LIV­ING THE DREAM

Nights of cham­pagne, danc­ing in moon­light. Soak­ing up rays and swimming with man­tas. This is Motu Tane. By Su­nitha Thayaparan.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Fashionable Life -

There is a place where dreams come true. It is a dot of ver­dant green in the myr­iad, ephemeral blues of the South Pa­cific. Just off the atoll of Bora Bora rests a jewel: Motu Tane, or the Is­land of Uni­ver­sal Love. In the late ’90s, this tiny lit­tle sliver – once the home of the late ex­plorer Paul-Émile Vic­tor and play­ground of na­tive ado­les­cents who danced nights away – cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of François Nars. The force be­hind cult make-up la­bel Nars saw its cre­ative pos­si­bil­ity. This is his real tal­ent – to go be­yond the sur­face, to look within, al­most. By mid-2000 he had not only ac­quired Motu Tane but be­gun an ex­ten­sive de­sign pro­ject with ac­claimed French de­signer Chris­tian Li­ai­gre to cre­ate what was to be the ul­ti­mate dream space.

“There is, of course, a nat­u­ral rich­ness to the is­land,” says Nars as we make our­selves com­fort­able in the stun­ning dark-tim­bered lounge of the villa he some­times calls home. Some­what daz­zled by his own naïveté, he re­veals: “I thought buy­ing an is­land was very glam­orous, with­out think­ing at all about what it would take to make it look the way it does now. Now it’s no doubt, a fan­tasy is­land, to­tally com­fort­able and self-suf­fi­cient. But to get to that point was very com­pli­cated!” The prop­erty in­cludes two 929-sq-ft master suites that mix moder­nity and tra­di­tional struc­tures seam­lessly; think thatched roofs and flat-screen TVs paired with ex­otic woods and Wi-Fi. Then there are two smaller suites on the beach­front and nine guest houses with gar­den and beach views. Says Nars, “Motu Tane was de­signed as a space of cel­e­bra­tion, for my fam­ily and loved ones. Some­where you could dine on the beach or deck, bathed in moon­light. It’s my re­treat from the world, which is in­ter­est­ing be­cause I thrive as much on this is­land, as I do when I’m on that other is­land I call home – New York – where the pace is fre­netic.”

In­deed, as the make-up cre­ator who cut his teeth work­ing with renowned artist Olivier Echaude­mai­son and who by 1994 had launched an epony­mous col­lec­tion of 12 lip colours that de­vel­oped into a cos­met­ics and skin­care line, Nars is no stranger to the di­chotomy of fan­tasy and re­al­ity. He pushes bound­aries to their artis­tic ex­treme with play­ful yet provoca­tive names like ev­ery girl’s

The deck, where cock­tails and canapés pre­pared by the is­land’s per­sonal chef are served come evening Chris­tian Li­ai­gre- de­signed rooms are beau­ti­fully ap­pointed with mod­ern con­ve­niences

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