Please note – these articles are written by Ms Shah for various publications*
L’ENVOL DE CARTIER
Few haute parfumiers offer the eminent luxury of a rare niche fragrance. We explore the allure of Cartier’s latest launch, The L’envol.
L’ENVOL DE CARTIER is the new captivating cologne for men. It’s a rustic and juxtaposed eau de parfum, an exceptional oriental-transparent scent. An amalgamation of both robust and mellow, it pulses with freshness before becoming more stable, stimulating and elevating to all who experience it.
Over the past eras, perfumes have been produced in nearly every scent, shape, and form, from engraved pots in ancient Egypt to delicate Lalique illusions, to transient sculptural flavors from the 1990’s. But a launch that stands out from the Haute periphery is the L’envol De Cartier.
Inspired by ambrosia, the honeyed wine recognized as the sweet nectar of the deities as they strolled above the clouds on Mount Olympus. Illustrious perfumer Mathilde Laurent has concocted a revolutionary composition labeled as oriental-transparent. An eau de parfum of dichotomies, L’Envol is both firm and soft with sweet resins set against a blithe musk. The scent is Cartier’s sixth major launch for men, the first release since 2008. The cologne highlights accents of honey, wood, patchouli, and a whiff of aromatic musk.
The exceptional and striking bottle is a capsule enclosed within a detachable glass cupola. The capsule is attached to an elegant container filled with exquisite honey colored nectar with golden phosphorous yellow passion, which can be carried independently. The bottle reaffirms with the ultimate sophisticated Cartier legacy with its celebrated guilloché motif on the bottle stopper while the dome exhibits Cartier’s unique glasswork expertise.
A timeless yet modern object with dual functionality, thus assimilating the expertise required for the virile, mechanical movement for both intertwining and detaching the capsule. Its trail is unadulterated, lustrous and airy.
The perfume pays tribute to the longstanding friendship and relationship between Louis Cartier and Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont, was one of the most celebrated aviators of his time, one of the first men to take flight and a vital figure in the illustrious history of Cartier. He was known for navigating one of the first motorised flights in history. In 1906, Santos-Dumont’s aircraft flew five meters above the ground for a record distance of 60 meters in Paris. He later set the world record by The World Air Sports Federation on 12 November 1906, for flying a distance of 220 meters for 22.5 seconds.
Santos-Durmont became a reference point for the new fragrance. In 1904, he had complained to Louis Cartier about the struggle of checking his pocket watch mid-flight and requested his friend to create a timepiece that would allow him to keep both hands on the controls while flying. The outcome was the launch of the world’s pioneering wristwatch, Cartier’s Santos-Dumont.
Contemporary, both in terms of the way it is used and the way it was formulated, the L’Envol de Cartier is something of an enchanting exposé, a scent that is novel and unexpected, but still alluring and accessible. Its enchantment lies in its rounded, mellow, timbered overtones, its characteristic warmth, and its captivating glamour.
<h3>We celebrate the prolific union of artistry and luxury as emerald miner; Gemfields joins hands with the renowned jeweler to the tsars- Fabergé. The collaboration embodies opulence in its truest form, commemorating an era of indulgent possessions for luxury connoisseurs across the globe.</h3>
Fabergé has gained global acclaim as a jewelry brand with unmatched heritage and legacy. Gemfields, an AIM-listed company that undertakes mining excavation in Zambia and Mozambique, has bought Fabergé with an aim to increase global demand for jewelry featuring exquisitely designed colored gemstones. Celebrating the concept of artistry in today’s world of extravagance, Fabergé traces its enigmatic legacy of creative excellence and combines it with the rare sustainable opulence that Gemfields provides to launch a collection that embodies ‘The Art of color” in all its glory.
HISTORY OF FABERGÉ: From artisan to imperial jeweler
The world’s most iconic artist jewelry brand, Fabergé has created a reputation extraordinaire of creating exquisite jewels, timepieces and objects d’art as well as bespoke commissions for an exclusive international clientele. Few jewelers have been as successful in mastering the perfection of their craft spanning several generations, as Fabergé. Peter Carl Fabergé, with his French-German ancestry, ruled the world of precious jewels for over four decades before the outbreak of World War 1. Founded in 1842, at St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia, the firm deftly gained a cult following amongst Russian royalty for designing jewel encrusted timeless pieces which include the famous series of “Imperial Easter Eggs.” Fabergé is renowned for its exceptional use of color, making the most of each gemstone’s unique characteristics and creating a brilliant enamel palette. Their artistry was celebrated across royalty, nobility and industrialists of Paris, Moscow and London along with America and the Far East making them the ultimate gift connoisseurs.
In 1917, the devastating Russian Revolution brought an abrupt end to the thriving House of Fabergé; subsequently, the company was nationalized, and all production was closed when the Fabergé family escaped Russia. After the death of its founder in Switzerland, the heirs lost their rights to the company name. History came full circle in 2007 when Fabergé, under new ownership was unified with its heirloom family. This merger commenced a new chapter in their illustrious empire, and set a precedent for a renaissance of the company name and philosophy, in harmony with its fundamental values and spirit.
LEGACY OF THE FABERGÉ EGGS
A series of priceless Easter eggs created by the company for the Russian Imperial family is regarded as their greatest achievement. They are the most celebrated of all Fabergé creations, inextricably bound to their legacy. It is believed that the Russian Emperor Alexander III decided to give a gold Easter egg to his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna to celebrate their betrothal. The object was said to have captivated the imagination of a young Maria during her childhood days. Thus, the first imperial egg known as the Hen Egg was created. It was crafted from pure gold, the thick white shell opened to reveal a matt yellow gold yolk. Which in turn, showed a multi-coloured gold hen that further opened to display a diamond model of the imperial crown from which a delicate ruby pendant egg lay suspended. This commenced the beginning of a yearly tradition that continued for three decades with the most intricate and captivating Easter eggs the world has ever seen. The emperor had only one pre-requisite, there must be a surprise hidden within each creation. The surprises ranged from a miniature replica of the coronation carriage through a mechanical swan and ivory elephant to a heart shaped frame on an easel with 11 miniature portraits of members of the royal family.
One of the most expensive was the Winter Egg created in 1913 which was carved from rock crystals, embellished with engravings and ornamented with platinum and diamonds to resemble frost. The flowers were crafted from white quartz, nephrite, gold and demantroid garnets set on a base of moss made of green gold. The egg was sold in 2002 for US$ 9.6 million. Of the 50 egg Fabergé made for the Imperial family, 43 have survived till date.
THE ACQUISITION BY GEMFIELDS
No conversation about luxury and lineage is complete without partaking into the eclectic world of colored gemstones. For over centuries, gemstones have been synonymous with wealth, power, and royalty. Before the onset of expensive purses, fast cars, and paintings, luxury was defined and demarcated in the form of precious stones. After centuries as the world’s forerunning luxury asset, colored gemstones appeared destined to become an overlooked specialty item. That is, until recently.
There has been a slow but steady revitalization of the colored gemstone industry and it has been spearheaded by only one name: Gemfields.
One of the world’s leading miner and distributor, Gemfields owns a majority stake in the Kagem mine in Zambia which produces emeralds and a mine in Mozambique for ruby. Emeralds from Kagem are by far the company’s biggest product.
They have bought the majority stake of Fabergé in an all-share deal valuing the historic brand at approximately $142million. Building on Fabergé’s status as a global brand with a notable heritage, Gemfileds is set to create an unmatched status of being an internationally recognized colored gemstones champion and all encumbered luxury enthusiasts.
THE ART OF COLOR
An exceptional product of this collaboration is “The Art of Colour” collection. It displays the finest jewelry creations, highlighting precious gemstones (emeralds, sapphires, rubies, spinels, and tsavorites), designed by amalgamating modern influences of the current times with classic pieces.
Each Fabergé jewel is a bold and daring object of art that manages to surpass the boundaries of contemporary design. An explosion of vibrant colors that captivates onlookers. The campaign targets women that shop jewelry for themselves. Through this campaign, Fabergé’s aims to celebrate the superior quality of their gemstones.
Gemfields prides itself in being the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones. They are the pioneers of the morally transparent marketplace where mining and ethics form the foundation of the brand. The aim is to set a benchmark for the world’s best practices for sustainable gemstone trading, making it a fair trade, environmentally-sound, and safe in all aspects.
They oversee the entire process from “mine to market” which translates into supplying professionally graded, uncut colored gemstones to the main markets through a series of private auctions, where Gemfields themselves carefully handpicks the buyers.
The brand is highly selective about who they supply to; the focus is not as much about controlling supply, as about putting these precious stones in the right hands, and ensuring that the gems go down as the true heirlooms of history.
Fabergé’s captivating creations are retailed out of exclusive boutiques in London, New York, Geneva and other select locations across the globe.
Evoking the scent of Veneto: The Parco Palladiano Collection
Italian fashion label Bottega Veneta bottles the breath-taking landscape of Italy in a striking new line of fragrances called Parco Palladiano
The collection tells a magical tale capturing the timeless beauty and legacy of the Palladian villa in the fashion house’s native Veneto region. Numbered in Roman numerals, the six fragrances are developed by Tomas Maier in collaboration with Michel Almairac, Daniela Andrier and Alexis Dadier. Each scent is an ‘olfactory trompe l’oeil’, arresting varied experiences in the Palladian garden. With the launch of this collection, Bottega Veneta has commenced a new chapter in the history of Haute Parfumerie.
Power Collaboration: Bibhu Mohapatra X Forevermark
New York based designer, Bibhu Mohapatra, collaborates with Forevermark India to design an exclusive jewelry line, the Artemis Collection, which is
How do you say diamonds in haute couture? Bibhu Mohapatra’s collaboration with Forevermark India, to launch the exquisite Artemis Collection is the answer to that.
The designer, who hails from Odisha, has always cited his Indian roots as an inspiration for his work. At the same time, his designs are edgy, quirky and bold, representing a woman who is not afraid to show another, unknown dimension of her personality. This new collection with Forevermark follows a similar philosophy. Stimulated by the surreal forms of the sun, moon and stars, replete with modern shapes, structured geometry and subversive placements, the jewelry collection has three key motifs seen in an array of earrings, rings, bracelets, pendants and brooches.
Mr Mohapatra does real and accessible clothes, often quite imaginatively. This celestial collection romanticizes jewelry and will have you seeing the stars. Red carpets to sit down events, the line offer pieces that are ideal for the most extravagant events. Talking about the collaboration Mr Mohapatra says, “I always wanted to work on a jewelry line and was on the lookout for a brand whose core ethos blends with mine, who could give me the support system to create a truly unique collection. The conversation started about 2 years ago over coffee with Mr Sachin Jain and now that the collection is out, I do feel that we have created something that will add meaning to many lives”
The collection is made up of delicate pieces with an ethereal quality, and a dominant diamond emerges as the focal element in each design. These transitional pieces surpass traditional Indian jewelry and yet retain its primal heritage value.
The extra-wide bracelets and luminous stud earrings are a particularly versatile styling trick—either as a simple foil to an OTT evening look or as a touch of sparkle for day—and you have already been lured into the world of the master couturier. Citing his inspiration behind the line, Mr Mohapatra said, “The central thought behind the collection was inner balance and outer strength, making it a very special collaboration for me. I wanted to do something that was deeply rooted in our culture, so I looked into some of the ideologies that come from Vedic scriptures. One of them was the idea of cosmic alignment. Since centuries, the skies have been looked upon for guidance and harmony in our lives.”
The designer follows a business model that integrates celebrity endorsements to boost brand image and credibility. With Michelle Obama sashaying in a customized Bibhu Mohapatra dress during her India visit, along with Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez following suit, the brand has become synonymous to haute fashion.“It becomes important to have a celebrity endorser who has an incredible number of followers as they give instant visibility to your brand. But you have to have a strategy for it, who is wearing it and for what occasion, all of it is taken into consideration to give out a focused voice that truly matches the vision of your brand,” Mr Mohapatra explained.
Commenting at the event, Mr Jain, President, Forevermark India said, “Forevermark diamonds are amongst the rarest and have been formed over millions of years. These diamonds are said to be as old as the sun, moon and stars, so this collection has a powerful story to tell.”
From New York to New Delhi, this collection will certainly appeal to women who know the art of standing out. This 22-piece collection is available exclusively with C Krishniah Chetty, Abaran, Mahesh Notandas, Om Jewellers, Hazoorilal Legacy, NTS Navrattan Jewellers, Sawansukha Jewellers, Narayan Jewellers, and VBJ in India.
BLOWN OUT PLAID
The power of plaid is indisputable. Nobility has paraded it, military has adopted it and rebels have owned it – from revolutionaries to the counterculturists. Plaid may not be as dogmatic today as it was in the past, but it still packs a solid punch for AW 2016.
For Fall 2016, designers reworked the checked fabric into edgy outerwear, statement pantsuits and daytime dresses. Miu Miu revamped the print in knickerbocker suits in deep plum and bottle green hues. While Vivienne Westwood recreated the pattern into a fairy tale realm, Alexander Wang diversified with black and red shades, Thakoon, Marissa Webb, Victoria Bekham and Wes Gordon brought splashed the pattern onto fall cover-ups like peacoatsm moto jackets and trenches. From buffalo checks to plaid embellished with with gems, there’s a tartan pattern for everyone this season.
Top 5 FOOTWEAR TRENDS OF SUMMER 2016
From sneakers to stilettos, classic to chunky heels, Veruschka gives you the 101 on all things trending this season in the world of shoes – where no heel is too tall and no detail too decadent!
Super high and super sexy upscale styles in gold and vibrant colors are everything this season. While norm core had its moments, pointed toe shoes, flatforms, pom pom accents and lace-up flat are definitely staying strong with elevated designs that recreate classic shapes.
The flatforms remain an important style with all of the height and none of the discomfort! The story in mules is elaborate, a touch romantic, and perfect for slipping off to hit the dance floor. We at Veruschka are the biggest promoters of towering heels, but the exception to the rule would be flatforms. You must avoid the sky-high flatforms. The higher the heel the heavier they will become, so they will start to feel and look like unappealing slabs of bricks when you walk.
2.LACE UP FLATS
Huge trends this summer is the lace-up flats, inspired by many cultures and they re-elaborate traditional costumes with a modern, at times futuristic twist. Mixing clothes and accessories from different cultures has become ultra cool. We say take the Roman road. Lace up both your flats and heels alike and pair them with feminine accentsto create a breezy summer look.
3.POINTED TOE HEELS
Pointed Toe heels are also reigning in this season. From stilettos to block heels, you can pick the style that most reflects your personality. Pair them with everything from pencil skirts to your most distressed denim or lace stockings for a chic French vibe. You can also complement these heels with tailored separates, such as cropped cigarette pants, wide-leg trousers, under a swingy top.
Bohemia is a lifestyle and the trend aesthetics can’t be characterized by distressed denims, fringe skirts, peasant blouses, macramé vests, or the quintessential floaty silhouettes alone. It is embraced in spirit, connecting with the world and nature – an amalgamation of casual, hippie, and 70’s style etched in languid vintage drama. Think counter-intuitively: Pair a printed ankle grazing frock or tweed blazer with boots, spectral tiara, fringed tote or a geometric necklace.
As of the summer runways, dreamy notions of the trend are taking form in classic, ethereal eveningwear. Whether it is a chiffon gown or an embellished tulle maxi dress, here are several bohemian—and utterly evening-appropriate—styles, breaking dogmatic stereotypes to step out in after hours.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL – ELIE SAAB’S AW 2016-17 COLLECTION
Danish singer Karen Marie Ørsted, famously called MØ, set the stage on fire at designer Elie Saab’s show at Paris Fashion Week. A departure from voluptuous silhouettes this collection explores a darker, denser vibe with a throwback to the 70’s influences. With Gypsy floor-length skirts, baroque jumpsuits, lace hoodies paired with crop tops and pants, and floral biker jackets paired with gowns this collection exudes slick sensuality intermixed with a girly gothic vibe.
No longer a night time staple, black has evidently been lauded as the new “white” and is the new couture favorite along with graphic prints, raw embellishments and the hippie homage.
This was a stark contrast to his recent showcase of an India-inspired collection during couture week in January; the final gown, worn by Kendel Jenner, was a striking silhouette in fierce leather cutouts and a studded choker. She was the only celebrity model cast by the Lebanese designer.
Elie Saab presented the collection at Jardin de Tuiliers for Paris Fashion Week.
INTERVIEW WITH FABBIO ATTANSIO
INTERVIEW WITH LUXURY WATCH MAKER GERALD GENTA
INTERVIEW WITH DESIGNER HAMDA AL FAHIM