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Novels

A cry for air and love

In the dead of winter, two families spend too much time together in a 100-year-old house. And so, the attention turns to the outdoors, as if for the first time. Outside, nature speaks with a new language, a woman picking milkweed saves the lives of soldiers, a superhero aboard his tractor tames fears… Outside, anything is possible again. An invaluable book where existence waltzes with death, reminding us what it means “to be alive.”

 

Femme forêt by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette – Éd. Marchand de feuilles

 

A jewel of knowledge

In 2018 Paris, young Senegalese writer Diégane Latyr Faye discovers a mythical book written in 1938, Le labyrinthe de l’inhumain. He embarks in search of the mysterious T.C. Elimane, who disappeared following the scandal that erupted at the publication of his book. He confronts the great tragedies of colonialism or the Holocaust. From Senegal to France, by way of Argentina, what truth awaits him at the heart of this labyrinth? This book from a young author, just 31 years old, received the Prix Goncourt 2021.

 

La plus secrète mémoire des hommes by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr – Éd. Philippe Rey

 

 

Cookbooks

A culinary tale

Everything brings Lara Fabian back to the table. For her, meals symbolize family, friends, comfort, joy, and gratitude. The singer weaves together significant moments of her life with the recipes that are related to them: childhood memories, family stories, career paths, confidences, and photos from her personal archives meld with recipes that bring providence and stories, hitherto untold.

 

Je passe à table by Lara Fabian – Éd. Libre Expression

 

Make your own bread

Businesswoman Josée Fiset has been passionate about baking, and bread, in particular, for almost 30 years! The cofounder of Première Moisson, who lives and breathes bread, shares all her secrets. With her simple illustrated explanations, this book makes homemade bread accessible to everyone, with 150 no-knead recipes.

 

Le Pain d’une vie! Faire son pain maison… by Josée Fiset – Éd. Pratico-Pratiques

 

 

Vegetarian eating       

The McCartney family revisits the pioneering plant-based cookbook published in 1989 by Linda McCartney and offers recipes adapted to contemporary tastes and trends: pancakes, chili no carne, pad Thai, vegetarian burgers, minestrone, cookies, and more. The origin of each dish and its health benefits are explained. Personal anecdotes and memories are woven throughout.

 

Linda McCartney’s family kitchen by Linda McCartney – Little, Brown And Company Press

 

 

Beautiful books

In osmosis with the landscape

Once there was a landscape – a forest, a city, a lake, a river. Into each one a house was born from the shared dreams of an architect, a team and a client. Here are 16 living spaces designed by Pierre Thibault that blend naturally into the landscape, 16 places that speak to the encompassing approach of Atelier Pierre Thibault.

 

Maisons paysage by Pierre Thibault, Denys Arcand – Éd. La Presse

 

Zooming in on Italy

Aerial, immersive views of Italy, its landscapes and cities. More than 400 photographs of churches and domes, forests made up of turrets and steeples, street corner parks, shaded archways, snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites and the Apennines, rolling Tuscan hills, and more.

 

Splendide Italie by Alberto Bertolazzi, Marcello Bertinetti, Antonio Attini – Éd. National Geographic

Escape and meditate

Embark on a getaway close to home, a short jaunt or miles away to unplug and take time for oneself. Panoramic photographs of 80 retreat spaces perfect for meditation—landscapes, abbeys or heritage sites like the Brocéliande Forest, the Abbey of Montserrat, Shikoku Island in Japan or the Cîteaux Abbey. For journeyers in search of authenticity.

 

Partir & méditer : 80 lieux pour se ressourcer by Hugues Demeude, Manon Liduena, Marie-Emilie Michel – Éd. EPA

 

Patek Philippe has announced that the Nautilus 5711/1A-010, with its iconic blue dial, will be permanently discontinued. The “reference of references” – consigned to history? What on earth has got into Patek Philippe? In fact, the decision was taken back in 2019, at Baselworld. According to Thierry Stern, “There were too many Nautiluses out there.” But plans for a successor were already well in hand.

 

In collaboration with Europa Star

 

The news detonated like a bomb among the hundreds and thousands of collectors around the globe. Patek Philippe will no longer produce the Nautilus 5711/1A-010, with its iconic blue dial. Immediately, the alarm was sounded: articles were hurriedly drafted, bloggers weighed in, social networks buzzed with conjecture and hypothesis. The famous Nautilus in steel, with its central second and date at 3 o’clock, set against a blue dial, is one of the most, if not the most, desirable wristwatches on the market – discontinued?

 

The waiting list is as much as 12 years. The official retail price of CAN $39,000 regularly climbs to CAN $95,000 on the secondary market. As the owner of one second-hand watch site explained, it’s common for a Nautilus to sell the minute it “drops” online. The initial rumor, followed by the confirmation, that this legendary reference would be discontinued, sent the numbers spiralling, with models changing hands for CAN $135,000 or even more. It’s a fair bet that prices will climb even further.

A Nautilus is not a Bitcoin

Interviewed about the decision by the New York Times in mid-February, Thierry Stern wryly conceded that he “did not make a lot of friends in the past few weeks. All I can say is, I am sorry. But I hope in five or 10 years they will understand and forgive me.” At the heart of this decision is the same mantra: “You have to protect the brand and not just one product.”

 

Thierry Stern admits he could have continued to produce the reference, and sold ten times as many. “We are doing this for our clients who already own a Patek Philippe and to protect our brand from becoming too commercial. I am not working for numbers. I am protecting the company for the future, for my children.” Thierry Stern confessed he took the decision to retire this most successful reference at Baselworld in 2019. “There were too many Nautiluses out there,” he said.

Keen on green

As the reference 5711/1A-010 (introduced in 2006 to celebrate the collection’s 30th anniversary) exits stage left, the 5711/1A-014 with date and second hand emerges from the wings. The most obvious difference is that the cult blue-black dial has been replaced by a brand-new and extremely elegant sunburst olive green dial, its horizontal ridges magnifying the play of light across its surface.

 

The colour, which goes particularly well with the refined lustre of the steel case, bezel and bracelet, and its satin-brushed and polished surfaces (each watch requires 55 manual finishing operations) gives the piece a contemporary flair that further enhances the strength of its design. Legibility is optimal, thanks to the contrast between the olive green and the white gold applied markers and rounded baton hands, which are filled with lume to provide easy nighttime readability.

 

The steel case retains its 40 mm diameter (measured between 10 and 4 o’clock) and thickness of 8.3 mm. Water resistant to a depth of 120 m, with a screw-down crown and sapphire caseback, mounted on a steel bracelet with Nautilus folding clasp, this new reference is equipped with the 26-330 SC caliber. Introduced to the 5711 in 2019, this automatic movement with optimized winding system provides a power reserve of between 35 and 45 hours, and has a stop-seconds function to ensure precise adjustment. The movement architecture is particularly elegant, and the meticulous finish is everything we have come to expect from Patek Philippe.

 

The latest arrival joins the reference 5711/1R-001 in rose gold with a brown-black dial, which was introduced in 2015.

 

Steel and baguette-cut diamonds

The sunray olive green dial can also be found on another model introduced this year, the reference 5711/1300A-001, which features an unusual combination of steel case and bracelet with a baguette-cut diamond-set bezel. This prestigious cut is traditionally reserved for precious metals.

 

No fewer than 32 Top Wesselton Pure (~3.6 ct) diamonds embellish the characteristic case and bezel of the Nautilus, whose octagonal shape with its rounded corners imposed its own unique demands on the gems, which are cut in a slightly trapezoidal shape rather than being strictly rectangular.

 

These details aside, the prestigious new reference remains identical to the new reference 5711/1A-014: same dial, same date and center second hand, same 40 mm diameter, same superlative finish, same technical specifications and same latest-generation automatic movement. The sparkling baguette diamonds are a bonus.

Blue returns – with gold

But diehard fans of blue may rest assured: their colour of predilection can still be found in the latest Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph, ref. 5990/1R-001. This flyback chronograph with Travel Time function (dual time zone) and date indication supplied by a hand at 12 o’clock, combined with local time, was launched in 2014 in steel with a dial that shades from dark grey in the center to deepest black at the circumference. This latest version combines a rose gold case, bezel and bracelet with a sunburst blue dial, complete with the iconic horizontal ridges, along with rose gold applied markers and hands, the latter coated with lume.

 

The watch’s self-winding chronograph caliber CH 28-520 C FUS combines a traditional column wheel mechanism with an avant-garde disc clutch. The flyback function relaunches the chronometer “on the fly” with a simple press of the reset pusher (at 4 o’clock), without the need to activate the stop button (at 2 o’clock) beforehand. The central chronograph seconds hand and the 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock share the dial with the Travel Time display. This comprises two central hour hands, one openworked to mark home time and a second full hand to show local time.

 

Two + and – pushpieces located on the side of the case at 9 o’clock allow the traveller to very easily add a second time zone, by advancing the hour hand one hour at a time. Once back home, the user can simply return one hand to its position on top of the other, so that they function as one. In order to avoid any confusion, two small windows marked “Local” and “Home” show day and night for both time zones. The date hand shares the 12 o’clock spot with local time.

 

Water resistant to a depth of 120 m, with a diameter of 40.5 mm and a depth of 12.53 mm, secured with a patented Patek Philippe folding clasp secured at four points, this cosmopolitan reference that marries useful complications with ease of use joins the Nautilus collection alongside the reference 5990/1A in steel.

 

 

Snow and waves

In 2009, Gérald Genta himself collaborated with Patek Philippe on the creation of a new Ladies’ Nautilus. Revisited in 2013 and again in 2015, this watch has given rise to a number of jewelry variations including, from 2013 to 2018, a rose gold model paved with snow-set diamonds, even on the dial. This type of setting, which incorporates a random element in the way the differently-sized diamonds are positioned close together, like a sparkling carpet of snow, results in a unique creation every time.

 

This year, Patek Philippe is bringing out a rose gold Nautilus whose case, bezel and bracelet are paved with snow-set diamonds. Unlike the previous reference 7021/1R-001, however, this new Nautilus Haute Joaillerie reference 7118/1450R-001 features an exceptionally refined and elegant “wave” motif on the dial. Like a frozen lake carpeted with snow, the rows of diamonds undulate gently across the dial from top to bottom, their motion captured between gold fillets.

 

The new reference has grown slightly as a result of its transformation, from 33.6 mm in the previous iteration to 35.2 mm. In the interests of legibility, the rose gold hour and minute “alpha” baton hands are luminescent, as are the hour markers. At its heart beats the automatic caliber 324 S, which drives a central second hand and offers a minimum power reserve of 45 hours. Its architecture and finishes may be admired through the sapphire caseback.

 

 

www.europastar.com

 

Text: Pierre Maillard

With over 18 years’ experience, Carl Rémillard-Fontaine is one of the top-performing realtors in the Greater Montreal Area. He has devoted the last ten of his 18 years as a realtor to Profusion Immobilier—a leader in luxury real estate in the province of Quebec and member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Rémillard-Fontaine attributes his success to a passion for the industry. “I love what I do, and I’ve become great at it.” His clients agree: Rémillard-Fontaine holds the rare honour of having accompanied three generations of the same family through their individual transactions. Rémillard-Fontaine sits down with LUXE to share his insights on the advantages of living in two of the GMA’s most sought-after areas.

 

‘CARL KNOWS’ is your tongue-in-cheek slogan. How did it come to represent your business?

During a meeting with my marketing strategist, who also happens to be a former client, we were discussing my understanding of the luxury real-estate landscape. Suddenly, he yelled out, “Carl Knows!”. We laughed about it at the time, but what began as a lighthearted remark turned into a catchphrase that sums up my experience really well. I know my market, I know my clients, and they can trust me to be attuned to their wants, even when they are unsure of what they are looking for.

Which sectors do you serve the most?

I mainly serve buyers and sellers in Westmount and in Nuns’ Island, where I lived for 15 years. I got to know Westmount working at a local agency early in my career. Having experienced work and life in these two distinct areas allows me to match my clients not only to their dream property, but to their desired lifestyle.

What does Nuns’ Island have to offer potential buyers?

Nuns’ Island is a fantastic choice for people looking for a quiet life just seven minutes by car from downtown Montreal. Young families can enjoy all the advantages of a large yard and quiet suburban streets, while retired couples have the opportunity to downsize without sacrificing comfort and amenities. Away from the concrete jungle, residents of Nuns’ Island can enjoy nature on leisurely strolls or bike rides along the Saint Lawrence River. It’s a beautiful neighbourhood.

Living in Westmount is still very trendy. Why do you think that is?

With downtown just a few blocks away, proximity to stunning green parks and access to some of the best anglophone schools in Montreal, Westmount living is all about convenience. Every area of Westmount, from Greene Avenue and Victoria Village in the flats, to higher up on the hill, has its own unique neighbourhood feel with restaurants, shopping and services close by.

What is one attribute that clients seek out when choosing a luxury real-estate broker?

Discretion is key. At Profusion Immobilier, we have the privilege of working with very high-profile clients including politicians, prominent business leaders and public figures. We have the utmost respect for our clients’ privacy, and under no circumstance will we ever disclosed the names or identifying information of the people we work with. My clients are at ease knowing their interests are protected, allowing us to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Mathieu Jobin, a lawyer by profession, began his career in private practice in Quebec City. He represented several financial institutions and real estate developers before joining Devimco Immobilier in 2003 as Director of the Legal Department. He has been General Director and Partner since 2012. He contributed to the development of several mega centres in the Quebec City, Laval and Bromont regions and was one of the key players in developing the Quartier DIX30 project in Brossard and the District Griffin project in Griffintown just outside of downtown Montreal.

What motivated you to get into real estate development?

Being a real estate developer means always being in problem-solving mode to improve the area and create value for communities, the city and investors. You also have to be innovative, especially when it comes to complex mixed projects, such as those of Devimco Immobilier. I really enjoy both of those aspects.

Devimco Immobilier specializes in developing multipurpose complexes in urban areas. Why?

Central neighbourhoods are intended for various clienteles including residents, people who come to work during the day and businesses. People have fun, work, sleep and go out within a single perimeter. A developer like Devimco Immobilier can allow all these people to coexist in a harmonious living environment. Of course, this means overcoming many challenges. Devimco Immobilier is a pioneer in the construction of multipurpose buildings, particularly around Griffintown. We are doing similar work with projects such as Square Children’s, which combines commercial, institutional and residential projects, and Solar Uniquartier on the South Shore, which combines hotels, retirement homes, offices, condos, rental apartments and businesses. These types of mixed projects require a great deal of thought in order to offer a friendly living environment to groups with various needs, schedules and concerns. It’s exciting.

“Devimco Immobilier is a pioneer in the construction of multipurpose buildings.”

Mathieu Jobin, General Director and Partner at Devimco Immobilier

How do you see the residential real estate market in Montreal in the short and medium term?

The market is excellent. Condos and rental apartments, our two main segments, show steady demand. Our market analysts, who work for leading national firms, don’t foresee a slowdown in the short to medium term. Apart from land prices, downtown Montreal isn’t experiencing inflation like Toronto and Vancouver. Instead of thinning out, it’s repopulating.

What services and facilities are buyers looking for?

Over the past four years, the amount of space we have to devote to common areas has increased significantly. People are looking for a certain quality of life. They want shared spaces with pool tables, a home theatre, exercise facilities, work spaces, terraces and more. The challenge is adapting to our clientele, which is often varied.

What new challenges do you face as a real estate developer?

Quebec’s economy is doing very well and has almost full employment. Full employment means increased purchasing power, of course, but it also means inflated construction costs. Devimco Immobilier faces two major challenges: the lack of labour for its huge construction sites and the increase in construction costs. Developers must also deal with our industry’s regulations, which are strict and can result in significant costs.

What is your approach to sustainable development?

Every project has its challenges. For one, some land needs to be decontaminated. Our eco-friendly practices also apply to construction—some scrap materials are sent to a recycling centre—and design. We are constantly in research and development for design. Green roofs have been the focus of attention for several years now, but there are many other issues at stake today. For example, if we want to build a compost chute in one of our towers, we need to analyze how to manage odours and pests all the way up. There’s a lot of planning to be done. Eco-friendly goals aren’t like a simple grocery list—they require constant reflection to find innovations to construct eco-efficient buildings, both in terms of energy and sustainability.

 

www.devimco.com

 

Photo: © Xuana César

“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate,” states Laura Fish, Executive Director of The Douglas Foundation, an organization that funds patient care and research at the Douglas Institute in Montreal. Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, one third of Canadians experienced mental illness at some point in their lives, accounting for over 30% of short- and long-term disability claims.

 

What impact does a donation to the Douglas Foundation have?

Money is the motor that drives research towards identifying the causes of mental illness and developing more effective treatments. The Douglas Research Centre is the largest in Quebec and the second largest in Canada. Our hospital has over 260 beds and sees more than 15,000 patients every year. Despite the impressive numbers, we are grossly under-financed; the Foundation raises approximately $2 million annually—relatively little compared to what other healthcare institutions bring in. Every dollar donated ultimately helps us improve patient care.

Name something critical the Douglas Institute has been able to achieve in the last few years thanks to funds amassed by the Foundation.

I am especially proud that we were able to pivot and look after our front-line teams during the pandemic. Our role suddenly changed, and we were asked to take on a unique responsibility. The fact that we were able to care for not only our patients, but also our doctors, nurses and support staff while continuing to advance research is a testament to the generosity of our donors, who allowed us to navigate a truly challenging situation.

 

What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on the Foundation’s operations?

The Douglas was hit hard in the beginning. There was a time where we were the only ones in the Greater Montreal Area receiving mental health patients who tested positive for Covid-19. We had to reorient resources on the care side and become leaders. Staff was re-deployed to meet the needs of Covid-positive patients, and a dedicated unit was established for them. On the fundraising side, live events including our annual cocktail were cancelled. We had to find alternative ways to increase our visibility and keep people’s attention. It’s been a struggle.

Why is mental health so heavily stigmatized?

My best guess is that we don’t know enough about it; we are not entirely comfortable naming it. Because we can’t see mental illness the same way we can see physical disease, there is the misconception that it is not a real illness. We speak broadly and vaguely about the importance of mental health, often without acknowledging that a person suffering from poor mental health is sick. As long as we continue to be an underfunded area of healthcare, we will continue to be limited in our understanding of how the brain works, and how we can help it function better.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic shifted the way we perceive and discuss mental health?

We will not have a full answer to this for many years. It seems that more people are experiencing anxiety and depression as a result of the last two years, and that people feel more comfortable opening up about their struggles and having conversations around mental health.

How can individuals better support loved ones living with mental health issues? 

There are many things individuals can do to move the needle: name it, talk about it and contribute financially to research so that we can better care for your loved ones. Learn more about mental illness and participate in awareness campaigns. Donate, because our needs are endless: we want to be able to bring in the best and the brightest in the field so that our laboratory and clinical research studies can develop and thrive. We also need better physical spaces, better waiting rooms, access to tablets and WiFi; basic things that improve the patient experience. Every bit counts.

 

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

LUXE invites you on an intimate tour, a day in the life in one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada. A chic suburban jewel nestled on the side of a mountain. Explore this vibrant city within a city, full of cafés, art galleries, parks and stunning homes—all just steps away from downtown Montreal.

 

Close your eyes and imagine…a morning run through a tranquil bird sanctuary in the shade of majestic trees. You exit the woods onto Summit Circle, a circular road lined with multimillion-dollar homes. Worlds unto themselves, some are barely visible behind exquisitely groomed hedges and wrought iron gates. You jog down the hill, streets lined with stately houses dating from the 1890s—gorgeous brownstone, leaded glass windows and Victorian turrets. Tradition meets opulent style.

 

You land in Victoria Village, a unique hip shopping district at the base of the mountain. After a quick stop into La Pantry par Dany Bolduc for a gourmet artisanal viennoiserie, you have just enough time for an authentic Italian espresso at Le Café Crème. The street vibrates with life, as well-heeled fashionistas flit between independent boutiques and designer shoe stores, bakeries and gift shops. The terrace at James Perse Côté Cuisine is right in the heart of the action, buzzing with young entrepreneurs, friends and new moms savouring California fusion fare.

 

Your neighbourhood prides itself on beauty. Every corner is carefully tended. Award-winning seasonal floral designs and gardens abound. If you have children, you are dropping them off at some of the best private schools in the country—Selwyn House, Villa Sainte-Marcelline and The Study. This isn’t a dream. You live in Westmount, one of the most sought-after residential enclaves in North America, just steps away from downtown Montreal.

 

© Alice Gao, Commission Canadienne du Tourisme

© Shutterstock

What’s next? A meeting in Westmount Square. Famed architect Mies Van Der Rohe designed the four towers (two residential towers, two office towers and an underground shopping centre) in the International style. Like jewels, these gleaming smoked black glass towers house some of the most desirable real estate in the city. The Taverne on the Square, a chic French bistro at the base of 1 Westmount Square, is the perfect setting for a glass of rosé and a meal with friends. Or how about giving one of the newer hot spots like Café Gentile a try? Ignazio Gentile, a Sicilian immigrant, opened his first café six decades ago in Montreal’s garment district. Now his children keep his legacy alive, serving their Nonna Teresa’s comforting meals and delicious coffee to a whole new generation. At any time of day, you can catch college students, businesspeople and social media influencers setting the latest trends. If it’s sushi you crave, Westmount delivers! Beautifully designed RYU offers an upscale sushi-ya experience. The standout for locals and celebrities alike is award-winning Chef Antonio Park’s Park Restaurant. Park sushi is known as the best in Montreal.

 

Business accomplished, appetite satiated, you stroll one of Westmount’s most famed avenues—Greene. Stop into Galerie de Bellefeuille and add to your art collection. Or visit one of the city’s outdoor spaces. Westmount has something to offer for every season. When the snow begins to fall, Parc King George, built partly on the side of the mountain, complete with tennis courts, a dog run and soccer field, becomes a sled run in the winter.  Children of all ages can be found whizzing down the hill. In warmer weather, you can lounge beside the duck pond in Westmount Park and watch the Tai Chi practitioners. Then walk through the Westmount Conservatory and Greenhouse, built in 1927, an oasis with exotic trees, orchids, fountains and waterfalls.

 

Westmount’s architectural gems and lush parks aren’t the only beautiful features—the people are stunning. Glowing skin and good health are part of the neighbourhood vibe. The newest offering in fitness is The Studio, a boutique gym created by Val Desjardins, go-to trainer to the stars. After a workout, head over to Annie Young Boutique Spa for the full service: luxuriate head to toe with a hydrafacial, deep tissue massage, coiffure and more. For a deeper freshening, visit Victoria Park Medispa, led by board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons. 

 

© Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

Now imagine: end of day. You probably negotiated a merger, launched an IPO, wrote policy or even saved someone’s life. After all, Westmount is home to famous politicians, leading financiers and renowned doctors. Leonard Cohen grew up here. Painters and poets also call Westmount home.

 

You look out the window at your expansive view. A view from the top. Maybe you’re on the terrace that extends from your bedroom. The air is quiet, calm. The glittering lights of the Montreal skyline and the St. Lawrence River twinkle in the distance. You take a deep breath, reflect on a day well lived. After all, is there any better place to call home?

 

© Shutterstock

 

Text: Andrea Strudensky

Cover: © Susan Moss, Tourisme Montréal

Modern accessories, contemporary design, an intimate atmosphere: walking into Arya feels like entering a unique concept where select pieces coalesce into a complete upscale living space. Since its store opened in Laval in 2010, Arya has made its name as a premier destination for decor enthusiasts and connoisseurs of high-quality floor coverings.

 

Joe Kazzi and Sam Saad: a successful partnership

Arya owners Joe Kazzi and Sam Saad are businessmen with completely different backgrounds. An entrepreneur with years of retail experience, Joe Kazzi is self-taught and has an eye for opportunity. He knows rugs inside and out. “I decided to open this boutique to offer Quebecers a wide selection of exclusive rugs in modern styles,” Kazzi explains. His partner Sam Saad built a thriving career in the restaurant industry with a reputation for his impeccable customer service, which he has made a cornerstone of Arya. No wonder their professional union has lasted more than a decade.

 

Arya owners Joe Kazzi and Sam Saad

An upscale shopping experience

Arya’s understated storefront belies its luxurious inventory and lush ambiance. The warm owners cater to their customers as if they were welcoming guests into their home—and their hospitality is reflected in the boutique’s atmosphere. Customers sip delicious coffee at the coffee bar in the centre of the showroom, surrounded by hand-crafted rugs, furniture and accessories. Every detail has been carefully curated to offer their clients a comprehensive, high-end and, above all, memorable shopping experience. Arya’s team of experts offer personalized customer service based on a close working relationship with designers. “It is very important to us that customers can feel and see the pieces, talk to us without feeling pressured and select the rug or piece of furniture that best accentuates their decor,” says Sam Saad.

The collections

Rugs can instantly elevate the entire feel of any room. Joe Kazzi explains, “I believe that a rug is an essential furnishing. The right floor covering has a stunning impact on each and every interior.” Kazzi and Saad painstakingly scour European and North American trade shows to unearth the collections sold in the boutique. Their in-depth research keeps them on top of market trends so that they offer customers an inventory worthy of the trendiest decor magazines.

 

At Arya, creations from different countries blend perfectly with the refined, elegant style of the boutique. The wide selection of bespoke rugs woven in Kathmandu, exclusive Italian furniture made in Florence and the many European accessories on offer in the boutique speak to their unrivalled, stylish selection.

 

New products and trends

For the shrewd duo behind Arya, high-end furnishings beautify our everyday, so their passion for introducing their customers to new luxury products comes as no surprise. With a revamped website, exclusive accessories sold online and the arrival of rugs from popular designer Jan Kath, Arya is easily weaving itself into the essential fabric of this upscale market.

 

 

 

 

Text: Pascale-Lou Angelillo

Photos© Angeliki Argyrakos

As every admirer of the Chanel style (or Chanel “allure”, to use the technical term) knows perfectly well, the maison follows its own rigorous stylistic grammar, whose elements were established very early on by Gabrielle Chanel. These elements include the essential black and white, the famous Chanel beige, Breton stripes, the two-piece suit, tweed, quilting, pearls, lions, the camellia… as well as chains, brocade trim and buttons.

 

In collaboration with Europa Star

 

A functional flourish

Yes, buttons. But, aren’t they a minor detail? No, they’re far more important than that! The Chanel button is not just a precious object in its own right, a diminutive jewel, exquisitely and artistically crafted – it is also rigorously functional, in accordance with the strict grammatical rules dictated by Mademoiselle herself: “Every button must have a buttonhole”. “Gabrielle Chanel thus conferred on the button an unparalleled nobility,” explains Arnaud Chastaingt, director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio. “She magnified an ordinary, unremarkable object and elevated it to the level of a jewel. For her, it was a canvas for creativity in its own right, but it absolutely had to retain its function.”

 

The exceptional variety of Chanel buttons created over the decades has attracted many collectors. In the very early days, button creation was entrusted to a talented craftsman, Georges Desrues, who in 1929 set up the company that bears his name, and which became Chanel’s primary supplier from 1965. Every day, almost 4000 buttons (each of which requires around ten operations) are moulded, sculpted, carved, polished, dyed, coated and enamelled in its workshops, using a combination of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship. Some twenty artistic crafts are employed, and Chanel was able to preserve them for posterity when it bought the Maison Desrues in 1984. “It is a unique tool in the world of luxury ready-to-wear,” confirms director of operations Stéphane Berthélémy.

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Ganse de diamants

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Ganse de diamants. Numbered and limited edition of 5 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a half white Australian cultured pearl (15 mm). Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. 18K white gold rigid cuff with a black coating and 18K yellow gold trim set with 316 brilliant-cut diamonds (~3.89 carats). High-precision quartz movement.

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Perle

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Perle. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a half white Australian cultured pearl (15 mm). Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. Black and gold tweed cuff with a golden calfskin trim and a black calfskin lining. High-precision quartz movement.

Couture time

“For me, the idea of a ‘button’ watch was one of those creative obsessions that I couldn’t let go of – it just seemed self-evident,” confirms Arnaud Chastaingt. “I had a dream of the button as timepiece.” The dream is all the more unconstrained because, as he correctly points out: “30 years ago, Chanel came from the world of couture, and invited itself without permission into the closed world of watchmaking.” Onto this world, which at the time was stylistically conservative and highly segmented, Chanel succeeded in imposing its own grammar, beginning with black and white, gradually introducing the rest of its codes, and translating them into watchmaking.

 

So, a button as watch… A watch born out of couture? What could be more natural? Arnaud Chastaingt, obsessively pursuing his research, had the idea of “unpicking the sleeve of a jacket, and keeping only the cuff with its buttonhole.” And thus the architecture of the bracelet was born: a soft tweed cuff edged with a slim golden leather binding, that wraps around the wrist and fastens with… a button. The button is functional, as per the rule. But not only does it have a buttonhole, it also covers and conceals a watch. “Style comes first, time comes later, whether you like it or not,” concludes Arnaud Chastaingt.

“For me, the idea of a ‘button’ watch was one of those creative obsessions that I couldn’t let go of – it just seemed self-evident.” – Arnaud Chastaingt, director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton décor Lion

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton décor Lion. Limited edition of 55 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a sculpted gold lion motif. Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. Black and gold tweed cuff with a golden calfskin trim and a black calfskin lining. High-precision quartz movement.

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton décor Camélia

Limited edition of 55 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a camellia motif fully set with 50 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.38 carat) and a central brilliant-cut diamond (~0.5 carat). Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. Black and gold tweed cuff with a golden calfskin trim and a black calfskin lining. High-precision quartz movement.

Creative wealth

This novel architecture, with its cuff and its button-watch, opens up a wealth of creative prospects. The precious button – and over the course of its history Chanel has created countless examples – lends itself to so many possibilities that the list is virtually infinite. The Mademoiselle Privé Bouton watch will definitely not be a one-off. The collection opens with a selection of buttons created from yellow gold, diamonds, pearls and agate. It encompasses lions, camellias and the byzantine cross. The iconic profile of Mademoiselle Chanel appears as a cameo, carved from onyx. The tweed cuff is quilted and transformed into white gold, set with diamonds. In 2021, Gabrielle Chanel’s profile is revealed on a carved yellow gold button. The cuff is in black leather, with a quilted motif trimmed in golden calfskin.

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton décor Byzantin

Numbered and limited edition of 5 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a byzantine motif set with 1 cushion-cut diamond (~1.5 carat), 4 cushion-cut diamonds (~2 carats), 4 pear-cut diamonds (~0.65 carat) and 8 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.24 carat). Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. Black and gold tweed cuff with a golden calfskin trim and a black calfskin lining. High-precision quartz movement.

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Camée

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Camée. Numbered and limited edition of 5 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with an cameo depicting the profile of Gabrielle Chanel. Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. Black and gold tweed cuff with a golden calfskin trim and a black calfskin lining. High-precision quartz movement.

 

Novelty 2021
Mademoiselle Privé Bouton décor Gabrielle

Novelty 2021 – Limited edition of 55 pieces. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a carving depicting the profile of Gabrielle Chanel. Outer cord in 18K yellow gold set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat). Dial in 18K white gold set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Cuff in black leather with a quilted motif, trimmed in golden calfskin. High-precision quartz movement.

Mademoiselle Privé

The Bouton watch is the latest to take its place in the Mademoiselle Privé collection (whose name comes from the sign on the door to Gabrielle Chanel’s workshop). As Arnaud Chastaingt explains, Mademoiselle Privé represents “the most intimate side of Chanel haute horlogerie, the most feminine. And perhaps the least well-known.” The Mademoiselle Privé collection, which was launched in 2012 as a showcase for the artistic crafts, includes some of Chanel’s finest and most precious watchmaking creations. Take, for example, the first Mademoiselle Privé watches, inspired by Coromandel screens, and reproduced in breathtaking enamel by Anita Porchet. There are camellias sculpted from mother-of-pearl, skeletonized or paved in diamonds, a parure of petals against a backdrop of enamel, mother-of-pearl marquetry, onyx and sculpted gold, labyrinths of diamonds, a camellia that rotates, or is picked out in gold thread and tiny beads, a soaring comet, aventurine dials…

 

The Mademoiselle Privé Bouton watch takes its place among these stunning creations, and will no doubt leave its mark on Chanel’s watchmaking. It is a perfect fit, because it is an utterly coherent stylistic interpretation of the Chanel codes. And its legitimacy is beyond question. Who other than Chanel could be behind the tweed, the buttonhole and its button, and all the symbols? Arnaud Chastaingt naturally agrees, noting that the Bouton watch is “a curiosity, an uncomplicated creation in the watchmaking world, but an obvious next step in the world of Chanel.” It’s also an obvious next step for admirers of Mademoiselle Chanel.

 

Mademoiselle Privé represents “the most intimate side of Chanel haute horlogerie, the most feminine. And perhaps the least well-known.” – Arnaud Chastaingt, directeur du studio de Création de l’Horlogerie de Chanel

 

 

Mademoiselle Privé Bouton serti neige. Unique piece. 18K yellow gold button adorned with a byzantine motif set with 1 cushion-cut diamond (~1.5 carat), 4 cushion-cut diamonds (~2 carats), 4 pear-cut diamonds (~0.65 carat) and 8 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.24 carat). Outer 18K yellow gold cord set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.46 carat), inner 18K yellow gold cord. 18K white gold dial set with 142 brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 carat). Gold-finished hands. 18K white gold rigid cuff snow-set with 1963 brilliant-cut diamonds (~39.88 carats) and an 18K yellow gold trim set with 316 brilliant-cut diamonds (~4 carats). High-precision quartz movement.

 

 

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Text: Pierre Maillard