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The Great Escape
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Summer, a time for reconnection with family and friends, a time to kick back and let the year’s professional constraints fade away in the smell of a rose or dip in the sea. Whetting the appetite, this month, in the countdown to departure, we reached out to a range of visionary influentials to share their pet holiday spots, habits and summer esensuals. Stirring the senses, we also explore summer’s most evocative sounds, smells and scents. “As far as sights (and tastes) go, it’s hard to beat a glistening ice bucket with droplets of condensation racing down a bottle of rosé from Provence,” says young creative Duncan Campbell, who is always up for a last-minute adventure. By contrast, creature of habit dealer and gallerist Yves Gastou each summer likes to return to his favourite stomping grounds in Biarritz, while for luxury consultant Françoise Labro, tranquil havens such as the Domaine de Murtoli, a beach-fringed private estate in Corsica, or Sils-Maria in the Grisons, Switzerland, are her idea of heaven.

From dream holiday homes to hotels with a difference, we drop in on Pierre Yovanovitch’s 17the century country estate in Provence, Vincent Van Duysen’s sun-drenched finca in Majorca, and the charming Villa Scarpariello, set in the cliffs of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast.

Be inspired. Bon voyage!

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?

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Duncan Campbell
 

Duncan Campbell

Born in Edinburgh, Duncan Campbell studied at King’s College London and La Sorbonne in Paris before joining award-winning publication Acne Paper. He worked as the editor there for 6 years and at the start of 2014 set up a creative consultancy with his Acne Paper co-editor Charlotte Rey. Their London-based agency Campbell-Rey specialises in cultural and visual storytelling for lifestyle and heritage brands, with among clients Baccarat, Bulgari, Daniel de la Falaise, Rizzoli and David Collins Studio.

In terms of current projects, the busy duo is penning a book for German publisher Gestalten, due out later this year, editing a magazine for an American fashion brand, working on a couple of short film projects and curating an exhibition in South America for late September. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to holidays Campbell is a last-minute type. “It’s often hard to know when I’ll be able to take the time, so if there’s a quiet moment I tend to grab it,” says the young creative who has a long-standing love affair with the Amalfi Coast and the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia. “I love the dramatic way the towns and villages are cut into the cliffs, the faded beauty of the architecture, the wonderful Italians, and obviously the food!” says Campbell who has always wanted to stay at the Villa Scarpariello, perched on the cliffs of Ravello - “a very charming, slightly knackered B&B that sits on a rock jutting out into the sea”.

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?
The smell of summer would have to be cut grass in London parks, or the salty smell of the sea. As far as sights (and tastes) go, it’s hard to beat a glistening ice bucket with droplets of condensation racing down a bottle of rosé from Provence.

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?
It has been an incredibly busy first half of the year, so for a break during the summer I’m in the mood for swimming in the sea, reading a book and not much else.

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?
I would be happy to be almost anywhere in Italy. The food, the people, the architecture and the pace of life are hard to beat.

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?
A Jazz cashmere throw by Teixidors for the beach and a Vohveli waffle bath towel  by Aava.

www.campbell-rey.com

www.villascarpariellorelais.it

 
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Photos courtesy of Villa Scarpariello Relais, Lifestyle photos by Olivia Magris and Christophe Roué
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Labro Studio
 

Françoise Labro

A true connoisseur of the international luxury planet, Françoise Labro, founder of luxury brand consultancy Studio Labro, has an unfailing eye for future trends, her antenna ever switched on to new talent. Recently named Director of Baccarat Artistic Committee, Labro is a seasoned journalist by trade. She cut her teeth at Elle Magazine before taking the reins at Elle Décoration, going on to helm Condé Nast’s Vogue Décoration followed by Maison&Jardin. There, handed “carte blanche”, she turned the magazine into a must-read for decoration and interior architecture fans.

It was a meeting with Ralph Lauren in 1996 for an extensive profile on the designer that was to prove a turning point in Labro’s career, meanwhile. Shortly after, she was tapped to head up the development of Ralph Lauren Home, moving eight years later to the role of Senior Vice President of Ralph Lauren Home for Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

A seasoned traveler, on her numerous business trips Labro has amassed an international expertise in all things pertaining to foreign culture and design. But she also loves to set off with family and friends to relax and enjoy time together - cruising on the Mediterranean, say, discovering beautiful, secluded spots like the Domaine de Murtoli in Corsica, or attending concerts at summer festivals.

With her hectic schedule, summer breaks offer Labro some rare “me time”. A true perfectionist and lifestyle expert, she likes to elect destinations that embody her very own idea of Paradise… 

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?
There are three smells that evoke summer at its best for me: that of freshly mown hay on the high pastures of Engadin in Switzerland; the smell of pine trees in the Alentejo forest in Portugal; and the familiar fragrance of Ambre Solaire, the sun lotion that my mother used. 

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?
My mood is very eclectic and my mind still quite open. It could be a few days spent on the Atlantic in Comporta, Portugal. I also plan to spend a short week with my family in Tangier, Morocco, and am dreaming of attending the summer music festival in Lucerne, Switzerland.

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?
Sils-Maria, in the Grisons, Switzerland, is an area of turquoise - blue lakes and long mountain walks near the glaciers, with the constant song of springs. Nietzsche spent six summers there writing his masterpieces. This land has an inspirational power of its own.

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?
The Hydra cushions and large Reticulum cushions by Teixidors are chic and simple, just perfect for anywhere. As a small gift, I’d take Laura Tonatto’s “Fior d’Arancio” perfumed frieze in medium. 

www.murtoli.com

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Photos Courtesy Domaine de Murtoli, Lifestyle Photos by Olivia Magris and Christophe Roué
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Matthieu Salvaing
 

Pierre Yovanovitch

Pierre Yovanovitch started off in fashion working for Pierre Cardin before founding his firm, Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur, in 2000 and shooting up to the top of the French decorating scene. He has now made his mark worldwide with prestigious projects that express his “made in France” style. From a five-star hotel in the heart of Paris, to a contemporary museum in Brussels, a glamorous penthouse in New York or the scenography of an array of international exhibitions – this autumn he will participate in the AD Intérieurs event at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and design the stand of the celebrated Neuse Gallery at the Biennale des Antiquaires – his aesthetic speaks of strong, streamlined interior architecture softened by subtle plays on light, authentic materials, and custom made furniture and lighting he often designs himself and mixes with 20th century American and Scandinavian pieces.

Yovanovitch’s country estate in Provence, where he created a look that is very much of today without losing reference to the past, reflects to perfection his elegant and contemporary style. He flies back to his wonderful 17th century château every weekend and over long spells during the summer to enjoy the peace of the countryside with his family, his friends and his beloved dogs Stella, Fuji and Kim …

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?
The fragrance of pine trees and lavender fields, the birds singing in the early morning, the cicadas when the heat hits at noon.

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?
I’ll head for the peace and tranquility of my house in Haute Provence - worlds away from the intense Parisian rhythm - to enjoy the silence and a certain amount of solitude.

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?
I love to work in my garden and take long walks in the grounds. I also like to go trekking on Mont Cervin in Switzerland during the summer.

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?
I like to add subtle touches of colour to rooms. Caravane’s Lana bedcover in dove grey and the blue France throw in cashmere and cotton by Kajaal would fit in perfectly. I also love the stripes of Libeco’s Monterey bed linen.

www.pierreyovanovitch.com

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Luxproductions, Lifestyle Photos by Caroline Menne and Vincent Thibert.
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Mark Segal
 

Vincent Van Duysen

Known for his rigorous design approach and deeply elemental spaces, with a love of hidden details and refined, tactile materials, Belgian architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen has built a following from Antwerp - where he opened his studio in 1990 - to New York. “I try to reduce things to their essence, but not at the expense of comfort and soul,” says this sensual minimalist who produces offices, commercial spaces and private projects all over the world, as well as furniture and decorative objects for high-end brands such as B&B Italia, Poliform and Swarovski. His purist approach to architecture celebrates a contemporary vision of understated luxury, beautifully demonstrated, in this Summer Issue, by this sun-drenched finca in Majorca as well as the elegant dark green Bluegame 60 motor boat, June, that sails the Mediterranean and along the Bahamas. Both projects, through clean lines, luminous spare spaces and a mix of natural textures and subtle neutral tones, bring together the components of Van Duysen’s style summoning up visions of long, perfect summer days where his timeless aesthetics evoke a quiet and harmonious sense of the good life.

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?
The smell of sun protection products, the sound of silence and the sight of the infinite horizon.

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?
A relaxing holiday at home.

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?
Since I am travelling a lot all year round, I like to be at home and enjoy my garden.

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?
Scented candles by Woo, and as I love authentic textiles, I’d choose as gifts the Malla throw from Teixidors and a set of Baden towels by Libeco

www.vincentvanduysen.com

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Finca by Alberto Piovano, Motor Boat by Emilio Bianchi, Lifestyle Photo by Christophe Roué and Olivia Magris
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Ivan Terestchenko
 

Yves Gastou

For international dealer and gallerist Yves Gastou, the decorative arts of the 20th and 21st centuries are a lifelong passion. A pioneer blessed with an extraordinary eye, he revived the works of great masters of the Forties, such as André Arbus and Gilbert Poillerat, before breaking ground with designers from the Fifties up to the contemporary period, like Shiro Kuramata and Ron Arad, drawing them well into the limelight and attracting to his gallery hordes of enthusiastic, high-end collectors from all over.

In 1985, at the start of his Parisian career, Gastou, always a bit of an agent provocateur, created a small revolution on the ultra-quiet and exclusive rue Bonaparte when he asked Ettore Sottsass to design the façade of his new gallery. Today, the spirit of the place feels very much alive as one discovers the open, sleek space where Yves and his son Victor, play warm hosts amongst masterpieces by Philippe Hiquily, Ado Chale, Paul Evans, Maxime Old, Emmanuel Babled mixed with futuristic and playful furniture from the ’60s and ’70s. A true “chineur” or “brocanteur” as he likes to describe himself, Gastou in the summer likes nothing better than to head down to his beloved Biarritz where he enjoys meeting up with friends, taking off to San Sebastián, having dinner at the Hôtel du Palais and - this comes as no surprise – scouring the region’s flea markets for finds.

1. Which smell, sound or sight best evokes summer for you?
The spray and the breeze of the Atlantic Ocean that slap against the balustrades of the Hôtel du Palais and caress you when the days are too hot.

2. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for this season?
Dreamy walks along the cliffs of the Basque coast, wonderful excursions into the Pyrenees, hoping to discover little villages with their churches and chapels and the beautiful tombstones in their cemeteries.

3. Do you have a recurrent favourite destination?
Biarritz stays very much alive with the memory of Eugénie de Montijo, who, as a young girl, would cross the [Spanish] border in order to bathe on the rocks. When she met Napoleon III, she told him of her love for the place and his response was to build for her the villa which later became the Hôtel du Palais. Hence, it is like spending one’s holidays in an idea for a wonderful gift.

4. What would be your top Esensual Living pieces to take with you on holiday or as a gift?
All through the year I love picking up little Japanese gadgets and toys that I slip under my guests’ serviettes during the festivities or give to children, whose eyes light up at the sight of these shiny objects. As holiday gifts from Esensual Living, I would choose Arik Levy’s Mistic vase and candle holder in bronze and his Twisters Squares vase edited by GAIA&GINO. Also the delicious scented Plaisir candle by Laura Tonatto.

www.galerieyvesgastou.com

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Photos Courtesy of Hotel du Palais, Lifestyle Photos by Vincent Thibert and Christophe Roué

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