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HONG KONG

February 2017 | HK$50

reN HaNG

naked

ambition british invasion

behind the

BaFtaS

2nd annual Beauty & Spa

awardS

nina dobrev interview with the ex-vampire

HONG KONG

+

high society i art i film i books i cars i wine i travel


UNDERCOVER

Behind the scenes at Prestige Towers

PETER COMPARELLI

Peter Comparelli, twice editor of Prestige Hong Kong, passed away in December at the age of 63. He took the helm at Prestige in 2007 and then again in 2011, and carried on contributing to the magazine as a freelancer until his retirement in 2015, when he moved with his wife Idy to Penang. Described in journalist Tim Noonan’s thoughtful tribute in the South China Morning Post as “the best set of eyes in the business” and “the gatekeeper” for his formidable editing prowess, Peter couldn’t help but edit; it was in his blood. During his second tenure as editor he would sit at his desk by the high windows, systematically going through the colour proofs, an exercise punctuated by an occasional explosive oath as he came across an uncorrected error or a style faux pas committed by we mortals quaking in the cheap seats. Peter had very high standards as a nuts-and-bolts editor and was vigilant against sloppiness and assumption. He would admonish his tormentors with, “When you assume, you make an ass of u and me.” Yet he was never rancorous or unkind, seeking rather to achieve consensus on any point of discord, and was always willing to be corrected himself. A man of innate integrity and decency, there wasn’t a malicious bone in his body. Everybody respected Peter, and they loved him too. By the time he left Prestige he had become a sage. What we didn’t see much of at Prestige Towers – unless he was sidetracked by a Canadian colleague – was his involvement with sport. He had a passion for ice hockey and baseball, his Monday-morning stubble a testament to his weekends at King’s Park with the Softball League. We also knew of his annual golfing pilgrimage to Arizona with his father and brothers, where he would take the opportunity to spy out the pre-season training of the Seattle Mariners. The last time we saw Peter was at Cochrane’s, the now-departed, hole-in-the-wall bar on Cochrane Street, fending off the pigeons trying to snaffle our nibbles. “I’m only allowed one beer,” he told us, before ordering a second. The sage was talking about Frank Zappa, and he was smiling.

1 PRESTIGE february 2017


first person

Interests, enthusiasms and all-consuming passions

OrlandO HO

TexT: p. ramakrishnan; pOrTraiT: OLiVier YOan

There are those who crave the limelight, and others who have it thrust upon them, like 25-year-old Orlando Ho (son of Stanley Ho, twin of Laurinda). “I think my sister is more relaxed with the local media, she takes it in her stride,” he confesses. “I’m still getting used to it.” No more so than when late last year his company, Koo Tech, launched the game Age of Quantum. He set up the company two years ago. “Around the end of 2014, there were a lot of international gaming companies who had set up their offices in the city we were based (Chengdu). I saw an opportunity, with the skill set of the labour force and the quality of the people, to develop a cool, high-tech game. It’s a shooting game in a futuristic setting with robotics.” It’s not all fun and games in mind for Ho; there is serious ambition. “In 2017, what I would like for our company and my team is that we become one of the top 10 games of the year. We have a big launch coming up midyear which I’m very excited about.” And that fear of the media has faded with time, “Well, I haven’t ever done anything wrong in public for them to write about so I’m OK with local media. We have a good relationship. I used to get stressed before; I roll my eyes or laugh it off now!”

FEBRuaRy 2017 PRESTIGE

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contents 127 fOCuS

1 uNDerCOVer 2 fIrST PerSON 8 eDITOr’S LeTTer 9 CONTrIbuTOrS 10 NOTebOOK 11 DIary 110 PreSTIge beauTy & SPa awarDS 126 fOCuS: VaLeNTINe’S Day 159 baCKSTOry

Modern Romance

AGENDA

15

THe LOOK

18

fOOD

ricky lo

Rock your wardrobe

outfit gucci jewellery damiani

Tickling the taste buds

19

TraVeL

Goss for globetrotters

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20

auCTIONS Going, going ...

21

TaLK

Our columnists sound off


CovER

EvENts

“i’M suCh A hERMit. i LovE to bE iN My hoME WhEN i’M iN Los ANGELEs”

23

VIP/rSVP

Join us at the month’s top parties

NINA DOBREV

67

fAshioN

35

STyLe

Hottest fashion choices lionel Deluy at loveartistsagency

37

MeNSwear Cut it Out

51

TOry burCH

A Woman’s Worth

55

CHauMeT

Fit for a Queen

59

THOMaS SabO

Unfiltered Take

coat christian dior Boots christian dior necklace supreme

bEAuty

63

NewS

Shades, salves and scents

65

SKINCare

Just Chill

february 2017 PRESTIGE

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contents 81arT

Ren Hang

CuLtuRE

77

fILM

Diverse Concerns

85

bOOKS

Patti Gully

toys

iNDuLGENCE

87

CarS

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

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93

DININg

The World on a Plate

99

CHef

Enrico Bartolini

103

wINe

Winemaker Hans Topf

107

HOTeL

Mandarin Oriental, Taipei


HONG KONG

Christina Ko EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Dennis Lai CREATIVE DIRECTOR

z Jon Wall

Andrew Dembina

Stephen Reels

EDITOR AT LARGE

MANAGING EDITOR

COPY EDITOR

Alice Franklin

Sheena Khemaney

Zaneta Cheng

FEATURES EDITOR

ASSOCIATE FASHION EDITOR

FASHION WRITER

P. Ramakrishnan

Jeremy Wong

SOCIETY EDITOR

SOCIETY EDITOR AT LARGE

z Dawn Chuck

May Lui

Philip Chan

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR

ART ASSISTANT

PRODUCTION MANAGER

z CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Kavita Daswani, Mariel Goodson, Ned Goodwin MW, Nick Goodyer, Elle Kwan, Vincenzo La Torre, Gerrie Lim, Stephen McCarty, Mathew Scott, Payal Uttam, Joe Yogerst CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Bleacher + Everard, Dino Busch, Until Chan, Karl Chiu, Christiaan Hart, Edmon Leong, Ricky Lo, Gordon Lund, Mike Ruiz, MIGS, Samantha Sin, Calvin Sit, Olivier Yoan

z PRESTIGE ASIA

Lauren Tan

Chris Hanrahan

Rubin Khoo

Monica Yang

François Oosthuizen

EDITOR, SINGAPORE

EDITOR, INDONESIA

EDITOR, MALAYSIA

EDITOR, TAIWAN

EDITOR, THAILAND

z

The Hong Kong edition of Prestige is published under licence from Burda Singapore Pte Ltd. Copyright © 2017 Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. All opinions expressed in Prestige Hong Kong are those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd. Rights reserved. Prestige is a trademark of Burda Singapore Pte Ltd. Prestige Runway Hong Kong is a supplement of Prestige Hong Kong. Hubert Burda Media Hong Kong Ltd accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials lost or damaged in the mail. Address all editorial and business correspondence to: Prestige Hong Kong, Unit 1401-04, 14/F, Universal Trade Centre, 3 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 3192 7010. Email: prestige@burda.hk Prestige Hong Kong is printed by Toppan Printing Co (HK) Ltd, Toppan Printing Centre, 1 Fuk Wang Street, Yuen Long Industrial Estate, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2561 0101. Prestige Hong Kong is published monthly. Single copy price is HK$50. For local and overseas subscription information, please email: subscription@burda.hk. Tel: (852) 3192 7020.

february 2017 PRESTIGE

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HONG KONG

Sebrina Mak PUBLISHER & MANAGING DIRECTOR

z Shalin Lam GENERAL MANAGER-SALES

Bonnie Tseng / Linda Mak

Astor Chan

Tobi Law

Cora Tang

SENIOR SALES MANAGERS

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

CLIENT SERVICES ExECUTIVE

CIRCULATION MANAGER

Cleopatra Chan EVENTS & MARKETING DIRECTOR

Prudence Ng ADMINISTRATION & DIGITAL MANAGER Annie Yung ACCOUNTANT Daisy Wan ACCOUNT OFFICER

z PRESTIGE ASIA

Melvin Ang

Ronald Liem

Victor Omar Low

Daisy Hu

Waraporn Siriboonma

PUBLISHER, SINGAPORE

PUBLISHER, INDONESIA

PUBLISHER, MALAYSIA

PUBLISHER, TAIWAN

PUBLISHER, THAILAND

z INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES BURDA COMMUNITY NETWORK AUSTRIA / SWITzERLAND Goran Vukota Tel: (41 44) 810 2146 Email: goran.vukota@burda.com

GERMANY Vanessa Noetzel Tel: (49 89) 9250 3532 Email: vanessa.noetzel@burda.com Michael Neuwirth Tel: (49 89) 9250 3629 Email: michael.neuwirth@burda.com FRANCE / LUxEMBOURG Marion Badolle-Feick Tel: (33 1) 72 71 25 24 Email: marion.badolle-feick@burda.com

UK / IRELAND Jeannine Soeldner Tel: (44 20) 3440 5832 Email: jeannine.soeldner@burda.com

USA / CANADA / MExICO Salvatore Zammuto Tel: (1 212) 884 4824 Email: salvatore.zammuto@burda.com

BURDA INTERNATIONAL ITALY Mariolina Siclari Tel: (39 02) 9132 3466 Email: mariolina.siclari@burda.com

z Eckart Bollmann CHIEF ExECUTIVE OFFICER

7 PRESTIGE february 2017

Dr Michael Stollarz

Frances Evans

Olaf Holzhauser

Claus-Thomas Kuhn

CHIEF, DIGITAL OFFICE

DIRECTOR, LICENSING & ADVERTISING

DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

DIRECTOR, FINANCE

Friedrich von Scanzoni

Massimo Monti

Peter Kennedy

CHIEF ExECUTIVE OFFICER, ASIA

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ASIA

ExECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, ASIA


eDITOr’S LeTTer

The Busyness and just like that, it’s February. The last month has been a busy and news-filled one. Between the American presidential handover, the Golden Globes, Chinese New Year, and a frantic couple of weeks getting the magazine to the print shop before it closed for the holidays, Christmas seems like a distant memory. However occupied we’ve been, it surely doesn’t compare to the life of this month’s cover subject, Nina Dobrev, who is going against traffic in Hollywood with a transition from small screen to silver. While A-listers from Tom Hiddleston to Nicole Kidman pursue projects in television, Dobrev has been giving film a go, starting with a supporting role in the recent xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and ramping up this autumn with a turn in the remake of the 1990 sci-fi flick Flatliners. And though she considers the pace of film “very, very slow” in comparison with her “go go go” days starring in The Vampire Diaries, we doubt she’s been twiddling her thumbs, what with red-carpet appearances, Hollywood meetings and campaigning to guest-star on Westworld. To find out more about the stylish actress, flip to page 100. We caught up with quite a few other busy bees this month. Choosing photos for our spread on the prolific Ren Hang was no easy task – the controversial Beijing-based artist may be reticent, but that’s because he’s hard at work styling and shooting his friends and followers in crazy, contorted situations (and running from the Chinese censors, too). We recommend picking up his Taschen-published monograph for more eye-opening specimens of his work (and you thought its cover, featuring a man licking his own armpit, was provocative). With the Baftas taking place this month, academy president Amanda Berry no doubt has her hands full too. We chatted with the poised president about diversity in casting, but also about gender equality, the academy’s relationship to Asia and, on a more light-hearted note, sartorial secrets for the big ceremony. An inspiration not just to women but to entrepreneurs everywhere, Tory Burch has turned a life of privilege into a fashion and lifestyle success story, proving that entitlement and enterprise are far from mutually exclusive. Whether you’re a fan of her look or not, anyone can root for a dream-follower who made it happen. Weaved around all these tales of gumption and triumph, we have our typical mix of exciting editorial – “cuttingedge” inspiration for males to get dressed up this season; our second annual beauty and spa awards line-up; a rundown on how you can eat your way across the world without leaving the 852 area code; and a spin in Mercedes’ animal AMG E 63 S. So when you’re done being engaged with whatever it is we Hongkongers find keeps us so inexorably engrossed, have a flip through this issue. I hope the stories inspire you as they inspired us.

Christina Ko | EDITORIAL DIRECTOR |

HONG KONG

FEBRUARY 2017 | HK$50

REN HANG

NAKED

AMBITION BRITISH INVASION

BEHIND THE

BAFTAS

PhotograPhy LioneL DeLuy Styling RafaeL LinaRes Make-uP amy oResman hair Riawna CapRi outFit eLie saaB

2ND ANNUAL BEAUTY & SPA

AWARDS

NINA DOBREV INTERVIEW WITH THE EX-VAMPIRE

HONG KONG

01 PRESTIGE COVER.indd 1

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HIGH SOCIETY I ART I FILM I BOOKS I CARS I WINE I TRAVEL

1/18/17 4:47 PM

febrUArY 2017 PRESTIGE

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CONTrIbuTOrS

Born in the South of France, Los Anglesbased photographer lionel deluy started his career after migrating to Paris following high school. Since then, he’s photographed celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Colin Firth, Ryan Gosling, 50 Cent, Pharrell and Will.i.am, among others. His work has appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, Wired, Variety and Vogue, and he’s also shot campaigns for clients such as Reebok and American Apparel. On his debut shoot for Prestige this month, Deluy photographs Nina Dobrev (“Resurrection Girl”, page 67).

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joe yogerst is an

award-winning travel writer who has written everything from sports reports and wildlife sagas to celebrity interviews and crime stories for publications that include The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The New Yorker and Outside. Among his two dozen books is White Tiger, a best-selling murder mystery set in Hong Kong. In this month’s issue he interviews Nina Dobrev (“Resurrection Girl”, page 67).

Recently returned to his native Singapore after many years of residence in Hong Kong, wine writer gerrie lim has been working with Prestige Hong Kong since 2005. Previously based in Los Angeles, where he was a music critic at LA Weekly and Billboard, he has also written about arts and culture for Details, Elle, Playboy and The Wall Street Journal. He has written seven books, the most recent being Singapore Rebel: Searching for Annabel Chong. This month, Lim meets Austrian winemaker Hans Topf (“Top of the Line”, page 103).


notebook

Events, happenings, promotions

exhibition

premiere

LANCÔME Photographer CK and Secret 9 production house were engaged by Lancôme for its Lancôme Génifique Love Your Age Live Photo Exhibition at Harbour City, which aimed to capture in photography the inner beauty of each participating woman and demonstrate the brand’s belief that beauty transcends age.

campaign

CHOPARD Donnie Yen was at Pantages Theatre in Hollywood for the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which the prolific action star plays a leading role. In accord with the sci-fi nature of the film, Yen wore Chopard’s L.U.C Time Traveler One watch – newly launched in Asia and the only one released to date in Hong Kong – to the event.

opening

launch

GODIVA

DAMIANI

LEONARD PARIS

Scan your thumbprint and discover your “animetic” (animal-like) icon and personality by taking part in Godiva’s A Touch of Love campaign throughout February at nine Hong Kong stores as well as others in Taiwan and Singapore. The interactive kiosks can also identify the Godiva chocolate that’s most suited to you.

Damiani opened its second boutique in Hong Kong at Landmark in Central. The elegant space offers a stylish, cosy and welcoming atmosphere, revealing the brand’s extraordinary world of jewellery masterpieces and enabling shoppers to experience contemporary Italian luxury in a uniquely privileged way.

Art nouveau meets the Arabian Nights in Christine Phung’s first collection as creative director for Leonard Paris – her spring/summer 2017 line Digital Tropics. As the house approaches its 60th anniversary, the collection rethinks flowers – part of its heritage – in a modern manner, redefining them with a new sense of contemporaneity.

february 2016 PRESTIGE

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diary

What in the world is happening this month

honG KonG

aSia -PaciFic

February 10-12

February 23-26

February 6-12

Held across three days, this equestrian extravaganza showcases world-class showjumping competitions alongside various social events that are sure to be on every socialite’s calendar. Head to AsiaWorld-Expo with friends to soak up the best of the atmosphere.

Part of the Perth International Arts Festival, the four-day event brings together Australian and international writers, artists and activists. The programmes include Courtyard Sessions, which presents two nights of slam poetry, music and comedy. British writer/researcher Ben Rawlence and Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni deliver the opening and closing addresses respectively.

One of the most important events for Scandinavian design, it runs parallel with Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, which attracts some 40,000 visitors from 60 countries. A series of activities takes place at various venues across the city, from galleries to museums and cultural institutions.

honG KonG MaSTeRS

PeRTh wRiTeRS FeSTiVal

euRoPe & aMeRicaS STocKholM DeSiGn weeK

February 8-12 ReTRoMobile

Held at Paris’s Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre, this classic-car show brings together enthusiasts, collectors, dealers and importers. The official auction takes place on February 10. At last year’s Retromobile, a Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti fetched US$35.7 million, a world record for a classic car sold at auction.

February 23-March 11 February 16-March 16

ReMinDeRS aT Sin Sin Fine aRT

Sin Sin Fine Art gallery hosts an exhibition featuring 16 artists from across the globe. Titled Reminders, the exhibition’s focus is on exploring different mediums of art as a connecting thread of everyday experiences. Discover a thought-provoking showcase of sculptures, paintings and photographs.

February 16-March 18

The 45Th honG KonG aRTS FeSTiVal The Hong Kong Arts Festival presents an exhilarating array of music, opera, drama and dance performances with both traditional and contemporary roots. A multitude of local and foreign performers and artists appear at the city’s cultural venues throughout the period.

11 PRESTIGE february 2017

Dubai FooD FeSTiVal

The only citywide festival of cuisine in the Middle East, this annual event highlights gourmet and avant-garde restaurant concepts and local haunts in the emirate. Last year’s edition saw the attendance of MasterChef Australia judges Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, and chefs included Rosemary Shrager and Shannon Bennett.

February 24-March 12 The PillowMan

Pangdemonium launches its 2017 Singapore season with the restaging of its 2007 production The Pillowman. Directed by Tracie Pang, it reunites three of the four original leads – Adrian Pang, Daniel Jenkins and Shane Mardjuki – for a celebration of the raw human instinct to invent fantasies, to lie for sport and to con for one’s own end.

February 12, 19, 26 whiTe TuRF

More than 35,000 spectators gather at the lake of St Moritz for a range of winter horse-racing events that includes a 2.7km skikjöring (being pulled on skis, from behind a horse). With prize money totalling around 500,000 Swiss francs (HK$3.85 million), White Turf is the most lucrative equestrian event in Switzerland.


PRESTIGEONLINE.COM The new websiTe for regional ediTions of Prestige AsiA, bringing you The same qualiTy of conTenT as The magazine, in a quicker, slicker formaT VisiT us This monTh To check ouT our uP-To-The-minuTe rePorTs from arT basel in hong kong, Paris fashion week, baselworld and The geneVa moTor show, as well as our TyPical miX of fashion, Jewellery, waTches, arTs, TraVel and much more, Plus access To The region’s hoTTesT ParTies and eVenTs

©2017 huberT burda media hong kong lTd.


13

What’s new in fashion, food, travel and collectibles

d

aGeNDa TREE OF LIFE

Fendi’s headquarters at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome will host a solo show titled Matrice by sculptor Giuseppe Penone, whose work is often linked with nature and the environment. The exhibition runs until July 15.

13 PRESTIGE february 2017

GONE IN 60 sEcONds

An open-top version of Ferrari’s fabulous LaFerrari hypercar has long been rumoured. Shame, then, that all 209 of the recently unveiled Aperta (it’s Italian for “open”) have already been sold.

RabbIT REdux

Inspired by the White Rabbit candies that Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gave US President Nixon in 1972, this espressobased cocktail from InterContinental Hong Kong’s Lobby Lounge uses White Rabbit-infused vodka as a base spirit.


TRENd TaLK Succeeding #followme, Ports 1961 menswear artistic director Milan Vukmirovic has created a new hashtag this season, #LOVE, featured on selected clothes and accessories. We think his positive message of “less hate, more love” will be just as popular – if not more so – than its predecessor, particularly as Cupid’s arrows are flying this month.

z february 2017 PRESTIGE

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AGENDA

15

DRIES VAN NOTEN AT MRPORTER.COM

JIMMY CHOO

LANVIN AT MRPORTER.COM

PORTS 1961

TUMI

ALESSANDRO MICHELE IN GUCCI

GUCCI AT MRPORTER.COM

GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI

PATTERN PLAY Alessandro Michele, creative director at Gucci, cut a dashing figure at The Fashion Awards 2016, sparkling in his richly patterned, rose-hued brocade suit. His outfit packed an extra punch with touches such as a bow tie and trumpet flares.


THE LOOK sEasOnaL sarTOriaL snap-ups

ROGER VIVIER

FENDI

LONGCHAMP BELLA HADID IN DIOR

CO-ORDS WITH CHARACTER Model Bella Hadid stands proud in Dior at the Dior Beauty Art of Color exhibition in New York. Her commanding presence is matched by the unabashed frothy tulle separates, a perfect example of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s new Dior woman. Touches of femininity, such as the ombre bag and stiletto heels, soften a powerful look.

LANVIN AT NET-A-PORTER.COM

MULBERRY

SERGIO ROSSI

FEBRUARY 2017 PRESTIGE

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AGENDA

17

THE LOOK sEasOnaL sarTOriaL snap-ups

JIMMY CHOO

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG

BALENCIAGA AT NET-A-PORTER.COM

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN AT NET-A-PORTER.COM

GIGI HADID IN ROBERTO CAVALLI

WHITE ON THE MONEY Model Gigi Hadid was a sleek vision in lace at the American Music Awards in sunny Los Angeles. Striking the perfect balance between glam and ease, as is the Southern Californian way, she kept her wardrobe monochrome, accessorising with an elegant choker for a dash of sparkle, and red lips.

TORY BURCH

STUART WEITZMAN AT NET-A-PORTER.COM SUZANNE KALAN AT NET-A-PORTER.COM


FOOD ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO EAT

SWEET READ

Cheekily entitled Lickerland, locally based pastry chef Jason Licker has just self-published his own cookbook – its secondary title tells more about the contents: AsianAccented Desserts. The US-born, fitness-obsessed chef was formerly a star at small swish international restaurant group Cé La Vi, as well as working in top-tier hotel and gourmet restaurant kitchens. As well as recipes for sweets containing sponge, meringue, mousse and more that use flavours from this region, the book features forewords by US celebrity pastry chef and James Beard award-winning author, Johnny Iuzzini, and founder and co-owner of Mad Mac Macaron, Florian Bellanger – who is also a judge on Food Network’s hit TV series Cupcake Wars. jasonlicker.com

CROSS-CULTURE CUISINE

Wagyu Takumi in Wanchai recently welcomed a new executive chef, Daisuke Mori, who honed his skills at Restaurant Taillevent in Paris, Signature at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, and Tokyo’s Chateau Restaurant Joël Robuchon before arriving in Hong Kong at the end of last year. His new lunch and dinner tasting menus meld French technique and romance with Japanese precision, and include dishes such as French barley risotto with abalone and Shimanto seaweed, and Japanese charcoal-grilled Wagyu tenderloin with shallot purée, garlic confit and sucrine lettuce. Tel: 2574 1299

LOCAL REVIVALISM

The mission of independent restaurants to repackage the no-nonsense end of the Hong Kong culinary spectrum continues with the opening of Lee Lo Mei. Presenting its modern gourmet take on street food and typical cha chaan teng cafe fare, the restaurant uses ingredients that often up the game. Thus, steamed cheung fan riceflour rolls are stuffed with sous-vide chicken, foie gras, black truffle and mushroom consommé; lotus-leaf-wrapped baked chicken in sea salt and sticky rice features spring fowl and whole abalone; and ho fan rice noodles join A4 Wagyu beef, turnip and sesame seeds in soy sauce. Alongside tea, of course, and a wine list, cocktails have been concocted to include Cantonese ingredients such as chrysanthemum flower and ginger. Tel: 2896 1838

FURTHER JAPANESE FUSION

TokyoLima, which opened last month in Central, brings together – as the name suggests – Japanese and Peruvian culinary elements in dishes by chef Arturo Melendez. Based on Nikkei cuisine, which has its origins in the food cooked by Japanese railway workers who began to arrive in Peru in the late 19th century, the menu and vibe here are casual. Vintage furniture and a cosy eclectic interior are designed to create the buzz of an izakaya bar. Signature salmon tiradito (a Peruvian cross between sashimi and carpaccio) with passion fruit “tiger’s milk” marinate is one of several raw and seared listings. tokyolima.hk

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AGENDA

19

TRAVEL INTEL FOR THE LUXE ADVENTURER

ASIAN ODYSSEY

Got three-and-a-half months free and the urge to broaden your horizons? Purveyor of bespoken luxury-travel experiences Exotic Voyages has prepared a 111-day package of discovery that takes in 13 Asian countries, from Oman in the west to Japan in the east. Billed “The Razor’s Edge: A Spiritual and Cultural Quest” in a nod to the 1944 W Somerset Maugham novel, the itinerary – somewhere between an expedition and a pilgrimage – involves stays in and visits to monasteries and shrines, a horseback trek through the Himalayas, time in a tented camp in the Omani desert, a temple tour by bicycle, and a 16-day sweep through multiple cities in China, as well as visits to key cultural sites throughout the region, from the Taj Mahal in India to Burma’s temples of Bagan and a Shinto shrine in the Japanese island of Itsukushima. And, if the idea appeals but you really can’t find the time, Exotic Voyages is happy to break down the trip into separate components that can be experienced singly or combined with others. exoticvoyages.com

SYBARITIC SAFARI

Experiential-travel operator &Beyond, which specialises in itineraries in Africa, South America and Asia, has announced a 16-day Romance of Africa Safari package. Visiting Johannesburg, Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert, and including a journey aboard the colonial-style Rovos Rail train-hotel, it takes in the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of southern Africa, while travelling in the lap of luxury. And for those eager to journey even further afield, the company has also launched a 13-day best of Argentina tour, whose highlights include dance lessons at the famous Rojo Tango in Buenos Aires, the Iguazu Falls, a wine estate in Mendoza and a visit to Bariloche in alpine Patagonia. andbeyond.com

RUMBLINGS IN THE JUNGLE

Trisara, Phuket’s acclaimed luxury resort in a “managed jungle”, has reopened following renovations that include the introduction of new villas, a holistic spa, restaurants and personalised guest services. Comprising 39 hotel villas and a further 20 residences, the hotel offers its guests complete privacy in supremely elegant surroundings. Its latest additions, the Ocean View Pool Junior Suites, are situated high above the property, while the renovated and renamed Jara Spa follows a five-pillar philosophy inspired by the ficus tree that envelops it. Farm-totable cuisine, featuring produce from the resort’s own farmstead as well as from local farmers and fisherfolk, is now offered at PRU restaurant, and guests can draw upon the expertise of a personal host who is assigned to them for the duration. trisara.com


UNDER THE HAMMER

AUCTIONS HOTTeST BIdS ArOUNd THe wOrld

TiaNCheNg iNTerNaTioNal Jewellery and Jadeite autumn auction 2016 realises over hK$100 million

1934 alfa romeo Tipo B p3 February 8

Cartier sapphire necklace Comprising a 42.42-carat natural unheated Burmese Mogok “Cornflower Blue” sapphire, this Cartier necklace emerged the top lot, going under the hammer for HK$20.4 million.

Offered for the first time in over a decade, this grand prix car designed by the great Vittorio Jano bears the chassis number 50006 and is on auction at RM Sotheby’s Paris. The car is one of only nine such single-seat racers to be built by the Italian manufacturer. Powered by a supercharged eight-cylinder engine, it’s estimated to fetch €3.6-€4.6 million.

Nisan “Butterfly” brooch Sold for HK$288,000, this titanium, sapphire and diamond brooch by Thai jeweller Nisan was sold for a price four times its estimate.

IllustratIons of ChIna and Its PeoPle, Volume I and II, london, 1873 By John Thomson February 14

Jadeite bangle After an intense bidding war with 27 offers, this enchanting jadeite bangle went under the hammer for HK$282,000 — five times its pre-sale estimate.

Swann Galleries’ winter photography auction – Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks – features a collection of exquisite modernist images, including a rare selection of photobooks by Scottish photographer John Thomson. One of the first lensmen to travel to the Far East to document its people, cultures and landscapes, his work is expected to go under the hammer for US$15,000-$25,000. Other works by Lewis W Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Carleton Watkins, Lucien Clergue and Leni Riefenstahl are also on offer.

Three decades of Biondi-sanTi from The esTaTe’s family collecTion February 25

Opening the year with a compelling sale of fine and rare wines, Sotheby’s New York presents a collection of top vintages by some of the most coveted names from the world’s greatest wine regions. One highlight is a trove of rare Italian wines spanning three decades – 1971 and 1970, 1964, 1955 – from the family collection of the Biondi-Santi winemaking dynasty.

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AGENDA

21

TALK THE PRESTIGE PUNDITS

In Praise of Grenache Forget Cabernets or Pinots. Were ned goodwin, mw forced to become a grape variety he’d choose to become the most joyous of them all

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i was recently asked the sort of question that, while bizarre, drew a smile. It also made me think. When it comes to wine, this is a seldom occurrence. The days of giddy intoxication, due to alcoholic effect and the visceral connection to wine as a sort of liquid postcard, are largely gone. Once capable of transporting me to the destinations depicted on many a label, wonder and fantasy further connoted by antiquated font and foreign language, wine rarely achieves this any more. Moreover, my tolerance for alcohol has soared. Fortunately, there are wines that still change my ways for the better, altering my perspective and shattering preconceptions. These wines convince me that my chosen path is worth it, despite the self-doubt confronted each day. The question asked me to select a grape variety should my fate be forced to become that of a hanging cultivar. While I flirted ever so briefly with the notion of transmogrifying into Pinot Noir, the finessed conduit of immeasurable pleasure and intellectual stimuli, it didn’t take me long to answer. After all, Pinot is too effete for one who wears one’s heart on the sleeve. “Grenache!” I cried. Grenache makes joyous wine, gulpable in large drafts as its most unadulterated expression: gently extracted with no or little perceivable oak and firing on cylinders of cherry bonbons and briar. Conversely, Grenache can also harness the indelible stamp of place as liquid, sashaying among the world’s finest wines as a result. And yes, these include the top drawers of Burgundy, as they do Piemonte and German Riesling all, especially if fine wine is, by definition, wine of place, complexity and dutiful age-worthiness.

Fine wine, too – something often left out of this equation – must be as delicious and drinkable in its youth, with a nod to the gritty riff of adolescence, as it is in the gloaming of maturity. It’s here that Grenache struts with an inimitable pedigree. Château Rayas, arguably the most esteemed of any Grenache, can be like a delicate etching in the mouth, powdery tannins and bright acidity chiselling savouriness across the variety’s predilection for high-toned, red-fruited sapidity and sweetness. The 1978 and 1971 are among the finest wines ever lipped. Lesser years such as 1997 and 1994 still brought goose bumps. Most endearingly, Grenache’s sheer deliciousness, inherent drinkability, versatility and Southern European persona have somehow, miraculously, allowed it to transcend the vainglorious world of all-pervasive luxury branding, fauxlifestyle media and treasure-hunter-type collectors for whom wines such as many from Burgundy and Bordeaux become a commodified platform of rarity from which to covet approbation and social standing, but too seldom a mantle of love. Grenache glides. It doesn’t hobnob. Indeed, Grenache reaches its apotheosis of mottled dark fruit, kirsch and garrigue scents in the oldest French appellation, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, sashaying to a similar tune of lighter shades that ebb and flow across the satellite appellations of Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Séguret, Sablet, Rasteau and others; it sashays to an old vine baritone and spiky bebop across the sands of McLaren Vale; before spreading a dusty, drier patina under the moniker of Cannonau, far away in Sardinia. And yet Grenache has endeared itself to me even more of late, with the pallid vermilion hues, florals and white-pepper tones vividly depicted across the myriad of expressions from Sierra de Gredos, a region west of Madrid. Miraculously, despite the stellar quality of many of its wines, the region has sprung into the cognisance of the wine world only over the last five years. It seems that irrespective of a deep vinous history, a polyglot of superb terroir and very old vines, some things remain mysterious and sacred. Hallelujah! Garnacha, as it’s known here, exudes fruit in a more restrained, altitudinal vein, yet still with the chutzpah and joy intrinsic to a fine sashay. Bodega Marañones is the leader of the pack; Commando G an aspirational finalist close behind. I’m thankful that there’s still the unknown, despite the ease with which information is shared and the access to knowledge, once sought by the hungry few, that this facilitates. I’m thankful for fine wines undiscovered. I’m thankful that these wines are capable of shattering preconceptions, while remaining unfettered by the gratuitous glorification of what still, at its core, remains a liquid capable of reviving, refreshing and elevating our lives, even in the moment it takes to down a glass. I’m thankful for Grenache.


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23 REGINA CHENG AND SEBRINA MAK

LORETTA WONG AND JOSEPHINE SIN

NIRAV MODI X PRESTIGE

Shine Bright Like a Diamond Perhaps best described as an intimate gathering of the finest ladies who lunch, this exclusive assembly – hosted by Nirav Modi and Prestige at the jeweller’s Tsim Sha Tsui boutique – featured the city’s most popular models sashaying around in gowns while bedecked in shimmering diamonds. On that fine winter’s afternoon several additions to Nirav Modi’s Luminance collection were showcased, and while there were many stunning pieces, all eyes were on the Luminance Bracelet with Charms. The house also introduced the Luminance Charm Pendant, the Mughal Charm Pendant and the Lotus Charm Pendant.

WINKY LAM BARSIN


“Nirav Modi is my favourite jewellery brand. I loved the latest collection, especially the bracelets” DOROTA MENARD

LAU HO CHING

JOANNA CHAO

RUBY YUE

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vIp

Meryl Streep in GiVenCHy by riCCardo tiSCi and Harry winSton jewellery

toM HiddleSton in GUCCi

naoMie HarriS in arMani priVÉ and tiffany & Co. jewellery

Golden Globes

All that Glitters Kicking off award season in Hollywood, the Golden Globes were handed out at a star-spangled, champagne-loaded dinner in La La Land (the big winner that night). And in support of the adage that it’s not about winning or losing, but what you wear on the night, the red carpet doubled as a catwalk led by top actresses and actors who showcased designer-wear in all its dramatic (and sometimes comedic!) glory. Winner Emma Stone sported Valentino, while the ever-fashionable trifecta – Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell and Reese

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Witherspoon – carved themselves in the fine silhouettes of Atelier Versace dresses. Meanwhile, our January cover girl Naomie Harris donned not one, but two Armani looks that night: one for the dinner and another Armani Privé dress with Tiffany & Co. jewellery for the after-party. Not to forget leading men Chris Pine, Christian Slater, Denzel Washington and Matt Bomer, who all opted for a classic Armani suit, while Eddie Redmayne picked Versace. And finally, all heard from and hailed Meryl Streep in Givenchy.

ryan GoSlinG in GUCCi


donald GloVer in GUCCi

reeSe witHerSpoon in atelier VerSaCe and tiffany & Co. jewellery

blake liVely in atelier VerSaCe and lorraine SCHwartz jewellery

natalie portMan in prada and tiffany & Co. jewellery

eMMa Stone in Valentino and tiffany & Co. jewellery

jeSSiCa CHaStain in prada and piaGet jewellery

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vip

LUMEN KINOSHITA

lumen KInOSHITA

Tea and Sympathy All it takes is a Whatsapp message from the manicured fingers of Lumen Kinoshita for her girlfriends to arrive one by one for high tea at the lush lobby of Larry’s Jewellery in Central. Bedecked with flowers and decorations complementing the fine jewellery on display (and sale!), and with catered delicacies by Another Fine Day, the boutique hosted some of the most notable names in town. “I do want to raise some money for the Make a Wish foundation and catch up with a few girlfriends for tea, so why not do both at the same time?” asked la Kinoshita. Why not indeed? While some picked a few bits and pieces here and there, all donated to the cause – and everyone walked away with bags of goodies; the evergenerous hostess had presents for one and all.

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rEINA cHAU

MONIcA cHEN


KATHY LI

bONITA cHEUNg

SHIrLEY HIrANAND

LUMEN KINOSHITA AND jAcqUELINE cHOw

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RSVP

29 fresh

Firm Friends At Elephant Grounds on Star Street, Fresh showcased its latest product, Black Tea Firming Corset Cream. Among the local glamazons who gave face to the brand’s high-tea event, we caught a glimpse of Fiona Sit, whose portraits by Victoria Tang (also present and fabulously pregnant) were seen at the venue.

cheLsea chaU UTah Lee

Veronica Lam rUTh chao

Lois Tien

“Love the innovation and incorporation of natural herbs into skincare products. I’m really excited to try out the benefits of black tea in the Firming Corset Cream!” Lois Tien

charLoTTe hwang


Louis Vuitton

Party with a Purpose

harrIs ChaN

A year after the launch of its global partnership with Unicef, Louis Vuitton held its first #makeapromise day in January to raise funds for children in urgent need through its global network of stores. To this end, 12,000 Louis Vuitton client advisors in 460 of the brand’s stores spread over more than 60 countries will act as special advocates of the Louis Vuitton for Unicef partnership and promote sales of the Silver Lockit, a product specially designed to raise funds for Unicef. Along with local #makeapromise ambassador Kevin Poon, we spotted Elly Lam, Kayla Wong with her sister Irisa, Jacqueline Chow, Harris Chan and Ryan Hui at the event, which was held in the newly revamped 5 Canton Road maison. Since January 2016, the Louis Vuitton for Unicef partnership has helped raise US$2.5m and hopes to improve on that sum this year.

ZElIa ZhONg

Elly lam JErEmy WONg

lOrrEtta ChOW

Kayla Wong

“It was a great event with great people and a wonderful cause. My sister and I had such an awesome time!”

Kayla WONg aNd IrIsa WONg

KEVIN POON

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rsvp

LUKFOOK JEWELLERY

A Day at the Races The Lukfook Jewellery Raceday at Sha Tin Racecourse was organised by the brand over the winter holidays. A parade of beauties attended the event, led by renowned actress Lynn Xiong, Miss Hong Kong 2016 contestants Crystal Fung (winner), Tiffany Lau (first runner-up and winner of Miss Photogenic), Bonnie Chan (second runner-up) and Bowie Cheung (winner of Miss Friendship). The MC for the day was Gigi Ho, while Raymond Lam also showed up as a special guest to support the festivities.

LYNN XIONG

CISSY WANG,IRENE WANG, KARSON CHOI AND WONG WAI-SHEUNG

NANCY WONG, WONG LUK CHUI YEE, RAYMOND LAM, WONG WAI-SHEUNG, DANNY WONG AND IRENE CHEUNG WINFRIED ENGELBRECHT-BRESGES

LELIA CHOW, RICKY YEUNG AND CANDY LO

WONG WAI-SHEUNG AND ALBERT YEUNG

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lee RyAN

PENTA KOWLOON

Jessica Jann

“The party was great! Loved how we were by the pool, listening to great music - and I went to eat at the buffet spread way too many times!”

Hotel Hullabaloo A star-studded pool party was held at Penta Kowloon. The official kick-off to a series of events hosted in Penta hotels around Asia, the evening was attended by Rosemary Vandenbroucke, Derek Wong, Margiela K, Vinci Wong, Kevin Chow, Lesley Chiang and Yu Chiu. Proceedings kicked off with a performance by Lee Ryan, member of the British R&B group Blue. He was followed by local band Yellow, who performed some of their songs before jamming with well-known beatboxer Fat King.

yellow

JANeT MA

ANTHoNy AND JoCelyN SANDSTRoM

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rsvp

SUE LYNN HWA

theory

Style File Theory held a cocktail event at the popular club Cé La Vi to launch its spring/summer 2017 collection. As people snaked their way through mannequins decked out with the latest line, we spotted Kennis Tai, Kam Kwok-leung, David Kung, Jonas Yang and Sue Lynn Hwa. As the champagne flowed and the canapé trays traversed, the head-turner at the event was Celina Jade – the actress best known for her starring role in the television series Arrow – who sported a stunning cocktail dress from the brand.

Celina Jade

“I love my Theory dress. It is so elegant and sensual, the skin-coloured mesh pattern is so sexy but I’m completely covered up head-to-toe!”

JUSTIN FAN AND KENNIS TAI

VERONICA LI AND CELINA JADE

FAYE TSUI

PETER CHEUNG

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DAVID KUNG

KAM KWOK-LEUNG


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35

The month in chic

fashion LUXE LIVING PARISIAN CHIC

Popular among the fashion set, Chloé’s Faye handbag gets a revamp as a backpack – with the house’s signature chain and ring still intact. Ideal for travelling or strolling around town, this chic carryall comes with an extra strap so you can hold it like a tote whenever you feel like it. Now that’s luxury.

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DOG DAYS

Givenchy’s artistic director, Riccardo Tisci, has relaunched the house’s famous Rottweiler print for a spring/summer 2017 capsule collection. The all-black clothing and accessories – including a cap, shoes and small leather goods – feature a fierce white-outlined Rottweiler’s head.

Mr&Mrs Italy first exploded onto the scene with its range of army-green parkas lined with luxurious furs. Now, the brand has expanded its outerwear collection by producing apparel that can be worn year round. Made in Italy by local artisans, the label’s spring/summer 2017 women’s line features its first active-wear collection, including embroidered T-shirts, track pants and hooded sweatshirts.


bAG IT

Giorgio Armani’s Private Bag collection was introduced as a line of practical briefcases designed for the man on the go. Recently added to the collection is a stylish travel bag (in black or blue) and a handy backpack (in black).

DOUbLE TROUbLE

Dior has released images of its first ready-to-wear collection under the helm of artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Shot by renowned French photographer Brigitte Lacombe, twin models Ruth and May Bell star in the French fashion house’s spring/summer 2017 campaign sporting some of the pieces to own this season. We’re particularly fond of the sheer tulle blouses and the black choker.

ONE TO WATCH

GOOD SPORT

Ports 1961 menswear and sports giant Everlast have collaborated on a stylish capsule collection of athletic wear – we’re talking tank tops, T-shirts, boxing shorts and more. Ports 1961 men’s creative director (and one of our favourite street-style stars), the talented Milan Vukmirovic, has reinterpreted some of his favourite Everlast classics with the fashion label’s signature star-camouflage motif. The collection was first showcased at Ports 1961 spring/summer 2017 catwalk during the Milan men’s fashion week last summer.

Designer Catherine Holstein references the Italian seaside backdrops of Purple Noon – the 1960 film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s book The Talented Mr Ripley – for Khaite’s spring/summer 2017 collection. Designed as “a travel-ready wardrobe”, the collection includes a tailored striped shirt and an oversize denim jacket. Available at matchesfashion.com.

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FASHION

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C

ut it Out z

The latest urban looks for men snip and mix standout prints and silhouettes z PHOTOGRAPHY MICKY WONG FASHION DIRECTION JOHNNY KHOO STYLING JACQUIE ANG GROOMING RICK YANG AT FAC3INC USING URBAN DECAY AND LA BIOSTHETIQUE PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT WENG BAY FASHION ASSISTANT SAPPHIRE CHIN MODEL ANTONI B FROM AVE


THIS PAGE: OUTFIT ISSEY MIYAKE MEN OPPOSITE PAGE: OUTFIT BURBERRY

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FASHION

OUTFIT FENDI

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OUTFIT GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI

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FASHION

OUTFIT ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

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OUTFIT SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

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OUTFIT EMPORIO ARMANI WATCH VACHERON CONSTANTIN

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OUTFIT LOUIS VUITTON

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FASHION

OUTFIT VALENTINO WATCH IWC

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OUTFIT ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA WATCH JAEGER-LECOULTRE

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FASHION

OUTFIT BOTTEGA VENETA WATCH AUDEMARS PIGUET

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OUTFIT GUCCI

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FASHION

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A WomAn’s Worth How did Tory Burch build the quintessential American brand of the 21st century? She explains the secret of her success to vincenzo la torre

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how Tory Burch made it big has been told a million times: East Coast society maven marries New York garmento and turns her passion for all things preppy and bohemian into her eponymous brand. What’s more clichéd than that? But look at Tory Burch now and you realise just how many fellow debutantes have tried and failed before – and after – her. Burch is the only American designer who has managed to build a lifestyle brand in the 21st century (her label was founded in 2004 as a small shop in Nolita). Many other New York designers who came of age at the same time as Burch are nowhere to be found. Barely out of college and with just one or two collections under their belts, they were lauded as geniuses and got a lot of good press while Burch, with her pioneering concept of affordable luxury and with her years of experience working behind the scenes for designers such as Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren, was building an empire, raising the eyebrows and inducing the envy of many naysayers. Whatever your feelings for Burch and her seemingly idyllic life and unflappable poise, you’ve got to give it to her: she’s paid her dues. Hers wasn’t just a husband-financed vanity project meant to keep a stay-at-home mom busy. It’s easy to understand why some still can’t come to terms with what she’s accomplished in little over a decade. “How did she do it?” they wonder. And how did she do it while always looking impeccable and with nary a wrong move in her ascent? Well, for starters, she took her time and

the story of

learned on the job before making the big leap. She also had her ups and her downs, from the legendary Oprah endorsement to the legal battle with her ex-husband and business partner Chris Burch. Feuds and controversies aside, Burch’s is the ultimate American success story, and even though she may beg to differ, it seems as if it was a smooth ride to the top for the Pennsylvaniaborn art-history major who is now the reigning queen of a certain boho-chic aesthetic that works as well on the East Coast and Aspen as it does in Tokyo and Hong Kong. “I still look at it like a work in progress,” says Burch about her label when we meet her a few hours after her spring/summer 2017 show in her beautifully appointed office on Lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. “It’s wonderful that it has had such traction and resonated with people,” she says, “but I still look at things thinking that we have a lot ahead of us and the core is always the product – and that’s what I’m most excited about now. It’s really where we’re going with the product and about the amount of effort we’ve put into putting in place the right team, restructuring the company and becoming more like a technology company. “Technology has always been a big part – we launched e-commerce 13 years ago – but now we have a chief technology officer so we think of technology and the impact it has on logistics, supply chains, products. For me it’s an evolution, so I wouldn’t just pat ourselves on the back but say, ‘Look where we’ve come and how much we have to do.’ ”


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Not many designers utter phrases such as “supply chains” or bother to deal with matters such as logistics, but Burch is not your average fashion creator secluded in an ivory tower. With her, the lines between designer and entrepreneur have always been blurred. “It’s always been a combination,” she explains. “When the business got bigger, I started hiring more help to run it because I’ve always been strategic and involved in that, but the product is the most important thing. You can be as operationally excellent as anyone, but if you don’t have the right product it doesn’t matter. I want to focus on product and strategy and hire amazing leaders to become operationally excellent, and that’s what we’ve been doing.” While the label may have built its name on those now-ubiquitous Reva flats featuring the company’s logo in gold, it has gradually pulled

“I wish people could see the real me. I have a sense of humour” back from cash-rich categories such as leather goods and shoes, focusing on ready-to-wear in order neither to dilute its image nor to put all its eggs in one basket. When Burch started her label in 2004 the idea of accessible luxury was completely new, but now the concept she pioneered is everywhere, which means that she and her management team have had to innovate, venturing into other categories such as leisurewear. Tory Sport, launched in 2015, is an example of the label’s expansion plans. For now it’s only available in the US but the designer hopes to roll it out to the rest of the world, including Asia, in the next few years. “Sport is a very exciting opportunity,” says Burch. “When I started this company I didn’t want sport to be a second brand but a peer of this brand and keep it very separate, so we want to build it slowly and hopefully we’ll expand. The response has been exciting. We’re going to open six stores in the near future and it’s also

available online. I truly believe in e-commerce.” In spite of her success (many now compare her to Oprah, who was partly responsible for making her a household name), Burch is not resting on her laurels. While her polite manners and chic demeanour don’t betray a hint of her relentless drive, she feels that she’s not done yet and that there’s much more to do. She’s aware that business leaders, both men and women, see her as a role model and is always happy to offer precious advice to those who come and seek it. “I think it was important to get the background and learn from different places, and I think that with millennials that will be a challenge,” observes the designer. “When I spoke at Stanford [University], all the students wanted to be entrepreneurs, but for me, in order to do that, you have to have a passion first and then you become an entrepreneur based

BACKSTAGE AND RUNWAY LOOKS FROM TORY BURCH SPRING/SUMMER 2017

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on your passion. The point is that you have to get some experience because if you go right into it, it will be challenging. “It’s great to be eager but also to take your time and learn from different jobs and experiences. Not every job will be the right job but you can take a lot from each position you’ve ever had. You learn what you should do and shouldn’t and I think that this is an element that’s missing from the new generations. Business is tough. People think that there’s this tech dream in Palo Alto but ... think of how many fail compared to how many are launched.” It’s not just her words that have been inspiring young entrepreneurs, however. With the Tory Burch Foundation, which she established only five years into her business, she’s been giving women loans to start their companies. “It was always in the plan,” she says. “From the beginning I wanted to build a global lifestyle brand and start a foundation. Investors would

tell me to never say social responsibility and business in the same sentence, and that made me more determined to have that as part of our values and the DNA of our brand, to have a foundation to give back. “When we were able to launch it in 2009, it was very much ingrained and it was quite early to start a foundation after only five years in business. It took some time to figure out what the mission would be. I knew it would be women and children but eventually I came up with the concept of women entrepreneurs because it was my experience. I felt that I could offer the key lessons that I had learned, but I wanted to be very careful speaking about it because I never wanted it to ever be perceived as marketing. “We wanted to have impact and scale, and now we do. With our partnership with Bank of America we’ve given out over US$24 million in the last three years to women entrepreneurs in the United States. It’s not a charity but a tool. It’s giving jobs and empowering women to empower themselves and they pay back their loans – and to have a partner like Bank of America is incredible.” At a time when female leaders such as she are running top companies but matters of gender equality are unfortunately still hot-button issues

even in the Western world, Burch is the definition of what a woman can accomplish by staying focused and trying to make it all happen with fortitude and grace. As for her much-talked-about perceived perfection, she’s quick to dismiss her image as a lifestyle guru who can do no wrong. “I wish that people could see the real me,” Burch says, laughing. “First of all, I have a sense of humour, which doesn’t always translate in social media, so you have to be careful. I’d probably get in trouble a lot; it’s just my sense of humour, how I was raised. “The whole idea of perfect is so foreign to me. I’m the mother of three boys; there’s nothing perfect about three boys. Having three children and trying to run a business and keeping it all together ... I do the best I can and I’m very fortunate. I have a positive outlook and perhaps that’s why the perception ...” She then trails off, looking just picture perfect.

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jewellery

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Fit For a Queen The choice of royalty for two-and-a-half centuries, the house of Chaumet draws on an amazing history, as CEO Jean-Marc Mansvelt explains to divia harilela

queen for the day, then head to the newly revamped Chaumet boutique at Elements shopping mall. Tucked away at the back of the store is a mysterious sliding door engraved with gold-plated aigrette (egret feather and jewel headdress). Beyond lies a treasure trove accessible only to a select few, a glittering display of tiara models based on actual designs that have graced the heads of the rich and famous. Unfortunately, the privilege of trying (and owning) a Chaumet tiara is reserved for the truly elite – past clients have included Marie Antoinette, Empress Josephine and Queen Victoria – but you can pretend, if only for a day. Since it was founded in Paris in 1780 by MarieÉtienne Nitot, Chaumet has been decorating royalty and aristocracy with its creations. While

if you fancy playing

these ties may form a core part of its heritage, CEO Jean-Marc Mansvelt is determined to create a new, enduring legacy that goes beyond its tiaras. “For me, there’s only one goal. Our duty is to be at the level of our predecessors and to find a way to give heritage to our successors by bringing Chaumet back to its rightful place now. Despite its amazing history, it’s still a sleeping beauty, a brand that’s still [relatively] unknown. Our job is to make it contemporary and strengthen its majesty,” he says. Mansvelt, whose successful career includes stints at Louis Vuitton and L’Oréal, is the prince charged with waking the sleeping beauty and bringing her story to a new generation. Since his appointment two years ago he has spearheaded several projects, including a semi-permanent museum at Place Vendôme, while adding more high-jewellery collections to highlight the maison’s savoir-faire. The latest, called La Nature de Chaumet, heralds a new chapter and pays tribute to the brand’s past and future. It takes inspiration from four motifs that have always played a starring role in the house’s creations – the laurel, the wheat sheaf, the oak and the lily – and have now been transformed into contemporary pieces. Highlights include the Firmament Apollinien jewellery set featuring two large necklaces made from moonstone and Burmese sapphires, one of which can be transformed into a tiara. The wheat collection is classic in theme and inspired by 1980s-vintage jewellery, but the designs are

above: firmament apollinien transformable tiara. opposite: la nature de chaumet collection

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ultra-modern and include betweenthe-finger rings and cuff-like earrings that hug the ears. While Chaumet’s history and artistry are its strengths, transmitting these ideals to a global audience is more difficult. As Chaumet’s store network is still relatively small (it has 83 boutiques globally; Cartier in comparison has more than 200), Mansvelt has relied on other avenues to get his message across, namely social media. He saw his labours come to fruition when Chinese actress Angelababy posted an image of her 5.5-carat Joséphine Aigrette Impériale engagement ring from Chaumet on Instagram, instantly giving the brand exposure. A few months later the brand released images of the actress and her husband visiting its Place

Vendôme headquarters to select the tiaras and jewels used in the wedding (Angelababy eventually borrowed an antique pearl tiara and brooch from the museum to wear at her nuptials). The social-media networks went crazy. “Angelababy had the opportunity to select other big players, but their choice was Chaumet. In some ways we replayed the love story of Napoleon and Joséphine, which is a founding myth of Chaumet, in a modern way. It really appealed to the people of today and the current time we are living in, while showcasing emotion,” says Mansvelt. Since then the digital initiatives have kept on coming. In January, Chaumet launched a global app “You and Me Paris”, featuring a romantic guide for couples, including walking tours and exclusive experiences, produced in collaboration with city experts My Little Paris. The latest is the launch of the brand’s firstever virtual gallery space entirely online. Jumping off the success of the museum in Paris, it allows millions of people to learn more about

Chaumet’s history and artistry are its strengths the maison’s heritage and history through photos, drawings and archive pieces, in an interactive and engaging way. “Hosting exhibitions is difficult for many reasons – the pieces are limited and logistics can be difficult. This museum, however, is open to everyone and we will keep adding new galleries and exhibitions online. When you have a maison with nearly two and a half centuries [of history], you can make parallels in terms of creativity, trends and periods in history. We want to express this through the virtual museum.

top, from left: chinese actress angelababy displays a chaumet engagement ring; epi de blé collection. opposite: firmament apollinien

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“Our first gallery is called “Une Éducation Sentimentale”, which covers our themes of love and attachment. Six months later we’ll open another. There will also be virtual games and tours. It’s like a painting – it will be unveiled and come to life over time,” says Mansvelt. While harnessing the digital world is part of Mansvelt’s overall global strategy, he also eyes growth in Asia. This may come as a surprise considering that most brands are consolidating their stores and presence in the region, but Chaumet is still relatively unknown here, which gives it an advantage. To prove it, the brand will host a landmark exhibition at the Forbidden City in Beijing in April featuring more than 300 pieces of jewellery lent by 17 museums and around 100 owners. It will include French national treasures that have never left the country. “Asia in general is crucial, but for us it’s more about being cautious and flexible. Our starting point is different from that of many other players – one of our characteristics is that we’re international, but not everywhere. We feel an appetite for high jewellery, and brands with a meaning, and a sense of exclusivity. Typically the audience in Asia is looking for creations of today, but also for depth or meaning behind the creation. When you buy Chaumet you buy a piece of history. “More than that, what we really notice is that people are in search of something different. I use the word ‘distinction’ but it really is what’s behind the brand. They look for something that no one else is going to wear. Distinction in the eyes of others, but also in the taste they demonstrate by wearing Chaumet,” he says.

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Unfiltered Take Talking trends and trinkets, Thomas Sabo Creative Director Susanne Kölbli chats with sheena khemaney

last autumn, brand

founder Thomas Sabo together with Creative Director Susanne Kölbli welcomed roughly 150 press representatives to the company’s headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, for the launch of the label’s spring/ summer 2017 collection. Since her meeting with the man himself, Thomas Sabo, in the early 1990s, Kölbli has been a key player in turning the contemporary accessories brand into one of today’s leading jewellers and watchmakers – appealing to both men and women of all ages. Whether it’s an Africa-inspired graphic pendant or a sterling-silver bracelet from the label’s Rebel at Heart line, we’re sure that these fashion-forward pieces from the new collection will resonate with jewellery lovers. It’s really no surprise to us that the friendly and effortlessly cool Kölbli has a background in fashion and styling. When we sit down for our interview, she’s impeccably dressed and decked out with some of her favourite jewellery pieces, mixed and matched to perfection.

Tell us someThing abouT The new collecTion. The main story behind it is about being together – with other people, nations, friends and family. I tried to bring together different cultures. At the moment, we travel a lot and come back and bring influences of other cultures and characters. There’s a huge difference now between cultures and nationalities. In every culture there’s beauty, so we tried to bring together traditions and emotions from different places into these precious pieces.

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You have a background in sTYling. how does ThaT help in Your role as creaTive direcTor? I’ve always been involved in the fashion world – it helps a lot to create accessories when you know what’s going on in fashion. I really love to play around with clothes and accessories. do You have anY rules when iT comes To wearing jewellerY? No. I don’t like rules at all in life. I always think today’s no-go is the trend of tomorrow. Never say never! whaT are The jewellerY Trends This season? I think a big trend this season is large earrings. I think the focus on the ear is coming back, after 10 or 15 years of rings and bangles. The neck area and ears are becoming more important now. For example, the shoulder-dusters you saw yesterday. I’ve known about them from the ’80s – I’ve worn them before, but for the younger generation it’s a new thing to discover. I also think it’s a new way of wearing jewellery for younger people. You need another attitude when you wear them because when you put them on you’ll have different body language automatically. You have to be proud. where do You geT Your inspiraTion from? I travel to Paris a lot but I also watch people on the street, everywhere. Most women want to look nice when they’re on their way [going somewhere]. It’s interesting to see what their interpretations of looking good are. Sometimes


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they want to be elegant or crazy or sporty. I really like watching them and it gets me wondering what they thought in the morning when they were choosing their clothes, makeup and handbags. whaT can You saY abouT Your working relaTionship wiTh The

– Thomas sabo? We’ve had a long working relationship now – 27 years. We’re very close friends and we’ve built up the company together. We go along the Thomas Sabo path naturally together, all the time. man himself

is Your work influenced bY social media in anY waY? Not that much. I really like to from left: a necklace and earrings from the africa collection; campaign images from the rebel at heart and (opposite page) glam & soul collections

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“Jewellery has fashion value and sentimental value” open my eyes and get my information from everywhere, “unfiltered”. how would You differenTiaTe The Thomas sabo brand from oTher conTemporarY jewellerY brands on The markeT?

We are strong and we have our own DNA and identity. We are playful and have a little bit more fun, as well. I think we are very openminded and democratic. more

men

nowadaYs.

wear

whaT

jewellerY are

Your

ThoughTs on men and jewellerY?

I’ve seen it more and more on the street. It started from a few years

ago. Maybe the biggest thing was when David Beckham started wearing jewellery. He opened the way for the common man. And then Johnny Depp and also Karl Lagerfeld. Now, it’s accepted. You don’t have to be a rock ’n’ roll star. It’s possible for every man to wear a piece of jewellery. I like it. I think it’s a nice way to express their character even more. whY do You Think women love jewellerY so much? I think there are several different points. Every woman wants to be beautiful and like a princess. Women like something sparkly and wearing jewellery is very easy. You don’t often need a size, you can play with it, you choose it, it’s small and you can always keep it. Most of the jewellery you get, when it’s not an accessory, is at an important point in your life, like on your wedding day, the day you give birth to your first child, the day of your engagement and so on – all these are signs of love. Jewellery also has fashion value and sentimental value.

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The goss on the gloss

beauTy FLOWER POWER

Visually reminiscent of powder compact sets from the 1950s, Lancôme’s La Rose à Poudrer Parisian with Kabuki, contains “pearlisers” to highlight skin with a shimmer. Apply it on the forehead, cheekbones, chin and neck for a radiant glow with its kabuki brush.

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ALL CLEAR FOREVER YOUNG

Packaged in a sleek bottle, Hunter Lab’s AntiAgeing Elixir serum is formulated with ingredients such as avocado oil and caffeine to reduce the signs of ageing and help restore sundamaged skin.

Banish unwanted acne spots and prevent future breakouts with mē’s clear portable device. Designed for on-the-go use, this handy tool can be switched on and applied directly to the blemish for two-minute treatments. It can be used up to three times a day and is suitable for all skin types.


IT TAKES TWO

This Baby Doll Kiss & Blush duo stick from Yves Saint Laurent Beauté features two irresistible colours in a single compact balm. Use over the lips or cheeks or both.

TAPPING INTO NATURE

Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream contains two powerful natural ingredients that are commonly used around the world – New Zealand manuka honey and Korean red ginseng root. Use to resist hydration loss and recover from skin damage.

FLAWLESS FOUNDATION

Dior’s Forever Perfect Cushion foundation is infused with an essence containing pore-refining properties to give you a clear complexion. The lightweight, longlasting and – did we mention? – easy-to-apply formula was devised to result in an impeccable luminous matt finish. Available in 28 shades.

OCEAN INSPIRATIONS

Named Serenity, this bold eye-shadow palette from Clé de Peau Beauté is inspired by the tranquillity of a deep-blue ocean with illuminated taupe-coloured waves in the shallows. Finish off your look with a cream blush and enriched lip moisturiser, also from the cosmetic brand’s spring/summer 2017 line.

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Just Chill Defeat winter’s desiccation with these high-tech skin savers, writes elle kwan

breathe a sigh of relief when winter whistles away Hong Kong’s humidity, although if it could talk, it’s more than likely your face would groan. As we bask in the cooler, dryer climate, our skin parches. Weather with low levels of hydration dulls skin, causing redness and roughness, while diminishing suppleness gives way to lines and other signs of ageing. That knowledge alone is cause enough for frowns of concern, and hardly seems a fair trade. Luckily science is helping restore what nature takes away. As skincare specialist La Mer notes, healthy moisture cycles are essential for both nature and skin to thrive. With this in mind, its Revitalizing Hydrating Serum delivers two seasourced ferments in micro-droplet form to supply continuous bursts of moisture deep into the skin. An added protective plus is that its lime tea concentrate with antioxidant properties guards against cell destruction and makes a bottle a natural first port of call in any winter care routine. Dior Prestige’s La Crème Texture Riche guards against another skin ravager, thermal stress – exposure to fluctuating indoor and outdoor temperatures – a condition that dries and damages skin. Hollow silica spheres in the formula inhibit these heat fluctuations, keeping skin at a constant temperature and therefore relaxed and at ease, rather like us crawling under

most of us

a cashmere blanket. The spheres are delivered via a fingertip-friendly glide of protective balm. In 2012, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to two researchers for work in cellular reprogramming, and those findings are utilised in Helena Rubinstein’s Prodigy Reversis range. A night cream that may also be used once or twice weekly as a nourishing mask, Prodigy Reversis combines age-reversing edelweiss flower with spores of the “mushroom of youth”, Ganoderma. Together, they alter messages that ageing cells send to the skin, demanding that it mimics the elasticity and pull of youthful cells, effectively turning back the ageing process. Already dulled skin is rejuvenated with the Guerlain’s Gommage de Beauté cleaning exfoliator, a blend that delivers three types of naturally exfoliating acids alongside antiinflammatory Nigella flower oil. And then lavish attention with Amorepacific’s four-week skinenhancement treatment, the smartly packaged Time Response Intensive Skin Renewal Ampoule. A dab of La Prairie’s Cellular Eye Essence Platinum Rare, whose compound is age-fighting and hydrating, puts the finishing touches on a complete protective winter skincare regime – just don’t forget what’s down below. Clé de Peau Beauté’s Body Serum ensures your skin is hydrated from top to toe.


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R Girl

esurrection

NINA DOBREV talks to joe yogerst about rediscovering her hometown, the dangers of flatlining and how good she is at dying

PhotograPhy LioneL DeLuy at Loveartistsagency I styLing RafaeL LinaRes at art DePt agency hair Riawna CapRi I Make-uP amy oResman at starworksartists.coM I Fashion assistant Kimmie eLstRom

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Dress ChLoÉ rings DanieL espinosa

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Dress VeRsaCe earrings VeRsaCe shoes ChRistian Louboutin


N

off a long-haul flight from Rio. She seems a bit jetlagged and more than a little hoarse after a whirlwind tour of Brazil to promote xXx: Return of Xander Cage, the blockbuster film that opened worldwide last month. She has a brief respite in LA before resuming the globetrotting publicity tour in Latin America, Europe and Asia. It wasn’t all hard work in Brazil. There was time for paragliding, a helicopter tour and a brief frolic on the beach (wearing the national soccer team jersey of Neymar, who also stars in the film). But for the most part, it’s all work and very little play for Dobrev these days. Since departing from her hit television series The Vampire Diaries in 2015, life has been dominated by on-location movie shoots, appearances at charity galas and awards shows, magazine features and seemingly non-stop marketing to promote her upcoming films. She may not be the hardest-working person in Hollywood these days, but Dobrev has to be somewhere near the top of the chart. It’s been a long and winding road to fame for the 28-yearold actress. Dobrev was born in Bulgaria during the time when glasnost was sweeping the Communist bloc. Escaping that uncertainty, her parents emigrated to Canada when she was just two years old. Growing up in Toronto, Dobrev found herself attracted to various artistic pursuits – dance, acting and even rhythmic gymnastics. By the end of her high-school years, she was well on her way to an acting career. Her big break came in 2006 when she was tabbed for the lead in Degrassi: The Next Generation, the latest iteration of a long-running Canadian adolescent soap. Dobrev went straight from teen angst to the supernatural when she joined the cast of The Vampire Diaries in 2009. And what a leap it was, both in a personal and a professional sense. Filmed in Georgia, the production mandated a household move from Toronto to Atlanta. And her role as Elena Gilbert – entangled in a love triangle with vampire brothers – required ina dobrev is just

that she play both a contemporary human and a bygone vampire who reappears as her doppelganger. Vampire Diaries became a worldwide smash and Dobrev an international star with fans as far afield as Australia, China, Britain and Brazil. But after six seasons as Elena – and no sign the series was slowing down – she decided to walk away from the supernatural. Dobrev had always made time for movies in between the TV seasons, including five films in 2007 alone. But bigger, better roles required her full-time attention. It’s always a huge gamble when actors leave a hit series in favour of the silver screen; many have failed to make the segue. But Dobrev was willing to take that gamble. Her first few tries (such as The Final Girls, a 2015 horror comedy) were well received by critics but drew limited box-office revenue. But then she hit the jackpot: a high-profile role alongside American superstars Vin Diesel and Samuel L Jackson and Asia’s Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa and Deepika Padukone in xXx: Return of Xander. Another coup came right after: a co-starring role in Flatliners, a remake of the 1990 cult hit about medical students dabbling in after-death experiences. Scheduled for release this September, the cast includes Ellen Page, Kiefer Sutherland – resurrecting his role from the original – and Mexico’s Diego Luna. We caught up with Dobrev in Los Angeles shortly after her return from Brazil. How was your xxx tour of Brazil? It was crazy, it was fun and exciting and full of passion and love. The fans there are so vocal and passionate. It was a great trip and experience. But the one thing I didn’t get a chance to try was samba. Which I’m very upset about and means I have to go back, I guess. you play Becky in tHe film rigHt? Yup. Becky the techy. tHe witty and sarcastic tecHy. is tHat a good description? Yeah, but the one thing that I think has been left out of that description is “clumsy”, and she has no focus and doesn’t know when to stop talking and has word vomit. So she speaks and speaks and speaks until she has no breath left.

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Jacket heRmÈs cuFF miChaeL John


coat buRbeRRy BraLette bottega Veneta choker aDoRnmonDe skirt ChRistian DioR shoes bottega Veneta

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73 “Brazil was fun ... But the one thing I didn’t get to try was samba ... I have to go back, I guess” How does Becky fit into tHe overall plot? Becky becomes Xander’s right-hand woman with all things technical and practical. She has all the gadgets, she knows how to fix them, she knows how to crack and code any kind of computer and any technological device ... basically the opposite of the real me. It’s a miracle that I was able to answer this phone call. it’s Been 12 years since tHe second movie in tHe xxx series. wHere does tHis one follow on from State of the Union? The story picks up with a tragedy that happens within the CIA and NSA. Because of that, they need to go and find Xander [Vin Diesel] and bring him back into the xXx programme. He has to fight the bad guys and save the world. But, of course, it wouldn’t be a movie if there weren’t a few obstacles and things going wrong, so he faces some challenges and in the end comes out on top. vin diesel is a great guy. you must Have Had fun making tHis movie. We had a blast. Every day was a new adventure and we became pretty close. We were filming in Toronto in the middle of winter and it was freezing and we hung out a bunch. Ruby [Rose] and I became close. Deepika [Padukone] is a sweetheart. Everybody was amazing. Wonderful, positive, loving, sweet, talented people. you grew up in toronto. I did. So I got to go home, to visit, when I was filming the movie. wHat was it like going Back? did it feel like you were no longer a Hometown girl? I was more of a hometown girl compared to the rest of the cast. But I definitely feel that in the 10 years that I’ve lived abroad the city has changed immensely, and going to the city as an adult and being able to drink and go out and stuff

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is a different experience. When I was younger and just getting into college I really wasn’t in that world. Now there are so many restaurants that are amazing and so many lounges and rooftops and places you can explore. The city has gentrified and grown in such a beautiful way. I can safely say that I got to discover the city in a new way almost as though it was the first time. But I did know a few places that the others didn’t that I got to take them to. So I did play tour guide a little bit. do you feel like you appreciate toronto more now tHan you did wHen you were growing up? One hundred percent. Whatever city you grow up in ... when you’re a kid you’re in a rebellious stage and you just wanna get out and discover the world and travel. Going back really made me appreciate and miss the city. It holds a special place in my heart. A month after xXx wrapped, I went back and shot Flatliners in Toronto for the whole summer. It was really cool because I got to spend a significant time – about nine months – back home. and speaking of flatlinerS, tHe original one is kind of iconic. is tHere any resemBlance to tHat one in tHe remake? The plot is similar but it deviates for sure. You have three women instead of one in this new film, which I think is great. Julia roBerts was tHe only female in tHe original, rigHt? Yeah, she was the only one representing all the ladies. But the industry has changed and there’s woman empowerment and we’ve got more ladies. I really enjoyed it because I got to play a professional – a resident that will soon become a doctor – and be an overachiever and sort of know-it-all and have a hand in everything. And I got to die the most times. In true form I guess [for me], because I had the most experience

when it comes to dying thanks to my previous job [Vampire Diaries]. you must Be pretty good at dying. I got my dying down. I can die in different ways, different languages, different territories. I’m ready – give me a death that I can’t conquer. did you and tHe rest of tHe cast sit around Between takes and talk aBout wHat it would Be like to flatline in real life?

Yeah, there were discussions about that, for sure. I go back and forth about whether I would want to try it or not. I’m curious about what the experience would be like. What I would see and how it would affect me and how it would change me. But at the same time, I have a pretty awesome life and I’m pretty grateful for everything that I have and I don’t know if I would want to risk it. It’s a risk and a gamble and to be honest I’m not a big gambler. I don’t know why I would gamble with my life when I won’t even do it with money. medicine and moviemaking Have cHanged a lot in tHe 26 years since tHe original flatlinerS came out. How does tHe remake update tHe science and tecHnology? The original had a wonderful concept. But the execution in terms of what doctors could do then was more of a fantasy, whereas now it’s more of a reality. Doctors have the technology to do this. I don’t know if they would actually put people’s lives at risk, but we definitely have the ability to do that, to flatline someone and probably bring them back to life and document the brain and hook them up to monitors and see what happens. Is there a chemical that gets released? What exactly happens when you flatline? That’s the big mystery. So the technology that we use in the film, the sets built, it’s all pretty state of the art. They wanted everything to replicate reality and be as true as it possibly could, so the attention to detail was very, very intricate.


Dress saLVatoRe feRRagamo earrings aDoRnmonDe

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“I’ve got my dying down. I can die in different ways, different languages, different territories” wHat kind of researcH did you do to prepare yourself for flatlinerS? We did three or four weeks of medical training in Toronto. We all flew in early and got fixed up with an amazing medical consultant by the name of Lindsay Somers. She taught us how the heart works, how to defib someone, what the intricacies are, what could go wrong, what is the protocol to get someone out of the flatline, every detail. I don’t want to sound cocky and say I could save someone’s life, but I could definitely keep them alive long enough until a paramedic came. It was pretty in-depth work. And my character was also a cellist, so I had to learn how to play the cello. She was a swimmer, so I did swim training. And we got a personal trainer because I have a bunch of scenes where I’m in my bathing suit. I had a crazy food diet. It was definitely full on. It’s fun to dive deep and really get into the meat of a role on a project and commit yourself like that. I enjoyed every minute of it. do you miss Hanging out witH vampires? [Laughs.] I miss my family 100 percent. You spend six years with a group of people – the crew, the cast, everybody involved. They really, really did become my family and I miss a lot of those people. it must Have Been really Hard to walk away from Vampire DiarieS. I don’t know if I would have the opportunities that I have now if I hadn’t done the show. I’m eternally grateful. It was such a great stepping stone and hopefully it will lead to even more amazing things. I’ve been very lucky so far. I’ve been very fortunate with the show and the movies and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. from an actor’s point of view, wHat’s tHe difference Between making a Big-time tv sHow like tHat and making tHese two BlockBuster movies?

Mainly timing. TV is very fast paced and films are very, very slow. There’s a lot of down time between takes. There’s a lot more time to dillydally and read and play pranks on a movie shoot, whereas on a TV show it’s always a go-go -go mentality running around. But TV and film have really become one. There’s so much great television, very cinematic. And the quality is so amazing. They’re almost the same nowadays. i Hear you’re a Big WeStWorlD fan. Yes! I love Westworld so much. would you Jump at a cHance to play a cyBorg Host on tHat sHow? Immediately. I mean yesterday I would have done that. I want to do that so badly. It would be huge to be on that show. I just think it would be so amazing. It’s just so cool – both a period piece and a futuristic concept. An actor playing the host gets to be a machine and they get to be sort of human. It would be a dream. I would love it. do you consider yourself a travel addict? Yeah, that’s a good description. I just love discovering new cities and cultures and learning about traditions. The world is so big and there are so many of us and we all live in such a unique way I guess I’m a student. I’ll be a student until the day that I die and I just want to learn as much as possible until then. wHat are some of tHe places tHat Have cHanged your life? Bali would probably be the number one. The spiritual energy that surrounds it is palpable. It’s also very rough and raw. Parts of it are built up and parts are very deconstructed and it just feels like you’ve gone back in time. There’s serenity about the water and air and the culture. I just really, really loved Bali. After that I love Tokyo. The energy in Tokyo is very

different than in Bali. It’s very high-energy, a lot of people, a lot of clutter, but there’s so much visual stimulus everywhere. Then of course China. I’ve been to Beijing and Shanghai a few times for work and everybody there is so passionate too. And talking about culture, it’s very different as well. Have you spent mucH time in Bulgaria? I have, yeah. I’ve gone back almost every year, since I was little, to visit my grandparents and my family there. It’s changed so much over the years, just like Toronto has, but more so because after the wall fell the country had to rebuild itself – I’ve seen it morph and change in such a beautiful way. do you get recognised on tHe street wHen you go tHere? I get recognised quite a bit in Bulgaria. There have been a lot of amazing people from Bulgaria that are very talented. But I’m one of the few in the entertainment industry of Bulgarian descent and so there’s a lot of national pride and love and support. I definitely feel it when I go to visit. But la is Home tHese days. Yes it is. I’m a new baby to LA. I’m such a hermit. I love to be actually in my home when I’m in Los Angeles. I’ve built myself a little movie room that I spend most of my time in and also I redid my kitchen so that I can cook a lot. I’ve learned how to cook since I’ve been back. I love to have dinner parties and host people and watch movies and sleep in my bed and chill. Between meetings and movies and all kinds of things I like to stay active as much as I can. It’s always the most fun when I get a role that requires me to be physical, like xXx and Flatliners. But if I’m not working I like to play volleyball and play soccer at the beach, go to the gym and run. I try to do something active every day, as it makes my heart happy and healthy and it also clears my mind.

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Diverse Concerns z Cinema connoisseur AMANDA BERRY of Bafta talks to p. ramakrishnan z

the thing about the renowned English stiff upper lip is that it rarely spills secrets. And Lord knows, we tried to get Amanda Berry, chief executive of the venerated British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), to reveal a few inhouse, undisclosed snippets on the potential favourites to win this month’s coveted trophy. She smiles, but nothing more. Visiting Hong Kong and Beijing with casting director Nina Gold, Berry found time in her packed schedule to chat, partly in the flesh and partly via a long telecom chat. Many topics floated in the air: diversity in film, inequality in pay, Asian actors left on the fringe, the royal family’s involvement, comfortable shoes.

Bafta crops up on the radar only during award season for most of us in asia – so what else does the institution do?

We’re an educational charity. We exist to promote excellence, which is ultimately for the benefit of the public, but I don’t want to overcomplicate it. It’s best known for the glamorous award ceremonies, but we do over 200 educational events in the year. We have a number of new talent

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schemes and scholarships. We have branches throughout the UK, and in New York and Los Angeles. And a branch in Hong Kong, and we’re expanding into China. how important is the asian audience for the British film industry? It’s incredibly important for Bafta and the global film industry. Every day we’re reading about more cinema screens opening in Asia, the awareness of global cinema is growing in Asia. It’s a very important path. Equally, the awareness of the cinema produced in Asia is important. trends are changing in the west. fewer people go to the cinema, people watch on their electronic gadgets instead. are you a traditionalist? I am. I think films are made for the big screen and whenever possible I like to go out but, equally, the number of films being released is huge. So it’s almost physically impossible for people to see every film released in the cinema. That there are lots of ways to see films is a really good thing, as what cinema needs is an audience, in whatever form. diversity

on

film

has

Been

spoken

aBout

ad

nauseam

for

the

past

few years. has it Been all talk and no action?

We are, as an academy, absolutely determined to improve diversity in our industries. And we’re taking big steps for making change. To be eligible in the British categories of the awards, we need to see that a film has indeed embraced this. I was really heartened by how open producers were in the UK to making the change; we got a lot of support from the film industry. I had an e-mail from the US that what the UK is doing is trying to be implemented in Hollywood. It hasn’t all been chat, the numbers are there. I’m pleased that the action we’re taking is being embraced by the industry because what we’re really doing is trying to make the industry more accessible. the industry seems remote, inaccessiBle. for those on the outside, you can’t get in. We have this one initiative called Breakthrough Brits, and it’s an initiative I’d like to take globally, and it works across film, television and games (supported by Burberry). We identify people early on in their career, people who are working with them who say, “Look, they are a rising star, they’re absolutely terrific.” We’re not just shining a bright spotlight on them for one night only, we give them a year of mentoring. We ask them, who’s the director you most admire, and we reach out to that director and see if they can mentor them. We’re trying to open the doors wide. how does the diversity programme help asian talents? When it comes to Asian actors in British films, for example, one of the reasons we wanted to

bring the casting director Nina Gold to Hong Kong and China is that her knowledge didn’t extend to Asian actors, understandably. She couldn’t believe that there are no casting directors in Asia – how does that work? How are movies cast in China? So to bring her out to Asia, do masterclasses, to explain her role in the industry, we’re building a link. We did a dinner in Beijing where we met Asian talents, agents to actors and actresses, so now she has that relationship. So now we have a great casting director who has a greater understanding and link to Asian talents and the contacts she needs to start to build her database for Asian actors. It will start to change, it’s the lack of awareness at the moment, so we’re doing what we can to grow that awareness. gender inequality in pay, gender inequality in positions of power

– lack of female directors, – are these Being addressed too? Yes, I think it’s very important that when we talk about diversity, it’s not just about ethnic minorities but also about gender, disability, socio-economic background. So yes, gender is very high on our diversity agenda. But salaries are not something we get involved with, for example

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British actress naomie harris shines on our January cover – you’ve known her for a long time. Oh, that’s a brilliant cover – what a terrific pick. She was a nominee in our rising star award (nominated in 2007) and she’s somebody we did recognise very early on, we’ve had our eye on her for a number of years. She has worked with us and supported us immeasurably – I do hope you see Moonlight. She’s extraordinary in it. can you spot a diamond in the rough early on in a film career? That’s where we’re so lucky. People are noticed by our jury of industry experts early on. We’re surrounded by people who are constantly looking out for that next generation

of talent, to bring them to our attention as well. We have a number of initiatives to recognise talents. any particular actors who have surprised you when you’ve worked with them? With Bafta, there are so many. Let’s just start with the first person we brought out to Hong Kong, Eddie Redmayne. He was a rising star nominee, he had a small body of work when he came to Hong Kong with us, but within that following year he went on to win the Bafta and the Oscar for his performance in The Theory of Everything. He’s an actor who constantly surprises me as he keeps changing direction with his career and choices. He’s been very supportive as an actor, and he’s also very prepared to give back. Another is Colin Firth, who flew to China with us. He’s not only a greatly respected actor but he’s also produced two films; Loving and Eye in the Sky. Colin attended our new talents dinner in Beijing, he was part of the film festival that we did in China. To go back to how Bafta is involved in working with Asian talents, it’s about growing the awareness of British film producers of Asian cinema and actors. Whether it’s events in Asia with Nina Gold, or Colin Firth – who’s also

producing and acting – we’re all going to benefit from that. how involved is prince william with Bafta? The royal involvement with Bafta is incredibly important. Four out of the five presidents have been members of the royal family. When Bafta opened its headquarters in Piccadilly, part of the funding for that building came from the Queen and Prince Philip, who donated royalties from the documentary about them to Bafta. Prince William has been a brilliant president, he absolutely believes in what Bafta does, he’s incredibly supportive of young talent. We have three scholarships in his name. We’ve done several events with him and the Duchess. We did an event in Scotland not long ago where we met young game designers. They came to interact with the videogame designers, played their games. Before that, he’s helped us

ABOVE: BAFTA NOMINEE (AND PAST WINNER) EDDIE REDMAYNE. OPPOSITE: PRINCE WILLIAM ACCOMPANIES AMANDA BERRY ON THE RED CARPET

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YuI MOk/WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES

it’s not something I have knowledge of, but in our society generally I’m reading every day about the disparity between men and women in salaries.


“The royal involvement in Bafta is incredibly important” with fund raising several times. He’s supportive across the whole range of what Bafta does. what’s keeping you up at night? At the moment, it’s the [Baftas] nominations list that’s keeping me up – they’re going to be announced next Tuesday, there are late nights and early starts, no sleep. Then, after the announcement, attention moves to where are all the nominees? Can we contact them? Can they come to the event, because the film awards are a truly global ceremony and we need to see their schedules to see if they can come, not come? If they can’t come, we have to film them wherever they are. The list of guests who can’t come gets smaller and smaller, which is indicative of the respect the people have for the award ceremony, which is wonderful. to end on a light note, Joan rivers famously said, “it’s not whether you win or lose, But what you wear that night.” what are you wearing, miss amanda Berry? [Laughs.] I’m incredibly lucky that Burberry dresses me for the awards each year, so that takes a massive amount of pressure off me. You’ve just reminded me that I haven’t put my dress fittings in my diary yet. The older I get, I find that no shoes are comfortable. I’ve tried to resist high heels but I feel I’m not properly dressed on a red carpet unless I’ve got high heels on. Joan was so right, it is what you wear that night.

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B

ody of Work

bright, lurid, provocative

– Ren Hang’s photography is ripe fodder for discussion, but the artist himself is often reluctant to partake in the conversation. The work is fettered with nudes (a mixture of his own friends and people who approach him from the Internet), often contorted in unnatural shapes, occasionally paired with animals or elements from nature: a naked man in a shoulder stand against the wall with legs tucked in, a dove strolling nonchalantly across his posterior. The artist’s own mother, clad in a black bra with lips awash in red, kissing the decapitated head of a pig. A topless woman whose head is fully encased in a clear plastic bag filled with water, her face concealed behind a veil of goldfish and swathes of her own black hair.

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Every situation is painstakingly staged by Ren. This isn’t stuff for the meek, and that Ren lives, exhibits and produces his work in China is something of an irritant to the country’s censors. “It is a problem,” the artist shrugs, “but not a big deal to me.” He often has his activities curtailed while shooting outdoors, has works removed from exhibition at the 11th hour, or has his shows shut down altogether, yet remains undeterred. In fact, his love of his country in spite of its stringent rules is well documented, and he’s known to keep his distance from the local art scene as well as from the term “artist”. For work that is so raw, rough and controversy inducing, it is, Ren suggests, neither political nor

all images: ren hang/blindspot gallery

z Controversial Chinese photographer Ren Hang had his first monograph published recently. Catch more of his work next month during art Basel in Hong Kong through Blindspot gallery z


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“[Censorship] is a problem, but not a big deal to me”

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sexual in nature. It’s a juxtaposition of shapes, of ideas he likes, of impromptu inspirations. He’s notoriously laconic when it comes to discussing his work, and he doesn’t name his pieces for fear of tainting them, though his poetry and diaries, published on his website, are more illuminating, documenting his inner dialogue and struggle with depression. The images shown here represent a selection from his first official monograph by Taschen; he’s selfpublished a number beforehand, “because I like reading books,” he says. The eponymous tome covers the 29-year-old’s seven-year career, providing a broad overview of the work of one of China’s most important young talents today. Up next for Ren? “No specific plans. Just to continue living.” Naked/Nude, an exhibition of Ren Hang’s work, is showing at Amsterdam’s Foam Museum until March 12

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Higher Calling

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z It takes ongoing passion and persistence for Canadian author PattI Gully to rehabilitate several lost legends of Chinese history, writes stephen mccarty z last november, beijing

forlornly piped another decorated stalwart into Valhalla when Captain Yu Xu of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force was killed during an aerobatics training flight. Yu, 30, the first woman to fly China’s J-10 fighter jet, died after ejecting from the aircraft over Hebei Province. She was hailed a national heroine and mourned by social-media users way beyond Chinese borders. Yu, however, was far from the first female flyer to soar in service of China: other pioneers carved their names on the clouds, shone spectacularly ... and then perished far from home, to be forgotten. Patti Gully emerged to tell the extraordinary story of three bold Chinese aviatrices of the 1930s and resurrect their exploits in her 2008 multiple biography Sisters of Heaven. In what at first might look like the issue of a hyperventilating Hollywood scriptwriter, Sisters reintroduces Li Xiaqing, known as movie star Li Dandan before she became China’s “first woman of the air”; Hilda Yan, formerly China’s delegate to the League of Nations; and the sole commissioned woman officer in the Chinese Air Force, Jessie Zheng – the first Chinese woman to learn to fly in Hong Kong, earning her wings at Kai Tak airport. Having flown in the face of entrenched gender roles, the glamorous threesome, fired by

incandescent feelings of independence and patriotism, had become, astonishingly, pilots. And at a time when China was desperate for cash and sliding into eight years of warfare, the trio, separately and together, made it their mission to stage barnstorming displays, long-distance mercy flights and no end of public appearances, not least across the United States, Canada and South America, raising money and goodwill for millions of domestic refugees at home. That their remarkable stories should have been neglected was startling to Gully, given the celebrity in which they had been cloaked. “When I began researching them in the 1990s,” she says, “I scoured the internet in English and Chinese characters to gauge how much information was out there. Aside from 12 sites on Li – featuring misinformation – there was nothing. The Sisters were virtually unknown in China.” Having brought their achievements to light, Vancouver-based Gully – who had joined a class of primary school-age children to learn to read Chinese (“they were great, so supportive!”) – was up and away. Art Lym was the next high-flyer

to be restored to the spotlight, in Gully’s 2013 biography Time Flies. Lym, a Chinese American from San Francisco, was otherwise known as Lin Fuyuan. Having emigrated to China, he became Chiang Kaishek’s Air Force Chief of Staff during World War II. At full throttle, Gully is now taking on two more neglected Chinese aviation luminaries, Feng Ru and Tom Gunn. “In 1909,” says Gully, “when Feng Ru went aloft in Oakland, in an aircraft incorporating many elements of his design, he became the first Chinese to fly; and I believe he was the first person to fly on the Pacific Rim. But while his story has been told often in China, the information on his life in America is incomplete or inaccurate. “Tom Gunn is either forgotten or vilified in today’s China,” reveals Gully. So much for the former “Wright of China”, the San Franciscan who represented the country at the 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet. When revolution shook China the following year, Gunn was asked by Dr Sun Yat-sen, subsequently China’s first president, to spread the gospel of flying, noting its military potential. In the next two years, Gunn made more than 800 demonstration and passenger flights in the Pacific region, thereby raising the profile of his countrymen. “But,” says Gully, “although some think he was the


“This was your auThor speaking …”

Great flight-focused writers, who have left life’s departure lounge best thing that ever happened to China, others believe he was a traitor to Dr Sun, too quickly persuaded to leave his employ in favour of Mammon and carnal pleasure. “He was as American as apple pie in his thinking, yet thoroughly Eastern in his business models. I’m still wading through the startling inconsistencies in his character and the opposing agendas of the camps that claimed him as their own. “Gunn was complex, brilliant, courageous and innovative and deserves to be remembered as a great hero of China. It’s my goal to bring him to public attention.” One wonders how Gully, while a pilot of light aircraft herself, became an expert on obscure branches of Chinese aviation history. Was it her poignant connection with Jessie Zheng? “This is my niche!” she says. “Only Chinese aviation seems to interest me – I can’t account for it, although a friend believes I was Chinese in a previous life. Vancouver’s preponderance of Chinese folks indirectly provoked my interest because it resulted in Zheng’s being posted here in the 1940s. Researching Sisters, I was shocked to learn she died of tuberculosis at 28 and was buried near my home.” For decades Zheng went unregarded, her grave unmarked, but Gully was instrumental in rectifying that omission. “War and conflagration were probably to blame. I doubt she had any visitors, so no one realised,” she says. “Her closest relatives were across the sea and there were so many dead. She was just one more. “The Zhengs were dispersed around the world but I finally found a family member in Taiwan. He referred me to a young Chinese relative here in Vancouver, a recent immigrant. He regularly visits her grave, now complete with monumental stonework and sweeps it at Ching Ming [Festival].” And finally, the intrepid trio are, after a fashion, going home. “I was enormously grateful that a friend took Sisters to China and found an editor courageous enough to print this story of the proscribed Republican era – about which the Chinese are becoming increasingly curious,” concludes Gully. Shortly after translation, the book won the Narrative Award for Non-Fiction at the 2013 South China Book Festival, Guangzhou. Courtesy of some empathetic, dogged detective work conducted halfway round the world, the historical loophole through which Zheng, Yan and Li plummeted is unlikely to remain open much longer.

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY Much more than a mere postman of the sky, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry fashioned the nuts and bolts of airmail into a majestic meditation on the beauty of flight, in this case over the Andes, in Night Flight. His second novel, it proved another international best-seller for the aristocratic aviator.

DIANE ACKERMAN Journalist, poet and playwright Diane Ackerman mesmerisingly describes the terrors and triumphs of learning to fly in On Extended Wings – ultimately a love letter to the joys of powering yourself off the face of the planet. Literally uplifting, this is a paean to the age-old dream of flight.

ALEXANDER FRATER Alexander Frater’s exotic boyhood introduction to aviation came aboard a flying boat travelling from Sydney to Fiji in 1946. Decades later, he memorably recaptured the romance of air travel in Beyond the Blue Horizon, his addictive account of following the 1930s Imperial Airways route from London to Brisbane.

ROBERT MASON Called up to fight in the Vietnam War, helicopter pilot Robert Mason was thrust into hellish combat, after a potentially fatal Huey mission against the Viet Cong. Chickenhawk is his compulsive, often horrifying, account of war and its attendant miseries as inflicted on the ground and in the air.

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E Extreme is for

z If you thought Mercedes’ latest executive contender was just a little too smooth, the amazing new AMG E 63 S unleashes its inner animal. jon wall drives it z

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MERCEDES-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC Engine: 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 Transmission: nine-speed multi-clutch automatic Max power: 603bhp Max torque: 850Nm @ 2,500-4,500rpm Max speed: 299km/h (Driver’s Package) Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds

daimler plans to invest US$11 billion in electric vehicles, Audi is deep into the development of its e-tron quattro SUV that will take on Tesla’s Model X from 2018, and BMW is preparing to reenergise its EV strategies following the less-than-spectacular sales performance of the i3. In this orgy of eco friendliness, you’d be forgiven for surmising that Germany’s premium automobile brands were preparing to abandon their everescalating arms race in petrolpowered cars, which has given us compact family runabouts whose engines comfortably produce out-

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puts somewhere north of 350bhp, and super saloons and station wagons with firepower sufficiently formidable to challenge – if not completely annihilate (or at least not quite yet) – Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens. At last year’s introduction of the MercedesBenz E-Class, the company’s sixth-generation contender in the executive segment, much was made of the intelligent technologies that enable the car almost to drive itself; of the fuel efficiency and reduced emissions of its internal-combustion, hybrid and, eventually, all-electric powertrains; and of the mix of high-tech and light-weight materials that go into its construction. Here too, as very little was mentioned about extending the limits of performance or handling, you might reasonably

have assumed such matters were no longer a high priority. But how wrong you would have been. For, just nine months after the E-Class’s global launch at the Detroit motor show, the company whipped the covers off the most powerful variant of the model ever produced, a large and luxurious automobile with a big, oldfashioned petrol engine – a super saloon so unconscionably fast and multifariously adept it verges on the scarcely believable. The numbers alone make mindboggling reading. The flagship Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic,

jon wAll x 2

Kerb weight: 1,955kg


which I recently experienced during two epic days of driving in southern Portugal, is just seven centimetres shy of five metres from end to end, and with fuel and passengers loaded on board tips the scales at more than a couple of tonnes. Yet the wayward geniuses at the Benz performance arm’s Affalterbach skunkworks have massaged its 4-litre biturbo V8 engine – hand-built and personally certified, as are all AMG-badged motors, by a single technician – to produce in excess of 600bhp, as well as a mammoth 850Nm of torque. And that, along with

its brilliant Speedshift nine-gear multi-clutch transmission and one of the trickiest all-wheeldrive systems in the business, endows this most extreme of all the E-Classes with the speed, muscle and agility of a world-class athlete (which, seeing as how Mercedes-AMG clinched a further brace of Formula 1 championships last year, is only as it should be). That the E 63 S can hurl itself from rest to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds certainly sounds impressive, but it doesn’t even begin to convey the feeling – at once exhilarating and scary – of being catapulted headlong towards the horizon in a large, fast, heavy and extremely noisy object. It’s a sensation so intoxicating that when driving this car you’ll experience it rather more often than is prudent.

And the madness doesn’t stop there, because while Mercedes “sensibly” limits the E 63 to a maximum speed of 250km/h, it then goes and offers a Driver’s Package that mischievously recalibrates the electronic governor to permit even higher speeds – nudging 300, to be precise – which no one driving a large and comfortable four-door saloon would sanely ever contemplate. Who said the Germans lack a sense of humour? If you can somehow ignore the none-too-subtle bodywork enhancements, the stealth-cool lustrous matte-grey paintwork, the

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The engineers have even developed a “drift mode” that gets you sideways and the tyres smoking

wider track and massive rubber, and the rear spoiler, diffuser and fat quad exhausts, this E 63 test car doesn’t look too different from the more sober variations on the current E-Class theme – which means it resembles a slightly scaled-down S-Class. Much the same goes for the interior, which deftly contrives to be high-tech (the dashboard is a gleaming plank of digital-information displays), gorgeously comfortable and, with a rainbow palette of mood lighting, unusually snazzy. Front passengers sit in low, body-clenching AMG Performance buckets that are already familiar from hotter versions of the C-Class and do a marvellously supportive job whenever one of the more extreme driving modes is chosen from the Dynamic Select menu. Switch back to Comfort, however, and the E 63 wafts serenely on its air suspension exactly as a luxurious executive barge should – and as it also comes with the full suite of intelligent drive systems you could, should you so desire, relax and let the electronics do the work. Not that I imagine anyone who gets behind the wheel of this big Merc will contemplate any such thing. The E 63’s fully variable 4Matic system, which also incorporates an electronic

limited-slip differential and has been developed specifically for this car, continuously monitors torque distribution and seamlessly shifts from all-wheel to rear-wheel drive depending on traction requirements. The engineers have even developed a “drift mode” that gets you sideways and the tyres smoking by diverting all power to the rear wheels, though this, we were told, was disabled on our test cars (clearly the Teutonic appetite for laughs has its limits). What all this means is that the 63 S has vast reserves of traction and grip, and is a thrilling car to drive, yet as it’s also preternaturally controlled when cornering at speed it’s not even half as crazed as its outrageous performance might suggest. In fact, as this ingeniously engineered chassis is more than capable of dealing with such immoderate helpings of power, the impression is more of incredible sophistication than bludgeoning brute force. Likewise, its superb steering – direct, precise and full of feel – imparts huge confidence, as do the optional carbon-ceramic brakes that perform tenaciously and without even the merest hint of fade for the duration of my drive. Of course, I have to come back to the logic-defying velocity of the E 63 S and the responsiveness of its drive train. That bulge in the car’s bonnet isn’t purely for looks: it enables placing the pair of twin-scroll turbochargers within the engine’s “V”, which by reducing the distance between the blower and the cylinder helps improve throttle response no end. Add that to the mountain of torque that can be summoned in any gear and at any speed, as well as that fast-shifting gearbox, and no wonder flooring the AMG’s accelerator results in a rush akin

to hurtling down a ski jump in a shopping trolley. I could talk about the crystal clarity of the E 63 S’s Burmester sound system, though I hardly recall hearing it above the insane highdecibel engine noises. I could tell you about the cylinder-deactivation technology that turns its V8 into an economical V4 without you even realising it, but I don’t think you’d care. I could complain about the gear selector, which for some reason Mercedes insists on mounting on the steering column rather than the console, though it’s not a major issue. Instead I’ll say that far from becoming a sideshow to the onslaught of electricity, the internal-combustion arms race is heating up once more – and this superlative new addition to the arsenal impresses not only as Mercedes-AMG’s most potent weapon yet, but also the edgiest, the most accomplished and easily the most desirable of all the current combatants. Things are likely to get hotter still just months from now, when an estate version and a new BMW M5 join the fray, though we’ll have to wait at least two more years until the arrival of the nextgeneration Audi RS6 triggers automotive Armageddon. To that I’ll simply add: bring it on.

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World

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z christina ko eats her way around the globe – without going further than Kowloon z this is hong kong. Three seconds after Dominique Ansel’s cronut became an Internet sensation a few years back, local bakeries were peddling their versions, named “cro-dos” or “kronuts” to avoid copyright infringement. You name the food trend, it’s been borrowed: whether it’s Korean fried chicken, 63-degree eggs, infused alcohol, steamed buns that “vomit” custard or Spanish bikini sandwiches. In a city known for its everchanging restaurant scene, copycats run rampant. It’s little wonder that more and more restaurants are setting up shop

themselves on our shores, rather than allowing local operators to take their ideas and run with it (cough, Cali Mex, cough). And with pop-up concepts, food fairs and four-hands dinners more in vogue than ever, it’s easy to test-drive concepts with minimal risk. Don’t be surprised if Duck & Waffle – which has appeared at Taste of Hong Kong restaurant festival and had a successful guest stint at Ozone – will soon search for a permanent spot, or if Peruvian culinary genius Virgilio Martinez, of top-ranked Central restaurant in Lima, puts his name on a hoarding, following two hot-ticket runs at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. In the last half year alone, the food scene has been dominated by overseas imports. American sports-bar chain Hooters made a quiet debut doughnuts by j co

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on Wyndham Street late last year, its business hampered by a latearriving liquor licence, though word is that the group has plans to open five outlets across the city. The wings may be rumoured to be sensational, but their allure has

yet to tempt anyone in the Prestige Hong Kong office – and we’re known for our base lunch-hour instincts (our regulars include The Diner and Rummin’ Tings – don’t judge). More up our alley was the box of doughnuts that arrived at our office from J CO, the Indonesiafounded answer to Krispy Kreme, which has just

opened up in Wanchai on Hennessy Road. Despite the circular pastries being far from fashionable – you have the fat-cop stereotype to thank for that, unfortunately – these are still dreamy in small doses. “Let’s walk around the white desert,” reads the website description of one particular ware, “glide gently into the sweet kaya filling and land right on top of smooth coconut flakes”. Another flavour, called Oreology, is accompanied by this text: “Biology = Lousy. Geology = Sleepy. Oreology = Yummy!” Forget doughnuts, we need to hire this copywriter. While getting a taste of Indonesia in Wanchai, you can also stop in for a little Sichuan spice, courtesy of Shanghai’s Deng G Chengdu Bistro & Baijiu Bar. Part of the Elite Concepts family, which runs Ye Shanghai and Nanhai No. 1, Deng G holds two floors in a building on Queen’s Road East – the lower floor hosting restaurant diners and the upper serving bar patrons. Known in Shanghai for his superlative Sichuan cooking, which goes easy on the oil and with cleaner flavour profiles, Deng Huadong has separated his menu by taste, rather than course or ingredient – there are expected categories like mala or sweet and sour, then there are sections like lychee or dry pot, which may be more confusing to novices. Stick to signatures like sliced pork with garlic and chilli, braised crab with preserved vegetables, and crispy fish in spicy sauce, and you won’t go wrong. From Shanghai, you’re only a stone’s throw from Bangkok – a five-minute jaunt from Deng G is Apinara, a Thai import in Pacific Place that’s a collaboration between Nara Thai Cuisine and

clockwise from above: are you tired honey at apinara; crispy fish in spicy sauce by deng g; the bar at cassio

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local restaurateur Pearl Shek. Frequent travellers to Bangkok will no doubt have spotted outlets of the Nara chain (it’s present in Central Embassy, EmQuartier and Erawan mall), and possibly even Apinara itself, which is in CentralWorld shopping centre. Although the food menus at Apinara and Nara are fairly similar, Apinara builds on that base with a thriving bar area and a focus on Thai-influenced mixology. If Thai restaurants are a dime a dozen in Hong Kong, Thai bars are a rarer find, and this one comes with drinks like Are You Tired Honey (Mekhong, lime, honey, cinnamon and mint) and Siam Myth (vodka, pineapple, lime, chilli and lemon grass), along with exciting spirits from the land of smiles, like Sang Som whiskey or Mekhong rum, as well as Chalawan Pale Ale, a lychee and citrus-touched beer.

If drinking inside a shopping mall isn’t quite your pace, then perhaps a trip to London is in order. The team behind Hong Kong’s dragon-i has always managed to serve up some pretty slick club concepts, but food hasn’t necessarily been its strong suit (witness the demise of Busy Suzie at Heritage 1881, and of the entire chain of misocool ramen bars). So the fact that Cassio serves “Food by Barrafina” has been emblazoned everywhere possible and appropriate. Barrafina, for those not in the know, is a series of Spanish tapas bars in London, one of the earliest in the city to pioneer the hype-creating no-reservations rule, trusting a buzzy atmosphere and killer cuisine to draw in the customers. From one venue launched in 2007, Barrafina now counts three branches in London and one in Sydney. While the food at Cassio isn’t a one-to-one replica of what you could have in the London restaurants, there’s a good deal of overlap – look for its signature prawn croquetas, stuffed courgette flowers and a stunning heritage tomato salad. The import movement isn’t restricted to more mass-market concepts. Hong Kong loves

If Thai restaurants are a dime a dozen in Hong Kong, Thai bars are a rarer find

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nothing more than a fine dine, and Alain Ducasse’s Spoon at the InterContinental Hong Kong has shuttered its doors to make room for another Ducasse enterprise: Rech, which is a seafood-based concept created in 1920s Paris by Alsatian Adrien Rech. A grocery store in its original incarnation, Rech grew into a café with customers clamouring for its fresh shellfish, and was reborn under the capable hands of Ducasse just under a decade ago. This opening, which comes in the middle of this month, heralds the debut overseas outpost, and will feature the likes of pan-seared linecaught sole and baked John Dory with baby Swiss chard and confit lemon, always centred on the day’s freshest catch (don’t miss dessert, either, like the signature XL éclair). Seasonal ingredients also form the basis of the menu at La Bombance, the Tokyo-based kaiseki restaurant that premiered in Causeway Bay’s new V Point tower mid last year. While it’s hardly new, it certainly is noteworthy, all the more because its arrival was so discreet that many hardcore foodies still aren’t aware of its existence. The original opened in the Japanese capital in 2004, serving painstakingly prepared set dinners that have charmed the Tokyo Michelin-guide inspectors, which has in turn rendered the restaurant near impossible to book nowadays. So while it’s likely that locals are loving the opportunity to experience a Tokyo Michelinstarred kaiseki meal by chef Makoto clockwise from above: seafood will be the focus at ducasse’s rech; dishes from la bombance are based on seasonal availability; a spread from imperial treasure fine chinese cuisine

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Okamoto without a long-haul flight or a long-term wait, we may find soon that visitors from Japan relish dining there too – the restaurant recommends only two or three days’ advance booking for small parties coming in on weekdays, and three or four days for weekends. The beginning of the year tends to see fewer food concepts opening, though January 10 marked the first day of business for Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, whose name is fairly explanatory of its menu, and is backed by the Imperial Treasure group from Singapore. The Hong Kong outpost is located in Tsim Sha Tsui’s One

Peking, and though it may seem superfluous to add another Chinese restaurant to an area that already houses the three-Michelin-starred T’ang Court, the two-Michelin-starred Yan Toh Heen plus a handful of other single-starred concerns (Ah Yat Harbour View, Fu Ho, Spring Moon), Imperial Treasure’s Shanghai venue charmed inspectors enough to earn two Michelin stars in the city’s inaugural guide this year. The rest of 2017 also looks promising – the rumour mill has been working overtime speculating when Yannick Alleno will finally stake claim to a spot here, or if there’s truth to the talk that New York bar Please Don’t Tell (PDT) has plans for permanence in the 852, or if the muchvaunted Soho House will at last make a splash in the city. Of course, the conjecture is half the fun now, isn’t it?

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B Beautiful The

old

and the

z Three days in Milan with Enrico BarTolini convinces vicki williams that this rising-star chef is in possession of some exceptional powers z

enrico bartolini has just given me

a taste of the most sublime olive oil. It comes in a small bottle that screams expensive and is measured out in droplets. It tastes like tomatoes. Exactly like tomatoes, and its taste still lingers in my memory. Not long after, as I am observing from a corner of the kitchen in his two-Michelin-star restaurant, a junior member of staff turns, and time slows as he knocks the glass bottle to the ground. It shatters into tiny shards, the golden liquid slowly oozing across the floor. I hold my breath – maybe he does too – waiting for the response. Bartolini glances over, as do most of the kitchen team. He calmly goes back to plating. As I come to learn over the three days I spend with Bartolini, his voice in the kitchen is always the quietest, commanding attention through respect rather than intimidation.

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When I first meet the 37-year-old chef, he’s wearing a slim-fit shirt with a mandarin collar, a tailored jacket and dark trousers, all in the same hue as his handmade shoes. This is his look, one that speaks of quality craftsmanship, yet is quite understated. I imagine him to be shy, which is wrong, but a mistake many make. “I don’t understand why people think I am shy – I am not,” he says. He certainly isn’t shy in business – the chef now has four restaurants in Italy as well as Spiga in Hong Kong, which opened at the tail end of 2016. He’s mild-mannered, calm and contained, but in possession of clever culinary powers. His creations include a bottoni pasta with olive oil and lime, roasted octopus and cacciucco sauce – the pasta so fine it literally melts on the tongue, the octopus beyond tender, the lime bringing a bright acidity, all tied together with an intense fish sauce. It’s a dish with heart, and I notice (the benefit of fine dining alone) other diners also connecting emotionally with the cuisine – with laughter, or surprise. A scallop carpaccio with Piedmontese hazelnuts, roasted lemon and sea snails croutons is also exquisite.


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101 The contemporary cuisine can also challenge. A translucent pasta filled with Tuscany peanuts, sea urchin and chicken consommé is a delicate dish to behold. It’s an explosion of boldness, a smack in the face that reaffirms there’s nothing shy about Bartolini. It’s a dish I’ll never forget. Bartolini notes his first memorable food moment came at three years old, the flame that ignited a desire to become a chef. “The first real lesson I had in the kitchen was at school when I was three. Our teacher prepared a caramel in front of the class. I remember being very surprised and very impressed, watching the sugar change colour and transform. I offered confidently to make it for my mother when we got home.”

At five he was cooking crepes, taught to him by a French neighbour, and making fresh pasta. He got his first kitchen job at 13, in his uncle’s restaurant. He remembers the exact date (May 13, 1993) and the many kilos of salad he was charged to wash that first day. At 25, having worked in London, Paris, Berlin

On rare days off, his priority is to spend time with his family

clockwise from ABoVe: cApers, one of the chef’s fAVourite ingredients, in A VAriety of forms, including freeze-dried, sAlted And preserVed; BArtolini At lunch with his sons; lomellinA snAils with sAge And green pepper, serVed with An Almond tAco filled with herBs

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and Italy (often for Italian chefs at award-winning restaurants), he was ready to open his first establishment, which subsequently received a Michelin star. In 2013, he laid claim to being the youngest chef in Italy to be awarded two stars. Now he’s aiming for three stars in Milan, after his restaurant unveiled a new look last month, and is confident of retaining the star or gaining more in Bergamo and Castiglione della Pescaia, as well as earning stars in Venice. Bartolini has an intriguing signature, with many of his dishes twoor three-parters. Each component can be complete on its own, but is designed intentionally to be more than the sum of its parts. I experienced this more than once, such as the outstanding half-fried, half-raw Sicilian prawns, served with soup (in Milan it’s faux almond, in Hong Kong it meets shrimp and chickpea). “I know for the best experience sometimes one dish should be preceded by another specific dish, but I cannot force the diner to order it. By serving more than one plate as one dish it becomes composed of the perfect combination,” Bartolini says. “It becomes an experience. It’s what I would have liked to propose to the diner from the beginning.” I’ve been interviewing Bartolini for 90 minutes now, and we are talking about his passions and obsessions (reading, bonsai, art, football, fast cars). “I can smell quality,” he says, and he’s not talking about ingredients, although that would be true, too. He’s talking about another love: shoes. His father was a shoemaker. “I know the smell of quality, of properly seasoned leather,” he says. “I know too if the leather is from a male or female, and from which part of the body.” At this point he takes off his shoe and shows me how it’s made of leather from the shoulder of a young female. At Spiga, the wall of the bar is decorated with leather soles, something he said was designer Joyce Wang’s gift to him.

On his rare days off, his priority is to spend time with his wife and three charming children in Bergamo. I join the family gathering at his restaurant in the historic centre, having driven there (fast) in his head-turning sports car. His youngest child, Vittoria, is already showing an appreciation for food at just 11 months, trying – and enjoying – anchovies for the first time. Anchovies are one of the chef’s guilty pleasures, along with champagne and caviar. It is now the end of the third day and Bartolini is lying on the floor. Actually, on a white background board on the floor, because of an idea suggested by the photographer. The set-up has been created organically. After finishing in the kitchen, he came

to check on the progress of an ingredients photo shoot. Always with a clear direction of what he wants, he immediately became the stylist, working on the board with the same hands-on intensity and perfectionism that he brings to the kitchen. Towards the end, the photographer suggests he join the photo. Hesitant but trusting, he agrees, and the intimacy between Bartolini and his ingredients is obvious. Ingredients are his muse, and this moment, this image embodies that relationship.

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T

op of the Line

z A somewhat unsung hero even in his own homeland, Austrian winemaker HAns Topf celebrates his vocation with Grüner Veltliner fan gerrie lim z

stature, Hans Topf has the pleasant mien of a gentle giant, perhaps due to his own provenance – the bucolic Kamptal in Austria, the valley of the River Kamp, from where he runs Weingut Johann Topf, named after his late father and started by his great-grandfather Josef Topf in 1885. The business is still family owned today, aided and abetted by his four sons Hans-Peter and Maximilian – already at work on the farm – followed, he hopes, by the younger Alexander and Julius. The modern period of the Topf saga began when Hans took over a humble nine hectares in 1990, eventually enlarging it to five times that size. The winery itself is located in the town of Strass, beneath the 1,288-metre Gaisberg in the Salzkammergut Mountains east of Salzburg, and last year the addition of a modern-style, cubeshaped tasting room showed off an impressive array of wines dominated by Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Sylvaner, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Hans-Peter and Maximilian are responsible for the Sekt (sparkling wines – namely a brut made from Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and a brut rosé made from 100-percent Zweigelt). At the recent Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, Topf poured me an array of his wines, of which I particularly loved two Grüner Veltliners (Strass im Strassertal 2015 and Hans Topf 2009), two Rieslings (Heiligenstein 2008 and 1999) and a Pinot Blanc (Hasel 2014). He

despite his burly

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was on his first-ever visit to a city that he found “better and more exciting than I’d expected, where people are clearly open towards new things.“ Including, he’s surely hoping, his fabulous wines deserving of greater attention. Of the wines that we tasted tOgether, which is yOur persOnal favOurite and why? My favourite will always be our Riesling Heiligenstein 1999, a wine that shows how the Kamptal valley and Weingut Topf stand for great wines with great ageing potential. If you compare our Rieslings with those from Alsace and Germany, I would say the difference lies in the terroir, which I define as the harmony between soil, climate and the craftsmanship of the winemaker. Ours show clear scents of stone fruit and aromas of pronounced primary fruit along with fine, harmonious acidity. it must be strange fOr yOu, travelling tO wave the flag fOr austria and tO explain wines like grüner veltliner, which i lOve but which is very underappreciated. You have no idea. I’ve even had people ask me what it’s like making wine in Australia! Grüner has a cult following at best because Austria is a very small wine-producing country, so it’s still unknown to many consumers. Here, you would need to pair Grüner with Asian cuisine to fully experience the great combination of the aromas typical of the grape variety and how it works with


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Asian food. We’re cultivating 50 hectares at the moment and produce 350,000 bottles of wine a year, of which Grüner Veltliner is 40 percent of our total area and production. what dO yOu cOnsider the mOst significant

elements

that

yOu

need in Order fOr yOu tO make great wine?

To me, the most important thing in life is having an intact family, one that can back you up so you can achieve great things. My whole family thinks the same way and supports the winery completely. Nature is vital because we believe that great wines only come from great vineyard sites. However, modern know-how can never suppress tradition. When I was a young winemaker, I threw away all my wooden barrels in the winery and said I would never use them again, but 10 years later I resumed working with wood and have learned to never say never. Lately, my sons have also picked up working with wood and our cellar is once again filled with great wines like our Grüner Veltliner Hans Topf.

“There’s never an easy way to expand a wine business but we had no major issues” hOw did yOu cOme tO call this singlevineyard wine after yOur Own name? wOn’t sOme peOple think yOu’re crazy? Of course, I expect they will. I named the wine after myself because it’s an unusual wine, made from Grüner Veltliner grapes fermented in Manhartsberg oak barrels and then also matured in wood, an unusual combination. The vines were planted in 1958 in very deep loess soils. I wanted to show how the wood perfectly suits the production of a rich, powerful Grüner Veltliner. yOu tOOk Over the estate in 1990. at what stage in yOur life did it Occur tO yOu that yOu shOuld becOme a winemaker?

I was the only child from a winemaking family so I guess I was more or less born to be a winemaker. I studied winemaking at an Austrian viticulture school in the 1970s and then started working at my father’s winery. In 1982, my father suffered a heart attack as I was about to start an internship in South Africa, so I had to stay at our winery and work there independently, to make a living.

then yOu enlarged the existing estate tO five times the size. was that a difficult thing tO dO, and what challenges did yOu face? There was a revolution in the mid’80s, of young vintners in Austria who valued high-quality wines and were able to meet the new, high requirements of the market, and due to this evolution our winery managed to grow into the 1990s. In 1999, we had the opportunity to acquire a renowned winery, Weingut Metternich, which was one of the biggest steps in our expansion, and we then grew to 30

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: WEInGUT JOHAnn TOPF IS A FAMILY BUSInESS: THE BUCOLIC ESTATE; THE TOPF ESTATE CELLAR

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hectares. From 1999 till now, more vineyards in the best locations were acquired. There’s never an easy way to expand a wine business but we had no major issues, fortunately. We always aim for solid growth while vinifying from only the best sites. since yOu came all the way here, i assume yOur expOrt markets are impOrtant and yOu spend tOO much time On planes?

Yes. I am a vintner with all my heart and would love to spend as much time as possible in the vineyards and in my cellar, but I do have to travel to share our philosophy with our customers. These trips are very targeted – 95 percent of my travels are within Europe, of which I spend 50 percent on our domestic market, with our most important export markets being Germany and Scandinavia. yOur fOur sOns will be winemakers sOme day, presumably? if sO, is yOur wife suppOrtive? I am proud that two of them will continue to operate and lead our winery – Hans-Peter found his place with us after graduation from the prestigious wine school at Geisenheim University in Germany and internships abroad at top wineries like Egon Müller in Germany and Villa Maria in New Zealand. Maximilian gained his viticultural school degree and is currently doing his masters in oenology and will join the winery in the foreseeable future. My wife Magdelena is the same as my sons, she’s 100-percent involved as our winery’s office manager. any advice fOr yOung winemakers befOre they get married? My advice to young winemakers is to allow your partners to follow their own interests if they’re not passionate about wine, which works out better for everyone in the long run. And if you’re not married, hold on to your dreams and never deviate from your chosen path.

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M

aking an Entrance

z oliver giles takes a break in Taiwan, and finds the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei a hard place to leave z

hour-long drive from Taipei’s international airport into the heart of the city is generally an easy one. The road is smooth, there’s rarely much traffic and it’s satisfying to see the Taiwanese capital slowly take shape around you, the buildings rising higher and higher as you get closer to the city centre. This journey is made even better, however, if you know that the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is waiting for you at the end of it. Almost unimaginably luxurious, the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is a one-stop shop for even the most demanding traveller. Once you’re through the hotel’s imposing front door and in the care of its attentive staff, nothing is too much trouble. If you want to eat breakfast at dinner time, it’ll be cooked up for you – and vice versa, should you want a full dinner spread for breakfast. If you need to book last-minute train tickets for a spontaneous day trip out of the city, the concierge will do it with a smile. If you need suggestions of things to do or see around the city, staff on the front desk will magic up a whole selection of maps and guidebooks, ready to direct you to the best local attractions. Then, before you even ask, they’ll have a taxi outside waiting for you. But it’s not just the service that’s impressive – the design of the hotel is striking, too. Located in a

the

ABOVe: entrAnce tO the mAndArin OrientAl, tAipei. OppOsite: city suite BedrOOm

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new and imposing building, which was inspired by classical European architecture, the hotel impresses from the minute you walk into its bright, marble-clad lobby. Taking his cue from the stately exterior, Chris Dewar-Dixon, the founder of interiors firm Four IV and the brains behind this grand entrance hall, decided to travel to Paris during the design process. The results of that six-week-long trip – which saw him spend time in the Palace of Versailles and the most opulent homes and hotels in the French capital – can clearly be seen in the lobby’s bold arches, intricately patterned floor and use of gold. The rooms at the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei are similarly plush – if a little cosier. These were designed by a different studio, Hong Kong-

based Chhada Siembieda & Associates, though the transition from public to private space is so seamless that you’d never guess. Decorated in an elegant colour palette of blue, white and gold, all of the rooms are spacious and filled with refined design details. Among the most arresting of these are the leather headboards that sit behind almost every bed in the hotel, each of which was made by British artist and furniture-maker Helen Amy Murray, who sculpted a peony into the material. If you can, request a room on the 14th (and top) floor; these have soaring, five-metrehigh ceilings. As if two design teams weren’t enough, the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei employed yet another to create three of the hotel’s restaurants – and this designer came from a little closer to home. Tony Chi, the Taiwan-born, New York-based design star, who’s worked on Mandarin Oriental hotels from Guangzhou to New York, was enlisted to design Cantonesethemed Ya Ge, Italian hotspot Bencotto and

French brasserie Café Un Deux Trois. The latter is particularly special and has become popular with locals as well as hotel guests. Chi has plastered the ceiling with hundreds of small mirrors, each at a different angle, which shower the space with light. Yet strangely this feature hasn’t become the restaurant’s calling card – that honour goes to the (fake) stuffed rhino head on the wall. But however you spend your time at the hotel – whether ensconced in your room eating meals delivered by room service, hopping between the hotel’s restaurants, relaxing in the spa or swimming laps in the pool – one thing’s certain: the drive back to the airport after a stay in the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is a much less happy one.

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BEAUTY & SPA

Awards 2017

Welcome to our second annual Beauty & Spa Awards, in which Prestige Hong Kong rounds up the top products and procedures to take you from drab to fab in high style

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BEAUTY & SPA AWARDS cleanser

YSL BEAUTÉ OR ROUGE CLEANSING CREAM

It’s all about the cleanse when it comes to keeping your skin in the best condition. Gentle but effective formulas are the Holy Grail, so we’re slipping YSL Beauté’s Or Rouge Cleansing Cream into our make-up bags. With just a few drops you’ll wave goodbye to a dull, drawn complexion caused by environmental pollution, impure make-up and sun damage and welcome skin that’s super-soft and perfectly rid of all its impurities. The special cream-to-oil formula is great for sensitive skin as it removes stubborn make-up and other nasties without stripping your face of its natural oils. Smooth it on, wipe off with a tissue and reveal a fresh, revitalised visage in seconds.

serum

ESTÉE LAUDER ULTIMATE LIFT REGENERATING YOUTH SERUM

The intense restorative powers in Estée Lauder’s Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Serum puts it in a class of its own. Laced with the brand’s patented Floralixir Dew (formulated from flowers found deep in the Himalayas and the highlands of Brazil) that work by visibly enhancing and renewing tired skin, it leaves you with a tighter, brighter and more toned appearance. And with a non-acnegenic formula ensuring your pores are free to breathe (so essential), it’s little wonder this hardworking elixir has made our winners’ list.

essence

KIEHL’S IRIS EXTRACT ACTIVATING TREATMENT ESSENCE A cult favourite among beauty editors, Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence is credited for bringing bright, glowing skin to women around the world. Filled with Iris florentina root extract (known for its intensely nourishing antiageing effects), lipo hydroxy acid (which promotes the skin’s natural exfoliation process) and sodium hyaluronate (to melt away fine lines), the liquid formula delivers a burst of youthful radiance to your skin. What’s more, you only need a couple of drops to make the magic happen.

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ampoule

AMOREPACIFIC TIME RESPONSE INTENSIVE SKIN RENEWAL AMPOULE When it comes to skincare application, pre-measured doses are a handy way to stay on track with exactly how much product should be used. With Amorepacific’s Time Response Intensive Skin Renewal Ampoule, each of the four bottles in the set should last exactly a week. Combining green-tea stem cells, green-tea polyphenol EGCG and green-tea saponin, this must-buy elixir offers the ultimate smoothness, clarity, tone and radiance in just four weeks.


BEAUTY day cream

CAUDALIE RESVERATROL FACE LIFTING SOFT CREAM

Lauded French brand Caudalie introduced Resveratrol to the skincare market in 2001 when it was stabilised and titrated before being combined with essential fatty acids to help promote the skin’s own natural healing and rejuvenation properties. Now, as part of the velvety Face Lifting Soft Cream, it brings a new level of indulgence to your beauty wardrobe. Super-light and delicate, it glides on effortlessly and leaves you with an instantly firmer visage.

night cream

LANCÔME RÉNERGIE MULTI-LIFT NIGHT MASSAGING CREAM / SK-II RADICAL NEW AGE CREAM

We’re tied at the top spot for the best night cream, with Lancôme’s Rénergie Multi-Lift Night Massaging Cream and SK-II’s Radical New Age Cream keeping our expert judges on the fence. And we can see why. From Lancôme, the groundbreaking Rénergie formula brings potent lifting and tightening to the face, neck and décolletage. Daily application before your beauty sleep will give this anti-ageing potion time to sink in and get to work, leaving you to wake up looking and feeling 10 years younger. SK-II’s Radical New Age Cream got major plus points for its superior firming actives, which target fine lines and dullness to leave you with plumper, younger-looking skin.

mask

GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT

We’re feeling all sorts of good about the latest GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment. Formulated without any nasty parabens, sulphates or phthalates, this is a seriously feel-good facial in a jar. Stuffed full of skin-loving ingredients – think French sea clay, volcanic pumice rock and green-tea leaves – it’s a winning addition to the brand’s line of mud treatments. Apply it evenly to your skin and wait for the tell-tale tingling sensation to kick in. When it’s ready to come off, gently wash it away and you’ll be left with a more even, hydrated and radiant visage and visibly minimised pores clear of impurities.

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BEAUTY & SPA AWARDS

eye product

LA PRAIRIE PLATINUM RARE CELLULAR EYE ESSENCE

When it comes to skincare there’s no spot we’re warier of applying product to than our eyes, and for good reason. The delicate area here is particularly thin and easily irritated. This makes La Prairie’s carefully developed formulas a consistent favourite with the Prestige team; with years of scientific research behind each line we know we’re in good hands. The Cellular Eye Essence from the brand’s celebrated Platinum Rare collection has got our vote – bonded platinum peptides work on the fragile eye contours to brighten dark circles, lift uneven skin tone and improve fine lines and dullness. Plus, the cooling dropper makes application a dream.

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BEAUTY

exfoliant

KIEHL’S CLEARLY CORRECTIVE WHITE SKIN BRIGHTENING EXFOLIATOR

whitening

SHISEIDO WHITE LUCENT MICROTARGETING SPOT CORRECTOR

There’s nothing better than the feeling after you’ve exfoliated: fresh, clean skin with all the everyday pollutants lifted away. We’re backing Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Skin Brightening Exfoliator for its kind-to-skin parabenand fragrance-free ingredients list. Let the white birch extract and glycerine get to work restoring hydration and elasticity as you massage it into your skin, before rinsing off with cool water and revealing the new you: refreshed, revitalised and noticeably brighter.

Japanese skincare brand Shiseido is trusted by many of the industry’s top names, thanks to its focus on overall holistic goodness and beauty beyond the physical, though the award-winning products and complex skin-boosting collections help too. Now, it’s the Microtargeting Spot Corrector that’s stolen the spotlight. The intense yet gentle serum works to diminish the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation thanks to a special technology using Japanese cherry blossoms. Brighter, clearer skin is available in both 30ml and 50ml bottles.

peel

AMOREPACIFIC TREATMENT ENZYME PEEL

If you don’t already, it’s time to start treating your skin with a little more kindness. That means knowing how and where the products you’re using are made, and taking a step back from skin-irritating ingredients. Amorepacific’s Treatment Enzyme Peel is a winning place to start. Created with a plant-based formula and packed with toxin-fighting technology, it gently and effectively removes impurities and eliminates dulling surface cells on your face.

face oil

NATURA BISSÉ DIAMOND EXTREME OIL With naturally hydrating properties that are deeply absorbed into the lower layers of the epidermis, oils can deliver exceptional results, and we’ve got our money on Natura Bisse’s Diamond Extreme Oil. Penetrating deep into the skin, use it sparingly and achieve a beautifully luminous and soft complexion. Apply last thing at night to give the special formula time to work its magic, and don’t forget to use the complementary High-Definition Massager tool. The oil is designed to be paired with the Diamond Extreme Mask for further nourishment and lifting effects.

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men’s product

SK-II MEN FACIAL TREATMENT ESSENCE

There’s no denying it, we love a good story behind a product line. And the key ingredient of SK-II Men Facial Treatment Essence, Pitera, has a great one. In a sake brewery in Japan, the youthful hands of the brewers led scientists to discover how special amino acids, vitamins and minerals found in the fermentation liquid dramatically accelerated the process of skin’s rejuvenation, keeping the workers’ hands firmer, softer and younger for longer. SK-II recreated this formula, creating a collection of products that help turn back time on ageing skin. Now, SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence has become a staple for men who want to nourish and support their skin’s natural ageing defences. Who said booze was bad for you?

gadget

CLARISONIC MIA FIT

When it comes to keeping your complexion dynamite clean, a bedtime cleansing ritual is key. But how often have you thought you’d washed all the impurities away only to feel like there’s still a film of the day’s dirt on your face? With the Mia FIT from Clarisonic, you can rest easy: five years of research and development ensure it will remove make-up, sunscreen and dirt six times better than with hands alone. The two settings – gentle and power cleanse – guarantee a cleansing session in total comfort, so you can be sure that you’re left with a fresh and radiant complexion free of any pollutants.

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sunscreen

LANCÔME UV EXPERT XL SHIELD ULTIMATE XL UV PROTECTION SPF 50 PA++++ With Lancôme’s UV Expert XL Shield Ultimate XL UV Protection SPF 50 PA++++ (phew) in your bag, you may just end the day looking as fresh as when you started it. Specifically designed to work against excess shine and keep you protected from the sun’s harmful rays, this milky lotion rubs in without leaving a trace and stays put all day long. Make daily redness and dehydration a thing of the past.


BEAUTY foundation

LA PRAIRIE SKIN CAVIAR LUXE CONCEALER FOUNDATION SUNSCREEN SPF 15 For a flawless finish you need to start with the best base. La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Luxe Concealer Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15 is an all-round miracle worker for skin that needs some extra TLC. The velvety formula glides on easily, doesn’t move even after a full day’s wear and, with the celebrated caviar extract, it works to lift and firm your skin’s elasticity too. Built-in SPF coverage gives this lightweight yet medium-to-full-coverage foundation top marks from our panel of beauty experts.

primer

HOURGLASS COSMETICS VEIL MINERAL PRIMER SPF 15

Give yourself the gift of radiant skin with the Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15. The oil-free formula staves off redness and keeps you looking fresh as a daisy until you clock off. We love it most for its airy, cushioned feel; it won’t dry out or leave your skin feeling tacky and even diminishes the appearance of pores and fine lines. We’ve tried our share of primers and this – Madonna’s pick for use during her concert performances – takes the top prize.

powder

GIVENCHY PRISME VISAGE

We love options, and Givenchy’s Prisme Visage powder gives us four of them. A full swipe over the palette with the cleverly bevelled brush will give you a luminous, flawless complexion, but you can also apply each of the quartet separately to achieve your ideal look. Each shade is infused with a silk protein for line-blurring perfection and instant tothe-touch smoothness. For day, use them together to lift and set your look with pure luminescence.

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brow product

KEVYN AUCOIN PRECISION BROW PENCIL

Who isn’t obsessed with eyebrows? From the skinny silhouettes of the ’90s to bushy brows à la Cara Delevingne, now full, chic and perfectly groomed is the way to go. Kevyn Aucoin’s Precision Brow Pencil lets you cheat your way to strong, eye-framing brows as you can sculpt, shape and define with the double-ended brush and pencil to create a look you love. The long-wearing retractable tip is waterproof and reassuringly natural, so that even the less steady-handed beauty maven can work up to a perfect look.

eyeliner

HOURGLASS COSMETICS 1.5MM MECHANICAL GEL EYE LINER

There’s no denying the allure of a kohl-lined eye, but often the fuss and mess makes the make-up ritual more frustrating than fabulous. Cue the Hourglass 1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eye Liner. Pinpoint precision allows total accuracy, even for the eyeliner amateur. Glide across your lash line and rest assured that the colour will stay put, without fading or moving, while delivering an intensely mesmerising look.

mascara

LANCÔME GRANDIÔSE MASCARA

We’ve lost count of how many hours (and dollars) we’ve lost to flaky mascara formulas and clump-inducing wands. Enter Lancôme’s Grandiôse Mascara. The revolutionary swan-like wand allows a better reach across your lash line, to coat every lash from root to tip with ultimate volume. Rose-cell extract works to nourish and smooth across the length of your lashes for a bewitching, buildable look that will leave an unforgettable impression.

eyeshadow

URBAN DECAY NAKED SMOKY EYESHADOW PALETTE

When it comes to upping your beauty look, it’s all in the eyes and lips. Urban Decay keeps your peepers on point with its perfect-pigment, 12-shade Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette. A selection of shimmering, matt and sparkling gold- and grey-tone hues means you can pick and choose your look depending on your mood. No wonder it’s a bestseller.

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BEAUTY

bronzer

KEVYN AUCOIN THE CELESTIAL BRONZING VEIL For ladies looking to exude beach-babe vibes, a dusting of bronzer is just what’s needed. The trick is choosing a shade that lifts and sculpts without leaving heaviness. With years of experience and a cult beauty following, Kevyn Aucoin, founded by the late, great make-up maestro, knows how to create next-level products, like the Celestial Bronzing Veil. Warm copper and gold tones bestow a sun-kissed flush and instant radiance to your visage.

contour

TOM FORD SHADE & ILLUMINATE

Sculpting and contouring is big news, but it can be tricky to nail. Horror stories abound of strange lines, drawn-down noses and nightmarish cheekbones that have been over-highlighted. Avoid your own bad encounter: use Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate compact, which is the definition of simplicity. The super-sheer and light shade lifts and brightens as you draw on high points, with the darker shade defining and contouring without being obvious. Subtle yet striking, the results speak for themselves.

highlighter

YSL BEAUTÉ TOUCHE ÉCLAT

Touche Éclat by YSL Beauté needs no introduction. The original highlighter, it launched a generation of beauty products that aim to lighten and brighten rather than mask. If you haven’t already tried it, just click twice and lightly apply under the eyes to fight dark circles in a flash. It will leave you looking as luminous as the iconic gold pen.

concealer

BAREMINERALS BLEMISH REMEDY CONCEALER

Less is more when it comes to concealers. Over-application will leave you with more creases and a dried-out complexion, which is never a good look. Luckily, the brains at bareMinerals have brought us the Blemish Remedy Concealer, a lightweight, fullcoverage pen that’s filled with skin-loving ingredients. Aspen bark, tea-tree oil and a hint of aloe work to regulate oil production, reduce shine and promote a clear, healthy visage. Tap it into your skin for expert coverage made easy, and watch as redness and imperfections melt away.

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lip balm

GIORGIO ARMANI HIM/HER LIPCARE

Win the war against a damaged pout with a restorative lip balm from beauty behemoth Giorgio Armani. We vote choosing the Him/Her Lipcare range, which works a treat for the boys and the girls. With six soft shades on offer, including a clear option, each one matches to a different skin tone for a smooth, natural effect.

lip gloss

YSL BEAUTÉ VOLUPTÉ SHINE

lipstick

ROUGE DIOR

They say that lipstick sales never fall because it’s the ultimate feel-good purchase that doesn’t need to cost the earth. For every woman, there’s a lip colour that makes them weak at the knees and with the Rouge Dior collection there are more than enough to choose from. From matt through to satin, there’s a medley of beautiful shades; romantic pink, deep red, intense fuchsia, fresh coral and more. And they don’t just look good, they do good too; mango butter hydrates and nourishes from within to keep your pout in the best condition.

Nothing puts us in a girly mood faster than a slick of lip gloss, and YSL Beauté’s Volupté Shine tops our list every time. The cult lippy comes in both subtle and daringly dramatic shades, with 30 colour options available, so you’re sure to find your new favourite. And you can rest easy knowing that the velvety glide-on formula is enriched with six sensorial oils designed to impart your lips with long-lasting moisture.

blush

HOURGLASS COSMETICS AMBIENT LIGHTING POWDER BLUSH

Swear off flat colours that dry and irritate you skin and switch to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Blush for a healthy glow. Showered with light-reflecting pigments and imbued with Photoluminescent Technology, each of the seven shades brings a different level of warmth and colour to your complexion. Choose peach or rose-tinted tones to flatter Asian skin tones.

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BEAUTY

body lotion

LAURA MERCIER GEL BODY MOISTURE TEA MENTHE CITRON

Keeping your skin hydrated all over is essential to fight premature ageing and irritation. That makes picking the right body lotion even more important. If you’re after an indulgent scented cream, look no further than Laura Mercier’s Gel Body Moisture Tea Menthe Citron. Touched with the scent of earthy tea leaves and refreshing mint, the gel-crème formula nourishes and moisturises while leaving behind a subtle fragrance to invigorate the senses.

body scrub

CHA LING BODY SCRUB

hand cream

JURLIQUE ROSE HAND CREAM

If you’re looking for soft, supple and smooth skin then it’s time to get your scrub on. Cha Ling’s Body Scrub is the name to know; formulated with loose tea leaves – an essential ingredient throughout the brand’s product range – and invigorating sea salt, this scrub will slough away dead cells to reveal brighter, fresher skin beneath. You can adjust the intensity of exfoliation by adding more or less water – perfect for those with more delicate skin.

Save your hands with a pea-sized amount of the classic Jurlique Rose Hand Cream. We love the non-greasy formula and instant hit of moisture that comes from this nature-inspired staple. Whether it’s from the heat or cold, pollution or hard water, there’s no need to suffer from dry or chapped digits any longer.

body wash

PRISMOLOGIE FOAMING SHOWER CREAM WITH NEROLI AND DIAMOND

When we step out of the shower each morning, we love to be left with a refreshing scent to help us take on the day, so naturally we’re reaching for Prismologie’s Foaming Shower Cream with Neroli and Diamond. And the goodness doesn’t stop with the scent; chock-a-block with botanical and mineral extracts, it calms, hydrates and rejuvenates skin too. Plus, we love the packaging – it’s been specifically designed to lift your mood.

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hair product

KIEHL’S SMOOTHING OILINFUSED LEAVE-IN CONCENTRATE

Don’t let a bad-hair day ruin your plans. Smooth flyaways and add luscious vitality to your locks courtesy of Kiehl’s Smoothing Oil-Infused Leave-In Concentrate. There are so many reasons to love this little bottle of goodness; argan oil adds a healthy shine, babassu oil brings softness and total manageability, while the oh-so inviting scent is simply irresistible. fragrance

CHRISTIAN DIOR MISS DIOR ABSOLUTELY BLOOMING

Swap severe scents for a brighter fragrance and snap up Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming from Christian Dior beauty. With its uplifting and tangy red-berry top notes you’ll be transported to a garden hiding strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant plants within blooming rose bushes. A single spritz is enough to last all day, slowly shedding its big berry opening to relax into a sensual peony and white musk ending. As with all the Miss Dior fragrances, this is elegant yet playful, bursting with joy and created with love.

candle

nail polish

In luxury homes and seriously stylish reception areas across the creative industries, Jo Malone London’s big, bigger and biggest candles have been decorating hallways and desk spaces of only the most sophisticated folk. Our star scent is the dark and fruity Pomegranate Noir, laden with pomegranate, plum and raspberry notes and laced with hints of pink pepper and spicy wood. The small sets make a chic hostess gift, but mostly we’re just hoarding them for ourselves. Candles have never been more stylish.

You can’t beat a classic red manicure. For day or evening, a dash of rouge on your nails will bring a confident, pulledtogether aura to any look. And beauty insiders have been getting their hit from the king of red, Christian Louboutin. This isn’t a nail lacquer for the faint hearted; bottled in a glass house with a spiked eight-inch top (inspired by the tallest heel Louboutin ever created), the glossy liquid is deeply intense and has the impact of 20 layers in one. And it’s made for women on the go, with a chip-resistant finish to keep your mani pristine.

JO MALONE LONDON POMEGRANATE NOIR CANDLE

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CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN ROUGE LOUBOUTIN


SPA

facial

SUPERFOOD PRO-RADIANCE FACIAL AT MELO SPA

Spa monolith Elemis has a cult following numbering more than 6 million spa-goers every year, and with treatments available at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin’s Melo Spa, those wanting to experience first-hand the brand’s successful combination of powerful natural ingredients can now do so. The Superfood ProRadiance Facial is a 75-minute facial specialising in micro-circulatory massage, and is used alongside a two-phase amino-active mask, which works to smooth, firm, plump and restore moisture and radiance.

massage

ONNETSU THERAPY AT SPA AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HONG KONG 

Onnetsu Therapy (infrared heat therapy) is a relaxing treatment that helps melt away tensions, treat old injuries and ease sore muscles and joint pain. After the initial, mild discomfort of the heat rays beaming down at your skin, you are left warm and relaxed as the machine “massages” the body using heat through physical stimulation. The therapy helps blood circulation as well, to improve health.

anti-ageing

111 SKIN CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND FACIAL AT JOYCE BEAUTY

Possibly the closest thing to being Benjamin Button, 111 Skin’s Black Diamond line aims to plump and moisturise the epidermis of the dry, dull and dehydrated. Enriched with rare black diamond particles that offer an innovative delivery system, this massage-heavy treatment using the brand’s own Massage Ball Applicator and the skilled hands of the therapist helps ingredients penetrate the deeper dermal layer to revive and maintain youthful skin. Who’d have thought that 75 minutes could erase years from a face?

body treatment

UNWIND BOTH MIND AND BODY AT THE RITZ-CARLTON SPA

This two-part body treatment includes a full-body exfoliation and a deep-muscle massage, so your skin is smooth and body supple. The exfoliation process takes inspiration from Hong Kong’s nickname, Pearl of the Orient, using pearl powder juiced with antioxidants, while the massage targets knots effectively, ending with focused eye and scalp relaxation techniques. Eighty minutes will pass in a breeze.

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couple’s treatment

ROMANCE AT THE ORIENTAL SPA

A jewel in the offerings of the Oriental Spa at Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the Romance is a couple’s treatment that melts away stress and allows couples to retreat into a 180-minute cocoon of intimate relaxation. Beginning with a foot ritual before immersing the body into a ginseng-, fenugreek- and ylang ylang-infused bath, the treatment ends with a tailored massage using rose quartz, often called the “love stone”. Don’t be surprised if, when you leave, you find that you’ve forgotten your partner. pre-natal

BLISSFUL BEGINNINGS AT SENSE OF TOUCH, REPULSE BAY

This top-to-toe treatment aims to delight and pamper mums-to-be who want to relieve themselves of the strains and pains of carrying their bundle of joy-to-be. This two-hour session begins with a Hydrating Recovery Facial aimed to keep the expectant mother’s glow in tip-top shape using triple liposome technology. Once the skin is dewy and revitalised, a leg and foot massage follows to relieve muscle aches and joint pains. All this is topped with a quickie pedicure and tea so that mums can leave feeling beautiful inside and out.

medical treatment

SECOND SKIN AT SPA AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HONG KONG

The hotel spa’s most results-oriented line, Biologique Recherche, took a decade to perfect this treatment, which uses a 3D-printing hyaluronic acid electrospun machine to churn out medical-grade hyaluronic skin patches which integrate into your skin’s structure and boost its ability to rejuvenate and renew. Patrons are addicted to these patches, whose plumping and smoothing effects are akin to invasive filler injections, harnessing technology originally implemented to heal the skin of burn victims. At $6,300 for a two-hour treatment on weekdays, it ain’t cheap, but we don’t hear any complaints – only return bookings.

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SPA

manicure

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN MANICURE BY THE NAIL LIBRARY AT THE UPPER HOUSE

The Upper House has teamed up with Christian Louboutin Beauté on an exclusive room package for in-house guests. Those staying at The Upper House can experience this luxurious manicure by the friendly and professional technicians from top Hong Kong-based nail salon The Nail Library. The fabulous package, authorised by Christian Louboutin, allows guests to relax while they get their nails polished and painted in one of the hotel’s gorgeous rooms.

pedicure

BASTIEN PEDICURE AT THE ORIENTAL SPA

A medically certified podiatrist examines and treats your feet in this exceptional pedicure. Fascinated by the science behind feet following a serious ski injury, Bastien Gonzalez developed a tripartite approach to pedicure that focuses on skin treatment, nail beauty and re-foundation. No basins of hot water are needed here – corns, calluses and build-up are removed gently before the same immaculate attention is paid to nail issues whether it be ingrowns or fungal situations. After they are reshaped and buffed using tools unique to the Bastien method, your legs are treated to a focused massage to reinvigorate blood circulation, muscular flexibility and skin elasticity.

waxing

FLAWLESS SPA

We have cryotherapy, painful slimming therapies and laser facials, but waxing still tops the list of most unpleasant beauty procedures, particularly because it’s such a necessary evil. Flawless therapists do their best to minimise the pain and keep the process as far from awkward as possible. A quick hand and high-quality wax also make a difference, but feel free to grab magazines from the waiting area if you need further distraction.

slimming

LPG CELLU M6 LIPO MASSAGE AT SENSE OF TOUCH  

At Sense of Touch Spa in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, in Central, this slimming treatment is performed using a special machine that tightens flabby skin and corrects body imperfections to help reduce cellulite. The science behind the treatment states that it helps eradicate body imperfections by attacking “problem areas”; any place that has a stubborn, seemingly immobile fat quota is smoothed out post-treatment. And, it genuinely feels like a machine that gently punches areas clogged with belligerent and relentless adipose. With visible results after the course, you’d be hard-pressed to find fault with the promises made by the therapy.

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MEET THE judgEs

Along with the Prestige editorial team, who selflessly put themselves at the mercy of spa therapists and beauticians, simultaneously lathering themselves in creams and salves while layering on shadows and glosses, we invited three society mavens who know a thing or two about being beautiful to help judge the awards.

JADE LUI

Lui is a chef, actress, model, writer and television-show host, best known for presenting The Chef in My Bedroom on TVB. She has been married to music producer Mark Lui since 2007, honing her culinary skills after marriage. In 2010, Lui studied cooking and became a gourmet chef. Four years later she enrolled in the Hong Kong Culinary Academy, where she received a first-class certificate in hotel culinary arts. In December 2016, the first edition of her Gorgeous Cookbook was released.

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QUEENIE ROSITA LAW

Law graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2009 with a degree in graphic design, specialising in experimental image making. Law’s interest in storytelling and capturing ephemeral moments in life is a fundamental aspect of her work as a visual artist. Blending photography and paint to capture a moment or a mood that all too easily slips away imbues her work with deeply felt sentiments that move and inspire. She has exhibited in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

BELINDA KOO

Koo is the founder of XYZ, an innovative indoor cycling studio that fuses entertainment and creativity with high-intensity cardio work. She is also managing director at UBS Wealth Management, specialising in helping high-net-worth families and corporations with investment management, governance and philanthropic needs. Koo holds an EMBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School, and a BA from the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network’s China Fellowship Program.


focus Valentine’sday

HER OUTFIT GIVENCHY HIS OUTFIT TOM FORD ON HER: CARTIER LOVE BRACELET IN 18K PINK GOLD WITH DIAMONDS CARTIER LOVE BRACELET IN 18K PINK GOLD AND WHITE GOLD WITH DIAMONDS CARTIER LOVE BRACELET IN 18K PINK GOLD WITH DIAMONDS ON HIM: CARTIER LOVE BRACELET IN 18K WHITE GOLD WITH DIAMONDS AND CERAMIC

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OUTFIT VERSACE EARRING, NECKLACE AND RING GRAFF

Modern

Romance It’s time to spoil yourself – or a loved one – with these exquisite high-jewellery pieces

PHOTOGRAPHY RICKY LO STYLING SHEENA KHEMANEY HAIR SEIFERT CHEUNG MAKE-UP KAREN YIU AT HK MAKEUP ARTIST MANICURE JASMINE CHAN AT HK MAKEUP ARTIST PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANTS KELVIN SIM AND WIL HON MODEL CHLOÉ AT SUN ESEE MODEL MANAGEMENT LTD

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FOCUS JEWELLERY

OUTFIT GUCCI TIARA AND RING DAMIANI

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OUTFIT GIORGIO ARMANI EARRINGS, NECKLACE AND RING CHOPARD

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FOCUS JEWELLERY

OUTFIT ROBERTO CAVALLI EARRINGS, BRACELET AND WATCH CHOPARD

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OUTFIT BALMAIN EARRINGS AND WATCH GRAFF

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OUTFIT BOTTEGA VENETA EARRINGS, NECKLACE, WATCH AND RING GRAFF

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FOCUS showcase

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Bling It On

Cropped necklaces with precious and semi-precious sparkle are never short on style

PHOTOGRAPHY Raymond Lee STYlinG And ART diRecTiOn audRey Chan cO-ORdinATiOn ZaRa Zhuang HAiR RiCk yang MAKe-UP Shaun Lee USinG TOM FORd MOdel JeSke AT MAnneqUin


this page: paris Nouvelle vague Necklace iN 18k piNk gold with diamoNds, amethysts, aquamariNes, tourmaliNes aNd spiNels CaRtieR bustier ZaC poSen opposite page: high-Jewellery Necklace iN white gold with diamoNds bvLgaRi top Rubin SingeR

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FOCUS showcase

high-Jewellery Necklace iN white gold with sapphires aNd diamoNds; greeN carpet earclips iN FairmiNed white gold with diamoNds ChopaRd top Rubin SingeR

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volute Necklace iN 18k white gold with iNdoNesiaN cultured pearls aNd diamoNds ChaneL bustier ZaC poSen

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FOCUS showcase

suNFlower wreath Necklace iN platiNum with diamoNds; wiNstoN cluster wreath Necklace iN platiNum with marquise, pear-shape aNd rouNd brilliaNt diamoNds; wiNstoN cluster drop diamoNd earriNgs iN platiNum with rouNd brilliaNt, pear-shape aNd marquise-cut diamoNds haRRy winSton bustier ZaC poSen

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Joséphine Rondes de Nuit Necklace iN white gold with brilliaNt-cut diamoNds Chaumet top aNd cape Rubin SingeR

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Hungry for Love St Valentine’s Day is a time to eat a little, play a little and love a little.

zaneta cheng presents some of the diverse options for the first two –

and leaves the last to you

duddell’s

Marrying food and jewellery, the two tenets of this season of love, Duddell’s has devised a delectable afternoon tea in collaboration with Monica vinader, one of Britain’s stars in contemporary jewellery, available Mondays to fridays for an entire month from february 14.

Those wishing to indulge their partners can gaze into each other’s eyes in Duddell’s sumptuous yet relaxed surroundings, sampling pastries and dim sum, the restaurant’s toothsome spin on afternoon tea. To remember the occasion, guests take home a coral fiji friendship bracelet by Monica vinader as a symbol of luck and everlasting happiness. After such bites as lobster dumpling with scallop, salty egg-yolk puff

with foie gras and roast duck, abalone puff with diced chicken, egg tart with bird’s nest and gold leaf, mini egg-yolk bun and rice-flour doughnut twist with honey, as well as fook Min Tong premium Chinese teas, couples will feel cosseted in clouds of joy, love and satiation.

clockwise from ABoVe: duddell’s And monicA VinAder Afternoon teA spreAd; pierre At mAndArin orientAl hong kong; lily And Bloom


pierre

If you wish to go all out for your loved one, Pierre, Mandarin oriental Hong Kong’s stunning two-Michelin-star restaurant and culinary maestro Pierre gagnaire’s pied-à-terre in Hong Kong is the perfect spot to woo or celebrate. This valentine’s, for those who want an extended celebration, Pierre will offer an earlier 6pm seating when lovers can watch the sun set over the city. The four-course menu features oscietra caviar, roast veal rack and gagnaire’s signature grand dessert. once the early revellers stroll off hand in hand to continue their celebrations, the 8.30pm sitting offers a six-course menu with highlights including blue lobster fricassée, sea bass tandoori and lamb with black truffle for those wishing for a more decadent culinary experience.

lily & bloom

Trust Lily and Bloom to have a valentine’s menu replete with culinary aphrodisiacs to help those with stars in their eyes celebrate the occasion

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befittingly. for one day only, on february 14, it offers a four-course valentine’s menu, which begins with a chilled seafood trio of oyster, sea urchin mousse and tuna tartar. This marine triumvirate is followed by guinea fowl ballotine with wild rice, caramelised fig and pistachio. Having covered the sea and the air, the meal is grounded by a main course of beef Wellington for two with delicate puff pastry, stuffed cherry tomato and black truffle jus, before the passionate affair is capped with a passion fruit semifreddo with vanillascented seasonal fruit, crispy raspberry and filo. limewood

If you want to hear the susurration of

the ocean or feel the sand between your toes pre or post dinner this valentine’s Day, Limewood in The Pulse is the answer. Perfecting the art of elegant relaxed dining without sacrificing any of the taste,

our favourite beachside joint has put together a three-course set exuding the fresh flavours of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and South America. To begin, there’s a seafood platter with a selection of raw and cured fruits de mer served with house-made sauces. for mains, choose between the M7 Australian Wagyu sirloin with grilled allium, red cabbage and green chimichurri or the seared Atlantic salmon served with morel mushrooms, green peas, green adobo sauce and radish salad. for a sweet ending, Limewood has a banana and chocolate soufflé with caramelised banana and passion fruit sorbet. The menu is available exclusively on february 14.

clockwise from ABoVe: limewood seAfood plAtter; limewood; chef Anthony Burd At mercAto; mercAto hAmAchi crudo; mAndArin spA

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mercato

Let Mercato take you through a surfand-turf menu tweaked and perfected for couples hoping to mark valentine’s Day with something special. A decadent seven courses, the feast starts off with fine de Claire oyster, followed by hamachi crudo. roasted foie gras with cherry compote, panettone and toasted almond is the preface to a delicious lobster, sea-urchin and scallop risotto. excess is the word of the day, so uS beef tenderloin with truffle tortino and red wine truffle sauce, seared to perfection, is served before two desserts are whipped up. Designed with the amorous in mind are housemade mascarpone with strawberries and roses alongside a dark chocolate raspberry tart, nougatine and raspberry sorbet.

mandarin spa

Spoil him or her with the impeccable service of the Mandarin Spa, whose surroundings offer calm and serenity almost as much as the treatments themselves. for an unparalleled fivestar spa heaven, ensconce yourselves in the three-hour romance Spa Suite Package, where you have free rein to customise treatments in one of the Mandarin’s decadent spa suites and know that you’ll be able to relax utterly, be it with a massage or with a steaming-hot ginseng-infused bath. With each package, guests are able to bring the spa’s restfulness back home with a luxurious aromatherapy candle and a jar of the hotel’s rose-petal jam.

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VaLeNTINe’s WaY Accessorise your way to your paramour’s heart

head case hermès has reissued its most successful and famous of scarves, Brides de Gala, in time for Valentine’s day. having graced the heads and necks of the likes of Queen elizabeth II and catherine deneuve, the scarf, which has had its fair share of changes, has been tweaked to feature a sprinkling of small hearts and comes packaged in a heart-shape box. Like true love, some things remain the same as others change for the better.


FENDI CAPSULE COLLECTION HEART FURRY BAG BUG CHARM

MARC JACOBS HAND TO HEART SNAPSHOT BAG

ARMANI FIORI BLUE ROSE BOUQUET

THOMAS SABO 925 STERLING SILVER, GOLD PLATED YELLOW-GOLD EAR STUDS

PANDORA LATIN LOVE HEART IN STERLING SILVER WITH FLORAL MOTIF (SET WITH SILVER BANGLE)

SHIATZY CHEN BADGE EMBROIDERED ANKLE BOOTS

SHANGHAI TANG ALLOVER EMBROIDERY DRESS

peTITe pasTrIes Godiva knows how to do treats, taking that most sumptuous of afternoon rituals, high tea, and reinterpreting the dainty cakes and pastries into a selection of delectable chocolates as part of its limited-edition Buffet de Gâteaux Valentine’s day collection. Inspired by cakes around the world, a sachertorte sits alongside a paris-Brest and a matcha chiffon cake for you and your loved one to enjoy – without the discomfort of jet lag.

RALPH LAUREN COLLECTION MULTI BROWN PYTHON AND LEOPARD HAIRCALF CARTRIDGE BAG

MICHAEL KORS CHERRY FLAP CARD HOLDER

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THOM BROWNE EYEWEAR AT PUYI OPTICAL THE MACALLAN fINE OAK 18 YEARS OLD

BROOKS BROTHERS OUTfIT

PREEN HIS FEATHERS Make your beau’s day with a thoughtful gift

GIORGIO ARMANI JACQUARD WOOL AND SILK STOLE

LONGCHAMP PARISIS BRIEfCASE IN TWO-TONED METIS LEATHER

TED BAKER fLAMINGO LAPEL PIN

ALBERTO GUARDIANI CALfSKIN SLIP-ON AT THE SWANK GIVENCHY LARGE ZIPPED LEATHER POUCH BALLY ALPINA CANVAS BACKPACK

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RIMOWA SALSA AIR MULTIWHEEL CASE

CHRISTOfLE GRAPHIK WHISKY DECANTER AND GLASSES DOLCE & GABBANA HEADPHONES

BOTTEGA VENETA PARCO PALLADIANO IV fRAGRANCE

DEVIALET GOLD PHANTOM SPEAKER

MONTBLANC LEGEND Of ZODIACS THE ROOSTER PEN LIMITED EDITION

PERRIER-JOUËT BELLE EPOQUE BLANC DE BLANCS 2004 LIMITED EDITION – RITSUE MISHIMA

LEICA SOFORT IN ORANGE An instant camera is not what you’d expect from a premium brand such as Leica. But the Sofort (German for “instant”) has some cool touches (including a front-mounted mirror for selfies), is a heap of fun and its red logo brings major cred. FEBRUARY 2017 PRESTIGE

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the gift of time Celebrate St Valentine’s Day by lavishing a luxury timepiece upon your paramour

PIAGET LoVeRS’ tRYPtiCh in an exquisite homage to St Valentine’s Day, Piaget has recreated a look from the 1960s with this oval watch in pink or white gold, set with 24 brilliantcut diamonds of approximately 1.46 carats. Powered by a quartz movement, the watch features a gold bracelet with “palace” decoration, and is here paired with an extremely Piaget palace bangle in pink gold with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds of 2.79 carats. Completing this tryptich of love is a pink gold extremely Piaget palace ring set with 54 brilliant-cut diamonds of approximately 1 carat.


CORUM GOLDEN bRIDGE 39MM SAPPHIRE

ROGER DUbUIS EXCALIbUR 42 AUTOMATIC IN ROSE GOLD WITH DIAMONDS

bVLGARI LVCEA LIMITED-EDITION IN PINK GOLD AND STEEL

OMEGA DE VILLE LADYMATIC CO-AXIAL 34MM

RICHARD MILLE futuRe Woman the Rm 07-01 Ladies’ Watch is a fitting tribute to the multifarious lifetyles of contemporary urban women. it’s powered by a CRma2 calibre, a skeletonised movement specially designed in-house for this timepiece that boasts adjustable rotor geometry, as well as a 50-hour power reserve. its bridges and baseplate are fashioned from highgrade titanium, and its tonneaushaped case, which is water resistant to 5 bar, is built from red gold and white atZ ceramic. a gemstone-set centre field completes the look of this exceptional timepiece, which embodies both feminine elegance and the very latest horological technologies.

FRANCK MULLER CINTRÉE CURVEX LADY IN ROSE GOLD WITH DIAMONDS

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IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN bIG PILOT’S ANNUAL CALENDAR EDITION LE PETIT PRINCE bLUE MOVEMENT

TAG HEUER AqUARACER 300M CERAMIC 43MM AUTOMATIC CALIbRE 5 ZENITH EL PRIMERO RANGE ROVER SPECIAL EDITION

ROLEX aiR aPPaRent Powered by the calibre 3131, the new Rolex oyster Perpetual air-King draws on the company’s strong ties with the pioneering era of aviation. mounted in a 40mm steel case that’s water resistant to 10 bar, its movement is Superlative Chronometer certified and offers a 48-hour power reserve. its dial features prominent hour (at 3, 6 and 9) markers in white gold, as well as minutes (at 5, 10, 20, 25, 35, 40, 50 and 55) for navigational time readings, while the air-King script recalls that of a similar model in the 1950s.

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VACHERON CONSTANTIN BRoWn aBout toWn Bearing the hallmark of geneva, the overseas Chronograph – which is now available with a brown dial – is powered by a new self-winding Calibre 5200. With a twin barrel to enhance torque and reliability, the movement offers a 50-hour reserve and powers hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and date functions. its 42.5mm steel case is water resistant to 15 bar, and the watch comes with three attachments: a steel bracelet, and rubber and leather straps.

GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL SENATOR EXCELLENCE PANORAMA DATE MOON PHASE

bLANCPAIN TRADITIONAL CHINESE CALENDAR

MONTbLANC 4810 COLLECTION TWINFLY CHRONOGRAPH 110 ANNIVERSARY EDITION

TUDOR NORTH FLAG

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JAqUET DROZ PETIT HEURE MINUTE RELIEF ROOSTER

OFFICINE PANERAI LUMINOR 1950 SEALAND 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO 44MM YEAR OF THE ROOSTER

CHOPARD L.U.C XP URUSHI – YEAR OF THE ROOSTER

ULYSSE NARDIN CLASSICO ROOSTER

bREGUET RuLe the RooSt one of several luxury watches created to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, this Breguet Reine de naples features exquisite high-relief engraving, and 40 diamonds of 2.42 carats on its whitegold bezel. it’s powered by a numbered, selfwinding Breguet movement that offers a 45-hour power reserve.

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focus jewellery

divine inspiration We’ve selected the best jewels to woo your significant other this Valentine’s Heart nouveau You know you’re in good hands on valentine’s day when you’re with Graff. the house has a long history of handling heart-shape stones of unrivalled quality, and in the 1980s created a collection of diamond necklaces comprised entirely of the stones. Graff’s Be Mine Collection is sure to seduce with a selection of earrings and necklaces comprised of diamonds in various cuts, as well as heart-shape ruby-and-diamond hoop earrings for those who want matters of the heart front and centre. FEBRUARY 2017 PRESTIGE

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bvlgari bvlgari cuore earrings

Tiffany & co. Tiffany T Two ring

nirav modi infiniTe knoT ring

chow Tai fook palace collecTion blissful necklace

Heart of stone an oldie is always a goldie when it comes to Chopard. the brand has decided to train its spotlight on Happy Hearts, one of its flagship lines, a riff on its equally famous Happy diamonds collection. for something fun, contemporary and playful we’re looking to these bangle bracelets adorned with onyx and mother-of-pearl or diamonds, a clear winner in the Happy Hearts offering. Cocktail rings have also been introduced. 155 PRESTIGE FEBRUARY 2017


boucheron nuri cockaToo earrings

Blue-Blooded BauBles damiani’s fiocco and fiori d’arancio collections are the result of a successful collaboration between damiani and nicoletta romanov, inspired by the valuables of the russian imperial family. ronald abram pink and whiTe diamond earrings

boghossian creoles earrings

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MaGiC Metal van Cleef & arpels introduces the phĂŠnix clip, dedicated to the phoenix. set with rose-cut and obus-cut diamonds, buff-top black spinels, golden motherof-pearl, and traditional mystery-set rubies against white gold, pink gold and red gold, the colours capture the flamboyant plumage of the fiery creature.

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mikimoTo akoya culTured pearl and diamonds ring

forevermark endlea collecTion soliTaire ring

fred force 10 mulTibuckle braceleT

john hardy modern chain braceleT

gÜbelin croisÉ ring

Golden proMises de Beers changed the way we see diamonds with the statement “diamonds are forever”. in the years since, the brand has stood by its declaration and this year it has released the infinity solitaire ring, which showcases the concept of love as everlasting with a diamond set in a graceful infinity band, available in white gold, rose gold and yellow gold.

qeelin naughTy and snowy bo bo pendanT

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baCKSTOry

Ahead of the Pack one of the new bag models to launch this season, the drawstring Techpack-Backpack from Gucci – crafted in an Asian-inspired brocade – features a

feline’s head on its front pocket, a top leather handle and a glittering bow adorned with yellow crystals. Channel the eclectic style of the house’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, by pairing this with an equally embellished number from the brand’s ready-to-wear line. The best part? Sling it over your shoulders or carry it as a chic tote – the choice is yours.

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Prestige Hong Kong - Feb 2017