Snap Chat with José Levy
The Parisian on the qualities of a good travel bag, travel essentials and his first collaboration in India, with leather brand Hidesign.
How did this collaboration come about?
I was very inspired by the connection between Puducherry and Paris, the art of both cities and the way it connects to my lifestyle of constant travel.
In designing a travel-friendly line, what did you keep in mind?
I wanted to create products that were easy to live with, luxurious and cool. Think travel bags and pouches, suitcases, pashminas, scarfs, belts and sunglasses—all must-haves while travelling in your own country or another country.
Elephants, clouds and flowers—what inspired the motifs?
The elephant trunk and rear are part of the Indian imagery, and I love them. And the garland of jasmine flowers in the Elaine bag and Juliette wallets reminds me of the beautiful women of India.
And your favourite from the collection?
All of them, of course! But the Juliette long bag with jasmine flowers, the Big banana bag, La Seb (drawstring bag), Sac a Dos (the backpack) and the Kyoto bag are some I love to carry.
What makes for a great travel bag?
We have to be efficient when we travel. We also face many unexpected situations. So the bag should be comfortable and simple, yet stylish at the same time.
Have you been to Puducherry?
Yes. I really love to walk the streets and just look around, listen and smell. Indian culture is really fascinating and it’s a big influence on the collection.—SD
Ever wondered what happens to all those artworks that get rejected? The Reject Exhibit sounds unusual but it is a fitting theme as Design Fabric shuts down its studio in Mumbai and goes remote. The online editorial platform, which discusses contemporary visual culture, is also the force behind Taxi Fabric, the spunky artist collective that turns taxi seats into canvases. In this farewell exhibition, look out for “rejected" works by 50 artists, such as those by Lebanese illustrator Nour Flayhan and Pune-based Harshvardhan Kadam (in picture).—BF
The Reject Exhibit is at A Good Feeling Studio, Cama Industrial Estate, Sun Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai until 30 September, 11am–6pm.
State of the Art
Vipul Kumar’s stoneware and porcelain sculptures may seem a bit too “out there". But these unconventional forms address the conventional theme of global warming with conscientious flair. Kumar’s repertoire is anchored in ecological exigency; his ongoing solo exhibition, Earth Diaries, at Threshold Art Gallery, Delhi (on view till 20 October) is no exception. When viewed together, the sculptures stir an apocalyptic drama, possibly prophesying the toxic, deformed world human beings will leave behind. The featured piece, Global Warming-II, is priced at ₹ 2.5 lakh.—RI
For details, visit Gallerythreshold.com.
Polo Ralph Lauren is so American, it marked its India launch with chilled beers. The brand opened its first flagship store last week at Delhi’s DLF Emporio mall in collaboration with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd.
The store will showcase the label’s menswear and womenswear lines as well as accessories. And though there are the iconic Oxford shirts (prices start from ₹ 10,690) and sweatshirts in the mix too, the focus seems to be on athleisure with T-shirts (prices start at ₹ 3,990) and denims. The pricing is competitive in the affordable luxury segment.
But what took the brand 50 years to come to India? “Better late than never," a spokesperson said at the launch. The store has opened in time to warm up the Indian consumer for the higher-end Ralph Lauren label, which is coming soon at The Chanakya, Delhi.—PKS
Polo Ralph Lauren, 1st Floor, DLF Emporio.
The Fox by Frederick Forsyth
(Penguin Random House, ₹ 399)
Frederick Forsyth, the master of suspense, has flung a surprise at readers by emerging from literary hibernation. The Fox is his 18th novel, out this month, in spite of murmurings of Forsyth’s retirement plan. The 80-year-old former British spy and journalist, known for his best-selling thrillers The Day Of The Jackal and The Odessa File, is back with a “race-against-time thriller" set across continents. Based on the exploits of British hackers Gary McKinnon and Laurie Love, The Fox follows a 18-year-old boy genius with Asperger’s syndrome, who has the power to upset complex security systems and cause havoc. Little wonder that he unleashes a chain of events that drive this gripping thriller.—SG