Think tank

     Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

Every September the runways of the world's fashion capitals get set to welcome the world after a summer break. New York, Paris, London and Milan showcase local designers and the biggest labels at the top of their game, with each craftsman's individual take take on Spring/Summer trends for 2013.

While cuts and lines are still being discussed and debated, the colours seem to have been decided . So what can we expect? Colour researchers at The Ultrabright have created palettes that they believe will make a splash next year. The big influencers, they say, will come from 1990s washed-out brights, unconventional colours and textures from the web and nature itself.

Green, according to them, has been falling in and out of favour over the past few years. In fact, it was barely used last year even though it featured boldly the year before. Next season, it returns with shades such as basil, bistro green and viridian among the more popular ones. Yellows such as dusky citron, citrus and even banana cream seem to be quite popular.

Among the stronger shades, look out for princess blue, blue mist and baja blue. Reds such as tomato, teaberry and carmine will also be big. And finally, don't miss the slightly unconventional shades for those highlights such as ash, chocolate chip, almond cream, orchid ice and dewberry.

Definitely Not a Free Lunch
As celebrations go, meals costing several thousand dollars are not unheard of. But would you spend $12,000 on one dish? Chef Renato Viola from Italy believes his lobster, caviar and eight cheese Louis XIII pizza is worth that much. As a bonus, he'll send his chefs anywhere in Italy to make it fresh for you. The Louis XIII got us thinking. How about $3,000 for the samundari khazana seafood curry at London's Bombay Brasserie? Besides Devon crab, Beluga caviar and Scottish lobster, you're also paying for white truffle shavings and gold leaf. Or try the $2,000 a slice wagyu meat pie at Lancashire's Fence Gate Inn. Buy the whole $16,000 pot pie made from Kobe beef and matsutake mushrooms and you'll get two complementary bottles of the 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

RISING CRESCENT
Some believe it has the unmistakable shape of a crescent moon. Others see crossed swords. Either way, Doha's Marina Towers promises to be one of the Middle East's most iconic buildings with inspiration from the region's rich heritage.

Located in Lusail, about 15 kilometres outside Doha city center, the developer, Qatar’s Katara Hospitality, says the five-star property will hold approximately 800 units.

These include hotel rooms, residence apartments, offices, recreational facilities, specialist boutiques and restaurants. They add that it will cater to approximately 250,000 people at any given time. Katara Hospitality aims to have the entire property up and running by 2016. While the group is targetting big business during the 2022 Football World cup, it hopes the Lusail Marina Towers will eventually become a getaway for Middle East leisure travellers looking for luxury accommodation.

Trumped-Up Home
What if Donald Trump ran for President and won? That's the question put before artist Cimon by a client who wanted a sculpture that would encourage Trump to run for the White House. When Trump decided not to run in 2011, the client pulled his commission, but Cimon loved the concept so much he decided to complete The Trump House project. Inspired by the real estate moghul's over-the-top casinos and residential buildings, the results are obvious. The surface is encrusted in Swarovski crystals and took 100 hours to complete. This 10-cm tall, one-of-its-kind art project was then placed on eBay for sale, with a reserve price of $5,000.

THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL, UK
Explore more than 300 events and exhibitions at this festival that demonstrate the best of global design. The London Design Festival which runs from 14-23 September, will feature large scale installations in London's public places created by the world's leading designers and architects.

MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL, HONG KONG
One of the biggest festivals of the Chinese calendar is celebrated with much fanfare in Hong Kong. On 17 September, join in the festivities with traditional moon cakes that come in a variety of flavours. The city dresses up in colourful ribbons and elaborate displays of lanterns, while it puts on parades and dragon dances.
Website DiscoverHongKong.com

US OPEN, NEW YORK
With Roger Federer's win at Wimbledon, all eyes turn to Flushing Meadows in New York between 27 August and 9 September. The greats of the tennis world return for one giant contest. Will Fedex continue his form or will Nadal, or even Djokovic take one back? The 2012 Grand Slam season concludes.
Website USopen.org

OKTOBERFEST, MUNICH
The annual festival pulls in millions of tourists to Munich in Germany's Bavaria region. This year it will be held from 22 September to 7 October. In 2010, 6.4 million visitors drank seven million litres of local beer and ate 500,000 chickens, 40 tons of fish and 120,000 pairs of sausages. This is German food and drink at its most popular.
Website Oktoberfest.de/en

NEW RELEASES
This mobster movie tells the story of LA mobster Mickey Cohen. Its selling point is its stellar cast. Think: Sean Penn as Cohen with Ryan Gosling, Giovanni Ribisi, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte and Robert Patrick playing the cops who chase him. Now that's a showdown if there ever was one. To say that Cohen lived the big life is an understatement. He lived in a mansion that was armed like a fortress and his known associates included Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, himself. But the violence in the movie has got it into trouble. One scene showing gangsters firing at a audience from behind the screen may have to be excised following the shootings at the theatre in Colorado this July. Still, the movie is on schedule to release by September 7. For the cast alone, it is well worth your time.

MARINE CUISINE
The New England coast is famous for its incredible sea food. That’s perhaps why celebrated chef Michael Cimarusti has decided to take that cuisine outside the confines of the north-eastern US and spread it all the way to the other side of the continent. He opens a brand new restaurant Connie & Ted's in Los Angeles this month. It will focus on dishes from his native Rhode Island. Cimarusti, who owns LA's critically-acclaimed Providence restaurant, kicked off the project after taking over a West Hollywood diner. With New England seafood dominating the menu, expect a delicious new twist on traditions such as steamer clams, chowder, clam cakes and lobster rolls. If you like sea food, this is a ‘can't miss’.

50 YEARS OF DYLAN
It's hard to think of a man with more influence on the art of songwriting than Bob Dylan. The legend will celebrate 50 years on stage this September 11 when he releases his new album Tempest. It will be his 35th studio album and the first since 2009's global bestseller Together Through Life. Dylan was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US's highest civilian honour, this year. A career any artist would be proud of.

KICKING AND DREAMING
At their peak, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were churning out hits such as Barracuda and Alone. In this book, the Wilsons recount a quintessential rock n’ roll story that’s finally told from a female perspective.

GOD: A STORY OF REVELATION
Deepak Chopra's latest book blends storytelling and teaching to explore the evolution of God. He does so by exploring the lives of ten prophets, saints and mystics from around the world.

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