Tag Archives: TOP 10

6 SPF Products You Need for Summer 2016

Living in the tropical paradise that is Singapore has its perks but with it comes year-long sweltering heat and a whole lot of sun, which brings us to the importance of slathering on that SPF. Its benefits go beyond protection against skin cancer; it also prevents premature ageing and skin discoloration. Here, we bring you six SPF-loaded products that will save your skin, sans the weight and oily texture.

Shiseido Perfect UV Protector S SPF50+/PA++++ ($63)

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Ever get the nagging suspicion that you didn’t even out your sunscreen application? You don’t have to worry with this sunscreen as it uses the Super Veil-V 360 technology, which is said to help form a protective layer even over the tiniest bumps and depressions in your skin so nothing gets missed. There’s also the Wetforce technology which reportedly strengthens this protective layer when it comes into contact with water or perspiration, making this product waterproof and ideal for the beach, water sports or just very humid days. As this sunscreen is free of parabens, alcohol and fragrances, it is suitable for sensitive skin and even young children.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen/PA+++ ($55)

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Its name may be a mouthful but that’s only because this oil-free creamy gel is one super multi-tasker. While it protects skin from sun damage, it also primes your complexion for a smoother, more flawless makeup application and keeps your foundation looking fresh for longer. The formula also uses vitamins A and E for their conditioning benefits. And because it’s dermatologist-tested and not made with fragrances or oil, it’s ideal for sensitive skin.

YSL Beauté Or Rouge UV Protection SPF 50/PA+++ ($179)

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The luxury Or Rouge skincare line gets its anti-ageing powers from the pistil of the saffron flower from the Moroccan Atlas mountains. Recently, YSL Beauté discovered that saffron also has a unique glycan with anti-pollution properties. Just the thing an all-rounder sunscreen needs to protect skin from all sorts of UVA and UVB damage. The texture doesn’t disappoint either. For those of us who have become well-acquainted with the lightest of sunscreens, this one ups the game further by melting on skin and making it matte, smooth and radiant.

Chanel UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily Defender SPF30/PA+++ and UV ESSENTIEL Multi-Protection Daily Defender SPF50+/PA+++ ($85 each)

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There’s a lot going on inside our skin cells. For instance, certain proteins known as SPRRs help to protect skin from external stressors. But these SPRRs can lose their potency after skin has been exposed to environmental aggressors for a long time. In comes tiare flower, which, the Chanel labs have discovered, stimulates SPRRs, even under long-term stress. You’ll get the flower extract in the brand’s choice of two sunscreens, which are said to keep skin plump and radiant.

Estée Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening UV Protector SPF50/PA++++ ($86)

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This gives you the best of both worlds: it has a high SPF but comes in a light, easy-to-blend texture. The use of powerful antioxidants in the formula means that this sunscreen can protect skin from oxidative damage and prevent spots from forming. Plus, it has soothing anti-irritants to calm skin – some studies have discovered that inflamed skin can be more prone to hyperpigmentation.

Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF30/PA+++ ($70)

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Available in nine shades, this gives skin a soft-focus effect by blurring out imperfections with something known as Transparent Blurring Powders. You’ll get a natural finish coupled with a velvety feel. And because the formula is sheer enough, you can use this tint on its own if you don’t need or like too much coverage.

This article first appeared on L’Officiel Singapore.

Luxuo World of Watches Rolex Daytona closeup 2016

10 Important Collector Watch Calibres

Car nuts rattle off engine codes as a special lingo that authenticates membership within the tribe; trump card hoarding schoolboys of an earlier age would memorise service designations of combat jets, as well as such vital stats as engine thrust and capacity armament. Watch appreciation too, has a nerdier aspect that finds parallel obsession with calibres, mainly addressed by their number codes: 2824, 2892, 7750, 4130, etc.

Calibres, or movements, are the hearts of mechanical watches and the very engines that divide the continuum of existence into consistent intervals that we might know when it is that we are meeting for lunch.

As has been widely reported, though there are myriad brands in the watchmaking business, at least where the Swiss are concerned, most of the movements come from a single source: ETA. A movement maker within the Swatch Group, ETA supplies movements that can be found in around seven out of 10 Swiss watches, never mind what brand it says on the dial. Of these, the 2824 and 7750 come to mind as being among the most ubiquitous. The self-winding 2824 found in three-hand watches, and the 7750 in automatic chronographs, pretty much cover the field. We will not be including these two movements in our list, as they belong more properly to “movements you already know about”. Rather, our list includes movements that are noteworthy, from a collector’s standpoint for their relevance to the brand or particular collection; or that they represent a milestone in the ever-progressing evolution of the mechanical movement. As a whole, this ensemble was also chosen as a broad survey of watchmaking, old and new.

Patek Philippe Calibre 240Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240

Sitting at the pinnacle of fine Swiss watchmaking, Patek Philippe is renowned for its elegant high complication watches. Such a feat would not be possible were it not for movements like the 240, a trusty, self-winding ultra-thin movement designed to take on more modules for ever more complications, while still looking svelte, and gala-ready. Unlike most self-winding movements sporting a full-sized rotor, the 240’s is a micro-rotor, not stacked on top of the movement (thus adding height) but recessed on the periphery, hence contributing towards a slim profile. At the same time, it does not obscure the beauty of the wonderfully decorated 240 when viewed through a crystal case back, though the rotor too is a thing of beauty in itself, a solid piece of 22K gold.Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240-automatic-movement

Dating from 1977, the 240 has been updated over the years and today features the Spiromax (silicon) balance spring, which offers precision in operation and manufacture as well as resistance against magnetic fields. At its simplest, the 240 drives several of Patek Philippe’s time-only watches such as the Ref. 7200R ladies’ Calatrava.

That said, the 240 was designed as a base calibre to accommodate complication modules while retaining a slim profile. In Patek Philippe’s present catalogue, there exists no less than seven variants with an impressive array of complications, from the 240 HU with world time and day/night indication, 240 PS C with date hand and small seconds, up to the 240 Q offering moon phase and perpetual calendar! With the latter, the number of components had grown by more than 70 per cent, to 275 parts, and movement height increased from 1.61mm to 3.88mm. Because of the added energy required to drive these added components, power reserve had also dipped, but remains at an agreeable minimum of 38 hours.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with silicon hairspring and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 27.5mm x 2.53mm

Number of parts: 161

Rolex Calibre 4130Rolex-Calibre-4130

Even in the relatively dignified realm of luxury watch collecting (high expense and a Britannica’s worth of technical history and cult lore promotes sobriety), there are fanboys, and the objects of their fevered affection falls upon Rolexes, not a few. Lusted after at a higher pitch even in this company, is the Cosmograph Daytona, and this was recently demonstrated once again at BaselWorld 2016 when the announcement of a new steel cased Daytona with white dial and black ceramic bezel sent the watch press and enthusiast community into another fit of ecstasy.

Why is this? Some credit surely accrues to the movement behind the silvered/lacquered face: the Calibre 4130.Rolex-Calibre-4130-Daytona-Movement

The Daytona wasn’t always mated to the 4130. Introduced in 1963, it was driven by a hand-wound Valjoux movement till 1988 when it was cased with Zenith’s self-winding El Primero movement (also featured on our list). However, Rolex famously detuned the movement from its native 5Hz to a more conventional 4Hz, while swapping out more than 50 per cent of the El Primero’s original parts. Major surgery; but still, not a Rolex movement. That would come in 2000, in the shape of the 4130, ticking all the right boxes: self-winding, column wheel control, vertical clutch for smooth starts, and Parachrom hairspring designed to perform well against magnetism, temperature variation, and shock. Rolex even reduced the number of parts enough that it could fit in a longer mainspring to achieve an impressive 72 hours of power reserve. It is a chronometer too, naturally.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 4Hz, with 72-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30.5mm x 6.5mm

Number of parts: 201

Audemars Piguet Calibre 3120Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120

Often banded together with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin as the “Big Three” of high watchmaking, Audemars Piguet is phenomenally plugged into pop culture while remaining firmly anchored in high watchmaking orthodoxy. Like no other, its long resume of firsts in watchmaking innovations and high complications sits very comfortably with associations on the funkier end of the cultural spectrum, being a perennial favourite of sports and rap royalty. Part of this comes from dynamic thinking, like in 1972, when Audemars Piguet practically created a new genre of the luxury sport watch when it introduced a steel watch, finished to the standard and priced accordingly, as one of gold: thus the Royal Oak (RO) was born. Together with the burlier Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) chronograph that came on the scene in 1993, and in an almost unlimited arsenal of limited editions in various colour combinations, the RO and ROO are wont to steal the thunder from the company’s arguably more accomplished collections. The movement that unites the handsome duo, is the self-winding Calibre 3120.Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120-movement

Like Patek Philippe’s 240 described above, the 3120 is also a base calibre meant to accommodate more modules for additional complications. What’s different is that the 3120 was not made thin, but robust, including a balance bridge that anchors the oscillator securely on two points, wound by a full-sized solid gold rotor. Its thickness is suited for the masculine, sporty RO and hulkier ROO. In the latter’s case, because the chronograph is a module stacked above the 3120, the date display looks recessed – a quirk that has done nothing to dampen its popularity.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with
60-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 26.6mm x 4.26mm

Number of parts: 280

Zenith El Primero Calibre 400Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400

A rock star among movements in more ways than one, the El Primero was unleashed to the world in a relatively low-key press conference in January 1969, which belied its ground-breaking specs. Not only was it the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph movement, it also featured an escapement that blitzed along at an unprecedented 5Hz which offered better chronometry and the ability to measure elapsed times to an accuracy of a tenth of a second. An engineering coup; but Oscar Wilde hit the nail on its head when he complained that people knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. In 1975, Zenith’s then-American owners decided to focus on making quartz watches and ordered the El Primero’s production equipment dismantled and sold as scrap. Instead of complying, an intrepid employee spirited away the El Primero’s technical plans and tooling bit by bit after work. Thanks to Charles Vermot, the El Primero resurfaced in 1984.Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400-movement

Today, the El Primero remains among the fastest beating mechanical movements at 5Hz, in the company of a few brands that have caught up with high beat movements in recent years. Though it started life as a chronograph, El Primero can now also be found in Zenith’s time-only watches such as the Synopsis, which drops the chronograph function but features an updated escapement with silicon wheel and lever visible through an opening on the dial. It has also made its way into the watches of Zenith’s sister brands within the LVMH group: TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Bulgari.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 5Hz,
with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30mm x 6.6mm

Number of parts: 278

A. Lange & Söhne Calibre L951.6A-Lange-Sohne-Calibre-L951-6

The beautiful images and videos about Lange’s watches and movements belie a much more dramatic history that the Lange manufacture shares with its home city, Dresden. Towards the end of World War II, the city was obliterated by aerial bombing. Lange too ceased to exist after it was nationalised together with other companies into a watchmaking consortium to serve the needs of the Eastern Bloc. But both Dresden and Lange have since regained their place in the world with the end of the Cold War. The former, rebuilt brick by brick – from original rubble, in the case of the magnificent Frauenkirche church; while Lange has shrugged off the mass market tickers it made in the Communist era to return to the high watchmaking of its roots. It is history that informs the ethic at Lange, and the difference this makes is amply demonstrated in Lange’s interpretation of the ubiquitous wristwatch chronograph: the Datograph Up/Down.

While the field is largely divided between sports chronographs made for everyday practicality and ruggedness or daintier dress chronographs meant to add a dash of dynamism to a formal getup, the Datograph is a little different in approach. On the outside, it is almost austere in its devotion to function, driven by visual clarity and balance without anything superfluous. Yet, turn the watch over and the Calibre L951.6 astounds with baroque richness. Lange doesn’t seem to care about ease of manufacture, since the L951.6 has got more parts than many perpetual calendars, all finished with stoic patience and consummate skill. At the same time, it brims with technical innovation: unlike most chronographs where the elapsed minutes is a dragging hand, that on the Datograph jumps from marker to marker, making for much clearer readings. It’s just one of a series of instances where Lange spares no effort in creating innovative solutions to easily overlooked issues, while remaining well within the old school realm of mechanical craft. Moreover, not only is the L951.6 an in-house movement, Lange is also in the even smaller class of companies that make their own hairsprings. No shortcuts.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with big date and power reserve indicator (60 hours)

Dimensions: 30.6mm x 7.9mm

Number of parts: 451

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854/1Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1

In an industry where most watch brands source their movements from other companies, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the technical superpower with more movements than we’ve got fingers to count them (more than a thousand different calibres, in its 180-year history, with hundreds of patents shepherding the evolution of mechanical watchmaking), and distinguished names on its client list include the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier. Jaeger-LeCoultre today boasts a most expansive catalogue that showcases its deep expertise in diverse disciplines, covering high complications, artisan craft, and gem-setting. Of these, its most iconic watch is the Reverso; and even here, this venerable model exists in countless iterations, from petite quartz models for ladies, to high complication models with perpetual calendars, triple dial faces, repeaters, and multi-axis tourbillons spinning in cage within cage. Do we pick the movement one ought to know by drawing movement numbers out of a fish bowl? No. If we have to choose, we’d pick the Calibre 854/1.Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1-movement

The original Reverso was created in 1931 in answer to complaints by British army officers stationed in India over having their precious wristwatches smashed during energetic games of polo. With the Reverso, simply flipping the case over protected the fragile crystal and watch dial, while the metal case back that now faced the outside could be engraved with unit insignias or loving words. Outside the polo experience however, we think it more practical to have a second dial in place of bare steel, tracking a second time zone.

Enter the Reverso Duoface of 1994, refreshed in recent years with an ultra-thin and special edition blue dial versions, displaying time on each of its two sides. The GMT function is among the most practical of complications in this global village century, and while every other GMT watch in the business shows home time either via pointer, or window on one dial, the Reverso is alone in spacing this out over two. It may not be as efficient as checking dual time zones in a single glance, but the clarity can’t be beat. And because the Duoface sports contrasting dials, e.g. silvered dial and black on the reverse, it is essentially two watches in one, able to match near a complete range of dress codes and occasions. All this is made possible with the hand-wound 854/1, a single movement driving two time displays. Time can be set normally by pulling the crown, or when passing time zones, the hour hand in the second display can be advanced in one-hour jumps by pushing the flat pusher on the case side.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 3Hz, with dual time zone and 45-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 3.8mm thick

Number of parts: 180

Montblanc Minerva Calibre 16.29Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29

There is a logic to progress that is unflinching, almost ruthless in its efficiency. Making much more of something in shorter time, for much less, is an advantage that is very hard to pass up. For this reason, mass produced commodity is stamping out the niceties of artisan production everywhere. Yet, thanks to companies like Montblanc, industrial prowess is sometimes lent towards preserving precious pockets of artisan production so that future generations may yet wonder and actually acquire heritage objects of rare beauty.

Montblanc churns out timepieces by the tens of thousands a year from its facility at Le Locle. It also has a manufacture at Villeret (formerly Minerva SA before it was acquired by the Richemont Group in 2006 and turned over to Montblanc) that produces only around a couple of hundred timepieces a year – that’s about as many as possible, doing things the old way, everything in-house, with classical tools and machines, largely by hand!Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29-movement

Minerva was best known for its chronographs, and the Calibre 16.29 that is used in the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is a gorgeous sample of classical watchmaking. Based on a movement made by Minerva in the 1930s, the 16.29 is huge, filling up the 44mm watch case. There’s a column wheel, lateral coupling instead of vertical clutch favoured by its modern brethren, and the huge balance with weight screws oscillates at a stately 2.5Hz for maximum visual drama. But classical architecture is not the 16.29’s sole merit: lush finishing aside, the serpentine profile of its bridges and levers, including the signature devil’s tail of the chronograph hammer, makes many other chronograph movements
look ungainly in comparison.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 38.4mm diameter

Number of parts: 252

Chopard L.U.C Calibre 98.01-LChopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L

Some companies just have the knack for juggling diverse competencies. Among these, Chopard could have been content with the knowledge that its haute joaillerie collections are no strangers to red carpet galas, while its Happy Diamonds watches are extremely popular as everyday luxury. But the latter can no more lay claim to “authentic watchmaking” than could the Swatch watch, though both are phenomenal success stories for their respective companies. To address this, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele established the Chopard Manufacture in 1996 to create “serious” watches fitted with movements designed and manufactured in-house. Since then, Chopard Manufacture has kept the steady pace of a long-distance runner, creating no less than 10 base movements with some 60 variations, cased in beautifully finished, classically styled watches of varying degrees of complication under the L.U.C label, the initials of the original company founder.Chopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L-movement

Of these, Chopard’s 8Hz is a dazzler for sure; but for us, the L.U.C Calibre 98.01-L beating inside Chopard’s Quattro watch is more in character with the company’s bold gambit and tireless consistency. Quattro is Italian for “four”. In the 98.01-L, which was introduced in 2005, that refers to the movement’s four mainspring barrels coupled in two stacks – a world’s first! According to Chopard, each mainspring is 47cm long, and it’s no small feat to squeeze four of them into a 28mm movement that is just 3.7mm thick. As such, the watch boasts a power reserve of nine days when fully wound. What is noteworthy is that this is achieved despite having the movement beat at a relatively quick (and energy-hungry) 4Hz. Moreover, while accuracy can suffer in watches with long power reserves as the energy wanes, the 98.01-L manages to be a COSC-certified chronometer. Add to that, quality and provenance validated by the Geneva Seal, and no room is left to doubt Chopard’s intent and capability in authentic watchmaking.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 4Hz, with four barrels and nine-day power reserve

Dimensions: 28mm x 3.7mm

Number of parts: 223

Cartier Calibre 1904 MCCartier-Calibre-1904-MC

Cartier has an enviable history of supplying the most exquisite jewellery to royalty, and commercial success as a luxury purveyor to, well, the whole world. Its timepieces, too, have staked their place in watchmaking history. The Santos created in 1904 is one of the earliest true wristwatches (as opposed to pocket watches bound to the wrist by leather straps) for men, originally made for Alberto Santos-Dumont who flew the first true (powered) aeroplanes.

Still, for too long, Cartier hadn’t gotten the respect it deserved, not least for its Parisian (not Swiss) address, and that its most dazzling timepieces and complication creations, particularly those produced between 1998 and 2008 under the “Collection Privée Cartier Paris” (CPCP) label, used movements from companies like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget, though Cartier did the finishing.Cartier-Calibre-1904-MC-movement

The sniggers stopped when Cartier introduced its first Geneva Seal watch in 2008, the Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon. However, it is a more mundane watch that is the real hitter into the heartland of Swiss watchmaking: the Calibre de Cartier, launched two years later. Though a humble three-hand with date, it is as pivotal as first love, containing Cartier’s first self-winding manufacture movement, designed, developed and made in-house: the Calibre 1904 MC.

Cartier now has a base movement from which to venture into higher complications, while broadening its reach tremendously, in bringing to market reasonably priced watches with authentic manufacture movements. To this end, the 1904 MC was engineered for reliability, ease of service, and efficient mass production. Performance also factored prominently in its design – though the 1904 MC boasts two mainspring barrels, they are arrayed in parallel, achieving only a modest power reserve of 48 hours, but energy delivery is made more consistent over a broad spread of its state of wind, contributing significantly to accuracy. The 1904 MC is also used in 2014’s Calibre de Cartier Diver, which meets the ISO 6425 international quality standard for diver’s watches.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with twin barrels and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 25.6mm x 4mm

Number of parts: 186

IWC Calibre 52010IWC-Calibre-52010

Even among storied brands, IWC stands out for how deeply it has written itself into watchmaking history. Timepieces for air force pilots just as air power was gaining traction among military planners, watches for scuba diving, timepieces for engineers as we turned a corner into the modern technological age – individuals engaged in pushing boundaries on land, in the air, and under the sea need wristwatches and IWC has enriched its own heritage and know-how by making purpose-built wristwatches for them. For a dressier pick, the Portugieser is among the most iconic and best loved. The original introduced in the 1930s was borne from the need for a marine-chronometer grade wristwatch, then only possible by casing a large, high-quality pocket watch movement in a wristwatch case.IWC-Calibre-52010-movement

This collection has been characterised by large cases and IWC’s largest movements ever since, including 2000’s Portugieser Automatic with a 50000-calibre movement that boasts seven-day power reserve and a highly efficient Pellaton winding system. The calibre 52010 featured here is a 2015 update with further technical enhancement and better finishing. Ceramic parts have been added to the winding system, making it virtually impervious to wear and tear; the faster balance now beats at 4Hz for better accuracy. Moreover, 52010 has two mainspring barrels to supply the same seven days’ power reserve with greater consistency for improved chronometry. IWC also partly skeletonised the rotor so the improved finishing of the movement is more readily evident.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with two barrels and power reserve indicator (seven days)

Dimensions: 37.8mm x 7.5mm

Number of parts: 257

This article was first published in WOW.

Etihad Airways: Best First Class Airline 2016

An airline is more than just a means to an end and Skytrax knows this all too well, hence it has been evaluating and recognizing airlines around the world for excellence since 1999. This year, Emirates is crowned king of the skies, as World’s Best Airline while Etihad Airways bags top honors in luxury, as the World’s Best First Class Airline 2016. Making it a triple-header for Gulf airlines, Qatar Airways is the World’s Best Business Class Airline in 2016. No American airlines made the top 10 this year, which you can see at the bottom of this article.

Etihad Airways First Apartment

Etihad Airways First Apartment

Etihad didn’t just bag the award for World’s Best First Class Airline. For the second time in its history, Etihad took home two other titles: World’s Best First Class Onboard Catering and World’s Best First Class Airline Seat for its First Apartments and Suites.

For its part, Emirates returned to the top of the pile this year, displacing perennial rivals Qatar Airways (last year’s overall winner) and Singapore Airlines (second last year, third in 2016). Emirates was also crowned best airline for keeping passengers entertained, an award the carrier has won for the last 12 years.

Calum Laming, Vice President of Guest Experience at Etihad Airways, said “The airline is tremendously proud that, based on the results of a huge global customer satisfaction survey, we have yet again been presented with these prestigious awards for the world’s finest First Class experience.” He added that “We have enhanced the experience even further this year through investment in our products, services and cabins and this is a welcome reward for those efforts.”

Etihad Airways: First Apartment Bed

Etihad Airways: First Apartment Bed

With nine First Apartments aboard the A380, guests can relax tens of thousands of feet above the ground in spaces that are said to be 74% larger than Etihad’s current First Class suites. Within this 39-square-foot space, the airline has installed a Poltrona Frau leather armchair and ottoman that can create a 80.5-inch long bed. Guests also have a dedicated shower room — who said travelling first class was anything but fancy?

To ensure that you never go hungry during a flight, the airline even offers up a sumptuous menu that features fine steaks, sides and sauces that are prepared by onboard Chefs. These professionally trained crew members can even craft a meal based on the request of each passenger for that bespoke dining experience.

Etihad Airways: Onboard Chef's serve the First Class Cabins for each flight

Etihad Airways: Onboard Chef’s serve the First Class Cabins for each flight

Capping off the first class experience with Etihad and cementing its status as the World’s Best Airline of 2016, is the First Class lounge & spa. Located at Abu Dhabi International Airport, first class passengers are given access to an array of services such as a fitness room. Cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers and even a nail bar.

Other awards categories see Cathay Pacific emerge tops for cabin cleanliness, which is always a plus, and marked yet another year of Asian airlines dominating the awards. Indeed, only Qantas and Lufthansa cracked the top 10 best in the world 2016, if one counts Turkish Airlines as Asian. Asian airlines were once again honored for their top-quality crews, with Garuda Indonesia winning “Best Airline Cabin Staff” for the third consecutive year, ahead of All Nippon Airways (second), Singapore Airlines (third), Thai Airways (fourth) and Eva Air (fifth, Taiwan).

In case you are curious, the top 10 airlines in the world for 2016 are as follows:

1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa

The top First Class airlines are as follows:

1. Etihad Airways
2. Cathay Pacific
3. Air France
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Singapore Airlines
6. Emirates
7. Lufthansa
8. Qatar Airways
9. Qantas Airways
10. Garuda Indonesia

To find out more about the World’s Top 10 Airlines 2016, click here.

Haute Couture Week: 3 Hottest Trends

You know the drill: with the bi-annual Haute Couture Week over and leaving us wanting more, we have no choice but to reflect on the season’s trends while we wait another arduous six months for its next iteration. From Chanel to Giorgio Armani Prive, we round up the top three Fall 2016 trends that caught our eyes in the midst of all the glitz and glamour.

Slashed Necklines

haute-couture-week-necklines

How low can you go? It was all about maximum impact across the board, with V-necks dipping all the way to the waist at Elie Saab, and Armani Prive opting for a more modest take with covered legs and necks. Nevertheless, it was all attention seeking and bold; wallflowers need not apply.

Feathers

haute-couture-week-feathers

Haute couture is not an industry to shy from flights of fancy – literally. Feathers abounded in Valentino’s sumptuous maxi skirt, while Chanel sported pink plumage from the shoulders and cape. It was a very feminine and dramatic affair, but if haute couture isn’t all about grandeur and glamour, then what is? 

Coat Dresses

haute-couture-week-coat-dresses

Forget statement coats, meet statement dresses. An amalgamation of military influences and billowing skirts, Ralph & Russo tapped on the trend with a bright yellow contribution. Alexandre Vauthier, on the other hand, manipulated silky trenches with structured shoulders and pleats, spinning the typically feminine creations into rebellious gowns of military flavor.

Paris Haute Couture: 3 Runway Beauty Trends

You would think that this being Haute Couture Fashion Week, the beauty trends would be rather out there than tame. Our guess is that the designers wanted the clothes to do the talking. Unlike the unique beauty offerings of fashion weeks past, this year we see several key trends that can be worn with almost any outfit — hand-stitched or otherwise.

Eye CatchingParis-Haute-Couture-Week-Beauty-Looks_Eye-Catching

While neons had their time in the spotlight (and boy, did they shine), fall sees the shades take on a softer tone. To make up for the subtlety in color, designers such as Atelier Versace chose to use shades such as shimmering baby blue in bold stripes. Swept across the lids in a winged shape, the color was a perfect way to combine artistic statement with an edge. At J.Mendel, models sported a lick of bright gold liner in the corners of the eye for a subtle spin on the trend.

‘80s BabyParis-Haute-Couture-Week-Beauty-Looks_80s-baby

Reviving looks from the 1980s were houses such as Chanel that opted for curly ponytails with headbands along with powdery eye shadow that stretched to the brow bone. Over at Armani Prive, the models were seen with backcombed hair, strong brows and statement disc earrings — a look that seemed to channel a punk vibe.

Gothic RomanceParis-Haute-Couture-Week-Beauty-Looks_goth

John Paul Gaultier proved that grunge and Goth don’t have to be all black lipstick and heavy eyeliner. The designer opted for a toned down approach with shiny brown lips, smokey eyes and miniature braids. The result was a contemporary take on the darker side of the ‘90s. Another designer, who went Goth with a twist, was Elie Saab with pale complexions, winged eyeliner and deep red lipstick.

5 Reasons To Visit Sri Panwa, Phuket

When a travel destination attracts guests the likes of Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, members of the Thai Royal family, and entertainment bigwigs, you know there’s something exceptional about it. In 2013, Snoop Dog and Rita Ora shot the music video of their hit Torn Apart there, catapulting the resort to the top of Most Beautiful Hotel lists the world over (we actually covered it on Luxuo way back in 2008). This year, a new enclave of 30 pool suites and penthouses (each with its own infinity pool), collectively called The Habita, was added to the lush 40-acre development. ultra-friendly service and accommodating staff aside, we reckon it is the following five reasons that draw royalty and celeb A-listers to Sri Panwa like moths to a flame.

1) The Habita (pictured above)

The 30 expansive pool suites and penthouses in this new enclave are the epitome of luxury living. Our three-night stay in the luxurious and contemporarily minimalist 140 sqm penthouse was accompanied by a stunning ocean view (made even more incredible when surveyed from the edge of the unit’s enormous infinity pool) and a soundtrack of avian chirrups.

2) Cool Spa

Sri Panwa_Cool Spa

Another new addition to Sri Panwa, besides The Habita, is this modestly-named spa and wellness center. The soothing ultramarine walls, constant gush of waterfalls, and positively soporific massage treatments – we fell asleep both times we visited – make this the perfect respite for your skin from the blistering Phuket sun.

3) Baba Nest

Sri Panwa_Baba Nest

This is probably the reason guests flock to Sri Panwa. After surviving a petrifying tuk tuk ride up a winding and vertiginous slope, I was dumbstruck upon emerging from an elevator that brought me to this rooftop lounge. The venue is leveled and devoid of chairs – beanbags and low tables are scattered throughout, instead – to maximize your appreciation of the sunset and the unbeatable panoramic view of the Andaman Sea, arguably the best that Phuket has to offer.

4) Baba Chino, Baba Iki and Baba Hot Box

Sri Panwa_Mixed Yakitori

I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a gourmand, but I know good food when I partake of it – and the gastronomic offerings in Sri Panwa are truly sensational. While the Chinese cuisine served up at Baba Chino is excellent, the delightful Japanese dishes at Baba Iki are uber-fresh and the chargrilled items at Baba Hot Box are extremely flavorsome. I found absolutely no reason to head out of the resort in search of grub.

5) Free Willy

Sri Panwa_Free Willy

You’ve got to give it to the Thais to come up with the most facetious names. This 47 ft luxury speedboat might not have anything to do with releasing orcas, but you could very well spot schools of dolphins if you chartered it for a cruise around the Phuket archipelago and spend a day with up to 24 others, just living it up.

Top 5 Watch Partnerships 2016

Two is better than one they say and in the case of these watch partnerships, collaborations and inspirations, it is certainly true. From luxury fashion brands to superheros, the possibilities are endless. We bring you the top five timepieces that are the result of wonderful collaborations.

Leather CladHublot-Berluti-Basel-report

Hublot’s play with materials continues in the Classic Fusion Berluti, which has a leather strap… and dial

Hublot expresses its motto, “The Art of Fusion”, in many different ways. One oft-explored concept involves collaborations with external partners to use “non-watchmaking” materials in Hublot watches, both for variety’s sake and to evoke the spirit behind these materials. These have ranged from silk embroidery in the Big Bang Broderie, to denim in the Big Bang Jeans, to even tobacco leaves in the Classic Fusion Tobacco X.

For its latest creation, Hublot has teamed up with Berluti, its sibling from the LVMH group. Long renowned for its leathers thanks to an expertise honed since 1895, Berluti was a natural choice for Hublot, who wanted to use the material in a watch – but beyond just its strap. The result? The Classic Fusion Berluti, which comes in two references, each with a matching leather dial and strap that’s paired to an appropriate case material. Of the two, the Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto shown here is arguably the more nuanced one. Its King Gold case is complemented by Berluti’s signature Venezia Scritto leather, rendered here in tobacco brown and finished with a patina to create a colour gradient. The final detailing varies across the watch; the leather used in the dial is embossed, while the material is laser etched with decorative calligraphy on the strap.Hublot-Classic-Fusion-Berluti-close-up-wow-basel-report

Although leather is an organic material that will eventually deteriorate, the process can be put off or even avoided entirely. To that end, the Classic Fusion Berluti’s dial has a layered construction, with the leather sandwiched between a brass base plate and a sapphire top plate (just 0.3mm thick) to isolate and protect it. The same goes for the watch’s hybrid strap of Venezia Scritto leather over rubber – a structure that keeps the leather from coming into direct contact with the wearer’s wrist.

The Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto has a limited run of just 250 pieces. Each timepiece is delivered with a presentation box that can double up as a shoebox, in a nod to Berluti’s core product, with a range of leather care products inside.

The Dark Knight ReturnsRomaine-Jerome-Gotham-City

Romain Jerome unleashes the second Batman-DNA timepiece, this time centred on Gotham City

Romain Jerome’s enthusiasm for creating pop culture-laden timepieces shows no signs of abating, and the brand has teamed up once again with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to offer a second Batman-themed timepiece. This new iteration, the Batman-DNA Gotham City, was inspired by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, and pays tribute to the eponymous city where Batman’s adventures take place. The watch shows a stylised bird’s-eye view of Gotham City’s skyscrapers, with the uncanny sense of depth achieved by engraving the dial into three separate layers to play with perspective.Romaine-Jerome-Gotham-City-close-up-watch

Naturally, a timepiece like this wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by the Caped Crusader himself. Batman’s logo sits dead centre on the dial as an appliqué, with a sandblasted top surface and hand-chamfered outline. The watch’s facetted bezel, reminiscent of the Batmobile’s angular profile, also makes its return in this watch and, like its predecessor, contains both sandblasted and polished surfaces.

With hardly any contrasting elements, the Batman-DNA Gotham City looks decidedly low-key on the wrist. Like Bruce Wayne, however, it has a secret hiding in plain sight. The lowest layer of “Gotham City” has been treated with a layer of blue Super-LumiNova, which glows in the dark to outline the Batman logo, as well as to accentuate the “height” of the “buildings” surrounding it.

Like the original Batman-DNA, the Batman-DNA Gotham City is limited to 75 pieces.

British InvasionRaymond-Weil-Maestro-Beatles-Limited-Edition

The Raymond Weil Maestro Beatles Limited Edition celebrates the Fab Four’s career and proves that Beatlemania never truly went away

Raymond Weil turns 40 this year. What better way to celebrate this milestone, than with the release of a timepiece featuring the greatest band the world has ever seen? The Maestro Beatles Limited Edition is the result of Raymond Weil’s partnership with Apple Corps, the company that the Fab Four founded in 1968. Initially conceived as a tax haven, Apple Corps grew into a conglomerate representing the lads’ business interests, and currently owns the rights to The Beatles’s images and other intellectual properties, which Raymond Weil has licensed for use.Raymond-Weil-Maestro-Beatles-Limited-Edition-close-up

Unlike most other Beatles-themed products that are centred on a specific aspect of the band (Yellow Submarine, anyone?), the Maestro Beatles Limited Edition is a celebration of the group’s entire career. The timepiece has all 13 albums comprising its “core catalogue”, arranged chronologically in a clockwise direction beginning with Please Please Me at 12:30, and including Magical Mystery Tour, originally a US-only release. In lieu of text, Help!’s entry on the dial at four o’clock is a simplified version of the album’s cover, which had The Beatles posing in flag semaphore, thus doubling as a graphical representation of the band as well.

Both the silver dial and smoked sapphire case back bear the official The Beatles logo, so fans of the band can proudly wear their hearts on both their sleeves and wrists. Limited to 3,000 pieces.

Battle BornLuminox-Spec-Ops-Challenge

Luminox’s Spec Ops Challenge watch reveals a new dimension in the partnership between the brand and the US Navy SEALs

Luminox and the US Navy SEALs have formalised their relationship this year, and the brand is now an official licensee of the special operations unit. The ties between the two go beyond just active Navy SEAL operators though; Luminox has also partnered with retired Navy SEALs to offer the Special Operations Challenge (Spec Ops Challenge), which gives civilians a chance to experience Navy SEALs training for a day. The new Spec Ops Challenge watches were created to commemorate this collaboration, and comes in two versions based on the Navy SEAL Colormark 3050 and Authorised for Navy Use (ANU) 4220 models respectively.Luminox-Spec-Ops-Challenge-close-up

The Spec Ops Challenge watch here is based on the Navy SEAL Colormark 3050 and, like every other Luminox timepiece, uses tritium-filled glass tubes that emit a constant glow to display the time in the dark. The watch retains the original’s carbon-reinforced polycarbonate case, and thus its corresponding lightness, durability, and stealthy matte black finish. Its highly legible dial and bezel designs have also been kept largely intact, save for the large Spec Ops Challenge logo at six o’clock. Each Spec Ops Challenge watch ships with a polyurethane strap and an additional NATO fabric strap.

As a sign of the deepening relationship between Luminox and the Navy SEALs, part of the proceeds from the sale of each Spec Ops Challenge watch will go towards the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides financial and other forms of support for the servicemen and families of the Naval Special Warfare community.

Driving ForceOris-Wiliams-Valtteri-Bottas

Oris expands its Williams collection with a watch named after and dedicated to the team’s driver, Valtteri Bottas

Oris is the Williams F1 team’s longest standing partner, and the two have teamed up for the 14th consecutive season this year at the 2016 Formula One World Championship. To celebrate this collaboration, Oris launched the Williams collection last year with sporty timepieces referencing and dedicated to the team. The brand has followed up this year with a new model honoring the team’s driver, Valtteri Bottas.

The Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition is based on the Williams Chronograph Carbon Fibre Extreme, and shares the latter’s hybrid case construction. The watch begins with a case middle of carbon fiber reinforced polymer weighing just 7.2g, which is produced by a patented process Oris adapted from F1 manufacturing techniques. Sheets of woven carbon fiber are first layered in a mould and impregnated with a resin, before the mixture is baked under five bars of pressure at 130 degrees Celsius, twice, to harden it into the final product. The watch’s dial is made of the same material, while its bezel and case back are in DLC-coated titanium instead. This combination of materials creates a light yet robust watch.Oris-Wiliams-Valtteri-Bottas-close-up

High-tech materials aside, the Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition also draws links to the sport via its design, beginning with the use of color-coded detailing in blue and white that makes it a cinch to read the time and use the chronograph simultaneously. With the tachymeter on the bezel, the user is also able to make quick measurements of speed. Eagle-eyed observers will notice that the chronograph’s minute and hour totalisers reset to eight o’clock instead of 12 o’clock. The subtle modification is yet another nod to motoring, and references a car’s dashboard instruments.

The Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition has a production run of just 770 numbered pieces. Each watch’s number is engraved onto its case back alongside Valtteri Bottas’s name as well as his car number: 77.

This story was first published in World of Watches.

9 Outstanding AW’16 Fashion Campaigns

Over the last few weeks, we have been inundated with fashion news, from Paris Fashion Week to autumn/winter ’16 ready-to-wear and accessories campaigns and new store openings. As far as the autumn/winter 2016-2017 campaigns go, the tease is definitely on. We certainly haven’t covered all of it but happily the AFP has compiled a report on nine significant ones, in the eyes of the wire service at least.

Here then is a look at the most striking campaigns in store for the autumn/winter 2016 season.

All the hottest models of the moment have been signed up to front campaigns for big-name fashion brands this season, showcasing ready-to-wear clothing collections or various lines of accessories and footwear for autumn/winter 2016-2017.

Famous Faces

It is no surprise to see the Hadid sisters – currently among of the most in-demand models in the world – take center stage in several campaigns for autumn/winter 2016. Gigi Hadid fronts three major campaigns, for Versace, alongside Karlie Kloss, Stuart Weitzman and Max Mara accessories. Bella Hadid stars in a Givenchy campaign with a whole line-up of top models, including Irina Shayk, Lily Aldridge and Mariacarla Boscono.

Gigi Hadid for Stuart Weitzman by Mario Testino

The other star model of the moment – Kendall Jenner – is also among the famous faces signed up for autumn/winter ads. She can be seen as never before, totally transformed in a campaign for Marc Jacobs. The designer has also enlisted Cara Delevingne, Julia Nobis, Susan Sarandon, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson.

Australian model Julia Nobis is the star of the Dior AW16-17 campaign, stepping into the role of a modern and stylish woman on the go, photographed in movement by Steven Meisel.

Other flagship ads see Anna Ewers fronting the Miu Miu campaign and Moschino sign up Anna Cleveland, Stella Tenant, Anja Rubik and Raquel Zimmermann in a campaign from Steven Meisel. Anthony Vaccarello picked the stunning Eva Herzigova as the face of his eponymous label.

instagram_themarcjacobs

Standout Campaigns

Two campaigns stand out in particular this season, for two very different reasons. First of all, Saint Laurent has unveiled its first campaign under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello, giving followers a taste of what’s to come from the French fashion house. With a less rock’n’roll vibe, the black and white shots have a pared down, minimalist feel, and show the new logo against a white background. The campaign is shot by Collier Schorr.

Eva Herzigova for Anthony Vaccarello

The second standout is the autumn/winter 2016 campaign from footwear label Jimmy Choo, also celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary. Jimmy Choo is marking the milestone with Amber Valletta, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Pivovarova, Taylor Hill, Lexi Boling, Jasmine Tookes and Xiao Wen Ju, all starring in individual campaign photos shot by Craig McDean.

Gender Bender: 3 Luxury Women’s Watches

The norm: boys like classics, girls want diamonds. Scratch that. The women’s timepieces we now lust after are neither too complicated nor decorated, but simple, slick and macho enough so the men can wear them too.

Chanel

Wool jacket and silk dress, Saint Laurent. Leather wallet, Isaac Reina.

Wool jacket and silk dress, Saint Laurent. Leather wallet, Isaac Reina.

It was the year 2000 when Chanel last channelled macho design codes for a timepiece. So when the Boyfriend burst onto the scene at the most recent Baselworld, it made headlines naturally – and for all the right reasons. Described by the Parisian house as having “a masculine allure just for women”, the watch has an elongated, octagonal case, a nod to the eight-sided form of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume flacon, the Premiere timepiece and Place Vendôme in Paris. Beige gold with alligator strap.

Tiffany & Co.

Jersey dress, Julien David. Cashmere sweater, Eric Bompard. Corduroy trousers, Bally. Leather notebook, Smythson.

Jersey dress, Julien David. Cashmere sweater, Eric Bompard. Corduroy trousers, Bally. Leather notebook, Smythson.

Inspired by the rectangular lines of a Tiffany & Co. travel clock from the ’40s, the East West mini, first unveiled last April, literally turns time on its side with a dial positioned horizontally. This year’s editions are fitted with a single or a new double-tour bracelet, and come with dials painted in three colours: white, dark blue and, our top pick, the Tiffany Blue which never, ever gets old. Steel with alligator strap.

Cartier

Someday calfskin satchel, Berluti.

Someday calfskin satchel, Berluti.

When Alberto Santos-Dumont – Brazilian pilot and friend of founder Louis Cartier – found his pocket timepiece cumbersome and impractical to use during his flights, his watchmaker pal invented a flat wristwatch with a distinct square case and rounded corners just for him to tell the time. Aptly named the Santos, the ticker is, today, one of Cartier’s most commercially successful designs and one of the most instantly recognizable in horology. Pink gold with alligator strap.

Story Credits

Photography Thomas Pico

Styling Roman Vallos

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Greece, Italy Top Luxury Hotel List

London and Geneva may boast Europe’s highest costs of living but when it comes to luxury hotels, Italian and Greek cities are in a league of their own. According to a Luxury.Hotels.com study published Monday, the most expensive place in Europe to take a holiday this summer is southern Greece. At €1,779 a night, the Amanzo’e in Kranidi, Greece tops this year’s summer chart.

In second place is Le Dune in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy (€1,645 a night) and while the Cap Estel on the French Riviera rounds out the top three (€1,596 a night) it is the only hotel located anywhere other than in Greece or Italy to make this year’s top 10.

Beyond the top three, 12 of the top 20 hotels in this year’s list are in Italy, three can be found in Greece and a further three in France leaving just 16th place for the Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford, in the UK and 18th place for the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum, Turkey. This seems perfectly in line with what we discovered in our own story recently. We’ll be delving into the good times to be had on the Greek islands soon…

18 Best Pre-Fall Womenswear Trends 2016

From androgynous dress suits in floral prints to saccharine-sweet pastels and kitsch sensuality, the trends for Pre-Fall 2016 are pretty diverse, so there’s something for everyone. Here, our friends at L’Officiel Singapore have done the research for you to bring you 18 looks you should sport for the transitional season.

DRESSY SUIT

18 PF16 Trends_Givenchy

Givenchy by Ricardo Tisci

When it comes to suiting now, bolder is better. Give your classic navy and black suits a rest and look to versions in daring prints and opulent fabrics – think Bottega Veneta’s mismatched tailoring or Givenchy’s flower-embellished stunner punked up with studded boots.

STANDARD (RE)ISSUE

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Military gets a cool downtown vibe with Alexander Wang’s introduction of grunge elements – beanies, 
chains and opaque tights – and unexpectedly ladylike accents in the form of velvet heels.

DOUBLE COATED

Dior

Dior

A clever take on layering by the design team at Dior, with a gently curved olive coat shrugged over another coat in rich brown fur. A lace-trimmed slip and sparkly flats lends ease and lightness to the look.

SHEAR THING

Burberry

Burberry

Shearling continues to be a giant trend for Pre-Fall, turning up as cool outerwear at brands as diverse as Coach, Paco Rabanne and Stella McCartney. Christopher Bailey showed an oversized one at Burberry, which he paired with sleek flares and a boyish rucksack.

FUN FURS

Fendi

Fendi

Shearling’s more luxurious cousin is also having its moment in the sun, but these furs are not your grandmother’s dowdy ones. Pre-Fall’s best shaggy pieces come in fabulous hues and patterns like those on Marni’s graphic check fur stole, Valentino’s ombre fur robe and Fendi’s floral explosion.

CANDY CRUSH

Michael Kors Collection

Michael Kors Collection

Considering the fact that most Pre-Fall collections hit shop floors at the height of summer, it makes sense to drench them in sweet, uplifting shades. Giorgio Armani showed tiered dresses in washed-out blues, Sportmax proposed pale lemon for our outerwear, while Michael Kors had us thinking pink.

MASCULINE FEMININE

Versace

Versace

Boy-meets-girl is a trope fashion loves to reinterpret. This season’s offerings include Jason Wu’s jackets that were sculpted for a feminine silhouette, butterfly and lipstick prints on an Alexander McQueen pantsuit, and Prince-of-Wales tailoring at Versace shot through with baby blue and worn with a tiny skirt.

SHINE ON

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci

Who says that sequins should only come out when the sun goes down? When styled with the right pieces, metallics make a wonderful daytime statement too. Case in point: Phillip Lim’s gold wide pants, worn with a silk shirt, and Emilio Pucci’s sequined shirt, paired with a breezy skirt and a sandal-sock combo.

PRETTY PLEATS

18 PF16 Trends_Gucci

Gucci

The pleated midi skirt is fashion’s favourite skirt shape of the moment and no one does it better than Alessandro Michele. This season he rendered it in high-impact silver worn with an equally shiny pink bomber. Elsewhere, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani and Max Mara also offered beautiful options of the pleated midi.

MODERN ETHNIC

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

The current-season way to pull off ethnic influences can be seen in the collections of Alexander McQueen and Altuzarra. The key is to go for a sharper, more fitted silhouette; the end look needs to come off sleek and polished instead of billowy and bohemian.

POWER TULLE

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Where Miuccia Prada goes, others are sure to follow. After last season’s enchanting tulle layers at Miu Miu, the gauzy fabric is shaping up to be a key layering element. Molly Goddard has built a name with her joyful tulle creations, while Stella McCartney presented a womanly version worn over trousers and a bustier.

TIE DYE TWIST

Valentino

Valentino

Designers are reinventing tie-dye with a luxe spin, moving it farther away from hippie-dippy and muddy music-fest connotations. Our favourite version is from Valentino, where the saturation is amped way up and cut into a modern anorak, juxtaposed with a smart shirt and thigh-highs.

SWEET ’60s

Bally

Bally

The youthful charm of the ’60s look has always endured – who can resist the appeal of a little skirt, a fitted jumper and a flattering peacoat? The best looks aren’t faithful reproductions, though; we love Pablo Coppola’s take at Bally where the coat is cut ultra-sharp in bright red and the skirt comes in glossy leather.

’70s REDUX

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

The ’70s is another decade that fashion keeps returning to, but no one makes a more convincing case than Hedi Slimane. At Saint Laurent, he conjured up the bohemian glamour of Loulou de la Falaise with his swishing culottes and midi skirts, all topped with silken blouses and showstopping cloaks and capes.

NAUGHTY & NICE

Chanel

Chanel

Fashion loves a good clash of contrasting ideas and this season, designers are riffing on the themes of naughty and nice. Bally has a sharply tailored trench in glossy, fetishistic patent; Alexander Wang put fishnet tights under prim skirts and Karl Lagerfeld invoked Italian screen sirens wearing leather and lace with tweeds and pearls.

SPORTS COUTURE

Paco Rabanne

Paco Rabanne

Athleticism in fashion is here to stay but the most talented, innovative designers are constantly finding new ways to elevate and marry it with high fashion. J.W. Anderson, for example, created bold new things from the idea of nylon and tracksuits, while Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne cleverly mixed zippers and mesh with lush materials for an effortless but luxurious take.

PUFF PIECE

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

The grandly exaggerated Edwardian shoulder continues to get more play for Pre-Fall. It showed up with retro inflections at Gucci, while at 3.1 Phillip Lim and J.W. Anderson, it was deconstructed and updated for today’s cool girls. But the most interesting mash-up was at Louis Vuitton where Nicolas Ghesquière paired sculpted shoulders with motorcross leggings and edgy, chunky boots.

DENIM DREAMS

Valentino

Valentino

This wardrobe staple has been given a fancy upgrade for Pre-Fall. At Carven, it was mixed with shearling and shown as a total-look statement. Julie de Libran also showed denim-on-denim at Sonia Rykiel but her looks were embroidered while Massimo Giorgetti’s Pucci pieces were printed with feathers. The most whimsical were Valentino’s versions, which bore elaborate scenes and dreamscapes.

 

 

5 Top Menswear Trends Paris Fashion Week

All good things must come to an end. While Paris Men’s Fashion Week came to a close over the weekend, the hype is far from over. We round up the five top trends from the runways of Paris to relive the excitement.

Gorilla Sleeves 
Rick Owens

Rick Owens

Go big or go home. Forget bell sleeves, the real masters take it a notch further – quite literally. Think super long sleeves that dangle to the knees, as Rick Owens and Korean label Juun.J have exemplified, with the latter extending its influence by adding trailing cords. While brought to global attention by Demna Gvasalia’s own brand Vetements, Gvasalia however has resisted the reiteration of his own trope for Balenciaga. An intelligent move to distinguish the two brands, perhaps, but this does not prevent many others from adopting his creative genius. And of course, one look at the trend may call to question its practicality. These sleeves are most obviously not a continuation of the ongoing debate between function and style, but who says fashion can’t just be all about art?

Boys Will Be Girls

No longer a fresh concept, and this season reiterates androgyny’s relevance on today’s runway. This week sees a blurring of gender binaries, with women decked in menswear, and men similarly adorned in miniskirts and trailing ribbons, à la Maison Margiela and Walter Van Beirendonck.

Djellabas 
Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake

Perhaps an echo of the ongoing Ramadan, it is undeniable that some looks were injected with an Islamic air. Lemaire, for example, featured four djellabas alone, although designer Christophe Lemaire denied the conscious creation of a specific Muslim-influenced style; “I was picking up influences from people I live around in Paris.” Issey Miyake similarly got in on the act with sublime kameez tunics and blanket shawls.

Boiler Suits 

Menswear has often been associated with workwear, but this season, it’s the boiler suits that reign. One need only look to Andrew Crews, who has deconstructed the one-piece overall and reassembled it into a whole wardrobe, from biker suits to dungarees. Other designers similarly ride on this trend with their own twists, where Junya Watanabe matched boiler suits with pork pie hats, and Lemaire adopts influences from the battledress of peshmerga Kurdish fighters.

TartanLouis-Vuitton-Paris-Fashion-Week-menswear-2016

Tartan has almost been immortalised as a classic, and this season rehashes them on the runways, albeit in sparing proportions. Brands like Louis Vuitton to Japanese labels Kolor and Facetasm jump on the checkered bandwagon, while OAMC gives live to the print where Trainspotting meets the Edinburgh tattoo with check Crombie-style coats and trousers.

4 Supercars Dominating Goodwood 2016

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in England has always been a great opportunity for various automobile marques to showcase their best creations. This year’s festival is no different, as our previous story on this subject indicates and our selection of highlights proves. We have already witnessed a comeback by sportscar company Alpine with its 11 model display in the festival, but quite a number of notable supercars showed up as well. Ranging from names like Ferrari to Mercedes – these are four of the biggest show-stealing supercars at Goodwood.

Ferrari

Ferrari-MM-Speciale

The company dropped a couple of cars never before seen in the UK. Among those, though, the cream of the crop was definitely the Ferrari 458 MM Speciale. This bespoke commission was based on the standard 458 Speciale and boasts of a variety of uniquely reworked features.

Aston Martin vantage_gt12_ro.bf13d090249.h0

Even more exclusively tailored was the drop-top variant of Aston Martin’s Vantage GT12 coupe – the Vantage GT12 Roadster, done up by the bespoke department of Aston Martin. With its carbon fiber stylings and beefed up performance, it made for quite a ferocious model among the other cars to appear at the festival. In fact, to further maintain its exclusivity, the client who requested the model paid a premium so that no other Aston client could ask for something similar.

Bugatti

Bugatti-Chiron

Although it is yet to be confirmed as the world’s fastest production super sports car by Guinness, the Bugatti Chiron roared into action at Goodwood with its 1500PS and 420km/h top speed. It has already stood out in its rarity, desirability and collectability – with only 500 models scheduled for production, the first 200 are already spoken for.

Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG-GT-R

Even with the sheer power of the Chiron on display though, it was the Mercedes-AMG GT R that potentially made the deepest impression on the crowd. In the twisting circuits set out by the festival, it proved to be the direct competitor to the Porsche 911 GT3 in terms of thrills, spills and track-friendly performance. The active aerodynamics in the design, coupled with its 4-liter twin-turbo V8 (which outputs 585hp), as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and active rear-wheel steering – made it a pleasure to behold in action. Best of all, its production isn’t restricted, and it’ll go for around $200,000 at the end of the year.

Now See These: 5 Design Exhibitions Summer 2016

With the Milan Furniture Fair wrapped up, the connoisseurs of the latest in interior design are eagerly awaiting the next Maison & Objet show a mere months away. Yet, for those who still need to get their design itch scratched – there are still quite a number of exhibits running through the summer all over the world. Here then is a list of the top 5 of those exhibits showcasing the best in design innovation:

Radical Design (until November 17, 2017) – Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Gaetano Pesce - La Mamma (from the Up series of furniture)

Gaetano Pesce – La Mamma (from the Up series of furniture)

With growing political turmoil and interest in social activism during the 20th century came the idea that design could be used for subversive purposes beyond just aesthetics and comfort. This was especially so with the “Radical Design” movement in Italy – formed in the 1960s to protest against popular design trends of the day. One of their notable designs, for example, is the “La Mamma” lounge chair by Gaetano Pesce which is shaped to invoke a woman’s torso with a ‘ball and chain’.

Nendo: The Space in Between (until October 30, 2016) – Design Museum Holon, Israel

"Thin Black Lines Chair" by Nendo

“Thin Black Lines Chair” by Nendo

This extensive retrospective on one of the most innovative and world-renowned studios out there cuts across a variety of Nendo’s designs to show a thorough scope of their capabilities. Stretching across 74 works, the exhibition is split into six categories, each of which depicts a different way the studio has gone ‘in-between the cracks’ of what is possible with design. An example is the “Thin Black Lines” chair, which steps in-between the boundaries of bare outline and proper form.

S.O.S. Sottsass Olivetti Synthesis (until August 21, 2016) – Olivetti Showroom in Venice, Italy

Ettore Sottsass Office Concept for Olivetti

Ettore Sottsass Office Concept for Olivetti

This exhibit delves into the extravagant works of designer Ettore Sottsass from the revolutionary Memphis Group in Italy. It specially focuses on the vibrant office designs that Sottsass created for the typewriter maker Olivetti.

Two Exhibits on Designer Harry Bertoia (until September 25, 2016) – Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

Harry Bertoia with one of his works

Harry Bertoia with one of his works

The influential designer Harry Bertoia is placed in the spotlight for two exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design. The first, entitled “Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound” delves into the special ‘tonal sculptures’ Bertoia created when he discovered that rods make lush and resonant sounds when they strike one another. These works incorporated noise into their design while maintaining the outer veneer of a sculpted form.

The second exhibit is entitled “Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia” and goes into a variety of jewelry crafted by Bertoia from melted-down metal scraps.

Learning from Japan (until September 24, 2017) – Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

"Learning from Japan" at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

“Learning from Japan” at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

Japan has always been a big influence on the interior design landscape of the world, especially with its long history of Zen, Shinto and Buddhist inspired aesthetics. This was especially true, unlikely as it may seem, for Denmark, which incorporated Japanese applied art to Danish arts and crafts around the turn of the century. The Danish Museum of Art and Design’s long exhibition on Japanese design (started in 2015 for their 125th birthday) aims to delve into this relationship as thoroughly as possible, featuring a wide variety of Japanese designs.

Indulge in These: 5 Luxury Residences for Summer

There are holiday rentals, and then there are luxury holiday rentals. If you’re planning that well-deserved break, might as well do so in absolute class and opulence. With rental services companies such as Airbnb on the rise, travelers have been shifting their preferences for hotels to these more homely options.  Whether you’re in the exotic Seychelles, or perched atop the French Alps, make yourself right at home with these five dream properties.

At the summit

Lease of Luxury_LO_Courchevel

Name: Le Hameau de la Volière.

Where: Courchevel 1850, in the French Alps. Amid the lush vegetation of the Chenus, at an altitude of 1,850m (which gives the town its name) and a stone’s throw away from the centre of Courchevel 1850. Right by the skiing pistes, with unblocked views of the valley.

What: A trio of ultra-luxurious chalets in pale wood. Exotically named Les Bastidons, Cryst’aile and Nanuq, each comes with five rooms bathed in natural light over three or four levels, all designed by Christophe Tollemer in an exquisite, contemporary style.

Capacity: 12 persons per chalet.

Services: Evok Hôtels Collection, managers of this property, have provided everything, and more: indoor pool, spa (with Clarins products, no less), gym, wine cellar, and a home cinema.

Extras: Personal chef, butler, fitness instructor on demand.

Price: €40,000 (S$62,000) per week for 12, or €3,300 per person.

www.voliere-courchevel.com

Private island

Lease of Luxury_LO_

Name: Cousine Island.

Where: The Seychelles; 6 km south-west of Praslin Island.

What: A little private tropical paradise caressed by the waves of the Indian Ocean, Cousine Island had until recently only had four pretty villas decorated in a graceful colonial style. A new presidential villa was launched in April this year. Nestled amid the luxuriant vegetation, but at only 30 m from the beach, the 625 sqm villa contains two spacious suites with bathrooms, a study, living room, dining room, gym and spa. To get around, guests use the electric golf carts.

Capacity: 16 to 20 persons for the five villas.

Services: For the presidential villa: A butler, a chef and a chambermaid.

Extras: The Guest Conservation Ambassador, an ambitious eco-system sustainability program that encourages guests to participate in the conservation of this exceptional natural environment.

Price: On request.

www.cousineisland.com

Blue sky

Lease of Luxury_LO_Paros Villa Lavinia 1

Name: Villa Lavinia.

Where: Paros, in the Cyclades islands, a 30-minute flight from Athens. On a hill overlooking the port of Naoussa.

What: A large, all-white and recently built villa, with an adjoining two-bedroom guesthouse. The main villa contains five double rooms on two levels (with verandahs on the upper floor) and a bright, sun-lit interior, blending perfectly with the modern décor. The guesthouse has direct access to the charming garden featuring olive tress and aromatic herbs. Day beds next to the pool and a large outdoor reception area ideal for barbecues.

Capacity: 14 persons.

Services: Daily cleaning, cooked breakfasts and concierge services.

Extras: The magnificent Kolymbithres beach with its beautiful sand and enormous granite formations is just a few minutes away on foot.

Price: €15,000 per week.

www.brightbluevillas.com

Barefoot

Lease of Luxury_LO_

Name: Villas Stylia

Where: In the village of Trou d’Eau Douce, on the east coast of Mauritius. In a pretty garden at the edge of one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. A 10-minute boat ride from l’Ile aux Cerfs.

What: Six modern, comfortable villas recently opened by Patrice Hardy (ex CEO of the Naïade Group) and his son Alexandre. Four villas with a garden view, and two villas with direct access to the lagoon. The beach is a mere 50m from the garden. Each villa contains three bedrooms (including one for kids with bunk beds) and three bathrooms, as well as a vast open concept living-cum-dining room that give on to the private pool.

Capacity: Up to nine persons per villa.

Services: Service staff including villa manager, concierge, gardeners. On demand: massages, airport transfers, personal chauffeur, guide, baby-sitter, car or scooter rentals.

Extras: A shared kitchen with a chef who will cook breakfast and delectable meals at reasonable prices. The chef can also prepare dinners or barbecues by the beach.

Price: From €200 per villa per night.

www.myvillasmauritius.com

TRANSPARENCY

Lease of Luxury_LO_Rua Iposeira 150-11

Name: Villa Iposeira.

Where: Rio de Janeiro. In the São Corado neighbourhood, within 10 minutes of Ipanema.

What: A futuristic architect’s villa. Completely see-through, the house is the centrepiece of a four-hectare park with lovely palm trees and a fountain. No walls can be found here, just immense bay windows that give incomparable views of the ocean and nature. There are even three majestic trees taking pride of place in the large drawing room… The 900 sqm of the villa boast not only elegant reception rooms with tasteful contemporary art pieces, but also four luxurious en-suite rooms. The dining room with its imposing table can accommodate up to 20 lucky guests.

Capacity: Eight persons.

Services: On demand.

Extras: A huge infinity pool.

Price: From €700 a night.

www.whereinrio.com

 

This story first appeared in a slightly different form in L’Officiel Singapore.

3 Highlights Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016

Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power: each of the three cars on this list embodies the theme of the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS). In fact, with a theme like that, the four-day long automobile extravaganza is set to be extraordinary – a sort of Glastonbury of auto awesomeness if you will. As this year’s “headline” act, BMW will be the focus of the festival, and this is apparent starting from the sculpture in the grounds dedicated to its automotive accomplishments. We reported on that here, so check that out for more details on BMW-related activities.

Cars as old as 40 years from the German brand’s archives will be on display at avenue ‘M’, and, for our part, the BMW 507 is the car of the moment, even though it was built in 1957. BMW will take this precious two million-dollar car out for a spin around the track with the festival’s founder, Lord March at the wheel. Seriously, that man gets to have entirely too much fun.

“I’m delighted that BMW has chosen to mark its centenary with us,” Lord March told the AFP. “I will be honored to drive one of the rarest, and most beautiful, BMWs ever built to open what promises to be a terrific show.” If you’re one of the lucky ones who are attending the prestigious show, look out for the Vision Next 100, a concept car the company thinks it will be producing in 2116.

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Other automobile manufacturers will also be celebrating milestones; Volkswagen will celebrate 40 good years of its hatchback, the Golf GTi and Lamborghini will mark 50 years since the Miura model debuted, news we also covered here. Moving on from the classics, we find a strange contemporary beast lurking in plain sight here: the McLaren P1-GTR (above). Normally a track-only hypercar that is based on the prefectly road-legal P1 model, this particular car has been modified by racing team Lanzante so that it is road-legal once again! It appears here to celebrate the late James Hunt’s F1 championship drive in 1976 for McLaren – it was a memorable one and you can relive it by watching the Ron Howard film Rush. A one-off P1-GTR in Hunt’s colors will be taking over the Hillclimb circuit.

Lamborghini's Restored Miura

Lamborghini’s Restored Miura

Not one to be left out, Japanese automaker Mazda will also unveil a new Icon special edition of its Miata MX-5 droptop sportscar, while Renault will put its new Twingo GT turbocharged city car and the Clio RS16 concept hot hatch to the test. Speaking of tests, we cannot wait to see how the Bugatti Chiron (below) will fare in the hill-climb challenge. The car, though still sporting the engine of the Veyron, reportedly brings approximately 1,500 horses that propel it towards the title of world’s fastest production car…eventually. Goodwood will be the public’s first chance to see the car up close as it races every day of the event, as we reported on earlier. If Bugatti ditches the speed-limiter for this, records will tumble…

Bugatti-Chiron-Back

3 Milan Runway Menswear Trends SS 17

All is fair in love, war and fashion. Milan was recently in the grip of Fashion Week as designers showcased what men could look forward to for Spring/Summer 2017. We bring you the three trends that dominated the runways of Milan.

1. AthleisureMilan-fashion-week-menswear-trends

The men really do get it in the style stakes, thanks to Prada’s colorful collection. With the help of neon piping, lightweight parkas and rain pants, sportswear gains traction as an acceptable outfit. Following in his footsteps is Philipp Plein with a collection that took its inspiration from the all-American basketball attire with tailored leather shorts while the sharp blazers add a little formality to an otherwise laid back outfit. Another brand that trekked down the path of athleisure was Moncler. Channelling an outdoorsy theme, the brand showcased a collection that had a boy scout-themed adventurous outwear.

2. DaydreamingMilan-fashion-week-menswear-trends-2

Versace brought out a collection that featured lightweight materials for long parkas of semi-transparent nylon, silk shirts reimagined as zip-up blousons and silk knitwear that was tied around the waist. In a similar manner, Salvatore Ferragamo chose to explore the spirit and the attitude of a “restless adventurer”. The result was a whimsical and imaginative show case that would have made any dream come true. Dsquared2 showcased their artistic side with an androgynous glam rock collection influenced by the ‘quiet rebel’.

3. PrintedMilan-fashion-week-menswear-trends-3

Of course, Dolce & Gabbana chose to go loud with a festive inspired show complete with leopard print trousers that really was the star of the show. Marni featured prints in their collection as well, with patterned jackets and accessories. Taking a softer approach to the trend, was Missoni with their multicolored patchwork knitwear that was inspired by the country of Guatemala.

40 Best Hotels 2016 Across the US

If you’re wondering what the best hotels in the world this year are, according to an independent aggregator without any vested interest, UltimateHotels.com has just the ticket. This hotel booking site has come up with a ranking of the top 40 hotels across five major cities in the US, with brands such as the St. Regis, Langham and Rosewood receiving ringing endorsements.

UltimateHotels.com, which claims to make independent recommendations, has released a list of the top hotels in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Washington DC and Chicago.

Hotels were ranked based on factors such as location, price, value, proximity to landmarks and attractions, unique distinguishing characteristics such as architectural features and design, and overall guest experiences.

The list is based on thousands of hotel reviews gleaned from “trusted sources and the most respected brands in the travel industry” and was developed to provide an edited, curated list of properties.

The concept takes a page out of the playbook of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which creates a hierarchy of restaurants around the world in a single, powerful ranking. Winners of the 15th edition of the event were to be announced from New York on Monday night.

Meanwhile, according to UltimateHotels.com, the top-ranked guest experience in New York can be had at the luxury Casablanca Hotel in Times Square, a boutique hotel that stands out for its “warm, European-inspired décor.”

In San Francisco, the St. Regis takes the top spot for offering modern, luxurious accommodations with “style and grace.”

One of the hotel’s most popular attractions? Champagne sabering, an evening ritual in which guests witness the theatrical art sabering a champagne bottle before clinking their flutes of bubbly.

Here are the top five hotels in each of the five cities:

San Francisco

  • St. Regis
  • Scarlet Huntington
  • Omni
  • Loews Regency
  • White Swan Inn

New York

  • Casablanca Hotel
  • Library Hotel
  • Hotel Giraffe
  • Knickerbocker
  • Bryant Park

Miami

  • Hotel Beaux Arts
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Four Seasons Miami
  • JW Marriott Marquis
  • The Shepley Hotel

Chicago

  • Langham
  • Virgin Hotel
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Peninsula Hotel
  • Thompson Hotel

Washington DC

  • Rosewood
  • The Jefferson
  • The Hay-Adams
  • Sofitel
  • Fairmont Georgetown

For the full list visit https://ultimatehotels.com/.

3 Menswear Trends from London Collections 2016

Gray skies and damp sidewalks didn’t stop some of London’s finest designers from showing their best at London Collections. The four-day event, organized by the British Fashion Council showed creations by both established and up-and-coming designers such as Christopher Kane, Craig Green and Oliver Spencer. Here, ahead of Spring/Summer 2017, is a quick overview of some of these trends to get you prepared for the season to come.

Pile It On
craig_green__london_collections_article

Craig Green Spring/Summer 2017 at London Collections

Designers dished out plenty of outerwear to create layered looks that are versatile and cold weather-ready. Craig Green, recipient of this year’s BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund showed an eclectic collection of embroidered jackets and layered parkas that stole the show with textured striped pastel details. You would be hard pressed to find something ordinary at Henry Holland though. The English designer went all out (as usual) with tracksuits, this time plastering Britain’s kitchen staple Heinz Baked Beans’ logo all over.

Coach__london_collections_article

Coach Spring/Summer 2017 at London Collections

Meanwhile, Coach brought a good dose of Americana to London with its collection of all-American favorites with a rebellious twist. The highlight of the collection (not so coincidentally), happened to be biker jackets, bomber jackets and the varsity jacket. These were either given a hand-painted finish by Gary Baseman or embellished with fringing, studs, zips and badges added a punk rock flair to the youthful collection.

Keep It Simple

Fashion’s golden boy J.W. Anderson showed elongated tunics, wide trousers and coats that focused on clean tailoring and minimalist silhouettes. The collection was far from mundane though – broken, beaded crowns and snorkel-inspired shades added a youthful appeal to the Le Petit Prince influenced pieces (top).

sibling__london_collections_article

Sibling Spring/Summer 2017 at London Collections

There isn’t much that brings to mind a holiday in sunny Santorini like Sibling’s louche summer- sky blue and white striped chinos and luxe towel-esque outfits. Oliver Spencer also referenced the Island of Capri in the 1950s, focusing on the modernist lines and contemporary architecture of Casa Malaparte. The gentle mix of Aegean blue, ocher, terracotta red and a dash of Madras checks on airy linen give his collection a weightlessness that should fit in perfectly with that holiday ensemble you were planning.

oliver_spencer_london_collections_article

Oliver Spencer Spring/Summer 2017 at London Collections

6 Best Beaches of 2016

Start planning that tropical getaway – travelers and experts at Conde Nast, TripAdvisor, Fodor’s and Dr. Beach have done the research to present you this year’s Best Beaches of the World. Here, we bring you the top six, together with some of the best hotels and resorts they have to offer.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El_nido_philippines

For the second year running, Philippine’s El Nido beach claims the top spot, thanks to its 50 white sand beaches and dramatic limestone formations. Its crystal clear waters, hidden lagoons and mysterious underwater caverns make this a dream beach destination.

El Nido Resorts, Pangulasian Island

Pangulasian Island - Resort Center

The eco-luxury resort sits between a pristine beach and tropical forest on Pangulasian Island. Inspired by contemporary Filipino architecture, the resort’s Canopy Villas are perched on stilts above the forest while the Beach and Pool Villas provide you with a breathtaking view of the sea. Highlights of your trip would also include romantic dinner by the beach, or a private sunset cruise.

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

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Located 103 kilometers north of Barcelona, Tossa de Mar is synonymous with jagged cliffs, pinewoods and coves, giving it a coastal profile unrivaled by many. The 380-meter long beach is also complemented by its diverse history, art and stellar gastronomy, including one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca.

Gran Hotel Reymar

tossa de mar

Located a few minutes from Tossa de Mar, the upscale hotel overlooks the private Mar Menuda beach. The resort is separated from the main beach by a rocky outcrop, so you can expect exclusivity and privacy.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hawaii

hanuama_hawaii

As both a nature preserve and marine life conservation district, this pristine Hawaiian beach – once a volcanic crater – is now habitat to a host of native corals and marine life. The beach went through major restoration to re-establish its delicate eco-system and has since made it to Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman’s (aka Dr. Beach) Top 10 Beaches list recently for its white sand coral beach and responsible management.

Kahala Hotel & Resort

Kahala Resort, hawaii, Palm courtyard

A stone’s throw from Hanauma Bay and just 10 minutes from Waikiki, the resort features 338 rooms with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Ko’olau Mountain Range and Dolphin Lagoon. The Dolphin Lagoon is home to Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and exotic tropical fish. Originally built by Conrad Hilton, the secluded retreat is known for its emphasis on luxury and is a favorite amongst the rich and famous.

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

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The crown jewel of the Providenciales Island, Grace Bay is also known as the Oscars of the travel industry for its long coral reef, immaculate sand beaches and azure waters. After being crowned Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination at last year’s World Travel Awards, the picturesque location was once again voted world’s top beach in 2016 by TripAdvisor users.

The Tuscany on Grace Bay

the tuscany

This oceanfront resort boasts an accolade as high as its location. Ranked top out of the 41 properties on Providenciales, The Tuscany is possibly the most indulgent way to experience island life. Some of the activities include diving in the world’s third largest barrier reef and going fly fishing for bone fish in warm turquoise waters. However, it is the panoramic views that engulf the 2,000 sq ft property that makes this resort one that’s going on our bucket list.

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

riviera Nayarit_mexico

Nestled on the grandiose Western Sierra Madre, and flanked by the Pacific Ocean, the Riviera Nayarit’s jungle mountains and palm-tree lined beaches have earned it the title of Fodor’s Top 10 Best Beach Getaways in 2016. Still relatively under-the-radar, its charming coastal towns, natural sanctuaries and jungle mountains make this exotic location one to consider if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

st regis mexico 2

With its graceful Mediterranean-inspired architecture, the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is an enclave of luxury. Its strategic location – between the cerulean Pacific Ocean and mountainous landscape – means that you can expect unparalleled views of the ocean and neighboring Marietas Islands. The property’s three infinity pools, private beach and two Jack Nicklaus championship golf courses stretch across the 22-acre grounds. As expected of St. Regis, the St. Regis Butler Service will be at your disposal.

Maldives

maldives

Yes, this would probably come as no surprise to you, but Maldives has made the list once again. Comprising of 26 atolls, the destination is wildly popular with honeymooners for its ludicrously blue skies and sparkling blue waters and with professional divers for its boundless coral reefs.

COMO Cocoa Islands, Maldives

COMO-COCOA-ISLANDS

Encircled by Maldive’s trademark turquoise lagoon, COMO Cocoa Island is an intimate private island resort situated in Makunufushi on the South Male Atoll. The resort has 33 overwater suites which means that the vast crystal clear waters are always at your disposal. Coupled with COMO Shambhala Retreat’s holistic wellness treatments, the resort is a sanctuary for weary travellers.