For Vogue’s December 2004 issue, an assembled team, including acclaimed creative director Grace Coddington, photographer Patrick Demarchelier, supermodel Daria Werbowy (and brother Orest), hairstylist Didier Malige, and makeup artist Gucci Westman, descended upon Motu Tane (“Island of Universal Love”) for a fantastical homage to the area. Motu Tane, found on the atoll of Bora Bora, acted as the resort on which Francois Nars, father of NARS cosmetics, resided. Nars’ fascination with the Society Islands arose from his love of classic films, many of which portrayed the South Seas as “a faraway, magic place…I guess it was always a dream to go there.” Following his purchase of Motu Tane, transforming the area into a “fantasy island” proved no small task. The overhaul required the help of engineers from France, ecologists from Australia, landscape artist Pascal Cribier (who has worked for Versailles), and famed interior designer Christian Liaigre. The designer created a “village enclave” based off of a fare potee, an island meeting house that was featured in Tahitian communities of the past, and added eight guest bungalows, all while attempting to remain true to the essence of the island. While Nars settled into French Polynesia, he immersed himself into the culture of the area, inviting weavers and dancing troupes to his retreat, both of which are paid tribute in the editorial.
*All photos courtesy of Vogue. Bowles, Hamish. “Ticket to Paradise.” Editorial. Vogue Dec. 2004: 287. Print.