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Its arts time. Today, 15th September 2022, sees the London opening of CLARIDGE’S ArtSpace exhibition of photos by Gavin Bond. His archive imagery, much of it hitherto unseen – see above – covers from the early ‘90s on.  In a 4-D showcase, Gavin Bond: Being There Showcase presented by Moët & Chandon and Claridge’s, presents standout fashion moments featuring such designers as Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier, and Valentino and Versace, plus supermodels of the era – from Kate and Naomi to Claudia and Carla. There are also displays of Bond’s many scrapbooks, collections of 90s headline catwalk show invitations and video footage from the era.

In 1988, Gavin Bond enrolled as a fashion student at Central Saint Martins London CSM. He had unfettered access to dive into the world of fashion backstage – one intimate portrait shows Kristen McMenamy quaffing Moët & Chandon backstage at John Galliano. ‘Bond was formulating his craft at a time when Moët & Chandon was making waves within the fashion scene in the late 80s and early 90s’, says Alexei Rosin, Moët Hennessy UK Managing Director • Claridge’s ArtSpace opened October 2021 as part of its long and ongoing commitment to the arts and invites long-standing friends and gallerists within the art world to stage rotating exhibitions and shows. Gavin Bond: Being There Showcase presented by Moët & Chandon and Claridge’s will be the space’s fourth exhibit.

Also London, THE BEAUMONT holds its next literary evening Monday 3rd October, featuring guest speaker Melvin Bragg, best known today for his weekly erudite radio programme In Our Time, which encompasses life past and present.  Bragg, a Labour Peer, was brought up above a pub and, at 82, is still as interested, and interesting, as ever. Beaumont MD Duncan Palmer and his marketing genius Martine De Geus started virtual literary gatherings during lockdown and, highly popular, they are  now in-person and virtual.

Looking ahead, SONEVA JANI in the Maldives holds it next literary festival 12-21 May 2023. Already signed up are Booker Prize winner Damon Galgut; Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson; Sahitya Akademi awardee Namita Gokhale; British historian and television presenter Simon Sebag Montefiore; Yale professor in the departments of astronomy and physics Priyamvada Natarajan; and best-selling historian William Dalrymple. Soneva Jani’s festival, a partner of the Jaipur festival, is personally overseen by Soneva’s highly-literate Chairman, Sonu Shivdasani.

Now, another entertaining character, who in this case breaks with much of her past, Amruda Nair: