WHAT happens when you dream? We're
not talking so much about bedtime
superhero fantasies or romantic
interludes, but rather how such nocturnal flights
of fancy are equally applicable to daytime living.
After all - without the capacity to dream, there
would be none to push boundaries of creativity
and invention, fight for a better life or simply
pursue personal passions long set aside for the
sake of career obligations.
Luxe Christmas 2013 invites you to free your
imagination and follow us as we travel the world
in search of people and places that do not quite
follow the well-trodden path. One prime case
in point would be the legendary actor Morgan
Freeman - a god by Hollywood standards but
in real life, a music-loving man who's shunned
the glitz of celebrity to return to his roots in
Mississippi and open a blues bar. He tells us why
it's never too late to revive your old passions.
By the same token, dreams are not always
warm and fuzzy, especially if they come from
the mind of artist Raqib Shaw, who discusses
the deep, dark and visceral works that have seen
him outsell the likes of Anish Kapoor to become
the most successful Indian artist in the world.
On a lighter note, we go behind the scenes
of luxury label Hermes with sixth generation
scion Pierre-Alexis Dumas, who shows us where
he gets his inspiration - the office of his greatgrandfather
Emile-Maurice Hermes (1871-1951)
which is now a private museum holding his
personal collection of artifacts that have shaped
the DNA of the House of Hermes. Dumas
isn't the only one tasked with keeping the
family legacy alive. So is architect Dirk Lohan,
grandson of another big name - the iconic Mies
van der Rohe. Lohan shares with us the irony of
being tasked to redesign the lobby of Chicago's
IBM Tower - which Mies himself was working
on when he died in 1969.
Next, we head to Venice, where we meet
Bianca and Giberto Arrivabene - a count and
countess who live a modern fairy tale life that
revolves around owning a 16th century Italian
palazzo that has been turned into an Aman
resort. The punchline? They're still living in it.
While the restoration of the palace has been
nothing short of breath-taking, nature has its
way of stunning you too, as a visit to the salt
flats of Bolivia will prove. Despite being one
of the poorest countries in South America,
tourism has helped to improve the lives of the
local people, in the same way it has helped the
people of Bagan in Myanmar. But rather than
an archaeological showpiece of Burma with its
plethora of ancient temples and stupas, Bagan
is also a living example of a people who have
stayed hopeful in the face of oppression and are
finally seeing the fruits of democracy. We look
beyond the tour buses to capture the deeper
story behind the picture postcard view.
Last but not least, we take you on a dreamy
gastronomic tour where talented chefs with
vision and the courage of their convictions are
cooking up new dining experiences, whether
in poverty-stricken Bolivia or hip cities like San
Francisco and Barcelona.
We hope you'll enjoy our view of the world:
not so much through rose-tinted glasses but
with a sentiment that's especially strong during
the festive season - the kind that believes that
there's some kind of magic in the air.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to all.
Editor, Luxe Christmas