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Of craft, tales, legends: The Host Edition

Host with Legends: Giorgio Armani by Host Theatre, Dubai, January 2024


Please note that this is a long read, and I recommend you book a table for an immersive theatrical performance at Hotel Armani, Dubai, before you decide to sit down with these words. The 'Host With Legends' experience brought together by Parure Atelier and The Host Theatre is an exclusive journey into the life of fashion visionaries — a series of immersive theatrical performances that bring to life the untold stories of geniuses, recounted by the hotel employees who observed their daily lives from behind the scenes. and the unique show (Immersive Theatre Performance About the Fashion Legend at Luxury Hotel) is one of the many presentations by  The Host Theatre, every Saturday at 4 pm.


All the world's a stage

“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven age (William Shakespeare).” You’ll never know if someone is performing a part or being themselves. What role am I playing now? Am I a paid actor delivering a scripted monologue, or am I a spectator who was enticed to spin an original story? “On a Saturday afternoon, Giorgio Armani opened his wardrobe, and all he saw in there were black suits,” I begin to weave. Another actor, James Jackson, the Head Concierge at Armani Hotel, Dubai, shared how Giorgio loves his all-black look. I doubt if he’s the Head Concierge or if his name is even James Jackson. But then, it’s a stage — you can be who you wish to be.


Scones and strangers

Butter, clotted cream, jam, and chocolate — you douse the scone with layers of each. Ultra-buttery with a hint of sweet tanginess, the scone melts in my mouth as I sip into a peeping hot cuppa of Flat White. The powdered coffee atop is marked with an ‘A,’ making it easier for me to select to be part of Team A for the evening. Team V for Gianni Versace is strong; their lead actor is full of surprises — at one point, he shares anecdotes on Versace, and at another, he walks in with a supermodel, and before we know it, we’re all on the ramp. You cheer on strangers as they keep a poker face, with an eye on the prize. Chin down and eyes focused on one point without smiling. They walk straight without the arms swinging, oozing confidence and attitude, and the crowd breaks into applause and excited shrieks— leaving their table (laid with the most exquisite Mozaralla, Lobster, Salmon, Cucumber, and Tuna sandwiches) behind to catch a glimpse of the stars!


A pianist serenades you through the evening, and the bite-sized delights from the patisserie make you forget who and where you are. You put your best foot forward as you design an outfit on a black canvas handed to you — a cloak, a shirt, a dress, a gown, a blazer — you’re suddenly the child who is fearless to have fun, sans a thought of the childlike task at hand. You have a good laugh and order another cup of tea. 


Our lives are made up of scents

The familiar aroma of cinnamon and dukhoon is how you like your Arabic coffee. The whiffs of Indian spices make you hungry, just as it reminds you of the picnics on the grass. The fragrance of lily transports you to the calm evening at home with a loved one. You pause, play, rewind, and forward as you savour a bouquet of scents the hosts hand you over strips sprayed with perfumes — all your senses work together to find the answer to the question — do you have a nose for…?


It’s your turn to act

You can act as a child playing tea time with dolls, holding the teacup with your pinky in, the way you saw adults do at parties when you were kids or in Barbie movies. Or you can sit up straight and play the part of an aristocrat sitting with associates and making business decisions that would change the fate of your employees or the industry. Or you could just be a motley of individuals out there to experience something new — a DIY artisan, a quirky storyteller, a thinker who understands aromas, or just an individual hoping to have some laid-back fun over luxe gourmet bites as a piano plays in the background. It’s your stage; you can be who you wish to be for an evening.


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Once Upon A Table is a series that will appear and disappear from time to time. A series that will be filled with anecdotes, reflections, questions, and observations. To become a part of it, drop us a line, at hello@purvagrover.com


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