The human concern with the spaces we occupy is peak. The homes we’ve spent more time in than hermits in hovels have become our most sacred sanctuaries. Friends in big cities, renting fifth-floor walk-ups without full kitchens and few creature comforts because they work all day and party all night? Those days are gone… for now. 

Buying cheap flat-pack furniture when you’re barely home is one thing, but when you have to spend a much more significant chunk of time nesting, invest. 
Now, we need comfort; spaces that make us happy. That antique deep-pile persian rug you saw in the souk? Get it. That full set of copper pots and an over-island rack to hang them on? Get them too. Spiritual smudging? Obviously. And ancient Feng Shui? Absolutely.

And while mid-century is largely minimalist – easy on the eye, with clean lines, and gentle organic curves – there is a burgeoning movement towards maximalism.It started before the pandemic, but the sentiment of surrounding yourself with a lot of things you love is one that’s become increasingly attractive.

Find your local antique furniture shop and go ham. We have a pre-loved furniture store in Dubai called La Brocante where you can find antiques alongside Natuzzi – go there. And, of course, browse through this issue for more essential info – do you know your Saarinen from your Sottsass? The former features in our mid-century milestones post and the latter in a scintillating multipage exposition by our contributing art editor Patrick J. Reed. 

In this issue, one of the world’s foremost maximalist interior designers, Sig Bergamin, posits his well informed theories. 

But while our own homes have become nuclei so decidedly, we are also reminded of the spaces we miss, and on the occasions we venture beyond our own walls, we’re drawn even more to special spaces that inspire us. Martin Brudnizki, another of the most well-respected interior designers of our day, tells us why the design of restaurants and nightclubs will be all the more important post-pandemic. 

With all this visual bounty though, some items of a more sobering sort. The spaces we build for ourselves are our worlds, but with climate crises, we need to adapt. Architect Michael Pawlyn, whose incredible TED Talk I stumbled across earlier this year, has penned a piece for us on the importance of integrating with existing ecosystems, and biomimicry – design inspired by the highly evolved animals and organisms that already inhabit our planet.

Journalist Sven Ehmann makes a compelling case against anything maximalist, advocating everything in moderation, and that less, at least in ecological terms, is more. 

Of course, for fashion, we accessed some of our favorite architectural locations – Chanel Haute Couture, lensed by Kevin Larreguy at the Brutalist Centre National de la Danse; Dior Ready-to-Wear, lensed by Olaf Wipperfürth at the contemporary/traditional Institut du Monde Arabe; or Dior Jewelry, lensed by Philipp Jelenska at the late Zaha Hadid’s new The Opus in Dubai – all extraordinary. 

And last, but by all means the most, we have ROSSY DE PALMAthe spellbinding Spanish actress, and muse to some of the biggest names in fashion. 

We shot her in her home town of Madrid, in a 19th century, almost certainly enchanted palace, wearing fairytale gowns, all accessorized by that most talented prince charming, aka Roger Vivier’s Creative Director, Gherardo Felloni, who also graced us with a cameo. 

It seems wishes really do come true.
Ali Y. Khadra, Sorbet Founder and Editor-in-Chief