The Alt Alternative

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By Rory Winston

Photos by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Eliana and Luisel Ramos, Ana Carolina Reston, Isabelle Caro: While the list of renowned models succumbing to anorexia has become all but too familiar, it wasn’t all that long ago when most of the media was oblivious to the damage elicited by the fashion industry in their celebration of a distorted ‘ideal body’ at any cost.

In Bed with Pop

By Rory Winston

Photos by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

As the mellifluous voice of Ariana DiLorenzo nonchalantly scampers across the unmistakably jagged line “Just because I’m in your bed doesn’t mean I’m yours”, one suspects that the identity of the culprit being addressed could as easily have been all of pop music as the lover alluded to in the song.04071497

THE INDELIBLE DEL

By Rory Winston Although you may have heard the legendary skull allegory, few people today working outside the field of comedy are familiar with the name Del P. Close. Yes, he’s the guy who on his deathbed bequeathed his skull to be used as a credited prop in the Goodman Theater’s upcoming rendition of Hamlet.…

Feast between the Lines

By Rory Winston “I had not understood Parisians until crossing the Pont-Neuf’, wrote Benjamin Franklin. Of course, he failed to mention that to really understand Pont-Neuf would demand an understanding of four hundred years of cultural history. As for trying to understand Les Bouquinistes, the little French restaurant draped alongside the Pont Neuf, well, I…

Mount to Mount Resuscitation

By Rory Winston

Apex, summit, zenith… it’s difficult to avoid allusions to altitude when referring to outstanding events. Whether it’s the ‘highpoint’ of a journey or the ‘peak’ of one’s career, excellence is something that hangs perpetually overhead. We scale grand heights, live with our heads in the clouds, and – after a lifetime of climbing our way up from one kind of gutter or another – find solace in having a few dear friends gushing over our, supposed, ‘towering achievements’. It should come as little surprise then that we get such a high from ascending mountains. Likewise, is it any wonder that we’ve found a way to complement this nature-induced euphoria by skiing down them? After all, when going up takes no exertion and coming down is so exhilarating… well, it’s hard to imagine anything better. That is of course, unless we are experiencing the aforementioned epiphany from within the apogee of comfort, the pinnacle of sophistication …okay, I’ll give the jutting superlatives a rest and just come out and say it: Club Med's Valmorel ski resort is up there with the best.

A Sleeper Hit

By Rory Winston

Without warning, the baritone voice had gone off in my head:

"From the People who brought you Cannes Jury Prize winner, Queen Margot, and the Academy Award winner A Man and a Woman, comes an all new rollicking adventure for cinephiles and travelers alike: Sebastopol 123. With a cast of thousands, this inspired romance is guaranteed to be the sleeper hit of the decade; literally. With music by Ennio Morricone and sets by Philippe Maidenberg, Sebastopol 123 is Paris like you’ve never seen her."

Bubbles Set in Stone

By Rory Winston

"Come meet me in the sky", sings Lily Allen in her recent hit single Air Balloon – an escapist anthem that asks us to enter an alternate universe in which ‘monkeys run off from zoos’ and ‘ceilings turn into floors’. Reveling in a host of exotic images, the song entreats us to partake in an elevated experience by simply stepping through a door. What door? Where? Getting directions for a place that exists solely in someone’s imagination can be quite a challenge.

Nell’s Bells

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By Rory Winston

‘Luxurious?’ Not in that typically gauche way. ‘Opulent?’ –Wrong track; nothing vainglorious. ‘Posh?’ Well, for a five star hotel with the finest design and amenities it’s actually more friendly than snobby. Elite…? Yes, certainly; but not in that trying-hard-to-make-an-impression kind of way - nothing parvenu about it.

A History of Hedonism

By Rory Winston Ensconced within a muted realm of marble busts and ivory floors, one can still hear the faint sound of muffled tittering and languid sighs. Perhaps, Philippe the First is at it again – still wandering down a nearby corridor in a lady’s dress while watching Antoine Coypel redecorate his palace; or, perhaps,…