The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 19 March 2016

Image: Atef Matallah/Elmarsa Gallery

Middle East marvels

Christie’s held its first auction of Arab and Iranian art in Dubai in 2006 when there was just a handful of galleries in town; 10 years on and the landscape is quite different, with a large sector of commercial spaces and private collections. This week the auction house held four sales in Dubai to celebrate its tenure and the gavel dropped at €1.01m for a painting by Egyptian artist Omar El-Nagdi. Michael Jeha, managing director and deputy chairman of Christie’s Middle East, has been there since the beginning. “Before we came along the market was very localised: there were strong markets in Lebanon, Egypt and Iran but no one really spoke to each other or knew each other,” he says. “I think we really helped regionalise this scene.”

Image: Heather Cowpe

Cut above the rest

In an exhibition opening this weekend the Fashion Museum of Bath has tackled the near impossible: manager Rosemary Harden sifted through clothes and accessories from the 1600s to the present day to select 100 key pieces. A History of Fashion in 100 Objects runs until 1 January 2018 and offers a glimpse of the cultural evolution of fashion. There’s a dress by Titanic survivor Lady Duff Gordon, who is considered to be the UK’s first fashion designer, as well as designs by more contemporary names such as Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Raf Simons and Christopher Kane – not to mention a pair of black-and-red Nike Air Jordan trainers from the 1990s. Topping it off are the most recent additions to the museum’s Dress of the Year collection, an annual award that sees an expert select an outfit that is most representative of fashion that year.

Image: Gene Witkowski

Traditional transport

As recently as the 1970s, passenger boats known as Hudson Dayliners travelled up and down the Hudson River from New York to charming towns upstate. Today the SS Columbia Project is working to revitalise the romantic tradition. The ongoing project has brought the SS Columbia – the oldest remaining excursion steamship in the US – from its original home in Detroit to Buffalo, where it will undergo further restoration. The boat will eventually make it to New York’s harbour where up to $18m (€16m) and about five years will be spent making it operational again.

Image: Anadulo Agency / Getty

Clothes with Seoul

Forget K-pop and K-dramas: K-fashion is the next cultural export to come out of South Korea, earning more sartorial accolades than its regional Asian neighbours. Seoul Fashion Week kicks off today at the Zaha Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza, coming hot on the heels of South Korean designer Jung Wook-jun’s selection as guest menswear designer at Pitti Uomo in January. In addition, a whole segment was dedicated to South Korean creations at New York Fashion Week late last year. As the fashion world casts a keener eye on the country, competition has grown fierce. Hannah Gu, fashion editor at Fashion Seoul, says, “This year the selection process for local designers has got much stricter.”

From Monocle 24

High-Rise

Director Ben Wheatley discusses his new film High-Rise, a dystopian satire that pitches architectural perfection as man’s downfall. Meanwhile, 50 years after Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, we ask the lead prosecutor in the case whether our views on true crime stories have evolved. Plus: we get a glimpse of Gary Numan’s documentary at South by Southwest and Alexander Olch takes us inside Metrograph, his new arthouse theatre in New York.

Paris Photo Los Angeles

Robert Bound pays a visit to Paramount Studios to see the world’s most celebrated photographic-art fair as it decamps from Paris to Los Angeles.

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