It sometimes seems to me that Geneva has more artists per square inch than any other city of comparable size. An event this coming Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 October, only fuels that impression.
Switzerland — renowned for holding on to its traditions and supposedly being slow to change — breaks with that moldy generalization at the very least when it comes to its up-and-coming young fashion designers. Proof of this will be as crystal clear as a fresh Alpine stream at the 4th Swiss Fashion Point 2017, starting tomorrow the 28 September and continuing through the 1 October at the Pavillon Sicli in the Acacias suburb of Geneva.
This is a special year for Canada and for my hometown Montreal as they both mark another benchmark year in their respective histories. In recognition, I want to include a piece about a cultural gem that is well worth adding to your bucket list of must-see museums should you ever be fortunate enough to visit. Here, Montreal-born writer Andrea Grimaud gives us her impressions as to why the McCord Museum is so worth your while to experience. Throughout the year, Montreal’s McCord Museum mounts stunning temporary exhibitions dedicated to illuminating for citizens and out-of-towners alike the history, people and communities of this vibrant, multicultural city, which this year celebrates its 375th birthday just as Canada marks its 150th.
Three museums in Morges will be the setting for an exploration of the fashion legend’s oeuvre including pieces created especially for the films and private life of his famous client, who lived in nearby Tolochenaz. From the 20th May and continuing until 17th September, lovers of haute couture and of cinema will have an extraordinary opportunity to visit a unique retrospective that explores — for only the third time internationally — the life’s work of one of haute couture’s greatest designers, Hubert de Givenchy. In this context, it will also look at the unparalleled professional collaboration and personal friendship that Givenchy enjoyed with his muse, the celebrated actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, which defined her unique look and that of an era and which continues to influence fashion to this day.
If it’s spring it’s time again for the creative extravaganza that is the UNIcréa Arts & Crafts Salon, which twice annually brings together more than 100 artisans ‘handpicked’ for their originality, passion and talent by UNIcréa founder and director Céline Dreveton. I spoke with Céline last autumn (Meet Céline Dreveton: Artisan, Entrepreneur and Creative Force) just before the Salon’s 22nd edition at the Château de la Sarraz and she impressed me with her commitment to unveiling fresh, new talent at each subsequent fair.
To meet Serena Dignola-Russignan, founder and talented artisan behind La Lumière du Temps, you soon understand where the warmth and playfulness emanating from her elegant, handmade “photophores” (wax candle holders) come from. Inviting me into the kitchen of her home in Eysins, just above Nyon, Lugano-born Serena insists on preparing me a cup of coffee. Not the instant kind, of course, but the real kind that bubbles away in a stove-top espresso maker until it announces its readiness with — a musical rendition of the Italian national anthem. A first for me and admittedly, the most original introduction to an interview that I’ve ever had, but it speaks of the way in which its maker approaches her life and her métier … with joy and enthusiasm.
Due to unanticipated, and to me at least, deeply disturbing events in our world this past year, I’m really craving some comfort and joy this Christmas time. Happily, there’s plenty on offer at Christmas markets across Switzerland this November-December, including some very special ones right on our doorstep in the Lake Geneva region. Here are a few of my highlights for you to consider, all of them within easy distance by car or public transport.