Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori makes the perfect fit for Ermenegildo Zegna

Insouciant and inexplicably cool, Ermenegildo Zegna’s Couture SS 18 “Hidden Garden” show illustrated the exploration of personal conscious and sub-conscious fantasies, at a venue that justified the epic proportions of Alessandro Sartori’s ambition


Alessandro Sartori is a vital accomplice of the egalitarianism that’s sweeping through luxury houses. It’s a couture concept central to the contemporary outlook of top tier brands collectively pushing the envelope further than ever before, and with his debut collection, he did just that and much more. Mr Sartori, who had previously spent 8 years as designer of Z Zegna, thrusts Ermenegildo Zegna straight into the future with a show best described as a clash of conflicting worlds.

Ermenegildo Zegna SS 18 Couture collection venue

Upholding a reputation for intricate, artisanal creations in the brightest of colours, Mr Sartori’s stewardship created theatrics that quite easily exalted the most cryptic viewer. Guests entered from a large maze, clad with bright green turf, puzzling mirrors and digital screens showing artisans at work. Once inside, the historical cloister in the courtyards of Milan’s Università Statale, was transformed into a futuristic garden. In a dreamy atmosphere evoked by the sound of Japanese drums, 44 models mesmerised the guest with fluid fabrics, sleek silhouettes and sharply tailored styles.

With each piece, an incredible richness of details stood out through extraordinary technical craftmanship. A case in point – the handmade shadow effects mimicking elbow patches and a woven jacquard jacket that was wholly hand-embroidered at the back. All of which gave the collection a charmingly esoteric vibe. Mr Sartori was inspired by the natural rusty hue of the vicuña, a llama-like creature, whose extremely fine wool is one of Zegna’s luxurious trademarks.

Ermenegildo Zegna SS 18 Couture collection Japanese drums

The entire collection was cohesive yet full of standout pieces, with a focus on lightness and a subtle athletic flair. The pared-down unstructured silhouette moved away from the standard tailored looks seen on the runway this season. The color palette was delicately blaze with natural shades of walnut, geranium, freesia, lotus, cypress, bleached aqua and signature Vicuna.

Ermenegildo Zegna is a fourth-generation family owned business that was founded as a textile mill and last year boasted a turnover of 1.26bn. It is navigating an increasingly complex market shrewdly, thanks to its crystal clear ultra-high positioning. On a mission to bring tailoring into the modern age, the question arises that can this man save the suit in a generation of “add to cart”.

Ermenegildo Zegna SS 18 Couture collection





Michael Kors Holdings Limited (NYSE:KORS), a global fashion luxury brand, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Jimmy Choo PLC (LON: CHOO), a premier global luxury footwear and accessories brand.

Under the terms of the transaction, Jimmy Choo shareholders will receive 230 pence per share, with an enterprise value of approximately USD $1.350 billion. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo. 

Michael Kors, Honorary Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Michael Kors, said, “Jimmy Choo is a premier fashion luxury house that offers distinctive footwear, handbags and other accessories. We admire the glamorous style and trendsetting nature of Jimmy Choo designs. We look forward to welcoming Jimmy Choo to our luxury group.”

Montblanc and UNICEF – Right to Write

Cricketing maestro AB de Villiers extends his support to Montblanc’s #PassItOn campaign to highlight the precious gift of writing, and the Maison’s 13 year old partnership with UNICEF to improve child literacy and access to education across the globe.

“I truly believe that writing has the power to change the world,” says cricketer AB de Villiers. “I recently slipped a letter in my wife’s passport when she was leaving for South Africa… and she responded with a text message later, saying how much that meant to her.” The ace cricketer charmed spectators with anecdotes of his writing escapades at a press conference in Mumbai where he was formally introduced as Montblanc’s new ambassador for India and Southern Africa. AB de Villiers will be the face of Montblanc across all categories including watches, writing instruments, men’s accessories and leather goods, each with a hint of blue sapphire and an alphabet-inspired design, celebrating the gift of writing as a force for good.

Montblanc UNICEF 2017 collection

For people and timepieces, making it past a century deserves some serious recognition. Montblanc is already over a decade past that milestone this year. The Maison has managed to stay in business by constantly striving for excellence, no matter what they’re producing.

The same passion for writing that gave birth to Montblanc has shaped their belief that writing is a precious gift that has the power to change the world, and through their on-going collaboration with UNICEF they have transcended boundaries of philanthropy. UNICEF and Montblanc have been partners since 2004, united with a common passion of altruïsm. Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc International, puts the partnership’s success down to synergy. The collaboration aims to improve learning conditions for over 5 million children around the world by providing quality learning materials and better teaching.

Montblanc UNICEF 2017 collection

Commemorating the special occasion, Nicolas Baretzki said, “We are delighted to welcome AB de Villiers to the Montblanc family as our new ambassador. He is one of the most exciting athletes competing in the world today, with a disruptive and instinctively innovative approach to his sport, AB de Villiers embodies the same pioneering spirit that drives Montblanc to keep pushing boundaries, and we look forward to collaborating on many initiatives that will reflect that.”

Each of the two timepieces in the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum UNICEF Editions is limited to 500 pieces and adorned with UNICEF’s logo on the caseback. The “Writing is a Gift”collection takes the Meisterstück, the most iconic of writing instruments and gives it a new design inspired by the Rosetta Stone, one of the most significant objects in the history of the written word. The cap top is engraved with the first letter of the six most used alphabets in the world, a symbolic reference to the early stages of education when children learn to write their first ever character.

Montblanc UNICEF 2017 collection

The funds raised by the initiative will help UNICEF to support national education quality standards that cover pedagogy, reading and writing, the learning environment, community involvement, infrastructure and measuring of learning outcomes. It will contribute to the international campaign launched by brand ambassador Hugh Jackman in print, online and social media, using hashtags #PassItOn, #Montblanc, #UNICEF, and #foreverychild. On the campaign site, the memories of participants are being collected and transformed into virtual journeys transcending boundaries.

Each item sold between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018 contributes to the minimum of $1.5 million Montblanc has committed to donating to UNICEF to provide more children access to education.

Sail of the Season


As the rest of us spent recovering from a holiday-induced food coma, 15 courageous entrants hit the high seas at the historic Gateway of India for a competitive yacht regatta. The Bombay Merchants Club in partnership with Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Western Naval Command and Gurkha Cigars joined hands to organize a first-of-it’s-kind luxury yacht regatta in Mumbai.

It doesn’t get any more gorgeous than the Mumbai coastline in the summer. So smatter the already charming harbor with some classic boats, topped with an assortment of suntanned sailing enthusiasts, and you have quite the event at your hands. And when it came to assembling a team capable of winning India’s most prestigious sailing event, the one thing the sponsors did not have to worry about was organising an old-fashioned naval gang.

October to May marks the sailing season in Mumbai. Geographically blessed with a coastline that spans 149km, and a sun-kissed weather, the city is perfect for sailing. Yet, for long, the perception that sailing is prohibitively expensive deterred many from taking up the sport.

The event was hosted at the Bombay Merchant’s Club. Greatly valuing the personal achievements of its participants, the press conference started with some roaring festivités. Adding lustre to the occasion were a rich array of individuals seeking to extend their proud and impressive records, like Col Gautama Dutta who is an Asian Medalist and National Champion Sailor and Lt Amit Arvind who is also national champion sailor.

While most participants may have a fearsome nautical reputation, the luxury yachts owned and sailed by a variety of Industrialists including Jamshyd Godrej from the Godrej Group, Ravi Mariwala from the Mariwala Group, Ashish Hemrajani from BookMyShow, Bharat Kewalramani, ex-head of South East Asia for JP Morgan, and Frank Hancock, ex-MD of Barclays Bank investment banking, took the show with their unencumbered élan.

The route had been marked out, the boats had been lined up, and every skipper ready with their Time Tracker (TT) a mobile software, through which the entire race was recorded, stood fierce at the port. “It’s so accurate that if you miss one rounding or even went around the wrong way, you’re disqualified,” says Viraf Hansotia, the chief organiser from Gurkha Cigars

The  devastatingly elegant and powerful, Cunning Plan, owned by Frank Hancock, won the Gurkha Cigars Series Trophy, which was given for the boat that cumulatively won the race over the 13 weeks long season. Cunning Plan is a monumental 34 foot yacht Jeanneu Grand Soleil built in 2002, it has won several races in the recent years. Commenting on his win, Mr Hancock said, “I’ve been sailing for more than 30 years, starting with mirror dinghies and lasers in the UK, then a Cornish Shrimper off Ireland, and finally buying Cunning Plan (a Jeanneau 34) in 2011. My biggest challenge is when sailing outside Mumbai, the navy and coast guard always stop me because they are not used to seeing a foreigner sailing up and down the coast. In fact I’m the only foreign cruiser sailor in India.”

Peace ‘n’ Plenty owned by Ashish Hemrajani won the race of the day and was awarded the C-in-C by the commander in chief of the Indian Navy. Mr Hemrajani said,“ I’ve been sailing for close to 12-14 years. And it’s taught me to look inwards even in business. In sailing you can’t blame the wind, conditions or tide, you have to do what you do to deliver “given” the conditions.“

The event was sponsored by Gurkha Cigars. The team from Gurkha are keen amateur sailors who are looking to encourage the development of the sport of racing luxury yachts in India. The 2.5 hour race culminated the 3 month regatta with a gourmet feast accompanied by a fine assortment of vintage cigars – rounding out a perfect day’s sailing in classic style.


Louis VuittonX Jeff Koons teach us a luxe art history lesson


The collaboration is inspired by Koons’s “Gazing Ball” paintings and features prints of several iconic masterpieces from artists — da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh — splashed across classic Louis Vuitton bags like the Speedy, the Neverfull and the Keepall.

The capsule collection is a targeted departure from the brands elegant and classic aesthetic, it is insouciant and painfully cool, minimalist though carefully calculated. The entire collection is cohesive yet full of stand out pieces like the “Balloon Dog” sculpture bag.

While Louis Vuitton is no stranger to artist collaborations — the brand has worked with Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama and Stephen Sprouse, just to name a few — Koons might just be the biggest name to date. Meanwhile, Koons has, in the past, partnered with Stella McCartney and H&M. A notorious appropriation artist, Koons has been infamous for turning kitsch images and objects into art, but for his range of handbags, rucksacks and other expensive accessories he is turning great art back into popular culture. Each bag is plastered with the original artist’s name in an all-caps gold or silver plate. With this collaboration he successfully transforms old masters into fashion must-haves.

Verve Rally 2017: Where luxury meets adventure

C7WXYzgXUAAbDH0.jpgThe globally acclaimed Verve Rally is a luxurious, female friendly, carbon neutral adventure, worthy of any discerning bucket list. And it is attracting a broader clientele this year with not just petrol heads but purveyors of phlegmatic luxury.

Picture a Ferrari 458 Italia or Lamborghini H

uracán meandering the Mediterranean coastline, a Maserati GT Sport navigating the Gotthard Pass, or an Aston Martin Vanquish gracefully approaching a medieval city, preceded by spectacular evenings filled with decadent dinners and exuberant parties. The Verve Rally offers this and much more. Founded on the idea of creating a one-of-a-kind luxury road trip that celebrates driving while enjoying some of Europe’s most remarkable destinations, Verve Rally truly blends luxury travel with unmatched lifestyle experiences that includes driving supercars across Europe.

Offering two spectacular itineraries, the 5 Day route of the rally sweeps through charming French countryside, staying in Palaces and Chateaux, with private tours, hot air balloon ride, visiting the Versailles gardens and other surprises. The 9 Day route goes through some of the best driving roads coupled with panoramic views. Exquisite forests, placid vineyards, Italian lakes, and the French Riviera highlighted by the drama of the picturesque Alps. With summer days and sultry evenings, both the routes provide an expansive space for the luxury cars.

The rally is tailored to balance driving schedules with equal amounts of recreation and exploration. You’ll spend about four hours each day behind the wheel, cruising along the scenic roads at your own pace. Stop for lunch en route, relishing local delicacies with fellow Ververs. Top-notch hotels and chateaus make for the perfect home away from home. And with no night time driving, you can truly indulge your senses with Europe’s unmatched flavours and experiences.

An exceptional six element theme represents the rally’s unique fête style. Each day is devised on an explicit theme: Air for friendship and good vibes, Fire for the passion of summer, and Earth for fresh produce. There’s also Metal, acknowledging how luxury cars reflect a pursuit for perfection.

Founded by London based serial entrepreneurs Marcus Ubl and Darshana Ubl, Verve truly titillates the senses. Darshana says, “We have carefully chosen the locations based on popularity, research and keeping in mind the overall experience… In some of the rallies we include trucking of cars from the North to the South of France only so that the participants can enjoy additional time indulging and enjoying a champagne tour in Reims.”

Marcus Ubl has chosen some of the most extreme routes across the Swiss  Alps and the Black Forest of Germany. They have ensured that enough time is available for the participants to enjoy the finer things that Europe has to offer, like a private boat cruise on lake Como, champagne tasting and cellar tours, hot air balloon rides and a 3 course dinner followed by an extravagant award ceremony on the final night.

They have tied up with Plant a Tree or PATT Foundation this year, a UK charity that plants trees in Thailand. With climate change becoming a global issue, planting trees is a good way to tackle it’s adverse effects. Elaborating on this association, Darshana said, “Our values at Verve Rally are that we give back what we take from nature. And so we calculate the miles into the engine size to measure the carbon emissions. Based on this we plant trees via PATT, making our rallies carbon neutral.”

There are many rallies that are adrenaline fueled and are in effect a race. But the Verve Rally offers an exhilarating adventure replete with luxurious hotels and indulgent evenings. Verve means spirit or enthusiasm and the rally makes for a great way to invest in memories that last a lifetime!

Automobili Lamborghini – Driving in with Force


So far, the “Lambo”, as Lamborghini is lovingly called by its fans, was available in India in four variants, the Huracan Coupe, the Huracan Spyder, the RWD Coupe and the limited edition Avio. Targeted as a powerful lifestyle vehicle for young buyers, the introduction of Huracan RWD Spyder brings the total number of Huracan variants to five in India, at par with the rest of the world. Not to be left behind, the aerodynamic Aventador ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models, and defines a new benchmark for the V12 line-up. As this one roars in to India as well, we check out the nuts and bolts behind these two new hypercars.

The Huracán RWD Spyder

When you’re preparing to supplant one of the most revolutionary automobiles of the twenty-first century, you can leave no stone unturned. Such was the thinking of the Lamborghini engineers when they began blueprinting the much-whispered-about successor of the P610-4 and LP580-2 coupes.


Designed to cut through the air and become one with the sky, the rear-wheel drive (RWD) Huracán Spyder is the pinnacle of Italian taste and hand craftsmanship, a sports car concept elevated to the performance and sensation of a coupé. A poster child of their explosive growth, the new Spyder is in it’s first 18 months on the market, effectively outselling its predecessor.

The luxury part of the equation is well-served by the Spyder’s interior. Combining the lifestyle appeal of a convertible with the pure on-road experience of the Huracán’s RWD technologies, every single element has been redesigned for the precise purpose of eliminating the roof without compromising any of the car’s aerodynamics or torsional stiffness. The angular design is severe yet elegant; the stealth fighter–like cockpit is as luxurious as it is intense.

Nestled behind the cockpit is a 5.2-liter lusty V-10 engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; with RWD, it outputs 580 hp and with all-wheel drive it produces 602. Unless you’re comatose, you will surely experience a fleeting taste of its explosiveness.

Strong as it is light, the soft top on the Spyder is said to be heat and sound insulating and can be opened or closed at the push of a button at speeds of up to 50kmph. With a top speed of 319 kmph, it can complete 0-100kmph in just 3.6 seconds and 0-200kmph in 10.4 seconds. Wooded lanes will turn into blurs of emerald and straightaways will disappear within a blink of an eye. On the insides, everything from the 12.3-inch instrument console to the cockpit-inspired controls gives the driver the adrenaline rush of flying low.


The Aventador S

Chiseled like a diamond, the Aventador S’ design makes way for significantly enhanced aerodynamic performance. The four-wheel steering system offers several exterior advancements, particularly in front and rear, while its profile remains clearly an Aventador. Every modified component is redesigned for achieving maximum aerodynamic efficiency while accenting the Aventador’s complex, muscular dynamism.

Furthermore, Lamborghini Centro Stile has intelligently integrated certain elements of past icons, such as the lines of rear wheel arches reminiscent of the original Countach. It unveils a new era of aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and enhanced driving dynamics. Its interior specification is virtually limitless through their Ad Personam customization program.

Lamborghini uses a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, engineered to deliver extremely fast gear changes. A rear mechanical self-locking differential distributes power to the rear wheels. Its Pirelli PZero tires are exclusively developed for the rear-wheel drive. Specially contoured steel brakes with aluminium brake disc pots assist in weight reduction and improved cooling.

As some would say, savoury fare isn’t just about the superiority of ingredients, but the superiority  of ideas too. The same can be said about this luxury carmaker that decided to make two such ingenious products. With the Spyder and Aventador, Lambhorgini has struck upon a charming piece of scrumptious fare.



Possessed with incomparable versatility and a characteristic identity, the Reverso is the single watch most compellingly associated with the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand and probably will be for the foreseeable future. It is a rare true icon of luxury watch making and the latest model takes timepiece opulence into unchartered territories of luxe elegance.

The most illustrious invention of the Le Coultre Empire – Reverso has enjoyed an undisputed iconic status amongst watch collectors’ world over, with the onset of its 85th anniversary we reminisce the most powerful variations of this master timepiece. Reverso in Latin means “I turn around”, the iconic brand has had a few ups and downs throughout its century’s worth of history. To celebrate this milestone the brand has joined forces for a creative collaboration with shoe maestro Christian Louboutin incorporating his signature aesthetics to release a line of brilliant, resilient and super-stylish timepieces.

For over 180 years, luxury watch brand Jaeger LeCoultre has successfully innovated and made technological breakthroughs in watch-making and has become synonymous with excellence, innovation and precision.  To commemorate the 85th anniversary of their most notable timepiece, they have revisited their classic Reverso with updated models, for men and women along with a strategic union with footwear maestro Christian Louboutin to launch a special collection of Reverso models. He has infused timeless design and tactical innovation to create a collection that’s as much a fashion statement as it is state-of-the-art technology. The color mastermind has adopted a stylish palette of blue, violet and green for the watch’s evening strap. Available in two sizes with a shimmering decorative face, the result is an original, ultra-feminine take on the iconic timepiece honoring its 85 years of existence in style.


The pioneering of the legendary Reverso collection started during the winter of 1930. While travelling in India, a Swiss businessman and watch enthusiast César de Trey attended a polo match at a club of the British army commandment.           One of the officers challenged de Trey to design a watch model sturdy enough to resist a precarious polo match.  César de Trey discussed this inspiration with the owner of the LeCoultre manufacturing, Jacques-David LeCoultre, who could provide the movements for the new watch.

LeCoultre appointed the firm Jaeger S.A. for the creation of a unique design using a reversible container to protect the dial, which in turn contracted the  French designer René-Alfred Shavuot, the actual inventor of the exceptional slide and flip mechanism. He used a simple device of two spring-mounted spurs fitting into grooves on either side of the watch’s frame. The result was a classic timepiece with a dial that could turn over, shielding it from obstruction while offering a case back with a significant panel that could be used for designing. A brilliant principle providing an inexhaustibly fertile source of design inspiration which now 85 years later still enjoys illustrious success.

Born out of the sheer need to provide an elegant, sophisticated and robust response to a technical challenge, the Reverso established itself as an eminent Art Deco classic constantly stimulating artists, designers and inventors to reinterpret the back of the watch. The watch personifies the quest for the unexpected.

The impact of its pure, almost discreet lines makes the Reverso timepieces the embodiment of elegance and class.  With unique modifications, it has been a vehicle for high complications, dual time zone watches to some of the most skillfully carved watches ever made.

The oldest known enameled Reverso illustrates a beautiful Indian woman dressed in the manner of the Paris, a community located mainly in Mumbai region of India. Details regarding the love story behind this gorgeously enameled timepiece continue to be a secret, but what remains is the love affair between the Reverse’s case back and personal enameled artworks.

The Reverso Lady, launched later retained all the features of the original model while combining a chrome steel band with the soft warmth of 18 carat rose gold. The amalgamation of tradition with a modern spirit is sure to appeal to the most feminine of women.

Another variation launched that year offers a sleek black lacquered dial, stamped and glit numerals and an 18 carat yellow gold dial, and additional versions with red and blue lacquered solid silver dial bearing the Reverso signature.

The Reverso Cordonnet designed in a contrasting combination of cool steel shimmer and warm gold radiance, this exceptional timepiece boasts resolute feminine spirit with a gracefully slim case and strikingly offbeat strap.

They launched another heritage version in 1948 with blue steel hands and lacquered engravings depicting the emblem of the Basel divisions of the Aero-Club de Suisse, the Swiss aviation association. In 1985, they presented the first-ever water-resistant Reverso case. This required a complete transformation to offer exceptional comfort and guarantee total security in pivoting. In 1994, they introduced the Duo face concept with the back of the watch featuring a second dial although driven by a single movement. For the brands 70th birthday in 2001, the Reverso acquired an 8-day double barrel, giving it enhanced accuracy offered by teaming a high-frequency balance wheel with over a week’s running power. 500 examples were made. To celebrate its 80th birthday, they came out with a fresh take on the absolute classicism of its Art Deco lines, with the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin including two Tribute to 1931 models in honour of the very first Reverso models.

The collection launched at SIHH this year, flawlessly exceeds expectations in design excellence, elegance and technical supremacy – Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute and Reverso One. The Reverso Classic comes in a stainless steel case with a sleek, silver toned surface dial, transferred black numerals, around a guilloché center with a black transferred minute track, along with blued baton hour and minute hands. Its Art Deco inspiration, geometrical case, Arabic numerals, along with its minute track, exudes a touch of brilliance.

The Reverso Tribute is intended for luxury connoisseurs with an eye for horological craftsmanship and design. It comes with a slightly grained front dial, with blue hour markers, hands, and a blue-printed subdial, and Dauphine-type hands. Driven by mechanical movements, all the Reverso Tribute models feature the Duo concept of two independent faces complete with a day/night indicator.

Quintessentially feminine, the Reverso One collection is dedicated to the ladies, characterized by an elongated rectangular shape and mother-of-pearl lunar disc representing the moon phase and typical Dauphine-type hour and minute hands. They have also created a personalized service – Atelier Reverso that allows customers to select aesthetic features to personalize their timepiece using an online configurator currently available in Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques

The collaboration with celebrity design ingénue – Christian Louboutin celebrates the landmark event with extreme style. The French designer’s stylish stilettos adorned with his trademark red-lacquered soles are coveted by fashionista’s and shoe aficionados globally and the collaboration makes for the perfect union of luxury, style and elegance.

As the Reverso is a fresh slate ready for customization, it didn’t take Louboutin long to identify the playful accents that could illustrate a design reflecting his personality – including one with telltale red leather inside the strap. Iridescent colors and striking textures highlight the straps and dials of the Louboutin edition, which contrasts perfectly with the Art Deco lines inherent in the Reverso collection. It features rounded, sensual elements, as well as details rooted in texture — a circle of pavé diamonds on a rose-enamel dial, rose-gold chains, looping to form tiny circles that edged a white-leather watchband. The Louboutin Reversos are available in the small and medium sizes of the Reverso Classic Duetto.

Christie’s India: Million Dollar Art


Celebrating its 250th year, Christie’s India’s recent auction tallied a record $4.3 million on classical and contemporary art, bolstered with an exemplary compendium of 41 works from the private collection of Abhishek and Radhika Poddar, along with 25 registered antiquities dating back to the 11th century.

The fourth India annual sale of art auction house Christie’s may have ominously concurred with an economy besieged with cashless compromises, however, the day long auction of South Asian modern contemporary and classical art remained unperturbed in its reception.

Attractive paintings fresh from long-established collections consistently drew multiple bids. Sixty per cent of lots were sold above high estimates, producing a total of INR 72 crore worth of sale. The highlight of the event was the sale of two celebrated paintings by India’s foremost abstract painter Vasudeo Gaitonde, a leading member of India’s progressive artists’ group, well known for his retrospective exhibitionism, and another by Tyeb Mehta, also one of the progressives. The repetitive, rhythmic and subtle application of paint made Mr Gaitonde’s craft remarkable, garnering noticeable appreciation at the event.

An important attraction of the sale was the 41 art pieces that came from the personal collection amassed by Abhishek and Radhika Poddar. Patrons with a vision that precedes the Indian market, the Poddars have built an enviable collection of modern and contemporary Indian art. Aesthetics with a taste for the finest, across genres and categories, their collection reflects their innate respect for the arts and a drive to share India’s diverse cultural landscape with the world.

Another highpoint of the evening was the exquisite array of 40 miniatures from scholar and aficionada Colonel R.K. Tandan’s private collection. Tandan spent a lifetime acquiring distinctive works of Indian miniature paintings, his interest was academic as well as aesthetic, and hence he sought works from the scholars of his time, a flagrant example of which is the renowned Ragmala series. The crown jewel of Mr Tandan’s collection were four eye-catching and detailed Basholi folios titled ‘Tandan Ragamala’, including ‘Ragaputra Chandrakaya of Malkosa’, ‘Punyaki Ragini of Bhairav’, ‘Shri Raga’ and ‘Bhairava Raga’. Intricate court paintings from Mewar, Kangra, Bikaner, Nathdwara and the Deccan were also included in this curated sale.

The series is the visual depiction of the classical Indian musical form of the raga, with each raga belonging to a family. It portrays abstract exhibitionism and an impression of silence that remains unmatched, circa 1700.

Another stalwart, Manjeet Bawa’s work projected a serene quality, rarity and provenance. His signature mark was the portrayal of simplicity and spirituality in brightly-coloured allegorical paintings

Commenting on Christie’s eminent focus on Indian artists and it’s status as an emerging market for contemporary art, Sonal Singh, Head of Department for South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art said, “The recent retrospective of Gaitonde’s oeuvre at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, followed by the show at the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice, has certainly helped to expose the artist to an even wider circle of admirers. Shows for other Indian artists, such as Bhupen Khakhar at the Tate Modern in London, have helped to spotlight the greatness and diversity of contemporary art making in India, and it receives very positive international reviews.”

At the auction, the highest price commanded by a single work was INR 15.63 crore, fetched by an untitled VS Gaitonde work from 1974. The second-highest bid was also for a Gaitonde, dated 1973, which went for INR 11.43 crore. The third-highest bid was for the cover lot by Tyeb Mehta, an untitled oil on canvas from 1975 that sold for INR 10.23 crore.

Ms Singh further mentioned that, “Christie’s has been holding sales in the category of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art for the past 20 years and since then, works by Gaitonde, Mehta and other Indian masters were very much sought-after by a large collector’s community. This market has been built constantly to guarantee its sustainability and longevity.”

Christie’s India auction held back in 2015 had seen the highest tally for any auction in India with a record total sale of INR 97 crore vis a vis total sale of INR 75 crore in 2014. The auction figures of the past three years are reflective of the international popularity of big-name art as a status symbol, and the increased seriousness with which the world’s high-net-wort individual’s view art as an alternative investment. It is a signal of revelation that contemporary and classical art is on its way to substituting gold, as a store of wealth.


The Bespoke Boom


British bootmaker, John Lobb’s passion for the human touch had won him a cult following world over. We delve into the realm of bespoke and the label’s latest offering of customised services to create exclusive footwear specific to your needs and wishes.   

Bespoke shoemakers across the globe are cashing in on the growing demand for exclusive, high-quality footwear fuelled by celebrity devotees and their love for custom-made luxury. With hand-crafted leather de rigueur on the streets, men are resorting to extreme measures to make their feet stand out from the crowd. We explore the world of one such designing czar, John Lobb, as the label launches it’s much anticipated Levah collection.
As the month-long spectacle of haute couture shows draws to an end, and the world’s boutique buyers close their order books, a silent revolution has been taking place among the style connoisseurs across the globe. Fashion aficionados are adapting a more discerning way of shopping with bespoke apparels and accessories rapidly becoming the most coveted pieces in the industry. These savvy consumers who are acquiring distinctive, made-to-measure pieces are part of what is being coined “the new luxury”. This army of high flyers are being measured up by an exceptional breed of tasteful designer-dressmakers, contemporary tailors and artisanal shoemakers. They are feeding the growing demand for a more anonymous look that seamlessly meets the needs of the customer in terms of fit, lifestyle, and uniqueness.

Although custom footwear is slowly becoming a lost art, a handful of labels are steadfastly keeping the age-old craft alive. One such celebrated bespoke brand is famed footwear label John Lobb. The label’s distinctive shoes present sculptural silhouettes, nuanced colors and subtly concealed details that enhance comfort and exude custom-made finesse.

Once you step out in a pair of bespoke shoes, modified to your foot’s individual characteristics, tailored to suit your taste and requirements, it’s hard to wear anything else. And the John Lobb studio is upholding the bespoke experience since over 150 years. The brand’s traditional savoir-faire remains to this day.

Above all else, the label is known for its incredible vision and inability to recognize the words “it can’t be done” when conceiving a pair of shoes. Such progressive thinking has allowed them to create some of the footwear industry’s most heralded designs

And when a label carrying such deep rooted history ventures into the sneaker world under a new creative director, the fashion world gets excited. Introducing the Levah collection, a clean-cut plimsole sneaker created for those days you need to give the loafers a break. As you would expect and like their meticulously crafted dress shoes, it is an immaculate piece of work. Crafted from your choice of suede or velveteen calf leather, the shoes have a stitched sole and come in three colorways inspired by the landscapes of Cornwall, England where John Lobb was born.

For the bespoke purist, the brand provides premium leather options including the finest calf skin, uniquely textured grain calf and buttery soft suedes. Their artisanal process is carried out in their Paris workshop at 32 rue de Mogador. Each pair requires an average of 50 hours of work done by highly qualified craftsmen.

Levah combines the values of quality and craftsmanship attributed to John Lobb with the versatile characteristics of a sneaker. This also includes adding personal initials through the monogramming service. Through the ‘By Request’ service customers can choose their own materials that meet their needs and desires. Customers can select the color of contrasting binding on the tongue alongside their preference of metal eyelets and waxed laces.

The onset of the bespoke rage has resulted in a newfound interest among men and youths in learning the trade. With the launch of Levah we can envisage that age-old shoemaking traditions will imbue a new generation of loyalists with an appreciation for the human touch.