with identity through dress, transforming her image through hair, make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics.

Sherman has continued to create chameleon-like transformations in performative photographic works, such as in her humorous interpretations of old master paintings as photographs between 1989 and 1990, where she became the portraits’ subjects. Another series of similar works, this time with society portraits in 2008, saw Sherman dressed as aging socialites against moneyed backgrounds. These works poked fun at the trappings of excessive wealth and the obsession with youth and on-the-surface perfection in contemporary society.

While she is most famous for her more light-hearted self-portraits in different roles, she has created a significant number of works that are darker in nature. Beginning in the mid-1980s, her body of work expanded to include the “Fairy Tales” and Disasters” series that show grotesque scenes from which the artist is mostly absent. Other dark series include “Sex and Death” in the late 19080s, photographed using disfigured mannequins, “Pure Horror” in the mid-1990s and “Clowns” in the mid-2000s.

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Cindy Sherman, “Untitled Film Stills”, gelatin silver print, 25.4 x 20.3 cm. World auction record for the artist at Christie’s, New York, November 2014. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015.

Sherman has had numerous solo exhibitions at home and abroad since the 1980s. Of particular note is a survey at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2012, which showcased more than 170 photographs from the artist’s extensive body of work. The exhibition also included the debut of Sherman’s new photographic murals, which saw her image manipulated digitally against a decorative toile background.

Sherman lives and works in New York.

In Brief

  • Age: 61
  • Nationality: American
  • Gallery Representation: Metro Pictures, Galerie Sprüth Magers
  • Big Break: “Untitled Film Stills”, shown at the landmark performance and video space The Kitchen in New York in 1980, was Sherman’s breakthrough. In these black-and-white photos, the artist took on 69 stereotypical female roles in movies such as the housewife and the femme fatale.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “Untitled Film Stills”, 1977, gelatin silver print, 25.4 x 20.3cm.
  • Price including buyer’s premium: USD6.8 million, Christie’s, New York, November 2014

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Andreas Gursky, Rhein II, 1999, chromogenic colour print face-mounted to plexiglass, 185.4 x 363.5 cm. World auction record for the artist at Christie’s, New York, November 2011. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015.

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1955. He first studied photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts, formerly Folkwang Academy in Essen. He then attended the Staatliche Kunstakademie, or the State Academy of Art in Düsseldorf and studied under the influential German photographers Hilla and Bernd Becher from 1981 to 1987.

Gursky is known for his large-scale magnified photographs of varied scenes, which can measure up to 2 by 5 meters, reveal the conditions of contemporary times. Usually taken from an elevated vantage point, the artist’s photographic works are known for their stunning and often overwhelming clarity.

In the 1990s, Gursky began experimenting with digital manipulation through shooting the images on chromogenic prints, or c-prints using a large-format camera, then scanning the images for reworking on the computer to create his massive and precise photographs. One of the earliest works made this way was “Paris, Montparnasse” (1993), which showed an inhabited apartment building, and highlighted its uniformed structure and crowdedness in a commentary on the cookie-cutter mold of contemporary urban living. In “Rhein II”, Gursky merged photographs of different parts of the river together to exclude industrial activity, creating an imaginary serene landscape.

In 2011, this work became the most expensive photograph sold at auction.

A recurring theme in Gursky’s work is the effects of capitalism and globalization in contemporary society that put in place invisible systems. Perhaps his most recognizable images from the 1990s are of the Chicago Board of Trade from 1990, which, in contrast to “Rhein II”, shows a flurry of activity reflective of the trading floor’s organized chaos, with traders at the pit surrounded by circular rows of computers. In “99 Cent II Diptychon” (2001), which shows the interior of a 99 Cents Only store, the bright colors red, yellow and orange of rows of boxes were edited to jump out from the photograph, aided by the addition of a mirrored ceiling. The visually impressive work provided a stark reflection of an obsessive consumer culture in contemporary society.

From the mid-2000s, Gursky has worked on numerous projects in Asia, including Japan, Thailand, China and North Korea, among others. “Pyongyang”, a series of photographs of the annual Arirang Festival in North Korea in 2007 presented the heavily directed spectacle to the rest of the world. In taking the festival proceedings such as choreographed mass dances from a great distance, the resulting images look like colorful tapestries, and show the insignificance of the individual within the society.

Gursky has exhibited internationally. A 2001 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York traveled to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

In recent years, Gursky has also exhibited small photographs atypical to the rest of his oeuvre, such as in “Werke-Works 80-08,” which opened in Kunstmuseen Krefeld in Germany in 2008, and toured to Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Vancouver Art Gallery in 2009.

Gursky lives and works in Düsseldorf.

In Brief

  • Age: 60
  • Nationality: German
  • Gallery Representation: Galerie Sprüth Magers, Mai 36 Galerie, Matthew Marks Gallery
  • Big Break: Gursky acquired worldwide fame with his major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, in 2001.
  • Most Expensive Work Sold: “Rhein II”, 1999, chromogenic print, Plexiglass, 207 x 385.5 x 6.2cm.
  • Price including buyer’s premium: USD4.3 million, Christie’s, New York, November 2011

Story Credits

Text by Nadya Wang

Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London

A peek at Chanel’s ‘Mademoiselle Prive’ exhibition

Mademoiselle Prive Lily-Rose Depp

London’s Saatchi Gallery is set to launch its three-week “Mademoiselle Privé” exhibition, which will take visitors through the storied history of the French fashion house Chanel, touching on fashion, fragrance, jewelry and the famous couturiers behind it all.

Running October 13 through November 1, “Mademoiselle Privé” will cover Chanel both with Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld at the helm.

It will span the brand’s long and celebrated relationship with couture as well as the story behind its legendary Chanel No. 5 perfume.

Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Another focus of the show will be the 1932 haute joaillerie collection, Bijoux de Diamants, which was designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and reissued by Karl Lagerfeld for the autumn/winter 2015 couture show in Paris earlier this year. For this section of the show, Karl Lagerfeld has photographed celebrities including Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Keira Knightley, Stella Tennant and Julianne Moore.

“Audacity, freedom and innovation” are said to be the essential elements of Chanel and will be at the forefront throughout the exhibition.

Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London

The show will be installed on all three floors of the venue.

In addition, daily workshops throughout its duration will reveal more about Chanel craftsmanship, teaching visitors how to embroider and work with feathers, while an olfactive workshop will offer insight into the six key elements of Chanel No. 5.

Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Find out more at the dedicated website. A visitor’s app with interactive content can be accessed from the site and is available for iOS & Android.

“Mademoiselle Privé” will run from October 13 – November 1.

Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Artesian

World’s best bar: The Artesian in London

Artesian

For the fourth year in a row, London’s The Artesian bar has been named the world’s best watering hole in the world.

At the World’s 50 Best Bars awards, the bar attached to the luxury Langham hotel in London maintained the title it has held onto for the past four years, thanks to elevating cocktails to a multi-sensory experience.

At the bar’s helm are mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale.

The latest menu called “Surrealism,” was inspired by Salvador Dali’s “Les Diners de Gala” and involves cocktails which are served in giant copper ant structures; lit aflame; and spritzed with perfume.

The top 10 list is dominated by London which took half of the top spots.

Here are the top 10 bars according to the World’s 50 Best Bars list:

1. The Artesian, London
2. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York
3. Nightjar, London
4. Employees Only, New York
5. American Bar, London
6. The Baxter Inn, Sydney
7. 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
8. Happiness Forgets, London
9. Connaught Bar, London
10. Black Pearl, Melbourne

For the full list visit http://bit.ly/worlds50bestbars.

ant coktail London Chameleon Crystals Snake Charmer

Range Rover Evoque Convertible Teased in London

Evoque convertible wireframe sculptures

Land Rover will be unveiling the Range Rover Evoque Convertible in November and the manufacturer has just come out with a unique way to promote the upcoming convertible.

Range Rover Evoque convertible sculptures Louis Vuitton

Land Rover has displayed six wireframe sculptures of the upcoming vehicle at some of the iconic streets in London including Harrods department store on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge and in notable Mayfair addresses.

Range Rover Evoque convertible sculptures Bulgari

The sculptures were created by Land Rover’s design team using computer modeling to accurately outline the shape of the Evoque Convertible. These 1:1 scale models are made from aluminium and finished in various colours.

Range Rover Evoque convertible sculptures Harrods

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, said: “The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is perfectly suited to the urban surroundings of a city like London and it’s the perfect place to showcase the world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible.”

Range Rover Evoque convertible sculptures

The official Evoque Convertible reveal will take place in November 2015, with a possible launch date in early 2016.

Diner in White London

Hundreds attend London pop-up picnic dressed in white

Diner in White London

Hundreds of people dressed all in white attended a pop-up picnic in London on Thursday in an event aimed to celebrate public space in cities.

The “Diner en Blanc” or “Dinner in White” event was held at a secret location, revealed at the last minute to be a square beside King’s Cross train station in the centre of the capital.

DINNER IN WHITE TRADITION SPARKLES AGAIN IN NYC

Surrounded by white bunting, the diners set up tables with white tablecloths and shared picnic baskets filled with food, tableware and wine and champagne.

The tradition began at an event 27 years ago in Paris at which organisers invited guests to wear all white in a park so they could be spotted easily.

It has since become an international phenomenon, spreading to about 70 cities in 35 countries, from Johannesburg to Montreal and Tokyo. It has been held in London twice before.

More than 13,000 people turned up for the 27th edition in Paris this year, held in the public areas of the Tuileries Garden and the Palais Royal.

Guests are asked to dress in elegant clothes and must leave the area as they found it when they leave, removing all traces the picnic took place.

Bolin Grand Piano

ABBA’s piano up for auction in London

Bolin Grand Piano

The piano that featured on many of ABBA’s greatest hits is going under the hammer next month in London, auctioneers Sotheby’s said Thursday.

The piano is estimated to fetch between £600,000 and £800,000 ($925,000-$1.24 million) when it goes on sale on September 29.

Swedish pop foursome ABBA dominated the 1970s disco scene with their catchy, finely-crafted songs.

“The opening piano glissando from ‘Dancing Queen’ is one of the most distinctive sounds of the 1970s and we are delighted to offer the actual instrument used by the legendary ABBA in their major recordings,” said Sotheby’s expert Philip W. Errington.

“The piano itself is an instrument of real importance and with the added ABBA provenance we expect it will have worldwide appeal.”

It was built by the inventive Swedish musical instrument designer Georg Bolin for the US jazz pianist Bill Evans.

The New York Times described it in 1964 as a “space-age piano”.

It was bought by Stockholm’s Metronome Studios in 1967 and appeared on nearly all of ABBA’s recordings between 1973 and 1977.

It featured on hits including “Dancing Queen”, “Waterloo”, “SOS”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Mamma Mia”, and “Ring Ring”.

“The Bolin Grand, one of a kind and a great source of inspiration while working in the recording studio during the ABBA sessions!”, said the group’s pianist Benny Andersson.

The foursome — Andersson, Bjoern Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faeltskog — went their separate ways in 1983 and have never performed together since.

Sky Pool

Suspended ‘sky pool’ coming to London

Sky Pool

In what appears to be a word first, developers in London are planning a swimming pool suspended high between two buildings with a clear shell that enables swimmers to feel like they’re in the sky.

The 25-meter-long pool would connect two apartment complexes that are part of the 2,000-home Embassy Gardens development in London’s new Nine Elms quarter, reports Dezeen.

Sky Pool London

It’s the work of architecture firm Arup Associates with help from structural design engineers at Eckersley O’Callaghan and also from Reynolds, an aquarium design firm.

It has reached the second stage of construction and developers from the Ballymore Group say it will include a bar, spa and orangery.

Embassy Gardens