LUXURY NOW / THE CLASSICS

TO BE OR NOT TO BE AN ALAïA GIRL?

The instantly recognizable silhouette of an Azzedine Alaïa dress is the unofficial uniform of women in the fashion and art worlds, who are disciplines of the full skirt, nipped in waist and the designer's signature laser-cut perforations.

RALPH LAUREN: DRIVEN TO COLLECT

As highlights from his important collection of rare and valuable automobiles go on show in Paris, Ralph Lauren explains what fuels his passion for driving and restoring cars.

NATURE IS GOLDEN

From a wicker Kelly bag at Hermes to shoes laden with golden sheaths of wheat at Alexander McQueen, straw and its variants were complemented by fashion in transparent, earthy tones in the spring summer collections.

FETISH FOR FASHION!

The trend for leather straps, studded collars and eye wateringly high heels was out and proud in the spring summer collections as designers sought inspiration in fetishes.

WATCH REPORT: CLASSICISM AT BASEL AND BEYOND

The new faces that were introduced at Baselworld and the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) watch fairs marked a return to the classic with watchmakers employing timeless design coupled with innovations in precision.

CHECKING-IN: FASANO LAS PIEDRAS

Rustic structures that blend seamlessly into the rugged landscape are complemented by the signature sleek boxes of Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld on the vast estate of the Fasano Las Piedras hotel, Punta del Este, Uruguay.

STUDIO JOB AT SEA

Look closely, beyond the classic naval architecture of Firmship and discover the signature avant-garde details of its designers, the Antwerp-based atelier Studio Job.

SCHAULAGER: REDEFINING ART STORAGE

Neither a museum, gallery or traditional art storage facility, the Schaulager, near Basel is a unique contemporary art institution designed by Herzog & de Meuron. We showcase its pioneering approach to "visibly storing" art.

THE MIHO MUSEUM: I.M. PEI'S PARADISE

The Miho Museum, near Kyoto, was designed by I.M. Pei, who created a structure that is at once strikingly modern, respectful of traditional Japanese aesthetics and sits at ease within nature. As Pei himself once said, "This is Shangri-La".

CENTRO NIEMEYER: OSCAR'S BEST YET?

The 103-year-old Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has unveiled his latest creation, the marvellous Centro Niemeyer in Avilés, Spain. Across a series of structures, Niemeyer's signature curves are more alluring than ever.

NILUFAR AT SALONE

In the grand Palazzo Durini, leading Milanese design gallery Nilufar juxtaposed the baroque interiors with a striking presentation of ultra contemporary creations by eminent names including Andrea Branzi, Patricia Urquiola

ALESSANDRO MENDINI FOR BISAZZA

The many sculptures by celebrated Italian designer Alessandro Mendini for mosaic manufacturer Bisazza were presented at Salone in a spectacular show that showcased more than 20 years of collaborations.

MAISON HERMèS

One of the highlights of the Salone del Mobile 2011 was the debut appearance of Hermès, who unveiled their new line of contemporary furniture in a striking cardboard pavilion conceived by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines.

MAKING TIME: THE IKEPOD HOURGLASS

A behind the scenes video by director Philip Andelman reveals the traditional glass making techniques employed to make the contemporary hourglass designed by Marc Newson for watchmaker Ikepod.
ART

DEAN TAVOULARIS: THE MAGICIAN OF HOLLYWOOD

The art director and production designer Dean Tavoularis is well known for his collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, for whom he imagined Oscar-winning film sets. What is less known are his paintings, drawings and collages.
ART

THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION OF CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART: FOR SALE

The Belgian art collector Baron Guy Ullens is renowned for his museum-quality holdings of early works by important contemporary Chinese artists, 106 of which he is selling on April 3 at Sotheby's Hong Kong.
ART

BRICKS OF ART

100 artists and designers have each created an original work utilizing a traditional red brick, which will be sold at auction to benefit Ecoles du Monde, a charity that builds schools in Madagascar. Brick by brick, we showcase the highlights of the sale.
ART

THE COLLECTIONS OF CHâTEAU DE GOURDON

A spectacular sale of the contents of the Château de Gourdon includes rare objects by Jean Dunand, Eileen Gray and Emile-Jacques Ruhlman, among other names that excite collectors. Discover this feast of art deco, art nouveau and modernism.
ART

TEFAF: THE CONNOISSEUR'S ART FAIR

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) is where the world’s most informed collectors head to purchase art, antiquities and design. We showcase some of the most rare objects available at this year’s fair, which opens on March 18.

GUANGZHOU OPERA HOUSE: POETIC ARCHITECTURAL ANALOGY

The Guangzhou Opera House, overlooking the Pearl River, displays the architectural scale and presence characteristic of ûber-architect Zaha Hadid yet with a soft and serene contextual interpretation.

MONCLER GAMME ROUGE: A FASHION LABORATORY

Inspired by the traditional dress of the Middle East and Asia, the latest Moncler Gamme Rouge collection - designed by Giambattista Valli - goes far beyond sportswear and into the realm of avant-garde high fashion.

SHOE SCULPTURE AT ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

To wear them or to display them as sculpture? This is the dilemma posed by the extraordinarily sculpted heels in the Alexander McQueen Spring Summer collection, which reveal the inherited creativity of Sarah Burton.

WHAT FERRAN ADRIà DID NEXT

The new restaurant from uber-chef Ferran Adrià opened on March 1 in Barcelona. Preceding the closure of El Bulli this July, Tickets will continue Adrià's pioneering approach to nouvelle cuisine with theatre both on and off the plate.
ART

SAVOIR FAIRE + SCIENCE = ART?

Lux Inside is a collective that combines medical scanners with digital art and photography to produce images that reveal the savoir-faire in luxury goods. These pictures and artisan-made objects will be sold in Paris on March 1.