A sassy splash of our favourites this monsoon. Killer queenPortuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos’ controversial romance with extravagant art and uncensored feminism has made loyal guardians of warlike lions sheathed in croche (Gardes) while a monumental pair of highheeled sandals made of steel pans and lids (Marilyn) has become a whistleblower,A sassy splash of our favourites this monsoon.Killer queenPortuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos’ controversial romance with extravagant art and uncensored feminism has made loyal guardians of warlike lions sheathed in croche (Gardes) while a monumental pair of highheeled sandals made of steel pans and lids (Marilyn) has become a whistleblower for women torn between the household chores and success. This imaginative exhibit by Vasconcelos in the fairy-tale like grounds of Chteau de Versailles in France is a satirical take on artistic decadence and has a twist of playful feminism. With an ostrich feather plumed helicopter dressed with crystals for added heft and dimension (Lilicoptre) and an 18th century candelabra is outfitted in tampons instead of glass (A Noiva) as its forerunners, this majestic showcase stuns with its attention to detail and sheer ingenuity and has an underlying mocking tone. Another whimsical addition from her stable is Blue Champagne, an spectacular installation of blue lights made with thousands of Pommery champagne bottles which stands tall around the royal palace fountain. Expect to be amazed at this exhibition which is on till September 30.Auction: Vintage valourOne of the hottest wheels of the last century and a topper of most collector’s lists, the 1927 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 ‘S’ Type Sports Tourer, will be up for auction at the Bonham’s Goodwood Revival in September. Anyone with a passion or even passing interest in vintage automobiles would understand what a rare treasure this vehicle is. Designed by the fabulous Ferdinand Porsche, this beauty won the five-litre class at Nrburgring in 1927 and recorded the fastest time of the day, establishing its builder’s reputation as a legendary auto-maker. Book a visit to the Goodwood Revival Auction to bid for this truly exceptional vehicle, which is estimated to be sold at Euro 1.5million (Rs 10.7 crores).Book: Glittering starghMichael Jackson fans finally have an opportunity to say their personal goodbyes to the King of Pop. The Michael Jackson Book Monument is a beautiful tribute to the legendary pop star and features a cover portrait of MJ adorned with over 3000 Swarovski crystals. If that doesn’t make the book precious enough then the 1000 pages of personal messages from his fans sure do the trick. About 5000 limited editions will be available for $7,499 (Rs 4.1 lakh).Shoe: Make believeThe fabled Cinderella slipper has been an object of desire and fantasy for all women and while it is most popularly associated with glass, its shape and form remain a mystery with imagination conjuring personal versions of the dream shoe. Parisian shoe maker Christian Louboutin has sprinkled his own magic to celebrate Walt Disney Animation’s diamond reissue of their film, Cinderella. Delicate lace adorned with crystals casts enchantment while two sparkling butterflies rest prettily on the tip and the ankle of the shoe.Gadget: Click in styleNoted German camera manufacturer, Leica has once again teamed up with Parisian luxury giant Hermes to launch their most stylish camera yet, the M9-P Edition Hermes. This flamboyant camera will be launched in two editions, is wrapped in ochre Veau Swift calfskin leather, which boasts of the smoothness of silk and looks rich. Priced at $25,000 and $50,000 (Rs 13.7 and 27.5 lakh), both these editions come with an anodised silver chrome finish and Leica optic lenses so you can click top quality pictures with a sassy twist. Itching to snap something wicked?Gifting: Royal signatureThe cutting-edge StarWalker collection by Montblanc has been further enhanced with two new stunning additions, the StarWalker Red Gold Resin and the StarWalker Red Gold Metal. The former features magnificent red-gold and black resin fittings in an classy ergonomic shape. The StarWalker Red Gold Metal gets its superb finish from the diamond cut lines that encircle the beautiful red gold fittings and the rhodium-plated 14-carat gold nib that spirals the piece into a perfect writing instrument. Both the pieces are topped with the transparent StarWalker cap that sits like a crown. Visit a Montblanc boutique to be the owner of this truly regal piece.Fashion: Dior’s bountyPresenting Dior’s archives with a fresh twist, Raf Simon, the brand’s new creative director reincarnated the modernity and excitement that the label brought to the ramps after World War II. He has filtered the codes and the heritage of the brand through his own creative channel and doled out a debut collection defined by clean lines, light fabrics and gorgeous colours that are exciting and elegant. The range has been well received and has got the stamp of approval from all the big names in fashion.Watch: Timeless graceLooking for a timeless piece of history for your wrist? Be sure to visit the Breguet travelling exhibitions taking place across Asia, Europe, and the US. The brand, reputed for its avant-garde yet sophisticated timepieces is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the creation of its first wristwatch, the enigmatic N Degree 2639 model, that was owned by the Queen of Naples. The exhibition will showcase the contemporary Reine de Naples collection as well as the flawless Haute Joaillerie creations that define the brand today and depict horology at its finest.CalendaradvertisementadvertisementDates that mean something.Glorious Goodwood, held in Sussex annually, is attended by over 100,000 people who love the sheer power and adrenalin rush that accompanies horse racing. Take the reins and visit goodwood.co.uk for more information.The Sziget Music Festival to be held in Hungary is one of the hottest music festivals on the circuit that offers some amazing music and a whole range of adventure activities. You also get to camp in the splendid city of Budapest during this time.The Pebble Beach Concourse in California is the place you need to be if you are an automobile fanatic. One of the world best competitions on four wheels, the vehicles are judged on style and speed.Walk that talk Eventful couture shows from the last season.Much ado about fashionIf fashion is all about making a statement, these shows were a the toast of the couturiers with either controversy or unpredictable themes stealing the show. Jean Paul Gaultier: The French designer paid a tribute to Amy Winehouse at the Paris Couture Week with a catwalk show. The models were dressed to emulate the late singer complete with the winged eyeliner, the trademark beehive hair and sported an occasional cigarette. But this sentiment was not respected by critics and her family who found the gesture to be in very poor taste.Givenchy:The label left behind the dainty pinks and pretty pearls for something more spunky. Taking basketball as the theme Riccardo Tisci mixed raw couture with delicate embroidery and gave a finishing touch with heavy zips and studs.TalkNews for kicking out the blues.Back to basicsIn a time when the past is an inspiration for fashion, Swiss watchmaker Piaget dug into its old collections to pull out unique pieces which capture a stellar period in its history. The brand’s recently inaugurated exhibit, Jewellery Magic, at the Piaget Time Gallery in Geneva showcases its gem studded, slender timepieces which remain intrinsically timeless. This historical retrospective is designed to be experienced like a walk through time and is composed of pieces such as the 1963 ring watch in yellow gold and diamonds, the 1981 high jewellery pocket watch which has diamonds and rubies set in yellow gold and the 1983 cigar cutter watch with 404 diamonds set in yellow gold.Watch outFrench luxury giant Louis Vuitton opened its first store dedicated exclusively to fine jewellery and watch making in its birth city, Paris. Built under the roof of a 17th century townhouse, the haute joaillerie workshop allows craftsmen to express the full extent of their talent and produce exceptional pieces. It houses the label’s new collection, L’Ame du Voyage which has been designed by Lorenz Baumer and takes inspiration from Paris.advertisementOver the moonHoliday on the moon by paying $150 million? with Excalibur Almaz’s expedition which uses a modernised Soviet-era space vehicle for the 500,000-mile journey. Participants will undergo rigorous training for at least six months before the trip. If you have the money, the sky is the limit.Bamboo banga Gucci’s exclusive bag collection for India is slated to be the hottest piece of arm candy this season. These elegantly trimmed bags with bamboo-fringed tassels and a lock will be available in three types of leather: gold crocodile; a gold perforated diamante pattern on black leather; and a refined pastel pink. Each of these bags will feature an ‘India Exclusive’ tag. These gorgeous bags will be available in Gucci boutiques in Mumbai and New Delhi starting September.The spice cellar: Black velvetChristopher GirschIn Vino Veritas. In wine there is truth. And music too, especially if you are talking about the Gruner Veltliner. How can you not love Gruner Veltliner? This grape variety is the liquid complement to Austrian classical music. Just like genres in music vary so do varietals with this grape: from light, like Johann Strauss II (The Blue Danube), to the more compact and versatile music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wine has been an integral part of Austria’s culture for more than two thousand years. Even today, you will fine Roman cellars, medieval villages and Baroque monasteries throughout the Austrian wine regions.In Austria, winemaking is a generational occupation with mainly smallscale family wineries; it has long been common for grandparents, parents and children to work together under the same roof. This secures the easy and convenient transfer of skill and passion from generation to generation.The exciting range of Austrian wines is enhanced by the different types of soil, such as the rocky Danube terraces, the massive layers of loess in Weinviertel, and the volcanic soil found in the Kamptal. While Grner Veltliner is cultivated all over Austria, its heart is in lower Austria (Niederosterreich), and especially in the sub-regions of the Wachau, Weinviertel, Kamptal and Kremstal, where vineyards planted on top sites enable Grner Veltliner to be its best.Gruner Veltliner is Austria’s most important white grape variety, accounting for around one third of all white grapes planted. This wine can sate the pleasures of varying palates: from light-bodied, fruity, easy drinking wines to full-bodied, complex, and age-worthy wines.Gruner Veltliner is a reasonably aromatic grape variety and classic aromas include stone fruit, citrus, grass, lentils, fresh green beans, spice and white pepper (called Pfefferl in the Austrian dialect).At the dining table Gruner Veltliner is engagingly flexible, but never overwhelms with powerful aromas. In my opinion, the aspects to think about are the bright acidity and slightly spicy kick of the grape, which works with most food varieties, but more specifically it pairs very well with spicy Asian dishes.The lighter fruity styles are perfect for simple sipping or to pair with the more complex flavours and textures of Asian cuisine. The more classic and fuller-bodied, mineral-driven styles hold their own at the table with various fish, pork and poultry dishes. Here, the signature bright acidity helps cut through any fat and the spiciness provides a delightful contrast as well as a fine compliment to a wide range of dishes.Let’s hope that Gruner Veltliner will be the next New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. This could make it a real global grape and it could, and in my opinion should, achieve as much fame as Sauvignon Blanc. Gruner Veltliner-“The grape which will make you smile” Prost!
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