Tag Archives: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Presents Malle Extraordinaire

From now until the end of June, fans of steamer trunks should head over to the Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands for the Malle Extraordinaire exhibition. With a long and illustrious history, Louis Vuitton has garnered many fans around the world, some more prominent than others. To celebrate this and to allow the public to explore this history, the brand has flown in several heritage trunks to Singapore.Malle-Extraordinaire-Singapore-personalised-trunk-2

You would be amazed at how well preserved the trunks are, given that some were created nearly a century ago. However, given that this is Louis Vuitton, a brand renowned in its superior woodwork and leather craftsmanship, this has to be expected. Using materials such as Gaboon and Beech wood, the trunks are sturdy creations that can withstand hard knocks while allowing for the natural expansion of the wood.Malle-Extraordinaire-Singapore-personalised-trunk

On display, are trunks that once held the possessions of royalty and historical figures; clients included Napoleon III’s wife Empress Eugénie de Montijo, the Maharajas of Jammu and the royal family of Egypt. These trunks from the company’s archives even bear the customs stamps as well as shipping and boarding labels that serve as a memento of its original owner’s travels.

Malle-Extraordinaire-Singapore-07Many of these historic trunks were even personalized along with the emblematic monogram or Damier print, allowing the trunk to be recognized from afar. While hat cases may be of little use today and a wardrobe trunk for timepieces may not be the kind of luggage we see often, the Malle Extraordinaire gives us a chance to travel back in time. While the past may very well be in the past, some traditions may never die, which explains why Louis Vuitton still constructs some of its luggage by hand, much like it did in 1854.

The Malle Extraordinaire exhibition will be on display at Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands until June 30. 

Paris Luxury Stores to Open Sunday

As a visitor to Paris, Sundays have always been an excellent time to take in the scenery because the stores are closed – well, not anymore because the city’s top luxury stores will be throwing open their doors from this weekend onwards.

Tourists flocking to the French capital will now be able shop at luxury shops that line the Champs Elysees and the Place Vendome on Sundays as a key government reform comes into effect.

An agreement between luxury shops and employee unions on Sunday hours has come into force, said Sylvie Zawadzki, who heads up tax and social issues at the French Fashion Federation.

The deal allows shops to take advantage of a reform pushed through by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron last year allowing for shops to open on Sundays in newly created international tourist zones in Paris.

Sunday openings for shops in France is severely restricted.

“It is an agreement that provides companies the possibility to open (on Sundays) but it is a decision they take based on their commercial strategy,” said Zawadzki.

The flagship shops of luxury brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton are covered by the deal.

Zawadzki declined to say how many companies are concerned, but according to the business daily Les Echos some 30 brands and nearly 100 shops could now open.

Other international tourist zones cover the central part of Paris, including the area where many of the city’s top department stores are located, including Galeries Lafayette. So far only one, BHV, has reached a deal with its employees.

Focus: Fred Allard Bridges Fashion, Art

French artist Fred Allard says, “Art is the way I express my feelings.” Allard’s style is creating art pieces surrounding fashion using different textures, colors and pictures that express his artistic voice. As a result, Allard revolutionizes the way we look at the bag as a fun, characterful and quirky object.

His recent project ‘Vide son bag’, features a series of bag designs that combine the ordinary with luxury: Campbell soup cans with Chanel handbags, Coke cans with Louis Vuitton bags, Chup-a-chup lollipops with Cartier paper bags – resulting in a style that is funky, unique and fresh. The bags of ‘Vide son bag’, fall in three different categories: the IT Bag, the Basket Bag and the Shopping Paper Bag. With each of these types of bag, he questions our way of using them – the shopping bag does not contain luxury articles but is amongst the most practical; the basket bag, an epitome of practicality and function; and the IT bag, authentic high fashion bags that he fills with everyday products to show the place of the luxury in our everyday lives.

With a background in fashion, Allard has a keen sense of textiles and colors and how they shape imprints, iconographies and culture. He is deeply inspired by street art, pop art, and music and finds food for thought in magazines and department stores. He finds value from observing the street, mixing the array of colors and materials from everyday life in his pieces and weaving commonplace objects into his works. The Allard style is an enthusiasm for materials, words and colors. He manifests his style onto his bags, which he seems to treat as sculptures of the humanistic desire for material wealth: the bag is a symbol of the lives we carry with us – it is both an intimate and personal object.

Beyond just the commonplace, at the heart of Allard’s works is the desire to portray the zeitgeist of the modern society: how our consumerist attitudes and need for status symbols blinds the simple joy of living in the ordinary. His works capture the “everyday objects, like uniting two opposites, the contradiction and the mix,” says Allard. By aligning Hello Kitty next to Hermes, he highlights the contradiction by “combining high end shopping bags and filling them in with products that can be bought from the supermarket, a perfect combination which perfectly blends together to create a unique object.”

Allard studio mirrors that of his works – spray cans lying around, graffiti all over the walls, machinery to create his sculptures of bags, as well as his artist tools: sand, boards, buckets, masks, clamps, brushes, hammer, screws. His studio has the same wealth of textures as his bags have colours. It is no wonder that his studio in the south of France is the incubator for his expressive thoughts.

“Luxury becomes popular and what’s popular become precious”, says Allard. ‘Vide son bag’ juxtaposes the ordinary with the luxury to bring out the fun contradiction of everyday living.

*For more information, please visit www.galeries-bartoux.com.

This story first appeared in Art Republik.

Léa Seydoux Named Louis Vuitton Campaign Girl

Léa Seydoux goes from Bond Girl to campaign girl for Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 campaign. Decked out in the label’s athletic and cyberpunk pieces, the Spectre actress portrays a “daring, confident heroine who is constantly on the move” within the modernist compounds of Cuadra San Christobal. The “travel” campaign is lensed by the famed Patrick Demarchelier and styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé.

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“I deeply admire Nicolas Ghesquière’s work, especially his newness,” Seydoux said earlier this year. “His incessant search for novelty is also highly impressive.”

Find out more about Léa Seydoux and her “travel” experience with Louis Vuitton on L’Officiel.com.

6 Runway Accessory Trends Maximizing Impact

The fashion runways churn out an impressive number of style stories with their trends and designs. Today we take a closer look at the accessories that don’t need to try too hard to catch your attention — simply because you can’t miss them. Bigger is always better it seems with the looks we’ve seen on the catwalk and we can’t wait to share some of our favorites, which are also the favorites of L’Officiel Singapore, who put together this piece.

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Statement necklaces and arm parties have seen their day. With so many designers cutting away garments to reveal necks and shoulders, it only makes sense to draw more attention to these areas via a pair of huge, sweeping shoulder-dusters.Make them the focal accessory by going for interesting details and colour combinations, lots of sparkle, or an arresting sculptural shape.

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Fashion’s fallen head over heels for this punk-tinged hardware, but given it a decidedly feminine touch. Alexander Wang used gold chains to embellish the dainty mesh bags in his romantic all-white Balenciaga collection. Miuccia Prada used them on retro, ladylike pieces in her rich, tactile collection, while Armani and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen draped them on the body to offset light, delicate clothes.

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Plastic truly is fantastic. Designers as varied as Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and John Galliano at Maison Margiela all offered versions of the transparent stuff plastered on bags, heels, sandals and hats. The most directional pieces, though, came from Jonathan Anderson who used it on garments at his eponymous label and on plastic Puzzle bags, pouches, jewelry and even trousers at Loewe.

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If you’re looking to indulge your inner princess fantasies, now is the time to do it. The girls at No 21 wore bands of sparkling stones atop their dreamy white looks. The Rodarte sisters wove medieval-looking gold leaves into their models’ hair, while Dolce and Gabbana crowned their glamorous Italian girls with fruits, crystals and flowers. Not everything was so princess-like though; both Miuccia Prada and Hedi Slimane showed actual tiaras at Miu Miu and Saint Laurent, respectively, but their girls and the clothes had an alluringly rebellious vibe.

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Sandals are a fail-proof summer staple but they’ve now been given a fun fashion twist via luxe materials, bright punchy prints and, most importantly, an elevated standing thanks to a sturdy flatform or a low chunky block heel. We love Fendi’s graphic leather slides, Ferragamo’s strappy ones with pop-coloured soles and those printed Chanel sandals that light up like an airport runway.

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For Spring/Summer ’16, designers have chosen to make their biggest statements in white. The effect is clean and chic, but far from minimal. At Balenciaga, Alexander Wang sent out rucksacks, totes and clutches in beautifully delicate silk satin, lace and woven leathers. Phoebe Philo’s white Céline bags were graphic with interesting hardware details while her Chelsea boots had a chunky, mannish appeal. Massimo Giorgetti’s sandals at Emilio Pucci on the other hand were romantically dotted with pearls.

Story Credits

Text by Jeffrey Yan

This story first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore. 

Louis Vuitton Exhibition to Open in Japan

From Paris and straight to Tokyo, Louis Vuitton brings its highly successful exhibition this spring. Titled Volez, Voguez, Voyagez the exhibit spent its three-month run in Paris this past winter drawing in 200,000 visitors. We covered that run right here.

The exhibition tracks the 160-year history of a brand that originated from one man’s goal of improving the travel trunk. From Nicolas Ghesquière to the founders themselves, it will showcase an in depth map of how the brand reached its success today. Now an international empire of luxury goods, Louis Vuitton has a strong connection to Japan.

Many have even compared the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram to the Japanese cherry blossom. The exhibit will have a special room dedicated to Japan. The exhibition will open in the Kioicho neighbourhood of Tokyo, home of Vuitton’s first store in Japan.

The Volez, Vogues, Voyagez exhibition will run from April 23 in Tokyo and will be open to the public.

In Pictures: 9 High Jewelry Pieces to Inspire

Born out of the most imaginative minds, set with spectacular gems mined from the furthest corners of the earth and engineered by the nimblest hands, the high jewelry collections you’re about to see will, quite literally, take your breath away. Our friends at L’Officiel Singapore curated and shot this selection to celebrate their ninth anniversary in 2016.

Tiffany & Co.

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Arrows 18k gold clip with amethysts, diamonds and sapphires.

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Arrows 18k gold clip with amethysts, diamonds and sapphires.

The New York label calls this one of late French jeweller Jean Schlumberger’s most brilliant designs for the house. Handcrafted by artisans, it was, in 2014, made a part of the Blue Book, an annual high jewelry collection celebrating the setting of flawless diamonds and coloured gemstones in Tiffany & Co.’s present-day creations. A large 20.06-carat amethyst sits in the middle of the unique clip, while 18k gold arrows appear to pierce through its fully-pavéd heart.

 

Chanel

From top: Signature Morganite white gold secret watch with diamonds and morganite, and Les Éternelles de Chanel white gold secret watch with diamonds and pink sapphires.

From top: Signature Morganite white gold secret watch with diamonds and morganite, and Les Éternelles de Chanel white gold secret watch with diamonds and pink sapphires.

What appear to be cuff bracelets are in fact secret watches, each designed after things – namely, the camellia, the comet and the feather – that inspired late founder Gabrielle Chanel. This year, the Parisian house adds a fourth piece to its Les Éternelles de Chanel collection, which, through a neat pattern of diamond-set squares, tells the story of the star quilting technique that Chanel has long been known for. At the heart of the ticker sits a 43.66-carat pink morganite pyramid that, when pressed, reveals a small, elegant dial.

 

Bulgari

Giardini Italiani white gold earrings with brilliant-cut diamonds and Colombian emeralds, and Giardini Italiani white gold convertible necklace-brooch with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies.

Giardini Italiani white gold earrings with brilliant-cut diamonds and Colombian emeralds, and Giardini Italiani white gold convertible necklace-brooch with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies.

In this staggering collection are 100 beautiful one-of-a-kind interpretations of what you’d find in an Italian Renaissance garden. Aptly named Giardini Italiani or, Italian Gardens, the Roman house’s latest high jewelry collection has reimagined Colombian emeralds, brilliant-cut diamonds, pink spinels and even a 400-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, among other precious stones, as romantic flower beds, geometric hedges and water cascading off decadent fountains.

 

Chopard

High Jewelry Collection white gold and titanium brooch with amethysts, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, spinels, tsavorites and rubies.

High Jewelry Collection white gold and titanium brooch with amethysts, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, spinels, tsavorites and rubies.

A year after joining the French Couture Federation as jeweller, Chopard has unveiled three unique cuff bracelets handcrafted by artisans in its Geneva Haute Joaillerie ateliers. Our top pick: an ingenious piece that the Swiss maison describesx as “a flight towards spring” – it sports a pair of transformable, iridescent butterflies decked in precious stones. The first has wings that double as earrings while the second detaches to become a brooch.

 

Dior

Clockwise: Granville Tourmaline Verte yellow gold ring with beryls, diamonds, iolites, spessartite garnet, red spinels, rubellite and tourmalines, Granville Peridot yellow gold ring with diamonds, mandarin garnets, peridot, sapphires, and tourmalines, and Granville Tourmaline Verte pink gold ring with aquamarines, chrysoberyls, diamonds, pink spinels, spessartite garnets and tourmalines.

Clockwise: Granville Tourmaline Verte yellow gold ring with beryls, diamonds, iolites, spessartite garnet, red spinels, rubellite and tourmalines, Granville Peridot yellow gold ring with diamonds, mandarin garnets, peridot, sapphires, and tourmalines, and Granville Tourmaline Verte pink gold ring with aquamarines, chrysoberyls, diamonds, pink spinels, spessartite garnets and tourmalines.

Here, Monsieur Dior’s growing up years in Granville on the coast of Normandy were the source of inspiration. Head of fine jewelry Victoire de Castellane captures the playful spirit of childhood games in 12 one-of-a-kind creations. According to the designer, colorful cuts of her favorite stones – aquamarine, beryl, chrysoberyl, rubellite, tanzanite and tourmaline – are arranged with “a sense of equilibrium” in asymmetrical patterns, so no one shade dominates the other.

 

Louis Vuitton

Excelsior white gold ring with diamonds and indigolite tourmalines.

Excelsior white gold ring with diamonds and indigolite tourmalines.

Fluid lines of ’30s Streamline Moderne make a sensual comeback in Acte V/The Escape, Louis Vuitton’s sixth high jewelry collection. Rounded silhouettes borrowed from aeronautics and the hulls of transatlantic steamships are incorporated into the collection, which feature vibrant-color gems (including a 32-carat Paraiba tourmaline and 30-carat Australian Lightning Ridge opal) and a specially-reworked, softer version of the French house’s signature “V” motif.

 

Van Cleef & Arpels

Spanish Ballerina platinum and gold clip with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and Ballerina platinum brooch with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

Spanish Ballerina platinum and gold clip with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and Ballerina platinum brooch with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

Born out of Louis Arpels’ passion for dance, many of the Parisian jeweler’s creations feature ballerinas as recurring icons. First shown in New York in the ’40s, ballerina clips – adorned in precious headdresses and tutus composed of colored gems – were a hit with collectors, who were besotted with the elegant costumes and graceful poses. A specially curated selection will be displayed at the Art Science Museum from April 23 to August 14 as part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ The Art & Science of Gems exhibition.

 

Boucheron

Hirunda the Swallows white gold earrings with diamonds and black lacquer, and Chinha the Eagle white gold ring with diamonds, sapphires and a cabochon tanzanite.

Hirunda the Swallows white gold earrings with diamonds and black lacquer, and Chinha the Eagle white gold ring with diamonds, sapphires and a cabochon tanzanite.

Rich in virtues – bravery, hope and peace – and lavish in build, with no surface left unset, animal-inspired jewel talismans are touted by Boucheron as both precious and protective companions, and have been a part of its emblematic lines since 1858. This year, the French jeweler’s ever-growing Animaux de Collection (it currently features 20 creatures) welcomes a new member, Chinha the eagle, whose regality is translated as an oversized white gold ring anchored with a large cabochon tanzanite.

 

Chaumet

Lumières d’Eau platinum and white gold necklace with frosted rock crystals and diamonds.

Lumières d’Eau platinum and white gold necklace with frosted rock crystals and diamonds.

Divided into 12 sets, a number recalling the address of Chaumet’s Place Vendôme boutique, the Lumières d’Eau collection exquisitely expresses water in its various states. White Ethiopian opals, pearls, lapis lazuli and emeralds conjure vivid images of gleaming lights on the South Seas, the soft tones of the aurora borealis and crashing waves under an aquamarine sky. A highlight of the high jewelry collection, this piece – featuring blocks of diamond-set and frosted rock crystals on a sleek collar necklace – depicts icicles, and embodies the frozen strength of water.

Story Credits
Text by Kenny Loh
Art Direction by Stephanie Lim
Digital Imaging by c.w.

This article was originally published in L’Officiel Singapore

9 Fashion Muse, Designer Pairings 2016

Muses. In Greek mythology, they were believed to be naiads (or water nymphs) and the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Ethereal and enigmatic, these goddesses of inspiration kindled the flames of thought and creativity in the realms of literature, science and the arts, and were invoked at the beginning of lyrical poems so that they might speak through the poet’s words.

Here they are among us, still. Manifested in the form of beguiling celebrities and models, the muses have ruled the cosmos of couture since time immemorial. One only has to mention “Givenchy” to recall one of the most sublime iterations of the designer/muse dyads – that of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, who were acquainted with each other in 1954 on the set of the Billy Wilder film, Sabrina. A mutual success for both parties, the pairing propelled the brand and actress alike towards powerhouse status, one recognised as the quintessence of feminine and elegant style, the other transformed into an international icon.

That was only the beginning. The alliance between designer and muse has persisted fixedly: Joni Mitchell and Yves Saint Laurent, Madonna and Jean Paul Gaultier, and, more recently, Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs, Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace. In the following pages, L’Officiel Singapore celebrates its ninth anniversary with nine of the most exciting and current designer/muse pairings.

The muses have arrived.

Saint Laurent

Former creative director Hedi Slimane’s muses are one of a kind. They love music, know a good party and are virtually inseparable (think Julia Cumming, Lida Fox and Grace Hartzel, who have gone from being fresh faces to superstar models). This Spring/Summer ’16, the designer’s cool-girl squad enlists new names Amelia Rose Akerhielm and Staz Lindes, who share their It list exclusively with L’Officiel Singapore.

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Agency

“Next Management.”

Favorite music band

“Animal Collective.”

Your meeting with Hedi Slimane in three words

“‘Word bank insufficient’!”

Your favourite book

“Diary by Chuck Palahniuk, or maybe Brave New World, or The Archaic Revival by Terence McKenna. My favourites change every day.”

Your favorite number

“Zero.”

Your favorite artists

“Mark Ryden, Lori Early, Alex Gross and Matt Dangler.”

How did you get discovered?

“I was scouted by Mary and Jeff Clarke of Mother Model Management while photographing matching groups of blonde girls and women in neon pink.”

Was the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer ’16 show your first one? How was it?

“Yes, and it was an amazing experience. Though my flight was delayed and I hadn’t slept for a day, arriving in Paris and being at the Grand Palais seemed like a dream.”

Are there any models in the industry you look up to?

“Dita Von Teese – she’s lovely.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I have many vague plans but nothing definite; the future is blurry but colors leak through. I’d like to further my art career and do more live painting, learn to animate, act, write music, refine my poetry and own a chameleon.”   

Describe your personal style

“Eclectic. I don’t value pieces based on their age or price, but for their history and the feelings they evoke.”

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Agency

“Elite.”

Favorite music band

“Best of Doo-Wop Compilations.”

Your meeting with Hedi Slimane in three words

“‘Surprising’, ‘easy’, ‘100 degrees’.”

Your favorite book

“The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Authorised Biography.”

Your favorite number

“Four.”

Your favorite artist

“David Hockney.”

How did you get discovered?

“My band, The Paranoyds, was playing at the opening of a show for my brother.”

Was the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer ’16 show your first one? How was it?

“Yes. It was very surreal and exciting. I felt so lucky.”

Are there any models in the industry you look up to?

“Lily McMenamy, Lili Sumner and Georgia Pratt – they do their own thing and stay true to who they are.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Having fun, whether with travel or settling down on a big ranch with all the animal friends I could dream of.”

Describe your personal style

“It depends what kind of a day it is, but I’m either very feminine or very boyish. Sometimes mature, but mostly adolescent.”

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Muse: Karen Elson

Alessandro Michele might not have specified his official muse, but if we had to put money on it, we’d say it’s model-musician Karen Elson. One of Michele’s ardent supporters, the 37-year-old has been present at all the creative director’s shows since his Cruise ’16 presentation in New York, and was even the star performer at the after-show party. If that isn’t proof enough that the flame-haired beauty is Gucci’s muse, how about this laudation from Michele himself: “Above and beyond being a model, Karen is a woman with an outstanding character and a strong personality… the personification of what beauty means to me.”

Louis Vuitton


Lea Seydoux Louis Vuitton
Muse: Léa Seydoux

Talk about playing with the big boys. The 30-year-old Parisienne, who has been hailed as “Bardot meets Binoche”, has worked alongside Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Ridley Scott (Robin Hood), Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris), Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Sam Mendes (Spectre). Why wouldn’t a brand that always aims for the finest quality choose a muse of an equally exquisite calibre? “I feel extremely proud at the thought of representing such a strong symbol of French elegance, an iconic brand whose initials are known the world over,” Seydoux has said. “I deeply admire Nicolas Ghesquière’s work, especially his modernity and his incessant search for novelty.”

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Muse: Kristen Stewart

Call it a stroke of pure serendipity – Kristen first met Karl Lagerfeld in January 2012 during a photo shoot in Paris, during which she was decked out in Chanel Haute Couture. Soon after, in 2013, the star of Panic Room, the Twilight saga, and On The Road became the face of the Métiers d’art Paris-Dallas 2013/14 collection. Last year, the 25-year-old Certain Women actress was part of Chanel’s “3 girls, 3 bags” handbag campaign, shot by Lagerfeld himself. “It always felt like a privilege to wear Chanel and to be around Karl who is an artist that, for me, constantly inspires,” Stewart has said.

BurberryMay-and-Ruth-Bell-Burberry

Muse: May & Ruth Bell

Cara Delevingne, James May, Edie Campbell, Tom Odell – just some of the names that have inspired Christopher Bailey. This season, the spotlight falls on twins May and Ruth Bell. “Shooting our first Burberry campaign was surreal – you don’t ever really think that you’re going to do something like that,” they’ve said. “You wish you will one day, because when you think of who has been in Burberry campaigns in the past, they’re just on a different level!”

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Muse: Karlie Kloss

“Karlie was a perfect choice to represent – and celebrate – the multifaceted nature of today’s woman,” says Diane von Furstenberg. “She is a supermodel, she is an entrepreneur, she gives back, she is a student, she is close to her family. She’s passionate, constantly improving herself, fearless. She knows who she is and is never afraid to show it. She is the woman she wants to be. Together, we invite all women to find this spirit and confidence in themselves.”

Tod’sTODS-Muses

Muse: Antonine Peduzzi, Chelsea Tyler, Chloe Norgaard, Cora Corre, Giulia and Camilla Venturini, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Langley Fox Hemingway, Lizzy Jagger, Louisa Gummer, Mae Lapres, Polly Morgan, Quentin Jones, Sonia Sieff, and Tea Falco

When the muses speak, one listens. In the case of Tod’s, the brand has taken heed of 15 of them – all strong personalities from the fields of music, art, film, fashion and photography. Collectively dubbed Tod’s Band, the ensemble includes fashion’s newest darlings, twin sisters and artists Giulia and Camilla Venturini, as well as Chinese-Canadian model Mae Lapres, illustrator Langley Fox Hemingway (great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway), and celebrity offspring Louisa Gummer and Lizzy Jagger (daughters of Meryl Streep and Mick Jagger, respectiviely).

Kate SpadeJourdan-Dunn-Kate-Spade

Muse: Jordan Dunn

Crowned Model of the Year at London’s British Fashion Awards last November, the 25-year-old brunette leads a colorful cast of characters in Kate Spade New York’s Spring 2016 campaign. Says Deborah Lloyd, the brand’s president and Chief Creative Officer, “Similar to our customer, Jourdan is a woman who wears many hats, as a model, mother, philanthropist and chef. She embodies the spirit of the ‘Kate Spade New York girl’ perfectly, and we’re excited to share this spirit through our spring 2016 campaign and collection.”

Giorgio ArmaniCate-Blanchett-Armani

Muse: Cate Blanchett

How does one turn a fragrance advertisement into an impassioned short film worthy of an Oscar? Have two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett as a source of inspiration – and the star – of course. Always a vision on the red carpet, the 46-year-old Australian is the face of Si, Giorgio Armani’s eau de toilette fragrance. “Working with Cate Blanchett, on and off the screen, has always been a highlight for me,” Giorgio Armani has said. We couldn’t agree more.

Story Credits

Text by Justin Cheong & Kenny Loh

This story first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore.

Interview: Sang Woo Kim

A sense of purpose plays a crucial role in helping an outsider settle into a foreign environment. Think of a youngster, a second generation South Korean living in London, modeling for British luxury house Burberry. It was obviously designed, at least in part, to be scorned by your average fashion devotee. Yves Saint Laurent who once quantified that “a good model can advance fashion by ten years.”  That same sort of dynamic applies in the case of Sang Woo Kim, where fashion works like a frivolous panacea for the well-being of creative types.

The observant are likewise mindful that Diesel’s recent Spring/Summer campaign doesn’t just feature a pursed-lips Joe Jonas and model Trevor Signorino. It also stars the South Korea-born Sang, who has become an unconventional poster boy for forward-thinking labels, thanks to his unique Asian features.

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Gucci cotton jacket, cotton shirt, cotton pants, leather belt; stylist’s own tie

A better question: why are labels like Kenzo, DKNY, Vivienne Westwood and Dolce & Gabbana giving shine to an outlier like Sang? The hip factor of how progenies of the Asian diaspora have integrated themselves has clearly leveled the playing field.

Growing up in London after his parents emigrated when he was still a toddler, Sang’s career began on the front-lines: he joined Prada as a public relations intern in South Korea. Working in this position quickly dispelled any idealized notion of glitz and glamour.  He realized that to make it in the industry involved lots of hard work, and a commitment to professionalism on a daily basis.

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Louis Vuitton wool knitted top, silk pants, silk scarf

It also got him noticed. Evidently, the 22-year-old doesn’t look like the typical runway model, even by Asian standards. Yes, he’s tall and lanky. And his lack of muscle definition renders him the perfect muse to self-classified avant garde designers. But his resting expression is that of a perpetual annoyance that looks like the physical manifestation of a fisheye app replete with caricature-like single-eyelids and impossibly defined cheekbones.

Here is a pensive young man with slicked back hair who spends balmy days studying at Central Saint Martins (CSM). He excelled at painting and still considers himself, first and foremost, an artist by refusing to be pigeon-holed as a human mannequin. The Goldsmith Fine Art student channels his inner-being onto canvas using colors, giving expression to his personality. It took a while to rediscover his schoolboy skills but Sang enjoys every moment, taking advantage of his new lifestyle and contacts to showcase his other portfolio. And part of the reason he acts the way he does – the attitude, the nose ring – is to exasperate the haters. If no one is going to give you a hard time, then why bother.

04-Sang-Woon-Kim-MF

Louis Vuitton wool jacket, silk shirt, wool pants, silk scarf

“Although I’ve always been seen as ‘different’, I never felt different,” he says, gesturing emotively like he usually does, while his words are ironically laced with self-depreciating Brit charm. It is equal parts nature-versus-nurture, and equal parts millennial self-assuredness. Indeed, he has a distinctive face, to say the least, and it was an X Factor that got him one a foot into the door of London’s Select Model Management. “I have to thank my parents for the way I look,” he jokes, mentioning that his father returned to South Korea when Sang was a teenager due to work commitments.

There are some who are unconvinced, and he shrugs off the occasional racism on what is now his home turf of Hampton as something that comes with the territory. And he feels it’s kind of the point. “The best thing about being at university was that students would mingle freely and converse without any preconceived prejudice,” he explains. “We had absolute freedom to express ourselves creatively.”

05-Sang-Woon-Kim-MF

Louis Vuitton, leather jacket, silk shorts

When he travels, you can add cross-culture cacophony, considerable jet-lag, and advanced dehydration to the formula. As he moves from one “adventure” (a word that he uses often) to another, he gets caught up in the flow of meeting new people and new experiences.

Evidently, where others would quail with apprehension or throw up their hands in despair when segregated as a minority, Sang sees the challenges as good opportunities to learn and grow, and to emerge a self-actualized individual who isn’t about to be blatantly demographed and rejected as a matter of principle.

What prompted your start in modelling?

I studied at Central Saint Martins (CSM) and many of the fashion students were friends who asked if I could be a model for their projects and assignments. Normally, they’ll buy me coffee or lunch as ‘repayment’, which I gleefully accepted! This became a regular occurrence and a friend of mine, who was a photographer, urged me to walk into a modeling agency. Everything else happened quite naturally right after.

06-Sang-Woon-Kim-MF

Louis Vuitton silk shirt, silk scarf

You have very unique facial features? Do you think they will affect your career in fashion in the long run?

I’ve lived in London since I was six months old when my parents migrated to London from South Korea. Naturally, I was an ethnic minority and looked different to most of my friends and peers, but college was a creative hub where people strived to be different. I do not know what the future holds, but there were never any expectations of what I needed to achieve at such a young age. Hence, my only concern is living in the present. This is the very same mindset when I got my start and it has served me well.

Growing up in London, did it help with being connected to the scene?

Being able to converse and maintain relationships with right people has been important. It wasn’t done intentionally because the individuals that I’ve maintained relationships with are my genuinely friends, regardless of whether they are in the fashion industry or not. The only advice for any aspiring model is just to be true to yourself. Also, treat people with respect and do not take anything for granted. Every opportunity is a blessing in disguise. It’s the experience and journey that matters.

How did your love of painting come about?

To be honest, I’ve loved painting ever since I can remember. It’s always been a part of my life so I cannot imagine living without it. Modeling is hardly my lifelong goal as I’ve always wanted to be an artist who thrives in difference disciplines such as drawing and photography. I’m just luckily that fashion modeling came about without me having to think about it. The fact that it blew up into something bigger than I can ever imagine is a plus. The challenge in the future is to achieve similar success as an artist, which will be challenging and exciting in equal measures.

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Dolce & Gabbana cotton T-shirt, cotton pants, woven belt

Art and fashion seems to influence one another, if you have the option work on a project combining the both, what would it be?

I would love to work and collaborate with my university mates. It is so refreshing and exciting to see them branching into the industry and working in the same field in different capacities. I would love to create an ecosystem for all of us to be able to work and collaborate constantly on different projects.

You are one of the most recognizable faces in the fashion world. Was it hard getting to where you are? Is there pressure to keep evolving?

I like to believe that I don’t view myself as how the ‘fashion world’ sees me. For sure, I am very fortunate and appreciate of the blessings and opportunities that came my way. Have I actually accomplished anything? It’s debatable. There are clearly more important things in life than what I’m doing. It gets difficult when people see you differently. I guess that has always been the struggle because when your physical identity is constantly on display, yet the voyeurs don’t actually know you, there will be preconceptions of what you’re like as a person. I don’t feel any unhappiness as a result of this, simply because they have no right to judge me. I don’t need to conform to what society tells me to do. I’ll be perfectly contented if it all ends tomorrow as I’ll be on the lookout for my next adventure.

08-Sang-Woon-Kim-MF

Gucci silk jacket, cotton shirt, silk pants, leather sandals

The shelf life for a model is relatively short, have you considered what you want to do after? 

I feel that there will not be an ‘after’. The modeling happened incidentally while I was living life the only way I knew how. As I said, it’s about what happens now and not dwelling on the past or overthinking about the future. The present is literally a gift. It’s the only time when I know that I’m alive in this world, and that’s important to me.

What does your family think of your prissier vocation?

They are happy that I am living the life that I wanted. I don’t really know (or want to know) what they actually think of my job per se. As long as they are happy and they know that I’m happy, that’s all that counts. I would say they are ‘proud’ of the fact that I’m earning my keep in this manner, because I look just like them [laughs].

Story Credits
Text by Jason Kwong
Photography by Nil Hoppenot/Silver Lake Photography
Styling by Steven Doan/Wilhelmina One
Fashion Direction by Titien Wang

This article was originally published in Men’s Folio

Louis Vuitton: Alicia Vikander and the Twist

Louis Vuttion brings the Twist back this season, with the help of Alicia Vikander. Having first premiered in 2015, as part of the Maison’s Cruise collection, the Academy Award winner fronts the campaign with a new video. Inspired by the seasons and the Pochette Trapeze, Louis Vuitton has found a way to present a refreshing update to a new classic design.

Find out more about Louis Vuitton’s Twist bag on L’Officiel Singapore.

Ages of Louis Vuitton: Fall/Winter 2016

Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear runway collection for fall/winter 2016 brings several unique pieces that capture the journey made by the luxury icon through the years. Far from being a helpless damsel in distress, the Louis Vuitton woman is decked in futuristic designs that would probably make Lara Croft proud (if Lara Croft were a real person and tomb raiding was actually a good idea).LV-Autumn-Winter-2016-article

With the help of Louis Vuitton’s heritage, yesterdays’ creations are modified for the present and set to be staples for the future. To suit the coming winter season, the collection features fitted coats and jackets made of leather and fur. Other designs that feature heavily in the collection are asymmetrical hemlines on skirts and dresses with bright red, dark blue and brown dominating the color scheme. Elements of Louis Vuitton’s relationship with its equestrian past are seen in pieces that resemble riding gear.LV-Autumn-Winter-2016-article2

Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière is certainly reinventing the brand by using classic Louis Vuttion designs in a manner that appeals to all ages (by this we mean the designs are timeless, not that toddlers would be hankering for this brand of high fashion). Accompanying the clothes were 57 columns of concrete and shattered mirrors by artist Justin Morin. Seated amongst the work inspired by Morin’s Melted Bones (2011), were Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss and the Maison’s IT girl Alicia Vikander.

 

5 Memorable Looks from Paris Fashion Week

Nine days, 90 major runway shows for Fall/Winter and a boatload of designs later, Paris Fashion Week has finally come to a close. While we would love to relive each show and share the collections with you, it would be impossible and quite honestly exhausting. In place of that, we have come up with an alternative that still keeps you in the loop. Here are the five memorable looks from Paris fashion week.

The ‘80s

We saw the decade make an appearance at Saint Laurent. Hedi Slimane didn’t hold back at the Maison’s show with the shoulder pads, big belts, bows and earrings. He even threw in a few mini-skirts that seemed to travel their way through time to be there. Other designers influenced by the ‘80s glamour, were Kenzo, Lanvin, Maison Margiela and Giambattista Valli.

Kenzo at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Kenzo at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Warrior Chic

From bikers to cowgirls and Indian braves, the runways were filled with the “no-nonsense” woman. Brands such as Louis Vuttion and Loewe featured black leather bustiers; Vuttion even paired it with skinhead and dominatrix boots for a tough-as-nails look. The armored look didn’t merely encompass the bustiers but even extended to toughened up tutus by Valentino.

The Bourgeoise

The gothic Victorian look had a spot in the limelight amidst the aggressive glamour. With a twist on the 19th century coats and suits, it’s not difficult to imagine the liberated gentlewoman wrapping herself in pieces from Lemaire, Veronique Branquinho and Stella McCartney.

Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

The Thigh-Highs

High boots are definitely in. Males excited by this may like to know they are indeed for walking all over you. From thigh-high Puss in Boots to skinny, cavalier, lusciously soft suede, riding boots and S&M, they were everywhere. Balmain, Rick Owens, Ungaro, Barbara Bui, Wanda Nylon, Masha Ma and Luis Buchinho built much of their looks around them.

Shine Bright like a Diamond

Paris has a new sheen again and it is not just from all the leather. From the first day when Anrealage debuted its symphony of space age grey, to Dries Van Noten’s deliciously judicious use of gold lame to Saint Laurent’s flashy uptown girls, the catwalks have gleamed with shiny fabrics and surfaces. It reached a pinnacle in Haider Ackermann’s jewel-toned glitter ball of hard-edged glamour.

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

8 Winning Jewelry Looks at Oscars 2016

Unlike the parade of off-whites and reds, this year’s Academy Awards Red Carpet proved to be a revolving door of varying styles, silhouettes and colors. As with previous years, the outfits were not complete without some of the finest jewelry and the stars did not disappoint. It was truly difficult to select just a few of our favorites but we did it. Luxuo brings you eight of our favorite accessories from the 2016 Oscars Red Carpet.

Saoirse Ronan with ChopardSaoirse-Ronan-Full-Length-Article

Hoping to bring the luck of the Irish with her, the young actress walked the red carpet in a green Calvin Klein gown. It was a case of less is more as she paired her outfit with mismatched earrings by the jeweler Chopard. Taken from the Maison’s High Jewelry Collection, the Best Actress nominee was a hot topic of discussion with her red carpet choice. Her earrings featured pearls, 18.28 carats of emeralds, 5.74 carats of jadeites and 3.25 carats of diamonds in white gold. She also chose an emerald and diamond ring in white gold to complete her look.

Brie Larson with NiwakaBrie-Larson-Oscars-article

The newly minted Oscar winner went with Gucci for her big night. She chose a half-updo that was held in place by a beautiful diamond brooch, worn as a barrette, that lent a fairy-tale like feel to her flowing periwinkle gown. She kept it fairly simple with elegant Niwaka diamond and pearl earrings while a pearl encrusted belt has helped seal her status as the breakout style star this award season, coming close to Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyango.

Charlize Theron with Harry WinstonCharlize-Theron-Article

One of our favorites on the list is Charlize Theron, who starred in Mad Max: Fury Road. While the movie swept up numerous awards that night, Theron stunned on the red-carpet in a red number from Dior. It’s not a color that she has worn on the carpet and it certainly is refreshing. What caught our attention though were her accessories. No better way to complement the deep neckline than with Harry Winston diamonds. Worth nearly $3.7 million, she selected a 48.8 carat Secret Cluster diamond necklace, 15.49-carat Winston Diamond Cluster earrings. She completed it with an 8.78-carat cushion-cut diamond ring with micropave setting and a 7.44 carat Queen diamond ring, all of which were set in platinum.

Jennifer Garner with Neil LaneJennifer-Garner-article

This may just be the new “revenge dress” that was previously made famous by Princess Diana. The black asymmetrical custom-made Atelier Versace number, was the perfect balance of sultry and sweet and made the newly single-star one of the favorites for every best-dressed list. Rather than going with plain diamonds, the actress selected one that featured 10 carats worth of diamonds and a hint of color. Her wrists sparkled with four bracelets weighing in at 150 carats. The diamond and platinum bracelets amount to a whooping $2.5 million dollars. To bring it all together, she also wore an emerald-cut diamond ring worth $250,000.

Naomi Watts with BulgariNaomi-Watts-Oscars-article

Talk about classic Hollywood glamour. The Australian beauty arrived in a custom-made Armani Privé number that left many guessing its exact color. The metallic sequins changed from a deep blue to a bright purple under the spotlight as she made her way down the carpet. There to support her husband Leiv Schriber for his nomination, she selected an elaborate statement necklace from Bulgari to complete her glamorous ensemble.

Cate Blanchett with Tiffany & Co.Cate-Blanchett-Oscars-article

We expected her to show up with something from the Tiffany Blue Book collection and she did. What shocked many however was the dress itself by Armani Privé. On anyone else this pastel blue with feather flowers would have looked all wrong but on the Oscar winner, it looked elegant and appropriate. She paired her gown with platinum drop earrings set with marquise and round cut diamonds. For some arm-candy, she chose a starfish cuff with round diamonds and a ring with a 2.3 carat round diamond and round diamond border, all in platinum.

Tina Fey with BulgariTina-Fey-Oscars-article

Not bad Liz Lemon, not bad at all. Not a shade you see the actress in very often, and also not one that would flatter many. Yet the former Oscar host made a statement in a custom Atelier Versace gown. One critic compared her look for the night to Liz Taylor and we agree. Her strapless silhouette was accompanied by a diamond and sapphire necklace from Bulgari’s High Jewelry collection. It is purely coincidental that Taylor is strongly associated with Bulgari.

Alicia Vikander with Louis VuittonAlicia-Vikander-Oscars-article

The Swedish actress has showcased some interesting looks on the red carpets this season. Many expected her to arrive in a edgy metallic number from Louis Vuitton, like what we saw at the Baftas and Golden Globes. Instead Vikander channelled Belle from Beauty and the Beast — her Prince Charming a.k.a Michael Fassbender was not far on the carpet. She accessorised it with Louis Vuitton chandelier earrings that featured the brand’s floral emblem. A fairy-tale ending for a whirlwind year that has seen the actress go from relative unknown to Oscar winner.

Test: All Porsche Langkawi Driving Dreams

Nothing says style and luxury quite like Porsche in the world of automobiles. As part of its Driving Dreams campaign, I travelled to Langkawi Island to come up-close and personal with Porsche’s latest crop, a stunning range that runs the gamut from the bachelor-approved 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet to the newest incarnation of the ever-popular Cayenne S. The location was the dreamy Four Seasons Resort, just right by the picturesque and seemingly boundless Andaman Sea, the perfect location considering the occasion at hand. After all, it is entirely acceptable, and common, I’d think, for speed enthusiasts to dream about cruising in a Porsche.

To get behind the mechanics of the latest range, one had to get behind the wheel. I was presented with an incredible collection of cars: 911 Turbo, 911 Carrera GTS, 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet, 911 Targa 4, Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS, Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Cayenne S, Cayenne Diesel, Panamera S E-Hybrid, Panamera 4, Macan Turbo and Macan S. If you’re car-obsessed, seeing these beauties lined up in a row, one after another, is like waking up on Christmas morning. How can a girl choose? When it comes to Porsche, however, beauty isn’t just skin-deep.

The model wears Ruched lambskin leather dress with cutouts from Celine The car featured, is a 911 Carrera GTS in Carmine Red

The model wears Ruched lambskin leather dress with cutouts from Celine
The car featured, is a 911 Carrera GTS in Carmine Red

“Intelligent performance has been the driving force for Porsche to develop our cars with focus in addressing mobility and connectivity topics. Evidently, Porsche is working on this with the first battery-powered four seat concept car, the Mission E with over 600 hp, over 500 kilometre driving range and around 15 minutes’ charging time to reach an 80 per cent charge of electrical energy,” explained Martin Limpert, the managing director of Porsche Asia Pacific. “With pioneering technologies that combine performance and efficiency, Porsche continues to build the sportiest cars in the segment and strengthening the position as the world’s most successful manufacturer of exclusive sports cars.”

After taking in the splendour of all 14 of the cars before me, it was time to put them to the test. The order of business was to take them across Langkawi Island, a nearly 200-kilometre journey through the villages and past iconic landmarks, from the lighthouse at Pantai Cenang to the breathtaking Gunung Raya, the island’s tallest mountain.

The model wears a Cotton-poplin shirt, wool-gabardine blazer, wool-twill tuxedo pants, silk bow and wide-brimmed felt hat from Saint Laurent. The car featured is a 911 Carrera GTS and Panamera 4 in Carmine Red

The model wears a Cotton-poplin shirt, wool-gabardine blazer, wool-twill tuxedo pants, silk bow and wide-brimmed felt hat from Saint Laurent.
The car featured is a 911 Carrera GTS and Panamera 4 in Carmine Red

My first model was the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Aside from clean and ultra sleek leather-covered interiors, which is expected, since this is Porsche we’re talking about, the first thing you’d notice is how audibly absent the engine is. You sort of have to check that it’s on and even then you’re unconvinced. That’s the fossil-free battery talking – or rather, not talking – the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s crowning glory that’s not only remarkably quiet, but also lasts up to about 35 kilometres on the road entirely on its own with a maximum speed of 135km/h, all while emitting just 71 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Needing only 2.3 hours to be fully charged, the beauty of the S E-Hybrid is its ability to draw power from conventional sockets.

It takes a longer time, for sure, but it means you get to power up even when you’re away from your garage. Charging when you’re actually on the road works too, owing to the brake energy recovery system and the combustion engine, which is hardly shabby itself, by the way, enabling a maximum speed of 270km/h. When you combine the two, the Panamera goes from 0 to 100km/h in just a little over 5 seconds. The adaptive air suspension made for a soothing ride too, even when it came to the winding roads near the hillier regions of Langkawi Island. The Panamera S E-Hybrid may be the more practical and spacious one of Porsche’s newest offerings, but it still packs power when the time comes for it.

The test-drive with the Panamera S E-Hybrid came to a halt at the Datai Golf Club, one of tumbling pastures with borrowed drama from the rain that had just passed and the lush forests on its periphery, a very fitting scenario for my next model – the Cayenne S. For someone who grew up in SUVs, this one was right up my alley.

The model wears a nylon jacket and drawstring trousers from Louis Vuitton; Patent platform stilettos from Saint Laurent. The car featured is a 911 Carrera GTS in Carmine Red

The model wears a nylon jacket and drawstring trousers from Louis Vuitton; Patent platform stilettos from Saint Laurent.
The car featured is a 911 Carrera GTS in Carmine Red

The Cayenne has remained one of Porsche’s popular kids since its introduction in 2002, and it’s easy to see why. It’s huge on the inside, even more so than the Panamera, but it still behaves like a Porsche. The refreshed version is much sleeker and stylish too, kudos to Porsche, rendering a certain lightness to the stocky car. Like the Panamera, sans the electric motor, the Cayenne S runs on a V6, accelerates to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds and goes up all the way to 259km/h. For its build, it’s an impressive score. You see, speed really isn’t a problem for Porsche, even for the bigger vehicles. The Cayenne S is one of the lucky ones endowed with a Sport Plus button, a feature to remind you that you’re in a sports car. The engine becomes more responsive, the steering more direct, the damping harder. The effect and thrill are immediate. There’s even a performance display on the dashboard to track lap times. What’s perhaps most satisfying about the Cayenne S, to me at least, was how it handled curves, bends and even hills with swiftness and ease, again, rather unexpected for its size.

Alas, my journey across Langkawi Island came to its inevitable end, though not without a little surprise. I was presented with a quiz that would determine my “dream car” from Porsche. My result? The 911 Turbo in Jet Black Metallic, one sick ride that I think even Bruce Wayne would ditch his Batmobile for on an off day. It’s all beautiful curves with a maximum speed of a whooping 315km/h, the fastest of the lot. This was a surprise, considering my affinity with SUVs. (Okay fine, so I tweaked my responses just a bit so that I’ll get something super sleek. But hey, this is about picking my dream car, isn’t it?)

This story first appeared in the December/January 2015 edition of L’Officiel.

Story credits

Text by Candice Chua

Images by Richard Chen

Styling by Wei Lun Tok

Louis Vuitton Debuts New Look at Ion SG

As part of a transformation, luxury icon Louis Vuitton has given its Ion Orchard boutique a new look. You will find it in the same location within the luxury mall but there are a few key changes to the store. The first is a new concept that reflects the clientele who often find themselves drawn to the brand. Using wood instead of marble, like the stores found around the island, the vibe is a balance of masculinity and elegance.LV-ION-Store-Interior3

The other addition to the concept is the new entrance on the first level. Step through the brand new doors and you will be transported into the unique world of Louis Vuitton. The natural wood and leather materials used complement the neutral tones in both the main showroom and the newly created men’s corner of the store. The iconic leather straps are incorporated into store where they hang from the ceiling and support the wooden wall units. These wall units, inspired by the historic Louis Vuitton trunks play host to the good, shoes and ready-to-wear collections.LV-ION-Store-Interior4

The element of history doesn’t end there. Deep from the archives of Louis Vuitton, travel-inspired images sit proudly on a special display unit. Leading up to the dedicated travel and luggage area is a personalized column of over 400 colored leather luggage tags. The pop of color on the ground floor is a welcome addition to the color palate surrounding it.LV-ION-Store-Interior2

Supermodel Jing Wen fronts L’OFFICIEL Malaysia’s February 2016 issue

Celebrating the month of love, L’OFFICIEL Malaysia debuts its first-ever Sex Issue, where it embraces all things sexy in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. From the daring Spring/Summer 2016 runway looks to sultry makeup trends, the issue provides you the know-how to feel a little wild and sensual.

L’OFFICIEL Malaysia Managing Editor, Monica Mong says, ““Our virgin Sex Issue is all about owning your sexuality and who better to bring it on than Models.com’s Top 50 supermodel Jing Wen, an irresistible young lady from Guangzhou who personifies intelligence, innocence, playfulness, beauty, and dare we say, sexy, all at the same time.”

L'Officiel Malaysia - Jing Wen shot by Stefan Khoo

As we present you with the new selection of romantic jewellery and timepieces, luscious carte du jour and a list of fun destinations to “amp-up” your love life, we also delve into the prospect of loving your individual self, taking inspiration from this month’s cover star – Chinese supermodel Jing Wen, which was shot by photographer Stefan Khoo and styled by Monica Mong.

Loved by the camera and fierce on the runway, she is a current favourite of luxury fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Lanvin, Gucci, and DKNY.

On her many works with Nicolas Ghesquière and Louis Vuitton, she says, “Nicolas is incredible. I like his way of combining the elements of past and present perfectly. He is such a talented and charming designer!”

For a look into her exclusive photoshoot and interview with L’Officiel Malaysia, head on to www.lofficielmalaysia.com.

 

(Source and Photos: L’Officiel Malaysia)

Interview: Pakho Chau

With gorgeous looks and a buff physique often revealed via Instagram posts of his gym and basketball sessions (he used to represent Hong Kong as a strapping 1.82m player) and shirtless magazines covers, Pakho Chau is afflicted by the same malady that has plagued many of his predecessors: pretty boy syndrome. Our friends at Men’s Folio had a chat with Chau late last year and tried to get beneath the surface while also producing a lovely spread featuring the Cantopop star.

Often labeled with a disclaimer for a perceived character flaw, these good-lookers ironically have an easy start as pop idols but it doesn’t require a lot of range. There are reasons why pretty boys are having it tough when it comes to longevity and credibility. It goes to show that looking like an Adonis cramps your style.

Cases in point: Many hated Aaron Kwok and his floppy hair in the 1990s before his Golden Horse Award wins; Wang Leehom was similarly the subject of vehement verbal abuse in the new millennium despite being able to play different musical instruments; and detractors who remembered Takeshi Kaneshiro as a Taiwan-based pop idol despised him in both decades. It was with great effort that Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani (and maybe Biotherm) convinced them otherwise about the latter.

To drive home the point on the international front, I recall lesser male specimens cursing as Brad Pitt sleepwalked through Meet Joe Black and exhibiting the middle finger each time Tom Cruise grinned like a proboscis monkey onscreen. Have you ever watched a Tom Cruise film after Risky Business and Top Gun and be so aware that it’s Mr Cruise on screen in every subsequent film. The man does not inhabit a role. The role has to audition with back-flips and quadruple summersaults. Boy-band bashing is likewise extensive on both sides of the pond. And don’t get haters started on Justin Bieber. That would just be uncivilized.

Louis Vuitton Rope circles denim jacket and pants

Louis Vuitton Rope circles denim jacket and pants

As a counterpoint, female colleagues pointed out that raging heterosexuals did not display a similar disdain when the members of Girls’ Generation sashayed meaninglessly throughout the recent music video of “Party”. Point taken, but hardly a paradigm shift.

The gripe being that many of these handsome male homo sapiens commonly lack that the necessary talent in correlation to their physical attributes, with weedy wannabes that are a dime-a-dozen falling by the wayside. This clearly isn’t the fate that awaits Chau. “I believe that true success requires sacrifice,” he says. “It’s not safe to rest on your laurels because only the hard workers earn the respect they deserve that makes them living legends in their own right.”

Throw Show Luo, the brooding vocals of Eason Chan, and a sprinkling of Hong Kong singer and actor Daniel Chan in a mixer and you’d probably get Pakho Chau. While the 30-year-old is blessed with good looks, he literally got his start at the bottom at film composer Chan Kwong-Wing’s recording studio as a junior engineer. “I had modelling gigs on the side,” recalls the Hong Kong native. “But my time learning music production had the most impact on my career as I learned the tricks of the trade. I learned not just the technical process, but also that success requires time, persistence, and patience to nurture.”

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Cotton shirt, wool pants, wool coat

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Cotton shirt, wool pants, wool coat

Just as well, with peepers that resemble Bambi’s, his cheekbones are also dangerously defined, and his wry smile can turn sane females (and the occasional male) into shrieking banshees at the drop of a snapback cap. Chau first caught the attention of Chan, whose claim to fame includes scoring Hong Kong blockbusters The Storm Riders, Infernal Affairs and Bodyguards and Assassins, putting him in good stead. A recording contract with Warner Music in 2007 soon followed.

It helped that he can carry a tune (without the help of Auto-Tune), play the guitar, and write his own songs. His musical inclinations date back to the age of five, when he was already playing the piano. “My dad was an audiophile and used to buy CDs very frequently,” he says. “As a result, I was exposed to Cantopop at a very young age. My mom also fervently encouraged me to attend piano lessons, and that’s how I became infatuated with music.”

Thankfully, there were no heart-thumping dance tracks or an artificial transfusion of street cred courtesy of faux hip-hop posturing in Chau’s music. Instead, we’re treated to forlorn ballads that are lyrically poignant and, every so often, heart wrenching. “There’s always a real-life incident that inspires a song,” he mentions candidly. “However, not one aspect of life completes me. There are notches in our short time here on Earth that is represented lyrically and in the melodies of my composition.”

Dior Homme cotton shirt, wool suit, wool coat

Dior Homme cotton shirt, wool suit, wool coat

This is not intentionally skewed as his latest single “We’ll Be Fine” tells a melancholic tale of loneliness and the desire for emotional fulfillment. The accompanying music video shows Chau driving and walking aimlessly with the ambiguous ending suggesting the death of his beloved. The nimble strumming of guitars in the background showcases his sturdy vocals. “I’m sure everyone affiliates to the emotions that resonate from my songs in some ways,” he says. “And that’s what makes each one of us unique.”

The solo artist is well aware of the steep learning curve, and after seven studio albums, he’s delivered a more polished and sophisticated sound. There is truth in that, in a sea of homogeneous Asian celebrities, he has made efforts to differentiate himself by being true to himself without a regurgitation of a manufactured pop template. The reception from fans so far has been wonderful, even as Chau gives props to those that paved the way for him and his peers.

“Jackie Cheung, Aaron Kwok, Faye Wong, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, Miriam Yeung…” he rattles off a list of Cantopop superstars and crooners that he notes as having been instrumental in shaping his outlook to making music that’s accessible and honest. “They each have facets that I emulate and incorporate into my repertoire. I’m also heavily influenced by [Irish singer-songwriter] Damien Rice’s song writing expertise and his effortless way with the acoustic guitar that’s second to none.”

Louis Vuitton polyester bomber jacket

Louis Vuitton polyester bomber jacket

So sure, he has his singing career. But we’re back to the original Zoolander-inspired conundrum. Is there more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking? The film roles are steadily pouring in with him joining the fray of romantic comedies S for Sex, S for Secret, 12 Golden Ducks, and Love Detective last year alone. “My schedule these days is crazy, so to have opportunities to dabble in film is a godsend,” he says, to which he was quick to point out that “music is still my focus. I don’t ever want to stop making music. Hopefully, fans of my music will like the films I appear in as well.”

It would also seem natural that Chau would be an ambassador of youthful lifestyle giants Watsons, Adidas, Levi Strauss & Co. and Clinique Men’s Skincare, extolling the virtues of grooming elixirs and treatments for men, just like any auntie-killer would. Yet, as an indication of maturity, Montblanc has designated him as the Asian influencer for its luxury timepieces. “I didn’t like watches when I was younger,” he admits. “However, I’m gradually realizing the importance of time and how the amount of it that we’re allocated is finite. I’m a budding collector and Montblanc’s rich heritage is one that has constantly caught my eye over the years.”

Far from fearing the repercussions of overexposure, he is receptive that the additional visibility will only broaden the appeal of his music. And why shouldn’t his mug have its day in the sun? Everything is about making a good first impression these days. Chau gravitated with his best face forward on a grand stage. “I remember my concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum (in 2014) as being the biggest scale performance of my career,” he lets on. “I was extremely nervous and completely in awe when glancing at the sea of faces in the crowd. In my mind, each member of the audience came because of me. That was a very touching moment.”

Louis Vuitton wool coat, wool pants

Louis Vuitton wool coat, wool pants

 

Story Credits

By Jason Kwong

Photography Matt Hui / Sugarsugar Production

Styling Tok Wei Lun

Styling assistant Chua Chin Chin / Arm Collective

Makeup Kris Wong

Hair Cliff Chan / Hair Corner

6 Heels Towering Over the Competition

This playful spread from our friends at L’Officiel Singapore caught our eye and we had to bring it to a wider audience. Having all these cool toys in the office (the actual toys, not the shoes) was as inspiring as these heels are high or quirky. Well, height alone maketh not any of these shoes. Instead, shape and structure play vital roles in defining the appeal here. Now, bask in the glory of footwear that should totally feature in a Lego movie!

Embossed python skin ankle boots, Michael Michael Kors.

Embossed python skin ankle boots, Michael Michael Kors. Photo by Ching; Art Direction Stephanie Lim; Styling Kames Narayanan

Details extended from the shoe’s front all the way to the back, the heel commands attention in exotic python (above) and a pop of color (below).

Leather pumps, Prada. Photo by Ching; Art Direction Stephanie Lim; Styling Kames Narayanan

Leather pumps, Prada. Photo by Ching; Art Direction Stephanie Lim; Styling Kames Narayanan

“Column Ring” leather thigh high boots, Loewe. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

“Column Ring” leather thigh high boots, Loewe. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

Taking a step back from the conventional pointed heel, designers stretch their imagination in geometrics.

“Sun Catcher” leather and perspex embroidered derby, Louis Vuitton. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

“Sun Catcher” leather and perspex embroidered derby, Louis Vuitton. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

“Kade” glitter leather ankle strap pumps, Jimmy Choo. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

“Kade” glitter leather ankle strap pumps, Jimmy Choo. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

A balancing act given the unusual shapes, these shoes are made for the bold who are not afraid of heights.

Suede cut-out ankle boots, Burberry Prorsum. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

Suede cut-out ankle boots, Burberry Prorsum. Photography by Ching; Art Direction by Stephanie Lim; Styling by Kames Narayanan

 

Story Credits

Art Direction by Stephanie Lim

Photography by Ching

Styling by Kames Narayanan

Best Dressed at the Golden Globes 2016

Hollywood’s top stars were armored in glamour January 10 as they dazzled the Golden Globes red carpet with lots of attitude. Guess who rocked the necklace shown above? Anyway, we saw plenty to admire in terms of strapless wonders (Emmy Rossum in Armani with a Van Cleef & Arpels necklace, who has already won the Internet), amazing jewelry (Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lopez and Julianne Moore are in a three-way tie for the win), unbeatable accessories that cannot be bought (mostly abs courtesy of Brie Larson and Kate Hudson, and Moore’s escort, Tom Ford) and properly impressive gowns (Lady Gaga, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Rooney Mara).

Here are our selections, with images via the AFP and Chopard (we are still waiting for a suitable image of Rossum), of the best-in-show for 2016. We shall see if any of these looks will make into the “Best-Of” lists for 2016…

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Kate Bosworth shone at this 73rd ceremony in a pink-and-silver sequinned number from Dolce & Gabbana.

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Emilia Clarke – The Game of Thrones actress channeled her fictional alter-ego with this vampy black floor-length gown and sheer-cape combo from Valentino.

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Lady Gaga – The American singer channeled retro chic on the red carpet at this year’s Golden Globes, with a long gown by Atelier Versace falling perfectly across her shoulders.

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Kate Hudson – Here is where a fitness regime really pays off. Hudson showed off her washboard abs in a glitzy nude ensemble by Michael Kors Collection. Aside from her abs, which is really what this look is about, the choker brings the whole thing together and is also from Michael Kors.

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Jennifer Lawrence – The scintillating Chopard necklace amplifies the J-Law’s Joy. At this year’s ceremony, she shone in a magnificent, red Christian Dior Couture gown with perfectly placed cutaways.

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Jennifer Lopez – The diva Latina wowed the red carpet in a flowing canary-yellow gown by Giambattista Valli Haute Couture. Apparently, that lovely necklace is by none other than Harry Winston. Oh yes and we love how the guy in the background seems so concerned about J-Lo’s train…

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Rooney Mara – The American actress took to the red carpet in a beaded, floor-length number from Alexander McQueen, in a nude hue almost matching her skin tone.

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Julianne Moore – With nothing to envy of her up-and-coming counterparts, Moore sparkled on the red carpet in this midnight-blue sequin-covered number by Tom Ford, with jewelry by Chopard. She was also accompanied by Ford himself, which gives her possibly the best arm candy at the show.

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Jada Pinkett Smith – With subtly revealed shoulders and a thigh-high split showing matching heels, Will Smith’s other half looked stunning in an emerald-green number by Atelier Versace.

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Jenna Dewan Tatum – Channing Tatum’s actress wife stunned the crowds at the 73rd Golden Globes in a Zuhair Murad Couture midnight-blue ball gown with delicate silver detail.

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Alicia Vikander – The Swedish actress looked ethereal in this delicate white dress from Louis Vuitton, proving that ruffles can be worn properly after all.

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Kate Winslet – The British actress, winner of “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in Steve Jobs, kept things simple but stylish in a long Ralph Lauren Collection gown with a subtle split.