Textures & Tones No.2: The Fall Flannel Guy

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THE SUN IS feeling just a little bit weaker. In the world outside the greenhouse, the leaves are about to turn. And everyone begins to look forward to the colors of fall. All that, of course, and the richer, heavier reds paired with your favorite stews: beef bourginon. Lancashire hotpot. A meaty spaghetti Bolognese.

All well and good. But what to wear now that you’ve retired your flip-flops, shorts and swim trunks? It’s not yet time to wrap up fully, after all, but it is soon to get crisp enough that it’s high time to dust off something to mask all that good food and wine you’re about to dive into.

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Collectors GPQ&A No. 33: Mario Chalmers

MARIO CHALMERS
Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk

Mario Chalmers-SQUARE

We find that notable people often share some of their most memorable characteristics, from the trivial to the profound — and those things that are unique to them are equally revealing. To scratch the surface, we present the GPQ+A. —The Editors

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SPECIALIZED + MCLAREN: S-WORKS MCLAREN TARMAC BICYCLE

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PICTURE A FANTASY GARAGE — one containing a McLaren, Maserati, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, perhaps even a Morgan — and then imagine that the only engine in that garage is… well, you. Your conveyance options are therefore limited.

That’s hardly something to regret, though. The past few years have seen a remarkable number of bikemaker/carmaker collaborations, many of which MoS has reviewed. We’ve saved the best for last, however: S-Works’ McLaren Tarmac Bicycle. Although the line was announced just six weeks ago, all 250 of these limited-edition “superbikes” are already spoken for. But we suspect this line won’t be the last from this partnership.

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Now Read This No. 5: Impossible Collection of Watches

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THE IMPOSSIBLE COLLECTION OF WATCHES is the latest book from one of our favorite publishers, Assouline, and author Nick Foulkes, MoS’s own Girard-Perregaux 223 Years of History columnist. Mr. Foulkes is also the cofounder of Finch’s Quarterly Review, luxury editor of British GQ and contributing editor to both the Financial Times and U.K. Vanity Fair. 

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Blue Chip Chinese Contemporary Art Market

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AS ART PRICES return to pre-recession levels, contemporary works by both Western and Chinese artists have seen record sales. Despite stellar auction results, however, a huge price gap remains: Last November, Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud became the priciest piece of art ever sold at auction, at $142.4 million, while Zeng Fanzhi’s The Last Supper holds the contemporary Chinese record at a modest-by-comparison $23.3 million. Prices for other top Chinese artists, such as Zao Wou-Ki, Zhang Xiaogang and Chu Teh-Chun, lag those of their Western peers as well.

That discrepancy might not be so vast for long, though. As the record-setting Christie’s New York auctions this May indicated, a growing number of wealthy Chinese collectors is a major factor in sky-high Western prices — and the art of their countrymen is not far behind on their wish list.

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Fang Lijun’s set of six woodblock prints entitled 1999.3.1

Christie’s May 13 auction of postwar and contemporary art netted $745 million — the highest-ever total for a single art auction — thanks in large part to Chinese buyers. The New York Times reported that half of the evening’s top 10 pieces were snapped up by Asian buyers who placed phone bids with Xin Li, deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia.

Overall, avid Chinese collectors have engaged — and frequently conquered — key global art-world figures in fierce bidding wars. Top lots picked up by mainland Chinese include Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards ($80.8 million), Jeff Koons’s Jim Bean—J.B. Turner Train ($33.7 million) and Alexander Calder’s Flying Fish ($25.9 million). This past spring, a Chinese telephone buyer landed Monet’s Water Lilies for $27 million at another Christie’s New York auction, while billionaire Wang Jianlin paid $28 million for a Picasso painting last November.

Meanwhile, a larger contingent of blue-chip contemporary Western artists such as Koons, Chris Wool, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joan Mitchell often sell for prices that in Asian auctions are reached by only the top one or two pieces. The top 10 lots of Christie’s May auction ranged from $4 million to $18 million, with sales of mid-range works by Koons, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Peter Doig and Martin Kippenberger among the highlights. By contrast, no contemporary Chinese work has sold for more than $25 million, while Koons, Wool and Jasper Johns — the most expensive living American artists — have seen record sales of $58.4 million, $28.6 million and $26.5 million, respectively. Likewise, many pieces by young Westerners who have never had a museum show have sold for prices far higher than those of established Chinese artists.

Chinese art is unlikely to remain so (relatively) inexpensive for long, however. For now, Chinese contemporary is a bargain compared to Western work, but that will change as more Chinese collectors emerge. Recent record sales such as Zeng’s Last Supper were influenced by the fact that collectors are holding on to the most important Chinese art with an eye on new collectors and the market’s potential.

Anyone looking for the next big art-investment opportunity should therefore regard contemporary Chinese work as a solid bet. Christie’s demonstrated that in May, and it’s not the last time it’ll happen. That makes now the time to buy for savvy bidders.

[Art + Article Re-Posted from Jingdaily.]

[Opening Art: Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series 1997 No. 17]

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GP Cocktails No. 8: Fall Libations

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THE ARRIVAL of autumn means it’s that time of year when you don’t yet want to commit to warm drinks, but something just feels wrong about enjoying those same bright sparkling cocktails you drank so many of this summer. As such, Mechanics of Style is here to supply you with the perfect mix of heavy and light cocktails that are perfect no matter what the schizophrenic fall weather throws at you.

E. Matter By Elvis Mitchell No. 4: Grand Opening

 

Justified

TIME IS THE most valuable real estate in series television — and the biggest encroachment on that property is the end of the network TV opening-credit sequence. This was the one thing TV got to do better than movies, given that network television couldn’t access the kind of sexual and linguistic freedom movies have had for nearly 50 years.

GIRARD-PERREGAUX WTT No. 8: Sydney

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The Girard-Perregaux World Time Tour: Every GP WW.TC dial lists 24 cities, at least two from each continent — and these cities will be our focus. We know that while traveling on business, many people leave themselves just one day to play tourist. So rather than another overstuffed city guide, we offer you “One Perfect Day” in the cities we visit. We’ll highlight the best each has to offer and the experiences that make it unique, beyond the standard “where to go and what to see” — although occasionally we’ll include that too. —The Editors

Letter from Paris No. 3: Gastinne Renette

 
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As early as the mid-nineteenth century, Girard-Perregaux maintained offices in New York, Buenos Aires, Yokohama and, of course, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. In that globetrotting spirit, MoS will publish regular dispatches from its offices and boutiques abroad — covering lifestyle and culture, regional events and exhibitions, and offering insider insight about what’s trending now from the four corners of the world. — The Editors