A collection of backstage banter and sunburnt gossip from the property mega-fair
Astragal was pleased to finally meet a Ukrainian minigarch at this year’s MIPIM property fair in Cannes. He needed some advice – could Astragal suggest a few architects to undertake two 1,400m2 penthouse interiors in Kiev? What’s the brief? ‘I don’t like minimalism style. And I don’t like traditional style either.’ OK, then. FAT? ‘Looks too cheap.’ Richard Hywel Evans? ‘Too minimalistic.’ Conran and Partners? ‘Do they design for anyone famous?’ This client is solid gold – whoever he goes with will have fun choosing his taps.
This year, MIPIM organiser Reed MIDEM branded the property fair with banners featuring the famous Easter Island statues. The sad-faced Polynesian stone carvings were everywhere – a strange choice to celebrate MIPIM’s 20th anniversary, especially during worsening industry conditions. The brooding statues are all that remains of the society that made them. The inhabitants cut down every tree on the tiny island to make the tools to fashion and transport the idols. In the process, they destroyed its ecology, ended up with no food and turned to cannibalism. There were no survivors. Happy birthday MIPIM!
Twitter proved a godsend at MIPIM. Not only could you immediately update the web world with every drunken antic, you could simultaneously look engaged in an important (if imaginary) business deal on your Blackberry. Some highlights from the Tweet-o-sphere:
Emily39: Managed to corner Kevin McCloud by a carp pool for a minute earlier. He was eating beef stew.
EGNadiaElghamry: Wonder if anyone at MIPIM has found the party rumoured to be serving £2.99 Morrisons Chianti.
KieranLong: Cows humping each other in Peter Murray’s Pecha Kucha.
BobPinkett: Boris Johnson quotes Apocalypse Now in his speech. Hits all the right buttons with the crowd.
RoryOlcayto: OK… the QS mad squad have launched a stage invasion and are shaking to Volare.
Becky: Nice airport full of suits eating Burger King – a late attempt to shake lingering MIPIM hangovers?
Unsurprisingly, Astragal found that sexism is alive and well at MIPIM. At a six-course business lunch, the vice-president of a PR company, who had the misfortune of being tall, blond and the only woman there, was encouraged to provide an extra level of care for her clients. On the rooftop terrace where the meal was served, a fountain burbled in the background. ‘I thought you’d be waiting for us in the Jacuzzi,’ also burbled one client. Yawn.