Starting us on our journey, the phenomenally talented and beautiful Audrey Tautou speaks to us on her life as an artist and stars in our first ever haute couture fashion story photographed at the legendary Hotel de Crillon in Paris. We pay tribute to the insurmountable skill of the couture ateliers and in our special fashion report we travel to China to discover whether the future of these iconic European artisans could in fact lie in the hands of a discerning new Asian customer. And we ask various professors to decipher the role of ancient philosophy in modern day China and whether the lessons of Confucius, now held dear in the West, still have a role to play in today’s burgeoning superpower. In a bid to understand the contentious yet massively powerful role of faith – specifically religion – in photography, we speak to ten of the most prolific artists exhibiting today to discover why religion still holds such a strong influence over seeming atheists.
In art, trailblazer Ed Ruscha speaks to us on the greatness of words, and we conclude our two part special report on the rise of China’s art market and ask, will the bubble burst? In travel we profile the most innovative hotels around the world, and in our Space section, luminary architect Steven Holl explains how public spaces are the DNA of democracy – an idea he is pioneering in China. To conclude our exploration, we speak to Red Cross director Sir Nicholas Young who reveals the most powerful act of faith of all – that of generosity. Because to give, one must have absolute faith that one’s gift will be used wisely and one must give without assurance of receiving in return. We hope that you will enjoy our small offering and will be encouraged to pursue or discover your own faiths, however multifarious they may be.