There really isn’t a better setting than St. Petersburg for the recent Omega Her Time exhibition. The beautiful and picturesque city played host to the exclusive and intimate cocktail party and dinner which saw the appearance of Omega brand ambassador, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman.
The Her Time exhibition has travelled to several different cities such as Milan, Beijing and Sydney among others. This year’s event was held at St Petersburg’s famous neoclassical palace, the Marble palace. It was the perfect setting with its sense of history and majestic decor.
Raynald Aeschlimann with Nicole Kidman at the exhibition.
President and CEO of Omega Raynald Aeschlimann in his opening speech praised Kidman on her “willingness to take risks to create something truly original” and went on to say: “There’s an obvious synergy between our friend and what we’re celebrating this evening. Nicole perfectly embodies the women Omega’s’s watchmakers had in mind when they started producing ladies’ timepieces over a century ago: talented, charming, witty and independent.”
Kidman, who was dressed in Ulyana Sergeenko and wearing the Omega Aqua Terra Luxury Edition watch, said: “It goes without saying that the watches in the exhibition are incredibly beautiful – works of art in fact. But when you consider how Omega set out to make precision watches for women, not just elegant decorations, well that’s also about having respect for women, and for me, that makes the watches even more exceptional.”
After cocktails, guests were invited to tour the exhibiton to witness the evolution of Omega’s ladies’ watches and changing styles, from the early Lepine pendants and the iconic Ladymatic to today’s watches such as De Ville Tresor and the Seamaster Aqua Terra. There are also examples of vintage artwork and classic Omega advertising throughout the years.
Timeline Of Innovation
At the beginning of the 20th century, the brand made its foray into ladies’s watches with its very first wristwatch, a silver case with a delicate floral design. While it had come out with engraved pocket watches before, it was during this time, in 1902, that their ladies’ watches had a more distinctive style. One must remember, these were conservative times, and women never checked the time as it may be perceived as being rude or bored. So thus came the “secret jewellery watches”, the idea being to look like jewellery, but with a watch hidden inside.
The 1920s saw the Art Deco movement which naturally led to Art Deco jewellery watches. And the brand’s commitment to the ladies’ market saw the creation of “Medicus” in 1937. This particular watch was designed for nurses and was Omega’s first wristwatch with a central seconds hand. The Medicus was not only practical, being easy-to-read, it was also a beautiful watch.Omega continued moving along with the changing times, with even their advertisements in the 1950s reflecting the current mood.
An example of an Omega commercial in 1951: “In all facets of life, a woman is just as active, sporty, and as busy as a man, like him, she demands a watch of precision.”
This was decade that saw the appearance of the Ladymatic in 1955, which had the world’s smallest chronometer-certified rotor-equipped automatic calibre.
From there the brand moved from strength to strength, coming out with the “Flowers” jewellery secret watch – the first ever timepiece created with mauve gold, an original piece made in 1955 that was set with diamonds. Several of these secret watches were in collaboration with well-known designers, a continuing trend from the 60s to 70s. Names like Gilber Albert and Andrew Grima saw the production of exceptional pieces in precious metals and stones, with even a piece of real meteorite used in Albert’s Moldavita watch.
Faces To Watch
In 1995, Omega introduced their first brand ambassador, Cindy Crawford, cementing their association with succesful women. Kidman became the ambassador in 2005, and other famous names in film, sports and the modelling industry have signed on such as golfer Michelle Wie, actress Liu Shishi, and the latest and youngest one, 16-year-old Kaia Gerber, Crawford’s daughter and the current most popular model today.
After the tour, guests moved on to dinner in a stunning setting where the tables were transparent and filled with dozens of beautiful white roses. Russian celebrities at the event included fashion designer Igor Chapurin, singer Inna Malikova, actor Pavel Volya and his wife, gymnast and TV host Liasan Utiasheva.
International guests included Thai actress Ranee “Bella” Campen, Turkish actress Saadet Isil Aksoy, Polish actress Magda Boczarska, American designer Kelly Wearstler, Malaysian celebrity Marion Caunter and Malaysian actress Siti Saleha.
- Marion Caunter.
- Siti Saleha.
Wanderlust + Co, the first Malaysian high-street jewellery brand to have made a name for itself around the globe, has recently opened a physical store in the Klang Valley.
It takes the form of a pop-up retail outlet, of which is located within the 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya. The opening fittingly coincides with the brand’s 8th anniversary.
“We are so excited to be opening our new pop-up concept here in our home country,” stated founder and managing director of Wanderlust + Co, Jenn Low, at the launch recently.
Jenn Low is always proud of her Malaysian roots and holds the local community close to her heart.
“It’s so surreal to come full circle, creating an offline experience, for our Malaysian #WCOgirlgang. Our goal is to enhance their shopping journey with our omni-channel strategy, breathing ‘life’ into our digital brand experience.”
Wanderlust + Co first began selling its jewellery pieces online in 2010. At that time, Low was still living and working in Melbourne, and ran her business as a one-woman team.
Today, the brand’s operations is based in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. It is currently stocked in over 500 stores, predominantly in the USA, UK, and Australia, alongside 26 other countries around the world.
“As our global head office is in KL and being Malaysian myself, this country and what we can offer our local community is especially close to our hearts,” Low commented.
The new retail space is infused with millennial aesthetics, catered for today’s “digital girl”. Visitors are greeted with the brand’s trademark eye catching, yet pleasing medley of pastel hues.
The mixed metal jewellery pieces are displayed across sleek white and marble surfaces. The space is light, airy, yet fun, accented with cascading floral blooms and lush green foliage.
Wanderlust + Co’s personality shines through the small details – from the “You Look Good” and “Beauty Is In All Of Us” mirror decals, their signature #WCOgirlgang neon sign, down to a mint tweed couch for selfies.
The brand is celebrating the special milestone with a special Birthstone Series capsule collection. Inspired by each individual’s unique journey, this latest collection is designed to be gifted and worn with love and wonder.
Each piece features a dreamy constellation setting, finished off with a gem associated with the wearer’s birth month – carrying with it both a special meaning and cosmic flare.
Pieces from the Birthstone Series are designed to be gifted and worn with love and wonder.
With a touch of grunge and heavy hints of romanticism, Braun Buffel revives the allure of the 1970s. This is seen in the Autumn/Winter 2018 accessories, which reimagine the great, good and glamourous disco and pop art era.
Designs from the German maker of leather goods take their cue from underground culture and its icons – particularly of legendary New York nightclub Studio 54, world famous in its heyday.
According to Braun Buffel’s creative director Fabio Panzeri, this second collection of his represents innovation. It symbolises a move forward for him as a designer and the brand.
“Getting out of your comfort zone is of course difficult, but you still have to challenge yourself. No one can just stay in one spot all the time. Life does not work that way,” he explains in an interview with Star2 in Singapore during the presentation.
Fabio Panzeri believes in innovation when it comes to his designs.
Panzeri joined Braun Buffel earlier this year. He has worked with notable labels such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein in the past, and is lauded for bringing a sense of “the new and cool” to the brand he currently serves.
His designs this time around are inspired by the magnetising allure of music and the nightlife it revolves around, featuring a luxurious and sophisticated colour palette. This includes deep shades and kaleidoscopic hues.
Accents take their cue from the pop art works of renowned artist Andy Warhol. Juxtaposed against an irrefutably sleek and edgy aesthetic, they provide an optimistic yet youthful energy.
“Personally, music is a very big inspiration for me. And what better way to represent the 70s than the lifestyle its music has brought about. It’s the same thing for the art of the era,” notes Panzeri.
“Pop art represents a revolution. One that is well loved even today. When you talk about Andy Warhol, everyone knows and recognises his name. He’s an icon and that is what we want our designs to be as well.”
That 70s Style
A contrasting narrative of opulent evening glamour paired with minimalist silhouettes sets the creative canvas for the ladies’ collection. This season, the Braun Buffel woman appears as elegant and refined, yet strong.
But there is a deeper meaning to the designs. The image of confident femininity for example, pays homage to the defining social movements for gender equality of the 70s in New York.
More than that, weave details, contrasting stitching and studded ornamentation play on the idea of retro chic style – revisiting an era of bewitching audacity and self-expression.
The collection for guys draws from the urban street culture of the same era and place. It highlights the birth of an underground avant-garde creative utopia, where no rules are said to exist.
Think graffiti artists and musicians who champion eclectic dynamism, as well as the intensifying hip-hop cultural phenomenon. Metropolitan-focused shapes interwoven with distinguishing details underscore the carefree spirit.
The Autumn/Winter 2018 Braun Buffel man is not just sleek, modern and carefree, he also loves to travel and knows how to have fun. Or as the brand puts it, “an embodiment of youthful energy”.
A Whimsical Quality
“I threw myself totally into the collection. It’s fun, it’s raw, it’s edgy. It also has a sense of optimism to it when you consider the youthful feel of the pieces. So yes, I can see myself in this season’s designs,” Panzeri states.
“That said, the bags are not just about functionality. There are elements of a surprise to them. The lightness, the metallic materials and details. These all add up to offer something extra to those who love fashion.”
The whimsical adventures of the brand’s signature characters Buffy and Bully go through a spellbinding imaginative time-warp as well. They take the form of eccentric design motifs.
Paying homage to Vogue model and “it girl” Edie Segwick, Warhol’s most famous muse, the ladies Buffy-P bag is crafted with studded embellishments and comes with quirky details.
The Bully-P design for men showcases key traits of the artist with a platinum blonde hairdo and 60s-inspired sunglasses. Just perfect for the maverick gentleman who is looking for flamboyant and elaborate accessories.
Braun Buffel has also updated its Kelis-C capsule collection. It now comes balanced with rocker-inspired geometric details together with the feminine glamour of beads that exude elegance.
Tiffany & Co has unveiled chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff’s first jewellery collection. Its name and design were inspired by the idea of flower petals, cut from paper and delicately pinned together.
The Tiffany & Co Paper Flowers collection comprises fine jewellery, and reflects a perfect balance of refined femininity and industrial modernity. The floral motif is reimagined through a modern and graphic lens.
“Paper Flowers is about stripping away all of the rules associated with fine jewellery,” said Krakoff. “Luxury shouldn’t always mean formality, so we used precious stones and the finest materials, but in a way that you can live with every day.”
Necklace in platinum with diamonds and tanzanites.
Naturalism is at the heart of the collection as seen throughout Tiffany’s history – the vibrant colour of the iris inspired the purple of tanzanite, while yellow diamonds echo the vivid hue of fireflies.
Exemplifying the superior quality and exquisite design heritage, a high jewellery diamond bib necklace features over 68 carats with a mix of pear-shaped and round brilliant diamonds.
Krakoff is attributed as the man who catapulted fashion label Coach to fashion prominence. He was brought in last year to overhaul Tiffany & Co’s designs, and attract younger shoppers.
He believes in the philosophy of “everyday luxury”, where jewellery pieces are used and worn on a daily basis – and not just as objects to be reserved for special occasions.
The new Tiffany & Co Paper Flowers collection ranges from pendants and earrings to bracelets and rings, and will be available in Malaysian stores starting next month.
Local lifestyle brand, Duck Scarves launched a limited edition collection in conjunction with the recent National Day celebration.
Named Merdeka Duck, the new line of scarves aims to embody the true Malaysian spirit. And with the nation still in Merdeka celebratory mood, there could not have been a better time to kindle patriotism.
The inspiration behind this significant collection is derived from a kain batik, which D (the brand’s fictional voice and character) kept after the passing of her grandmother.
According to D, a traditional batik sarong is one of the timeless and cultural pieces that remains close to the hearts of most Malaysians.
“When Tok Ma passed away, I chose to keep one of her favourite clothing item – a kain batik. I did not realise then, the profundity of that simple piece of material. I have since been able to appreciate its beauty and ability to bring Malaysians together – the young and old.”
Speaking at the launch of the Merdeka Duck collection, founder of The Duck Group, Vivy Yusof said, “I was close to both my late grandmothers as well and I also kept their old kain batiks for memory. D’s story really connected with me too.”
“Indeed, a batik sarong, can connect generations and unite people. More than ever, this year’s Merdeka has great meaning to our nation and this scarf intends to show unity in diversity among us Malaysians,” she continued
The scarves are available in five captivating shades and names, Langit, Rimba, Bunga, Senja and Bumi. They also have a unique design that features the Malaysian map in which the elements of the batik are inserted. To make it more endearing, a trail of ducks that can be seen meandering around the scarf.
As the release of the collection was quite noteworthy, Duck Scarves pulled out an equally significant launch at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur. The dress code was of course, anything batik which everyone wore proudly, from little kids to the elderly women and men.
This was however not the only factor that brought an undeniable connection among guests. The event also had traditional games and plenty of Malaysian food.
Each scarf retails at RM300 at the Duck Store in Suria KLCC and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. It is also available in all FashionValet boutiques as well as online on FashionValet.com.